Happy Holidays From Toronto Realty Blog!

Here we go again…

It’s the inevitable year-end sign-off that I both dread and look forward to so much.

I’d like to thank all the daily TRB readers for their continued support, readership, and contributions in the comments section over the last year, including, but most certainly not limited to:

Ace Goodheart, Appraiser, Derek, Marina, Libertarian, Sigruper, Graham (the real G-Money), Francesca, Vancouver Keith, Condodweller, Nobody, London Agent, Island Home Owner, Quiet Bard, Steve, A Grant, Jenn, Different David, Bryan, Jimbo, JF007, East Yorker, Steph, Frances, Marty, R, Geoff, Josh Hryniak, JL, Cyber, Joel, Ed, Anwar, Laurie, Izzy Bedibida, Jennifer, J, Andrew, Daniel, PM, Crofty, Egghead, Adrian, RPG, Anon, JG, Ken Davenport, GinaTO, TOPlanner, Nick, Your Favourite Tenant, Johnny Chase, Bal, J G, hoob, Toad, Paul, KK, sunshine,  Chris, Rob, ChT, Anna, Margaret, Eddie, adam, Katie, Edwin, Tony, Ron, Mike, John, James, Alexander, and anybody else that I forgot, although I scrolled through comments dating back to April of this year so I’d like to think I’ve got everybody!

This is the 17th yearly sign-off on TRB, dating back to 2007.

There are people the same age as Toronto Realty Blog who are now old enough to drive cars, which absolutely boggles my mind!

Somebody asked me this year, “What was the first blog post you ever wrote?”

I didn’t know.

Despite having a fantastic long-term memory (the short-term memory started to go last year…), and remembering just about every person, name, place, and detail throughout my real estate career, I couldn’t remember the first blog post that I ever wrote.

So I looked it up!

June 30th, 2007, I wrote: “Listing Of The Day: 454 Millwood Road”

Except, sometime around 2010, I received a RECO complaint for what I had written about a property in my “Listing Of The Day” feature, so I had to mark all such features as “private” in the back end, effectively removing them from Toronto Realty Blog and Google forever.

What did I write in that blog for which the RECO complaint was launched?

Something to the effect of, “The decor inside the house is so ugly that you’re not just wondering if the Golden Girls lived there, but rather if they died there, remained there, and became part of the ambiance that makes this house the disgusting mess that it is.”


Back in 2007, nobody knew what a blog was.  Nobody read this silly thing.  So I figured that I could simply opine, good or bad, in an open forum, about properties listed for sale!  Just think of how many rules I was breaking!  Unauthorized advertising of a competitor’s listing, disparaging a competitor’s listing, providing ‘sold data,’ and so on.

After removing these “Listing Of The Day” posts, and ceasing to continue the feature, I felt something was lacking.

It wasn’t until 2012 that I started my “Pick5” feature, which was a work-around the RECO and TRREB rules that effectively allowed me to do exactly what I wanted: talk about properties listed for sale, show addresses/photos/info even contained in the “Remarks For Brokerages” section, discuss pricing, predict sale prices, offer comparable sold data, and freely and honestly talk about the quality of the property, the listing, and the listing agent’s efforts, all things that a Realtor can’t do in an open forum.

I got some great press too.

Front cover of the Toronto Star Business section in their Saturday Edition:

September 3rd, 2013: “Can Online Home Reviews Work?”

The title seems silly, ten years later.

It’s like my university professor in 1999 telling me, “The Internet might be a forum for commerce in the future, but don’t let your imagination run too far away from reality.”

Gee, thanks.  All I wanted to do was start a company that sold clothing online.  I bet that never would have worked…

In any event, the real first blog I ever wrote, after removing the “Listing Of The Day” features, remains this one:

July 1st, 2007: “Condo BUST? I Don’t Think So!”

It was 449 words.


In 2023, I can’t even get through my “folksy intro” in such a small amount of characters!

I’m sure I’ve told the story of how Toronto Realty Blog came to be, as well as the advice that I was given, but here are the two things that I was told:

1) You only need to blog once per week.
2) The blogs should be 400-500 words and no more.


And since that was what “everybody else” was doing, I decided that I would write blogs every single day.

That’s right.

While I currently only write blogs on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, consider that back in 2007, I wrote a new one every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

It was a lot.

Now, I was only writing 600 words back then, but it climbed well above 1,000 in short order.

I started writing four times per week in 2008 and I kept that going for several years.

When I started “Pick5” in 2012, I decided to only write Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but now my blogs were averaging about 1,800 words each.

