Tag Archives: Neighbourhood Watch

Vaughan is on the move – in more ways than one

Vaughan is on the move – in more ways than one

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Vaughan is on the move – in more ways than one

Vaughan is a city on the move – quite literally, and in more ways than one. Located north of Toronto in York Region, Vaughan has long been one of the fastest growing municipalities in Canada, with a population now exceeding 306,000.

Comprising the Woodbridge, Maple, Thornhill, Concord and Kleinburg communities, each with their own characteristics and enjoying their own growth, Vaughan is a hub of development and activity. Once known as the city above Toronto, it’s now “the place to be.” And with good reason.

Vaughan Metropolitan Centre

With Hwys. 400 and 407 right there, and Hwy. 7 also running through town, transportation and transit have long been important parts of Vaughan. Now they’re central to its future, with the new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre rapid transit station, the north terminus of the western section of the Toronto subway’s Line 1. It is also a major transit hub for York Region Transit and the Viva and Zum bus rapid transit services.

Economic growth is occurring in lockstep. Vaughan is now the third largest employment centre in the GTA after Toronto and Mississauga, and the largest contributor to York Region’s economy.

Manufacturing is the star economic performer here, accounting for 22 per cent of total employment, followed by construction, retail and wholesale trade, and transportation and warehousing. United Parcel Service, in fact, operates a signature shipping warehouse near Jane and Steeles.

In the near future, you can add healthcare to the mix of economic and lifestyle benefits, as the City has entered into a first-of-its-kind partnership with Mackenzie Health, York University and ventureLAB.

The City is leading the collaboration to transform an 82-acre parcel of land at Jane Street and Major Mackenzie Drive into the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct. Vaughan, York University, Mackenzie Health and ventureLAB are to study to the best use of lands surrounding the site of the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. The hospital is under construction and expected to be completed later this year.

The goal of the collaboration is for the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct to leverage resources to bring healthcare, innovation and jobs to this growing community.

Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua
Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua

“This feasibility study is an illustration of how partnerships can be truly effective when values, principles and beliefs are perfectly aligned,” says Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. “The new state-of-the-art Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will be a catalyst for other uses, like medical offices, labs and research space, healthcare incubators, and education and conference rooms related to healthcare. This is where thought leaders, subject matter experts and innovators will come together to advance a shared vision of healthcare innovation. This transformational collaboration will benefit the healthcare of residents of Vaughan and beyond.”

Highrise living

Vaughan is noteworthy for a lot of condominium development taking place around new transit infrastructure, though there’s also noteworthy new lowrise communities in the area. This is where buyers come for expansive single-detached homes and large lots.

And once you’ve bought a home in Vaughan, Improve Canada will help you furnish and operate it. Located in Concord and more commonly known as the Vaughan Home Improvement Centre, the complex is a unique offering of about 400 home improvement stores.

Location, location, location

Located in the Regional Municipality of York; bounded by Brampton to the west, King to the north, Markham and Richmond Hill to the east and Toronto to the south; more than 273 sq. kms; population 306,233; includes the communities of Concord, Kleinburg, Maple, Thornhill and Woodbridge.

Key landmarks

• Canada’s Wonderland

• Kortright Centre for Conservation

• McMichael Canadian Art Collection

• Reptilia Zoo

• Vaughan Home Improvement Centre

• Vaughan Metropolitan Centre

• Vaughan Mills

Select housing developments

9560 Islington by Kingsmen Group

Abeja District Condos by Cortel Group

Boutik Condos by Bremont Homes

Festival Condos by Menkes

Festival Condos by QuadReal

Hwy 7 & Jane by Gold Park Homes

Park Avenue Place by Solmar Developments

SXSW by Primont Homes


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Etobicoke undergoing massive redevelopment

Etobicoke undergoing massive redevelopment

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Etobicoke undergoing massive redevelopment

In real estate terms, an area in transition is a good thing, since it generally refers to progress, development and things being on the upswing.

Etobicoke is just one of those areas.

