Tag Archives: Toronto


The Aquavista by Hines and Tridel

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The Aquavista by Hines and Tridel

The recently designed Aquavista model suite by Hines and Tridel, is a two-storey penthouse suite with a total of 2,608 sq. ft. that beautifully captures lakeside living.

This magnificent suite allows for potential homeowners to be captivated by the panoramic lake views and stunning design finishes throughout. With all elements thoughtfully designed, comfort and luxury work together cohesively. This spacious and open concept layout makes the most of the natural light as it streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows while also being equipped with an in-suite elevator.

For further information visit the website.


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Local Focus - Toronto

Toronto – in demand and on the rise

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Toronto – in demand and on the rise

Largely considered the pinnacle of the condo boom we’re seeing these days, Toronto still does boast some good lowrise home options. Supply and pricing of those homes, however, is another matter.

That’s what happens when you combine a strong economy and rising population with limited new and resale home supply.

Indeed, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) is forecasting at least 10-per-cent price growth in the GTA this year to $900,000, up from $819,319 in 2019. And on the new home side, 2020 began on a strong note, with 2,106 total new home sales in January, up 65 per cent from January 2019 and 14 per cent above the 10-year average, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). The benchmark price for new single-family homes was $1.09 million.

Booming economy

“Toronto’s booming economy has brought with it housing affordability challenges that will continue throughout the next decade,” says Frank Clayton, senior research fellow, Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research & Land Development.

“Both the provincial and municipal governments must support a massive increase in the supply of all types of housing and tenures as priority number one and quickly transform the land use planning system to make this happen.”

Long considered one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto boasts a collection of distinct communities, including East York, North York, Scarborough and Etobicoke.

Some of these areas, in fact, now represent areas of growth for new lowrise housing, given that larger master-planned communities of single-detached homes are fewer and farther between. Much of the focus now is on the socalled missing middle, those smaller developments such as townhomes that represent a real opportunity for new ground-oriented homes in the city.

Culture and entertainment

Find a way to buy and live in Toronto, however, and you likely will love it.

Toronto offers a vast array of culture and entertainment options, from the National Ballet of Canada, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, to the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum and more.

For the sporting sort, Toronto has a handful of pro sports teams – the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto FC and Toronto Argonauts – and is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is an annual event celebrating the film industry and attracts many movie stars and a-list players. And the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, formerly known as Caribana, attracts more than one million people every summer.

Other points of interest include the Toronto Zoo, the Ontario Science Centre, Harbourfront, Fort York, the Distillery District, Ripley’s Aquarium, the CN Tower and the Canadian National Exhibition.

And of course, as a large metropolitan city, great shopping areas include the St. Lawrence Market, Kensington Market, the Toronto Eaton Centre, Sherway Gardens and Yorkdale Mall.

Though a subject of some debate due to the challenges with keeping up with all the growth, transit and highway infrastructure is undergoing major expansion all over the city. The TTC moves almost two million people throughout the city every day on subway, buses, streetcars and LRT lines, while GO Transit links Toronto with the surrounding regions of the GTA. Highways include the 400 series (401, 403, 404, 407 and 427), the Don Valley Parkway and the Queen Elizabeth Highway.

Location, location, location

This provincial capital of Ontario and the most populated city in Canada is located on the shores of Lake Ontario; Population 2,954,024

Key landmarks

  • CN Tower
  • High Park
  • Ontario Science Centre
  • Ripley’s Aquarium
  • Toronto Eaton Centre

Select housing developments

East Station by Mattamy Homes

Fairfield Towns by Plaza

Lake & Town by Menkes

Origins of Don Mills by Mattamy Homes

Terraces at Eglinton by Nascent Developments

The Belmont Residences by Caliber Homes

The New Lawrence Heights by Context Dev. Inc.

