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Topping Off 2018: UrbanToronto’s Hottest Forum Threads

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To close out our Topping Off series for 2018, we are taking a look at the 10 most popular Database files, Forum Threads, and News Stories from UrbanToronto across the entire year. 

Over the course of 2018, scores of new project threads were added to our Forum, with 1,351 project threads having been updated with countless new posts. As the year unfolded, here are the threads that you returned to the most!

10. Sugar Wharf Condominiums

UrbanToronto, Hottest Forum Threads of 2018Site of Sugar Wharf Condominiums (left), image by Forum contributor mburrrrr

Our 10th most popular thread was that of Sugar Wharf Condominiums, Phase 1. The first two residential towers in Menkes Developments‘ Sugar Wharf community kicked off construction in July of 2018, and a large pit has taken shape in the months since. The architectsAlliance-designed towers will rise 65 and 70 storeys.

9. E Condos

UrbanToronto, Hottest Forum Threads of 2018E Condos, image by Forum contributor Urban-Affair

In 9th place, BazisMetropia, and RioCan REIT‘s E Condos has become a fan favourite, with the development’s topping out and installation of a unique exterior skin keeping interest high throughout the year. The complex’s 58-storey south tower is now the tallest in Toronto north of the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood.

8. Massey Tower

UrbanToronto, Hottest Forum Threads of 2018Massey Tower, image by Forum contributor Razz

Since topping out at a height of 207 metres over the summer, MOD Developments‘ Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed Massey Tower has continued to generate interest, bringing it to 8th place for the year. Cladding installation for the tower’s residential levels is now wrapping up, and exterior work has now begun on the crown that wraps the mechanical penthouse above.

7. Residences of 488 University Avenue

UrbanToronto, Hottest Forum Threads of 2018Residences of 488 University Avenue, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

In 7th place, Amexon Development Corporation‘s Residences of 488 University Avenue project has been rising steadily throughout the year. The new Core Architects-designed condominium development is adding 37 new floors above an existing 18-storey office building at University and Dundas.

6. CIBC Square

UrbanToronto, Hottest Forum Threads of 2018CIBC Square, image by Forum contributor Michael62

Taking the #6 spot, the thread for the CIBC Square office development drew in plenty of traffic over the year. The project from Ivanhoé Cambridge and Hines kicked off construction for its WilkinsonEyre-designed, 49-storey south tower in June 2017, and by the end of 2018 the tower had climbed high above the Bay and Lake Shore intersection.

5. The One

UrbanToronto, Hottest Forum Threads of 2018Site of The One, image by Forum contributor Benito

In 5th place, Mizrahi Developments‘ highly-anticipated The One saw significant progress below grade in 2018. A specialized tower crane is now in place, while drilling has begun for the 32 “mega caissons” that will act as footings for the supertall tower’s hybrid exoskeleton structural support system.

4. 1 Yorkville

UrbanToronto, Hottest Forum Threads of 20181 Yorkville, image by Forum contributor ADRM

In 4th position, Bazis and Plaza‘s 58-storey, Roy Varacalli-designed condominium tower at 1 Yorkville has been rising throughout the year. Its textured exterior of pinched aluminum fins helped propel the project into the top four.

3. Pinnacle One Yonge

UrbanToronto, Hottest Forum Threads of 2018Site of Pinnacle One Yonge, image by Forum contributor mburrrrr

The first phase of Pinnacle International‘s five-tower, Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed community—Pinnacle One Yonge—kicked off construction in 2018. The 65-storey tower known as The Prestige is paving the way for a future 95-storey, 1,007-foot tower that will be a major presence on the Toronto skyline.

2. Union Station Revitalization

UrbanToronto, Hottest Forum Threads of 2018Union Station’s new food court, image by Craig White

In second place, the ongoing revitalization of Union Station has been dragging on for years, though 2018 brought us some visible progress including glazed moat coverings, a new food court, and other retail and pedestrian improvements.

1. The Well

UrbanToronto, Hottest Forum Threads of 2018Site of The Well, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

The top spot for Forum activity in 2018 went to the thread for The Well. It should come as no surprise that a site with seven new towers under construction—the largest construction site in Toronto—managed to generate the most attention. The project by Diamond CorpAllied Properties REITRio Can REITTridel, and Woodbourne will bring a 36-storey office tower, 6 residential buildings, and 432,000 ft² of retail space to the Entertainment District.

We look forward to another year of following urban growth in 2019. In the meantime, let us know what you think about this year’s top threads in the comments section provided below.

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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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Do you know what kind of condo you’re buying?