Really? Etobicoke, that large, narrow north-south swath that stretches from Lake Ontario up to Steeles Ave., and shouldered by Humber River on the east and Etobicoke Creek on the west? With large, well established and affluent neighbourhoods?

Yes, one and the same – the west end locale with the funny name people often mispronounce (FYI the K is silent) – that wasn’t exactly in need of an upgrade.

Blessed with a strong natural location due to its proximity to downtown Toronto, easy access to the QEW and Hwys. 401, 427 and 27, the Bloor subway line and several major TTC and GO Transit hubs, Etobicoke has long been a sought-after residential location.

North Etobicoke, for its easy highway access, plethora of commercial ventures and lower priced real estate. Etobicoke Centre, for its proximity to the Islington-City Centre West central business district, and exclusive neighbourhoods with large, treed properties such as the Kingsway. And South Etobicoke, or Etobicoke Lakeshore, for its prime lakefront location and areas such as Humber Bay and Mystic Pointe.

Southern surge

But when it comes to new condo development and buying opportunities, it’s all about the south. Well, mostly the south, until very recently.

Etobicoke Lakeshore was the first to transition, with the former motel strip at Lakeshore and Park Lawn giving way over the last several years to dozens of new projects. Today it is one of Toronto’s hottest new condo destinations. Your location here is right on Lake Ontario, with outstanding views of downtown Toronto, along the Martin Goodman Trail for cycling and running, and close to the Gardiner to commute into the city and to the QEW to head west. TTC bus and streetcar service is quite literally at your front door.

The area could get another massive boost if a proposed redevelopment of the former Christie’s bakery site at Lake Shore and Park Lawn goes ahead. Owner First Capital Realty’s plan for the 28-acre site – known, at least temporarily, as 2150 Lake Shore – calls for 15 new residential and office towers, from 22 to 71 storeys, new parks and public spaces and employment.

Now the condo boom is spreading north, into the central part of Etobicoke with new developments along Dundas St. W. between Islington and the 427, and several more planned for the south side of Dundas just west of Kipling subway. New condos are also springing up along the 427 near Burnhamthorpe, appealing to those who prefer highway access over transit.

A little further west, the Cloverdale Mall neighbourhood may get a major facelift in the next few years, as QuadReal Property Group is proposing a comprehensive master-plan to redevelop the existing 32-acre mall property into an innovative and dynamic mixed-use urban community. The proposal involves transitioning Cloverdale with a re-envisioned retail offering, residences, parkland and greenspace, community uses and new streets.

Under construction

Indeed, construction will also be the order of the day in Etobicoke Centre. For years. Six Points intersection, known locally as “Spaghetti Junction,” is a complicated interchange where Kipling, Bloor and Dundas all intersect. To support future development in the area, the City is spending tens of millions of dollars to modernize the road and surrounding infrastructure. Plans include improved pedestrian and cycle access, wider sidewalks, more trees, street furniture and improved access to Kipling subway. The station itself is being expanded into a regional transit hub to link the TTC with GO Transit trains and buses, as well as Mississauga Mi-Way bus lines.

Location, location, location

Bordered on the south by Lake Ontario, on the east by the Humber River, on the west by Etobicoke Creek and Mississauga, and on the north by Steeles Ave. W.; population 365,143.

Key landmarks

• Centennial Park

• Etobicoke Waterfront

• Humber River

• Sherway Gardens

• The Old Mill

Select condo developments

Reina Condos by Urban Capital

2150 Lakeshore by First Capital Realty

Empire Phoenix by Empire Communities

IQ3 Condos by Remington Group

Queensway Park by Urban Capital

The Tailor by Marlin Spring

Thirty Six Zorra by Altree Developments

United Kingsway by Fieldgate Urban

Valhalla Town Square by Edilcan Development

Vita Two on the Lake by Mattamy Homes


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Mississauga is standing out from the crowd

Mississauga – standing out from the crowd

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Mississauga – standing out from the crowd

Mississauga has always been a city of noteworthy accomplishments, from its inception as a city in 1974 combining the former townships of Lakeview, Cooksville, Lorne Park, Clarkson, Erindale, Sheridan, Dixie, Meadowvale Village, Malton, Port Credit and Streetsville; to being home to Canada’s longest-serving mayor, Hazel McCallion, from 1978 to 2014.

