Tag Archives: condo

Left to right, Ronnie Strasser, Sam Strasser, Alex Strasser, Stanton Strasser, Jay Strasser, Alan Vihant, Niall Collins, Mike McGrath, Hunter Milborne, Boris Shteiman and Josh Shteiman

Great Gulf and partners break ground on Yorkville condo 8 Cumberland

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Great Gulf and partners break ground on Yorkville condo 8 Cumberland

Left to right, Ronnie Strasser, Sam Strasser, Alex Strasser, Stanton Strasser, Jay Strasser, Alan Vihant, Niall Collins, Mike McGrath, Hunter Milborne, Boris Shteiman and Josh Shteiman
Left to right, Ronnie Strasser, Sam Strasser, Alex Strasser, Stanton Strasser, Jay Strasser, Alan Vihant, Niall Collins, Mike McGrath, Hunter Milborne, Boris Shteiman and Josh Shteiman

Award-winning developers Great Gulf and Phantom Developments Ltd., along with The Kadima Group and MM Realty Ventures Inc., have celebrated the groundbreaking of 8 Cumberland, a modern 51-storey highrise condominium with a century-old brick Victorian podium. Located at the northwest corner of Cumberland Avenue and Yonge Street, it will pay homage to Yorkville’s timeless heritage and the neighbourhood’s revitalization.

Conveniently situated near two subway intersections, Canada’s most exclusive shopping district and one of the best cultural and art destinations in the world, 8 Cumberland is a sculpture with ribbons of gleaming steel and luminous glass creating a stunning façade. The masterplan includes parks and open spaces with pedestrian mews that will connect Yorkville Avenue to Cumberland Street and eventually to Bloor Street.

“8 Cumberland will create a new gateway to the Yorkville District,” says Great Gulf President, Residential, Niall Collins. “Our commitment to the neighbourhood’s revitalization includes a 36-storey condo tower at 18 Yorkville, the iconic 76-storey condo tower at One Bloor east and this 51-storey condo development all within a block radius.”

Designed by Architects Alliance with interior designs by Thomas Pearce and landscape architecture by NAK Design, the sleek and stylish building will feature retail on the ground and second floor within the heritage building dating back to the late nineteenth century. With 371 units ranging from 468 to 1,845 sq. ft., the spacious open-concept suites offer panoramic city views and state of the art amenities.

“Phantom Developments is thrilled to be breaking ground on 8 Cumberland,” adds Henry Strasser, principal of Phantom Developments. “When we acquired the site in 2014, we knew we had the opportunity to develop a true landmark in our vibrant city.”

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Alan Vihant, Great Gulf’s senior vice-president, highrise

Location doesn’t get much better than right in the heart of Yorkville, even in an area with other condo options. “(8 Cumberland) is different in a lot of ways,” Alan Vihant, Great Gulf’s senior vice-president, highrise, told Condo Life. “It’s right on Yonge Street, you can walk to the subway door, it’s right there, and it connects to a path that goes through Yorkville and all the way through to Bloor Street.”

 

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How to host Christmas dinner in your condo – for cheap!

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How to host Christmas dinner in your condo – for cheap!

One of the biggest challenges condo owners face is lack of space. Many who choose condo living do so to minimize maintenance costs and live close to where they work and play. That often means a smaller unit where every single square inch has a purpose. For day-to-day living this is an excellent solution, but for hosting a large gathering it can be challenging. With Christmas coming up condo owners might feel like their only choice is to attend a party at a larger home, but with some careful planning, you too you can host a great party in your home and not break the bank.

Book the party room

The easiest and most obvious choice is to book your condominium party room. Most of these spaces come with food prep rooms, a lounge area and of course a spacious place to seat all your guests. With only a few weeks before the holidays the best dates may be gone already, but inquire about Christmas 2019. Maybe you can book now for the year ahead and let guests know that next year the holiday meal will be hosted by you. As a courtesy let your doorman know your plans to minimize delays of your dinner guests getting in. Go a step further and make signs that lead to the room, as some condo buildings are difficult to navigate.

