Frank Leo Discusses Investing in a New Condo vs. Buying an Existing Unit

In this short video Frank Leo discusses the pros and cons of investing in a new condominium project vs. buying a unit in an existing building, tax repercussions, and how to weigh the risks of both options.

To take advantage of Frank Leo’s real estate expertise, contact us directly by calling (416)917-5466 or send us a message through our contact page.

We’d be happy to help field any questions about Toronto real estate listingsselling your home in the GTA, & more!

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Scott McGillivray Trusts Frank Leo’s Real Estate Advice

In uncertain times, the real estate market doesn’t stop moving. Now more than ever people need an experienced, authoritative source of advice to turn to.

Watch this short video in which Scott McGillivray describes why he trusts Frank Leo’s real estate experience. Scott explains that Frank Leo is the Toronto real estate agent with the expertise in marketing to help guide families to make the best decision in this difficult time.

To take advantage of Frank Leo’s real estate expertise, contact us directly by calling (416)917-5466 or send us a message through our contact page.

We’d be happy to help field any questions about Toronto real estate listings, selling your home in the GTA, & more!

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Frank Leo Weighs In On Toronto’s Real Estate Market [June 2020]

With recent events putting stress on the economy world-wide, Frank Leo weighs in on what Frank Leo & Associates have been seeing in the Toronto real estate market.

In this short video, Frank covers how the market has been performing over the last month and provides some concise advise about buying & selling real estate in Toronto during such seemingly uncertain times.

Do you have real estate questions of your own?

Team Leo is here to help! You can reach us by phone directly at (416)917-5466 or through our website’s contact page.

When you work with us, you get decades of experience on your side and a team of real estate professionals working for you.

New Ryerson University Study Shows Toronto is North America’s Fastest Growing City

According to a new study from Ryerson University, Toronto is now the fastest growing city in North America. “Toronto” here refers to the city itself as well as the surrounding metropolitan area. 

The report, published by Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development compares data on growth estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and Statistics Canada. 

According to the study, last year Toronto proper saw a jump of 45,742 residents while the surrounding metropolitan area’s population increased by 127,575 people.

Toronto beat out Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington in Texas as well as a number of other major U.S. Cities. Montreal sits just a few spots down the list as the 6th fastest growing city on the continent. 

Looking at just primary municipalities we can see that Toronto tops the list followed by several other Canadian cities including Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, and Edmonton.

The study’s authors cite Immigration as the primary cause for the rapid growth. Although Canadian cities are seeing considerable immigration, it’s surprising to learn that the study also indicates New York’s metropolitan area has the fastest declining population due to population moving to other parts of the country. 

Canadian cities represented 11 of the top 20 fastest growing cities last year, including Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, London, Winnipeg, Halifax, Vancouver, Kitchener and Hamilton.

Markham Community Profile From Frank Leo & Associates

Markham, Ontario is the expansive north eastern suburb of the GTA that includes both a dense urban centre and more rural peripheral communities. 

Known as “The High-Tech Capital” for being host to numerous multinational corporations and over 1,000 technology companies, Markham nevertheless maintains a quiet and comfortable atmosphere for a city of its size. 

Read on to learn everything you might need to know if you’re thinking of buying a home, selling your property to move elsewhere in the city, or simply interested in one of Ontario’s largest population centres.

History

Markham’s history begins in the 1790’s with the arrival of William Berczy, a German artist who first surveyed and led settlers into what is today the northern GTA. Although Berczy’s scheme eventually crumbled the settlement continued under the domestic supervision of John Graves Simcoe, the Lieutenant-Governor who named it after his friend the Archbishop of York, William Markham. 

The early 19th century in Markham was characterized by the difficulties of homesteading, but by 1871 the arrival of the Toronto & Nipissing Railway – a line still in use to this day – brought prosperity to the area. By the turn of the century, Markham was officially incorporated into a village and had grown to a population of 8,152.

It wouldn’t be until the 1970’s that Markham would outgrow it’s agricultural origins and enter a period of rapid economic and population growth, largely resulting from the urban sprawl of neighbouring Toronto. 

Explosive growth and industrialization towards the end of the 21st century has transformed much of Markham’s farmland into housing and commercial space, yet natural landscapes are preserved north of Major Mackenzie Drive and in Rouge National Urban Park. 

When technology companies began moving into Markham in the 80’s and international immigration took hold, the population skyrocketed nearly 40% in under a decade. Still, it wasn’t until 2012 that Markham was officially labelled a city despite a population over 300,000 residents. 

Overview

Located in Southern Ontario’s York Municipality, Markham is one of the largest cities in the Greater Toronto Area that’s famously known for a thriving local industry, award-winning city planning, and a strong sense of community. 

