Building Mansions on Top of the City

Markham’s Wismer Commons a final glimpse at 20th century suburban luxury

By Zoe Ackah
Special Features Editor
Created: November 30, 2012 Last Updated: December 3, 2012
Related articles: Canada » Toronto
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Wismer Commons (RegalCraft Homes)

Wismer Commons (RegalCraft Homes)

After the 2006 Place to Grow legislation curbed suburban sprawl, Greater Toronto Area (GTA) housing developers felt the crunch. The green spaces and farmland that exist are now protected from development. 

If developers didn’t own land to build on already, they must struggle to find it, and pay more for it.

There are a few opportunities left to buy brand new suburban luxury on a lot of virgin farmland in ever-desirable Markham. It is the end of an era.

RegalCraft Homes is finishing off its fifth of five Markham housing communities. They have been building in Markham’s Wismer area for nine years. 

“There’s no more land in Wismer Commons. Unless you’re buying re-sale, you can’t buy a home here anymore,” explains Meena Sharma, president of RegalCraft Homes.

Wismer Commons is nearly as north as the GTA is going to get, at least for the next 20 years. You can be assured the fresh, breezy green farmland a few blocks away is not going to yield to progress. 

Most of the land north of Major Mackenzie is designated a “countryside area,” in the City of Markham’s Official Plan Draft to be used for agriculture, not subdivisions.

All Markham is looking to do now is add density in central locations close to transit. 

If you buy your big house on your big lot, you can look forward to an increase in infrastructure, services around you, as well as healthy appreciation of your investment.

“I’ve seen Wismer Commons grow exponentially,” says Sharma. “People who have bought our homes resell them and can make $100,000 profit, that’s partly because the market is very strong in Markham. Also, our houses are very desirable.”

Wide open spaces

Wismer Commons (RegalCraft Homes)

Wismer Commons (RegalCraft Homes)

Part of what makes these houses so dreamy is their size. The lot widths are between 31 feet and 45 feet, and approximately 85 feet deep. The homes range from 2,400 square feet to over 3,600 square feet.

“Our houses are very spacious, a very open concept,” says Sharma. 

These houses are the polar opposite to the microscopic downtown condominiums that are selling between $600 and $700 a square foot. Priced from $685,900 to $915,900, Wismer Commons is selling around $300 a square foot, and that doesn’t include the lawn! 

“They are big and beautiful homes,” says Sharma. “They’re taller and have higher roof pitches. They tower over the other houses. The homes are very majestic. They create a beautiful streetscape.”


Wismer Commons (RegalCraft Homes)

Wismer Commons (RegalCraft Homes)

For years, Sharma helped run RegalCraft with her father Madan Sharma who was an engineer. Sharma Sr. had lived and built homes all over the world. He moved to Ontario and built his first project in Markham in the year 2000. 

“He was a visionary,” says his daughter. His palatial homes were ahead of their time. “In 2000, 9 foot ceilings on the main floor were unheard of.” 

When Mr. Sharma passed away suddenly three years ago, Meena and her mother worked to finish what he had started in Markham. “It was his baby, his legacy,” she says.

The last two phases of their Markham community were appropriately called Legacy, in honour of Mr. Sharma.

“Legacy was the first project I did by myself, without my father. It’s our salute to him. It’s our last two phases in Markham, and he really loved Markham.”

Holiday special

Wismer Commons (RegalCraft Homes)

Wismer Commons (RegalCraft Homes)

There are less than a dozen RegalCraft lots left in Wismer Commons. Until the end of December, RegalCraft is offering a number of complimentary upgrades for your new home: pre-finished 3 1/4 inch oak floors on the main floor, oak stairs with iron pickets, and oak floors on the upper hallway. 

Upgraded basements come with 9-foot ceilings and a three-piece rough-in (plumbing). If you drill into the concrete you could void your warranty, so when the builder provides basement plumbing the foundation is still fully covered under Tarion. 

A single-sided gas fireplace is included in the family room along with 10 pot-lights on the main floor. 

In addition to these complementary features, RegalCraft is also offering $10,000 in upgrades. What can you do with the money?

“If you’re going to buy upgrades, put them in places they’re noticeable,” suggests Sharma. 

In the kitchen, you can add an undermount sink, glass cabinets, or have the counters and cabinets customized to facilitate high-tech kitchen appliances. 

You could also have the four, or possibly five upstairs bedrooms finished with hardwood flooring. “The possibilities are endless,” says Sharma.

However, the time during which you can buy a new home like this in the GTA is not endless.

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