Rent it

Most condo owners don’t have a table that will seat eight to ten guests. If you’re hosting in your unit look into renting a dining table with chairs. Turn your condo into a restaurant like feel. Move all the unnecessary furniture out of your main space into your bedroom. Leave only the long table and chairs and a few seats for guests to lounge. Keep the focus on the table and encourage guests to claim their seats as they arrive. This way, like a restaurant, they can stand during cocktail time and know there is a seat available right way if they need it. In some cases you can rent a dining set for as low as $200 and this includes set up. Some companies will provide the china and flatware, too.

Pot luck

The easiest way to keep costs (and efforts low) is to make your holiday dinner a potluck. After all if you’re spending money on renting furniture or a party room to accommodate your guests you may already be looking at a few hundred dollars to put on your party. As host commit to making the main dish. Ask your guests to bring dessert and the fixings. Also, for a big Turkey dinner skip the appetizers. When guests arrive already having your first course on the go, like a soup or salad. This will keep guests occupied and save you the hassle and money of making extra appetizers.

Prep

Having a small space means there is little room to do any work once guests arrive. After all you should be talking to them and not stuck in the kitchen. Make all you dishes ahead. In fact, except for dressing the salad, don’t leave anything to the last minute. The joy of holiday cooking is that casseroles and can be cooked ahead and kept warming in the oven.

Saving money

Planning ahead will make sure you don’t blow your budget. Make a list early of what you want to buy, search the flyers to get food ahead of time on sale. Make conscious choices to not cook meals that have complicated ingredients that you’ll have to go out and buy; use what you have at home first. Christmas is about getting together and enjoying a great meal with family and friends. A small space and small budget should not sway you from hosting.

Rubina ahmed-haq is a journalist and personal finance expert. She is HPG’s Finance Editor. She regularly appears on CBC Radio and TV. She is a contributor on CTV Your Morning and Global Toronto. She has a BA from York University, received her post graduate journalism diploma from Humber College and has completed the CSC. Follow her on Twitter @alwayssavemoney.

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Amico begins construction at 42 Mill St. condo in Georgetown

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Amico begins construction at 42 Mill St. condo in Georgetown

42 Mill St. 1

by Wayne Karl

Amico has broken ground at its latest condo development – 42 Mill St. in Georgetown.

Comprising six stories and 78 suites from the mid $400’s, 42 Mill St. units boast open concept designs, 9.5- to 10.5-ft. ceiling heights, European-style kitchens with integrated appliances, luxurious master ensuites, garden suite patios, recessed pot lights and exclusive access to electric car charging stations.

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42 Mill St. also offers state-of-the-art building amenities, including fully-appointed fitness studio, a party room, an outdoor terrace with fireside lounge and barbecue, as well as an indoor party room with adjacent business lounge.

“We were intent on giving the community all that it deserves in terms of the quality of the product,” Cindy Prince, vice-president of development for Amico, told Condo Life. “The reception has been terrific. We listened to the community a lot when we were going through the design process.”

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Located right in downtown Georgetown, 42 Mill St. is walking distance to historic streets, shops and other amenities. Also nearby are schools, hospitals, recreation facilities and golf courses. The building is adjacent to the newly developed Lions Club Park, affording outdoor enthusiasts easy access to the Silver Creek Trail and the Terra Cotta Conservation Area.

And with the Georgetown GO station a short drive away, residents can be in downtown Toronto in just 55-minutes.

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The first of what will eventually be three buildings on the site, 42 Mill St. occupies an important place in the local history – it’s the site of the former Georgetown Memorial Arena, which opened in 1922 and was closed in 2013.

“It’s an appropriate thing to do in the community,” Prince says. Some of the common areas of the first building will likely be given somewhat of an arena theme, with artwork and historic photos reflecting the roots of the site.