Like most larger Canadian cities, cultures of all kinds have made a home in Markham – especially following the population boom in the latter decades of the 20th century. Markham is the self-described “Most Diverse Community” in Canada, making it an ideal place to call home. 

While the southern stretch of the city is brimming with dense suburban life, the northern stretch of Markham is practically rural with quieter country roads and sleepy communities stretching up to Whitchurch-Stouffville. 

Real Estate in Markham

As a large and relatively modern suburban city, Markham’s residential real estate is predominantly in the form of single-family detached homes and high-rise condominiums. With the vast majority of residents living in single detached homes it’s no surprise that Markham is an appealing place to settle down for young families and immigrants alike. 

Much of the residential housing is concentrated around the transit corridor created by Highway 407 & Highway 7. These neighbourhoods exemplify modern urban design with curving streets and cul-de-sacs to make safer, more pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods. 

Large condo developments are clustered around major intersections, particularly to the south-west, closer to Toronto. Regardless what type of dwelling Markham residents live in, they can count on an abundance of greenspace thanks to the city’s award-winning urban design. It’s never too far to the park in Markham. 

Interested in learning more about Markham real estate? Review real estate listings & homes for sale in Markham or reach out to one of our representatives for expert advice. We’re here to answer all of your real estate questions. 

Shopping

The main shopping fare available in Markham comes in the form of large shopping malls, plazas, & big box stores. A more boutique, local-business shopping experience can be found on Main St. in the historic part of Markham, but the area’s rapid development into a suburb led to a reliance on large-scale commercial centres to serve the quickly growing population.

Markham’s primary shopping centres include:

  • King Square Shopping Mall,  a large, newly-built Asian shopping centre 
  • CF Markville, a chain mall with all the big international brands 
  • Pacific Mall, the largest indoor Asian shopping mall in North America
  • Langham Square, a shopping & residential complex in south Markham 

There are numerous other small shopping malls and plazas in Markham, many of them hosting businesses which cater to the large Asian community.

Recreation

Markham residents enjoy an extensive range of recreational opportunities and facilities both publicly and privately run. 

The city runs a Recreation Department with 12+ community centres scattered throughout the Markham area, each offering a unique range of programming, activities, and facilities. Most facilities run seniors clubs, intramural sports leagues, fitness classes, and swimming lessons where facilities allow. 

Markham’s Sports & Recreation Department runs the following facilities, each with its own individual amenities in addition to the multi-purpose spaces found in all municipal community centres:

Schools

York Region District School Board runs the public school system in Markham while the York Catholic District School Board operates Catholic schools in the area. 

Markham also has 2 French language boards, both Catholic and secular, known as Conseil Scolaire Viamonde MonAvenire and Conseil Scolaire Viamonde, respectively. The French boards operate relatively few schools because of the predominantly anglophone population of Markham. 

Transportation

True to its history as a city made possible by the railroad, Markham remains highly connected to the rest of the Greater Toronto Area as well as neighbouring regions. 

As a suburb, the primary method of transportation for most residents is by roads but rail transit is highly accessible & convenient for intercity travel. 

Public Transit in Markham

The city of Markham is serviced by York Region Transit, an amalgamation of several former transit systems in the area. Prior to 2001 Markham Transit managed municipal public transport, but today the neighbouring Richmond Hill, Newmarket, and Vaughan are all covered by the one transit system. This amalgamation makes getting around the northern GTA highly convenient for residents. 

Connections to the TTC are available primarily through the Viva Bus system, a series of rapid transit routes running along Yonge St. from Finch Station as well as from Don Mills Station to Markville Mall through Unionville. 

There are also several non-express TTC connections to Markham on main north-south streets like Warden Ave., McCowan Rd., & Markham Rd. These TTC routes require an additional fare after crossing Steeles Ave. in either direction. 

Intercity travel is also made possible by GO Buses departing from Markham’s 3 main stations – Unionville GO Terminal, Cornell Terminal, and Markham-Stouffville Hospital Bus Terminal. 

Travelling By Rail

The very same rail transit line which once brought prosperity and spurred growth in Markham is still transporting commuters back and forth to all corners of the GTA & beyond. GO Transit’s Stouffville line stretches from Union Station in Downtown Toronto all the way to Lincolnville, passing through Markham on the way. 

Recent transit expansions have brought expanded service hours and destinations to this leg of the GO Transit network. With 4 stops within the municipality of Markham, commuters working in Toronto have ample opportunity to make their connections to the city centre.

Langstaff GO Station grants Markham residents access to another north-south GO Train Line, although the station is located at the extreme edge of Markham’s boundaries. 

No VIA Rail service is available directly from Markham but travellers can take the GO Service to Union Station where trains depart to destinations all over Ontario and Canada. 

Travelling By Car

Markham is not as well connected as other parts of the GTA when it comes to highways although drivers won’t be struggling to get around. The major highway which passes through Markham from east to west is Highway 407, a toll road that connects to Burlington and Oshawa. 

