Tag Archives: Durham Region

Builder of the Year – Large Volume, Tribute Communities

DRHBA confers 2019 Awards of Excellence

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DRHBA confers 2019 Awards of Excellence

DRHBA Tribute
Builder of the Year – Large Volume, Tribute Communities

The Durham Region Home Builders’ Association (DRHBA) has announced the winners of its 2019 Awards of Excellence.

Tribute Communities was named Builder of the Year – Large Volume, and City Homes took home the top honours as Builder of the Year – Small Volume. Minto Communities’ Ivy Ridge was recognized as Community of the Year.

These prestigious awards celebrate excellence in new homes, home renovations, innovative technology and construction, outstanding presentation and marketing of projects within Durham Region.

“Our Awards of Excellence celebrate the best in the business,” says Jennifer Hurd, DRHBA awards chairperson. “It’s an evening where members of the industry get together to honour our incredible builders, suppliers, manufacturers and professionals in the residential building industry of Durham Region.”

DRHBA City Homes
Builder of the Year – Small Volume, City Homes

This year’s gala event was hosted by Ambrose Price, a Canadian designer and television personality, who hosts the HGTV show The Decorating Adventures of Ambrose Price.

DRHBA Regional Chair John Henry presented the Hall of Fame Award to Peter Abramczuk, of Valiant Property Rentals and City Homes, who was heavily involved with association for many years. Bob Annaert, retired from D.G. Biddle & Associates was given the Hall of Fame Award by DRHBA president Emidio DiPalo, for all of his contributions over the years. MPP Lindsey Park welcomed Ron Robinson, retired from Rob Robinson Construction, into the Hall of Fame, recognizing his achievements in the industry and with the association.

Jennifer Hurd, DRHBA awards chairperson, centre, with the HOMES Publishing team
Jennifer Hurd, DRHBA awards chairperson, centre, with the HOMES Publishing team

This year’s winners include:

Corporate Citizenship

Minto Communities


Community of the Year

Minto Communities, Ivy Ridge


Green Builder of the Year

Steve Snider Construction


Builder of the Year – Small Volume

City Homes


Builder of the Year – Large Volume

Tribute Communities


Excellence in Print Ad/Direct Mail Piece

Esquire Homes


Excellence in Logo Design

Holland Homes


Excellence in Digital Marketing

Tribute Communities


Excellence in Production Built Home (under 1,600 sq. ft.)

Minto Communities, Ivy Ridge, Victoria End


Excellence in Production Built Home (1,600-2,400 sq. ft.)

Holland Homes, 12 Glenview Road


Excellence in Production Built Home (2,401-3,400 sq. ft.)

Minto Communities, Ivy Ridge, Welton


Excellence in Production Built Home (3,401-4,400 sq. ft.)

Marshall Homes, Flexhouz


Excellence in Production Built Kitchen Design

Holland Homes, 85 Townline Road Kitchen


Excellence in Production Built Bathroom Design

Trademark Homes, The Queens Ensuite


Excellence in Custom Built Home (under 2,500 sq. ft.)

Construct and Conserve Building, Hircock Residence


Excellence in Custom Built Home (2,501-3,500 sq. ft.)

Marshall Homes, Modern Cottage in the City


Excellence in Custom Built Home (3,501-4,400 sq. ft.)

Holland Homes, 12 Elgin Lane


Excellence in Custom Built Home (4,401 sq. ft. and over)

Construct and Conserve Building, Uxbridge Estate


Excellence in Custom Built Kitchen Design

DeSousa Homes, Meadow


Excellence in Custom Built Bathroom Design

Trademark Homes, The Coppinwood Ensuite


Excellence in Interior Decorating – Model Home/Suite

Holland Homes, 85 Townline Road


Excellence in New Homes Sales Office – Small Volume

WP Developments, Valleyview Project in Bowmanville


Salesperson of the Year

Eileen Brennan, PMA Brethour


Outstanding Trade

The Fireside Group


Outstanding Supplier or Manufacturer

Rocpal Custom Cabinets


Online Excellence

Tribute Communities


Excellence in Training and Development

Cassidy & Co. Architectural Technologists


Excellence in Social Media

Accubuilt Construction


Excellence in Home Renovation/Addition (under $100,000)

Accubuilt Construction, McCrimmon


Excellence in Home Renovation/Addition ($100,001-$150,000)

The Reno Twins, Barbados Main Floor


Excellence in Home Renovation/Addition ($150,001 and up)

Steve Snider Construction, Lakeview Farm


Excellence in Room Renovation

Trademark Homes, The Hampton Family Room Renovation


Excellence in Kitchen Renovation

Paradisaic Building Group, Project Croxall


Excellence in Bathroom Renovation

Paradisaic Building Group, Whitby Retreat


For more information, visit drhba.com.


