All posts by Wayne Karl

TCDSB The Mikey Network

The Mikey Network partners with Toronto Catholic District School Board

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The Mikey Network partners with Toronto Catholic District School Board

TCDSB The Mikey Network
All 202 schools and various facilities of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) now have defibrillators installed. Participants at a recent partnership announcement with The Mikey Network at St. Lawrence Catholic School in Scarborough, are, left to right: Mikey Network’s Eva Naumovski; Mikey Network Chairman Hugh Heron; TCDSB Trustee Michael Del Grande; TCDSB Associate Director of Business Services & CFO Lloyd Norongha; Khaled Elgharbawy; Stacey Coray; Veronica Olmedo; Yoliana Azer, Superintendent Peter Aguiar

The Toronto Catholic District School Board is taking the important step of equipping all 202  of its facilities with automated external defibrillators. The AEDs, as they are known, are potentially lifesaving devices and are supplied by The Mikey Network.

“We appreciate the feedback provided by parents, staff, students and other community members regarding AEDs and we continue to look for opportunities that help us ensure the safety and well-being of all our staff and students, which is always our number one priority,” says TCDSB Chair Maria Rizzo. “Through this partnership with The Mikey Network, we have successfully achieved ourgoal of having every school site equipped with an AED by the end of 2019, ahead of schedule.”

“Today marks an important moment, aimed at putting a spotlight on the challenge that people living with rare, congenital heart conditions face on a daily basis, as well as the emotional toll it takes on their loved ones,” adds TCDSB Vice-Chair Michael Del Grande. “Events like this give us anopportunity to come together as a Catholic community to show our support to those vulnerable toincidents of sudden cardiac arrest and to show them that there is help.”

In December 2018, the TCDSB board approved the allocation of about $210,000 to fund the purchase of the AEDs. Staff received CPR and AED training over the 2019 March Break. The Board also arranged first aid courses during the 2018-19 school year, so a minimum of two staff members per school are trained in standard first aid, CPR and AED use. Most schools already have more than two certified first aiders.

“We are delighted to partner with the Toronto Catholic District School Board on their installation of potentially life saving defibrillators,” says Mikey Network Chairman Hugh Heron. “With our Mikey placements, we are helping give people a second chance at life.  As a not-for-profit organization, we’re committed to teaching people how to use defibrillators and how to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle.  Over the years we have trained over 13,400 in CPR and AED, and to date, have 43 recorded saves, eight of whom are under 18 years of age, and that is very gratifying.”

The Mikey Network has also created a free mobile app called The Mikey Young at Heart app, designed to help teach students CPR and AED training, making them more confident to use an AED or administer CPR should they ever need. Time spent learning on the app can go toward their high school volunteer hours.

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Hugh Heron

The Mikey App is saving lives

 

 

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Flato Markham Theatre Performing Arts Awards Sept 10, 2019

Flato Markham Theatre honours locals in annual performing arts awards

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Flato Markham Theatre honours locals in annual performing arts awards

Flato Markham Theatre Performing Arts Awards Sept 10, 2019
Markham Performing Arts 2019 winners, staff and artists

The Flato Markham Theatre recently hosted its 5th Annual Performing Arts Awards, with celebrations honouring homegrown artistic achievements. Special performances included a three-time Provincial champion in piano, Richard Yeh, musical excerpts from the best of Broadway from Markham producer Brian Goldenberg and a special guest appearance by award-winning recording artist, Pavlo.

But the spotlight shone on the real stars of the evening: Community Group/Artist of the Year, Markham at the Movies; Professional Artist of the Year, Canada’s Ballet Jorgen; Partner of the Year, Asian Television Network; and a new category this year, Ambassador of the Year, Alicia and Alex Chiu.

Markham at the Movies (MATM), chaired by Paul Sylvester, is a non-profit group, run by volunteers and film enthusiasts who focus on bringing award-winning Canadian and international films to Markham’s resident’s doorstep. Markham at the Movies is a partner of Film Circuit, a division of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) group. It started at a small scale, presenting movies in the Theatre’s rehearsal hall and has grown into a popular community cultural event, now presenting a six-movie series throughout the year at the Flato Markham Theatre.

Flato Markham Theatre
Left to right, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Shakir Rahmatullah and Eric Lariviere

Ballet Jörgenis not only an internationally respected touring ballet company, but it is also one of the only companies that will take professional ballet productions to smaller communities across Canada and into the US. Executive Director Stephen Word and his team brings outreach opportunities within those communities, giving young dancers opportunities to perform with the ballet onstage.

Asian Television Network (ATN) delivers South Asian and Asian content to residents across Canada. Shan Chandrasekar, president and CEO of ATN, pioneered South Asian programming in Canada in 1971 and ATN has grown into one of the leaders in the media industry today, operating 54 specialty tv channels along with radio channels across the country.

