Toronto’s Eastern Shoreline: Million Dollar Views Attracting Builders

…Baldo Minaudo, MBA, Broker, Real Estate Homeward, 416-564-0245

As a Toronto real estate broker active in the Toronto East and downtown areas, it is my opinion that Toronto’s Eastern shoreline will become increasingly appealing to homebuyers, builders and investors. In this article I share my observations, thoughts and reasoning behind my opinion. As well, I will include some sought after property characteristics to look for when buying a home or investment property in this area.

With Toronto real estate prices continuing to impress the market, two neighbourhoods are attracting attention among builders and investors. With the prices of detached homes East of downtown Toronto continuing to skyrocket, many first-time home buyers are looking eastward towards in the Birchcliffe-Cliffside and Cliffcrest communities, which meet at Midland Avenue with Cliffcrest to the east and Birchcliffe-Cliffside to the west.

Birchcliffe-Cliffside Boundary Map
Birchcliffe-Cliffside Boundary Map
Cliffcrest community boundary map
Cliffcrest community boundary map

Attracted by the atmosphere created by the long-time residents, accessibility to the downtown core, abundant shopping, variety of restaurants, breathtaking views of the lake and proximity to the famous cliffs of Scarborough Bluffers Park, the community is now on the radar of would-be first-time home buyers. Properties with a view of the lake are a sought after treasure, especially builders looking to make a higher return on building houses for those willing to pay a premium for a million-dollar view. Perhaps that is why they call it a million-dollar view (converted to the current value of the collar).

This is the view of Lake Ontario is from the bottom of Midland Avenue, where Fishleigh Drive ends. Fishleigh Drive is a fairly short street running along Lake SONY DSCOntario. Homes on the south side of the street have direct view of the lake from the cliffside. Currently, there are several houses being built on the street and builders are looking for more of those scarce lots, often buying older houses to rebuild with larger, more expensive and impressive houses.

Homes at the bottom of Midland Avenue are also benefiting by this scarcity because of their partial and/or seasonal view of the lake. For those that have properties with a view, it could mean a windfall as they look to downsize. The premium these properties diminishes the farther north they are from the Lake. However, as builders put up much more expensive homes, everyone in the neighbourhood will benefit to a degree.

An example of an older house with a seasonal view of Lake Ontario, presently for sale is located at 27 Midland Avenue. This property with a frontage of 50 feet and a depth of 125 feet has a sloping lot and beautiful views. A bungalow with attached garage, it has 3 bedrooms on the main floor and one in the basement. The MLS # is E3440502 and you can call me to view it (Baldo Minaudo, Broker 416-564-0245).

For those that are long-term residents of the community, some of which have been there for decades, these new builds reflect the discovery of their secret haven. Yet, Birchcilffe-Cliffside and eastern Cliffcrest began as summer cottage communities.

The historic St. Augustine Seminary has been training Roman Catholic priests since 1910 and can easily be seen with its dome overlooking south from Kingston road toward the lake. The seminary was the first Canadian seminary for English speaking clergy. St. Augustine’s Beaux Arts style architecture and striking dome is a dominant visual presence of a landmark on Kingston Road.

The area west of St. Augustine Seminary evolved as a summer cottage community with the first year-round residences built on Chine Drive (just east of Midland Avenue on the in the present day neighbourhood of Cliffcrest) in the 1920’s. It was these Arts and Crafts style homes that defined the neighbourhood’s character to this day. Most of the Cliffside houses were built from the 1920’s-1940’s with architectural styles that include Cape Cod, Craftsman style bungalows, Edwardian, Tudor and newer, contemporary homes. In the most recent years, the value of homes built closer to the lake have risen considerably, especially along Fishleigh Drive (south end of the neighbourhood) which has truly magnificent views of Lake Ontario.

A famous Canadian wonder, the Scarborough Bluffs are located within Bluffers Park (down along Undercliff Drive in the Cliffcrest neighbourhood just east of the Birchcliffe-Cliffside neighbourhood). This combined Marina, Park and Beach provides a wonderful scenic lakefront view the lake, the cliffs and the trails through the shrubbery.

