35 Mariner Terrace, No. 2112, Toronto
Asking Price: $999,000
Taxes: $3,814 (2021)
Size: 1,200 square foot
Monthly maintenance fee: $831
Agent: Cliff Liu, Broker, Slate Realty Inc.
Long before the pandemic upended our national life there were people who dreamed of breaking the shackles of city living and getting closer to nature. Rohan Sachdev was one of those people, but only now, after 15 months of the pandemic, is he’s ready to execute his plan to join the wave of urban flight.
“I moved to Toronto in my early 20s out of university, and one of the first things I said is ‘This is going to be a temporary thing,’” Mr. Sachdev said. Sixteen years later, he’s ready to return to a setting more like the one he grew up with in Lindsay, Ont.: a seven-acre plot owned by his entrepreneurial parents, who also owned a gas station that became a retail plaza.
This latest move, he says, is one of many. “I’ve been on a few different journeys, over the last five or six years,” involving a transition away from meat-eating, away from old relationships and cultivating more and more of his own food in his sun-drenched condo at 35 Mariner Terrace, just off Spadina Avenue north of the Gardiner Expressway. He had planters in his bedroom, in the living room, at one point a tomato plant had taken over a support column in the living room.
After the condo, his new place is a full-on family compound: a 32-acre farm outside Milton, Ont. with an orchard, two houses and a barn he plans to convert to a third home. He’s purchasing it with his sister and brother-in-law, and his mother who he lives with now will be joining them as well. Also coming, as soon as she can, is his fiancé who is currently living in India. They met during the pandemic on a dating app for South Asian singles.
“I had no intentions on getting into a long-distance relationship. … Little did I know she was in India, I didn’t see it said IN on her profile,” Mr. Sachdev said. A traditional Hindu ceremony is planned for later this year, with perhaps a wedding on the farm in 2022. He jokes that the wedding hashtag might be “#accidentallyswipedright.”
With plans to build a greenhouse, install solar power and get as close to zero-waste as possible, Mr. Sachdev isn’t just looking for a change of scenery but a change of life. A mortgage broker who used to head into the office every day, the pandemic has forced him to work from home and made him realize what he wants out of life.
“I practice gratitude every day,” he said. “Everything is falling into line.”
The house today
The condo building is part of the CityPlace development, but it’s one of the older buildings, completed in 2006. It shares a block with the Rogers Centre – that’s how Mr. Sachdev’s father noticed the sales centre during a father-son trip to a ball-game 15 years ago. He purchased two pre-construction units as a walk-in, not a bad deal considering sale prices have doubled per square foot in the building since 2015.
Unit 2112 is a corner unit, two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with a den and a balcony. The entry-way has granite tile, and directly ahead is the main living space and kitchen. This space is 24 feet long by 16 feet wide with windows running the length of the long wall which faces west, looking across Spadina Avenue at some more CityPlace buildings. The kitchen on the left, and it’s been updated by Mr. Sachdev, mainly to remove a set of upper cabinets that used to separate it from the living room as it hung above the peninsula with breakfast bar and built-in wine fridge.
A stone wall, installed by Mr. Sachdev and a buddy, wraps around the corner to serve as a focal point for the living room space, complete with fireplace and wall-mounted TV. The balcony is here, facing south. “We lived on the balcony, though it was very eerie to see nobody on the boardwalk, seeing no traffic, and no honking when the Jays won,” Mr. Sachdev said.
The primary bedroom is just off the living room, next to the balcony doors. The window-wall in this room faces south, looking over the Gardiner Expressway to the lake, where on a clear day you can see Rochester, N.Y. This bedroom has its own ensuite four-piece bathroom with tub-shower.
The second smaller bedroom is on the other side of the apartment, and it has a floor-to-ceiling window as well facing Spadina. The stacked washer and dryer is tucked away in a closet, and the guest bedroom is just across from bedroom two.
The den is tucked in behind the kitchen, in part because it was originally built as storage. “There was a big closet in the den. But it’s been a bedroom, an office, a baby room for my nephew for a while,” said Mr. Sachdev. Now it’s staged as an office, though you could also make it a room for your Peloton.
With big windows in the bedrooms and living space letting in lots of natural light, it’s no wonder Mr. Sachdev’s garden ran rampant. The size is also a selling point, at about 1,200 square feet, even if the second bedroom is on the small side.
The maintenance fees per square foot for the building are about average in the area, but the size of the space puts them at $831 a month. Those fees cover all utilities. The condo comes with one parking space.
Listing agent Cliff Liu has run a bunch of showings already, and despite downtown condo rents continuing to languish, there is resale demand for folks intending to live and not rent out the apartments. “With the bigger square footage it’s almost the price of a detached home,” Mr. Liu said. “We have the new stress test in June … a lot of people want to get into the market before then.”
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