Welcome to our December 2017 Home of the Month! This feature provides a snapshot of what Urbaneer's Buyers have recently purchased in the City of Toronto.
This month I share the tale of a client who, after living in a substantial multi-unit Victorian on the central west side for nearly three decades, decided to downscale into a city vista two-bed/two-bath condo in the centre of the city. While the Dufferin Grove manse had served as an intelligent investment, the ongoing maintenance and repair had become too onerous. Furthermore, this client was beginning to find it difficult to manage all the stairs. Sound familiar? For those who are also finding it challenging to manage house and health at the same time, taking the steps to find new, more manageable accommodations can be well-worth the investment in future peace of mind.
My Buyer was open to almost any location, provided it was in the downtown core, had easy access to the subway and offered daily amenities within walking distance. The first location that he expressed interest in was Bloor and Sherbourne, as several of his friends lived in the area.
Being in proximity to friends should be a factor of high importance in your housing search, as far as I'm concerned. After all, the opportunity to engage with those we love and cherish is essential to our well-being - especially when we're single. As we age, it's critical we be near our social world so we can support and take care of each other. Whether it's a daily coffee connection, or being able to run errands for each other, residing in the same neighbourhood as friends makes for a richer life in our silver and golden years.
Although for decades the intersection Bloor and Sherbourne has been considered somewhat transitional, as a realtor wearing his 'return on investment hat', I really like this emerging neighbourhood and its recent rebirth. The first subway stop east of Yonge and Bloor, which is essentially the epicentre of the original City of Toronto, as a pro-urbanite you can't get much more central than this. Although the high-concentration of aging rental high-rises in St. James Town in the south-east quadrant is in stark contrast to the affluent neighbourhood of Rosedale to the north (you can read my Mini History On St. James Town here!) there are substantial changes underway which, from a real estate return, forecasts solid dividends in the future.
Here are a couple of massive redevelopments which signal how extensive the reinvention of this neighbourhood is:
First, there's Tridel's Via Bloor spanning "four blocks of master-planned magnificence making Via Bloor a city within a city. Widened streets and sidewalks are complemented by inviting park spaces and sitting areas." From Sherbourne to Parliament on Bloor Street East, the two towers comprise a 38-storey first phase condominium with 372 suites, and a 45-storey, 397-unit second phase. The suites are being marketed as luxury properties, which will certainly reshape the neighbourhood. Here's the website for ViaBloor by Tridel.
Similarly, the old-money cachet of Rosedale is edging into the neighbourhood, with pre-construction already underway for The Rosedale. Towering 52 stories, the 476 suites are already sold out with the development is scheduled for completion in 2019. The marketing team aimed to emphasize the connection to nearby wealthy Yorkville: "Isn’t it time to live the Yorkville lifestyle? Skywatch Condos at the Rosedale on Bloor is just a 5-minute walk to Yorkville, steps to the subway and connected to the Canopy Hotel by Hilton." - The Gupta Group
If you look at the map above, you'll see a lot of gray dots! Each one represents a condo tower recently completed or under construction! Thanks, UrbanToronto!
When it came to my Buyer's purchase, he instantly liked this two-bed/two-bath suite located in the James Cooper Mansion Condos. Situated at the corner of Linden Street and Sherbourne Street, the concept for the project centered around the idea of fusing aesthetics of old and new into a unified concept; the age-worn 1881 brick and stone heritage home is 'strikingly juxtaposed with the sparkling modern structure'. The tower was designed by Burka Architects, while GBCA Architects oversaw the restoration of the mansion. (Fun fact: Tridel shelled out $1Million to move the mansion a mere 20 feet to the West to accommodate the tower construction. At the time, it was the heaviest building relocation in Canadian history.) Completed by Tridel in 2011, the condo tower is 33 storeys high, housing 274 one and two bedroom units that range in size from 510 square feet to 2515 square feet. And the original mansion, now magnificently restored, houses some of the condo's amenities including an elegant party room with caterer's kitchen and bar, an ultra-modern gymnasium and yoga retreat, a state-of-the-art home theatre room, and congenial billiards lounge. The complex also has guest suites, visitor parking, and a 24-hour concierge.
Having an unobstructed south-west view overlooking a school - which is as protected a vista one can get in the city centre - this 985 square foot suite with 80 square feet of balcony, was wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows and featured 9 foot ceilings. The layout has the favoured split bedroom plan, and I have to say, the finishes and fitting were on trend and stylish. Even so, my Buyer brought in an interior designer to install a new kitchen island with additional storage, some custom built-ins, custom window coverings, and custom closet organizers.
Here's some low quality snaps from MLS that truly don't do the place justice:
Congratulations to my Buyer, who successfully secured this city view suite for under its list price. Today, these suites - with their preferred exposure - are garnering around $700,000.
Are you familiar with this area? While it's experiencing a major rejuvenation at the moment, every neighbourhood has an origin story: A Mini History On St. James Town
Check out our other Neighbourhood Pages to explore many more of Toronto's desirable neighbourhoods!
Are you considering downscaling? Here's three of our past Home Of The Month features that share the tales of securing the right turn-key home, based on my Buyer's particular circumstances.
In this November 2017 - Home Of The Month - Scarborough post, we share the journey of a couple who decided to co-purchase with their children in a multi-generational home.
In my May 2017 - Home of the Month - Ramsden Park Near Yorkville, I explore how my Buyer - who sold her midtown family house - secured this contemporary rowhouse steps to Yorkville.
And in this May 2016 - Home of the Month - Little Italy blog, I tell the tale of our Zoomers' search for a turn-key townhouse with an income supplement - and all the accompanying advantages of having a tenant.
And here's some other posts offering my insights on our changing market:
Serving first, second and multi-time buyers, young families, down-scaling Zoomers, renovators and those building their investment property portfolios, our mandate is to help our clients strategically secure the best real estate on offer, while ensuring their purchase best serves their practical needs and their dream of 'Home'. We identify a property's best qualities, features and insouciant charm in the context of the future target market while meeting your own wishes, wants and desires.
If you, or someone you love, has specific real estate needs, wishes and desires, and would enjoy the personalized service of someone Celebrating Twenty-Five Years As A Top-Producing Toronto Realtor who subscribes to a pressure-free approach - and a specialty in unique urban homes - please know my team and I are here to help!
Steven Fudge & The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage - (416) 322-8000
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