St Lawrence Market

Nestled in the heart of downtown Toronto, the St Lawrence Market neighbourhood is a tapestry of Toronto’s rich history, vibrant culture, and modern urban living. This district, once the industrial bedrock of the town of York, has evolved into one of the most coveted residential areas in the city.

 The story of St. Lawrence Market begins in 1793, with the founding of York on a modest stretch of land along Front Street. It was here, against the backdrop of Lake Ontario, that the area’s first industrial ventures took root. Over time, the waterfront was extended through land infill to accommodate the burgeoning port activities and warehouses.

The early 19th century witnessed the rise of St Lawrence Market as a hub of civic importance. The first parliament buildings of Upper Canada were erected, symbolizing the political aspirations of a young colony. Although destroyed during the War of 1812, these sites were rediscovered centuries later, a poignant reminder of the area’s enduring significance.In 1854, following a catastrophic fire, St Lawrence Hall rose from the ashes. This iconic edifice, with its grand architecture, stood as a beacon of Toronto’s resilience and determination. It was more than a building; it was a public meeting place, a cornerstone of community life.

 The St. Lawrence Market, a name now synonymous with the neighbourhood, began as a simple farmers’ market in the early 1800s. It has since grown into a beloved institution, a place where the aromas of fresh produce and the sounds of lively bargaining reflect the diversity and energy of Toronto.By the mid-20th century, St Lawrence Market had witnessed the ebb and flow of urban development. The 1970s marked a renaissance, as brownfields gave way to a blend of residential and commercial spaces. The Esplanade became a bustling promenade, embodying the new pulse of the area.

In the realm of real estate, St Lawrence Market is a neighbourhood of contrasts and choices. It’s a place where the past coexists with the present, where century-old lofts stand alongside sleek modern condos. The absence of traditional houses is hardly felt, as the condominiums offer a spectrum of living experiences — from the upscale grandeur of units like those in The Berczy at 55 Front Street to more modest but equally charming options along the Esplanade.

At 55 Front Street, The Berczy is a testament to the luxury that St Lawrence Market offers. It’s a building that caters to discerning tastes, where the elegance of modern design meets the convenience of downtown living. Residents of The Berczy enjoy not only the comforts of their abodes but also the rich tapestry of culture and history that is the hallmark of the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood.

 The St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood is more than a historic district; it’s a living, breathing part of Toronto that continues to grow and thrive. It’s a place where history is not just remembered but is a daily part of life. For those looking to make a home amidst this heritage, St. Lawrence Market offers an urban experience that is unmatched, with real estate options like The Berczy standing as jewels in its crown.

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Shangri-la Hotel

The Elegance of Escape: The Shangri-La Hotel Brand’s Journey

In the realm of luxury hotels, few names evoke the mystique and allure of the Shangri-La. Since its inception in 1971, the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts brand has become synonymous with an unparalleled hospitality experience, inspired by the mythical utopia of harmony depicted in James Hilton’s novel “Lost Horizon”.

Shangri-la Hotel

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Bellwoods House

Bellwoods House: The New Beacon of Luxury in Trinity Bellwoods

Nestled in the vibrant heart of Trinity Bellwoods, Bellwoods House emerges as a new landmark on the Toronto skyline. With its doors set to open in Spring 2026, this exquisite development at 111 Strachan Avenue promises a blend of heritage charm and modern sophistication across its 13 floors and 322 suites.

Republic Developments, alongside the architectural expertise of IBI Group and the interior design finesse of Figure3, has conceived a space that not only pays homage to the industrial past of its neighborhood but also ushers in a future of luxury living. The red-bricked façade interwoven with expansive windows, and the integration of a restored heritage property, Bellwoods House is a visual narrative of Toronto’s architectural evolution.

The suites, ranging from 376 to over 1,300 square feet, are sanctuaries of innovation, equipped with smart thermostats, high-performance glazing systems, and gourmet kitchens adorned with top-tier appliances. The bathrooms echo the tranquility of a spa, and the promise of smart technology throughout guarantees an elevated living experience.

