It's an interesting feeling, isn't it? You've just dropped off your last child at university, you come home, and the house feels so... empty. Or maybe you're starting to have trouble with the stairs in your large home and you're looking for an alternative space where you don't have to deal with knee pain every time you want to get to the bedroom. Maybe you're hoping to turn one large home into two smaller ones: one in Toronto and one in Florida, or Muskoka, or the South of France.  

The verdict is in: you need to downsize. Here are two things you should think about.

 Think about how much space you really need - and about the layout of the space you're looking for. As we age, we often become less mobile and less able to navigate stairs; this is why condominiums and bungalows are very popular among downsizers. Even if you're still hale and hearty right now, if you're looking for a property into which you're planning to downsize on a long-term basis, remember to think long-term for your health as well. You'll also want to consider how the space is laid out in your new home: would you prefer an open-plan condominium with lots of openness but fewer noise barriers - especially if you have out-of-town children or other loved ones who come to stay occasionally? Or would you prefer the cozier, more private feel of separate rooms and narrower spaces?

 Think about the amenities you need - both in the neighbourhood and in your space. If you're used to living in a large detached home, the lack of privacy afforded by condo living can be off-putting, and it can be tempting to choose a bungalow. Remember, though, that you'll be stuck clearing your sidewalk and hauling the trash to the curb if you're in your own place, and that condos usually come with amenities like party rooms, pools, gyms and spas that may make up for having very close-by neighbours. If you're an avid gardener, though, or you put a high priority on having your own outdoor space, a bungalow or townhome may be for you - or a condo with a large private terrace.

 Ultimately, if you're looking to downsize, you'll want a good real estate agent to advise you, and to find you exactly the home you need. Give us a call any time if you'd like to discuss how we can help!

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Dead Metaphor - David Mirvish Productions

Lulaworld Festival: May 20 - June 7, 2014

Now in its ninth year, The Lulaworld festival brings togetherToronto’s finest world, jazz and Latin musicians performing alongside, and collaborating with, celebrated international guests. In anticipation of the Toronto2015 PANAM games, Lulaworld will focus on artists with cultural roots inMexico,Colombia,Cuba,Dominican Republic,Puerto Rico,Haiti, Trinidad, Guadeloupe andBraziland will also include influences fromAngola,Isreal,Portugal,TurkeyandItaly.

 

Dead Metaphor: May 20 - June 8, 2014

Mirvish Productions brings back the acclaimed play by George F. Walker, Dead Metaphor, which premiered on the Factory Theatre stage. It’s a dark comedy about a former sniper inAfghanistan, Dean, who returns toCanadaand finds that the job market at home doesn’t have a lot of room for his skills.

A recipient of the Order ofCanada,Walkeris one of the country’s most internationally respected dramatists. Over the past four decades, his plays have won three Governor General’s Awards for him, as well as five Doras and nine Chalmers. His previous play was And So It Goes.

 

The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China's Emperors: To September 1, 2014

The ROM’s latest exhibition explores the mysteriousForbidden City, which was constructed in the early 15th century and stood as the home of 24 emperors across two dynasties.

Constructed to house the emperor and his households, it was largely shut off from the rest of the world, with only the most trusted people allowed into its inner workings. This exhibition takes visitors through the Forbidden City, going as deep as the emperor’s personal study, one of theForbidden City’s most restricted areas. Using artifacts from thePalaceMuseuminBeijing, and several pieces from the ROM’s own collection, parts of theForbidden Cityare recreated to give visitors a glimpse of what life was like for some of the most powerful rulers in Chinese history.

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