The Cliffcrest community, as of 2011, had a population of 15,703 occupying 5,825 private dwellings, 59% of which are single-detached houses (compared to Toronto’s average of 26%). The average family income was $71,332 compared to Toronto’s $70,945. A significant 83% of the residents spoke English at home, 64% were born in Canada (compared to Toronto’s average of 49%), and the top 5 ethnic origins of residents are English, Irish, Scottish, Canadian and German (totalling 12,790) and accounting for over 81% of population. In 2011, visible minorities accounted for 36% of the community, compared to 49% for Toronto.

The Birchcliffe-Cliffside community, as of 2011, had a population of 21,856 occupying 9,185 private dwellings, 54% of which are single-detached houses (compared to Toronto’s average of 26%). The average family income was $73,364, compared to Toronto’s $70,945. A significant 90% of the residents spoke English at home, 73% were born in Canada (compared to Toronto’s average of 49%), and the top 5 ethnic origins are English, Irish, Canadian, Scottish and French. Visible minorities accounted for 21% of the community, compared to 49% for Toronto.

Note: Data has been sourced from the City of Toronto and the 2011 Census/National Household Survey.

5 Property Characteristics to Look for:

  1. View of the Lake: Even if it is only a seasonal view, for many being near the lake is like being in another world. Those that know this are willing to pay extra for being on or near the lake.
  2. Lot Shape: For many homeowners a rectangular lot is ideal as it is easier to landscape and maintain. For builders, a rectangular lot with a good width (frontage) is ideal as it often allows maximum use for building.
  3. Lot Slope: A sloping lot provides uniqueness and options from everything from landscaping for homeowners to home designs for builders that could include highly sought after walk-out basements.
  4. School Boundary: Parents with children will pay more for homes that fall within their preferred schools’ boundaries.
  5. Proximity to Natural Wonder: The Scarborough Bluffs are a well recognized natural wonder that attracts many foreign visitors and offers great outdoors, cliffs, trails, beach and wildlife. The Marina and Park have expanded over the decades.

Properties that have all of these are difficult to find and even more difficult to buy in a tight market. If you have a home with several or all of these characteristics then you’ll want a good idea of its worth in this market before you consider selling it.

If you would like more information on this or other neighbourhoods or are looking to buy a home or sell your house contact:

Baldo Minaudo, MBA
Broker, Real Estate Homeward Brokerage


Birchcliffe-cliffside house rentals
Birchcliffe-cliffside house rentals

(or along the Danforth Subway line – within walking distance): A two bedroom house (or main-upper floor apartment in house) for a top notch tenant – great credit score, long-time employment, mature, clean, respectful, Canadian born and raised, single-female with friendly pet cat. Prefer the Birchcliffe-Cliffside neighbourhood (especially south of Kingston Road). May be willing to sign a two-year lease with intentions of staying for the long-term. Landlord to pay real estate commission of one month’s rent. Please contact Baldo Minaudo, Broker, Real Estate Homeward, 416-698-2090.

Glendale (Niagara-On-The-Lake) Community


GLENDALE (Niagara-On-The-Lake): A Vibrant, Growing Community for a Quality Lifestyle or to Raise a Family within Driving Distance to Toronto

Glendale is one of the five main settlement areas of Niagara-On-The-Lake, the remaining four being Old Town, Queenston, Virgil and St. David’s. Niagara-On-The-Lake is mostly known for its natural beauty, historic heritage and quality fruit and grape growing.

The town has 15,400 residents as at the 2011 census, an increase of 5.6% from the 2006 census. It has a fairly low population density of 115.9 persons per km2, mainly because of the agricultural nature of much of the area. Though the population has stayed fairly stable over the past several decades, the Region of Niagara is predicting Niagara-On-The-Lake will grow by 47.4% to a total population of 22,700 by 2031.