Alicia and Alex Chiu have been long time supporters of the Flato Markham Theatre. Alex left politics this last election and holds the current record for the longest serving councillor in Markham. For the Theatre, Alex has been instrumental for the growth of the Theatre Gala which raises money for its Discovery programs and has championed raising the profile of the event, making it into a prime fundraising event for culture in Markham and York Region. Alicia and Alex have been involved in the Federation of Filipino Canadians, including their “Taste of Broadway” event.

Every year the Flato Markham Theatre chooses a Canadian artist to design the Markham Performing Arts Awards. This year’s talented artist is Cathy Mark. Working from her studio on the north shore of Lake Scugog, her metalwork is inspired by Canadian flora and fauna. The award she created for Community Group/Artist of the Year for Markham at the Movies is a metal sculpture of young fiddleheads and ferns representing the audience (fiddleheads) with the full-grown ferns representing the films themselves. The Performing Artist of the Year award for Canada’s Ballet Jorgen, depicts a moose teaching a bear to dance, symbolizing the ballet company (moose) offering its hand to and guiding the young bear who represents the young dancers the company mentors and their involvement in the community.

Flato Markham Theatre is a jewel in the crown of the Markham community, located only 30 minutes from the downtown core. The intimate, 527-seat, state-of-the-art performance facility provides patrons with unforgettable access to a host of internationally acclaimed artists and productions through its annual Diamond Season presented by Weins Canada. Illuminating the central theme that the live arts in Markham matters, the season features the best of classical, jazz, world music, dance, comedy, pop artists, and family entertainment. Flexible ticket package options and complimentary parking are available.

flatomarkhamtheatre.ca

 

 

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The Davis Residences, Newmarket

In Conversation With… Daniel Berholz, President, The Rose Corporation

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In Conversation With… Daniel Berholz, President, The Rose Corporation

Daniel Berholz, The Rose Corporation
Daniel Berholz
President
The Rose Corporation

Attainable homeownership options are growing more and more important each day, as rising prices and tightening new home supply severely limit buying opportunities and locations.

The Rose Corporation is intent on doing something about that.

With – to get further insights into how The Rose Corporation plans to achieve these objectives.

Condo Life: The Rose Corporation seems like a bit of a different real estate company… What is it readers really need to understand about your firm?

Daniel Berholz: The Rose Corporation has had a diverse history over almost 40 years and has had experience and expertise in many forms and tenures of real estate and other businesses as well. Currently, however, Rose is a developer of visionary residential communities (both condominium and freehold) and a developer/owner of purpose-built rental properties.

CL: What is your primary focus in the GTA, in terms of both geography and product type?

DB: Newmarket has been a big focus for us recently. We just introduced Newmarket’s first new highrise condominium in more than 30 years – The Davis Residences at Bakerfield. We’ll be hosting our Grand Opening sales event on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. The Davis is part of a master-planned community that will consist of other similar buildings which will be high end rental buildings or condominiums.

The Davis Residences, Newmarket
The Davis Residences, Newmarket

Our King George School Lofts & Town Homes development is another community in Newmarket that we’re really proud of. It comprises 11 condo lofts within the old school building surrounded by 14 two-storey freehold townhomes.

As well, we recently completed the first privately funded, purpose-built market rental apartment tower in York Region since the 1980s, called 212 Davis Apartments – a 15-storey, 225-unit building.

In Kitchener, we are active in the purpose-built rental development market with the introduction of our first project, Woodside Terraces, which included 103 suites. The second phase will include 91 units and will feature a new wing being built on excess land.

And at 388 King St. in downtown Kitchener, we recently broke ground on a seven-storey, 70-unit purpose-built rental apartment.

CL: Who are your target clients? Purely investors? Homebuilders? Or homebuyers who want to become real estate investors?

DB: Our target clients are homebuyers who are looking for valuable, quality homeownership opportunities. We are focused end-users – from first-time buyers looking for their first home purchase, families who need more room to grow and even empty-nesters who are seeking more maintenance-free housing options with plenty of lifestyle amenities.

Our target clients also include investors who are seeking to diversify their real estate portfolio.

CL: How’s the market these days for the products that you offer?

DB: The market is strong for condo developments, which provide more affordable homeownership opportunities for first-time buyers and turnkey options for empty nesters who want to sell their large homes and keep a tidy savings for their retirement.

The Davis Residences lobby, Newmarket
The Davis Residences lobby, Newmarket

As more people are looking to move out of the GTA due to affordability, municipalities such as Newmarket, that were once viewed as bedroom communities, have been attracting more people to the area because buyers can get better value.

