Tag Archives: Oshawa

EDITOR'S CHOICE: Podium Developments

Unique spaces and places at Podium Developments’ Ironwood in North Oshawa

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Unique spaces and places at Podium Developments’ Ironwood in North Oshawa

With the opening of the Highway 407 extension, North Oshawa is fast developing into a vibrant urban centre of its own, while maintaining a deep commitment to protecting its lush natural setting. Named after the hardest trees in Canada, Ironwood is an inspired new community of modern townhomes that offers that sought-after balance of lasting nature and a strong neighbourhood.

Set where the Oshawa Creek crosses Simcoe Street North and surrounded by acres of protected conservation area, forest and parks, Ironwood is destined to be an oasis of green spaces for active families.

New homebuyers who love the outdoors will discover that Ironwood, by Podium Developments, is literally designed for them, with amenities carved from the community’s own timeless landscape. The community has designated a large portion of its unique natural setting to private amenity areas that will have families outdoors and active.

Residents will stroll and bike along winding trails that form casual boundaries between amenity areas. Young families will meet and chat as they watch over their little ones at the Adventure Playground. Neighbours will delight in the Community Garden, Yoga Clearing, the Hillview Square and the Cattail Clearing set off by professional landscaping. In summer, an open field will be a sports pitch and, come winter, an outdoor ice rink while a nearby slope will transform into Toboggan Hill for kids to laugh and enjoy together. Furry friends will have their own off-leash dog park too.

At Ironwood, where nature is enduring, kids will thrive and grow strong while playing outdoors in all seasons and weather, and forming friendships that will last a lifetime.

By design, the townhomes themselves nestle into their remarkable natural setting. The strikingly authentic modern architecture makes expert use of woods and metals in clean and simple lines that define today’s aesthetic. Expansive windows invite the outdoors into the spacious, light-filled interiors designed for contemporary open concept living.

A choice of designs is available, with gourmet kitchens, lavish ensuites, backyard decks, and plenty of room to grow and play. Feature-filled and offering designer accents for today’s tastes, the homes of Ironwood will stand the test of time, and appeal to all ages and stages.

Not only is nature close at hand — all the amenities are nearby too. Restaurants, plazas, schools and community centres, with the exciting new Windfields Farm Shopping Plaza coming soon. Excellent schools such as Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology are across the street. Camp Samac is next door and Cedar Valley Conservation Area is over the road. The nearby Legends Centre offers a range of programs and a gym. The Oshawa Centre, Tribute Centre and downtown Oshawa are minutes away, as well as the GO Transit train and VIA Rail station, and along the waterfront are Lake Ontario trails and beach.

If you’re looking for a community as lasting as the tree it’s named after, register for Ironwood today.

PODIUM DEVELOPMENTS
Ironwood

Register online to receive VIP pricing and floorplans.

MyIronwoodTowns.com


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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
Annual
2013          682       2,376
2014       1,108       3,130
2015          971       3,433
2016       1,149       5,344
2017          490       2,385
Jan-Oct
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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House web

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

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

House web

In one fell swoop, General Motors Canada’s announcement on Nov. 25 that it plans to close all assembly operations in Oshawa, Ont. effectively has pushed housing there into a buyers’ market.

“The announced General Motors plant closure will certainly impact Oshawa, and the trickle-down effect will be felt across the province,” Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president and regional director, ReMax Integra of Ontario-Atlantic Region, told Homes Publishing.

“However, it’s important to remember that GM isn’t the economic driver that it used to be in Durham Region. The area boasts a growing education sector and a new casino is slated to open in 2019, which will boost new condo development and housing demand. With the rise of remote work and no relief expected for Toronto house prices in 2019, Oshawa will continue to be a popular choice with first-time and move-up buyers who have been priced out of the 416.”

There you have it, prospective home buyers.

Opportunity knocks

While such a major employment hit is hardly an occasion to celebrate, these developments could mean opportunity for those looking to buy a home.

