Our Residential Landscape is Changing

A few months ago Maclean’s magazine printed a fun article on the dollar value associated with living in close proximity to the downtown core. With the help of Brookfield Real Property Solutions, Maclean’s looked at Canada’s four largest cities to determine how much location matters, down to the exact dollar.
An often emphasised real estate philosophy is “location, location, location”. Now, we know exactly how much location impacts home prices in Toronto. According to this study a detached home, located a 10 minute drive from the downtown core (pinpointed as city hall) is $1,218,000. Detached homes 20 minutes away fetch an average of $930,000. Broken down, each minute of driving time reduces the potential cost of a home by $28,000.

This article got me thinking about Toronto’s vast and ever increasing development projects. As the Maclean’s article suggests the most expensive land in the city is downtown. Trump, Four Seasons and Shangri- La prove that by snapping up some of the best locales in the city for their luxury developments.
UrbanCorp is another developer that has a knack for choosing locations that sell. UrbanCorp currently has several townhome projects that all have a very similar look, style and feel. Essentially, the only difference is the location and price. The Queen Street East developments hover just under the $1 million mark. But, their similar townhome project, north of Caledonia and St Clair, will begin at $700,000. Proving there is a demand for new/re-development outside the core. This trend will only grow.

North Toronto has not been saved from the redevelopment trend. However, there is definitely a stronger opposition to changes in zoning and densification.  Even architectural style has become an issue of contention. The Save Bennington Committee popped up a few years ago, when a small land developer proposed to subdivide a short stretch of Evergreen Gardens. The communities concern for preserving the neighbourhood halted that project.

Keewatin Ave is another example of a development project in the midst of some opposition. A small section on the north side of Keewatin has proposed an 80+ unit stacked townhouse complex. The developer believes that this style of development with transition nicely from the mid-rise apartment buildings on the south side of Keewatin, off Erskine Ave. Area residents are concerned with the further densification 80 households will bring to the community.

Lawrence Park also has it’s own heritage committee, their mandate is to preserve the green space, tree lined streets and maintain the harmonious streetscape that defines Lawrence Park.
Just as the downtown Toronto skyline has changed over the years, so will the streets of Toronto’s residential neighbourhoods. Whether 10, 20 or even 30 minutes away from downtown, redevelopment will push forward changing our residential landscape.

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