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Here’s What’s Happening With the Massive Britannia Farm Redevelopment Plan in Mississauga

For years, no one quite knew what would become of the 200-acre historical agricultural property known as the Britannia Farm.

Now, it looks like plans to transform the property are closer to becoming reality.

City of Mississauga council approved changing the zoning of a 32 acre parcel of land located on Britannia Farm from institutional to mixed use. That means that the city and the Peel District School Board (which owns the farm) are now free to transform the parcel of land located on the northwest corner of Hurontario Street and Bristol and move forward with a proposal to have the land include a variety of housing types, including affordable housing.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Finsauga%2Fvideos%2F1945506232186085%2F&show_text=0&width=476The opportunity will now allow the PDSB to either look at selling or leasing the parcel for funding.

The entirety of the Britannia Farm is currently zoned as institutional, with the exception of the Cooksville Creek.

This specific parcel on the Farm has been the subject of discussions for a number of years, as approval has been necessary for a variety of components to prepare the lands. Back in 2010, the Heritage Advisory Committee needed to give the PDSB approval to move three heritage properties from the 32 acre parcel to another area of the farm.

The historic properties on the site include the red brick Britannia Schoolhouse (c. 1870), Britannia Farmhouse (c. 1860 and 1870), two-storey Gardney-Dunton House (c. 1830) and Conniver Barn (c. 1880).

The purpose of moving the heritage buildings is to clear land in order to develop housing, as well as to move the properties to a section of the farm that will be used for educational purposes. The historical portion will also include an improved Farm lane, a historic corridor that links the various zones together and connects the Farm to Hurontario Street.

However, a report at the Heritage Advisory Committee on April 10 showcased images that suggested the heritage buildings could remain where they are. In these images, buildings were simply built around the heritage properties. Councillor Carolyn Parrish expressed displeasure with the idea of building around heritage buildings and said that it would be something that could be devastating to the significance of the properties.

Most community members who attended a public meeting back in October 2017 did approve of the idea of moving the heritage properties to another place on the farm. Parrish says that, at this point in time, approximately 99 per cent of the individuals within the community are convinced that this is a good project.

As for what will happen going forward, the PDSB will look at either selling the land to a developer or leasing the lands for continuous revenue streams. Once this happens, the city will receive studies and agreements for review. New housing is a possibility, as these may include a draft plan for subdivisions and/or condos and a site plan.

There will be other reports regarding stormwater management, a feasibility study and an environmental assessment among other documentation.

Phylis Hampshire, a resident that came forward during question period, asked if the citizens of Mississauga can somehow be assured that this will be the only proposed development on the land.

It’s a very special piece of land in the middle of Mississauga, it would be nice if it could stay open,” says Hampshire.

We adopted [the land] as a future outdoor education centre. The current Peel Board Chair has done everything in her power to keep that land the way it was intended by King William the Fourth, which was for the benefit of the children of Peel,” says Parrish. “As far as selling any more pieces of land off, it’s not going to happen. This piece at the front is just so they can finance 168 acres of outdoor education centre.”

Historical properties on the farm

The development of these lands is important, as they’re located near the future Hurontario LRT stop and the soon-to-be-reinvigorated Hurontario Street corridor. For that reason, the city says the parcel must be developed with attention to its surroundings. In short, it’s an attractive yet sensitive project. Since the parcel surrounds 170 acres of historic and cultural landscape and the connection to downtown, the development should include a number of criteria discussed in the Master Plan.

The Master Plan recommends student-focused environmental and agricultural programs, the establishment of landscape zones, a development parcel that will be 32 acres in size and phased public access in partnership with the city of Mississauga.

It is recommended that the proposed development include open spaces, parks, trees, and “a place to foster community.” For example, it is recommended that parking for any of the proposed developments be primarily underground and out of view from the public realm.

One issue that came to light was a part of the report that included development of a road within the park. Parrish cautioned staff at the city, saying “an area of caution I would give to [city staff], is when you talk about the potential opportunities for future road construction, it better not be on the 168 acres [of outdoor educational space].”