Amenities are not just an afterthought; with over 11,700 square feet dedicated to them, residents will find a fully-equipped gym, a yoga studio, and a third-floor social club with a terrace that offers views as captivating as the interiors themselves. The convenience extends to a pet spa, a business center, and even a smart parcel room.

Connectivity is a cornerstone of the Bellwoods House ethos. A walk score of 94 and a transit score of 92 make it a hub of effortless accessibility, with the King St W at Strachan Ave bus stop and the future Ontario Line stations just a stone’s throw away. The neighborhood buzzes with an eclectic mix of coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and retail havens, offering a lifestyle that’s as much about the community as it is about the comforts of home.

Bellwoods House stands as a testament to what modern city dwellers seek: a life where convenience meets luxury, where every detail serves the comfort and sophistication desired by those calling it home. With pricing starting from $582,990 for studios to $1,729,990 for townhouses, it represents an investment in a lifestyle as much as in real estate.

As Toronto continues to flourish, Bellwoods House is not merely a place to reside; it’s a statement of living, a slice of the city’s future, and a space where every day is an experience crafted with the resident in mind​. 

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Yorkville

Nestled in the heart of Toronto, Yorkville is not merely a neighborhood; it is a historical canvas showcasing the evolution of a city from its colonial roots to its modern-day cosmopolitan bustle. What began as a separate village established in 1830 by entrepreneurs Joseph Bloore and William Jarvis has now transformed into a nexus of luxury, culture, and refined urban living.

Yorkville’s Genesis (1830 – 1853)

Yorkville’s early years are marked by its establishment as a residential suburb. Joseph Bloore, a brewer and innkeeper, and William Botsford Jarvis, a sheriff and member of one of Toronto’s founding families, subdivided their land into plots for those seeking the tranquility and cleaner air of the outskirts. The Red Lion Hotel stood as the social and political fulcrum of the village, where significant events, including elections, unfolded with great fervor.

Victorian Expansion and Annexation (1853 – 1900s)

As the village burgeoned, reaching a population of 1,000 by 1853, it was incorporated, setting the stage for rapid development. However, the prosperity of Yorkville soon outpaced its resources, leading to its annexation by Toronto in 1883. Despite this, Yorkville retained its unique character, with its Victorian-style homes and gardens surviving well into the 20th century.

The Bohemian Wave (1960s)

The 1960s heralded a cultural renaissance in Yorkville, as it became the beating heart of Toronto’s bohemian scene, reminiscent of Greenwich Village in New York. It was a haven for artists, musicians, and writers who would shape Canada’s cultural landscape. Joni Mitchell and Neil Young were among the luminaries who found a voice in the vibrant ambiance of Yorkville’s streets.

A Modern Transformation (1970s – 2000s)

The latter part of the 20th century saw Yorkville shift from a bohemian enclave to a district synonymous with affluence and luxury. The Mink Mile on Bloor Street became a beacon of high-end retail, attracting designers and shoppers from around the globe. Residential developments followed suit, offering luxurious living spaces that catered to an elite clientele.

Yorkville Today

Today, Yorkville is a testament to meticulous urban planning that harmonizes its rich history with the demands of modern living. The area is known for its upscale boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and art galleries that attract tourists and residents alike. Yorkville, boasts some of the most coveted luxury real estate in the city. The real estate market here is dotted with upscale condominiums and grand Victorian homes, catering to those who desire exclusivity and unparalleled comfort. Among these, the Four Seasons Private Residences stand out as a pinnacle of luxury, offering an unrivaled living experience in the heart of the neighborhood.

The Future of Yorkville

As we look ahead, Yorkville seems to embrace a future where sustainability intersects with luxury. The neighborhood is poised to see developments that incorporate green spaces, state-of-the-art amenities, and innovative architectural designs that respect the area’s historical significance. These projects aim to enhance Yorkville’s profile as a destination for those who appreciate the finer things in life, all while ensuring that the area remains inclusive and respectful of its past.

