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Wednesday , 29 March 2017

Monthly Archives: June 2013

Realtors happy electronic sales agreements will soon be legal

Ontario realtors say they are pleased that it will soon be legal to conclude agreements of purchase and sale of real estate in Ontario electronically. An amendment to the Electronic Commerce Act that would allow this was included in the Ontario government’s budget, which passed at Queen’s Park yesterday. Previously, real estate transactions were excluded from the Act’s provisions, making it necessary for realtors and their clients to rely on faxing and emailing changes to a hard copy of an agreement back and forth throughout the negotiating process. After several rounds of changes, each of which must be initialed by all parties, the document could be difficult to read. Using ... Read More »

OECD head: more countries should be like Canada

Just a few days ago, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said that it was worried about the overvaluation of Canada’s residential housing market. The organization rated Canada’s real estate the third most overvalued in the world, based on home prices and incomes. Today, the secretary general of the OECD seemed to go out of his way to make clear that he does not consider the housing market in Canada to be in bubble territory, or even in any real trouble. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Angel Gurria provided some clarification on the OECD’s statement. Overvalued is not the same as a bubble, Gurria said. What has ... Read More »

Parking no big deal in a walkable, transit-served city

Canada is one of several countries where the number of younger people who hold drivers’ licences has fallen over the past twenty-five years. The drop in younger drivers has been matched by an increase in older drivers. Because of this shift, the largest group of drivers in these countries (Finland, Great Britain, Germany, the United States are a few of the others) is now the middle aged. The drop between 1978 and 2008 in the US was dramatic: the percentage of 17-year-old drivers fell from 75 per cent to 49 per cent over that time period. Various theories for this social shift have been put out. One is that the ... Read More »

Better batteries could be coming to a device or car near you

Battery-powered devices, from computer mice to hearing aids, are great, except that they use batteries. That is to say, the batteries die all too soon, depending on usage, and we have to replace (or recharge) them. But rechargeable batteries soon lose their capacity to recharge, and then there’s nothing to do but buy some more. The dead batteries pile up. And one is not supposed to throw them in the garbage. What is a conscientious consumer to do? Thank goodness, new battery technologies being developed in Germany and in the US could have far-reaching benefits for consumers who use cell phones, digital cameras and any or all of the battery-powered ... Read More »

This could be the best ceiling fan ever

Ceiling fans are often recommended as a way to save on energy while staying cool in the hot summer. They operate with a fraction of the energy needed for air conditioning, and they create a pleasant movement of air in a room that can be as soothing as a tropical breeze. Unfortunately, most of the fans that are commercially available are, in our humble opinion, ugly. They’re big, they rattle and shake, and they seem to have been designed by aircraft mechanics. Now we’re happy to report there’s a ceiling fan that changes all of that. The Haiku, from Big Ass Fans, is not only lovely to look at, but ... Read More »

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