And with companies such as Celestica and York Region headquarters moving into Newmarket, this only adds to the demand of alternative to lowrise housing, such as condos and purpose-built rentals, which are more attainable options for commuter employees seeking to live closer to work.

CL: For residential offerings, affordability and “missing middle” type housing are key issues. How does The Rose Corporation address these issues in its projects?

DB: One of our primary focuses is working collaboratively with all levels of government on all of our projects so that together, we can deliver the type of housing that is needed to provide a complete community in the areas we develop.

Increases in prices for ground related housing have made ownership unattainable for many people over the past number years in Newmarket. The Davis Residences will provide the area the first opportunity to own new quality housing at affordable prices.

As well, Rose’s purpose-built rental housing developments provide affordable alternatives within their communities. This includes 212 Davis Apartments in Newmarket. This building leased up quickly due to its attractive and affordable price point relative to other options in the area.

CL: The Rose Corporation was nominated for the People’s Choice Award in the 2019 BILD Awards for your King George School Lofts & Town Homes development. What was it about this project that made it so special?

DB: King George School Lofts and Town Homes repurposes one of downtown Newmarket’s oldest and most beloved properties. The creation of this trendsetting new address, offering 11 condominium lofts within the old school building surrounded by 14 two-storey freehold townhomes, sets a new bar for innovative design.

Loft homes range from 640 to 1,250 sq. ft., while townhomes offer nearly 2,200 sq. ft. of magnificent living space. Both lofts and towns feature exceptional architecture and finishing features designed to reflect the ultimate in contemporary living. The architecture combines Victorian and Edwardian heritage with modern luxury. The project is set within a lush perimeter of 100-year-old trees, century old heritage buildings and iconic historical landmarks just steps from the historic downtown core of Main Street offering extensive amenities, shops, cafes and restaurants.

CL: What did you learn from that project, or the experience of being nominated for an award that consumers vote on, that you’re carrying forward to future projects?

DB: It’s always important to validate that what you think you’re doing well is widely recognized as such. We are still thrilled to win awards, but that’s not what we set out to do. Rose prides itself as an innovative developer.

Our big push now is to develop purpose-built rental apartments and condominiums to address the critical shortage of housing that is affordable that seniors, single and families alike need – and need now.

The Rose Corporation management team
Left to right, The Rose Corporation’s Project Manager David Bannerman; President Daniel Berholz; and Vice-President Andrew Webster

CL: What’s next for The Rose Corporation? Ideally, tell us something that isn’t largely publicly known…

DB: What most don’t know is that we are growing our executive management team. Rose has been active since 1983, and now a new generation of managers is transitioning as the old guard cedes authority and responsibility.

Fortunately, several senior members will remain with reduced roles. Now we will have the experience of a generation and the energy, skills and enthusiasm that a youthful team brings.

We are very excited to soon announce new partnerships with some experienced and well-known financial entities. These partnerships will allow us to advance our development aspirations with landowners we are in active discussion with.

The geography remains outside Toronto and includes locations in Peel, Halton and York regions, as well as new deals within the communities we are currently active in, Kitchener and Newmarket.

rosecorp.com

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GTA new home sales

GTA new home sales in July remain strong

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GTA new home sales in July remain strong

GTA new home sales

It was a busy month by July standards, as sales for both condos and single-family homes were up year-over-year, according to the latest statistics from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

There were 566 new single-family homes, including detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses, sold in July, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence. Although sales increased 136 per cent from last July, they were 29 per cent below the 10-year average.

Sales of new condominium apartments in low-, medium- and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units, with 2,297 units sold, were up 22 per cent from July 2018 and 42 per cent above the 10-year average.

Brisk openings

“Typically, buyers take a bit of a vacation from the new condo apartment market in July” says Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “This year was no different, although the decline in sales was less pronounced than usual, resulting in the second strongest July on record. While few new projects launched in July, sales at projects opened in June were brisk.”

The benchmark price of new condominium apartments increased from last month, to $838,824, up 8.3 per cent over the last 12 months. The benchmark price of new single-family homes decreased slightly from last month, to $1.09 million, down 4.5 per cent over the last 12 months, continuing its moderating trend in 2019.

ALSO READ: Detached home sales and prices roar back to life in first half of 2019 – ReMax

Strong July sales, paired with traditional fewer summer openings, saw inventory decrease in July to 12,873 condominium units and 4,409 single-family homes. Remaining inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction and in completed buildings.

Total new home sales in the first seven months of 2019, at 20,268 units sold, are up 45 per cent from the same period in 2018 and nine per cent below the 10-year average.

Price gap narrows

“The price gap between single-family homes and condos continues to shrink, leaving new-home buyers with a lack of choice,” says David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO. “We must provide more ‘missing middle’ type development that can support transit in established neighbourhoods. More ‘gentle density’ housing in the form of midrise buildings, condos with street level retail, and stacked townhouses is needed to give consumers more choice.”

