Happy Holidays From Toronto Realty Blog!


7 minute read

December 22, 2023

Here we go again…

It’s the inevitable year-end sign-off that I both dread and look forward to so much.

I’d like to thank all the daily TRB readers for their continued support, readership, and contributions in the comments section over the last year, including, but most certainly not limited to:

Ace Goodheart, Appraiser, Derek, Marina, Libertarian, Sigruper, Graham (the real G-Money), Francesca, Vancouver Keith, Condodweller, Nobody, London Agent, Island Home Owner, Quiet Bard, Steve, A Grant, Jenn, Different David, Bryan, Jimbo, JF007, East Yorker, Steph, Frances, Marty, R, Geoff, Josh Hryniak, JL, Cyber, Joel, Ed, Anwar, Laurie, Izzy Bedibida, Jennifer, J, Andrew, Daniel, PM, Crofty, Egghead, Adrian, RPG, Anon, JG, Ken Davenport, GinaTO, TOPlanner, Nick, Your Favourite Tenant, Johnny Chase, Bal, J G, hoob, Toad, Paul, KK, sunshine,  Chris, Rob, ChT, Anna, Margaret, Eddie, adam, Katie, Edwin, Tony, Ron, Mike, John, James, Alexander, and anybody else that I forgot, although I scrolled through comments dating back to April of this year so I’d like to think I’ve got everybody!

This is the 17th yearly sign-off on TRB, dating back to 2007.

There are people the same age as Toronto Realty Blog who are now old enough to drive cars, which absolutely boggles my mind!

Somebody asked me this year, “What was the first blog post you ever wrote?”

I didn’t know.

Despite having a fantastic long-term memory (the short-term memory started to go last year…), and remembering just about every person, name, place, and detail throughout my real estate career, I couldn’t remember the first blog post that I ever wrote.

So I looked it up!

June 30th, 2007, I wrote: “Listing Of The Day: 454 Millwood Road”

Except, sometime around 2010, I received a RECO complaint for what I had written about a property in my “Listing Of The Day” feature, so I had to mark all such features as “private” in the back end, effectively removing them from Toronto Realty Blog and Google forever.

What did I write in that blog for which the RECO complaint was launched?

Something to the effect of, “The decor inside the house is so ugly that you’re not just wondering if the Golden Girls lived there, but rather if they died there, remained there, and became part of the ambiance that makes this house the disgusting mess that it is.”


Back in 2007, nobody knew what a blog was.  Nobody read this silly thing.  So I figured that I could simply opine, good or bad, in an open forum, about properties listed for sale!  Just think of how many rules I was breaking!  Unauthorized advertising of a competitor’s listing, disparaging a competitor’s listing, providing ‘sold data,’ and so on.

After removing these “Listing Of The Day” posts, and ceasing to continue the feature, I felt something was lacking.

It wasn’t until 2012 that I started my “Pick5” feature, which was a work-around the RECO and TRREB rules that effectively allowed me to do exactly what I wanted: talk about properties listed for sale, show addresses/photos/info even contained in the “Remarks For Brokerages” section, discuss pricing, predict sale prices, offer comparable sold data, and freely and honestly talk about the quality of the property, the listing, and the listing agent’s efforts, all things that a Realtor can’t do in an open forum.

I got some great press too.

Front cover of the Toronto Star Business section in their Saturday Edition:

September 3rd, 2013: “Can Online Home Reviews Work?”

The title seems silly, ten years later.

It’s like my university professor in 1999 telling me, “The Internet might be a forum for commerce in the future, but don’t let your imagination run too far away from reality.”

Gee, thanks.  All I wanted to do was start a company that sold clothing online.  I bet that never would have worked…

In any event, the real first blog I ever wrote, after removing the “Listing Of The Day” features, remains this one:

July 1st, 2007: “Condo BUST? I Don’t Think So!”

It was 449 words.


In 2023, I can’t even get through my “folksy intro” in such a small amount of characters!

I’m sure I’ve told the story of how Toronto Realty Blog came to be, as well as the advice that I was given, but here are the two things that I was told:

1) You only need to blog once per week.
2) The blogs should be 400-500 words and no more.


And since that was what “everybody else” was doing, I decided that I would write blogs every single day.

That’s right.

While I currently only write blogs on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, consider that back in 2007, I wrote a new one every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

It was a lot.

Now, I was only writing 600 words back then, but it climbed well above 1,000 in short order.

I started writing four times per week in 2008 and I kept that going for several years.

When I started “Pick5” in 2012, I decided to only write Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but now my blogs were averaging about 1,800 words each.

It was a lot.

