Inside the Eastside: Spring real estate report


GOODHOOD has partnered with The Richards Group Re/Max Hallmark to bring you a local real estate series with the hottest market news, the best resources for your home and inside info on buying and selling in Leslieville, Riverside and other neighbourhoods in Toronto’s east end.

The big news in Leslieville continues to be the amazing appreciation of semi-detached homes and condos.  Fuelled by both demand and supply, this remains a popular segment with buyers. Condos and new developments also continue to prove fruitful as a solid investment and the average condo price in Leslieville at $734,638 outperforms the average condo price in Toronto, which stands at $603,243 (granted, a portion of this higher average price would be based on better square footage and boutique buildings vs. traditional downtown high-rise units). 

According to Jason Mercer, Toronto Real Estate Board’s Chief Market Analyst: "Market conditions have remained tight enough to support a moderate pace of price growth. Despite sales being markedly lower than the record levels of 2016 and early 2017, the supply of listings has also receded. This means that in many neighbourhoods throughout the GTA, we continue to see competition between buyers for available listings, which provides a level of support for home prices.”

What will prove to be interesting is the potential migration of home owners who have enjoyed incredible appreciation in this east end community. The jump from a semi-detached to a detached home doesn't typically offer much within the area — yard and property size, square footage and parking remain challenges even among prime detached homes.   

As the kids get older and incomes and personal wealth grow, will there be a transition to areas like the east Beach that offer a bit more wiggle room, a lakefront lifestyle and amazing schools while still being in reaching distance of Leslieville and Riverside? (Let's be honest, everyone in the Beach goes out for dinner in Leslieville anyway!) Conversely, will the attraction of a more urban lifestyle outweigh the desire for space and a retreat in the city?   

There will be some interesting condo opportunities coming up as the well-known Riverside Condo development transitions to occupancy. Investors who are ready to sell will be able to assign or sell their units in the coming months, potentially opening up some amazing condo inventory in the area.   
Overall, the lifestyle Leslieville offers has proven to be a major selling point in the community’s growth. Proximity to the city, an incredible food scene and retail hot spots combined with family and pet-friendly parks and resources makes for an irresistible combination. Heck, you can even do yoga with your puppy here now!  

If you're curious what it would take to make a move, or you're thinking about a condo buy, shoot us an email (we've got the inside scoop on a number of potential condos in Riverside!)

You can reach The Richards Group at or call 416-699-0303 to get the conversation started. Search local listings in Toronto’s east end.

The Richards Group Re/Max Hallmark has the honour of being East Toronto’s agency of choice as a result of their ability to help so many clients move their lives forward. They have redefined real estate with an experience of total care, unlocking the true potential of your home while delivering industry leading results, so your next move brings you closer to your wealth and lifestyle goals.

Home James closing its Leslieville shop


Home James is the latest Leslieville business to announce its closing amid a wave of recent shutterings around the neighbourhood.

The Queen Street shop for home decor, gifts and items unique to Leslieville announced on Facebook that it will be shutting at the end of May after four-and-a-half years.

There is a store-wide sale with stock slashed at up to 50% off, including “lots of unfinished products and unseen treasures from the backroom for the DIYers out there.”

The Burren is coming soon to the former Ceili Cottage space

Photo:  Dean Seguin

Photo: Dean Seguin

Irish food, drink and hospitality will soon return to 1301 Queen St. E — the space formerly occupied by Ceili Cottage.

The Burren has announced it’s opening with a fresh spin on the 100-seat pub, which features two dining rooms, a large bar area and its prime street-facing patio.

“At its core, yes, we’re a rustic Irish pub, however, that doesn’t do it justice,” reads a note on the The Burren’s website. “Quail ‘wings’, deep-fried pate, fresh oysters, pints of Guinness and some proper craic! Lot’s of creativity has been put towards this project, which will provide customers with more than an average dining experience. Sitting at the bar will feature the shucking area, our extensive beer selection, and our wonderful regulars.”

The bar takes its name from a region in southwest Ireland with a unique landscape that’s been shaped by geological forces for hundreds of millions of years.  

“Diverse, mysterious, and picturesque. With several of us coming directly from Ireland, our group is well aware of the fundamentals of the Irish pub.”

