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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Housing market balanced, orderly and moderate says BMO report

There are more reassuring words from BMO regarding Canada’s housing market. A special report authored by the bank’s senior economist, Sal Guatieri and titled “Canadian Housing Market: Calming not Crashing” reiterates what BMO has been saying all along: the market across the country is behaving pretty much as was expected, given the government’s intervention last summer and current economic conditions. Sales have returned to “more normal levels,” housing starts have adjusted to weaker demand, resale markets are balanced in most areas, and prices, which have reached record highs in some markets, will experience moderate declines. BMO, like the other big banks, notably CIBC, has been quite sanguine about Canadian real ... Read More »

How a title clerk started the myth of ancient Roman condominiums

Where does the word “condominium” come from? If your answer is, “From ancient Rome, obviously,” you are only partly correct. The word is Latin in origin, but not ancient. And the concept is old, but not as old as the Rome of the Caesars. So where does that leave us? There’s a great story that explains how everybody came to think that condominiums were invented by the ancient Romans. It seems there was a clerk in a Chicago title office back in 1961 who wrote a little piece about the then-new phenomenon of condominiums in the United States. The clerk, whose name was Charles Ramsey, wrote that this new word ... Read More »

Canada in top 3 OECD countries for quality of life, satisfaction

Forget about the Senate scandal and the city hall fiasco and today’s weather and whatever other temporary irritants are ruining your day, and take comfort in knowing that we live in the bronze medal-winning country of the world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Only two countries among the thirty-four included—Australia and Sweden—are happier than we. We’re on the podium, even if it’s not our anthem playing. By the OECD’s criteria, we enjoy a standard of living that’s significantly higher than the OECD members’ average: $28,184 vs $23,047. Our net household financial wealth is also much higher than the OECD average: $63, 852 vs $40,516. More ... Read More »

Ontario’s home builders unimpressed by Metrolinx revenue tools

Metrolinx today announced its proposed “revenue tools” for funding extensive transit plans in the GTA over the next two decades, but Ontario’s home building industry has reacted negatively to the plan. The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) and the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) say that the plan puts an unfair burden on new home buyers and new businesses. The Metrolinx plan is designed to support what it calls the “Next Wave” of “The Big Move,” a long-term strategy to build new transit throughout the GTA, including light rapid transit, subway expansion and major enhancements to GO transit. At the heart of the strategy is revenue. Finding new ... Read More »

Designers reveal stunning new looks for conventional lighting

As more and more designers explore the ever-expanding frontiers of LED lighting, the results continue to surprise and delight. Put aside any notion of the utilitarian, slightly clunky-looking LED light bulb and think sleek, modern, minimalist design and you will have an idea of what Toronto’s Group Two designers Erica Pecoskie and George Simionopoulos created in their award-winning LED chandelier. Where a traditional chandelier was typically fussily ornate, even gaudy, theirs is stripped back to the bare minimum. Its shape suggests the chandelier of old, but that’s as far as it goes. The name doesn’t give much of a hint regarding what to expect, but Moooi does mean beauty, literally. ... Read More »

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