6 Dec 2011

Plea from Christmas trees: ‘Recycle me’

In the weeks after Christmas, it's no surprise that garbage disposal tends to increase, as Canadians toss out torn-up wrapping paper, styrofoam and cardboard boxes that covered their gifts. But something else that's often found amidst trash in the weeks after the holiday are Christmas trees.As a result, Waste Management Canada has made an appeal to Canadians to dispose of these holiday staples properly, releasing "A plea from your Christmas tree.""Millions of Canadians will have a Christmas tree this year, but many don't recognize that I and thousands of my fellow tree friends can be recycled and put to greater use," the WM Canada Christmas tree said. "To my relief and that of thousands of natural Christmas trees across the country, there are ways we can be re-used long after the holiday season has come and gone."One of the best ways, according to the tree, is to recycle them, as many communities have tree mulching programs. These are then used…

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6 Dec 2011

A new study indicates that while most Canadians say becoming debt-free is one of their top priorities, many are missing out on opportunities to pay off their expenses in a more expeditious fashion.According to Manulife Bank's consumer debt survey, 77 percent of Canadian homeowners said becoming debt-free was a chief financial concern. However, when opportunities to reduce their debt loads presented themselves, more than six in 10 said they were unable to take advantage.When asked to identify what these obstacles were, the top three barriers were lacking savings to put money toward repaying debt obligations, having too much debt and interest rates being too high."Canadians should be aware there are a variety of actions they can take to reduce their…

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5 Dec 2011

People contributing to their food storage pantries may increase in the coming months if the predictions of the Canadian Dairy Commission bear out.According to the CDC, as of February 1, the price of milk used for dairy products like yogurt and cheese will rise by 1.5 percent. This may pose a problem for consumers and restaurateurs whose expenses may already be tight.Garth Whyte, president and CEO of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said the cost of food such as milk has been a severe impingement on the average Canadian consumer and businessowner."In these economic times, Canadians are increasingly looking for value-priced menu options," said Whyte. "If we want to grow the dairy market in this country, we need more…

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5 Dec 2011

With money tight for many consumers, holiday shoppers jumped on discounts retailers offered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, making it one of the busiest four-day shopping periods in history, a new report indicates.According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales totaled $52 billion, a 16 percent increase when compared to last year's $45 billion.Alain Michaud, head of Canadian retail for the financial services firm PwC, said the positive sales results could be an indication of buyer behavior."It could … be a sign that consumers want to secure the absolute best prices in a difficult economy," said Michaud.He added that Canadian consumers have been more frugal with their spending in recent months, citing data from Statistics Canada which indicates that…

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2 Dec 2011

While many cyclists may have put their bikes into storage for the winter, the Ontario Medical Association is hopeful that by the time spring comes around, the province's streets will be safer for them to travel.According to the most recent data collected from the National Trauma Registry, there were approximately 1,300 cycling-related hospitalizations in the 2009-10 fiscal year. With many cycling enthusiasts in the province, the OMA has submitted a list of recommendations to government authorities about what should be done to make the roads safer for bicycle riders.Among the things doctors advise is making more investments in cycling infrastructure in urban, suburban and rural areas, such as installing more bike lane networks. In addition, the OMA says the Ontario…

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2 Dec 2011

While retail outlets are among the more common places frequented by consumers during the holidays, they also tend to visit the veterinarian's office.According to the Canadian Standards Association, approximately one in four Canadians has taken their pet to the vet during the holiday season or at least knows someone who has. What's more, one in 10 Canadians have visited their animal's doctor due to an accident their pet experienced with holiday decorations."The holiday season can be a busy time at veterinary clinics," said Ian Sandler, a doctor and member of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. "Pets aren't aware of the consequences of their actions as their home is decorated for the holiday season, and malfunctioning lights, plants and candles are…

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1 Dec 2011

With the arrival of December, GTA residents are shifting from fall into winter mode, particularly when it comes to staying safe on the roadways. To help motorists get to their destinations in safety all season long, the Canadian Automobile Association of South Central Ontario is providing drivers with tips of what they should get out of their storage units and put in their cars.Because vehicle breakdowns can occur at any time, CAA SCO says you can never be too prepared. Thus, an ice scraper, snow brush, booster cables, blankets, extra clothing, footwear, a flashlight and first-aid kit are just some of the things that should be packed into cars, even on short-distance trips.If these items were taken out of individuals'…

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1 Dec 2011

As families prepare for the holiday season by decking the halls with lights and decorations, a new survey indicates they'll also spend a good amount of time cleaning up their humble abodes.According to a poll conducted by Georgia-Pacific, an American-based tissue and paper goods supplier, the get-togethers associated with the holiday season nearly triples the amount of time homeowners spend cleaning, particularly among women.Women tend to spend an average of two hours per week cleaning their homes. But the survey found that holiday gatherings and the events associated with the season can add nearly four hours to that total."We wanted to uncover cleaning habits, practices, partnerships and perceptions among today's women and families and get an accurate sense of just…

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30 Nov 2011

When the warm temperatures fade away and the cold weather kicks into gear, it's the time of year vehicle owners take their summer cars off the road and place them in storage. But before that's done, there's a few maintenance tips they should keep in mind before putting their rides to bed for the winter. Automotive specialists say that one of the most important things to do is to have the car thoroughly cleaned to prevent corrosion. This includes washing the exterior and the undercarriage, as well as waxing it. The interior should also be given a rigorous cleaning. Having the oil changed is strongly encouraged, as the byproducts of used oil can can tarnish the engine, which can be…

