2 Aug 2011

Back-to-school shopping can be a source of stress for Canadians,...

As back-to-school shopping season gets underway, a new poll is indicating Canadian parents have higher stress levels during this time period.According to MasterCard Canada's survey, nearly two-thirds of respondents find facing the crowds of people shopping for their kids to be anxiety-inducing.But Cathie Mostowyk, founder of the Shoestring Shopping Guide, said this shouldn't be the case."Back-to-school shopping doesn't have to be so stressful," said Mostowyk. "Simple things like making a list in advance, shopping for some of the basics on your own without the kids and choosing the right time of day to venture out can help you pass the back-to-school shopping stress test with flying colors."Mostowyk offers additional shopping tips. For instance, she says parents should budget their money and set limits as to how much they're going to spend. Further, Mostowyk suggests doing a home inventory. This can help parents determine if they already have something.Clutter may also contribute to stress levels. Parents may want to purchase a…

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1 Aug 2011

Frank Sinatra once crooned that he wanted to wake up New York, New York, as it was a city that never slept. But were Ol' Blue Eyes alive today, he may be crooning about Cairo, Egypt. According to a new study conducted by Badoo, a leading social network website, Cairo is the world's "most 24-hour" city. The study based its assessment on the online activity of each country's users, which totaled 122 million and spanned 180 countries. Other "sleepless" cities included Montevideo, Uruguay; Beirut, Lebanon; Malaga, Spain and Zaragoza, also in Spain. In fact, of the leading "24-hour" cities, six of the top 10 were located in that country. How did Toronto fare? The website says it shared 18th place…

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29 Jul 2011

While certain customs and traditions between American and Canadian kids differ, both seem to have one particular trait in common: hating to clean.To help parents get their kids to do their chores, cleaning product manufacturer Jelmar recently interviewed child psychologist Michele Borba who offered some tips.For instance, one suggestion Borba recommends is turning cleaning into a competition."Assign a room, hand out cleaning supplies, set a buzzer for five minutes and then dash to your designated area to clean things 'spick and span' before the time goes," said Borba. "Kids love to try and 'beat the clock' and you'll have the house back in order in minutes."Borba also says children should be taught at a young age that cleaning up after…

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29 Jul 2011

A new survey is revealing an increasing number of Canadians are taking advantage of the most up-to-date technology when it comes to internet accessibility.According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, in 2010, the number of Canadian households with broadband web access increased nearly 10 percent to 9 million, while homeowners fitted with wireless services rose 8.5 percent to 25 million.Konrad von Finckenstein, chairman of the CRTC, said the findings bode well for the future."It is encouraging to see Canadians taking up broadband internet and wireless services in such large numbers," said von Finckenstein. "This not only signals a strong participation in the digital economy, but is also a clear indication that Canadians are increasingly using a variety of platforms…

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28 Jul 2011

A new study finds that a significant percentage of Canadians would prefer if more retail stores in the province were allowed to sell beer and wine.The poll, commissioned by the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, found that approximately six out of every 10 Ontarians over the age of 19 believe smaller retailers and shops should be allowed to sell alcohol. However, this rate was even higher among certain segments of the province, as 71 percent living in the East said availability should be increased, with just 27 percent opposing the idea.Dave Bryans, president of the OCSA, said this becoming a reality may be decided at the ballet box."Ontario voters are simply asking for more convenience – like being able to pick-up…

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27 Jul 2011

Canadians are pleased with their financial institutions, as a new poll conducted by J.D. Power and Associates reveals satisfaction Canadians have with their banks has increased.Measured on a 1,000-point scale, satisfaction rates averaged around 756, which is a jump of 26 points when compared to 2010. What's more, contentment rose among the Big Five Banks – TD Canada Trust, RBC, BMO, Scotia Bank and CIBC – as well as midsize financial institutions.Lubo Li, senior director of financial services for J.D. Power and Associates, said most banks have tried to improve the ease with which Canadians perform their financial obligations."During the past year, all major banks in Canada have invested heavily in upgrading customer-facing systems and processes," said Li. "[This] has…