Since the Britannia Farm has just received approval for the mixed use zoning, the city has taken the first step in what could be a long process. In the future, there will be more discussion on the planning of the site with developers and potential for sale of the land.

It will be interesting to see what unfolds next.

It’s a very proud day for me,” says Parrish who been on this project since she was a trustee on the school board with Councillor George Carlson.

Janet McDougall, chair of the public board, was acknowledged at the meeting for her significant contribution to the project over the years, and with McDougall retiring this year, it will be a legacy project for her as she enters retirement.

Janet I want to congratulate you myself for all your years of service, thank you, and also for protecting this jewel that our residents are very protective of as well. It’s a piece of land that people don’t want to see altered in any way, you’ve respected that and we thank you for your plans,” says Mayor Bonnie Crombie.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story misidentified Janet McDougall as Janice Baker, Mississauga’s city manager. We regret the error.

Source: Insauga – by Melissa Stolarz on April 22, 2018

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Top 10 Most Expensive Condo Buildings in Mississauga

 

Back in the early 2000s, it wasn’t uncommon to hear warnings about the ongoing condo boom in Mississauga and surrounding cities.

“They’re over saturating the market,” they said.

“Their value will drop like a rock soon and people will be horrified they spent $200,000 on a box in the sky! They’ll be lucky to sell it for $100,000!”

Now, in 2018, it doesn’t look like the condo market experienced the dreaded crash that naysayers insisted developers were tempting with every new build.

In fact, some condo buildings feature very costly units.

As low-rise home prices have gone up, so has demand for more affordable condo units, which have become the new “starter home” in many corners of the GTA.

Toronto-based real estate brokerage and website Zoocasa says that Mississauga is a particularly popular buying destination, offering good value as well as return on real estate investment.

Zoocasa says that, over the last year, Mississauga condo prices rose 5.5 per cent to $435,254.

“This has all contributed to steady demand for units – but some buildings are appreciating in value at a faster clip than others,” Zoocasa says.

To identify which Mississauga buildings fetch the most for a unit, Zoocasa analyzed sales in over 100 developments in the city, where at least five transactions had taken place, and averaging the square foot based on TREB sold data for the 2018 year to date.

Here’s a look at the priciest buildings:

Naturally, some of the most expensive buildings—North Shore, Number 1 City Centre Condos, Pinnacle Grand Park and Limelight—are centered around Square One.

According to Zoocasa, units in these buildings can cost up to $674 per sqaure foot.

“Immediate takeaways from the data is that the most expensive buildings are largely clustered around the Mississauga city centre, with a few closer to Lake Ontario,” Zoocasa says.

“None of the buildings were located north of Eglinton Avenue. In addition, the buildings skew newer, with the oldest one having been registered in 2004, and the majority after 2012.”

So there you have it—if you’re looking for a more affordable unit, you might have better luck with a more mature building outside of the Square One area.

Source: Insauga – by Ashley Newport on July 28, 2018

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Mississauga Neighbourhood Ranked One of the Last Affordable Areas in the GTA

 

If you want to buy a home but you’re not a millionaire, there are only so many affordable neighbourhoods left in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and even then, becoming a homeowner is difficult if not near impossible—especially with higher interest rates and more vigorous mortgage stress tests.

However, one neighbourhood in Mississauga was deemed one of the last affordable in the GTA in a recent Toronto Life article.

As everyone know, Mississauga is not the most affordable city to buy a home in general. According to a recent Royal LePage report, the aggregate price of a home (combining all home types, including two-story homes, bungalows and condos) sits at $758,750. A two-story home typically costs buyers $873,194 (which is down from the $1 million+ highs we were seeing this past winter).

But at a time when the housing market is still hot and it’s hard to find a reasonably priced home anywhere, one pocket of land in Mississauga still hits the mark as a hot GTA neighbourhood.

There’s hope for non-millionaires who just want a half-decent house in a nice area with good schools,” says Steve Kupferman of Toronto Life.

Can you guess where?

According to Toronto Life, the Hurontario neighbourhood (namely Heritage Hills) is one of the last affordable neighbourhoods – of 20 – to buy a home, coming in at number 17.

Boasting an average sale price of $651,671, Toronto Life says “it’s easy for middle-class families to score an affordable home just steps away from the urban core.”

