Diana Power, Author at Distinctive Advisors Inc.

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Author Archives: Diana Power

Moving to Bayview Woods-Steeles: A complete neighbourhood guide

Bayview Woods-Steeles is a picturesque residential community located along the northern border of the City of Toronto. The neighbourhood is known for its amazing selection of houses and access to scenic nature trails along the Don River and the German Mills Creek. The area has become extremely popular with young families who appreciate the tight-knit community feel of Bayview Woods-Steeles and the wonderful selection of schools in the area.

Where is Bayview Woods-Steeles?

Bayview Woods-Steeles is situated between Bayview Avenue and Leslie Street with Steeles Avenue East acting as the northern boundary and Finch Avenue East acting as the southern boundary. One of the most prominent geographical features of the Bayview Woods-Steeles neighbourhood is the Don River, which runs right through the center of the neighbourhood. The heavily wooded area surrounding the Don River provides the neighbourhood with an ample amount of green space. Bayview Woods-Steeles is part of the larger neighbourhood of Newtonbrook, which extends west to Dufferin Street.

Getting around Bayview Woods-Steeles

The Bayview Woods-Steeles neighbourhood has excellent access to transportation options. Highway 404 is just a few minutes east of Bayview Woods-Steeles and Highway 401 is just a few minutes south. Motorists can easily reach the two major highways, which can take them to just about anywhere in the city in under an hour. The Old Cummer Go Station is located on Leslie Street and Old Cummer Avenue in the heart of Bayview Woods-Steeles. The station is a stop on the Richmond Hill line train service and offers service to Union Station in Downtown Toronto. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) also has several bus routes that service Bayview Woods-Steeles along Steeles Avenue East, Bayview Avenue, and Finch Avenue East.

The types of homes in Bayview Woods-Steeles

The Bayview Woods-Steeles area was initially founded in the early part of the 19th century by settlers who operated saw and grist mills along the east and west branches of the Don River. In the 1950s, the area was subdivided for a massive residential development; this is when most of the housing stock in Bayview Woods-Steeles was built. Most of the residential area in Bayview Woods-Steeles is occupied by houses built on long winding tree-lined streets. The houses available in the area are a mix of detached and semi-detached split-level and storey-and-a-half houses as well as a few modestly sized bungalows and townhomes. The houses in Bayview Woods-Steeles are built on generously sized lots. In recent years, many of the smaller bungalows in the area have been replaced with new custom-built homes with modern amenities.

There are also several condominium complexes sprinkled around the Bayview Woods-Steeles area to provide some diversity to the housing options in the neighbourhood. The Gates of Bayview located on Garnier Court is one of North Toronto’s most exclusive apartment rental addresses. The Gates of Bayview offers one, two and three bedroom rentals with extensive amenities, beautiful shrubbery, mature foliage, and stunning floral displays. The Bennett on Bayview is another great condominium complex located on Bayview Avenue across the street from the Bayview-Finch Medical Centre. The Bennett is luxury condominium complex with a modern design aesthetic, large suites, and amazing local green spaces.

New residential developments in Bayview Woods-Steeles 

Bayview Woods- Steeles is one of the older and more well-established neighbourhoods in North York but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any new developments happening in the area. An exciting new residential development is underway in the center of Bayview Woods-Steeles. The new development is called the Ivy Hall and is a unique collection of just 30 palatial homes located along Lonergan Crescent and Ballyconnor Court. Each 60-foot lot will feature a new single detached home of over 4000 sq ft, carefully designed and built by Country Wide — one of the most respected homebuilders in the GTA. These homes will feature brick, stone, and stucco exteriors with tall solid wood doors, and fully interlocked stone driveways.

Making the move to Bayview Woods-Steeles

The popularity of Bayview Woods-Steeles has grown tremendously over the last few decades and demand for property in the area is skyrocketing. The neighbourhood is ideal for young families looking to move into their first home. The neighbourhood has beautiful houses, wonderful schools, and is removed from the hustle and bustle of the big city while still being close to commercial hubs like Fairview Mall. Moving into a new home can be a daunting task especially when you also must worry about selling your previous home. When you are selling your home, staging is an invaluable tool that helps potential buyers better envision themselves living in that space. Whether you are staging your home for sale, moving into your new family home, or you just want to declutter your garage, self-storage can be a great solution.

Storwell Self Storage is currently offering my clients an exclusive offer of 4 weeks of free self-storage at any of their facilities. Storwell has locations in Etobicoke, Mississauga, and one location in Scarborough near Markham Road and Highway 401, which is just a short drive east of Bayview Woods-Steeles. If you need storage to help with home staging or moving into your new home, you can call a Storwell representative or visit a facility in person to demo a unit.

Storwell Self Storage

85 Executive Ct, Scarborough, ON M1S 5W9

Phone: 416-534-5555

Parks and recreation in Bayview Woods-Steeles

One of the main benefits of living in Bayview Woods-Steeles is having access to amazing parks and large swathes of green space allowing you to get closer to nature. There is an extensive network of walking, hiking, and biking trails that follow the flow of the Don River and German Mills Creek. These heavily wooded trails are perfect for scenic afternoon walks or early morning runs. If you continue along the Bayview Woods-Steeles bike path southwards, you can follow it through the entire city and end up at the waterfront in Downtown Toronto.

Bestview Park is a small park located on Bestview Drive, which has a baseball diamond, a children’s playground, and three public tennis courts. The Willowdale off-leash dog park is in the southwest corner of Bayview Woods-Steeles and is a great place for your dog to run around freely and play with other dogs in a controlled environment. Right next to the dog park is the Bayview Arena, which has an indoor ice rink, an auditorium, and an outdoor BMX bike park.

One of the largest parks in the Bayview Woods-Steeles neighbourhood is Cummer Park located on the corner of Cummer Avenue and Leslie Street. The park has two full-sized soccer fields, two basketball courts, a baseball diamond with flood lighting, and four newly renovated tennis courts. A unique feature of Cummer Park is its skate park, which has a wide variety of obstacles for skate boarders of every skill level. The Cummer Park Community Centre is located right next to the park and has several amenities including a fitness studio, a pool, a track, and a squash court.

The best schools in Bayview Woods-Steeles

Bayview Woods-Steeles is home to some of the best schools in the entire GTA. The Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic School Board both operate several schools in the area. There are two excellent options for high school students in the Bayview Woods-Steeles neighbourhood. AY Jackson Secondary School is located on Francine Drive and St Joseph Morrow Park Catholic Secondary School is located on the corner of Bayview and Cummer Avenue. Both secondary schools received extremely high marks in the Fraser Institute’s Annual Report Card for 2020 and were each ranked in the top 100 secondary schools in Ontario out of nearly 800 other schools.

Bayview Woods-Steeles also has a wonderful collection of elementary schools. A standout was Bayview Glen Public School located just north of Bayview Woods-Steeles on Limcombe Drive, which received extremely high marks from the Fraser Institute and was ranked as the 70th best elementary school in all of Ontario out of over 3000 other schools. Some other great elementary schools in the Bayview Woods-Steeles area include:

  • Lester B. Pearson Elementary School
  • Zion Heights Middle School
  • Pineway Public School
  • Steelesview Public School

The best places to eat in Bayview Woods-Steeles

Bayview Woods-Steeles has a large Chinese community and as a result the neighbourhood has a tremendous amount of wonderful restaurants specializing in Chinese and East Asian cuisine. Finch and Leslie Square is a popular shopping mall known for its great selection of dining options including Congee Wong, Sushi Legend North, He He Long BBQ, and Petit Potato, which is a busy local hangout that prepares a wide selection of bubble teas plus Chinese desserts and snacks. For amazing Japanese food, you can head over to Bayview and Cummer Avenue and visit Kaikaki Japanese Cuisine. On Steeles Avenue and Bestview Drive you will find Myoungdong Chammat Kalguksu, a Korean restaurant with a casual modern setting featuring daily all-you-can-eat menus of sushi favourites and grilled entrees. If you have room left for dessert, drop by Café Maxim’s on Finch Avenue East to try some of their delicious cakes and pastries.

If you’re looking to make your next move and the Bayview Woods-Steeles sounds like it might fit your lifestyle, contact our team today. We’d be happy to show you the best that the neighbourhood has to offer.

Toronto Residential Market Update – March 2021

March 2021 was yet another record-breaking month as home sales continued to be strong across Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). However, the stats look a little bit different this month since the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) decided to break the month down in 2 halves for the purpose of reporting.

Why did they split the month in half? Since the stay-at-home order in Ontario started mid-March in 2020, there was a significant decrease in sales for the second half of March last year — which means that any year-over-year comparison for that period is skewed (it would be a 97% increase in sales year-over-year without breaking the numbers out). So comparing the pre-lockdown period (first 14 days) to the same period this year is a more accurate year-over-year breakdown.

Here are some important numbers:

  • Sales increased 41% year-over-year for the first 14 days of March, which represents 6,504 sales in Toronto and the GTA;
  • Sales between March 15th and March 31st were even higher, with 9,148 sales during this timeframe;
  • New listings were up 57% year-over-year;
  • Active listings are down 0.7% and Days on Market are down 23% meaning sales are happening faster;
  • The average selling price is $1,097,565, up 21.6% year-over-year;

The winner for biggest growth in number of sales for the month is detached homes in the 905, with an 111.6% increase in sales year-over-year, with a close second being semi-detached homes in the City of Toronto, whose sales grew 106.6% over the same period.

The 905 region is leading the charge in terms of price growth as well, with a 31.4% increase in the price of a detached home year-over-year, compared with a 19.2% increase for the same in the City of Toronto.

If you need any assistance in planning your next real estate move to achieve your goals in the midst of this ever-changing real estate market, give us a call. We have our pulse on the market, which is shifting gears week to week, and can help you strike when the time is right.

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Ottawa Residential Market Update – March 2021

The March numbers for residential real estate in Ottawa are — once again — up from the previous month.

“There was a significant uptick in the number of new listings that came onto the market. This total (2,798) was higher than the 5-year listing average, which hadn’t happened since July 2020, when the first lockdown ended. Ongoing pent-up Buyer demand meant that most of the properties that came on the market in March were quickly acquired.” said Ottawa Real Estate Board President Debra Wright in OREB’s March 2021 update.

Here are some important numbers:

  • Sales were up 51% from last year, but aren’t representative of the actual year-over-year increase, since the first stay-at-home order was announced mid-way through last March and sales slowed as a result.
  • HOWEVER, sales last March were 1,514 and sales in March 2019 were 1,511 — almost neck in neck — which means that the AVERAGE increase year-over-year since March 2019 would be approximately 25%, which is still well above historical year-over-year increases.
  • 80% of the resales in Ottawa sold for over asking this March, compared to 60% last March, with 6% selling at the list price and 14% selling below.
  • The average price of a condominium-class property in March was $437,041, an increase of 18% year-over-year.
  • The average price of a residential-class property in March was $729,897, an increase of 35% year-over-year.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board has published that the price growths are purely a result of long-term inventory shortages and won’t cool until all three levels of government intervene. If you look at the cost of building supplies and the popularity of our community for its affordable housing, as well as the lack of punitive taxes for foreign investors, this also helps explain the continued record-breaking gains in the housing market.

The market is changing from week to week, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team directly to help you pinpoint the time to make an offer or list your home for success.

Capital Gains Tax Exemption Spared

With the federal government deficit growing and the economy fueled only by the leaps and bounds of the housing market, it is a natural segue to think “how can we, as a country, capitalize on it?” which has brought on much talk in the news of a hike to the capital gains tax.

What is capital gains tax?

  • Capital Gains tax is a 50% tax on the increase of an investment.
  • Investments could include stocks, real estate and many other assets.

What is the “exemption” on Capital Gains Tax?

There are two types of exemptions on capital gains that are spoken about:

  1. The 50% tax on the increase of an investment. This is intended to encourage people to invest in the economy, but some believe it is rewarding the wealthy. For example, if someone buys a stock for $100 and sells it later for $140, the increase is $40. They have to pay tax on $20 and the other $20 they get to keep without paying tax on, hence called the “50% tax exemption”.
  2. The exemption for principal residences. When you go to sell your home that you live in, even though it is an investment in an asset that has appreciated over time, you do not have to pay capital gains tax on any part of the increase. For example, if you have been living in a house that you bought 10 years ago for $200,000 and sold it this year for $500,000, you would not be taxed on the increase of $300,000.

Last week in Ontario, the Liberals proposed reducing the capital gains tax exemption to zero, meaning all investments would be taxed as income. This proposal was rejected by the federal government.

Other proposals that were rejected include:

  • An “inheritance tax” on all assets over $2 Million;
  • Increase capital gains tax by a 62-38 margin.

Many Canadians rely on their primary residence as an investment that they can cash in for their retirement. Today, with the real estate market buying frenzy, more retirees are holding onto their homes since down-sizing is not necessarily more affordable. If the capital gains tax exemption on principal residences were removed, it would have a significant impact on the life savings and retirement plans of many Canadians, but for now, they’ve been spared.

If you would like assistance with your investment plan, downsizing or planning the best path forward to maximize your life savings in your real estate asset, call us today. Our team will help you make a plan to meet your personal investment goals.

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