31 Oct 2011

The best way to pack specific items

Whether people are downsizing, renovating their homes, in the midst of moving to a new location or looking to add more living space, storage units are rented for all types of reasons. Similarly, given that tastes and preferences differ, storage units are often loaded with a wide variety of items, many of them that require special handling. To help, 123Movers.com, a U.S.-based internet company that helps individuals find long distance moving companies, offers a few packing suggestions. For instance, major appliances – such as refrigerators, stoves and washing machines – should be clean and dry before storing them. In addition, their doors should be locked in a secure position to prevent them from opening, which can be a safety hazard. For home furnishings – such as desks and tables – drawers should be cleared out and a blanket or towel should cover them to prevent scratches from forming. Delicate and breakable items – things like fine china, crystal and glassware…

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28 Oct 2011

Condos are a hot commodity in the Greater Toronto Area, as sales surged 24 percent in the third quarter, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board. But with the size of condo units averaging just 749 square feet, many baby boomers are having a hard time adjusting to smaller living conditions."I just kept thinking, if I’m going to move into a space this small, it’s going to be at an old folks’ home," said Jack Anderson in an interview with the Toronto Star. Anderson and his wife recently moved into a condo in downtown Toronto that measures 1,200 square feet. Their previous house was 3,000 square feet.As the newspaper reports, smaller condos are the trend in the GTA. Tridel Group,…

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27 Oct 2011

It won't be long before snow is in the forecast, and the Ontario Provincial Police wants Canadians to spend the time between now and then to get themselves and their cars ready for winter driving season.Larry Beechey, provincial commander of traffic safety and operational support for the OPP, said that while slippery roads are often responsible for accidents, these crashes can almost always be avoided through better preparation."Most of the collisions we see during winter are preventable, yet far too many people blame these collisions on poor driving conditions," said Beechey. "If all motorists got into the habit of adjusting their driving to the conditions at hand, there would be far fewer collisions on our roads and highways."The most important…

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27 Oct 2011

A considerable number of Canadians are concerned that the global economic climate may impact their ability to retire.According to financial services organization Sun Life Financial, a majority of respondents age 45 and older said they spent a great deal of time worrying about whether they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.Included in the findings, the researchers found that 33 percent worried about losing money due to market downturns, 30 percent feared unanticipated events would drain the money they had saved and another 30 percent believed their current lifestyle would require them to continue working after leaving their jobs."These poll results reflect some concerns that we are hearing from our clients in the 45-plus age bracket about the…

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27 Oct 2011

Few Canadians properly dispose of items that can be detrimental to the environment, a new survey suggests.Conducted by Raw Materials Company, the poll found that just 37 percent of Canadians discarded their used batteries in a proper fashion. Furthermore, even though 87 percent of respondents knew that throwing used batteries in the garbage was a potential environmental hazard, just 28 percent said they were utilizing a recycling program and merely 11 percent reported using a hazardous waste center."With such dire health and environmental consequences resulting from batteries that aren't recycled, driving a change in Canadians' behavior is crucial for our country's long-term well-being," said James Ewles, president of Raw Materials Company. "It's quite surprising to see such a contrast between…

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26 Oct 2011

With Halloween approaching and kids preparing themselves for a fun-filled night of trick-or-treating, dentists are encouraging parents to make sure their kids practice discretion when consuming sweet treats, as they can be a nightmare for kids' oral hygiene.According to the Ontario Dental Association, tooth decay is the second-most common reason why kids are absent from area schools. Much of this results from eating too much candy, as the bacteria that causes tooth decay feeds on sugar.Harry Hoediono, ODA president, said parents should allow their kids to eat candy but to make sure they practice some self-restraint and continue good dental habits."The trick for parents is to moderate the intake of sweets and make sure kids stick to their brushing and…

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25 Oct 2011

While retirement is often viewed as vacation time, a considerable number of Ontarians won't be spending their post-career years lounging around.According to a poll conducted by Harris/Decima on behalf of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, 70 percent of Ontarians said they plan on working after they retire from their main jobs."Our CIBC Poll shows that Ontarians don't view retirement as the end of their working lives," said Christina Kramer, executive vice president of retail distribution and channel strategy for CIBC.While the overwhelming majority of Ontarians will continue to work after leaving their main jobs, how much time they plan on devoting to work differed. For instance, 45 percent said they will only work part-time, while 9 percent said they…

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25 Oct 2011

A new report has been released that details what Canadian universities make the grade when it comes to student satisfaction, career preparation and the quality of education, among other criteria.The Globe and Mail's Canadian University Report 2012 details 60 Canadian campuses that are attended by more than 33,000 undergraduates. It's the 10th year the newspaper has published the report, and in addition to giving grades for certain performance categories, it also provides insight into what employers often look for among job applicants who've recently graduated."The Canadian University Report is the ultimate guide to help students make the right choice about a crucial chapter of their lives," said Simon Beck, editor of the Canadian University Report. "For the last decade The…

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24 Oct 2011

When people rent out a storage unit, many individuals find that the space is filled up quickly because they have so many things they want to put away. As a result, this often forces individuals to buy a second storage closet. While this may be necessary at times, with a few space conservation tips – and some suggestions of what not to include – renters can make the most out of their storage space. For instance, one way is to stack items on top of other items, making sure that the heaviest items are on the bottom and the lightest on top. This can help to maximize a space by 20 percent or more. Electronics are often stored away when…

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24 Oct 2011

Recent data released indicates that a considerable number of Canadians suffer from workplace stress.According to Statistics Canada, in 2010, 3.7 million working adults described their everyday lives as significantly stressful, with an additional 6.3 million saying they're at least a little stressed most of the time. Of those who felt anxious regularly, nearly 65 percent attributed it to their work life."While some stress is a normal part of the workplace, excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and reduce your physical and emotional health," said Leandra Harris, vice president of human resources for Randstad Canada, a staffing and recruitment firm. "By knowing how to deal with stress at work, employees become more productive, effective and efficient, and overall life anxiety…

