8 Apr 2011

Analyst says Canada drivers will cut back on driving in the...

Storage units in Toronto are often used as sanctuaries for Canadian motorists' most prized possession: their summer car. But if a fuel analyst's predictions are accurate, these same people may be leaving their automobiles where they are.In an interview with Canada television news station CTV, Roger McKnight, a petroleum industry expert, said that rising gas prices are becoming cost prohibitive and he expects motorists to be cutting back on their travel time as a result."I think we're at that stage right now," McKnight told the news station when asked if Canadians have reached their "threshold." McKnight continued, "I can see it happening now that people are starting to withdraw … even though this is soon to be the start of driving season at the end of May."While McKnight forecasts a drop in the number of people taking to the roadways, the rate at which cars have been sold in Canada would suggest otherwise. Dennis DesRosiers, an industry analyst, said total…

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8 Apr 2011

If storage units in the Greater Toronto area were hard to come by in March, there's a reason: More people were moving to the region.According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of total housing starts for the city's metropolitan area increased 17 percent in the month of March, rising by 44,000 units.Shaun Hildebrand, CMHC's senior market analyst for the GTA, said condominiums sold particularly well."Housing starts data for Toronto continues to display divergent trends for single detached and high rise construction," said Hildebrand. "Growth was again derived from the condo sector, which showed greater diversity last month as over 40 percent of condo starts occurred in the [Greater Toronto area].Economists have predicted a market slowdown…

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7 Apr 2011

As watching any episode of "Storage Wars" will attest, people use their storage unit for any number of things. For most, storage units are a mixed bag of furniture, documents and clothing; for others, they're used exclusively as a protection zone for important valuables and collectibles.With the latter group in mind, Toronto residents have a unique opportunity in June, as some of the most famous gowns and dresses worn by Princess Diana will be put on the auction block.One of Canada's oldest auction houses that will be hosting the event, Waddington's, said 14 dresses will be up for grabs, including the one worn by the late Princess of Wales when she danced with actor John Travolta in 1997.As one might…

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6 Apr 2011

Though people may not like to admit it, for the most part, storage units tend to be filled with more trash than treasure. And when Toronto's contract runs out with a local landfill company, residents' storage units may become fuller than ever.That's because Essex County councilors have decided they will no longer accept trash coming from outside the Windsor-Essex area, as the panel voted to end the deal with Toronto 5 to 3.According to CBC News, this leaves Toronto authorities with a bit of a quandry, as approximately 40,000 tons of trash are hauled to the area from the GTA each year.The decision comes after nearly 50 people were found picketing outside the hall where councilors were debating the measure.…

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5 Apr 2011

As the Greater Toronto area has shown a steady increase in the number of people moving to the area and buying storage units and homes over the past few months, a new report may explain why.According to a report issued by RE/MAX, low interest rates appear to be among the most significant factors for why there has been an increase in home sales throughout much of the country.Elton Ash, regional vice president for the real estate company in West Canada, said this finding is an indication home sales will likely be swift in the spring."Consumer confidence is climbing in conjunction with economic performance," Ash said. "The mood is cautiously optimistic as first-time buyers enter the market."Ash's market, Western Canada, saw…

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4 Apr 2011

Shows like "Pawn Stars," and "Antiques Roadshow" are all the rage these days. As a result, television networks are taking advantage by airing storage unit equivalents to these trash-or-treasure shows."Storage Wars," which airs on the cable television network A&E, is a reality series that follows the lives of four men who attend storage unit auctions – which are held by the storage company when the owner fails to make payments – and make offers on units that may contain valuable items. Sometimes the units contain nothing but junk, but on other occasions the items therein are worth thousands of dollars.Hoping to capitalize on the increasing popularity of storage unit auctions, Spike TV is set to launch the season's premiere episode…

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1 Apr 2011

In case it wasn't already clear, storage units are available so people have another place to store or protect their stuff.With this in mind, what would a storage company be if it didn't offer a chance to win MORE stuff?Jiffy Storage is holding the GTA Jiffy Landmark Contest where, simply by visiting the website, people can win thousands of dollars in prizes.That's really all there is to it. Go to the website, enter the contest, then watch a short video of some Toronto landmarks and correctly match an audio clip to the appropriate landmark.Later this year, prizes will be given to winners of the contest through a drawing. There's a treasure trove of goods available, all of which won't be…

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31 Mar 2011

Between housework, paying bills, taking care of children and taxing not-quite teenagers to school plays and soccer practice, the life a homemaker can be about as fun as deciding what to stow away in a storage unit.But Toronto housewives may have a unique opportunity to help mix up the monotony.According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lark Productions – the producer of the mega-hit television series "Real Housewives" – may soon be issuing a casting call for a "Real Housewives of Toronto."The entertainment and gossip website says that Lark Productions is already working on the series, but that it has not been given the official go-ahead just yet.While all of the "Real Housewives" series have been U.S.-based, the television series has some…

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30 Mar 2011

The rate of home sales and storage unit purchases didn't break any records in the first two weeks of March. In fact, when compared to 2010, the sales rate dropped.According to the Greater Toronto Real Estate Board, there were 4,138 home sales the first half of the month, a decline of 5 percent year-over-year. Furthermore, the number of homes being listed for sale also declined when compared to March 2010, dipping 15 percent.Bill Johnson, president of the TREB, said the numbers are actually a positive sign for how Torontonians are faring in today's economic climate."A positive economic outlook for the Greater Toronto area, including steady growth in jobs and incomes, has kept households confident in their ability to purchase and…