 

New home sales by municipality, July 2019

Municipality Condominium units Single-family homes Total
Region 2019 2018 2017 2019 2018 2017 2019 2018 2017
Durham 29 6 27 118 44 60 147 50 87
Halton 59 46 18 82 25 18 141 71 36
Peel 415 150 148 142 87 0 557 237 148
Toronto 1,522 1,557 1,118 46 8 6 1,568 1,565 1,124
York 272 120 461 178 76 34 450 196 495
GTA 2,297 1,879 1,772 566 240 118 2,863 2,119 1,890

Source: Altus Group

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Del Condominium Rentals

In Conversation With… Shanker Narayanan, General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals

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In Conversation With… Shanker Narayanan, General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals

Shanker Narayanan, general manager, Del Condominium Rentals
Shanker Narayanan, General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals

Condominiums are booming in the GTA, with an increasing number of owners choosing to rent out their units for investment purposes.

Del Condominium Rentals, setting a standard in suite rental management in the GTA since 1986, offers such owners suite leasing services without having to worry about the day-to-day concerns related to being a landlord. From marketing, tenant screening, leasing, maintenance and repair, accounting, insurance coverage, compliance enforcement and revenue retrieval, the company does it all.

We spoke to Shanker Narayanan, general manager of Del Condominium Rentals to learn a little more about this growing business.

Condo Life: What is the scope of the management services you offer to condo unit owners? Is it a one-size fits all package, or is there a range of services owners can choose from…?

Shanker Narayanan: We provide day-to-day management of the suites, including complete research and marketing for new owners, arranging insurance, utility transfers and other services – all for a fee of six per cent of the monthly rental. We plan to also introduce a tiered system involving additional services, such as rent guarantee, suite inspections and maintenance.

Del Condominium Rentals

CL: How much of a growing business category is this for Tridel? We’re hearing so much about the investor element in condominium ownership these days…

SN: We have 2,550 condos in our portfolio today and are planning to grow to 3,500 by 2024. We were primarily a company that provides leasing services for Tridel suite owners, and about 78 per cent of our business comes from their new builds. We have evolved over the past five years into a leading condo rental management company in the GTA. We are aggressively trying to grow the non-Tridel portfolio. If this happens, we would look at increasing the overall portfolio to hopefully 5,000 suites in five years.

For Tridel new builds, we provide lease-up services from interim occupancy to eventual unit registration. This period might vary from building to building. We are currently leasing about 35 to 40 per cent of the inventory in all new builds.

CL: What is your typical client profile? Investor-owners who want to be completely hands off? First-time investors who really need the help being a landlord…?

SN: About 90 per cent of our owners are first-time homeowners or single unit owners, who don’t have the time to self-manage their units. We do have a lot of seasoned investors who have multiple suites in their portfolio. On average, a homeowner stays in our program for five years. They usually have an investment cycle that culminates in either them selling, -self-occupying or in rare cases self-managing the unit.

Del Condominium Rentals

CL: What are the main benefits of using your services, that perhaps suite owners couldn’t do on their own?

SN: Most owners don’t know that there are a million things that could go wrong when managing a condo unit. We know this from experience and from managing a portfolio of more than 2,500 condos over the past decade. Most owners who self-manage condos have a belief that “this won’t happen to me.” Things get complicated at times, and that’s when expert knowledge comes handy. For example, an owner might have a new condo but there might be a water leak from a unit above and that causes water damage in suites below. There could be resulting claims from owners against this owner even though the problem isn’t with their unit. We manage these complex scenarios with the insurance adjusters and the condo property management.

We are a one-stop shop for homeowners, providing turnkey management and peace of mind.

CL: How do you arrive at the end cost to clients for these services? Does it depend on the unit size, rental rate, specific services they’re using…?

SN: Our management fees are very competitive. We have always been a market leader and have been looked upon as setting the benchmark. We also have preferred rates with vendors for services such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC and handyman work. In addition, we co-ordinate works for window coverings, flooring and window and door installation. We have synergies with Tridel and ensure that we pass on the benefits to suite owners.

CL: And how do you determine the rental rate for units?

SN: We do a thorough market evaluation. We are the rental experts, and as such, Tridel sets the rental benchmark for any community. Our expert team looks at trends on MLS and third-party Internet sites and comes up with the best practices to research and tabulate rentals.

CL: Ideally, suite owners would want to be cash-flow positive when renting out their investment condo. How do you help them achieve this goal?

Del Condominium Rentals

SN: Most suite owners have a set financial cycle that will allow them to realize market potential. We save them costs and the hassles of day-to-day management and they see the benefits over a period of time. While cash flow is key for many owners, they see the merit of us ensuring that the unit is well maintained and the equity grows over time.

