Toronto Loft Conversions

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Unique Toronto Homes

Not just lofts, we can also help you find that perfect house. From the latest architectural marvel to a piece of our Victorian past, the best and most creative spaces abound.

Condos in Toronto

I started off selling mainly condos, helping first time buyers get a foothold in the Toronto real estate market. Now working with investors and helping empty nesters find that perfect luxury suite.

Toronto Real Estate

For all of your Toronto real estate needs, contact Laurin. I am dedicated to helping you find that perfect and unique new home to call your own.


Toronto Real Estate

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Broadview Lofts - 68 Broadview AvenueCheck out this spectacular authentic brick and beam loft in one of Toronto’s most desirable buildings – The Broadview Lofts! Enjoy life in Toronto’s booming Riverside neighbourhood in over 1,300 square feet of hard loft space. Gorgeous 10-1/2-foot wood beam ceilings, original Douglas Fir posts, exposed brick, polished concrete floors and original warehouse doors. Loft has 2 bathrooms, exclusive underground parking and a large locker. Walk to Queen and the new Canary District. MORE DETAILS HERE

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2015 promises to be a another stellar year for condos

Barbara Lawlor – Toronto Sun

Hot on the heels of a stellar 2014, we are looking forward to another great year in the Toronto new condo market! According to RealNet Canada Inc., high-rise sales in 2014 totaled 21,991 – over 6,000, or 38% more than 2013. In fact, 2014 was our third-strongest year ever for condo sales in the GTA – only a few less than the total from our second-strongest year – and high-rise product is now consistently taking more than 50% of the market.

The fact that condos remain the new home choice of so many is understandable for a lot of reasons. Price is, of course, one of them. According to RealNet, the price difference between the average low-rise and high-rise home is substantial: low-rise is at a record high of $705,813 (2014 was the first time the average topped $700,000), and high-rise is at $454,476. This is a massive difference, especially for first-time home buyers.

Toronto Condos 2015
All home buyers in the GTA today are fortunate to be taking advantage of historically low mortgage interest rates, which are likely not to increase this year, even if rates increase in the U.S. In fact, Benjamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist at CIBC World Markets Inc., said that interest rates here in Canada may even go lower! Adding to the sweet deal today’s buyers receive are the low oil prices. Canada ranks #1 in energy consumption per capita in the world, so the money we save on gas prices is substantial. Tal reports that CIBC is already seeing some customers taking their savings and paying down the principal on their mortgage debt. In fact, many are making other mature decisions to pay down their debt loads in other ways.

Interestingly, Millennials (consumers between the ages of 20 and 34) are choosing condominium living for more than affordability; they are incredibly busy and appreciate the kind of carefree living condos offer. Millennials are also willing to pay to live in new buildings that feature the latest in materials, construction quality and green features. They can exercise, socialize, relax, barbecue and entertain in the gorgeous amenities within their buildings, and not have to worry about wasting time driving or taking transit somewhere, parking, etc. Parents have more time to spend with their children, and people of all ages feel more secure in buildings where concierges provide eyes on the street 24/7.

Toronto condo investors do well financially, because let’s face it: the rental market IS the condo market. Condo vacancy rates have dropped to 1.3%, so we really need more supply for that market. From 2012 to 2036, it is expected that 2.4 million more people will move into the GTA, and they all need roofs over their heads. Some will rent, and some will buy. We have to be ready, and according to BILD, we are. The recent RealNet stats show that high-rise condominiums also set a record of 25,571 new homes built as a result of the sales we experienced in 2010 and 2011. This is promising news for our tremendous population growth, and we need to keep this momentum going.

Speaking of that, that the building and development industry creates about 200,000 jobs in construction and a variety of related fields every year. When you think about each of those job-holders going out and spending their wages on accommodations, food, entertainment, education and the like, this really does represent a big economic impact across the GTA and the province. We are privileged to have many of the world’s finest builders, developers, architects and interior designers working on our condominiums, and our skyline and quality of life are all the better for their efforts.

In short, all the fundamentals are in place for continued success. Prices for new homes and condominiums will likely go up this year, but are not expected to spike. If you have ever thought about buying a condominium, NOW is the time to do it!

Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.


