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!







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.”






King Blue Condos

It’s been almost six months since Remington and the Easton Group’s King Blue Condos’ VIP Launch last October 2012, so we thought we’d update you on everything that’s been unfolding since.

Last Saturday, you might have missed out on the official public launch of the project, which was a special night.  King Blue Condominium’s developers, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, invited retired Leafs Captain and legend, Wendell Clark to greet fans and sign autographed King Blue hockey pucks!

Aside from the excitement that Wendel Clark brought to the event, there were also plenty of plans that were unveiled as well. For instance, the Easton Group has amazing and extensive amenities planned for their upcoming development.

As you probably know, King Blue Condominiums will be a twin-tower mixed-use development at 355 King Street West. Plans consist of a 48-storey north tower and a 44-storey south tower, set atop a podium which will utilize the historic façade of the Westinghouse Building at the intersection of King and Blue Jays Way.

At grade, there will be multiple first-class retail stores, a hotel, and the newest Toronto attraction, the Theatre Museum of Canada. Above, there will be residential units, not to mention amazing five star amenities.  It doesn’t hurt that King Blue is in between two of the liveliest neighbourhoods of our city, with countless attractions just steps away.  The King Street West Theatre and Entertainment Districts of Toronto boast countless restaurants and clubs. The best of live theatre is nearby too.

About the Canadian Westinghouse Building

Built in two stages between 1927 and 1935, this 6-storey, yellow brick building’s north and west façades will be preserved and incorporated into the project. Charcoal-black bricks have been chosen for the new portions of the podium to provide a pleasant contrast with the heritage portion, while terra cotta frames will echo those on the heritage façade. The complex’s pool can be seen below in the pavilion on the roof of the Westinghouse podium.

Theatre Museum Canada

The bulk of Theatre Museum Canada’s space in the complex will be on the second floor of the southern half of the podium, with long windows overlooking Mercer Street and Blue Jays Way. It will be an education and exhibition centre paying tribute to the art of theatre.

Building Features and Amenities

The amenities at King Blue are designed by Munge Leung.

  • Grand Port Cochere Courtyard for pick up drop off
  • The complex will be split into north and south by the courtyard, and will connect to Blue Jays Way

  • Private lobby for each tower

  • 24/7 concierge service
  • State of the art Fitness Centre and Change Rooms
  • Outdoor deck and Pool Bar
  • Rooftop Terrace in  North and South Tower
  • Advanced Security
  • Enter-phone and cameras at all visitor entrances allowing for in-suite viewing through television connection direct to suite
  • Resident key fob access throughout all common areas
  • Convenient parking with cameras in the garage

Rooftop Terrace

  • Rooftop Terrace featuring multiple private seating areas equipped with outdoor fire pits and bar for residents’ use
  • Open and airy, yet intimate
  • Curvy 20 foot ivy wrapped trellis
  • Central seating area features stunningly lit artistic metal arches that soar above a beautiful water feature
  • Landscaping, trees and water features create a magical ambience
  • Fire pits and great city views as a backdrop
  • A lounge and private garden
  • Art gallery

Social Rooms

  • Multi-function Party Room complete with bar, fireplace and kitchen
  • Multi-media Theatre Room

Exercise Amenities

  • Seventh floor swimming pool with adjacent access to outdoor deck
  • Separate male and female change rooms and showers
  • State of the art full Fitness Centre featuring the latest equipment
  • Weight training and cardio areas
  • Relaxing lounge area adjacent to Fitness Centre
  • Yoga Room

Suite Features

  • Secure, solid core suite entry door with dead-bolt and guest viewer
  • 9 ft. smooth ceilings in principal rooms* (with the exception of hallways, closets, bathrooms and foyer at 8 ft., and 43rd, 44th floor suites at 10 ft. in principal rooms)
  • Engineered oak hardwood floors throughout with the exception of bathrooms
  • Floor to ceiling windows with 4” aluminum mullions in living and dining areas offering panoramic views above the urban canopy
  • Solid wood, painted 4” baseboards
  • Rough in for wall mounted TVs
  • All appliances connected and ready for use
  • Thermostat and Smoke Detector
  • Voice communication for Fire Department command room near the suite entrance lobby
  • Directory panel communication via en-suite panel or en-suite land line telephone
  • White electrical services and outlet covers

Gourmet Kitchens

  • Polished granite countertops and Kitchen Island* (where applicable)
  • Stainless steel and integrated (where applicable) appliances including counter top stove, microwave, oven and dishwasher, also included is a stainless kitchen sink
  • Laminate wood cabinetry and glass uppers
  • Glass tile backsplash and polished hardware
  • Undermount lighting

Private Spa Bathrooms

  • High-efficiency flush one-piece toilets with elongated, comfort height design
  • Drop in bath tub with porcelain tile wall as per plan
  • Glass shower stall as per plan
  • Laminate wood cabinetry with polished marble countertops and drop in sinks
  • Top quality hardware throughout including towel bar and toilet paper holder
  • Master en-suite floor finish in honed marble and marble tiles at tub walls
  • Designer vanity mirror including light feature
  • Privacy locks on all bathroom doors


  • Stackable front loading washer and dryer vented to exterior

Pricing (subject to change)

Bachelors from: $247,900
1 Bedrooms from: $331,900
1 Bedroom + Dens from: $347,900
2 Bedrooms from: $454,900
2 Bedroom + Medias from: $518,900
2 Bedroom + Dens from: $551,900
3 Bedrooms + Medias from: $712,900
3 Bedrooms from: $637,900

The finished product will add 807 units to the King West neighbourhood, with an impressive roster of recently completed developments such as Charlie, and M5V.  Upon completion, King Blue Condominiums will add more life to an already vibrant area.

