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Developer of CityPlace Will Bring a Light-Based Art Collection to Toronto

Downtown Toronto has never been short of arts & culture, but the CityPlace developers are taking it upon themselves to add a personal touch of sorts. Looking to change the look of Toronto’s downtown core, CityPlace is introducing a light-based art collective; an attraction that is sure to intrigue even the blandest person in town. Concord Adex (which is the developer) wanted to make it more than just condos buildings, which is why this project is so special. It’s the largest public art collection being sported in Canada right now, and is capable of bringing the community together (through the use of flashy, fancy lights!). Harold Madi, who is the director of Urban Design for the City of Toronto, stated that these public art pieces were implemented within the CityPlace design all along. There are three main components to this collection, which would be: Pierre Poussin’s “Variegation”, Katharine Harvey’s “Gardiner Streams” and finally, Adrian Gollner’s “Drift”.

Madi also stated that CityPlace is the first condo community in Toronto to have a public art collection, and they’ve made it their duty to ensure that everything meshes together properly (that being, the building and the art). The Variegation exhibit is supposed to reference the plants and green areas that used to make up Toronto, a reminder that we’ve built all of this from the ground up. Gardiner Streams (which is a giant screen, littered with multi-color streams of light) is supposed to reference the Gardiner Expressway, which is mere minutes away from the building (and immediately South of where the art is displayed). Motorists can see the exhibit themselves as they pass by.

Drift, the third and final exhibit to take a look at, has certain portions of the condo towers creating a variation of colours. During the nighttime, you can really see the light against the dark sky; it just adds another sense of artistic integrity to the community. These three art projects are something you shouldn’t miss out on, and I would highly suggest checking them out if you’re in the CityPlace area!

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TTC launches 514 Cherry streetcar route

The streetcar circuit is a big deal in Toronto, mainly because it offers up an abundance of transportation opportunities for the citizens at hand. When it comes to bringing in new routes, there hasn’t been an introduction in over 16 years – but that’s changing. There is a brand-new streetcar route that was built at 514 Cherry Street, and it connects the West Done Lands to Liberty Village (which is a very sought after condo community, of sorts). Those of you who absolutely love making use of the Toronto transit system have a lot of stuff to be happy about!

The very first trip took place at around 10 AM this summer, going North up Cherry Street before turning West on King Street E – the first ride itself as available free of charge. In a way, it’s pretty much been able to take part in history; so it’s a good thing you didn’t need to pay! They had an abundance of different streetcars out for display, all of which played an integral part in the advancement of modern Streetcar technologies. There was every single generation of streetcar that you could think of being put out for all to see.

The service on this route is expected to hover around 8-9 minutes in between pickups, and that’s dealing with peak times (in regards to the number of people commuting). Although the route is somewhat small, it’s the first step that city officials are taking towards a brighter and better Toronto. The lakefront itself could use some revitalization, and this is clearly an opportunity to help in that sense. Being able to access Liberty Village with ease (from West Don Lands) not only allows local commuters a chance to get around seamlessly, but it makes the entire city a much more convenient place. If they’re able to add more and more streetcar routes (and, hopefully, at an accelerated pace), we should see a pretty big jump in the convenience of public transportation within the city.

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Chinese Investments Within Canadian Real Estate On Course to Increase During 2016

Foreign property investors are always a great thing to be looking at, especially when it comes to Canada. Since our dollar has been relatively weak as of recent, it helps that we have Chinese investors coming or to look at properties. Foreign demands for properties around our region have resulted in price increases, as well as creating multi-million dollar homes in an abundance of cities (much like Vancouver). When you look at, which is a property search engine built to be used by Chinese buyers, the amount of terms related to Canadian real estate properties surged higher by around 134%. The sheer popularity alone is enough to understand how much Chinese buyers love Canadian real estate. When you look at the amount of interest being sported, it looks like Chinese investors are looking to move their money abroad. The current economy of China is somewhat unstable, and large investors could be avoiding potential risks by moving everything over here. The stock market is also quite volatile in China, and even government officials are locking down the reigns of capital flight. Juwai conducted a survey and found that around a 55% increase in international property purchases is expected.