You might expect such a track record of ambition from one of the most populous – and fastest-growing – municipalities in Canada.

Covering a huge swath of land – 288 square kms, 13 km of which front Lake Ontario – Mississauga comprises many distinct neighbourhoods and communities. The former town of Port Credit, for example, once a sleepy little industrial locale, home to the iconic – and smelly – St. Lawrence Starch Co. plant from 1890 to 1990, today is a much sought-after residential area, thanks to its prized waterfront location.

Local histories

Many of these areas host annual festivals that pay respect to local histories. Streetsville, for example, holds its annual Bread and Honey Festival, paying homage to the area’s roots as a mill town. And Port Credit’s Mississauga Waterfront Festival and the Southside Shuffle blues and jazz festival display everything that the community has to offer.

With McCallion running the show over 12 consecutive terms, until she stepped aside and Bonnie Crombie won the election in 2014, Mississauga was known as a city of growth. McCallion consistently boasted she oversaw among the lowest taxes in Canada and made it easy for companies to do business there. Today, the area is home to more than 60 Fortune 500 companies, including Laura Secord Chocolates, Honeywell Aerospace, Walmart Canada and Kellogg’s Canada.

Getting around Mississauga is, well, you are travelling over a vast area, and traffic these days… But Hwys. 401, 403, 410 and the QEW all run for stretches through the city, and there’s no shortage of GO Transit and Mississauga MiWay Transit options.

Waterfront recreation

For sports and recreation, again Mississauga is blessed with numerous recreational winter and summer sports leagues with decades of local history. Using the Streetsville example again, the Vic Johnston Community Centre dates back to 1961, and sits adjacent to Memorial Park and the Credit River.

And, following the Credit River down to Port Credit, Memorial Arena is another beautiful old barn, sitting adjacent to Memorial Park and facing Lake Ontario. The park itself serves as host location for some of the area’s largest festivals.

Then there’s the Paramount Fine Foods Centre (formerly Hershey Centre), where the Ontario Hockey League’s Mississauga Steelheads play, and which also is home to a number of community rinks.

Location, location, location

More than 288 square kms, 13 kms fronting Lake Ontario; bounded by Oakville, Milton, Brampton, Toronto and Lake Ontario

Key landmarks

  • Living Arts Centre
  • Mississauga Celebration Square
  • Paramount Fine Foods Centre
  • Sheridan College Business School
  • Square One Shopping Centre
  • University of Toronto Mississauga

Select housing developments

20/Twenty Towns by Consulate Development Group

Amber at Pinnacle Uptown & Perla Towers at Pinnacle Uptown by Pinnacle International

Brightwater by DiamondCorp.

Brightwater by Dream

Brightwater by Fram+Slokker

Brightwater by Kilmer Group

Canopy Towers by Liberty Development Corp.

Condominiums at Square One District by The Daniels Corporation

Exchange District by Camrost Felcorp

Lakeview Village by Lakeview Community Partners

Oro at Edge Towers by Solmar Development Corp.

Tanu Condos by Edenshaw Developments

Westport Condos By Edenshaw Developments


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Midtown Toronto

Midtown Toronto – Where exactly is that?

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Midtown Toronto – Where exactly is that?

Mention Midtown Toronto to people, and they generally react in one of two ways. “Where exactly is that?? – the inference being that in a growing city of this size, pinpointing where the centre is difficult, to say the least.

And once realizing “Midtown” is roughly defined by Bloor Street to the south, Eglinton Avenue to the north, Bayview to the east and around Dufferin Street to the west, people often think “Old Toronto.”

And in the context of real estate, that means high-priced.

Increasingly accessible

Indeed, with neighbourhoods such as Rosedale, Forest Hill, Deer Park, Summerhill and Yonge & Eglinton, Midtown is generally affluent and exclusive. Signature detached homes in any of these areas can easily run into the multi-million-dollar range.

