Winsome On Whitaker Avenue In West Queen West

offered at $899,000

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Face it, sometimes a cookie-cutter condo doesn’t cut it anymore.

Not for a smart cookie like you!

If you’re squeezed for space, tired of elevator roulette, or resisting being ruled by the condo police,  this freehold ‘cottage in the city’ offers one Buyer the opportunity to lock down a slice of land with a totally livable 2-unit dwelling and laneway parking.

Really? So what?

Freehold ownership means that you have title to the land and buildings that are ‘free from hold’ of any entity besides you (and your lender, if you have one, plus your legal obligation to pay taxes), meaning no space is co-owned or co-managed with others (like a condo where you effectively hold title to an interest in a shelter corporation co-owned by many people rather than title to the land). This means the owner enjoys free ownership for perpetuity and can use the land according to their needs providing those purposes are legal and conform to local regulations (like land use planning, zoning bylaws & building codes).

Why does this matter?

Have you seen many new freehold houses being constructed in the city? Not many, right? And when they are, they tend to be luxury executive properties selling for sums approaching $2 million or more. The reality is developers are tearing down houses to build, guess what? Condos.

Toronto has been holding onto its title as the North American city with the most cranes since 2015! The latest stats say Tdot has 252 cranes right now while Los Angeles, in second place, has a dismal 51 cranes <cue sad trombone>. With over 22,000 Toronto condos completed in 2021 – which is basically a 420 unit high rise taking occupancy every week – it’s inevitable more condominiums will be constructed in proximity to this property. This means as more mid and high-density condos are built nearby, the larger the pool of people who have chosen to live in this amazing downtown city neighbourhood will be looking over the residential streetscapes of vintage and contemporary single-family homes coveting a freehold parcel of terra firma like this.

A prudent purchase. A sensible buy. An intelligent investment to hold. Although these pragmatics form the foundation of almost every buyer making a Toronto real estate purchase, this row house will generate a 4% cap rate! Place your tenants and hold. The Seller has always rented the suites with ease.

Looking to build your dream? Sure this house “is as cute as a button” but it’s a future development site. In fact, it’s well-suited to someone who’d happily live here (or place tenants) for two, five or ten years, while they get their finances in order, the design and drawings complete, the necessary approvals from the Committee of Adjustment, the quotes, estimates, & permits reconciled, and the chosen construction team under contract. This street may date from 1875, but its evolution is very much Toronto 2020+ now. In fact, the newest reinvention on the street is located at 9 Whitaker, five doors east, which was a 2 storey frame rowhouse on a lot that is 30% smaller and 5 feet narrower than 19 Whitaker, that was redeveloped into a 2.5 storey contemporary duplex with as-of-right 2 storey laneway house and sold for $1,875,000 in November 2021. This is a great opportunity to indulge your desire and design destiny by building your own custom contemporary slice of paradise.

Granted it’s not for the faint of heart, but for those who want to live their best life.

Welcome to Winsome on Whitaker Avenue In West Queen West!

 

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Whitaker Avenue – a quaint mews just west of Bathurst and north of King West – is home to a charming colourful collection of Toronto’s vernacular dating from the 1870s. Situated just west of the Entertainment & Fashion Districts, north of the endorphin-producing Martin Goodman Trail & Marina Quay West, east of the Stanley Off-Leash Dog Park & the Liberty Village Pedestrian Cycle Bridge, and just steps south of West Queen West Village and beatific Trinity Bellwoods Park, this centre-of-it-all location can become your centre-of-the-universe!

Pointing to all directions north, south, east and fantastic, anyone willing to pay the price of admission to own downtown Toronto real estate fundamentally understands that how much a property is intrinsically worth is reflected in the convenience, cohesiveness and collective benefits of the urban amenities situated in proximity to a property’s front door. So it stands to reason it can also significantly influence the quality of your domestic life behind it. In this regard, the best urban life is not about living in isolation – it’s about living through integration – which is as simple as engaging any of the 30 neighbours who live on this tight-knit avenue of 31 homes when you cross their paths; buying as much as you can locally, whether that be retail, kijiji, Girl Guide’s door knocking or at the annual Queen West Art Crawl every September; or supporting community initiatives – like letting city councillor Joe Cressy know you support the city’s intention to designate 778 King Street West -a 1947-built Streamlined Moderne-style edifice that was designed by Leo Hunt Stanford for the York Mending Wool Company – Under The Ontario Heritage Act.

Boasting a walk score of 94 and a transit score of 96 (!!), 19 Whitaker Avenue in West Queen West is not only a ‘Walker’s Paradise’ but also a ‘Rider’s Paradise’! World-class public transportation and car-sharing are available at your doorstep, ready to whisk you away to any enclave at any hour. Hop on the 501 Queen a block north, the 506 King a block south, or the 511 Bathurst a block east! How convenient is that?