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GTA buyers head west ReMax

GTA homebuyers continue to look west in search of affordability

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GTA homebuyers continue to look west in search of affordability

GTA buyers head west ReMax

Homebuying patterns in the GTA have increasingly shifted west over the last five years, particularly to Halton Region and west Toronto, according to a new report from ReMax of Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

“Growing demand for affordable housing buoyed new construction and contributed to rising market share in Halton Region (from 2013 to 2018),” says Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president, ReMax of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Product was coming on-stream at a time when the GTA reported its lowest inventory in years and skyrocketing housing values were raising red flags. Freehold properties in the suburbs farther afield spoke to affordability.”

In analyzing sales trends in nine Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) districts over the past five years, ReMax notes that Halton Region – comprising Burlington, Oakville, Halton Hills and Milton – captured 10.1 per cent of total market share in 2018, leading with a 2.3-per-cent increase over 2013. Toronto West, meanwhile, climbed almost one per cent to 10.5 per cent. Toronto Central rose close to two per cent to 18.7 per cent of total market share, while Simcoe County jumped 0.6 per cent to 3.1 per cent. The gains came at the expense of perennial favourites such as York Region (down 3.2 per cent to 15.3 per cent); East Toronto (down 1.7 per cent to 9.3 per cent); Peel Region (down 0.5 per cent to 20.6 per cent); and Durham Region (down 0.3 per cent to 11.5 per cent). Dufferin County remained stable over the five-year period.

The quest for single-detached housing at an affordable price point has sent throngs of Toronto buyers into the Hamilton housing market over the past decade, ReMax says. The spillover effect has stimulated homebuying activity in most areas flanked by Toronto’s core and Hamilton. Burlington, in particular, soared between 2013 and 2018, with home sales almost doubling and average price climbing 50 per cent to $769,142.

Window of opportunity

But with such strong growth in Burlington, how long will this market remain an affordable option?

“The communities in the west will still be affordable compared to Toronto proper, but what we are going to see is a continued uptick in demand for more of the outlying communities like Brantford, Waterdown, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and even as far-reaching as London and Niagara,” Alexander told HOMES Publishing. “What will really impact the growth of these markets, outside of availability and affordability, will be the underlying transit systems and investments in local economies, as people still have a need to be connected to the GTA core.”

The upswing in new construction has contributed to the changing landscape. New housing starts in Halton Region averaged 3,100 annually between 2013 and 2016. In Simcoe County, just north of Toronto, new residential builds averaged close to 1,860 annually from 2013 to 2017.  During the same period, almost 39,000 residential units came on-stream in Toronto’s downtown-central waterfront area, while another 56,855 were active (approved with building permits applied for or issued and those under construction). Another 6,000 units came on the market in North York and Yonge-Eglinton.


GTA home sales ReMax


In Toronto’s west end, affordability has been a strong influence in helping Millennials redefine mature neighbourhoods such as The Junction, South Parkdale, Bloorcourt and Dovercourt Park through gentrification. Average price for the 8,000 plus homes sold in 2018 hovered at $755,658 – although the 10 districts within Toronto West range in price from $557,000 in Downsview-Roding, Black Creek and Humbermede to $1.2 million in Stonegate-Queensway.

“Freehold properties remain the choice of most purchasers in Halton Region and Toronto West,” says Alexander. “The same is true to a lesser extent in Toronto Central, but condominiums continue to gain ground. Just over one in three properties sold in the GTA was a condominium in 2018, and that figure is higher in the core. As prices climb in both the city and suburbs, the shift toward higher-density housing will continue, with fewer single-detached developments coming to pass.”

