Inside the Eastside: Life Changes — Is it time to trade up?


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.

We get it. Life changes… sometimes a lot. And that means your home might need to change, too. We know you’re cruising real estate listings wondering how you can make it happen. What will it take to get you to the next place?     

Budget is definitely a consideration, but deciding what’s really important in your next move and what you’re willing to give up in order to gain that is also critical.    

The place you bought years ago probably reflected your lifestyle at the time. But…  

If your living room is the new club and you need a new Saturday night hangout, it’s time to trade up.  

If you’ve Marie Kondo’d your house to death and you still don’t have enough space, it’s time to trade up. 

If the school district suddenly becomes more important than the fashion district, it’s time to trade up. 

Here are two examples of how you can take advantage of the market and create an opportunity for change. 


Condo on Carlaw Ave.
Sold for $810,000 

This super sexy Leslieville condo is amazing for two, but for a couple about to start a family it’s going to feel really small, really fast.

Let’s say you jump up to….

Beach Semi-Detached
Sold for $1,128,000

Let’s assume:

·      Condo was purchased in 2010 for $327,060 with 10% down

·      Mortgage payments of $1,333.31 + maintenance fees $563 = $1,896.31/mth

·      Mortgage after 9 years: $209,568.82

·      Down payment for next home after fees and next home land transfer = $516,596.18

·      Mortgage on next home (assuming 5 yr fixed 3.29%) $611,403.82 = $2,985.18 + $339/month property taxes = $3,324.27

Jumping from a condo to a semi-detached home is an increase of $1,427.96/mth.


Prime Beach Semi-Detached
Sold for $1,400,000

While some semis are spacious, often times they’re not. Time for some more wiggle room and a place you can truly call all of your own? Upgrade to a detached home.

Prime Beach Detached
Sold for $1,950,000

A detached will give you the truest sense of home ownership and make entertaining and hosting family a dream.  Not to mention not having to contend with that weird co-decorating coordination that comes with semi-detached living. 

Let’s assume:

·      Semi-detached was purchased in 2008 for $670,000 with 20% down (assuming you had gained more equity from previous purchase).

·      Mortgage payments of $2,338 + $/451.21 month property taxes = $2789.21/month

·      Mortgage after 11 years: $336,617

·      Down payment to put down on next home after fees and next home land transfer = $913,333

·      Mortgage on next home $1,036,667 = $5061.53 + $597/month property taxes = $5,658.61

 Jumping from a semi to a detached home is an increase of $2,869.40/month.

You can always make that difference smaller by moving just outside of a prime location or going for a home that isn’t completely renovated.

Don’t forget to check in with an awesome mortgage broker — and don’t assume your own bank will do better because you already have your mortgage with them.    

Our recommendation?  Angie Alvarez from Capital Home Lending: email or call 416-315-6261.

There are some great opportunities out there in the market today for your next move – give us a call or email to find out more today!

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.

New public art installation coming to Leslie and Lakeshore


The artist for the TTC Leslie Barns Public Art Competition has finally been selected. Dean Baldwin will be creating

A pair of installations that are a tribute and gateway to the Leslie Spit will be coming soon to the intersection around Leslie and Lakeshore.

The sculpture “Typha,” will be constructed of Toronto streetcar railway track, rods and other profiles of corten weathering steel, and made into a collection of reeds, rushes and cattails bundled into an 11,000-pound arrangement. "Trajat" is a quiet tribute to the discovery of 11,000-year-old old fossil-like footprints made by native ancestors. The remains were discovered in blue clay on the floor of Lake Ontario near Toronto Island while the lake bed was drained during the sewer construction of 1908. 

The works, being created by artist Dean Baldwin, are part of the Leslie Barns Public Art Competition that took place during the construction of the facility. .

Morning Parade Coffee Bar launches cafe in Beach Hill

Photo: Morning Parade Coffee Bar

Photo: Morning Parade Coffee Bar


A parade is usually what we expect from our morning coffee and a new cafe in Beach Hill is bringing just that. Morning Parade Coffee Bar has launched near Gerrard St. E and Woodbine Ave.

The east end’s newest coffee shop is serving fresh, locally-roasted Sam James Coffee, the east end’s own Sloane Tea and a variety of baked goods from local bakeries, including Front Door Bakery (the bakers behind Red Rocket’s treats).

“I’m excited to bring a bright, warm, welcoming space to the Beach Hill community,” says owner Elektra Simms.

She is a resident of Toronto’s east end herself and so it’s particularly special to her to open this space in the neighbourhood.

The bright space features murals by Toronto artist Justin Rousseau that represent the idea of the morning parade.

“The name of the cafe refers to the daily parade we each take and the people all around us doing the same.  Morning Parade Coffee Bar is a place for us all to connect on that route.”

Morning Parade Coffee Bar is now open at 1952 Gerrard St. E. Pop in Monday-Friday from 7 a.m - 4 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. A grand opening celebration is slated for June 8.

What's in a name? The story behind Beach eatery The Goof

Photo: The Goof

Photo: The Goof

Jennifer Lopez pulled up a seat here in Angel Eyes. So did Dennis Quaid in Frequency. Indeed, in a neighbourhood dotted with historic landmarks — Kew Beach Fire Hall and the Fox Theatre, to name a few — Garden Gate Restaurant, or the Goof as its universally known, is an institution in the Beaches.

The beloved eatery on Queen East has been a neighbourhood mainstay since 1952, packing in diners for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The story behind its name is a sweet one:  its old school neon sign reads "good" vertically and "food" horizontally. At some point, the "d" in "good" burnt out so that it read "Goo F" — the local shorthand has stuck ever since.

While the space was gutted and given a slick makeover in 2006 (the current owners aquired it in the 1990s), it held onto its retro neon sign, and every ounce of its charm.