However, new developments coming on the scene, particularly some landmark highrise condominiums, are making the area increasingly accessible to a variety of residents.

Once commonly known as “Yonge & Eligible,” due to its popularity among young single professionals, Yonge and Eglinton is quickly becoming one of Toronto’s most desirable neighbourhoods, appealing to a variety of lifestyles.

Boasting five-star restaurants, boutiques, diverse retail services, schools and corporate head offices, residents have plenty of options for work and play right out their front door.

Crosstown traffic

If a great midtown location isn’t enough, proximity to transit is also a significant appeal of this area, being right on the Yonge Street subway line. And come 2021, moving about the city will get even easier, with the expected opening of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

Slightly off the beaten trail, wander over to nearby Davisville Village, Mount Pleasant Village and Forest Hill Village for a taste of what that Old Toronto was like, still with small, independent shops and nice little parkettes.

Location, location, location

Bloor Street to the south, Eglinton Avenue to the north, Bayview Avenue to the east and around Dufferin Street to the west.

Key landmarks

  • Yonge Eglinton Centre
  • Casa Loma
  • Spadina Park
  • Forest Hill Village
  • Davisville Village
  • Mount Pleasant Village

Select condo projects

44 Broadway by Collecdev

609 Avenue Road Condos by Madison Group

609 Avenue Road Condos by State Building Group

Avenue & Park by Stafford Homes

Keewatin by Freed Developments

Sixty Five Broadway by Times Group Corp.

The Millwood by Times Group Corp.

Untitled. Toronto by Reserve Properties, Westdale Properties and Pharrell Williams


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The Entertainment District

The Entertainment District – prestigious destination on the rise

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The Entertainment District – prestigious destination on the rise

Long a hot spot filled with some of the city’s best theatres and restaurants, Toronto’s Entertainment District is in full-on transition mode – into also becoming one of the most prestigious condo destinations.

Indeed, if you haven’t been to the Entertainment District lately, you’re in for quite the surprise. You might not even recognize this booming neighbourhood.

Play, eat and live

Yes, the same Entertainment District punctuated by landmarks such as Roy Thompson Hall, the Princess of Wales Theatre, and Canada’s Walk of Fame, known as a place to play and eat, is now becoming known as a place to live.

With big name developers such as Great Gulf, Empire Communities and Plaza building signature projects in the area, the neighbourhood is alive with redevelopment. Population growth is on the rise, not just from new residents, but also from new businesses and an expanding bar and restaurant scene.

Born in the 1990s essentially as an entertainment and tourist hub, with a burgeoning nightclub scene elbowing its away among the existing theatres and restaurants, the early 2000s brought the first wave of a condo boom.

More recently, SoHo Metropolitan Hotel & Residences, Festival Tower, and Bisha Hotel and Residences are among some of the notable condo projects that are up and running.

Abuzz with excitement

One key cultural attraction, TIFF Bell Lightbox, opened in 2010 on the northwest corner of King Street and John Street. The first five floors of this 42-storey tower serve as headquarters for the Toronto International Film Festival, while the Festival Tower residences sit atop. With TIFF Bell Lightbox serving as host to countless international stars and pre-screenings during the annual festival, the area is often abuzz with excitement.

Add to this, more recent landmark developments such as Nobu Residences, being built by Madison Group, and you have an expanding array of notable residential opportunities.

Then there’s Wahlburgers (of the Wahlburgers restaurant chain and famed brothers Donny and Mark Wahlburg), and the popular Loose Moose and other hot spots… all of it a stone’s throw from the Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena, Ripley’s Aquarium, the CN Tower and Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Transition to excellence

And more is on the way. Great Gulf is proposing Mirvish+Gehry, a two-tower condo project atop two six-storey stepped podiums with 85,000 sq. ft. of multi-level retail space. And CentreCourt is building No. 55 Mercer at the corner of Mercer Street and Blue Jays Way, the site of Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant.

All of it adds up to an area in transition indeed – to excitement and excellence.

Location, location, location

Bordered by Spadina Avenue, King Street West, University Avenue and Front Street.

