2 Bloor West

According to blogto.com, there is a recent condo project that could change the face of Yorkville. What is this project, you ask? We’re talking about the one Oxford Properties is hoping to build at 2 Bloor Street West.

Oxford Properties has intended to build a condominium in the Yorkville area since 2010 when they had first received zoning approval from the city. Their plans were thwarted due to an appeal by local residents to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Now, in their second try, they’ve recently been approved to construct two completely different towers.  According to blogto.com, one is set to be 125.3 metres while the other has a planned height of 162 metres. One will be located possibly mid-block and one closer to Yonge, with the existing shopping mall that is on the south side of Cumberland St. most likely demolished and replaced with new retail. Blogto.com has further stated that a set of digital renderings were revealed online by ArchitectsAlliance with the designs depicting a very early concept for the L-shaped Yorkville site stretching from Bay to Yonge and down to Bloor.

But there’s a lot to still consider with this recent project. The price of installing these two towers is not just numerical in nature. For instance, it would potentially mean the removal of the 34-storey CIBC building (which is owned by Oxford). If that were to happen, the CIBC building would be the tallest building to ever be demolished to make room for a condominium. Aside from this, there are other factors to take into consideration such as other condominiums currently going through the approval process to be constructed in the Yorkville area. Not to mention, the “plan to create a mid-block pedestrian retail mews from Bloor Street through to Yorkville Avenue.”

Nothing is certain at this time, we will just have to wait and see what becomes of 2 Bloor Street West as time passes.





The Hype at Spadina & College

There has been a lot of hype surrounding the College and Spadina intersection of late. Some of these new developments are more controversial than others. The most talked about project is the new student residence planned on the site of two historic buildings- the Hotel Waverly and the Silver Dollar Room. The iconic site is a place full of interesting stories. James Earl Ray, the person who assassinated Martin Luther King Jr., is thought to have spent his days on the run at the Hotel Waverly. Milton Acorn, a famous poet, wrote some of his best work at the hotel. Bob Dylan and Levon Helm both visited the Silver Dollar decades ago, unannounced.

The Wynn Group now owns the 113 year old hotel and bar and is planning to construct a 22-storey tower for University of Toronto students, called “The College.”

Not everyone is in favour of these plans. City Councillor Adam Vaughan thinks the plans are a terrible idea, stating economic concerns that students will not necessarily utilize the residence. Others assert that it’s time the site was renewed to serve a better purpose.

Another major transformation possibly coming to the neighbourhood is a brand new 20,000 square feet Loblaws. Many residents of Kensington Market have started protesting this new addition, saying that it will kill the business success and charm of the independent shops and restaurants in the nearby Market. A group called the Kensington Market Action Committee has organized protests in the area. Activists are worried the new Loblaws will make the Market obsolete, destroying a century of history.

The final large development in the area is the transformation of 1 Spadina Crescent, an old Gothic-style building.

This seemingly-odd site in the neighbourhood was built by the Presbyterian Church as a theological college in 1875. It has also been used by the Department of Optometry and the Visual Arts Department of UofT. Now, the building is set to become the new site of the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. A revitalization project is in the works, which will include adding 100,000 square feet of glass, stone and steel. It will also add studio spaces, an advanced fabrication lab, a large hall for events, and a public gallery. The University expects the project to wrap up by the end of 2015. The design team was selected by the University and will include: Nader Tehrani (from the Boston firm NADAAA) as the architect, along with Toronto consultants Public Work on landscaping and ERA Architects as preservation architects.

Didn’t we say there’s a lot going on around Spadina and College? Let us know what you think of these changes!







Advantages of Being a Landlord

The decision to become a landlord is not one you should make lightly. If you are looking to invest in real estate, there are quite a few things to consider. It is true that becoming a landlord can be a lot of responsibility, but there are also tons of advantages which may not be known to new investors.

Wealth building: If you hold on to property long enough, it will almost always go up in value. This is termed “appreciation” and is a good way to increase your net worth.

Cash flow: If managed properly, a rental property can bring in a steady stream of income from AAA tenants.

Investment diversification: A diversified investment portfolio is one of the most important rules of investing. Owning a property, which tends to be lower-risk, is a good way to diversify your investments.

