Monday, August 9, 2010

Amazing Addition to Toronto Waterfront for our Clients and Friends Living Downtown

Major milestone in the revitalization of the waterfront

TORONTO, Aug. 9 /CNW/ - Two inviting and exciting public spaces officially opened today in part of Toronto's downtown waterfront that was until now mostly derelict industrial land that few people had visited. Canada's Sugar Beach and the Water's Edge Promenade (phase one) are unique new urban spaces that have transformed a lakefront parking lot and underused area into waterfront attractions.

Located just east of Lower Jarvis Street and south of Queens Quay Boulevard, Canada's Sugar Beach is an 8,500m(2) (2 acre) park which welcomes visitors with its brightly coloured pink beach umbrellas, sugar-like sand and iconic candy-striped rock outcroppings. At the base of the park, the first phase of water's edge promenade stretches almost 300 metres east along the waterfront, providing Torontonians and visitors with the opportunity to enjoy part of the lakefront that they have not had access to in the past.

After only nine months of construction, the park and promenade were officially opened by Waterfront Toronto and its government partners, the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto. Both projects were completed on schedule and on budget. The budgets - $14.3 million for Canada's Sugar Beach and $10 million for the Water's Edge Promenade (phase one) - include design, construction and landscaping costs.

"Only nine months ago, we broke ground on what was a parking lot," said Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. "Today's opening makes it clear that Federal Government investment in waterfront revitalization is making a significant difference. It's helping to transform these industrial lands into beautiful parks and recreational spaces that can be enjoyed by the residents of Toronto and the people of Canada."

"The McGuinty government is proud to be a partner in the revitalization of Toronto's waterfront," said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. "The opening of Canada's Sugar Beach and the Water's Edge Promenade is yet another major milestone toward that vision. We will continue to invest in projects like these - projects that make our urban spaces beautiful and inviting, and that contribute to a great quality of life for Ontario families."

"I'm proud and excited that mere months after breaking ground on this wonderful new public asset we are able to celebrate its official opening," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "We promised Torontonians a revitalized, public waterfront promenade and we are delivering on that vision. Canada's Sugar Beach joins the numerous waterfront amenities we've already opened...and there are plenty more to come."

The beach and promenade are the first new public spaces to open in East Bayfront, one of two new waterfront neighbourhoods currently under construction as part of Toronto's waterfront revitalization.

"Since they opened to the public in July, the beach and promenade have become must-see waterfront destinations," said Mark Wilson, Chair, Waterfront Toronto. "These delightful public spaces show us that our waterfront can be something to be proud of - and they demonstrate, beyond a doubt, that waterfront revitalization is moving full steam ahead."

The design and construction of these public spaces exemplify Waterfront Toronto's commitment to design excellence. Conceived as part of international design competitions that actively engaged the public, both the park and the promenade help to raise the bar for city-building in Toronto by setting a new standard for the creativity of design and quality of materials.

Canada's Sugar Beach was designed by Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes in association with the Planning Partnership, while West 8 + DTAH was the team behind the promenade. The two project teams collaborated and shared key design elements and materials to deliver on Waterfront Toronto's goal of creating a cohesive and integrated public realm throughout the waterfront.

Comprised of a plaza, an urban beach and a tree-lined promenade, Canada's Sugar Beach is like three parks in one. Its engaging plaza space features an oversized candy-striped granite rock outcropping and large grassy mounds that form a colourful amphitheatre-style space. At the beach, white Muskoka-style chairs under bright pink umbrellas give people a place to while away the afternoon. Its tree-lined promenade, which runs diagonally through the park and connects to the Water's Edge Promenade, includes a granite maple leaf water feature where people can cool off next to the beach.

The design for the Water's Edge Promenade, one of the defining features of the West 8 + DTAH award-winning plan for Toronto's downtown waterfront, creates a stunning tree-lined granite walkway with a two-toned maple leaf mosaic design. As the development of East Bayfront progresses, a wooden boardwalk will be built alongside the promenade over the stormwater management system for the area. Together, the promenade and boardwalk which will stretch almost a kilometre from end to end, will provide uninterrupted public access along the harbour.

Both projects were completed on schedule and on budget. The budgets - $14.3 million for Canada's Sugar Beach and $10 million for the Water's Edge Promenade (phase one) - include design, construction and landscaping costs. The Federal Government has contributed over $13 million to the Canada's Sugar Beach project and another $1.5 million to phase one of the Water's Edge Promenade.