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(NC) Condominiums can come in all shapes and sizes. But it’s important to know that not all condos are created equal when it comes to warranty coverage.

Whether you’re buying a condominium townhouse, loft-style two-bedroom or a high-rise studio, they are all classified as condominiums if you own your unit while at the same time share access (and the associated fees) for facilities ranging from pools and parking garages to elevators and driveways, otherwise known as common elements.

The most common types of condos are standard condominiums and common elements condominiums. The determination of how a condominium project is designated happens during the planning stage when the builder proposes the project and the municipality approves it.

When you’re in the market to buy, you need to know how your chosen condo is classified because it affects the warranty coverage under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Standard condominiums have warranty coverage for units and common elements, but common elements condominiums only have unit coverage.

How could this affect you as the owner? If your condo complex has underground parking and, for example, there are problems with leaks or a faulty door, the condo designation will determine whether there’s warranty coverage.

If your unit is a standard condominium development, then the common elements warranty may cover the repairs. If it’s a common element condominium development, then repairs might have to be covered by the condo corporation’s insurance, which could impact your condo fees or require a special assessment on all the owners.

To avoid surprises, you should have a real estate lawyer review the Declaration and Description attached to your purchase agreement to be sure that you know the designation and boundaries of the unit you’re looking to purchase. Find more information on the types of condos and their coverage at tarion.com.

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5 savvy renovations to make your kitchen look like new

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(NC) The kitchen is the heart and focal point of any home. But if yours is looking a little tired, a few simple renovations can change the feel of the entire space.

Whether you’ve just moved in, have been meaning to update for years or are experiencing life changes, remember that a kitchen uplift doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag. These small-scale projects could be the change your kitchen needs:

  1. Brighten it up.Adding LED lights below your cabinets will brighten your backsplash and counter and provide a warm glow. Place your favourite containers below to act as focal points – those copper canisters that are hiding under the island and the marble coasters you couldn’t resist can now all be on display.
  2. Swap the old with the new.The backsplash is the first thing you see, so replacing it can be enough to give the space a whole new look. Try a unique shape or colour to change things up, like turquoise or patterned tiles, hexagon-shaped tiles or even a full slab of stainless steel.
  3. Rework what you have.People often think new cabinets are necessary for a kitchen reno, but a lot can be done with what you’ve got. Repainting the cabinets and switching out the knobs to chic new handles will do wonders for a makeover.
  4. Don’t hide away.Try adding some open shelving in an unused spot, such as above the sink or window, or next to the cabinets. Display your most beautiful dishes and add some decorative pieces to give the space a modern, airy feel.
  5. Add new materials into the mix.Changing the island to a butcher-block counter adds warmth and practicality.

Taking on a renovation can often feel overwhelming. But if you talk to your contractor about budgeting and spreading out payments through services like The Home Depot Project Loan, it can be easier than you think. The service allows you to finance any home projects, big or small and is available at locations across Canada.

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How to afford a home renovation that fits your life

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(NC) Changing seasons always bring about the desire to update our living spaces. But your life stage and budget can influence what kind of upgrades you can make. Here are some tips to get you started.

Assess the investment. The first step is to gauge how much value your investment will bring, whether you’re looking to sell or grow into a family home. A common misconception among home owners is that all renovations will increase a home’s value; unfortunately, this is not always the case. It’s always a good idea to strategically renovate the space to fit your life plan and goals.

Plan for both long- and short-term value. As a homeowner, it is important to assess what kind of value items can contribute to your life plan. Searching for products that are energy efficient, like an eco-friendly washing machine or water filtration system, can help you save on your monthly bills. A long-term investment, such as hardwood floors or bathroom tiles, can spruce up a living space for years to come. While sometimes this require a larger budget, the project can be both appealing to future buyers and stand the test of time in a family home.

Create a renovation budget. Once you have a clear plan, you’ll need to create a budget to align with your financial goals. Always ensure your budget includes any interest you’ll be paying. Ask multiple sources for competitive quotes.

Use a payment plan. For those high-ticket investment items, consider using a payment plan. Payment solutions such as The Home Depot Project Loan can help with bigger renovations. This allows you to stick to your budgeting goals while using a flexible payment plan to make larger purchases more accessible.

Use DIY to offset costs. In addition to using a payment plan, taking on a few safe and simple renovation projects yourself is an easy way to offset renovation costs. Your local hardware store can help source materials and provide helpful tips to make those do-it-yourself projects, such as refinishing cabinets or sanding old hardwood floors, a breeze.

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