Key landmarks

  • Roy Thompson Hall
  • Princess of Wales Theatre
  • TIFF Bell Lightbox
  • Rogers Centre
  • Wahlburgers

Select housing developments

101 Spadina by Great Gulf

101 Spadina by Devron Developments

Bungalow on Mercer by Kalovida

Central • 38 Widmer by Concord Adex

Empire Maverick by Empire Communities

Encore at Theatre District by Plaza

Four Eleven King Condominiums by Great Gulf

Four Eleven King Condominiums by Terracap

No 55 Mercer by CentreCourt


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Neighbourhood Watch - Markham

Markham is a hotbed of economic development and growth

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Markham is a hotbed of economic development and growth

As the fourth most populous community in the GTA – after Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton – Markham has been a hotbed for economic growth and development for years.

It’s long been known as a centre for growing sectors such as technology and life sciences – and therefore employment growth – one of the key drivers of housing demand.

Today, Markham is home to more than 1,000 such companies, with IBM, Huawei, Honeywell, Advanced Micro Devices, Motorola and Oracle all having their Canadian headquarters located in the city.

Residence has its price

Buying a home in Markham will cost you, however, as it has also become one of the GTA’s most expensive housing markets.

According to the Royal LePage Home Price Index for the fourth quarter of 2019, aggregate home prices grew two per cent year-over-year to $951,228, condos grew 4.9 per cent to $486,898.

Still, new-home development is a priority for Markham City Hall and Mayor Frank Scarpitti, who was first elected in 2006 and is known as developer- and builder-friendly. The city has a number of new home developments underway, including some high-profile condo projects.

The revitalization of Downtown Markham has been spearheaded by The Remington Group’s multi-use development along Main Street, which includes expansive retail shops, a Marriott Hotel, a Cineplex, as well as a variety of condo buildings and townhomes.

Cultural diversity

Culture is also an important attraction in Markham, with The Flato Markham Theatre offering more than 300 live performances each year, showcasing the diversity of the city. In addition, Varley Art Gallery encompasses the historic Kathleen McKay House, which was the home of Group of the Seven’s Frederick Horsman Varley for the last 12 years of his life. Measuring 15,000 sq. ft., the gallery is the second most popular tourist attraction in York Region.

Markham also has dozens of parks with baseball diamonds, soccer pitches and children’s play areas and splash pads. The city also boasts more than 22 kms of scenic pathways with 12 bridges that provide recreational activity for joggers and cyclists.

The largest park in the city is the Milne Dam Conservation Park. Measuring 305 acres, it is bordered by thick forest on the south and east and the Rouge River runs through the middle.

Toogood Pond is an 82-acre park that features a partially naturalized pond and marsh, and it recently underwent revitalization to remove sediment, restore the shoreline and plant native foliage.

Getting around Markham is facilitated by easy access to Hwys. 404 and 407 and the DVP, and for public transit, York Region Transit/Viva connects with all nine York Region municipalities, and GO Transit provides regular train and bus service.

Location, location, location

Population of 328,940, located in the Regional Municipality of York in the GTA.

Distance from downtown Toronto, 30 km

Key landmarks

  • Flato Markham Theatre
  • Varley Art Gallery
  • Milne Dam Conservation Park
  • Angus Glen Golf Club

Select housing developments

9999 Markham Road by OnePiece Holding

Canvas on the Rouge by Flato Developments

Gallery Towers by Remington Group

Langstaff Gateway by Kylemore Communities

Panda Markham Condos by Lifetime Developments

Riverview by Times Group


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Neighbourhood Watch: Oshawa & Whitby

Is Oshawa & Whitby the next hot new destination?

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Is Oshawa & Whitby the next hot new destination?

As prospective homebuyers have looked outside the Toronto core in search of more affordable homes in recent years, many have headed to Hamilton, Burlington, Milton and other points west.

This migration may soon change.

“The west end of the GTA has a greater diversity of communities that are attracting a diverse range of buyers,” Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president, ReMax of Ontario-Atlantic Canada, told Condo Life earlier this year. “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.”

