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Sunday , 26 March 2017

Monthly Archives: February 2015

Cold February weather no deterrent to Toronto home buyers

The Toronto resale housing market continues to operate with apparent indifference to what happens in the rest of the country. While the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported that national home sales were down 3.1 per cent in January compared to the previous month, sales in Toronto continued to rise in January and the first two weeks of February. The Toronto Real Estate Board’s mid-month report for February shows sales up 14.9 per cent compared to last year at the same time. Despite record-breaking cold weather in February, 3,120 Torontonians braved the elements to look for, and purchase, a new home. They had a little more choice to tempt them, as new ... Read More »

The battery-powered home; if utilities are worried, it must be coming

Efficient energy storage is the holy grail of the green energy movement. Anyone can set up solar panels on a rooftop and harvest sunlight for electricity, but what do you do with the surplus, if you can’t sell it back to the utility company? More to the point, what do you do when the sun doesn’t shine? If you have to rely on the grid for power when alternative sources like solar and wind aren’t reliable, then you have a problem. The solution has already been found. It’s called a battery. The problem is not making a battery; the problem is making a battery that stores enough energy to power ... Read More »

Youthification of neighbourhoods studied by Waterloo academics

Is widespread inter-generational conflict the next social problem we will have to deal with in our cities? Are cities like Toronto and Vancouver seeing the creation of ghettos of youth where older people will no longer be welcome and where they will enter at their peril? An urban geographer from Waterloo University, Markus Moos, finds a growing correlation between population density and the age of residents, with young people moving into certain city core neighbourhoods in greater numbers, while older people move out. The professor calls it “youthification,” and it is not to be confused with gentrification, which is class based and results in a higher social status for the ... Read More »

Feng shui tips for finding love

The Chinese take feng shui very seriously. How seriously? In Hong Kong, developers are reported to pay “feng shui compensation” if their buildings have adverse effects on the neighbours. Bridges have been realigned, telephone lines repositioned, builders taken to court, when they were found to be interfering with the local feng shui. Two days are approaching that especially require the advice of feng shui experts: Chinese New Year and St. Valentine’s Day. What do these oddly paired occasions have in common? No, not superstition. Love, of course. St. Valentine’s Day, February 14, is a day for celebrating love, and love is one of the main areas of concern that people ... Read More »

“Compulsory” designation makes sprinkler installer trade safer

Once again it took a tragedy to highlight the importance of adequate training and high safety standards in preventing and handling disasters. A coroner’s investigation into the fire that killed thirty-two in a Quebec seniors’ home last year found that parts of the building had no fire sprinklers, and the local fire chief was inadequately trained to cope with the fire. Sprinklers are mandatory now in Ontario seniors’ homes, but older homes have been given time to comply. All licensed retirement homes and care facilities, whether privately owned or publicly funded must install sprinklers by 2025. The coroner’s report from Quebec comes at the time when two related developments are ... Read More »

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