“The fact is that more than 2,500 GM workers will be left in the lurch come 2020, and the looming loss of income will likely prompt a softening of the market at a local level, as existing residents and prospective homebuyers digest the news and what it might mean for them,” says Alexander. “This coming closure, coupled with further interest rate increases in 2019, is likely to trigger a market shift from the current balanced territory, as homebuyers delay purchases, scale down lower-priced properties or move away in search of employment.”

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

Also read: Focus on Whitby and Oshawa

Also read: 5 affordable neighbourhoods for detached homes in 416 and 905

Another real estate expert, Don R. Campbell, says the impact of the closure could take 18 to 24 months to play out fully in the region.

Diversified economy

Thankfully, there is more going for Oshawa and the Durham Region than just General Motors. Though it was once described as the “Automotive Capital of Canada,” in recent years the economy has diversified into education and health sciences. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Durham College and Trent University Durham and all have campuses in the city, among other economy-boosting facilities.

Indeed, in its latest Metropolitan Outlook, the Conference Board of Canada pegged Oshawa to be one of the strongest economies in the province for 2018. The Board forecast real GDP growth of 2.6 per cent this year, following 3.2 per cent in the last two years, citing strength in the non-residential construction, education, health care, finance and insurance sectors.

In addition, Statistics Canada figures show that Oshawa was one of the fastest growing cities in Ontario from 2011 to 2016, with 6.6 per cent population growth, second only to Guelph at 7.7 per cent. This, after growing 7.7 per cent from 2006 to 2011.

Importantly, for prospective home buyers, transportation improvements such as expanded GO Transit and the Hwy. 407 extension make it easier for people to live in Oshawa – at cheaper home prices – and commute to work in other areas such as Toronto. Another extension of the 407 eastward to neighbouring Clarington is due for 2020, further easing transportation options.

New home opportunities

Tomorrow, we’ll explore some of the opportunities to buy new homes in the Durham Region.

 

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Oshawa

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

Oshawa

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

Aggregate
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.

RELATED READING

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

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

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

Drive

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.

Drive3
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 morethan or nearly as much as the city of Toronto.

Drive1

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.

Drive2

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.

RELATED READING

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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Ironwood

Ironwood Towns by Podium Developments now open in North Oshawa

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Ironwood Towns by Podium Developments now open in North Oshawa

Ironwood

By Wayne Karl

Podium Developments and Building Capital have opened Ironwood Towns, a new community located just north of Simcoe Street North and Taunton Road in North Oshawa.

This private 11-acre property nestled between Camp Samac and Oshawa Creek, backs onto hundreds of acres of valley land, forest and stream, and is minutes to Cedar Valley Conservation Area, Centennial Park and Somerset Park. Ironwood is also conveniently close to public transportation options, shopping, dining and entertainment venues. The lifestyle offered in this community is one of nature and ease. It’s a seven-minute drive to Hwy. 407 and 14 minutes to Hwy. 401. Residents can also walk to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in 10 minutes.

Situated on a private street, the 125 three- and four-bedroom contemporary freehold towns feature a private garage and driveway with two-car parking, and either a backyard or rooftop terrace. Architecture introduces a clean, modern addition to the neighbourhood.

With this first phase, 40 units are being released across three different models. Phase two is targeted for spring 2019 or earlier, if sales go well.

PRIVATE PARK

Well-planned, beautifully appointed, open-concept interiors receive generous natural light from large windows scattered over three full floors of living space. Residents will enjoy exclusive access to a private landscaped three-acre park, gated off-leash dog park, children’s playground, walking path, tobogganing hill and a sports field with a seasonal ice rink, all backing onto the protected acres of ravine lands. There’s even an area residents can share garden space with other members of the community, growing their own fresh vegetables.