Since 2012, I have continued to write Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but my blogs now average 2,600 words, and I’m producing “Pick5” on Thursday’s.

It’s a lot.

All this is to say that I have made a decision that was perhaps a long time coming, as well as something my close friends and colleagues have been urging me to do for years.  Here it is:

Starting in 2024, there will be new blogs on TRB every Monday and Thursday.

Don’t hate me.

I will still be producing Pick5 every Thursday, and my team and I are going to produce one YouTube video every week as well as one podcast, but that will likely be of little interest to those of you reading this, today, here.

Everybody absorbs information in different ways, and as a result, individuals today will actively choose how to do so.

In 2007, most people read.  The idea behind Toronto Realty Blog was sound, given that a blog post viewed on your computer screen was likely the best way to find, view, and absorb information about real estate.

But in 2023, people want to watch and they want to listen.  They want to scroll.

I respect, appreciate, and adore my TRB readers but I simply can’t create the necessary content three times per week anymore.

The change is long overdue.

Just as I was hanging on to my Blackberry 8600 well into the iPhone years, and as I was still downloading MP3’s well into Spotify and Apple Music’s dominance, I too have hung on to writing as my main form of communication longer than I should have.

So that’s the most interesting change ahead for Toronto Realty Blog, but if you’ll allow it to be, it could be exciting.

I notice that I listen to podcasts while raking leaves, shoveling snow, or doing anything around the house that’s going to consume an hour.  I listen to podcasts in the car every single day.

I also watch videos on YouTube when I’m sitting in the rocking chair, waiting for one of my kids to fall asleep.

I still read more than anything else, but I too have changed the way that I view and absorb information as well.

Of course, new ideas take time to be implemented and absorbed, so just as Toronto Realty Blog found humble beginnings in 2007, I’m sure our videos and podcasts will take some time as well.  But it’s a new challenge and it will be fun!  And I’m going to have the whole team partake.

In this space last year, I announced that my goal for 2023 was to run a marathon.

I didn’t do that.

I ran a half-marathon, so that counts for something, right?

But that too came with some disappointment…

Two weeks before the race, I was out for the last big run of my training schedule, I felt a sharp pain in my knee and I couldn’t run any further.

I rested for two full weeks, stretched, got massaged, and took a soft jog around the neighbourhood the day before the race to test it out, with no pain in the knee.  So I headed out that Sunday and took part in the TCS Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon

All was going well at first.

I got through the first 10 KM in just over 51 minutes, so I was on pace for the 1:49:59 that was my target.  But by 12 KM, the sharp pain returned.  By 14 KM, I couldn’t run.  So I basically ran-walked the last seven KM and finished in 2:12:40, which I chalked up to an epic failure, but for which everybody around me said, “You did it!”

Did I?

My sports medicine doctor said it’s patellar tendonitis or “jumper’s knee” and the only cure is time.


He also said it’s the result of over-training or trying to do too much, too fast.


He also said I should spend 2024 training for a 10KM race, then do a half-marathon in 2025.


But if any of you tell me otherwise, I’ll take your advice over his.  I’m not one to “do the right thing” or “listen to the experts.”  I can be “impulsive.”  I can often “make the wrong choices.”  So please, tell me, tell me, shall I attempt the half-marathon again in October?  Will you, oh will you please, please meet me there?

I’m heading to London, England with my family after Christmas to see my brother and his family, who have lived there since 2014.

My kids are very excited, as is my wife, but I’m one of those, “I’ll enjoy it once I’m there” kind of people.  The packing, driving, rushing through the airport, getting the kids situated, praying for a smooth flight, hoping nobody vomits or cries for seven hours – that makes it hard for me to look forward to.

The best part about being in England is the time difference, in that from 9:00am to about 3:00pm, I won’t expect to receive a single email, text message, or phone call.  Whether I should expect there to be little distraction over the Christmas holidays, or not, it’s nice to know that I won’t have to check my phone every five minutes like I do in Toronto.  In fact, I find that by the second day there, the impulse to lift my phone to my eyes – much like a smoker raising a cigarette or vape to their lips – begins to subside.

Between now and then, I suppose all that’s left to do is……..relax and enjoy?

Be present?

Yes.  Be present.

And open presents.

In that order.

Thank you once again to everybody for your readership, support, and contributions to Toronto Realty Blog through 2023.  Have a wonderful holiday season, a safe and happy New Year’s, and I’ll see you back here on Monday, January 8th to talk about the what lays in store for the Toronto real estate market in 2024.


Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

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  1. Francesca

    at 7:59 am

    Thank you David for another wonderful year of informative and often very entertaining blogs! My daughter was born in may 2007 and is now driving as you mentioned! As someone who is turning 50 in January I still prefer to read rather than watch or listen to podcasts and videos but it makes total sense you are changing with the times and having your team contribute too. I’ll just have to remember to check on Thursday instead of Wednesday now for your blog! Enjoy your time off with family in England and all the best for 2024. Happy holidays!

  2. Graham (the real G-Money)

    at 8:30 am

    I enjoy reading the blogs especially the folksy intros, but I can understand the shift. Like and subscribe to my channel, bruv!

    Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Happy New Year. Peace.

    I’d like to teach the world to sing (Sing with me)
    In perfect harmony (Perfect harmony)
    I’d like to buy the world a Coke
    And keep it company (That’s the real thing)

  3. Libertarian

    at 1:10 pm

    Another podcaster???? Geez Louise!

    Just kidding, David.

    All the best to you and the family. Enjoy England.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the readers as well!

  4. Anwar

    at 11:01 am

    Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, David!

    Looking forward to some early year predictions and prognostications.

  5. Jenn

    at 10:43 am

    Merry Christmas!! 🎄🎅🏻🤶

  6. Andrew

    at 12:26 pm

    Thank you for another year of real estate insight and a forum for real estate banter.

    Looking forward to checking out the videos and podcasts in 2024.

  7. Ace Goodheart

    at 11:52 am

    Thanks for all the interesting reading. The thing I like most about your materiel is the numbers based, matter of fact arguments.

    Everyone has an opinion on Toronto real estate but to read someone who consistently has the numbers to back up that opinion is refreshing.

    Best to you and yours and wishing you a happy holidays and a successful new year!

  8. Derek

    at 2:33 pm

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  9. Ace Goodheart

    at 8:25 pm

    Oh and a Christmas tip for everyone:

    I just finished buying all my 2024 Halloween.decorations.

    They are set on surge pricing.

    The same animatronic that costs 1499.00US on October 25th, can be bought for 49.99US on Christmas day.

    Surge pricing. The higher the demand, the more it costs.

    I’ll purchase my new Christmas decorations on the July Canada day long weekend, like I always do. Prices are the cheapest at that time.

    Merry Christmas !

  10. Ace Goodheart

    at 11:23 pm

    I have spent some of the holidays trying to understand B.C.’s “non resident speculation tax” as it applies to residential real estate.

    I have been doing this because this tax appears in the Liberal platform for Ontario, should they win the next election (and up-end Doug Ford and his Conservatives).

    It is a very interesting tax. It is hard to understand the legislation, but I think I have gotten it after much reading and re-reading.

    The gist of it seems to be that, a property will be considered to be owned for the purposes of speculation, if the resident family pays most of its income taxes OUTSIDE OF CANADA.

    If that is found to be the case, then a 2% yearly speculation tax is applied on the assessed value. This tax is usually in the low to mid five figures, yearly. The average amount is between $30,000 and $50,000.00 per year.

    So, in the following situation, speculation tax would be payable: A person and his three children live in a house in Toronto. He is married to a woman who works 9 months of the year in the USA, say as an airline pilot. She pays US income tax and is non resident for the purposes of taxation in Canada. She is home in Canada an aggregate of 3 months out of a 12 month calendar year.

    The family owns their Toronto home. They have lived in it for 20 years. The spouse does not own real estate in the USA (she’s a pilot, so she just stays in hotels when she is flying, paid for by the airline). They own no other properties.

    The kids are all in high school, and they have lived their entire lives in Toronto, in the family home. The father and children have never traveled outside of Ontario. The father lived in one other home in Ontario, owned by his parents, prior to purchasing the family home in Toronto with his wife. He has lived nowhere else since moving out of his parents’ house.

    This family would, under the B.C. legislation, which is being proposed for Ontario, be subject to a yearly 2% vacant home speculation tax, on the facts which I have set out above.

    I have read the B.C. legislation over and over again, and I can’t see any other outcome. They would be deemed to be non resident speculators and their house would be deemed by law to be vacant.

    This may be coming to Ontario. It is important that people understand these taxes before they vote for them.

    1. David Fleming

      at 7:55 am

      @ Ace Goodheart

      We need to collaborate in the New Year. What if the readers became guests on the podcast/video?? 🙂

      1. Ace Goodheart

        at 5:15 pm

        That would be interesting.

    2. Jennifer

      at 12:56 pm

      Would the husband not be eligible for exemption? Why would he not qualify for his interest? Are we sure the wife is a non-resident of Canada? Seems she has substantial residential ties to Canada, not sure how the rest of the test works.