And don’t forget, the new 15.6-kilometre, 15-stop Ontario Line will include the King Bathurst Station located just one block east! Running from Exhibition Place, through the heart of downtown and all the way to the Ontario Science Centre in a span of 30 minutes. The new King Bathurst Station will provide easy transfers to both the 504 King route and the 511 Bathurst route. Station entrances have been placed only a few steps away from streetcar stops on both the north and south corners of the intersection, allowing Ontario Line customers to walk from their subway platform directly to their preferred streetcar stop without having to cross the street. An estimated 5,100 people are expected to use the King Bathurst station during the busiest travel hour, with 2,400 transferring between the Ontario Line and local streetcars. This will make travelling especially easy for the 8,700 households in the area that don’t currently own a car.

Speaking of convenience, something I adore about living in or close to downtown is that almost anything is available to you at any hour. Craving for Thai food at 1 am? Satisfy it with a click of a button. Need to make a cake at 3 am? Loblaws is open 24 hours. Gotta pharmacy emergency? No problem – the Shoppers down the street is open till 10 pm! The naked truth is that West Queen West shines at any hour and in addition to the eclectic range of shops, services, and neighbourhood amenities that serve daily life – like the organic butcher and the indulgent baker – along with an abundance of home furnishing shops, art galleries and clothing retailers to please and entertain.

You can’t throw a stone here without hitting a new restaurant or fine food purveyor of one kind or another; this ‘hood is gastro goodness at its best! When our stomachs are growling we never miss Terroni at Queen & Claremont, maybe topped off with some sweets from Sud Forno – yum! Feeling classy but casual? Pizza Wine Disco will satisfy anyone with a love of Italian food and great wine, while carnivores congregate at Smoque N Bones on Queen.  When Friday night rolls around and you’re ready to bust out the AmEx, Thompson Hotel – with its ultra-chic lounges and rooftop pool – will serve you a chi-chi cocktail in style! There are so many unique offerings to choose from – so, what’s your cup of tea? If it’s actually tea, try the Turkish black or matcha at Simit & Chai around the corner from 19 Whitaker Avenue (but Thor Espresso is probably our java boost of choice!)

Take that tea to go, because there’s window shopping and park-lounging to do! Because, yes, 19 Whitaker is a only short walk away from the nerve center of Toronto’s entertainment and nightlife, but if you also crave large swaths of green to break up your urban life, nearby Stanley Park (with its off-leash dog zone) is a great respite! But a few more steps will land you in one of Toronto’s very best: Trinity Bellwoods Park! Spanning over 14.6 hectares, no matter the season there is lots to do in this popular park, with playgrounds, picnicking, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, a swimming pool, Farmers Market, and more. In the winter, lace-up and visit the artificial ice rink. Trinity Bellwoods is also home to a number of events and festivals in the spring, summer and fall including Movie Nights In The Park and the Queen West Art Crawl. Gotta puppy of any age? You can find Leash-Free Doggy Love At Trinity Bellwoods Park.

In this rich amenity-laden area, virtually everything your heart desires is close by!

19 Whitaker Avenue is a charming circa 1875 century row house – dressed up in a Retro Groovy look of 70s flooring coveralls and 80s kitchen extensions – and is currently configured as two units. There’s the cheery 2bed + den Garden Suite that enters through the Rosy Peach front door and comprises the entire main floor plus a lower level snug. And there’s also a lower-level 1bed Pied-A-Pad with its own private entry, making this an attractive addition to an income property portfolio of an end-user seeking an income supplement.

The experience of this home begins immediately at the front door. One enters in to a cheery living room with a large front window that offers a view of the mews. In a subtle nod to vintage roots, a mirrored wall reflects all the natural light, brightening this gathering space. We love the cute nook that saves your entertainment unit from taking up unnecessary space! Underfoot, low-maintenance parquet flooring offers a relaxed aesthetic that lends itself to the welcoming vibe of this home.

Sightlines from the front of the home continue down the main hall, where you’ll find two ample-sized bedrooms and a full four-piece bath to share. As you continue past he laundry closet to the rear of the home, the hall opens into a generous eat-in kitchen. We kind of adore the funky tile that is again serving vintage vibes! While the cabinetry is a bit dated, the space plan is excellent, and the stainless steel appliances shine! The dining area is set back from the cooking space, and offers a pretty view of the rear patio through double sliding doors! It walks out directly into an outdoor entertainment space that is fully fenced for extra privacy. If you own a vehicle you’ll love what awaits through a door in the fence – one-car parking with laneway access! How nice is that?

We also love the den which is a bit of a bonus! It is removed from the rest of the suite – down a set of stairs – and boasts new vinyl plank flooring, a large fireplace, and a brick feature wall reminiscent of a loft space. It’s the perfect escape if you need some peace and quiet or a space to work!  Also on the lower level is a contained apartment, accessed via a separate below-grade entrance at the front of the house. This one-bedroom flat could offer additional living space for extended family, become a nanny/moody teen suite, or provide an income supplement! Having high ceilings, an open concept entertainment space above grade windows, and decent airflow, this endearing flat outshines the majority of basement units we’ve seen!

Offering substantial versatility, this downtown dwelling is well-suited to the discriminating buyer who covets the big city bright light lifestyle, and values having life-improving amenities just steps away! If you’re a lover of the urban spirit but also enjoy having your own ‘tucked away’ retreat, 19 Whitaker Avenue may be the one for you!

Want to learn more? Contact steve@urbaneer.com for more information!

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