Tag: Condominium Developments

Green Buildings and LEED Certification in Ottawa

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

There is no doubt that buildings are responsible for a vast amount of carbon dioxide emissions and energy use within our community and on a global scale. With an increased rate of builds that doesn’t seem to be declining anytime soon, there is a societal demand to create a more sustainable solution. LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design offers new builds, existing builds and homeowners to take part in their green build initiative.  A demand for more sustainable living and working conditions, LEED certification presents its clients with a solution that is both energy efficient and cost-effective.

LEED certification is a third party, globally recognized rating system that is recognized as a mark of excellence and sustainability accomplishment for green builds. LEED certification has become a standard of measurements for green builds in 160+ countries and is raising awareness, fostering creative solutions to sustainable living and offering a more healthful and environmental conscious resolution to the building industry.

Working on a point scale, LEED offers four levels of certification to its clients; certified, silver, gold and platinum. With four levels of certification, LEED is adaptable and accommodating to a wide range of buildings and projects, making it available to any fit and project goal.

Points are allotted to each project based on five major categories that have environmental impacts and human benefits. The five categories include; sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. The goal of the ranking system is to inspire and help as many builds as possible strive for a high level of achievement in each of these categories.

Why LEED? LEED certification and green builds not only benefit the buildings occupants and/or homeowners but the community at large. Green builds facilitate a healthier environment from the inside out, producing better air quality, more natural light, reduction of waste, decreased water consumption and energy conservation. Green builds create a more healthful environment, boost production and leave a green legacy, all a driving factor of LEED certification. As an industry that can do more harm than good, it is time for homeowners and project builds to become more consciously and environmentally aware and it is LEED’s aim to do just that.

The History of LEED

The goal from the start was to educate builders and to help them establish responsible construction practices. Robert Watson set out to change the building market in 1993 with the hopes of defining green building.  LEED’s environmental movement continued to raise awareness and competition for the construction of environmentally and sustainable friendly buildings. Over the years LEED’s standard has grown into a complete and comprehensive classification system that covers a large portion of the development and construction process.

Since 2015 LEED builds in Canada alone has led to energy savings of 12.9 million eMWh, which is enough energy to power 435,000 homes in Canada for an entire year and water savings totalling 24+ billion litres. LEED builds have also contributed to recycling over 2.97 million tonnes of construction waste and a reduction of 2.49 million CO2e in greenhouse gas emissions. These astounding results only continue as more and more businesses, project leads, and homeowners turn to this green solution.

LEED certification continues to incorporate and adapt as new green technologies come onto the market, which is part of what makes it such a comprehensive and globally sought-after initiative.

Why is LEED Certification relevant today?

LEED certification is more relevant and needed today than ever. We are living in a society and a time where build after build, project after project is going up and our environment and health continue to be impacted because of it.

There are countless reasons why buildings should seriously consider being a green build and doing their part in helping to create a sustainable earth. LEED is an innovative answer to this societal push for eco-friendly living, human well-being and sustainability. LEED offers its clients practical ways to achieve sustainable eco-conscious living, save money and promote public health and a more supported and sustainable environment.

This internationally recognized ranking system proves its relevancy because it is not just a system that is designed for one type of build over another, it offers options to projects of any kind; from large government buildings to hospitals to new builds – there is something for every project of every size. There is even an option for single, low-rise or mid-rise family homes to take part and get involved.

Not only is this a world-class ranking system for inspiring and fostering solutions for single structures, but it also applies to whole neighbourhood development projects (containing residential use, non-residential use or a mix) from inception to build, including neighbourhood redevelopment. From a neighbourhood to an entire city, LEED is for the community. Working with the entire city or neighbourhoods within the city, LEED can measure and manage the city’s energy use, water use, waste, transportation and total human experience and offer improvements.

Why do we need an organizational environmental measuring system, such as LEED more than ever before? According to the City of Ottawa, almost 50% of greenhouse gas emissions come from heating, cooling, lighting and operating buildings? By a new or existing building becoming LEED certified by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) occupants have better air quality reducing allergens, financial savings and increased resale value. Certified LEED builds can also qualify for local utility rebates and homeowner reductions through various insurance groups and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).  Most importantly, projects who get involved are doing their part to achieve a more sustainable environment and improving the lives and well-being of the occupants of the building.

