WATRTEK - Nando Presciutti at   

While Canada is home to approximately 20 per cent of the world’s freshwater and renowned for its lakes and rivers, many residents are under the wrong impression that water is an unlimited renewable resource. The truth, however, is that water and sewage costs have risen in Canada by nearly 100 per cent since 2005, and energy prices have almost doubled since 2003. For multi-residential property owners, tenant non-compliance and water inefficiencies have a direct impact on their Net Operating Income (NOI).  Increasing the NOI will direct increase the value of your building and this is immediate.

“Statistically, Canada is one of the worst offenders when it comes to water consumption. Canadians use an average of 329 litres of water per person per day, which is second only to Americans in the developed world."

Since tenants typically do not pay for (or even see) the utility bill, they tend to ignore leaky or faulty fixtures and are less mindful of over-usage. Furthermore, tenants do not generally feel a sense of ownership for their apartments; therefore, persuading them to take a more conservative approach to consumption can be tricky. Yet, studies show that simple behavioural tweaks such as turning off a running tap while brushing teeth or washing dishes vs. using the dishwasher can save hundreds of litres of water per year. It’s in everyone’s best interest to make a habit of reducing their water usage, but those paying the bills are most apt to comply.

Taking a proactive approach 

The two main issues building owners face when dealing with water inefficiencies are the ever-increasing cost of water and tenant over-usage—both of which lead to an increase in operating costs. Taking a proactive approach to asset management begins with understanding that you cannot manage what you cannot see or measure.

While building owners and managers often understand the variables that contribute to their monthly water costs, without the capability to accurately measure consumption and loss, there is no adequate and available data to manage. This will ultimately negatively affect one’s competitive position, resulting in the potential need to compensate for the additional cost by raising monthly rental rates.

The best first step is to address inefficient fixtures and appliances. Given occupant behaviour is always an unknown variable, landlords will see a direct benefit from upgrading to a more efficient showerhead and other key appliances. This layer of efficiency prepares building owners to implement more advanced technologies that can monitor and manage consumption at the Point-of-Use (PoU), ensuring unwanted or unintended events (outside of normal occupant behaviour) are identified, mitigated, and communicated to appropriate resources.

Implementing various automation technologies to monitor and manage PoU appliances and fixtures for forced consumption should only be considered once the building’s asset base is as close to high efficiency as possible.


Track, measure and manage  

Until recently, building owners relied on monthly utility bills to monitor monthly water consumption; however, this method of monitoring was and continues to be extremely limited in scope, as toilets in individual units cannot be assessed, nor can leaks be easily identified.  With toilet and appliance leak detection hardware and water management devices, it is now easy to monitor, analyze, and manage each unit individually and in real time.

This ability to track, measure, and manage consumption means that building owners are in a better position to optimize their buildings’ in-suite water usage and take immediate corrective measures, thereby potentially saving thousands of dollars monthly. This is the primary reason why building owners are now recognizing the importance of real-time data capture and are beginning to install and implement water management devices and software designed to create smarter buildings.

Did you know…

Statistically, Canada is one of the worst offenders when it comes to water consumption. Canadians use an average of 329 litres of water per person per day, which is second only to Americans in the developed world. This is more than double what Europeans use, where water costs substantially more. Data shows that Canadians consume a staggering 65 per cent of their water in the bathroom, mostly from showering and bathing. Given one third of Canadian households are renters, which translates to approximately five million families, tenant non-compliance is a key issue, yet most tenants remain unaware of their true water consumption footprint.

WatrTekPro Inc. is an innovative water management consulting company that provides numerous advanced water technologies and services. For a free water analysis and consultation, email Nando Presciutti at




Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.4% in the first quarter, after posting no change in the fourth quarter of 2023 (revised down from 0.2%). In the first quarter of 2024, higher household spending on services was the top contributor to the increase in GDP, while slower inventory accumulations moderated overall growth.  Household spending increased by 0.7% in the first quarter, primarily due to a 1.1% rise in spending on services, primarily telecommunications services, rent and air transport.

Housing investment edged up 0.3% in the first quarter, as ownership transfer costs, which represent resale activity, rose 7.1%. Ontario (+6.5%), British Columbia (+10.3%) and Quebec (+12.4%) recorded the largest volume increases in resales, while prices in these provinces fell in the first quarter.   New housing construction (+0.1%) was little changed in the first quarter, as work put in place decreased for all dwelling types except double houses. Costs related to new construction, such as taxes and closing fees upon change in ownership, increased in the quarter and were mainly attributable to newly absorbed apartment units in Ontario.

In the first quarter of 2024, corporate incomes fell 4.9%, after rising 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2023. The lower gross operating surplus of non-financial corporations was fuelled by decreases in the oil and gas sector, where price declines reduced incomes. Gross operating surplus of financial corporations edged up 0.3% in the first quarter of 2024, entirely attributable to charter banks.

The household savings rate reached 6.9% in the first quarter, the highest rate since the first quarter of 2022, as gains in disposable income (+1.8%) outweighed increases in nominal consumption expenditure (+1.2%). Income gains were derived mainly from wages, as well as from net investment income.

