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A January Like No Other

January 30, 2017 in Real Estate Blog

The semi detached two storey home in the Woodbine and Danforth area was nothing special, but as they say in our business, “it showed well.” It had two bedrooms, a finished basement, no parking, and it faced the railway tracks, a main line for GO and VIA trains. The asking price was set at $599,000 to attract multiple bids.

My team member Jennifer Scaife, had a client who put in an offer. Jenn was under the impression that she was one of nine offers, which she thought gave her a good chance of winning because her bid was more than $100,000 over asking.  However, when she arrived to present the offer, she was told there were 31 offers, yes thirty-one offers in the middle of January!  Jenn later said that if she had known there were that many offers, she would never have had her clients go through the exercise.

The house sold for $821,000. Recent sold comparables showed the value to be around the $750,000 mark.

There have been many stories like this all month. I recently listed a stacked townhouse in the Bloor and Lansdowne neighbourhood. The last sale for an identical unit was $462,500 this past summer so we brought ours onto the market at $469,000.  In one week we had an incredible 55 showings, plus another 25 groups of people through our two weekend open houses. On offer night seven potential buyers put in bids for the unit and it sold for $564,000. That’s $101,500 more than what the exact same unit sold for just six months earlier!

I have two different conversations or words of advice:

If you’re thinking of selling (and not buying again in the Toronto market), the time is now. There’s very little inventory and the chances of you cashing in big are very high.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to buy a property, be patient. Don’t get caught up in the hype, and stick to your budget. By the time March rolls around, the spring market will be in full swing and there will be many more houses on the market from which to choose. You may still have to compete against a few other potential buyers, but you won’t be up against 30 other offers, like Jenn’s clients.

Feel free to get in touch with me and we can chat about the best way for you to benefit in this market.



Just Listed: 61 Northern Dancer Blvd

October 11, 2016 in Neighbourhood Alerts Blog, Real Estate Blog

This home is a rare opportunity to live on Northern Dancer Blvd, across from the 28 acre Woodbine Park with its pond, playground, natural marshland and plenty of wildlife. Enjoy the spectacular unobstructed view of the city skyline and sunsets from all 3 levels.This home has 2,500 square feet of luxurious living with a designers flair, a large and enviable kitchen, and many top quality upgrades. The fabulous third floor master retreat includes a sitting area, a 6 piece ensuite, and two balconies. You’ll be just steps from the beach, boardwalk, TTC, coffee shops. and restaurants, and a short commute into the downtown core. Come make yourself at home.

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September 7, 2016 in Neighbourhood Alerts Blog, Real Estate Blog

This lovely corner unit in The East Yorker is filled with natural light and beautiful vistas.  The unit is well-laid out, affording both privacy and shared space, and the calm feel throughout makes this a welcoming  suite to come home to.  Call some friends and have a barbeque on the 12th floor patio overlooking the city and the CN Tower. Join the Facebook page, and connect with your friendly neighbours.  There are many ways you can enjoy living in this condo. Call us for a private showing.


Living With Festivals in Woodbine Park #beachto

June 21, 2016 in Latest Community News Blog, Real Estate Blog

The festivals in Woodbine Park are in full swing.  Almost every weekend in the summer has an event in the park.  My family, along with many of our neighbours, enjoy living so close to the park and being able to walk across the street to watch and participate in events such as the Beaches Jazz Festival, Woofstock, Afrofest,  and one of my favourites,  Ribfest .  These events are free and welcoming to not just us as neighbours, but to all Torontonians.  Although the organizers of events pay for permits, somehow the City isn’t satisfied with its monetary return and has now deemed our neighbourhood park a saviour to its mismanagement of our tax dollars. That’s why they allowed Bestival, with its approximately $100 a day admission for each patron.

Our councillor was quoted in one of our local publications as saying that the revenue from renting the park to commercial event operators is a positive thing as the money would be reinvested in city parks.  Well, if you walked through Woodbine Park after Bestival, you’ll see that any profit the City made will have to be re-invested in the park just to bring it back to standard.  The heavy trucks, booths and other equipment have killed a lot of the grass and damaged the grounds. I wonder why we even have an irrigation system in the park now.  The whole area where concerts are held may as well be paved over.

Fences were also erected to keep us (and the wildlife) out days before the actual event.  Including the time it took to strike or tear down everything that made up Bestival, taxpayers weren’t allowed access to half the park for almost two weeks.  To top it off, City Parks employees were seen cleaning up and removing garbage from an event that was “commercial”.

Bestival organizers and those who attended, say it was amazing and hugely successful. But, is a large commercial event such as Bestival good for our neighbourhood?

About 15,000 people attended the event on each day.  The music was the loudest I have ever experienced in the 14 years I’ve lived in the neighbourhood and was non-stop from around Noon to 11:00pm on Saturday and from Noon to 10:00pm on Sunday.   It was so loud that my house shook.  I’m not exaggerating. The walls vibrated, we couldn’t hear the audio from our tv and were forced to close all of our windows during a beautiful weekend, just to have a conversation in our own home.

I called 311 to file a noise complaint. After being put on hold for about 5 minutes, I was told that the festival’s permit allowed them an exemption under the noise bylaw.  Why weren’t the residents of our neighbourhood informed about this? If we had known, we would have left town for the weekend.

When I moved into Woodbine Park, I knew the neighbourhood would be busy every weekend because of its close proximity to the beach. I knew it would attract tens of thousands of people on Victoria Day and Canada Day for the fireworks. As the park started being used each weekend for the different events, my family and most of my neighbours attended and participated in them. However, nothing prepared us for Bestival.