The energy builds along the waterfront

The vast construction site reshaping Toronto’s waterfront lands will create an eco-friendly environment for workers and residents alike

Suzanne Wintrob – National Post

It may take another decade, but if all goes as planned, Toronto could very well hold bragging rights to the world’s most enviable waterfront. Not only that, but those residing a hop, skip and a jump from the water’s edge will be able to boast that they’re truly living green.

Comment: Just look at what is happening even now! From the Canary District to the Pan Am Games site… just wait until it is ALL done.

Take the Aqualina and Aquavista at Bayside condominium buildings in Waterfront Toronto’s East Bayfront neighbourhood as an example. Tridel has two NETZED (net zero energy dwelling) suites up for grabs there that promise the ultimate in green living. The penthouses – at 1,182 and 696 square feet respectively – get their hot water and electricity from the roof’s solar panels during the day and use the building’s energy come nighttime.

Waterfront - Aquavista Condos
It’s all about creating the smallest carbon footprint possible, and Tridel senior vice-president Jim Ritchie couldn’t be more excited.

“The theory is to take it off the grid,” Mr. Ritchie says of the units. “We’re designing it in a way that your electricity, your heating, your cooling and your hot water are all going to be supplied by renewable systems… During the daytime, with a lot of solar gain, [the suite is] going to have more energy than it can use so the energy consumption is mirrored. We actually put that additional energy into the condominium building system. Then at night, when there’s no solar heat, the NETZED’s meter can pull that energy back away from the condo’s grid. So it’s a very interesting concept.”

Comment: And hopefully this is the beginning of a green revolution in condos. I mean, seriously… how hard is it to install some solar panels and grey water recycling?

It’s that kind of thinking that has the folks at Waterfront Toronto smiling. Ever since three levels of government banded together in 2001 to revitalize the lacklustre waterfront, Waterfront Toronto has stuck to its 25-year mandate to transform 800 hectares (2,000 acres) of brownfield lands — roughly the size of the city’s downtown core — into sustainable mixed-use communities comprising one million square metres of employment space and 300 hectares of parks and public spaces.

Waterfront - Canary District Condos
With 40,000 residential units planned, developers were charged with abiding by a host of rules including energy efficient systems, renewable energy generation on-site, water conservation, in-suite energy and water meters, green roofs, and sufficient parking for bicycles and electric vehicles.

“Early on, developers were concerned that green building techniques and our Minimum Green Building Requirements would be expensive,” recalls Waterfront Toronto’s Director of Environment and Innovation Lisa Prime. “But they soon realized that good design minimizes, or can eliminate, added costs. …In addition, the market is increasingly finding buyers who are looking for green features, which translates into sales and positive project reviews.”

Currently, Tridel, Great Gulf, Dream Unlimited (formerly Dundee Kilmer) and Urban Capital are the only private developers with projects on the go or in the works in the East Bayfront and West Don Lands areas. And fortunately for residents wanting in, building green is nothing new to these builders. All have long been committed to building homes, condos and offices that are up to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards so buyers can reduce energy, water and waste, improve indoor air quality and temperature and, ultimately, save money.

But if they wanted to be a major player in one the largest infrastructure projects in North America, they had to commit to the process for the long haul. And they have.

Waterfront - The Monde Condos
“A more sustainable building is, arguably, emotionally a better building to live in,” says Christopher Wein, president of Great Gulf Residential, behind the 44-storey, LEED Gold, Moshe Safdie-designed Monde condominium tower adjacent to Sherbourne Common Park in East Bayfront. “It’s like driving a green car. You have an emotional connection to the environment.”

Mr. Wein says there are two aspects to building green. First there’s the construction, which involves using certain building materials and doing on-site recycling and waste management to minimize the environmental impact. The other side is the finished product, with low-flow water fixtures, energy-efficient lighting, glazing with high energy ratings, and the like. At Monde, large cantilevered and flush balconies to maximize lake views give each unit a generous amount of light, while the parking garage is fitted with 540 bike storage spots and rough-ins for 12 electric car plug-ins (in comparison, Great Gulf’s 33-storey Yonge & Rich tower in Toronto’s financial district doesn’t accommodate electric cars).

Urban Capital is psyched to offer a hybrid car-share program at its three-phase LEED Gold River City project in the West Don Lands, reducing the need for individual cars. The company has committed to offsetting approximately 15,000 tonnes of carbon created as a result of construction and first-year operation of the development’s first two phases, and is contributing more than $40,000 to support the New Laos Stove Project in Cambodia.