With regular evaluations and modifications to adapt to advancing and evolving technology, LEED is and will continue to be compatible and well suited for everyone and every project. The continuous assessment of the existing rating system and application of new science and technology will not only continue to make LEED relevant in this industry it will continue to be at the forefront of green builds.

Who is LEED certified in Ottawa? 

With the benefits far too great to ignore, several builds in Ottawa have jumped on board and have been recognized by LEED for their level of excellence in their contribution to the advancement and betterment of sustainable living and working conditions.

Lebreton Flats LEED

LEED Certified Silver

The following developments have ranked Silver on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ranking system, meaning they have earned 50-59 points in the following five categories; sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.

Hideaway LEED

LEED Certified Gold

The following developments have ranked Gold on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ranking system, meaning they have earned 60-79 points in the following five categories; sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.

  • Central Phase 1 – Received LEED Gold certification July 9th, 2014
  • Central Phase 2 – Received LEED Gold certification December 14th, 2016
  • The Rideau – Received LEED Gold certification January 18th, 2018
  • The Vibe – Received LEED Gold certification January 18th, 2018

Prominent LEED Buildings in Ottawa

There are several prominent and outstanding LEED-certified condos in Ottawa that have been recognized for their commitment and efforts, in the above mentioned five categories, to improve the quality of life and wellbeing for their residences.

One3One Holland was certified a Silver LEED building on December 10th, 2015. One3One Holland is distinguished for its efforts and contributions to create a sustainable, environmentally friendly and more health conscious atmosphere for their residences. A one bedroom at One3One averages $441/sqft and a two-bedroom averages $448 sqft.

Central Phase 2 also a highly distinguished certified LEED condo in Ottawa, as of December 14th, 2016 sits at a prestigious Gold level certified showing its dedication to its residences. A bachelor at Central Phase 2 averages $475/sqft and a one-bedroom averages $474/sqft.

Another prominent condo in Ottawa, that has been noted for its great efforts and green build achievements, The Rideau was certified LEED Gold, January 18th, 2018. The Rideau offers one bedroom averaging $565/sqft, two bedrooms $660/sqft and Penthouse suites averaging at $811/sqft.

The Vibe in Ottawa is also to be noted for its mark of excellence on achieving LEED Gold certification on January 18th, 2018, offering its residences a higher quality of wellbeing and eco-conscious solutions. One bedroom units at The Vibe average at $547/sqft and two bedrooms for $600/sqft.

Since the first certified LEED building in Ottawa, The Currents, which became officially certified on January 18th, 2011 many other projects and developments have followed suit and have seen the tremendous benefits of taking part in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and getting certified themselves.

LEED Platinum the Currents

What is the future of LEED Certification?

As more and more people become consciously aware of the building industry’s impact on the environment and people’s health and wellbeing, there is only going to be a bigger demand. LEED and its ranking system have inspired so many and will only continue to inspire more green builds and spread awareness throughout Ottawa and the world.

The latest model, LEED v4 is the future of LEED certification and has upped the expectations on all levels of a build; right from project inception to project completion. Running now off a more performance-based approach, LEED v4 offers knowledge to its customers and then offers practical solutions on how to apply the newly learned knowledge. This knowledge is then measured in the form of practical tasks complete, which offers more goal focused points based on each unique project.

LEED v4 is showing major improvements on:

Flexibility – now offering more flexibility with different tactics to offer each unique build and project to allow each development to find the best fit.

Smart Grid Approach – LEED v4 is bringing a smart grid style to its customers and is recognizing and rewarding the projects that contribute to and engage in demand response programs.

Materials & Resources – Now emphasizing materials and resources used on a project and beyond the total amount used, creating a more whole and comprehensive look at the structural impact.

Water – Offering a more complete strategy to utilize water efficiency by assessing the entire buildings water usage.

Better customer service – now offering a more effective and efficient certification system process, easing customer use.

