35 Church St. #504, St. Lawrence
(Front and Jarvis streets)
- Asking price: $488,000
- Sold for: $479,000
- Taxes: $3,120 (2011)
- Bedrooms: 1
- Bathrooms: 2
- Time on the market: 62 days
Southwest exposure, view of Flatiron
The owners of suite 504 can enjoy a view of the historic Flatiron building through a wall of windows offering a southwest exposure, says listing agent Elli Davis.
The sunny and bright suite has one bedroom plus a solarium. A combination living and dining room, built-in appliances in the kitchen, a powder room and a den that is currently being used as a dining room are highlights. The master suite has a walk-in closet and a four-piece ensuite bathroom. The suite has parquet floors throughout and an ensuite laundry. The approximately 1,302- square-foot suit comes with one underground parking space and a locker.
Building amenities include a 24-hour concierge, indoor pool, rooftop deck, party room, sauna and squash court.
The suite is in Market Square, within walking distance of St. Lawrence market, Union Station, theatres, restaurants and shopping.
Listing Broker: Royal LePage
Real Estate Services: Elli Davis
Published in The National Post, November 19, 2011.
Distinctive Women Magazine featured Elli in their latest issue of their Profiles of Distinction! This publication spotlights business women from a range of industries with their inspirational stories of success. It was made available in Friday’s edition of the Globe and Mail, but you can read more here:
“Placing that sold sign is my favourite thing to do!”
– Elli Davis for Distinctive Women Magazine
For nearly 30 years, Royal LePage’s Elli Davis has surpassed the competition. At the forefront of an extremely competitive field, her adaptability, staunch work ethic and polished negotiating skills have consistently placed her in real estate’s upper echelon. “I am success oriented and I love my career because of the unique aspects and challenges that come with it,” explains Elli. “That is what continues to drive me.”
Specializing in houses and condominiums in Toronto’s core, Elli’s extensive experience has armed her with a comprehensive understanding of the local market. Passing that knowledge along to her clients, she and her outstanding team provide unparalleled service, dedication and expertise.
Elli’s commitment to quality care has led to countless repeat clients and innumerable referrals. “I thrive on helping people and that’s what keeps me motivated,” she says. Elli passionately supports her community, contributing to Royal LePage’s Shelter Foundation. “When you are part of a community it is very important to give back to it,” she explains.
Published in Distinctive Women Magazine, Sept 30, 2011.
58A Oriole Road, Toronto
- Asking price: $1,449,000
- Selling price: $1.4-million
- Previous selling price: $911,214 (2003)
- Taxes: $10,855 (2010)
- Time on the market: 100 days
- Listing agent: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
About 30 buyers viewed this three-storey townhouse near Upper Canada College. However, it took some time to find a buyer unfazed by the fact the fenced-in backyard is situated on the other side of the driveway.
What they got
In 2003, a builder constructed four semi-detached, brick and stone houses, including this one on a 20-by-173-foot lot. This property combines a variety of luxuries, such as ten-foot ceilings on the main floor, five bathrooms, a central vacuum system and a premium double garage accessed via the lower level recreation room. The open living and dining area has a sense of formality decorated with wainscoting and crown mouldings, while the combined kitchen and family room is more casual with an island, a gas fireplace and French doors to a Juliet balcony. The second floor master retreat was outfitted with nine-foot ceilings, an electric fireplace and his-and-her closets, as well a seven-piece bathroom and another Juliet balcony. The third floor houses an open, sky-lit den and two bedrooms, both with private four-piece bathrooms, one with a walk-in closet and the other with a deck.
The Agent’s Take: “It was a wonderful, beautiful town home … located between Forest Hill and Yonge and St. Clair,” says agent Elli Davis. “It was on three levels – plus a lower level – and it had a double car garage attached, plus a very unique situation where they also have two exterior parking spaces … and they had a garden.”
Published in The Globe and Mail, Sept 22, 2011.
41 Elderwood Drive, Toronto
- Asking price: $1,995,000
- Selling price: $1,885,000
- Previous selling price: $1,233,000 (2009)
- Taxes: $10,124 (2011)
- Time on the market: 63 days
- Listing agent: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
There were about 30 private appointments booked to view this updated, three-storey house on a 40-by-115-foot corner lot in Forest Hill.
