Toronto Life’s top real estate stories of 2020
During the chaos of 2020, when nearly everything in the city came to a grinding halt for long stretches at a time, the one thing that never stopped churning was the real estate market. Torontonians, it’s fair to say, are obsessed with the comings and goings of the market, whether they’re looking to buy, sell or stay put. We covered a multitude of stories—renters, buyers, upsizers, downsizers, flippers, renovators, and pretty much every other imaginable permutation.
But according to our roundup of the top articles of the year, readers were most fixated on narratives about people ditching the virus-ravaged city. That migration is understandable, particularly in pandemic times. Cooped up in our homes, without access to the many things that make city-living great, the impulse to leave—or at least to read about other people finding fresh air and more square footage elsewhere—was stronger than ever.
Our most popular story, however, was about the opposite trend: a Brampton family downsizing to a 700-square-foot condo in Liberty Village, which got more than 400,000 views. Readers also went bonkers for a first-person memoir by Austin Yeh, a 25-year-old investor who amassed an impressive real estate portfolio—all while living at home with his parents in Scarborough. And nearly 350,000 clicked on our story about the Gelbloom family, who built a laneway house in their backyard and rented it to their 30-year-old daughter.
Here’s our top 10 list from the crazy year that was.
No. 1: This family downsized from a 3,000-square-foot Brampton home to a 700-square-foot Liberty Village condo
By Ali Amad | October 15
By Austin Yeh | October 22
No. 3: These retired teachers built a $350,000 laneway house. The tenant? Their 30-year-old daughter
By Andrea Yu | December 4
No. 4: A Toronto couple wanted to ditch the city—so they bought a $520,000 stone cottage in Orangeville
By Alex McClintock | October 10
No. 5: These long-time Torontonians were retirement ready. So they bought a $475,000 home in Belleville
By Andrea Yu | November 14
No. 6: A Toronto couple wanted more space during lockdown. They bought this Grimsby bungalow for $690,000
By Andrea Yu | November 5
By Maria Iqbal | September 11
By Dana Ruprecht | May 7
By Jean Grant | November 9
No. 10: “It feels like we live at a resort”: Why a technician and a law clerk traded Toronto for Port Colborne
By Alex McClintock | February 12