Ironwood2

Units measure from about 1,700 to 1,800 sq. ft., with prices from the mid-$500,000s. All units have a garage and a driveway space for parking, with either arooftop terrace or private backyard, depending on the model. Backyards come with deck and fencing, small area for private garden and a direct walkoff from the main living floor. A maintenance fee of approximately $150 per month covers everyday upkeep such as landscaping and snow removal.

Ironwood Towns represents something of a transitionary project forPodium and Building Capital, since they have mostly collaborated on student housing to date. The partners recently opened University Studios in Oshawa – an eight-storey, mixed-use student housing project.

URBAN AND SUBURBAN

“The main concept (at Ironwood) is a combination of urban and suburban living,” says Christian Huggett, vice-president of development for Podium. “We’ve kind of brought condo finishes to suburban ideas… and tried to step it up from ‘builder basic’ finishings.”

The Ironwood Towns Presentation Centre is now open for preview registrations, at 1700 Simcoe St. N., Unit B. Hours are Monday to Wednesday noon to 6 p.m.; Thursday 2 to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Call 905.576.0139 or visit myironwood.ca

 

RELATED READING

Grand Opening at University Studios in Oshawa

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John Tory

GTA mayoral elections – who won and where they stand on housing

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GTA mayoral elections – who won and where they stand on housing

John Tory

Housing policy, affordability and supply were among the key issues in many municipalities leading up to the Oct. 22 Ontario elections.

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and others did their best to alert voters to the issues, and to gage candidates on how well they understood them.

Homes Publishing did its own assessment of a selection of GTA municipalities in the context of housing development.

But now that the results are in (well, most of them), let’s take a look how some of the notable races shook down, and the various policies of the newly elected mayors, with help from BILD.

 

AURORA

Tom Mrakas (New)
Housing and growth: Proposes to protect Aurora’s Stable Neighbourhoods from “monster home” infill, by using planning tools such as Interim Control By-laws. Also wants to ensure better land use planning decisions are made through the Local Appeals Body and by implementing a Design Review Panel. He intends to uphold the Official Plan and continue to oppose golf course redevelopment. Improving municipal infrastructure, through complete streets, is also a priority.
Taxes: Proposes to reduce the tax levy.

 

BRAMPTON

Patrick Brown (new)
Housing: Proposes to create a streamlined, more efficient approvals process at City Hall for new home construction and renovations across all levels of affordability. Proposes to develop a housing strategy that encourages neighbourhood-sensitive development of rooming houses, basement apartments and in-law suites.

 

BURLINGTON

Marianne Meed Ward (New)
Growth: Opposes overdevelopment of Burlington and will seek to control growth by reducing provisions in the Official Plan, as well as accept growth only when infrastructure can handle it.
Housing: Intends to secure affordable housing with inclusionary zoning and require new development to provide a percentage of senior-friendly units. Intends to set greenspace per population targets within reasonable walking distance through prioritizing parkland over cash-in-lieu for major new developments.

 

CALEDON

Allan Thompson
Housing and growth: Supports housing and growth management initiatives that will maintain the characteristics of Caledon’s communities and create opportunities for residents and future residents of live, work and retire.

 

EAST GWILLIMBURY

Virginia Hackson
Housing: Proposes to complete the first phase of growth of 7,000 homes. In terms of transportation corridors, plans to work with the Mayor of Bradford to solve gridlock on roads between Hwys. 404 and 400.
Infrastructure: Proposes to work with the Province and local MPP to deal with the delay of the Upper York Sewage Solution which will ultimately eliminate the Holland Landing Sewage Lagoons. Proposes to address the need for quality broadband in the community.

 

HALTON HILLS

Rick Bonnette
Housing: Proposes to continue to manage difficult conversations around intensification and growth the Province has mandated and the development residents are seeing.

 

KING CITY

Steve Pellegrini
Plans to focus on business growth, the new municipal office, the library and seniors centre expansion project, as well as road beautification in the township.

