Mississauga

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It’s really hard to sell a mansion in Mississauga, apparently

(Image: birdhousemedia.ca)

2290 Saxony Court. (Image: birdhousemedia.ca)

At the end of January, someone bought an 18,000-square-foot mansion in Mississauga at auction for $6.2 million, which was considered quite the bargain. The four-storey Saxony Court home had cost an estimated $7 million to build, but had failed to find a buyer at a listed price of $11 million. Now, the Star reports that the mansion will be going back up for auction on April 27, because the buyer hasn’t been able to get financing. What’s more, a different mansion on nearby Doulton Drive—a 9,000-square-foot behemoth with an indoor pool—will be auctioned off on the same day, after eight months on the market with no takers.

Meanwhile, in Rosedale, a comparatively modestly sized luxury home (without so much as a single swimming pool!) stands an excellent chance of selling for $6.8 million.

Obviously, Mississauga doesn’t have the same prestige as a Rosedale address, so the sellers of these two suburban megamansions will need to hope for a lucky break. The ultra-high-end market is a strange place, with a relatively small pool of potential buyers, but properties still move. In fact, a recent report by Sotheby’s found that sales of Greater Toronto Area single-family homes over $4 million were up nearly 35 per cent in 2013, year over year. (The data isn’t broken down by municipality, though.)

In this case, maybe a buy-one-get-one deal would bring out some bidders? Just a suggestion.

The Informer

Random Stuff

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Mississauga’s new logo is pretty much a paper clip

Mississauga's new logo (left) and a paper clip (right).

Mississauga’s new logo (left) and a paper clip (right).

The city of Mississauga recently spent $170,000 developing a new “brand story,” the better to articulate its “welcoming world culture” and “naturally enriching lifestyle.” Says city councillor Nando Iannicca, “People forget, we’re a very young city. We’re the next Portland, we’re the next Barcelona. We are the future.” (For more superlatives, check out the website.) As part of the larger rebranding effort, the home of Square One and Hazel McCallion has also chosen a new logo that’s meant to evoke its youth and vitality, but which also looks like something from an office supplies store, making it perhaps a little more appropriate than intended.

The Informer

Real Estate

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Sale of the Week: what the $6.2-million sale of this Mississauga mansion tells us about real estate auctions

2290-Saxony-Court-Intro

Price2

Address: 2290 Saxony Court
Neighbourhood: Mississauga
Agent: Sam Allan McDadi, Sam McDadi Real Estate Inc., Brokerage in association with Ritchies Auctioneers

The Property: A four-storey mansion offering 18,000 square feet of white-oak floors under 23-foot ceilings. Its 1,600-square-foot master suite has a room-sized walk-in closet and an enormous en suite washroom. The independent nanny’s quarters on the fourth floor are larger than most Toronto condos, and they’re accessible by elevator. The residence is situated on a half-acre lot among several multi-million-dollar homes, and is a short drive away from the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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PHOTO: a midcentury fighter jet travels the streets of Toronto

(Image: Tony Smyth)

Early this morning, an 85-foot-long replica of the Avro Arrow was moved from its former home at Downsview Park to the International Centre in Mississauga. Arrowheads can see the famous (and famously abandoned) fighter aircraft up close during Saturday’s Doors Open Mississauga. [@LateNightCam]

The Informer

Real Estate

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My Suburbia: 11 former city dwellers explain why everything’s better in the burbs

My Suburbia

Tucked away in some of Toronto’s biggest burbs are pockets that combine urban cool and small-town charm. And the houses are (way) cheaper and (way) bigger than anything you’ll find in the city. Here, a handful of happy decampers on where they landed and what they love most about their new homes.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Burger’s Priest is expanding to Etobicoke next (sorry, Mississauga)

Burger's Priest Double Double

Burger’s Priest Double-Double (Image: Lucas Richarz)

The Burger’s Priest’s third location at Queen and Spadina hasn’t even opened yet—though it’s supposed to very soon—and already the crazy popular east-end gourmet burger joint is expanding again. The restaurant tweeted with word of its fourth outpost: a new location at 986 The Queensway near the Cineplex movie theatres in Etobicoke, not Mississauga, as the owner Shant Mardirosian had told Insauga.com Radio last year. The menu is also expanding at the new spot. The Priest will be serving ice cream and other classic soda shop treats, like sundaes and banana splits.