Please contact Kaive Wong, Broker of Record, at (416) 929-1660 or via e-mail at resupport@axoncapitalrealty.com for full details on suites, floor plans, and pricing.












Jane’s Walk Toronto 2013

It’s that time of year again folks – the time where we get together to explore and enjoy our amazing city!  Many of us take for granted all the amazing sites and activities that Toronto has to offer, especially in the warmer months.  Now that spring is finally here, it’s the perfect time to lace up your walking shoes and participate in the annual Jane’s Walk.  This year, Jane’s Walk takes place from the evening of May 3rd to May 5th.

Jane’s Walks, named after the famous urbanist Jane Jacobs, are a series of free neighbourhood walking tours that aim to put people in touch with their city and with each other. They do so by bridging social and geographic gaps and creating a space for cities to discover themselves. Since its inception in 2007, Jane’s Walk has happened in cities across North America, and is growing internationally.

Below we’ve included some highlights from this year’s schedule, but you can click here for the full itinerary and details.

Here are some walks you might enjoy:

Saturday, May 4th @ 10am (3 hours): King and Spadina: One of The Two Kings

The Good Neighbour The Artist The Fun & The Furious The Aesthete

A quick tour of parts of the Roastery building(taking in the 10 foot square portrait of her created by artists John Scott and Deborah Waddington and roof garden – which Jane Jacobs loved and wrote about in the New York Times magazine). It will then proceed through the streets of King and Spadina and discuss the history of the zoning changes that occurred in ’97 and the impact it had on the area, the buildings, and people.

Starting Point: The Roastery, 401 Richmond St. West
Ending Point: Victoria Street Square

Condos you might see along the way: Charlie, Glas, M5V, The Morgan, Victory

Saturday, May 4th @ 11:30 am (1.5 hours): NOT the history of Liberty Village – digging under the skin and behind the curtain.

This walk will explore the contrast between Big Data – the things we know, see and experience about a place vs. Small Data – the questions, insight and, yes, the history that we don’t know, can’t see, never stop to question or couldn’t readily find out about our community.

As we circumnavigate Liberty Village, we will be exploring this concept in a different way – through narrative and with immersive technology – a smart phone app.

Starting Point: Starbucks in Liberty Village
Ending Point:
Starbucks in Liberty Village

Condos you might see along the way: Battery Park, King West Life, Liberty Market Lofts, Toy Factory Lofts, Zip

Saturday, May 4th @ 10:30 am (2 hours): Historical Walking Tour of Yorkville (Part 1): The Parks of Yorkville

Join Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and Architects Ken Greenberg and Michael McClelland for a walking conversation on how the future of Yorkville can be shaped in the context of current development, while taking in the unique heritage of Yorkville including the Yorkville Public Library and the award winning Village of Yorkville Park.

Starting Point: Yorkville Public Library
Ending Point: Village of Yorkville Park, Cumberland St

Condos you might see along the way: 18 Yorkville, Crystal Blu, the Florian, the Four Seasons, the Lotus

Saturday, May 4th @1 pm (2 hours): Transforming Queens Quay — Toronto’s Main Waterfront Street

Learn more about the $110 million revitalization project now underway that is completely transforming Queens Quay – Toronto’s main waterfront street – into a world-class boulevard.

Starting Point: Spadina Wave Deck
Ending Point: Canada’s Sugar Beach

Condos you might see along the way: Berczy, L Tower, Maple Leaf Square, Pier27, Pinnacle Centre

Saturday May 4th @ 1pm (1.5 hours): Murder!

A tour of historic murders in the Annex neighbourhood.

Starting Point: Steps of 371 Bloor St W

Condos you might see along the way: 1 Bedford, Exhibit, Museum House

Saturday May 4th @ 1pm (2 hours): Early Toronto: Heroes and Rogues in the Old Town of York

On this tour, you’ll wander the streets of the old Town of York, and find out where some of the most bizarre people in the town lived and worked. You’ll learn about Toronto’s earliest history, but also have the chance to transport yourself back in to the past, to become a resident of the old Town of York for an hour or two, and spy on your neighbours!

Starting Point: The Market Gallery
Ending Point: Distillery District

Condos you might see along the way: Clear Spirit, The King East, King’s Court, Mozo, the Richmond