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New property listed in Niagara, Toronto C01

I have listed a new property at 805 18 Stafford ST in Toronto. See details here

Prime King West Village One Bedroom Private Corner Suite With Sun-Soaked South West Views From Every Room, Open Concept, Wrap Around Balcony, Huge Open Concept Cook's Kitchen, Large Principal Rooms, Wood Floors. Kitchen cabinets to be painted a neutral colour prior to occupancy. Includes Parking And Locker. Steps To Shops, Queen West, Parks, And Easy Access To Highways.

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Behind the Headlines: The Truth about Toronto’s 9.5% Property Tax Surge, TRESA Turmoil, and the Countdown to Interest Rate Announcements

There’s a lot of talk about what’s happening with housing in Toronto and the real estate market in general, so here is my take on the property tax increase, TRESA, and interest rates.

It was recently announced that the city was proposing an increase to property taxes of 10.5%, or even as much as 16.5%, depending on how much help the Federal government was going to give the city. In the end, it’s understood the property tax increase will land around a 9.5% increased… still a big pill to swallow for some.

Although an almost double-digit increase sounds like a lot, it will work out to about $30 more per month for the average Toronto homeowner and likely something that most homeowners will be able to absorb. For those with variable rate mortgages currently feeling the pinch, a potential interest rate reduction later this year may save more than that.

Toronto homeowners pay some of the lowest property taxes in the region.

Here’s a good piece from the Star with come clear explanations of how property tax is calculated.

TRESA, aka the Trust in Real Estate Services Act will affect buyers and sellers. If you want to know everything about the changes, click here.

However, the one change that will affect buyers and sellers is that both sides now have the ability to have open bids. Before, in a multiple offer situation, the only person who knew the details of each offer was the seller.

I don’t have a problem with this in theory, because buyers have some protection. They can insert a clause in their offer that says if the seller discloses any details of their offer, they have the opportunity to revoke the offer within an hour of finding out that the details of their offer were being made public. I don’t know why any buyer wouldn’t want to have that clause, because even if a buyer wants their information kept secret, they can still see what’s in the other offers.

The problem is with all the options sellers have. Not only can the seller pick and choose which parts of the offers they receive to be transparent about (deposit, closing date, offer amount), they can also remove those options if they send bidders back to sweeten their offers.

One reason a seller might want to be open about the offers: the bidder with the highest offer may have a closing date that doesn’t work, which gives the seller an opportunity to give the next person in line, who’s closing date does work, the ability to match the other offer.

A disadvantage to being open could be that one bidder wants the property so badly they offer significantly more than anybody else. Without transparency, only the seller knows the difference between the top two bids. But with open bidding, a seller could receive less – the top bidder may offer only a few thousand more than the second highest.

The benefit for buyers would be the knowledge of how close their bid was and whether it makes sense for them to continue, or if they’re so far below the other offers they should drop out.

We’ll see how this plays out. The advantage of having the legislation come into effect now is, with the market being less competitive than it was, there are fewer situations with multiple offers, so it won’t be chaos across the city.

Finally, let’s talk about interest rates. Phil Soper, president of Royal LePage, doesn’t think it’ll be interest rate reductions that spur on the market, it’ll be consumer confidence that the price they pay for a home will increase. I hate to disagree but as I mentioned last month, I think even a small decrease in the overnight rate will make a difference in the volume of homes listed and sold this spring. The first announcement was on January 24 and the rate held. There will be further announcements on March 6 and April 10. My prediction is Toronto’s real estate market will rise again…. but it may be a few months before we see some serious movement.

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February Festivities: Your Guide to Exciting Events and Happenings This Month

KUUMBA (Feb. 1-29)

Harbourfront Centre’s KUUMBA is Toronto’s largest and longest-running Black Futures Month festival, embracing the rich tapestry of culture, diversity and creativity through a month-long celebration of Black cultural programming.

Toronto’s Valentine Market (Feb. 3rd & 4th)

Enjoy 10,000 square feet of pure Valentine’s bliss. Perfect for couples, the area features 35 handpicked vendors, engaging activities, and automatic prize entries. Capture your memories at the many photo booths, making this market the ultimate Valentine’s Day experience.

