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GTA Home & Reno Show 2018 - ReCap

GTA Home & Reno Show 2018 – ReCap

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GTA Home & Reno Show 2018 – ReCap

RENO & DECOR Magazine presents “Design Intervention

Visitors to the Design Intervention booth were treated to a combination of design advice and inspiration. The advice was courtesy of our host of design experts that were on hand to provide free 15 minute consultations. The inspiration was provided by the amazing booth space designed by Kate Davidson of Kate & Co Design Inc.. Using furnishings and accessories from Casalife and custom murals from Ruth Baker Design, Kate was able to create a beautiful, open space full of colour.

I took a different design approach when designing this years booth for Reno & Decor and created one space two ways. As a designer I like to work with colour and textures and tried to showcase how designing with colour can effect how we interpret our living spaces. Working with Casalife furnishings we created two cohesive looks from one living, dining and work spaces. One space was more moody with richer dark tones, while the other side was created using softer visual materials creating a light and airy feel.”


INSTAGRAM: kateandcodesigninc



Thanks to all the designers that participated in Design Intervention:

RENO & DECOR Would like to thank the following sponsors of DESIGN INTERVENTION:


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Building for the condo kids generation

Building for the condo kids generation

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Building for the condo kids generation

by Peter Duckworth-Pilkington, ZAS Architects

In a drive for higher density, it follows that the amenities of the suburbs must now be constructed for the highrise communities.

The last10 years have seen a massive seachange in the way we live and grow in our urban centres in Canada and nowhere is this as evident as in Toronto’s downtown. Around 66 per cent of chidren in downtown Toronto live in midrise and highrise buildings.

Since the last census in 2011, there were 10,500 more Toronto families with children living in condos, up to 129,000 from 118,000. The growth of these condo families (8.9 per cent) was more than double the growth of families (3.9 per cent) in the region.

That is a huge number of Canadians who have turned their backs on the traditional single-family home and embraced the car-free, walkable lifestyle of the urban vertical community.

This signals the need for a new model for city builders. We can’t make the same assumptions about our end users as we have done in the past. Communities like City Place are no longer just for adults and this new demographic needs all the same facilities and play spaces as kids growing up in a suburban single-family home.

In a drive for higher density downtown, it follows that the infrastructure and amenities usually reserved for the suburbs must now be constructed for the highrise communities that the majority of young people call home, which is why the Canoe Landing campus is such a landmark project for Toronto.

When ZAS Architects were first approached with the prospect of designing a 3.32-acre hub for City Place in Toronto, we were excited by the challenge it presented. This is an opportunity like no other to create a true downtown, high density community for a new generation.

Canoe Landing Campus will house a $65 million community recreation centre, public and Catholic elementary schools and a childcare centre within one innovative campus.

For over 20 years, the City Place vertical community developed one block at a time with high-density residential towers emerging around a centrally planned park. Within this park, now called Canoe Landing Park, a new social campus will merge with the landscape, completing the community with educational and public amenities absent since development began in the 1990s.

Serving an important social function, the campus architecture supports a new platform for connection. In a vertical, urban community where neighbours often experience solitary lifestyles, this interaction is vital. Conceived as a social condenser, the building program was developed through multiple community meetings attended by hundreds of residents.

From the first public meeting packed with strollers and young families, it was clear this community had very unique needs resulting from a wide demographic range, the realities of living with less square footage, and the pressures on existing public space as the population grew with each new tower constructed.

Faced with the challenges presented, ZAS Architects created an original architectural form that leveraged the synergies of co-locating the schools, community centre and childcare to reduce the building footprint and maximize open space. The new campus provides an opportunity for shared community spaces – from gardening plots to basketball courts on the roof, spaces for indoor and outdoor play, a community kitchen for canning parties and cooking classes, and a lobby space for neighbours to meet neighbours.

Sustainability is one of the key concepts that we kept coming back to during the design process. In a flip of the site’s former industrial use we ensured that the campus incorporated the latest sustainable practices from an active green roof to reducing the overall footprint of the buildings by condensing and sharing.

Community input generated innovative spaces such as indoor play areas geared to enhancing children’s motor skills and the creation of multi-purpose rooms that adapt to both active and passive uses. The community also wanted the new building to be green, reducing environmental impacts and to be resilient, providing a shelter in case of power failure or natural disaster.