Green roofs, too, feature prominently in these buildings to reduce the heat island effect, provide effective storm water management, and provide new habitat for birds and insects. At Monde they’re called “sky gardens” featuring gardens, plantings and trees on roof surfaces that Mr. Wein says “are better for the atmosphere, better for the building, better for the residents.” At Dream’s LEED Gold Canary District project in the West Don Lands — incorporating 805 condos at the Toronto 2015 PanAm Games Athletes’ Village and another three residential buildings once the games are over — the planted materials on roofs do environmental duty but also mean residents who look out onto the roof of an adjacent building will have much more appealing views than looking onto asphalt.

Waterfront - River City Condos
“The long-term costs will be less, no question, regardless of what the budget says when they actually acquire [the property],” says Jason Lester, Dream’s chief operating officer.

“They can compare from one building to another over the long term because we have green roofs, because we’ve spent more on the glazing. The long-term maintenance and utility costs will be lower in these buildings than in others in the city.”

All this is great news to Sean Dyke, who travels the world to entice green manufacturers to Ontario.

“Waterfront Toronto is doing a lot of marketing about their project and one of the things that does is it raises awareness for green technology in Ontario,” says the chair of the Ontario Clean Technology Alliance in Street Thomas, Ont. “It lets people know you can have it on the residential side, that you can go green. It’s incredible what they’re doing.

There’s a significant amount of work going on there that hasn’t happened anywhere else in Ontario. We’d hope that other places within Ontario, in Canada and, hopefully, in the U.S. will look to Waterfront Toronto as an example and take some of the ideas from it and apply it to other developments.”

Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.


Big banks boost condo financing even as unsold units in Toronto hit 21-year high

Katia Dmitrieva – Bloomberg News

The Bank of Nova Scotia is among lenders boosting loans to condominium developers as regulators become less vocal about housing-market risk, according to Canada’s third-biggest bank.

Comment: I guess everyone has finally settled down and realized that the Toronto condo market is safe and stable. Now, if we could only get the media on board…

Scotiabank is financing as much as 75% of a condo project’s value and others are doing the same, according to Chris Milne, vice-president of real estate lending at the bank. That’s up from about 70% in the past, when banks were concerned “there may be a meltdown” and regulators were more vocal about residential market risk, Mr. Milne said.

Toronto condo financing
“The banks are back out there lending in the condo sector,” Mr. Milne said at a Toronto real estate conference Tuesday. “There is a hole that the banks are looking to fill. The regulators were really pounding them a year and a half ago and now it’s quiet.”

Banks are boosting financing to condo developers even as the number of unsold units in Canada’s largest city reached a 21-year high in January. There are about 1,600 unsold units on the market following a record number of completions in January, according to a report from Sal Guatieri, senior economist at Bank of Montreal.

Comment: It would seem that the banks understand that 1,600 unsold condos is meaningless. Out of 31,000+ condo completions over the past 13-14 months, those 1,600 units represent only 5% or less of recently completed condos. That means than 95% or more are sold – plus another 28,000-odd new condo sales in 2014. The units that sell WAY outweigh those that don’t.

Federal regulators have eased warnings on the real estate market compared with the late Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, Mr. Milne said. Mr. Flaherty backed several mortgage rule changes that tightened scrutiny of the so-called Big Six banks while Mr. Carney often commented on the risk of record consumer debt.

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. no longer insures loans to developers to construct condominiums. The federal housing agency said in June it would drop coverage as it seeks to distance taxpayers from the risk of falling home prices.

Comment: But they don’t need to if banks are funding 75% of the project. Insurance is not needed when there is 25% or more put down.

Spokesmen for the Department of Finance, Bank of Canada, and Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, which oversees federally regulated firms including banks, did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

Lenders require a building to be 65% sold before making a loan, Mr. Milne said. A developer would need to inject more of their own equity into the project if a bank were to finance a building less than 65% sold, he said.

Comment: I thought it was more in the 70-80% sold range.

“Sales are not where they were in late 2007 where you can sell a high-rise condo in a week,” Mr. Milne said. “Now it takes a while.”

Comment: But they do sell, that is the point. If completed buildings are 95% sold, then there is no issue. And the rate gets up to 98.5% by the time the condo corporation is registered. It may take time, but the condos are selling, there is no doubt about that.

Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.