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Tag Archives: THE RESIDENCES AT THE RITZ-CARLTON

The Ritz versus reality: How to spend $1M in Toronto’s real estate market

Jeff Lagerquist – Business News Network

There are few brands as closely associated with the height of luxury as Ritz Carlton. Merely mentioning that you live at The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton in say, a crowded bar, is ample cause for average Joes perk up their ears and strain their necks to catch a glimpse of a de facto “high roller.”

Named after a man with a reputation for being the “king of hoteliers, and hotelier to kings,” Ritz-Carlton properties are widely held to be a benchmark of sorts for luxury accommodation, and the Toronto iteration at 181 Wellington Street West is no exception.

Toronto’s housing market initially gave the 161 Ritz residences a cold shoulder when they went on sale in 2012, but a search of Realtor.ca yielded only six hits on Friday.

Comment: There was a glut of luxury condos at the time, it was just bad timing for the Ritz, Trump and Four Seasons. All at once.

Comparing a suite in such a place to a simple house about 20 minutes west in the Princess Gardens neighbourhood of Etobicoke, is perhaps the real estate equivalent of weighing 10 pounds of hamburger beef against a Kobe beef steak. But it does underscore just how expensive… ahem… exclusive, living at the Ritz really is.

Ritz Carlton Residence
THE RITZ

Price: $1,150,000
Living space: 1,397 square feet
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Built: 2011
Address: #3703 181 Wellington Street West, Toronto
Neighbourhood: Downtown

Only a few will ever know what it’s like to pull past a sign that reads “Ritz-Carlton,” step out of your car to a greeting from a concierge who will in time know you by name, watch said concierge unpack your shopping, pass the mere mortals on their honeymoon in the lobby on your way to the elevator, and look out over the city skyline from the ninth tallest building, knowing you’re at home.

“A million dollars affords a purchaser a five-star residence at the private estates above the Ritz Carlton Hotel. When you’re living in the residence you have full access to the services and amenities provided by the Ritz hotel,” said Lisa Searchfield, a broker with Sotheby’s International Realty.

Of courses this means top notch fitness centre, pool, and club privileges, but also 24-hour room service which can be summoned through a special phone. You know, for when you are tired of slaving away in your modern professionally equipped kitchen finished with marble and granite to your exact specification.

Most of the unit is bathed in natural light through nearly 10 foot floor-to-ceiling windows displaying an unobstructed view of the city and Lake Ontario. Every surface looks as if it’s been scrutinized down to the last detail, from the crown moldings down to the herringbone hardwood floors.

“Everything is done to the highest specification, finished in marble and granite. This suite is amazing,” said Searchfield.

Perhaps when measuring the value proposition of living at the Ritz we should use something more comparable, like the cost of staying at the Ritz for a night in a similarly sized guest suite with taxes included. By that measure, this condo starts to make sense after a mere 2,000 stays.

52 Firwood Crescent
THE REST

Price: $1,199,000
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 5
Built: 2013
Address: 52 Firwood Crescent, Toronto, Ontario
Neighbourhood: Princess-Rosethorn

While The Ritz is a tough act to follow, and often the choice of the jetsetter type with the means for more than one home, this is an entire three-story house that’s virtually brand new about a half hours drive away from downtown.

And it’s no slouch with its hardwood floors, oak stairs and railings, nine foot ceilings on the main floor, stone kitchen countertops, stainless steel appliances with a glass tile backsplash, and imported European doors and windows with multi-point locks.

“It’s basically a new home. And it’s in an upcoming neighbourhood that’s a mix between new homes and older bungalows,” said Rui Ramos from Re/Max Ultimate Realty Inc.

This house stands out next to its older neighbours as one of about 25 built recently as part of an infill development. Ramos says it’s drawing a healthy amount of attention for a December listing, which is typically a slow month.

“We’ve had maybe 20 people come out to look at it since it went on the market about a month ago,” said Ramos.

Like most realtors, he says to buy the house if investment potential is something you’re interested in. He says a house on a Toronto lot has the one thing that even the most rich and powerful Ritz-Carlton resident can’t pay to create more of – land.

MARKET OUTLOOK

Royal LePage says Toronto will lead the pack when it comes to housing price increases in 2015 as a weaker Canadian dollar and robust U.S. economy boost Ontario’s manufacturing sector. The realtor expects the average price to increase by 4.5% this year, well ahead of Vancouver at 2.8% and Calgary 2.4%.

Perhaps it’s the threat of higher housing costs that Ramos has to thank for healthy number of buyers he comes across.

“My opinion is that 2015 is going to be another excellent year for sales. Everything will sell as long as people don’t exaggerate on the asking price. There are a lot of buyers out there,” he said.

Comment: Amen.

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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