17 Oct 2011

Tips for winterizing one’s home

With temperatures starting to decline more precipitously in recent weeks, it's a tell-tale sign that winter is drawing near. In light of this, the Insurance Bureau of Canada offers homeowners some recommendations of what they can do to winterize their living space.Perhaps the most important thing Canadians can do to prepare is to take the appropriate precautions for water damage, according to Jack Chadirdjian, IBC's director of public affairs. According to Chadirdjian, more than $1 billion per year is spent in insurance claims for policyholders who have sustained property damage.To avoid this, the IBC says homeowners should check their foundations for cracks. If any are spotted, they should have them repaired by a specialist as soon as possible.Water leaking from the roof can also pose a problem. The IBC says roofs should be checked twice a year. If the shingles are more than 20 years old, the roof should be replaced by a trained professional.Property owners may also want to…

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14 Oct 2011

Science enthusiasts' most wonderful time of year has officially arrived. Between October 14 and 23, Canada celebrates National Science and Technology Week, which recognizes the importance of the branch of knowledge to the country and the world at-large.During the week-long celebration, a variety of activities are planned involving hundreds of organizations, government officials, industry leaders and educators throughout Canada."The Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation is proud to be the national coordinator of the 2011 National Science and Technology Week," said Denise Amyot, president and CEO of the Canada Science and Technology Corporation. "As keepers of Canada's scientific and technological collection, we encourage all Canadians to engage with their scientific and technological past, present and future."Special events are planned among…

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14 Oct 2011

An online publication targeted toward young professionals is calling on Canadians to nominate a young entrepreneurs they consider to be worthy of recognition.The website, Notable.ca, wants to recognize Canada's next generation of up-and-coming business people and community leaders, and will award them with a variety of distinctions, such as best in finance, law, media communications and social media. Only one person, though, will be given the title of Young Professional of the Year."Since Notable's inception, we have been profiling Canada's top up-and-coming and established young professionals," said Julian Brass, founder of Notable.ca. "Through the Notable Awards, we hope to recognize young professionals who best demonstrate what it means to be truly notable."Canadians are urged to visit the publication's website and…

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13 Oct 2011

As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And as a recent poll indicates, a considerable number of moms are saying no to their kids' pleas to play due to a variety of stressors.According to a Proctor and Gamble survey, approximately 64 percent of Canadian moms with children between the ages of 4 and 10 say no more than once a week to requests from their children to do fun things together as a family. When the moms were asked why they turned down their kids' entreaties, 54 percent said it was due to not having enough time and 20 percent said it was a lack of energy. Eleven and 5 percent, respectively, said…

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12 Oct 2011

While some market indicators have suggested the Canadian economy is contracting, private companies are still optimistic about their growth potential, a new survey indicates.According to professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and its Business Insights survey, an overwhelming majority of small business owners – 82 percent – believe their company will expand during the next 12 months, a significant jump compared to the 66 percent who said the same last year.Tahir Ayub, Canadian leader for the firm's private company services practice, said small businesses have adapted to the economy's downturn so that they're more able to adequately face financial challenges."They are ready for whatever the markets throw at them, which accounts for the optimism," said Ayub.Though businessowners expect to be in good…

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11 Oct 2011

The number of homes beginning construction in the metro-Toronto area in September declined markedly on a monthly basis, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports.Both multifamily and single-family home starts decreased from August, which may indicate the GTA's real estate sector is slowing down somewhat. More than 10,000 single-family residences began construction in September, while slightly more than 22,000 multifamily properties broke ground.Overall, the rate of housing starts reached its lowest point in 2011. However, an analyst with CMHC doesn't seem too concerned by this development."The moderation in new home construction was welcomed following prior levels that were higher than expected population requirements", said CMHC senior market analyst for the GTA Shaun Hildebrand. "Housing development in Toronto should stabilize near…

