21 Jun 2011

Canadian Toy Association applauds new safety legislation

Toys are common tenants of storage units, as parents often like to hang on to them after their kids have grown should another child come in to their life.Due to safety, however, some toys may be accidents waiting to happen and not worth saving. But the implementation of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act should help determine trash from treasure."The toy industry welcomes the CCPSA," said Jeff Hurst, chairman of the Canadian Toy Association. "This act introduces a number of important provisions, including mandatory recall powers. These provisions complement the rigorous testing and product compliance systems currently in place for toy manufacturers."Hurst went on to say that the CCPSA should enhance the shared responsibility toy companies and government officials have in making sure kids aren't injured by poorly-manufactured toys.Because toys vary so widely, the CTA advises parents and child care professionals to pay attention to labels and to take them seriously. For instance, the CTA says parents should always read…

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20 Jun 2011

Despite numerous studies and economists projecting a housing slowdown is in the offing for Toronto, the numbers continue to defy the oddsmakers.According to statistics recently released by the Canadian Real Estate Association, national resale housing activity was stable in the month of May for Canada overall, but home sales skyrocketed in Edmonton and Toronto.According to the report, in Toronto, home sales reached their second highest level on record in the month of May.That wasn't the case in all of Canada, however, as several metropolitan regions reported declines, specifically Vancouver and Ottawa."Toronto stood out as an exception," said Gregory Kump chief economist for CREA. "Sales activity there [grew] faster than new supply."Several reports have been released in recent weeks suggesting the…

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20 Jun 2011

After a long, hard winter, Torontonians will be rewarded with the arrival of summer June 21. But nine families will be welcoming the summer season in style – within the confines of a brand new home.According to Habitat for Humanity Toronto, nine families will be rewarded with their very own homes Tuesday, June 21. All of the houses were built on Weston Road by volunteers from the charitable organization. What's more, the homes were built with green technology, which will help reduce utility bill costs for the homeowners."We want a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live," said Neil Hetherington, Toronto's Habitat for Humanity CEO. "To help achieve this mission, we need to build more energy…

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17 Jun 2011

With temperatures warming throughout the GTA, something else is heating up – the rate of burglaries and thefts.According to the insurance company Aviva Canada, burglaries tend to spike in the summer months, and as the summer wears on, the more prevalent they become. For instance, the frequency increases 13 percent in June, 20 percent in July and 31 percent in August."The key factor is more opportunity," said Wayne Ross, president of national property claims at Aviva. "As residents are out of their homes more frequently and for longer periods of time in the summer months, there is more opportunity for burglaries to occur."The study also detailed in what provinces summer burglaries were most frequent, finding that the incidence of burglaries…

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16 Jun 2011

Though the summer days in Toronto may not be 'scorchers,' few things are more cooling and satisfying than a good old-fashioned frozen yogurt. And as luck would have it, Torontonians will soon be able to satisfy their cravings at four new stores.According to the company's president Michael Shneer, four Menchie's Frozen Yogurt outlets will come to the area, as papers were recently signed sealing the deal."Our development in and around the GTA continues with the signing of these four additional stores," said Shneer, who heads the Yogurtworld Franchising Corporation. "The areas to be opened from these agreements include the Beaches, Woodbridge, Dundas/Yonge, and Queen St West."Menchie's, famous for giving customers the ability to make their own creations and then pay…

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15 Jun 2011

After 413 shots, 386 saves, 337 penalty minutes and 27 goals, the Stanley Cup Finals boils down to one number: seven.Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins is tonight and nearly 19,000 attendants are expected to pack the Rogers Arena, hoping to see team captain Henrik Sedin raise the trophy that Vancouver has never seen and the country hasn't hosted in more than a decade."I've got 18,000 on my side and an entire city and country," said forward Ryan Kesler in an interview with the Associated Press. "As a team, as a family, we want this really bad."In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Mark Recchi summed up what the trophy means to…

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14 Jun 2011

On June 13, 15,000 employees for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers declared they were going on strike, affecting thousands of residents and businesses in the GTA.As a result of the strike, homeowners and businesses will receive their mail on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.Reports indicate the issue that's led to the strike has to do with several things, such as the number of hours postal employees are working, the number of sick days they get and a two-tiered wage system that Canada Post has recently implemented, which the CUPW is opposed to.Megan Whitfield, shop steward of the CUPW, told the Toronto Sun they would stop the strike if the Canada Post would re-instate the collective bargaining agreement that was in…

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13 Jun 2011

More people may be purchasing a storage unit this summer, as a recent report indicates many Canadians will be buying a recreational property.According to the real estate firm RE/MAX and its recreational property report, demand for waterfront properties and cottages is up significantly from coast to coast, with more vacationers seeking to buy a property in nearly 80 percent of the 46 markets surveyed."With overall economic performance improving daily and consumer confidence rising, the resurgence of Canadian recreational property markets is a natural progression," said Sylvain Dansereau, executive vice president of RE/MAX Quebec. "An upswing in discretionary spending is once again drawing purchasers to what is, without question, an innate Canadian pastime."In virtually every region of Ontario, average prices for…

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10 Jun 2011

Home run league leader Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays hope to make up ground in the American League East this weekend as the Boston Red Sox come to town.The Blue Jays are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals Thursday, which caused them to split the four-game series.While Bautista has performed well at the dish this year – reaching base safely 52 times in 55 games and leading the league in both home runs and RBIs – the Associated Press reports he's struggled against the Red Sox, sporting a batting average of .185 in the past seven meetings.Toronto will send Jo-Jo Reyes to the mound, who will try to win his third-straight start. Boston will…