Project X (Feb. 3rd)

Experience Project X, an immersive event showcasing diverse creative disciplines. Explore gallery pieces, enjoy performances, and browse the vendor market. Beyond creativity, it’s a networking opportunity for like-minded individuals in the creative sphere.


Sweet City Fest (Feb. 9-19)

Sweet City Fest is a festival celebrating all things SWEET. Expect shopping deals, themed vendor markets and workshops, live music nights, Valentine’s Day experiences, food and drink specials, and tons of family activities for the long weekend.

Craft Beer Fest (Feb. 10th)

Celebrate Winter at the Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest! Toronto’s biggest and baddest après-brew-ski party. Gather your pals, retro ski gear, long johns, and all the flannel you can get your mitts on.

The Winter Chocolate Show (Feb. 10th)

Enjoy a delightful day dedicated to all things chocolate! Join this chocolate-filled event featuring informative seminars, delectable bean-to-bar chocolates, innovative bars, bonbons, and passionate chocolate enthusiasts. It’s a day of tasting, talking, and indulging in the world of chocolate.

Lunar New Year Celebrations (Feb. 10th & 11th)

Welcome to the vibrant Lunar New Year celebrations in Toronto’s Chinatown for 2024! Discover the rich traditions and joyful spirit of the Lunar New Year and celebrate together in the heart of Toronto’s Chinatown.

Toronto I❤︎BEER & Taco Festival (Feb. 17th)

It’s the first ever Toronto I❤︎BEER & Taco Festival presented by Cowbell Brewing Co. and in collaboration with Fury Hot Sauce. Enjoy a fun filled day or night of beer, cider and spirits sampling, games, dancing and tacos!

Winter Stations (Feb. 19th)

Experience the enchanting Winter Stations public art exhibition at Woodbine Beach in Toronto! Each year, this unique event transforms the shoreline into a captivating outdoor gallery, showcasing imaginative art installations inspired by the winter season.

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January’s Best: Your Go-To Guide for Events and Activities This Month!

Roller Express (Dec. 1, 2023 – Feb. 4, 2024)

Enjoy 5,500 sqft of skating surface, plus a skating trail that leads into the carriageway tunnel, animated with lights for a fun retro vibe! Accompanying the roller-skating extravaganza will be free skate rentals, free skate lessons, immersive activities, tasty eats and drink options at the Snack Bar with food available for purchase, and so much more.

Toronto’s Mocktail Competition (Jan 13)

Get ready to kick off the New Year with an epic Dry January celebration as Toronto’s top mixologists compete to create the city’s best Mocktail! The event will feature a wellness market, activations, and with Ceder’s Non-Alcoholic spirits, attendees can enjoy all the taste and sophistication without the alcohol.

The Interior Design Show (Jan. 18-21)

The Interior Design Show celebrates and promotes the best in global and Canadian design, from emerging designers to legacy brands. IDS is not just a fair – it’s a total design experience.


DesignTO Festival (Jan. 19-28)

DesignTO Festival brings people together to design a better future, one that is more sustainable, just, and joyful. The Festival happens online and in-person at venues across the City of Toronto.

Winterlicious (Jan. 26th to Feb. 8th)

Savour every bite. Gather with friends and family and delight in delicious three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at more than 200 local restaurants. (January 26 to February 8)

Port Union Winterfest (Jan. 27)

Port Union Winterfest is a winter community festival for all ages! Enjoy Live Entertainment, Displays, Games,Inflatables, BBQ and much more! (January 27)

Toronto Tea Festival (Jan. 27 -28)

Whether you are new to the world of tea or a long-time aficionado, the return of the Toronto Tea Festival offers an opportunity to rediscover the world of tea from the traditional to the most current developments. Sample a wide variety of teas and learn from experts in the industry at one of the complimentary presentations. Taste teas uniquely prepared by exhibitors. (Jan 27 to 28)

New to Netflix in January

Netflix has revealed the full list of new movies and shows coming to its service in Canada in January 2024. Highlights for the month include Lift, The Brothers Sun, Delicious in Dungeon, and Good Grief, starring Canadian Dan Levy.

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2024 Real Estate Crystal Ball: Unraveling Toronto’s Market Amid Mortgage Rate Turbulence

It’s about this time of year that I gaze into my crystal ball and predict what’s going to happen in Toronto’s real estate market.

It’s hard to be accurate at the best of times, but with the uncertainty around mortgage rates, it’s even more difficult. I do want to try though, so here goes.

