Andrea Bertucci

When Life Moves You, I'm Here to Help.


Truly sublime urban living requires convenient access to green space. Parks really are the hubs of individual neighbourhoods, where residents congregate, enjoy the outdoors, walk their dogs, unwind in the green space and play with their kids. 


These pockets of green space are even more valuable (and fascinating) when they have a story behind them, as does Humewood Park, located at 37 Humewood Dr, near St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street.


Today, when you visit Humewood Park, you’ll be greeted by lovely, leafy green areas, canopies of mature trees, walkways, many benches that are perfect to sit and read or drink your coffee and a children’s playground. Many years ago, this piece of land was actually part of William Hume Blake’s estate (for whom the neighbourhood was named. 


In fact, there is a plaque erected in the park to honour William Hume Blake and to tell a little of his history. An Irish immigrant, he settled in the area in 1932. He was...

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Generating rental income is an excellent way to improve cash flow and build up your wealth. It can also be a great way to keep your own mortgage costs down, all the while building up equity.


However, becoming a landlord is more than just putting up a “For Rent” sign and collecting rent from tenants. Before you consider becoming a landlord, there are a few things that you should consider.


Protecting Your Rights as a Landlord

There are a number of rules and regulations intended to protect both the interests of tenants and of landlords. The rights of landlords and tenants are laid out by the Government of Ontario in the Residential Tenancies Act.  As they say, knowledge is power, so it is a good idea to become familiar with the document. While the act is quite detailed and complex, here are some of the most important facts.


What do I Need to Know About Increasing Rent?

A landlord is able to raise the rent every 12 months, but is required to notify the tenant 90 days in advance...

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Something magical happens when people gather for Good. Recently, I hosted Sunday Brunch for friends and asked that each guest bring items to contribute to Gift Boxes for the Shoe Box Project. What followed after the gourmet waffles and mimosas were served was a coordinated grand gesture of women assembling giftboxes, filling each with ‘little luxuries’ to be gifted to women facing untold hardship and living in a shelter. Love and good vibes flowed freely throughout the room as each guest organized their gift box and thoughtfully crafted an encouraging note to the anonymous recipient of their gift.  


The Shoe Box Project charity in particular struck a chord with me. There is a certain dignity to be able to put on a little mascara, nail polish and use good skin care. These rather simple rituals of selfcare, bring dignity and a small sense of normalcy in their otherwise uncertain world. These small gifts, along with chocolate, a journal and pair of gloves and a thoughtful...

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Last week’s real estate market update could best be described by the simple phase “no news is good news”. Across the downtown core, the east side and west side it appears that while listings are inching lower, there is plenty of appetite for buying a home, but the inventory is not there. We are witnessing the last hooray before the listing taps start to close over the winter holidays. Give it time though. In talking with our agents, we know that many buyers are waiting patiently for the spring market. In a couple of months pent up demand will return and buying a home will look like Black Friday at a big box store.The freehold sector saw an overall drop in new listings and sales throughout all neighbourhoods. New listings were in short supply down 6%, and sales only saw a small 2% dip. However, because of the shortage in new listings we are still experiencing multiple offers and a whopping 62% of all sold properties sold at or above the asking price. There is a clear indication...

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Owning an investment property can be a wise investment that not only lets you grow your asset wealth over time, but also can provide you with positive cash flow today. However, property investment isn’t as easy as buying a property and waiting for the cash to start rolling in. It is important to choose your property wisely, and to employ a well-researched strategy. The deal is in the buy.


Here are some tips on how to choose a suitable and potentially profitable property for investment.


Do you have a Financial Buffer?

In addition to having the necessary down payment on hand to purchase a rental property, is the rental property in need repairs or renovations before it is rentable? Do you have the money to accomplish these jobs and pay the mortgage before you’ve got it rented out?


In addition to the 20% down payment needed for a conventional mortgage, don’t forget to also account for closing costs (about 2% of purchase price) when you are setting your house hunting budget....

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As a person who loves a good double entendre, I was delighted to learn that there was a ‘Phil’ behind Philosophy Fitness. Ortwein is the owner and operator of an ever-expanding fitness studio on St. Clair West.  Philosophy first opened their doors in 2016 and quickly filled the void for neighbourhood fitness enthusiasts looking for bespoke fitness classes that trained the body and fostered a real sense of community.


Phil lives and breathes his fitness brand; he is a caring individual focused on the well-being of his clients at the studio. This is carried through to the design and offering of his fitness classes He draws on over 16 years of experience in an ever-evolving field.


The fitness studio has grown organically over the last 3.5 years starting with  the over 2,500 sq. ft. gym; as it evolved, it grew by  12,000 sq. ft. with the addition of a dedicated Boxing and Kickboxing studio and Thrive Kids, a kids-only fitness program,...