The magazine calls out the surrealness of seeing a massive cluster of distinctly urban high-rises from the window of your suburban low-rise. That said, they were right to single out the neighbourhood built around a large ­public park, as it’s pretty ideal for families—especially since it boasts paths to the two schools in the area: St. Matthew Elementary and Huntington Ridge Public School.

The house Toronto Life zeroed in on? A detached three-bedroom house on Bourget Drive that was listed for $789,888 and sold for $775,000.

Can you believe that, back in February, a cozy home sold for more than $200,000 over asking? How times have changed!

But what counts as a hot neighbourhood in the GTA, you ask?

According to Toronto Life’s list of the last affordable neighbourhoods in the GTA, it’s “a good-sized house in a safe neighbourhood, with decent schools and leafy green space and a commute that isn’t soul-­crushing.”

Without breaking the bank on a million-dollar home, of course, because not all of us are millionaires (yet?!).

This list was curated based on real estate data across the GTA, as well as information from brokers and residents. Researchers also examined access to parks, schools, shopping areas, and transportation into downtown Toronto to determine the best places to live for under a million bucks.

“They’re the last best hope for the desperate house hunter—and the neighbourhoods everyone will be jockeying to buy into 10 years from now,” says Kupferman.

A home is, of course, a huge investment, and you don’t want to be overwhelmed with debt just for a place to call your own. Though that might still be the case if you’re trying to buy a home in the GTA anytime soon, regardless of the neighbourhood.

But, some neighbourhoods are more affordable than others, so you might want to snatch up a home in the Hurontario area while you still have a chance.

“Only virtual millionaires, or ­non-millionaires with millionaire parents, or non-millionaires willing to commit to a lifetime of crippling debt, could afford to break into the housing market,” Kupferman says in the article. “Everyone else had to settle for cramped condos and crumbling fixer-uppers.”

As for other hot GTA neighbourhoods, The Junction Triangle in Toronto topped Toronto Life’s list, with Mimico and West Rouge close behind. Northwest Brampton, Central West Ajax, and Eglinton East sit at the tail end.

You can check out the other neighbourhoods on the list here.

Map courtesy of Toronto Life

Cover photo courtesy of Google Maps

Source: insauga.com – by Ashley Newport on July 14, 2018

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Brand New Affordable Housing Development Coming to Mississauga

I

t’s no secret that housing has become increasingly more expensive in Toronto and the GTA, with detached houses typically costing buyers in Mississauga and surrounding cities between $800,000 and $1 million (often more) and condos—even modestly-sized two-bedroom units—running buyers over $500,000.

With wages failing to keep up with soaring real estate values (and with renting becoming increasingly more costly as homes become more valuable), a lot of lower and middle-income earners have been locked out of the real estate market entirely. Those who have managed to rent or purchase homes in the city are often paying well over 30 per cent of their household income on shelter costs.

For that reason, residents might be pleased to hear that a brand new affordable housing development recently broke ground in the Malton area of Mississauga.

Late last month, Habitat for Humanity Halton—Mississauga, City of Mississauga and Region of Peel staff and officials hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the launch of the Bristow-Law Build Project.

The property, located at 3073 Merritt Ave., was purchased for a toonie. Once home to a fire station, the land has since undergone a rigorous clean-up process and will soon to be transformed into four new homes for local families in need of an affordable place to live.

“The process from paying the city a toonie to now took about three years,” says John Gerrard, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Halton—Mississauga.

“[Councillor Carolyn Parrish] came to us and said ‘I think I can get you some land. There are some issues, you’ve gotta work through those issues,’ and we did.”

Gerrard says the main issue was the environment.

“With a fire station on site, there’s bound to be some form of environmental element that needs to be cleaned, so we did the first round and cleaned 97 per cent of it and had to go back and do one more round just to be sure. That takes almost 16 months, but now we’re here. We’ve submitted all our paperwork, it’s in the city planning department. We hope to start in September.”

Groundbreaking ceremony

Gerrard says the project, which he expects will take about 12 months to complete, will boast four two-storey units with basement suites that can be used for other family members.

