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Ground Breaking Officially Kicks Off Port Lands Transformation





The week, Waterfront Toronto hosted a ground breaking ceremony to celebrate the start of the Port Lands Flood Protection Project, a $1.2 billion initiative as part of a long term plan to transform the industrial brownfield lands into a mixed use community with residential, office and parkland uses. As part of a multi-decade project, the current undertaking is to naturalize the mouth of the Don River to allow water to flow more naturally and efficiently into the inner Toronto Harbour. This will reduce the flood risk for 290 hectares of land in south-eastern Downtown and Leslieville that currently sits in a flood plane. Work like this has been done on a smaller scale at Corktown Common, which protects the post-industrialized West Don Lands and Distillery District neighbourhoods.

Waterfront Toronto, Port Lands RevitilizationCurrent view of the project and future vision, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

Although the ground breaking took place just this week, it was largely ceremonial. Work has been underway since the end of 2017, and the current stage of construction began in September. Crews can be seen in the video below doing lake-filling work for what will be the greened mouth of the Keating Channel (the river’s current, industrialized mouth). 

Concurrent with the ceremony, Waterfront Toronto released a video prepared by contractor EllisDon, outlining the phases of construction through its intended 2023 completion date.

Work in 2018 has largely been focused on the excavation of the River Valley System in the centre of the Port Lands, and that will continue into the majority of 2019. The new year will also bring about the re-alignment of Cherry Street slightly west of its current location, and the construction of a new Cherry Street bridge which will connect the new island to the mainland. As the trench for the new river becomes deeper, a Commissioners Street bridge will also be constructed on the east side of the island to improve its east-west corridor.

Following in 2020, Commissioners Street will be reconstructed and the Hydro One infrastructure needed to support redevelopment of the area will be completed. In the following three years, a third more southerly bridge will be constructed for Cherry Street over the naturalized river, two parks will be completed, and the Keating Channel will be modified to promote water flow into the new extension of the river. The video below shows the construction staging process planned out for the next five years.

Several Government officials attended the ground breaking including Mayor John Tory and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities François-Philiipe Champagne. The project itself is estimated to bring $5.1 billion to the Canadian economy through the 51,900 years worth of employment time for construction workers. The project will also be revenue positive to the Government itself, contributing over $1.9 billion in revenue to all three levels.

Officials from all three levels of Government at the Groundbreaking Ceremony, imOfficials from all three levels of Government at the Groundbreaking Ceremony, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

Once all of the infrastructure is set up, development can begin on what will be a very sustainable, green community. Villiers Island, named after a main street this northwestern portion of the Port Lands, will be a Climate Positive Community, meaning it will produce more energy than it uses, one of the first of its kind in Canada.

Waterfront Toronto, Port Lands RevitilizationView of the curve of the newly naturalized Don River, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

We’ll provide regular updates as this massive construction project progresses over the next five years. To learn more about the project, check out our database file, linked below, where you’ll find additional renderings, or the associated forum thread with construction photos and finer details about what’s coming to the Port Lands.

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UrbanToronto now has a new way you can track projects through the planning process on a daily basis. Sign up for a free trial of our New Development Insider here.


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Real Estate

The cost of renovating your bathroom in Toronto in 2021





Home renovations can be a big task, especially bathroom renovations where you have to work with either an awkwardly shaped space, or one with lots of pipework and very little natural light.

Nonetheless, getting a bathroom renovation by Easy Renovation to change your existing bathroom layout, improve the ambience or add more natural skylights can be worth all the trouble. But determining how much a bathroom renovation would cost is important while setting a budget.

The pandemic has changed a lot of things with social distancing rules, working from home, and for some, being made redundant. Therefore, having a complete grasp of the financial implication of a bathroom innovation is very important.

Owning your dream bathroom can be made a reality and the good thing is, regardless of your financial situation, there are always available options. If you also decide to put up your property for sale in the future, a bathroom upgrade would be a great investment—as it would add significant value to the property. Your bathroom renovation project, like every home renovation, can either be very affordable or extravagant, but one thing is certain, you’re bound to have a more refreshed, stylish and modernistic space.  

Looking through detailed sketches of luxurious and expensive bathrooms can be quite tempting, especially when you’re on a budget. However, your bathroom can be equally transformed into something that looks just as modern, stylish and refreshing but without the heavy price tag.

Conducting a partial bathroom renovation means you only have to change a little part of your existing bathroom rather than tearing it down and starting from scratch. If you intend to carry out this type of bathroom renovation in Toronto, depending on the size of your bathroom, you can spend between $1,000 – $5,000. With a partial bathroom renovation, you can save money by tackling smaller problems that exist in your present bathroom—or you can just upgrade a few of its features.