Toronto Central has seen rapid growth over the past five years, with Millennials fuelling demand for condos and townhomes in developments such as City Place, King West Village and Liberty Village. This cohort has also been instrumental in the gentrification of Toronto Central neighbourhoods such as Oakwood-Vaughan and Dufferin Grove as they snap up smaller freehold properties at more affordable price points, ReMax says.

ALSO READ: 2018 GTA new home sales drop to lowest mark in nearly 20 years

ALSO READ: GTA resale condo listings and sales dip to end 2018, but prices rise

ALSO READ: GTA among the most promising new home outlooks for 2019, Altus Group says

Baby Boomers have also been a major influence in Toronto Central, selling larger homes throughout the GTA and making lateral moves or downsizing to neighbourhoods close to shops, restaurants and amenities. Close to 15,000 properties were sold in 2018, with average price of $932,416, up almost 40 per cent since 2013. Properties within Toronto Central averaged 20 days on market and ranged in price from $709,660 in Bayview Village to $2.5 million in York Mills, Hogg’s Hollow, Bridle Path and Sunnybrook.

With an affordable average price point of $611,628 – and a range of $528,942 to $746,332 – younger buyers, empty nesters and retirees have flocked to Simcoe County in recent years. New construction in Adjala-Tosorontio, Bradford West, Essa, Innisfil and New Tecumseth has allowed the area to capture a greater percentage of the overall market between 2013 to 2018.

“As the Millennials move into their homebuying years, they will displace Baby Boomers as the dominant force in the GTA’s real estate market,” says Alexander. “Their impact on housing will have a serious ripple effect on infrastructure in the coming years, placing pressure on transit systems, roadways, local economies and their abilities to attract investors and new businesses, parks and greenspace development.”

The upswing in demand over the next decade is expected to re-ignite homebuying activity in Toronto East, York, Peel and Durham Regions. These areas still carry significant weight, despite the factors that have impacted softer performance in recent years, such as affordability, lack of available housing and fewer transit options.

GTA west vs east

As the west end of the GTA continues to see growth and price appreciation, a leveling effect will likely come into play (with the east region),” Alexander told HOMES. “Toronto’s GDP and the thriving economy will continue to attract people, so while affordability may continue to decrease, desire is unlikely to waver. That said, the current and next generation of homebuyers are taking this factor into account when they are making their decision to purchase – sacrificing space for lifestyle and convenience.  As they look to the greater GTA, if affordability becomes more leveled out between the west and the east, it’s likely that we will see more dispersion across the entire region as people’s desire to be connected to the GTA core remains strong.

GTA east areas such as Durham region currently don’t have the same appeal as the west. “The West end of the GTA has a greater diversity of communities that are attracting a diverse range of buyers.  In the past 10 years, there has been significant focus on the growth and development of these regions, whereas historically, Durham has not traditionally been viewed in this same regard. With the boom in areas towards the east, like Prince Edward County, and the affordability leveling out, we will likely see the tide begin to turn.”


Delays in approval process contributing to housing affordability issue in GTA

GTA condo sales and prices hit record levels

7 factors that will affect GTA housing in 2019 – and 5 reasons to consider buying NOW



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What we can learn from the looming GM closure in Oshawa

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What we can learn from the looming GM closure in Oshawa


When Christian Huggett first heard the news that General Motors Canada was closing its Oshawa assembly plant, like many of us, he was disappointed.

After all, the loss of at least 2,500 jobs – not to mention untold positions in related suppliers – in a community of 170,000, is going to hurt. Hurt whom, and how badly, are the only questions.

“We thought it was a shame, given the long history of GM in Oshawa and the legacy it has created in shaping its past and providing jobs for many,” the vice-president, development, at Podium Developments, Toronto, told Condo Life.

Economic diversity

“We also understood that the employment sector in Oshawa has been shifting for some time, and Oshawa has healthily diversified to add technology, educational institutions, healthcare, administration and many professionals to its offerings of great jobs and companies in the market.”

ALSO READ: The February 2019 issue of Condo Life

While various governments and the plant’s union vow to try to find some way to save the operation, resurrection seems unlikely.

And it serves as a good reminder to us all – of how important it is for cities to develop diversified, modern economies. And how homebuyers should look beyond the headlines when researching their prospective new home location.