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10 Oct 2011

This past weekend, hundreds of volunteers were on hand at the Daily Bread Food Bank to help ensure needy Toronto families had plenty to eat for Thanksgiving, CityNews reports."Volunteers are crucial to the work we’re doing at Daily Bread," said Richard Matern, acting director of research at the food bank.Through Friday, the food bank had raised $165,000 worth of food. Still, they were about $265,000 short of their $400,000 goal that they hope to reach by October 14."It's important to note that all the donations coming in … are to feed people for the next four to five weeks," Matern told the news source. "The food drive is to support people beyond the holiday periods as well."According to the organizations'…

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7 Oct 2011

With Thanksgiving on Monday, millions of Canadians will wake up to the smell of turkey cooking in the oven, a bird that can take as long as 12 hours to cook, depending on its size. But in recent years, to expedite the process, turkey frying has increased in popularity. If Canadians are considering frying a turkey of their own this year, product testing organization CSA International has a few tips to prevent the risk of fire. For example, though some people use their fryers indoors, CSA International recommends using them outdoors to ensure the safety of the home and the people inside it. In the cooking process, the oil should remain right around 200 degrees Celsius, which can be monitored…

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6 Oct 2011

One of Canada's most popular pizza chains is expanding its footprint on the Greater Toronto Area and the country at large, only in a smaller package, a new report indicates.According to Boston Pizza International, Canada's leading casual dining restaurant will be building more restaurants, but they will be reduced in size. The company says this is being done to make owning a Boston Pizza franchise more affordable."With Boston Pizza locations in every province from coast-to-coast, we are excited to launch this new franchise opportunity perfect for markets that were previously challenging due to market size or real estate availability," said Ken Otto, COO of Boston Pizza International. "One of our core pillars is a focus on franchisee profitability. This new…

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5 Oct 2011

While social media websites like Facebook and Twitter may have gotten their start in the U.S., in many cases, the use of these websites by Canadians outpaces the number of Americans who log on.According to a 2010 study from eMarketer, some of the world's highest social networking usage rates come from Canada.Statistics gathered by the data publishing firm indicate that since 2008, social media use has jumped by leaps and bounds. For instance, three years ago, Canadian users of websites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn totaled 11.4 million. Last year, that number jumped to 15.1 million.As for this year, the study projects 16.1 million users will come from Canada. If the rate of increase continues on its current path,…

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4 Oct 2011

When asked to grade their businesses' economic performance in 2011, a majority of those polled gave themselves a B, a new survey finds.According to the 2011 TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey, 44 percent of business owners gave their company a B average. Twenty-two percent gave themselves a C, 11 percent a D and 5 percent an A.Alec Morley, senior vice president of small business banking, was encouraged that so many entrepreneurs considered their year to be a productive one."Sixty-five percent of Canadian small business owners gave their company's recent performance a B or above, so it's evident that many entrepreneurs are experiencing success despite the barriers in their way and this is due, in part, to good business planning,…

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3 Oct 2011

One of the world's most popular green products and services showcases is coming to the Greater Toronto Area.The showcase, called Greenbuild, will welcome 30,000 delegates from around the world between October 4 and 7. This is the first year the conference will be held outside the United States. The Building Industry and Land Development Association is the chief sponsor of the event."It makes sense that Greenbuild is coming here given our leading-edge Ontario Building Code and Green Energy Act, not to mention the Canadian home building industry's enviable track record as world leaders in energy-efficient construction," said Paul Golini Jr. of BILD.Meanwhile, also during the conference, the Sustainable Housing Foundation will issue a challenge to builders to create homes that…

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30 Sep 2011

While there are exceptions to every rule, just about everyone at one point or another has misplaced a particularly important item. And as a survey indicates, having difficulty finding critical documents is an all-too-common occurrence.According to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, just 26 percent of Canadians say it's easy for them to access their personal and financial information. Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority struggle, as the poll found 56 percent said their documentation was "somewhat organized" with 11 percent saying it was "not very organized" at all."Whether it’s due to procrastination or its perception as an overwhelming task, people tend to avoid getting their personal and financial papers in order." said Frank Swedlove, president of the CLHIA. "Taking a…

