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Monday , 8 February 2016

Category Archives: Urban Living

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Features on the downtown scene, events and urban living.

Zaha Hadid first woman to receive Royal Gold Medal for architecture

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The world’s most famous woman architect, and one of its most controversial, has received Britain’s highest award for architecture, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Royal Gold Medal. Zaha Hadid received the honour in London, the first woman ever to get the medal, which has been given annually since 1848. The medal is awarded in the name of the British monarch to individuals or groups whose work has promoted the advancement of architecture. Previous winners have included IM Pei, Frank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright, Norman Foster, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier. In 2004, Hadid became the first woman architect to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize, often ... Read More »

Winning design for Canadian building trades monument revealed

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A veteran Nova Scotia sculptor and an award-winning architect from the same province have been selected to design a new monument to Canada’s building trades. Architect Brian MacKay-Lyons, co-founder of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects and sculptor John Greer won the design competition, which attracted submissions from forty design teams. The Canadian Building Trades Monument will be built in a park near Parliament Hill in Ottawa, overlooking the Ottawa River. The monument will be built of black granite quarried in Quebec and stainless steel, and will feature symbolic tools that are strongly associated with the different building trades. These will be selected by the fourteen trade unions that are sponsoring the monument. ... Read More »

Pre-construction condo? Read the fine print and buy from reputable builder

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As reported on CBC television news last night, a Toronto man is suing the developer of a condominium building in which he bought a pre-construction unit. The man said that the developer’s marketing materials were misleading, and that he is disappointed in the building now that it is finished. He is reportedly suing for $6.5 million. The developer pointed out by way of justification that the purchase agreement all purchasers sign contains a clause stipulating that the developer may change the design of the building “at its sole discretion.” It was not clear from the report whether the man had read this section of the agreement. A real estate agent ... Read More »

Worried about finances, the future? Make a plan!

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Onward and downward seems to be the direction of the day. The loonie is down. Stock markets are down. Interest rates are down. Oil prices are down. Employment is down in some areas. It’s enough to depress a person. It looks like that rainy day we’re supposed to have saved for is here. How much worse could things get? It turns out that a (slim) majority of Canadians (54 per cent) have made saving for the long term, i.e. retirement, their top financial priority in the face of all the economic gloom. Financial independence at retirement is Number One on the top ten list of financial priorities, ahead of “general ... Read More »

Survey places Toronto, Vancouver among least affordable housing markets

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The annual Demographia Survey of world housing affordability has been released. According to the survey, just one-quarter of Canada’s housing markets are affordable today, based on a price-to-income ratio. In the most affordable markets, the median price of a home is no more than three times higher than the median annual income. Nine of the thirty-six Canadian markets included are given a rating of 3 and under; the remaining twenty-seven range from moderately unaffordable to severely unaffordable. Six Canadian cities are in the latter category, including Toronto. The Demographia Survey has a strong political agenda. Its author, American urban planner Wendell Cox, has connections with a number of conservative think ... Read More »

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