Monthly Archives: October 2011

Rental Illness in Toronto

Illustrations: Robyn McCallum

_Thu Oct 6, 2011_Real Estate

Rental illness

When did finding a decent, affordable rental unit in this city become a competitive bloodsport?

On Wednesday, August 10, my boyfriend of six years proposed.

“Maybe we should get married so we can make money on the wedding,” he said. “Then we’ll have a down payment.”

This was Day 14 of our apartment search, and we were getting desperate. For the amount we’d be paying on a new place, we could carry a small mortgage, but we didn’t have a down payment saved. And even with a budget of $1,800 a month, we couldn’t find a place to live.

My fault. I was the one who insisted on moving. We had a decent one-bedroom in a three-storey building on Roehampton Avenue near Yonge and Eglinton. It didn’t have air conditioning or a balcony, and the elderly couple next to us argued day and night, but we lived there happily for four years. There was one problem: our superintendent, a surly, paranoid man who threatened to call the police on me for parking in the driveway to unpack after a week up north. When the toilet broke and he stuck us with the $250 plumbing bill, we decided we’d had it. We gave our 60 days’ notice. Continue reading

Bidding wars erupt for prime rental condos

By Susan Pigg | Mon Oct 03 2011–bidding-wars-erupt-for-prime-rental-condos?bn=1

The market for rental condos is becoming almost as hot as Toronto’s resale housing market with bidding wars breaking out among tenants trying to snag prime units.

While some 21,000 units are now under construction in Toronto — 5,707 of them in the downtown core — demand for rental condominiums continues to far outstrip supply, housing experts say.

That’s driving some tenants to offer up to six months’ rent in advance, or more rent than condo-owners are asking, especially for increasingly rare two-bedroom units. Continue reading

When interest costs aren’t deductible

Tim Cestnick

From Thursday’s Globe and Mail
Last updated


A gentleman recently approached me because the Canada Revenue Agency had denied him a tax deduction for child care expenses. “Did you respond to CRA before calling me?” I asked. Turns out he had written several letters to the taxman. Each letter showed increasing frustration. Continue reading

Investors own the condominium market

Susan Pigg – Toronto Star – September  28,  2011

Note: to see  the video and article click here.

Toronto Councillor Adam Vaughan can tell the minute he looks at a condo building in his downtown ward if it’s full of renters or home to owners.

“The bigger the building, the higher the rate of renters,” says Vaughan.

The optics can be even more obvious when he steps inside. Even newer buildings can have the feel of university dormitories with shabby lobbies and cheap carpeting meant to keep down maintenance costs for investors who own a unit or two but may live half a world away.

With Toronto’s condo market among the hottest in the world right now — almost 68,000 new units are now in the planning stages or under construction across the GTA — investors are cashing in big time on what looks like a sure bet compared to battered stock markets. Continue reading