This year was a rollercoaster for real estate in the city. Prices reached unprecedented highs before giving way to hiked interest rates and a buyer’s market. The cost of everything forced renters and owners alike to get creative: hacking the game with savvy moves, building new stock in laneways and backyards, upgrading existing homes with stunning design.
Still, the housing crisis persists with no end in sight. Inflation, landlord-tenant feuds, renovictions, loose laws and developer impropriety have pushed many Torontonians to the edge.
It’s enough to make any rational person pack up and leave. And plenty did. But, for the devout Torontonians among us, not for long. Indeed, 2022 was the year of the great return, in which many pandemic nomads finally came back home. Even in the face of real-estate market insanity, they missed Toronto’s energy, culture and, above all, its people.
Here are Toronto Life’s most popular real estate stories from the past year.
No. 10: This actor pays $700 a month for an apartment in Parkdale, but it’s only 184 square feet. How does he make it work?
Truro-born Wayne Burns faced an impossible task of transforming a doll-house-size unit into actual home. His strategy (with a little help from Mom): use clothing tubs, hang clothes in an exposed piping system and sell some records to buy a sleeper couch. | Iris Benaroia | February 10
Anjali Rego, Dickson D’Souza and their two daughters were sure they had found a great starter home by the Cooksville GO station—but it needed a lot of work. So, to save money, they did most of the reno work themselves on evenings and weekends. Here’s how that panned out. | Ali Amad | May 11
No. 8: A Toronto family knew buying in the city would leave them house poor, so they bought this $208,000 church in Paisley. Now they just need to renovate
Models Daniel and Madison Liu wanted to work in Toronto but also own a spacious family home. That led them to buying a quaint fixer-upper church in the southwestern village of Paisley. Here’s what happened next. | Andrea Yu | February 17
The newly legalized construction of laneway suites has been touted by housing advocates as an essential tool to conquer the affordability crisis. Retired event planner Kasey Watson saw the shift as a way to take care of her brother. | Andrea Yu | April 29
No. 6: This family had an initial home-buying budget of $150,000. Where did they end up finding a place?
As a working couple with three young children, Jessica and Phillip were desperate to find a family home. How about a three-bed, three-bath in Thunder Bay for $219,000? While tempting, it would mean leaving their friends and family in Toronto. | Andrea Yu | February 24
No. 5: This Toronto couple built a $550,000 laneway house as a place to retire. In the meantime, they’re renting it out for $3,200 a month
When planning retirement, many couples downsize to a condo or perhaps jettison to the suburbs. Karen Craine and Franz Hartmann instead chose a different route, building a completely new home in their backyard and renting it out as a pension. | Ethan Rotberg | January 27
No. 4: I never planned to buy a cottage. Then I saw my grandfather’s old property in Algonquin listed for $220,000
Kathleen O’Connor grew up in Oshawa without much money, yet she and her family cherished vacations in nature. So, one day, she bought her grandfather’s old Algonquin cottage as a new destination for her young family. | Kathleen O’Connor | May 20
No. 3: She wanted to downsize and live near her daughter. So she spent $579,000 for two condo units in a converted church in Brantford
Joanne Sparrow had enough of commuting downtown from Oakville and being away from her daughter. Then she solved both problems by landing a new home in a small-town church. | Andrea Yu | January 21
No. 2: The Homecoming Club: Five families on leaving Toronto, regretting it, and finding their way home
They traded city life for more square footage elsewhere. Then what? In a nutshell, they hated it—and they’re moving back. Here are their stories. | October 25
What happens when you flee Toronto for Alberta and then realize that everything you love about your life didn’t move with you? You move back home, just as Jackie Thomas did in 2022. | Jackie Thomas | December 13
Through Parvis, Real Estate Investment Opportunities Abound – Storeys
As we collectively ride the ongoing inflation rollercoaster, it’s only natural — and wise — to consider how you can make your financial foundation as stable as possible.