Partial bathroom renovations are quite affordable and would leave your bathroom feeling new and stylish without being time-consuming or a financial burden—which is important considering the economic impact of the pandemic. Repainting the bathroom walls, replacing the tiles on the floor and in the shower area are examples of partial bathroom renovations which is the cheapest to accomplish.

A more expensive and popular bathroom renovation is the standard 3- or 4-piece renovation. This renovation type involves a lot more services that are not covered by a partial renovation budget. To execute a standard bathroom renovation in Toronto you need a budget of about $10,000 – $15,000.

Unlike with a partial renovation, you would have to make a lot more changes to various elements of your bathroom without the hassle of changing the overall design. You can easily restore your current bathroom into a modernistic and classy space that fits your existing style. Making changes to more aspects of your bathroom is quite easy since there is more room in your budget to accommodate it.

A standard 3- or 4-piece renovation includes everything in a partial renovation plus extras such as revamped baseboards, installing a new bathroom mirror, buying new lights, installing a new vanity, changing the toilet, and buying new shower fixtures.

If you’re one of those looking to make a complete overhaul of your existing bathroom, then the option of a complete bathroom remodel is for you.

Unlike a bathroom renovation, remodelling means a complete change of your current bathroom design and layout for one that is newer and completely unrecognizable. The possibilities when remodelling a bathroom are endless especially when you have a large budget of over $15,000. That way, you can get the opportunity to create the perfect bathroom for yourself.

In addition to all that’s available with a standard bathroom renovation, bathroom remodelling allows you to make bathtub to shower conversion, relocation of plumbing, relocation of the toilet, reframing the bathroom and even relocating the shower.

In conclusion, a bathroom renovation can be a very important upgrade to your home and depending on the features that you decide to include, in addition to the size of your bathroom, this would influence the total cost of the project.

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Real Estate

7 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers In Calgary





Buying a house for the first time can be overwhelming to say the least. If you’re wondering what neighbourhood to go with, what you can afford, or even how to just get started on the process, let us take some stress off your hands! We’ve teamed up with Hopewell Residential to give you 7 tips to ensure the home you end up with is everything you dreamed of.

Hopewell Residential is a five-time Developer of the Year award winner, so their expertise is second-to-none in Calgary and beyond. Who better to learn home-buying tips from than the homebuilders themselves?

Create a checklist of needs & wants

This is a biggie. When you’re buying your very first home, you’ll want to weigh your needs vs. your wants. Ensuring you have what you love in your first home is a big, big deal.

What should you do? Easy. Set up a list of needs and a list of wants, but be pretty strict with yourself, and make sure you take your lifestyle into consideration. With the increase in remote work over the past year, it’s important to keep in mind that a home office or flex room might just be the key to maximizing at home happiness. Especially if you’re thinking you might be expanding your family later on, spare rooms and extra space is key (but more on that later!).

Or for instance, you might need a home in an area with a high walkability score, but you want to be close to certain amenities. Set yourself up with the right level of compromise and the number of homes that actually fit your ‘perfect’ idea will skyrocket.

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Real Estate

‘Don’t give up’: Ottawa Valley realtors share statistics, tips for homebuyers in ‘extreme’ sellers market





The real estate market in the Ottawa Valley can be summed up this way: people from far and wide are in a buying frenzy, but there’s hardly anything to buy at the “store,” and the limited inventory is overpriced.

This “stampede” — as one realtor described it — will affect rural towns as residents grapple with finding affordable housing and agonize over their inability to purchase homes in their price range.

“We are seeing a lack of inventory in all price ranges,” said Laura Keller, a real estate agent from Carleton Place.

Helen Vincent, a Renfrew realtor, said she’s never seen a market like this in her 36 years of practice. “We postpone offers for four to five days in order to get all the buyers,” she said.

Multiple offers — between seven and 10 — became the norm, with cash offers and no conditions, as buyers faced bidding wars. “In Ottawa, they have up to 50 (offers),” she added.

“It’s very stressful. You’re going to get nine (people) ticked off, and one happy. So many people are disappointed,” Vincent said.

Terry Stavenow, an Arnprior realtor for 40 years, said that “the pent-up need took over with inventory going low. It made a stampede on everything that was available.“

“Brand new housing — it’s very much gone. Several building developers are rushing to get inventory. They usually don’t do construction in the winter months,” said Stavenow.

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