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10 Jun 2011

As the school year comes to an end for high school and university students across Toronto, they may be wondering if they'll be able to find a summer job. But the government of Canada is implementing a program that should help make the search easier.Diane Finley, minister of human resources and skills development, recently announced that 36,000 jobs had been created under the Canada Summer Jobs program."Our government has received a strong mandate from Canadians to continue creating jobs and economic growth, said Finley. "That's why, starting in 2011, we have permanently increased the budget for Canada Summer Jobs by $10 million."Finley went on to say that the program benefits students as it gives them some spending money for the…

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10 Jun 2011

Torontonians operating on a budget this summer may want to retrieve some items out of their storage closets this year.That's because according to a new study from BMO Bank of Montreal, Canadian travellers will be spending a pretty penny on gasoline compared to previous years.For instance, the study found that if Ontarians are travelling from Windsor to Halifax, they'll be spending $150 more on gas this year than in 2009.It could be worse, however, as British Columbians bound for Prince Edward Island, the study found, will pay $426 more for gasoline."In our survey, Canadians told us that affordability will be the number-one factor determining their summer vacation plans this year," said Su McVey, vice president of marketing for BMO.In other…

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9 Jun 2011

In the Vancouver Canucks' 41-year history, the franchise has never brought Lord Stanley's Cup home. After last night's loss to the Boston Bruins, the chase for the sport's ultimate prize is knotted up.In enemy territory, Vancouver lost to the Bruins 4-0 Wednesday after another sub-par night from Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, who was pulled from the net in the third period. In the past two games, Luongo has surrendered 12 goals.The series is now tied, 2-2.Luongo, who some believe may not start in Game 5, told the Associated Press that the team plans on capitalizing on their home-ice advantage."[It's] what we've worked for all season," Luongo told the AP. "We need to get playing the way we did in the…

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9 Jun 2011

A new report finds that Toronto officials are not employing effective techniques in luring more businesses to come to the Greater Toronto Area.In a 32-page report issued by the Toronto Board of Trade, called 'Shifting into High Gear,' members of the board list several things government officials and business owners can do to further enhance the city's appeal to entrepreneurs."As the Toronto region's economy goes, so goes Ontario's," said Carol Wilding, president and CEO of the TBT. "Our city-region lacks a coordinated economic strategy. To compete with the global regions of the world we need to be economically synchronized."While the report found Toronto's business-friendliness could be improved upon, it's already one of the leading cities for business generation. The TBT…

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9 Jun 2011

As more people move to Toronto and buy storage units to house some of their belongings, a new report is indicating that the homes they live in may decline in value.According to BMO Capital Markets, the market may weaken in Toronto if mortgage rates rise and inflation occurs as economists expect."Given our outlook for a moderate increase in rates in the next two years, prices could soften or at least stabilize for a while [in Toronto]," said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. "A possible overhang of condos could aggravate the weakness. However, continued sturdy immigration, with one-third of the nation's immigrants settling in the GTA last year, should help to cushion the blow."While this projection may be…

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8 Jun 2011

People who were up in the early morning hours on June 7 had a sight to behold, as much of the Greater Toronto Area was hit with thunder and lightning that left 20,000 residents in the dark.According to the National Post, Environment Canada issued a severe storm watch around 1 a.m., but soon thereafter it became a warning, as much of the storm activity took place between 4:30 and 6 a.m. The paper reports the warning was lifted around 7 a.m.CBC News meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe told the news service that the weather front quickly moved to the south of the city.While there were no reports of injuries, fire officials say there were at least three fires in the GTA.Forecasters say…

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8 Jun 2011

Residents moving or relocating to some of the waterfront communities in Toronto will soon have access to one of the most advanced internet technology systems in the world.According to Waterfront Toronto, a community development organization created by the governments of Canada and the city of Toronto in 2001, it has enlisted the services of the technology giant Beanfield Metroconnect to give locals even faster access and utilization of the world wide web.John Campbell, president and CEO of Waterfront Toronto, said internet access has become a crucial part of GTA residents' home and work life."Broadband has become essential public infrastructure for 21st century communities, and the need for faster connections delivered over more robust networks has been intensifying since the dawn…

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7 Jun 2011

Toronto may not be playing host to more Americans, but it is getting more tourists from distant lands.According to a Tourism Toronto report, the GTA was frequented by international travellers last year from every major European or Asian country, including Germany, Japan and South Korea, adding more than $180 million to the city's coffers. Tourists from the United Kingdom were particularly prevalent last year, as over 200,000 visitors were from the U.K. China was another common country of origin for sightseers.The study also detailed where Toronto fared in tourism compared to other North American cities. With hotel occupancy increasing nearly 10 percent from 2009, Toronto is the sixth most frequented North American city, jumping four spots. New York City was…

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7 Jun 2011

While Toronto Mayor Rob Ford continues to believe the city will host its first NFL team in the coming years, Toronto's Economic Development Committee says the GTA should have a second NHL team.By a vote of 3 to 1, the TEDC determined it will send a letter to the mayor asking that he express "great interest" to the NHL that Toronto wants a second team.In an interview with CTV, one of the primary backers of the proposal, city councilor Josh Colle, said Toronto has more than enough fan support."There are five million people in the region already," said Colle. "There are going to be a million new people in the region in the next 10 years or so as the…

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6 Jun 2011

The moving process is something just about everyone experiences at least once in their life. But if people aren’t careful in who they hire to help them pack up their boxes and belongings, it could be an experience they never want to have again. A reliable mover should have excellent client reviews According to the U.S.-based Better Business Bureau, which helps consumers determine if businesses are legitimate and good to deal with, the firm receives loads of complaints from homeowners who have been scammed by movers. To help people determine what movers are for real, the BBB and American Moving and Storage Association has a few pointers. For instance, the organizations say homeowners should research the…

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