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30 Sep 2011

Small business owners are always looking for ways to maximize success and efficiency to keep their company's bottom-line operating in the black. Yet despite a variety of tools aimed to help keep entrepreneurs organized, more than half say they find document management an impediment to their company's function.In a survey conducted by a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based software provider, 40 percent of small business owners spend between eight to 12 hours per month filing business documents. Thirty-three percent said it takes up to four weeks.Kevin Garton, chief marketing officer for the company that sponsored the study, said paper filing is a part of life entrepreneurs can't escape."Managing paper is a reality of doing business," said Garton. "It's not enough for owners to…

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29 Sep 2011

Baking enthusiasts will be delighted to learn that the country's largest bakery recently opened in the Toronto suburb of Hamilton.Maple Leaf Foods recently opened its 385,000-square-foot "Trillium" bakery, which is being hailed for its efficient design and high-class technology features.Bob Bratina, Hamilton's mayor, said the company will be a boon for the city in a variety of respects."A bakery of this size and scale in Hamilton means significant benefits to our local economy, providing sustainable jobs and an important anchor development in the Red Hill Valley Industrial Park," said Bratina.Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, said that he was proud to bring the new facility to Hamilton and is looking forward to providing Canadians with "nutritious, fresh…

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28 Sep 2011

Automotive enthusiasts are counting down the days to the return of the University of Toronto's largest student auto race in the country – The U of T Shootout.With more than 400 engineering students expected to participate, the event will feature 21 Formula SAE teams that will compete in an auto racing challenge. Formula SAE is a collegiate design competition that was created by the Society of Automotive Engineers in 2001.In addition to racing their creations, teams will be evaluated by a panel of automotive experts on their respective vehicles' design, economy and performance. The winning team will be awarded with a voucher that can go toward purchasing a set of high-quality tires. Additional cash prizes will be given out for…

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28 Sep 2011

Canada's known for a lot of things, and one of them is how highly its regarded on the world stage.According to the global consulting firm Reputation Institute and its 2011 Country RepTrak, Canada has earned the highest reputation ranking among 50 countries polled.The results of the study were based on the responses of 42,000 survey participants which involved questions that measured overall trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings held toward 50 countries."The study shows that a strong country reputation requires a solid performance across three different areas: having an advanced economy, an appealing environment and an effective government," said Nicolas Trad, executive partner of the Reputation Institute.Canada edged out Sweden as having the best RepTrak score with 74.8 to Sweden's…

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27 Sep 2011

Global financial instability has led to a market slowdown for Canada's real estate picture, but on the whole – and compared to other countries – housing conditions are solid, a new report reveals.Market research firm Scotiabank recently released its Global Real Estate Trends report which analyzed the real estate conditions in nine countries throughout the world. Canada was one of three that had positive year-over-year home price growth. The others were France and Switzerland.Still, there were signs of weakening in Canada's real estate market."In the majority of the major markets we track in North America, Europe and Australasia, inflation-adjusted home prices declined on a year-over-year basis in the second quarter of 2011," said Adrienne Warren, real estate specialist for Scotiabank.…

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27 Sep 2011

Educators throughout the country are preparing for World Teachers' Day, which will be celebrated October 5.According to the Canadian Teachers' Federation, educators in the country will celebrate by promoting this year's theme – "Teachers: Inspiring students, awakening potential."Paul Taillefer, president of the CTF, said Canada boasts some of the world's finest teachers."It is the dedication of Canada's well-educated, highly professional teaching force that has created one of the best public education systems in the world," said Taillefer. "By drawing on their substantial pool of experience, expertise and knowledge, Canadian teachers can continue to enhance public education in order to inspire students and awaken their potential."He went on to say that in a recent survey, nine in 10 teachers in Canada…

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