Investment income (+4.0%) grew strongly in the first quarter of 2024 due to widespread gains from interest-bearing instruments and dividends. Higher income households tend to benefit more from interest rate increases through property income received.

Household property income payments, comprised of mortgage and non-mortgage interest expenses, rose 3.5% in the first quarter; among the lowest increases seen since the first quarter of 2022, when the Bank of Canada's series of policy rate increases began. Lower income households tend to be more negatively affected by interest rate increases through property income paid.



THE GLOBE AND MAIL - Shane Dingman

Data presented in an annual report from Ontario’s new home warranty insurer Tarion based on a survey performed in late 2023 by Environics suggest that as many as 250,000 potential new home buyers dropped out of the market compared with 2022. Overall, 34 per cent fewer people are considering buying a new home survey respondents said, listing size, price and style as the key elements of their decision. The most negative in the market – those who consider themselves “not likely at all” to buy a new home – rose from 7 per cent to 11 per cent of respondents.

Tarion’s tally of new preconstruction sales was more stark: In 2022 there were 73,383 new homes sold, but in 2023 the number dropped 25 per cent to 54,352. Things have only gotten worse this year.

“Year to date in 2024, condo enrolments are way down,” says Peter Balasubramanian, president and chief executive officer of Tarion. “To the end of March in 2023 there were 15,000 condo enrolments: in the same period this year we’re at 6,500.” A drop of 43 per cent in the traditionally busy spring launch period is dramatic and if the trend continues 2024 could end up looking a lot like some of the worst years in new home sales of the 1980s.

The slide in new home sales appears even steeper in the Greater Toronto Area. April figures from market researcher Urbanation Inc. showed just 1,461 condominium sales in the first quarter of 2024: “Sales were down 71 per cent when compared to the latest 10-year average for Q1 periods [4,978 sales], dropping 85 per cent from the Q1 high in 2022 [9,723 sales].”

According to David MacDonald, a vice-president at Environics Research, “Canadian consumer confidence is at one of its lowest points since the financial crisis of 2009.”




1-5 FAIRHOLT ROAD NORTH - HAMILTON - $3,300,000 / $253,845 PER SUITE / 4.50% CAP RATE

This is the sale of a wood frame walk up rental apartment building in east Hamilton.  The building has been update over the past few years including suites, common areas and HVAC.  The asset include 13 suites with 7 one bedrooms and 6 two bedrooms.  The building has a brick exterior, double windows and flat roof.  There is on site parking for 4 cars and the rents were around 15% below market.  Tenants pay their own hydro. This property was fully marketed BY THE APARTMENT GROUP and the buyer was a first time private investor.

325 AND 325A JAMES STREET SOUTH  - HAMILTON - $20,000,000 / $186,900 PER SUITE / 4.25% CAP RATE

This reflects the sale of two rental apartment buildings on a large 2 acre site immediately south of St. Joe's hospital in prime Hamilton.  One building dates from the 1920's and is 5 stories and the other is also 5 stories and dates from the 1960's.  In total there are 107 suites mostly large one and two bedrooms.  Heating is hot water gas fired radiant and tenants pay their own hydro.  There exists space in the buildings to create another 10-15 suites.  There is also substantial savings if water and hydro retrofits were completed here.  Apartment rents were over 70% below market.  This property was fully marketed BY THE APARTMENT GROUP and the buyer was a first time private investor.

2000 - 2012 SHEPPARD AVENUE WEST  - NORTH YORK - $101,000,000 / $270,000 PER SUITE / 4.25% CAP RATE

This is a asset comprise a high rise rental apartment building with 320 suites as well as 54 rental townhouses on the same 8.3 acre site.  The improvements are circa the mid 1960's and the Seller was a longer term holder of this real estate.  The buildings are considered to be in average condition for their age with surface and underground parking.  Rents were far below current market levels.  The property was not fully marketed and sold to a private apartment investor.

671 WOOLWICH STREET - GUELPH - $19,050,000 / $226,785 PER SUITE / 4.25% CAP RATE

This is a well located concrete 9 storey rental building dating from the 1960's.  With brick exterior, flat roof, balconies, elevator, surface and underground parking.  The building sits on 1.82 acres and has gas fired hot water radiant heating and a total of 84 suites.  The asset has over 50% rental upside and lots of land for an additional building.  This property was not fully marketed and the buyer was a first time private investor.




Together the team has completed over 1,500 transactions and has sold over $7.0 billion in apartments and development land. Put us to work for you and see the results. NO ONE has sold more buildings than our group. Experience, knowledge and professionalism will insure you get the right deal or the highest price if you are selling.

The Apartment Group is a dedicated team of professionals specializing in the sale of multi-residential investment properties. With over 40 years of combined experience, the team brings together their strengths including strong negotiation and sales skills along with highly technical market analysis and appraisal methods.

We are a boutique Brokerage but have the capabilities of the larger houses without the overhead. We have: an internal database of over 10,500 active apartment and land Buyers; a list of all apartment building owners in the Greater Toronto Area; our web site gets over 50,000 hits a month; we highlight properties for sale through our newsletter which reaches 10,000 investors monthly.


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