York Regional Road 7, also known as Highway 7, is another east-west arterial road although it is often congested with drivers seeking to avoid paying tolls on the 407. 

On the north-south axis is Highway 404 which starts in the core of Toronto and extends all the way up to Lake Simcoe. Markham Rd. also turns into a 2-lane highway once it clears the hustle and bustle of Markham’s main residential & commercial zone. 

Have Questions About Markham?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling real estate in Markham or you’re seeking advice about real estate in the area don’t hesitate to reach out to Frank Leo & Associates

We have over 30 years of real estate experience in the GTA at your disposal. You can also get started taking advantage of our Guaranteed Home Selling System with a Free, no-obligation Home Evaluation

Brampton Community Profile From Frank Leo & Associates

As Ontario’s 4th largest city, Brampton is a Toronto suburb which gives its diverse residents access to big city amenities without compromising too much on personal space.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about Brampton if you’re considering buying property here, selling your home and relocating, or simply interested in this vibrant & historic Greater Toronto community. 

History

The story of Brampton begins with John Elliott, a man living in what was then a small settlement called “Buffy’s Corner” after the only significant building in the area – a tavern. In 1834 Elliott allotted parcels of land and named the region after the English town of the same name. 

By 1853 Brampton was officially incorporated as a village and boasted a population of 50 residents. 20 years later in 1873, Bramptons population jumped up to 2,000 residents and earned the village official recognition as a town. 

Part of the reason for this rapid growth was the Grand Trunk Railway which began passing through the village in 1858, making Brampton’s mark on the map. Two other landmarks from this time period which made Brampton a significant population centre are the Peel County Courthouse Jail and Registry offices, both of which are now part of the Peel Heritage Complex in downtown Brampton.

Growth would continue over the next hundred years as Brampton gained its nickname as “The Flower Town of Canada,” for its predominant industries – flower nurseries and greenhouses, the first of which was established back in 1863.

By the mid 1970’s, Brampton had amalgamated several peripheral townships and even parts of Mississauga. Soon after the city would get a large growth spurt due to immigration which made it one of the most diverse cities in Canada. 

Overview

This north-western suburb in the Greater Toronto Area has a large immigrant population coming predominantly from the Indian subcontinent and making the city one Canada’s most diverse population centres. 

Life in Brampton grows out from around the primary major intersection of 

The 410 and 107 highways, the latter of which is lined with shopping, restaurants, and Bramalea city centre. 

Brampton attracts young families and professionals of all kinds, in part because it gives residents the opportunity of living in a sizable city without being too far away from Toronto. As of 2017, Brampton was named the youngest community in the GTA with a media resident age of 33.7.

Although industry in Brampton has moved away from the greenhouses which gave the town its nickname, it remains a large economic centre. The primary industries operating in Brampton today include advanced manufacturing, communication technology, logistics, life science, & more

On the cultural side of things, Brampton may not boast the same amenities as neighbouring Toronto yet offers plenty for its residents in the form of the Peel Art Gallery, the Rose Theatre performing arts venue, and a number of museums & archives housed in historic 19th century buildings. 

Real Estate in Brampton

Since Brampton’s population exploded close to the turn of the 21st century, many of the properties in the Peel region are newer or recently renovated. These newer homes are built in the sub-division style, more often situated on a gently curving cul-de-sacs and crescents than the grid-type structure you’re likely to find in Toronto. 

The highest density of housing is in suburbs away from major highways, and the vast majority of these homes are fully-detached single family homes. Another perk to the relatively modern design of Brampton neighbourhoods is plenty of greenspace & parks between communities to give residents plenty of living space.

For all of its modernity, Brampton still holds on to a bit of the past. Historic neighbourhoods such as Nelson St. West and Washington block surround the Four Corners intersection. A stunning range of historic mansions  also remain, many converted or repurposed into single family dwellings or administrative buildings over the years. 

If you’re thinking of buying or selling real estate in Brampton, consult our Brampton community real estate listings to get an idea of the current real estate market conditions. 

As always, you can count on Frank Leo & Associates for advice on your individual circumstances. Simply contact us and let us know how we can help.

Shopping

Brampton’s primary shopping venues can be grouped into two types of shopping districts.

There are the large suburban commercial centres like the Bramalea Mall that are common to any suburban city and a “main street” shopping district in the city’s historic Four Corners downtown area. 

Bramalea City Centre serves as the largest shopping mall in the area, similar to Mississauga’s Square One and Toronto Eaton Centre. It provides the standard big box store fare as well as major clothing, sports, and electronics stores. Food options also abound with all the big names available. 

Peppered throughout Brampton you’ll find smaller malls, shopping centres, and plazas which provide a similar shopping experience but on a smaller scale. 

