Saturday, February 28, 2009

This Is So TO...

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.


  1. It is very lovely, but I would guess that they either have enough money not to care, or that they did this renovation before the current down turn.

    The trend in middle class renovations lately is to focus on something smaller and utilitarian like a kitchen or bathroom. Those are two areas that one can realize a great deal of value in terms of comfort and personal pleasure, and not spend a tremendous amount of money. And those kinds of projects (if not excessively out of sync with the rest of the house) can help maintain the dwelling's ultimate value.

    We went from this, and this, to this and this for around 11 grand (not counting the 6 grand for a general upgrade of our electrical service).

    It is a much more productive kitchen that we use more often than the one before, and it is just more pleasant to be around.

  2. (and I am having trouble with the plastic dinette chairs)

  3. That's a fantastic expenditure of money D. Looks sooooo great! The reno in the post was done before the down turn, though not much before it (at least it didn't finish much before it started). I'm inclined to agree that they have more money than they know what to do with. So who am I to judge the way they spend it?! Thanks for sending those photos...

  4. we personally did the demolition, tile floor, drywall (ceiling and parts of the wall), trim, and paint so we probably saved, what, 5 Gs?. The cost was for purchase and installation of the cabinets, counter tops, and appliances.

    (we've hung curtains since the photos. Those are from circa October 08)

  5. why is everything STILL so damn expensive?!?!?! it is frustrating not being rich, but whaddya gonna do.

  6. LOL I agree with drollgirl.

    Have a nice weekend dear.


  7. I quite like the "open-ness", for lack of a better word, aura of the house, but I agree with you, I'm not an expert, but price tag is over the top ;D
    Anyway, your blog is fascinating, :D

  8. I likes that blog, and I don't even live there ;)

  9. That is a whole lot of money for that result but to each their own. I find the living room to be pretty on the eh side.

  10. I dunno staring at other's wealth is starting to bore me! I can't compete!

    Thanks for food tips - I've been eating nuts and taking linseed but do need to add avacado for good fat. I haven't been hungry just fighting my bad habits!

  11. What fabulous spaces! Love the hardwood floors and the stark modernism!


    P.S. Thanks for your sweet compliment on my bustier :)

  12. Thank you so much for your comments, K.! I have sent an email to your address (just in case it disappears into your Spam folder). :)

  13. Nice house anyway,i like the way it is designed..=)
    Keep on writing friend..;D
    Have a nice day..

  14. Yes, some places are just out of our price range. The place we are ranting now will be a lot more expensive than our house in Kallaroo. It's a very small townhouse. Nothing special.


  15. I quite like the look, but I definitely don't dig the pricetag. What else is new! ;)

  16. D.: You are putting me to shame. Which is why you have a new kitchen and I may be with my current one for the next while!

    drollgirl: It's frustrating but it makes you more creative. Right? (This is what I tell myself!)

    Thanks Seeker.

    Athena: Thanks for your comment and for stopping by. Hope to see you here again...

    ladybird: It's because you are a traveller at heart :-)

    Bel: I do like that newfangled fireplace. You can apparently take them with you when you move and they use an environmentally friendly fuel (it's like a paraffin candle set up but you can't tell from looking at it).

    Kate: I knew you'd have all the bases covered but I just thought I'd throw it in in the event that it might make a difference to the cravings. They will go!

    CC: Thanks. That bustier is awesome!

    Andrea: Thanks. Got it! Kxo

    Summer: Glad to know you agree.

    Songy: Anywhere you live is special.

    E: The price tag undercuts the look for me. Unfortunate, huh?