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City council gives its go-ahead to the Mirvish + Gehry towers

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A model of the proposed Mirvish + Gehry tower design. (Image: courtesy of Projectcore)

At a meeting yesterday, city council gave its expected approval to the Frank Gehry–designed tower complex proposed by theatre impresario and Honest Ed’s scion David Mirvish. The council vote was the culmination of nearly two years of behind-the-scenes struggle, as Toronto’s city planners worked to wrench concessions from Mirvish and his business partners. The approved proposal calls for just two towers at King West and John streets (as opposed to three in Gehry’s original design) and preserves the Princess of Wales Theatre, as well as elements of two heritage properties on the site. There are still more details to be worked out, but the project’s developer has already issued a celebratory press release. Pre-construction condo buyers may as well start lining up now.

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Condo of the Week: $1.6 million for a Forest Hill unit with a summery veranda

Address: 517 Spadina Road
Neighbourhood: Forest Hill South
Agents: Howard Biderman, Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage, and Marie Natscheff, Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage
Price: $1,625,000

The Place: A three-bedroom, two-storey home in Forest Hill. The unit is one of only two in the building, and occupies half of the ground floor and the entire second floor.

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Captain John’s ship may be sold, for real this time

(Image: booledozer)

(Image: booledozer/Flickr)

In a city where many sellers have no problem attracting buyers to their super-expensive properties, there’s one multi-million-dollar real-estate investment opportunity that seems as though it may never find a taker. Captain John’s boat at the foot of Yonge Street—once a restaurant, now a semi-abandoned hulk with no water service and limited land access—has been spawning sale rumours for almost a year and a half. The Star reports that the latest potential buyer may actually be legit, though.

According to the paper, a group of U.S. investors led by an entrepreneur named John Scales (perfect: same first name, no need to repaint the sign) wants to buy the Jadran (that’s the boat’s name), renovate it and then dock it in a new location somewhere else on the Toronto-area waterfront. “It could be a convention centre, a restaurant, an intimate theatre or any number of things,” Scales told the Star. And indeed it could be any of those things, assuming Scales and his group are able to raise several million dollars and convince a landowner somewhere to host the very same ship that the Toronto Port Authority and Waterfront Toronto have been trying to banish from the Yonge Street slip for years. Lately, a federal court has layered some additional urgency on the sale process. A June 19 ruling orders a court-appointed sheriff to attempt to auction the boat to the highest bidder, with the proceeds to be used to pay off some of the boat’s estimated $1.7 million in debt. Anyone looking to invest in what realtors might refer to as a “unique fixer-upper opportunity with unobstructed lake views” can submit a sealed bid by July 31.

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House of the Week: $840,000 for a newly renovated Weston home, minus appliances

Address: 11 Lamont Avenue
Neighbourhood: Weston
Agent: Fernando Perri, Keller Williams Referred Realty
Price: $839,000

The Place: A renovated home in the Weston Village area.

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Million-dollar homes are becoming Toronto’s new normal

3,956

—The number of Greater Toronto Area homes that sold for $1 million or more during the first six months of 2014, according to a new report by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. Last year, during the same period, the figure was only 2,947.

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Cottage of the Week: $675,000 for a waterfront cottage with plenty of beach for your buck

Address: 25 Cranbrooke Court
Neighbourhood: Tiny, Ontario
Agent: Peggy Worthen, RE/MAX Georgian Bay Realty Ltd, Brokerage (Balm Beach)
Price: $674,900

The Place: A three-bedroom family cottage in the quaint town of Tiny on Georgian Bay.

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Reasons to Love Toronto 2014: #13. Because Yonge and Bloor Is Getting a Radical Makeover

Reasons to Love Toronto 2014: #13. Because Yonge and Bloor Is Getting a Radical Makeover

(Image: courtesy of Hariri Pontarini)

For as long as most of us can remember, the southeast corner of Yonge and Bloor was the site of a pus-yellow eyesore housing a discount eyeglass store and a Harvey’s. Then, in 2008, some hope: a developer razed the building, promising to erect a soaring condo, only to cancel the project when funding dried up during the recession, leaving a dirt pit. A year later, the suburban developer Great Gulf Homes stepped in with a new proposal for a curvaceous, 75-storey tower. The building is designed by Hariri Pontarini, the architecture firm behind so many of Toronto’s glitzy new skyscrapers, including the glass shard–like ­Shangri-La on University, the white ­ribbon–wrapped Massey Tower rising on Yonge near the Eaton Centre and a proposal to redevelop One Yonge Street with six futuristic towers. The firm conjures up the kinds of graceful modern buildings that become instant landmarks. One Bloor East is only half built, but it has already classed up one of the city’s classiest strips.