Niagara-On-The-Lake has an estimated total employment land supply of about 200 net hectares, more than 60% of which is in Glendale. With just less than half of total land supply occupied, there is significant opportunity for growth. Glendale is the town’s largest employment area, and has been designated the primary industrial area in the town partly due to its proximity to the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) and access to both Toronto market and the U.S. Boarder. Glendale’s District No. 5 Fire Station is located at 350 Townline Rd.

In addition, Niagara College’s Niagara-On-The-Lake campus is located in Glendale at Glendale Avenue and the QEW, the major transportation corridor between Toronto and the United States boarder. The College promoted the campus as being “enveloped in an ecological band of wetlands, vineyards and community gardens, becoming a living laboratory for the college’s thriving environment and horticulture programs, and sits at the base of the Niagara Escarpment, a United Nations world biosphere preserve.”

The growing student population has resulted in growing demand for accommodation. Even with new housing being built in recent years, the demand is strong and has attracted the attention of many of the nearby homeowners. Both homeowners and real estate investors are finding the lower house prices and higher rental income (as a percentage of purchase price) attractive relative to alternative options, such as the Toronto and surrounding markets.

The Outlet Collection Mall at Niagara is located immediately across the street from the College and features over 100 well-known retail store brands, as well as a wide food selection that includes Aroma Espresso Bar, Starbucks, Big Smoke Burger, Freshly Squeezed, McDonald’s, S’barro, Subway Sandwiches and more.

Glendale is about a 25 minute drive to Niagara Falls (one of the world’s top natural wonders). In addition to the Niagara Parkway, Niagara River and Ontario Wine Country tours and activities, there are sand beaches and summertime fun (swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, festivals, and more) within short driving distance. The town has bus service for residents, which links the communities of Old Town, Virgil and Glendale.

Glendale was identified in the “Niagara-on-the-Lake Current Situation Report and SWOT Analysis” (August, 2012) as having potential for considerable residential and employment growth. The report went on to suggest development of Glendale as a modern economic local engine and residential community, and as an attractive ‘gateway’ to Niagara-On-The-Lake, with more mixed-use developments in the community.

It is no wonder that since the report there has been much development and growth activity in Glendale. The area is proving to be a great residential destination for young families wanting to raise their children in a vibrant, growing community with lots of natural beauty and outdoor activity for everyone to enjoy. As well, those retiring or preparing to retire are finding the lifestyle and affordability of Glendale, increasingly attractive.

46 Wright Crescent (presently listed for sale) is an example of some of Glendale’s quality homes. It is a fabulous, newly renovated, brick exterior, two-car attached46 wright frontgarage, 4 + 1 bedroom, two story home, located in the “Niagara On The Green“ Subdivision (Glendale) of Niagara-On-The-Lake. Only minutes to both the Outlet Mall and Niagara College, it has a separate side entrance and 5 bedrooms, plus a Home Office and Library. The Basement has Rough in for a Home Theatre and Family Room with internet and speaker wiring. Well commissioned with Central Air Conditioning, Central Vacuum, hard Wiring for Internet, one Gazebo with Deck, one massive Party Deck, and vinyl shed. Also comes with all updated lighting, fixtures, high-end stainless steel appliances, Natural Gas line roughed in for Gas Dryer and gas line roughed in for second fireplace. Comes with 2 fridges, 2 stoves, washer, dryer, built-in dishwasher, and window coverings.46 wright back46 wright deck

If you would like to view this or other homes in the Glendale, Niagara-On-The-Lake or Greater Toronto Area, message me or call for Baldo Minaudo, MBA, Broker, Real Estate Homeward at 416-698-2090, Dir: 416-564-0245.

46 wright shed 46 wright bm kitche 46 wright basement 46 wright bathr 46 wright bedr  46 wright kitche


46 wright dinin




Clairlea-Birchmount Neighbourhood of Toronto
Map of Clairlea-Birchmount Neighbourhood

In the 19th century the St. Clair and Victoria Park intersection was home to the village of Moffat’s Corners, surrounded by rural lands. They later named, Clairlea area was one of the first areas of present-day Scarborough to be developed as a Toronto suburb. As a result, it went through a transformation in the early 1950s. This middle income neighbourhood features affordable homes and mature streets. The neighbourhood’s landmark Warden Woods ravine offers some downtown nature.

