Toronto Neighbourhood Guide

Recovery Underway in the Greater Toronto Area Real Estate Market

Oct 12, 2017

TORONTO, October 12, 2017 – The Royal LePage House Price Survey1 released today showed double-digit growth in year-over-year home prices across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in the third quarter of 2017, due in part to the strong gains witnessed within the region at the beginning of the year. While appreciation slowed within the GTA on a quarter-over-quarter basis to 1.5 per cent, market characteristics favouring the seller began to trend upward towards the end of the three-month period, as sales activity, a leading indicator of price trajectory, strengthened across many housing segments. In the third quarter of 2017, the aggregate price of a home in the region surged 21.7 per cent year-over-year to $860,295.

When broken out by housing type, home prices across all segments saw strong year-over-year gains. In the third quarter of 2017, the median price of a standard two-storey home in the GTA climbed 22.5 per cent to $1,014,131, while the median price of a bungalow increased 17.0 per cent to $835,157. During the same period, the median price of a condominium within the region also saw a significant price increase, rising 22.0 per cent to $471,932.

Within the quarter, real estate in the Greater Toronto Area began to show signs of a recovery, transitioning to a more balanced market as price movement and consumer confidence stabilized. The market-cooling effects stemming from the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan have begun to wear off, leading to a burst of demand being witnessed as many prospective homebuyers re-entered the market with the expectation that home values will only increase from here on out. This trend has placed a slight strain on healthier-than-normal inventory levels, especially as sellers continue to take their homes off of the market upon realizing that they can no longer capitalize on overheated conditions.

“The recovery is on in the Greater Toronto Area, with the housing market turning the corner in the latter half of the third quarter,” said Kevin Somers, chief operating officer, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Limited. “Though it is true that appreciation may continue to stagnate at the higher-end of the market due to affordability issues, strengthening consumer confidence has once again rekindled demand across the Greater Toronto Area, leading to the end of a very short-lived and measured softening within the region.”


Aggregate prices are calculated using a weighted average of the median values of all housing types collected. Data is provided by RPS Real Property Solutions.

During the quarter, prices remained resilient in the entry-level segment of the Greater Toronto Area real estate market, as many purchasers and prospective first-time homeowners competed for properties. Condominiums, and the majority of properties properly priced under $500,000, continued to witness multiple offers due to their relative affordability, especially as the new mortgage regulations introduced in October of last year further limited consumers’ purchasing power. With the threat of an increased interest rate environment looming, many prospective homeowners have sought out 90-day pre-approved mortgage rates, which will continue to spur activity and cause much of the inventory in the lower-priced housing segment to be absorbed.

“While home price appreciation across the GTA has sputtered somewhat since April, lower- priced homes, and in particular, condominiums have remained extremely attractive to purchasers due to their relative affordability,” added Somers. “As detached property prices remain out of reach for many purchasers, especially when nearing the city core, many homebuyers continue to readjust their expectations and look upwards or outwards to condominiums or suburban markets that offer attractive properties for an affordable price point.”

Greater Toronto Area Market Summaries

The median price of a home in the City of Toronto rose by 21.8 per cent year-over-year to $861,397 in the third quarter of 2017, as many continued to flock to the world-class city for its associated lifestyle. During the quarter, a lack of inventory and a resurgence of activity brought on by prospective homeowners coming back into the market caused price appreciation to trend upwards and sales activity to find its floor.

Inventory began to build in Scarborough, as many potential homebuyers elected to continue to sit on the sidelines in the hopes that home values begin to decline. With an increase in available inventory, prospective homeowners had more selection to choose from, giving them ample time to mull over a potential purchase. However, when compared to the third quarter of last year, price appreciation was strong, with the median home value in the region rising 15.6 per cent to $679,363, as many sellers continued to attempt to capitalize on the strong appreciation that occurred at the beginning of the year in order to move further east to cities like Peterborough, Belleville and Kingston where property is more affordable.

