11 Oct 2011

Housing starts dip in Toronto during September

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 current levels as strong demand for condo ownership and rentals offsets challenges associated with low density land supply."Construction crews tend to have numerous tools and other items lying around when working on the job site. Should they decide to get…

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26 Sep 2011

As artistic Canadians help their kids work on their costumes for Halloween, they may want to give their creative juices a rest and visit one of the most prestigious art gallery exhibits in the world.Between October 28 and October 31, the 12th annual Art Toronto exhibit will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. The four-day event will feature elaborate showcases and exhibits from more than 100 leading international galleries from 13 countries. Some of the more well recognized artists whose work will be on display includes Andy Warhol, Kent Monkman, Edward Burtynsky and Chuck Close.If locals want to get a sneak peek of what will be on display, there will be an opening night preview held on October…

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12 Sep 2011

Though Ontario's economic function has been high throughout much of 2011, economists believe it will sputter somewhat for the remainder of the year.According to the Royal Bank of Canada's Economic Provincial Outlook, supply-chain disruptions in the automotive sector and below average U.S. growth will impact Ontario's gross domestic product. GDP is a measurement of all the goods and services a country produces."Ontario's auto sector was severely disrupted by Japan's earthquake and tsunami in March, causing a number of assembly plants to halt or curtail operations for several weeks," said Craig Wright, senior vice president and chief economist at RBC. "As a result of this catastrophe, car and truck output in the province plummeted by 14 per cent in the second…

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6 Sep 2011

While global economic uncertainty grips much of the world, a majority of Canadians don't think they'll lose their jobs as a result, according to a new survey.Fifty-one percent of Canadians said they are confident they will have their job for at least the remainder of the year, a Bank of Montreal Labor Day poll recently reported.Michael Gregory, senior economist for BMO Capital Markets, said that the country's economy has the weathered the world's financial crisis well."The Canadian labour market has performed admirably, recovering all the jobs lost during the recessing by January," said Gregory. "The unemployment rate is currently 7.2 per cent compared to a recession-high of 8.7 per cent."Also commenting on the study was BMO's president of commercial banking,…

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2 Aug 2011

After months of anticipation, Toronto’s most extreme attraction for tourists and locals alike opened to the public August 1. It’s called the EdgeWalk, and it’s situated atop the iconic CN Tower. For a fee, thrill seekers can walk on the boundary of the towering precipice, which stands 116 storeys, or 1168 feet. “We’re extremely excited this day is finally here,” said Mark Laroche, president and CEO of Canada Lands Company, which owns the CN Tower. “The public has shown that they are ready and eager to push their limits by taking part in Toronto’s most exciting attraction in decades.” Those participating in the EdgeWalk will be taken to the top of the tower in groups of six, where they can…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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15 Jun 2011

After 413 shots, 386 saves, 337 penalty minutes and 27 goals, the Stanley Cup Finals boils down to one number: seven. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins is tonight and nearly 19,000 attendants are expected to pack the Rogers Arena, hoping to see team captain Henrik Sedin raise the trophy that Vancouver has never seen and the country hasn’t hosted in more than a decade. “I’ve got 18,000 on my side and an entire city and country,” said forward Ryan Kesler in an interview with the Associated Press. “As a team, as a family, we want this really bad.” In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Mark Recchi summed up what the…

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10 Jun 2011

Torontonians operating on a budget this summer may want to retrieve some items out of their storage closets this year. That’s because according to a new study from BMO Bank of Montreal, Canadian travellers will be spending a pretty penny on gasoline compared to previous years. For instance, the study found that if Ontarians are travelling from Windsor to Halifax, they’ll be spending $150 more on gas this year than in 2009. It could be worse, however, as British Columbians bound for Prince Edward Island, the study found, will pay $426 more for gasoline. “In our survey, Canadians told us that affordability will be the number-one factor determining their summer vacation plans this year,” said Su McVey, vice president of…

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7 Jun 2011

While Toronto Mayor Rob Ford continues to believe the city will host its first NFL team in the coming years, Toronto’s Economic Development Committee says the GTA should have a second NHL team. By a vote of 3 to 1, the TEDC determined it will send a letter to the mayor asking that he express “great interest” to the NHL that Toronto wants a second team. In an interview with CTV, one of the primary backers of the proposal, city councilor Josh Colle, said Toronto has more than enough fan support. “There are five million people in the region already,” said Colle. “There are going to be a million new people in the region in the next 10 years or…

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20 May 2011

With Victoria Day fast approaching, many Canadians may be wondering what they’re going to be doing with their day off. Canadian Tire was especially interested and recently reported what 1,012 Canadian adults are planning. While long weekends are often viewed as an extra day for play, the survey found that many people are going to be using the extra 24 hours for work and chore-related tasks. For example, 36 percent said they planned on gardening and 22 percent said they were going to tend to some home improvement tasks. Duncan Reith, senior vice president for Canadian Tire, said it looks as though people are tending to their ‘to do’ tasks this year. “It’s clear that many Canadians want to get…

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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…

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1 Apr 2011

In case it wasn’t already clear, storage units are available so people have another place to store or protect their stuff. With this in mind, what would a storage company be if it didn’t offer a chance to win MORE stuff? Jiffy Storage is holding the GTA Jiffy Landmark Contest where, simply by visiting the website, people can win thousands of dollars in prizes. That’s really all there is to it. Go to the website, enter the contest, then watch a short video of some Toronto landmarks and correctly match an audio clip to the appropriate landmark. Later this year, prizes will be given to winners of the contest through a drawing. There’s a treasure trove of goods available, all…

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21 Feb 2011

After a recent spat of automobile thefts in the area, Torontonians may finally be able to take their vehicles out from the safety of their storage units. On Friday, Toronto police arrested a 33-year-old man who is believed to be responsible for causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages to dozens of vehicles around the Greater Toronto area. Police say Darryl Aquino performed a series of smash-and-grab thefts over the past month, breaking cars’ windows and windshields and then reaching into the vehicles to steal whatever he get his hands on. The items he stole were usually electronic gadgets, such as GPS devices, cameras and iPods, according to the department’s constable. Authorities say the string of car thefts -…

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