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Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Upper Canada Condos

As Avenue Road stretches north, it approaches one of Toronto’s most prestigious and desirable neighbourhoods. It is here where a stunning new condominium residence is being created which offers truly exceptional value amidst the affluence which surrounds it.

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Developed by State Building Group and Madison Homes, The Upper Canada is an 18-storey condominium tower soon to rise at Avenue Road and Lonsdale Avenue, offering affordable elegance just steps from the stately mansions and tree-lined streets of one of Toronto’s most exclusive neighborhoods – Forest Hill.

Here one is mere minutes from the charming shops and cafes of Forest Hill Village, as well as the exclusive stores and restaurants Bloor/Yorkville.

Long one of the city’s most prestigious streets, Avenue Road will welcome the addition of The Upper Canada Condominium and its modern architecture, with a look reflecting the fresh design thinking of its development team and featuring a distinguished selection of suite designs that have been thoughtfully designed for the most discerning of purchasers.

Behind its sleek and contemporary façade of timeless precast, classic brick and expansive tinted glass, The Upper Canada Condominiums will comprise a total of only 93 exceptional suites. Spacious and practical in their design, suites will range in size from approximately 1,000 to 3,000 square at prices ranging from the $700,000’s to $2 million respectively.

Standard luxury features in the well-appointed suites include 9’ and 10’ ceilings, bright expansive windows, large designer kitchens and eating areas, premium built-in appliances, private ensuite retreats, and more. Moreover, each two-bedroom residence incorporates both a den and an oversized balcony or a highly sought-after terrace offering fabulous views of the city and the mature treetops of the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Just past the intricacy of the brick driveway and the richness of the front landscaping, residents and guests will enter The Upper Canada under a gracious glass-faceted canopy. With classic granite walls flanking either side of the stately entrance, a world of refinement awaits within.

Upon entering The Upper Canada Condominium, you and your guests will be greeted by a 24-hour concierge and a lobby that captures the exquisite design aesthetic of The Upper Canada. The focal point is the fireside seating area that is set under an elliptical coffered ceiling whose curved lines are echoed in the choice of both furnishings and artwork.

Just beyond the lobby, The Upper Canada provides all, the amenities one would expect from a residence of this extraordinary level of quality – an array of social, fitness and recreational facilities which contribute greatly to the appeal of its leisurely, maintenance-free lifestyle.

Imbued with the ambiance of a grand hotel, the party room and lounge are ideal for entertaining, with kitchen/dining facilities, and opening onto the lush greenery of a beautifully landscaped expansive private outdoor terrace. An inviting swimming pool evokes a spa-like atmosphere where one can enjoy a swim, relax on a chaise lounge chair, or bask in the soothing comfort of the hot tub. A professionally equipped exercise room welcomes residents for their daily workout while an elegantly furnished guest suite is available to accommodate their overnight guests.

Adding considerably to the advantages of its location at the gateway to Forest Hill, The Upper Canada Condos is also just minutes from Yonge Street – both the tony retail environs of Bloor-Yorkville and the trendy corner of Yonge and St. Clair – as well as offering easy access to the TTC and major highways.

The Upper Canada Condos’ design team has been augmented by the talents of award-winning architects EI Richmond, responsible for many of the GTA’s most desirable condominium addresses, along with respected interior design firm, Tomas Pearce Interior Design Consulting. Handling sales for the condominium residence is the renowned Sotheby’s International Realty.

State Building Group prides itself on offering some of Toronto’s finest developments, both in new single family homes and condominium. Recognized for its exceptional floor plan and space designs, as well as outstanding customer service, State Building Group has demonstrated its long standing commitment to satisfying the needs of the discerning home buyer for over 40 years.

It has done so consistently at projects ranging from the luxurious single family homes of The Bridlepath of Thornhill to the upscale condominiums of Hillside at Yonge and York Mills. Superior interiors, upgraded finishes and exceptionally well-proportioned room sizes are integral features of all State-built new homes and condominiums, and The Upper Canada Condos will continue to reflect this commitment.

With its coveted location, stunning design and superb value, The Upper Canada brings affordable elegance to Toronto’s most affluent of neighbourhoods.