For many, investing is a preferred way to protect and grow wealth. And in the last several years, Canadian real estate has seen an unprecedented boom in interest from all angles, including the investment realm.
Today, investors are increasingly keen to stake claim on real estate assets as a means of diversifying their portfolio. Understandably so, considering the Canadian market’s demonstrated fundamentals of low supply and high demand lend themselves to steadily increasing value.
Making the sourcing and securing of such assets easy, Parvis Invest – a Canadian marketplace for real estate investing – offers a portfolio of curated, high-quality real estate developments to its investors through a user-friendly platform.
Parvis’ selection of real estate products is strategically built via direct collaboration with developers and property owners, plus team insights, analytics, and industry data. Opportunities also undergo vetting by the company’s Investment Committee, which has insight and experience from the worlds of real estate development, private equity, tech, law, and finance.
Capturing the essence of Parvis’ curated offerings, a new 24-storey condo development called Centra invites investors to get in on the ground floor of something special in Surrey, BC. The building’s developer, Everest Group, boasts a team with more than 150 years of combined experience in international real estate and construction management, with more than 30 successfully completed projects and over 1,000 acres of land developed.
The project, five months into its 24-month building schedule, brings 164 residential condominiums — plus three townhomes and two levels of underground parking — to one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities (and the fastest-growing in BC; Surrey’s population is expected to more-than double in the next decade).
Located at 13868 101 Ave, the building is near a host of restaurants and shops, as well as Simon Fraser University, Memorial Hospital, and Skytrain access. Downtown Vancouver is just a short drive away, serving spots to tuck into for a bite, a live show, or an afternoon of shopping. And at the end of the day, residents can comfortably return to their lush, green, and calm family-friendly neighborhood.
For investors, Centra’s risk profile is classified as moderate to high level of risk, because it’s a new construction building. Two factors that help de-risk this project, relative to comparable new developments, are that over 80% of its units are pre-sold, and Parvis investors will receive a preferential equity return of 17.5% IRR. The Parvis equity return is in priority to the remaining equity invested.
Even further assurance is provided by way of a corporate guarantee by Everest, and personal guarantees by its directors. The condominium’s minimum investment is $20,000, with a total equity raise of $18,500,000.
By spring 2023, Parvis will also introduce its secondary market, which will give investors the chance to liquidate and sell their investment ahead of time, should they wish — big moves, for a traditionally illiquid asset class. For Centra, there are no transaction or management fees for investors to pay, and in the case one chooses to sell on Parvis’ secondary market, the seller only pays 1% commission.
Also currently available for investment is a fully-tenanted residential building in Kitchener, Ontario, classified under the Parvis Core Plus Strategy, which typically features a longer investment horizon with a low to moderate risk profile for investors, and a targeted IRR of 9% to 16%. The building is located at 199 Ahrens Street, is home to 16 units ranging from one to three bedrooms, and was purchased by its developer below market value.
Renovations to the interiors by Mike Beer Investments, plus repositioning of the building and property, promise to increase its annual rental income by nearly double — and the financing for these upgrades is already in place.
This building’s minimum investment is $10,000, with a five-year investment term, and an average projected annual return of 16%. The product’s total equity offering is $1,700,000.
Within walking distance of several parks, cafes, restaurants, and shops, the address is perfectly situated just north of downtown Kitchener’s main strip. And with GO Transit also only steps away, residents have day trips at their fingertips.
Like with Centra, there are no transaction or management fees related to this building for investors, and in the case one chooses to sell on Parvis’ secondary market when the option opens up, that 1% seller commission comes into play.
It’s no question that 2022 was filled with trials, and ended with uncertainty for many sectors. But through marked financial growth, multiple instances of professional recognition, and licensing approvals secured, Parvis came out of last year an anomaly: exceptionally grounded, stable, and strong.
If these are the attributes you want to see in your own investment portfolio, Parvis can help you get there.
This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.
