The rental market in Toronto has been getting increasingly tighter with each passing month. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Rental Market Report for the third quarter of 2016, the vacancy rate for the GTA is sitting at 1.8%, but keep in mind that this number speaks for all of the GTA in all different housing types. If we focused solely on downtown Toronto vacancy rates, I’m pretty sure that percentage would be much lower. It’s a competitive market for tenants out there right now!
That said, whenever a new building comes on the market after receiving occupancy, there are a lot of new units that surface at the same time. It’s really only at this point when tenants are in a more favourable situation, since for a short time in a specific building, there are usually more listings than tenants.
Still, when it comes to making your offer shine in the face of competition, I’ve seen how making one small step can help improve the success of your offer being accepted: an offer cover letter. It may sound silly, and really corporate or work-related, but a cover letter along with your offer can help warm up the introduction between you and the landlord.
When normally submitting an offer and supporting documents, it’s a very rigid and formulaic approach, which though very important and quite frankly required, leaves little to the landlord to get a sense of who you are as a tenant.
A letter that introduces who you are, why you’re looking forward to living in the space, and a promise to be respectful of the unit and the neighbours really adds to your professionalism and the confidence a landlord will have in choosing you as their tenant.
It’ll be an extra 15-20 minutes to prepare, but it may well make the difference between you happily moving into your new home, or searching over and over again for a new place. I’ve heard the feedback from listing agents myself when representing tenants on how nice it is to receive a cover letter. It really can work!
As further real estate development occurs in downtown Toronto, pricier and more dramatic architecture is coming to the neighbourhood, particularly with this newest project slated for north Yorkville at 100 Davenport (at Bay).
Designed by Douglas Cardinal with Diamante as the Developer, this proposed tower is a big shift away from your typical glass box in that it is 39 stories that blossom open into a flower pedal formation on top of a Gaudi-esque base. The residential floors will see undulating waves around the corners of the building.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this project however isn’t the design, but rather the price-tag. Despite only be 39 stories tall, the entire building will house only 53 suites, which means they will be enormous in size by recent downtown Toronto condo standards, with about half of the floors containing two suites each and the rest with only one 4,000+ sq.ft. suite per floor.
Based on the neighbourhood, design and planned materials, this condo can confidently be included in the ultra-luxury category.
The question I have is whether Toronto’s luxury condo market can handle more luxury real estate at the moment. We’ve seen the development of this segment of the market appear quite quickly in the past 5 years or so with the additions of the Trump Tower, Shangri-La Residences, the Four Seasons Residences and the Ritz-Carlton residences, amongst other condos aiming to capitalize on the same market such as Aura Condos, but are there enough high-calibre buyers to take on the purchase of another new ultra-luxury condo such as 100 Davenport? Or will the project flounder in the search for wealthy purchasers?
The project has yet to get the green light from the city, so we’ll have to await the results of the city and community review panels before we know whether this project will get to the next stage or not. In any case, I’m a huge fan of the design and love the originality and whimsy of the shape.
For those not living or working near downtown Toronto, I’m sure you’re curious about the status of the project. Here’s a photo update on the progress on One Bloor as of Monday, November 23, 2015.
A lot of the glass has gone up around the podium of the tower, which has allowed for the stand-out curved sections to come through beautifully.
It was interesting to watch how the pedestrians reacted to One Bloor as they passed by. Clearly those people who don’t frequent the neighbourhood to see the building often were stopping to stare and point at the tower. It is a rather impressive size and a compelling design for anyone to see!
The occupancy for the lower floors is still estimated for spring 2016, so it will be a while before any interior shots can be enjoyed. In the meanwhile, there is plenty of ogling to be done on the exterior as the entire building takes shape.
As the building takes shape, more interest from buyers and sellers is surfacing, with questions about pricing and assignment availability. Although it’s still too early to officially assign with the builder, I’ve seen some sellers listing for in and around the $1,000/sq.ft. price point right now. Until some of these assignment sales go through in the spring of 2016, we won’t yet be able to establish a market value trend, since $1,000/sq.ft. is setting the trend upwards for the neighbourhood for a building that isn’t of the caliber of The Four Seasons or The Hazleton Hotel. It will definitely be interesting to see how the buyer pool reacts to these prices.
For a full selection of photos from November 23, 2016 on the progress on One Bloor, have a look down below:
You may have heard of the two-tower project set for the south east corner of Yonge & Gerrard, and I’m sure you’ve by now seen or heard of Aura Condos if you live in Toronto, but a new proposal just submitted to the City for review will completely intensify the density of the the area to a whole new level on the south west corner of the intersection if it goes through as requested.
Located on the site of the current Eaton Chelsea hotel are plans to create four new towers consisting of 80, 74, 50 and 46 stories. All told, this will add around 1900 new residential condo units and 300 hotel rooms to the lot.
Plans are still in the extremely early stages, and will likely be modified as they proceed, but still, this is a massive addition to the neighbourhood.
