Barrie Community Profile featured image

Community Profile: Barrie

Situated on the beautiful shores of Lake Simcoe, the City of Barrie is a welcoming central Ontario city that offers comfortable urban living at the gateway to the serene wilderness of Georgian Bay and Northern Ontario.

This growing city has a strong sense of community and a great deal to offer its residents. Outlined here are only a few of the many factors that make Barrie a fun and exciting place to live.

History of Barrie

Prior to British settlement in the region, the Barrie region was an important transit hub for the First Nations and coureur des bois, who were trappers from New France. It was a portage between the Nottawasaga River and Kempenfelt Bay on Lake Simcoe, which was a convenient step on the canoe route between Lake Ontario and Lake Huron. This same route was used by the British during the War of 1812 to move military assets to the upper Great Lakes.  Today, many of these same waterways are used by cottagers for canoeing and kayaking for leisure. 

Barrie was first settled in 1832 and named in honour of Sir Robert Barrie, Commodore of the British Great Lakes Fleet. 

By 1837, there were twenty-eight families living in the area. In 1843, Simcoe became its own district with Barrie as the District Town. The prestige of being the District Town brought government funding to construct a jail and courthouse, bringing further growth.

In 1846, there were 500 people living in the town. At this point Barrie was a bustling town, significantly more developed than much of the surrounding region. A steamship, named the Beaver, which connected Barrie to the other communities on the shores of Lake Simcoe, was based in the town. Within the town there were three churches, a district school, a mechanics’ institute, and a cricket club, as well as many professionals and tradespeople operating and doing business.

An image showing the train station in Old Barrie
The Grand Trunk railway in early Barrie.

Barrie was first connected to a rail system in the 1850s, when the Northern Railway of Canada crossed over the Oak Ridges Moraine and through Machell’s Corners (now Aurora) to the edge of Kempenfelt Bay. After that point the city grew to be the largest community on Lake Simcoe.

At the outbreak of the First World War, many young men volunteered to serve in the Simcoe Foresters and were sent overseas in 1915. But the long transportation of the troops to Niagara was found to be less than ideal. In response to this, the Canadian Expeditionary Force saw Barrie as an excellent site to establish a training base for personnel. The site, just south of the city, was known as “Sandy Plains” and was developed into a training ground for battalions bound for overseas duties. In the summer of 1916, Sir Samuel Hughes, the Minister of Militia and Defense, opened the base, naming it Camp Borden in honour of Sir Fredrick Borden. CFB Borden has remained a part of the society of Barrie ever since. 

In the 20th century Barrie’s population grew as it increasingly became a sleeper community for the GTA. The city is the gateway to Lake Huron, the Bruce Peninsula, and Northern Ontario, with The Greater Toronto Area only an hour’s drive to the south. Just as it was in its earliest history, Barrie is still situated on the threshold between the woodland and lakeside playgrounds of Ontario’s cottage country and the economic heart of Toronto. These factors, among others, make Barrie an ideal place for a family to live.  

Overview

Barrie is situated 100 kilometers north of Toronto. With a population of 197,000, it is a vibrant city that offers its residents unparalleled access to both the Ontario wilderness along with the GTA.

Barrie radiates out from the shore of Kempenfelt Bay. The historical town centre is located on the edge of the bay. Away from the water, quiet and modern suburban neighbourhoods are situated not far from Highway 400, which connects Barrie to Toronto.

The City of Barrie has a growing population, which is also diverse. It is home to large Black, South Asian, Chinese, Filipino, and Latin American communities. 

Real Estate in Barrie

The main road in Barrie is Highway 400, which is the primary road connection between Barrie and the GTA. If you are thinking of commuting from Barrie to Toronto, then you want to live in close proximity to the Highway. Luckily for commuters, the majority of the neighbourhoods are built within a 15 minute drive of the 400.

The type of dwelling that is most abundantly available on the Barrie market is the single detached home. The majority of these homes have three or more bedrooms. Since 2000, 16,320 homes have been built in Barrie.

Our representatives will be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have about purchasing real estate in Barrie, so feel free to contact us.

Shopping in Barrie

Shoppers in Barrie have no shortage of choices when it comes to where to shop. There are a wide array of shopping settings from indoor or outdoor malls to flea markets and boutique shops. 

Just off of the lake front, Downtown Barrie is full of merchants providing a diverse variety of goods and services. Centred on Dunlop and Bayfield Streets, Downtown Barrie is the perfect place to find something unique or vintage, while strolling in a charming setting.

On the south side of the city, where Mapleview Drive meets Highway 400, there are many big box stores. Hundreds of retailers can be found in three large outdoor shopping centres here. The shopping centres are called Park Place, the Summit Centre, and SmartCentre South.

In the north of the city, at Bayfield Street and Livingstone Street, there are even more outdoor shopping centres. These include the Kozlov Centre, the Springwater Marketplace, and SmartCentre North. Additionally, this is the location of the Georgian Mall, an indoor shopping centre. The Georgian Mall is the largest shopping centre in Heronia, and it is home to more than 150 retailers.

At Highway 400 and Innisfil Beach Road, 10 minutes south of Barrie, there is the 400 Market. This is a flea market that is open on Saturdays and Sundays. Home to 500 vendors that sell unique new and used items, it draws thousands of shoppers every weekend. It is also home to a 30,000 square foot antique mall that is open seven days a week.   

Slightly further south, at Highway 400 and County Road 89, are the Tanger Outlets. This outlet mall features over 100 retailers selling name brand items at a reduced price. Shoppers looking for a deal would do well to not miss this shopping venue.

Recreation

Residents of Barrie do not have to search far to find a fun way to spend their time. In the Barrie area there are many options for recreation seekers.

The city runs many different facilities for public use, including several recreation centres. The three main recreation centres are: Holly Community Centre, the East Bayfield Centre, and the Allendale Community Centre. Each of these centres features a swimming pool, skating rinks, fitness centres, and meeting rooms.

As for outdoor spaces, the City of Barrie maintains many gorgeous parks. The city has more than 300 hectares of city parks for residents to enjoy. These parks are chocked full of features that augment their appeal from simple green spaces to the realm of recreation facilities. Throughout the city there are parks that feature amenities like community gardens, dog off leash recreation areas, and splash pads.

 Along the shore of Kempenfelt Bay, the city maintains a series of beautiful parks and beaches. Many of these beaches are linked together by a couple of trails, the Waterfront Heritage Trail and North Shore Trail. Along this 9 km route, the trails pass through Military Heritage Park, Allendale Beach Park, Centennial Beach, the Barrie Marina, onto Johnson’s Beach. The route also passes by one of the most iconic structures in Barrie: The Spirit Catcher, a twenty ton, 25 meter tall steel sculpture that was installed in 1987. Lake Simcoe also offers many other opportunities for recreation such as fishing (in both the winter and the summer) and boating

If you are looking for an insight to the local history of Barrie, there are several museums dedicated to various subjects from the past. Among them, the Simcoe County Museum, located slightly out of town on Ontario Highway 26, covers the history of Simcoe County from the prehistory of the region to modern times. Not far from the waterfront, on Mulcaster Street, the Grey and Simcoe Foresters Museum is dedicated to the history of the military unit from its pre-World War One inception to its modern instantiation.

If you are looking for an exciting time watching horse races, Georgian Downs, located south of Barrie on Highway 400, is the perfect spot. The Georgian Downs is a venue to watch and bet on live Standardbred racing. Admission and parking at the Downs is always free. Located at the same site, Gateway Casinos Innisfil features table games such as Black jack, Roulette, Spanish 21, and Baccarat, along with virtual slot games.

Schools

Barrie is serviced by four school boards, two English and two French. Together these boards operate a total of 51 schools in the city. 

The two English language boards are made up of a total of 47 schools. The Simcoe County District School Board runs 25 public schools and 4 secondary schools throughout Barrie. The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board consists of 14 public schools and 4 secondary schools.

Barrie also has four French immersion schools. Like the English boards, the French boards are divided between a Catholic and secular board. The Conseil Scolaire Viamonde administers two schools in the city, one primary and one secondary. French Catholic schools are administered by the Conseil Scolaire Catholic Mon Avenir, which oversees one primary and one secondary school in Barrie.

Transportation

Despite its situation outside of the GTA, transportation is not a problematic issue for the residents of Barrie. The city offers its residents a plethora of transit choices, which allow them to get around the city and to adjacent regions very easily. Additionally, Barrie is highly connected to the GTA. Major road and rail links with Toronto make the commute into the Provincial Capital simple and quick. 

Navigating Barrie by car is extremely convenient. However, Barrie Transit and GO transit provide alternatives for people who prefer to spend less time behind the wheel.

Road Travel

Barrie is bisected by Highway 400, which is the most important road in the city. The Highway is the second longest in Ontario after the 401. It provides Barrie with a direct link with the GTA in the south. In the north, the 400 connects Barrie with cottage country in Muskoka and on the Georgian Bay, and continues on through Parry Sound, North Bay, Sudbury, and on to Northern Ontario.

Many residents in Barrie were attracted to the town for the spacious homes and small city atmosphere, along with the convenience of the commute into Toronto. Highway 400 provides the main link between the two cities. It connects to the 401 and the 407 toll Highway in the south. Naturally, the many commuters use the Highway to drive south to Toronto. Most of these commuters drive their own car to work between 7:00-8:00 AM.

Another important road in the city is Ontario Highway 26. Within Barrie the road is known as Bayfield Street. It passes out of the city connecting it with Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, Owen Sound, and the Bruce Peninsula

While driving in Barrie is easy and convenient, it is not required to get around. Public transit is also highly developed. The Barrie transit system makes traveling around the city by bus very easy. The system is also connected to other transit systems, making travel around the Simcoe Region and into the GTA straightforward and inexpensive.