Mortgage Rates

According to CMHC, there are 2.2 million mortgages coming up for renewal in 2024. Those who have variable rate mortgages won’t be surprised by their future payments, but anybody with a fixed rate just might be.

I don’t believe that mortgage rates will increase again, but I also think that they’re not going to go down significantly either. If your mortgage is up for renewal in the first six months of the year, it’s worth talking to your mortgage broker about a shorter-term option so that you can easily renegotiate when rates do go lower.

Though we all grumbled about the mortgage stress test, it is going to be that test that saves the market from collapse. I predict the majority of homeowners will find a way to absorb the extra costs of higher monthly payments and there will not be a tsunami of listings hitting the market which would ultimately result in a dramatic average-price drop.

Although I believe the single family home market will remain relatively strong, I do have a hunch we are going to see more investor-owned lower end condos hit MLS in the coming months and that market will be the most vulnerable. I don’t think it will be overwhelming, but even investors with fixed-rate mortgages are going to face an increase with their mortgage renewals, and unless the current rent covers the new mortgage, they may look to sell the unit.  (What’s that? You want to learn more about the complications of selling a tenanted unit? Click here.)

More lower-end condo listings will most likely result in further softening of prices for studio and one bedroom condos, which is good news for first time buyers, but with fewer rentals on the market, I predict we’re going to see rental prices increase, despite the latest news that in November, the average rent in Toronto decreased by .2% compared to October, when rents were at a record high.

Will prices go down?

We definitely will continue to see more listings on the market, and those properties will take longer to sell. The more inventory there is, the more there is going to be a softening of prices, especially if rates don’t come down and people can’t afford to buy.

That said, if mortgage rates do go down, even by a single percentage point, we will see the market roar back to life. On a $500,000 mortgage, the difference is almost $300 a month.

As always, there are key neighbourhoods in the city that will defy the odds and that won’t be affected by whatever happens with mortgage rates.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know!

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December Delights: Your Guide to Festive Events and Happenings This Month!

The Distillery Winter Village (Nov. 16th to Dec. 31st)

The Distillery Winter Village is a picture-perfect holiday experience where friends and family gather to take in the timeless romance and nostalgia of the holidays, stroll the cobblestone streets under the canopy lights and festive sounds, and shop a curated selection of the finest local craftspeople, one-of-a-kind shops, vendor cabins, and gifts. Warm up with some tasty delights at their many restaurants, cafés, and outdoor bars.

Holiday at The Well (Nov. 17th to Dec. 31st)

This season, The Well invites you to journey into a Nordic-inspired playground of winter-time delights. Partake in the magic of this free outdoor event, where Holiday at The Well beckons you to a realm beyond the ordinary.

Winter Blooms (Nov. 24th to Dec. 17th)

Combine the magic of the season with the wonders of nature. You’ll enjoy indoor and outdoor eco-friendly shopping, local food, and nature experiences that will engage visitors of all ages. Experience warming moments as you relax around the outdoor firepit or escape inside the new human-size terrarium. Winter Blooms opens on November 24 and will run until December 17, 2023, at the Toronto Botanical Garden.


10th Annual Leslieville Christmas Pop-up Market (Dec. 1st to 3rd)

Get into the holiday spirit and kick-start your Christmas shopping at the 10th Annual Leslieville Christmas Pop-up Market! Whether you’re looking for handmade jewelry, cosy winter accessories, home decor, or tasty homemade goodies, you’ll find it all there.

Holiday Street Market (Dec. 1st to Jan. 7th)

Get ready for Toronto’s new holiday extravaganza! The Street Eats Market brings you the Holiday Street Market at the CN Tower starting December 1st. It’s the ultimate festive hub with yummy food, local crafts, and free entry!

Roller Express Rink (Dec. 1st to Feb. 24th)

Union and TD present the Roller Express rink! Join the fun inside the newly opened TD West Carriageway for a magical free winter experience.

Holiday Season at the Village (Dec. 2nd to 23rd)

Experience the ultimate winter wonderland at Black Creek Pioneer Village, where holiday joy fills the air! Meet Santa himself and immerse yourself in festive activities like toy making, elf school, and crafting holiday decorations. Indulge in Santa’s favorite treats, sip cocoa while enjoying festive tales, and watch enchanting puppet shows.

