Toronto Loft Conversions

Toronto Loft Conversions

I know classic brick and beam lofts! From warehouses to factories to churches, Laurin will help you find your perfect new loft.

Modern Toronto Lofts

Modern Toronto Lofts

Not just converted lofts, I can help you find the latest cool and modern space. There are tons of new urban spaces across the city.

Unique Toronto Homes

Unique Toronto Homes

More than just lofts, I can also help you find that perfect house. From the latest architectural marvel to a piece of our Victorian past, the best and most creative spaces abound.

Condos in Toronto

Condos in Toronto

I started off selling mainly condos, helping first time buyers get a foothold in the Toronto real estate market. Now working with investors and helping empty nesters find that perfect luxury suite.

Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate

For all of your Toronto real estate needs, contact Laurin. I am dedicated to helping you find that perfect and unique new home to call your own.


Economist defends new tax proposals

Jeff Gray – Globe and Mail

One of Canada’s leading economists is dismissing warnings of economic aftershocks from Mayor David Miller’s two proposed new taxes, saying the city needs new sources of revenue to balance its books.

The Toronto real estate industry and the Canadian Automobile Association have slammed the two plans: a tax of up to 2% on home purchases and a $60 levy on motor vehicle ownership starting next year.

Yesterday, they took their fight to Queen’s Park, asking the provincial government to reduce its land transfer tax to accommodate any new city levy.

Don Drummond, chief economist with TD Bank Financial Group, was more sympathetic to the need for the new levies.

He was responding after a presentation to the mayor’s executive committee this week in which the president of the Toronto Board of Trade, Carol Wilding, warned that new fees would “will erode our economic competitiveness.”

Mr. Drummond said Mr. Miller’s proposed taxes are not a bad way to raise cash and will give the city control over new revenue sources, reducing its need to beg other governments for money.

“We have been saying that they have to diversify their revenue base, so it would be a little bit hypocritical if I were to be critical of that. I think it’s a satisfactory move,” Mr. Drummond said in an interview.

However, he said, the two taxes are a missed opportunity, since they are unlike to alter anyone’s behaviour, meaning they will not achieve broader public policy goals, such as getting people out of their cars and into public transit: “Ideally, you would levy a tax that would change some behaviour in some way, [the new tax proposal] doesn’t do that.”

Both taxes, he pointed out, would be applied on top of existing provincial taxes, and would be “inelastic” sources of revenue.

Few people will choose to not to buy a car or a house because of the new taxes, he argued.

Meanwhile, both the city and the Toronto Real Estate Board are asking Queen’s Park to reduce its portion of the land transfer tax to make room for the city’s new levy, which must still be approved by city council.

Von Palmer, the Toronto Real Estate Board’s government-relations director, said he was making his case to both the government and opposition leaders as the province heads toward an election this October.

He said the industry could at least live with the city’s new tax if the province cut its current land transfer tax to make the change “revenue neutral.”

Councillor Brian Ashton (Scarborough Southwest) moved a motion at the executive committee meeting this week directing city officials to formally ask Queen’s Park to cut its land transfer tax in order to make room for the city’s.

The recommendation must still be approved by council as a whole, although city bureaucrats have already raised the idea with their provincial counterparts.

If imposed, Toronto would be the only city in the province allowed to piggyback its own land transfer tax, worth $300-million a year, on the provincial system.

First-time buyers of new homes and condos would receive a rebate of up to $2,000, which means they would not pay the tax on a home valued at $227,000.

But a buyer of a $400,000 home would pay $4,475, in addition to the current provincial tax of the same amount.

The city says its proposed $60 fee on motor vehicle registrations would raise an estimated $56-million a year, but provincial officials have dismissed the idea that the city would be able to use the province’s existing system to collect the revenue.


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