Revitalization efforts are well underway across the waterfront. In East Bayfront, a second park, the majestic 1.5 hectare Sherbourne Common, is set to open later this summer and construction continues on the George Brown College Waterfront Campus which will welcome students in September 2012. In the West Don Lands, Toronto Community Housing has begun construction on the area's first affordable housing complex, and construction is set to begin on Don River Park this fall. Plans for the Lower Don Lands were endorsed byToronto City Council this summer and in the Central Waterfront, the first phase of construction to revitalize Queens Quay will begin next year.

Waterfront Toronto

Since 2005, Waterfront Toronto has opened 16 new or improved parks or public spaces including wavedecks, sports fields, revitalized trails and new waterfront parks. WaterfrontToronto has also finalized development agreements with Great Gulf Homes and Urban Capital for the first private sector developments on the waterfront.

The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto's waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of waterfront revitalization.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Toronto Mid July Housing Figures

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 2,790 sales through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) during the first two weeks of July 2010. This represented a 37 per cent decrease compared to the 4,437 sales recorded during the same period in 2009. New listings decreased by eight per cent annually to 5,184.

“Last summer existing home sales spiked well above the expected long-term trend. Sales were also unseasonably high during the first four months of this year,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Bill Johnston. “Transactions will be down year over- year in the second half of 2010 as the level of sales balances out.”

“With year-to-date sales up by more than 18 per cent compared to last year, we continue to look forward to one of the best years on record under the current TREB trading area,” continued Johnston.

The average price for July mid-month transactions was $427,931 – up eight per cent compared to the average of $394,750 recorded during the first 14 days of July 2009.

“The average home selling price in the GTA will continue to grow on an annual basis in the second half,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “Even with the pace of transactions slowing, there will be enough sales relative to listings to support sustainable rates of price growth.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities - How Real Estate Markets In The GTA Can Be So Drastically Different

In recent months I have had the privilege to work with some clients who were both looking for the same type of property, a family home that they could move into and grow their families. While their budgets and areas were different, their desires were both the same, somewhere to call home for the long term. One set of clients were looking in the upscale area of Forest Hill in the Bathurst and Eglinton part of Toronto, while the others were looking in a newer development in Aurora around Bayview and St. John’s Sideroad.

As their searches began, it became quite apparent how each set of clients would have to act differently, as the markets in each area were trending in very different ways. Forest Hill is, and has been for a long time, one of Toronto’s most active and most competitive markets with a constant demand for a limited supply of homes. On the other hand, while the homes in this part of Aurora were desirable, there was more supply than demand causing a totally different effect.

With the Forest Hill clients, it was imperative to ensure that they were able to see each property the day it came on the market to allow them the opportunity to make the decisions, rather than the decisions being made for them. In a lot of cases, houses in this area would have offer dates, meaning the listing agent was looking for a bidding war and for the properties to sell for over the asking price. It is not uncommon in this area, and is almost an accepted practice despite it making it much more challenging for prospective buyers. For buyers, it can almost be a more disappointing experience than a rewarding one as there may be many properties that they are interested in selling for prices higher than they would pay. While patience may be a virtue, it is something that is tested regularly in this type of market.

Shifting gears to Aurora demonstrated that while both of these areas could be considered part of the GTA, they might as well be in different time zones. The supply of homes for my clients was so plentiful, that making a decision was more difficult in their favour. Houses were being listed at reasonable prices on an almost daily basis, while competing properties were dropping their price almost just as fast. Unlike Forest Hill where houses were sold within 1-7 days, houses in this part of Aurora were sitting on the market for weeks at a time before they sold. This is not a slight on the area, which has a large amount of new infrastructure already providing great services to its residents; it just shows how demand can affect the market in such a drastic way.

While the news paint a broader brush stroke on the fluctuations of the market on a weekly, or even daily basis, the many different markets in the GTA each have their own changes that real estate professionals have to be aware of. While you may have 2 clients, looking for the exact same property, with a similar budget, the areas that they choose to look in may ultimately determine what type of property they may or may not be able to afford. At Hive Realty, we pride ourselves on understanding the trends in specific areas to ensure that our clients not only understand what is available, but why prices may be different for the same property depending on where you look. Working with one of our sales representatives can only benefit you in ways that you may not have thought of before.

By : Darryl Greenberg

Sales Representative

Hive Realty


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hate the Names of Condos Downtown? Here's Your Chance to Name Our Condo

A chance at Winning $5000 or an iPad!

Hate the names of many condos downtown? Think you can do better? Here is your chance not only to choose the name for one of the city's premier condo towers but to win $5,000 or an iPad at the same time.


