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Lakeview Village Masterplan Revealed for Mississauga Site

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As redevelopment has remade “easier” sites across central Toronto over the past decade, mega-proposals for more ambitious transformations of brownfield sites have popped up, especially conversions of underused lakeside industrial lands into developments like First Gulf’s East Harbour and Sidewalk LabsQuayside. In Mississauga, a similar waterfront redevelopment called Lakeview Village is looking to completely transform a 177-acre plot of land previously ruled by the ‘four sisters’ coal power plant into a cohesive live-work-play neighbourhood.

Lakeview Square, Lakeview Community Partners Ltd.Rendering of Lakeview Square and Waterway Common at night, image courtesy of Lakeview Community Partners Ltd

The plan by Lakeview Community Partners Ltd., almost 13 years in the making, began when the Ontario Liberal government shut down the coal-fired power plant in an effort to curb pollution and climate change in Ontario. As demolition progressed between 2006 and 2007 a citizen-driven project by the name of ‘Lakeview Legacy’ sparked community interest in the site’s revitalization. Ontario Power Generation, the owner of the site, began working with the Ontario Government and the city of Mississauga to develop a shared vision for what they dubbed ‘Inspiration Lakeview’. After an RFP process adjudicated by the city, Lakeview Community Partners Ltd. was selected as the development partner and purchased the land for $275 million from Ontario Power Generation. Now, the developer—a consortium of 5 GTA development and construction companies and 12 external consultants—has pitched their masterplanned vision for the future, rechristened ‘Lakeview Village’, to the public.

Lakeview Square, Lakeview Community Partners Ltd.All 7 Lakeview Village districts, image courtesy of Lakeview Community Partners Ltd

The development is sectioned into seven distinct nodes, all of which fill a specific function complementary to the overall neighbourhood. Of all these spaces, Lakeview Square is the centrepiece. The spot aims to be the place for shopping, dining and entertainment in Lakeview Village. By focusing on non-national retail tenants and programming, Lakeview Square will attempt to play a unique role in the overall Mississauga retail landscape. Lakeview Square will also front on a man-made recreation pond where residents and visitors can rent kayaking and paddle sports equipment.

Lakeview Square, Lakeview Community Partners Ltd.Concept rendering of Lakeview Square, image courtesy of Lakeview Community Partners Ltd

Adjacent to this vibrant downtown district is possibly the most unique and exciting portion of the proposal; Waterway Common – a linear urban park spanning the width of the development that features a man-made water channel as its centrepiece. The waterway will be a year-round public gathering place, and function as a skating rink in the winter.

Lakeview Square, Lakeview Community Partners Ltd.Concept rendering of Waterway Common from the west, image courtesy of Lakeview Community Partners Ltd

In terms of employment, Lakeview Village is looking to attract innovative firms to the site. A string of offices in the ‘Serson Innovation Corridor’ will look to offer flexible spaces for firms, with the potential for additional educational uses in the future. This will eventually lead to a possible 825,000 ft2 of employment space on the site.

Inspiration point is designed to be a tranquil waterfront park with a pier extending over 600 metres into Lake Ontario. The park will feature public art, cultural pop ups and an open-air music venue ‘Coal Hill’.

Lakeview Square, Lakeview Community Partners Ltd.Concept rendering of Inspiration Point, image courtesy of Lakeview Community Partners Ltd

The Marina and Ogden Green will serve as the residential anchors for the site. The Marina will focus more on high rise condo development with iconic architecture to add to the growing Mississauga skyline. Ogden Green will be a much more human-scaled neighbourhood comprising of townhomes and mid rise buildings with a streetscape designed around mid-block pedestrian walkways and paths. 

Lakeview Square, Lakeview Community Partners Ltd.Concept rendering of Ogden Green, image courtesy of Lakeview Community Partners Ltd

Finally, the plan puts emphasis on Lakeview Village’s integration with the existing community, specifically the intersection at Lakeshore Road E. The gateway into Lakeview Village will be defined by a mixed-use landmark building of ‘world class architectural standard’ to give the right impression to those entering the neighbourhood. Lakeview Community Partners may also be looking into purchasing the adjacent lands along Lakeshore Road; they are already subject to the city’s ‘Lakeview Major Node Character Area” so a lot of the built form will be regulated to fit with the urban fabric already outlined in this plan.

