Rents rising in Weston, Mount Dennis.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Toronto’s apartment rental costs increased substantially between 2012 and 2017, particularly in the Weston and Mount Dennis area. The Toronto Star has used CMHC data in an interactive map which shows that Weston’s rental prices jumped nearly 18% during that time period while Mount Dennis prices increased by 27.8%.

In 2012, apartment rental averages in both neighbourhoods were roughly comparable at around the $1000 level but by 2017, rentals jumped to $1117 in Weston and $1201 in Mount Dennis. While this is still low compared to downtown where rents average over $2200, it will be of little comfort to people who come to the suburbs looking for more affordable accommodation.

The average annual rent increase over that period (thanks to the power of compound interest) seems to have been about 2.5% for Weston and 4% for Mount Dennis. Under Ontario’s rent control legislation, the average yearly rent increase over that period should have been 1.68%. Why the discrepancy? Once a tenant moves out, landlords can charge whatever the market will bear. In areas with more turnover, rents can rise rapidly if there is sufficient demand.

From the Toronto Star.

Premier Ford recently legislated the end of rent controls on all new rental buildings occupied after November 15th. He apparently believes that this will encourage more rental apartment construction. Incidentally, PC Premier Mike Harris ended rent control in 1997 claiming that a boom in rental housing construction would result.

It didn’t.

Shakespeare In Action launches fundraising campaign

Shakespeare In Action is one of the two artistic pillars of the soon to be opened Weston Hub. It specializes in making the works of William Shakespeare more accessible to young people through a variety of endeavours that focus on their active involvement.

In the latest video from SIA, founder and Artistic Director Michael Kelly shows us the actual space that the theatre group will soon occupy and kicks off a $250,000 ‘Raise The Roof’ fundraising campaign. The money will be used for studio / theatre infrastructure and to support new community outreach initiatives.


The group is a registered charity and donations are being handled through the Canada Helps site here.

Farmers Market ends its 39th season.

Weston Farmers Market traders prepare to close their stalls for the 2018 season.

The Weston Farmers Market closed for the season yesterday and there was a good turnout despite the rainy and cool weather. Next year the market will return to John Street after an absence of three years and will open its 40th season on Saturday, May 11 at the new Weston Hub location.

West22 model suite open.

Landscaping work was taking place this morning in the space between the the Weston Hub live / work artist residences on the left and the West22 building on the right.

If you want to get an idea of what the rental suites will be like when the new apartment building on John Street opens early next year, head down to the model suite at the end of John Street just before the footbridge.

Property managers Rhapsody are positioning the apartments as, ‘Resort style rental living with access to everywhere’. Suites in the building range from ~400 sq ft studios at $1383 monthly to ~ 11oo square feet 2 bedrooms for $2463 monthly. The model suite shows very well and will be retained so that prospective residents can see the features without bothering existing occupants. All suites come with stainless kitchen appliances, quartz countertops and a stacked washer – dryer. Building amenities include a gym, urban cafe, media room / resident lounge and pet lounge. Another big selling point of the building is the 7-minute walk to the Go Train and UP Express.

The Leasing Centre is open from 10-6 weekdays and 10-5 on weekends.

Check out the various models and prices here.

Urban Toronto has a Weston Common update.

The colourful exterior of the updated parking garage that will serve the adjacent  building under construction at 22 John Street. The Weston Farmers Market will occupy the open space behind the blue hoarding. Photo taken on September 19, 2018.

The people at Urban Toronto, operate a website dedicated to ‘condos, architecture, urban development and real estate’. They are in general, cheerleaders for the construction industry and have published an article detailing some of the latest construction milestones at the Weston Common site at 22 John Street opening early next year. While U.T. has glossed over some details of the project, of interest is the way that the existing above-ground parking garage on King Street will be connecting to the new building (the parkade was originally intended to largely serve the retail complex that never got off the ground).

What will the sudden influx of 396 new households do to Weston’s traffic, retail strip and culture? It won’t be long before we have the long anticipated answer.

Incidentally, October 27th is the last day of the 2018 Weston Farmers Market season and the last using the UP Express parking location. Next May, the market will return to John Street behind the new building.

Read the Urban Toronto article here.

22 John Street rentals – more details emerging

Artist concept of the West22 apartments at 22 John Street. (from west22.ca)

The new 30-storey rental apartments being built by Rockport are at the pre-registration stage and Rockport and their property management company, Rhapsody Living are looking for people to express an interest. The building at 22 John Street will open next year and units are being advertised as ‘West22 Resort-Style Rentals’. On the Rhapsody site, some of the building amenities are revealed, including features such as, keyless entry, central air, in-suite laundry and in the common areas, a pet wash station, toddler playroom and a coffee shop. This should allay some residents’ fears that the building will be ‘low end’. Prices have not been made public but available suites range from bachelors to two-bedrooms.

Read more at the Rockport site here and the Rhapsody Site here.

Shakespeare in Action now hiring

Shakespeare in Action’s performance of the Lorde song, ‘Royals’ as applied to Lady Macbeth.

Shakespeare in Action is looking for new talent to assist in providing programs for young people. They’re looking for people with skills in teaching/education, music, spoken word, hip hop dance, rap, classical text, clown, and more. Those hired will join a roster of talent working in four capacities:

  • Running experiential workshops in schools (with commitments on a day-by-day basis)
  • Leading groups in the TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club (commitment of 6 Saturdays required)
  • Performing in touring and mainstage productions (commitment of 4 to 6 weeks)
  • Being part of an exciting new program “Shakespeare Hip Hop Fusion” in association with the Toronto Public Library. Participants will serve as instructors and mentors to youth aged 13-17, helping to teach Shakespearean text, rap, hip hop dance, and/or spoken word.

Applicants will be asked to perform two of the following (of your choice):

  • a classical monologue
  • a song or rap
  • an original piece of text
  • a piece of spoken word or poem
  • a contemporary monologue

Auditions will be held on Thursday October 11th, 2018. Successful applicants will be trained on October 23rd and 24th.

For more information, click here.