Opportunities remain

Podium, one of several developers building new homes in Oshawa, recently launched Ironwood Towns in the north end. The company remains confident in the city.

“We believe the North Oshawa residential market is not driven by the success or change in one industry,” says Huggett.

“This includes the significant GM news. It has not altered our plans. We continue to believe that the outlook is bright for home sales in North Oshawa, buoyed by its proximity and relationship to schools, the 407 network, the significant growth occurring and planned for North Oshawa, and that our site is unique in its physical and design characteristics to make it stand out.”

Buyers, too, then, can remain optimistic. There’s a lot more going on in Oshawa and other areas in Durham Region than just one industry and one company.


New home buying opportunities abound in Oshawa and Durham Region

Oshawa housing to move into buyers’ market thanks to GM closure

What the GM plant closure means for the economy and housing market in Oshawa



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EDITOR'S CHOICE: Podium Developments

New home buying opportunities abound in Oshawa and Durham Region

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New home buying opportunities abound in Oshawa and Durham Region

EDITOR'S CHOICE: Podium Developments
Ironwood Towns in North Oshawa by Podium Developments and Urban Capital

Despite the bad news this week that General Motors Canada plans to close assembly operations in Oshawa, there are some good new home buying opportunities in the city and elsewhere in Durham Region.

As various levels of government and the Unifor trade union vow to somehow keep the plant open or otherwise deal with the fallout of the decision, the housing sector in Oshawa is expected to shift into a buyers’ market.

That could mean deals for buyers in a market where home prices have already been under pressure.


Also read: What the GM plant closure means for Oshawa economy and housing

Also read: Oshawa housing to move into buyers’ market thanks to GM closure


For those looking to buy a new home, know that there are still plenty of good opportunities in Oshawa and surrounding area.

First, let’s look at recent new home buying activity in the area, courtesy of statistics from Altus Group, theofficial source for market intelligence for the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).


Total new home sales, units

Oshawa Durham Region
2013          682       2,376
2014       1,108       3,130
2015          971       3,433
2016       1,149       5,344
2017          490       2,385
2017          483       2,262
2018            83       1,065
Source:  Altus Group


Naturally, the GM news is a sensitive topic to an industry such as home building, where companies dedicate years to planning and construction development projects. So don’t expect a comment any time soon from BILD, the voice of home builders in the GTA, or individual companies.

Might developers at some point offer deals – be they discounts or upgrades – in order to move an unsold inventory in a market not feeling the strongest at the moment?

It never hurts to ask.


A selection of new home and condo inventory

Ironwood in North Oshawa, Building Capital and Podium Developments, contemporary freehold townhomes

Harmony Creek, Conservatory Group, townhomes and detached homes

Daniels FirstHome Oshawa, townhomes

Brook Phase 2, Delpark Homes, detached homes

Fields of Harmony Phase IV, Greycrest Homes, detached homes

Harmony Gate, Sundance Homes, townhomes

Kingsview Ridge, Treasure Hill, 30-, 36- and 40-ft. singles

Park Ridge, Tribute Communities, detached homes from the low $900’s

U.C. Towns 2, Tribute Communities, townhomes form the low $600’s

Top of Townline, Woodland Homes, detached homes

For more new home buying opportunities, visit MyHomePage.ca

With files from Natalie Sicilia, New Home Research Manager & Map Editor


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What the GM plant closure means for Oshawa’s economy and housing market

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What the GM plant closure means for Oshawa’s economy and housing market


General Motors Canada has confirmed that it plans to close all assembly operations in Oshawa, Ont. after next year, leaving the community reeling with concern for the local economy and housing market.

And with good reason.

Auto manufacturing in the city of about 170,000 dates back as far as 1907, and the plant is still a major employer. It employs about 2,500 hourly and 400 salaried workers, with many more engineers working at GM’s adjacent Regional Engineering Centre.

Oshawa Mayor John Henry has said the closure would have ripple effects well beyond the city, hurting businesses and families throughout the Durham Region.