Since the inauguration of LEED certification, there has been a remarkable amount of growth and improvement shown to cater to the rapidly evolving social climate that is demanding solutions for providing a better quality of life and a more sustainable way to live. Not only does LEED continue to find and adapt efficiently to these needs and demands but does so in a cost-effective way.

LEED, Leading the Way

The demand for a more sustainable, energy-efficient, cost-effective and healthier way to live is only going to escalate as society continues to expand and more people become aware of the environmental and human impact that takes place with expansion.

LEED certification is at the forefront of this huge societal push and is acting as a paradigm to initiate, inspire and drive the industry to do better, be better and offer better. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is trailblazing the way to establish an industry that sets standards and places a high value on more conscious buildings, living and working environments.

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Smoking Pot Inside Condos

A hot topic right now in the condo world touches on the Federal government’s push to legalize marijuana across Canada. Many condo owners are becoming increasingly concerned as legalization nears, with what legal rights and measures their respective buildings can take in order to prevent smoking pot inside condos and common areas in condo buildings. One condo board in Toronto near Sheppard and Don Mills wants to prohibit the smoking of cannabis, as it already gets countless complaints about marijuana odours wafting between units, triggering asthma and allergic reactions. – nowtoronto.com

Further, Ottawa Public Health agency recently made a recommendation to the province to outright ban smoking pot inside condos and apartments, including balconies. – cbc.com

The question is – Is it within the rights of Condominium Boards to ban this soon-to-be legal substance within privately owned units? According to Michelle Kelly, a specialist in condominium law, bans such as this are done by the Condo Corporation creating a rule (under Section 58 of the Condominium Act). – globalnews.com This rule would then be circulated to owners, and unless the owners call for a vote, and vote against it, it enters into force. Rules such as these are created in order to promote the safety, security or welfare of the owners, and to prevent unreasonable interference. Things such as the pungent smell of second-hand smoke could be considered a nuisance, and therefore a new rule would be reasonable.

Ontario Landlords are also becoming increasingly concerned with the upcoming legalization. The concern lies with the major financial cost that could be associated with removing the smell of marijuana after the tenant vacates. – nowtoronto.com Currently, landlords are able to ban smoking for new leases, yet with existing leases, it is illegal to modify any of the clauses before the natural end or termination of the lease.

An even further grey area is whether condominiums can ban smoking for those who have a medicinal license to do so. Many argue that medical consumers would be exempt under the Ontario Human Rights Code, which may result in a legal challenge by Condominium Boards. Needless to say, this hot topic is not going anywhere anytime soon.

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The Merit - 108 Ligar St Exterior Image Luxury Condos

Ottawa’s real estate market has been seeing good days. With strong sales and steady prices, both buyers and sellers are enthusiastic about the market as a whole. More young adults are considering purchasing their first home in Ottawa rather than in cities like Toronto and Vancouver where a need for affordable housing is slowly crippling those cities’ markets. This relative stability has injected an exciting shot of life into a slightly smaller, yet equally valuable part of the real estate market; luxury condos. Ottawa used to be a city of houses. Directly in the downtown core, residences were mostly traditional looking houses or, in the case of apartment buildings, simple structures that were rarely more than a few stories high.

In recent years, it’s almost a competition among talented firms to change the face of the city. Aesthetically pleasing luxury condos are being built as quickly as possible to meet demand amongst the city’s residents.

Ottawa Has A Brand New Face

Last year, Ottawa saw the resale of more than 24 luxury condos, each worth over $1 million. This is more than double the number sold in 2016. 2018 is also seeing the construction of various luxury projects like Keel and Roca Homes’ The Queen E. These buildings take modern living to a different level and are being snapped up by buyers eager to have the hotel experience in their homes. For instance, 1451 Wellington will invite residents to relax in their personal entertainment suites and will come complete with guest suites that are maintained by professional cleaning staff, along with a lap pool and an elite fitness centre.

