A slice of the pie for Toronto


Toronto is set to receive $87 million of the Federal Government’s $40 billion budget set aside for their 10 year National Housing Strategy.  The program is committed to increasing the supply of affordable rental units through this funding.  The funding has been slated to fund a 16 storey  building in Toronto’s west ends.  Find out more about this initiative here.


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Rising to the occasion

The Real Estate News Exchange reports two joint venture developments are being proposed for the city, which would provide much needed affordable rental housing in the years to come.   The first is Waterfront Toronto Quayside located in the West Don Lands area close to the Distillery District, and will be home to 1500 rental and retail units.  Initial occupancy is slated for 2021.

The second development will be located in the Yonge/College area within walking distance of the College TTC subway station.   It is proposed to have a total of 700 units of which 30% will be designated for affordable rental housing for a minimum of 40 years.  However, the purchase of this land is still in the process and not expected to close until 2019.  Find more information on the projects and the developers involved here

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Silver Dollar Room gets a new lease on life.

Plans have been approved for a new luxury rental building to go up over the legendary Silver Dollar Room at 484 Spadina.  The new plans are being heralded as a huge improvement over the earlier proposal which would have seen a 20 storey rental building targeting students and offering shared living and kitchen accommodations.    Opposition was mounted against the original plan by those who felt it was not befitting the location or the heritage designation bestowed upon this historic landmark.

The site has now been acquired by Fitzrovia Real Estate Inc. who has named the project The Waverley as a nod to the hotel that had previously occupied the site.  The building will be home to 190 Class A rental units and will boast condo quality finishes and appliances, as well as accommodating a  refurbished Silver Dollar Room at street level.

For more information on the project, click here.

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Building the city’s resilience.

Extreme weather and an ever-growing rental housing shortage top the list of Toronto’s greatest challenges according to Elliot Cappell, the city’s chief resilience officer.  Speaking at a recent Urban Land Conference, Cappell spoke openly on the reality of our rising waters as well as our declining low/middle income housing.  He paints a bleak picture of the ongoing battle to re-develop the 1,189 apartment complexes built before 1985, into livable and affordable rental space.

Mr. Cappell expressed equal concern over the urgency of pro-actively implementing a flood prevention strategy to safeguard the city from catastrophic flooding. These are real-time issues given the massive flooding of last summer and the critical housing shortage that has woven itself into the very fabric of our city.

Both issues present an uphill climb with enormous financial commitments which will require private and public-sector participation in order to implement and maintain.  Click here to read more on Mr. Cappell’s challenges as he leads the charge on these two looming concerns.

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A win for Airbnb in Toronto

Airbnb or Fairbnb?  Critics are crying foul with the recent news that Airbnb has joined forces with a Toronto condo building making it the first to allow airbnb rentals throughout the entire building.  Buildings that were designed to be condos do not have the same zoning by-laws,  design requirements, or tax burdens as hotels and many feel that this new partnership will lead to a further decline in affordable rental units available to city residents.  Whichever side you are on, the reality is that airbnb is not going anywhere.  People like it, just as they like UBER, because they work.  Now  it is time to iron out the kinks in the infrastructure to make it an entity everyone can live with.   Read more on this landmark move HERE


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Rising Above

The Globe and Mail published an interesting article by Marcus Gee on the rise of the “YIMBY” (Yes In My Back Yard), movement as it relates to urban sprawl and the near-critical need for the city of Toronto to allow developers to build upwards in residential communities.   While some residents (“NIMBY’s”, Not In My Back Yard), fight tirelessly to ensure their enclaves are protected from the construction of seemingly obtrusive hi-rise condominium or rental units, others are embracing the vertical footprint for the increased density and ability to affordably house the ever growing population searching for housing in the downtown core.  The YIMBY’s are banding together to support hi-rise construction in residential areas and are  bringing attention to the need to bring more housing into the core.  They recognize the ever growing urban sprawl which has an increasing number of commuters spending grueling hours on a daily commute as a result of unaffordable housing in the downtown neighbourhoods.  There are compelling points of view on both sides of the debate, to read more, click here

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Toronto Landmark Up For Sale

If you are a resident of Toronto, undoubtedly you have driven by this unusual structure hundreds of times and each time wondered what it was all about.   The iconic cube structure perched high above terra firma located at Eastern Avenue and Adelaide is a 3 unit apartment building that is currently up for sale and some speculate could sell for $4 million or more.  Interested in purchasing a piece of Toronto’s history?  Find out more in the Toronto Star’s article  by clicking here