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If you are intent on preserving and growing your home’s asset value (and who isn’t!) it’s a good idea to buy a home that is well-located to crucial amenities, like shops, transit and green space. Perhaps the most important amenity is good schools within the neighbourhood.  Having access to good schools is a premium feature that prospective homebuyers will covet. And when those good schools offer next-level programs and events that enrich student and community life- it’s nearly priceless.


The Humewood Community School located at 15 Cherrywood Ave, north of St. Clair Ave. and west of Christie St. has an envious educational reputation.  It houses over 600 students from JK through to Grade 8. Its school theme is “Building our Community” and this is evidenced in how active this school is in the community.


In short, the Humewood Community Parent Council  proves that parent council is not just about bake sales anymore.  They have a roster...

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Needless to say, the Toronto rental market is not for the faint of heart. A would-be renter must steel themselves and take an aggressive stance when they finally find that perfect dwelling, then pay handsomely for it. Got Pets? Good luck.


It's not uncommon to see anywhere from ten to thirty prospective renters attend a rental open house. If you arrive unprepared with a rental applicaiton, credit check, employment letter, etc., there's little chance you’d win the property.


But, the tide might be turning, if only a little.  The Toronto Real Estate Board reported a 30.1 per cent increase in the number of rental listings In the third-quarter of 2019, compared to Q3 2018, however actual transactions (completed deals) was only at a 17.3 per cent increase. Out of the 16,407 available properties to rent on Toronto's MLS, 10,800 were actually leased in Q.3 of this year. This could be an early indicator that the rental market has become better supplied and with potential for a...

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Does your definition of the perfect dwelling include living within walking distance to life-enhancing amenities and plethora of opportunities for work and play? We may have found the perfect pad for you in DNA Condominiums, situated on coveted King West, and also just a hop, skip, and a jump to vibrant Queen West and trendy Liberty Village! Here, you can soak up Toronto's sexy urban vibe, and take advantage of the convenience of living in the centre of the city! The surrounding area is chock-full of hip restaurants, bars, and coffee houses to discover, not to mention a some of the finest shops, boutiques, galleries, and fitness studios! After all, King West isn’t just a neighbourhood; it's a lifestyle. 


Welcome to Suite 929 at 1 Shaw Street!




Cutting edge, cool, and rapidly expanding because of its character and charm, King West is Toronto’s answer to New York’s sublime Soho Village. This is the epicentre of big city living, where young pro...

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Walk along St. Clair West and you’ll discover it’s the intersection of many cultures and people from all walks of life. it’s home to authentic Latin, Indian, Italian cuisine and everything in between. There are old-world bakeries and butchers run by families with deep roots in the neighbourhood along side hip cafes and boutiques. It’s a heady combination of the familiar paired with cool and unexpected. 


St. Clair West is a long stretch of neighbourhood used to describe the area that runs along Avenue Road to Westmount, just before Corso Italia. It encompasses micro hoods like Hillcrest, Wychwood Park, Oakwood and Hillcrest.


There are so many reasons to love life on St. Clair West.  


Here are six of my absolute favourites:


Caffeine and other Vices

If you sport that ‘ironic beard’ or wear vintage eye glasses then KRAVE Coffee is your perfect hangout. KRAVE is a community hub, where tattooed hipster types sip Matcha Lattes while banging away on...

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If you love giving those time-worn furniture pieces a new life then maybe, just maybe you’ve heard of ‘chalk paint’. Chalk paint is easy to use and breathes new life into old furniture. That old dresser no one wanted becomes a canvas for creative expression. The results are breathtaking. Furniture is a unique medium that Jelena at Poppy Seed Creative Living Studio thrives on. Poppy Seed, is the newest shop in the St. Clair West - Wychwood neighbourhood. There you’ll find Jelena’s reimagined furniture painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint as well as unique artfacts from other local artisans. Jelena also sells Annie Sloan chalk paint. 


Annie Sloan is the British inventor and the Grand Dame of the Chalk Paint phenomenon. Recently, Jelena was selected to be an Annie Sloan’s Artist in Residence, a coveted designation within the Furniture-as-Art world. She has been working with the medium for over 5 years and is regarded as one of the best.  ...

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Last October, my husband and I, along with our long-time business partner did something we would never advise our clients to do. We bought a house, seeing it only once at night and without an inspection. It was a dated 1960’s bungalow on the shores of Wellers Bay in Prince Edward County. We fell into the trap of emotionally buying a house well before our ink hit the pages of the Agreement to Purchase. We were lured by the waterfront view and the idyllic road it was on. There was another buyer circling about, which added to the drama of the transaction. I am aware this story has played out all over Toronto over the last 5 years, with astonishing multiple offer scenarios.  Countless bleary-eyed Buyers paid extortionary prices for homes while waiving their right to inspection. I know it happens all the time, I didn’t think it would happen to us. My husband is a Real Estate Broker and renovator. This wasn’t our first rodeo.


