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Wednesday , 29 March 2017

Monthly Archives: August 2015

Sustainability, social responsibility, Toronto Hydro style

The words “sustainable development” are so frequently used these days that we may find we’re unclear about what they actually mean. In fact, their meaning has been quite precisely defined for businesses by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the body that develops safety and quality standards for products and services of all kinds. ISO’s definition of sustainability is linked to its concept of social responsibility, and in 2010, ISO developed the world’s first standard, ISO 26000, that gives guidance to corporations on how to integrate socially responsible behaviour into the organization. A second body, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), played a major role in developing the ISO 26000 standard, and ... Read More »

Condo boards need to accommodate cyclists’ needs

You have to sympathize with Toronto cyclists who live in condos and apartments. Not only do they have to cope with life-threatening drivers every time they set out on the roads, but when they get home again, they often have to leave their bikes outside. A good bike can cost thousands of dollars. Theft has become a real problem. It’s not uncommon to hear of people losing two, three, even four bikes to the thieves. It’s an insult no one should have to bear. Most condos seem to have policies of no bikes on balconies and no bikes on elevators. All the trendy, stylish wall-mounted bike racks for apartments that ... Read More »

CMHC red-flags fast-rising home prices in Toronto

Vancouver and Toronto are the only two real estate markets in Canada where home prices are growing strongly. Yet Vancouver, famous for its high-priced housing market, where the average home now costs $866,772, is not considered an overvalued market. Toronto, where the average cost of a home reached $609,236 in June (Canadian Real Estate Association numbers), is. How can this be? Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) explains the apparent paradox. High prices alone are not necessarily an indication of overvaluation. This is important because overvaluation is one of the signs CMHC uses to measure a housing market’s risk of a price correction. And overvaluation is somewhat complex. A market ... Read More »

Make sure it’s allowed before listing your condo on Airbnb

Imagine coming home from work one day and finding a stranger making a cup of tea in your kitchen. This is what happened to a Toronto woman last spring. The stranger was a legitimate guest who had booked a room in the woman’s condo through Airbnb. The room the guest had booked was the woman’s own bedroom. She posted a picture of the room with the stranger’s clothes lying all over the place. The room had been listed for rent, unknown to the woman, by her roommate. Aside from the incredible irresponsibility on the roommate’s part—the woman owns the condo and sublets to the roommate, who rented the room out ... Read More »

Toronto office sector resilient, positive: Avison Young

The amount of vacant office space in a city is a reliable way to gauge that city’s economic performance. Downtown Toronto’s office vacancy rate was 6.8 per cent at the mid-point of this year, according to a report from the commercial real estate services firm Avison Young. For comparison, San Francisco had the lowest vacancy rate of all fifty cities included in the study: 5.3 per cent. The highest rate in Canada was 16.5 per cent, in Lethbridge, Alberta. Including the suburbs, where vacancy is higher, the overall Toornto rate came in at 9.9 per cent. The report says that Toronto’s results so far in 2015 are “positive” and the ... Read More »

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