Toronto Events For July – Happy Canada Day and Happy Summer!

Canada Day At Downsview Park (July 1st)

We can’t wait for you to join us on Canada Day, July 1 for our annual festival! See you at the Festival Terrace!

We’ll have live entertainment, games for kids, inflatables, vendors and so much more! All for FREE. So, bring your friends, family and neighbours out for an amazing afternoon and evening.

Did we mention that there’ll be fireworks and food trucks too?

Toronto Outdoor Art Fest (July 7th-9th) 

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (TOAF) is the charitable non-profit organization behind Canada’s largest and longest-running annual contemporary art fair. Established in 1961 to connect Canadian artists directly to the public, TOAF showcases 400+ emerging and established visual artists, including painters, photographers, sculptors and artists working in ceramics, textiles, jewellery and more. The event brings together 150,000 art lovers and enthusiasts who spend over 2 million dollars on art during the Fair. This free public event takes place every July – rain or shine – at Nathan Phillips Square in the heart of downtown Toronto. The Fair offers something for everyone: talks, tours, digital studio visits, curated collections, kids workshops, live painting, dance, music, art installations and food and drink experiences.

WineFest (July 7th-9th)

An annual 3-day event celebrating the city’s buzzing wine culture with a chance to try wines from all around the world.

AfroFest (July 7th-9th)

AFROFEST is the largest free African Music Festival in North America.Through our programming over the years, AFROFEST has become one of the most important African cultural organizations in Canada. We present multicultural events and initiatives that aim at celebrating the beauty and diversity of African cultural heritage and reducing or eliminating anti-Black racism in Canada.Key Points About AFROFEST 2023: 

Movies Under The Stars (July 11th-August 31st)

Movies Under the Stars returns to Downsview Park this year! Our 7th annual movie program will be taking place by the lake. 

Movies Under the Stars 2023 Schedule:

Tuesday, July 11 – The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Thursday, July 27 – Top Gun: Maverick

Wednesday, August 9 – Strange World

Friday, August 18 – Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Thursday, August 31 – Nostalgia Night (Stay tuned for more details on this special night where you get to vote for your favourite 80s movie!)

Toronto Honda Indy (July 14th-16th)

Start your engines and get ready to watch cars rip around the track at the return of the Honda Indy!

The Honda Indy Toronto features a 2.84 km (1.755 mile), 11-turn temporary street course located in downtown Toronto, Ontario. The track is constructed throughout and around Exhibition Place grounds and utilizes Lake Shore Boulevard as the backstretch.

Taste Of The Middle East (July 14th-16th)

Through our events and programs, we let Toronto’s diversity shine.  

We allow for newcomers to maintain a connection to their own culture &  to learn more about new ones.  We allow youth to feel pride in their own heritage and to feel like they belong.  We increase awareness about the importance of protecting culture and diversity.

From culture to dance to music to food, you can explore and taste the middle east at this great event.

BrazilFest (July 21st-23rd)

Calling all culture enthusiasts, music lovers, and foodies! Experience the rich colors, captivating rhythms, and mouthwatering flavors of Brazil at BrazilFest 2023. From July 21st to 23rd, prepare for a weekend of non-stop festivities that will leave you mesmerized.

Start the celebration on Friday, July 21st, at THE AXIS CLUB with an unforgettable night of Brazilianmusic and dance. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, July 22nd-23rd, head over to Earlscourt Park for a lively celebration of Brazilian culture. Rain or shine, we guarantee an incredible experience for the whole family.

Indulge in authentic Brazilian cuisine, from savory feijoada to sweet brigadeiros, and let your taste buds savor the flavors of Brazil. Connect with fellow festival-goers, soak up the lively atmosphere, and make lasting memories at BrazilFest 2023. This is your chance to travel to Brazil without leaving Toronto!

OssFest (July 22nd)

OssFest returns for its 6th edition of a pedestrian take over of the Ossington Strip between Dundas St W and Queen St W.

The day will start of with a health and wellness feature in the morning, followed by artisans and local businesses showcasing their goods all day.

OssFest will have over 25 extended patios alongside music and entertainment programming all day and into the evening.

It is family friendly, dog friendly, and is a fantastic way to celebrate the neighbourhood and Toronto! And people talk about it all year, excited for the next.

Enjoy Some Great Live Music

Summers in Toronto are music season! From Weezer to Billy Talent to Beyonce there is something for everyone this July.

Escape The Heat With Some Great Movies Coming To Netflix Canada

As the warm weather starts to smother us, beat the heat with these great new additions to Netflix Canada in July.

Explore A Local Museum

Did you know that you can explore Toronto’s history for free all year round? Take a tour of one of these museums and beat the heat this summer.


Buying a House or Condo: What Could Go Wrong? (Part II)

Welcome to part two about what can go wrong when you’re buying a house. If you haven’t read part one, click here.

Among the many benefits of using a seasoned realtor like myself is that not only do I know when something doesn’t feel quite right, I know the questions that need to be asked in order to prevent problems from even occurring. Let’s have a look at some of the more unusual occurrences and how they can be thwarted.

No Vacant Possession!