Price appreciation in York Region’s condominium market continued to shine during the third quarter of 2017, as many purchasers within the area looked to the lower-end of the market for its relative affordability. Meanwhile, home values in the detached market continued to soften slightly during the quarter, with high inventory levels causing the segment to transition to a market that favours buyers. In the third quarter, the median price of a home in Richmond Hill and Vaughan grew by 17.5 per cent and 26.5 per cent year-over-year to $1,288,411 and $1,099,899, respectively.

Markham continued to experience a lull in sales activity, as the region’s high priced real estate kept many purchasers at bay. While prices fell slightly on a quarter-over-quarter basis, largegains witnessed during the spring caused the region’s aggregate home price to surge when compared to the same time last year, rising 22.2 per cent to $1,108,943.

The residential real estate market in Brampton seemingly rebounded from its bottom in the latter half of the third quarter of 2017, with increased levels of demand stemming from new local job opportunities driving many to the area and helping to put a dent into the region’s surplus of inventory. While the region’s real estate market favoured purchasers at the beginning of the quarter, the area transitioned to a more balanced market towards the end of the three-month period, with the aggregate home price rising 25.1 per cent year-over-year to $731,544.

In the third quarter of 2017, artificially high inventory levels gave purchasers in Mississauga and Oakville the illusion of choice, as sellers tested the waters in the hopes of receiving a spectacular offer. Though both regions have transitioned to a buyer’s market, sellers aren’t giving in as easily to current conditions. Many choosing to put their homes up for sale are now either electing to relist their properties or take their homes off of the market entirely upon receiving offers that accurately reflect current values, but do not match the high-priced environment experienced at the beginning of this year. During the quarter the aggregate price of a home in Mississauga and Oakville increased by 20.9 per cent and 21.9 per cent year-over-year to $758,750 and $1,145,644, respectively.

The aggregate price of a home in Milton climbed 26.0 per cent this year over last to $788,634. Rising home values and the new mortgage regulations have driven many potential purchasers into the lower-end of the market, placing significant strain on this segment’s inventory levels and causing many to compete for condominiums and bungalows.

Sales activity in the Durham Region began to pick up in the third quarter of 2017, as buyers shook off the effects of the new mortgage regulations by adjusting their expectations and looking to the entry-level market. Now, anything on the more affordable end of the spectrum is experiencing a great deal of competition, with many looking to snap up property before interest rates rise further. During the quarter, Oshawa and Ajax experienced the largest aggregate home price increases of any area within the Durham Region, surging 26.8 per cent and 23.4 per cent year-over-year to $572,177 and $723,601, respectively. Pickering also saw a significant increase in price, with its aggregate home value rising 20.9 per cent this year over last to $754,371, while home values in Whitby grew by 19.9 per cent to $712,914 over the same period.


Design Facts of the Week

Jan 31, 2017

I notice that Toronto Architects designing residential homes seem to mostly use the same juxtaposed geometric and the same 3 colours & materials. Yes there are exceptions. However, if you are going to insert contemporary architecture into a traditional neighbourhood here is a much more compatible way to do it.





An Honest Goodbye

Jan 23, 2017


By Nicole Culp, TNG Reporter at Large, January 2017, All  Rights Reserved

I was walking by Honest Ed's the day before it closed. It was happenstance, but I was grateful for the coincidence. I went in for one last peruse, of the handful I've engaged in. Each of my past visits have been accidental stop ins, on the way to somewhere with a little extra time, remembering that I needed toothpaste or shoe laces or long johns. If I hadn't found what I needed there, I would've found it somewhere else, but it wouldn't have been quite as lovely. I appreciated Honest Ed's in passing, and I went in the day before it closed to appreciate it with intention. 


All of the stock was cleared, save some passed over cassettes and knick knacks and the last of the Mirvish theatre production posters and hand-painted signs. But it was filled with people; taking pictures, sitting in empty displays, standing in a formidable line so they could leave with their card-stock piece of Toronto history. I felt bad that I hadn't come sooner, to see it as I had always experienced it, but I was heartened to see such a public display of affection. 