 

MISSISSAUGA

Bonnie Crombie
Housing: Intends to institute an Inclusionary Zoning policy to incentivize the building of new, affordable units. Proposes to form partnerships with leaders in affordable housing to get new buildings in the ground on a faster pace.
Environment: Proposes to work with staff to bolster Green building standards that will improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas and improve urban forest canopy.
Development: Supports Mississauga’s office for a Development Ambassador.

 

NEWMARKET

John Taylor
Economy: Top priorities include jobs and the economy, community building and parks recreation and trails. Wants to the Renew Economic Development Strategy and increase jobs in the community. Grow the city’s broadband company to deliver affordable high-speed internet to local businesses. Proposes to keep taxesbelow GTA average.
Growth: Proposes to meet regularly with existing employers and grow local business base.
Community Building: Proposes to protect neighbourhoods – intensify in the right places.
Housing: New housing developments must include options for low/moderate-income families. Create a community inclusivity round table and increase senior-friendly housing and recreation.

 

OAKVILLE

Rob Burton
Growth: Proposes to continue to protect Glen Abbey through the use of Cultural Heritage Landscape provisions and court challenges.
Environment: Proposes to focus on protecting greenspace and the environment and controlling growth.

 

OSHAWA

Dan Carter (New)
Growth/Housing/Transit: A 4-Pillar Platform includes creating affordable, vibrant, healthy communities that invests in active transportation networks and creates employment opportunities with industries.

 

RICHMOND HILL

Dave Barrow
Growth: Proposes to continue with the Town’s economic vitality, build a strong community, manage our growth to respect the existing neighbourhoods and lead a responsive and efficient government.
Housing: Proposes to work with the Province and the Region to increase the rental housing supply, maintain the existing rental supply and add affordable ownership homes. Allowing secondary suites in existing homes will also create new housing once new by-laws that monitor the neighbourhoods are in place. Also believes the Town needs to review and update its 10-year-old Development Plan in order to process new development applications. Zoning By-laws also need to be brought into the “urban” town.

 

TORONTO

John Tory
Housing: Proposes to build 40,000 affordable rental units over 12 years. Leverage City lands, including lands surrounding TTC Stations.
Property Taxes: Keep property taxes at or below the rate of inflation. Supported City Council’s plan to implement water rate increases dedicated to improving storm and wastewater infrastructure.
Transit: Continue to build out the transit network plan – SmartTrack.

 

UXBRIDGE

Dave Barton
Growth and development: Proposes a seven-point platform, a main concern is the competing interest between farmland and “irresponsible and ill-considered development.” Wants to ensure that growth has clear collaboration with the livelihood of people who depend on the land.

 

VAUGHAN

Maurizio Bevilacqua
Taxes: Promises to keep Vaughan as one of the lowest taxed municipalities in the GTA. Focus on transit and roads to keep Vaughan moving. Working closely with government partners at all levels to ensure wise investments for new transit initiatives and improvements including the Yonge Subway, VIVANext, as well as road building and widening.
Innovation: Will transform the City of Vaughan into a hub for education, culture, sports and the arts by building the infrastructure required to achieve excellence and improve accessibility.
Other: Continue to excel in environmental stewardship. Support and attract small and large businesses to Vaughan.

 

WHITCHURCH-STOUFFVILLE

Iain Lovatt (New)
Growth: Proposes to preserve heritage that is integrated with future development. Integrating heritage built form into new developments as well as establishing Heritage Conservation Districts and site plan bylaws in heritage areas in town are identified a must.
Development: Within the first 100 days, hopes to assemble a meeting of commercial-industrial landowners to get everyone on the same page, about the 404 corridor and the servicing for the area going forward. Believes that these underserviced and underutilized lands represent about $1 billion in new tax assessment for Whitchurch-Stouffville.

 

RELATED READING

5 steps to solving the housing affordability issue in Ontario

Municipal candidates aware of housing needs – TREB poll

6 Ontario municipal elections to watch regarding housing

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

 

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Toronto

6 Ontario municipal elections to watch regarding housing

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6 Ontario municipal elections to watch regarding housing

Toronto

By Wayne Karl

The countdown is on – just days to go to the 2018 Ontario municipal elections. In Toronto, in what’s shaping up to be a two-horse race between Mayor John Tory and challenger Jennifer Keesmaat, housing is one of the key issues.

