Homes

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

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Would Olivia Chow’s affordable-housing plan actually work as advertised?

THE IDEA

Toronto is mired in an affordable-housing crisis. As of June, almost 170,000 people were waiting for a place in some form of subsidized housing. If that weren’t enough, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation’s repair backlog was estimated at $862 million in 2012, and there are fears it could top $2.6 billion within a decade. In July, mayoral candidate Olivia Chow offered a solution she says will help bridge the widening housing gap: as mayor, she would ask developers to voluntarily set aside 20 percent of new residential tower developments for low-income renters, creating around 15,000 new, affordable units over four years. Chow says she would defer development charges on the affordable units for 10 years, or longer if the properties stay accessible to low-income renters (lest developers snap up the promised benefits and hike the rent), saving builders almost $12,000 per one-bedroom unit. Developers that improve existing tower sites would get different kinds of incentives too.

WOULD IT WORK?election-evaluator-meter-orange-small

In cities like Washington D.C. and San Francisco, there are what are known as “inclusionary zoning” rules—bylaws, often mandatory ones, that try to engineer roughly what Chow is proposing. In essence, inclusionary zoning tells developers to allocate a certain percentage of new residential units to moderate- or low-income people. In New York City, newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to implement mandatory inclusionary zoning.

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Cottage of the Week: $3 million for a Lake of Bays getaway with an architectural pedigree

http://www.torontolife.com/galleries/cottage-of-the-week-1045-hemlock-ridge-road/288038-288040-288041-288042-288043-288044-288045-288046-288047-288048-288049-288050-288051-288052-288053/#cottage-of-the-week-dwight-ontario-01

Address: 1045 Hemlock Ridge Road
Neighbourhood: Dwight, Ontario
Agent: Jay Richardson and Stephen Leonard, Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka Realty
Price: $3,000,000

The Place: A modern, spectacularly designed steel, wood and glass structure on Lake of Bays.

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Real Estate

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Sale of the Week: the $1.3-million Leaside home that shows the power of a well-timed bully offer

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Address: 81 Bessborough Drive
Neighbourhood: Leaside
Agent: James LaPointe, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., Brokerage

The Property: The same-day sale of this two-storey, three-bedroom home was helped along by the property’s top-tier school district, which includes Rolph Road Elementary, Bessborough Elementary and Middle School, and Leaside High School (Margaret Atwood went there in the fifties). Another major draw was its location on Bessborough Drive, a Leaside street with cachet.

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Condo of the Week: $2.6 million for a massive, two-penthouse spread in the financial core

Condo of the Week: 33  University Avenue

Address: 33 University Avenue, Penthouses 2801 and 2802
Neighbourhood: Bay Street Corridor
Agents: Christopher Invidiata and Shae Invidiata, The Invidiata Team Re/Max Aboutowne Realty Corp., Brokerage
Price: $2,588,000

The Place: A massive 28th-floor penthouse in Empire Plaza, a mixed-use building in the downtown core. Amenities include a concierge and a rooftop terrace.

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Real Estate

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The Chase: They did the near-impossible—landing a house in Toronto, without a bidding war

The Chase: September 2014The buyers: Peter Loewen, a 35-year-old political science professor at U of T, and Yvette Lam, a 35-year-old business development officer at Harbourfront Centre.

The story: After meeting at a David Myles concert and ­dating for two years, Lam and Loewen took a series of quick leaps forward. First, she rented out her Esplanade one-­bedroom and moved into his Distillery condo. Four months later, he proposed while they were on vacation in France. Post-proposal, they started talking about having kids in the next year or two and, in preparation, they decided to trade up. The plan was to hold on to Lam’s condo for the rental income, sell Loewen’s place and search for a house. They set out with a firm $900,000 ceiling and a list of must-haves: an office where Loewen could write, a clean look to match their mid-century modern furniture, and a location within walking distance of good public schools and a subway.

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Real Estate

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House of the Week: $2.6 million for a newly renovated home with a classic look in the Annex

Address: 121 Madison Avenue
Neighbourhood: Annex
Agent: Domenic Scolieri and Cassandra Scolieri, Re/Max West Realty Inc., Brokerage
Price: $2,649,000

The Place: A four-plus-one bedroom, five-washroom manse in the heart of the Annex.