I want to congratulate the organizers and the city on the success of Bestival, but it’s too big and loud for our neighbourhood.  Please don’t come back next year. Go back to Toronto Island, or take it to a venue like Downsview Park, or Exhibition Place that can handle it.

You may or may not agree with me. In any case contact Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon 416-392-1376 or and give her your feedback on Bestival and any other events that are staged in the park.  If we don’t commend or complain, she’ll never know.

How Long Has This Been Going On?

May 29, 2016 in Real Estate Blog

A couple of weeks ago I met with one of my long-time clients from my first endeavor in real estate, Anna. She has asked me to help her sell a property that’s part of an estate she is acting astrustee for.

Anna said, “Des, do you know it was 30 years ago that you sold me my home? And I’m still there!”

Amazing, I thought. But what was more amazing is that when Anna bought that home back in 1986 for somewhere around $85,000, she had to compete with another offer.

Not much has changed in 30 years except for the property values.  April has been a wild month in Toronto with houses in the most desirable neighbourhoods selling for anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 over asking.

In most of these cases, my colleagues and I predicted the houses would sell over asking, but who can predict a sale price of a half million dollars over?

Interest rates are low, the economy in Toronto is strong, and the most obvious thing we see is a shortage of good houses on the market in good neighbourhoods.

With the low Canadian dollar, we’re also seeing a considerable amount of foreign investment in Toronto real estate.

Whatever the reasons, it’s a Seller’s market and a great time to cash in or move up in the market.

For my buyers, I just tell them to be patient and not to get carried away with the hype. We’ll find you something in your price range, eventually.

Let’s see what happens over the remainder of the spring market. As a realtor, I’m hoping for a more balanced market with an abundance of inventory where buyers and sellers can actually negotiate.


Toronto Housing Market May Cool Down

May 17, 2016 in Real Estate Blog

Despite there being a 10.3% increase in Toronto home sales since April of last year, CREA president Cliff Iverson suggests that the red hot Toronto market may actually cool down. There are two supposed reasons for this:

1) Homeowners holding onto their properties  rather than listing them and entering the extremely competitive buyer’s market, causing a supply squeeze.

2) New federal rule that saw an increase in down payment rates for homes between $500,000 and $1M.

This is the first article in some time that has mentioned a possibility of Toronto’s housing market simmering down. In fact,  just a few days ago, former RBC CEO Gord Nixon said Toronto real estate will continue to do very well. Let’s see what becomes of these hypotheses – only time will tell.

Read the article here:





Many years and many millions later: Toronto’s housing market in 2026

April 18, 2016 in Real Estate Blog

A new price projection study shows that Toronto’s housing market in 10 years could be VERY expensive. The average single-family Toronto home is set to cost anywhere between $2.26 million and and $3.582 million dollars by the next decade, and upgrading to from an average condo to an average house may do $1.68 million to $2.95 million dollars worth of damage. Of course, the study is based on the past 3 years and could very well be entirely wrong in 2026 given the volatility of market conditions. However, if it is accurate, let’s hope wages increase with it, or buying a house could seriously break the bank.


Just Listed: 83 Northern Dancer Boulevard $1,849,000

June 4, 2015 in Neighbourhood Alerts Blog, Real Estate Blog

Yet another listing on Northern Dancer that doesn’t fail to disappoint! This elegant and bright parkside detached 3-storey home is simply perfect for a family. Features include granite counters, natural gas fireplace, large family room, and a roof-top deck with magnificent views of Toronto’s skyline. Have a peek at this 3+1 bedroom home at the link and pictures below:

83 northern dancer front83 nrothern dancer loft83 ND foyer  83 Northern Dancer balcony

Just Listed: 194 Wineva Avenue $949,000

June 3, 2015 in Neighbourhood Alerts Blog, Real Estate Blog

What’s not to love about this beautiful 4 bedroom home? You’ll be sold the moment you walk in by its open-concept and natural light flooding in through expansive floor to ceiling doors and windows. Features include hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, a wood-burning fireplace, tiered front yard, and finished basement room – this property is sure to please! It is also ideal for a growing family as it’s located close to the magnificent Queen Street and close to public schools. Don’t miss out and view this property now! Check out some pictures and the virtual tour below: highres_018highres_007 

Should the Gardiner be torn down?

June 1, 2015 in Latest Community News Blog, Real Estate Blog

The majority of Torontonians say yes to a proposal to tear down the Gardiner east of Jarvis. Those in favour of demolishing the Gardiner include former mayor, David Crombie, the city’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown,  and Jennifer Keesmaat,, the City’s Chief Planner.
However,  those of us who live in the east and have put up with what seems like 100 years of construction of the new streetcar yard and the traffic chaos at Lakeshore and Leslie, are skeptical. It’s not even safe to walk or ride your bicycle through that intersection.
The “experts’ say tearing it down will lead to a more “car or commuter-friendly option.” What am I missing here? Rip down the expressway and load up the Lakeshore with the traffic that would have been on that expressway and it’s more car or commuter-friendly?
There’s no doubt that the Gardiner is crumbling, it’s an eyesore and probably outdated.  But please don’t try to tell me that the commute time will be just a few minutes more.  Past planners and politicians have failed the city by not planning for the growth we’re seeing today.
I, like most Torontonians would love to see a solution to the gridlock. Unfortunately, people will continue to drive their cars until a sensible and efficient public transit system is in place. The rate the city and TTC are moving, it will be at least another 100 years. So don’t insult my intelligence by saying that the removal of the Gardiner will lead to a more car or commuter-friendly environment. Crombie, McKeown and Keeesmaat, take a drive east along the Lakeshore and try to get into Leslieville or the Beach.  I recommend that you pack a lunch or overnight bag.
Here’s the latest Star article: