1300 Yonge Street, Suite 100 Toronto, Ontario M4T 1X3 416-925-9191 helenbraithwaite@chestnutpark.com

Resolutions: Time for Fitness Toronto!

Back to Fitness Toronto!

Welcome to 2018! We can now focus on getting back to fitness Toronto! I am not sure about you but I have missed a few workouts and eaten a few too many shortbread. January is resolution time! I thought I would highlight a few gyms in the city to get you back to a fitness regime. There are so many Toronto fitness opportunities I can only touch on a few that I hope you can work into your schedule.

Personal Training

Totum Life Science is run by Tim and Stacy Irvine who gained their experience at the former Toronto Fitnes Institute. They opened Totum in the mid-90s looking to provide science based fitness and health to their clients.  Totum is a great spot to get personal one on one training. It is conveniently located at Yonge and Roxborough with an additional location north on the same block above the old Roots, just under Roots Yoga. Their trainers provide a very comprehensive approach to training that is based on both mobility and strength to provide for healthy aging. I have trained at Totum for years and I do believe I remain as active and injury free as I am as a result of this style of training. For those looking for a stretch class that is more scientific than you basic yoga class  David Torrance offers a great Kin Stretch class on Wednesday nights at 6:15pm, you will learn a bit about body mechanics as you stretch.

Fitness Classes

Ultimate Athletics has an extensive repertoire of classes ranging from TRX, kettlebell, rowing, kickboxing, aerobics, stretch and barre to name just a few! The gym is run by fitness couple extraordinaire Vlad Radanovic and Paula Ryff. They have quite the following! It is a very positive and energetic club run by manager Aja Zylberberg. Fun fact: they have a great selection of athletic wear sourced by Aja who has an eye for fashion.

Ferris 360 is a great place for the ultimate circuit class with lots of cardio included! There are a variety of times throughout the day so you can work them easily into any schedule. The location is a bonus as it is steps from Davisville station. For those that don’t want to pay for the one on one training these classes certainly cover all bases for a full strengthen combined with cardio.

Cross Fit

For those inclined to do Crossfit Crossfit Metric on Mount Pleasant just south of Eglinton is a good option. The majority of the staff are ex-military and they certainly know how to push people to their maximum.  Crossfire Metric has both classes and personal training. I am currently training here with a former yoga instructor turned cross-fit junkie, Kathryn Griffiths Kearsey who you can follow on Instagram Toronto Cross Fit Project.  Kathryn’s husband David Kearsey, is also a part of the Toronto Cross Fit project. David (DK)  is a sought after Toronto trainer that works with clients at Yorkville’s Crossfit YKV and for the downton dweller he trains clients at Crossfit 416 . Kathryn and DK are educated trainers that know how to push people to their limits without injury. They are very knowledgeable on how diet combined with training creates optimal results. There are many Crossfit gyms in Toronto just be mindful that you choose a gym with well educated staff!

Cardio Junkies (I know there are a few out there, myself included.)

Spin classes

Soul Cycle, Spin Co and Rocket Cycle all have an extensive list of spin classes with great music and instructors. My little secret are Shelby Pilot’s classes at Totum for those in Rosedale/Summerhill area as the bikes have a read out to know how hard you worked and I enjoy the music that is retro and not quite as deafening relative to Spin Co and Soul cycle.


Barry’s Boot Camp is an amazing place for interval training. The class alternates between floor work and aggressive intervals on a treadmill. This is not for the faint at heart but guaranteed to increase your endurance levels!

For those who want to continue running outdoors through ice and snow Running Room offers run clubs as wells as Lululemon through out the City of Toronto with excellent training programs for upcoming 10ks, 1/2 marathons and full marathons. I have just completed the Lululemon 40/80 run challenge and succeeded in running 80 kilometres in under 2 weeks. This challenge is the perfect launch into my training for the Washington Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run run this spring. Toronto offers two excellent marathons locally the Good Life Fitness Marathon in the spring and the ScotiaBank Waterfront Marathon in the fall.


Scullhouse is a rowing based workout that claims to burn more calories per hour than spinning, running or swimming and provides a full body workout. Worth a try for those seeking high intensity yet low impact exercise.

Triathlon Training

There are so many triathlon races in Ontario through out the spring and summer. Toronto Triathlon takes place in July. Trisport Canada and Multisport Canada have triathlon races you can choose through out Ontario. It offers a great excuse to escape your downtown condo urban life to enjoy rural Ontario. Toronto Triathlon Club is the perfect way to train for these events.

Muskoka training

If you enjoy winter in Muskoka  Tri-Lakes Training is now open by appointment year round and there are also weeknight fitness classes. Once the May long weekend hits the gym offers weekend classes and in July and August there are daily classes. Tri-Lakes is also offer a Triathlon Clinic at Cleveland’s House, detail are found on their website.

I hope this list has inspired you to get out there, get fit and have fun!

Happy New Year and  please have a look at my  December 2017 Toronto Real Estate Market Report  that  highlights the luxury real estate sales in Toronto in 2017. Be aware that  in January the new stress tests for conventional mortgages are implemented by the banks so before you buy make sure you know what you qualify for. If you need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.



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December 2017 Year End Toronto Real Estate Market Report

One would say that 2017 was a wild ride for Toronto Real Estate. We saw an extremely tight  housing supply drive prices up to an all time high in April which caused government intervention. In order to curb the sharp rise in property prices in the GTA the Ontario Government implemented the Fair Housing Plan. It created new rules for landlords including rent price control and a foreign buyer’s tax of 15%.  One could say this intervention did help as prices have retreated from those manic highs in the fall. There are still some questions as the whether the new tenancy rules have hurt the rental supply.  The new rent control rules appear to have contributed to the continued  tight rental supply in the city. Rental housing is now unaffordable to many people in the downtown core.

Year over Year the average sale price was still up from 2016 at $735,000 December 2017 vs. $730,000 December 2016.  This is much lower than the peak we saw at the end of April 2017 where the average price cleared $900,000. The average sale price in central Toronto for December 2017 was $741,000. A detached home in central Toronto is $1.25 million vs $910,000 in the 905 area. At the April peak were almost on par. Central Toronto remains a strong market (please see the table below) with the bulk of the correction occurring in the 905 area code. The biggest change we have seen is a much needed increase in listings from only 4166  properties listed last December to 6330 December 2017. Most of this inventory increase is outside central Toronto which explains the larger price corrections in those areas.

In 2018 we shall see what effect the introduction of the new stress tests for conventional mortgages will have on the markets. It will probably cause some pressure on the lower end of the market which is comprised for the most part of  condominiums. To clarify the new stress test requires banks to qualify mortgages assuming the rates are 2% higher than current interest rates. This is a prudent thing to do when looking to borrow money. It ensures that you can afford your mortgage if interest rates increase when your mortgage is up  for renewal in 5 years.  The luxury market will probably not be as affected as wealthy purchasers are not looking for financing and if they are they would not be as leveraged as the entry level buyer.

I thought at this time I should highlight the 2017 luxury homes sales in select Toronto neighbourhoods.

Bridle Path: 7 sales over $10 million and 46 sales over $5 million

Saint Andrew’s: 17 sales over $5 million

Rosedale:  3 sales just shy of $10 million and 17 sales over $5 million

Forest Hill: 1 sale over $10 million and 15 sales over $5 million

Annex: 8 sales over $5 million

Casa Loma: 2 sales over $5 million

Yonge and St Clair: 1 sale over $5 million

Lawrence Park: 14 sales over $5 million

Condo sales are now the largest part of the Toronto MLS sales making up 65% of all Toronto Real Estate Board transactions on MLS  as they provide the most affordable option for property ownership. The Luxury Condo market in Toronto however, is gaining traction in Toronto.  People are beginning to embrace the turn key lifestyle so we shall see an increase in the luxury condominium sales over the next few years.  Condos in Toronto were originally built to provide an affordable alternative owning a home. Now the market is demanding larger square footage, luxury and ammenities when purchasing condominiums. This has created many luxury pre-construction sales, not on MLS. Camrost Yorkville Residences, Mizrahi the One, 200 Russell Hill Road to name a few.

There were 13 Condominium sales on MLS over $5 million and 1 sale on MLS sale over $10 million. This statistic is a little deceiving as the pre-construction sales are not included in the MLS system and also know in the luxury market quite often properties do sell off market. The Four Sesason Residences Penthouse suite that was offered for sale for $36 million sold firm at the end of 2017 off market as an example.

Of the 13  condominium sales over $5 million 8 sales were in the Yorkville-Bloor Street vicinity, including the penthouse unit in The Florian that sold on MLS over $10 million. Only 2 sales over $5,ooo,000 were downtown, 1 sale was at Yonge and St Clair and 2 were in the Rosedale area.

There were 133 condo sales in Central Toronto between $2,000,000 and $5,000,000 of which 59 sales were in the downtown area and 52 of them were in the Yorkville area. 

For more details on the Toronto Market check out Chestnut Park Real Estate’s President and CEO Chris Kapches’ market comment are found in the  December 2017 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

Should you require assistance or more detailed sales information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Having timely market knowledge allows for a savvy investment decision when it comes to listing or buying your home.

Happy New Year!


Work 416-925-9191 Cell 416-461-3114  helenbraithwaite@chestnutpark.com



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How to Create Lagom in Your Own Home

Nordic Neutrals

After writing about Hygge I felt I should also discuss Lagom (pronounced LA-gom). Lagom is a Swedish term meaning “living with just the right amount”. The start of a new year is the perfect time to introduce Lagom into your life.  After a holiday of excess with too many gifts, dinners, cookies and glasses of wine it is time to take ourselves back to our discipline. Lagom is an entire way of life but I shall touch on what you can do around the home to create a Lagom space in your own home.

Mid-Century Teak Lounge chair

I grew up in a home that had many Danish influences. At the time my parents had purchased the Scandinavian pieces as they were reasonably priced. Our dining table was teak, we had the teak nesting tables and an iconic Danish lounge chair. Little did they know how popular these were going to become in the 21st century! I wouldn’t say we practiced Lagom as my parents had a lot of other things taking away from  the philosophy.

I have always liked the way the Danish live with such simplicity yet their spaces have a warmth to them.  I love to visit Huset, a store in Venica, CA that sells only Scandinavian products as the there is such a sense of design style yet there is a contemporary simplicity. Now that I have read about Lagom the philosophy is to live peacefully.

How to Bring Lagom to Your Home.

Decor – Don’t make things complicated. Keep it simple with a few key pieces yet create a balance and harmony by softening your space with natural materials and other elements of nature in art or fabric choices. Some examples would be: hardwood, slate or another natural stone floor rather than laminate; birch veneer walls instead of drywall; wooden children’s toys in lieu of plastic.

Colour – Keep things neutral with small splashes of colour to keep a calm environment this creates a balance. The Scandinavian colour code is Nordic Neutrals and greys to keep distractions to a minimum. This colour scheme creates a calm environment which is the key component to Lagom. True Scandinavians accent with just blue but I believe it is ok to add something a little more whimsical and still achieve a calm space.

Living Plants Add a Touch of Nature Indoors

Bring in Some Nature- Adding some fresh plants into the home to gives a sense of outdoors inside. I particularly enjoy succulents as they are quite sculptural and from a practical sense are very low maintenance.

Furniture – Each furniture piece should have a function and each piece of furniture should bring you joy. If you do not get joy from it then it is time to donate to friends, family or a worth charity such as Habitat for Humanity. I have also found that Value Village is a great place to drop off items now that Goodwill has gone.  It always brings me joy when I give something I am not using to someone else and I see their joy.

Minimize Clutter – Throw out old magazines, books, newspapers, Christmas cards that don’t have sentimental value to you. A good rule of thumb to control clutter in a home is when you bring something new into the home something else should be given away.

Gifts, Heirlooms and Objects–  The wonderful gift-giving of Christmas does lead to a few unwanted gifts rather than feeling obligated to keep them please pay it forward and gift it to someone who  may appreciate it. Fulskåp (pronounced FOOL-scap) is a Swedish term for a cupboard full of gifts that have no use to you.  Family heirlooms are lovely but if the objects don’t bring you happiness it is time to pass it on. Please know Christie’s is a great resource should you consider selling any Art, Jewelry, Handbags and antiques that may not speak to you. Walk around your house and remove things that don’t bring you happiness but do keep a few key pieces to connect to your history. They have said happiness is found not through objects but experience. Take a nice family vacation with the proceeds.

Death Cleaning – The Swedish term is “dostadning“, a brilliant concept. It may sound morbid but as we age our need to acquire more things diminishes and it makes sense to purge your belongings starting at 50 to spare your children this burden after you die.  There are a few rooms in my basement I need to tackle. Your kids do not want your family heirlooms or any collection you may have.  Millennials want to live a simply with less clutter and in smaller spaced to free them up to go an enjoy experiences and travel.  This explains the trend to condominium living for a turn key lifestyle. Toronto’s condo sales were the bulk of the sales (condominium sales made up 65% of all reported sales by TREB for 2017). Death Cleaning is not an afternoon job but rather a change in your state of mind to slowly rid yourself of belongings that you don’t use, don’t need or don’t bring you joy.

Less is More

Here a few Design stores in Toronto that carry Scandinavian modern pieces that will inspire you to embrace Lagom  Mjolk. Quasi Modo and Studio Pazo

One can’t exclude IKEA that is the source of all things Swedish for the budget minded but also know that Lagom is about fewer things of higher quality.

Online sources to seek out  Design within Reach, All Modern, Gabriel Ross

On a personal Lagom level, here are six things you can do to live the Lagom lifestyle like the Swedish according to Health Magazine:

  • Start your day with a Morgondop, a morning skinny dip.
  • Be happy in solitude. Travel alone, go to a movie or an Art gallery by yourself.
  • Create a “capsule wardrobe” which refers to a minimal but highly practical closet of quality clothes you love that are also very versatile.
  • Take breaks from work. Head to a coffee shop and sit, sip and enjoy. Breaks have been proved to increase productivity.
  • Learn the art of listening. Swedes rarely interrupt or talk over people and pauses are completely acceptable! North Americans are conditioned to constantly talk.
  • Do some good deeds or random acts of kindness

To get the full scoop on the Lagom lifestyle I recommend you read Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living.  If you missed my blog on Hygge a Danish term for “cozy living” you may enjoy reading that too! Wishing everyone a smooth transition back to work and school routines after the holidays!

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Happy New Year! Goodbye 2017 and Hello 2018 Hygge style!

Hygge Mantle

Before I discuss the concept of Hygge I would like to thank my family, friends, clients and Chestnut Park Real Estate. 2017 was very successful year for me and couldn’t have done it without all the support and encouragement!

We say goodbye to 2017 which was a challenging year both political and socially with the antics of Trump and the “Me Too” movement.  I think we all want to count on 2018  to be a year of comfort, hope and happiness. This made me realize I should post about Hygge (pronounced HUE-gah), the art of cozy living. Hygge is currently a popular buzzword on the lifestyle and healthy living  front. Hygge, a danish term is “the art of creating intimacy”. In the winter months we all want to feel cozy in our homes curled up by the fire with a book.

I thought I would give you the abridged version of what you can do to create your own Hygge home.

Roaring Wood Stove

Home entertaining – Instead of bracing the cold it is time to cocoon and have a few close friends over for cheese fondue by the wood burning fireplace. I will share a cheese fondue recipe that is our family favourite. The perfect apres ski or snowshoe dinner!

Cheese Fondue is the perfect winter food

  • Buy Ace, Fred’s or Blackbird Bakery baguette, Ace Raisin Walnut bread and Fred’s Walnut Bread and cut into cubes. It is great to mix the breads for extra flavour.
  • Grate  3/4 lb Gruyere 3/4 lb Emmenthal and mix a sprinkle of flour in (2 tablespoons)
  • Cut a clove of garlic and wipe the fondue pot then add 1 1/4 cup white wine heat to almost a boil and add a drop of fresh lemon or Kirsch (depending on your palette preference)
  • Slowly mix in cheese mixture and stir with a whisk until dissolved
  • Light the fondue stand up and enjoy
  • We add carrots, green apple and other vegetables to offer a lower carb alternative for people.

Thank you to my dear friend Kate Pearce for this amazing recipe that has become a family tradition!

Alessi has a wonderful ceramic fondue set but any kitchen store will have one. Worst case just use a pot and improvise.

Hygge is all about curling up with a book and a cup of tea

Tea – hot tea is the ultimate in comfort, there are so many fabulous teas available and Clearview Tea Co. has an extensive collection of organic teas to soothe the soul. For non tea drinkers a nice big cup of cocoa does the trick.

Candles and succulents the perfect combination

Candles – For those that don’t have the option of a roaring woodburning fire candles and votives are a fine option to warm up a room. Tuck Shop Co. sells some great neighbourhood candles with wonderful scents as well as Woodlot candles.

Diffusers – I happen to be obsessed with Saje for their bath salts and aromatherapy blends. I have a diffuser in many of my rooms and you can alter you scent based on your mood and the seasons. For the winter there are Mountain High, Celebrate and Peppermint Twist diffusers scents however my favourite scents are Liquid Sunshine, Stress Relief and Rain Forest.

Sheepskin is the ultimate Hygge

Throw blanket – have a cozy cashmere or alpaca throw on the couch. The Cashmere Shop in Yorkville has some wonderful throw blankets, for something more eclectic Absolutely Inc.  has interesting throws.

Carpet – Sheepskin rugs are big in Sweden and do add that warmth to create the perfect Hygge. Elte has an extensive selection of carpets to warm up any space.

A comfortable rug underfoot, cozy sofa with throws, pillows and the warmth of living plants. Hygge Perfecfion!

Comfy Sectional – Hygge is about getting comfortable and putting your feet up. Sectionals are the best for that if not find a nice ottoman to do the trick. Gus Modern has some wonderful choices at reasonable prices and some proportioned to apartment living.

Having a Hygee Home is now considered part of a healthy lifestyle! Here are 7 more ways* to create a Hygge home which overlaps a little with my next article on Lagom.
  1. Your home should never be magazine perfect
  2. Less is more in terms of furnishings and decor
  3. Music is an integral part of Hygge
  4. There should be something in the home that is part of your history. I have always said your home should tell a story about you as that is what gives it a soul.
  5. Lighting should give you a nice ambience and also provide a function to read a book, see your food.
  6. Surround yourself with well chosen items. I was once told my home was well curated….it sounds silly but I do put thought into each object we have in our home.
  7. Most importantly a home should feel cozy.
*Source House Beautiful UK “Hygge: 7 Styling Tips to achieve a  Scandinavian look at home” Morton Georgsen. October 2016

 Now you have some tips on creating Hygge in your own home this winter! Just light a candle or start a fire and curl up with your favourite book listening to the LP playing on your vintage turntable and relax. 






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Toronto November Real Estate Market Report

November saw a small drop in average sale price down 2%  year over year to $761, 757 and a much needed increase in inventory to 14,349 vs 10,456 in November 2016.  The central core of Toronto and the E1, E2 and E3 remain quite robust. The condo market is extremely strong as that is where the affordability is. We also saw a lot of activity in the condo market ahead of the new mortgage stress test that will be introduced in January. For a full market report please see  Toronto Real Estate Market Update Nov 2017

I thought it would be helpful to highlight the sales in a few of the central  Toronto neighbourhoods to show how much stronger prices are in the core of Toronto.

November sales stats:

C01 Downtown West of Yonge to Dufferin: average sale price for a condo apartment was $614,000 and $1,597,000 for a detached home

C02 Annex and Yorkville : average sale price for a condo apartment was $1,149,000 and $2,109,000 for a detached home

C03 Forest Hill, Casa Loma, Wychwood park: average sale price for a condo apartment was $873.343 and $2,327,333 for a detached home. This includes Forest Hill which had a significant sale of a signature $15,000,000 estate this month.

C04 average sale price of a condo apartment was $556,000 and $2,224,000 for a detached home

C09 Rosedale Moore Park: average sale price for a condo apartment was $882,941 and $3,538,371 for a detached home with the highest sale price reaching $8,200,000 in November for a signature double lot home on Binscarth Road in North Rosedale.

C10  average sale price for a condo apartment was $731,458 and $1,856,406 for a detached home.

C11 average sale price for a condo apartment $389,619 and $2.344,375 for a detached home.

C12 average sale price for a condo apartment $1,060,750 and $3,349,700 for a detached home. The highest sale price was $5,033,000 in November.

I am always available to provide useful market information to my clients. Do not hesitate to call me if you require information on sales in your neighbourhood or if you would like to inspect a property. I feel having an educated buyer or seller makes any real estate transaction a smoother one.

Stay tuned for my December report which I shall highlight all the signature properties that have sold in Toronto throughout the year 2017.





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How to enjoy the City of Toronto for the Holidays.

I thought I’d share some of the holiday traditions that my family embraces throughout City of Toronto during the festive season!

  • Seeing the Hudson’s Bay Company holiday windows is always a delight! Finish the evening off with a skate at Nathan Phillips Square, just across Queen Street, surrounded by holiday lights and of course the iconic TORONTO sign.

  • The Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District should not be missed! This market is a fabulous destination to get some Christmas shopping done while getting into the Christmas spirit. There is such magic in the air with plentiful Christmas decor including an enormous light-filled tree. There are rides and a petting zoo for the kids too! Throughout the day there are festive performances to get you into the holiday mood. Our tip is to avoid the weekends and choose a mid-week night to be able to enjoy the festivities without the crowds. This Christmas Market is a great spot to get some Christmas shopping done as there are several interesting boutiques in the distillery. Bergo Designs is a great place to find hobby-themed Christmas tree ornaments and they also have Alessi ornaments for those wanting a more contemporary twist to their tree.



  • Taking in a Holiday concert is always a lovely way of embracing the holidays such as Children’s Christmas Chorus Saturday December 16, 2017 , The National Ballet of Canada’s The Nutcracker Suite  or Ross Petty’s A Christmas Carol. Common Boots Theatre is performing The Story in Christie Pits Park at 7:30pm throughout December. For a more extensive list refer to Toronto Theatre for more options throughout the City of Toronto.
  • The Twelve Trees of Christmas at the Gardiner Museum is always on our list. It is great to see the creativity of Toronto designers followed by lunch in Yorkville and Christmas shopping.
  • The Evergreen Brickworks is a perfect place to enjoy an urban escape strolling the  trails or hiking the Rosedale Moore Park ravine which is part of an extensive City of Toronto ravine system. Afterwards stop by Cafe Belong for a cup of cocoa. The Evergreen Garden Market has beautiful fresh Christmas trees and winter greens as well as a selections of locally sourced environmentally conscious gifts. It is a great spot to shop for that green thumb on your list! Evergreen Winter Village is on every weekend through December. Please note they have an Etsy Holiday shop ever Sunday.
  • The Art Gallery of Ontario has an very good gift shop for finding a unique gift for that person that has everything. Don’t forget AGO Bistro (formerly Frank Restaurant) for your holiday lunch.

I truly want to thank my clients for making 2017 my best year in Real Estate. I enjoyed working with all of you and feel blessed to have such wonderful clients. I could not have achieved this without the support of friends and family. Thank you.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season! Stay tuned for my January New Year’s Resolution post!



Helen Braithwaite

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October 2017 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

The Market was up 2.3% year over year which is exactly what we want to see for a healthy sustainable market and the days on market still remain quite low at 23 days. The bulk of the sales continue to be condominiums as that is where the affordability lies. The average price for a condominium is $550,000 however note this rises to $620,000 in the central Toronto area. The average detached house price is significantly more at just over $1mill for the entire GTA and that jumps to $1.287 million in the central core of Toronto. The full market report can be seen below.

Toronto Real Estate Market Update Oct 2017

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Hopson Grace: The source for elegant tableware and other curiosities

Hopson Grace

I have been meaning to highlight Hopson Grace for a while now as it has been a welcome Yonge Street addition to the Rosedale and Summerhill neighbourhoods. As much as I was sad to see perfect lunch spot Patachou close, Hopson Grace has provided the neighbourhood with a sophisticated housewares store to source unique wedding and hostess gifts or to update to your own dinner table and home décor.

Owners Andrea Hopson and Martha Grace McKimm describe themselves perfectly on their website:

“In today’s world of disposable shopping and always-on technology, we hope to enrich your life with authentic products, entertaining ideas, sustainable design and engaging events. We specialize in life’s joyful essentials: food, wine, friends, family and great design. Our goal is to inspire you as you plan your next meal, imagine your next celebration or update your home. And we’ve eliminated the burden of too much choice by curating what we believe to be some of the most beautiful tableware designs from around the globe.”

The store carries Dibbern, a line of quality dinnerware that I had not yet seen in Toronto . The wooden bowls displayed are stunning pieces. It truly provides a wonderful alternative for a wedding registry as the pieces are timeless and of exceptional quality.

Canada 150 Story Tiles are stunning depictions of Canadian scenes which would make thoughtful Christmas gifts that will be treasured for years to come.

I must also point out that there is a wonderful selection of quality children’s table accessories. These darling pieces make wonderful baby gifts that will become keepsakes for the next generation.

Need a hostess gift for that dinner party you are heading to or a statement piece for your own entertaining? This truly should be the store to visit!








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Toronto Real Estate Market Report for September 2017

September saw a rise in the average sale price  year over year of 2.6% in Toronto and the number of listing was also up and higher than the number of listings we saw September of 2016. It appears that any concerns over the 15% foreign buyer tax have been absorbed and buyers are back into the market with a little more caution than we saw in the spring of 2017. The condominium market remains exceptionally strong. For full details on the September market please see the Toronto Real Estate Market Update Sep 2017

The following table breaks down the number of sales and average sale price by district and you can see the discprencies based on the areas in Toronto. Note the average sales price refers to the entire GTA not just Central Toronto. This table breaks down the central districts and please know I have access to the data for all districts so please do not hesitate to contact me. 


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Christies International Real Estate Conference 2017 Market Report

Market trends that were discussed at the conference…

  • Toronto was the hottest luxury real estate market in 2016
  • Those frustrated with the foreign buyer tax of 15% in Toronto should know that it is 30% in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Melbourne.
  • 50% of foreign buyers are buying for lifestyle, not investment, but they are looking for a safe secure spot to own real estate. Most foreign buyers don’t immigrate, as they don’t like the taxes. They come to shop, sightsee, wine and dine, which are good for the local economy.
  • Note that the foreign buyer tax in Vancouver has not curbed sales. There was a price drop at the onset of the tax but one year later a new record has been reached.
  • Foreign buyers are now looking to buy in Victoria and other peripheral markets in BC to avoid the taxes in the greater Vancouver area.
  • Foreign buyers find the US and Canada safe as they have good banks, reliable governments and healthy market fundamentals.
  • 85% of uber-priced homes in the United States are now purchased by Americans
  • No one felt that Brexit had any impact on the North American market. The only observation was that Turkish buying increased since the coup in Turkey.

Some insights on the east coast and west coast snow bird markets after listening to a talk on the impact of global influences on Local Real Estate Markets…

  • Miami, Florida: Originally there was a “Trump Candidacy” effect but, post-election, the real estate market was strong. Currently there is a large inventory in Miami–listings are down 19% and the average sale price is down 35%, so there are good buying opportunities there now. The market is starting to see investors taking their money out of equity market and diversifying to real estate. Miami used to be 60% cash deals but due to the higher government scrutiny (the equivalent of our FINTRAC), Russians are still buying but in smaller amounts.
  • Newport Beach, California: There are many Asian buyers and the market is very robust–up 6% with low inventory.
  • San Miguel, Mexico: There had been some concern with buyers in terms of Trump getting elected, however there are other buyers that actually want to take some money outside the United States because of Trump’s victory and uncertainty within the United States. San Miguel had its best year ever with both US and Canadian buyers.
  • Toronto, Ontario: Has had a correction from the April 2017 high of an average sale price of over $900,000 down to the current $725,000. It does appear the market has stabilized and the fall market is seeing a return of multiple offers for properties in desirable locations, particularly if they have been renovated.
  • There has been an increase in rental property purchases. Wall Street is at record highs and investors are taking their money out of the equity markets and putting it into real estate.
  • Real estate is a tangible asset and in times of uncertainty it becomes a favoured investment choice.

Stay tuned for the September Toronto Real Estate Market Report in the next few days.

I truly hope everyone is having a smooth transition to fall.


Helen Braithwaite

Christies’ International Real Estate Luxury Specialist, ABR, SRS, SRES

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