“From a personal finance perspective, this news is devastating for the people of Oshawa,” says Rubina Ahmed-Haq, personal finance expert. “Not only the ones whose jobs will be affected and have the obvious financial impact of losing a steady income. But, also those who depend on those workers to run their businesses – everything from restaurants to dry cleaners to places of interest around the area will be impacted. As well as property values, which are already much lower in Oshawa compared to other parts of the GTA, will take a further hit.”

Durham Region home prices

Illustrating Ahmed-Haq’s point, home prices in the Durham Region have already been feeling the pinch.


Historical average home prices, Durham Region
2018: $591,739 (as of October)
2017: 624,225
2016: $528,475
2015: $439,842
2014: $388,610
2013: $354,548

Source: Canadian Real Estate Association


Values continued to decrease during the third quarter of 2018, according to the latest Royal LePage House Price Survey. Over the three-month period, the aggregate home price in Oshawa and Ajax decreased 2.8 per cent and six per cent year-over-year to $538,757 and $664,640, respectively. Home values in Pickering also depreciated when compared to the same time last year by 4.4 per cent to $709,260, and the aggregate price in Whitby decreased 3.5 per cent to $677,243.

Oshawa median home prices

Standard two-storey homes
Q3 2018 $557,071
Q3 2017 $576,922
Q/Q % change 0.8
Yr/yr % change -3.4

Detached bungalows
Q3 2018 $512,001
Q3 2017 $517,237
Q/Q % change 2.3
Yr/yr % change -1.2

Standard condos
Q3 2018 $278,224
Q3 2017 $281,864
Q/Q % change 0.3
Yr/yr % change -1.3

Q3 2018 $538,757
Q3 2017 $554,070
Q/Q % change 1.2
Yr/yr % change -2.8

Source: Royal LePage National House Price Composite, October 2018


What we can expect in the housing market

“After an announcement such as this, we often witness an immediate softening of purchase demand in the city and its surrounds, while the shock and reality of the situation settles in,” Don R. Campbell, real estate expert and author told HOMES Publishing. “This slowdown doesn’t hit the stats immediately, as there are a lot of deals that are already in the process of closing in the next couple of months. However, come February, the numbers begin to reflect the new reality. That is phase one.

“Phase two is when average sale prices begin to fall, as confidence in the market begins to slip further. In other scenarios, it is just a sign of a move ‘down-market’ or to lower priced properties. However, in today’s world, the existing ‘stress-test’ will be combined with this lack of confidence to exacerbate the normal situation.”

A third phase may follow eight months to a year after the actual closure, when EI benefits begin to run to the end of their course, confidence in the potential return of the GM jobs begins to fade and families have to start making big decisions of relocation to find new appropriate jobs.

“In other words,” Campbell says, “the announcement of and the subsequent closing of the plant kicks off a predictable but sad ripple effect that will last for years.”

If there is one potential saving grace in this news, it’s that Oshawa and the surrounding area has a more diverse economy than in the past, which will help slightly buffer the pain, says Campbell.

“However, the pain is coming and it is real and far reaching.”

The Oshawa plant is not the only facility to be affected by GM’s decision to “accelerate its transformation for the future.” Two locations in the Detroit area are also scheduled to be shut down, which could have spillover affects in related industries across the border in the Windsor, Ont. area.


Oshawa housing to move into buyers’ market thanks to GM closure

New home buying opportunities abound in Oshawa and Durham Region

Focus on Whitby and Oshawa

6 Ontario municipal elections to watch regarding housing



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Drive till you qualify? Sure, but it WILL cost you

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Drive till you qualify? Sure, but it WILL cost you


You may have heard the old real estate adage, “Drive till you qualify.” The idea being that buyers who can’t afford to buy a home in the city, should drive to surrounding areas to find more affordable and larger homes, with potentially more appealing lifestyle and environmental benefits.

At least that’s the idea.

In practice, however, such a plan may not be quite so simple. A new study from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) shows that increased commuting costs and time could offset any financial savings of buying a cheaper home in an outlying area.

“By assessing the combination of commuting costs and housing costs, one can gain a more comprehensive gauge of the total cost of location choices,” says Andrew Scott, senior analyst, economics, for CMHC.