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A notorious Toronto landlord gets a hefty fine

$10,000
—The fine levied on Carolyn Goodman and her company, Havcare Investments Inc., by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Goodman’s offence, according to the Star, was denying Thaila-Paige Dixon-Eeet a bachelor apartment at 500 Dawes Road, which has a reputation as one of the worst residential buildings in Toronto. The tribunal found that Havcare’s stated reason for turning Dixon-Eeet away (the fact that she was only 17 at the time) was a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code and a source of “injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect.”

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Real Estate

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Cottage of the Week: $2.3 million for a Carling home on a rocky shore

Address: 60 Conservation Drive
Neighbourhood: Carling, Ontario
Agent: George Webster, Moffat Dunlap Real Estate Limited, Brokerage
Price: $2‚250‚000

The Place: A five-bedroom cottage tucked into three acres of wooded forest.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Sale of the Week: the $1.4-million Yonge-St. Clair property that proves two houses are better than one

Address: 93A and 95A Balmoral Avenue
Neighbourhood: Yonge-St. Clair
Agent: David Batori, Re/Max Hallmark Realty Ltd., Brokerage

The Property: Don’t let the two separate addresses fool you: these two homes make up a single property, hidden on a laneway behind some of the Yonge-St. Clair area’s toniest homes. The two-storey, loft-style one-bedroom at 93A Balmoral measures in at 1,570 square feet, including the finished lower level. Facing it is 95A Balmoral, a one-bedroom bungalow with 655 square feet of living space. Both buildings have been extensively renovated inside and out.

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Real Estate

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Condo of the Week: $450,000 for a two-storey loft in Moss Park

Address: 510 King Street East, Unit 108
Neighbourhood: Moss Park
Agent: Al Daimee, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., Brokerage
Price: $449,900

The Place: A one-bedroom unit on the first floor of the Corktown District Lofts. It’s one of only ten two-storey “lofthouses” in the building. Amenities include a rooftop terrace, penthouse party room and fitness centre.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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House of the Week: $4.9 million for a St. Clair West home with all the luxuries

Address: 95 Lonsdale Road
Neighbourhood: Yonge-St. Clair
Agent: Alison Dyer, Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage
Price: $4,888,000

The Place: A contemporary four-bedroom home near St. Clair West.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Cottage of the Week: $5 million for a Bracebridge cottage with a modern interior

Address: 1476 Stephens Bay Road
Neighbourhood: Bracebridge, Ontario
Agent: Max Hahne, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Brokerage, Port Carling
Price: $4,950,000

The Place: A six-bedroom, six-washroom, modern-but-homey estate on Lake Muskoka.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Sale of the Week: the $1.35-million Lytton Park home that sold despite six years’ worth of LRT construction

Address: 3 Wembley Road
Neighbourhood: Lytton Park
Agent: Faithe Sversky, Forest Hill Real Estate Inc., Brokerage

The Property: This two-storey family home is adjacent to the site of the future Eglinton Crosstown LRT station at Bathurst and Eglinton. Among its better features: hardwood floors, pot lighting and four skylights. The backyard has a deck and an in-ground pool.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Condo of the Week: $460,000 for a true hard loft in Regent Park

Address: 426 Queen Street East, Unit 302
Neighbourhood: Regent Park
Agent: Brad Thomas, Sutton Group Quantum Realty Inc., Brokerage
Price: $459,000

The Place: A one-bedroom unit on the third floor of the Knitting Mill Lofts at Queen and Sackville.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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The Chase: a pair of loyal Beach residents trade their $2-million home for a fuss-free townhouse

The Chase: a pair of loyal Beach residents trade their $2-million home for a fuss-free townhouseThe buyers: Eric Mennell, a 51-year-old portfolio manager, and his wife, Trish, a 42-year-old photographer.

The story: When all four of their children were still living at home, the Mennells used every inch of their 5,000-square-foot, six-bedroom house near Queen and ­Fallingbrook Road. But, last fall, with one son already away at university and another getting ready to leave, the place started to feel ludicrously large. The Mennells were also tired of spending their weekends doing maintenance projects on the house and yard. It was time to find something smaller. They wanted to stay in the area—near their friends, the two younger kids’ school and their favourite dog parks (they have two boxers). They also wanted parking for two cars and an open kitchen big enough for their weekly family pancake brunches. In November, they set a $1.2-million ­ceiling and started the search.

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