Sunday February 26, 2017
- Language Hat reports on the Wenzhounese of Italy.
- Language Log writes about the tones of Cantonese.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money writes about the costs of law school. (They are significant, and escalating hugely.)
- Marginal Revolution reports on the problems facing the Brazilian pension system, perhaps overgenerous for a relatively poor country facing rapid aging.
- Neuroskeptic reports on the latest re: the crisis of scientists not being able to replicate evidence, now even their own work being problematic.
- Personal Reflections considers</u> the questions of how to preserve the dignity of people facing Alzheimer's.
- The Russian Demographics Blog notes a Financial Times article looking at the impact of aging on global real estate.
- Spacing Toronto talks about the campaign to name a school after Jean Earle Geeson, a teacher and activist who helped save Fort York.
- At Wave Without A Shore, C.J. Cherryh shares photos of her goldfish.
- Window on Eurasia notes growing instability in Daghestan, looks at the latest in Georgian historical memory, and shares an article arguing that Putin's actions have worsened Russia's reputation catastrophically.
Saturday February 25, 2017
31 January, 2017
Toronto may require measures to cool its red-hot housing market similar to moves taken in Vancouver if interest rates don’t increase, said Royal Bank of Canada Chief Executive Officer David McKay.
The head of Canada’s largest lender said Toronto housing is “running hot” and is fueled by a "concerning mix of drivers" that include lack of supply, continued low rates, rising foreign money and speculative activity. Similar circumstances in Vancouver prompted British Columbia’s government last year to impose a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers.
“In the absence of being able to use higher rates to reduce that, I do think we’re going to at some point have to consider similar measures to slow down the housing price growth," McKay said Friday in a telephone interview.
The comments from the bank CEO come as frustration grows over the unaffordability of properties in Canada’s biggest city. The average home price in Toronto jumped 22 percent in January from the previous year, the fifth straight month of gains topping 20 percent. Listings have dropped off, down by half from last year, squeezing prices further.
The CEOs of Canada’s other big banks last year called on the government to increase housing regulation amid skyrocketing prices in Vancouver and Toronto. National Bank of Canada CEO Louis Vachon said that minimum downpayments should return to 10 percent from 5 percent, while Bank of Nova Scotia head Brian Porter suggested his company was pulling back on mortgage lending due to concern about high home prices in those two cities.
One of Toronto's most beautiful buildings has hit the market for the grand sum of $1. Just don't expect the former Bank of Toronto at 205 Yonge St., to sell for anywhere near that price.
Designed by landmark Toronto architect E.J. Lennox in 1905, the bank was built in the neo-classical style with a remarkable domed roof, terrazzo floors, marble walls, and striking Corinthian columns that face Yonge Street.
It's one of two glorious old bank buildings that'll be injected with new life as the Massey Tower rises above them. Nearby 197 Yonge St. is also one of Toronto's iconic historical structures.
As for the listing price, it's basically an auction. Real estate agent Shawn Abramovitz argues that this pricing strategy also hints at the difficulty of putting a value on such a unique property.
Mirvish Village is dead. Long live Mirvish Village. In the area near Honest Ed’s this week, workers had put up fences around a string of Victorian houses on Markham Street, preparing to gut them, while creatives assembled an “Art Maze” inside the old Honest Ed’s store for a festival and sendoff, An Honest Farewell, this weekend.
It’s the end of an age at Bloor and Bathurst Streets: the loveable shambles of Honest Ed’s is gone forever. But as this weekend’s events suggest, the past will continue to have a presence on the site.
The new development at Mirvish Village, after two years of conversation between developers Westbank, locals and the city, is inching closer to approval, with a new proposal submitted in January to the city. Westbank paid $72-million for the site, a big number, and yet the result is as good as private development gets in Toronto. It features meaningful preservation of heritage buildings, a serious sustainability agenda, and affordable housing – not to mention an architectural and leasing strategy geared at making the place as lively as possible, even a bit weird.
That’s all because the developers have been ready to engage in meaningful discussion: The city and the community have made this proposal better through talking and listening.
When the first Westbank proposal emerged in early 2015, “I think [the City of Toronto] were surprised by how much we were offering,” the main architect, Vancouver’s Gregory Henriquez, told me last week. “That’s how we deal in Vancouver: We come with our best offer.”
Rising to an incredible 98 storeys, Toronto's—and Canada's—tallest building could be coming to the southeast corner of Yonge and Gerrard. Designed by New York's Kohn Pedersen Fox for Cresford Developments, the super-tall tower would feature a mix of retail, office uses, and residential space. The height? 343.9 metres.
With the developers now putting forward a submission to the City of Toronto, further details of the project are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks. Cresford announced a year ago now that a new building—YSL Residences—would be a new landmark development in Downtown Toronto. Now released, renderings depict a sleek, faintly sculptural form with a smooth, glassy exterior, free of balconies. Fronting the corner, the existing three-storey heritage building at Yonge and Gerrard would be maintained, with a small, angular podium volume rising above.
[. . .]
Located kitty-corner from the 78-storey Aura at College Park, which—for now—remains the country's tallest residential building, the development would add a declarative height peak to what could become one of Toronto's tallest communities. Immediately across Yonge Street, the Delta Hotel site is currently subject to another massive redevelopment plan, with Great Eagle Holdings' 'Chelsea Green' proposal calling for three architectsAlliance-designed high-rises, including two 88-storey towers, and a 49-storey building.
The architect's renderings are amazing.
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