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Conversations from the Toronto Indy

This past weekend, I had the unique opportunity to watch the Toronto Indy from the pits.  In doing so, I had many conversations with drivers and their family members who had come to Toronto as part of the racing “circus” once a year.  For some of them, it was their first time here but for many, they have been coming to Toronto for decades.

Now, if I was introduced to anyone in Toronto as a real estate agent, most people would look for ways to leave the conversation because they already know ten other agents.  But for the people that I met at the race, they were very interested in talking to someone not only from the city, but also someone who sells homes here.

As I engaged deeper into these conversations, certain topics and themes emerged, and here are some of my favourite conversations:

  1.  Yorkville and Queen West were the favourite neighbourhoods.  Visitors to our city were fascinated of what Yorkville once was (bikers, beatniks and hippies) as compared to what it is now (Prada, Champagne cocktails and women with small dogs). 
  2. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) share information about cross-border transactions and residential real estate is on that list.  I talked to a gentlemen who learned that the hard way after trying to “shelter” some of his money in Canadian real estate.
  3. Deep into a conversation about the Blue Jays, a driver’s wife asked me “Why are all of your sports teams good, but not good enough to actually win anything?”.  Sing it, sister.
  4. Toronto was home to a lot of bars and nightclubs that people in the racing community were drawn to.  Most notable were the RPM, Limelight and Masonic Temple.  That conversation led to the dumbfounded look on their faces when I told them that the ground the RPM once stood on now has condos on it.
  5. The most frequent comments were about what you could get in a home for $250,000, $300,000 or $1,000,000.  When I commented that a million dollars doesn’t buy you very much house in Toronto, a lovely lady I was talking to leaned in and said “Yeah, I have a 5000sqft home in Indianapolis, but there is nothing to do after 10pm”
  6. “Are all of those condos sold?  Who is buying them?” – this led to longer conversations about Canadian immigration, comparisons to San Francisco and Chicago, and the “Manhattanization” of Toronto.
  7. In the United States, you can get a mortgage with a 30 year term rate (NOT AMORTIZATION) for just under 4%.  Think about that.
  8. Upon mentioning that interest rates just went up here in Canada, the overwhelming response was “that is a good thing”.
  9. “It’s actually not the ‘Princess Gates’, it is the ‘Princes’ Gates’” dominated my inner monologue.
  10. On Sunday night over some cocktails, I showed a picture of my daughters to a racing driver’s mother.  She looked at the picture, and without even looking up at me she said “you had better be selling a lot of houses Dan, those two look expensive”.

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