I’LL BE TAKING A MONTH OR SO OFF UNTIL MID-JULY/2021 – BE SAFE AS YOU CAN!

So much is happening these days that I’m taking some time off until mid-July. ‘torontosavvy’ will continue to be available, and I’ll be working on some new material for July. That’s the month when I’ll be getting my second dose as well. Meanwhile, stay safe and all the best, DAVE

URBAN VERSUS RURAL, ONTARIO HOUSE PRICES ARE GOING WAY UP – IS TORONTO THE FELON?

Toronto and its surroundings are getting lots of criticism for skyrocketing costs in the battle to try and secure homes in smaller towns and cities – not to forget farmers and others who depend on tourism. ‘Toronto Life’ headlines what’s going on above “a market gone berserk; over-asking hysteria; million-dollar dumps; rabid bidding wars; sight-and-unseen offers.” The big city in the south, that’s Greater Toronto, has become the cherry-on-top amongst realters, and it’s now being grilled by the press. Is the city to blame for this?  Data in the Globe and Mail puts it – “Toronto buyers are behind the uptick in house prices across Ontario.”With images like these in the back of our minds, some thoughts were forthcoming from Rachelle Younglai in a June 5th Globe story. First off, multiple offers are common now in much of Ontario. – “Torontonians are contributing to the spike in real estate prices in cottage country and smaller Ontario cities. (They are) driving up the prices . . . and have helped (increase them) on residential properties.”  It’s true that there are some higher paying jobs in Toronto, but along with those are much higher costs to afford a big city roof over our heads.  <Photo above – by Dreamstime> A Teranet Study, which analyzed mortgage activity in the provincial land registry, found that Torontonians and the rest of the province spent similar amounts if a condo was involved. The study found that a Toronto condo owner spent an average of $523,000 on a condo outside the city in 2020, compared to the provincial average of $505,000. According to the study, migrating Torontonians are busy increasing growth of the Simcoe Region and Cottage Country to the north, along with Durham to the east.

HOW GREAT IT IS WHEN CANADIAN STAGE SHARES ITS OUTDOOR AMPHITHEATRE WITH OTHERS

Canadian Stage is planning to make room for the much-anticipated return of live, in-person theatre, dance and music to Toronto this summer. It’s putting aside the normal Shakesperanean outdoor productions of the Bard – and instead share its 1,000-seat open-air Amphitheatre in High Park with a wide variety of local arts groups from the end of June/2021 into September. Most exciting will be full productions of a new Canadian musical; a new work by two-time Governor General’s Literary Award-winner Jordan Tannahill. A special performance beyond the Amphitheatre will use the entirety of High Park itself. All will be physically distanced, mask-wearing audiences up to 100 – with strict COVID-19 protocols on stage and off. Running times will be around 90 minutes. See the full Dream in High Park 2021 line-up. And there’ll be so much more.

FOR A WHILE TORONTONIANS HEADED FOR THE SUBURBS & EXURBS – PLANNING TO ESCAPE THE CITY

“The pendulum might now have swung too far”, wrote the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) economists Benjamin Tan and Royce Mendes. That was applied to Toronto when 50,400 people left the city for other parts of Ontario – Cottage Country, small towns and rural areas. As in America, some families are having second thoughts about heading back, or staying put in countryside towns. New York City is again embracing those who fled to the hinterland or the middle of nowhere when the pandemic hit really hard. Jason Kirby in the Globe and Mail’s ‘Report on Business’ writes . . .  . . . . . “In its most recent analysis of housing market imbalances and household debt, the Bank of Canada looked at markets in scores of postal codes in and around Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa. It found that the farther you went from those city centres, the hotter the market.” “A lot may depend on how accommodating employers decide to be when it comes to continuing remote work arrangements. CIBC economists found that many employers expect their workers to return to the office full time when this is over.”  The city is waiting, and daily commutes may be approaching.