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Wednesday , 29 March 2017

Monthly Archives: June 2016

Tallest wood condominium building in NA breaks ground in Quebec City

Why were the premier of Quebec and the mayor of Quebec City both at the groundbreaking for a new condominium tower in that city? Because the condo in question, called Origine, will be the tallest solid wood condo in North America. Premier Couillard and Mayor Labeaume were at the ceremony because they believe it positions Quebec in the lead of the eco-friendly tall wood construction movement. Origine, which will rise forty-one metres, with twelve storeys and ninety-two condo units, will be the flagship building of Quebec City’s ecodistrict, Pointe-aux-Lièvres. Another reason for the high-level government presence at the groundbreaking is the fact that the project is the result of multi-government ... Read More »

Toronto’s new traffic plan strategic, reactive, not revolutionary

Terrible things happen in this world, many of them beyond our control, but traffic fatalities need not be among them. That is the essence of the Vision Zero philosophy: no loss of life is acceptable in traffic. Guided by this idea, Sweden, where it originated, has reduced road traffic fatalities by more than half over the last twenty years. Toronto should adopt the same approach, said the man in charge of Sweden’s transportation administration and the president of Vision Zero, Matts-Ake Belin. The problem with traditional traffic planning is that it begins with the assumption that there will be fatalities on the roads, the victims usually pedestrians. What should be ... Read More »

Summerhill liquor store turns 100, LCBO gets new CEO

As an example of successful adaptive reuse, the old Summerhill train station, now the flagship store for the LCBO, is hard to beat. The monumental limestone building with the soaring clock tower (reportedly modelled on the Campanile in Saint Mark’s Square in Venice) turns 100 years old tomorrow (June 14), thus pre-dating Union Station by eleven years. Alas, its life as a train station was brief: by 1930 it was over. In 1931 the station was occupied by the old Brewers’ Retail; in 1940, the LCBO moved in. The station was restored to its former glory in 2004. The LCBO has just released a statement of its financial results for ... Read More »

More parents using reverse mortgages to help adult children buy homes: bank

More Canadian parents with adult children are looking for ways to help those children financially, especially with the purchase of a home. Young adults in expensive housing markets like Toronto and Vancouver are finding that help from the parents is the only way to get onto the property ladder. As property values have risen dramatically over the past ten years, many of those parents are now in a good position to provide that help. The solution recommended is a reverse mortgage. The parents tap into the equity (up to 55 per cent) in their home and use it to provide a loan to their adult child, who in turn uses ... Read More »

Home prices can’t go up forever, but Bank of Canada says financial system is sound

Don’t bet on Toronto or Vancouver home prices continuing to rise indefinitely at the same pace as they have done. That’s the message from the Bank of Canada’s governor Stephen Poloz. In his more bankerly words, prospective home buyers and their lenders “should not extrapolate recent real estate price performance into the future when contemplating a transaction.” He made the comment in connection with the release of the bank’s bi-annual Financial System Review. The “caveat” about home prices from the central bank’s governing council, said Poloz, is merited because, though the stability of the financial system is essentially unchanged since the last report, and is in fact expected to strengthen ... Read More »

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