So, there you go, prospective condo buyers – keep an eye on Whitby, Oshawa and other parts of Durham Region.

Podium Developments' Ironwood in North Oshawa
Podium Developments’ Ironwood in North Oshawa

Economic diversity

And don’t let any potential uncertainly over General Motors Canada’s announcement late last year that it would close its Oshawa assembly plant bother you. Oshawa, and other points in Durham, are about a lot more than one company.

“(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,” says Christian Huggett, vice-president, development, at Podium Developments. The company has a number of developments in the city.

“(The GM news) has not altered our plans,” he says. “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.”

Strong natural location just east of Toronto along Hwy. 401 are among the reasons Whitby and Oshawa draw attention. With Whitby just 59 kms from Toronto and Oshawa 62, commuting is a real option – particularly with recent GO Transit improvements and the expansion of Hwy. 407.

Durham Region Transit connects with the other cities in the region, including Pickering, Ajax, Clarington, Brock and Uxbridge. The 401 runs through the south of region, Hwy. 7 runs across its northern edge and the Hwy. 407 extension to Hwys. 35 and 115 across the top of Durham Region.

Translation? Getting to, from and around Durham is getting increasingly easy, which makes living here and working elsewhere a real possibility.

Expanding attractions

As with any growing municipality, Whitby and Oshawa also offer expanding amenity and retail options. The Oshawa Centre, for example, is the largest shopping complex in Durham and is home to more than 230 outlets. And in downtown Oshawa, of course, there’s a variety of unique shops and restaurants.

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

Nature is also front and centre, as Oshawa is home to wildlife preserves such as the Pumphouse Marsh, Second Marsh and McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve. Oshawa Botanical Gardens boasts North America’s largest contemporary peony collection, and on Oshawa’s Lake Ontario shoreline, Lakeview Park offers many picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, a waterfront pier and sandy beaches.

In Whitby, more than 100 parks more than 60 kilometres of trails, including the Bio-Diversity Trail, the Cullen Central Park Trails, Otter Creek Trail and the Whitby Shores Waterfront Trail, await residents. The 670-acre Lynde Shores Conservation area is known for its wildlife and provides habitat for nesting birds.

Location, location, location

Located east of Toronto in York Region, Durham forms the east end of the GTA . Whitby is 59 km from Toronto, Oshawa 62 km. Durham population 645,862; Oshawa 159,458; Whitby 128,377.

Key landmarks

  • Key Landmarks
  • Lynde Shores Conservation Area
  • Oshawa Botanical Gardens
  • Oshawa Centre
  • Tribute Communities Centre

Select housing developments

OSHAWA

Axess Condos by The Daniels Corporation

Ironwood by Podium Developments

Treehouse Studios by Karmina Developments

UC Tower by Tribute Communities

WHITBY

Harbour Ten10 by Castle Group Developments

Prince George Landing by RoseWater Developments

Prince George Landing by Stockworth Developments

Station No. 3 by Brookfield Residential

The Landing at Whitby Harbour by Carttera Private Equities


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Neighbourhood Watch: Yorkville

Yorkville – High end and priced to match

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Yorkville – High end and priced to match

If location, location, location is the golden rule of real estate, the Yorkville area of Toronto is one of the most shining examples. Indeed, it doesn’t get much more central than this, bounded by Bloor Street, Davenport Road, Yonge Street and Avenue Road. If midtown Toronto is what you want, a neighbourhood pretty much at the intersection of the city’s main subway lines at Yonge and Bloor is it.

Five-star is the perfect descriptor for Yorkville, home to the Mink Mile, one of Canada’s most exclusive shopping districts, along a stretch of Bloor. Upscale names such as Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Boss, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen operate flagship locations here, and north of Bloor, on Yorkville and Cumberland streets, you’ll find smaller buildings containing art galleries, first-floor retail and high-end restaurants. And of course, being so close to the famous Yonge Street, you’re just steps away from every retail option you can imagine, including the new Nordstrom Rack on the ground floor at 1 Bloor East.

