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Sunday , 26 March 2017

Monthly Archives: December 2014

Violence against children even worse than thought: World Vision

Last weekend a mother and her two children were found murdered in their apartment in Toronto. The police have not yet identified a suspect, but it has been reported that the woman had previously suffered domestic violence and had once taken refuge with her two young sons at a women’s shelter. It’s another one of those stories that leaves the people who knew the family shaking their heads in grief and incomprehension. Sadly, the fate of the two boys, aged nine and thirteen, and of the mother, is all too common. World Vision released a report today on the subject of violence against children, which it calls “the most pervasive, ... Read More »

Not all great neighbourhoods are old

The winner of the title Canada’s Great Neighbourhood for 2014 was the Inglewood neighbourhood in Calgary. It is described as a “vibrant, eclectic and ever-evolving arts and culture-filled district with more than two hundred shops, cafes, restaurants and live music venues, many located in Calgary’s historic buildings.” It sounds a lot like Queen West in Toronto. The People’s Choice Great Neighbourhood in this contest sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Planners, was Old East Village in London, Ontario. This is a place “where you’re greeted cheerfully as you pass your neighbours’ heritage porches” and where thousands are attracted by its restored regional attractions, including the Aeolian Hall, Palace Theatre, and ... Read More »

Should empty, abandoned properties become affordable housing?

What should be done with vacant and abandoned homes? How many such homes would you guess that there are in Canada? You’d probably guess low, if a recent English survey is any indication. People there estimated that there were around 377,000 empty homes around the country, but the actual number is much higher, 610.000. Interestingly,  most of the people questioned for that survey think those empty homes should be used to help young people “get on the housing ladder.” One of England’s main mortgage lenders, Halifax, would like to see the owners of the empty homes bring them back into use. Halifax has gone so far as to modify its ... Read More »

Condo board paid dearly for ignoring owners’ wishes

No condominium can function as it is meant to without a duly elected, properly functioning board of directors. The condo board makes the important decisions regarding the daily running of the community—maintenance, finances, enforcement of the condo’s by-laws and rules. A building with a good board is a happy building. A building whose board fails to enforce the rules or carry out its duties will almost certainly find itself dealing with major problems eventually. A great deal depends on the quality of the board members, who are, it must not be forgotten, unpaid volunteers. Unfortunately, there is a “power imbalance” between Ontario’s condo owners and their boards. This was one of the ... Read More »

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