8 of the best houses in Toronto

The real estate market is dominated by for-sale and rental properties, but what if you had a place to buy to rent? The stratagem is a rarity, but it’s also becoming more common in Toronto.

Forty-two kilometres west of the city’s downtown core, in the Downsview area of northwest Toronto, a struggling industrial area – the neighbourhood is named after a federal technical institute that’s currently attached to a hulking fortress – has become one of the hottest real estate markets in Canada. There is a new condo every three to four months.

Money rises to the heavens as we fly over the Toronto skyline via go90. Viewers of the video then watch the game while driving around Toronto, from central Toewewalk neighbourhood to the ravines, noticing its many turrets and spires: the Toronto City Tower, the Toronto Eaton Centre, the Art Deco landmark Carlton Tower on the Lake Ontario shore, plus the elegant and historic Casino Royal York, seen through the soaring atrium ceiling.

Toronto is a bedroom community, and a rapidly expanding one. It’s currently forecast to be home to 7.8 million people by 2031, according to the Greater Toronto Area development guidelines. If this trend continues, the city will experience population growth equal to and almost in excess of what it experienced in its recently concluded 200-year history. While population growth and the availability of affordable housing are major issues facing cities across the world, there is no shortage of these issues in Toronto. If this growth – in addition to its upcoming international conventions, the Pan Am Games, and the Toronto FC Major League Soccer (MLS) team – remains unabated, Toronto’s future will be even more uncertain.

Toronto houses get even less desirable as their locations, prices, and conditions become more difficult to hold onto over time. They are no longer suitable or desirable as home, and no longer even suitable or desirable for a tenant. Yet there are, for example, buyers itching to make the largest single purchase in their life; then there are condominium investors who need to reinvest the capital gains from their previous purchase for reasons ranging from speculative real estate bubbles, overstoring, to speculation on markets. A home purchase is hardly a surefire investment: it is, on average, a small portion of overall wealth in the average Canadian household, and it requires capital. As those homes are often based on single-family (HMO) homes, there can be real estate cycles that can diminish the equity that equity once represented.

Lesser yet, condos that are popular but never fully occupied can provide great property values, even if they have a long-term negative impact on affordability and housing units.

Like Toronto in general, the tennis court outhouse in the last condo development in Clarington has lost some of its appeal – with a starting price of just under $80,000 and a 0.11 acre lot size, a patio is included as part of the purchase. Unfortunately, it is in an “upscale” neighbourhood that’s not optimal for someone on a budget. If any of these stats and values are of interest to you, or if you have pictures or video of the 10 best houses in Toronto, please email them to [email protected] or post them on our Facebook page.

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