Prince also hints that Amico is looking at Georgetown and the Halton Hills area for other possible future projects.

For more information, visit 42millst.com

 

 

 

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Condo Market: The Evolution of the Condo

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Condo Market: The Evolution of the Condo

Bigger is often better

I guess the old adage that ‘what goes around, comes around’ is right on. It spans into our universe — the condo universe. Right here in the centre of the condo universe. I was fortunate enough to work with the pioneers in the business, starting right out of university about 35 years ago.

Condos represented about 10 per cent of the new housing market; slowly creeping up over the years, to 15 and 20 per cent at best. The suites were big; two-bedrooms almost always. I remember selling them at $120 to $150 a foot in some pretty good neighbourhoods. Those now hit upwards of $1,000 per foot in North York, Thornhill, places like that.

I marketed thousands of new homes concurrently. They were everyone’s first choice — the backyard, 2 and one half kids and a dog, the right school district and all those other things. Really, that was everyone’s first choice. Prices per square foot were lower, sticker prices were higher. That part hasn’t changed much, even today.

As the world evolved, and Toronto became a destination for so many new Torontonians, we went condo crazy. Had no choice. The Greenbelt was frozen, the lake remained and we went east and west, and further north. Condos were it. But it no longer was necessarily an affordable alternative to housing. It became, as it is now, a first choice for many.

The average new condo still is hundreds of thousands of dollars less than its detached counterpart, despite the rising costs of development and construction in recent years. And those have been whopping.

We saw not so long ago the micro suites, the quantity of components, i.e. bedrooms and bathrooms, becoming more important than the sizing of the rooms themselves. Critical dimensions we used to use in creating spaces became downsized considerably. The 600-square-foot two bed/two bath condo came of age. And it continues to exist appropriately in some locales.

But as the world has turned, and as sexy condo locations are being filled and becoming harder to find, some of the great new offerings are being found right in the neighbourhoods that people value and want to stay in, places where they didn’t have opportunities to downsize without compromising their lifestyle in terms of suite design particularly. I personally moved last week from an 800-square-foot two-bedroom condo to a 950-squarefoot condo. Same components, but very different spaces. Night and day in many ways. Both serve and will serve a purpose; different costs of course.

Look for these types of things in many of the great new projects that will be entering the market this time of the year. One particularly good example of this is coming this fall to the Kingsway; I’ve had the privilege to work on the design, architecture and the planning of this great soon to be master planned community — 293 The Kingsway. This is a redevelopment consisting of five new buildings in a rare private enclave setting in an outstanding established valuable neighbourhood. The suites very much reflect the upsizing of things in all categories — one bedrooms, one plus den, two-bedrooms and two pluses.

It’s a reflection of just how far we’ve come as an industry, and just how integral condo living is in our great town. No longer an alternative choice; it has become very much our first choice.

MARK COHEN is a founding partner of The Condo Store Marketing Systems, a firm specializing in the design, marketing and sales of condo and new home communities in and outside of the GTA.

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mark@condostorecanada.com

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Menkes Breaks Ground on Waterfront Innovation Centre on Toronto Waterfront

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Menkes Breaks Ground on Waterfront Innovation Centre on Toronto Waterfront

Menkes Developments Ltd. in partnership with Alcion Ventures, has broken ground on the Waterfront Innovation Centre – a new landmark office building on the Toronto waterfront.

The groundbreaking marks the first construction milestone of a 400,000-sq.-ft complex designed by architects Sweeny & Co, which will be comprised of two buildings, with three distinct but interconnected components: The Exchange, The Hive and The Nexus, a space that will serve as a public square and directly connect the two buildings.

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Located in East Bayfront, adjacent to Canada’s Sugar Beach, the Waterfront Innovation Centre anchors Toronto’s surging innovation cluster on the eastern waterfront, representing the next evolution in workplace design that helps reinvent how today’s workforce collaborates in the city’s burgeoning creative and technology sectors.