I don't want to overstate my love for Honest Ed's – that would be glib. The nature of our relationship was the same as my last visit, happenstance. But it does have meaning. What it means now is understanding and engaging in what's to come; development plans that call for 1,000 rental apartments, a permanent public market, and negotiations that include a daycare, and a public art component, to name a few. And from February 23-26, Toronto for Everyone – a 4-day farewell to Honest Ed's in the form of an art maze, community hub, market, and general good cheer – will bridge everything we love about what Honest Ed's gave to our city, and everything we need to learn from it and impart as we continue to grow. This time around, I won't be a passer-by. 



To learn more about Toronto for Everyone:


To read up on plans for Mirvish Village:


For a lovely goodbye:



Sugar Shack TO returns to Sugar Beach

Jan 19, 2017

Toronto’s very own cabane à sucre is returning to Sugar Beach with one epic weekend fuelled by maple syrup - and you're invited!

We’re excited to announce the return of Sugar Shack TO! Bringing a big dose of sweetness to Toronto’s Waterfront, Sugar Shack TO is returning to Sugar Beach – bigger, better and sweeter than ever. On the first weekend of March Break, March 11-12, 2017, Sugar Shack TO will have everyone celebrating the last days of winter with TWO sugar shacks serving up maple taffy, ice activities, a food marketplace, live entertainment, a specialty bar and much more!

Saturday, March 11, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 12, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Canada’s Sugar Beach – 11 Dockside Drive. Lower Jarvis and Queens Quay

•    TWO Sugar Shacks serving up real Ontario maple taffy all weekend long 
•    Food marketplace with a variety of maple infused treats
•    Interactive ice activities for kids: an ice canvas to paint on, ice sculpture photo ops,
      battle of the chainsaws, ice carving demos and a giant ice Tic-Tac-Toe  
•    Live music from Sugar Shack emcees 
•    Sugar Shack bar including beer, mulled cider and specialty liquor 
•    Free Sugar Shack Shuttle operating to and from the Distillery District
•    Free general admission 

•    Transit: 8 minutes from Union Station on the 6 Bay bus or take the 75 Sherbourne bus. 
•    Cycling: Sugar Beach is accessible via the Martin Goodman Trail. 
•    Driving: Paid parking lots available around Sugar Beach. 
•    Sugar Shack Shuttle: Ride the shuttle bus from Sugar Beach to the Distillery District (Mill
      Street and Trinity Street).
To keep up to date with event details visit and follow @WaterfrontTO on Twitter!


Condo rents jump 9% as supply falls to 5-year low

Oct 14, 2016

TORONTO – October 14, 2016:  Urbanation Inc., the leading source of information and analysis on the Toronto condominium market since 1981, released its third quarter 2016 rental results today.




The number of condo apartments rented through the MLS system during Q3-2016 in the Greater Toronto Area declined by 9% from a record high last year to 7,651 units. Activity was held back by a 13% drop in listings as the number of units in new projects registered during the quarter declined by 30% year-over-year. The ratio of leases-to-listings hit a new high of 89% while available listings at the end of the quarter fell to a more than five-year low of 930 units.


Market conditions became very tight in the third quarter with the average condo rental spending only 12 days on the market and the number of units renting for above asking price more than doubling from a year ago. This resulted in 9% annual growth in rents, the fastest rate of appreciation since Urbanation began tracking the market in 2011, with rent levels reaching new highs of $2.71 psf or $1,986 per month.


“The rental market has become severely undersupplied, which is likely to worsen following the latest round of mortgage insurance rule changes” said Shaun Hildebrand, Urbanation’s Senior Vice President. “Notably higher qualification standards for first-time buyers and reduced credit availability for investors should put even more pressure on the market, even as more rental units are being built” added Hildebrand.


