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.
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
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.
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.
—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.
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.
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.
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.)
—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.
Agent: Jonathan Ferrier, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., Brokerage
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.
Sale of the Week: the $2.1-million Bedford Park home that shows what an aggressive sales strategy can do
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.