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29 Mar 2011

Toronto homeowners typically rent out storage units when their possessions are taking up too much room in their living space, but they also use them to protect their valuables. So if local residents' basements have a history of flooding, they may want to take what's down there and put it in storage to be on the safe side.That's because according to data from Aviva Canada, 40 percent of all home insurance claims are related to water damage. And what homeowners spend to repair that damage has been particularly costly in the Toronto area.Data compiled by Aviva reveals that in Ontario alone, the average cost a homeowner incurs due to water damage has risen 182 percent over since 2000, third only…

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28 Mar 2011

The city of Toronto's motto is "Diversity Our Strength." Another one of its strengths? Finances.According to the Global Financial Centers Index – which provides profiles, ratings and rankings of the world's leading locations to conduct financial services – Toronto is listed among the world's top 10 global financial centers.For the past several years, Toronto has been known as a "global leader" in financial services, but this is the first time it's cracked the top 10."We are encouraged that Toronto has continued to gain momentum and global recognition as a leader in financial services," said Janet Ecker, president of Toronto Financial Services Alliance.Ecker would go on to say even more needs to be done to lure a greater number of entrepreneurs…

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25 Mar 2011

Summer is still several months away, so Torontonians will have to wait a bit before they raid their storage units to get their patio furniture. But they may want to grab a few lawn chairs from storage, as a much-anticipated electronic item is finally being made available in the Toronto area.All across the GTA, hundreds of people are standing and sitting in lengthy lines outside electronic retailers anxiously awaiting the release of Apple's iPad 2.While the tablet has already been released in the U.S., this is the first time Torontonians will be able to buy the popular product, which starts at $519."I am going to buy two, one for me and one to cover my cost of lining up," a…

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24 Mar 2011

Now that spring has finally arrived, many Torontonians are ringing the season in with one its rites of passage: spring cleaning. But just as people are de-cluttering by putting important documents into storage units, never-ending bills, phone books and magazines muddle one's organization efforts.Perhaps with these people in mind, the Yellow Pages group is reminding Toronto residents that they can opt out of receiving the print version of its directory if they so choose.Consumers and businesses are taking advantage of the internet by going paper-less and the same seems to be happening with the Yellow Pages."While print directories remain consulted by 1 in 2 Canadians each month to find a business, it is only one of the search platforms we…

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23 Mar 2011

People who know their way around an oven are being urged to dust off their extra bakeware if they've been put away in storage units as Torontonians are being called upon to assist thousands of families in need.The program is called "Bakesale for Japan," which was originally organized by a San Francisco-area baker. According to its website, the bake sale got its start after California-area bakers were able to raise $23,000 for survivors of the earthquake in Haiti.Several bakeries across California are participating in the Bakesale for Japan, which will be held April 2, but bakeries across the country are also participating in locations like Portland, Boston and Philadelphia.But the sale is also coming to the Greater Toronto area and…

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22 Mar 2011

The latest indication more people are snapping up storage units in the Toronto area? Condominium sales soared in February.According to the Building Industry and Land Development Association, 2,202 new condos were sold in the GTA last month. That marks the first time more than 2,000 condo units were sold in February, which is usually a slow-moving month.Stephen Dupuis, the president and CEO of BILD, attributed the rise in condo purchases to, among other things, struggling sales in the low-rise home market."The relative un-affordability of low-rise product has caused a huge market shift towards high-rise condominiums, which is fine to a point, but only if steps are being taken to create a more balanced market over the mid- to long-term," Dupuis…

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21 Mar 2011

The vacancy rate of local storage units will likely decline within the next few years, as Toronto shoppers will be filling them with some of their threadbare belongings. But they'll likely be replacing what's old for what's new, as a massive mall is scheduled to be built in Halton Hills.RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers have announced that they are embarking on a joint venture which will bring the first Tanger Outlet Center to the Greater Toronto area. Construction is expected to start this year, and the mall should open sometime in 2013."Halton Hills is one of the fastest growing communities in Canada and the GTA, allowing our retailer partners access to the fifth largest retail…

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18 Mar 2011

With busy work schedules, Toronto physicians rarely have time to play video games, with consoles often winding up in storage units to use later. But Toronto surgeons may want to dust them off and brush up their skills, as it may prove beneficial to their performance in the operating room.Doctors at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto are using the Xbox to help them virtually manipulate medical images during surgery.They do it by using the Xbox Kinect – Microsoft's answer to other entertainment systems which allows users to interact through movement rather than controllers. By manipulating images through hand gestures, doctors don't have to leave the operating table, saving valuable time.The improved efficiency in the operating room could lead to more operating…

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17 Mar 2011

Three Ontario bakers will likely be throwing their old cookware into Toronto storage units and buying top-of-the-line cooking products after hitting the jackpot.A triumvirate of bakers are sharing $50 million after being awarded the prize from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Association on Wednesday.One of the winners, Eugeniusz Borek, expected to win after having several dreams involving money."Two days before the draw, I had a dream that I was pushing a wheelbarrow full of money with two other guys," he said. "The next day, I had a dream that I was opening up a car wash and a gas station and a couple of other small businesses. When I woke up, I thought, 'The money is coming, I am sure.'"Borek…

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16 Mar 2011

As the winter draws to a close and spring approaches, many Toronto residents may be thinking about raiding their storage units and grabbing their bicycle to ride to work, school or get in some exercise. But a new bike-sharing program the city is introducing may lead to riders putting fewer miles on them.The city of Toronto and the Public Bike System Company are joining forces in launching the BIXI Toronto program. The bike-sharing program will kick off on May 3 and will include 1,000 bikes, 80 BIXI stations and 1,500 docking points in the Greater Toronto area."The BIXI Toronto program is an exciting new cycling initiative that will encourage more bicycle trips in the downtown core," said Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair…

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