Islands off the coast of Toronto?

July 31, 2019 Ian Hull Estate & Trust, Estate Litigation, Estate Planning, In the News 0 Comments

I love people who make predictions – especially when it’s in their area of expertise. They aren’t always right of course, but you at least benefit from some “best guesses” by people who work in the area.

The Huffington Post published an article a few months ago by realtor Nathan Dautovich about what’s ahead for the Toronto housing market in 2019. Check it out here.

It contains the usual forecasts for housing and rental prices, which are always useful to learn. But what struck me were a couple of predictions – one for the present, one futuristic – for adding housing stock to a crowded city that’s still growing.

  1. Laneway housing

Did you hear about this? I hadn’t. Last year, Toronto adopted a new policy allowing laneway housing in what are essentially the old city of Toronto and East York areas. This presentation provides a great overview of the concept.

A laneway house is a detached secondary building that remains under the same ownership as the main house. More like a coach house than a full house, they’re intended for rental housing, such as for family members (adult children or aging parents) or others. The goal is to increase city density and the supply of low-rise neighbourhood-oriented rental stock. Rental income can also help owners of the primary home with mortgage and other costs.

The article suggests that innovative companies may be knocking on the door of homeowners, offering to design, develop, and finance a laneway house. So, get ready for that “knock” if you own a home on a laneway in Toronto.

  1. Islands off the coast of Toronto

The Huffington Post article notes that most of the land south of Front Street used to be under water – so there is precedent for “adding land” to our shoreline. Today, look no further than the Leslie Street spit, which continues to grow. So how about some housing islands off the eastern or western banks of Toronto? A little imagination could go a long way. We already have island housing on our existing Toronto Island chain. Are we ready for more?

Whether you choose to focus on the present or the future when it comes to real estate in Toronto, you should always be cognizant of the tremendous effect large assets like your real estate property can have on your estate. When contemplating real estate decisions, it is important to think of it as an intergenerational asset, as it will affect the makeup of your estate in a significant way.

Thanks for reading!
Ian Hull

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