Barrie Transit

Barrie Transit offers bus service on ten routes that cover the city. The public buses are all routed through four main transit hubs: the Downtown Terminal, the Allendale GO Station, Park Place, and the Barrie South GO Station. The Downtown Terminal also is the departure point for interurban buses operated by Ontario Northland and Greyhound.

Simcoe County LINX

The Simcoe County LINX is a regional transit system that carries passengers all across the Simcoe Region. It consists of five routes, which connect Barrie to Penetanguishene, Midland, Wasaga Beach, Orillia, Collingwood, New Tecumseth, and Bradford West Gwillimbury.     

GO Transit

Two of the important transit hubs in the city, Allendale GO Station and the Barrie GO Station, are connections to the GO rail system. The GO rail connection was established to the Barrie South Station in 2007 and expanded to the Allendale Station in 2012. These lines carry commuters to the south into the GTA. The terminal station of the line in the south is Toronto’s Union Station. From Union Station riders can make connections to the TTC, VIA rail, and the UP express. GO Transit also runs several bus lines in Barrie, which connects the city with different parts of Simcoe Region and the GTA. GO train service in Barrie and its integration with Barrie Transit, means that residents of the city can take an uncomplicated commute into Toronto without having to ever drive a car.

Have Questions About Barrie Real Estate? Thinking of buying or selling?

If you have questions about buying or selling property in Barrie or anywhere in the GTA, contact Frank Leo and Associates.

We are equipped with over 30 years of experience dealing in GTA real estate and we will be happy to share our knowledge with you.

Frank Leo’s Community Profile: Ajax

The Town of Ajax is a suburban community nestled between the City of Pickering and the Town of Whitby, offering a modern, well-planned community for GTA residents who want to avoid the bustle of urban living. 

It has a great deal to offer its residents including quiet suburban living, spacious homes, abundant greenspace, all just a short commute from Toronto.

The History of Ajax

The town owes its inception to the Second World War. Prior to the war, the land that would transform into Ajax was forest and farmland in eastern Pickering Township. However, Defense Industries Limited (DIL) constructed a munitions plant in the area in 1941 in order to help with the war effort. Workers at the plant began to purchase land in the area and the beginnings of a town developed.

By the end of the war, the DIL munitions plant had produced millions of shells and employed over 9,000 people. People from all over Canada moved to Ajax to work at DIL. The land surrounding the DIL facilities were planned and developed into a comfortable community. This burgeoning town was expertly planned, with its own water treatment plant, sewage treatment plant, and school (with more than 600 students enrolled).

An aerial view of Ajax, Ontario which shows the suburban and industrial development. Image credit: creative commons.

The town, built to serve the industrial needs of the war effort, was named in honour of a British ship involved in the first significant naval victory of the war, the Battle of the River Plate, where three British war ships, HMS Ajax, HMS Exeter, and HMS Achilles, routed a powerful German battleship, named the Admiral Graf Spee, near the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo.

After the war, the University of Toronto was inundated with former soldiers who were studying to become engineers. Meanwhile, the need to produce munitions at the DIL factory in Ajax ended with the war. The University took over the DIL plant and used it to house its engineering students, who retooled the facility into classrooms and laboratories. The university operated out of the former DIL site until 1949 and in those years more than 7000 students were trained as engineers there.

 In the 1950s, the industrial base of Ajax migrated to elsewhere in Durham Region and the GTA, however the population of Ajax continued to swell, as new planned developments were built, expanding the original base of the town. People were attracted to the lakeside tranquility of a small town, which was not remote, but highly integrated into the surrounding region. By 1955, the people living in Ajax had established it as a distinct town, not part of Pickering, with its own town council and school board.

Overview

Only 13 kilometres from Toronto’s eastren edge, Ajax is home to over 100,000 people. As one of the most populated communities in Durham Region, Ajax is a modern and diverse community.

Ajax is a densely populated town bounded on the north by quiet rural farmland and forests, and on the south by Lake Ontario.

People from all over the world call Ajax home and the city has an especially large South Asian population.

An image of the Ajax Ontario waterfront
The gorgeous waterfront views in Ajax, Ontario.

Real Estate in Ajax

Highway 401 travels through the centre of Ajax and the city spreads out to the north and to the south of the transit artery. The dense suburban neighbourhoods are all within a 10 minute drive to the 401.

The majority of houses in Ajax are single detached homes with four or more bedrooms. While four or more bedroom homes are the majority in Ajax, with 45% of homes fitting in this category, the second most popular kind of home are three bedroom homes. Most of these homes were built between 1960 and 2016. Ajax is full of relatively new and spacious houses ideal for growing families.

If you are interested in learning more about real estate in Ajax or browsing active listings, check the real estate listing and homes for sale in Ajax.

Ajax Shopping

Shopping venues in Ajax are concentrated in big box stores and stripmalls. These shops are concentrated mainly around two major intersections in Ajax.

Just south of the 401, near the corner of Harwood and Bayly streets, there are several shopping centres including the Ajax Plaza, the Harwood Plaza, the Baywood Centre, and the Mackenzie Plaza.

North of the 401, at the corner of Salem and Kingston roads, there are several more shopping centres and big box stores, including the RioCan Durham Centre, the Business Plaza, the Canadian Tire Centre, and the Harwood Centre.

Shoppers can find a comfortable indoor mall shopping experience at the nearby Pickering Town Centre or the Oshawa Centre.

Recreation in Ajax

There is no shortage of recreation options in Ajax. Residents in the town can choose from an extensive gamut of both private and public recreation facilities.

The Ajax Community Centre is an establishment that is run by the town of Ajax. It features a gymnasium, squash courts, a swimming pool, and a skating rink. Additionally, the centre is the base for several community organizations including the Ajax Boxing Club, the Ajax Judo Club, the Ajax Skating Club, and the Rock Oasis Rock Climbing Facility.

The Ajax community centre’s sign.

The Audley Recreation Centre is a modern, state of the art community centre located in the north-eastren section of Ajax. It features a variety of amenities including a fully equipped gymnasium and a 25 metre lap pool with six lanes. Outside of the recreation centre there are tennis courts, a skateboard park, a splash pad, a playground, basketball courts, and walking paths. The Ajax Sportsplex is located next to the recreation centre. The Sportsplex was originally built for the 2015 PanAm Games as the official facility for baseball and softball. The facility’s 7 ball diamonds are now run by the town.

Beyond recreation centres, another entertainment venue in town is Ajax Downs and Casino. Ajax Downs is the only race track in Ontario where you can watch Quarter Horse Racing. With free admission and free parking, an afternoon watching horse racing can entertain the whole family. The Downs also hosts Canada Day celebrations, Craft Brewery Day, Family Fun Day, and, every Monday, the Ajax Downs Farmers Market. The site is also home to the Ajax Casino which brings visitors from all over the GTA.

For lovers of the outdoors, Ajax offers a wide choice of green spaces for hiking, biking, or general outdoor enjoyment. There are at least 38 kilometres of trails in Ajax and 93 parks that the municipality maintains, with two leash free dog parks.

An image of the Ajax waterfront trail sign
The Great Lakes Waterfront trail map.

In particular, the Greenwood Conservation Area, at 283 hectares, is among the largest parks in the town. It features walking paths and picnic areas. Another noteworthy greenspace is the Duffins Trail System, which offers 5 kilometres of trail that is perfect for bikes, strolls, and, in the winter, cross country skiing. Finally, the Ajax Waterfront is a local gem of a park, perched on the shore of Lake Ontario. The park is six kilometres of mixed maintained and natural parkland. A 7 kilometre trail crosses through the park. This trail is part of a system of trails that stretches from Hamilton to Belleville.

Schools in Ajax

There are two school boards in Ajax, the Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board.

In Ajax there are 27 schools, 24 elementary schools and 3 high schools, conveniently located throughout the city. They are administered by the Durham District School Board. The school board offers French immersion at several of the schools.

The Durham Catholic District School Board administers 13 schools in Ajax, 3 secondary and 10 elementary. The school board also offers French immersion at 3 of the schools in Ajax. 

Getting Around in Ajax

Ajax is highly connected to the rest of the Greater Toronto Area, along with Kawartha Lakes, Simcoe County, Northumberland County, and Peterborough County. 

The town’s suburban nature lends itself to road transportation, however Ajax provides its residents with many alternatives, in the form of Durham Regional Transit and GO Transit.

Travelling by Road

Owing to its proximity to Toronto, many of the people who live in Ajax commute into the city for work. The majority of these commuters drive their own vehicle to work, reporting that leaving between 7:00am and 8:00am gives them enough time to get to work. Commuters also report that they are predominantly heading out of the region and commuting for more than 60 minutes. 

The main travel thoroughfare in Ajax is highway 401. The highway is the main transportation route in Ontario and the most traveled road in the Windsor-Quebec City Corridor.

Durham Region Public Transportation

Durham Region Transit is one of Ontario’s largest public transportation systems. Formed in 2006 when the municipal transit systems of Pickering, Ajax, Oshawa, Whitby, and Clarington were amalgamated into one system. Durham Region Transit now services a much larger area than any of these smaller systems did. Residents in Ajax can ride DRT throughout Durham Region to each of the communities that make up the region (Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Clarington, Oshawa, Scugog, Uxbridge, and Brock). The DRT operates more than 200 vehicles, servicing nearly 3000 stops in the region. The system also features many interregional connections, which can get riders to different parts of Toronto, the GTA, as well as neighbouring regions.

Rail Transit

The Ajax GO train station is a hub stop for many DRT bus routes. From this connection, Ajax residents can take the GO train into Union Station, where connections to the TTC, Via Rail, and the UP Express are available. The GO train can also be ridden to Oshawa where Via Rail connections can be made, or to the Whitby GO station, where intercity Coach Canada and Megabus buses can be caught.  

Questions About Real Estate in Ajax

Thinking of buying or selling property in Ajax or in the GTA? Frank Leo & Associates are here to answer your questions based on 30 years of experience in the Toronto real estate business. 