CL: And when it comes time that they wanted to sell, how can you assist in that transaction, say, to another potential investor-owner?

SN: We typically refer owners back to their agent when they consider selling. This is our partnership with our realtor colleagues. We do, however, ensure the transaction and unit transition go smoothly. For example, we make sure all necessary restorations are completed and that things are co-ordinated with residents and property management.

CL: Any other key pieces of information potential clients should know about your services?

SN: We are leaders in the rental business. What sets us apart from others is that we are part of Tridel. We bring synergies from other group companies such as Del Property Management, DelSuites, Tridel Customer Care and Deltera (construction). This is invaluable and often beneficial for homeowners.

For more information, contact Del Condominium Rentals at the website, 4800 Dufferin St., Toronto, or call 416.296.RENT (7368).

 

 

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Toronto City Hall

City of Toronto councillors’ decision ‘irresponsible,’ will worsen housing affordability and supply problems

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City of Toronto councillors’ decision ‘irresponsible,’ will worsen housing affordability and supply problems

Toronto City Hall

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) is outraged by the announcement made today by City of Toronto councillors Joe Cressy, Mike Layton and Kristyn Wong-Tam. The trio said they would red light any development that supports council approved TO Core Plan, ignoring the direction given by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s approved plans. These actions are a clear example of political interference that slows the development of new housing and increase costs.

Blatant disregard

“This blatant disregard of provincial policy is the opposite of a housing strategy, in fact it’s an anti-housing strategy,” says Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of BILD. “The net impact will add cost to the City, add cost to new home purchasers, increase the delays of much needed livable housing close to transit and lengthen approvals times as challenges and appeals are undertaken to ensure that the law is respected,” adds Wilkes.

It was the City of Toronto’s decision to file the Official Plan Amendment for TO Core with the province under Section 26 of the Planning Act. This rarely used mechanism requires ministerial approval and is non-appealable. Disliking the results of this decision, the councillor’s statements to developers that they will de-prioritize projects that are in accordance with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s decision and not the City’s version of the plan is like asking them to take sides in schoolyard spat. Councillors Cressy, Layton and Wong-Tam are disregarding the planning process, abdicating their responsibility and adopting planning by threat.

“The decisions to amend the official plans just prior to the last election was politically motivated and went against the recommendations of the City’s own planning staff,” says Wilkes.

Desperate need

“More housing is desperately needed to accommodate growth in the region. It makes sense for this type of housing to be built in places that can leverage existing investments in infrastructure and be transit supportive. We are calling on Toronto City Council to take the necessary steps to address housing supply and affordability in Toronto.”

The provincial government rightly recognizes that changes are desperately needed to provide adequate and affordable housing to a growing province. More than 115,000 new residents are expected in the GTA every year through 2041 and the population is set to grow by 40 per cent. Meeting this generation challenge will require policies that enable housing supply and affordability, not illegal actions that add cost, delays and restrict supply.

BILD is the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA. With more than 1,500 member companies, the industry provides $33 billion in investment value and employs 271,000 people in the region.

TREB reminder

The Toronto Real Estate Board is also concerned about the councillors’ decision.

“With some City of Toronto councillors announcing plans that could add obstacles to the creation of new housing supply in their wards, TREB is reminding all levels of government that housing supply is one of the most important issues in Toronto and the GTA, and is encouraging cooperation between governments,” the organization says. “TREB has been at the forefront in calling for governments to do what they can to ensure an adequate, appropriate and affordable supply of housing for the Toronto and GTA real estate markets.

“This is an issue that will require both provincial and municipal government efforts and policy initiatives from various perspectives, including minimizing unnecessary red tape, while maintaining the high quality of life that makes Toronto and the GTA such a desirable place to live, work, and play.  TREB is encouraging provincial and municipal decision makers to work cooperatively to make the interests of homebuyers their first priority.”

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Heathwood Eleven Altamont

Coming soon to North York – Eleven Altamont by Heathwood Homes

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Coming soon to North York – Eleven Altamont by Heathwood Homes

Heathwood Eleven Altamont

If you’re scouting about for new lowrise home options, take note: Eleven Altamont, by Heathwood Homes, is set to launch this fall.

Urban living on Yonge Street is what Eleven Altamont is all about, with luxury townhomes from 1,708 to 2,504 sq. ft., in two- and three-bedroom configurations.

Rich, dark charcoal brick and beige stone set the tone of sophistication for these luxury townhomes in a master plan around a landscaped courtyard garden. Inside, the homes offer large contemporary, open concept designs finished with only the finest in luxury appointments. Even more, each incorporates the flair and flexibility of a custom home catering to your own family’s unique needs. Choose whether you want your master suite on the second or third level. Select the most convenient location for your laundry and choose if you want a third bedroom or a family room. This is sophisticated urban living taken to the next level.

