My fave resource lately is Blog TO. While I am, perhaps, the last blog-reading Toronto resident to discover this site, I am certainly making good use of it.
A while ago, I read its post, containing the photos below, about two eco-upgraded residences in two noteworthy, central neighbourhoods (the Beach and High Park). These 'hoods are all-the-more noteworthy for their former, family-friendly populism and somewhat recent addition to the not-so-affordable category.
Let's face it, this entire city (economic downturn notwithstanding) is a very expensive place in which to buy property. A rat-infested crap hole, in an undesirable (though admittedly central) spot, will run you $500K without blinking. Something actually nice and central - and not even that central - can easily cost almost double. And when you start to upgrade said central, somewhat nice residence, well now, that's special.
So when I read about chichi renos in newly chichi areas, part of me wants to live the dream and another part of me wants to vomit with an envy-induced hate-on.
Behold one such project:
Admittedly, I wouldn't be caught dead living in the Beach. It's so out there East End :-) But I admire the clean (if somewhat derivative) lines of this upgraded semi. What you should realize is that the renos alone cost 400K (that's documented in the article). The original box, well I imagine that was easily half a mill 10 years ago.
No offense to the proud homeowners who undoubtedly love the place (of course I like it too). I just don't think I could justify that price tag for this outcome.