 

The Goods

Stores

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Square One Centre lands a massive Holt Renfrew store

Target and Nordstrom’s Canadian expansions sparked a months-long competition amongst Toronto malls to secure big-name anchor stores—and Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga has scored a high-profile player. Holt Renfrew is set to open a giant 120,000-square-foot flagship at the suburban mall in spring 2016, which reportedly means Sherway Gardens will lose the upscale department store. (It seems Holts was being coy when it downplayed rumours of the location switch late last month.) In the meantime, Ann Taylor, Loft, White House Black Market and Top Shop are all arriving at Square One later this year. [h/t Retail Insider]

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Random Stuff

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Hazel McCallion gets territorial over the welcome sign at Pearson Airport

Hazel McCallion with Pearson’s current sign, which reads “Welcome to Toronto” and has pictures of McCallion, Rob Ford and Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell below it (Image: Facebook)

Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion’s anti-Toronto streak resurfaced in January, when she complained about Toronto’s share of provincial transit funding and railed against the Toronto Board of Trade for changing it’s name to the Toronto Region Board of Trade (how dare they presume to speak for the whole region?). Now the feisty nonagenarian is hellbent on ensuring her city gets its share of the glory from the 2015 Pan-Am games, and she’s starting with the welcome banner at the airport. McCallion argued Pearson’s suburban location means it should have a “Welcome to Mississauga” sign, rather one that focuses on Toronto. We suppose that’s logical—but there will be a lot of confused athletes and tourists if she gets her way. [Toronto Star]

The Informer

People

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Q&A: Liberal leadership front-runner Sandra Pupatello on traffic, the TTC and marrying a Newfoundlander

Sandra Pupatello was McGuinty’s pit bull for eight years before decamping to the private sector. Now she’s back, gunning for his seat, and fierce as ever

Q&A: is this our next premier?You’re trying to take over the Liberal party at a perilous time. The province has a $14.4-billion deficit and a scandal around every corner. What on earth is possessing you
to run?

Politics is in my DNA. There were a number of galvanizing factors, too: the threat that the Liberals might lose the next election, the fact that Ontarians are afraid of losing their jobs and that university grads can’t find work in their fields.

You were an MPP for 16 years. A year and a half ago, when the Liberals were polling badly, you left to work at PricewaterhouseCooper. Suddenly McGuinty quits and you’re back. Are people wrong to see you as an opportunist?
I wasn’t considering a run until party members started calling me. Plus, leading the province won’t be easy. We’re in for some
tough times.

You were McGuinty’s pit bull—“a scrapper,” as you’ve put it. Where does that moxie come from?
When I started as an MPP in 1995, there weren’t very many women. If you didn’t stand up for yourself they shoved you out of the way, and I couldn’t let that happen. I’m a daughter of Italian immig­rants. I’m from Windsor, and people associate me with a tough city. I wear that like a badge of honour.

In your 20s, you were a cashier at A&P—
Damn straight. And I was good! My manager called me Speedy Gonzalez because I’d whip customers through. Later, when I was campaigning door to door, I knew lots of constituents from those days. I could usually recall their grocery lists, too.

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The Goods

Random Stuff

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Bridal Wave: five of the best upcoming Toronto bridal shows

(Image: National Bridal Show)

With banquets, dancing, flowers and open bars, there’s very little not to like about weddings. There’s sometimes very little to like, however, in the chaotic months spent organizing it all. Wedding shows and bridal shows can make the process relatively painless by gathering together everything you need to get hitched without a hitch. Below, we’ve rounded up the best Toronto bridal shows from now until the end of April.

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The Informer

Culture

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Q&A: The Bachelor Canada’s Brad Smith and his lucky lady, Bianka Kamber

Much to our recapper’s relief, in this week’s episode of The Bachelor Canada, Brad Smith gave his very last rose to Bianka Kamber, a 28-year-old nurse from Mississauga. Yesterday, we chatted with the pair about keeping secrets, the Argos’ chances at the Grey Cup this weekend and the origin of the nickname “Cheeseburger.”

