The Place: A three-bedroom, three-storey townhouse in Moss Park.
Toronto’s real estate mania is spreading to cottage country, making prime spots on the water increasingly tough to get. Here, five city buyers who managed to snag an idyllic getaway
—Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, a member of the Grange Community Association, telling the Star what she thinks about a recent Ontario Municipal Board decision that clears the way for the construction of a 25-storey private student residence on College Street, south of the University of Toronto. Residents fear that the development, which had previously been rejected by the city, will attract noisy, messy tenants.
CORRECTION: This post originally used an incorrect pronoun to refer to Ceta Ramkhalawansingh.
The Property: Separated into three units, this unusual two-and-a-half-storey triplex is situated on a secluded one-way street that backs onto St. Michael’s Cemetery, affording it maximum privacy. High-end details make the difference, here. A former owner (an interior decorator) added her personal touches throughout, including hardwood floors, gas fireplaces and well-appointed kitchens. The master bedroom sports a walkout to a backyard garden with a private studio in a separate building. As for the two units above, one features cornice mouldings and both have private walkout decks of their own, which are conveniently out of view of one another and only partially overlook the garden below.
After more than two years of opposition by neighbourhood residents, the inevitable has happened: the Ontario Municipal Board has given its go-ahead to 109OZ, a six-storey, 87-unit condo building planned for the site of a former auto-repair centre on the Ossington strip, near Argyle Street. The OMB’s decision preempts any attempt by city council to scale back the project, meaning Ossington dwellers have little choice but to get used to it. The developer made some minor concessions in order to win the board’s approval, including reducing the building’s proposed overall height from 21.5 meters to 20 and capping the size of each of its ground-floor retail units at 500 square metres.
Jessica Wilson, president of the Ossington Community Association, tells the Star that her group is “not crazy about the decision at the end of the day.” But this type of thing has to be expected: Ossington is a burgeoning business strip sandwiched between two streetcar lines, after all. Call us when the building is 30 storeys and the anchor tenant is a Walmart.
This month’s cover story by Toronto Life contributing editor Philip Preville is about the future of Toronto’s condo-clogged core, and the families stuck raising kids in tiny spaces never designed for that purpose. Preville has spent this week talking about his story—he’s been on Global’s Morning Show, CBC’s Here and Now, and CP24′s Live at Noon. It was on Newstalk 1010’s Jerry Agar Show, though, that things got especially entertaining. You can click the play button above to listen.
The Property: This five-year-old raised bungalow attempts to “bring the outside in” using numerous windows, a wraparound deck, a landscaped backyard (with firepit) and walkouts on each level. Both the main floor and the finished basement have 10-foot ceilings. The master bedroom sets itself apart with a spa-like six-piece en suite washroom and walk-in closet. Adding to its curb appeal, the property is situated on a private cul-de-sac.
The Place: A one-bedroom unit on the second floor of the historic Victoria Lofts, a 19th-century church turned condo building in the Junction. We featured another unit in the building back in 2012.
In a city where space is at a premium, tiny condos are the new family home. Learning to survive in 700 square feet
Shannon Bury was 27, with a marketing job in the 905 and her own condo in Burlington, when the big city came to fetch her. The company she worked for was acquired by a larger firm, Pareto Marketing, which moved her job to Toronto. She moved along with it and traded up, selling her place in Burlington and buying a 607-square-foot, one-bedroom-plus-den unit in Charlie, a 36-storey tower proposed for Charlotte Street near King and Spadina. She got the unit pre-construction for less than $300,000, which was a steal, because really she’d purchased much more than space: she bought the dream Toronto and its developers have been selling throughout this decade-long boom. She was single in the city, blonde and svelte, with a well-paying career-track job and, soon, a condo on the edge of clubland. Toronto would be at her feet and at her service. It was the spring of 2008.
Then she met a guy. A great guy, Paul LeBrun, a Winnipeg native who’d landed in Toronto with a Bay Street securities job. They met at a mutual friend’s condo in February 2010, at a party to watch the Vancouver Olympics men’s gold medal hockey game. (The running joke among their friends is that Paul still doesn’t know who won; he was too busy wooing Shannon.) Before long they were living together at Yonge and St. Clair, with an eye to moving into her condo later that year, once it was finished. But the construction fell behind schedule, and their life together began to outpace the cranes. They got married in the summer of 2012, and when they moved into Charlie that November, they were already planning their family. “We figured it would take eight months or so to get pregnant,” she says. “Then there’d be nine months of pregnancy, so we’d have time to enjoy condo life before the baby arrived.” She conceived by Christmas.