What they got
Within two years this roughly 70-year-old centre-hall residence underwent an extensive makeover, evident from the sight of the new grey stucco façade, windows and red entry door to its manicured gardens, new deck, stone patio and heated in-ground pool in the south-facing yard.
Inside, there is a rear sitting area, library and living room with one of two wood burning fireplaces, as well as a remodelled galley-style kitchen overlooking the dining room and newly created family room with exposed brick walls and double doors to the deck.
Four bedrooms and three out of five bathrooms are located on the second floor, including a sky-lit five-piece master en-suite with a freestanding tub and glass shower stall.
At the top of the third floor landing, there is a study and a fifth bedroom.
Below the 3,364-square-foot house, there is a 1,060-square-foot basement with a fireside recreation room and a nanny suite with a sitting area, bedroom and bathroom.
The Agent’s Take: “Everything was redone outside, as well as inside, so it was very high quality, says agent Elli Davis, whose sellers were relocated for work just after completing the renovations.
“It was done with a contemporary feel – they transformed a double garage into a family room and made the kitchen open to the dining room – but they left its original charming features intact, like fireplaces, mouldings and hardwood floors.”
Published in The Globe and Mail, Sept 22, 2011.
Our real estate experts revisit their bold spring predictions and look to the future
POST: Sherry, in March, you said, “Toronto house prices will be up, but only by two per cent to three per cent, compared to 4.6 per cent last year” and “I don’t believe Toronto real estate is at bubble levels.” But according to recent TREB sales figures, July 2011 sales are up close to 10 per cent from July 2010 (but also down from the previous month). Do you still contend that the Toronto real estate market is at a safe level?
Sherry Cooper: I think there might be some froth in Toronto real estate, but interest rates have fallen to extraordinarily low levels, which keeps activity buoyant. Toronto house prices look likely to increase about eight per cent this year, assuming they remain at roughly current levels. Prices rose faster than I anticipated because interest rates were lower than I had expected. Over the longer term, prices could decline five per cent over the next couple of years, but that isn’t a meaningful correction. Strong demand from new immigrants should cushion any downturn.
Garth Turner: More evidence that being an economist is the best damn job. You get paid big bucks for blaming external factors and creating conditional sentences devoid of conclusions. Of course the T.O. market advanced strongly because (at least I am consistent) we are in bubble territory. Yes, rates are low, but it is only cheap money (that is, debt) that has fuelled higher house prices since wages have gained no ground. Inevitably, prices will correct, leaving a mountain of debt and less equity to cover it. Danger.
But that will not happen. The decline will be far more significant, and a bank economist should play her role in spelling the potential out to folks who are overleveraged.
Elise Kalles: It appears Canadians are undeterred by the recent turmoil in global stock markets, as they are attracted to real estate because of very low mortgage interest rates. When the stock market turns volatile, real estate becomes an attractive investment because of its security. CREA [Canadian Real Estate Association] revised its forecast for national home sales, citing stronger-than-expected sales and higher prices in the second quarter. Benjamin Tal, chief CIBC economist, states that the European debt crisis and the United States credit downgrade are actually helping boost activity in Canada’s real estate market. Global uncertainty is postponing an increase in interest rates in Canada.
POST: Harry, last spring, in addition to being Garth Turner’s lone companion on his ark, you said of the Toronto condo market: “With apologies to President’s Choice, the term that comes to mind is ‘memories of ’89’ when condos eased into becoming a financial commodity rather than accommodation.” But the condo market is still growing, sales are at a healthy level. What now?
Harry Stinson: I stand by the original statement. More condos are being sold to investors than to owner/occupants and this will continue to be the case. However I did not mean by this that the market will inevitably soon collapse solely because it is investor driven. The difference between the market in ’89 and now is that in ’89 a large proportion of the “investors” simply intended on flipping the property … without even closing … whereas the investors in 2011 generally expect to close or, at the very least, are capable of doing so.
In the late ’80s, I recall trying to diplomatically interview new clients to determine the true extent of their resources. Without wishing to sound elitist, there were too many people speculating in real estate who were way over their heads in terms of money and expertise.
Brad Lamb: When Harry and I were selling condos back in 1988, condos were a dirty word. People didn’t want to buy them. They thought they were some new contraption, and if people bought them, they did so because they had to. There was no alternative. Today, people are buying condos as their first choice. The thing with pricing is there’s no doubt that the pricing model in Toronto is getting harder to understand.