While older, more traditional looking houses remain in areas like the Glebe and Centretown, there is no doubt that Ottawa’s real estate market is changing. Nearly every corner of the city’s core could be expecting a new luxury condo development. It’s a significant change from a few years ago when people balked at the idea of paying condo fees for amenities they felt they could do without.

The ‘New’ Luxury Condos Dweller

When noticing the changes in the market, the question inevitably arises about who is actually buying Ottawa’s luxury apartments. Property developers are excited because, unlike other cities where purchasers are typically well-established professionals, Ottawa’s homeowners occupy different demographics.

Older individuals who are looking to downsize, perhaps after their children have left the nest, are turning to condos as a headache-free option to access everyday luxury. There are also young professionals who are beginning to settle into their careers and adulthood. With a median annual salary of $86,000, the highest in Ontario, young adults working with businesses like Shopify or Pythian have fuller wallets to play with.

With the relative stability associated with living in the city, it’s no wonder people are more willing to spend top dollar on luxury developments they can actually enjoy.

It’s likely that Ottawa will be enjoying these good times for years to come. A strong economy, a safe city and a steady migration of skilled workers means housing will continue to be a great investment choice.

If you’re hoping to find the perfect luxury condo with all the perks your heart desires, drop us a quick email. As always, Ottawa’s Condominiums will be right in the middle of the action!

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1000 Wellington St #311 | Exclusive Listing at The Eddy - Ottawa's Condominiums

Looking for exceptional urban lifestyle living in one of Ottawa’s trendiest neighbourhoods? Welcome to The Eddy, winner of a 2016 Housing Design Award for the best-designed high-rise building in Ottawa, and one of the few LEED Platinum condos in Canada. Located in the heart of Hintonburg where you are within a 5-minute walk to the scenic Sir John A. MacDonald Riverfront Park, a wide assortment of restaurants, cafes, and trendy shops, as well as the new light rail Confederation Line (LRT). A sophisticated space to call home, this Exclusive Listing at The Eddy offers 2 Bed + Den and 2 Baths. This is one of the largest floor plans in the building at 1,079 sq ft along with a large south oriented balcony at 134 sq ft facing a quiet residential neighbourhood.

1000 Wellington St #311 | The Eddy | Exclusive Listing - Ottawa's Condominiums

A “soft loft” design with nine-foot ceilings, an industrial feel, and exposed concrete ceilings and ductwork. Pride in ownership is evident with over $20,000 in custom upgrades, including a generous addition to kitchen cabinetry, built-in closet storage, high-end blind system and more. The details in this condo have been carefully selected to compliment the builder finishes and create a clean style, with uncluttered lines and natural textures. A sweeping island is a focal point for entertaining in this contemporary white kitchen, along with stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops.

The building adheres to the highest possible eco-friendly standards, with geothermal heating/cooling, rainwater recapture, low VOC finishes and the first puzzle parking garage in the city.  A spectacular rooftop terrace with outdoor lounge, fireplace, garden plots, & barbecues to be enjoyed with friends while watching the sunset over the Gatineau Hills and downtown Ottawa. This is the lifestyle you’ve been waiting for!

1000 Wellington St #311 The Eddy Exclusive Listing 3

If you are interested in visiting this spectacular condo or would like more information at this Exclusive Listing at The Eddy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Link to our virtual tour.

Exclusive Listing at The Eddy Key Details

List Price: $549,900

Square Footage: 1,079 sq ft + Balcony 134 sq ft = 1,213 sq ft

Number of Bedrooms: 2 + Den

Number of Bathrooms: 2

Number of Parking: 1

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A major announcement on the new Lebreton Flats Development

A major announcement on the new Lebreton Flats Development is expected according to sources involved in the talks between the RendezVous LeBreton Group and the NCC, a tentative land deal has been reached over the future development of Lebreton Flats – ottawacitizen.com. The Lebreton Flats Development, which is planned to have over 4,000 housing units, a major public square, and a landmark new hockey arena, has an estimated price tag of over $3 billion and will without a doubt have a huge impact on the City of Ottawa.

Some may question the significance of this project and whether it’s the best use for this highly coveted piece of Ottawa real estate, as well as whether taxpayer dollars should be spent on the infrastructure to support its build out. I stand to argue that this project is one of, if not the most important development projects needed for the City of Ottawa in recent years.