Source: CMHC


In 2016, there were approximately 2.6 million commuters in the GTA, with 1.3 million of them commuting to a place of work in the city of Toronto. This made it the most common destination for GTA commuters. Roughly two-thirds of these commuters lived within the cityitself, while the remaining commuted from the 905 areasof the GTA. Pickering had the highest share of people commuting into Toronto, at 52.6 per cent, followed by Ajax (48.4 per cent), Markham (46.9 per cent), Vaughan (40.8 per cent), Richmond Hill (39.1 per cent), Whitby (32.2 per cent) and Mississauga (26.7 per cent).

Most commuters to Toronto drove, at 49 per cent, while 40 per cent took public transit. Of 905 residents who commute into the city, 67 per cent drove a car, and 21 took public transport.

Areas with longest commutes

Average duration of commutes is clearly on the rise, CMHC says, particularly among those who commute 60 minutes or more, one way. Between 2011 and 2016, this was the fastest growing segment of the commuter population, growing by 16 per cent, followed by those who commuted 45 to 59 minutes (14 per cent). Areas with one-way commutes longer than 60 minutes include Aurora, Burlington, Milton, Newmarket, Oakville and Oshawa.

Lower home prices, increase commuting cost

The most likely home type to lure buyers to the suburbs is single-detached homes, CMHC says. However, when the estimated monthly mortgage carrying cost and monthly commuting cost are combined, relatively lower priced municipalities such as East Gwillimbury, Newmarket, Mississauga, Whitchurch-Stouffville and Caledon end up costing more than or nearly as much as the city of Toronto.


Notably, some GTA municipalities did retain their cost advantage. Even with significant commuting costs in areas such as Georgina, Oshawa and Clarington, a large cost advantage remains due to the considerably lower cost of housing.


Based on estimates of the cost of commuting to Toronto from municipalities in the GTA, areas with lower mortgage carrying costs for single-detached housing often had significantly higher commuting costs, CMHC says. In many cases, these increased commuting costs completely offset lower home ownership costs.

Bottom line

The bottom line? Do all the math, and make sure that if you’re considering buying outside the city, your decision is based on more than money. The savings might not be there.


Pent-up demand for townhomes building in the GTA

GTA new home market shows some improvement in September

5 affordable neighbourhoods for detached homes in 416 and 905



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Harbour Ten10 emphasizes quality of life as one of Whitby’s first condo projects

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Harbour Ten10 emphasizes quality of life as one of Whitby’s first condo projects


Close to Whitby’s waterfront, with its beaches and trails and with a diversity of parks, recreation facilities, downtown shopping, schools and public transit all nearby, the appropriately named Harbour Ten10 Condominiums in Whitby could deserve a 10 out of 10 when it comes to providing prospective homeowners with exceptional quality of living.

Whitby is one of Canada’s fastest growing communities, and with good reason with its historic small town, a thriving entertainment scene, proximity to nature (including 950 acres of parkland and 65 km of trails), Iroquois Park Sports Centre (Canada’s largest municipally owned recreation facility) and such unique attractions as the massive Nordik Spa Nature Whitby that’s scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.

In sharp contrast to homes priced beyond the reach of most buyers in the GTA, the suites at Harbour Ten10 are not only affordable – starting in the mid-$300’s, but they also offer tremendous value, with such premium features as nine-ft. ceilings, laminate plank flooring throughout and textured granite countertops. Adding to this value proposition, is an impressive list of onsite amenities that include: A social lounge with fireplace, an onsite greenspace with playground, a barbecue terrace and dedicated rooms for yoga, games and parties. In addition, the five-storey condominium project features an upscale hotel-like lobby with concierge as well as guest suites.

HarbourTen10 2

Consistent with the Harbour Ten10 name and address (1010 Dundas St. E.), the site is less than a 10-minute drive from what buyers ranging from young families to empty nesters would ever need, with attractions ranging from: Whitby’s historic downtown (just one km away) as well as the Oshawa Centre (with 230 stores), the Whitby Public Library, the Oshawa Golf and Curling Club, Lydee Shores Conservation area on Lake Ontario and local public and high schools as well as Trent University – Durham campus, the Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College. Port Whitby Marina and Iroquois Beach Park with its long sandy beach and picnic areas are also minutes away.