Yorkville stands as a vibrant mosaic of Toronto’s past, present, and future. Its streets echo the footsteps of history while beckoning the dawn of a new era of urban sophistication. As Yorkville continues to evolve, it retains its essence—a unique blend of tradition and progress, of cultural depth and luxurious simplicity.

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Most Expensive Condos

Luxury condos are known for their opulence, stunning views, and world-class amenities. But some of the most expensive condos ever sold or listed take luxury to a whole new level. In this blog, we’ll take a fun and entertaining look at some of the most outrageous and over-the-top condos in the world.

  1. The Odeon Tower Sky Penthouse – Monaco The Odeon Tower Sky Penthouse is the ultimate in luxury living, with an asking price of $400 million. The penthouse spans five floors and features a private infinity pool, four bedrooms, a cinema room, and a wine cellar. But what really sets this condo apart is its location in the heart of Monte Carlo, with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and access to some of the world’s most exclusive restaurants and nightlife.
  2. The Penthouse at 220 Central Park South – New York City, USA If you want to live like a king or queen, look no further than the penthouse at 220 Central Park South. This condo is the most expensive ever sold, with a price tag of $238 million in 2019. The 24,000 square foot penthouse spans four floors and features 16 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, a private elevator, and stunning views of Central Park. The building also boasts a range of luxurious amenities, including a private dining room, fitness center, and swimming pool.
  3. The Penthouse at The One – Hong Kong The Penthouse at The One is the ultimate in luxury living in Asia, with a price tag of $135 million in 2017. The penthouse spans two floors and features four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and stunning views of Victoria Harbour. But what really sets this condo apart is its location in Hong Kong’s prestigious Tsim Sha Tsui district, with access to some of the city’s best restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.
  4. One Hyde Park – London, UK One Hyde Park is the ultimate in luxury living in Europe, with prices ranging from $25 million to over $200 million. The building features a range of luxurious amenities, including a private cinema, spa, and 24-hour concierge service. The building is located in London’s prestigious Knightsbridge district and offers stunning views of Hyde Park. But what really sets this condo apart is its reputation as a playground for the world’s wealthiest individuals, with access to some of the world’s most exclusive shopping and dining.
  5. The Penthouse at The Mansions at Acqualina – Miami, USA The Penthouse at The Mansions at Acqualina is the ultimate in luxury living in the United States, with an asking price of $38 million. The penthouse spans two floors and features six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a private pool, and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. But what really sets this condo apart is its location in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, with access to some of the state’s best beaches, golf courses, and water sports.

While these condos are certainly impressive in their opulence and extravagance, it’s important to note that not all luxury condos come with a sky-high price tag. In Toronto luxury condos are seems relatively reasonable by comparison.

Toronto has become a hotbed for luxury condo development in recent years, with a range of high-end buildings offering world-class amenities and stunning views of the city. But unlike some of the most expensive condos in the world, these condos are within reach for many high net worth individuals and families.

For example, the Four Seasons Private Residences in Yorkville offer a level of luxury and exclusivity that rivals some of the most expensive condos in the world, but with a price tag that is much more reasonable. Similarly, the Shangri-La Toronto offers stunning views of the city and world-class amenities, but at a fraction of the cost of some of the most expensive condos in New York or Hong Kong.

Toronto’s luxury condo market offers a unique opportunity for those who want to experience the best of city living without breaking the bank. With a range of high-end buildings offering a level of luxury and convenience that is hard to match, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for luxury condo buyers from around the world.

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April saw some thirty condos sold in Toronto over $2,000,000 which is one of the highest numbers we have seen in a while. IT is proof the confidence in the luxury condo market has come back in force and pricing for these luxury properties continue to be on the rise. Of those thirty condos sold the average price came in at just under $3,000,000 and sold in just 36 days. 

Below is the top five luxury condos sales from April 2021.