Features & Finishes

The Upper Canada Condos is located steps from Toronto’s most prestigious Neighbourhood of FOREST HILL

THE UPPER CANADA SPECTACULAR ARCHITECTURAL FREATURES

  • A classic elegant 18 storey building.
  • Premier location at Avenue Road and Lonsdale Road close to transit, shopping, cafes, parks, nature and fitness trails, and the City’s major thoroughfares and highways.
  • Beautifully landscaped circular driveway with interlocking stone and gracious glass canopy.
  • Expansive double glazed windows throughout offering an abundance of natural light and panoramic views.
  • Spacious outdoor Balconies and Terraces.
  • Elegant finishing details in corridors and at suite entrance doorways.

THE UPPER CANADA’s STUNNING LOBBY

  • Grand Hotel-style lobby with central marble-clad fireplace, cornice mouldings, elegant furnishings and appointments.
  • 24/7 concierge station with separate secured storage area for owner’s deliveries.
  • Conveniently located mail room.

The UPPER CANADA’s BUILDING AMENITIES

  • Indoor swimming pool with hot tub.
  • Separate men’s and women’s change rooms with saunas. lockers, washrooms and showers.
  • Equipped fitness area with windows into the pool area.
  • Outdoor Terrace area fully landscaped area for dining and lounging located off the indoor Lounge and the indoor Pool area.
  • Private dining room with Caterer’s kitchen.
  • Party room/lounge area.
  • Conference room.
  • Furnished guest suite for overnight guests.
  • Visitor parking available underground.
  • Storage locker and bicycle storage underground available for purchase.

THE UPPER CANADA’s LUXURIOUS SUITE FEATURES

  • 9’0″ ceiling height on floors 2-14 and lO’O” ceiling height on floors 15-19.**
  • 8’0″ high solid core suite entrance door with lever hardware.
  • Designer selected pre-finished engineered 3″ wide hardwood flooring with cork underlay throughout (except tiled areas).
  • 5’A” contemporary-style baseboards with 3″ matching door-casings with backhand.
  • Plaster cornice moulding in foyer.
  • Architecturally designed, double-pane windows with operable awning window.
  • Smooth ceiling finish throughout suite.
  • 7’0″ interior door height with lever hardware.
  • All interior walls and trims to be painted off white.

TECHNICAL AND ELECTRICAL

Year round fan coil heating and cooling system.Individually controlled Programmable thermostats in each suite to allow residents to choose the temperature setting and schedule their own heating and cooling. Individual metering of in-suite electricity. Individual service panel with in-suite circuit breaker. White Decora style switches and receptacles throughout. Capped ceiling light outlet in dining room, kitchen, breakfast area, bedrooms and den. Cable TV outlets located in living room, bedrooms and den. Telephone outlets in kitchen, bedroom and den. Pot lights-one per 100 sq.ft. of suite area, located at owner’s direction (where permitted by structure, ducting. piping, obstructions and existing drop ceilings).

SAFETY AND SECURITY

  • Personally encoded suite intrusion alarm system.
  • Brightly painted and illuminated underground garage with sprinklers containing several strategically located cameras monitored by the front desk concierge and connected to a central digital recording device.
  • Emergency call stations strategically located on each parking level to enable two-way communication with the front desk concierge.
  • Concierge monitored two-way communication in selected key common areas.
  • Stand by generator to provide emergency lighting in common areas.
  • Each suite equipped with smoke and heat detector.
  • In-suite sprinkler system and hard-wired fire alarm speaker.
  • Electronic access control system for parking garage and amenity areas.
  • Partially glazed underground parking lobby entries.

THE UPPER CANADA’s KITCHEN FEATURES

  • Dcsigner-selcctcd kitchen cabinetry and hardware.
  • Designer-selected granite or engineered stone countcrtops with polished square edge.
  • Matching granite or engineered stone kitchen backsplash.
  • Cabinetry with extended height upper cabinets and under-cabinet valance lighting.
  • Double bowl stainless steel undermount sinks with pull out faucet.
  • ENERGY STAR® stainless steel refrigerator.