Condo Rental Market 


Average monthly rents broke through the $2,000 level in the City of Toronto for the first time, reaching $2,044 in Q3-2016 based on an average unit size of 717 sf ($2.85 psf).  In Toronto proper, average rents shot up 10% year-over-year to break $3.00 psf for the first time ($3.10 psf or $2,145). Growth was nearly as strong in the 905 region where rents increased by 7% from last year to $1,749 ($2.14 psf).


Purpose-built Rental Survey


Urbanation’s survey of purpose-built rental apartment projects completed across the GTA since 2005 (46 buildings totaling 8,293 units) revealed a vacancy rate of just 0.6%, unchanged from a year earlier. Rents across the sample averaged $2.45 psf, up 5% annually. The inventory of purpose-built projects under construction totaled 25 buildings and 5,678 units in Q3-2016, down 676 units from the previous quarter as four projects began occupancy. The total proposed inventory increased to 20,226 units, double the level from a year ago.


Dawn of a new era for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Oct 11, 2016


Toronto Maple Leaf fans have not had much to cheer about for what seems like ages, having made the National Hockey League playoffs just one time since the 2003-04 season. In the 2015-16 season the Maple Leafs hit rock bottom finishing in last place in the NHL. The silver lining in all this futility has been the opportunity to obtain high-end draft picks in the annual NHL amateur draft. And the Maple Leafs have taken full advantage of their draft position in recent years taking super talented players with a high ceiling for success including the likes of: Morgan Reilly, Nazem Kadri, William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Austin Matthews all of whom will be donning the blue and white when the 2016-17 NHL regular season begins tomorrow night. The Maple Leafs open their season on the road against their cross province rivals the Ottawa Senators.

Toronto hockey fans will want to pay close attention to Auston Matthews the 19 year old phenom from Arizona who the Maple Leafs drafted first overall in the 2016 draft. Think Mark Messier when watching Matthews play. At 6.3 tall and 216 pounds the 19 year old Matthews is a man-child with superhero skills that will amaze even the most jaded Leaf fan. Matthews is a bull that can stickhandle in a china shop and skate like the wind. The other must watch newcomer is Mitch Marner the 4th overall draft pick in the 2015 draft. Marner grew up in Thornhill, Ontario just a a wrist shot north of Toronto.  He always dreamed of playing for the Maple Leafs. Marner is a wizard with the puck who will bring you out of your seat and dare I say it remind you of Messier's running mate the Great Wayne Grtezky.

If this all sounds too good to be true and you think I may be delusional then watch these kids for yourself. You will be amazed. Finally entertaining hockey is back in Toronto and not a moment too soon. President Brendan Shanahan, general manager Lou Lamoriello , assistant general manager Mark Hunter and Coach Mike Babcock clearly know what they are doing when it comes to assembling young talent. It should be a fun season in Toronto for Maple Leaf fans. Go Leafs Go.

David Dunkelman blogging for
 Now Shipping to Penguin Pick-Ups Throughout the GTA

Oct 3, 2016

Sourcing Toronto's Best Selection of Organic Meat, Fish, Produce and More Just Got Easier



TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - October 03, 2016) - is thrilled to announce a partnership with Penguin Pick-Up, a network of convenient pick-up locations for online purchases. The partnership will make organic food more accessible for people living in the GTA. is an online grocery store started by the founders of The Healthy Butcher, and it features over 4000 products, including Organic & 100% Grass-fed meat by The Healthy Butcher, fresh Ocean Wise approved sustainable seafood, gourmet cheese by the Cheese Boutique, local fruits and vegetables by Pfennings Organics, and a full selection of Organic groceries. delivers to homes seven days a week throughout the city, but now has added convenient pick-up locations. "For a small company like ours that does not have physical locations everywhere, a partnership with Penguin Pick-Up is a slam dunk. Lots of our customers don't know if they will be home during the two hour windows we set out and that causes unnecessary stress for an otherwise stress-free online shopping experience," said Mario Fiorucci, co-founder of "The basis of our business is convenience in sourcing the best local and Organic foods, and Penguin Pick-up is a natural next step for us."