Let’s think BIG PICTURE. What is it about a centrally located arena that adds value to a community? – The Economic Case for a Downtown Event Centre. For starters, having an event centre that is located in an area that is equally accessible to those in both the West AND East ends of Ottawa improves the quality of entertainment and ensures a strong fan base for attendance at the games. Yes, this is a money-making entertainment business and in order to deliver a high-quality entertainment product, a revenue stream from a strong fan base must exist. Locating the hockey arena on Lebreton Flats Development will create equal accessibility for Ottawa area residence and along with the restaurants, shops, and more expected to be built alongside the arena, create a more appealing atmosphere of complimentary service businesses to attract a larger fan base to games.

My second point surrounds the issue of smart urban planning and efficient use of taxpayer dollars. A city cannot be sustained by spending endless sums of money building new infrastructure further and further out into untouched farmland, which is what Ottawa has seen for far too long now. Urban intensification is now a widespread phenomenon across North America, and it’s happening to lessen the burden on cash-strapped municipalities.

Yes, there will be those who protest “not in my backyard” but the reality is, development always occurs in someone’s “backyard”. Another positive outcome from this development will be the 1,100 affordable housing units that will be integrated into the RVL project and will help lessen the burden on the cities 10,000+ waiting list for affordable housing. Ottawa’s new LRT line will also play a huge factor in creating and sustaining this new community –  the Lebreton Flats Development will attract big Ottawa commercial real estate investments. With the line running directly through Lebreton Flats, residents will have a  very convenient alternative method of transportation to get around, and with that creating an overall healthier environmental footprint for the city.

The upside of RendezVous LeBreton and the number of Ottawians that will gain enjoyment from its new urban housing options, entertainment offerings and commercial spaces, far outweigh any downside. With a major announcement on the new Le coming, let’s be of the mindset of one wanting to continue to grow into a world class city and to welcome RendezVous LeBreton as the next step on this path.

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Southminster Condos

Church and Developer partnerships are becoming the norm. Many religious congregations are facing dwindling memberships, high operating costs, and major deferred maintenance bills. Some congregations are questioning their short-term cash crunches and long-term viability. The silver lining for most congregations is their primary asset, their land. Built generations ago, some churches are to be located in mature neighbourhoods and congregations were able to purchase large parcels of land at a relatively low cost.

Developers, on the other hand, are primarily concerned with finding land. Without a significant supply of quality land, developers are unable to build. Typically, developers buy land for 5-10 years down the road to have inventory; commonly known as land banking. Seems simple enough; buy land and build for today and have additional land to build on after. Right? Wrong! As cities continue to grow, the urban land becomes more valuable and harder to find.

With separate yet interdependent problems, both parties have to become willing partners. Windmill Developments have successfully proven their ability to partner with the Anglican Church to develop its site in the downtown core, Cathedral Hill, located on the corner of Sparks St and Bronson Ave. They struck a land-lease with the Church and built a luxury 21 story condo building with unprecedented views of Parliament, The Ottawa River, and The Gatineau Hills.

Fast forward to today, Windmill Developments are working with Southminster United Church to develop another parcel of land. Ideally located, Southminster United sits in the historic neighbourhood of Old Ottawa South. Southminster Condos will be only the second condominium development in the neighbourhood. What makes Old Ottawa South such an interesting neighbourhood from a land perspective is that it’s partially landlocked. The Rideau Canal borders the northern part of the neighbourhood, while the Rideau River borders the southern part. Due to this, it’s land value is vastly increased.

Southminster Condos itself is quite small with only 4 town-homes and 14 residential condo units proposed. This would be a perfect fit for the streetscape of the neighbourhood and would keep the charm and feel of Old Ottawa South intact. However, the project faces a zoning change, heritage overlays, and potential community push back.

Overall, Southminster Condos has the potential to become a landmark site in Old Ottawa South as Cathedral Hill has in Centretown. With city and community approval, continued collaboration between Churches and Developers can continue and they can create a rich piece of history in the process. Finally, something the whole community can be proud of.

