There sure is a lot of in-fill building activity happening in Etobicoke! Why is that? What’s this all about?
Much of the existing housing stock in Etobicoke was built between 1950 and 1965. That would be a direct response to the post WW-II baby-boom and Etobicoke was the new suburbs of the day! The popular home style was modest 3-bedroom bungalows on fairly generously sized lots. Simple homes with 10-foot x 12-foot bedrooms, small closets, wood paneled basement rec-rooms with a bar in the corner and no insulation in the walls. The subway was extended out to Islington and then to Kipling, along with GO train lines, making it a short commute to get to the downtown core.
People really enjoyed these family friendly neighbourhoods. Many people stayed put after the kids grew-up and moved out, becoming empty nesters and widowed seniors. The homes grew older too!
Now, 60 years later, the new suburbs are much further out on the fringes of the City, places like Milton and Clarington are the new boom communities. But what about Etobicoke? Suddenly those modest bungalows with their big lots are attractive to builders. These are small businesses that may rebuild a single house at a time, or they may have a handful on the go. The original homes didn’t have any particular architectural qualities that demands preservation. So, they get redeveloped.
The economics are right to support this rebuilding. Builders will purchase a home in the $500K to 700K price range, spend a further $300K to $400K building a new home and then be able to resell it in the $1.1-Million to $1.3-Million price range. This same activity is playing out in some of the more exclusive neighbourhoods like Chestnut Hills, Humber Valley, Thorncrest and Islington Village but at slightly higher price points.
While it is difficult for the long-time residents to accept these changes in their neighbourhoods, it is revitalizing the housing stock with newer homes, built to more modern standards. Homes that match the needs of today’s modern home buyers – large kitchens, main-floor family rooms, expansive master bedrooms with walk-in closets and full ensuite bathrooms. Along with these modern homes comes a more affluent owner, good for local businesses.
If this wasn’t happening, the existing homes would simply be getting older and older and the area more run down. Fortunately it is not! We see so many great opportunities for people to live in wonderful homes in Etobicoke!
Home buyers in Etobicoke have such an enormous range to pick from. The can continue to enjoy the modest original homes, or have a larger home filled with all the modern luxuries.
In some cases, the builder retains about 20% of the original structure. Perhaps they keep the basement foundation and a couple of outside walls, and rebuild and expand from there. Others will choose to completely demolish and rebuild an entirely new home. If the builder is retaining part of the original home, they are defining their work as a “renovation” and are avoiding some City development charges, and TARION new home warranty charges. Knowing what you are buying is really important. Either way, they need building permits and must meet or exceed the building code. I do see a range of quality. Not all newly constructed homes are good ones!