Lakeview Square, Lakeview Community Partners Ltd.Overhead view outlining the adjacent lands not included in the current masterplan, image courtesy of Lakeview Community Partners

When addressing the built form planned for the site, the proposal outlines very specific design principals to guide the way that architects are selected and instructed to produce designs for buildings in the neighbourhood. The plan hopes to be truly diverse in design by “sculpting unique building forms to juxtapose massing and punctuate a diverse skyline”. 

At the end of it all, 17,000 people are expected to live in the 8,000 units that will be built at Lakeview Village. The development will have access to two existing GO transit stations—Port Credit and Long Branch—but is not walking distance to either of them, so will be working with MiWay to improve mobility options for residents through regular bus service. The challenge here will be to make it easy for residents and commuting employees to live to work here without a car. For cyclists, the Waterfront Trail will be rerouted from Lakeshore Road through this site.

Lakeview Square, Lakeview Community Partners Ltd.Projections for the development, image courtesy of Lakeview Community Partners Ltd

Lakeview Village hopes to gain planning approval in Fall 2019, with the first phase of construction starting the following spring. It will focus on placemaking; Lakeview Square, Waterway Common, and Inspiration Point will be developed first to draw interest to the area. Once the entire project is completed, Lakeview Community Partners believes that the land could be worth roughly $6 billion.

Lakeview Square, Lakeview Community Partners Ltd.The current site of Lakeview Village, image by Forum contributor bangkok

We will be back with much more as the plans become more detailed and individual projects get going. In the meantime, you can find more and larger images in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.


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Real Estate

5 ways to reduce your mortgage amortization

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Since the pandemic hit, a lot of Canadians have been affected financially and if you’re on a mortgage, reducing your amortization period can be of great help.

A mortgage amortization period is the amount of time it would take a homeowner to completely pay off their mortgage. The amortization is typically an estimate based on what the interest rate for your current term is. Calculating your amortization is done easily using a loan amortization calculator which shows you the different payment schedules within your amortization period.

 In Canada, if you made a down payment that is less than the recommended 20 per cent of the total cost of your home, then the longest amortization period you’re allowed to have is 25 years. The mortgage amortization period not only affects the length of time it would take to completely repay the loan, but also the amount of interest paid over the lifecycle of the mortgage.

Typically, longer amortization periods involve making smaller monthly payments and having a much higher total interest cost over the duration of the mortgage. While on the other hand, shorter amortization periods entails making larger monthly payments and having lower total interest costs.

It’s the dream of every homeowner to become mortgage-free. A general rule of thumb would be to try and keep your monthly mortgage costs as low as possible—preferably below 30 per cent of your monthly income. Over time, you may become more financially stable by either getting a tax return, a bonus or an additional source of income and want to channel that towards your principal.

There are several ways to keep your monthly mortgage payments low and reduce your amortization. Here are a few ways to achieve that goal:

1. Make a larger down payment

Once you’ve decided to buy a home, always consider putting asides some significant amount of money that would act as a down payment to reduce your monthly mortgage. While the recommended amount to put aside as a down payment is 20 per cent,  if you aren’t in a hurry to purchase the property or are more financial buoyant, you can even pay more.

Essentially, the larger your down payment, the lower your mortgage would be as it means you’re borrowing less money from your lender. However, if you pay at least 20 per cent upfront, there would be no need for you to cover the additional cost of private mortgage insurance which would save you some money.

2. Make bi-weekly payments

Most homeowners make monthly payments which amount to 12 payments every year. But if your bank or lender offers the option of accelerated bi-weekly payment, you will be making an equivalent of one more payment annually. Doing this will further reduce your amortization period by allowing you to pay off your mortgage much faster.

3. Have a fixed renewal payment

It is normal for lenders to offer discounts on interest rate during your amortization period. However, as you continuously renew your mortgage at a lower rate, always keep a fixed repayment sum.