The New Lawrence Heights by Metropia

Twelve on the Ravine by Geranium


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55 Charles

At 55 Charles MOD Developments’ elegant condominium tower is a Yorkville state of living

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At 55 Charles MOD Developments’ elegant condominium tower is a Yorkville state of living

Like its celebrated surroundings, where high fashion and luxury rub shoulders, 55 Charles is a prime example of exceptional design and architecture. Standing tall in the heart of Bloor Yorkville, its soaring presence makes a grand statement. Billed as one of the city’s most sophisticated addresses, it introduces a new level of elegance in condominium living.

55C is another exceptional project by MOD Developments, the developers behind the award-winning Massey Tower, FIVE St. Joseph Condominiums and Waterworks. Rising to a commanding 48 storeys, it’s been designed by the internationally renowned architectural firm of architectsAlliance.

55 Charles’ geometric silhouette, its dramatic pinstriped vertical façade and building block pattern of balconies spell pure perfection. Popularly known as 55C, this supremely elegant condominium addresses every little detail of life in a big busy city. Its thoughtfully designed suites, fabulous amenities, and exquisite features and finishes blend seamlessly to provide a holistic and harmonious living experience. The one place where all this comes to life is in the development’s immensely stylish interiors.

Designed by the acclaimed Cecconi Simone, the interiors feature natural woods, dusty golds and a mix of sand and stone. Beginning with the dramatic lobby, 55 Charles’ public spaces have an infinitely cosmopolitan aura and possess an inherent calming quality. With two singularly spectacular floors, more than 20,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor amenity spaces, 55 Charles is designed to pamper, soothe and inspire. From a curated wellness facility, equipped with the latest equipment and technology to a series of plush lounges, it exudes a draw to experience something special.

One of the highlights of 55 Charles is the C Lounge. Spread out like a golden dreamscape, overlooking the grand city, the spectacular C Lounge is the city’s highest amenity space. With its double-height ceilings, rich furnishings, and spectacular views, it’s exquisite, to say the least. From a romantic dinner to moments of quiet contemplation, this is a sophisticated universe of calm.

The suites of 55 Charles are anything but ordinary. A chic interpretation of less being more. From thoughtfully conceived one-bedroom, efficient two-bedrooms to grand three-bedrooms, the development offers a variety of floorplans to suit different needs and wants. With high-end finishes, contemporary fixtures, and highly functional layouts, they are a haven of modern design. The meticulous attention to detail is what makes them special.

Whether it’s a 536-sq.-ft. one-bedroom or a 1,006-sq.-ft. two-bedroom, every suite is designed to maximize functionality and livability. Efficient space planning provides good proportions and well-thought-out sightlines. The transition from one space to the other is cleverly designed, as seen in the master bathroom that can be closed off to serve as a powder room, to satisfy the everyday needs of residents. Custom millwork allows for built-in storage, closets, and pantries to enhance the ease of living.

Most suites offer spacious outdoor spaces to extend the living area. Some two-bedroom suites offer a free-standing tub on a large exterior window in the master bath. Special features like a custom built-in dining area, entry closet integrated into the kitchen millwork reflect how people truly use their space in a modern condominium.

55 Charles’ unbeatable Bloor Yorkville location allows residents to enjoy the city like never before. Steps from the many internationally-renowned designer stores, sought after restaurants, cosy bars and cafes, museums, as well as the subway, everything that Toronto has to offer is within easy reach.

A symbiotic collage of design and luxury. Calm and convenience. Style and sophistication. 55 Charles is a place inspired.

For further information visit the website.


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Lifetime Liberty Village news

Lifetime Developments announces the final phase of Liberty Village

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Lifetime Developments announces the final phase of Liberty Village

Lifetime Liberty Village news

Urban developer Lifetime Developments has launched the third and final phase of a 16-year historical redevelopment community in Toronto’s vibrant Liberty Village.

“It is incredible how this neighbourhood has grown and matured in relatively a short period of time,” says Brian Brown, principal at Lifetime. “It was actually one of the first redevelopment projects that I was involved with and I quickly became very personally invested in the changes and evolution that were occurring.”