Vancouver and Toronto are the main areas to be looked at in this situation, but Canada as a whole is a pretty large target. If there aren’t any drastic changes in the way things are going, we can expect to see a major increase in the amount of Chinese investors purchasing Canadian real estate. As time progresses, we can only expect to see more and more of these moves being made. If the government of China takes it upon themselves to loosen their grip on capital, we’ll definitely see a huge increase in the number of foreign investors buying property within Canada. Australia and the United States are other regions that should be expecting a large surge of investments, specifically, as the year moves along. 2016 is the year of real estate investments, be it of the foreign or local variety.

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The Importance of A Home Inspection

If you are in the process of purchasing Liberty Village real estate, many different components must come together before you can move in to your new home. Even after you have found the ideal location, made a deal and secured financing, a professional home inspection must be part of the equation. Some see it as an unnecessary expense, but without it, you are asking for trouble.

Why is a Home Inspection Necessary?

A home inspection refers to a visual inspection of the condition and structure of a home. It is carried out by a licensed home inspector and includes things like the plumbing, electrical, ventilation, foundation, insulation, doors and windows, exterior walls, ceilings and floors, roof, heating and AC systems and drainage. For King West Condos that have common areas for residents, the home inspector will examine those, as well.

An inspection is necessary because it will reveal any issues that are present or just below the surface, ready to make themselves known. When a home inspection reveals problems with any one of the components mentioned above, it is brought to the attention of the current owner and revisions are made to the offer, or it may be rescinded altogether. There are countless tales of naïve homeowners buying a home with no home inspection, only to have to pay thousands for repairs shortly after moving in.

Using the Results to Your Advantage

Like any area, Liberty Village real estate also requires a professional home inspection, just to be safe. Having a home inspection on your King West Condo means you might be able to negotiate for a better deal based on the results. At the very least, the current owner will have to make the required repairs, and you won’t have to concern yourself with those issues after you move in.

Hiring an Inspector

Hiring a reputable, experienced home inspector is key when in the market for a prime piece of Liberty Village real estate. Shop around a little, and ask the important questions before you allow him to represent you. Ask for a copy of the inspection report, whether he has the necessary insurance, if he has references and if he has experience in properties like King West Condos.

If you are going to go through the process, it makes sense to do it right. The fewer unpleasant surprises you receive in the home buying process, the better, and a quality home inspection is a great way to start. agents can help connect you with a veteran inspector to best serve your needs. Visit our Toronto Home Inspectors page here.

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Pet Grooming and Daycare in Toronto: Done RIGHT!

Pet grooming and daycare needs within Toronto can get pretty serious, because those of us that live here usually lead a rather busy life. When that’s the case, you want to know that the people taking care of your pet in your absence are true professionals. Not only that, but you want to make sure that they have the right facilities to do so. Pet Social is definitely one of those companies that you want to remember, as they practice some of the highest quality pet grooming and daycare services I’ve ever seen. Not only will they make sure that your pets are eating and getting the nutrition they need (through the use of both premium and holistic foods, with no additives), but they’ll even go above and beyond that – keeping you equipped with some of the most innovative and brand-new pet care products around.

Pet Social is pretty much the most optimal place to be for any sort of pet owner. When you shop at Pet Social, their inventory seems like it’s always expanding – if they don’t have something you need in stock, just let them know! Odds are they’ll be able to order it in for you.

The customer service is top notch, and the grooming service is both affordable and properly managed. Your pets will be happier than ever, knowing that the people grooming them are both caring and loving! Their brand new website has an abundance of information within, all of which will talk about the many different services and products they’ve got to offer up.

The groomer that works alongside Pet Social has been in the industry for well over 25 years, which means they have more than enough experience; all of which will translate into fantastic results for both you and your pets. If you want them to look at their best, it’s going to take the right groomer – an average person just doesn’t understand the process! You can purchase all sorts of fun and unique toys for your pets while they’re getting groomed, or even just take it upon yourself to adopt a cat! Pet Social has recently paired up with Toronto Animal Services and introduced a cat adoption service.