POST: Garth, in March, you said, “By mid-2012, the prime rate will be north of four per cent, having increased from 2011 by a third.” But, it looks as though that prediction might not come to fruition. Would you still argue against buying a home in this market with a five per cent downpayment?
Garth Turner: With a U.S. recession more likely and the wheels coming off investor confidence in the summer, the American central bank announced a rate freeze for two years. This was horrible news. But, true to form, manipulative people in the Canadian real estate biz told consumers it meant Canadian mortgages would stay cheap for the long term. Their intended victims were first-time homebuyers who probably think the fed is a competitor to the Brick.
“Real estate is not a ‘fad,’ nor is it homogenous. There are opportunities and there are white elephants.”
Of course, rates in Canada will rise sooner than in the U.S. for a simple reason: their problem is too little consumer borrowing, and ours is WAY too much. Families here are more indebted than those to the south, and mortgage debt has exploded. Higher house prices are a result of more debt, not more income. The Bank of Canada knows this and will act. Count on it.
Harry Stinson: At the risk of sounding like an economist — on the one hand, I agree with Garth about the futility of interest-rate tinkering, on the other hand, I do not feel that the sky is falling. Senior government bankers have become modern-day equivalents of the Wizard of Oz, bellowing pronouncements melodramatically into their megaphones, unaware that the curtains have been drawn back and the world in general is not really taking them so seriously anymore.
Barry Cohen: Just yet another failed prediction from the financial core. I’m so tired of hearing what is forecasted for real estate values by that industry. When was the last time you heard the real estate industry forecast a stock market meltdown? We are a simple group. We don’t have a hidden agenda. We just sell homes. Investors and immigrants, worldwide, are re- evaluating where to invest their money or reside, and Canadian real estate is at the top of the list, with the obvious choice being the major cities, such as Toronto.
POST: Mike, last spring, you said, “Trying to time a market is next to impossible. Therefore, if my son or daughter had a solid down payment and low mortgage costs (locked in over a minimum of five years), I’d be comfortable telling them to buy now.” Do you still stand by this statement?
Mike Eppel: Affordability, as always, is a key factor in a purchase decision. I believe we’re likely heading to a more favourable purchasing environment for real estate than we were previously. The recent data indicates there are slightly lower prices to be had and, hopefully, improved supply coming on the market this fall. Coupled with the uncertainty in the U.S. and Europe, this will maintain a very attractive interest rate environment well into 2012. If the global economy does slow, ours will likely follow to some extent.
Elli Davis: The summer has been very active with very little pause (it’s still a seller’s market in houses, and a more balanced seller/buyer market in condos). If the supply increases, definitely be patient — but we’re not seeing that with houses yet.
Harry Stinson: Real estate is not a “fad,” nor is it homogenous. In any market or any cycle of the market, there are opportunities and there are white elephants. My advice would be: Always keep your eyes open.
Posted in Post City Magazines
65 Harbour Sq. 1006 (Bay Street and Queens Quay)
- Asking price: $699,000
- Selling price: $680,000
- Taxes: $4,627 (2011)
- Monthly fee: $857
- Bedrooms: 2
- Bathrooms: 2
- Time on the market: 51 days
Views of Lake and Gardens
Views of the lake and manicured gardens can be enjoyed from this suite at Harbour Square.
The two-bedroom, twobathroom suite has undergone extensive renovations and upgrades, including the addition of hardwood floors and broadloom.
Moulded ceilings in the living room and separate dining room, an eat-in kitchen, storage in the laundry room and a three-piece ensuite bathroom in the master suite are features.
The suite comes with one underground parking space and a locker.
Building amenities include a 60-foot saltwater pool, a licensed bar in the lounge, a car wash facility, a squash court, security and a rooftop garden. A free shuttle bus goes from the building to the city centre.
Listing Broker: Royal LePage Real Estate Services (Elli Davis)
Published in National Post Solds, Sept 17, 2011.
149 Cranbrooke avenue, Toronto
- Asking price: $725,000
- Selling price: $714,000
- Taxes: $4,963 (2010)
- Days on the market: 21
The doors to this three-bedroom house in Lawrence Park were open for 66 potential buyers who scheduled showings in advance.
What They Got
In the past few years, this roughly 70-year-old house was freshened up in several ways, from a new roof and furnace to updated carpeting in the basement and remodeled kitchen with a separate breakfast area and a walkout to a raised, south-facing yard.