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Sale of the Week: the $725,000 semi that shows Kensington Market’s rental potential

Address: 64 Wales Avenue
Neighbourhood: Kensington Market
Agent: Amir Shahi, Sage Real Estate Limited, Brokerage

The Property: This starter-home-sized Kensington Market Victorian comes stocked with new kitchen appliances and granite counters. However, the relatively shallow lot leaves only just enough room for a cedar deck out back, and no parking. The house makes up for that with proximity to the neighbourhood’s shops, parks and hospital.

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The Park Hyatt is probably about to be sold

(Image: Google Street View)

(Image: Google Street View)

Like the Royal York before it, Toronto’s Park Hyatt hotel is now up for grabs. According to the Financial Post, Hyatt is on the verge of selling the high-end Yorkville property, located at the corner of Bloor Street and Avenue Road, to an unnamed buyer for a price that is rumoured to be upwards of $100 million. The sale would reportedly be conditional on the building remaining a Hyatt for at least 40 years. The potential buyer’s plans for the property haven’t been made public, but the Post’s sources say it’s likely that the hotel’s rooms would be enlarged, and that some luxury condo units could be added to the mix. There’s been no word on the likely fate of the roof lounge, either, so enjoy it while you can.

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Condo of the Week: $3.3 million for an Annex unit with not one, but two huge terraces

Address: 385 Brunswick Avenue, Unit 502
Neighbourhood: Annex
Agent: Richard Silver, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Brokerage
Price: $3,295,000

The Place: A two-bedroom unit on the fifth floor of The Loretto, a loft building formerly home to Loretto College School. It’s not to be confused with The Schoolhouse Lofts, The Loretto’s next-door neighbour. (We previously featured two units in that building.)

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This is how much you need to make in order to buy the average Toronto house

$118,650

—The amount of gross household income needed to service a standard mortgage on a home valued at the current average price for the Greater Toronto Area, $585,204, according to a Globe analysis. The Toronto area’s estimated median family income is only $69,934.

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Cottage of the Week: $1.2 million for a Wasaga Beach home on the sand

Address: 244 Kirby Lane
Neighbourhood: Wasaga Beach, Ontario
Agent: Ralph Fox and Kori Marin, Sage Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage
Price: $1,200,000

The Place: Say this three times fast: a Wasaga Beach beach house with its own beach backyard.

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House of the Week: $4 million for a light-filled, ultra-modern Yorkville home

Address: 41 Berryman Street
Neighbourhood: Yorkville
Agent: Jonathan Ferrier, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., Brokerage
Price: $3,999,900

The Place: A brand-new backsplit filled with modern touches (zinc cladding, a home-automation system and a Scavolini kitchen, to name just a few), located steps from the Mink Mile.

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Sale of the Week: the $2.1-million Bedford Park home that shows what an aggressive sales strategy can do

Address: 332 Deloraine Avenue
Neighbourhood: Bedford Park
Agent: Andre Kutyan and Robert Greenberg, Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage

The Property: This two-storey home features floor-to-ceiling windows, premium oak floors and 13-foot ceilings. An open-riser staircase leads to the master bedroom, which in turn walks out to its own cedar balcony. There are also a few futuristic features, like a video-enabled door monitor, a house-wide audio system and a wifi-enabled Nest thermostat.

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Condo of the Week: $1.3 million for a Moss Park townhouse with unusually exciting walls

Address: 21 Bright Street
Neighbourhood: Moss Park
Agent: Heather Hadden, Sothebys International Realty Canada, Brokerage and Zach Henley, Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage
Price: $1,289,000

The Place: A three-bedroom, three-storey townhouse in Moss Park.

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