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About DNA 3 Condo in Liberty Village

There’s no question that anyone searching for a Liberty Village condo has a lot of exciting addresses to choose from. After all, Liberty Village in Toronto is one of the hippest and trendiest areas in the city, and people from all walks of life like to be part of the scene.

There’s nothing quite like living right in Liberty Village, and DNA 3 certainly takes that experience to another level.

The Basics of DNA 3 Condo

DNA 3 is a new condo development at 1030 King St West in Toronto, by Canderel Residential. There are a total of 600 units, and the project was completed back in 2014. As the name suggests, DNA 3 is the third phase of the DNA projects, and it complements the other two buildings perfectly.

Inside the lobby at DNA 3 Condos

On the ground floor of DNA 3, you’ll find shopping and banking options with a TD Bank, Loblaws, and Urban Market Grocery. There is also a Sleep Country location for when you need a new mattress for your Liberty Village condo. The building has a glass exterior, making it stand out as yet another symbol of elegance in Liberty Village.

Inside the Units

Inside the units at DNA 3 condo, you’ll find a range of features that will make you never want to leave. The units offer modern kitchen designs that are as unique as they are stunning. These include a Caesar stone countertop, stylish island, back painted glass backsplash, halogen track lighting, and stainless steel fridge, oven, dishwasher microwave and hood fan.

In the bathroom, you’ll find a custom-designed sink, deep soaker tub, mirrored medicine cabinets, separate shower stall and a contemporary vanity. There is engineered wood flooring throughout the units, except for the bathroom and laundry room, which both feature porcelain tile. The ensuite laundry closet also features a stacked washer and dryer, so you never have to do laundry anywhere else.

Awesome Amenities

Some of the amenities available to residents include an exercise studio with yoga room, changes rooms, and the first “rain room” in Toronto. Residents also have access to private party rooms, games room with a lounge and bar, a theatre room and complete business centre. All of these amenities make DNA 3 a sought after place to live, as if Liberty Village in Toronto wasn’t enough on its own.

DNA 3 is the ideal Liberty Village condo for anyone looking to take advantage of everything this exciting part of the city has to offer.

Looking to buy or sell in DNA 3 condos? Check out DNA 3 condo units for sale and rent here. Also included is more about the building and floorplans for each unit.

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Land Transfer Tax in Liberty Village

It’s easy to get caught up in the trendiness and visual appeal when considering condos in Liberty Village, but there are always details that are part of any real estate transaction. Down payments come to mind, but there is another that a lot of would-be Liberty Village condo owners don’t know about, which is part of your closing costs, called land transfer tax.

What Is Land Transfer Tax?

Land transfer tax is a real estate closing cost that’s payable in many Canadian cities, but not all of them. Residents in Nova Scotia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan don’t need to worry about land transfer tax, but everyone else, including people buying condos in Liberty Village, do.

Land transfer tax is a tax paid when properties change hands, and must be paid by the buyer of the property. The amount of land transfer tax that must be paid can range from a half percent, all the way up to two percent of the overall value of the property. Since real estate prices in Toronto continue to climb, the amount of transfer tax buyers must pay is also increasing.  

In some provinces, including Ontario, the taxation system is multi-tiered, making the process a little more complex. For condos in Liberty Village, the amount is 1% of the total property value up to $250,000. From $250,000 to $400,000, it rises to 1.5% and it is 2% for properties over $400,000. As you can see, the amount of land transfer tax you have to pay can add up quickly, depending on the type of property you buy.

Around the Neighborhood

Taking a quick look, it can be easy to think that condos in Liberty Village make up the entire neighbourhood, but nothing could be farther from the truth. There is a multitude of chimney stacks that indicate the area’s industrial roots, but the condos, retail areas, and office space have helped transform Liberty Village to something truly unique. Young professionals from around the city and beyond inquire about real estate in Liberty Village on a regular basis.

