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Saturday , 25 March 2017

Monthly Archives: June 2014

A piece of Toronto on the auction block in London

Every Torontonian who’s driven north on the DVP past Lawrence Avenue knows the rainbow tunnel. It’s been a smile-raising fixture on that roadway, often repainted, since the early 1970s. A Scottish-born, Canadian-raised painter named Peter Doig painted the rainbow tunnel several times in the following years after he had returned to Britain. The version known as Country-Rock (wing mirror), painted in 1999, is to go on the auction block today in London at Sotheby’s. It has a starting price of $13.5 million US. It could go for much more than that, which would make it the highest price ever paid for a painting by a living British painter. The highest ... Read More »

Looking for the Goldilocks housing market

Many observers have commented on the contradiction between the housing market, where rising prices are seen, by and large, as a positive sign that the economy is improving, and other consumer sectors, where inflationary prices are treated with fear and loathing. If you own a home and its value appreciates by 10 per cent over twelve months, you are happy. If you go to the supermarket and find that you have to pay 10 per cent more for a loaf of bread than you did last year, you are outraged. The reason for the different reaction is obvious: in one case, you make money, in the other, you lose. Many ... Read More »

Tridel’s Alter condominiums are going fast

Tridel’s latest foray into the downtown condo market appears to be a runaway success. The most recent news about Alter, the bold new 33-storey, architectsAlliance-designed condo building that will soon rise on Church Street south of McGill, is that it is 90 per cent sold out. No surprise there. This could be one of those buildings that sells itself. It looks sharp, with that angular, slightly irregular, off-kilter look that is a hallmark of architectsAlliance buildings. Suites range in size from one- to three-bedroom, so there’s room for singles, couples and families. The location is beyond superb for anyone who wants to enjoy life in Toronto. From this corner of ... Read More »

Regulator calls for vigilance by Canada’s banks and mortgage insurers

The Deputy in the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, the regulating body that oversees Canada’s banks, issued a call for vigilance and caution to the country’s banks and mortgage insurers, saying that while they are solid and sound, no one should be complacent. The lending environment today is riskier than ever, and the banks and the mortgage insurers have to be responsible for the mortgages they lend and insure. Mark Zelmer spoke at a C.D. Howe Institute Housing Policy Conference in Toronto today. Reminding attendees at the conference that Canada has experienced real estate “corrections” in the early 1980s and again in the 1990s, he said that the ... Read More »

Disruptive innovation is companies’ goal, but it’s hard: GE report

Today, a lot of companies have dedicated innovation executives whose jobs are to encourage innovative activities and make them profitable. We wonder if they dream of the great Macintosh launch ad of 1984, aired just once nationally at that year’s Super Bowl XVIII (and directed by Ridley Scott, no less). This was arguably disruptive technology’s defining moment, thanks to the now-legendary brilliance of that ad. A whole new market for personal computers was suddenly created, for an entirely different set of consumers. It is not an exaggeration to say that everything changed that day. There have been plenty of disruptive technologies and innovations, going back to the Ford Model T, ... Read More »

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