Clairlea-Birchmount is a destination neighbourhood for young families, perhaps because of the family-friendly mix of population and has a low percentage of divorced (5%) and Separated (3%) families. Warden Woods Community Centre (a United Way member agency) provides support and programs for the community. There is also the West Scarborough Neighbourhood Centre founded in 1956 as the area boys and girls club which provides support to the residents.

The neighbourhood consists of 17% Children aged 0-14 (much more than the average for many other Toronto neighbourhoods) and 13% Seniors 65 and older (lower than many other Toronto neighbourhoods).

From 2001 to 2011, Clairlea-Birhmount’s official population grew 24% (from 19,960 to 24,575). Of special note, the largest growth came from the youth who increased 40%, from 2,265 to 3,170 indicating, followed by 25-64 year olds (up 30.1%) indicating a healthy demand for single-detached homes in the neighbourhood. Townhome developments have been built, mostly close to the Warden TTC Station on St. Clair.

The vast majority of the residents (15,096) speak English at home, or about 62% of those surveyed. English is the mother tongue for 50% of the residents with the remaining be accounted for by Bengali (6.4%), Tagalog-Filipino (5.6%), Urdu (3.1%), Chinese-Mandarin/Cantonese/n.o.s. (7.3%), Greek (2.4%), Tamil (2.2%), Italian  (1.9%), and Spanish (1.4%).

This up and coming neighbourhood with its many new builds is positioned for price increase as it is surrounded by more expensive properties to the south, west and north. In addition, according to City of Toronto’s Wellbeing tool, the neighbourhood is heavily weighted for ‘Approved New Dwellings’, further supporting potential development and price appreciation. The neighbourhood’s properties also score well in terms of ‘Home Repairs Needed’ scoring better than average and better than the surrounding indicating a pride of ownership and care. With the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown light-rail line (announced by MetroLinx in 2015) with the stop at Birchmount Road and Eglinton Avenue and added public transit options for the local residents, it is likely that the construction will bring additional residential and mixed-use development to the area. The government investment is part of a 25-year, $50 billion dollar plan for coordinated, integrated transportation and transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

One of the largest employers in the Neighbourhood is the landmark Providence Healthcare, established in 1962. Its services include a hospital, specializing in rehabilitation and complex continuing care, Providence Community Centre (offering clinics and support programs for seniors and caregivers), and a nursing home (the Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence).

Ideal for professional couples and families is one of the newer builds in the Clairlea-Birchmount Neighbourhood newer build

Clairlea-Birchmount Neighbourhood newer build

Neighbourhood, a wonderful detached, 2-storey, 2000+ S.F. home located at 199 Raleigh Avenue. This stunning custom built home has an open open concept on the main floor with a great Chef kitchen equipped with built-in appliances, custom cabinetry, as well as a living room and dining room with walkout to deck and yard. The Second floor has four bedrooms, laundry facility and walkout to balcony. The master bedroom comes with large walk-in closet and spa ensuite is a gorgeous space to relax and unwind at the end of the day. A finished basement with extra bedroom, high ceilings and separate entrance is a highly desired o the home, the interlocking driveway and front balcony sets the stage for your visitors. Around the bonus. As you drive up tc199_raleigh_avenue_MLS_HID1085735_ROOMlivingroomdiningroomback, a fenced yard provides great privacy for you and your family to enjoy the outdoors.


If you would like to view this or other homes in Toronto, contact Baldo Minaudo, MBA, Broker, Real Estate Homeward Brokerage 416-698-2090, Dir: 416-564-0245.


Dorset Park Neighbourhood

Dorset Park Neighbourhood – another Toronto community in transition with potential upside appreciation in home value.

Dorset Park is a middle-income, family oriented neighbourhood that spans between Midland Avenue and Kennedy Road from highway 401 to just south of Lawrence Avenue.