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Minto Beechwood Condominiums

Five years ago the Minto Beechwood Condominiums would have been seen as outrageous to the local community of Ottawa’s New Edinburgh. The intersection of Beechwood Avenue and MacKay Street was dotted with low-rise apartments and many small businesses like Hamie’s Diner, Lester’s Your Neighbourhood Barber Shop, Time Sharpening and The New Edinburgh Art Gallery. However, a five-alarm fire sparked inside the bordering Home Hardware left 12 locals homeless and caused extensive damage, mostly beyond repair, to the block.

Now, half a decade later, the fire’s destruction is well in the past. Minto Communities has successfully turned a devastating story into the forward-thinking Minto Beechwood Condominiums. The 129-unit development at 411 MacKay Street is nearing completion and ready to open its doors to eager condo owners in the last half of 2016. The building stands 8 1/2 storeys high, the perfect height to ensure that the view of Parliament Hill is still visible from the Beechwood cemetery, an important aspect of one of Ottawa’s oldest neighbourhoods.

Yet, despite Minto Beechwood Condominiums’ favourable outcome, the community-oriented population was not always welcome to the idea of a mid-rise development. In 2013 the original proposal was a huge topic of conversation for The New Edinburgh Community Alliance (NECA). They were quite opposed to the plan, stating that is was perhaps too large and tall to fit in in the village-like neighbourhood.

Soon after, Toronto’s TACT Architecture reached out to the local community to win their approval. After much collaboration, they tastefully designed Minto Beechwood Condominiums to not only blend in but brighten up New Edinburgh’s overall appearance and atmosphere. The neighbourhood’s local landscape was attentively taken into account when choosing warm and earthy tones as well as the masonry work, such as the buff stone, for the exterior.

The clean and contemporary mid-rise is seen as a much-anticipated revitalization for the area. New Edinburgh had experienced a slow decline in pedestrian traffic and local business since Mountain Equipment Co-op relocated to Westboro in 2000. For many years the neighbourhood has silently pined for an exciting restoration and Minto Beechwood has high hopes to do just that. The mixed-use development has an inviting 17,000 square feet of commercial space, welcoming retailers to open shop in the condo’s ground floor along the bustling Beechwood Avenue.

To further Minto Beechwood Condominiums’ practical-meets-modern niche, II BY IV DESIGN has fashioned a stunning interior look. Each individual unit is equipped with hardwood floors, caesarstone countertops, stainless steel appliances, porcelain tiles in the bathrooms as well as a private terrace or balcony. Recognized for its environmental outlook, Minto Beechwood has been decorated with low VOC white latex paint, acoustic cork underlay beneath the hardwood floors and energy-efficient appliances.

Nevertheless, Minto Beechwood Condominiums’ main draw is the kitchen. Through focus group research, Minto Communities found that condo buyers tend to find unit kitchens and appliances smaller than the typical single-family house. So while small units come with gallery-style kitchens, most condos in this development have been designed with L shaped kitchens including a standard island and stainless-steel range hood. With a more welcoming and open feel, Minto Beechwood has marketed its units toward down-sizers, first-time home buyers and investors.

Units are sized between 560 and 1,602 square feet with pricing from $250,000 to upward of $1 million. Underground parking and individual storage lockers are also available at an extra cost. Minto Beechwood Condominiums is of course equipped with the usual communal amenities designed with extra taste and comfort. These include a fully furnished lobby, gym, lounge, dining room and the rooftop terrace.

Floor plans at Minto Beechwood Condominiums

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Condo Assignments

Following a call with a client yesterday discussing assignments at Soba Condo Ottawa and Hideaway Condo Ottawa, I thought it would be helpful for readers and clients if I put together a few of my thoughts surrounding condo assignments and how HST can affect condo assignments and pre-construction purchases in general. Understanding the following will assist in underwriting your decision to purchase pre-construction and assist in setting up the purchase in the most profitable way.

