Downtown Concerned Citizens Organization

A Toronto real estate agent says some condo owners ‘don’t feel safe’ in the Midtown neighbourhood and ‘want to get out’

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While the sale prices of freehold homes have not changed, there has been a drastic decline in condo prices in the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood, says a well-known Toronto real estate agent who works in the Midtown area.

Patrick Rocca told me last week the prices of condos in the dense apartment and condo corridor from Yonge-Eglinton northeast have dropped about 15% in value over the past three months compared to the same time a year ago.

Sales statistics provided by Rocca show that while there were fewer condo listings from January to March of 2020, the average condo (one and two-bedroom) sold for $743,000.

Fast forward to the last three months, which shows 324 listings and an average selling price of $629,000 — a drastic drop of 16%.

A newly released report from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) shows in March of 2021 condo prices overall in Toronto dropped 0.7% compared to the year before — with the average price pegged at $707,835.


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Rocca said the city’s condo market is bouncing back, but not in Midtown.

Toronto real estate agent Patrick Rocca.
Toronto real estate agent Patrick Rocca. Photo by Supplied

He attributes the decline partly to COVID but says he’s encountered condo owners with a genuine fear of the area “who want to get out.”

The city of Toronto turned the Roehampton hotel into a shelter last spring and homeless clients began moving in there in early July of 2020.

A Toronto Sun exclusive last Sunday showed that in the first three months after the shelter opened, all the major crime indicators in the surrounding neighbourhood skyrocketed by 30% compared to the previous summer.

Toronto Police statistics indicate theft spiked by 225%, robbery by 100%, sexual violation by 175%, theft over by 150% and break-and-enter by 76.5%.

This compares to a decline of 13% overall in the entire 53 Division district during those months compared to the summer of 2019.

“The reality is people I’m talking to don’t feel safe and are selling to move,” Rocca said. “They want to get out of there.”

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He said the most impacted streets are Roehampton and Redpath Aves. (Redpath runs north and south one block west of Mt. Pleasant Rd.).

One client put his condo on the market last fall, Rocca said, and when he pulled in to a nearby Green P to park so he could show the condo, he saw a couple of guys “shooting up.”

The condo never sold.

Rocca said the rental market has really been affected too with average rents dipping from $2,100 a month to $1,600 a month — nearly a 25% decline.

He’s not anti-social housing, but Rocca said to drop the homeless in the Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood without any supports is a “travesty.”


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Nathen Mazri, the young founder of GarfieldEATS and Scooby-Doo EATS, moved into his brand new Roehampton Ave. condo (at the corner of Redpath) in early 2020 just before the pandemic having no idea the shelter was coming.

Nathen Mazri, founder of GarfieldEATS and Scooby-Doo EATS, is a Midtown resident.
Nathen Mazri, founder of GarfieldEATS and Scooby-Doo EATS, is a Midtown resident. Photo by Suppled

Since then, he’s witnessed one murder at the shelter, another on Roehampton and a suicide (during the lockdown) from the 11th floor of his building.

He hears “screaming and loud noises,” and  sees emergency vehicles constantly attending the shelter.

Although he hasn’t been approached, Mazri said he also sees lots of homeless walking around — mostly men — and they tend to cluster at the corner of Roehampton and Yonge.

Nearly every day members of the Midtown Community Safety Facebook group post police calls or pictures of emergency vehicles parked out front of the Roehampton.

  1. The Roehampton Hotel, which is being used as a homeless shelter, near Mt. Pleasant Rd. and Eglinton Ave. E. in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

    LEVY: Toronto Police stats show crime surged after Roehampton shelter opened

  2. City of Toronto temporary shelter at the Roehampton Hotel, on Mt.Pleasant Rd. at Eglinton Ave E., in Toronto, Ont. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020.

    LEVY: Outbreak in controversial homeless hotel opened to prevent COVID

  3. Colin Defreitas, 27, Reese Morris, and a third, unknown male are wanted in the stabbing of a man outside the Roehampton Hotel Interim Shelter site Saturday evening.

    Client stabbed at notorious midtown shelter, suspects IDed

Mazri doesn’t understand how the neighbourhood can continue to sustain pricey condo development with the mayhem of the nearby shelter.

He said his neighbours are angry and contend they “feel fooled” by their real estate agents.

No one has a problem with shelters, just how poorly the Roehampton has been managed, he said.

Mazri said before COVID he donated several dozen frozen lasagnas from his Garfield collection per week to shelters — in particular Youth Without Shelter in Etobicoke (which I’ve written about and is a genuine success story).

Officials from the city’s Shelter, Support and Housing Administration (SSHA) told me recently — in response to the area’s crime statistics — that these are “vulnerable members of the community and neighbours” and the city has a responsibility to support them with “dignity and care” while addressing and responding to safety concerns.


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