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77 Charles Street Penthouse

Most Expensive Condo Sales 2020

Despite a very tumultuous year in the real estate market, the ultra-luxury condo market continued to see a solid and healthy level of activity. The most expensive condo sales in 2020 a significant increase from 2019 with more properties selling for over $2,000,000 and nearly double the number of condos sold over $5,000,000 than we saw in 2019.  (more…)

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Toronto Real Estate Market Update

The residential resale market recovered dramatically from the lows experienced in April. In April only 2,975 properties were reported sold for the entire greater Toronto area. A typical April market would produce 9,000 plus sales. April’s decline compared to April 2019 was a shocking 67 percent.

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This article was originally published on Christie’s International Real Estate’s blog Luxury Defined.

The candles are lit, the table is set, and it’s time for the wine. But why waste hours opening bottle after bottle when you could pop a single cork and pour for the whole table? In the world of fine wine, there’s nothing more special than extra-large bottles, which not only set the scene for celebration, but offer an inimitable experience for guests and hosts alike. Luxury Defined presents a guide to wine bottle sizes.

Popularized in Bordeaux, where the history of the magnum (equivalent to two standard bottles of wine) and larger bottles dates back to the 1800s, extra-large bottles do more than add pizzazz to intimate dinners and extraordinary parties. A spectacle whenever they’re shared, these wines are the ultimate investment in pleasure: ideal for entertaining now, cellaring over the long term, or holding as liquid assets.

A wine store wine director inspects a three-liter bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild, vintage 1990. Image and banner: Alamy

 
 “Large formats not only age better, but they are the very best way to celebrate in great company,” explains Jean-Guillaume Prats, chief executive of Domaines Barons de Rothschild, which operates the First-Growth estate Château Lafite Rothschild as well as Pomerol’s Château L’Évangile and Chile’s 100-point scoring Almaviva winery. “The wines from large formats tend to be fresher,” explains Prats. “The fruit would be exploding, even more so if the vintage has some maturity.”

Size Matters

These bottles have their unique size to thank for their advantages in the cellar: as wine ages, its flavors and aromas evolve from fresh, ripe fruit, and powerful spices to reveal subtle, secondary aromas as minute amounts of oxygen move through the cork. In large bottles, where there is more wine relative to the air that seeps through the cork, that development is slower, preserving the wine’s character and freshness.

The vineyards of Château Lafite Rothschild in Pauillac near Bordeaux in France. Image: Alamy

“You can really taste the difference,” explains Edwin Vos, Head of Wine, Continental Europe at Christie’s, who recommends opening standard bottles alongside magnums and double magnums when possible. “In a 10-year-old wine you’ll see a distinctive difference in the development.”

Vos also notes large bottles are an excellent investment, whether for personal cellaring or for resale. “Because of their slower development, a large bottle from a known producer is more valuable than a standard bottle,” he explains, citing recent Christie’s auctions where magnums of 1986 Château Lafite Rothschild fetched more than $2,000 each.

A Complex Process

In Champagne, the aging regimen for large-format bottles is even more pronounced. Here, producers are legally required to age the wine in its original bottles, ensuring extra-large bottles receive extra attention from winemakers. As a result, champagne magnums offer a dazzling level of complexity and value.

“When you are a champagne geek, magnums are the best format for appreciating the true aromatic profile of the wine,” explains Willem Pinçon of Charles Heidsieck. “Magnums provide the perfect balance of age, oxidation, and reduction.”

A magnum and a half bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne is presented in Paris, France in 1933. Image: Getty Images

Pinçon points out that this process is required for magnums and double magnums (jeroboams) only, and that larger bottlings are simply the equivalent of standard bottles poured into one large, eye-catching bottle. This fall, Charles Heidsieck is releasing its last cache of jeroboams of the Charles Heidsieck Collection Crayères Brut Millésime 1989 vintage bubbly, a stellar wine that is glowing with flavor, even at 30 years old.

These centerpieces have soared in popularity in recent years, and are now commonplace among the best wine regions in the world. In Napa Valley, winemaker Dan Petroski of Larkmead puts their rise in popularity simply: “Large formats are fun! If wine is to be shared, which it should be, sharing a larger-format bottle with family and friends is attention-grabbing and generous.” Despite their giant size, these bottles don’t demand a huge party to be opened and enjoyed. “Instead of opening a few bottles for a dinner of four or more, open a magnum or a double magnum,” says Vos.