MILESTONE OCCASION

The milestone represents another step in the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront. The complex will not only drive economic development with the creation of nearly 3,000 jobs, but also help to shape East Bayfront into a beautiful new neighbourhood where people can live, work and play.

“This is a one-of-a-kind commercial office complex that will redefine how innovative market leading companies conduct their business in our city,” says Peter Menkes, president of Menkes’ commercial/industrial division.

“The Waterfront Innovation Centre will be a cutting edge, collaborative work environment that responds to the changing needs of the workplace and the demand for high quality office space.”

Menkes has more than 60 years of history in residential and commercial development in Toronto. “It is the city we live in, we build in and we are truly passionate about,” says Menkes.

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SUGAR WHARF COMMUNITY

Among the company’s more than 25 million sq. ft. of office and industrial space in the GTA is the recently opened One York Street in Toronto’s South Core, an office building that overlooks the water and is home to the headquarters of Sun Life Financial. In addition, in January, Menkes broke ground at 100 Queens Quay, a new office tower just west of the Waterfront Innovation Centre. That project signifies the first phase of Sugar Wharf, an upcoming waterfront community on an 11.5-acre site which will be anchored by a two-acre park.

The Waterfront Innovation Centre will include cutting-edge building automation controls, under-floor air distribution, direct/indirect LED lighting, a high-performance curtain-wall system and occupancy/daylight sensors. Floor-to-ceiling glass will allow for maximum natural light penetration as well as spectacular views. The building will also generate power via a rooftop photovoltaic solar array.

“By focusing our development efforts on underutilized space, we are not only driving economic development, with a landmark building that will house nearly 3,000 jobs, but we’re also helping shape East Bayfront into a new beautiful neighbourhood,” Menkes says.

WPP, a London, England-based multinational advertising and public relations firm, will become the anchor tenant at the Innovation Centre, occupying 260,000 sq. ft. – more than 60 per cent of the building.

“The Waterfront Innovation Centre is the workplace of the future, supporting Waterfront Toronto’s mandate to make Toronto’s waterfront synonymous with innovation,” says Helen Burstyn, Chair of the Board, Waterfront Toronto. “We’re thrilled to celebrate this milestone occasion with Menkes, as it demonstrates how we’re providing the enabling conditions and infrastructure to attract private sector development that catalyzes the business and job growth necessary to make our Toronto and Ontario more competitive on a global scale.”

Expected occupancy is 2021.

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Finance: To Move or Not To Move?

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Finance: To Move or Not To Move?

To Move or Not To Move? That is the question

An overwhelming number of Canadians over the age of 65 want to stay in their family home. A survey, commissioned by Home Equity Bank and conducted by Iposos, revealed that 93 per cent wanted to stay in their current home throughout their retirement.

While this may be the preferred choice for many, smaller retirement nest eggs, as well as rising health care costs and maintenance on a larger property, often make it impossible to do so.

Take the time to figure out what it actually costs you to carry your home.

Do the math

When you have several people living in a house during the child rearing years, you expect expenses to be higher. As the children move out, those higher costs don’t add up – especially if you’re only using a portion of the the house. If you still have a mortgage, add that to what it costs to maintain the property, as well as utilities, repairs and property taxes. If, when totalled, that number represents the same portion of your retirement income as a mortgage did when you were working, then it might be a sign that you need to move. Retirement income is often lower, so it doesn’t make financial sense to pay the same costs as when you were working.

It’s a wonderful idea to preserve the family home for when children and grandkids come to visit. But, in reality, how many times do they actually spend the night? If you moved, would an extra bedroom be sufficient? Or, maybe, there’s a guest suite in your condo building. There are lots of options for visitors.

Lifestyle changes

Where you live may have been, partly, determined by where you worked. If retired, living in a specific place is no longer a requirement. If you’re helping with grandchildren, or find that much of your social life is outside the area in which you live, it might make sense to move closer. If you’re a traveller, having a smaller living space, like a condo, makes economical sense and it’s a great no-worry option when you’re away.

