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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Mortgage brokers stung by fraud allegations

Mortgage brokers stung by fraud allegations

The mortgage broker industry has been quick to distance itself from the fraud scandal at Home Trust. Home Trust delisted forty-five of its brokers after evidence of falsified documentation—“bad paper”—came to light. Strangely, the whistle blower who tipped the company off about the falsified documents chose to do so anonymously, by way of a letter… Continue Reading

Smog vacuum would clean the air, create unique jewellery

Smog vacuum would clean the air, create unique jewellery

Is a giant air purifier the answer to the world’s air pollution problem? Maybe not, but it makes an intriguing side story. Such interesting things come out of the Netherlands these days—the solar panel-lined roadway, the modular plastic roadway, the LED-illuminated bike path—and now there’s another to add to the list: the giant smog-sucking vacuum… Continue Reading

Tax: no free lunch, or, you get what you pay for

Tax: no free lunch, or, you get what you pay for

Property taxes, especially in Toronto with its hated double-hit land transfer taxes, are a big source of revenue for governments and a big source of irritation to citizens. Throw in GST, HST, other value-added taxes, personal income taxes, corporate taxes, social insurance taxes (such as the surcharge for health care in Ontario), and you see… Continue Reading

Record second quarter for residential real estate investment

Record second quarter for residential real estate investment

The number of residential real estate deals done in Toronto set a new record for the commercial real estate sector in the second quarter of the year. Residential land purchases topped all other categories, including industrial, retail and office, both in the number of transactions—143—and in dollars: $976 million. This was 27 per cent of… Continue Reading

Real estate agents are failing the disabled: Century 21

Real estate agents are failing the disabled: Century 21

Toronto is about to celebrate the achievements of athletes with disabilities in the Parapan Am Games. It’s a great moment in the spotlight for the athletes, showing them not as wheelchair-bound “disabled persons” but as persons capable of great feats of athleticism. The Parapan Am games demonstrate in the most thrilling way that given the… Continue Reading

Robots run new budget hotel in Japan

Robots run new budget hotel in Japan

The concierges at the front desk speak various languages: Japanese, Chinese, English. The one that speaks English just happens to be a dinosaur. For Japanese guests there’s a sort of pretty-ish female who looks like an airline stewardess (as we used to call them) from the 60s, complete with little pill-box hat. They “work” at… Continue Reading

Other Popular Stories

Living comfortably in 500 square feet or less; modular convertible multi-purpose furniture makes the difference

Living comfortably in 500 square feet or less; modular convertible multi-purpose furniture makes the difference

Size is relative. An object that is small to you may be quite large to another person, and vice versa. The same holds true for nearly everything. A relatively small space that leaves one person feeling claustrophobic can — with a little planning and some modular furniture (see videos below) —  be considered spacious and…

More Ontario rules: modest help for seniors and refugees and immigrating nominees

More Ontario rules: modest help for seniors and refugees and immigrating nominees

Ontario has recently introduced legislation geared toward homebuyers and seniors. If the legislation passes, it should make housing much more affordable — although the intended result isn’t always the same as the final outcome in a real market.     Aside from the 15% Non-Resident Speculation Tax (previously reported>>) for non-Canadian citizens, non-permanent residents, and non-Canadian…

The Greater Golden Horseshoe could become greater, golder, and greener: Ontario updates land use plans

The Greater Golden Horseshoe could become greater, golder, and greener: Ontario updates land use plans

In an effort to improve livability in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, while protecting the environment, Ontario has passed updated land use plans intended to encourage sustainable communities. The plans were released on May 18, 2017 after two years of review.     These include updates to the Greenbelt Plan, the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden…

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