For the sake of this discussion, units can be purchased in four ways. Each of which carries differing HST implications. The four options are:

  1. As an owner-occupied unit
  2. As a rental unit
  3. As an assignment
  4. As a flip

When completing the transaction via Option 1 – The statutory declaration at the time of closing will be owner-occupied. With this option, the property has zero HST implications associated to the purchase under the pre-construction purchase contract. Meaning the contract price is the full purchase price. This transaction will only be subject to standard closing adjustments.

When completing the transaction via Option 2 – The statutory declaration at the time of closing will be a rental property. With this option, the federal government has a program called the Rental Rebate Program, which in turn covers 98-99% of the HST that would have been included in Option 1. The purpose of the rebate is to encourage the addition of rental units to the market.

When completing the transaction via Option 3 – There will be no statutory declaration at the time of closing. This is because a title transfer closing never takes place. With this, the HST implications will be a consideration of the end Buyer that is purchasing the agreement. Other implications via capital gains and/or losses or other are another story.

When completing the transaction via Option 4 – To me, this signals a RED FLAG, basically this is a steer clear option. The reasoning is that it is difficult to pass the test of owner-occupied or rental while never occupying or renting the unit and subsequently turning over the title quickly following the official unit title transfer date. This can cause any included in purchase price HST or HST rebates to be called back or voided.

Condo Assignments Summary

If the intent is to flip a pre-construction condo, this will be best done via option 3 as an assignment prior to registration and unit title transfer. The only other way I would suggest entertaining the ‘flip’ option would be in the event a unit was occupied or intended to be occupied during the interim period but following unit title transfer, for some believable reason you have a change of heart, subsequently selling shortly after registration. This move may result in red flags as the title of the condo will have changed hands quickly and an audit will be likely.

Alternatively, and for the risk adverse, the best fall back strategy when talking condo assignments and understanding HST Implications surrounding pre-construction purchases, my opinion is to earmark the condo at the onset as a rental for at least one year, leaving no possibility of HST impacts outside of the Rental Rebate Program. This will lead you to sell the unit down the road while tenanted. While tenanted the unit can carry and cover. At this point, you can sit on your hands and wait the completion of the lease term. When the lease term approaches you can market the property for sale while it is lived in, collecting rent and carrying its own weight. Keep in mind finding a tenant at this point is key. Rents are great, but having a tenant with nice furniture and artwork is even better as their furniture will act as free staging 😉

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Parking Spots are Falling out of Favor with Many Condo Buyers

Parking spots are falling out of favour with many condo Buyers, thanks to the proliferation of car-sharing services, a greater emphasis on transit and walkability by city dwellers.

Louie Santaguida, president and chief executive of Stanton Renaissance, had planned to build up to four levels of underground parking at his On The GO Mimico project, a condo development under construction in the western part of Toronto. However, Santaguida says most buyers snatching up the units pre-construction aren’t keen to shell out for parking spots, given that one of the building’s selling points is that it’s situated right next to a GO Train Station that can transport residents downtown in minutes.

Santaguida is planning to apply to the city to have the building’s parking spots requirement reduced.

“We’re hearing more and more about developments that are coming up along good transit nodes that are actually asking for leniency around no parking spots, or minimal parking spots,” he said. “The trend is moving away from vehicle ownership, especially in urban centres like downtown Hamilton, downtown Montreal, downtown Toronto and downtown Vancouver. Because there’s adequate infrastructure to get you where you need to go on a timely basis and quite frankly, in most cases, sooner than you can using a vehicle.” – Louie Santaguida

Vancouver developer Jon Stovell, president of Reliance Properties, says the City of Vancouver has been encouraging developers to reduce the amount of parking that they build, in order to reduce traffic congestion and encourage other forms of transportation including walking, biking and public transit.

“The parking ratios have been going down steadily for a long time, and they’re getting to some really low levels now.” – Jon Stovell

He also noted that developers used to build up to two parking stalls per unit. Now, many are only building one parking stall for every two, condominium units.

In Toronto, Tribute Communities has erected a 42-storey condo tower with no permanent resident parking — just nine spots reserved for a car-share service. Knightsbridge Homes is proposing a similar development in Calgary.

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