In addition to all that’s at your doorstep, Harbour Ten10 is a short drive from Hwy. 401, 407 and the 412 and just six minutes from the GO Train Station, which gets you to Union Station in just 20 to 25 minutes.

“With any project we build, we put a great deal of thought into what today’s homeowners are looking for, so that when people hear about a community like Harbour Ten10, right away they know the homes are affordable, they offer good value and when you add up all of the onsite amenities and local attractions, it really is a great place to live,” says Nizar Walji, vice-president of Castle Group Developments.

Harbour Ten10 is Castle Group’s fifth GTA project, including Vida at Bayview Village which is currently under construction. Consistent with building great places to live, Castle Group has won two prestigious best-design awards from BILD.

Visit Harbourten10.ca to register or for more information



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LOCAL FOCUS: Whitby & Oshawa

LOCAL FOCUS: Whitby & Oshawa

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LOCAL FOCUS: Whitby & Oshawa

by Gale Beeby

The eastern anchors of the Greater Toronto Area


Both the City of Oshawa and the Town of Whitby have historic downtowns with the requisite collection of century homes, but new subdivisions are quickly changing the landscape.

Click here for a fill list of new homes for sale in Oshawa.

Click here for a full list of new homes for sale in Whitby.


Oshawa is a hockey town and it’s not the Maple Leafs that residents are cheering for, it’s the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. The team has many successful alumni, including Bobby Orr, Eric Lindros and Rick Middleton, to name but a few.

For those seeking more genteel pursuits, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is the largest in Durham Region and features a collection of more than 4,000 works of art.

The Whitby Public Library is a state-of-the-art building that offers an extensive array of collections and programs as well as the Whitby archives. The Whitby History Museum and Children’s Centre has a unique collection of artifacts that tell the story of early life in Southern Ontario. One of Whitby’s best-known historic sites is the infamous Camp X, which was a secret spy training facility during World War II. Established by Sir William Stephenson, the “Man Called Intrepid,” British and allied forces also used the camp as a communications link between Britain and the United States with overseas information passing secretly between allied nations.


The Oshawa Botanical Gardens is a beautiful oasis that is home to North America’s largest contemporary peony collection. Oshawa also boasts beautiful and pristine wildlife preserves, including the Pumphouse Marsh, Second Marsh and the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve. On Oshawa’s Lake Ontario shoreline you will find Lakeview Park with many picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, a waterfront pier and sandy beaches.

There are over 100 parks maintained by Whitby and over 60 kilometres of trails, including the Bio-Diversity Trail, the Cullen Central Park Trails, Otter Creek Trail and the Whitby Shores Waterfront Trail. The 670-acre Lynde Shores Conservation area, together with the adjacent Cranberry West Tract, is known for its wildlife and provides habitat for nesting birds.


The Oshawa Centre is the largest shopping complex in Durham Region and is home to over 230 establishments that include retail, food outlets and a variety of services. In downtown Oshawa, you’ll find a variety of unique shops and restaurants and its here you will find the annual Original Downtown Sidewalk Sale, and the Festival of Murals.

In Whitby, Pearson Lane is a historical development that houses boutiques, cafés and services.


Public transit is provided by Durham Region Transit, which connects it with the other cities in the region, including Pickering, Ajax, Clarington, Brock and Uxbridge. Highway 401 runs through the south of region and Highway 7 runs across its northern edge. Highway 407 ETR is being extended to Highways 35 and 115 and will cross the top of Durham Region.


Whitby population: 128,400

Oshawa population: 159,500

Whitby slogan: Community of Choice … for Business

Oshawa slogan: Prepared to be Amazed

Walk Scores:

Whitby: 43 average

Oshawa: 51 average




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Orchard East by Jeffery Homes in Bowmanville

Jeffery Homes will release Orchard East on February 3, 2018

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Jeffery Homes will release Orchard East on February 3, 2018

Orchard East by Jeffery Homes is the perfect community to raise your family or enjoy your empty nest. Located in the new Bowmanville with rolling hills bordering the site, you always expect the best from Jeffery Homes and Phase II of this new community will be no exception.

The official opening of Orchard East is Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 190 William Fair Drive, Bowmanville, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Price lists will be given on that date only.