Within the community boundaries, you’ll find art galleries, restaurants, cafes, design shops, high-tech start-ups, and nightlife. Anything you can’t find in Liberty Village is just a short walk or streetcar ride away, but many residents like to remain in the area whenever possible.

While the land transfer tax you will pay on your condo in Liberty Village may be a little tough to swallow, you will be paying it no matter where you move in the city, and you may not have all the benefits of living in this thriving neighbourhood.

For more information on land transfer tax info and calculators, visit our education center.

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The Real Cost of Real Estate

The subtitle of this article could be “Price Sticker Shock”. When you sign on the dotted line and agree on a purchase price for your new home, that’s only the start of the dollars you’ll have to part with in order to end up standing safely and comfortably in your newly acquired property. These “hidden” costs mount up and take a significant bite out of your home-ownership budget, the real cost of real estate. 

As a recap, these are the fees that you’ve probably already spent to get to the stage of signing the Offer to Purchase.

Property Valuation fee

This fee is for the bank to determine the value of the property lending value when you apply for a mortgage. It may or may not be the same as the purchase price.

Property Survey fee

The survey shows you where the legal boundaries of the property are, and the accurate measurements of the land.

Home inspection fee

Don’t stint on this. A professional home inspection shows you the deficiencies in the structure and systems of the property.

Once the property is legally yours and you’re the new home owner (Congrats), here’s what you’re in for:

Realtor commission

This isn’t really a hidden cost as you’ve already negotiated a percentage commission with your realtor. But is it a significant amount out of your budget.

Land Transfer tax

The land transfer tax is based on the property price and most provinces charge it. There may be some exemptions for first time buyers.

Legal fees

The legal fees are not just for your lawyer’s time but include all disbursements and expenses; and they are subject to GST and HST. And it’s safer to have a lawyer handle the legal side, by the way.

Title insurance

You can take a breath here as this is optional. It covers problems that may arise due to existing liens against the property, undisclosed mortgages, encroachments issues and any other issues caused by the previous owners.

High-ratio mortgages insurance costs

You need to make this one-time payment if your down payment is less than 20% of your purchase price. 

Interest adjustments

This covers the gap between the closing date of purchase and the date of your first mortgage payment. If these dates are the same you pay nothing.

Mortgage life insurance

This is a other optional expense, but it pays off the mortgage (full or partial) in the event of the mortgage holder’s or spouse’s premature death. The payments can be included in your monthly mortgage fee.

Now you’re the home owner and that’s it for the legal and mortgage costs, but you have to get the home protected and move-in ready:

Property tax and Utilities

You must reimburse the previous owner for any prepaid property taxes (usually paid annually in advance) or utilities they have paid.

Home insurance

This is essential to cover the replacement cost of your home and all its contents.

But you’re not done yet, you’re not safely in your new home. How about:

Moving costs

Whether you hire someone to move (and maybe even pack) your stuff or provide pizza and beer to your friends for helping you, moving involves your time and money.

Utility hook-ups

You may need to have the utilities, cable, internet etc hooked up, and that all costs money.

Changing the locks

Even after the previous owner hands over all the keys to the home, you’ll still want to have the locks changed.


Maybe the previous owner has cleaned your new home thoroughly, but you may choose to hire a cleaning company to make it especially clean and shiny for your first day there.

These are the minimum hidden costs. And we haven’t even touched on buying applicances, window coverings, redecorating…..

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Tips for Finding Office Space in Liberty Village

When you work in an office space within the boundaries of Liberty Village in Toronto, you are placing yourself in one of the most exciting, trendy neighborhoods in the city on a daily basis. Not only is it easy to get to and a great place for networking, but you’ll already be where everyone wants to be when the workday is done.

Here are some tips for finding the perfect office space in Liberty Village.

Benefits of Liberty Village Office Space

Anyone currently working in Liberty Village is well aware of the benefits, but if you are on the fence, here is a list of impressive benefits to consider. Office space in Liberty Village is close to the downtown core, meaning it is close to the fashion, financial and entertainment districts. The convenient location works well for employees and for clients that are visiting. The GO Train and TTC are both within walking distance, so even people coming in from outside the city have it easy.