Historic Muskoka Resort Hits the Market for $12M – Storeys
Erin Nicole Davis
An iconic Muskoka resort has just hit cottage country’s real estate market.
For those looking for a new business venture in the summertime hot spot, Windermere House has just been listed for $12M.
The sprawling, long-time landmark sits on Lake Rosseau — one of the “Big Three” Muskoka lakes — and is known for its quintessential Old Muskoka charm mixed with modern luxury and amenities. Beloved by both tourists and local cottagers, the picturesque resort has been synonymous with Muskoka tourism since 1870.
Known as ‘The Lady of The Lake,’ this 56-room resort hotel sits in a prime location in the Village of Windermere, overlooking the stunning lake. Offering a dose of timeless charm, its historic features include original stone architecture, a charming veranda, and classic Muskoka-style windows. The hotel features several food and beverage outlets, full-service spa capabilities, and a 3,200 sq. ft. of function space that ranges from a private boardroom to state-of-the-art conference facilities.
With quintessential cottage country recreation front and centre, the 6.62-acre resort features a heated outdoor swimming pool, tennis court, sand beach, marina, and golf course.
The new owner of the property will have the opportunity to take up residence in Windermere Cottage, the traditional four-bedroom private cottage with a separate entrance from Fife Avenue that can also be rented as an additional resort property. Or, as the listing highlights, there’s also the option to personalize a penthouse “cottage” suite within the hotel.
The Muskoka chair-filled property includes three detached staff houses, an older, staggered row-style 10-plex, and ample on-site parking.
While its price tag isn’t within reach of everyone, considering that most of the sprawling cottages on the lake sell for upwards of $5M — coupled with its inevitable income-generating potential — the property may be considered a steal for someone in the market for a breezy new business venture.
Find the full listing here.
Erin Nicole Davis
Erin Nicole Davis is a born and raised Toronto writer with a passion for the city and its urban affairs and culture.
Toronto building home to historic pub to be converted into new hotel – blogTO
Toronto is getting a new hotel by expanding an old hotel that has spent decades not being a hotel. I know, very confusing, but I can totally explain.
A four-storey building that has stood at the southwest corner of Church Street and Richmond Street East for over 140 years could soon undergo a significant transformation.
The building at 124 Church Street was originally constructed as a hotel in the 1880s, and after 14 decades, a developer has filed plans to bring the property back to its roots with a renovation and expansion supporting a new boutique hotel.
M&G Hotels Limited has big plans for the property, filing a minor variance application that calls for a YY Architecture Studio-designed addition extending the building’s roofline and providing additional space for hotel and other hospitality uses.
This address has been home to McVeigh’s Irish Pub since 1962, and despite major changes on the horizon for the property, it looks like the bar will maintain its presence in the building, and be left practically undisturbed through the renovations.
Plans for the site show little modifications in store for the first two levels of the existing building, aside from a new elevator shaft and other small changes.
The current space occupied by McVeigh’s is listed simply as “existing bar” and “existing kitchen” in plans, a good indication that the establishment will maintain its long-term presence at the intersection.
New floors would be added above the current parapet, bringing the existing four-storey building to an increased height of six levels.
A total of 24 hotel suites are planned on levels three through six, topped by a new rooftop bar and terrace.
The rejuvenated hospitality property will reportedly operate under the branding Clover Hotel, and this will not be the first time that the site or even the current building has been home to a hotel.
The southwest corner of Church and Richmond has been home to bars and hotels since the mid-19th century, and the current 1882-built structure was originally constructed as a hotel, replacing an earlier timber hotel building dating back to the 1850s.
Opened as the Windsor Hotel and later renamed the New Windsor Hotel in the early 20th century, the building was maintained as a hotel into the 1960s.
Plans to expand the building and open a hotel are just some of the big changes happening to the property.
The existing building at 124 Church Street stands as the lone holdout against a huge condo development now under construction that will soon tower over the property’s south and west elevations.
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