Liberty Market Tower will be perched on top of the Liberty Market building, adding a new, dynamic mixed-use element to the neighborhood, accented by a distinctive art collaboration.

The company commissioned multidisciplinary celebrity artist Anthony Ricciardi to create murals and sculptures that will be integrated within the communal living environments, designed to inspire residents and complement the creative and artistic vibe of Liberty Village.

Liberty Market Tower will boast a distinctive 28-storey tower featuring 281 refined urban condominiums, ground floor retail and seven floors of office space featuring a we-work hub – all with connectivity to the existing Liberty Market building.

Lifetime Liberty Village news

“We really focused on providing unique, curated amenities which strengthen community where your life and time matters,” says Kim Kopyl, director of sales and marketing.

More than 12,000 sq. ft. of indoor-outdoor amenity space make up the eighth floor of the building. Amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness facility, yoga room, contemporary games room, party room utilizing a recycled shipping container, elevating the industrial-chic design element used throughout, and al fresco dinning with barbecue-outdoor lounge areas and firepits, overlooking endless city skyline and lake views.

The tower will complete Lifetime Development’s six-acre Liberty Market Complex, the connection between the community’s thriving residential neighborhood and its ever-growing commercial district. Residents and visitors will both benefit from the convenient access to all of life’s necessities. From sports, entertainment, dining, work and play, to easy transit access such as the GO Train, subway and Billy Bishop airport. With everything at your fingertips, you truly are minutes to exactly where you want to be.




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Pharrell Williams helps Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties design untitled in Toronto

Pharrell Williams helps Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties design untitled in Toronto

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Pharrell Williams helps Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties design untitled in Toronto

Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties have unveiled complete design and development plans for untitled, a new collaborative project in midtown Toronto with recording artist Pharrell Williams.

The designs are the result of a multi-stage process that saw Reserve and Westdale working with Williams, alongside architects from IBI Group and designers from U31, to realize a collective vision for the project.

“The decision to work with Pharrell was born out of a desire to do something unique for our future residents, the city and architecture as a whole,” says Sheldon Fenton, chief executive officer, Reserve Properties. “We believed by bringing in a cultural icon with vision and ideation from outside the realm of real estate it would allow us to break the mold in terms of what has traditionally been done in multi-residential development in Toronto.”

Working with Williams, the team developed a set of overarching principles that became integral to the overall design process. These included creating spaces with a conscious understanding of how people will feel within them, focusing on design that is both aesthetically inspiring but also purposeful in its function, and incorporating a feeling of natural elements throughout the spaces.

The two-tower residential development will include 751 condominium suites, ranging from studios to three-bedrooms, as well as 32,000 sq. ft. of amenity space.

Gust of Wind

The seed for untitled’s architecture is rooted in lead architect Mansoor Kazerouni of IBI Group’s cultural background. Kazerouni introduced the concept of a jugalbandi, a performance in Indian classical music featuring an intricate duet between two solo musicians. The term translates to mean entwined twins and for Kazerouni, a jugalbandi informed how his work could entwine with sound waves from one of Pharrell’s songs. Using parametric design, the sculpted, fluid form of the balconies follows the wave pattern of Williams’ hit song Gust of Wind, articulating the building as a visual abstraction of music.

Interior spaces by Kelly Cray of U31 aim to articulate notions of universality throughout the common areas, amenities and suites. Rather than projecting a lifestyle onto the residents, the goal was for each individual space to serve as a backdrop to the user’s own experience. The result is an exploration of the interplay between nature, essentialism and Japanese inspired minimalism using a palette of plants, water, light and form.

In the lobby, a deep charcoal stone used on the floor wraps up along the walls creating a seamless experience. A cascading water feature adds movement to one’s journey, extending through the arrival hall to the concierge. The flow of water that welcomes residents is purposefully intended to evoke feelings of energy and movement when you first step into the building; an experience that is continued as a memory in surrounding spaces.