Jeffery Homes is an award-winning second-generation company that has been building spectacular homes in Durham Region for over 55 years. Choose from relaxed yet sophisticated exteriors that incorporate a variety of materials such as natural stone and contemporary finishes — all with the unmistakable Jeffery touch their fans have come to expect.

A wide variety of amenities await just minutes from your door in the town of Bowmanville. This charming and vibrant town offers every convenience you desire from big box stores to small boutiques, grocery stores and more. Choose from family or fine dining in the many eating establishments located in the town centre. This amazing community offers your choice of health care centres, hospital, sports and recreation facilities. In addition, you are within minutes of the spectacular countryside, golf courses and conservation areas.



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January 2017 eNewsletter

Huge success for small units at University Studios

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Huge success for small units at University Studios

By Anita DeVries – DRHBA

I never thought I would see it here in Oshawa.

But yes, the millennial phenomena of smaller is better has been spotted in the spacious, beautiful, green Durham Region at University Studios, located at Durham Region’s Education Hub.

Podium Developments and Building Capital are building SmartStudios and, at 275 to 400 square feet, they are an efficient use of small spaces that creates comfortable lifestyles.

Built within walking distance to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College, these compact units are very functional and affordable and offer better living spaces than traditional dorm life or room rentals.

For example, the Murphy bed — with the military quality hinges — can be pulled down over a kitchen table. The bed is made and ready to snuggle into with your laptop or book and there are reading lights and USB connections built right into the wall unit. In the kitchen area you will find a two-element cooktop and a clever height-changing desk, which can be used as a stand-up table, extra counter space or regular sit-down breakfast nook. The kitchen and hall cabinetry is combined into a single sleek bank on one side of the apartment, providing storage and functional space.

This new building will be highly energy efficient as it will be built under the new building code.

There are 308 studio units being built in the eight-storey mixed-use building — just south of UOIT and Durham College — at 1900 Simcoe Street North. Commercial units on the main floor provide convenient access to shopping and restaurants.

The starting price for a fully furnished unit — including bed, refrigerator, washer, dryer, stovetop, dishwasher, standing desk, dining table, four chairs, loveseat, side table and LCD television — was $150,000 and they were gobbled up by eager buyers in the first weekend that sales opened. The project is under construction and will be occupied by September 1, 2018.

Due to the desirability of the location on a main public transit route, the developers negotiated with the City of Oshawa for reduced parking space allotments from more than one space per unit to 0.22 spaces per unit. There will be four car share spaces and residents will be able to have membership in the car share program. This will encourage tenants and owners to use public transit and active transportation, which leads to cleaner environments.

“Today’s millennials don’t have an interest in owning cars,” said Christian Huggett, one of the masterminds at Podium who researched and designed the suites. “They are more socially responsible and environmentally conscientious.”

Building an entire building full of micro suites is not a traditional approach to a multi-storey condominium building. Generally, a range of unit types are provided for variety and to reduce sales risk. But the Podium team discovered that there has been no bachelor units built in Oshawa since before 1989, so the market for these units was wide open. After studying micro suites built in New York, San Francisco and Tokyo, and realizing the new mindset of people who have grown up in an era where owning a home and two cars means working your life away, Huggett pitched the exclusively micro-suite project and soon everyone was excited about it.

“The proximity to campus will mean that most residents will be students, who will live better than we did in university,” said Huggett, noting that they have their own bathrooms and kitchens at University Studios.

It is difficult to make small units function well, but Podium’s design team had a wealth of life experience in living small — from dorm rooms to sailing and living in Scandinavia. The team also came up with a flexible design to make units accessible; as a result, 49 of the 308 units will be fully accessible, meeting CSA and ADA standards.

“The accessibility committee was very excited about this project,” said Huggett.

Podium Developments has an established reputation for building student housing; they have already built towns and condos in north Oshawa geared for students. As land prices continue to increase, and household sizes continue to decrease, we may be seeing more of these types of smaller functional units — and not just near universities.

Due to the strong demand for the units at University Studios, Podium and Building Capital are teaming up again to build on the success of the SmartStudios with the launch of the lowrise University Towns on the same stretch of Simcoe Street North.



Anita DeVries is the executive officer at the Durham Region Home Builders’ Association.




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