THE UPPER CANADA’s BATHROOM FEATURES

  • Designer-selected porcelain floor tiles.
  • Designer-selected porcelain shower wall tiles.
  • Designer-selected marble or engineered stone countertop with undermount sink(s).
  • Frameless glass shower enclosure as per plan.
  • Master ensuite with separate shower stall features white
  • acrylic soaker tub.
  • Separate shower stall with pot light as per plan.
  • Pressure-balanced temperature controlled shower faucet.
  • Full height and width vanity mirror.
  • Exhaust fan vented to exterior.
  • Rough-in for wall sconce and ceiling surface mounted
  • fixture.
  • Privacy lock on all bathroom doors.
* ALL SELECTIONS ARE FROM VENDORS STANDARD SAMPLES. FEATURES AND FINISHES VARY BY SUITE DESIGN AND PLAN.
** Height of ceiling may vary due to height of floor finishes and noise attenuation features. Some areas will have dropped ceilings or bulkheads to accommodate HVAC, mechanical, insulation and structural requirements and will result in lower ceiling heights.
Plans and specifications arc subject to change without notice. Builder may substitute materials provided such materials are of equal or better quality than the material provided in the plans and specifications. Purchaser shall only be entitled to make selections provided that the items are not already ordered or installed. Decorative upgrade items displayed in sales office or furnished model arc for display purposes only and arc not included in the purchase price. E. & O.E. July 18, 2012

BUILDING AND SUITE FEATURES

  • Premier location at Avenue Road and Lonsdale Road close to transit, shopping, cafes, parks, nature and fitness trails
  • Spectacular architectural features
  • Landscaped entrance with circular driveway and glass canopy
  • Elegant hotel-style lobby with marble-clad fireplace
  • 24-hour, 7-day-a-week concierge
  • Expansive windows offering panoramic views
  • 9’0″ ceiling height on floors 2-14 and 10’0″ ceiling on floors 15-19
  • 8’0″ high solid core entry door
  • Exceptional suite designs with superior finishes
  • Indoor swimming pool with hot tub
  • Professionally equipped fitness centre
  • Men’s and Women’s change facilities with saunas
  • Private dining room with caterer’s kitchen
  • Party room and lounge area
  • Beautifully landscaped outdoor terrace retreat
  • Conference room
  • Furnished guest suite height
  • Bicycle storage available underground
  • Visitor parking available underground

Prices, terms, specifications and floorplans subject to change without notice. Floor Area measured in accordance with Tarion Bulletin 22.
Note: Actual usable floor space may vary from the stated floor area.
* See condominium documents and sales representative for details and complete schedule of charges. Please see a Sales Representative for a full list of standard features as provided in Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Special offers may be withdrawn without notice. E. & 0. E. Brokers Protected.
Last Updating August 09, 2012
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This Japanese micro-home is only seven feet wide but houses two families

At its narrowest point, an average sized adult could reach out and touch both walls, but House K, a micro-home in Japan, houses two families.

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The home may only be seven feet wide, but it is 30 feet high and holds 1,700 feet of living space. Still, with such narrow quarters it’s hard to believe two families could live in the home comfortably.

However, the house is divided into two uneven halves which contain enough room for two families, complete with kitchens, bathrooms, closets and a small kitchen.

And here’s a kicker: there’s no wall dividing the duplex. InHabitat notes that “this space-efficient house could act as a prototype for cooperative living arrangements that build community without sacrificing privacy.”

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Condominiums

 

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Condo prices expected to jump in major Canadian markets

A new study by Genworth Canada and the Conference Board of Canada says first-time buyers, retirees and population growth will continue to fuel demand and price growth in condo markets in Canadian cities over the next few years.

The report looked at eight major metropolitan areas and noted that rising prices for single detached homes are encouraging first-time buyers to look at condos as an option, while retirees “remain heavy condominium consumers.” Further demographic support in the coming years will be provided by an aging population.

The report also cited continued low interest rates and employment growth as factors supporting the condo and housing market.

Genworth is a Canadian mortgage insurer based in Oakville, Ontario.

Here are a few more interesting factoids included in their report:

  • Absorption of new condos is forecast to fall only in Edmonton in 2012 while small increases are expected in Quebec City and Ottawa
  • Calgary absorptions are expected to more than double, but will remain below their boom-era level pre-recession
  • Unsold inventories in Toronto will stay below early 1990s levels and are expected to ease by 2013
  • Vancouver is the least affordable city in Canada while Calgary is the most affordable when analyzed relative to local incomes
  • In Toronto by 2013, the average resale condo price is expected to be $312,352, up by 2.5 per cent
  • Vancouver condo resale prices are expected to drop 2 per cent to $348,152

Many of the report’s predictions run contrary to warning issued by some experts and government officials about the Canadian housing market and some specific “overheated” markets.