“These are big homes, they’re four and five bedroom units, which are very rare. We’re very excited we can do that here in Malton, there are lots of large families here and lots of new Canadians and they tend to have larger families.”

Gerrard says the building, once complete, will house up to 20 individuals.

While the project won’t result in a massive affordable housing structure, it’s one of several projects geared towards providing more housing for the city’s lower and middle-class residents. Earlier this year, a new Daniels development with affordable units broke ground at 360 City Centre Drive.

The city has been working to increase affordable housing stock with its Making Room for the Middle strategy, a plan that involves petitioning senior levels of government for taxation policies and credits that incent affordable housing; piloting tools such as pre-zoning and a Development Permit System to develop affordable housing in appropriate locations (close to transit systems, for example); encouraging the Region of Peel to develop an inclusionary zoning incentive program for private and nonprofit developers; encouraging the region to investigate the cost of deferring development charges on the portion of affordable units provided in newly constructed multiple dwellings and more.

“Affordable housing is at the heart of our plans to build complete city,” says Mayor Bonnie Crombie.

“A Mississauga where people have access to modern public transit, and can find good paying jobs, earn an education and enjoy an unrivalled quality of life. The City of Mississauga was pleased to sell this land, a former city fire station, for a toonie. Now that’s a deal.”

As for how the Habitat project will work, Gerrard says the initiative is unique in the sense that it will allow families to become homeowners.

“This project is very unique. What happens is the family are given the home on title. They’re sold the house at fair market value, which, in this case, could be $700,000. However, they only pay 30 per cent maximum of their net home income. So if only two family members are working, they only pay 30 per cent of what they can.”

Gerrard says the residents can spend 70 per cent on all the other things they need, such as education, food, clothing and other necessities.

“That’s why our food bank use is so high, because when you have to choose between shelter and food, you sometimes choose shelter and don’t eat.”

Families who wish to move on can sell the unit back to Habitat—and take some equity with them.

“The next best thing is that they will be able to sell it back to us and we’ll keep it affordable, but give the family every penny back plus the equity, so they don’t have to go through a long process, they can give it back and we give them the value back,” says Gerrard.

“We retain the unit for another family in perpetuity. It will always be affordable housing and we’ll manage it with the family. It’s an extension of giving a hand up, and it gives a further hand up because they can buy a new home with their deposit. They take equity with them as well. It’s a homeownership program, but they’re guaranteed to get out what they put in, so if the market drops, they’re protected.”

As for who will get to move into the project once it’s complete, Gerrard says the families have not yet been chosen.

“Traditionally the building process is a long process, it can take from one to three years, we used to pick our families early on and they would have to wait and it would be frustrating, especially in some cases where people are desperate for housing,” he says.

“We work with our families and select them 120 days before the project is completed. That way, they see the reality, they see its coming and they can plan appropriately. We want them to come and learn all the extra things, like financial management, how to take care of a home, etc.”

As for the project taking shape in Malton, Councillor Parrish says it’s an ideal neighbourhood for the development.

“It’s particularly nice to welcome Habitat for Humanity to the Malton community. Malton has for some years lived down a reputation as a rough town, it’s not,” says Parrish. They are the sweetest, kindest, nicest people, and you’ll see that as you’re building here. They’ll bring you coffee and tea and they’ll be coming with their hammers and saying ‘what can I do?'” It’s a wonderful village.”

Parrish said Habitat and the city faced some challenges in terms of moving the development forward.

“It’s wonderful to have you here. Habitat is probably the most innovative group I’ve ever met, you’re always one step ahead of where the government is and you do a great job. We had a lot of problems with resistance from the airport. Thanks to the mayor and council, we’ve actually negotiated with the GTAA to change the rules around here. This is a great location, we hope to get more semis and more housing out here. The Region has been incredible.”

In terms of who will eventually live in the structure, Gerrard says Habitat works with a number of organizations to decide which families are ideal candidates.

“They could be on the Peel housing list or referred to us. We work with community groups, women’s shelters, any organization with families. We try to help anyone in need.”

And while this project is more modest in scope, Gerrard sees more substantial developments in Habitat for Humanity’s (and Mississauga’s) future.