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26 Jul 2011

The newest members were recently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Toronto received special distinction in the process. Along side former pitcher Bert Blyleven and longtime MLB executive Pat Gillick, former Toronto Blue Jays' second baseman Roberto Alomar was enshrined into the hallowed Hall in Cooperstown, New York, on July 24. Even though he played for seven different teams over the course of his 17-year career, Alomar highlighted Toronto as his favorite franchise he laced up the leather for. "My time in Toronto was the best of my career," said Alomar, which reportedly led to cheers of "Robbie, Robbie," from Blue Jays fans in attendance. "I am so proud to represent you as the first Toronto Blue Jay…

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26 Jul 2011

Some of the world's best legal minds will soon be coming to Toronto, as the American Bar Association recently announced it will hold its annual meeting in the GTA.According to the ABA, approximately 8,000 legal professionals from 100 different firms will be in attendance, as the 134th gathering will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Center in August.The ABA is the U.S. equivalent of the Canadian Bar Association, as it provides accreditation to students who've graduated from law school and provides news and information about the legal system as a whole."Our location in the beautiful and vibrant city of Toronto honors the ABA's longstanding special ties to the [CBA], said Stephen Zack, president of the ABA. "This meeting offers…

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25 Jul 2011

The Royal Bank of Canada is out with its latest forecast, this one detailing the state of home prices over the remainder of 2011 and into next year.According to the RBC, home values are expected to rise by an average of 4.4 percent through December, but by the time January rolls around, prices are expected to moderate.Robert Hogue, senior economist for RBC, said the anticipated rise in prices is tied to the jump in interest rates economists are projecting."The main policy shift will be one toward progressively higher interest rates, which will cool demand but not deep-freeze it," said Hogue.Among the provinces, the RBC projects Alberta will have the most prosperous housing market throughout 2011 and 2012, while homebuying activity…

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25 Jul 2011

Canadians with a sweet tooth may want to get their ice cream makers out of their storage units, as Cold Stone Creamery is offering them a chance to have the tasty treat free for one year.On July 22, the ice cream chain launched its Signature Creation Contest on Facebook, challenging Canadians to create their own flavor. The winner will be the one that's deemed most original, but it must be pleasant to eat as well."We keep hearing from guests how they'd like to be the ones behind the Cold Stone counter," said Andrea Hughes, ice cream expert for Cold Stone Creamery Canada. "Now they can with the Signature Creation Contest. There are millions of possible combinations out there and we…

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22 Jul 2011

GTA commuters have a new way to get around town, as the City of Toronto, the Government of Ontario and the Toronto Transit Commission jointly announced the launch of the Toronto Rocket – the city's latest subway service. "With the service launch of the Toronto Rocket subway train, our government is improving transportation in the Greater Toronto Area," said Joe Oliver, minister of Natural Resources. "The Toronto Rocket will provide families and businesses with greater transit options, reduce traffic congestion and support better air quality across the region." Construction for the project began in 2006, when the TTC awarded a grant to Bombardier Inc. to build the new subway system. In the next two years, older trains will gradually be…

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21 Jul 2011

While Canada as a whole has been able to weather the global financial crisis effectively, the cost of living may be taking its toll, particularly in Ontario.In a new survey released by the Royal Bank of Canada, to cut costs approximately 60 percent of Ontarians are comparison shopping, 50 percent are following a budget more closely and 30 percent are driving less frequently. One in five are cutting back on expenses by using their credit card less often."Ontario residents have been hit hard by the rising cost of food and fuel and are making changes to deal with this new financial reality," said Vince Isber, regional vice-president for RBC.Isber went on to say that Ontarians can budget their money by…