Prized condo destination

As you can imagine, given Toronto’s condo boom, Yorkville is also a prized location for highrise living, with developers introducing several new projects in recent years, reflective of the luxurious character of the area.

“(8 Cumberland) is 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,” Alan Vihant, Great Gulf’s senior vice-president, highrise, told Condo Life last fall at the groundbreaking for the company’s 8 Cumberland. This modern 51-storey condo with a century-old brick Victorian podium is located at the northwest corner of Cumberland Avenue and Yonge.

“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.”

Award-winning

Nearby, Lanterra Developments is building 50 Scollard, a 41- storey condo at the corner of Bay and Scollard in Yorkville, with 77 exclusive residences. The project, in fact, earned Lanterra Best Highrise Building Design at the 2019 BILD Awards.

Complementing the high end, highrise living and shopping in Yorkville are nearby cultural offerings such as the Royal Ontario Museum, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, the Mira Godard Gallery, the Heffel Fine Art Auction House and Gallery 36.

And of course, blessed with a location along major transit arteries, getting to and from Yorkville is a breeze, with three subway stops along this stretch of Bloor.

Location, location, location

Bounded by Bloor Street to the south, Davenport Road to the north, Yonge Street to the east and Avenue Road to the west

Key landmarks

  • Cumberland Terrace
  • Gallery 36
  • Hemingway’s
  • Holt Renfrew Centre
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Sassafraz
  • Windsor Arms Hotel

Select condo projects

8 Cumberland by Great Gulf

11 Yorkville by RioCan Living

11 Yorkville by Metropia

11 Yorkville by Capital Developments

50 Scollard by Lanterra Developments

321 Davenport by Alterra Group

625 Yonge Street by Edenshaw Developments


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Neighbourhood Watch: Hamilton

Hamilton is the tech city of the future

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Hamilton is the tech city of the future

Hamilton may be best known as a steel city – a moniker it may never shake, given the industry is still alive and well here. But here’s a more modern nickname for you – tech town.

Yes, really.

The city of 536,917, located at the west end of Lake Ontario in the Niagara Peninsula and along the Niagara Escarpment, was recently ranked as one of the top tech cities in North America for “opportunity.”

Commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE rated Hamilton number two, citing a tech scene that has grown by 52 per cent over the last five years. This, in addition to naming it Canada’s fastest growing mid-sized city for tech talent in 2018.

“Hamilton’s tech scene is growing rapidly and new spaces, ideas, and collaborations are putting ‘Innovation to Work’ each day,” says Judy Lam, the City’s acting director of economic development. “Requests for brick and beam office space are flooding in to our office and we are working to attract and retain this creative class in Hamilton – which a ranking such as this one will greatly assist in such an endeavour.”

This reputation may be slightly unfamiliar to some, but homebuyers have known the city has been transitioning for years.

City on the highrise

Indeed, a quest for single-detached housing at affordable prices has sent throngs of buyers from the Toronto area to Hamilton over the past decade, ReMax Canada confirmed in a recent report.

While more affordable lowrise homes may have encouraged GTA buyers to head west, it may be the stellar performance of the highrise sector that keeps them here. See, for example, how healthy the price growth in Hamilton is for condos, as compared to that for all housing types.

Developers, meanwhile, are catering to the growing demand for highrise housing in the city. Rosehaven Homes’ KiWi Condos is among the signature projects underway in the city. More are to come, particularly as nearby Burlington is putting the brakes on such development in its downtown area.

It’s not just about homebuying opportunity in Hamilton, however. From educational institutions such as McMaster University and Mohawk College, to exhibits such as the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, to historical landmarks such as Dundurn Castle, there’s plenty to enjoy in and around the city.

City favourites

For sports fans, there’s the city favourite Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, who play out of the new Tim Hortons Field, as well as the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League, playing out of FirstOntario Centre, formerly Copps Coliseum.

Hamilton is also benefiting nicely from the billions being spent on transit and highway infrastructure improvements in the province, allowing residents to live there and easily get around the city or travel into surrounding areas.

All of this further positions Hamilton and its residents to enjoy its rising stature as a tech town, and a place to be now and in the future.

