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Topping Off 2018: UrbanToronto’s Hottest Forum Threads




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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Real Estate

Montreal real-estate prices climbing much faster than Toronto or Vancouver: study





MONTREAL — The cost of housing per square foot has skyrocketed in Montreal while other cities saw little change over the last year, according to a new national survey.

The study found that condominium prices in downtown Montreal are up 13.5 per cent from last year to, on average, $805 per square foot.

That’s not as high as other cities, but it’s catching up — and Montreal’s rate of growth is outpacing other major Canadian cities.

Toronto’s condo prices grew to $1083 per square foot, an increase of just under 10 per cent, according to the study. In Vancouver, where you can find some of Canada’s most expensive condo prices, rates are down 4 per cent to $1192 per square foot.

To make the comparisons, Canadian real estate giant Century 21 collected data from real estate boards across the country to calculate the home costs per square foot.

“It’s important to compare apple to apples,” said Todd Shyiak, the company’s vice president of operations.

Montreal’s rise was even more explosive for detached homes and townhouses.

Detached houses in Montreal’s downtown and southwest rose to $958 per square foot, 40 per cent up from last year.

“It’s wild,” said Century 21 broker Angela Langtry. She says the pandemic raised demand.

“People had a lot of time to figure out they don’t like the home they’re in,” she said. “They all want pools.”

There was a big spike in sales, she noted, following a pause in brokerage during the spring, at the peak of the pandemic.

Experts say the pandemic will push people into the suburbs as they search for affordable housing and home office space.

“A huge portion of our society’s housing needs changed overnight,” said Shyiak. People “no longer need to be 10 minutes from the office.”

He says that could mean less demand for condos in the future. “People want their own front door,” he said.

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Real Estate

Carttera buys prime downtown Montreal development site





Carttera has acquired a prime downtown Montreal site at 1455 De La Montagne St. which will mark its third development on the thoroughfare.

“We think it’s probably one of the best, if not the best, locations in the whole city,” Carttera founding partner Jim Tadeson told RENX. “We’ve had great success on De La Montagne.”

The two earlier projects are: L’Avenue, a building with 393 residential units, 84,000 square feet of office space and 34,000 square feet of retail that was developed with Broccolini and occupied in 2017; and Arbora Residences, a two-phase development with 434 rental and condominium units in three buildings being built in partnership with Oxford Properties.

Thursday’s latest acquisition, for $48.5 million from 630745 Ontario, is a 31,750-square-foot surface parking lot with flexible mixed-use zoning on the corner of De La Montagne and De Maisonneuve Boulevard West.

The site is near the Vogue Hotel Montreal Downtown, the new Four Seasons Hotel Montreal and high-end retail.

“It’s zoned for up to 203,000 square feet of density, which we’re going to take advantage of,” said Tadeson. “Our vision for the site is a condominium project with some retail.”

Since there is no demolition required and no heritage issues to contend with, Toronto-based Carttera plans to move ahead quickly with the luxury project.

It’s in the concept design phase and Tadeson said it could take six months or more before it’s prepared to make a submission to the city.

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Real Estate

Montreal Has the Hottest Real Estate Market in Canada Right Now





If you thought Toronto’s real estate market was on fire, it’s time for a second take, because the market in Montreal is the hottest in all of Canada right now.

A newly-released annual report from CENTURY 21 Canada reveals that, following an early-spring decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sales numbers are bouncing back and house prices across the country are maintaining their strength. The study compared the price per square foot of properties sold between January 1 and June 30 of this year, compared to the same period last year.

In Toronto and Vancouver, unsurprisingly, prices remain high. But while regions across the country are seeing varied stories when it comes to their housing market fluctuations, Montreal stands out — there, prices have increased dramatically since 2019. While the numbers remain lower than Toronto and Vancouver, that housing market is proving to be the country’s strongest right now.

In Quebec’s largest city, prices have increased significantly since last year, particularly in the downtown detached house and townhouse markets. For example, the price of a detached house in Montreal’s downtown and southwest rose 42.14% to $958 per square foot, while townhouses went up 44% to $768, and condos, 13.55% to $805. Comparatively, in Toronto and Vancouver, prices saw more modest increases or, in some cases, even declines.

“Even though real estate in Quebec was not considered an essential service, we have seen strong demand and a jump in prices in 2020,” said Mohamad Al-Hajj, owner of CENTURY 21 Immo-Plus in Montreal.

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