It should be obvious that, unless otherwise agreed to, sellers are required to move out of the house on or before the day of closing…. but to be super clear, it is mentioned on Page 1 of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale under the clause titled CLOSING DATE that vacant possession is to be provided.

And yet, it happens, on occasion, that the sellers don’t move out in time… or if they have moved out, have left the property in a terrible state of disarray.

Very early in my career, I had a buyer attempt to move in to their new home, but the seller hadn’t moved out. It took them three days to move, and when they did, the place was completely upside down. It was so bad that I hired cleaners to come in and it took an entire day to bring it to a liveable condition.

How can you prevent these situations from happening? Make sure you have at least two buyer access visits in your agreement. Three would be better, but two at a minimum. At the first visit, it’s fairly simple to gauge whether someone is in the process of moving. If you make the last visit close to closing, perhaps even the day before, then you’ll know for sure if the seller has already moved or at least is intending to move out.

Booking your last buyer visit allows you to be sure that the home is vacant, clean, and that there’s no damage. It’s rare that people move out on the day of closing, so if you come for your last visit and if you see the seller has moved out and caused damage, you can do what’s called a holdback. A holdback is where your lawyer holds back a certain amount of money in order to ensure repairs or cleaning are paid for by the seller. It’s not unusual, but it’s rarely required.

Unpaid Taxes

The vacancy tax that was recently implemented by the city of Toronto and, yearly, is every property owner’s responsibility to declare whether the home was or was not vacant for more than 6 months out of the previous year. If the property was vacant, the seller is required to pay a vacancy tax to the city. This tax, if not paid by the seller, gets passed on to the buyer. If the tax hasn’t been dealt with or paid by the seller, there can be a lien on the property the buyer has to pay once they are the new owner. As a buyer, you want to ensure that the declaration has been made or that it is stipulated in the agreement that the balance owing will be paid by the seller.

As a buyer, you should also know if the seller is a non-resident, especially if the unit has been vacant for some time, because the seller will owe tax. And if they’re not Canadian citizens, they may not have a social insurance or tax number, which requires an application to the CRA, and that takes time.

There is a clause in the pre-printed portion of the standard agreement of Purchase and Sale in which the seller declares that they are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident but it’s best to know for sure and ask, so there’s no confusion or hold up at the time of closing.

If you don’t do your homework, you could be on the hook to pay either of the above taxes. You can always appeal, but it’s a hassle… so, here’s how you troubleshoot this: most brokerages provide a schedule B to attach to your offer and this should have a clause regarding the vacancy tax. As a realtor, I have this clause ready to use, regardless.

Construction and Open Permits

When you buy a house that has obviously been substantially renovated, you need to make sure that the permits are closed and the sellers can produce the documentation showing the city’s final approval. If there are open permits, the deal can’t close. The permits are closed once a city inspector signs off on the work.

I had a client who had done some structural work to their house. The city came to inspect it, so they closed up the ceiling. It wasn’t until they went to sell the house that they learned the permit was never actually closed. The city then deemed it wasn’t done properly, so the seller had to re-do the structural work and get the permits closed. This all had to be done in a 60 day window of time and over the holidays. As a seller, make sure that any open permits are closed. As a buyer, you want to make sure you’re protected so it’s best to add a clause into an agreement that has the seller warranting all renovations, if requiring permits, were done with a permit and that those permits have been closed. If the work is less than 5 years old, you can actually visit the city website to see open permits.

Predicting the Unpredictable

With the decades of experience I’ve racked up, it’s very hard to surprise me… but it still happens! Having a solid list of clauses to add to any agreement is your best defence to making sure there are no surprises (or as few as possible) when buying or selling.

In every agreement of purchase and sale, there’s a clause that states that the house is being delivered in the state in which the buyer saw it – and if there’s a substantial difference the buyer has a right to get out of the agreement. Minor discrepancies sometimes allow for a renegotiation of the terms.

Thankfully, Toronto sees very few tornados and other natural disasters, but basements can flood. I’ve been involved in some serious touch and go situations, but nothing has ever been so bad that the sale hasn’t closed. Having enough insurance can help smooth out any situation.

If you have any questions about the real estate market, please get in touch!


June’s Newsletter: TO’s Epic Sushi Hand Rolls – City Pics From the ’30s – Buying Your First Place? Here’s What You Need to Know

It’s June, and Toronto is buzzing! Between Taste of Little Italy, farmers markets, Luminato, and Pride, there is an abundance of things to see and do! You’ll find my picks for what’s happening in the city below. I’m looking forward to catching a couple of this year’s summer ribfests, riding my bike along some of Toronto’s many trails and watching the sunsets from the hill at Riverdale Park along Broadview.

In response to a robust economy and consumer spending, the Bank of Canada raised its overnight rate to 4.75%, which is the highest it’s been since April, 2001. Whether this cools the market remains to be seen. Last month, sales across the GTA were up by 24.7% compared to May 2022, and new listings were down by 18.7%. This resulted in a tighter market for buyers, pushing prices up month-over-month. The biggest change can be seen in the average price of a detached home in Toronto, which was up by over $155K compared to April. At $1,913,132, it’s only a hair under the prices being paid a year ago.

If you know someone who’s thinking about buying their first place, please forward this email to them. Below, you’ll find my blog post with information about what they need to know – and the incentives available.

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