An extensive amenity program extends throughout the building’s ground floor and onto the upper levels, with a series of indoor and outdoor spaces that include a co-working garden lounge, screening room, active fitness centre, kids club, a rec room, social lounge and private dining with a sake tasting area, that flow out to the rooftop terraces.

Water and space

A wellness centre, featuring a spa and indoor-outdoor swimming pool round-out the offering with expansive floor to ceiling glass screens separating the two sides of the pool. Views through the screens frame a dramatic, 30-ft. water feature that flows into the far end of the pool.

“To me, the key elements were water and space,” says Williams. “With water moving in the building the way it does, there’s this continuous flow of motion that’s recharging to people. Certain places just hit us as humans, reminding us that we’re alive.”

As part of the block master-plan, the development team will also be building a separate 413-unit purpose-built rental building adjacent to untitled, along with a new public park. The rental building will contain 200 affordable housing units, 165 mid-range units and 49 market units, delivering a range of housing options.

untitled will feature suites ranging in type, from studios to three-bedrooms, with prices starting in the low $400,000’s.

Renderings: Norm Li
Press conference photos: Arthur Mola


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SkyTower – the latest phase of Pinnacle One Yonge aims high at 95 storeys

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SkyTower – the latest phase of Pinnacle One Yonge aims high at 95 storeys

With so many condominiums being created across the GTA, some developers feel they need to keep themselves front of mind for prospective buyers. They hope that a high-profile team means a trusted team.

That isn’t always the case. Sometimes, it’s the companies working quietly that are doing the most notable work and building the most solid reputations.

For more than 40 years, Pinnacle International has let the quality of its buildings do the talking. A leading builder of luxury condominium residences, masterplanned communities, hotels and commercial developments, Pinnacle has more than 25 projects in the Vancouver area alone. And with more than 10 million sq. ft. now under development in North America, Pinnacle’s output speaks volumes.

“Our projects are large in scale, and they can take up to 10 years to develop,” explains Anson Kwok, Pinnacle’s vice-president of sales and marketing. “As a result, the residents in our master-planned communities stay loyal to us. It’s a big repeat-customer base and we, in turn, commit to staying engaged with them.”

That measure of relationship-building allows Pinnacle to build its brand organically, through word of mouth from satisfied clients. That satisfaction stems not just from the care that Pinnacle puts into suite layout and amenities. The team really does remain involved with its buildings, even after completion.

“Many of us at Pinnacle are residents of highrise buildings and we understand the lifestyle,” says Kwok. “I’ve been living in condos for 16 years and, like me, everyone on the team can relate to the nuances of what makes a building a great place to live. We understand the importance of good maintenance and management, so we remain hands on.”

It’s a corporate philosophy the company believes serves it well, as Pinnacle looks to further enhance the Toronto skyline. And plans for Pinnacle One Yonge in Toronto are creating a lot of buzz. “Pinnacle One Yonge is such an exciting and important project for us and for the city of Toronto,” says Kwok. “From the magic of the location, where the lake meets the foot of Yonge Street, to the history of that parcel of land (site of the Toronto Star building), we knew we had to develop in a way that not only delivered upon and improved the luxury residence experience, but serviced the greater area in progressive ways.”

Pinnacle One Yonge does exactly that, with plans for more than 50,000 sq. ft. of community centre space, and 2.5 acres of park space.

But it’s the bold design of SkyTower, the most recent offering at Pinnacle One Yonge, that really affirms Pinnacle’s place as an elite developer. SkyTower’s expansive 840 units will rise to an unprecedented 95 storeys, making this beacon of luxury living the tallest building in Canada.

With distinctions like these on display, need Pinnacle say more?

To be among the first to learn about SkyTower, register online.


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BILD Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – what’s in store for GTA housing next year?

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Outlook 2020 – what’s in store for GTA housing next year?

Global and even some Canadian economic and political uncertainty shouldn’t derail growth in the GTA housing market next year, according to experts at the Building Industry and Land Development Association’s (BILD) recent Outlook 2020 event.

Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist at RBC, and Peter Donolo, political and communications strategist with Hill + Knowlton Canada, said that overall, the fundamentals for the economy and housing market in Ontario and the GTA bode well for 2020. There are some challenges, however – namely the ongoing new home supply issue.

With Justin Trudeau’s Liberals re-elected as a minority government, Canada will see a relatively stable left-leaning federal government that will focus on environmental issues, affordability and redistribution rather than on economic growth, Donolo says.

BILD Outlook 2020
Left to right, Dave Wilkes, Peter Donolo and Craig Wright

Globally, geopolitical uncertainty and softening economic growth mean that Canada faces challenges with export and investment, leaving the heavy lifting to the consumer, according to Wright. Economic growth is expected to be modest and in line with employment and income, at about 1.7 per cent, and interest rates will likely continue to be low.

Strong employment growth

For Ontario, GDP growth will likely be a notch below, about 1.5 per cent, with housing starts for 2019 and 2020 at about 72,000 units, compared to about 79,000 in 2018, Wright says.

“That reflects a number of factors,” Wright told HOMES Publishing. “We continue to see strong employment gains, Ontario is leading Canada in terms of employment growth on a year-over-year basis, and strong population growth. So, strong fundamentals supporting it, in a low rate environment.”

BILD Outlook 2020 Craig Wright
Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC

The GTA’s robust population growth will continue to drive demand for both ownership and rental housing, Wright says. Municipal and provincial governments are shifting to supply-side solutions for balancing the housing market.

“As you look at the structural reality of the GTA market, where we have immigration coming in… we have 140,000 to 150,000 people coming to this region each and every year,” adds BILD President Dave Wilkes. “That really does bode well for our industry.”

The mortgage stress test needs to be revisited in light of the continued low interest rates, Wright says.

Millennial attitudes

Another issue that might affect the Canada and the building industry is Millennials and their views on the environment and the economy – attitudes Donolo describes as “absolute.”

BILD Outlook 2020 Peter Donolo
Peter Donolo, political and communications strategist, Hill + Knowlton Canada

“When I say absolute, you talk about the oil sands and it’s like you’re talking about the Medellin drug cartel,” he says. “They’re not conscious or interested in the fact that the oil sands and Canada’s oil and gas sector is a kind of the backbone of the Canadian economy, that millions of jobs depend on it… They’re not interested in a kind of slow transition or weaning away from it. They think it’s immoral… and this is a very widespread view.”

Millennial views on homeownership are also different, Donolo says.

“Do Millennials look differently at what homeownership is about? Are they less interested in owning a traditional detached house with a backyard and property? If you look at rates of drivers licenses among Millennials, there is perhaps an indication.”


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Briar Town II

Buildcrest and Algar combine their talents to create a beautifully realized project in The Briar Town II

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Buildcrest and Algar combine their talents to create a beautifully realized project in The Briar Town II

Location, location, location are often repeated real estate buzzwords because they really do define the difference between a nice place to live and a great way of life. The Briar Town ll Modern Townhome Collection succeeds on all fronts; spacious impeccably designed townhomes plus a location in Bayview Village that puts you within steps of every amenity you could desire.

You are a five-minute walk from the best of high-end shopping and dining at Bayview Village; you are a seven-minute walk to TTC stations and are close to major highways and GO trains for quick access to downtown. The area is bordered by the East Don Valley Parklands and the development is close to tennis courts, bike trails, golf courses and some of the city’s most highly ranked private schools. All this and your stunning town home will be situated away from the bustle in a tranquil enclave on a safe and quiet tree-lined street.

The Modern Townhome Collection is a beautifully realized project. The exterior is an elegant blend of Classic and Post-Modern architecture with an emphasis on outdoor spaces. The ground floor residences open to a private garden where you can test out your green thumb and relax with friends. The private rooftop terraces are designed with subtle elegance and are finished with concrete pavers, outdoor lighting and gas fire pits. The perfect spot for a family barbecue or sunny day lounging.

