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Top 5 Condos to Invest in on the Downtown Relief Line

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DRL Map True CondosThe Downtown Relief Line has been talked about for decades, but now it is inching closer to reality.

The purpose of this new subway line is to bring “relief” to the overcrowded Yonge street line by pulling riders off the Danforth line and bringing them downtown through the Riverdale/Leslieville/Queen street east neighbourhoods.

After several revisions, the City of Toronto has put forth their recommended route with exact locations of the subway stations, even where the entrances will be located on the street.

Anytime a major new transit line like this is proposed, it is very exciting news for real estate investors.

The relief line combined with John Tory’s SmartTrack will create the infrastructure backbone for a real estate development explosion in the east side of the city.

In 5 years there will probably be 20 great new condo projects along this line, but for now, the list is pretty thin compared to if we did the same on the west side of the city.

The east side of the city has always lagged behind the west side from a real estate development standpoint, but all that is about to change.

As always, the investors who get in before the word is out will do the best in the long run.

Here are the top-5 projects to invest in now on the proposed Downtown Relief Line.

The-Wyatt-Condos-Regent-Park-Toronto-Regent-Park-Life-DanielsThe Wyatt

[content_box box_type=”normal”]Launch Date: Fall 2016

Developer: Daniels

Number of Units: Approx 300

Price Per Square Foot: Mid $500s

Distance to the proposed DRL subway station: 600m[/content_box]

The Wyatt is going to be the next building launched in Daniels acclaimed revitalization of the Regent Park neighbourhood.

The tower is expected to launch in September of this year (2016).

Located at Dundas and Sumach, this building would be a straight shot down Sumach to the proposed King-Sumach Station.

Regent Park is a great example of a neighbourhood that could really be positively impacted by the construction of the Downtown Relief Line. Already well connected to the downtown and served by 3 streetcar lines, adding a subway station within 5 minutes walk would dramatically increase the attractiveness of this blossoming neighbourhood.

The Regent Park revitalization process is just over halfway finished today but if the DRL happens it will be fully completed right around the same time that the DRL will be too.

rivercity3River City 3&4

[content_box box_type=”normal”]Launch Date: RC3 already launched, RC4 launch date unknown

Developer: Urban Capital

Number of Units: RC3 – 332, RC4 – approx 100

Price Per Square Foot: Low $600s

Distance to the proposed DRL subway station: 300m[/content_box]

River City 3 and River City 4 are the last 2 phases of the award-winning River City buildings. First launched in 2009, River City has set a new standard for architectural excellence on the east side of downtown.

RC3 is under construction now and will be completed by 2018. RC4 is a small boutique-sized building that will launch probably sometime in the next year.

RC3&4 would be just steps away from the proposed King-Sumach station.

RC1&2 resale prices are really strong lately, with some units creeping over the $700psf mark which is always a big psychological price barrier for any condo building. If you add in a subway station to this location, along with all the great action happening in the West Don Lands in general, values in these buildings could really explode over the next decade.


Riverside Square

[content_box box_type=”normal”]Launch Date: Multi-phase project, Building 4 Platinum Sales on Now

Developer: Streetcar

Number of Units: Building 4 – 144

Price Per Square Foot: Mid/high $500s

Distance to the proposed DRL subway station: 400m[/content_box]

Riverside Square is a 4-building master planned community on Queen Street east in the heart of the thriving Riverside neighbourhood.

The 4th tower is a small boutique-sized building and is launching right now (June 2016).

The entire Riverside neighbourhood centred by Queen and Broadview is a classic example of just how fast a neighbourhood can gentrify. This was known as a very sketchy area just a few years ago, and now it is one of the hippest, most desirable in the city.

The Downtown Relief line would add a subway station at the south end of the hood at Eastern Avenue and Broadview.

What’s really interesting is that the subway station would be linked to the SmartTrack/GO station on the Unilever site as well creating a major transportation and employment hub out of what was very recently considered a derelict neighbourhood.

With the Unilever lands just south of Riverside, expect a massive amount of redevelopment to continue all over this pocket for decades to come. Riverside Square is just the beginning.


Canary Park Block 16

[content_box box_type=”Normal”]Launch Date: Unknown

Developer: Dream

Number of Units: TBA

Price Per Square Foot: Unknown

Distance to the proposed DRL subway station: 200m[/content_box]

The rumour is that the next building to be developed in the West Don Lands will be Canary Block 16 on Front street.

Canary District and Canary Park are the first two buildings in this neighbourhood and they are both virtually sold out with units averaging in the high $500s per square foot.

Similar to Regent Park, this is a brand new neighbourhood being built from scratch on the east side of downtown.

The West Don Lands already has all the bones to make a great neighbourhood – access to transit, an amazing park space, trails, lots of great retail, and a healthy mixture of old and new buildings, commercial and residential. Adding in a subway station just 200 meters north will make this area one of the most desirable places to live in the city.

Daniels Leslieville Map

Daniels Leslieville

[content_box box_type=”normal”]Launch Date: 2017

Developer: Daniels

Number of Units: Unknown

Price Per Square Foot: Unknown

Distance to the proposed DRL subway station: 400m[/content_box]

Daniels turned some heads in the industry when they acquired this property on Queen Street in Leslieville last year. The mid-rise building is expected to launch sometime in 2017. The official name is not yet known, but Daniels Leslieville has a nice ring to it, so I’m going with that.

Not the typical high profile site that Daniels is accustomed to developing, Daniels must have seen something in this location to purchase a site that doesn’t have much in common with anything else in their extensive portfolio of condo buildings.

What they might have seen, besides the obvious of being located in the heart of Leslieville, one of Toronto’s hottest neighbourhoods, was the incredible proximity to a potential Downtown Relief Line subway station at Queen and Pape.

With resale home prices in this area shooting beyond the reach of most families, Leslieville has gone from a great place to get a fixer-upper starter home to another enclave of the relatively wealthy in just 10 years.

This stretch of Queen Street East already has had a couple of highly successful condo releases this year, and the increasing amount of restaurants, boutique shops, and baby strollers make this a great location to think about getting a 2 or 3 bedroom unit for investment today knowing that more and more families will want to live in this area tomorrow – especially if the DRL comes in.

48 Power Condos Map

48 Power (Great Gulf Homes)

[content_box box_type=”normal”]Launch Date: Fall 2016

Developer: Great Gulf

Number of Units: 600

Price Per Square Foot: Unknown

Distance to the proposed DRL subway station: 600m[/content_box]

Great Gulf has been sitting on this piece of property for a few years now, and what was once considered to be somewhat of an isolated location is soon to be prime downtown east real estate.

Located about 600m from not 1, but 2 of the proposed Downtown Relief Line subway stations, this site by one of the best condo developers in Toronto is going to be a hot seller when it launches hopefully in the fall of this year (2016).


Queen and Sherbourne Towers

[content_box box_type=”normal”]Launch Date: Unknown

Developer: Wam Development

Number of Units: 1645

Price Per Square Foot: Unknown

Distance to the proposed DRL subway station: <100m[/content_box]

This 3-tower development is only in the early proposal stages, and it could be some years before it ever launches to the market, but wow, what promise we have here!

Queen and Sherbourne has had the reputation for many years as being one of the worst intersections in the city from a real estate standpoint. The area is home to many shelters and services for the homeless.

It’s amazing to think that we might see this mega development consisting of 3-towers landing pretty much right on top of a new subway station in this location.

This will be one to watch for a number of reasons. Your kids might look at you funny one day when you tell them that the place you bought your luxury condo used to be one of the worst areas of the city!