Leverage: In real estate, a little cash will go a long way – unlike other types of investments.

Being your own boss: There can be a lot of personal satisfaction that comes with being your own boss, especially for those who love independence in their work lives.

There are also tax benefits to owning a property. Here are some of the things you may be able to write off as a landlord:

  • Interest: Mortgage interest payments on loans and interest on credit cards related to rental activity can all be deducted.
  • Repairs: The cost of repairs to your rental property is fully deductible.
  • Travel: Landlords can deduct travel expenses related to the rental activity.
  • Depreciation deductions: landlords can also deduct the depreciation value of their house over 27.5 years, even while they are increasing in value. This will help save some of the positive cash flow without having to owe income taxes.
  • Property taxes: You can deduct property taxes that relate to the rental property for the period that it is being leased.

As mentioned, this is not a decision that should be made quickly. Potential landlords have to ask themselves if they really feel suited for the job. Additionally, certain factors need to be looked into. For one, it is important to calculate the expected cash flow that will be generated from the property (taking into account vacancy time and other expenses).

As always, it would be best to speak to an expert real estate agent about questions or concerns. So, if you have questions about becoming a landlord, we’d love to help! We offer a full range of services for our landlord clients and can make the transition as easy as possible for you. Call us at (416) 929-1660 or email us at resupport@axoncapitalrealty.com to begin discussing your options.






Toronto Entertainment District Master Plan

Toronto’s Entertainment District is the vibrant downtown core of our city; busy and bustling with restaurants, night clubs, and, at least in the last decade, a plethora of new condominiums.  Not only is it centrally located and thus steps to everything the city has to offer, it’s now considered a living-friendly neighbourhood as evidenced by the hundreds of condo dwellers who live in the area. With all of this action happening in the Entertainment District, there’s also been a lot of talk about revamping the area.

The Toronto Entertainment District BIA recently unveiled their “Master Plan” to redevelop much of this section of the downtown core. From Queen to the Gardiner, and from Spadina to Union Station, the BIA states their large transformation will be guided by several main principles, including the preservation of historic buildings, the promotion of local businesses and tourism, and the enhancement of streetscapes, open areas, and livable pedestrian environments.

Councillor Adam Vaughan explained that the project will be an ongoing one, and that funding will likely come from a variety of sources over time. This “master plan” effort, along with returning Adelaide and Richmond streets back to two-way traffic, will restore the creativity and economic vibrancy that once characterized this part of the city.

The Master Plan:

  1. Emphasizes pedestrian friendly plazas, hinting at the following locations:

• The south terminus of the proposed John Street Promenade.
• The north side of Rogers Centre and the base of the CN Tower.
• Along Bremner Boulevard between Navy Wharf Court and the Rogers Centre.
• At the north and south entrances to Union Station.
• At the north-west and south-west corners of Metro Square
• Two potential small-scaled plazas associated with new developments at the north-west corner of John and Front Streets and on Nelson Street between Duncan and Simcoe Streets.

  1. The plan also refers to the importance of maintaining height restrictions, improving street furniture, installing a significant amount of public art, and emphasizing sustainable design practices.
  2. Returning Adelaide and Richmond back to two-way traffic is also an upcoming debate in the future of TED.
  3. Perhaps the most recent and most controversial plan for the area is the proposal for a car-free King Street to speed up the morning streetcar commute. TTC commissioners are examining the prospect of making King Street car free during set hours in the morning. The King. streetcar line is the TTC’s busiest surface route with 56,700 riders a day — more than the Sheppard subway line’s ridership.  The proposal is still in the very early stages and is in no way final, but it is certainly a serious plan to keep an eye on. The TTC Commissioner said they “could reasonably pilot something” in the next year in and a half.

Condos in the Entertainment District:






New Condo at Queen & Yonge?

Just when you thought there couldn’t be any further condo developments announced in the city of Toronto, a newly suggested project has been proposed by Cadillac Fairview for Yonge and Queen.

Still in the city’s approval process since the development application was first submitted in mid-April, according to blog.newinhomes.com, “the owner of 2 Queen St. W. is seeking permission to develop a 65-storey, 220-metre and 580-suite rental building.” If the project is approved, what is the current retail location of the company Atmosphere is said by blogto.com to become the base of the new residential tower as “the store’s interior would become the podium for the building.”