But it’s not the only city or town in and around the GTA where real estate development is a hot topic.

Here’s a select list of a few more municipal elections to watch, and we might as well start with the biggest and highest profile municipality:

TORONTO

Incumbent: John Tory
Challenger: Jennifer Keesmaat
What’s at stake: Housing affordability, or the lack thereof. Both Tory and Keesmaat have announced plans to address the growing affordability issue in the city – what some describe as a crisis. Keesmaat wants to build 100,000 units of “truly affordable, high-quality housing in the next 10 years.” This is a plan some sources in the industry have already declared as doomed to fail.

Tory proposes to build 40,000 affordable rental units over 12 years, or roughly 3,300 annually.

The challenge for both? Defining what affordable housing even is, in a city with median home prices of $883,892, andthe most expensive average one-bedroom rent in the country, $1,900 per month.

Home builders have been lobbying the City and the Province to address land supply and other policies which complicate this already complex issue.

 

MARKHAM

Markham

Incumbent: Frank Scarpitti
Challenger(s): Steven Chen, Shan Hua Lu, Abdul Rahman Malik, Jawed Syed
What’s at stake: 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 has also become one the most expensive housing markets, with median home prices of almost $1 million for the third quarter of 2018, according to Royal LePageAnd Scarpitti, first elected in 2006 and known as developer- and builder- friendly, has been there through much of it.

 

BRAMPTON

Brampton

Incumbent: Linda Jeffrey
Challenger(s): Mansoor Ameersulthan, former Ontario PC Party leader Patrick Brown, Baljit Gosal, Wesley Jackson, Vinod Kumar Mahesan, John Sprovieri
What’s at stake: Brampton is booming, and Jeffrey is seeking a second term after winning the 2014 election with almost 50 per cent of the vote.

Vision 2040 is an ambitious long-term plan to reinvent Brampton, and includes transformations such as model new neighbourhoods connected by an expanding transit network, new core loop, walking and cycling networks, communities designed to promote walking, and a new eco-park and sustainability built into everything.

There’s also a significant education infrastructure project that will bring a new Ryerson University campus, with Sheridan College as an academic partner, to downtown Brampton for 2022. Oh, along with thousands of students.

 

ORANGEVILLE

Orangeville

Incumbent: Jeremy Williams
Challenger(s): Sandy Brown, Darrin Davidson
What’s at stake: Been to Orangeville lately? It’s no longer a sleepy little pit-stop town as you drive north to Collingwood or Georgian Bay.

With new home and community development taking place, particularly in the west part of town, the biggest challenge Orangeville faces is urbanization. Williams wants to preserve the small town feel and welcome development, while avoiding becoming a discount housing destination for people moving north out of the Toronto area.

Brown, a local realtor, likely understands the issues, and wants to “arrest out of control spending.”  He says Orangeville residents pay the highest property taxes in the GTA.

 

OSHAWA

Oshawa

Incumbent: Current mayor of Oshawa John Henry has given up his seat to run as Durham’s regional chair
Challenger(s): Kenneth Carruthers, Dan Carter, Joe Ingino, Adam Kunz, Sara Lear, Rosaldo Russo, Bob Rutherford
What’s at stake: In short, continued growth in population and economic diversity, which drive housing demand. Oshawa’s population grew to 379,848 in 2016, according to the 2016 Census, up 6.6 per cent from 2011. This is second in the entire province only to Guelph – and even ahead of Toronto at 6.2 per cent.

Oshawa is expected to boast one of the fastest growing economies in the province this year, with growth of 2.6 per cent, according to the Conference Board of Canada. And this is down from 3.2 per cent in each of the last two years.