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29 Nov 2011

When consumers have settled on a storage unit, they'll often question what belongings or home furnishings should occupy the space. But just as important as what to include is what not to include. The contents renters can and cannot include vary from company to company, but storage listing website StorageFront.com has published a list of items that virtually every facility prohibits. This includes radioactive materials. These toxic substances are often found in medical supplies, which is why health services personnel and sales representatives should be especially aware of whether they contain them. However, as the source indicates, the vast majority of medical supplies have no radioactive material. Foods are something else that shouldn't be housed in storage units, especially if…

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29 Nov 2011

When Canadians are looking to make more room in their homes, one of the simplest, most inexpensive ways is to rent a storage unit so that all unused belongings and furnishings can be cleared out. But occasionally, homeowners may want to consider something more drastic, such as a home renovation project. With these people in mind, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has released a self-help publication called "Before You Renovate: Renovation Guide."The guidebook goes through a variety of decisions homeowners often encounter in their home improvement project, such as what the plan process ought to entail and what they should be sure to do before picking up a hammer, drill or lathe.The guide also details what consumers can do…

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28 Nov 2011

Exam results indicate Ontario students are at the head of the class when it comes to assessing aptitude.According to the Education Quality and Accountability Office and the Council of Ministers of Education, Ontario was the only Canadian jurisdiction with students that tested above the national average in all three subjects – reading, mathematics and science.The results come from the Pan-Canadian Assessment, which is administered every three years to eighth graders. Brian Desbiens, chair of EQAO's board of directors, said the results are a testament to the brightness of Ontario's youth."Ontario students have demonstrated continued improvement on national tests over the years and are now consistently among the top performing students in Canada," said Desbiens. "The sustained progress witnessed on such…

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23 Nov 2011

With the holiday season's arrival, many Torontonians are likely making room in their storage spaces so that they can add some of their old belongings, anticipating lots of gifts will be waiting for them Christmas morning. And a new online survey indicates when holiday gift givers will be shopping for these presents.According to eBay Canada, November 27 is projected to be the busiest online shopping for Canadians in 2011, with an estimated 500,000 shoppers expected to shop the online auction site. This translates into two gifts being purchased every second – a 17 percent rise compared to 2010.But it's not just eBay that consumers will be visiting to shop. Over the entire holiday season, 40 percent of Canadians said they…

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22 Nov 2011

For the most part, Ontarians will be budget-conscious when they're out shopping for holiday gifts and restricting how much they spend for Christmas.The poll, conducted on behalf of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, found that 67 percent of respondents from Ontario said they would stay within their budget and pay for items chiefly by cash or credit card. Eighty-eight percent also said they would either spend less or about the same as they did in 2010.While respondents said they'd mainly shop for items with cash or debit, paying via credit card was a common response as well, as 31 percent said they would purchase gifts through credit. When asked why, a majority of those polled said it was to…

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21 Nov 2011

Though social media websites like Facebook and Twitter are some of the most popular websites on the internet for both individual consumers and entrepreneurs, many Toronto businesses are distrustful of them.According to professional services firm Resources Global, 62 percent of 261 Toronto businesses said they did not trust the information they found on social networking sites. In addition, 66 percent said they were wary of the websites because they feared for the security of their personal information.What accountants and businesses of all kinds can trust is Jiffy Self-Storage, as our storage lockers and units are protected by an advanced security system that keeps individuals' personal belongings and important documents protected.As for social media, Anne Bell, regional managing director at Resources…

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18 Nov 2011

Jiffy Self-Storage customers know that if there's a special contest that's going on or discounts that we're offering, they can turn to our website to find that information. In that same vein, a majority of Canadians are now aware that the first Monday after Thanksgiving is the ideal time to surf the web to find discounts for holiday shopping.According to a 2010 survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid, just 24 percent of Canadians last year were aware of Cyber Monday, the day retailers have used since 2005 to drum up online purchases by offering deals on their websites. But when that same poll was conducted this year, 52 percent of Canadians were aware of the sales event.Nicky Mezo, head of marketing for…

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18 Nov 2011

There may be a run on storage units in the coming weeks, as a new report indicates there were nearly 3,400 home sales through the first two weeks of November.According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the 3,379 transactions at the mid-month mark is 13 percent higher than the number of home sales through the same 14-day period in 2010. New listings also rose, climbing 16 percent year-over-year."The results for the first two weeks of November point to two important facts," said Richard Silver, president of the TREB. "First, despite global economic uncertainty, buyers have remained confident in the affordable housing market in the GTA. Second, stronger growth in new listings means that it is becoming easier for buyers to…

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17 Nov 2011

Whether it's to allow them to focus on raising a family or on their professional priorities, a considerable number of employers are giving their female workers the option of working part-time if they would like.According to human resources management company Randstad, in Canada, female employees say they are given the opportunity to work part-time more often than men – 60 percent of women compared to 40 percent of men, respectively."The current needs of our society require flexibility in work schedules," said Stacy Parker, vice president of marketing for Randstad Canada. "As working mothers and fathers with young children struggle balance work and family responsibilities, they are more likely to require a flexible work arrangement."Jiffy Self-Storage offers an ideal working environment…

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17 Nov 2011

The Conference Board of Canada recently released numbers that detail the extent of the economic impact the country endured over two decades when business growth was sluggish.According to the CBC's report, if productivity had been comparable to what the U.S. generated between 1988 and 2008, Canada's gross domestic product would have been $8,500 higher, personal disposable income would have been $7,500 greater and corporate earnings would have been 40 percent stronger. In addition, federal government revenues would have been 31 percent more robust."Putting it plainly, increasing our productivity growth performance over the past two decades to equal that of our neighbor would have significantly increased Canadian wealth and improved our standard of living," said Mario Lefebvre, director of the CBC's…

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