“We’ve been working on some big projects for a couple years now. We’re hoping our next development will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 120 units, so we’re in discussion with some developers in the community on some land, and ultimately our objective would be to work within the City of Mississauga’s new affordable housing strategy,” he says.

“We’d like to have a mixed environment that gives young people the opportunity to buy a home, at the same time being able to retain inventory to help the next family and the next family and the next family.”

The development should be complete by the fall.

 

Source: insauga.com – by Ashley Newport on July 8, 2018

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Mississauga condos becoming an increasingly popular purchase option

Mississauga condos becoming an increasingly popular purchase option 

A new analysis from brokerage and real estate information portal Zoocasa showed that Mississauga is increasingly seen by starter home buyers as a reasonable destination away from the overheated Toronto market.

Mississauga’s average condo prices saw a 5.5% increase over the last year, up to $435,254. In its report, Zoocasa stated that the highest-priced condos and buildings – many of which saw double-digit positive value changes – were mostly situated around the city center, with some veering closer to Lake Ontario.

“None of the buildings were located north of Eglinton Avenue,” according to the Zoocasa report. “In addition, the buildings skew newer, with the oldest one having been registered in 2004, and the majority after 2012.”

Read more: Toronto’s monthly rents saw a sharp upward spike in Q1

Analyzing sales in over 100 developments where at least 5 transactions occurred over the past year, and averaging the square foot based on TREB sold data for the year to date, Zoocasa ranked the most valuable condo buildings in Mississauga as of present:

Rank 5: One City Centre

Location: 1 Elm Dr.

2018 price/sq. ft.: $584

2017-18 change: 20.5%

Rank 4: Limelight

Location: 365 Prince of Wales Dr.

2018 price/sq. ft.: $599

2017-18 value change: 14.7%

Rank 3: Pinnacle Grand Park

Location: 3985 Grand Park Dr.

2018 price/sq. ft.: $610

2017-18 value change: 20.1%

Rank 2: No. 1 City Center Condos

Location: 33 Elm Dr.

2018 price/sq. ft.: $610

2017-18 value change: 10.3%

Rank 1: North Shore

Location: 1 Hurontario St.

2018 price/sq. ft.: $674

2017-18 value change: 7.4%

Source: MortgageBrokerNews.ca – by Ephraim Vecina 28 May 2018

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Here’s a Look at Mississauga’s Hottest Neighbourhoods

It’s no secret that it’s expensive to live in Mississauga. Recent data released by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) indicates that, as of December 2017, detached houses were running buyers approximately $910,216 (up from the high 800s in November and down from the $1 million mark they hit in winter 2017).

And while the market could cool or stabilize in 2018 due to the Ontario government’s Fair Housing Plan and the OSFI stress test (a test that some say could disqualify up to 10 per cent of prospective buyers from the market), the fact remains that Mississauga is a desirable city to call home—and therefore a costly one.

But while the city might contain housing that’s (unfortunately) too costly for many residents (hence the city’s affordable housing plan), it’s still attracting buyers.

Zolo, a tech-powered brokerage company, has some interesting stats about the Mississauga market and what neighbourhoods are the most highly sought after.

The stats point out the obvious—home prices are, generally speaking, getting higher and higher every year. According to Zolo, the asking price of homes for sale in Mississauga has increased 11.09 per cent since January last year. Also, the number of homes for sale has increased 75.28 per cent.

According to Zolo’s current data, the median asking price for a detached low-rise is $1.1 million. Other home types are also expensive, with sellers asking about $660,000 for a townhome and $429,000 for a condo

While those prices are indeed high, they’re not terribly surprising. Bordering Canada’s biggest and arguably most economically and culturally successful (sorry, Vancouver and Montreal) city, Mississauga has a lot to offer. Besides proximity to Toronto, Mississauga offers a low unemployment rate (nine per cent, according to Zolo) and a slew of ambitious development projects (the LRT and Inspiration Lakeview and Port Credit initiatives, to name a few).

As for now, the median listing price of a home (and this is all home types combined) sits at $585,000. The median selling price is only a little below asking at $570,000—so sellers are, on average, walking away with enviable profits.