(Image: CityTV)

Congratulations on your engagement! How are you two dealing with the big revelation?
Brad Smith: Just trying to slowly live our first day in real life. Bianka set up this thing last night where I walked into her parents’ house the second the show was over. Everyone just went bananas.

Bianka Kamber: It’s surreal!

There has been an incredible amount of attention paid to the show. Do you guys read the recaps and analysis?
BS: I read it the first couple of weeks, but I tried to live off what I remember as being filmed instead of people micro-analyzing my decisions—although most of them were hilarious.

After each episode aired, did you two have a lot to explain to each other?
BS: We got about 14 days as soon as the show stopped to kind of figure out, “OK, the cameras are gone, do we really like each other this much?” It took about four minutes to realize that it was the best decision of our lives. In that 14-day period, we basically found out every single thing about what we each did on the entire show.

Brad, you’re in Toronto and Bianka, you’re in Mississauga. You must be able to see a lot of each other now?
BS: I just moved into her parents’ house last night!

BK. He’s currently occupying the right side of my queen-size bed!

BS: It’s the European thing. We’re going to try to buy a house within the next couple of months, but until then, her parents are just so excited to have me—at least they tell me they’re excited.

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The Informer

Politics

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Liberal Watch: The six contenders for the Ontario Liberal party leadership so far

Although leading the struggling Ontario Liberal party may be the worst job in the province (just ask Dalton McGuinty), another four hopefuls have announced their candidacy since Glen Murray and Kathleen Wynne kicked things off a week ago. Below, a cheat sheet on the list so far of would-be premiers (or, depending whom you ask, would-be opposition leaders).


Eric Hoskins
The minister of children and youth services until last week, Hoskins officially signed up for the race this morning. Not only is he a medical doctor, a Rhodes scholar and the founder of War Child Canada, but he is also friends with Chantal Kreviazuk, K’naan and Raine Maida, who has already proclaimed his support for Hoskins.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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House of the Week: $2.2 million for a renovated home in Lorne Park

1650 Ruscombe Close

ADDRESS: 1650 Ruscombe Close

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Lorne Park, Mississauga

AGENT: Nataliya Kolydchak, Keller Williams Real Estate Associates, Brokerage

PRICE: $2,199,900

THE PLACE: This 1970s split-level in the popular Lorne Park neighbourhood recently underwent a major overhaul, including the addition of an entire new wing for the master suite.

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The Dish

The Month That Was

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The Month That Was: the Toronto restaurants and bars that opened and closed in October

Introducing: Indie Ale House

After a long wait, Indie Alehouse finally opened in the Junction this month (Image: Yves Freypons)

Opening

  • Café Boulud and dBar—The third Café Boulud and 14th restaurant in Daniel Boulud’s portfolio isn’t the buzziest arrival in recent weeks, but it probably wasn’t designed to be. The casual bistro, with its tidy four-part menu, is more of a neighbourhood spot than a fine dining destination. Read our Introducing post »
  • Richmond Station—Top Chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich and Ryan Donovan broke away from Marben to set up their transit-themed restaurant. Fans of Heinrich and Donovan’s “good, honest cooking,” which includes a Marben-esque rib-stuffed burger and a decadent take on a s’more, need only look for the ersatz subway station sign. Read our Introducing post »
  • Indie Alehouse—After two years of labour, Jason Fisher’s lager-free brewery has brought craft ale to the once-dry Junction. Salt alum Patrick Fraser handles the elevated pub grub menu. Read our Introducing Post »
  • PatriaCharles Khabouth must not sleep. In the past four months, his bid to take over King West has manifested itself in Weslodge Saloon, Storys and, most recently, Patria, a traditional Spanish restaurant boasting wines that are largely unavailable at the LCBO. Read our Introducing post »

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The Informer

Politics

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Reaction Roundup: Premier Dalton McGuinty steps down and adjourns the legislature

(Image: Communitech Photos)

We’ve never really thought of Dalton McGuinty as a big-surprises kind of guy, but Premier Dad shocked the province last night by announcing his resignation as party leader—and the prorogation of the legislature. Today, most of Toronto is speculating about why McGuinty stepped down, and where, politically, the province goes from here. We rounded up the main threads of the discussion, including who might replace him, whether McGuinty has federal leadership aspirations and what Rob Ford thinks about it all.

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