Make staying more affordable

If, after weighing all the pros and cons, you decide to stay in your home, there are still ways to save money. Consider renting an extra bedroom to a student or to a person who’s on a temporary contract in your area. Another great option is Airbnb. Or, go a step further and create an income suite in your basement for long-term tenants.

It may be possible to refinance your home. In this case, it means that you will have to make mortgage payments, and when the home is passed onto your beneficiaries, that loan will be settled first by your estate. There is also the option of a reverse mortgage. Read the fine print carefully, as the rates on such loans are often much higher, which means it’ll cost you more.

Selling the family home, and downsizing, can be an emotionally difficult period of time. By looking at it from a financial perspective, it could prove to be a responsible decision, so that you have the money to do what you want to do during your retirement.

Rubina Ahmed-Haq is a journalist, personal finance expert and HPG’s finance editor. She appears on CBC TV and radio, CTV Your Morning, Global Toronto, and writes for ratesupermarket.ca. Follow her @alwayssavemoney. AlwaysSaveMoney.ca

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Condo Market: Is A Condo Right For You?

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Condo Market: Is A Condo Right For You?

This is such a good question that CMHC has devoted an entire section of its “Condominium Buyer’s Guide” to “The Pros and Cons of Condominium Ownership.” Yes, there are a few cons for some people, but the advantages far outweigh them. Still, it is important to be realistic when it comes to making your purchase decision. The best way to do that is to consider all of the parameters of buying a condominium suite in a new building, and then to be realistic about condo living.

For example, CMHC lists one “con” as possibly paying for amenities you hardly ever or never use. The first thing that comes to mind is the swimming pool. Depending on the buyer, the existence or absence of a pool can be a deal-breaker. In fact, savvy buyers who rarely use a pool understand that the portion of their maintenance fees that covers this amenity is very small, and the fact that there is a beautiful pool in the building can add to a suite’s future resale value.

Another point under CMHC’s “cons” is the possibility of having less privacy and more noise in a condo. Today’s developers are going to great lengths to use construction materials and techniques that keep noise to a minimum. In addition, most balconies have privacy walls. As for the interior of the building, by virtue of what a condominium is, residents do interact with people on a daily basis in elevators and common spaces. They have privacy in their suites, and they can socialize when they want to.

And take CMHC’s “con” of restrictions on things such as pets, smoking, window coverings, what you can keep on your balcony, etc. It is true that the condominium corporation will set out standards that are expected to be followed to protect residents’ privacy, safety and quality of life. This benefits everyone in the building.

I could go on, but my point is, are these really “cons,” or are they simply the realities of condo living? The pros listed are enticing: having a say in the running of the condominium; fewer responsibilities for maintenance and repairs; access to gorgeous building amenities; security features; predictable condo fees; and more.

This goes for singles, couples and families. It really does take a community to raise a child, and more parents are realizing that condominiums are in essence vertical communities where people get to know their neighbours in the hallways, elevators and shared amenity spaces. Today’s condominiums are graced with familyfriendly amenities, from fitness facilities to games rooms, theatres, party rooms, pools and rooftop barbecue terraces. Some condos even feature daycare facilities. Remember, too, that the condominium lifestyle includes the peace-of-mind of built-in security measures, beginning with eyes-on-the-street concierge service.

Whatever your situation, if you are shopping for a condo for the first time, gather all of the resources you can. Visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/buying/condominium-buyers-guide and read through it carefully. I cannot say enough about the joys of condominium living. What a wonderful lifestyle choice for people of all ages!

BARBARA LAWLOR is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Incorporated, winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an in-demand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com

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Video: 9th & Main Condos + Towns

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Video: 9th & Main Condos + Towns

Suites, two storey lofts and townhomes coming to Stouffville.