We offer our expertise, honed over 30 years of experience in real estate in the GTA. Simply contact us or call (416) 917-5466 to get advice, or claim your free home evaluation if you’re thinking of selling

An image of the Pickering Nautical village with text overlaid reading "Pickering Community Profile" just above the Frank Leo & Associates Logo

Community Profile: Pickering

Located on the eastern border of the City of Toronto, picturesque Pickering provides residents with the convenience of big city living plus the privacy and access to nature only a suburban population centre can offer.

While Toronto and all of its amenities are just a short trip away, Pickering has its own assortment of pleasant pastimes like peaceful hikes along nature trails and the multitude of leisure and entertainment options on its vibrant waterfront.

The History of Pickering

British colonial settlement began in the Pickering area around 1776. While America had already carved out its seminal presence in the south,  Augustus Jones wouldn’t be commissioned to survey the modern-day Durham region until 1791. Employed by the Surveyor General’s Office in Quebec, Jones was a native of Yorkshire who bestowed the name  Pickering on the small community of homesteads after the ancient market town of Pickering in North Yorkshire. By 1809, there were 180 people living in the Township of Pickering after Timothy Rogers led a group of Quakers from Vermont to settle in the area. 

Eventually a small village began to coalesce from the scattered homesteads on the shores of Lake Ontario. It was situated near a spot known today as Frenchman’s Bay,named after French missionaries that ministered to the native Huron-Wendat people that lived in the region in the mid 1700s.  Throughout the early 19th century Pickering’s economy was based around agriculture, however the picturesque waterfront began to attract tourists. Industrialisation also began in this period with the construction of a wharf, lighthouse, and grain elevator at Frenchman’s Bay. 

Pickering school
Pickering College in 1880. The school still serves the community today.

 

The search for work or leisure brought people to the area and the population began to grow steadily. In 1825 there were three sawmills where logs, hewn from the heavily wooded sectors north of Frenchman’s Bay, were processed for the shipbuilding industry that had developed on the lakefront. Much of Durham Region was emerging as logging country at the time and Pickering shared this profitable industry with other towns like Whitchurch-Stouffville.

Pickering remained a small rural town until after the Second World War, although industry did wane during those years. Like many of Toronto’s surrounding communities, it experienced a tremendous boom in its population in the post war years. The number of homes quadrupled in the 1960s as people flocked to the attractive and well-planned developments in the city. 

With this influx of citizens, the economy of the town moved even farther away from its agricultural roots. Manufacturing companies followed the large numbers of people moving into the area, attracted to Pickering because of its access to the rail system and Highway 401. In 1965, Ontario Power Generation brought a new addition to Frenchman’s Bay: the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. Ontario Power Generation became one of the most important employers in the city whose population has skyrocketed to 91,000 people and is projected to surpass 100,000 within a decade.

An aerial view of Pickering, Ontario
An aerial view of Pickering, Ontario following industrialization. Image courtesy Joe Mabel under creative commons.

Overview of Pickering

Situated on the eastern edge of Metropolitan Toronto in the south-western corner of Durham Region, Pickering is a lakefront city that provides its residents quick and convenient access to Toronto and its world-class amenities but also offers hundreds of acres of parks, conservation areas, and greenspaces that afford its residents many opportunities for leisure, recreation, and a rich family life.

Pickering is a welcoming, safe community with the highest diversity rate in Durham Region. The city has a healthy economy with new residents and businesses from all over the world being drawn by the excellent value of property and quality of life in the city.

With direct access to major highways and rail systems and an educated and skilled labour force (the majority of residents have completed highschool and more than 30% have a university degree), Pickering is an excellent place to do business or find work. Ranging from serene rural living in the north to  to the modern city with a scenic and historical waterfront in the south, Pickering offers a great deal to people looking for a place to live and work.

Real Estate in Pickering

Pickering’s housing market is mostly centered on single family detached homes, which make up more than 50% of the houses in the city. The houses are very spacious, with more than 44% of them having at least 4 bedrooms or more. Ample space and privacy are a welcome change for many residents moving from Toronto. It’s an especially attractive proposition for  families. Pickering homes were mostly built between 1961 and 2000, with the bulk  of them being built between 1981-1990

The residential neighbourhoods in Pickering are all within a ten minute drive to highway 401 or the Pickering GO terminal. Located even closer to the highway are higher density residence choices such as row houses and condominiums.

If you are interested in getting more information about Pickering real estate, contact one of our representatives for expert advice, or review real estate listings & homes for sale in Pickering.

Pickering Shopping

The suburban nature of Pickering lends itself nicely to shopping malls and big box stores, which are the most abundant retail options in the city. However, Pickering also features local, boutique style shopping in the Nautical Village.

The Nautical Village in Pickering Ontario
Nautical Village by Lake Ontario. The neighbourhood offers a boutique shopping experience to residents.

With over one hundred and fifty stores, the Pickering Town Center has something for everyone – especially those looking for a self-contained day out. The indoor mall is expansive and located close to Highway 401, making it convenient for commuters. It’s modern aesthetic is matched by unbridled accessibility for those who require mobility accommodations.

Located nearby, SmartCenters Pickering provides the city with a large array of big box stores and serves as the typical “Strip Mall” for the area. 

South of the 401 on the edge of Frenchman’s Bay, the quaint shops, businesses, and restaurants that make up Pickering Nautical Village await shoppers who are looking for locally-owned boutique shops. Its scenic location adds to the exciting and vibrant lakefront ambiance. Nautical Village offers a more bespoke, bohemian shopping experience and serves as the perfect launching point for a day by the water.

If you are looking for a unique second-hand find or something from a local business, the Pickering Markets are the perfect spot to shop. Over a hundred vendors offer an expansive variety of goods, services, and food, including new and used items.

Recreation in Pickering

There is no shortage of recreation and leisure activities in Pickering. Hiking, water sports, boating, and golfing are all available within the city limits. Pickering’s waterfront is especially packed with recreational opportunities. As one of the few GTA communities on the waterfront, there’s no shortage of beach-goers or water sport enthusiasts taking advantage of world-class fresh-water sailing, kite surfing, or just stand-up paddle boarding.  

Pickering Beach seen from the shore
A view of Pickering’s waterfront beach where leisure abounds for nature lovers.

The City of Pickering operates the Chestnut Hills Development Recreation Complex, which is a large facility located in central Pickering. It features a fully equipped gym with a staff that can provide personal training and fitness classes. It also features an 8 lane 25-metre pool, a skating rink, along with courts for racquet sports, such as tennis, squash, and racquetball. 

Owing to the large amount of greenspace in Pickering, hiking enthusiasts, joggers, and cyclists have an expansive array of choices when it comes to trails. Among them are:

  • The Seaton Trail provides a green zone with many hiking or cycling opportunities to the north of Pickering.
  • Altona Forest — 53 hectares of forest with a multitude of trails 
  • A Gorgeous waterfront trail that offers a wide variety of activities and attractions. The trail circles Frenchman’s Bay, granting access to beaches, boardwalks, and the Marina.
  • Rouge Park Valley — At 2,000 acres, this huge urban park is one of the biggest in North America. The urban park project has its own programming for those who would prefer to explore with some guidance.
A view of Pickering Waterfront trail at the harbour.

Similarly, those looking for a leisurely and informative walk could pay Pickering Museum Village a visit. A living history museum that allows visitors to walk through historic buildings from Pickering’s past. The museum is full of information about the development of Pickering from 1810 to 1920 and an essential destination for any lover of early Canadian history.

Pickering Schools

Pickering is serviced by the Durham District School Board, which has 15 elementary schools and 2 high schools. The schools are conveniently located throughout the city, so students rarely face significant commutes. The French immersion program is available at Sir John A. MacDonald Public School and Pickering High School.

Additionally, Pickering is also serviced by the Durham Catholic District School Board. The catholic school board operates 6 schools in Pickering, 5 elementary schools and 1 high school, spread out in the city.

In addition to public education, Pickering has private schools like those of the Montessori variety for parents seeking alternative educations for their children. 

Getting Around in Pickering

Public Transportation in Pickering

Pickering is serviced by Durham Region Transit, which provides the city with a public transportation system that facilitates easy movement between all of the major communities which comprise Durham Region (Ajax, Brock, Clarington, Oshawa, Scugog, Uxbridge, Whitby). Durham Region Transit is highly integrated with surrounding transportation systems. A rider can connect with the TTC, YRT, GO Transit, Orillia Transit, and Lindsay Transit with ease. Connections to inter-city coach bus services are available at Whitby GO Station and VIA Rail at Oshawa.

Pickering’s convenient, accessible GO Transit hub.

Getting Around Pickering by Car

The most important freeway in Ontario and the Province’s backbone highway, Ontario Highway 401, passes right through the centre of Pickering. The majority of the city has been developed within a ten minute drive of the 8 lane highway. The Don Valley Parkway and Highway 404 are only a 20 minute drive on the 401 from the centre of Pickering, granting commuters access to downtown Toronto and York Region, respectively. On the east side of Pickering, Highway 412 connects the 407 toll highway which runs along the north edge of Pickering to the 401.

Rail Transportation in Pickering

Pickering GO Station is located adjacent to Highway 401 and  provides a direct rail link with Union Station. From there,  a traveler can link with VIA Rail to ride trains anywhere in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, or take the UP Express to Pearson International Airport. Alternatively, a rider could transfer from the GO Train at Oshawa to the VIA system.

The plethora of transit options combined with the relative affordability of land in Pickering, have made the city attractive for businesses. With those businesses came the workers and ancillary industries which provide the amenities to residents . This influx of industry has brought jobs to Pickering and that number is projected to climb, giving manyPickering residents the option to avoid the commute to Toronto, if they so choose. 

Questions About Pickering or Pickering Real Estate?

If you’re interested in buying or selling real estate in Pickering or Durham Region or you simply want to learn more about property in the area, feel free to contact Frank Leo & Associates.