Originally, in the 1800’s, it was part of a small farming hamlet surrounding the Kennedy and Ellesmere Road intersection, called the Village of Ellesmere.  During the early 1900’s the community’s focal point was the Ellesmere Arena, which served as home of the Maple Leaf Curling Club and the Ellesmere Maple Leaf Band. The Village was known for its sports clubs, such as the Maple Leaf Football Team which won the 1890 Ontario Championships. During the early 1950’s, Ellesmere Village’s dairy farms and market gardens were replaced by the Dorset Park housing subdivision.

Today, Dorset Park is a neighbourhood in transition with a culturally diversified population with the first generation of aging subdivision homeowners slowly being replaced by a new generation of young families with children. According to 2011 statistics, over 12% of the community’s residents claim Tamil as their mother tongue.

Dorset Park is home to one of only seven community hubs as part of Ontario’s Strategic Framework and Action Plan. Led by the United Way working together with donours and community partners, the hub is a one-stop centre where residents can access vital programs and services and where they can build community. The hub brings together resources to provide a place that supports the diverse growing needs of the community.

For those interested in affordable housing for raising a family without having to undergo renovations, the neighbourhood has a pocket of more recently built housing than the original subdivision.

For example, this home at 3 Kiriakou Street, presently listed by Real Estate Homeward at $499,000 is a beautiful, bright and spacious 3 bedroom townhouse with walkout to a private south facing, fenced yard. It even has up-graded laminated floors, a huge master bedroom with ensuite and entrance from garage. The lovely landscaped interlocking brick front entrance adds to the elegance. This great family home is ready for you to move in and enjoy in a fabulous location close to School, Parks, LRT, TTC, Go and all amenities. You can view this home at a public open house on Saturday, December 5th from 2-4pm or on Sunday, December 6th from 2-4pm. Offers, if any, being reviewed on Wednesday, December 9th.

Baldo Minaudo, Broker, Real Estate Homeward Brokerage, 1858 Queen St. E., Toronto – 416-698-2090.

Dorset Park Neighbourhood Townhouse
Dorset Park Neighbourhood Townhouse


FOR SALE: 48 Kenhatch Blvd, Toronto – Agincourt, M1S 3Y1

Just Listed for Sale at $680,000! Beautiful House by Monarch Homes in Great Family Neighbourhood; Detached, 4+1 Bedroom, Brick House with Double Car Garage, Side Door To The Kitchen, Beautiful Spacious Open Concept Floor Plan, Large Bedrooms, Original Owner. Has Finished Basement with Separate Entrance. Lots Of Potential For Cosmetic Improvement. Steps To Public Transit, Schools, Woodside Square Mall and lots of parks and open space nearby, including forested path. Agincourt Go Station and Scarborough Town Centre just minutes away.

Seller To Review Offers On Monday, Nov 16th. Don’t let this one slip away, contact me for viewing – 416-698-2090 or message me.

Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A.,
Broker, Real Estate Homeward Brokerage
1858 Queen St. E.

Tel: 416-698-2090

Brick Two-story, 4-bedroom
Brick Two-story, 4-bedroom


How To Reduce Stress During a Crisis

By Rosalie Moscoe

There are times in life when an emotional crisis causes enormous stress. During those times you may be worried about the health of a loved one or your own health; you may have lost your job, or perhaps you’re experiencing legal hassles over some major issue. You may be anxious about buying or selling a house, or worrying about your kids who go travelling thousands of miles away from home – and you haven’t heard from them in weeks. Perhaps you’re reeling from financial losses.

Is it possible to reduce stress when life seems to be up-side-down? Yes, and it’s important that you do. When overly activated, the stress response (a biological reaction to a stressor) can make you prone to illness.

Your top five biological reactions to stress:

• Release of sugar into the bloodstream to create more energy to fight off the stressor
• Increased cholesterol in the blood to create energy and to take over when blood sugar levels drop off
• Reduction in sex hormones which results in decreased libido
• Release of thyroid hormone (thyroxine) to speed up the body’s metabolism to burn fuel fast, giving strength to fight or flee
• Decreased digestive activity; energy goes to the limbs for survival

Unrelenting stress causes the stress response to stay on way too often and wears the body out! Finding ways to turn off the stress response and turn on the body’s natural relaxation response will calm you and bring the body and mind back to homeostasis –normal functioning. During crises, you’ll need a cool head to prevail in order to make important decisions.