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Penthouse Living : The most expensive condo in Canada

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Penthouse Living : The most expensive condo in Canada

1011 Cordova Street, PH02
Vancouver
$38 million
MLS Number: R2229814
Maintenance Fees: $4,762.79

The Fairmont Pacific Rim Penthouse 2 in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour area is a world class luxury residence sitting atop the five-star Fairmount Pacific Rim Hotel along Vancouver’s coveted Golden Mile just steps to the city’s vibrant business district, most exclusive shopping and finest restaurants.

This brilliantly designed two-level residence encompasses approximately 6,652 square feet of expansive living with over 2,900 additional square feet of outdoor terraces overlooking one of the most prized city, mountain and water views in Vancouver. This four-bedroom, five-bathroom residence has been redesigned by one of Canada’s most renowned architectural and interior design companies providing a luxury lifestyle like nothing else in the city.

All showings by appointment only for qualified purchasers.

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Home Realty: Buying With Students In Mind

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Home Realty: Buying With Students In Mind

Condos near schools, transit are rock-solid investments

With the current cost of real estate pricing so many young people out of the market, it’s becoming increasingly common for parents to help their kids by purchasing them their first condo. Especially when that child is heading off to school and will need a place to live.

Buying your child a condo for their college years provides a dual benefit: your offspring avoids having to pay rent when they’re at school (which you’d likely be bankrolling anyway), and the family then has a solid long-term investment for its portfolio, with the tremendous and ongoing upside as a rental property for other students down the line.

When it’s young people who will be condo’s occupants, the criteria for what constitutes an ideal unit changes than if you’re buying just for yourself. Perhaps most important on the must-have lists for students are locations that are well served by transit and close to quality post-secondary institutions.

For example, Parkside, Amacon’s 23-building mega-project in Mississauga City Centre — the city’s largest condo development — has enjoyed unparalleled success with investors and end users thanks in large part to its proximity to Sheridan College. And a number of residential projects are cropping up around the new TTC subway extension in Vaughan, a huge boon for York University and its students, which have been seriously under served in both the housing and transit departments. It’s the same situation in Markham, where York University has announced plans for a satellite campus.

One28 in Waterloo caters to students.

Condo projects in these transit oriented areas are selling out mere moments after launching, speaking to the insatiable demand for modern and well-appointed student accommodations.

A new project in Waterloo, One28, is located just minutes from Wilfred Laurier University, the University of Waterloo and the UW Technology Park. The 15-storey complex is unlike other typical student-targeted developments, boasting beautifully appointed and luxurious one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites that promise a completely new experience for residents looking to live in Waterloo’s university area.

Projects like One28, which are catering to younger buyers, must have an attractive amenity package, including fitness centres, yoga rooms, activity areas, communal spaces such as party rooms and rooftop lounges, and sustainable features like electric vehicle charging stations and bike storage lockers.

Just a note on tax implications: if parents rent out a unit at market rates to a student family member who uses the property as his or her principal home, they can deduct tax losses from the rental activity, deduct the mortgage interest and write off all the other operating expenses, like utilities, insurance, association fees, repairs and maintenance.

Whether you’re purchasing a unit for your college-bound child, or you’re a savvy investor buying a unit to rent out to students, you can’t go wrong with a condo as an investment property.

Prices have been steadily rising, and many of those who can’t afford to get onto the ladder will be looking to rent for the long-term, making them ideal tenants for these investment units. Best of all, when students are the target demographic, there’s plenty of future potential in a market that continues to clamour for quality housing options.

Debbie Cosic, CEO and founder of In2ition Realty, has worked in all facets of the real estate industry for over 25 years. She has sold and overseen the sale of over $15 billion worth of real estate and, with Debbie at the helm, In2ition has become one of the fastest-growing and most innovative new home and condo sales companies. In2ition has received numerous awards from the Building Industry and Land Development Association and the National Association of Home Builders.

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