Aside from the development’s rental property function (sole rental developments are not often seen in Toronto anymore), it’ll also feature a commercial component. And, since it will be located in one of the busiest downtown intersections, the development will have many environmental features; for instance, it will have 580 bicycle spaces and zero parking spots.

But, what prompted Cadillac Fairview to propose it as a rental building in the first place? Well, according to blog.newinhomes.com, a recently released Rental Report stated that a total of 3,919 condominium apartments were leased in the MLS system in the first quarter of 2013, which is up 31 percent from a year ago.” With statistics like that, it’s no wonder why this type of development was proposed. This is one rental property that will definitely appeal to people looking to lease in the downtown area.

Although some early renderings of the project have leaked (see above for an example), it’s still a lengthy process before we get to officially see it come to life. According to blogto.com, “a preliminary city planning report is due in June and a community meeting will likely be scheduled for July. Feedback from that meeting and the thoughts of the planning department will be handed back to Cadillac Fairview for them to take into consideration. A final report, with recommendations, won’t be given to council until at least next year.” So, stay tuned to find out what becomes of 2 Queen St. W.






Benefits of High-Floor Living

Condo hunters are bound to face this age old adage: to live above 10 storeys or not to live above 10-storeys high?  Seriously though, apartment complexes in ancient Rome grew to ten storeys and higher, so there’s nothing too new about the concept of high floor living!

In a vibrant city like Toronto, condo development is at a fever pitch, and it seems like a new skyscraper is built every other week.  So, for any new condo hunters out there trying to decide between living up high or closer to the ground, we bring you some important news: according to a recent study, living on a higher floor could mean a longer life.

Amazing, right? We promise this is not just a hunch- it’s scientific. Living on a higher floor could substantially decrease the likelihood of developing many fatal diseases.

A study by scientists in Switzerland was conducted by analyzing more than 1.5 million people living in buildings with 4 floors or more.  The result? They found that the chance of dying from serious lung disease was 40% greater among residents who lived on the ground floor compared to those with an apartment on the 8th floor or above.  For heart disease, mortality rates were 35% greater among those at ground level and for lung cancer the risk of death increased by 22%.

The researchers concluded that pollution was a huge factor in this decreased risk to disease, but also that exercise was a positive influence on health. (No way! Who would’ve thought?!)

Beyond these enlightening health benefits, there are some other factors that you might want to weigh when considering if a high floor level is the right choice for you!

Pros of living higher up:

  • Less chance of dying from lung disease
  • Lowered risk of dying from heart disease
  • More secluded
  • Less traffic/street noise
  • Less pollution
  • More exercise (if you walk up the stairs and boycott the elevator- hint: do it!)
  • Better views
  • Better security (less exposure to and risk of crime)
  • Did we mention you are less likely to be exposed to FATAL diseases??

Cons of living higher up:

  • Higher cost
  • More secluded
  • Scary for people with a fear of heights
  • Less likely to go outside as often
  • Takes (marginally) longer to get outside
  • Temperature (because higher floors are exposed to direct sunlight for long periods, it will probably get pretty hot up there- but we’re assuming those who can afford sky rise condominiums have A/C)
  • Unless you have a big balcony, you won’t have access or exposure to much greenery
  • More difficult to bring things in and out (ie. Groceries, moving boxes, furniture, etc.)

Considering all of the above, would you live on a higher floor?  Let us know below!

We hope we’ve helped you gain a little insight on what you value in a condo most!







Luminato 2013

Starting June 14th, Toronto will see a wide selection of unique art, theatre, film, dance, music, and literary events from local, regional, and international artists, playwrights, and filmmakers for this year’s Luminato Festival.

Luminato is a 10 day festival that occurs every summer in Toronto.  It’s a great chance to see some local talent and enjoy the city’s amazing culture.

David Pecaut Square (at the corner of King St. W. and John St.) continues to be the Luminato Festival Hub for the full ten days and will host free nightly concerts and events.

You can check out the schedule/program at a glance for each day of the festival by clicking here.

We’ve also taken the liberty of including some events around the city you might want to check out!

