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Royal LePage Terrequity Realty

2285 Lakeshore Blvd. W., No. 1908, Toronto

Asking price: $1,899,000

Taxes: $4,404.57 (2022)

Monthly maintenance fees: $1,521.74

Agents: Mara Bossio (Royal LePage Terrequity Realty)

The backstory

In 2001, real estate agent Mara Bossio led a technology guru from Texas on a tour of Toronto-area condo units.

On the list was a two-bedroom unit in the Grand Harbour complex on Etobicoke’s waterfront.

The 1,600-square-foot unit had wraparound windows overlooking the yacht clubs below, a balcony and a large terrace.

The next morning Ms. Bossio called her client.

“You have to pursue this offer because there’s someone else who wants to buy it,” Ms. Bossio recalls telling him. “That someone else was me.”

When the tech executive demurred, Ms. Bossio purchased the unit.

At the time, Ms. Bossio lived next door, in a unit which provided no outdoor space.

“A girl can’t live like that,” she says.

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The two complexes, built in the 1990s, were among the first to spring up along the lakeshore west of Toronto’s downtown.

The large Palace Pier and Palace Place stood to the east. In between was a strip of motels that had developed seedy reputations since their heyday in the 1950s.

“People couldn’t sell those motels for very good money. They were not zoned for residential,” Ms. Bossio says.

Local and provincial governments expropriated the land along the shoreline and created a plan to build a community with condo towers replacing the motels.

Development was slow but new projects were under construction in the 1990s.

“Then the market fell out,” Ms. Bossio says.

The builders couldn’t sell their luxury penthouses and townhouses.

“I rolled in, and I called the builder and said, ‘I can see you’re going to have trouble,’” she says. “He couldn’t get rid of the product.”

Ms. Bossio, who had studied fashion and design, advised the developers to revamp some of the units – including making structural changes – in order to make them more appealing to buyers.

“No developer accepts this easily,” she says, “however they allowed me the room to launch successful sales programs in record time.”

Unit 1908

Ms. Bossio took possession of her new Grand Harbour condo and hired a crew to make changes immediately. With her background, she could see past the stippled ceiling, wall-to-wall broadloom, closed kitchen and colour palette.

“It was painted mustard yellow,” she recalls. “It was awful.”

During a six-week renovation, Ms. Bossio had walls removed to make the kitchen more open to the living and dining areas.

The carpeting was torn out and 3/4-inch hardwood floors were installed.

Today the unit has an island for casual dining next to the kitchen.

“It’s a free-flowing, really great space in which to entertain,” says Ms. Bossio, who brings in a chef to cook for her and her guests on special occasions.

There are two bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and a powder room.

The complex has plenty of amenities, including an indoor salt water pool, squash and basketball courts, and a car wash.

The best feature

Royal LePage Terrequity Realty

The unit sits at the top of the archway connecting two of the buildings at Grand Harbour. The 500-square-foot terrace sits in the arch, sheltered by the wall of the next building.

Ms. Bossio says the position of the terrace – high above the yacht clubs below – provides complete privacy.

“My unit is the only unit in the building that has this terrace.”