When a ‘six-figure’ garage was offered for sale in Toronto

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    When a ‘six-figure’ garage was offered for sale in Toronto

    As the CBC’s Lorne Matalon told viewers in August 1989, Toronto house prices were “pretty intimidating.” But there was hope.

    “We think we may have found one solution to Toronto’s high cost of housing,” he said, after viewers saw newspaper ads advertising houses for sale.

    That solution was a place on a street in the city’s east end: a 20-by-35-foot garage.

    “A garage that has brought new meaning to the phrase ‘affordable housing,'” said Matalon.

    “Crazy … but that’s reality’

    Home prices in Toronto could be “intimidating” for buyers in August 1989. (CBLT Newshour/CBC News)

    The selling price of $130,000 wasn’t just for the garage. (In 2020 dollars, that price is equivalent to about $236,500.)

    “This particular garage comes with plans for a one-and-a-half storey home,” said Matalon. 

    Real estate brokers David Dagenais and Desmond Brown highlighted potential adaptations for the garage, including replacing the metal garage door with a “huge bay window.”

    Matalon said the garage represented an opportunity “when it’s hard to get a big bang for your Toronto housing buck.”

    “We probably are crazy, with what’s happening in our marketplace,” said Dagenais. “But that’s reality.”

    ‘Trend-setting tract’

    Anyone who bought the garage could expect to clean up the garbage that was piled up behind it. (CBLT Newshour/CBC News)

    By spending another $70,000, said Matalon, a buyer could turn the garage into “rooms with a view.”

    “You could paint, like, a mountain scene on it,”…

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