A trio of top builders reinventing the southeast corner of Yonge and Front Streets is about to launch a new development at the southeast corner of Yonge and The Esplanade. Cityzen Development Group, Castle Point Realty Partners and Fernbrook Homes are already working on L Tower and the renovation of the Sony Centre has begun.

Now they have turned their attention to the south side of The Esplanade. That project is set to launch in the fall. But the one crucial element it lacks is a great name. Who better to come up with that name than the people of the GTA, people who may even wind up living there?


Starting July 12, anyone can go to the web site and register.

Step One: It is a simple matter of filling in fields that give name, street address, e-mail address and agreeing to the rules of the contest. A warning though; you have to be at least 18 to enter.

Step two: moving to the next web page and filling in a field with your suggested name and another giving a brief summary of why you think the name especially appropriate.

Step three: get all the people in your social network to vote for your name by logging onto the site and hitting the vote link.


On August 23 the votes will be tallied, the top 10 chosen and then a panel of judges made up of representatives from the developers and their key consultants will choose the first place winner. He or she gets $5,000 in cash and bragging rights for a lifetime while second and third place entries win new iPads.

The winners will be announced August 26 as part of the neighborhood's Buskerfest celebration.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First Time Homeowners!! Be on the lookout for Daniels FirstHome Brampton

So there's a ton of luxury developments sprouting up around the GTA. But what about the little guy? What about the guy (or gal) that doesn't want to pay $500,000+ plus for a home? Well, your saviour has arrived, in the form of Daniels FirstHome Brampton.

Preview sales events will take place on Wednesday, July 7th and Thursday, July 8th and with Daniels' last FirstHome community in Erin Mills selling out in just hours, if you're serious about buying, you'd better be there!

Beginning sales this Saturday, July 10th at 8 a.m., Daniels will be selling new condominium townhomes starting from the low price of $159,900. Wow! And it's not just the prices that are notable, it's also the move-in dates. No waiting for ages while your home is built, move-in dates at FirstHome Brampton will be 30, 60, or 90 days after purchase. That'll make you even more excited about buying your first home!

And another thing: Daniels doesn't just say "for first-time homebuyers", they stand behind it. They offer a Gradual Deposit Payment Plan that makes the 5% deposit easier to make. Basically, you pay $2,500 when you agree to purchase the home, another $2,500 within 10 days of the purchase, and $1,000 every month thereafter until they reach the 5% payment. Plus Daniels works closely with RBC to cap mortgage rates at very low levels.

So first-time homebuyers rejoice! There are still affordable homes! You just have to make sure you're first in line. So make sure you get out of bed in time...after all, this is likely the largest purchase you'll ever make in your life. You'll kick yourself if you don't!

Be sure to check out Daniels' other FirstHome opportunities Daniels FirstHome Aurora and the second phase of Daniels FirstHome Destination Drive.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Watch your real-estate... Burglaries heat up in summer months

Home invasions go up in the summer months, especially on Friday and Saturdays, when people are on vacation.

According to the Globe and Mail:

"In Canada, burglaries peak in the summer months, when people tend to go on vacation or away on the weekends. The number of break-ins increases toward the end of the week, with thieves 28-per-cent more likely to strike on a Friday than on a Sunday.

Aviva insurance claims data show a 4-per-cent increase in break-ins in June over the monthly average, followed by increases of 9 per cent and 20 per cent in July and August, respectively.

The average dollar value of the articles stolen from burglaries has increased 24 per cent to $5,560 in 2009 from $4,476 in 2002."

BuzzBuzzHome believes in the following safety precautions:

1. Don't tweet about your vacation, or cottaging adventures.
2. Don't post to Facebook your vacation / weekend pictures until you are home.
3. Don't blog about your trips, until you are safely home.

The Globe and Mail states these safety precautions:

1. Ensure all windows are locked.
2. Make your home look occupied when you’re away.
3. Install a security device with a loud alarm or flashing lights.
4. Use deadbolt locks on all doors, and when moving into a new property, have the locks changed.
5. Put your jewellery in a safety deposit box.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Annex Loft Houses - Construction Starts!

Congratulations to Grand Metropolitan and Annex Loft Homes Inc. for starting construction on Annex Loft Houses [map].

Adam Ochshorn of Grand Metropolitan tells BuzzBuzzHome: " has begun, and is moving in the right direction for 2011 occupancies."

Construction starts are always an exciting time, and we are very happy to see this one move forward.

It will be a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.

Congratulations to the team and all the purchasers. This is sure to be a real Toronto Annex gem.