One of our qualified team members would be more than happy to help lend professional real estate advice whether you’re buying or selling in the GTA. 

Frank Leo Community Profile: Caledon

History

What we today call the Township of Caledon began as a small hamlet in Upper Canada that had several names over the years. These included Raeburn’s Corners, Charleston, and finally Caledon. 

Caledon Village was carried out in 1820 and the young settlement would receive a post office just 19 years later under the name of Charleston. Soon after that its name was changed to Caledon in 1853, however both names were used interchangeably for the hamlet. Both names are even recorded simultaneously in the 1878 Illustrated Historical Atlas of York.

The early history of Caledon, like most Canadian towns, revolved around agriculture. Its first major development came courtesy of the railway which arrived in the 1870s to connect Owen Sound to Toronto. The route was used primarily to ship grain from Owen Sound to Toronto twice daily, but along the way it brought mail and made for easier transportation to Toronto. 

Not long after the railway connection was built the town began to flourish. Just 7 short years later Caledon had blacksmiths, cobblers, hotels, churches, a school, generals stores, and even a local doctor. 

The local Badlands which bring tourism to the area.

It comes from a truncated version of the Latin word, “Caledonia” – a word used by the Romans for North Britain during their occupation there 1,000’s of years ago. 

 

While Bolton and Orangeville are the largest population hubs in Caledon, country homes can be found across the township. Many retirees choose to call Caledon home. With a lower population density, it offers a more comfortable lifestyle without having to stray too far from the big city and all its amenities.

 

Caledon’s latest census data shows a population of just over 66,000, and as an amalgamation of numerous towns and villages over 688 km² Caledon is the largest city or town by area in the Greater Toronto Area. 

Real Estate in Caledon

For the prospective home buyer seeking to find the perfect private home or estate that’s still within the GTA or a comfortable home in a small Ontario town, Caledon is not to be overlooked. 

 

The vast majority of real estate in Caledon is made up of single-family detached homes, even in the more densely populated parts of the region like Bolton and Orangeville. In those larger towns you’ll find typical suburban homes and neighbourhood layouts with winding streets,  cul-de-sacs, and crescents. 

In addition to more urban towns, Caledon has plenty of open space and rural communities.

Many of these homes are fairly new and built as part of new developments surrounding the historic town cores. Smaller towns like Alton have more historic homes that give a good sense of what Canada looked like decades ago. 

 

Some of the truly gorgeous properties are in-between the towns, where home-builders were able to stretch out and bring their dreams into reality. These country estates range from being quite modest to lavish, though they all promise serene privacy not too far from the big city. 

 

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

Shopping

Most shopping opportunities in Caledon come in the form of “Main Street” venues in the area’s many small towns. These include Alton, Bolton, and Orangeville primarily, though more niche stores can be found in between. 

 

With Brampton and its much larger selection of stores and malls to choose from just a short drive away many residents choose to travel south to shop, especially if they plan to make a day of it. 

Recreation

Caledon doesn’t have the population density to sustain public recreation centres like nearby municipalities such as Brampton. It does, however, offer ample opportunity for recreation of all kinds, from sports, drop-in programs, and classes to activities and tours of local arts, culture, & heritage. 

 

Active Recreation in Caledon

 

Caledon residents can take advantage of a variety of recreation programs and services to stay active. 

 

The Caledon City Council have organized sports clubs around practically every common sport for all levels. A complete list of the sports and leagues in Caledon can be found on the City Council’s website.

 

One of the advantages of a rural community like Caledon are the many recreational activities residents can enjoy. Most of the area’s conservation areas and trails have their own organizations like the Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club.   

Recreation Programs

 

For residents looking to learn or share experiences with others can take advantage of more general programs and classes like training & safety, inclusion, camps, and organized community events. 

 

The Caledon public library can be a great place to meet or pick up a book, and when the weather is nicer a visit to the Bolton Farmer’s market can be a nice opportunity to get out into the community, meet new people, and pick up some sustainably-sourced goods. 

Schools in Caledon

Due to its size, Caledon doesn’t have its own school board but falls under the jurisdiction of Peel District School Board

 

The community has 3 public elementary schools and a secondary school. 

 

Allan Drive Middle School  

Caledon East Public School

Ellwood Memorial Public School 

Mayfield Secondary School

 

In addition to the area’s publicly funded middle school, residents also have the option of sending kids to King’s College School, a prestigious private school in the area. It offers the advantages of private education for students grades 3 – 12.

Transportation

 

Public Transit in Caledon

As a smaller community, Caledon doesn’t have a public transportation system of its own like the TTC in Toronto. However, thanks to the region’s proximity to the GTA residents can get around using services like Brampton Transit, GO Transit and Metrolinx

 

Transportation rates and fares depend on the service. Visit the respective service you are considering for fare and scheduling information. Commuters can also use the Triplinx service to plan a route.

 

Caledon residents can also count on Transhelp, a Peel Region initiative which provides transportation for people with disabilities.

 

Find a complete breakdown of the public transportation amenities in Caledon on the township’s website.

 

Travelling By Rail

 

Caledon doesn’t have direct rail connection either to VIA Rail or GO Train services. Travellers seeking to enjoy a trip on the rails can take a GO Bus south along Highway 10 or Highway 50 to connect with the Kitchener GO Line. The same line also services several VIA Rail Routes. 

 

Travelling By Car

As a more rural community, driving is an essential part of living in Caledon. Unlike neighbouring Brampton where mass public transport makes it possible to get by without a personal vehicle, grocery shopping, visiting friends, and getting to work are made possible with a car. 

 

The area is covered by a grid of 2-lane country highways between towns and the driving experience couldn’t be farther from what’s common in larger cities. With much less traffic, commute times can be more consistent and drivers rarely have to worry about sitting in traffic jams, if ever. 

Have Questions About Caledon or Caledon Real Estate?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling real estate in Caledon 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.

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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!

Richmond Hill Neighourhood Profile

Toronto Neighbourhood Profile: Richmond Hill Community & Neighbourhood Profile From Frank Leo & Associates

Although it’s only a recent motto, “A Little North, A Little Nice” deftly captures the spirit of life in Richmond Hill since its early inception. 

Located in the southern part of York Region and containing a population of nearly 200,000, Richmond Hill is one of the GTA’s popular commuter suburbs that combines a slower pace of life with close proximity to the big city. 

While modern suburban development is what makes it a comfortable and quiet place to live today, Richmond Hill has in a sense always been true to the slower pace of life.

The Beginning of Richmond Hill

While the name “Richmond Hill” wouldn’t grace the lips of residents for decades to come, its first settlers were the Munshaws : a family of 7 from Pennsylvania arriving in the spring of 1794 in search of a place to call their own. 

They cleared themselves a plot of land in the modern-day Elgin Mills area where they welcomed the first European-born resident of Richmond Hill – their daughter Susan. Despite a large and growing family the isolation proved too great and they relocated to an area closer to Highway 7. 

Over the course of that year several other settlement attempts were made, but issues with land claims, crop failures, and citizenships drove them all to be abandoned. The first permanent residents of the area came a few years later to occupy the Northeast corner of Yonge St. & Major Mackenzie Dr. 

Since the land was allotted and parcelled, a successive string of settlers were granted lands by the Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe in order to develop the area. These early residents were either being rewarded for military service with land or otherwise believed to be capable of fostering prosperity in the growing settlement. 

The initiative was part of the Lieutenant Governor’s special plan for Yonge St. which excluded crown and clergy reserves and made all of Yonge available to settlers. 

It’s largely due to this plan that Yonge St. is the artery connecting the northern GTA and that we still have stretches of it which feel like small town main streets. Once such place is just north of Major Mackenzie Dr. at Centre St. 

Becoming Miles Hill

By the turn of the century, English and German speaking settlers who came to the area were calling it “Miles’ Hill” after a prominent local settler Abner Miles and his son James. 

The younger Miles excelled as a community leader, serving both as a justice of the peace and a lieutenant during the war of 1812. Although his name is no longer attached to the place he worked so hard to support, a testament to his sustained effort stands near the Yonge/Major Mackenzie intersection.

Miles invited a Presbyterian minister to set up a parish for the community and the church they built would eventually turn into Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church, which serves the community to this day. 

Transforming Into Richmond Hill

While there’s no conclusive record of exactly when and how Miles’ Hill changed to “Richmond Hill,” several explanations exist. 

One story has the name coming from the city’s first schoolteacher, Benjamin Bernard. Apparently homesick for his native Richmond Hill in England, Bernard would lead his students in performances of the song “The Lass of Richmond Hill.”  The song’s popularity spread, perhaps as far as to have a city named after it. 

Another proposed origin for the name comes from Governor General Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond. It’s said that following his personal visit to the settlement in 1819 the village was renamed to Richmond Hill in his honour. 

Regardless of the origins of its name Richmond Hill was coming into its own as a prosperous farming community by the mid 1800’s, due in large part to the trade and travel infrastructure provided by Yonge St. As a sort of mid-point between York and Holland Landing, Richmond Hill proved a convenient stop-over for stage-coaches making the trip between the two other towns. 

Indeed, by 1836 Richmond Hill had everything a town needed – a store, a schoolhouse, a church, a tavern, a post office, and more. It was this latter feature which cemented the name “Richmond Hill” into the history books. 

Since the postal district needed a name, the postmaster used Richmond Hill and from then on the name has been officially recognized. 

Now appearing on maps and gaining wider exposure, Richmond Hill saw a real population boom. During this period the town was seeing annual population growth of up to 9%. 

Of course with increased demand, Richmond Hill real estate value went up and attracted more affluent settlers who in turn built larger homes and estates. 

Trying Times For Richmond Hill

The 19th century was a period full of trials for Richmond Hill and its residents, most of which stemmed from the characteristics that continue to make it a unique and appealing place to live.  