In terms of housing development, several builders are active in the area with lowrise homes. Homebuyers are liking the comparative bargains and the proximity to Toronto.

 

BARRIE

Barrie

Incumbent: Jeff Lehman
Challenger: Ram Faerber
What’s at stake: Lehman is seeking his third term, while local businessman Faerber is looking to unseat him.

Barrie ceased being a weekend destination years ago, and has become a favourite among real estate investors for its population growth and the job opportunities that come with a growing and increasingly diverse local economy.

However, as a smaller centre (population of 197,059,up 5.4 per cent from 2011), Barrie is sometimes subject to market swings. Median home prices slipped five per cent for the third quarter of 2018, from the same period last year, to $505,136. Some shorter-term good news, however, is that prices are up 0.4 per cent from the second quarter of this year.

Wayne Karl is Senior Digital Editor at Homes Publishing. wayne.karl@homesmag.com 

RELATED READING

Keesmaat’s 100,000 housing plan doomed to fail

5 steps to solving the housing affordability issue in Ontario

Housing policies must focus on supply

 

 

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University Studios

Grand Opening at University Studios in Oshawa

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Grand Opening at University Studios in Oshawa

University Studios
Oshawa Mayor John Henry (fourth from left) and Podium Developments’ Managing Director Bernard Luttmer cut the ribbon. Left to right are Podium Developments’ Vice-President Construction, James Wilkinson; Vice-President Development, Christian Huggett; Managing Director, Oskar Johansson; Mayor Henry; Luttmer, Building Capital CEO Saqib Qureshi and Varsity Properties’ President A.J. Keilty. Photo: Evan Eisenstadt

Podium Developments and Building Capital recently celebrated the Grand Opening at University Studios in Oshawa – an eight-storey, mixed-use student housing project. With with three ground floor tenants (Starbucks, Dominos and Osmows), as well as 308 studio units and related indoor and outdoor amenity spaces, the building acts as a new gateway to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College campuses and to North Oshawa itself

The most unique element of the development are the units, or SmartStudios, the product of big-city thinking into a small space – all the modern conveniences supplied furnished in a tight package (less that 300 sq. ft.). SmartStudios include a three-piece bathroom, washer/dryer, storage area, kitchenette with microwave, stovetop, dishwasher and fridge, study area, lounging area with extra storage underneath, and a military-grade table-bed combined with a four-seat dining table to maximize space economy.

Suite features include granite kitchen countertops, mirrored kitchen backsplash, individual electrical panel with circuit breakers, hardwired high speed internet connection, as well as key furniture including electronic standing desk, desk chair and two dining chairs, couch, TV and window coverings.

University Studios is located 45 minutes east of Toronto, adjacent to UOIT and Durham College in the rapidly intensifying Simcoe Road Corridor and burgeoning North Oshawa area.

Oshawa is serviced by GO Transit, VIA Rail, Hwy. 401 to the south, 407 to the north and 412. Under construction is Hwy. 418 as well as the further east extension of the 407.

BUILDING AMENITIES

Ground-floor amenities include a lobby/social lounge, executive concierge, four meeting rooms, a fitness facility, management office, parcel lockers, multifunctional amenity room, outdoor lounge with barbecue and dining area, bicycle parking and student-friendly retail and student-friendly patios.

Located on each residential floor is a social hub that includes a fully-appointed kitchen, dining area and lounge.

NEIGHBOURHOOD FEATURES

The surrounding areas include schools, places of worship, cafes, boutiques, restaurants, shopping centres and big box stores. A community of culture that gives residents the opportunity to visit theatres and museums. Bordered to the south by Lake Ontario, Oshawa residents enjoy miles of hiking and biking trails lakeside.

For more information, visit universitystudios.ca

 

 

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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

HOUSING OPTIONS

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.

LEISURE PURSUITS

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.

PARKS & REC

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.

RETAIL THERAPY

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.

EASY ACCESS

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.

BY THE NUMBERS

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

Whitby.ca

Oshawa.ca


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