Left intact were original leaded glass windows in many rooms, a wood-burning fireplace in the living room and gumwood wainscoting in the dining room, as well as hardwood floors on the main and second floors. The lower level features a guest bedroom and a recreation room, plus one of two full bathrooms. There is a legal parking pad out front and a mutual driveway to a garage around the back.
The Agent’s Take
“The best thing was the location, just west of Yonge Street and north of Lawrence,” says agent Elli Davis, who cites the proximity of the subway, shops and esteemed schools like John Wanless. “It’s a great family neighbourhood.”
The condition of the property catered to buyers looking to either rebuild or personalize it. “It was quite livable and nice with three bedrooms and a renovated kitchen,” says Ms. Davis. “And mechanically, it was in good repair.”
Published in Globe and mail, Sept 9, 2011.
40 SYLVAN VALLEYWAY, NO. 613, TORONTO
- Asking price: $388,000
- Selling price: $378,000
- Taxes: $2,218 (2010)
- Days on the market: 17
The Action: In a boutique building off Avenue Road, which is home to fine shops and restaurants, this two-bedroom penthouse racked up nearly 40 private showings.
What They Got: In one of the only condominium residences built in the 1980s, this sixth floor suite displays granite counters and tiled floors in the kitchen and broadloom carpeting in the bedrooms and combined living and dining area, which has a balcony facing east.
The master suite has access to the outdoor space and one of two four-piece bathrooms. The price of the unit includes laundry machines, a storage locker and underground parking.
There is a monthly fee of $699, which covers all utility and cable costs and operation of a gym, squash court and recreation room.
The Agent’s Take: “It was a good sized two-bedroom and two-bathroom [unit] and the price range was excellent being under $400,000 in a very hot area,” says agent Elli Davis. “There are some newer [condos] north of this on Avenue Road … but they’re more money.”
This suite also had distinctive perks. “It was surrounded by trees, so it had a residential feel to it,” says Ms. Davis. “The other appeal was that it was on one level, whereas in this building, many of them are on two levels.”
- MESSIAH: An Oratorio, George Frederic Handell
- Roy Thomson Hall
- Dec. 16 – Dec. 21
The Messiah is many things to many people. To some religions he has yet to arrive, while others have embraced various prophets as their Messiah. In our culturally diverse community, it is important to remember that more people on this planet do not celebrate Christmas than do. The legacy, however, bestowed upon us by the glorious Church must be cherished. We adore its architecture, its artwork, its patronage of culture and, of course, its music.
Therefore let us embrace Handel’s glorious masterpiece. Set in Roy Thomson Hall, a smaller than usual orchestra (Handel’s score requests less that 80 players) the magnificent Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (almost 200 strong) 4 soloists and one Maestro are the ingredients for an evening to remember. Now let’s see if all of the instructions are followed correctly and if any variations to this caloric feast can be tolerated.
Now for the fun! Sir Andrew Davis, conductor Laureate of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, has added a few of his own touches to this production. He has gently re-orchestrated parts of the whole, but in his own inimitable fashion has invigorated the orchestra, and indeed the choir as well, to places never visited before by either except in their minds’ eye. As is his custom, Maestro Davis explores sounds and tones and melds them into inspired moments on stage. Some of Sir Andrew’s joy comes through with Marimba for a few bars. We hear percussion in places never heard before. And how appropriate to hear sleigh bells to affirm that this wondrous piece of almost 300 years ago can adapt and be aurally relevant and exciting today. When the piccolo answers the magnificent voice of Soprano Andriana Chuchman one senses the intimacy possible with such numbers surrounding. Mezzo Jill Grove is as lyrical as one can imagine the role can be sung. She fully comprehends what she is singing and transfers that comprehension to us, the audience. Our tenor, Toby Spence, is so comfortable with the role that with virtually no strain he propels us into a stratosphere not previously heard. Basso John Relyea is, as he should be, nothing short of inspirational.
When all is said and done, let us therefore rejoice in this, Sir Andrew Davis’ crowning achievement. It is a refreshing, slightly new Messiah. It reminds us that music is a living art form and it matters not when it was written; if it is splendid it will remain. It if it a masterpiece it will withstand both time and clever tampering.
Enjoy and embrace this Messiah. You will be better for it.