In Mississauga, homes typically sell in less than a month (again, this is all home types combined).

And while homes are expensive, they’re not Toronto expensive.

“There was a time when you could buy a house in Mississauga for just under $100,000. That’s no longer the case,” Zolo writes. “Still, buyers know there are good deals in this western GTA city, with most properties selling for significantly less than surrounding areas. But to grab a piece of Mississauga’s real estate, you need to act fast.

So, which neighbourhoods are the best to invest in?

According to Zolo, the city’s top five neighbourhoods are Streetsville (#1), Applewood (#2), City Centre (#3), Port Credit (#4) and Lakeview (#5).

As for why, the neighbourhoods—beyond being well-known—are hot, Zolo’s data suggests the homes are selling quickly (25-36 per cent are selling within 10 days or less) and for more than asking price (11 to 17 per cent).

Another interesting fact is that, as of now (and this could change), Mississauga remains a city of homeowners.

According to Zolo’s data, 25 per cent of residents rent while 75 per cent own their homes. While rental rates are increasing, the data suggests that—at this stage, least—renting is still cheaper than owning. According to Zolo, renters pay an average of $1,062 a month while homeowners pay about $1,519.

So while it’s impossible to say where house prices will stand in 2018, it’s hard to dispute the fact that Mississauga is—and will remain—a popular (and likely expensive) city to call home.

All images courtesy of Zolo

Source: Insauga – by Ashley Newport on January 10, 2018

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How Much Do You Have to Make to Buy a House in Mississauga?

If there’s one question that’s been on everyone’s minds these past few months (maybe years), it’s likely been this one:

How much do I have to make to comfortably afford to live in Mississauga?

At a time when home prices have never been higher (although they are falling month-over-month and the feeding frenzy that characterized the winter months appears to be over), it’s normal to question whether or not a modest salary is enough to guarantee comfortable homeownership.

Now, real estate brokerage firm TheRedPin has actually determined how much you or your household need to make in order to purchase a home in Mississauga or another GTA city.

The article points out something that most people are well (and scarily) aware of: across the GTA, one million dollars is the going rate for an average single-family detached home.

“Even amid the recent blip in sales activity, that’s a full 21 per cent (or $199,000) jump in prices when compared to the same time last year,” TheRedPin writes.

For a simpler look into the market, TheRedPin broke down the salary you need to earn in order to buy an average home in the GTA. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily need to make this kind of money on your own—if your combined household income (the income you and your spouse, partner or housemate bring in together) reaches a certain amount, you might be able to afford a home.

GTA-wide, here’s the salary you need based on home type:

In Mississauga specifically, the average home price sits at about $748,952 (keep in mind this sum represents all house types—detached, semi, town and condo—combined). To afford a home, your needed household income is a fairly substantial $132,450. This will cover your average monthly mortgage payments of about $2,832.

The figures regarding GTA-wide prices factor in average prices from January to July 2017 for the entire GTA (so they’re not Mississauga-specific, naturally)

That said, they show a pertinent trend in the 905 region that Mississauga homeowners and buyers should pay attention to.

“Six-figure household incomes were required for all home types, except for condo apartments, which edged just below that threshold. Detached homes obviously led the pack in terms of needed household income, as it was the only home type that demanded a collective salary over $200,000,” TheRedPin writes. “While condos may not be the most expensive property type, buyers needed to earn approximately 24 per cent (or $17,000) more this year than they did last year to afford a high-rise apartment. On the other hand, detached-home buyers needed around 21 per cent ($35,000) more compared to 2016.”

The good news is that the market is indeed cooling. In May, the first full month the Liberal’s Fair Housing Plan was in effect (the plan that involves implementing a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers and speculators), home sales declined 20.3 per cent and supply of properties on the market shot up a considerable 48.9 per cent (which is good, considering how low inventory drove prices sky high in early 2017).

So did the salary you need to buy an average property drop from May to July?

“For everything from detached houses to townhomes, the answer was yes,” writes TheRedPin. “The only exception was condo apartments, which saw prices increase collectively over the past three months.”

 

Source: Insaga.com –  Ashley Newport on December 31, 2017

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