Heathwood Eleven Altamont

In the heart of North York

Set amidst tree-lined streets in the very heart of one of North York’s most sought-after established neighbourhoods, Eleven Altamont will afford cosmopolitan living in an intimate residential enclave, only minutes from everything that matters. Live just steps away from schools, parks, transportation and fabulous shopping.

Vibrant outdoor living is an integral part of Eleven Altamont. At the centre of the community is a landscaped courtyard where residents come together to relax, mingle and socialize. Walkways, trees and a parkette offer a soothing touch of green, while shaded benches invite you to rest and watch the world go by. This is your sanctuary, a retreat to come home to after a busy day.

Stroll through parks, savour international cuisines, send your kids to the best schools, enjoy a theatre production, hop on the subway and be downtown in minutes. Edithvale Park and Community Centre is steps away and offers a host of fun children’s activities, the Toronto Centre for the Arts provides world-class entertainment, and Mel Lastman Square hosts numerous civic events.

Heathwood Eleven Altamont

Highlight features include an eight-ft. front door, smooth nine-ft. ceilings throughout all three levels, eight-ft. interior doors with stained nickel lever handles and hinges, central air and a Smart Home Package that includes a home hub, smart thermostat video doorbell and more.

The master ensuite boasts an upgraded furniture-style vanity and free-standing tub and frameless glass shower with rain shower-style showerhead. For all bathrooms, you have your choice of granite or quartz countertops.

Epicurean tastes

For epicurean tastes, gourmet kitchens come with custom designed cabinetry with extended upper cabinets, your choice of granite or quartz square edge countertops, choice of designer selected tile backsplash, soft close doors and drawers and a premium appliance package.

Step outside your new luxury town and into the nearby great outdoors, with private rooftop terraces with a natural gas barbecue connection, on each terrace, and exclusive shared outdoor amenities, including seating areas, exercise areas, bicycle storage, pet zones and play areas.

Register now at heathwood.com

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Groundbreaking at Kingdom Developments' KSquare Condos in Scarborough

Kingdom Developments breaks ground at KSquare Condos in Scarborough

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Kingdom Developments breaks ground at KSquare Condos in Scarborough

Kingdom Developments Inc. has broken ground at its Canadian flagship, mixed-use condominium development, KSquare Condos, just a month after launching sales for the project.

“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to start construction just one month after our sales launch,” says Eric Jensen, Kingdom Developments’ vice-president, projects. “This speaks volumes to the success of KSquare Condos and the significant demand the project commands from both end-users and investors who recognize the incredible value and ownership opportunity that KSquare presents.”

KSquare Condos is located in the heart of central Scarborough at Kennedy Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E., an area currently experiencing a major transformation in new city planning and rapid development growth.

Major transformation

“As one of the first major developments in the city’s most dynamic neighbourhood, KSquare Condos is an exciting addition to Scarborough, an area that’s naturally poised for a residential density boost,” says Ward 22 Scarborough-Agincourt Councillor, Jim Karygiannis.

With more than 485,000 sq. ft. of planned development comprising of retail, office and mixed-use residential, KSquare presents a strong investment and ownership opportunity, the company says. Over the next decade, KSquare Condos is expected to kick-start rapid growth in population density and spur new job opportunities in this already fast-growing neighbourhood.

Groundbreaking at Kingdom Developments' KSquare Condos in Scarborough
Groundbreaking at Kingdom Developments’ KSquare Condos in Scarborough. Left to right, Raymond Chau, sales and marketing manager, Kingdom Developments; Danny Tito, executive vice-president, Skygrid; Jacob Ma, president, Kingdom Developments; Jim Karygiannis, councillor, City of Toronto; Jason Heidman president, Skygrid; Gary Chen, senior project manager, Kingdom Developments. Photo: AGI Studio

Across the rail corridor from KSquare, the City’s ambitious plans for Agincourt Mall will create retail and office jobs in a dynamic community of new shops, restaurants, cafes, offices, parks and a public square. With 10 million sq. ft. of office space, Scarborough has seen impressive job growth over the last decade, and is home to the head offices of top Fortune 500 companies including Toyota, IBM, Compaq, BMO, HSBC, Sony, Volvo and Lenovo.

‘Kennedy Central’

Dubbed “Kennedy Central,” this area between Kennedy Rd. and Hwy. 401, will soon benefit from improved planned transit service with the proposed $5-billion plan to build a three-stop subway extension in Scarborough with stops at Lawrence East, Scarborough Town Centre and McCowan Rd.

