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Tuesday , 30 August 2016

Category Archives: Urban Living

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Features on the downtown scene, events and urban living.

Syndicated mortgage investors launch $27.5 million class action suit against developer

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Two people who made the mistake of investing in a syndicated mortgage on a failed mixed-use development in Barrie, Ontario, have filed a class action lawsuit against the developer, the mortgage company, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and several other companies and individuals associated with the development. The suit claims $27.5 million in damages. The development must have seemed like a good investment. According to the Statement of Claim, more than 85 per cent of the residential condominiums in the development had been sold and two-thirds of the commercial and retail space had been leased. Hundreds of individuals had invested approximately $16.9 million in the syndicated mortgage for ... Read More »

Government promises action on gender wage gap, beginning with better child care

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The first of twenty recommendations in the just-released report on how to close Ontario’s “unacceptable” gender wage gap concerns early child care. What does early child care have to do with how much a woman earns, compared to a man? In a word, everything. As one person who participated in the consultation process that resulted in the report put it, “you can’t close the gender wage gap until you have better childcare.” At present, Ontario’s care structure for children, elders and “others,” relies on unpaid caregiving, most of it done by women. Women, therefore, miss more days at work, retire earlier, quit or lose their jobs due to this caregiving ... Read More »

Powerful real estate lobby could work with Trump or Clinton, predicts Democratic win

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When real estate makes the news in Canada, it tends to be for certain perennial issues like affordability or homelessness. The land transfer tax in Toronto has pre-occupied the Toronto Real Estate Board for several years, but the tax is still in place. Foreign ownership of real estate in Canada is another topic that never really goes away, especially now that BC is taxing foreign owners quite heavily. But you don’t get a sense that the real estate industry in this country is a cohesive, powerful force working tirelessly to advance its own interests by lobbying governments. Canadian lobbying efforts, such as they exist, seem to be more ad hoc in nature, ... Read More »

Clarity needed on how POPS can be used in Toronto?

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Call it “growing pains.” A couple of years ago the city of Toronto came up with a nice way to add to the available public space in the densest part of the downtown core. The city called these additions to the public realm Privately Owned Publicly Accessible Spaces, or POPS. They are meant to be signed as publicly accessible—the city created a special POPS logo for that—and are supposed to be designed “to be as open, accessible and suited to their purpose as possible.” A set of urban design guidelines was accordingly developed to help achieve “optimal locations, high quality design and appropriate amenities for the communities that they serve.” ... Read More »

Federal transit funding praised, but billions still needed to complete Big Move

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If you use transit to commute to work in the GTA, you spend an average of eighty-two minutes of every day on buses, streetcars, subway trains and GO trains. That’s just under seven hours a week that you will never get back, as they say. If you are still commuting to work in the GTA in the year 2033, you can look forward to adding another twenty-seven minutes to each day’s interface with the transit system, making just over nine hours of lost time per week, if the existing transit network is not expanded significantly. That is according to a report on the state of transit in the GTA just ... Read More »

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