Rather than just making lower payments, you can keep your payments static, since the more money applied to your principal, the faster you can clear your mortgage.

4. Increase your payment amount

Many mortgages give homeowners the option to increase their payment amount at least once a year. Now, this is very ideal for those who have the financial capacity to do so because the extra money would be added to your principal.

Irrespective of how small the increase might be, in the long run, it would make a huge difference. For example, if your monthly mortgage payment is about $2,752 per month. It would be in your best interest to round it up to $2,800 every month. That way, you are much closer to reducing your mortgage amortization period.

5. Leverage on prepayment privileges

The ability for homeowners to make any form of prepayment solely depends on what mortgage features are provided by their lender.

With an open mortgage, you can easily make additional payments at any given time. However, if you have a closed mortgage—which makes up the larger percentage of existing mortgages—you will need to check if you have the option of prepayments which would allow you to make extra lump sum payments.

Additionally, there may also be the option to make extra lump sum payments at the end of your existing mortgage term before its time for renewal.

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Mortgage insurance vs. life insurance: What you need to know

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Your home is likely the biggest asset you’ll ever own. So how can you protect it in case something were to happen to you? To start, homeowners have a few options to choose from. You can either:

  • ensure you have mortgage protection with a life insurance policy from an insurance company or
  • get mortgage insurance from a bank or mortgage lender.

Mortgage insurance vs. life insurance: How do they each work?  

The first thing to know is that life insurance can be a great way to make sure you and your family have mortgage protection.

The money from a life insurance policy usually goes right into the hands of your beneficiaries – not the bank or mortgage lender. Your beneficiaries are whoever you choose to receive the benefit or money from your policy after you die.

Life insurance policies, like term life insurance, come with a death benefit. A death benefit is the amount of money given to your beneficiaries after you die. The exact amount they’ll receive depends on the policy you buy.

With term life insurance, you’re covered for a set period, such as 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. The premium – that’s the monthly or annual fee you pay for insurance – is usually low for the first term.

If you die while you’re coved by your life insurance policy, your beneficiaries will receive a tax-free death benefit. They can then use this money to help pay off the mortgage or for any other reason. So not only is your mortgage protected, but your family will also have funds to cover other expenses that they relied on you to pay.

Mortgage insurance works by paying off the outstanding principal balance of your mortgage, up to a certain amount, if you die.

With mortgage insurance, the money goes directly to the bank or lender to pay off the mortgage – and that’s it. There’s no extra money to cover other expenses, and you don’t get to leave any cash behind to your beneficiaries.

What’s the difference between mortgage insurance and life insurance?

The main difference is that mortgage insurance covers only your outstanding mortgage balance. And, that money goes directly to the bank or mortgage lender, not your beneficiary. This means that there’s no cash, payout or benefit given to your beneficiary. 

With life insurance, however, you get mortgage protection and more. Here’s how it works: every life insurance policy provides a tax-free amount of money (the death benefit) to the beneficiary. The payment can cover more than just the mortgage. The beneficiary may then use the money for any purpose. For example, apart from paying off the mortgage, they can also use the funds from the death benefit to cover:

  • any of your remaining debts,
  • the cost of child care,
  • funeral costs,
  • the cost of child care, and
  • any other living expenses. 

But before you decide between life insurance and mortgage insurance, here are some other important differences to keep in mind:

Who gets the money?

With life insurance, the money goes to whomever you name as your beneficiary.

With mortgage insurance, the money goes entirely to the bank.

Can you move your policy?

With life insurance, your policy stays with you even if you transfer your mortgage to another company. There’s no need to re-apply or prove your health is good enough to be insured.

With mortgage insurance, however, your policy doesn’t automatically move with you if you change mortgage providers. If you move your mortgage to another bank, you’ll have to prove that your health is still good.

Which offers more flexibility, life insurance or mortgage insurance?

With life insurance, your beneficiaries have the flexibility to cover the mortgage balance and more after you die. As the policy owner, you can choose how much insurance coverage you want and how long you need it. And, the coverage doesn’t decline unless you want it to.

