Sale of the Week: The $1.7-million house that shows the economics of a Yorkville fixer-upper

Address: 21 New Street

Neighbourhood: Yorkville

Agent: Jay Egan, Olga Lapshin, and Shelby Corson, Forest Hill Real Estate Inc., Brokerage

The property: A house-turned-office with laneway access to Hazelton Avenue.

The history: The house was built in 1875 by the chief of the Yorkville Fire Station. A publishing company converted it into an office space 16 years ago. Now, the company’s staff has outgrown the building and they’re moving out.

The fate: The buyer, who works as an architect and interior designer, plans to convert the office back into a home. He wants to maintain the heritage façade while adding more windows in the back. Houses on New Street tend to be less expensive than the ones on the adjacent Hazelton, but the buyer is hoping his renovations will increase the property’s value to around $2.8 million.

The sale: The house sold in one day for the full asking price. The seller, not expecting intense interest in such a niche property—it doesn’t have a full kitchen or showers—was happy to accept. The buyer, meanwhile, was excited to snag a choice property in Yorkville for under $1.7 million.

By the numbers:

  • $1,695,000
  • $18,400.87 in taxes (2015)
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 2 Juliet balconies
  • 1 kitchenette
  • 1 day on the market

The downstairs is a workspace, and there’s a meeting room in the rear:


The meeting room at the back of the house:


There are more workspaces upstairs. This one has a Juliet balcony:


Still more workspaces on the lower level:


The kitchenette is on the lower level:


And there’s a coach house in the backyard:


The Hunt

More Sales of the Week

The city has given Drake’s mansion the go-ahead

The front view of Drake's proposed mansion.
The front view of Drake’s proposed mansion.

If Drake ever shoots a music video at his palatial Bridle Path home, or if the property’s home theatre, basketball court and chilled champagne chamber are featured in the pages of Vanity Fair, know that the rapper owes it all to the benevolent bureaucrats who pore over the finer points of shadow-impact studies and zoning bylaws.

The Globe reported earlier this month that a mysterious property owner plans to demolish a home at 21 Park Lane Circle and build a massive mansion in its place, complete with a jersey museum and spa. The parcel’s registered owner is a numbered Nova Scotia company, and while Drake hasn’t been definitively linked to the property, the company’s president is Drake pal Future the Prince.

Drake’s proposal to demolish an existing home at 21 Park Lane Circle and build his custom mansion in its place went before the committee of adjustment’s North York panel yesterday, as the plan will require several zoning variances—permission from the city, basically, to break zoning bylaws.

Acting as a representative for the Nova Scotia company, planning consultant Michael Goldberg outlined some changes to the original proposal aimed at limiting the number of required variances. The height of the building had been reduced by .81 metres; the area of a terrace had been reduced. Goldberg said the extra-wide driveway, a point of contention with city staff, is actually within the city’s zoning regulations for most of its length.

“It fits within the grand homes of this neighbourhood,” Goldberg said. “It’ll very much be in keeping with the character of homes within this neighbourhood.”

Goldberg’s presentation deflated most of the opposition to the project.

Maureen Wright of the Edwards Gardens Neighbourhood Association told the committee she was no longer concerned about the proposal’s height and driveway width. Another area resident came forward only to say his concerns had been addressed.

Because Drake’s name had not been mentioned during the proceedings, a reporter asked Wright, “Do you have any confirmation who owns this house?”

“No, I don’t,” she said.

Asked if her organization had any concerns about a still-unnamed celebrity moving into the neighbourhood, she noted that Prince and “many baseball stars” have lived in the area.

“This is not unusual. It’s not an anomaly,” Wright said.

The committee approved the proposal unanimously.

Condo of the Week: $680,000 for a loft in a former warehouse in South Riverdale

Address: 68 Broadview Avenue, Unit 430
Neighbourhood: South Riverdale
Agent: Andrew John Harrild,
Price: $679,900
Previously sold for: $489,900, in 2011

The place

A hard loft in a former Rexall Drug warehouse. This unit has everything people look for in lofts: high ceilings, exposed brick and wooden beams.

The lower level is a just a foyer. The rest of the unit is up this steel staircase:


Don’t drop your iPhone on these polished concrete floors:


All the living spaces are continuous. The owner has carved out a dining area between the living room and kitchen:


According to the selling agent, the Douglas fir beams are original, but the wood ceilings aren’t. The metal fire doors on the wall to the right are ornamental:


Here’s the bathroom:


And the bedroom:


The history

The building was converted into condos between 2003 and 2008. The current owner of this unit has been here for five years.

Big selling point

The neighbourhood is in demand—just look at the lines at Sweet Jesus—and it’s about to get even busier. First Gulf is proposing the equivalent of four TD Centres south of Eastern Avenue, John Tory is pushing a SmartTrack stop there, and city council’s preferred downtown relief line route suggests a subway station at Queen and Broadview.

Possible deal breaker

Like most condos in converted industrial buildings, this one has no balcony. There is, however, a large shared rooftop terrace with barbecues and views of the downtown skyline.