Location, location, location

Located in the Golden Horseshoe at the west end of Lake Ontario; population of 536,917; 68 kms from Toronto, 73 kms to Niagara Falls.

Key landmarks

• Canadian Football Hall of Fame

• Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

• Dundurn Castle

• FirstOntario Centre

• Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology

• Tim Hortons Field

Select condo developments

98 James St. Condos by Hue Developments

98 James St. Condos by LCH Developments

• CoMo Condos by Homes By DeSantis

Harbour Condos On The Bay by Canlight Group

KiWi Condos by Rosehaven Homes

Odyssey Condos & Towns by Rosehaven Homes

Soho Central Park by Losani Homes


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Neighbourhood Watch: Niagara

In Niagara, the Falls are just part of the appeal

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In Niagara, the Falls are just part of the appeal

When people think Niagara, they often think only of the Falls themselves, those natural wonders to which a visit never seems to grow old.

But beyond the awe-inspiring beauty and power of the Falls and the Niagara River, Niagara Region offers a lot more that’s worthy of just a weekend getaway.

Encompassing towns such as Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland, the Niagara Region is blessed with a great natural location. It occupies most of the Niagara Peninsula, bounded by the U.S. to the south and on the north by Lake Ontario, and of course the Niagara Escarpment – all of which offers strong potential for business and lifestyle choices.

These natural landscapes and climate make the Niagara Region perfect for agri-business such as winemaking – a key economic sector. The Niagara Wine Route, connecting dozens of wineries, is a growing tourism draw to complement cultural events such as the Shaw Festival.

Indeed, a visit to the area can involve a stop at the Falls, winery tours, the quaint town of Niagara-on-the- Lake, the Botanical Gardens with its Floral Clock and Butterfly Conservatory, several championship golf course and a growing casino industry in downtown Niagara Falls.

But this is all for play. To live and work in the region is another matter.

Economic growth

Again, a blessing of location, Niagara is within 800 km of two provinces, nine states and 130 million people on both sides of the border. This means opportunities for business. The trade that flows across Niagara’s borders totals more than $100 billion annually, and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across Canada and the U.S. The infrastructure network to support this trade activity comprises five international bridges, multiple railways and the Welland Canal, linking Lake Erie into the St. Lawrence Seaway system.

All of this is conducive to growth potential for the region’s manufacturing and transportation and logistics sectors, to complement the historical strength in agriculture and tourism.

Niagara’s economy has shown steady growth in a number of areas, particularly in job creation and new investment, but still lags slightly behind Ontario averages. The Niagara economic development department confirms the area still has challenges in higher unemployment, lower participation rate and lower household income per capita.

But that’s changing. In 2018 alone, Niagara had $1.7 billion in construction investment. From 2015 to 2018, such investment grew by 56 per cent in Niagara, compared to 19 per cent for Ontario overall.

New home development

As the economy grows and affords people more opportunity to live and work in Niagara – or close by – new-home development is following.

Much of the housing growth is in the lowrise category, as buyers from the GTA find the lot sizes and price points far more appealing and affordable.

According to the latest Royal LePage House Price Survey, aggregate home prices in St. Catharines-Niagara were $418,673 in the second quarter of 2019. This is up 3.2 per cent per cent from the same period last year.

Given the popularity of condominiums as a lifestyle choice, growth in this category is on its way. Homes by DeSantis, for example, has condo projects underway in both Grimsby and Stoney Creek. And Urbane Communities is building Marbella Condominium in Niagara Falls.

Location, location, location

A regional municipality in Southern Ontario comprising 12 municipalities such as Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland; 130 kms from Toronto; 86 kms from Hamilton.

Key landmarks

  • Botanical Gardens
  • Casino Niagara
  • Clifton Hill
  • Niagara Falls
  • The Niagara Wine Route
  • Welland Canal

Select condo developments

Marbella Condominium by Urbane Communities

• Utopia Condominiums by New Horizon Development Group

AquaZul by Homes By DeSantis

• Como Condos by Homes By DeSantis


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