Whereas most settlements in this era of Canadian history grew around a primary intersection, Richmond Hill grew along the linear stretch of Yonge St. Shops and businesses sprang up along this thoroughfare and as a result Richmond Hill doesn’t have a historical downtown district like many other Ontario towns. 

Because this one street was so important to Richmond Hill’s sustained growth, modernizations and developments affected the city for better and for worse. 

Businesses, predominantly inns and taverns, would have boom and bust cycles. Initially, Richmond Hill’s location proved an asset for its economic growth since travellers leaving Toronto would naturally stop over looking for a meal and a good night’s rest. 

However, the grand Yonge St. project wasn’t without its problems. Financially, it was disastrous and even the toll charged to travellers wasn’t keeping it solvent. When the Ontario, Simcoe, and Huron Railway opened in 1853, Richmond Hill sustained a significant loss in Yonge St. traffic and had to adapt as travellers now had an alternative route for travelling north of Toronto. 

The railway line had a stop in Richmond Hill, but it wasn’t centrally located. It was about 6 kilometres east of Yonge St. along the then-unpaved Major Mackenzie Rd., closer to where Headford lies today. Certainly not a journey weary travellers would be keen to make when seeking respite from their journeys. 

While traffic on Yonge St. declined by up to 25% when the railway opened and a decline in business was felt, there remained a market for travellers coming from neighbouring communities or travelling by coach. Local trade continued and prevented other neighbouring towns from swallowing up Richmond Hill into their municipalities. 

Modern Richmond Hill

The turn of the century brought more trying times to Richmond Hill, but things changed almost immediately upon the arrival of the electric railway. Although carriage-trade businesses failed, the rest of the economy grew by 35% over the course of just a few years.

The Town of Richmond Hill made a deal with Toronto and the railway companies to sell power from their Bond Lake power generator, solidifying the town’s economic prospects. Bond Lake Park was even the first park in Ontario to have electric lighting

As this new form of transportation extended north and proliferated throughout the area with new routes for both freight and passenger transport, it seemed inevitable that Richmond Hill would become a suburb of Toronto. 

Despite all of this prosperity, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that modern amenities reached many of its parts. Areas annexed into Richmond Hill when the Regional Municipality of York was established in 1971 were still without water mains, sewers, or streetlights, and connected by dirt roads. 

That would soon change as Richmond Hill saw explosive population and real estate growth which continues to this day thanks to globalization and immigration. In fact, during the mid-70’s Richmond Hill had some of the most expensive real estate prices in Canada

Curiously, Richmond Hill wasn’t officially re-classified as a city until 2019 even though it experienced such explosive growth over the last 30 years. During the 90’s it had the fastest growth rate in Canada. 

Modern Richmond Hill

Although Richmond Hill has come a long way from a small rural settlement it’s still known as a quiet, comfortable place to raise a family in Ontario. Some of its younger residents might go as far as saying life in Richmond Hill is boring – especially next to the allure of Toronto – yet one thing Toronto can’t offer them is the large homes, backyards, recreational amenities, and close sense of community. 

Residents can take advantage of the numerous local amenities like pools, skating rinks, and sports fields or take a drive to places like the Blue Mountains where skiing, hiking, and nature abound. It offers a highly-diverse and family oriented community that’s welcoming for lifestyles of all kinds. 

Real Estate In Richmond Hill

Thinking of buying or selling property in Richmond Hill? Let Frank Leo & Associates be your guide. As the #1 Real Estate Team in Toronto & The GTA* we can help you achieve your real estate goals. 

Whether you’re looking for your dream home in Richmond Hill or you’re thinking of selling property, a team member would be happy to help review your options. 

You can take the first step by getting in touch with us directly, browsing current Richmond Hill real estate listings, or claiming a FREE, no-obligation home evaluation

Toronto neighbourhood profile newmarket

Newmarket, Ontario: Neighbourhood and Real Estate Profile from Frank Leo & Associates

For 200 years people have been living in and passing through what we now call Newmarket, and while initially it’s big appeal was the Holland River which allowed people to travel between Lake Simcoe and Lake Ontario, today we can enjoy the same trip via the 404 Expressway connecting Barrie and the GTA. 

It’s comforting to know that despite all of the transformation in Newmarket’s long history, this town of about 85,000 residents remains a strong community which offers a nice respite from the trendy city living more common to Toronto or Barrie. 

Early Uses of The Newmarket Land

As part of one of the main transportation routes for traders, trappers, and settlers in the area, Newmarket already had a fair bit of traffic – practically as far back as settlers came to this part of North America. 

It was one of two branches on the Toronto Carrying-place Trail, the major portage route which began at Lake Simcoe, passed through Newmarket, then passed over the Oak Ridges Moraine into the Rouge River until it finally reached Lake Ontario. 

Following this trip along the lesser-used eastern route through Newmarket in 1793, John Graves Simcoe deemed the Newmarket route the superior of the two options for travellers heading south to York and began building Yonge Street in 1975. Work began in Toronto Bay and the street extended all the way up to Holland Landing, immediately north of Newmarket. 

More Permanent Settlement In Newmarket

While the Newmarket area was being used as a transit route and settled in the Holland Landing area, the foundation for modern Newmarket was laid by unexpected figures. Americans. American Quakers to be exact. 

A group led by the Vermont Quaker Timothy Rogers were seeking a place to settle in the North to escape America’s revolutionary struggle. 

By 1803, Rogers and a compatriot named Samuel Lundy had secured a large swath of 8,000 acres of land and made what would become Canada their permanent settlement. 

It was around Fairy Lake that the seed of Newmarket was sown by one Joseph Hill, a settler who constructed a mill and dam the produced the lake which residents still enjoy to this day. 

Other settlers unsurprisingly built homesteads around this agricultural resource. Because of this early historical detail, Newmarket’s downtown remains just north of Fairy Lake Pond in the form of Main St. instead of following Yonge Street several hundred meters to the west. 

The Settlement Grows Into A Town – “Newmarket”

Over the course of several years, another prominent local landowner named Elisha Beman opened a successive series of businesses to serve the local community. Among them was a distillery, and although it’s not in operation today the area is still the commercial centre of Newmarket. 

A wave of prosperity during the War of 1812 led into rapid growth during the 19th century, much of it stemming from inter-city commerce. In fact, following the establishment of Aurora and Holland Landing the settlement began holding regular markets, giving rise to the name we use to this day: Newmarket. 

Growth, Development, and Conflict In Newmarket

Although the Quakers founded Newmarket to escape the challenges of war, it would unfortunately reach the village regardless, albeit in a different form. 

Newmarket was the venue for rebel activity during the rebellions of 1837-1838. Discontent grew among the local farmers who saw the government as robbing them of the fruits of their labours. In fact, rebel leader and former mayor of Toronto, Willian Lyon Mackenzie gave his first campaign speech at the corner of Main & Botsford.

While King & his revolutionaries met a tragic end, Newmarket continued to flourish. By mid-century it had grown to over 500 residents, six places of worship, and even a post office. It wasn’t lacking in industry either, establishing its candidacy for a railway stop. 

The 1st railway in Upper Canada, Toronto, Simcoe & Lake Huron Union Railroad, stopped in Newmarket and shipped passengers, agricultural products, and manufactured goods to the rest of Canada. Newmarket was living up to its name as a centre for industry in young Canada. 

This heavy rail line would adapt over the course of its working life, first switching to serve a major conduit between Toronto & Collingwood and finally becoming incorporated into the Canadian National Railway. 

Today, commuters can even enjoy the convenience of GO Transit Service from Toronto along the Barrie Line.

Turning Into A Town

10 years before Canada’s Confederation Newmarket was officially incorporated as a town. Already the transition from subsistence to a more cosmopolitan way of life was developing. Around this time Downtown Newmarket got its first department store, which incidentally lived on and developed into the Simpsons chain of stores, itself later swallowed up by The Bay. 

It’s some solace to think that today’s Upper Canada Mall location at Yonge & Davis Dr. isn’t far from where Newmarket’s first commercial centre was located. 

From the late 1860’s, the town saw steady growth from a population of 1500. Perhaps it was increased local transit options or the reputation it gained as a prosperous place to live, but less than 20 years later the population jumped by another 25% and the town had its own elementary and high schools

Newmarket Coming Into Its Own

Along with the arrival of the Toronto and York Radial Railway at the turn of the century came a wave of visitors looking to see something new outside of Toronto. It was the first time leisure travellers could reach the city so easily and in such numbers, and although the railway line just brushed past Newmarket, their presence brought significant economic benefits to the city. 

Increased automobile traffic on Yonge Street had a similar effect and as cars grew more popular the railway was discontinued. The Yonge St. artery also began pulling real estate development in the town. A glance at the map of today’s Newmarket shows how the city’s primary commercial real estate space is concentrated around the intersection of Yonge St. and Davis Dr. W.

The early 20th century also brought other transportation transformations, the remnants of which can be seen to this day. A stretch of the East Holland River was straightened so it could be used to ship goods in place of the railroad, which was getting far too expensive to be viable. 

Remnants of the canal system running through to Lake Simcoe can still be seen to the north of Newmarket. This waterway was devised to give boats access to the Trent-Severn Waterway, and although it was initially promising the project was cancelled by the incumbent government.

What was meant to be the canal’s turning basin in downtown Newmarket was filled in and now serves the community in a different way – as the parking lot to the Tannery Mall, itself located on the site of the Davis Hill’s Tannery from Newmarket’s inception.

This abandoned canal project in many ways symbolized the advent of modern Newmarket. Concrete, cars, and modern commerce replaced the old ways of life and drove Newmarket into the contemporary era. 

Life In Newmarket Today

As of the latest census Newmarket’s population rests at around 85,000 residents, a far cry from the tiny settlement which served as the cradle of commerce, trade, and even rebellion. 

Yet one thing remains constant, and that’s the city’s importance as a stopover hub between Barrie and Toronto, though these days most of that travel happens via Highway 404 and Yonge St. 

