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NorthYorkEd

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We've been watching the local condo market here in North York centre for a couple of years and have noticed a difference in prices of units along the Beecroft corridor vs. the Doris corridor (for those who aren't aware, both of these streets run parallel to Yonge going north-south from approx Sheppard to Finch, and contain many condo buildings). Prices along Beecroft are usually cheaper, sometimes significantly so.

Is it the difference between being in Lansing versus Willowdale? School districts? Traffic access? I can't figure it out. Both areas have access to the same amenities and enjoy all the same locational perks.
 
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hozer

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I live in the area as well and from what I can tell it's mainly driven by school. On the east side you have McKee PS, Bayview MS, Earl Haig SS. It also has Claude Watson, one of the top art schools in Toronto from what I've read. The schools on the west side aren't anything special from rankings, there seem to range from slight below to slight above average.

The other thing that might be a driver for the price discrepancy is the cemetery on the west side.
 

NorthYorkEd

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I've noticed this mostly between older buildings, such as Atrium at 33 Elmhurst (west, Beecroft side). It's sister building, Atrium II at 65 Spring Garden (east, Doris side), is noticeably more expensive, even though both buildings arguably have little curb appeal. Atrium II does seem to have larger suites, and an indoor pool, but the average price per square footage is still significantly higher.

I agree with the school districts, and perhaps some sort of appeal to be in Willowdale rather than Lansing. We don't have kids, so schools are a non-issue for us. And York Cemetery is beautiful, and nice to walk around in. For us, having easy access or a nice view of it would be considered a perk. :)

But for re-sale considerations, these factors might fall on the negative side. Still, the lower price-point makes something like Atrium very attractive, as do the larger suite sizes. But buying something so old would give me considerable pause (but I can also say the same for the newer ones).
 
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hozer

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I took a quick look at the two buildings you mentioned and AtriumII is definitely in the right cachement for the three well ranked schools in the area. In addition, it also has much larger units (smallest to largest: AII 1477-2206 sqft, AI 1290-1569 sqft) so I imagine that it would mostly be families living there as opposed to couples in AI.

At $100 more per sqft on average, it's definitely a lot but considering that it's mostly families, I think they are willing to 'invest' to get their kids into well ranked schools. See below (AI schools listed first, Atrium II schools listed second)

Cameron PS
2013-2014 G3(Grade 3, Rank/Total):348/1319

vs.

McGee PS
2013-2014 G3(Grade 3, Rank/Total):105/1319



Willowdale MS
2013-2014 G6(Grade 6, Rank/Total):477/1197

vs.

Bayview MS
2013-2014 G6(Grade 6, Rank/Total):440/1197



Northview Heights SS
2013-2014 G9(Grade 9, Rank/Total):122/269

vs.

Earl Haig SS
2013-2014 G9(Grade 9, Rank/Total):30/269



Given that you don't have kids, it's a non-issue but it looks like there are people that are definitely willing to pay the premium.

In terms of re-sale, I agree with you regarding the cemetery, it's definitely nice to walk around but for, I'd argue, the majority, it's more likely a drawback (beliefs, ghosts, luck, etc.).

Finally, the age of the buildings although high (both 20+ years), they seem to have pretty standard maintenance fees (~58 cents/sqft). More work would need to be done to ensure the reserve fund is healthy, the management team/board are running things well, and the building health studies have been done, but otherwise nothing strikes me as out of the ordinary.
 
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James

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There's definitely a clear division at Yonge Street when it comes to real estate, regardless if you're talking about condo buildings or family homes. I also believe that's it's primarily driven by the school district. That said, if you don't have any kids, that should be a non-issue and the decision would be based on whether paying slightly less upfront makes more financial sense than paying slightly more in hopes of greater capital appreciation later on down the road. In my opinion, either side just immediate of Yonge Street will appreciate at similar rates in the long run so you can't go wrong with either. Now if you plan to have kids further down the road and the public school boundaries are of importance, then that's absolutely something to keep in mind now.
 

uptownto

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The newer condos (or any new address created post 2001 or so) on the east side aren't part of the McKee/Haig stream. Would be interesting if there was a price discrepency between them and the newer builds on the west side to test this theory.
 

lead82

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The newer condos (or any new address created post 2001 or so) on the east side aren't part of the McKee/Haig stream. Would be interesting if there was a price discrepency between them and the newer builds on the west side to test this theory.

This new obsession with school districts is a US phenomenon that got imported here. I don't quite understand it to be honest. While some schools are better than others, overall Canada's public school system is way superior to anything in the US. The schools on the west side of Yonge are probably just a good as those on the east side. The main difference I believe is that the east has a higher class group due to the influence of residents from Bayview Village area, which is fairly affluent. The Bathurst area is less affluent with the presence of rental buildings. I think mostly the price influence is caused by Earl Haig and a strong believe in the Asian community especially that they need to live on the east side and send their teenagers there so that they can get into a good university. I've lived on both sides in NYCC and the west side has a slightly more Persian population than the east side, although it is fairly close.

My belief is that the opportunities for students to succeed in any school rest on the parents and the home environment. Elementary and Middle schools don't have a major influence. It's the high school that really does impact opportunities. Granted that Earl Haig is well known to be a good school. Northview is not as great, but a decent school with a good programs. Mackenzie a bit further west near Downsview is also a very good school with very high rate of graduates going to post secondary schools.

Overall, North York Centre has very good schools no matter which side of Yonge one lives on.
 

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