      1. Ace Goodheart

        at 5:14 pm

        According to the BC Provincial anti speculation tax, if the majority of the household income is taxable outside of the Province of B.C. the entire household is deemed to be non resident and the house is deemed vacant for the purposes of speculation.

        This is true even if the father owns the house himself, the wife does not have any interest in it on the title and the father also works (but earns less than the wife).

        The house is deemed to be vacant and taxed as a property held for speculation.

        That is the law they are advocating for in Ontario. It is quite scary.

        1. hoob

          at 2:29 pm

          Interesting, I wonder if US Tax Persons (for whom all Canadian income is considered taxable in the US, thus is taxable outside of the province) would then fall under this classification as well.

          There are about ~2M US tax persons residing in Canada.

  11. RPG

    at 4:23 am

    But David, if you no longer post on Friday then what becomes of the classic “Friday Rant” series of posts?

    1. David Fleming

      at 7:54 am

      @ RPG

      I have a confession to make: I had actually never thought of this.


      1. Derek

        at 1:45 pm

        The Friday Rap (video)?

        This is a story all about how
        The Market got Flipped, turned upside down.
        I’d like to take 7000 words
        Just sit right down
        I’ll tell you how I became the Prince of a Market called Hogtown

        No, nevermind… Don’t do that.

  12. JG

    at 12:18 pm

    Happy Holidays, and see ya in the new year!!

  13. Anonymous Realtor

    at 8:28 am

    A late Merry Christmas but an early Happy New Year!

    Thanks again to DF for another year of tales from the real estate trenches.

    Looking forward to what 2024 brings.

  14. hoob

    at 2:25 pm

    Today we learned David has a rocking chair. That is all.

  15. Peter

    at 6:22 pm

    Good lord, somebody throw a pie! It sure is quiet in here!

  16. QuietBard

    at 11:21 am

    “I ran a half-marathon, so that counts for something, right?” Are you asking or telling? You have to decide whether you will run the marathon or not. No one can do it for you.

    So your sports doctor told you to rest and then run some more. How does that saying go… doing the same thing over and over again…. I digress.

    Lucky for you I’m no expert and occasionally make the right decision. Now, before we get to action steps that you can impulsively take, some science is in order. Knee pain while felt in the knee doesn’t actually originate from it. First, it is a hinge joint connected to the foot and the hip. The foot is connected to the floor and the hip connects to the pelvis and upper torso. Basically these two are fixed and can’t really “move” around. Your knee joint does the “moving”. Essentially if something is wrong in your foot or hip the knee flexes to help adjust the problems in the other two areas. So you need to make sure your feet and hips are functionally sound. To add to the complexity, a ton of muscles, tendons, ligaments etc are connected to the knee joint. If there are big imbalances in the muscles it can cause issues in the knee. Bored yet?

    So right off the bat I can tell you have weak hamstrings and tibiae. How do I know? Simple. Tell me what exercises strengthen those muscles. Tell me what purpose they have in helping you move. Can you even flex those muscles like flexing your bicep? Answer: doubtful at best. Get a tibialis equipment trainer and crank out the reps, stronger tibia’s help flex the foot, provide stability and strength. Get some resistance bands and train your hamstrings. Do exercises that provide flexion at the knee and extension at the hip. If you’re a real glutton for punishment try to work your way to a nordic curl. Might as well do some glute exercises while you’re at it. Should help alleviate back pain, which I think you mentioned you suffer from in the past. Also, do some strength training for your feet. Unfortunately I haven’t suffered from ankle/foot problems yet so I don’t know what exercises to recommend.

    Concrete is an unnatural material and the body wasn’t designed to take repeated high impact abuse from it. Look into getting better running shoes that will support you. Also try running on different paths, dirt, grass, sand (this one is especially good for strengthening weak links). While I’m not recommending doing this last one, I am recommending you looking into it. There are shoes called “barefoot” or “open toe”. Essentially they have a bigger front for your toes to have space to spread out freely and less padding on the bottom. They are designed to let your feet get stronger by removing the “handrails” and deficiencies of modern shoes. The reason I can’t recommend them is that I don’t know how legit the science is. I have been using a pair for a few weeks now and they definitely feel good to walk in. Start slow walking 20-30 mins and see how you feel. Just don’t go running in them. You can get a decent pair on amazon for like 70 bucks

    And there you have it. The step-by-step guide to see me at the finish line. Although, I’m a busy man but I think I can pencil in a 30 second FaceTime appearance. Assuming you make it to the end.

Pick5 is a weekly series comparing and analyzing five residential properties based on price, style, location, and neighbourhood.

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