The Winter Market at Evergreen Brick Works (Dec. 10th & 17th)

The Winter Market is back! And this year they’ve got two days of wintery fun in store for you at Evergreen Brick Works on December 10 and 17


Holiday Soul Concert (Dec. 15th)

“Holiday Soul Concert,” presented by OnMarz Productions, is an incredible showcase featuring the talented Justin Bacchus and Nichelle Bernard. Get ready to be dazzled by their soulful performances that will fill your heart with holiday cheer!

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Navigating Neighborhood Change: Can You Influence City Development?

Can you fight city hall? That’s the age-old question and the answer is yes. And no.

In a city that’s constantly under construction, you should expect your neighbourhood to change over time.

However, there’s a difference between change, like the narrowing of streets for bike lanes, and something that alters the character of a neighbourhood such as a large condo in the middle of suburban neighbourhood.

Nobody wants to be accused of NIMBYism, but we all want somewhere pleasant to live.
What do you do when faced with a big construction project you don’t support? You mobilize.

One of the most famous examples is the cancellation of the Spadina Expressway. The idea for the expressway began in 1960 with the plan calling for the highway to run through several ravines before connecting with Spadina Avenue. This would have resulted in cutting the city in half.

A coalition called “Stop Spadina, Save Our City” was formed in 1969 and according to Participedia.net, “the main method employed during the Spadina Expressway protests was targeting politicians directly through walk-ins and protests, face-to-face meetings, and pressuring them to take action by galvanizing support from prominent city planners.”

It worked. Imagine if something similar had happened before the Gardiner Expressway had been built! We’d have open access to the lake!

The Island Airport expansion is another example. Roughly a decade ago, Porter Airlines announced that it wanted to extend the island airport runway by 168 metres on each side, which would allow Porter to buy larger jets and fly to further destinations. Porter faced opposition from residents living near the waterfront as well as local politicians. Concerns were raised about increased noise pollution, the impact on the environment, and safety issues.

Community groups actively campaigned against the expansion, leading to restrictions on the lengthening of the runway and limiting the number of flights. It helped that prominent politicians, including Olivia Chow, Adam Vaughan and Mike Layton were vocal about their opposition to the plan. The plan was killed when the Liberals took office in 2015.

However, sometimes a project is so important to the city that it goes through regardless of protests, such as the Ontario Line, which is disrupting some residents in Leslieville and Riverside.

Other examples include the rehabilitation of the Gardiner Expressway. There were groups of people who wanted to see the eastern part of the Gardiner torn down, but it’s simply going to be repaired and now it’s been handed off to the provincial government to maintain.

If there’s a planned project in your neighbourhood that you want to prevent, one of the first things to do is attend any informational meetings as soon as possible. The earlier in the process something is, the easier it is to make changes. Your city councillor’s office should be able to answer questions about specific projects or at least point you in the right direction.

Check online to see if there are any local groups already mobilizing. Facebook is generally the best place to do this. There are also residents’ associations across the city. The more people that get behind a cause, the more likely it is to generate attention.

Go to change.org and start a petition – there are over 150 petitions involving Toronto. Are you one of the 88 people who want the city to rename one of the stations on the Ontario line? Or one of 20,000 people who want to save the Marian Shrine of Gratitude on Weston Road?

The more people behind a cause, the higher the chance you have of changing the situation.

You might be wondering what prompted this blog. There’s a new building going up behind my house which is going to result in a lot of construction noise and dirt in the short-term and in the long term will result in a lack of sunlight in the backyards of myself and neighbours, not to mention constant noise from all the trucks making deliveries.

When speaking at City Hall, it was apparent to me that any opposition to any part of the project, whether related to the urgently needed housing or not, meant you were against the project, which of course was not true. They were not willing to address the impact of the massing of the servicing bays and areas and the impact the structure will have on the existing residential fabric. In councillor Moise’s words, considering the housing shortage we are experiencing, to delay the project at all “would be cruel”.

The project is part of the Yonge Street Mission and includes rental housing, which is sorely needed, but the sheer scope of the building in relation to the surrounding neighbourhood is simply too much.

The housing part includes over 190 units ranging from studios to 3-bedroom suites, which again, are very much needed, but this will bring hundreds of people into an area that is mostly populated by single family homes.