“Considering all the good times that were had, we realize the neighbourhood expects much from us, and we aim to deliver.”

The Burren will also be home to artwork both inside and an outdoor mural on the patio — all based on Irish folklore.

Check out  for more info.

The Grand Gerrard Theatre brings indie cinema to Toronto's east end

Photo:  The Grand Gerrard Theatre

Photo: The Grand Gerrard Theatre

A wonderful vestige of Toronto’s cinematic past has reopened its doors.

BlogTO reports that The Grand Gerrard Theatre has reopened after falling into disuse as a cinema almost three years ago.

“We are happy to announce its re-opening to help usher in a new era for the spirit of indie film, performance and art in the neighbourhood,” reads a note on the theatre’s Facebook page.

The Grand Gerrard Theatre is now booking film screenings, special events, live music, comedy, performance art and photo shoots, “with a particular eye towards regional, unconventional and multidisciplinary work, as well as refreshing and well-curated repertory content.”

From its team of staff to the effort among its supporters to renovate and restore the building, the theatre is a fully DIY venture and its focusing on creating an inclusive space for people from varying communities and walks of life.

One of Canada’s oldest standing cinemas, the building was converted from the shell of two adjacent houses in 1911. It’s seen a number of transformations over the years, including its more recent iterations hosting repertory and Bollywood screenings, theatrical productions, horror festivals — and even a brief stint as a paint store.

The Grand Gerrard Theatre is located at 1035 Gerrard St. E. Check out their Facebook page for more info, screenings and other events.

Home design trends we're obsessing over this year


Spring is here and it's time to start thinking about new design and decor (along with warmer weather and longer days, of course). To celebrate winter's emerging departure, The Richards Group is presenting home trends and ideas our design team is crushing over so far this year. Some are throwbacks, some are a twist on tradition — and some are just a fun way to freshen up your space.

Want more where this came from? Follow us on Instagram for more ideas and home design inspo and check out our Home Trends 2019 board on Pinterest.


Shannon Balm – Design Services

The things we used to put on your walls and floors are relocating to our ceilings. Shannon has fallen in love with natural woods as the ceiling treatment — a refreshing change from neutral drywall and something many homes can be easily retrofitted with. Go one step further and play with a funky wallpaper on your ceiling!

Check out the fun custom wallpapers at Cry if I Want To.


Samantha Davies — Design & Client Care

Walls are seeing lots of texture this year with our love affair of geometric patterns moving from tiles to raised profiles on walls. A carpenter plus inexpensive trim can create this effect easily and dramatically depending on the detail of the pattern. Patterned walls are great way to freshen up a foyer or home office.

Pat’s Home Hardware can get you started with materials and tools.  


Parris McKenna — Design & Client Care

It’s time for your windows to get a makeover with Parris’ favourite trend for 2019 — statement drapery. Rich textures and colours are the way to go. You can find budget-friendly options at West Elm or splurge at Restoration Hardware if you want to truly commit.

Compliment these statement drapes with gorgeous accessories and finishing touches at Black Rooster Decor.


Selene Richards — Founder: The Richards Group

After black, white and textured neutrals have had their share of the limelight, Selene is looking forward to having fun with colour again — rich jewel tones, luxurious textures and statement lighting figures with shades of soft violet and emerald.

Check out Pro Glo Paints in Leslieville or Nabors Paint in the Beach.

Don’t forget to check out more of our favourite east end shops for the best In home design:  

Looking for more inspo? Check out our Staging Manager, Bianca Zorzi sharing her staging secrets on the Marilyn Dennis Show!

The Richards Group Re/Max Hallmark has the honour of being East Toronto’s Agency of Choice from helping so many clients move their lives forward. They have redefined real estate with an experience of total care, unlocking the true potential of your home while delivering industry leading results, so your next move brings you closer to where you want to be.


Coming soon: Est

Photo:  Sean MacDonald

Photo: Sean MacDonald


Est is a new restaurant from chef Sean MacDonald, set to open this spring near Queen and Broadview.

Taking over the space previously occupied by Sugar Loaf Bakery, the new spot will feature Canadian cuisine in a space inspired by the cultures of this country.