With mortgage insurance through a bank, you don’t have the flexibility to change your coverage. In this case, you’re only protecting the outstanding balance on your mortgage.

Do you need a medical exam to qualify? 

With a term life insurance policy from Sun Life, you may have to answer some medical questions or take a medical exam before you’re approved for coverage. Once you’re approved, Sun Life won’t ask for any additional medical information later on.

With mortgage insurance, a bank or mortgage lender may ask some medical questions when you apply. However, if you make a claim after you’re approved, your bank may ask for additional medical information.* At that point, they may discover some conditions that disqualify you from receiving payment on a claim.

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5 common mistakes Canadians make with their mortgages

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This article was created by MoneyWise. Postmedia and MoneyWise may earn an affiliate commission through links on this page.

Since COVID-19 dragged interest rates to historic lows last year, Canadians have been diving into the real estate market with unprecedented verve.

During a time of extraordinary financial disruption, more than 551,000 properties sold last year — a new annual record, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Those sales provided a desperately needed dose of oxygen for the country’s gasping economy.

Given the slew of new mortgages taken out in 2020, there were bound to be slip-ups. So, MoneyWise asked four of the country’s sharpest mortgage minds to share what they feel are the mistakes Canadians most frequently make when securing a home loan.

Mistake 1: Not having your documents ready

One of your mortgage broker’s primary functions is to provide lenders with paperwork confirming your income, assets, source of down payment and overall reliability as a borrower. Without complete and accurate documentation, no reputable lender will be able to process your loan.

But “borrowers often don’t have these documents on hand,” says John Vo of Spicer Vo Mortgages in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “And even when they do provide these documents, they may not be the correct documentation required.”

Some of the most frequent mistakes Vo sees when borrowers send in their paperwork include:

  • Not including a name or other relevant details on key pieces of information.
  • Providing old bank or pay statements instead of those dated within the last 30 days.
  • Sending only a partial document package. If a lender asks for six pages to support your loan, don’t send two. If you’re asked for four months’ worth of bank statements, don’t provide only one.
  • Thinking low-quality or blurry files sent by email or text will be good enough. Lenders need to be able to read what you send them.

If you send your broker an incomplete documents package, the result is inevitable: Your mortgage application will be delayed as long as it takes for you to find the required materials, and your house shopping could be sidetracked for months.

Mistake 2: Blinded by the rate

Ask any mortgage broker and they’ll tell you that the question they’re asked most frequently is: “What’s your lowest rate?”

The interest rate you’ll pay on your mortgage is a massive consideration, so comparing the rates lenders are offering is a good habit once you’ve slipped on your house-hunter hat.

Rates have been on the rise lately given government actions to stimulate the Canadian economy. You may want to lock a low rate now, so you can hold onto it for up to 120 days.

But Chris Kolinski, broker at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based iSask Mortgages, says too many borrowers get obsessed with finding the lowest rate and ignore the other aspects of a mortgage that can greatly impact its overall cost.

“I always ask my clients ‘Do you want to get the best rate, or do you want to save the most money?’ because those two things are not always synonymous,” Kolinski says. “That opens a conversation about needs and wants.”

Many of the rock-bottom interest rates on offer from Canadian lenders can be hard to qualify for, come with limited features, or cost borrowers “a ton” of money if they break their terms, Kolinski points out.

Mistake 3: Not reading the fine print

Dalia Barsoum of Streetwise Mortgages in Woodbridge, Ontario, shares a universal message: “Read the fine print. Understand what you’re signing up for.”

Most borrowers don’t expect they’ll ever break their mortgages, but data collected by TD Bank shows that 7 in 10 homeowners move on from their properties earlier than they expect.

It’s critical to understand your loan’s prepayment privileges and the rules around an early departure. “If you exit the mortgage, how much are you going to pay? It’s really, really important,” Barsoum says.

She has seen too borrowers come to her hoping to refinance a mortgage they received from a private or specialty lender, only to find that what they were attempting was impossible.

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