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Can’t look away from wretched excess in real estate? This TV show gets inside Toronto’s most over-the-top mansions


Real estate agents Peter and Paige Torkan are “showcasing high-stakes multimillion-dollarlistings” in the new Prime Video series “Luxe Listings Toronto.”

It’s hard for me to imagine why any family home needs 18 bathrooms.

Or 25,000 square feet, a helipad, tennis court, infinity pool, hiking trail and underground bunker built to withstand a tactical nuclear strike. I once researched celebrity estates and discovered Oprah has a labyrinthine wine cellar inspired by mining tunnels.

It’s possible those cubby holes are all now filled with Ozempic.

John Travolta has two runways in his backyard. I don’t have a garage and this lunatic is landing 727s next to his sauna? Bill Gates has six kitchens in one property? The man looks like he lives on Kraft Dinner. Why does Lil Wayne have a shark lagoon? That’s dangerous.

But while hard to imagine — I would not want to tend to Gwyneth Paltrow’s sprawling vegetable patch that is illuminated at dusk by Goop vagina candles — it is also fascinating.

So I look forward to streaming “Luxe Listings Toronto” when it premieres on Prime Video April 26. Per an Amazon press release this week: “ … the Toronto-based edition follows one of the most cutthroat real estate markets on the planet, showcasing high-stakes multimillion-dollar listings in Canada’s largest city … Set against Toronto’s iconic backdrop, the series showcases the most prominent neighbourhoods from the Bridle Path to Forest Hill, Yorkville, downtown Toronto and beyond.”

The trailer dropped this week. It was strange to see establishing shots of local homes bigger than the White House or staircases longer than the Moraga Steps.

They’ve got the keys to the hottest real estate market in the country. “Luxe Listings Toronto” premieres April 26 on Prime Video.

My only fear is the series will focus more on agent wars than crazy real estate. While the shenanigans inside “one of the most cutthroat real estate markets on the planet” are worth exploring, most viewers just want to glimpse the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Show me Drake’s indoor basketball court as I waste away in my East York semi.

But after we are done fantasizing and living vicariously, let’s use this new show to get serious about the opposite side of luxe listings: affordable housing.

BlogTO recently published a story that caught my eye: “Someone in Ontario is renting out a bed at the top of a staircase for $500 per month.” Huh? My first rental apartment on St. Clair in the mid-’90s was not much more. And it had a bedroom, bathroom, galley kitchen, living room and spacious office with curved walls and Art Deco flourishes.

I did not know another recent grad forced to rent a mattress atop a staircase.

No advanced civilization can thrive if an entire generation is priced out of the housing market, which is exactly what’s happening in this city right now. So after watching the trailer for “Luxe Listings Toronto,” here’s my modest proposal: let’s create a First Time Buyers Fund from a portion of the property taxes levied on opulent estates around the GTA.

First a Swift Tax, now a First Time Buyers Fund.

Do I have to think of everything?

Young people can borrow from this fund with zero per cent interest. People, I am not an economist so someone will need to do the math. All I’m saying is the housing market in this city is bonkers and bonkers is the enemy of a happy future for all of us.

As this upcoming reality show will reveal, there is also a shocking amount of wealth in this city. Why a family of four needs 12 bedrooms is a mystery. But it’s all relative. A homeless person might wonder why I need a finished basement.

I was just poking around realtor.ca. There are currently more than 10 properties listed in the GTA that have an asking price of over $20 million. One mansion near Casa Loma is going for $34,500,000.

In addition to the eight bedrooms and 11 bathrooms — why do luxury homes always have more bathrooms than bedrooms these days? — the listing description includes a notice of interior parking for 11 vehicles, complete with a “turntable and car wash.”

This is me shrugging. Is a turntable like a Lazy Susan for Lamborghinis?

A walk-infridge? Honey, put on your Nikes because the mayo is 500 feet away.

But here’s the number that really jumped out at me: $73,170.21.

That’s the annual property tax. Now take a slice of that and multiply it by the property taxes on every other home valued at $5 million or more. Don’t have a panic attack, rich people. I’m not a brown Bernie Sanders. This proposal would simply redistribute a portion of the taxes you already pay to the First Time Buyers Fund. You know, to help the next generation get on their feet and not spend their 20s renting a hammock in a rusty shed.

“Luxe Listings Toronto” is a reality show.

But the reality for our young people is that all housing is now a luxury.

Credit belongs to : www.thestar.com

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