Houses in cities across north America often sell for big numbers if they’re “on the water,” assuming that is a body of water, ie. a lake or an ocean, and we know that ravine-lots do well too.
So where can you find something “on the waterfront” in Toronto?
Where you can you have both a cottage and a home?
Clearly not downtown, we know that for sure. But venture out further east, and you’ll be shocked at what you can find…
If you can’t immediately name both the people pictured above, then you need more culture.
And if you can’t name the movie that they were in, well, then I think all hope is lost.
To quote Homer Simpson:
“I saw this movie about a bus that had to SPEED around a city, keeping its SPEED over fifty, and if its SPEED dropped, it would explode! I think it was called, ‘The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down.'”
There’s a house in Toronto that I have always admired, and it’s on Fallingbrook Drive, in the Beaches.
People will suggest that the “prime Beaches” are just north of Queen Street, and east of, say, Scarborough Road.
All the best-known streets are named after trees: Balsam Avenue, Cedar Avenue, Silver Birch Avenue, Willow Avenue, Pine Crescent, Spruce Hill Road, Beech Avenue, etc.
But the best pocket in the Beaches is actually east of Victoria Park Avenue (most people associate “Victoria Park” with “Scarborough”), and in the area pictured below, with the red dot denoting the house I have always admired most in Toronto:
Fallingbrook Woods, Fallingbrook Road, Fallingbrook Crescent, and Fallingbrook Drive.
There must be something special about this pocket, just by the names alone, no?
Well when you curve around the bend on Fallingbrook Drive, you can actually see Lake Ontario from in between the houses!
There are only a couple of houses that back onto the water, as seen here from Land Registry:
Just look at that!
These houses have docks!
Like a cottage!
So just imagine having a house – in Toronto of all places, where you look out at the water, you have a beach, and you have a dock.
Did you ever think such a thing existed?
Look at the photos from the MLS listing – the last time my “dream home” was listed, in 2006:
That’s a private beach, and that’s the LAKE!
This lot is truly one of a kind, and perhaps that’s why it sold for $2,850,000 seven years ago. Just imagine what that would cost today.
The crazy thing is – several of these homes have been completely rebuilt in the last few years, so it’s not inconceivable that almost $3M is truly “land value.”
Okay, so at this point you’re thinking, “David, why are you teasing us with waterfront lots that cost $3M just for the land? How is this useful to us?”
Well, the point I wanted to make today was that not every waterfront lot is going to cost you $5M, all-in.
Go east, my friends.
Go further east, into Scarborough proper, and toward Midland Avenue.
Just west of the Scarborough Bluffs is a small pocket called “Cliffside,” and in that pocket is a street called Fishleigh Avenue:
As you can see from the map, Fishleigh Avenue backs right onto the water, and while cruising the area last night, I couldn’t help but notice that some absolute monster homes are being built on those lots.
And what do these lots cost?
Well, not $3 Million like the lots on Fallingbrook.
Here are two photos of the backyard and beach (yes, “beach,” I can’t believe it…) from a house that sold for $815,000:
Yes, that’s right folks – you can have Muskoka Chairs overlooking the lake, from your house in Toronto.
Okay, fine, those aren’t Muskoka Chairs……they’re cheap, ugly, plastic chairs from Zellers or Target. But you get the point.
And this wasn’t just $815,000 of “land value.” This was a ranch-style bungalow on a 55 x 200 foot lot, fully liveable, although probably in need of an aesthetic renovation.
Here are two photos from another listing on the street. Imagine having a photo of a sunset over the lake in your MLS listing!?!?!
Am I alone here?
Isn’t this mind-blowing stuff?
It took me 22-minutes to drive from Fishleigh Drive to my downtown condo at 8:30pm, so assuming there’s traffic, maybe it takes you 40 minutes. But if you work long hours (like many of the very successful people who have bought lots on this street and are building monster homes), and drive to the office at 7:30am, the commute is nothing.
As I sit here, staring out the window at the CN Tower, Scotia Plaza, and the word “Dynamic” that’s plastered across the top of another building that I can’t really identify, I can’t help but wonder what life would be like, looking out at Lake Ontario instead…