It was a lot.

Since 2012, I have continued to write Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but my blogs now average 2,600 words, and I’m producing “Pick5” on Thursday’s.

It’s a lot.

All this is to say that I have made a decision that was perhaps a long time coming, as well as something my close friends and colleagues have been urging me to do for years.  Here it is:

Starting in 2024, there will be new blogs on TRB every Monday and Thursday.

Don’t hate me.

I will still be producing Pick5 every Thursday, and my team and I are going to produce one YouTube video every week as well as one podcast, but that will likely be of little interest to those of you reading this, today, here.

Everybody absorbs information in different ways, and as a result, individuals today will actively choose how to do so.

In 2007, most people read.  The idea behind Toronto Realty Blog was sound, given that a blog post viewed on your computer screen was likely the best way to find, view, and absorb information about real estate.

But in 2023, people want to watch and they want to listen.  They want to scroll.

I respect, appreciate, and adore my TRB readers but I simply can’t create the necessary content three times per week anymore.

The change is long overdue.

Just as I was hanging on to my Blackberry 8600 well into the iPhone years, and as I was still downloading MP3’s well into Spotify and Apple Music’s dominance, I too have hung on to writing as my main form of communication longer than I should have.

So that’s the most interesting change ahead for Toronto Realty Blog, but if you’ll allow it to be, it could be exciting.

I notice that I listen to podcasts while raking leaves, shoveling snow, or doing anything around the house that’s going to consume an hour.  I listen to podcasts in the car every single day.

I also watch videos on YouTube when I’m sitting in the rocking chair, waiting for one of my kids to fall asleep.

I still read more than anything else, but I too have changed the way that I view and absorb information as well.

Of course, new ideas take time to be implemented and absorbed, so just as Toronto Realty Blog found humble beginnings in 2007, I’m sure our videos and podcasts will take some time as well.  But it’s a new challenge and it will be fun!  And I’m going to have the whole team partake.

In this space last year, I announced that my goal for 2023 was to run a marathon.

I didn’t do that.

I ran a half-marathon, so that counts for something, right?

But that too came with some disappointment…

Two weeks before the race, I was out for the last big run of my training schedule, I felt a sharp pain in my knee and I couldn’t run any further.

I rested for two full weeks, stretched, got massaged, and took a soft jog around the neighbourhood the day before the race to test it out, with no pain in the knee.  So I headed out that Sunday and took part in the TCS Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon

All was going well at first.

I got through the first 10 KM in just over 51 minutes, so I was on pace for the 1:49:59 that was my target.  But by 12 KM, the sharp pain returned.  By 14 KM, I couldn’t run.  So I basically ran-walked the last seven KM and finished in 2:12:40, which I chalked up to an epic failure, but for which everybody around me said, “You did it!”

Did I?

My sports medicine doctor said it’s patellar tendonitis or “jumper’s knee” and the only cure is time.


He also said it’s the result of over-training or trying to do too much, too fast.


He also said I should spend 2024 training for a 10KM race, then do a half-marathon in 2025.


But if any of you tell me otherwise, I’ll take your advice over his.  I’m not one to “do the right thing” or “listen to the experts.”  I can be “impulsive.”  I can often “make the wrong choices.”  So please, tell me, tell me, shall I attempt the half-marathon again in October?  Will you, oh will you please, please meet me there?

I’m heading to London, England with my family after Christmas to see my brother and his family, who have lived there since 2014.

My kids are very excited, as is my wife, but I’m one of those, “I’ll enjoy it once I’m there” kind of people.  The packing, driving, rushing through the airport, getting the kids situated, praying for a smooth flight, hoping nobody vomits or cries for seven hours – that makes it hard for me to look forward to.

The best part about being in England is the time difference, in that from 9:00am to about 3:00pm, I won’t expect to receive a single email, text message, or phone call.  Whether I should expect there to be little distraction over the Christmas holidays, or not, it’s nice to know that I won’t have to check my phone every five minutes like I do in Toronto.  In fact, I find that by the second day there, the impulse to lift my phone to my eyes – much like a smoker raising a cigarette or vape to their lips – begins to subside.

Between now and then, I suppose all that’s left to do is……..relax and enjoy?

Be present?

Yes.  Be present.

And open presents.

In that order.

Thank you once again to everybody for your readership, support, and contributions to Toronto Realty Blog through 2023.  Have a wonderful holiday season, a safe and happy New Year’s, and I’ll see you back here on Monday, January 8th to talk about the what lays in store for the Toronto real estate market in 2024.


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