August 2018: Real Estate In Canada By HousePorn’s Steven Fudge

How To Elevate The Value Of Your Urban Outdoor Space




If you're new to my blog, welcome to my insights on housing, culture and design in the City of Toronto. In this post, I wanted to offer my thoughts on how to elevate the value of your outdoor space.

When it comes to having a personal slice of paradise, I find Buyers either insist on having the capacity to walk out from their suite onto a balcony, patio or garden, or it's not much of a priority. For those who don't place high importance on it, it's not because they don't have much value for being outdoors. In fact, sometimes it's the opposite. Rather than step out to see what the weather's like, a lot ot city dwellers love to embrace the outdoors by biking or hiking on a regular basis, which is easy to do given Toronto's lake front location, numerous ravines, and a great network linking them together.

However, for those who consider outdoor space an essential requirement of Home, elevating it is a great way to turn it into a value asset and major selling feature. By expanding your living space into a personal outdoor refuge, you're creating the opportunity to express your personal style while increasing your resale value. 

As a realtor, one shortfall I see a lot of sellers make is investing insufficient capital or landscape design elements to showcase their outdoor space. Whether you have a small patio, a modest balcony or a private backyard, homeowners would be wise to capitalize on the selling opportunities present in their outdoor living space. Be it seating, a barbecue, a water feature or lush plantings to soften the hard surfaces of most urban settings, maximizing your outdoor space is key to generating top dollar. 

After all, a lot of Torontonians crave light and fresh air, especially when our harsh winters limit our exposure to the natural elements for as long as six months a year. As we exit the frigidity of winter now, it’s an ideal time to begin elevating your outdoor space.



Three Of My Own Outdoor Spaces

Here's three of my own examples - executed by my landscape designer Dan Nuttall. Two are here in Toronto - a courtyard garden in my former Button Factory Loft and a terrace at my former Movie House Loft + a Black Garden at my vacation rental called The Black House in Prince Edward Island, which demonstrates how plantings can complement architecture and design!

It's not about the size of your outdoor space, but about maximizing utility and comfort if you're looking to elevate your outdoor space to its highest purpose and greatest good. Below are some photos of my former 15 x 25 foot garden in The Button Factory - located in my first conversion where I not only helped transform this former uniform factory into a creative community as a member of the development team - but designed and built my own Dream Home in one of the 13 factory slice shells featuring brick-walled gardens. If you like a reno/design blog, you might enjoy my chronciles transforming the property in Rejuvenating The Button Factory.



For the street-facing patio at my Movie House loft, I contacted Thingmaker Dave Hind - who made this sensational ten foot high Hand Sculpture for me back in 2000 shown below in my former Button Factory Loft - to make some privacy screens for my patio using recycled aluminum siding and wood slats. I trusted landscape designer Dan Nuttall to implement the rest. Having dimensions of just 11 x 11 feet - the patio served as a seasonal entry when snow and sleet didn't require me to use my common hall entrance, and provided a surprisingly tranquil, private and rather magical escape relaxing under a canopy of mature Maple trees through the changing seasons.




Click here to learn about how clever and versatile outdoor screens can be in defining, decorated and amplifying space.

This view of my patio garden makes me glow warm inside. And I've long subscribed to installing cleverly placed outdoor lighting so I can enjoy all four seasons at night! If you'd like to see more of this property inside and out - including my renovation of it into a luxe boutique space, here's my series called Renovating The Movie House Loft.



When my bestie James Ormston and I bought a dilapidated tenement in Charlottetown, PEI, we had no idea it would unravel into a significant top-to-bottom rebuild. As the project progressed - and our attention turned to the exterior - we invited Dan Nuttall to guide us. To our delight, he suggested we plant a Black Garden! It would never have crossed our mind to make colour the foundation of a planting program, and Dan's solution has been nothing less than brilliant. We had no idea there were so many plants with dark purple leaves, which give the house a subtle Edward Scissorhands vibe.



Here's an in-depth look at how the garden was composed: A Black Garden At The Black House In PEI By Dan Does Design

How lucky were we to have creative visionary Dan Nuttall elevate this outdoor space - creating a lush complement to the architecture of The Black House. If you're interested in seeing how we tackled inside this property, here's my blog called The Tales Of Upper Hillsborough!



At, our service includes guiding you on establishing - and reconciling - a constantly evolving housing matrix while you embark on your property education and search. When dwellings come to market that catch your attention, we review the opportunities and constraints of each property relative to its size, location and condition, and counsel you on value, ensuring you can make a rational educated decision when buying your next home. 

May we be of assistance to you, or someone you love? If you're thinking about buying or selling, call us for a pressure-free consultation that will quickly put the realities of today’s housing market in perspective. Call us at 416-322-8000, and please know we're here to help!


~ Steven

Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage - (416) 322-8000

- we're here to earn your trust, then your business -

Celebrating Twenty-Five Years As A Top-Producing Toronto Realtor


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