No wonder Toronto’s feverish condo construction is at its most intense on the borders of Lake Ontario: the waterfront boasts calming lake views, proximity to the downtown core and the Island airport, and the promise of several government-initiated beautification projects. However, a brand new tower with flashy finishes isn’t the sole option for the would-be waterfront dweller. Older buildings along the stretch may need overhauling, but they tend to offer more square footage for your money. Here, five properties currently on the market, from a loft in the Tip Top building to an Oakville suite with a slew of amenities.
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Doors Open Toronto—a.k.a Christmas for architectural voyeurs—takes place this Saturday and Sunday, giving a behind-the-scenes look at more than 150 of the city’s most storied, striking and sacred buildings. This year’s lineup includes perennial favorites like Commerce Court North and the Redpath Sugar Museum, but also has a special focus on renos, revivals and retrofits like the conversion of Maple Leaf Gardens and the Don Jail-Bridgepoint Health mash-up. Trying to take in all the sites would, obviously, be insane. Below, we zero in on 10 of the most intriguing (click here for a map of all our picks).
Dumb and Dumber: the most idiotic things Giorgio Mammoliti and Rob Ford did during the budget debates
City council approved the 2013 operating budget just after noon today, and, despite $12-million in last-minute spending additions, this year’s debates weren’t nearly as dramatic as last year’s coup by centrist and left-wing forces. That’s not to say there weren’t shenanigans, the best of which starred habitual headline-grabbers Giorgio Mammoliti and Rob Ford.
ADDRESS: 2045 Lake Shore Boulevard West, Unit 3804
AGENT: Irene Goodman, Regency Park Realty
THE PLACE: A 3-bedroom suite in the Palace Pier condos. This tower was built in the 1970s on nine acres of private parkland by the lake. The address has attracted a number of luxury-lovers, including Chris Bosh during his stint with the Toronto Raptors. Read the rest of this entry »
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ADDRESS: 245 North Shore Road
NEIGHBOURHOOD: Port Severn, Georgian Bay
AGENT: Armin and AnneMarie Grigaitis, ReMax Baywatch Ltd., Brokerage
THE PLACE: A cottage with a palatial air (for instance, it has a circular staircase and a turreted tower), tucked in its own little cove on Georgian Bay. Read the rest of this entry »
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Following months of rumours in Toronto’s craft beer scene, Amsterdam Brewery finally announced that it’s leaving its Bathurst Street location to set up a new, larger (and retail-friendly) brewery in Leaside. The brewing area at the new space will be featured behind a massive 40-foot-by-10-foot glass wall, and there’ll be a 2,000-square-foot room for casking events, corporate gigs and seminars. The big surprise, however, was Amsterdam’s announcement that it will return to its brewpub roots in grand and ambitious fashion, with a 900-seat hangar-sized restaurant (300 of the seats will be on a waterside patio) at 245 Queens Quay West, near Harbourfront Centre, the CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Steam Whistle Brewery. Read the rest of this entry »
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1. ASHKENAZ FESTIVAL
The Ashkenaz Festival is the largest international festival of Jewish music and culture in North America—so it sort of makes sense that it takes place only every other year. The festivities kicked off earlier this week, but there’s still plenty in store for the weekend: expect performances from the likes of The Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Toronto Jewish Folk Choir, Socalled and Shye Ben Tzur. On Sunday, Toronto’s Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison (two-thirds of Sharon, Lois and Bram) will be on hand to perform their classic earworm “Skinnamarink” as well as “Oy Vey, Oy Vey” and “I’m a Little Latke” (sadly, no word yet on whether Toronto’s other great Jewish sensation will be in attendance). The festival culminates in a massive parade Monday afternoon (those gifted with musical ability can head to the pre-parade lesson to learn the tunes and take part in the festivities). To September 3. Various prices (some events free). Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, ashkenazfestival.com
2. CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AIR SHOW Read the rest of this entry »
You can probably catch a glimpse of this admittedly noisy but incredibly impressive display of aircraft prowess from afar, but the best views are from the CNE grounds or the VIP ticketed guest enclosures. The show will go on, rain or shine. September 1-September 3. Various prices (free with admission to The Ex). At the waterfront, south of Bandshell Park. cias.org
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ADDRESS: 201 Little Cove Road, Tobermory
NEIGHBOURHOOD: Georgian Bay
AGENT: Darlene James, RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty
THE PLACE: This eight-bedroom estate sits on over 98 acres of land on the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. It was originally built as an eco-lodge (which means there are plenty of guest rooms for friends and family).
The Toronto Star recently took a close look at the competition for the GTA casino, squeezing details out of insiders at MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and some of the other mega-companies hoping to secure the contract. And the competition is fierce—one source called a development gambling’s “biggest opportunity in the world right now,” while another, working for one of the big players, estimates his client will have shelled out $2 million by the end of the bidding process (apparently, lobbyists, polls and focus groups are expensive). Interestingly, MGM has reportedly suggested it would help pay for a long-overdue rebuild of Ontario Place if given the go-ahead to build a casino across the bridge at Exhibition Place, and Caesars has expressed interest in a similar plan. Still, before the cash-strapped province can avail itself of that cash, it has to convince Toronto city council of a couple of things: a) that a casino in the city is a good idea; and b) that it should go on the waterfront. And lately, the province has seemed less willing to insist upon either of those points. Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »
Rob Ford usually makes news for acting belligerent or defensive, so it was nice to see news agencies covering his enthusiastic endorsement of the newly opened Underpass Park. (The mayor even scaled a jungle gym while a group of children chanted, “Go mayor! Go mayor!”) The park is under the Eastern Avenue, Richmond Street and Adelaide Street overpasses between Cherry Street and Bayview Avenue, and the mayor lauded the innovative project for turning that “neglected space into a community hub.” Though Ford didn’t explicitly congratulate Waterfront Toronto, the government agency behind the project, his praise—and his very presence at the opening—seems like a conciliatory gesture. There’s a long history of bad blood between the mayor’s camp and Waterfront Toronto; Doug Ford has called it a “boondoggle” and Ford’s administration battled with the agency over control of the Port Lands revitalization. So, oddly, Ford’s kid-friendly behaviour at the park was somewhat mature. [Toronto Star]
Jennifer Keesmaat, a principal at Toronto design firm Dialog, is the city’s new chief planner—and she says she wants to focus on the contentious transit issue (along with the waterfront and priority neighbourhoods). There’s already been plenty of speculation on potential friction between Keesmaat, who strongly champions walkable ’hoods, and Rob Ford, who really, really likes cars. However, we wouldn’t count on any big planning showdowns with the mayor’s office in the near future. The new planning chief seems very diplomatic—when asked about Ford, she said he was “interesting” and was glad to hear he always has his door open. [Globe and Mail]
In a recent Toronto Sun column, the ever-fiesty Sue-Ann Levy takes up the cause of some homeowners near Woodbine Beach who are upset at the “mobs” that descend all summer. The residents say the constant crowds, drawn by hot weather, expanding volleyball courts and special events like the Afrofest, the Beaches Jazz Festival and the Canada Day celebration, make life by the shore noisy and “very unpleasant.” (The demand for parking and bathrooms at peak times yields tales of people peeing on the grass, and drivers stealing tickets from other cars to avoid getting one themselves.) The residents, Levy writes, also must contend with Boardwalk Place restaurateur George Foulidis, who is trying “to establish his ‘proprietary’ control of the Eastern Beach by turning it into a carnival-like venue.” We’re sure Levy’s rancour towards Foulidis has nothing to do with the fact that he banned her from the premises late last year. [Toronto Sun]