10 Ways to Stay Calm When in Crisis

1) Realize that fear is the greatest motivator of stress. When your mind drags you to the depths of despair, think about the best possible outcome, not the worst.
2) Taking action during a crisis helps reduce the worry and stress; if there’s nothing you can do – pray.
3) Deep breathe for a few minutes to stop the biological reactions of stress; count to ten.
4) Call a friend or family member and talk it over. Just commiserating with someone who cares can relieve the stress of the situation. Hug someone you love.
5) Watch a comedy show on TV; laughing is a potent stress-reliever.
6) Get out for a brisk walk in nature – mind and body will come into a better place.
7) Cry if you need to; it may release pent-up stress.
8) Sit down and cross your arms over your chest. Rock back and forth for a soothing effect.
9) Get help from your doctor if you can’t sleep; insomnia can make stress worse.
10) For unrelenting stress, contact a psychologist or a spiritual counselor; you don’t have to do this alone.

6th Annual Free Pumpkin Giveaway & Fundraiser in Riverside

Our members Nell & Natasha invite you to our 6th Annual FREE Pumpkin Giveaway & Fundraiser on Saturday October 24th from 11 am to 3 pm.

There will be something for the whole family to enjoy – Pumpkin Carving & Decorating, Face Painting, Balloons, Halloween Jumping Castle,

Children’s Vocalwork Choir, Riverside Kiddie Costume Parade & Trick or Treat (Bring your costumes), snacks and refreshments,

plus a spooky Haunted House put on by the Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre.

To the great help of the community, we raised $1010 for the Emily House Hospice for Children during our Halloween Pumpkin Giveaway and

Fundraiser in 2014. As we are all aware of the devastating Syrian crisis, this year’s Halloween Event will be helping to Sponsor A Syrian Refugee Family.

In addition to our Pumpkin Giveaway, there will also be some Beautifully Decorated Pumpkins available with donations. All donations will go to

the St. Matthew’s Anglican Church Riverdale’s Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Fund.

Bring the whole family and lets have some fun at – 807A Queen Street East (Real Estate Homeward) at the corner of Queen and McGee.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Natural Ways to Beat the 4:00 O’clock Slump

Are you sitting all day, becoming sedentary? Are you eating a lunch with no protein? Are you eating desserts with sugar in them – such as ice cream, a piece of cake or pie? Do you have less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep a night? If so, you may be prone to a 4:00 o’clock slump!

Holistic Steps to Boost Your Energy!

1)     Move your body either early in the day, or at lunch to build vitality; even a short brisk walk is beneficial.

2)     Have protein 3 times a day, (2 – 3 ½  oz. depending upon your weight – smaller amount for lower weights) – breakfast, lunch and dinner. The amino acids in the protein feed the neurotransmitters in the brain and give you a wake-up call. Your brain will be happy. Also, fats at every meal – such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds, almonds, hazelnuts or brazil nuts, olive oil – a couple of teaspoons, or a wedge of avocado, or 5 olives or a spoon of coconut oil melted on steamed vegetables. Your brain is 60% fat – dry weight. It needs replenishing all the time. Small amounts are sufficient.

3)     Have a piece of fruit instead of pie, cake or a chocolate bar for dessert –  (unless it’s dark chocolate – 70% cocoa or more and then only a few squares. ) The fruit has vitamins and minerals – anti-oxidant champs that give energy and fuel the body. Fruit also provides needed fiber necessary for proper digestion and bowel health.  (Fruit for dessert will prevent a sugar roller coaster ride!)

4)     Try drinking some water later in the afternoon – you may be dehydrated. Or if you didn’t have enough lunch, you may need a small snack; choose one: turkey slice wrapped around an avocado wedge, plain yogurt and a few apricots or berries, raw nuts or pumpkin seeds and a small piece of fruit.

