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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Condo owner outmanoeuvred by a determined neighbour

You own a condo in a very nice building—we’re talking $7 million and more. You decide to sell it. You easily find a buyer (for this is New York City) and you sign an agreement. The buyer will pay you $7.4 million. You notify your condo board, as is required. So far, all is going as you intended. But there’s a big, obnoxious fly in the ointment. One of your neighbours would really like to buy your condo for himself. He would like to combine the two units, yours and his, so he approaches you with an offer. (He later claims that he offered you $7.8 million, but you don’t ... Read More »

Environment group paints brighter picture of Ontario’s electricity costs

Does anything make people madder in Ontario than their electricity bill? Every time consumers around the province open their latest hydro bill, curses, deprecations and expressions of disbelief and dismay are uttered, usually directed in equal parts against the government and the electric company. There is probably no other issue that generates, so to speak, so much ill will and discontent on a regular basis. It’s highly doubtful that anyone believes his hydro bill is fair. The costs just go up and up, and consumers have no choice but to pay, adding helplessness to anger and frustration. Widespread public perception of waste and bad policy from government does not make ... Read More »

No NIMBYism here, just lack of good ideas

It could be called the “just say no” response. It seems to come as naturally to most people as the gag reflex. You want to build what? No way! Not in my backyard. NIMBY. It certainly isn’t unique to Toronto, though there has been a spate of media stories about the subject in the past few months. But it can take many forms, all more or less based on a negative reaction to change and the perceived threat thereof. A Boston doctor and author (Addiction on Trial, Steven Kassels, M.D.) is currently on a crusade to get his city and state to wake up to the crisis of drug addiction, the ... Read More »

Construction industry feeling “very bullish” for 2014: OCS

The outlook for Ontario’s construction industry in 2014 is “very bullish,” with more contractors expecting to do more work this year than last year. The Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) just released its annual survey of industrial, commercial and institutional construction contractors and the optimism in the industry is “above average,” the highest it has been since 2011. That positive outlook is especially marked in the GTA, the OCS says, mainly due to work forecasts in the commercial, industrial and engineering sectors. Contractors expect to do more work in each of the major construction sectors, with commercial, engineering and high-rise residential leading. Less optimism was seen regarding the institutional sector, which ... Read More »

Canada’s “greenest architect” honoured by RAIC

An architect whose work, unfortunately, is not much to be seen in Toronto has been awarded the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada Gold Medal for 2014. Peter Busby is the recipient, originally of Vancouver but now living in San Francisco, where he is managing director of the Perkins+Will office there. He was given the medal, the highest honour awarded by RAIC, for his “pioneer efforts” in sustainable design and architecture. Referred to by some as Canada’s greenest architect, Busby has built an international reputation. His work “embodies his philosophy of social responsibility and commitment to sustainable design.” His one Toronto project, done with architect Adrian DiCastri some years ago, is ... Read More »

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