Although Newmarket is part of Great Toronto and solidified its status as a bedroom town in the 1980’s, its location in the Golden Horseshoe still attracts more rural and agricultural citizens. A return to agrarian life may not be in Newmarket’s future, but residents can still enjoy a quieter pace of life and respite from the pace of major metropolitan Toronto. 

In addition to the town’s historical district, Newmarket offers numerous conservation areas and parks where people can get even closer to nature. Wesley Brooks Conservation Area and Rogers Reservoir are conveniently located near town, but lovers of the outdoors don’t have to go far to find even more green space, golf, or hiking to enjoy. 

Newmarket has undergone tremendous modernization to become the city it is today, but in many ways not much has changed. It’s still a relatively quiet place to live, work, and raise a family without being too far away from it all. 

Buying or Selling Real Estate In Newmarket?

Are you considering moving to Newmarket or perhaps relocating within the city? 

Get expert real estate advice from Frank Leo & Associates to plan your next real estate move. With decades of experience buying & selling real estate in the Greater Toronto Area as well as a million-dollar marketing system to get your property sold GUARANTEED, we’re here to help no matter what your real estate venture may be. 

Contact one of our representatives for help finding your dream home, browse current listings in Newmarket, or get started selling with Frank Leo & Associates by claiming your FREE home evaluation right now

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Home Seller’s Checklist: What You Should Take Care of Before Selling Your Home in Toronto or The GTA

Selling your home in Toronto or The GTA requires planning, organization, and more work than many people realize. This home seller’s checklist will help you keep track of all the tasks that need to be done when selling your home in Toronto or The GTA.

To deal with the workload and ensure everything runs smoothly for the buyer, seller, and any intermediaries, many people chose to hire a real estate professional – but whether you are working with a real estate agent or not, our home seller’s checklist will help you get acquainted with what needs to be done.

If you’re selling with an agent, it still helps to know what needs to be done and when. Although a good real estate agent has processes in place and covers all of the necessary tasks for you, being aware of what’s going on can only help.

This checklist will help you maximize your chances of getting the best value when selling your home. Understanding the checklist will allow you to help your real estate agent highlight your home’s strengths on the market.

Your knowledge of the house combined with your agent’s understanding of real estate markets, preparing  your home for sale, and marketing is a combination for success.

Home Seller’s Checklist Categories

We break our checklist down into several sections. Segmenting everything helps keep your process organized, although there may be some overlap between the sections.

The primary categories on this list are:

  • Documents
  • Before Listing
  • Home Improvements
  • After Listing
  • Depersonalizing
  • Outside Your Home
  • Your Home’s Interior
  • Air Quality/Pets
  • Special Considerations

You may already have a firm handle on many of the sections on this list. If so, you can still skip through the different sections to find the information you haven’t considered or haven’t done yet.

At the very least you’ll have double checked all of the consideration you should take into account when selling your home in Toronto or The GTA.

Home Seller’s Checklist Tasks – Keeping Track of Documents Before You Sell Your Home in Toronto

Selling a home takes paperwork. Having these documents identified and organized, whether that’s in hard copy or digital form, will get you through the home selling process much faster.

Keep a list detailing each document and its status. Since some of these documents might be with your attorney or real estate agent for security, it can be helpful to make notes about where each document is kept. In the event you can’t locate a document this list will be indispensable.

For hard copies, create folders and label them accordingly. Keep them in a secure place. Below you’ll find the main real estate documents you’ll need to sell a house:

◽ Do you have your home’s original sales contract complete with the purchase price?

◽ The deed to your home

◽ Any home surveys you’ve had done (professional inspection reports)

◽ Your professional home appraisal (when you bought the house and the current home evaluation)

◽ Receipts from your property tax

◽ Completed renovation contracts or documentation of home improvements

◽ Warranties (only if they are transferable)

◽ Insurance records

◽ Any warranty information or manuals relating to appliances which are part of the sale

Documents You’ll Need After You Sign A Listing Agreement When Selling Your House

Once you’ve got the documentation regarding the home sale in place and you have found an agent, together you’ll need to assemble various documents for different points in the home selling process. They will include:

◽ The agreement with your real estate agent and a collection of your written communications

◽ A list of all the professional service providers you deal with during the course of your home sale. These include contractors, movers, plumbers, etc.

◽ Any documents your lawyer will need

◽ Documents for your tax accountant

Before you List Your Home For Sale in Toronto or The GTA

Getting all the facts recorded and organized before listing your home for sale is crucial to a smooth home sale. It’s best to have all information before you get into listing or negotiation. If there are problems the must be addressed, you can deal with them before they are a disruption.

Your real estate agent will be in a better position to negotiate in possession of all the facts. In order to make an accurate home evaluation and have a solid foundation for the asking price.

Major repairs should all be completed before putting it on the market. Being proactive also sends a good message to buyers and agents and makes it easier to work with them.

If you want a recommendation for a home inspector, your real estate agent is the best place to start. Here are some of the points to consider before you list your house for sale in Toronto or The GTA.

◽ When was your house built?

◽ Is your home’s electrical wiring in good order? (e.g. lights don’t flicker, breakers and fuses don’t blow)

◽ What type of wiring do you have? (e.g. aluminum or knob and tube)

◽ Is there a fusebox/electrical panel?

◽ Is the plumbing in good order?

◽ When was the furnace last replaced/installed?

◽ Are the furnace filters often replaced?

◽ Is the home equipped with a water softener?

◽ Is the roof well maintained?

◽ Are the windows energy-efficient and well maintained?

◽ Are there any defects in the foundation?

◽ Are there water problems of any sort (including mold and/or mildew)?

Consider General Updates & Repairs Before Selling Your Home in Toronto or The GTA

There’s always room for improvement. Your home inspection and realtor may give you an idea of where it’s a good idea to invest resources when it comes to home updates or repairs.

Remember that while repairs are typically important to do to maximize your chance of getting top dollar for your home, not all updates will provide an equal return on investment. Upgrades don’t have to be major overhauls, and a little update can go a long way.

Work with your real estate agent to prioritize what needs to be done within your budget in order to improve your home. From the buyer’s perspective, the less work they have to put in after they buy a home the better. Make sure your home is in turn-key condition and move-in ready and you’ll be more likely to find a buyer.

◽ Here are some points to consider regarding home upgrades and repairs:

◽ Have you established a timeline?

◽ Do you have a budget set aside for essential repairs and potential upgrades?

◽ Are there any updates or repairs you have been putting off? It may be sensible to take care of these first.

◽ Are there any essential repairs?

◽ Are the windows and doors in good condition?

◽ Are permanent light fixtures in showing condition?

◽ Do your doors and trim appear new?

◽ Are there any holes or cracks in the walls?

Catch our article about cost-effect energy saving updates that you can expect a return on when selling your home in Toronto or The GTA.

Once You’ve Listed Your Home, Get Organized Before You Or Your Agent Stage Your Home For Sale

After you’ve found the best real estate agent for you, had your home inspected, and completed the first part of the checklist, it’s time to move on to getting your home’s interior organized.

Preparing a home to sale is likely to increase the odds it will sell in a good timeframe for a great value that you will be happy with.

Here’s what you should think about when you and your agent are preparing to stage the home:

◽ Is there clutter in any part of your home?

◽ Does the house look immaculate and clean all throughout?

◽ Are personal items and things you don’t need when selling your home away in storage or at your new residence?

◽ Have you stored non-essential items off the premises or in a discreet place?

◽ How does the garage and/or other storage areas look?

◽ Is the basement tidy (if it is used for storage)?

Removing Personal Items Before Selling Your Home

An essential part of home staging is making potential buyers who visit the property feel like they are in their future home, not someone else’s. Although we don’t believe in intrusive open houses at Frank Leo & Associates, when we bring qualified leads to a property we stage it beforehand so they can project their future lives into the space.

◽ Personal items like pictures, unique furniture, and other items can interfere with buyer experience and even cost a home sale.

◽ Here are the points you should consider when depersonalizing the property:

◽ Don’t keep any personal photographs on walls, mantles, etc.

◽ Pack away all books, music, or magazines which don’t appeal to a mainstream audience

◽ Keep memorabilia out of sight

◽ Any children’s items (toys, books, etc) should be neatly organized or stored away

◽ Any potentially offensive items should be removed from the residence

For more tips and insights about staging your home for sale in Toronto & The GTA you can refer to our Home Staging Guide. Frank Leo & Associates have gleaned these insights over 3 decades selling billions of dollars worth of real estate for 1,000’s of satisfied customers in Toronto & The GTA using our Guaranteed Home Selling System.

Curb Appeal When Selling Your Property

The first impression your home makes – whether through Toronto & GTA MLS Listings or in person – is often hard to overcome if it’s not positive.

Although the front yard and face of the home are important, make sure you don’t discount the sides of the home as well as the backyard. These are not to be overlooked, since many people will form an impression of how well the home is maintained based on its exterior.

The exterior is your opportunity to get potential buyers excited about viewing your home. It also gives your real estate agent and photographer ample material to work with for the promotional photography.

Here are the main points regarding your home’s exterior you should think about before selling:

◽ Does the exterior need any major repairs?

◽ Does the exterior need any minor repairs?

◽ Are there any festive or seasonal lights or decorations which need to be taken down?

◽ Are the front, side, and back yards neat and tidy?

◽ If it’s winter, are walkways and paths free of snow and ice?

◽ Have you made a list of everything that needs to be addressed in order of priority?

Maximizing the Appeal of Your Home’s Interior Before Selling

So far we’ve covered depersonalizing your home’s interior spaces and thought about curb appeal, but now you need to make sure every room and element of your house is arrange in a way that maximize appeal to interested buyers.

From flooring, to paint, to the way each room is arranged, each element of your home will be under scrutiny. Here are the things to consider before your agent shows the property to potential buyers. We’ll break them down into individual sections relating to the major parts of your home to evaluate.