With the existing Agincourt GO station to the north and projected SmartTrack and Sheppard East LRT stations nearby, residents will be able to connect to downtown in minutes. Drivers will also appreciate easy access across the GTA via Hwy. 401, which is directly to the south of KSquare Condos.

Designed by IBI Group with interiors by Tomas Pearce Interior Design, KSquare Condos features two sleek, elegant glass towers rising 36 and 39 storeys above a shared seven-storey podium.

Eric Jensen, vice-president, projects, Kingdom Canada
Eric Jensen, vice-president, projects, Kingdom Canada

KSquare features a wide range of suite types and sizes including one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts. Prices start from $372,900 and early buyers can also take advantage of a free parking space included in their purchase price.

“We have a really diverse group of condo units and sizes,” Jensen told Condo Life. “On the one end, we’ve got the students at (University of Toronto Scarborough) that are looking for a small one-bedroom, but at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got a number of three-bedroom plus den corner units for full families.”

Signature amenities

KSquare will not only be home to Toronto’s largest private condo library and study area, residents will also have access to amenities such as two private music rehearsal rooms, state-of-the-art gym, pet grooming spa, kids zone, 24-hour concierge, an expansive party room with two dining areas and a rooftop terrace offering panoramic neighbourhood views.

“The real highlights are… the seventh-floor outdoor terrace is spectacular, it’s really like having a taste of a forest or High Park that you can just step out into,” Jensen says. “The private library is probably the crown jewel of them all. The versatility that this type of space offers… you can go there to study, there are breakout rooms, quiet spaces… it all ties into the library, and we’ve got moveable panels to open up spaces.”

Construction now underway at Kingdom Developments' KSquare Condos in Scarborough
Construction now underway at Kingdom Developments’ KSquare Condos in Scarborough

“The lobby itself is very unique, if for no other reason than its size,” Brian Woodrow, senior designer, Tomas Pearce, told Condo Life. “It’s almost a full double height, has a fireplace lounge, a business/tech lounge, so its broken into two areas and its meant to draw people together in a work, live and communicative environment.”

Kingdom Developments gave Tomas Pearce the freedom to execute its ideas, Woodrow says. “They came to us with these ideas… I wouldn’t call them prerequisites because they gave us a free hand, which is very unusual, and allowed us to develop these thoughts and notions from our design standard point of view.”

The KSquare community will be surrounded by nature and greenspace. Bordering the building, South Linear Park boasts over half an acre of parkland and trails and the building’s grounds will also feature lush landscaping that will weave into a central courtyard to the east of the main entrance.

Register at ksquarecondos.com or visit the Presentation Gallery located at 2035 Kennedy Rd., open Monday to Thursday noon to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Fridays.

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KSquare Condos is the flagship of Kingdom Canada coming to Agincourt

Luxury condos coming to Scarborough with KSquare Condos

 

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Hombuyer incentives web

Federal government releases details on homebuyer incentive programs unveiled in Budget 2019

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Federal government releases details on homebuyer incentive programs unveiled in Budget 2019

 

Hombuyer incentives web

The federal government has released the details of the first-time homebuyer incentive programs promised in March in the 2019 budget.

Beginning Sept. 2, 2019, the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive will help middle class families take their first steps towards homeownership by reducing monthly mortgage payments required for first-time homebuyers, without increasing the amount they need to save for a down payment. This program complements other measures taken in Budget 2019 to support first time homebuyers with their down payment such as increased RRSP withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $30,000 The government has allocated $1.25 billion over three years for the program. The incentive will be available to first-time homebuyers with qualified annual household incomes up to $120,000.

Budget 2019 also previewed the Shared Equity Mortgage Provider Fund, a five-year, $100-million lending fund to assist providers of shared equity mortgages to help eligible Canadians achieve affordable homeownership. This will support an alternative homeownership model targeted at first-time homebuyers, help attract new providers of shared equity mortgages and encourage additional housing supply. The fund will launch on July 31, 2019, and will be administered by CMHC.

 

ALSO READ: Budget 2019 comes up short

ALSO READ: How the Liberals missed the boat on affordable housing

“Through the National Housing Strategy, more middle-class Canadians – and people working hard to join it – will find safe, accessible and affordable homes,” says Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for CMHC.“Our proposed measures will reduce the monthly mortgage for your first home by up to $286. This will mean more money in the pockets of Canadians and will help up to an estimated 100,000 families across Canada.”

