Search Results for: g20 perimeter toronto
Stephen Dupuis – Yourhome.ca
It’s too bad many of the condo sales offices in the downtown core are locked down this weekend for the G20 Summit, because I am sure our world leaders would be pleasantly surprised by the relative affordability of Greater Toronto condos, not to mention our world-class building and suite designs.
Earlier this week, I participated in a news conference designed to highlight the excellent investment opportunities in the Toronto condo market to our foreign visitors. George Carras, president of RealNet Canada Inc. set the tone by revealing the most recent sales statistics for the Greater Toronto condo market, which were up 66% in May and a whopping 244% from January to May.
There’s no question the condo market has been strong this year but until Carras pointed it out, I hadn’t realized that it has never been better. Since 2000, January to May condo sales have averaged 5,850 units. The 8,170 new condos sold so far this year is the new high water mark.
Ever the source of unique market perspectives, Carras produced a chart putting the GTA multi-family (condo) market in North American perspective. At roughly 16,000 units built in 2009, we are number one by far in terms of the volume of highrise construction. Montreal is second at around 13,000 units while the closest U.S. market, New York, is around 8,000 units.
Paul Golini of Empire Communities would love to show off his condo projects to the G20 delegates but unfortunately his Condo Living Store won’t be open this weekend as it is simply too close to the security perimeter.
Still, Golini hopes the G20 delegates will take notice of all the construction cranes and ask themselves what’s going on. “All these cranes scattered across our skyline are symbols of how much housing and construction contribute to our economy. The direct and indirect jobs created by each crane and new construction project are significant, perhaps as high as 400 to 500 jobs per crane,” Golini said.
Having marketed our province around the world as former Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Joe Cordiano, now with Cityzen Development Group, spoke of how Toronto has “come of age” as an international city. “We have many more buyers for our product than we think considering that our marketplace is the world,” he said. With signature buildings like the L-Tower, Pier 27 and Absolute (aka the Marilyn Monroe building) in Mississauga, the Fernbrook Homes/Cityzen partnership has plenty to offer.
Tina Amato, a VP with Baker Real Estate recently launched six new condo projects totalling more than 2,500 units. She noted that their purchaser profile includes global investors. Ironically, Amato noted that her president had left for Russia the night before to promote investment in the Toronto condo market.
For my part, I told the news conference that wherever our condo builders have travelled on highrise housing study tours, be it to U.S. cities like New York, Chicago or Boston, or global destinations like London or Stockholm, we continually discover that we are great condo builders and designers by any definition of world class.
Where we really shine though, is on the affordability scale. Last time I checked, a luxury condo in Sydney, Australia would be double the cost of one here. In New York or Hong Kong, the price would be triple that of Toronto, while in London, the multiple would be six times.
Whether we’re talking about highrise development, design or marketing, Toronto is a truly world class market for affordable condominium residency.
Incoming search terms
Christian Tardif is the property manager at 77 and 99 Harbour Square, which is treating the G20 as business as usual. But some condo buildings are thinking about putting up their own fences for the G20 to keep out the rabble-rousers.
Two weeks ago, nobody wanted to be inside the “fence.” Now, some private residences are thinking about putting up their own.
With about 10 days until the G20 summit opens in Toronto, condominium and apartment building property managers are shoring up security in anticipation of the unknown protester threat.
Over the last few weeks, several Harbourfront condo managers have met to discuss how they can better co-ordinate their security strategies, with one idea being to enclose their properties behind a fence — not unlike that big one just up the street.
A perimeter fence will encircle the Westin Harbour Castle hotel on Queens Quay, where international delegates will be staying.
Two condo towers are apparently going ahead with the plan for another fence. However, Christian Tardif, manager of 77 and 99 Harbour Square, said he doesn’t share the fears of some his counterparts.
“For me, if you put up some type of security fence, it will attract the attention of protesters,” he said. “We don’t believe we need extra security at all.”
Incoming search terms
Tony Wong – Yourhome.ca
Forget about the fake lake. What if you can’t close on the sale of your property because your bank was shut down for the G20 Toronto summit?
While media attention might be on the uproar over the $1.9 million man-made lake and pavilion being built for the media at the meeting of world leaders, real estate and legal professionals are worried over a potential “disaster” in the making.
The last Friday in June is traditionally the busiest for house closings from buyers who have purchased in the spring market that saw record sales this year. If downtown banks close during that week thousands of closings could be affected creating major market turmoil, say industry professionals.
“It was already going to be brutal without the summit because we’ve been so busy. The timing couldn’t be worse,” says Andrew Zsolt, president of Coldwell Banker Terrequity Realty Brokerage.
Zsolt, who has 14 offices in the Greater Toronto Area, said he expects his agents to close about 500 sales at the end of this month alone.
“We usually tell buyers to try not to close in the last week of June because it’s so busy. It’s right after school and before full cottage season so they’re all in a rush. It could be a bit of a disaster,” says Zsolt.
On Tuesday the Law Society of Upper Canada issued an advisory to lawyers saying that they should make arrangements in case retail branches downtown are shuttered for security reasons.
“If you are a lawyer with a transaction that is pending, make sure you make alternative arrangements,” said Roy Thomas, spokesperson for the Law Society.
So far the policy has been in flux as banks monitor how they will be affected by the security perimeter.
“Recognizing the fact that employee and customer access will likely be impacted by summit related activity, we will be closing some branches in close proximity to the security zone,” says Ralph Marranca, spokesperson for Bank of Montreal. Marranca said no specific details on branch closings were available as yet, but some branches had been proactively reaching out to customers to advise them of any alternate arrangements.
Bank of Nova Scotia spokesperson Joe Konecny meanwhile says some branches in the downtown core would be open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the summit, but would be closed on Thursday and Friday.
“We are committed to taking all reasonable steps to provide for the continuity of business,” says Konecny. “We will adjust our business continuity plans as necessary.”
The Royal Bank of Canada, Canada’s largest bank said no closings were planned at the moment.
“There are continuity plans in place in case we have to make adjustments,” said spokesperson Don Blair.
Bob Aaron, a real estate lawyer and Toronto Star columnist, says he has written to his bank in frustration trying to figure out how the closings would have an impact on his business.
“My bank tells me I’m on my own to make arrangements for alternate banking on June 24 and June 25. That’s hardly the appropriate level of customer service,” Aaron complained to the TD Bank in a letter sent Tuesday.
Mohammed Nakhood, a spokesperson for the bank says TD was “evaluating potential bank closings” but had not made a final decision as yet. As for alternate arrangements, Nakhood says it would be “speculative” to guess what they would be at this point.
Aaron says that’s not acceptable, since lawyers would be left scrambling at the last minute to figure out how to close deals.
“There could be financial penalties and lawsuits because we have failed to close,” he says.
The summit of the top world leaders will take place in Toronto June 26 and 27, but a security zone will be in place before then. Some office towers surrounding the Metro Convention Centre will have severely restricted access as a result, with a security bill in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Meanwhile realtor Zsolt says his wife, who works for TD Bank has been told to stay away from the office and work from home.
Incoming search terms