“This data corroborates our view that the demand for condos in Canada, particularly at the price-point we insure, is well supported by our economy and our population,” said Brian Hurley, chairman and CEO of Genworth Canada in a press release. “For those seeking to own a home affordably in urban centres, condos remain a good option.”  Source: Buzzbuzzhomes

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Condominiums

 

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The interest rate remain unchanged at 1%

The Bank of Canada met this morning and once again we do NOT have a change in the trend setting interest rate, which means the the Bank of Canada decided to keep the rate at 1%. This marks the 2 year point in which the rate has been held at this level (as of September 9th) and economists are not expecting any changes now until at least mid-2013.

Growth in our economy is as predicted (at a modest Rate of 1.8%), and some housing markets are moderately cooling, so we can continue to expect relatively stable mortgage interest rates into the foreseeable future.

On a different note however, there is a change coming the elimination of Zero Down Payment Mortgages. All part of the changes announced earlier this summer, and effective September 15th, 2012 there will no longer be an option of putting NO MONEY DOWN on a home purchase.  While this option has not been as popular over the past 12 months as it was previously, there are still clients in the market who have taken advantage of this program. Specifically First-time homebuyers and Renters. There are only 10 days left to get into a purchase and into a mortgage before this opportunity disappears. Source: Alan D. Smith Scotiabank, National Mortgage Sales

 

Seven costly mistakes of property investment

Would-be buyers are often scared by hellish income property stories. But if you want to stay out of property purgatory, writes investment expert Paul Kondakos, avoid the following 7 Deadly Sins of income investing:

1. Poor Property Selection – This one can weigh on anyone’s soul as purchasing the wrong investment property can have long lasting repercussions that can range from high vacancy rates to exorbitant maintenance/repair costs. You need to ensure that you educate yourself and do your homework before you jump into any investment. Start by learning the criteria that make for a good income property investment.

2. Lazy Expense Tracking – Income property investing is a business, and as such, you need to be doing one of two things. Increasing revenue or decreasing expenses. Failure to track expenses is a costly mistake as patterns may reveal opportunities for cost savings. One such example is utilities which are one of the biggest expenses in operating an investment property. Often times water leaks can go undetected and cost BIG money. Simply tracking your bills will alert you to any activity that is out of the norm and allow you to act immediately.

3. Inadequate Tenant Screening – If you want to truly experience income property Hell don’t do any tenant screening at all. This is the one of the biggest sins you can commit as a property owner as you leave yourself open to unpaid rent, property damage, disruption of other tenants, additional unwelcomed tenants and a whole slew of other bad things which can cost thousands of dollars. To avoid this certain Hell, ensure you (A) Check Credit (B} Check Employment References and Pay Stub (C) Check Previous Landlord References (D) Check Personal References (E) Check Photo ID and (F) Ensure you Get First and Last Month’s Rent Up-Front.

4. Negligent Superintendent Supervision – Failure to supervise can be a costly mistake as the downside can range from missed efficiencies or savings opportunities to outright fraud or theft. No matter how great your superintendent or property manager, you still need to actively manage them as no one has your best interests at heart like you do. To ensure everyone is on the same page have regular meetings with your superintendent or property manager to review repairs, expenses, tenants and protocol.

5. Sloppy Accounting – Not keeping track of your income and expenses will not only put you on a fast track towards major headaches at tax time, it will leave you in the dark about potential inefficiencies and costs savings opportunities. Using an accounting program such as Quick books or a simple Excel spreadsheet will help keep you out of CRA’s Inferno.

6. Deferred Property Maintenance/Repairs – There is a special place reserved in Hell for the Slum lord. This one is a double whammy for those that are eager to experience income property Hell. While no one likes to shell out money for maintenance and repairs, failure to do so will inevitably lead to 2 other certainties (A) good tenants will leave and (B} repair and maintenance expenses will begin to grow exponentially the longer they are ignored. Keep your inner Slum lord at bay by putting aside funds to carry out regular maintenance and repairs.

7. Complacency on Rents – As mentioned in Sin #2 (Lazy Expense Tracking), income property investing is a business. Failure to keep up with going market rents will keep you from achieving maximum potential income (and keep you from maximizing the market value of your income property). Ensure that rent increase notifications are being handed out every anniversary as per the prescribed guidelines and that any newly vacant units are being priced according to going market rents.

Avoid these 7 Deadly Sins of income property investing and you will find that income property investing can be a heavenly experience. Source: Canadian Real Estate Wealth

 

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