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What’s Going on in Toronto This Month?

OK, so April showers do bring May flowers … but not MORE rain! April can be rainy and a little dreary, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. These events will brighten up your month while you wait for the delights of May.

Feel like a weekend warrior? Challenge yourself with the WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature. The public climb happens April 8, and the fundraising-for-prizes Ultimate Challenge is April 9. Conquer all 1,776 steps of the city’s most iconic landmark and raise funds for nature and wildlife conservation. More: WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature.

Calling all Toronto coffee and tea lovers. The first annual Coffee & Tea Expo will run April 8 to 9 at The Glass Factory. Sample brews from the city’s best indie cafes, taste new beans and recipes, blend tea flavours, and vote for Toronto’s best tea and coffee. More: Coffee & Tea Expo.

The word is out: Seems the Easter Bunny will be making an appearance at the Easter Eggstravaganza Buffet at Old Mill Toronto on April 16. Executive Chef Martin Buehner will be cooking up traditional favourites like roast beef and baked ham to go along with pasta, salads, cheeses and, of course, decadent desserts. More: Easter Eggstravaganza Buffet.

The East Coast is coming to Toronto on April 29 for the East Coast Charity Ball at Evergreen Brick Works. East Coast Connected’s flagship fundraising event, supporting women and children’s health, will raise money for the IWK Foundation and includes a reception, dinner and dance, all with a Maritime flair. More: East Coast Charity Ball.

Where to Take That First Spring Bike Ride

The worst of winter is (hopefully) behind us, so now’s the perfect time to test ourselves and our cycles by taking that first spring bike ride around the city and environs. So watch for crocuses and get into shape for summer at the same time while travelling some of the best bike routes around, thanks to The Toronto Star and Cycle Toronto’s executive director, Jared Kolb.

Newbies and aficionados

Both newbies and full-fledged biking aficionados will be delighted with this list of Greater Toronto Area biking paths. For inexperienced riders, for example, Kolb recommends the Martin Goodman trail, which stretches from Marilyn Bell Park to Coronation Park. The trail is perfect for beginners, Kolb says, because it offers picturesque trails without stressful interactions with motorists.

Extreme riders

For extreme cyclists who are looking for a gruelling challenge, Kolb suggests a ride down Brimley Road to the foot of Scarborough Bluffs Park. What makes this such a challenge? “The climb back up is fairly steep,” he explains.


And for those looking for something exciting to take them downtown, Kolb says a ride through eclectic Kensington Market is the way to go. That trail starts near Queen St. West and Shaw St. and finishes near Augusta Ave. and Dundas St. West. Best of all, the trail connects to Trinity Bellwoods Park, where you can relax and recoup after your adventure. The complete list and a map of Kolb’s picks are available at Take a tour of the best bike paths in Toronto.


Doubtful New CMHC Insurance Rates Will Dampen Demand

Mortgage insurance may cost more, but that likely won’t have a major impact on demand.

On March 17, CMHC officially began charging homeowners a higher percentage of their mortgage’s value in order to insure it. The rates differ depending on the mortgage amount and the amount of equity the owner has in the property.

For many years, buyers who made down payments of less than 20 per cent of the purchase price of their home have been legally required to pay mortgage insurance. It’s a way to protect the mortgage lender in the event the homeowner defaults on the loan.

But CMHC says its third increase in mortgage insurance in a four-year period is not targeting new home buyers, many of whom are feeling the effects of other changes, including a stress test designed to ensure they can continue to pay their mortgages as rates rise and an increase in both mortgage rates and home prices in some markets.

In fact, few new buyers are likely to be discouraged by CMHC’s recent increase: it’s relatively small.

And those home buyers with smaller down payments will pay less than those with larger down payments (who are paying higher home prices).

According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, a buyer with a 5% down payment on a $150,000 mortgage will pay an increase of approximately $2.82 more per month.

For a buyer with a 15% down payment on an $850,000 mortgage, premiums will increase by almost $40 more per month.


Ask an Expert a.k.a. Us!

What is a CMA?

If you want to sell your home, here’s a fact: although you have control over the list price, you don’t set the selling price, the market does.

A comparative market analysis (CMA), which is prepared by your listing agent, is a crucial, much needed step to determine the current value of your home. It’s based on fact, not how you feel about your home, and it helps determine how much you can sell your home for.

At The Christine Cowern Team, we know what sells, what doesn’t sell and why – and the biggest reason is pricing. That’s why we do a detailed CMA for ever property that we sell, that’s based not only on the most recent sales but also properties that have expired or been terminated and also what’s currently on the market that would be considered competition for your home. As experts in pricing and negotiation we’ll work with you to make sure that you get top dollar while avoiding the many potential pitfalls.

Are you curious what your home is worth in this market or what you can do to improve it’s value for a future sale? Then give us a call at #416-291-7372 to set up a time to chat. The coffee is on us 🙂

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