Preparing Your Home’s Main Rooms for The Sale

Nobody’s home will be perfect, but there are many things you can do to keep buyers interested when they’re touring your property. The general idea is to show buyer’s what they are looking for, not what they will have to do in order to make the property suitable for themselves.

The small details can often make a big difference, and together they could be more significant than one single but more glaring issue. It’s easier for a buyer to see one thing they want to change and think it will be easy to take care of than for them to be overwhelmed by countless small details they’ll have to alter after the sale.

The longer the potential buyer’s to-do list of things the want to change, the further down the list of homes they’re considering buying your home will sink. Home buyers are happiest with turn-key, move-in ready homes.

Here’s what you should consider to give your prospective home buyers a home they can move right into and feel at home:

The Foyer

◽ Does the home’s entryway feel inviting?

◽ Is the entry spacious and well organized?

◽ Does it reflect the character and appeal of the home?

◽ How does the rest of the home look from the perspective of the entryway?

◽ Are personal items such as shoes, coats, etc. packed away?

Kitchen

◽ Does the kitchen look appealing when you walk in?

◽ Are there too many appliances/accessories like blenders, microwaves, or other gadgets?

◽ Has clutter been removed from the countertops/island?

◽ Are all of the surfaces sparkling?

◽ Is the fridge spotless (exterior and interior)

◽ Is the stove clean (exterior and interior)

◽ Do the appliances match and create a sense of consistency?

◽ Are the cupboards functional and looking tidy?

◽ Is there anything that could use some updating?

◽ Are the floors well-maintained?

◽ Are the sinks sparkling?

Living Room

◽ Is the living area inviting and comfortable in appearance?

◽ Is the furniture arranged nicely and in good repair?

◽ Has any excess furniture been removed and stored away?

◽ Is the room’s decor neutral?

◽ Are pet and children’s toys put away?

◽ Are entertainment consoles and wires all arranged neatly?

◽ Is the room open and full of natural light?

◽ Is the shelving clean and well-ordered?

◽ Are window coverings open to let in sunlight?

◽ If you have a fireplace, is it arranged neatly and cleaned?

◽ Has everything been thoroughly vacuumed and dusted?

Dining Room

◽ Is it clear the space is meant for dining?

◽ Is the centrepiece furniture elegant and matching the rooms decor?

◽ Are all of the components of furniture arranged properly?

◽ Is an upgrade or repair in order?

Master Bedroom

◽ Does the master bedroom evoke a sense of relaxation and comfort?

◽ Is the colour palette consistent and neutral?

◽ Are the pieces of furniture arrange well?

◽ Is there anything that could use an update?

Basement

◽ Does the basement have a specific purpose or use other than storage?

◽ Is that evident when you enter the space?

◽ If the basement is finished does it have the appropriate furniture for its purpose?

Bathrooms / Powder Rooms

◽ Are all surfaces clean?

◽ Is the counter neat and free of clutter and personal items?

◽ Are faucets clean and working properly?

◽ Have all tub and shower surfaces been cleaned?

◽ Are the towels fresh and neatly arranged?

◽ Are any storage areas clean?

Evaluate Your Home’s Paint Before You Sell

The paint on the walls of your home takes up a great surface area and can have a big impact on buyers. Painting a room is a big enough job on its own, so painting a whole tasks is a mammoth undertaking in the minds of potential buyers.

If buyers don’t like it for whatever reason it alone can cause them to form a negative association and pass on buying your property. Fresh, neutral-toned paint is the best way to go. It allows buyers to easily project their vision of how it will look as their space and it’s easy to paint over.

With a neutral palette your buyers will be able to comfortably live in the house before deciding if they want to redo the paint jobs.

◽ Have you recently painted the house?

◽ Is the paint chipping, discoloured, or otherwise in decay?

◽ Do the walls have loud colours which need to be painted to more neutral tones?

◽ Although the walls have neutral colours do they need a fresh coat?

◽ Do the rooms have a consistent colour scheme throughout? (e.g. cool or warm)

◽ Are any of the walls covered in wallpaper? If so it should be removed and replaced with a neutral paint colour.

◽ Do any finishes (e.g. doors, trim, wainscotting) need a new coat of paint or new colour?

◽ Do any of the ceilings need fresh paint?

◽ Are any of the surfaces covered in dirt or fingerprints?

◽ Any residue from tape, thumb tacks, or nails?

Check Your Home’s Flooring

A home’s floors can be a good indicator of how well the previous owners have maintained the property. Scuffed, poorly kept floors can give buyer’s the impression that other parts of the house aren’t in great condition either.

Having nice flooring all throughout is a good indicator that a home is move-in ready. With that in mind, here are the key points you should knock of your to-do list when it comes to your home’s flooring.

◽ Does your home have carpeting? If so, what condition is it in?

◽ What colour is the carpeting in your home?

◽ What is the carpet’s style (e.g. cut pile berber)?

◽ Do any of the rooms that don’t have carpeting need it?

◽ Which carpets need to be replaced – All rooms of just a few? (if only a few rooms need new carpeting make sure you chose something that works with the rest of the carpets)

◽ Does any of the carpeting have hardwood underneath?

◽ Is there vinyl flooring?

◽ Does any vinyl flooring need to be replaced?

◽ Do you have hardwood floors?

◽ Do the hardwood floors need to be refinished?

◽ Any places with excessive wear or water damage?

◽ Are all area rugs strain free?

Furniture & Other Accoutrements

Removing too much furniture makes a house feel empty and not livable while leaving too much or not arranging it properly create clutter. The happy medium is having the right number and type of furniture in each room arranged in such a way that brings out the rooms strengths and favourable qualities.

Keep in mind that the furniture should be arranged with the showing in mind. Arrange things according to the flow of how buyers will move through the house, not necessarily what is most comfortable or convenient for residents.

◽ Don’t forget to light everything properly to place emphasis on each room’s most attractive features.

◽ Here’s what you should consider what arranging and placing furniture in the house your selling:

◽ How much furniture does each room have in it?

◽ What is the placement of each piece of furniture in the respective room?

◽ Is your furniture in good, showing condition?

◽ Do you think you need to replace or rent furniture to replace furniture with wear and tear?

◽ Is there enough light in each room and are the bulbs appropriate wattage?

◽ Are all of the bulbs working properly?

◽ Do all switches work correctly?

Doors, Windows, & Finishes

Elements like windows, doors, and finishes are elements of your home which can serve as accents that really accentuate a room’s charm. If they’re in disrepair or mismatched, they can unfortunately have the opposite effect.

Here’s what to consider when evaluating whether any of your home’s finishes need a once-over or replacement:

◽ Do any doors have chipping paint or need new paint or replacing?

◽ Do all the doors open and close smoothly?

◽ Are the handles and locks moving smoothly?

◽ Do any of the doors creak?

◽ Do any frames or doors have smudges?

◽ Do any screens have holes?

◽ Are all of the windows clean and streak free?

◽ Is there any damage to any of the windows?

◽ Are all of the window latches and other hardware working?

◽ Are all of the seals in place?

◽ Are the curtains, drapes, and/or blinds all clean and elegant?

◽ Do any of the homes finishes (e.g. wainscoting, crown moulding) need attention?

Air Cleanliness & Pets

Your home’s air quality can have a big impact on your home sale. Even with new HVAC your home could have an atmosphere which is normal to you but not what most buyers are used to. It’s particularly common for properties which are home to pets to have this problem.

It is important to ensure your home has a neutral atmosphere to maximize its appeal to buyers. Odours can get trapped in carpets and furniture, mean it might be necessary to rent or buy new furniture or do some minor renovations.

◽ Is your homes HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & Cooling) running smoothly?

◽ Have you inspected your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors and confirmed they are in good working order?

◽ Are there any lingering smells or odours permeating your home that you could eliminate?

◽ Do you often cook with strong seasoning or foods with strong odours?

◽ If you have pets around keep them somewhere else while showing the house. If not try to keep them and their items out of sight during showings.

◽ Remove signs of your pet including food, toys, accessories, etc.

If You’re Selling Your Home During The Holidays

Although you shouldn’t let the sale of your home stand in the way of holiday celebrations you should celebrate in a manner which won’t adversely affect your chances of attracting buyers.

For example holiday decorations and religious items should be stored away immediately following your celebration and not kept out in the open. Although some home sellers think adding a festive touch makes a home more inviting, it’s best to leave these items out of site at all times.


◽ Here’s what you should consider regarding holidays, celebrations, and your home sale:

◽ Are you selling your home around the holidays?

◽ Is it a festive time of year/ are there holidays taking place?

◽ Do you have decorations hanging around/inside your home? If so take them down for showings/photography.

◽ Keep the decor only for the celebration and remove everything after your festivities are done

Keeping Track Of Everything When Selling Your Home in Toronto & The GTA

There you have it – the checklist for selling your home in Toronto or The GTA. The list may seem daunting, but keep your list current by checking items off the list and you’ll get peace of mind that your sales process will run smoother.

Thinking of selling your home in Toronto or The GTA?

Consider working with Frank Leo & Associates. Led by the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World, our Team has helped 1,000’s of Torontonians get top dollar value for their homes over 30 years. We’ve sold billions of dollars worth of real estate and are proud to serve the region.

You can get started with us by getting a FREE, no-obligation home evaluation in Toronto or contacting us with any Toronto real estate questions.

Image of a bag of money being exchanged for a house to illustrated buying a house as a millennial.

Advice For Millennials Thinking of Buying a House In Toronto Or The GTA From Frank Leo, The #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World

With almost 65% of millennials saving money with the intent of buying a house in Toronto or elsewhere, we want to provide first-time homebuyers with the best possible advice and insights when it comes to what could be the largest financial decision of a lifetime.

Taking the right approach when investing in Toronto real estate can make a tremendous difference in your adult life. This goes for buying as an investment or as a primary residence. A small mistake could mean the difference between a benchmark investment and an issue plaguing your finances for years to come.