The Four Corners downtown shopping district provides a more traditional shopping experience at the intersection of Main & Queen Streets. Here you’ll find more boutiques & local businesses as well as non-franchise restaurants of all kinds.

It’s a great place to go to enjoy the shopping experience & surroundings as opposed to dropping in to buy a specific item. Shoppers can take a break for coffee, stroll the historic streets, or even learn something about them at one of the local museums. 

Recreation

Brampton is home to over a dozen municipally-run community recreation centres, each with different facilities but all of them offering programming and intramural leagues for all ages. Whether it’s lane swim, some ice time at the rink, or a simple game of pick-up basketball, there is a venue for it in Brampton. 

Outside of city-run recreational facilities, numerous gyms both general and specialized are available to residents. Whether you’re looking for a traditional workout or something more exciting like a trampoline park there are businesses which can accommodate that experience. 

A perk that comes with Brampton’s spacious layout is the abundance of Golf & Tennis clubs throughout the township. Both public and private tennis clubs are located in parks all around the area. There are also a number of golf courses in Brampton proper, or residents can take a drive just out of town to some of the more rural courses in the area. 

Of course for Bramptonians simply looking to take their recreation in the form of a casual stroll there’s the city’s many parks, greenspaces, and conservation areas to choose from.  Major greenspaces include Meadowvale Conservation Area, Heart Lake Conservation Park, & Claireville Conservation Area. 

These areas require a bit of a commute, so for more convenient recreation many residents opt to visit one of the many parks tucked away between the neighbourhoods – Chinguacousy Park, Duggan Park, & Centennial Park just to name a few more prominent parks. As an added bonus, many of these greenspaces include bodies of water, like Etobicoke Creek running through Duggan Park.  

Schools

Brampton is serviced by the Peel District School Board and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board

Public Schools

For a complete list of public schools managed by the Peel District Schoolboard, consult the school directory.

Catholic Schools

You can find a complete list of the Catholic Schools in Brampton on the Dufferin-Peel Catholic school directory.

Transportation

As a suburban community of the Greater Toronto Area, Brampton is well connected by practically every form of transportation. From the 400-series highways which cross-hatch it’s borders to main thoroughfares like Main St. which extends from Hurontario St. in Mississauga, there’s no shortage of ways to get around in Brampton. 

Coupled with GO Transit & VIA Rail service, Brampton is a convenient community just a short commute away from many of Southern Ontario’s other towns and cities. 


Public Transportation Infrastructure in Brampton

Brampton has good public transit coverage for a city of its size with the primary type of transportation being buses. Local transit is serviced by Brampton Transit

The city’s transit system also connects to other GTA transit systems including MiWay, York Region Transit, & TTC for connections to adjacent cities plus GO Transit for travel to more distant destinations. 

Commuters also have the option of using Brampton’s Bus Rapid Transit system, called Züm. Zum’s fleet of hybrid-electric busses runs along the city’s primary arteries – Main/Hurontario Streets, Queen St./Highway 7, Steeles Ave., Bovaird Dr./Airport Rd., & Queen St. West/Mississauga Rd. While there is overlap between Züm and regular Brampton Transit, it serves as an express transit option for commuters travelling further distances within the city. 

Finally, GO Bus connects Brampton with York University as well as TTC Subway stations at York Mills & Yorkdale Mall. 

Travelling By Rail in Brampton

Brampton’s rail coverage is ample, perhaps owing in part to the fact that the city grew to what it is today largely thanks to the Grand Trunk Railway. 

Today, both the Orange-Brampton Railway Short Line & the Canadian National Railway Line run through the heart of Brampton. These lines are covered by both GO Transit & VIA Rail service.

In the Westward direction, Brampton is situated near the centre of the Kitchener GO Transit Corridor, giving commuters access to cities to the west of the GTA and Union Station to the east.

VIA Rail service connects to Brampton as part of the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor and everywhere in between the two terminal destinations.

Travelling By Car in Brampton

Like any major suburb, Brampton is rife with highways and major roads. Most notable are the 400-series highways, like Highway 401 from Toronto or Highway 410 which runs north-south through the centre of Brampton down to Mississauga. 

Highway 407 borders Brampton on the south and provides another option for drivers looking to avoid the congestion of the 401. 

Aside from highways, the historic Main St. is the city’s primary north-south artery and turns into Hurontario St. in Mississauga going south. On the east-west axis is Regional Road 107, the city’s main east-west street which transitions into Queen St. 

Buying or Selling Real Estate in Brampton

Thinking of buying or selling property in Brampton? Whether you’re considering moving to a new neighbourhood or becoming a resident of this popular Canadian city, you can trust our extensive real estate experience to help you with your next real estate move. 

Contact Frank Leo & Associates with your real estate or get started selling your home with a FREE home evaluation!