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Friday , 9 October 2015

Category Archives: Urban Living

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Features on the downtown scene, events and urban living.

Condo reform bill passes second reading; public’s comments invited


Ontario’s proposed new condominium legislation has moved one step closer to becoming law by passing second reading in the legislature. Bill 106, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, now moves to the standing committee on finance and economic affairs, which will hold two public hearings later this month at Queen’s Park. The public are invited to make oral or written presentations at these hearings. The bill has the qualified support of the opposition parties. It has more enthusiastic support among some members of the condominium community, including the founder of the Condo Information Centre, Anne-Marie Ambert, Ph.D., who said in a statement that the legislation was a “tremendous step” towards protecting ... Read More »

Low interest rates no excuse for higher consumer debt: BMO

It appears that we Canadians have somewhat ambivalent feelings about debt: some see it as a good thing, a way to build wealth and improve our financial standing, while most regard it as evil, either to be shunned entirely or used reluctantly. A few are apparently enslaved by debt. However, a BMO Wealth Institute paper on the subject finds signs that Canadians are beginning to move away from the lure of bad debt and towards a more prudent stance. What do we use debt for? The BMO survey says most use it properly, to finance home and auto purchases, home improvements, and education, all very worthy and, for most of ... Read More »

Green office buildings pay off for owners, tenants, study finds

Office buildings that incorporate various sustainability and energy efficiency features are not only better for the environment and for the people who work in them, they are also more valuable to their owners. The correlation between buildings’ sustainability features and their economic performance has been observed for some years now, but, according to a new study of nearly 300 office buildings across North America, previous studies did not go far enough. The new study, from real estate services company Bentall Kennedy, claims to add new knowledge and insight to the discussion, and to further elucidate the business case for green building. Two academics, one Canadian the other Dutch, analyzed ten ... Read More »

IKEA move to ban corded blinds good news for consumers

IKEA Canada announced that as of today, October 1, its stores will sell only cordless window blinds, or blinds with inaccessible cords. IKEA said the move is part of its ongoing home safety program, which focuses on educating customers about safety at home. Product safety, the company said, is its highest priority, and it made the commitment to sell safer window coverings in 2012. The struggle to make window coverings safe goes back much farther than that. In an article titled “Years of Talking, Kids Still Dying” published on April 16, 2015, the US advocacy group FairWarning points out that as long ago as 1981, the Consumer Product Safety Commission ... Read More »

Women rule the roost when buying, decorating homes

Women are in charge when a couple buys a home. Plenty of research has been done on this subject and the results are always the same: women dominate in the home-buying process. They get what they want. The latest entry is a survey conducted by the Canadian online realtor The brokerage says it wanted to answer the question “who’s the boss?” once and for all. Is it men or women? By polling their agents, the company says it was able to determine that women get the home they want. The result was “virtually unanimous,” with 97.6 per cent of respondents agreeing. Even when men seem to make the decision, ... Read More »

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