Remember that Frank Leo & Associates, the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada** led by the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World* are here to answer you Toronto real estate questions at any time. If you have any questions about home ownership that are outside the scope of this article, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us.

Benefits of Being a Millennial Owning a House in Toronto

If you’re considering buying a home in Toronto & the GTA, you’re no doubt aware of some of the many benefits it can provide. You can use it to generate income, use home equity as collateral, or sell at a profit.

For some people, the feeling of not paying rent anymore justifies the commitment of paying for a house.

However, before you make that commitment, which is significant, you should be aware of everything that comes with it. Going into a big decision like buying a house blind is a sure way to make life difficult for yourself.

Understand What Buying a House in Toronto & The GTA Involves

Owning a house is a big responsibility, both financially and in terms of your day-to-day life.

In maintaining a house and the grounds takes a lot of work. It can be a bit of an adjustment for the uninitiated.

It could also limit your mobility when it comes to travel. If you plan on going away for a longer period of time the house will need maintenance.

In terms of finances, buying a house with a mortgage makes it a big financial responsibility. Missing mortgage payments, or in the worst case defaulting on your mortgage can leave you bankrupt and throw your financial future into turmoil.

For that reason taking out a mortgage is not a decision to be taken lightly or without completely thinking through your plans.

Some of the questions you should ask yourself when thinking of buying a home in Toronto or The GTA include:

–  Are you able to afford owning a home in Toronto & the GTA?

–  Can you continue to make mortgage payments even after a change in income?

–  Do you have the financial means to put in a good enough down payment to support the rest of the costs needed to be payed?

–   Is your current debt a heavy burden?

–   Would it benefit you to wait for more favourable market conditions or until you have more savings?

–   Have you considered ALL of the costs associated with buying a house?

–   What kind of a mortgage should you take out?

If you’re seeking advice on buying your first house in Toronto & the GTA, Frank Leo & Associates would be more than happy to provide expert guidance. FOLLOW HERE TO CONTACT US or Call (416)917-5466.

Financing Your First House in Toronto & The GTA If You’re a Millennial

Many millennials think of the Toronto & GTA Real Estate market and wonder if they’ll ever be able to afford a house. Although Toronto & the GTA house prices go up and down, the market is seen as inaccessible to young people in much of millennial culture.

An image showing personal finance calculations for someone thinking of buying a house in Toronto

In reality, many millennials could afford buying a house with a mortgage while taking advantage of some of the financial incentives the Government has instituted to help first time home-owners.

For example, the First-Time Home Buyer’s Credit (FTHBC) introduced by Revenue Canada in 2009 is a terrific place to start when it comes to easing the financial stress of buying a house in Toronto. If you’re a first-time homebuyer thinking of buying a house in Toronto check if you meet the requirements and whether the house qualifies for the credit.

The 15% income tax credit and other credits you may be eligible could mean the difference between affording the home and saving for a few more years.

Is It The Right Time To Buy A House in Toronto & the GTA?

Timing can play a big role when it comes to buying a house in Toronto. Determining when is the right time is a personal financial decision based on:

  • The conditions of the Toronto & GTA Real estate market. Houses could be exceptionally expensive or more affordable
  • Mortgage rates. Depending on the state of the mortgage industry, interest rates on the money you’re borrowing to buy a house could be relatively high or low
  • Your financial situation. Is it a good idea to buy now or save for a bit longer?
  • The Right House. Have you the perfect home for you?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to answering these questions. It comes down to your current situation, your financial plans, and what your plans are for the future. When it comes to financial planning you can seek out the help of a professional, but in regard to any of your Toronto real estate questions you can count on Frank Leo & Associates.

Our award-winning real estate service has helped 1,000’s or people find their dream homes in Toronto & The GTA over three decades. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help make your real estate dreams a reality.

Making Your Down Payment When Buying A House in Toronto & The GTA As A Millennial

In addition to other home-ownership costs, mortgage insurance is another expense you will have to pay on a monthly basis if you don’t own 20% equity. In practical terms, that means anyone buying a house who makes less than the traditional 20% down payment will have to buy this insurance.

Mortgage insurance protects the lender from losses if you are suddenly unable to make mortgage payments.

Making a larger down payment also means you start out with a higher share of equity in the property. Having more equity gives you more financial options in the future.

Remember the Stress Test

In order to be approved for a mortgage in Canada you need to undergo a financial stress test. As of October 17, 2016, this stress test is mandatory for all insured mortgages in Canada, even if you make a 20% down payment.

Historically this test only applied to people making a downpayment of less than 20%. These new rules were put in place to ensure that you can afford to keep making payments even if mortgage rates were to increase.

Image of a calliper measuring to determine if someone has enough cash when buying a home

In addition to qualifying for the rate provided by your lender, the stress test requires that you qualify for the Bank of Canada’s five-year fixed mortgage rate. The BOC’s rate acts as a sort of benchmark that gives an indication of your financial status to help prevent people from defaulting on their mortgages.  

This mandatory measure includes a requirement that as a home buyer you are not spending more than 39% of your income on home costs. Those costs include taxes, mortgage payments, utilities, etc.

Finally, your TDS (Total Debt Service) ratio cannot be over 44% and needs to include all other debt payments.

All of these conditions might seem like obstacles for millennials thinking of buying houses in Toronto. However, they’re there to prevent Canadians from falling into dire financial circumstances if their mortgage rates were to increase, unexpectedly.

Be aware of how your financial standing stacks up to the stress test requirements. Check where you stand before getting too invested in buying a house.

Get Informed About Toronto & The GTA Real Estate

Buying a home requires research, knowledge and an understanding of the home-buying process. Having insight and experience on your side is even better. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as just looking through Toronto & GTA real estate listings and picking a house.

Over 3 decades we’ve been helping people in Toronto & The GTA navigate the real estate market and we’ve developed an expert understanding of it.

That’s what makes us the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada.* If you’d like the #1 Team on your side when navigating the home-buying process, we’re here for you.

RELATED ARTICLES:

FOLLOW HERE TO GET INSIGHTS INTO INVESTING IN TORONTO & GTA REAL ESTATE

FOLLOW HERE TO READ ABOUT BUYING YOUR FIRST HOME IN TORONTO OR THE GTA

FOLLOW HERE TO LEARN ABOUT FINDING THE RIGHT REALTOR TO SELL YOUR HOME

 

Led by the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the world*, Frank Leo & Associates has helped 1000’s people in Toronto & The GTA navigate the real estate market.

That’s what makes us the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada.**

Consider speaking with Frank and his team of associates help you navigating the home-buying process, FOLLOW HERE TO CONTACT US TODAY or Call (416)917-5466.

* Dollar Volume in 2017

** Dollar Volume  January – May 2018

The Skyline of Toronto & GTA Real Estate highlighting how it's a good place to invest

Toronto & GTA Real Estate: A Strong Place to Invest When It Comes to Real Estate Investment in Canada

The Toronto & GTA Real Estate market just saw a major jump. The Toronto real estate statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Board for this summer show a major upswing when it comes to housing sales. The increase is drawing even more attention to one of Canada’s top cities for Real Estate investment. In fact, Toronto has earned the title of making Canada’s biggest gain in home sales this year.

If you have any questions about the statistics presented in this article or about Toronto & GTA real estate in general, look no further than Frank Leo & Associates headed by the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World* for the answers. Contact us to have your questions addressed.

Toronto & GTA Real Estate Statistics 2018: Toronto Homes Sold

Toronto has seen an increase in homes sold this summer compared with the same time last year.

By the numbers, that means a 2.4% increase compared with last year’s numbers for June 2017. In Total, we’ve seen 8,082 homes sold through the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Toronto MLS Listing System, as reported by Greater Toronto Realtors® in June 2018. Between May and June of 2018, the sales are up 17.6% on a monthly basis.

Average Price of Toronto Homes Sold

In terms of average selling price, it’s edged up by 2% on a year-by-year basis. By June 2018, the average price of a home sold in Toronto reached $807,871. Between May 2018 and June 2018, the average home price jumped up by 3%, a considerable change for the market (after preliminary seasonal adjustment).

On a year-over-year basis the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) went down 4.8%. However, it stayed more or less the same in terms of month-over-month change. Changes to the amount of different types of properties which were sold between June 2017 and June 2018 is one of the reasons that can account for the differences in the average price and the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), year-over-year. In June 2018 low-rise homes accounted for a larger share of home sales, for example.

Buying A Home In Toronto Becoming More Attractive

Jason Mercer, The Toronto Real Estate Board’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels, expects to see, “improvements in sales over the next year.” In the same statement he has indicated that it is likely that the number of new listings posted each month will also stay more or less consistent.

What does that mean for the market?

It could mean that the competition between buyers which is characteristic for the Toronto & the GTA real estate market could actually increase. The cumulative effect of that competition is likely to drive Toronto Real Estate Prices up even higher.

Accounting For Toronto’s Real Estate Market Boom

Although these changes are largely positive for homeowners seeking to sell property in Toronto & the GTA, these changes to the Toronto Real Estate market can be accounted for by recent policy changes over the past year which have affected home buyers. These include adjustments to the Fair Housing Plan, the now-mandatory stress test, and higher costs of borrowing.

Garry Bhaura, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, suggests that these conditions are starting to move more real estate buyers back into the Toronto real estate market.

Your Toronto & GTA Real Estate Questions, Answered

Still have questions about the Toronto & GTA Real Estate Market?

Whether you’re thinking of buying or selling a house in Toronto & The GTA, you can count on Frank Leo & The #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada** for expert advice. Frank Leo & Associates have been helping buy and sell houses in Toronto & The GTA for three decades.

We’re here to answer all of your questions and meet all of your real estate needs, so get in touch.

* Dollar Volume 2017

** For Dollar Volume January – May 2018

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FOLLOW HERE FOR OUR GUIDE TO BUYING YOUR FIRST HOUSE IN TORONTO & THE GTA