Earlier this fall I attended a hearing at City Hall earlier to argue against the rezoning application and was disheartened to see very few city councilors, if any, were actually paying attention to those of us that were speaking.

I was the only one who showed up in relation to this project, which did not help the case.

Have you ever tried to fight city hall? I’m curious to find out what happened

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November Delights: Your Guide to Exciting Toronto Events this Fall

The AD Film Festival (Nov 1-4)

Go on a cinematic journey that illuminates the captivating stories behind the structures and spaces that define our environment and shape our experiences at the Architecture & Design Film Festival.


Fashion Art Toronto’s 2023 (Nov. 16-19)

Fashion Art Toronto’s 2023 Fall / Winter season is set to take place in a 20,000 square foot space featuring multiple opportunities for audience interaction and designer participation including Runway Shows, Fashion Presentations and the Fashion & Beauty Boutique.


Winterfest (Nov. 17, 2023 to Jan. 6, 2024)

Canada’s Wonderland transforms into a magical, winter wonderland for WinterFest – an immersive holiday experience for the whole family. This event features ice-skating on Snow Flake Lake, more than a dozen live shows and holiday entertainment, exciting rides, millions of spectacular lights, and hundreds of beautiful Christmas trees throughout the park, including two 50-foot Christmas trees on International Street.


The CPKC Holiday Train (Nov. 20 – Dec. 19)

The 2023 CPKC Holiday Train is set to embark on a remarkable journey across Canada and the United States from November 20 to December 19. This festive train adorned with dazzling decorations will feature talented professional musicians performing free concerts from its enchanting stage. The train’s mission will be centred on supporting local food banks, with CPKC making donations to each community’s food shelf at every stop.


The Thirsty Elf (Nov. 22)

Step into the enchanting world of holiday cheer at this annual holiday-themed pop-up, The Thirsty Elf! From whimsical Christmas sweaters to quirky décor and an array of delightful, festive cocktails, it’s the perfect setting to ignite your seasonal spirit.


Toronto Botanical Garden Holiday Market (Nov. 24 – 26)

Go green this holiday season by visiting the Annual Toronto Botanical Garden Holiday Market, an eco-minded, nature-inspired, relaxed shopping experience.


Cavalcade of Lights (Nov. 25 – Jan. 7 )

Experience the magic of the holiday season with the much-loved Cavalcade of Lights presented by Desjardins Financial Group at Nathan Phillips Square.


Holiday Magic (Nov. 25)

Experience Holiday Magic at the  Bloor-Yorkville official lighting ceremony. This highly anticipated event marks the illumination of the neighbourhood’s sparkling holiday décor, adorned with thousands of twinkling lights, creating a magical ambiance.


The Santa Claus Parade

Since 1905, the Santa Claus Parade has kicked off the Christmas season, first in Toronto, then for the whole country as it has grown in popularity and importance throughout the years. The Parade brings people together, regardless of their background, celebrating hope, family and love.


Niemi’s Christmas Village

Meet Santa  in His workshop in the magical Christmas Land at Niemi’s Christmas Village in Mount Albert, Ontario. Santa spends time in His workshop on Fridays and Saturdays to meet children and adults alike.


Toronto Art Crawl

Step into a world of creativity and unique finds at the Toronto Art Crawl Christmas Market! This vibrant one-day market is a treasure trove for art aficionados, photography enthusiasts, and anyone seeking distinctive and handcrafted treasures. From captivating sculptures to stunning jewellery, captivating fashion, exquisite home decor, luxurious skincare, and an array of one-of-a-kind items, this market is a haven for discovering exceptional artisanal creations.


Reel Asian International Film Festival

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. Works include films and videos by Asian-identifying artists in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world. As Canada’s largest Asian film festival, Reel Asian provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada.

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Navigating Toronto’s Real Estate Landscape: Is Now the Time to Buy or Wait?

We are experiencing a buyer’s market in Toronto right now, especially in the downtown condo sector. On the day I am writing this, in C08, there were 19 new condo listings that came on the market, and zero sales were registered.
With so few sales happening, you might expect a dramatic price drop, but the recent news from the Toronto Real Estate Board shows that the average price of a condo dropped by only 5% compared to 2022, which is still $60,000 higher than the average price paid in the fall of 2020.