The interiors are truly a space enclosed by light and the design and finishes are Architectural Digest spectacular. The windows in the open loft style living areas and the master bedrooms are walls of glass with such subtle, almost invisible, support struts that the outside and the inside seem to merge. The soaring 9.6-ft. height of the concrete ceilings in the principal rooms combined with the glass window walls of sparkling light visually expand the already generous rooms. These residences range in size from a comfortable 840 to a luxurious 1,600 sq. ft.

The waterfall staircases are sculptural show stoppers. The kitchens are fitted with sleek custom designed European cabinets, Caesarstone countertops, designer backsplash and stainless-steel appliances. In the larger townhomes, the layout and creative design touches in the kitchens turn these stylish but functional rooms into the aesthetic focal point of the whole living area.

The flooring is engineered hardwood in all rooms other than the bathrooms and laundry closet where you have a choice of porcelain 12-by-24-in. tiles for flooring and shower walls. The bathrooms are sleek and contemporary with white fixtures a clear glass fixed panel shower enclosure and the very chic touch of black faucets and shower heads.

After the success of Bold Towns at Danforth and Broadview Avenue, Briar Town ll is the latest project of the residential development company Buildcrest, working alongside interior design firm Algar Developments Inc. The units range in size from 840 to 1,600 sq. ft., and prices range from mid $700,000 to more than $1 million.

Briar Town II is located at 12 to 16 Dervock Cres. By appointment only. For further information, call (647.280.1902), email or visit the website.


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Why are condos selling like hotcakes in Toronto and the GTA?

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Why are condos selling like hotcakes in Toronto and the GTA?

To say that condominiums have become the new home of choice for most buyers in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area is an understatement. Even in the face of rising costs, the new condo market is continually robust.

The first reason is, of course, price. The cost of single-family homes has skyrocketed to the point that first-time buyers, in particular, are just not able to afford them. Even with prices of condos rising, they are still typically more financially attainable. People are also coming up with creative ways to afford condos, such as co-purchasing. Parents of college and university age children also often find buying a condo for their kids to live in while attending post-secondary school is more economical than paying for them to stay in a dorm. At the end, these parents have earned equity as well. Just look at how well condo owners who purchased a few years ago are doing. Savvy investors will also tell you that a condominium suite is a great addition to a financial portfolio. The nice thing is that exterior maintenance and amenity repair and upkeep are handled for them.

Lifestyle also has a lot to do with the trend toward condominiums. People of all ages today are just plain busy. Their lifestyles are hectic, so eliminating exterior maintenance from their lives frees up time for family, friends and leisure activities. And in a condo, they have wonderful amenities just an elevator ride away. Today’s beautiful common areas range from chic party rooms to equipped fitness centres, technologically advanced theatres, glorious swimming pools, spectacular barbecue terraces, children’s play centres and more!

Here is another reason – for most people, condominium living is fun. With people passing each other in hallways and meeting in elevators and common areas, they get to know their neighbours. There are so many options for relaxing, exercising and interacting in areas such as games rooms, that the building is truly a vertical community. In fact, condo purchasers have told me they rarely knew their neighbours in their single-family home communities, and that they find it easier to make friends in their building.

The icing on the condominium ownership cake is location. Nowadays, buildings are situated close to public transit and local amenities. In fact, many condo owners do not even need to own a vehicle, which frees up thousands of dollars to put toward their other expenses. There is a certain freedom that comes with being able to walk or hop on a bus or subway to go to work or run errands. Toronto and the GTA locations are all home to superb shopping, cultural venues, schools, parks, recreation centres… you get the picture.

If you are looking for a new home, and even if you can afford a single-family residence, consider a condo for any or all of the above reasons. Around the world, apartments and condominiums are the norm for everyone from singles to young couples, emptynesters and even families. Toronto and the GTA are catching up. Viva the condo!

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


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