First-Time Homebuyer Incentive facts

  • Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive will help qualified first-time homebuyers purchase their first home as the incentive reduces their monthly mortgage payment, without increasing the amount that they must save for a down payment. The program will launch on Sept. 2, 2019, with the first closing on Nov. 1, 2019.
  • The incentive will allow eligible first-time homebuyers who have the minimum down payment for an insured mortgage with CMHC, Genworth or Canada Guaranty, to apply to finance a portion of their home purchase through a form of shared equity mortgage with the Government of Canada.
  • For the purchase of an existing home, an incentive amount of five per cent may be available. For the purchase of a newly constructed home, an incentive amount of five or 10 per cent may be available.
  • Doubling the incentive for purchasers of new homes encourages new housing supply.
  • No on-going repayments are required, the incentive is not interest bearing and the borrower can repay the incentive at any time without a pre-payment penalty.
  • The buyer must repay the incentive after 25 years, or if the property is sold.

 

These details confirm that the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program will be an ownership stake in the property of qualified homebuyers, whereby the government will participate in appreciation of the property and – in the case of the property devaluing – depreciation as well.

“The key issue remains qualifying, and this program diminishes the amount that a first-time homebuyer can qualify for by about 15 to 20 per cent,” says James Laird, co-founder of Ratehub Inc. and president of CanWise Financial. “This is because the program limits the mortgage amount to four times the households’ income, whereas those not participating in the program can actually qualify for a mortgage that is 4.5 to 4.7 times their income. Household income for qualified homebuyers is also capped at $120,000.”

Those who would be attracted to the program would be Canadians who are trying to purchase at their maximum qualification, Laird adds. “However, because the program diminishes how much they can qualify for, it doesn’t serve the needs of the group it is targeted at. Canadians can get a larger loan by not participating in the program.”

 

Maximum affordability calculations

A household with $100,000 of income, putting a minimum down payment of five per cent, can currently qualify for a home valued at $479,888 with a $2,265 monthly mortgage payment.

The maximum purchase price for the same household, if they participate in the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program, drops to $404,858 with a five-per-cent minimum down payment. The total mortgage amount would then be $400,000 (or four times their household income).

Source: Ratehub.ca 

 

Mortgage payment calculations

If the household took a five-pre-cent incentive from the government (for resales), their mortgage amount goes to $378,947, and monthly payment is now $1,810.
If the household took a 10-per-cent incentive from the government (for new homes) their mortgage amount goes to $357,894 and  monthly payment is now $1,710.

Source: Ratehub.ca 

 

 

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Father's Day featured

Mouth-watering gift ideas for Father’s Day

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Mouth-watering gift ideas for Father’s Day

Let’s face it… dads can be hard to buy for. For Father’s Day this year, I’ve looked high and low for some of the most unique and fun ideas that will delight dad. Here are my top picks for your Father of the Year.

Grilling galore

Now what dad doesn’t like to grill? A great gift is the gift of grilling! I found these amazing grilling accessories at Lowe’s and RONA from Broil King and I know they are going to delight any dad on your list! These tongs, chicken roaster pan, spice rubs and mini thermometers make the perfect grilling gift this year!

Wine-not?

I love to bring a good quality wine to family gatherings, and Father’s Day is no exception. I recently discovered Jackson Family Wines, based in California and specializing in producing quality wines from family-owned vineyards. For a gathering such as Father’s Day, I like to go with either an essential, like Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon , which pairs perfectly with meats on the grill, or for hotter days, I like to pull out their La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, which is perfect when chilled.

Moments that matter

I am a total daddy’s girl, so when I have the opportunity, I just love to give my dad something meaningful and special. FUJIFILM Printlife has an entire line of high-quality photo-finishing products to customize and preserve your favourite memories – and my dad and I have a lot! A great idea is to compile all your favourite “dad and me” photos and print them into a photobook or print your favourite memory on a canvas or on a mug for your dad to enjoy!

Only the eScentials

I am a huge fan of plant-based products that work. A great gift for Dad is an eScential Wellness’ bundle of products that are perfect for any gardeners out there. They have a Gardener’s Hand Salve that is made with shea butter, and a blend of essential oils and is 100 per cent organic. I love, love, love that these products are toxin- and cruelty-free. Bundle it with a few gardening tools and you have the perfect gift for the dad who likes to putter in the yard.

Tech talk

Style meets sporty in Samsung’s latest smartwatch innovation, the Galaxy Watch Active, bringing dads who want to live actively a device that is as smart as it is stylish. Pair it with your favourite Android or iOS smartphone so dad can manually engage in more than 39 activities, set daily goals and monitor his progress with real-time coaching, indoor/outdoor activity tracking and popular third-party apps, complete with a light and versatile design.

 

Decor for dad

For those dads with a man cave, add some fun masculinity with a camo or 4/20 pillow, which will surely be a great conversation starter for his friends. Even if he is messy, the handcrafted Canadian-made pillow is fully washable (no need to remove a cover) and is also hypoallergenic and has dust mite control. Fun and function come together!

Jo-Alcorn-Bio_Shot_jan19

Jo Alcorn is founder and design specialist at Alcorn Home.

alcornhome.com

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