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Best Coffee Shops in Toronto: An Overview of Options

Toronto Offers Great Options for All Types of Coffee DrinkersWhether you need a break from shopping or a quiet place to study, a convenient location to meet friends or a way to escape from the crowd, there is a coffee shop in Toronto to meet your needs. Toronto has many options for sampling the best of the brew.

Take yours “straight” with funky art, sip a latte with a tablet in your lap and a convenient plug nearby, savor a strong espresso after lunch, or grab a cup to go; no matter what your style, you won’t have to look far. No matter what neighborhood you visit in Toronto, you will also find special bags of beans to take home and enjoy on your own terms.

Here are 5 unique coffee shops that have earned top spots on a lot of lists:

Fahrenheit Coffee

Now with two locations to choose from, Fahrenheit Coffee at 120 Lombard Street in Old Town Toronto opened in 2011, and has repeatedly been voted Best Specialty Coffee House in the city. They offer three different espresso origins, all of them crafted excellently and consistently. A second shop is located at 529 Richmond Street West, but is closed on Sunday. They are both relatively small, but the baristas are friendly and knowledgeable, and there’s light fare available to accompany the perfectly brewed cups of coffee.

Manic Coffee

Located at 426 College St., this one’s a favourite with the college crowd. Study always goes better with perfectly-filtered coffee and naturally-flavoured gelato or sorbet, right? Here, however, you’ll find plenty of espresso artistry, hearty muffins and flaky croissants, cookies and Danish, and a friendly casual ambience. Go solo to study or stop in with friends for a “social hour.” Visitors are as welcome as students. It’s all good!

Boxcar Social

Boxcar Social is not a one-off coffee shop. In fact, there are five locations, and another offshoot that supplies pizza for the chain. But, every location is special! Hard as it may be to believe, not everyone loves coffee. Meet friends who prefer beer, wine or spirits and socialize in your own way, at breakfast or over dinner. The original was at 1208 Yonge St., Summerhill, but additional locations now include Riverside, Harbourfront, Temperance and The Slip. You’ll enjoy the decor as much as the brew. Or the pizza!

Coco Espresso Bar

What a place! It’s a little bit Italy, a little bit ice cream (gelato) parlor, a little bit lunch spot, and a lot of fun. Coffee, tea, sparkling water—find it all, including real Italian meats and cheeses, biscotti and cakes, at 29 Bellair St. The espresso is pretty good too! Raffaele Bettalico opened 15 years ago, with the goal of creating “a place to drink espresso, but to ‘taste’ Italy.” He succeeding in creating a trendy gathering spot that is among the most popular in the city.

Nespresso Boutique-Bar

The dazzling decor and comfy chairs are worth a visit, even if the coffee is expensive. But if your love for fancy coffee won’t be satisfied until you have all the perfect equipment to brew your own at home, this is where you’ll want to go. Take home all the equipment you could want from this unique boutique; sample complimentary coffee while you decide. It’s located at 159 Cumberland Street.

Toronto may not “run” on coffee, but residents do love it—brewed, flavored, artistic, and for any conceivable reason. Every neighbourhood has a well-loved coffee shop; they range from a great place to start the morning to the perfect spot for a late night pick-me-up. Whether you like your caffeine with sandwiches and a pastry, with a full meal or with gelato, you’re sure to find a coffee shop to love.

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What’s New in Toronto Real Estate?

Real Estate News in TorontoThe beginning of the year seems like the right time to brush up on the trends of Toronto real estate. It’s much far easier to buy, sell, or invest when you know the context of the market. There have been enough recent policy changes to make for some drastic swings in prices, and everyone is watching interest rates in preparation for the suspected hike. But it’s definitely not all bad news and predictions. See what’s on the horizon for buyers and sellers if you have big plans for 2018.

The Big Fix

If anyone has had even a passing interest in Toronto real estate, they would know that the Ontario Fair Housing Act caused quite the stir in the market. While the beginning of the year saw Toronto real estate at unprecedented prices, the bubble inevitably burst when this Act was announced in April. Since then, the market’s been struggling to correct itself to find a better balance. While the untrained eye may believe the value of real estate has crumbled (compared to this time last year), experts expect the market is just in the midst of a fix.

Internal Demand

Toronto’s population continues to grow, which will (almost) always correlate with higher property prices. The luxury market doing well, if only because of the relative scarcity of high-end property. Toronto is famously anti-sprawl, so there are fewer and fewer areas for the wealthy to turn to. Unlike many other parts of Canada, the demand for high-end property is coming from locals and not outside parties. Recent statistics show that 85 percent of buyers in the wealthier neighborhoods were Canadians.

Slow and Steady

The Ontario Fair Housing Act wasn’t the only recent disruptor in the market. There were also new rules placed on homeowners with low-ratio mortgages that started at the beginning of the year. Previously those who put down 20 percent or more on their home weren’t expected to submit to a stress test to be approved for a loan. But that’s all changed for 2018 as politicians attempt to stave off inflation and foreclosures alike. With interest rates expected to climb this year, buyers will have to prove they can handle the additional rate hike. This is expected to have a bigger impact in the major cities like Toronto.

Prices and Demand

The market is expected to hold at average prices of around $725,000 for at least the next few months. Prices may either dip slightly or remain steady for the first half of the year before rising again after everyone adjusts to the new rules. In addition, investors maintain their interest in new construction real estate with condos expected to take center stage. This may make it more difficult for first-time home buyers to get their foot in the door. Much of the construction won’t even be available until the early 2020s, which really just leaves the market open for investors.

No matter what construction plans Canadians have for this year, it’s always a good idea to stay updated on the news. While predictions and speculation often goes nowhere, there is real evidence to suggest that Toronto doesn’t have a failing market (despite where it started.) The population and continued demand will almost certainly offset the new rules and regulations for buyers.

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