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Sunday , 26 March 2017

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Bjarke Ingels’ Toronto condos: playful form for a change

It would be sad if the most diverse city in the world had the most homogeneous real estate. So said one of the world’s favourite architects, Bjarke Ingels, speaking about Toronto, where he gave a lecture last night. The Danish-born, New York-based founder of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) has his first Toronto project in the works, and it promises to put into practice what he spoke about in his lecture: building communities through architecture. Ingels is certainly not the first, whether famous architect or ordinary observer, to note that much of Toronto’s architecture is bland and boring. Frank Gehry called it mediocre. What Ingels has proposed for the King Street ... Read More »

Don’t be a victim; never send money to someone you don’t know

Imagine how you’d feel if you had scrimped and saved for years to build up a down payment on a home, only to have the money snatched from you by scammers. It happens all the time, thanks to the way we do business these days, relying so heavily on email and wire transfers, and everything done right now with a click on a “send” button. The problem is, as technology becomes more and more sophisticated and efficient, so do the criminals. Wire transfers are among the most common methods of moving money around the world. Billions of dollars are moved this way every day, often by financial institutions and businesses that export and ... Read More »

Forget resolutions: express intentions instead, mall owner recommends

Look at any list of Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions for any given year and you can’t help but notice that they’re all pretty much the same. Lose weight. Get fit. Eat healthy. Quit smoking. Spend more time with the family. Learn to play a musical instrument. Learn a language. Drink less. Travel more. Any given list of ten, like the original list, the Ten Commandments, seems to cover every area of human weakness. You have to wonder why we bother asking people about their New Year’s Resolutions when we already know what they’re going to say. A major Canadian shopping centre owner, Cadillac Fairview, is the latest to venture ... Read More »

Workers work smarter in green buildings: study

Everyone knows that getting a bit of fresh air is a good way to “clear one’s head” and brush away the “cobwebs” that make us feel slow and stupid, especially on a warm, drowsy afternoon after a big lunch. For those who have to work in modern office buildings, with their airtight construction and chemical-emitting carpeting and furniture, the absence of fresh air can be a big problem. Feeling slow and dull at work is bad news not only for the person feeling that way but for the work as well. New research findings show exactly how much the quality of the indoor environment affects people’s cognitive performance in carrying ... Read More »

Real estate issues turning up as election promises

Aside from the obvious political taint, the government’s election promise to increase the Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawal amount from $25,000 to $35,000 could be helpful to many Canadians. (The fact that it is an election promise only shows that the government doesn’t really want to do it.) The plan has been around since 1992 and this would be only the second increase. From its inception until 2009, the withdrawal limit was $20,000. The way it works is that a first-time buyer can withdraw funds from his or her RRSP to  purchase a home. “First-time buyer” does not mean first-time buyer in the strict sense, i.e. a person who has never owned ... Read More »

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