Couple who leased out their Toronto home shocked to discover it was turned into illegal boarding house

National Post

I’ve always considered myself an unusually lucky person when it comes to real estate.

My student apartment in Montreal was all exposed brick and high ceilings. As an intern in Toronto, I shared the full top floor in a downtown warehouse. When I first left Canada with my husband, a fellow journalist, good fortune seemed to follow us: our Jerusalem flat had a sweeping view of the Old City; our Dubai villa was a marble-clad ode to petro-state excess.

Remarkably, nothing changed when we moved back to Canada in 2009. The financial meltdown had temporarily sobered the lunacy of Toronto’s housing market. We bought the first and only place we looked at — a charming red-brick Victorian on Lakeview Ave. not far from a large park. No frantic house hunt, no maniacal bidding war.

Then, sort of suddenly, we were leaving again. Last summer, my husband accepted a new job…

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Sneer all you want, Vancouver and Toronto: Windsor, Ontario’s recession ravaged rust-belt city is turning into the country’s hottest real estate play

Financial Post

George Guo is showing off one of his son’s Windsor rental properties, a two-bedroom house with a view of the river. The house is up for sale.

It’s small for a Windsor house, but positively roomy compared to much of what’s available on the Toronto rental market. It could definitely use some updating, but it has a large fenced yard, parking and two bathrooms. The floors are a little, well, slanted. But the roof is in good condition.

When Guo hears the exact same detached house in Toronto could sell for over a million dollars, he laughs and laughs and laughs. Guo’s son bought the house three years ago for $21,000 and is listing it for $49,900, standing to more than double his money, on top of the $650 in monthly rental income he’s been earning.

In other words, things have worked out exactly according to plan. In the depths…

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There’s a rental renaissance sweeping through Toronto and Vancouver thanks to sky-high home prices

Yes, home prices are getting higher than many can afford which does make renting more attractive.

Financial Post

TORONTO — For the past two decades, developers in Canada’s hottest real estate markets have busily erected shiny new condominium towers while construction of rental buildings has stagnated.

But with the appetite for condos beginning to wane and sky-high home prices leaving home ownership out of reach for many, developers and institutional investors in Toronto and Vancouver are increasingly setting their sights on rental units.

[np_storybar title=”5 reasons why Canada’s housing market won’t crash” link=””]The head of the country’s largest private mortgage insurer is taking a message to U.S. investors: Red hot housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver aren’t about to plummet — here’s his case.

“It’s a significant shift,” says Shaun Hildebrand, vice-president of condo research firm Urbanation.
The firm says there are eight rental buildings currently under construction and 37 more proposed in the Toronto area, containing a total of more than 11,000 units. That’s a…

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This Toronto condo developer is offering guaranteed rent on your investment — but at what price?

Are buyers being told something about the state of the market for the rentals of Toronto condos?

Financial Post

One of Canada’s largest real estate developers, faced with skittish investors worried about a Toronto condo crash, is offering a guarantee on rental income for two years.

[np_storybar title=”While U.S. home prices soar, is Canada going the other direction?” link=””]

‘I’d say they are still in the middle innings of their housing recovery as compared to most of Canada which is just treading water’: BMO economist Sal Guatieri

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Although this type of deal is not without precedent, it does raise the question of what buyers are ultimately paying for this perk?

The Minto Group is reaching into its bag of condominium treats — incentives have long been part of the industry — to offer investors in its Toronto development called Minto Westside, near the city’s waterfront, a guaranteed six per cent return on their purchase price for 24 months.

“On a $300,000 suite, you would be guaranteed $18,000…

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Toronto ranked ‘best place to live’ in Economist ranking of cities around the world

National Post

The City of Toronto has been named “best place to live” in an index of city rankings compiled by The Economist.

When Canada’s largest city was weighed across six indicators including liveability, and food security, Toronto bested a shortlist of 50 other cities to qualify as “best overall.”

Montreal—the only other Canadian city examined in the report—scored second place.

The results were included in the Safe Cities Index, a new report by The Economist gauging urban safety around the globe.

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Toronto only earned eighth place in the Safe Cities index (Tokyo was #1), but rose to the top when authors factored in Toronto’s place in five previous Economist rankings: Livability, cost of living, business environment, democracy and food security.

“Toronto in Canada is a consistent performer across the five other indexes, putting it top overall,” read the report.

The Ontario capital did not top any…

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Home sweet homewreck: This is the worst reno story you will ever hear

National Post

Jim Pantaleo’s phone winked out sometime after 6:00 a.m. on Aug. 1, 2012. The last message he sent before it died was to his wife, Allison. “Love you forever,” it said. And then, nothing.

Jim had spent the day before writing and drinking, slowly. From his perch at the corner of an L-shaped bar at a pub in Toronto’s east end, he tapped away at his laptop. He sipped beer and he did shots of “liquid cocaine,” a mix of Jagermeister and Goldschlager schnapps.

Supplied Photo Supplied Photo

Jim had arrived at the pub, Rails and Ales, at about 3 p.m. “He seemed very normal,” says Len Grammenopoulos, the bar’s owner. He ate some food. He joked around. Sometime after midnight, he sent his mother an email with seven letters inside. At about 2:30 a.m., he paid his tab — maybe $60, $70. He high-fived Len and he walked out. “I remember…

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