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21 Oct 2011

As recent reports have indicated, real estate has been a hot commodity in Toronto, as some people are buying alternative living spaces because they're downsizing or need extra room. However, as U.S.-based financial services company Bankrate indicates, homeowners can maximize their living space without spending a dollar.For instance, the source says many people like to label their rooms so that only certain activities go on there, such as a living room, dining room or game room. But interior designers tell Bankrate that rooms can and should be multi-purpose. For example, because office electronics are getting smaller and more portable, it may be a good idea to make dining rooms, which are often underused, a den or office space as well.Another…

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21 Oct 2011

Toronto's recognition as a top-tier metropolis for educational pursuits continues, as a new report highlights the quality of University of Toronto's academics.According to a recent report from Times Higher Education, the U of T is one of the 10 best universities in the world for students majoring in arts and humanities.David Naylor, president of the U of T, said the recognition is significant, particularly in today's society."In a world of increasing global challenges, the arts and humanities have never been more important. They not only promote clear and critical thinking; they help us to build bridges across cultures and nations," said Naylor. "I'm delighted to see our faculty recognized for their remarkable teaching and world-leading research in this area."This is…

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20 Oct 2011

The Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada recently unveiled its budget proposal to the federal Standing Committee on Finance that it believes will make cities more globally competitive.Speaking before the committee, Nicholas Gazzard, executive director of CHF Canada, offered several recommendations as to how this can be reached. For instance, he encouraged the continued investment in urban infrastructure and affordable housing so that the 1.5 million households who need financial assistance can live in their homes. He also urged lawmakers to adhere to accountability measures in the new Affordable Housing Framework."The benefits of targeted federal investments in infrastructure and affordable housing give the government opportunities to boost the economy and reduce the number of Canadians in housing need, while readying our…

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20 Oct 2011

The real estate boom in the Greater Toronto Area continues to grow by leaps and bounds, as a new report indicates many people are buying condominiums in the area.The Building Industry and Land Development Association revealed recently that there were approximately 3,800 new homes and condos sold in the GTA last month, as sales of low-rise units increased 5 percent year-over-year and sales of high-rise residences surging 53 percent. Overall, total new home sales are ahead of last year's pace by 34 percent.The September sales rate for condominiums set a record for the month, which most recently was broken last year.Among specific regions, Paul Golini, BILD chairman, said property purchases have been rife outside the city, accounting for 46 percent…

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19 Oct 2011

The Toronto Real Estate Board is out with a new housing report, and once again, sales are up in the GTA.According to the TREB, there were approximately 3,500 transactions through the first 14 days of October, a 20 percent increase when compared to the same two-week stretch one year ago, when nearly 2,900 sales were reported. On a year-over-year basis, new listings also rose when compared to October 2010, with 6,249 reported during the period."The first two weeks of October seem to be pointing towards more balanced market conditions as we move toward 2012," said Richard Silver, TREB president. "A growing number of home owners are reacting to the above average price growth reported this year and have decided to…

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19 Oct 2011

As Torontonians raid their storage closets to retrieve their children's favorite Halloween costumes, Safe Kids Canada is reminding parents not to forget to arm their young ones with safety tips before they go out trick-or-treating.Pamela Fuselli, executive director of Safe Kids Canada, says ensuring kids' safety as they travel door to door to collect candy from friends and neighbors requires a commitment from parents."An important first step is to teach your kids how to be safe pedestrians," said Fuselli. "Practice the safety rules with them and set a good example by reinforcing safe behaviour year round. Drivers also play a role, by slowing down on the roads and driving the speed limit."Some of the things parents should teach their kids…

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18 Oct 2011

Confirming several other reports, a new study finds that office space in the Greater Toronto Area is hard to find due to strong performances from many businesses. According to Colliers' International Market Report, availability of office space dipped to just under 5 percent in the second quarter, the lowest level observed since the third quarter of 2008. Much of the decline was located in the GTA North and West markets. Despite vacancy rates being low, the report also found that there hasn't been much office space development to counteract the shortage. Colliers says "only a few" new construction projects are underway. However, demand for office space has subsided, the report notes. Still, the lack of development can pose a problem…

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18 Oct 2011

One of the world's leading auction houses is selling some highly sought-after vintage vehicles to the highest bidder.Ricthie Bros. Auctioneers, which is generally known for selling industrial goods, is holding a vintage vehicle auction for the public,scheduled to be held in Edmonton on October 26 and 27. Approximately 4,000 items will be sold altogether, including 35 automobiles and 140 pickup trucks.But what is sure to garner the attention of car enthusiasts are the vintage vehicles that will be on hand, including a 1929 Chevrolet, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird Convertible, a 1973 Cadillac Coupe Deville and a 1975 Cadillac Eldorado.According to Jim Rotlisberger, regional manager for the auction house, approximately 2,500 automobiles have been sold in Edmonton since 2010 and 16,000…

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17 Oct 2011

Led by Toronto, real estate sales in Canada surged last month, according to a new report released by the Canadian Real Estate Association.On a seasonally adjusted basis, national sales activity jumped 3 percent in September, the third-straight month in which sales have either increased or remained stable. Compared to the same period last year, the rate of homes being purchased was 11 percent higher than September 2010 on an unadjusted basis, the report confirms."The Canadian housing market remains a bright spot against a backdrop of mixed headline news about the global economy," said Gary Morse, CREA president. "Low mortgage rates continue to draw buyers to the housing market, while recently tightened mortgage regulations are working as intended."Year-to-date, nearly 361,800 homes…

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