Vice Media's shiny new office in Liberty Village Toronto
Vice Media’s shiny new office in Liberty Village Toronto

Staying Within the Budget

Naturally, it’s important to consider your budget when looking for office space in Liberty Village. Since the area has a rich heritage, combined with a plethora of new and exciting office opportunities, there is a wide range of pricing options.

Is There Room to Grow?

Just as Liberty Village in Toronto continues to grow, you will need to consider your own growth when looking for office space. You must meet your immediate needs, but it’s also important to think about projected growth over the next couple of years. Outgrowing your space might mean you are doing well, but it will cause a big problem if there is nowhere for new employees to work.


If there is adjacent office space, try to get the first right of negotiation when working out your lease. This way, you can decide if you need the extra space as it becomes available.

The Convenience Factor

We’ve already mentioned that Liberty Village in Toronto sits in a convenient spot within the city, but when looking for office space, you should refine the convenience factor even more. Think of your key employees and how they need to travel to work each day. You should also consider some of your current clients if they make regular trips to the office.

The parking situation is always a factor because not everyone will commute, and you really want an address that will send the right message about your business. Perception goes a long way, and finding that perfect Liberty Village address is crucial.

Finding an Expert to Guide the Search

If you are new to the area, or even if you aren’t, having an expert to help guide you is the best way to find the ideal office space in Liberty Village in Toronto. With someone that knows the area intimately in charge, you’ll have the best chance at landing that perfect office space.

Contact us using the form on your right, we will put you in touch with a commercial real estate agent who will help guide your search.

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How to Choose the Right Toronto Real Estate Agent

Choosing the right Toronto Real Estate Agent is like hiring a member of staff, though a freelance one for a short-time for a specific task – to sell your home for the highest possible price in a reasonable time period or to represent you as a buyer. Narrow down your choice to a short-list of three or four possible candidates, and then interview them. Here are some questions to ask and topics to cover.

Is the realtor licensed?

The Real Estate Council of Ontario requires realtors to be registered with them. The council regulates brokers, real estate brokerages and salespersons. Check that the realtor is registered there.

Ask why they’re so successful

This question opens up the way for the realtor to talk about their ways of working and their selling strategies. They should be enthusiastic and able to explain clearly what they will do to sell your house. And you should be convinced by and comfortable with their answers.

What marketing will the realtor be doing?

Ask your realtor which avenues they use for marketing. High-quality marketing materials are key to presenting your home in a favorable light to prospective buyers. What kinds of marketing materials – website, postcards, brochures – will be created?; How and where will the print materials be distributed? How will people be informed about the online information?


High-quality photos are a key element of any home-selling materials so an important question to ask the realtor is who’ll be taking the photos – a professional photographer, a gifted amateur with a digital SLR camera or themselves with their cell phone?

When (and where) are they available?

It’s important that you can reach your realtor if you have questions or to receive a progress report if activity on your house seems to have been slow. Ask about their office hours and if they’re available outside these, if you just can’t wait until the next day to find out your counter-offer had been accepted. It’s also good to ask if they’re ever actually in their office if you want to talk to them face-to-face.

Who will you deal with?

Many high-profile realtors, whose faces are on a lot of “For Sale” signs, are backed by an extended team of other realtors and support staff. Your initial meeting may be with the well-known realtor but your selling transaction may be handled by another team member.

Ask for references….

As with any person you’d hire, references are important to establish not only the realtor’s past performance but also to attest to their expertise and credibility. Ask for references from people in your neighbourhood or adjacent locations. It helps if the person selling your home can also explain why it’s great to live in that location.

…and check them out

Directly contact the people who the realtor has given as references. But keep in mind that you won’t get to talk any people who are unhappy with the realtor’s performance. Ask specific questions about the realtor’s way of working and their availability through the selling period. It’s in the details that you get an idea about whether the realtor is a good fit for you.

Although the realtor is an integral part of your home-selling team and will guide you through the selling or buying process, it’s helpful to also read our  articles about the costly mistakes that sellers frequently make and the avoidable mistakes that home buyers make.