My hope is that through these development plans, along with those for the previous site of the World’s Biggest Book store on Edward Street just south of there, an underground connection can be created to link The PATH system that currently terminates at The Atrium on Bay with The Shops At Aura & College Park shops that have been locked out of the underground network. If so many residents and towers will be included in the neighbourhood in 10 years time, it will be imperative to have networks and means for pedestrian traffic to flow effectively. And with surface sidewalks potentially being too jammed with people traffic, having an underground network will help alleviate some of the congestion.
The next things to work out, of course, are whether the area can handle the extra density on the subway system, green spaces, and surrounding existing infrastructure. It’s exciting to see changes happening to the neighbourhood, but I do want to see them done with future-thinking and sensitivity in mind, so that what ends up being created is a neighbourhood to fully enjoy by everyone in every respect.
There is a new condo player coming into the Yonge Street Condo corridor neighbourhood. Just south of One Bloor on Yonge Street between Dundonald and Gloucester Streets will be The Clover on Yonge. Still in its very early days, The Clover on Yonge is a project from Cresford Developments, who is already well known in the neighbourhood from their other residential buildings such as 1000 Bay Condos, Casa 1 & Casa 2 Condos and Vox Condos on Wellesley. They will be teaming with architectsAlliance to create this proposed 44 storey tower with approximately 420 units and retail/commercial space at the base.
Having gone through many design changes from the development applications submitted to the City of Toronto since 2012, I do believe what we see below will basically be the form to take shape on the site to come. The original plan called for a rather edgy 75 degree angular plane shooting out from the side of the building, however the final rendition will be more traditional in shape.
Also to be incorporated into the site are some of the older, more historical buildings on the building lots, so as to keep the historic character of Yonge Street somewhat intact.
The Clover on Yonge is simply proof of the Yonge Street building boom that has been taking place along the stretch from Gerrard to Bloor with such notable projects as the site of 385 Yonge Street, Aura Condos, YC Condos, Karma Condos, Tea House Condos, the site around 490 Yonge Street, Five Condos, and many others that are just off to the side of Yonge Street. The building boom from Bay Street has certainly filled the appetite for more condos on Yonge Street and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of other condos to come as Yonge Street is ripe for change.
If you have any interest in The Clover On Yonge, contact me below and I’ll keep you in the loop!
Growing swiftly and steadily out of the south east corner of Yonge and Bloor in downtown Toronto, One Bloor is taking shape with a decent teaser amount of exterior cladding to show off its curves. Staying true to the original artist’s renderings, unique wave-like panels are covering the lower parts of the building and creating a striking look for the intersection.
Have a look at the progress so far to date:
As of the date of this writing, it is believed that occupancy will begin for the earliest residents in the spring of 2016, hopefully around April or May 2016. This has been pushed forward from the originally planned date of January 2016. Understandably, with a project of this size and magnitude, it’s difficult to estimate the occupancy timing until progress is well underway. Now as the construction inches closer to the roof being completed and the building envelop being closed, it’s easier for the builder to determine when residents can realistic gain occupancy to their suites.
With the excitement of occupancy approaching, it’s important to remember that even when a builder grants you the keys to the suite, don’t quite yet expect the entire building to be complete. It’s very frequently the case that the common areas (lobby, hallways, amenities areas and more) are not done yet. It will just be your suite interior that will be ready to call home, with access likely to your parking and/or locker units as well.
If you’re considering selling your suite either soon on an assignment basis or later on as a resale unit after registration, feel free to connect with me and I can help explain the process and provide you with your options. Alternatively, if you’re aiming to become a landlord, I can assist with rental and property management services that I’d be happy to explain as well.
Think back only a few short years ago, even only one decade ago, and Yonge and Gerrard didn’t exactly conjure up the more appealing of images. As part of the sort of shabby section of Yonge street with a surface parking lot on one side (where the 79 storey Aura Condos now stands), some run down nic-naks stores on the other, and the real only beacon being the Elephant and Castle pub, this intersection would hardly be considered “prime”. But with the rise in prominence of Yonge Street now as a growing mecca of modern condos and slowly cleaned-up shops, it obviously wouldn’t be long before a great new towering project would hit the south east corner.
Enter the two-tower monster YSL Residences project designed by Quadrangle Architects for the site, along with a cool sky bridge feature linking the 62 and 73 storey buildings. As if Aura didn’t already provide enough height for the area, these two new neighbouring buildings will certainly strike anyone as bold in design as well as size, and add to the tall density of the area so that Aura doesn’t feel as “lonely” between the massive size of buildings in the financial district and those in the Yorkville area, such as the Four Seasons, One Bloor and the upcoming The One.
The new design will stretch quite a north-south distance along on the east side of Yonge Street, revitalizing the retail and commercial space with a mix of restored heritage buildings and modern cubic boxes set at various spacing. It’s a fun and playful addition to the streetscape that I believe will liven and improve this stretch of Yonge Street tremendously.
And I can’t help but notice that in all of the renderings, Yonge Street has been reduced to two lanes, down from four lanes, with a widened sidewalk area. Is this a sign of things to come? I’d also love to see this come true too, as the pedestrian traffic in the area often over-shines the vehicle traffic at many times of the day.