The international appeal of Toronto

December 1, 2012 -

Last week in his Editor's Note, Martin Slofstra asked "Do you love your city?" I'd like to answer that with a big 'YES' -- as both someone who lives and works here!


The City of Toronto used to be a hidden gem, but no longer. Our city is now considered one of the most cosmopolitan and desirable in the world, says Barbara Lawlor.

In real estate, we use the phrase “location, location, location” to refer to the top criterion people consider when shopping for a new home.

One of the great things about Toronto is the vast array of different locations within the city that appeal to our diversity of buyers. Downtown, our black-tie district attracts luxury-lovers who want to live in the hub of entertainment venues and close to the lake.

Toronto’s midtown Bloor-Yorkville area offers fabulous world-class shopping and fine dining. And uptown, our celebrated Forest Hill neighbourhood is lush with trees and rich with coveted amenities.

Toronto’s east and west ends are desirable as well, with condominiums popping up in both established and up-and-coming locations in Etobicoke and Scarborough.

North of the city we have a brand new Downtown Markham and fabulous condos in Richmond Hill. And of course, the city’s waterfront is a popular residential destination spot for those who appreciate the many benefits of living on the water.

Whatever your condominium pleasure, there is sure to be the perfect residence in the area of the city that speaks to you. This applies to the international buying public, who are coming here in droves each year because of the lifestyle we offer. The City of Toronto used to be a hidden gem, but no longer. Our city is now considered one of the most cosmopolitan – and desirable – in the world.

Toronto is home to world-class shopping, entertainment, fine dining and culture, one of the many reasons why condominium sales here have outpaced the other major international cities such as London, Tokyo, Shanghai and New York. We live in a wonderful city with some of the world’s finest chefs delivering mouth-watering delicacies in an array of restaurants.


Located at one of Canada’s finest address, One Bloor will offer residents easy access to world-class shopping and fine dining.

Thai, Italian, Indian, French, Greek, Canadian cuisine – we have it all at our doorstep. Culture-lovers appreciate the internationally renowned Royal Ontario Museum, Textile Museum of Canada, Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, Redpath Sugar Museum, and Toronto Aerospace Museum. For those who thrive on the arts, Toronto is home to the Art Gallery of Ontario, which was transformed by internationally celebrated architect Frank Gehry, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and many more.

Sports fans revel in proximity to Air Canada Centre and Rogers Centre, and opportunities for keeping active are many and varied. Toronto’s waterfront features marinas, parks and boardwalks, including the Martin Goodman Trail for walking, biking and inline skating.

Best of all, those who live downtown can walk or take public transit to access all these fabulous amenities. AND we have the underground PATH system, which connects 27 km of shops and services in weather-protected convenience. It is literally the world’s largest underground shopping complex!

Over the years, Toronto has earned phenomenal accolades from a variety of sources, such as being ranked in the top 10 American Cities of the Future 2011/2012 by FDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times. We place high in many other rankings such as livability, sustainability and a great place to do business.

No wonder condominiums in all areas of Toronto are a natural choice for immigrants from foreign countries, many of whom are used to apartment-style living. This goes for families as well as singles and couples. Toronto also has excellent schools, including campuses of some of the world’s most prestigious universities. We also enjoy relative safety compared to many other major urban centres of comparable size.

When it comes to condominium selection, what we offer over and above other cities is relative affordability, especially when you consider apples to apples. Just try to find anything comparable in the United States, for example. Our developers offer glorious choices so that buyers can personalize their suite surroundings, whereas in the U.S., you take what is offered, pure and simple.

Our forward-thinking developers are creating residences that can accommodate every lifestyle, from first-time homeowners seeking value, to families wanting spacious living quarters and move-up purchasers looking for luxury. By all means, you can travel the world in search of the perfect condo, but chances are, it’s right here in our own backyard!

– Barbara Lawlor is president of Baker Real Estate Incorporated and an in-demand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at

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