I suspect that sales might remain flat throughout the winter with the list to sale ratio in the 30 to 40% range. Sellers can expect to see their property on the market for about 30 days. If the Bank of Canada lowers rates in 2024, we may see a little more action.

That said, activity is always property dependent. The week of October 8, I listed a condo in Kensington Market and it sold the next day, while another listing I have has yet to receive an offer, despite a number of showings.

One of the reasons sales are taking longer is that there’s no sense of urgency. There’s so much choice that buyers have the luxury of taking their time. I actually think this is a good thing because then buyers don’t feel rushed and are more confident in their choice.

Predictions vary about whether the Bank of Canada is going to raise interest rates later this week, but with the recent news of inflation falling to 3.8%, it’s entirely possible that the interest rate will remain at 5% until at least December 6th.

The big question is: Where are prices going to go? In short, with so many condos on the market, I think we could see condo prices continue to soften.

Compared to September 2022, prices for detached, semi-detached homes and townhomes are up year-over-year, but only about 25% of the new listings are selling. As with any market, there are people who really need or really want to sell. Those sellers won’t just let their property sit on the market, they’ll lower the asking price. I think it’s just a matter of time.

And of course, it depends on the building and the neighbourhood. For example, The Canary District and Corktown Common are pretty key areas in high demand so I would expect to see properties move more quickly.

All that said – I believe that now is an excellent time to be buying (I know, you’d expect nothing less from a realtor, but hear me out!). With interest rates predicted to fall in the fourth quarter of 2024 or perhaps early 2025, don’t lock yourself in to a 5 year mortgage. Take a shorter term and take advantage of the downward pressure on prices.

In a softened market, you’re dealing more often with sellers making emotional decisions based on financial stresses  and you have more buying power. Nobody wants to take advantage of someone who’s in a tight spot, but a seller is  going to sell to someone.

Also keep in mind that as a buyer, you’re always trying to time the market so you’re hitting the bottom before it goes up… spoiler alert, chances are you’ll miss the mark. But if you’re buying with a long-term plan in mind, it doesn’t matter what price you buy at because prices will always grow over time if you hold on long enough. Although Toronto has seen price corrections – some more dramatic than others – you’ll always come out ahead if you’re in your home for a decade.

In the fall of 2013, the average price for a one bedroom condo was a little over $316K and the average price for a three bedroom detached home was $599K. Compare that to $724K for the average one bedroom condo today and $1.285M for a three bedroom home*.

If you’re curious about what your home is worth or just want to talk about what’s happening in the market, please get in touch!

*Statistics from listing.ca

Photo courtesy @the_zeelenberg

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Toronto’s Thrilling October: Must-See Events and Happenings!

PumpkinFest at Downey’s Farm (Sept. 23 – Oct. 31)

Get ready for a pumpkin-packed adventure at Downey’s Farm! From wagon rides to a-maze-ing corn mazes, live entertainment, and adorable farm animals, they’ve got a fantastic lineup of family fun waiting for you.

LEGENDS OF HORROR (Sept. 29 – Oct. 31)

Prepare to be spooked and thrilled as Legends of Horror makes its chilling return to Casa Loma this October. Brace yourself for a hauntingly unforgettable experience!

Toronto Oktoberfest (OCTOBER 6 & 7)

Dust off your lederhosen and dirndls. Toronto’s favorite fall festival is back! Young and old, modern and traditional all blend together harmoniously in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere at Toronto’s Oktoberfest!


Pumpkin Fest Toronto (October 6 – 9)

Enjoy a weekend filled with unlimited midway rides, inflatable fun, a sprawling pumpkin patch, local food trucks, live entertainment, tons of family photo ops, and so much more at Pumpkin Fest Toronto!

Woodbridge Fair (October 7-9)

Get ready for a fun-filled adventure at the Woodbridge Fair! From thrilling rides and games to captivating history and antiques, plus a mouthwatering array of fair foods and culinary arts, competitions with exciting prizes, and the wonders of animals and nature – this event has something for everyone to enjoy.

Planet in Focus (October 12 – 22)

Explore urgent environmental issues through captivating storytelling at the Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival, a Toronto-based not-for-profit organization.