Every Occasion Covered

At 1.5 liters, a magnum contains 10 servings of wine, or about two glasses per person. Jeroboams, which hold three liters, are also ideal for smaller gatherings, while bottles go up in size to 20-liter behemoths known as nebuchadnezzars, ideal for larger festivities.

Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon is made in a style that is ideal for red-wine.

When serving, Petroski suggests decanting, as well as preparing the wine long before it is served. “Don’t be afraid to stand the wine up for a couple of days in your cellar before you plan to open it,” he says. For large bottles with decorative wax seals, insert the corkscrew directly in the center of the bottle, through the wax. Wipe the neck of the bottle before pouring. Then, use both hands to hold the bottle. Pinçon’s advice is straightforward when it comes to elegantly serving enormous bottles: “You probably need a good friend.” Luckily, if magnums are on the menu, thirsty friends won’t be hard to find

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As forecast, the Toronto and area residential resale market delivered its third consecutive strong monthly performance. In June 8,860 properties were reported sold, almost 11 percent higher than the 8,024 properties reported sold last year. On a year-to-date basis, 43,950 properties have been reported sold, a vast improvement over the 39,922 properties reported sold at the midpoint of 2018. At this rate, the Toronto and area residential resale market will report about 85,000 sales in 2019. Last year only 78,023 were reported sold, the lowest number of sales since 2008.

The average sale prices rose by 3 percent to $832,703. In the City of Toronto, the average sale price came in at $915,481, 10 percent higher. This is startling when it is remembered that about 50 percent of all property sales in the City of Toronto are condominium apartments, with an average sale price of only $636,000 in June.

Not only were the number of sales impressive, but the speed at which sales took place was also impressive. All properties sold in the greater Toronto area were reported sold in only 21 days. In the City of Toronto, sales took place in only 18 days. In some trading areas in Toronto, sales took place even faster. For example, all sales in Toronto’s eastern districts took place in 15 days. Semi-detached property sales in the eastern districts and there were 133 of them, took place in only 11 days, at sale prices averaging 109 percent of the list prices.

Inventory continues to be a concern. In June 15, 816 properties came to market, almost 1 percent less than the 15,876 that came to market last year. The bulk of those new listings were in Toronto’s 905 region. At month end buyers in the greater Toronto market place had 16,655 available properties to view and purchase. Unfortunately, that number was almost 6 percent fewer than the 20,844 properties available last year at this time.

Urban Researchers Frank Clayton and Eva Shi recently reported that in 2018 the population of the greater Toronto area grew by 125,298 people, second only to Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington, which grew by 131,767. The City of Toronto grew by 77,435 people over the same period, by far the fastest growing city in North America (Phoenix came in second with a growth rate of 25,288.) All of the greater Toronto area’s growth is immigration driven.

The problem for the city of Toronto and the greater Toronto area is that this growth is not singular. It has been occurring year in and year out for more than 10 years. The compounding effect has put tremendous pressure on housing both from the perspective of availability and affordability. Having only 19,655 properties available throughout the greater Toronto area is simply not enough.

Of particular concern is the impact of population growth on the availability of condominium apartments, the least expensive housing form available to buyers. In June new listings of condominium apartments declined, both in the City of Toronto and the greater Toronto area compared to last June. In the City of Toronto, only 2,546 condominium apartments were available to buyers at the end of June, not nearly enough to satisfy the demand.

The high-end of the market continues to improve. In June 257 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more were reported sold, almost 9 percent higher than the 237 reported sold last year. Detached homes, which represent about 90 percent of these sales, came in at an average sale price of $1,332,639 in the city of Toronto. In Toronto’s central districts the average sale price for detached properties sold was just over $2 Million.

As we move into July and the summer months we can expect softer sales. By September I anticipate that sales and average sale prices will return to the pattern established in April, May, and June. Sales will be approximately 10 percent higher than sales achieved in 2018, and average sale prices will continue to increase moderately at 3 percent.

Prepared by: 

Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker

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