"Live/rent now. Redevelop later." That's the way the listing page for 154 Claremont Street describes how the Trinity Bellwoods bungalow could be used.

A fine proposition for a 2+1 bed, 2-bath that was, originally asking $1,499,900, priced to sell. But that the property went for $2,018,000 -- a whole 33%+ over its listed price -- which has us dwelling on how the 22.58 x 127.00 ft. lot has already seen $2 million spent on it before any of the real work has even begun.

Don't get us wrong, the place is cute as it is. Plenty of windows, a spacious main floor layout, a large double garage, and proximity to Queen West and Trinity Bellwoods park all make a case for this property's more-than-a-million price-point to be called fair.

The basement's high ceilings and kitchen also hint at an opportunity for rental income... its early-90s layout aside.

But it's the listing's note about "approved permits in place for legal triplex plus additional laneway unit" that, no doubt, made this place worth the additional 30% for whoever bought it.

READ: Sale of ‘Rockstar’ Penthouse Condo Breaks Quebec Real Estate Record

When it comes to the mindsets of developers-to-be in Toronto, it seems you can't put a price on freedom.

See, for less than the Claremont Street situation went for, this beauty (in the same neighbourhood) is a fully-finished, move-in ready home. Complete with a sleek, modern interior, the place hit the market asking $1,785,000 and ended up selling for under asking, going for $1,775,000. Meanwhile, one of the city’s slimmest homes in east Chinatown has been on the market for 50 days, priced at $1,899,000. The east end spot serves as another example of a property in a prime location, completely ready to embrace new owners... but it hasn’t been snagged after nearly two months on the market.

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Meanwhile, the trend of paying-what-you-can to do-what-you-will is ablaze these days, as the recent $2 million sale for a vacant lot closer to midtown goes to show. In just two days, 62 Earlsdale Avenue was off the market for $1,955,000; that’s more than $300,000 over the property’s list price of $1,600,000.

Perhaps quarantine is making idle hands desperate for creative work (lest they become the Devil's workshop). Or maybe it's that a year of shocks to the system served as a reminder that #YOLO, waking some Torontonians up to the idea that crafting their perfect home is better done now than never.

Either way, it's clear that in this city -- and particularly in the west end -- to be able to build a safe haven from the ground up could be called, if not priceless, then at least worth well more than $2 million upfront.


  • Address: 154 Claremont Street
  • Type: Detached
  • Style: Bungalow
  • Beds: 2+1
  • Baths: 2
  • Lot size: 22.58 x 127.00 feet
  • Size: N/A
  • Listed: $1,499,900
  • Went for: $2,018,000
  • Taxes: $7,370 /yr

As it can only be expected that, in the weeks or months or years to come, the face of 154 Claremont Street will change -- as may its back, that laneway unit permit considered -- we do applaud these buyers for snatching up a space that, in the interim, is charming. Recent market activity has seen similar sales, after all, that could better serve as bike storage than as a live-rent opportunity. (And in that case, the property went for almost double its asking price.)

And if you're on the hunt to relocate with a budget of about $2 million, this similarly-priced Cabbagetown home looks like a true treasure, while this Trinity Bellwoods 5-bed is charming (packing photos aside)! In either case, there's no teardown necessary.


Trinity Bellwoods

Trinity Bellwoods


Trinity Bellwoods

Trinity Bellwoods

Trinity Bellwoods

Trinity Bellwoods

Trinity Bellwoods


Trinity Bellwoods

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