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21 Jul 2011

Toronto is in the midst of a heatwave, and as a result, officials are calling on the city's residents to conserve their energy use.According to Toronto Hydro, demand for electricity is expected to be elevated over the next several days, primarily resulting from increased air conditioner use. The company is asking residents to keep cooling units set at 25 degrees Celsius – or 77 degrees Farenheit – between peak electricity use periods. Those time intervals are 7 a.m to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the source states.While this will put less strain on Toronto's energy grid, it will also put less of a burden on Torontonians' wallets. But Toronto Hydro says GTA residents can employ other cost-saving…

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20 Jul 2011

While planning and packaging can go a long way in making sure the moving process goes as seamlessly as possible, mental preparation may be more important.According to a recent poll of immigrants who have lived in Canada for 10 years or less, 60 percent of respondents said preparing one's self emotionally and mentally was the most crucial aspect for what it takes to adjust to Canadian life."Moving to a new country is a life-changing decision and being mentally prepared for the challenges of a different culture can really help ensure a successful move," said Camon Mak, director of multicultural market for Royal Bank of Canada, which conducted the poll. Mak went on to say that becoming involved in a town…

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20 Jul 2011

A new study is revealing that Canadians may have no problem putting their television sets in storage.Commissioned by the telecommunciations firm Primus Canada, a new survey reveals nearly half of all Canadians would have no problem giving up their TVs if they were forced to choose between it and the internet.Rob Warden, vice president of residential services for the firm, said internet access is something Canadians are placing a greater dependence on than ever before."This survey proves that Canadians have reached a comfort level and reliance on the Internet that is at least on par with that of TV and phones," said Warden.Other findings from the poll show just how much homeowners rely on cyberspace, as one in five Canadians…

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19 Jul 2011

A recent survey conducted by a commercial real estate company indicates it's gotten harder for entrepreneurs to find an office space in the Greater Toronto area.The report, issued by Avison Young, says leasing and tenant activity has only increased since the first quarter, making it more difficult to find a space April through June.However, Bill Argeropoulos, vice president and director of research for Avison Young, said this has been the trend for the past year."Over the last 12 months, the GTA office leasing market has performed exceptionally well, supported by a continued steady flow of lease transactions, eroding the supply of available space options along the way and altering the landlord-tenant relationship," said Argeropoulos.The report indicates in the city overall,…

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19 Jul 2011

A new poll is showing why Toronto is often looked to as a shining example of success.According to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and its Metropolitan Economic Activity Index, Toronto has the highest rate of financial success compared to other cities in Canada."Simply put, the multi-channel nature of Toronto's economic engine is the secret not only behind its current top ranking, but also behind its ability to maintain a relatively high ranking position over the past two years," said Benjamin Tal, CIBC deputy chief economist.Tal went on to say the clearest example of this can be seen with Toronto's labor market, as overall employment outpaced the number of jobs added to the market at a national level by a…

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18 Jul 2011

Perhaps inspired by Toronto's success on the home sales front, Canadians as a whole purchased more houses last month.According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, home buying activity increased just less than 3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis when compared to May. But when compared to last June, actual sales increased significantly – nearly 11 percent.Gary Morse, CREA's president, attributes the increase to a variety of positive economic developments."Canadian housing demand remains resilient, thanks to low interest rates, job growth, and home buyer confidence in the economy," said Morse.Gregory Klump, chief economist at CREA, seconded Morse's assertions, saying the real estate market in the latter half of 2011 could be as prosperous as the first.In addition to home sales…

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15 Jul 2011

One of the world's premiere cities for businesses to operate in is Toronto, and thanks to a recent approval of the Toronto City Council, more companies will be able to come to the GTA.The Toronto City Council approved the request of real estate development company Build Toronto to bring a new office building to 4050 Yonge Street.According to the real estate firm, the structure will be seven stories tall and will comprise approximately 480,800 square feet of space, most of which will be devoted to offices. However, a portion of the construction project will be built to furnish restaurants and retails stores.J. Lorne, Braithwaite, president and CEO of Build Toronto, said he's eager to get the project going."We are excited…

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