6 Apr 2011

Essex landfill will no longer accept Toronto trash

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. Many of the protestors were holding signs reading "No Toronto Trash."One of them was Essex resident Richard Meloche, who told the Windsor Star he was pleased with the vote."I'm happy," Meloche told the paper. "I suspected it would go this…

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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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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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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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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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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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15 Mar 2011

People who thought ahead and grabbed a Toronto storage unit, anticipating further growth in the housing market, were wise to do so, as a new report indicates housing activity has been steady.According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, sales activity was just under 6 percent lower than what was reported in February 2010, but it's the smallest year-over-year decline in nine months and the fourth consecutive month of maintaining the five year-average sales rate. Nationally, new listings in February increased 1.5 percent."Most local housing markets in Canada are well balanced, but there are still a number of buyers' and sellers' markets," said Georges Pahud, president of the CREA. "Housing market trends often evolve and diverge from national trends due to…

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14 Mar 2011

It was easy being green in Toronto this past weekend as residents raided their storage units for their favorite leprechaun garb and attended the city's annual St. Patrick's Day parade.One Toronto local, formerly of Ireland, told the Toronto Star he's been to the parade every year since arriving in the city in 2003."It's excellent," Paul Reynolds told the paper. "I like the way everyone embraces it. The Irish are in pockets all over the city. It's nice to be able to see everyone together."Other attendants originally from Ireland said that while they're becoming more familiar with the Greater Toronto area, the celebration made them happy but at the same time homesick.Through Thursday, restaurants and bars across the city will offer…

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10 Mar 2011

As some of the more confident people in the country about Canada's real estate market, Torontonians likely won't be moving or clearing out their storage units any time soon. If anything, they'll be renting out Toronto storage units.According to a survey conducted by the Royal Bank of Canada, Ontario leads the country in the number of people who view the current housing market as being balanced, with a whopping 80 percent of those looking to buy – four out of five people – saying they plan on purchasing a home with in the next one or two years. That's the highest rate in the country, which is saying something because a majority of Canadians – 90 percent – are confident…

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8 Mar 2011

It's becoming somewhat redundant, but there's more good news to report in the Ontario housing market. On the heels of a prosperous January for housing starts in the Toronto area, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports that total housing starts increased by 49 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 38,000 in February."The condominium segment is shaping up to be the engine of growth for the construction industry in Toronto this year," said Shaun Hildebrand, CMHC's senior market analyst for the Greater Toronto area. "The rising number of condo starts and completions reflects a growing preference for this housing type among first-time buyers, downsizers and renters."Because the CMHC says condo sales are also high among those who are downsizing,…

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7 Mar 2011

With more storage units and homes being built in the Greater Toronto area to accommodate the city's growing population, the building boom is particularly strong in condominiums.According to Urbanation, an organization that tracks Toronto's condo market, sales for condominiums skyrocketed in the fourth quarter of 2010, going from 3,805 in the third quarter to 6,280 between October and December."There was a huge jump in sales and that was directly relatable to the fact that we had 29 new projects and 6,500 units that launched in the fourth quarter," says Ben Myers, executive vice-president and editor of Urbanation, in an interview with the National Post. "A lot of those were large-scale projects and a lot of them did fairly well."The report…

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4 Mar 2011

While many people rent out Toronto storage units to house their vehicles, limited space often prevents large cars from being stored. But if the electric car movement comes to Ontario as it's expected to, small cars will be the "in" thing.Better Place, an electric-vehicle service provider, opened up an electric car demonstration and education center recently with the funding help of the Ontario government."The general public will be able to access and see, touch and feel what it would be like to have an electric vehicle," said Sandra Pupatello, the province's economic development and trade minister.The opening of the education center will bring two additional electric-vehicle charging sites to the Greater Toronto area.If U.S. sales are any indication of how…

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3 Mar 2011

There are plenty of storage units that can be rented in the Greater Toronto area, but there's a growing trend among many Canadians to build storage units of their own.According to the Vancouver Sun, there's been an increase in purchases of wine cellars, as people are plunking down as much as $60,000 to house their collections.Peter Durst, sales consultant for the Toronto-based Rosehill Wine Cellars, told the paper, "The wine cellar construction boom has continued to grow, especially in Canada. The idea of a wine cellar appeals to many people and has many benefits. It can be a showcase or pure personal storage."The paper says $60,000 is not the typical price to build such a cellar, as they usually run…

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