Friday, June 14
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The Hub at David Pecaut Square


Opening Night at the Festival Hub!

Condos Nearby:

Saturday, June 15
10:00 p.m. – 11:15 p.m. — No Intermission.
Roy Thomson Hall

Arabian Nights

The TSO goes late night with Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestral showpiece Scheherazade! The music is based on the exotic Arabian Nights story, in which Sultana Scheherazade enchants her husband with tales of intrigue in order to save her life. Yuja Wang also dazzles the audience with the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

Condos Nearby:

Saturday, June 22
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Trinity Bellwoods Park
Price: Free

A Literary Picnic

A summer’s afternoon, a picnic lunch, an inviting park. Add an incredible group of writers and you have A Literary Picnic, a celebration of storytelling that draws on the creativity and diversity of Toronto’s writing community.

Condos Nearby:

Wednesday, June 19
9:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. — No Intermission.
George Brown House
$75, $60

Mid-week fun with Chamber Magic

For those who only believe what they see, Steve Cohen invites you to come close, really close. A master magician whose repertoire is designed to engage the mind as much as the eye, Cohen’s Chamber Magic hearkens back to an era when wealthy patrons secured the services of elite wonder-workers to transform a salon into a stage and mesmerize family and friends with magic.

Condos Nearby:

Sunday, June 23
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. — With Intermission
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
$95, $85, $75, $60, $45

L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato

Since its creation in 1988, choreographer Mark Morris’ legendary L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato has earned global recognition as his company’s crowning achievement.

Condos Nearby:



Toronto Taste Festival

On Sunday, June 9th, join Toronto’s food lovers and critics at the Royal Ontario Museum for Toronto Taste Festival 2013! Hosted by Second Harvest, Toronto Taste is one amazing summer night that will see 65 chefs, 35 beverage purveyors and some 1,500 hungry foodies all get together for tastings, live, silent and wine auctions and other activities- all to support a great cause.  Proceeds will go towards support for hunger relief in our community, through Second Harvest’s ongoing efforts to rescue surplus food and deliver it to social service agencies in your community.

A bit about Second Harvest

Second Harvest is the largest food rescue program in Canada. Since 1985, Second Harvest has been picking up donated, excess food, which would otherwise go to waste, and delivering that food to community agencies in Toronto. Currently, Second Harvest delivers rescued food to over 215 community agencies.

Are you a wine collector?  The on-site Fine Wine Auction features a global selection of exclusive and rare vintages sourced from private collections for drinking, cellaring and investment.

If you’d like to get to know Taste Toronto a bit better, and get a look at the wine purveyors, auctions, chefs and partners participating, visit www.torontotaste.ca.

To buy your tickets now, click here.  They’re $250 a piece, and $125 is tax-deductible!

Oh no! Away at the cottage that weekend? Even if you can’t make it, you can support the cause by donating funds, food, or your time.  Every little bit helps.

Time: 6:30-10 pm. Must be 19 years of age or older to attend.

Condos nearby:




Theatre Museum at King Blue

With Toronto being the third largest home of live theatre in the world, behind London and New York City, it’s no wonder King Blue playing host to the Theatre Museum of Canada is such an exciting honour.

Read on and check out the gallery now for some updated renderings:


For those of you who aren’t familiar with the King Blue development at 335 King Street West, it will be a mixed-use residential and commercial space, developed by Easton’s Group and Remington.  The residential portion (two towers of 48 and 33 storeys designed by Page&Steele/IBI Group Architects) will sit atop the retail and institutional podium at the bottom.  The podium will also serve as the future home of the Theatre Museum Canada.  Currently, the museum has no permanent home, and only shows exhibits in temporary locations or online.

The Theatre Museum of Canada will be located in the Mercer Street podium lobby off the central courtyard, occupying approximately 9,000 sq. ft. of space.  It will feature extensive exhibit space on the second floor.  This above ground exhibit will be visible from the street, with contrasting framing and floor-to-ceiling windows.  It will also pay homage to the historical Westinghouse building façade- which will be incorporated into King Blue’s lobby.