By the numbers:

• $679,900
• 1,106 square feet
• $554 in monthly maintenance fees
• 1 bathroom
• 1 bedroom
• 1 parking space
• 1 locker
• 1 shared rooftop terrace

The Hunt

More Condos of the Week

Seven of Toronto’s best just-built condos


9 Bogert Ave. (North York)

Emerald Park
(Image: courtesy of developer)

The 42-storey, lissome twin towers (connected by a bridge) aren’t just green in colour. Its “thermal envelope” minimizes heat loss, while daylight censors turn the lobby and hallway lights on and off as needed. And thanks to a direct connection to the Sheppard subway, it’s easy to go carless in North York.

PRICES: $300,000s–$1 million
PRICE PER SQ. FT.: $575 to $675
AVERAGE SIZE: 750 sq. ft.
CONDO FEES: $0.49 per sq. ft.
AMENITIES: Indoor pool, party rooms, games lounges, guest suites
PARKING: $48,800 per spot
NEAREST TRANSIT: Direct access to both Yonge and Sheppard lines


133 Hazelton Ave. (Yorkville)

133 Hazelton
(Image: courtesy of developer)

The Yorkville building has the pedigree of being Toronto’s only entirely limestone-covered condo. Units in the nine-storey, neo-classic building come with eight-foot-deep balconies; south-facing ones have outdoor fireplaces. There are also indoor fireplaces ready to ignite at the flick of a switch.

PRICES: $695,000–$7 million
PRICE PER SQ. FT.: $1,400
AVERAGE SIZE: 2,000 sq. ft.
CONDO FEES: $0.93 per sq. ft.
AMENITIES: Guest suite, gym, dog spa, private dining room
PARKING: $100,000-plus per spot
NEAREST TRANSIT: Rosedale and Bay subway stations


380 Wallace Ave. (The Junction)

Wallace Walk
(Image: courtesy of developer)

This stacked townhouse project (which includes family-friendly, three-bedroom units) is made of sleek, grey brick and concrete, which means less noise transferring between units. A plus for parents: the Junction neighbourhood association demanded the developer include a daycare on site.

PRICES: $240,000–$624,900
AVERAGE SIZE: 1,000 sq. ft.
CONDO FEES: $0.19 per sq. ft.
PARKING: One spot included
NEAREST TRANSIT: Dundas West station


8 Dovercourt Rd. (West Queen West)

Art Condos
(Image: courtesy of developer)

The terraced, 11-storey building has nifty features: the loading dock doubles as an event space, and screens by the elevators display more than 5,000 artworks. The Drake Hotel’s designers created the interiors. All units are wired with projector mounts and integrated home entertainment systems.

PRICES: $365,000–$1 million
AVERAGE SIZE: 800 sq. ft.
CONDO FEES: $0.50 per sq. ft.
AMENITIES: Gym, hot tub, movie theatre, rooftop courtyard, bar
PARKING: $35,000 per spot
NEAREST TRANSIT: 501 streetcar at Queen and Dovercourt


60 Howard Park Ave. (Roncesvalles Village)

Howard Park
(Image: courtesy of developer)

The highest three floors are covered in cascading ivy walls, which grow out of the building’s “perforated skin.” Rare for a Toronto mid-rise, this building is heated and cooled by geothermal pump, which will keep hydro bills down. The top floors have views of High Park and the lake.

PRICES: $284,900–$1.38 million
PRICE PER SQ. FT.: $514.36
AVERAGE SIZE: 821 sq. ft.
CONDO FEES: $0.53 per sq.ft.
AMENITIES: Gym, yoga studio, party rooms, dog spa station, barbeques
PARKING: $33,500 per spot
NEAREST TRANSIT: Dundas West Station or 506 streetcar


783 Bathurst St. (The Annex)

(Image: courtesy of developer)

By topping a charcoal brick base with a light precast top, the architects at Hariri Pontarini made this nine-storey look like a low-rise. Inside, appliances tuck into built-in cupboards, creating open-concept spaces. The project’s six laneway townhouses helped B.streets win a Toronto Urban Design Award last year.

PRICES: $233,020–$771,040
AVERAGE SIZE: 687 sq. ft.
CONDO FEES: $0.60 per sq. ft.
AMENITIES: Party room, dining room, barbecue area, wifi lounge
PARKING: $40,000 to $60,000 each
NEAREST TRANSIT: Bathurst subway


18 Graydon Hall Dr. (North York)

(Image: courtesy of developer)

Greenery surrounds this affordable, 28-storey glass condo build: the Don River and lush ravine are to the west, Graydon Hall Park is to the east. The Donalda golf course is temptingly close by. The on-site extras are impressive and include a theatre, boardroom and steam rooms.

PRICES: $400,000–$512,000
AVERAGE SIZE: 668 sq. ft. suites, 1,461 sq. ft. townhomes
CONDO FEES: $0.52 per square foot
AMENITIES: Gym, lounge, theatre
PARKING: One spot included
NEAREST TRANSIT: Don Mills station