5)     Reduce non-foods  as much as possible: aspartame, high salt (sodium), sugar laden foods, chemicals that you can’t pronounce! Also white flour products can be energy zappers as they contain less vitamin E, fiber and B vitamins than do whole grain products. Read labels. Your body doesn’t know what to do with engineered, chemical foods. Also the digestion process takes energy and if the body isn’t getting a payback from the foods you eat in the way of nutrients – you’ll be exhausted from all of the digestion process..

6)     Find ways to get 7 hours sleep a night and enough exercise during  the day. Turn off your computer at a decent hour (not just before bedtime); sleep in a darkened room without flashing lights from technology so that your brain can build natural melatonin to help you sleep. Don’t eat fried foods for dinner; – they may not sit well and keep you awake. A good night’s sleep provides more energy throughout the next day and helps you avoid a slump at 4:00 p.m.

Try these easy, enery-giving tips for a week and you’ll find your energy soar. (And if you are tired – take a short power nap!)


What to do on New Year’s Eve in Toronto

New Year’s Eve is a big thing for most people for two main reasons: 1) It is a time to dream and plan for the upcoming year, 2) It is a time to party.

If you’re reading this post chances are that you’re not one of those individuals who planned weeks in advance for your New Year’s celebrations and have already bought your ticket(s). So, here are a list of things you can do, beginning with something that is free and doesn’t require much advance planning.

New Year’s Eve at Nathan Phillips Square (Queen St./Bay St.)

It’s Free! Here is your opportunity to skate on Toronto’s most famous ice rink, while enjoying great local DJ and live music from top local talent throughout the evening. Then at midnight the spectacular fireworks ignite.

The event begins at 8 p.m. with performers and a variety of local food truck cuisine. Street performers include Dispatch Talent’s Glow Motion (a collection of flow artist, drummers and jugglers enhanced with LED lights). At 10 p.m. the stage show begins with DJs and top local bands. The new Mayor John Tory will personally count down into the new year at midnight followed by spectacular fireworks show.

Co-hosts for the Evening: Nicole Brooks (writer and composer of Obeah Opera Flash Mob), Amanda Martinez, DJ MelBoogie. Live Music: Teebey and Zeus.

Annual New Year’s Eve Skating Party (Natrel Rink, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto: 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.)

Skate while overlooking Lake Ontario on New Year’s Eve! Celebrate the coming of the new year with new and old tunes at a family-friendly gathering in the heart of the harbourfront.

Scarborough Civic Centre New Year’s Eve (Scarborough Civic Centre Rotunda, 150 Borough Drive, Scarborough: 7 p.m.-12 a.m.)

Festivities include music: Sol de Cuba, Dan the Music Man, The Lincolns, Jordan John and Two for the Show. Family activities for the children and family include arts and crafts, children’s face painting (by Scarborough Clown Corps.). Reptilia is providing an interactive exchibit. The family can also enjoy ice skating to music and a choice of two cartoon movies.

New Year’s Eve in Aurora: Family First Night (Aurora Family Leisure Complex, 135 Industrial Pkwy N.,  &  Stronach Aurora Recreation Comples, 1400 Wellington St. E., Aurora: 6 p.m.-9 p.m. FREE. Tel: 905-726-4762)

Swimming, skating, reptile shows (7  p.m. & 8 p.m.), magic shows (6:30 p.m. & 7:45 p.m.), crafts, inflatable and interactive games. Complimentary hot chocolate with family and friends.

Brampton New Year’s Eve Celebration (Downtown Brampton: 7 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.)

The celebrations will be themed around Brampton’s 40 year anniversary as a city. Experience the open-air skating rink, midway amusements, marshmallow roasting and headline act Juno Award-winning Arkells. This promises to be Brampton’s largest new year’s celebration ever as the city has grown to the 9th largest in Canada, is home to over 8000 businesses and continues its Triple ‘A’ credit rating by Standard & Poor’s. In addition, the city’s citizens represent 209 distinct ethnic backgrounds and speak 89 different languages.