This realtor added a pre-construction condo to his downtown portfolio

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“I paid $779,800 for a one-bedroom at Dundas and River”: This realtor added a pre-construction condo to his downtown portfolio

Giuseppe Flammia, a 48-year-old realtor, has been buying property downtown since the late ’90s, and recently added one-bedroom pre-construction unit to his roster. Here’s why he’s still confident downtown is the place to be. 

As told to Isabel B. Slone

I’ve been investing in real estate for over 20 years—I purchased my first condo, near Church and Carlton in 1999 for $102,000. I wanted to be close to the Village, where I could be close to my community. I loved going to Woody’s and the Barn. My first condo is worth more than $800,000 today. I now own and rent out multiple properties, and I’ve saved more than enough to retire.

For the past two years, I’ve lived in a condo at Bayview and Front. I live alone and I like changing up my surroundings every few years. I started looking for somewhere new to live in November 2020; prices were attractive due to the pandemic, and I was looking at future value, which always goes up. At first I was looking at detached homes—I had this fairy tale idea of buying an old house and fixing it up—but after seeing a few houses I realized I would much prefer to live somewhere newer. I fell in love with a unit in the River and Fifth development near Dundas and River, only two blocks away from where I’m currently living, and decided to make it my new urban oasis. I paid $779,800 for a one-bedroom facing south over Broccolini Park.

The amenities include a rooftop terrace, a yoga studio and extensive co-working spaces. But what really sold me on the place was the unit’s 300-square-foot outdoor terrace. I cannot wait to set up a 12-person dining table and a barbecue out there and host dinner parties for my friends. We’re going to share good times together, the way life is supposed to be. The building is pre-construction, so I won’t be able to move until November 2022. But Covid will be over by then.

I know people are talking about an exodus from Toronto, and everyone is moving to Hamilton or Ajax. But I’m a city dweller. There’s a lot of new development happening around downtown east. I’m a block and a half away from the Canary District, which has a lot of great restaurants like Souk Tabule and Gusto 501, and I’m minutes from the Queen streetcar. There’s a brand-new park being built where the old TNT Supermarket used to be, and that’s only a four-minute bike ride away. It’ll be 22 acres with zip lining, forest swings and endless pathways. I’m right down the street from the Outer Harbour Marina, and when I’m not at home I plan to be spending my time on my sailboat. Toronto east is happening, and I’m happy to be a part of it. I’m glad I bought at the time I did, because prices have already started skyrocketing again. I’m confident I’ll make a return on my investment. I love living downtown.