TORONTO AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL (October 18-22)

Mark your calendars and prepare for an unforgettable cinematic experience at the 17th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival. As one of the most anticipated events in the city, this festival promises thrilling films, exciting premieres, and a celebration of the macabre and the fantastical that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Next Stage Theatre Festival (October 18-29)

Experience the 16th Next Stage Theatre Festival at the historic Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, offering an experimental lineup of six productions with diverse artistic elements.

Art Toronto (October 26-29)

Art Toronto 2023 will return to downtown Toronto for a showcase of over 100 galleries from across Canada and abroad, attended by over 20,000 collectors, curators, and art enthusiasts.

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Latest News from the Toronto Real Estate Market – Advice for Investors

With Labour Day in the rearview mirror, the fall market is in full force.

Over the last couple of weeks, a ton of new listings have hit the market, including a large number of condos in C08 and C01, which effectively covers the downtown core. I believe that the abundance of listings is due to investors trying to get out of the market because the rents they’re charging simply don’t cover the carrying costs. Personally, I believe in long-term investments.

I also believe that condo prices will go up in value over time so to hold on to an investment and perhaps take a loss in the short term makes sense… but you have to act based on your personal circumstances and what you’re comfortable with. If that means you want to sell, then you sell. It’s true that aAs the bank rates increase, investors get more anxious and some are making the decision to off-load their investment property. It’s still early yet in the fall market cycle, so we’ll have to wait and see if all the extra product gets absorbed by the buyers that are in the market. Considering the number of days that properties are staying on the market, we may have to wait a few weeks before the sales start being recorded.

In August, properties were staying on the market considerably longer than they were earlier in the year. Sometimes a property will be on the market for well over 30 days, compared to about two weeks at the peak. Many properties are lingering longer.

Even with this happening, with the exception of detached homes, prices are holding steadfast. Last month, semis and towns were selling above list, but detached homes were selling under asking. As for condos, the average price was down 1.8% year-over-year, but as that translates into $12,391, it’s not a significant drop.

So, although people are trying to get a deal right now and coming in with offers lower than the asking price, realtors are best to advise sellers not to be offended, it’s the state of the market.

From renter to buyer? 

Last month’s blog discussed the risks associated with selling a tenanted property. But here’s an interesting twist: I was recently speaking with a mortgage broker I know quite well. She mentioned that tenants have been reaching out to her because their landlords are thinking about selling the unit they’re renting. Some landlords are giving their tenants the option to buy the property first before selling it to someone else, which I think is a great idea!

I’d certainly advise an investor to talk to their tenant first if they were looking to sell – and if it’s a fair price, then why not?

Of course, today’s mortgage rates are the main factor affecting the slowdown in the market, but if you’re considering a move, you don’t necessarily have to lose the great interest rate you’re currently paying. Contact your mortgage broker to see if you can port your mortgage to another property. This would result in a blended mortgage. You’ll continue to pay the current rate on the outstanding amount and you’ll only be paying today’s rates on the difference, which could average out to about 4%. Not bad in a market where new mortgages are anywhere from 5.75% to 7%.

I also recommend contacting your mortgage broker if you’re looking to make a purchase before the end of the year. Chances are there will be another rate increase and so anybody looking to buy in the next few months should strongly consider being pre-approved and locking in at today’s rates.

If you have any questions about the market or are curious about what your home is currently worth, please get in touch!

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September’s Newsletter: TO’s Best Happy Hours – September Events – Riding the Rate Waves: Condo Investors Navigate Selling Amidst Mortgage Hikes

Summer may be coming to an end but what better a time to embrace the vibrancy of fall by enjoying an action packed month of festivals. Toronto is buzzing with spectacular events! There’s so much to do that you won’t even have time to reminisce about summer days gone by. If you’re looking to slow down the pace a bit, September is also the perfect time to check out one or more of the city’s best happy hours listed below!

Toronto’s real estate market continues to be in flux due to higher borrowing costs and uncertainty about the economy. Maybe not so surprising, there were more listings available this past August than in August 2022. Interestingly, prices are still holding fairly steady. All of this is an indication that people are looking to sell but are not dropping the asking price out of desperation.

The announcement by the Bank of Canada to hold rate steady is definitely a good sign. The next rate announcement isn’t until the end of October which means that mortgage rates will be stable during the mid portion of the fall market. I’m hopeful this adds to consumer confidence and fuels the market enough to maintain a steady pace.

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