Originally from Calgary, MacDonald was formerly the executive chef of Hexagon Restaurant and 7 Enoteca in Oakville.

Stayed tuned for more as we get further intel on this incoming spot.

Easter egg hunt and parade in the Beaches this weekend

Easter Beaches

It’s that time of year again — get ready to hop on down to Queen St. East for the annual Toronto Beaches Lions Easter egg hunt and Easter parade.

Children’s performers Sonshine & Broccoli and preschool favourite Peppa Pig will be on-site on Friday, April 19 at the egg hunt at Kew Gardens from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Then, get ready for the sights, sounds and treats at the parade starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 21. Make sure you stake out a prime seat — along Queen between Neville Park and Woodbine Ave. — to spot the Easter bunny.

Visit for more info.

Hey, I Live There! pop-up shop set to celebrate street signs in Toronto's east end

Photo:  Leah Illies

Photo: Leah Illies

There are not many things more quintessentially Toronto than the humble acorn-style street sign — and now the famous black-and-white design is being celebrated in a series by a local photographer.

Leah Illies (aka heyilivetherephotography) has been documenting the original way-finders in Riverside, Leslieville — and across the city — and will be revealing them in an upcoming photo exhibition pop-up at Black Lab Brewing on April 17 from 5-8 p.m.

“I’ve got a sentimental attachment to Leslieville, a 10-foot ladder, a mild fear of heights, a stubborn need to get a shot with a good story in it and a monster of a heart that believes that where we live is woven into our fabric and worth remembering,” Illies says.

With help from her partner, she’s photographed more than 50 street signs in the east end alone in a process that began unknowingly.

“I started shooting street signs for our little landscaping company,” she says. “They were always highly praised, so I thought I might sell a few. It was supposed to be my off-season project but it has taken on a life of its own.”


Illies says she’s had her share of funny looks while perched on top of a ladder at a busy intersections and goes to great lengths to get the right shot, even producing makeshift repairs if the job calls for it.

“Once, I climbed up to find a sign with no acorn. The sign was gorgeous — original font, specks of rust, bones still perfectly intact.”

Instead of moving on, she spent an entire Saturday making an acorn for the sign. Using a round lollipop and modelling clay from Dollarama, she Macgyvered the proper shape and spray-painted it black.

“I slid the lolli stick in the hole where the acorn used to be and took the shot. I felt like I had won the lottery. And before you ask, no I did not leave it there. It sits in a little vase on a bookshelf, waiting to be called to action again if ever I find another acorn-less sign.”

Head down to Black Lab Brewing on Wednesday, April 17 from 5-8 p.m. for the Hey, I Live There! pop-up shop. Grab a beer and check out the collection of photos, all on sale for one night for $65 (reg. $75 + tax + $15 flat-rate delivery).

Follow Leah’s photography on at heyilivetherephotography on Instragram. Don’t see your street? Leah also takes custom requests at


PizzaForno launches automated pizza vending machine in Leslieville

Photo:  PizzaForno

Photo: PizzaForno


Leslieville’s pizza game is on point. We’ve got old school, handcrafted, deep-dish, Neapolitan, Roman-style — heck, even Detroit-style. And now we can add… robot pizza.

Just launched in the east end, PizzaForno is a vending machine/robot/computer/pizzeria hybrid that pumps out fresh pizzas 24/7 at the push of a button.

What a time to be alive.

Robotic arms take the pie from the fridge to an oven where it’s baked at super-high temperatures, boxed and served from a slot — all in under three minutes.

The 12-inch pizzas are pre-made by hand with an approach that includes a romana crust, locally sourced ingredients that are said to be natural and fresh, as well as quality cream-based and tomato sauces. There are four different types to choose from: BBQ chicken, honey with goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, and of course, pepperoni. 

Prices range from $11 to $14 and include tax.

The automated pizza concept, launched in Toronto late last year with three machines, is quickly expanding with another 10 slated to open across the GTA.

Next time you’re foraging for food, you’ve now got the choice for pizza with a side of humans or bots.

PizzaForno is now open at 629 Eastern Ave. Check out for more information.