The menu is heavy on nostaglia, too. Old school diner classics like hot turkey sandwiches sit alongside all-day breakfast, dim sum and a huge Chinese menu (the snow peas chicken is a standout).

The prices are cheap, the portions are massive and the staff are lovely. It has a gorgeous side patio, which offers prime people watching in one of the prettiest stretches of the beaches, at Beech Avenue.

The Goof is located at 2379 Queen St. E. Visit for more info.

Toronto Raptors drop into Leslieville's Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre

Photo:  NBA Cares

Photo: NBA Cares

Raptors fever is running at an all-time high across the city with fans clamoring  to watch games, spot players and get in on the excitement of a championship. That’s why it’s almost unthinkable that sightings of the team’s biggest stars would happen in Leslieville of all places — especially after the historic first-game win of the NBA Finals.

But that’s exactly what happened today.

The Raptors along with NBA Cares, the league's social responsibility initiative, dedicated a newly created Learn & Play Centre at the Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre — a legacy for kids and families in the east end of the city.

Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Danny Green, along with GM Masai Ujiri, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and others, rolled up with an entourage on Queen East and joined youth from the community for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The upgraded centre is intended to be a space for sportsmanship, respect, teamwork and more. The facility has been given a decor refresh and has been appointed with new equipment, furnishings and tools for learning.

Spaces inside the centre, including a multi-purpose room, a recreation room, a preschool room and the gym, were renovated over the past week. Visitors will be able to sit down at new computers and also sharpen their basketball skills, play ping pong and video games. The outdoor basketball court was given fresh paint, new baskets and a We The North makeover.

Playground opens at Maple Leaf Forever Park

Photo: Kathryn McLean

Photo: Kathryn McLean

The famous Leslieville tree that was toppled in a summer windstorm in 2013 was the one that inspired Alexander Muir in 1867 to write “Maple Leaf Forever,” Canada’s almost-national anthem. The silver maple can now also add a playground to its legacy.

A revamp of the park near Queen and Leslie streets is now complete and it includes a brand-new playground for kids with slides, swings and structures to climb.

The park’s official address is 62 Laing St., accessed off Memory Lane — a little street that runs between Greenwood and Leslie, south of Queen Street East.

It’s also the site of Maple Cottage, one of the few remaining examples of Ontario cottage architecture style in the east end.

Kaboom Chicken closes for good in Riverside

Photo: Dean Seguin

Photo: Dean Seguin

Yet another business has fallen in the east end.

Kaboom Chicken — the spot that brought Korean-style street food to Riverside — is now closed for good.

“We’ve had so much fun serving our Korean Goodness to all of our customers,” they wrote in an Instagram caption, “and are unbelievably grateful for all the support and love we’ve received.”

After a successful run as a pop-up eatery, Kaboom Chicken put down roots near Queen and Broadview in the fall of 2016.

Fans of Kaboom will he happy to know that the hunt is on for a new location and the business plans to pop up at festivals and events this summer.

Reid's Distillery launches in Leslieville with handcrafted gin

Photo: Reid’s Distillery

Photo: Reid’s Distillery

Raise a glass to tasty things happening in Leslieville.

Reid’s Distillery recently opened on Logan Ave. — Toronto’s first distillery dedicated solely to the production of gin.

The family-run business pays homage to the juniper-accented and botanical-infused liquor, which is experiencing a renaissance.

“We want even the most seasoned gin drinker to find something new in their experience with Reid’s.”

Reid’s Gin is made using Canadian wheat, wild-foraged Canadian juniper and other diverse botanicals. Flavours range from spicy to floral, citrus to aged and sweet to herbal.

After travelling back and forth to the UK, the Reid family witness the explosion of the craft gin scene across the pond and set out to bring the movement to Toronto.

“It didn’t take long before we were creating our own small batches to get a fix of those flavourful recipes we’d fallen in love with over the years. We knew we weren't the only ones wanting more Canadian gins and so the idea of the distillery was conceived. We’ve come a long way from tinkering in our kitchen, but we get the same excitement when we fire up our stills, Matt and Maureen.”

The distillery features a retail space, cocktail bar, tours and tastings.

“Feel free to come by, try our gins and explore our cocktail menu. We’ll share a story or two about our family’s adventures from biking across Canada, living on a sailboat, running sub-zero marathons to any number of other silly endeavours.”

Reid’s Distillery is now open at 32 Logan Ave. Check out for more info.

Komplete Strength opens fitness studio in Riverside

Photo:  Komplete Strength

Photo: Komplete Strength

Toronto’s east end has no shortage of gyms, studios and fitness centres to choose from. And now Komplete Strength has entered the mix in Riverside.

Komplete Strength focuses on strength, conditioning and mobility, movement, with one-on-one and small-group classes.

The class-based training is programmed differently each day and involves a range of movements and equipment such as kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, sleds and bodyweight movements.

The studio coaches clients as athletes to reach performance goals and a healthier lifestyle. They also provide space for freelance trainers to use the facility to train their own clients.

Classes start as early as 6:00 am Monday - Friday and 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays. The gym currently has an introductory offer that saves 50% on first-month memberships.

Komplete Strength is now open at 740 Queen St. E. Check out for more info.

Rap video produced to sell Coxwell Ave. home in Toronto's east end

Little Yellow House

Well, here's a way to stand out from other properties hitting the real estate market this spring.

An ad promoting a house on Coxwell Ave. in Toronto’s east end is getting plenty of attention, thanks to a rap video to go along with the sale listing.

The “Lil Yellow House,” as it’s called out in the video, is on the market for $499,000 — pocket change compared to Toronto’s average home price.

The team behind Real Estate By Bike produced the video “Lil Yellow House” to draw attention to an open house this weekend, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.