The house was was clad in orange-brown brick...

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The lifeblood for any Real Estate agent is to meet new people, and there’s no better way than at Toronto’s Park and Bark Dog Show and Outdoor Market held last Saturday in the Yonge and Davisville neighbourhood. I invited Karen Weiler, Principal Photographer for Posh Pets Photography to join me for mini dog photoshoots.  Guests were given the chance to take a professional picture with their Pooch for a nominal cost of $10 per session.  All proceeds benefit the Toronto Humane Society.


The result was total doggy cute-fest. There were dozens of dogs walking about in their fashion finery with proud pet parents in tow.


Like many of us, I share a deep love for dogs and I am fortunate to experience their unconditional love every day. My dog Leo has become an irreplaceable member of our family. He is the loving protector of his human sisters Lauren and and Emma.


With so many Toronto households now sharing space with their beloved dogs, adding a dog wash station to your laundry,...

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In June 2018, City Council adopted new Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments permitting laneway suites throughout Toronto’s laneways on properties with an existing residential dwelling. Laneway housing or ‘laneway suites’ as they are commonly referred has been floated through City Council for roughly two decades. The goal is to create a new form of housing for downsizing seniors, extended families and young people. There is untapped potential to add rental income for Toronto homeowners.   


What is a laneway suite you ask? 

The official City definition - A laneway suite is a self-contained residential unit located on the same lot as an existing residential dwelling, and generally located in the rear yard next to a laneway. A laneway suite can be constructed as a second-level unit (above a carpark garage) or can be built as a single-storey or 2-storey dwelling. Laneway suites are generally smaller in scale and completely detached from the main house on...

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If you're at all familiar with Toronto's aptly named Eglinton Crosstown transit project, you've likely experienced the gridlock and organized chaos that this massive construction project running along one of Toronto's busiest main roads creates. It's hard to imagine now that the new LRT (light rapid transit) rail system will one day ease congestion and speed transit times by up to 60%.   


While travelling on Eglinton Street might be the bane of our existence for a few years yet, buying real estate on Eglington now, ahead of completion of the transit project might prove to be a very worthwhile investment. 


The Upper East Village, Camrost Felcorp's master planned community on Eglinton and Brentcliff offers the charm of a thriving neighbourhood, robust with retail, dining experiences, cafés and every amenity on your wish list - All within walking distance. You'll rarely need to leave this community enclave. 


Need to go downtown? It’s just a short trip on...

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I learned long ago that the best way to my Italian husband’s heart is through his stomach.


I was gifted this Tiramisu recipe from a trusted neighbour for my engagement. It calls me to craft this italian dessert with love and intention at every step. The recipe card bears the marks from 15 years of love and dedication.

Yes, there are easier, faster recipes out there. But, as with love and life, it’s best to skip the shortcuts.


Ingredients

-       5 egg yolks

-       10 Tablespoons of sugar

-       1 Tub of Marscarpone Cheese

-       1 cup of Whipping Cream (35%)

-       2 packages of Savoiardi cookies (Similar to ladyfinger cookies)

-       1 Teaspoon of Vanilla extract

-       3 Cups of brewed cold espresso coffee (make in advance)

-      ...

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Prince Edward County has quickly become the ‘go-to’ destination for escaping BIG city life. It's the spot where you can enjoy a carefree weekend with friends and family. It’s a place for drop-top drives through the county-side, fine dining and winery hoping. There’s just something about big sky country and beautiful lake views that keeps people coming back. 


My love story with the County began in July 2017 with a week’s vacation booked at a cottage in Wellington. I was smitten. The charming towns, the beaches, endless corn fields and oh, wineries aplenty.


My husband, a self-proclaimed city-slicker also found that the County was a place he could truly relax. By summer’s end we had our very own country house. This surprised us both and has upended life for us – In a very good way.


 We christened the home Hudson House. It is a charming 5-bedroom Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Prince Edward County.


 We hope to see you there! ...

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Whether or not you’re in a committed relationship, it is so very important to be in charge of their building their personal wealth. Owning a home is the single most important investment you can make. It’s the cornerstone of a stable financial future.


Historically, Toronto housing prices have roughly doubled every 7 years. It's always a good time to get in the market and interest rates are still low enough to help compensate for inflated markets.  Despite this, it’s clear Toronto’s housing market is out of reach for many individual buyers. The cycle of paying rent can be a noxious one, especially when rent equals a mortgage payment. Imagine re-directing your monthly rent toward your own mortgage.

Get creative

You’re a resourceful gal, what you need are creative ways to get into the real estate market that doesn’t have to include a romantic partner. Think business partner instead. Your personal wealth could grow exponentially if you combine your resources...

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