Canadian investors look to LA, where some celeb homes rival inner-city Toronto prices

The 3 Week Diet

As if housing market prices in Toronto aren’t discouraging enough, it hurts even more knowing a celebrity pad in Los Angeles can be comparable in price to some homes in the downtown core.

A Hollywood Hills house owned by Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club actor Jared Leto, for example, is currently listed for sale at $1.9 million US.

According to the listing by Modern Living LA, the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home is “hidden behind a quiet façade,” has a recording studio and “a gorgeous lagoon-style pool surrounded by an expansive patio and lush mature landscaping.”

Jared Leto home

Actor Jared Leto has put his Hollywood Hills four-bedroom home up for sale for $1.9 million US. He’d have a tough time finding comparable luxury with Toronto’s escalating prices. (

The list price converts to about $2.7 million Cdn, a wad of cash that wouldn’t be enough to purchase the semi-detached, three-bedroom renovated home in Rosedale below.

Rosedale home

This semi-detached Rosedale home, listed at just under $3 million CDN, is more expensive than a Hollywood Hills stand-alone house actor Jared Leto has put on the market in Los Angeles. (

You could find a roomy abode with that money in some of Toronto’s other coveted neighbourhoods, like Parkdale or Leslieville. Minus the pool, built-in recording studio and tropical landscaping.

Finding a new home

It’s made some professionals in the entertainment industry take a closer look at Tinseltown’s real estate.

Canadian director Tricia Lee, who recently moved to LA, is able to look at buying in the city, as opposed to renting, thanks to the recent sale of her house in Hamilton, Ont.

“It will definitely help with a down payment,” she told CBC News in Los Angeles.

And it’s possible more could be exploring as well.

“I’ve had a number of big investors who are prominent in Toronto who are looking to get into the LA market.” – Matthew Gaskill, Sotheby’s International realtor

“I’ve had a number of big investors who are prominent in Toronto who are looking to get into the LA market,” says Matthew Gaskill, a realtor with Sotheby’s International, a company that specializes in luxury homes and real estate.

“I think they all have different reasons for it. Whether they think the Toronto market is being totally saturated, wanting a personal lifestyle change or wanting to explore the LA market.”

He added that while it’s not the norm, there are some celebrity homes typically owned by “young Hollywood”  — entrepreneurs, musicians, actors, he says — that could compare to prices Torontonians are facing in the inner-city.

The childhood home of actress sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning is on the market in LA for about $2.6 million US. It runs nearly 3,600 square feet, has an outdoor pool and five bedrooms in a sought-after quiet community.

Fanning home

This Studio City home in Los Angeles was the childhood dwelling of actress sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning. It’s listed on the market for just under $2.6 million US. (

When converted to the Canadian equivalent of $3.5 million, it’s still less than this semi-detached, two-storey home for sale on the periphery of Toronto’s downtown.

Adelaide Street home

This home on Adelaide St. in downtown Toronto is listed at $3.7 million CDN. It has three bedrooms and two storeys with an unfinished basement. (

Small consolation

If it’s any consolation, Toronto’s bidding wars and skyrocketing property prices are something Gaskill is seeing in Los Angeles, too.

“There’s a lack of inventory right now,” he said, referring to a Beverly Hills “tear-down” that sold for over $5 million.

When asked about his listings in other in-demand LA areas such as Malibu that might be under, say, the $3 million mark, he responded with a laugh: “In some places, that’s just going to buy you dirt.”

That’s a statement no househunter in a Canadian city will ever want to hear.


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