The museum at King Blue will add to an existing and impressive Entertainment District neighbourhood that is filled with performing arts centres, theatres, and performing arts history museums.  “King Blue fits like a glove into King Street West,” says Steve Gupta, President and CEO of Easton’s Group. “Its retail component, the Theatre Museum of Canada, and the overall feel will be quite eclectic, a perfect reflection of the unmistakable ‘style’ that is King Street West.”






7 St. Thomas

Located right along the Bay Street Corridor, St. Thomas Commercial Developments is planning a half acre of commercial real estate- a nine-storey 93,000 square foot luxury office condominium.  The development, which will incorporate the new with the old – thanks to the revitalization of 6 heritage buildings – is an exciting new project that will offer its commercial space for sale, rather than simply leasing.   The project will be the first of its kind in the city to offer occupants the option to purchase rather than lease commercial units.  According to the President of St. Thomas Commercial Developments, 7 St. Thomas is “designed to appeal to the business or individual who wants to own their luxury office space in a highly desirable residential neighbourhood in Toronto.”

On the southeast corner of Sultan and St. Thomas Streets, 7 St. Thomas will be close to the nearby Yorkville neighbourhood and the bustling intersection of Yonge and Bloor.  Hariri Pontarini Architects undertook the design of 7 St. Thomas, with interiors by Munge Leung. It is scheduled for completion in 2014.

The Plan

The 7 St. Thomas development site contains a collection of six heritage properties constructed in the 1880’s, all of which have been identified by the City of Toronto for their architectural and contextual significance. The proposed design will revitalize and restore the site’s existing townhomes.

Providing a mix of grade
related retail and office space throughout the complex, the project is unique, as it represents the reintroduction of commercial development into an area which, over recent years, has been dominated by residential development.

The 6 restored heritage buildings along Sultan Street and St. Thomas Street will be incorporated into a new 3-storey podium. This podium, part of a larger 9-storey tower, will wrap around the existing buildings, matching them in scale and proportion. It will use glass and stone in order to contrast and enhance the heritage façades.The tower will be outfitted with undulating fritted glass and feature a frieze motif inspired by elements of the existing heritage buildings.

The Neighbourhood

7 St. Thomas’ prime location means the utmost convenience for business owners.  Central to all the action going on around it, 7 St. Thomas businesses will have the city at their fingertips. Below are just a few of many neighbourhood amenities that are nearby the commercial development.

  • Within walking distance of Toronto’s busiest subway station, Yonge & Bloor
  • Easy access to, the University of Toronto campus and both the Yonge-University-Spadina and Bloor subway lines
  • Directly south of Yorkville’s luxury shopping and world class dining, as well as Yorkville Park
  • Easy walk to the Four Seasons five star spa *insert hyperlink
  • Close to other city hotspots like the Eaton Centre, City Hall, and the Royal Ontario Museum

Owning vs. Renting

7 St. Thomas offers a unique and exciting program of commercial owning, rather than renting.  Why own?  Here’s why, according to the developers:

  • Maintain an ownership/equity position in your place of business
  • Long-term financing available at ‘all time’ low rates
  • Benefit from your equity growing as property values increase over time
  • As  your mortgage is paid down, your equity position grows. Essentially, paying rent (mortgage) to yourself
  • Cost certainty versus fluctuating leasing markets
  • Potential to produce income from your office asset in the future
  • Control your business environment by having more flexibility in making your space fit the ‘culture’ of the company
  • Convenience of direct elevator access to underground parking
  • Term is not fixed or negotiated like a lease
  • No relocation clauses commonly included in leases
  • Flexibility for afterhours access
  • Experience pride of ownership

Building Features and Amenities: Go Green!

The development will have a strong focus on contributing to positive urban environmental sustainability through its various Green features, making it a model for sustainability. These features include:

  • A rain cistern
  • Fritted glass for the reduction
of glare and heat infiltration
  • A new roof covered with low maintenance water efficient vegetation
  • Limited parking structure
  • Large bicycle storage system
  • Close proximity to transit

Pricing (subject to change)

7 St. Thomas will offer Office Suites from 679 to 93,000 square feet, starting at $450,000.

Stay tuned as we update you on the progress at 7 St. Thomas!

Please contact Kaive Wong, Broker of Record, at (416) 929-1660 or via e-mail at resupport@axoncapitalrealty.com for more details.