Groceries ordered on are picked and packed carefully by hand, and delivered to the Penguin Pick-up location of choosing. Customers can pick up their orders at their convenience. And for an introductory period that will extend until early 2017, no added delivery or service charge will be added to orders destined to Penguin Pick-up locations. 

Egil Moller Nielsen, Senior Vice President & Head of Business at SmartCentres, says, "We are excited to be partnering with to make organic and high quality food more accessible for people living in the city without signing up to a monthly subscription. customers can now pick-up their order at our convenient Penguin Pick-Up locations across the GTA. We provide Penguin Pick-Up in 90 seconds or less."

About was born out of the passion for food shared by customers at The Healthy Butcher, one of Toronto's preeminent butcher shops. A common frustration amongst customers was not having enough time to spend cooking, eating, and enjoying food to its potential. is a service to enhance your lifestyle. For more information, please visit

About Penguin Pick-Up

Penguin Pick-Up is a network of FREE convenient pick-up locations for online purchases. Penguin Pick-Up offers a customer-focused drive through experience that allows online shoppers to come and pick up their packages in 90 seconds or less. With extended operating hours, customers can collect their online purchases at a time that is convenient for them. Penguin Pick-Up is a "one-stop pick-up" for all e-commerce purchases, including groceries and dry cleaning services. Penguin Pick-Up locations can store fresh and frozen food as well as hard goods such as electronics and apparel. Customers can ship almost anything to Penguin Pick-Up from anywhere in the world and any online retailer.

Penguin Pick-Up and Penguin Fresh selling farm-fresh food, are owned by developer Mitchell Goldhar, founder of SmartCentres which has developed more than 265 shopping centres in Canada and Chairman of Smart Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), which acquired the SmartCentres development platform. For more information, please visit and




Food Truck Festival Ontario (FTFO) is on for the third edition this Sunday September 18 at Downsview Park.

Sep 12, 2016

Toronto, ON - Food Truck Festival Ontario (FTFO) is gearing up for its third edition, taking place this Sunday September 18th at Downsview Park. Thirty food trucks are billed to participate and other attractions, which include:
·         19+ drinks garden by Mill Street Brewery 
·         Magnolia brass band
·         Artisans Market
·         Kid Zone with giant corn maze
·         Eating contests
“Attendees have the chance to vote for their favourite food truck. The winning truck will go home with the Golden Fork Trophy, which has become the most sought after award amongst Ontario food trucks, this inspires food truck owners to create new and exciting food items for the festival-goers,”  says Stev Baycetich, the producer behind the festival.
Date and Times: Sunday, September 18, 2016, 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 
Location: Festival Terrace, Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Road, Toronto, ON M3K 2B6
Tickets: Buy in advance at for $12, children under 13 free with adult. Tickets at door: $15, if available.
Food Prices: All trucks will have sample size dishes for $6 or less.
For more info visit 
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Food Truck Festival Ontario (FTFO) is an outdoor festival created to honour and showcase the trucks behind the movement that has recently made Ontario street food some of the best in the world.  FTFO provides a family friendly and casual outdoor environment for food fans to sample food truck offerings at an affordable price. Furthermore, FTFO gives food fans the opportunity to vote for which truck goes home with the Golden Fork Trophy as the peoples champion food truck.

Newmarket kicks-off Hometown Hockey Season 3 with spotlight on Connor McDavid

Sep 7, 2016

Hometown Hockey the popular television show is back for a third season. The first episode this season will feature the Town of Newmarket, the hometown of Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid, the two-day celebration in Newmarket, ON will feature a live performance by Juno Award-winning recording artist Walk Off The Earth. The weekend culminates with the first Rogers Hometown Hockey broadcast of the season, featuring McDavid and the Oilers hosting Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres in Edmonton at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sportsnet.

For a preview of this episode and to hear what Connor McDavid thinks of his hometown click on the link below.