Programming offers expanded possibilities for all ages. The schools share indoor play spaces, a learning commons, gymnasium and educational areas. The outdoor park and community rooms are accessible by all. A flexible design solution features two- and three-storey buildings that anchor the east side of the park. C-shaped planning maximizes solar access while sheltering play areas from the adjacent expressway. Bisected by a pedestrian corridor, the building connects through an elevated bridge forming an east-west gateway. One side of this link contains the community centre with gymnasium and fitness centre.

It was through this community-orientated approach to design that we were able to come up with a plan that should result in ab exciting urban neighbourhood. We hope that Canoe Landing Campus will become the inspiring playground for the next generation of vertical living pioneers.

Peter Duckworth-Pilkington is a principal at Toronto-based ZAS Architects.


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Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house for sale

Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house for sale

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Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house for sale

Toyhill, the first home the great architect built in the Usonia community in Pleasantville, features a central fireplace, built-in furnishings.

The Sol Friedman House, in the Usonian Historic District in Pleasantville, New York, 30 miles north of Manhattan, is now for sale for $1.5 million (U.S.).

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural designs appealed to consumers and critics in a way that no other American had before his time. In a career spanning over 70 years, he worked during a time of innovative and improved building materials that no longer required homes to have tiny windows and low ceilings to preserve heat in the winter and screened sleeping porches to catch a slight breeze in the heavy night air of deep summer.

Wright understood human nature and its love of space, freedom and connection to the natural environment. As children dreamed of living in tree houses, Wright modified the concept for adults that would touch their inner child’s sense of wonder.

Some of his clients had land with special features they wanted to highlight. Wright’s most famous residential project, Fallingwater, was designed over a waterfall for the Pittsburgh Kaufmann Department Store family. He studied the land at length and built the house with the waterfall as the focal point.

After World War II, he knew returning soldiers would need affordable homes so in the 1940s he developed a new concept that people could build mostly by themselves with a minimum of help and expense. He named them Usonian and one of the developments he started was located north of New York City in Pleasantville.

Usonian living areas had a fireplace as a point of focus. Bedrooms, typically isolated and relatively small, encouraged the family to gather in the main living areas. The built-in furnishings related to the Arts and Crafts movement’s principles, which influenced Wright’s early work. Spatially and in terms of their construction, the Usonian houses represented a new model for independent living and allowed dozens of clients to live in a Wright-designed house at relatively low cost. His Usonian homes set a new style for suburban design that influenced countless developers. Many features of modern homes date back to Wright: open plans, slab-on-grade foundations and simplified construction techniques that allowed more mechanization and efficiency in building. A total of 47 homes were built by various builders in Pleasantville and homes on the 100-acre site were built at prices ranging from $10,000 to $85,000 (many of the homes have been expanded over the years and sell for well over $1 million). Wright designed three homes; the first one he built was Toyhill, better known as the Sol Friedman House. Friedman was a book and record merchant who also sold toys in some of his stores. Wright picked up on that point of interest and decided upon the name Toyhill for the home.

It was a combination of a large treehouse and a small Guggenheim Museum with two circular interconnecting levels topped by a mushroom-shaped roof. Wright also coined the term “carport” and created one for the Friedman house, also with a mushroom roof. The exterior of the house is sloped and covered in finely worked ashlar masonry, giving the aura of having just grown out of the ground.

At 2,164 square feet of living space, the interior includes cathedral ceilings, skylights, walls of glass to capture the bucolic surrounds, three bedrooms, three baths and Wright’s signature large stone fireplace, which he believed critical for families to gather around for conversation at the end of the day.

Now for sale priced at $1.5 million (U.S.) is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most important Usonian homes, the The Sol Friedman House, in the Usonian Historic District in Pleasantville, New York, 30 miles north of Manhattan.

More information available at amyvia.houlihanlawrence.com

Source: Top Ten Real Estate Deals


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Myrtle Beach celebrates Can-Am Days

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Myrtle Beach celebrates Can-Am Days

Though the 57th annual Canadian-American Festival lasts just one week – March 10 to 18 – select Myrtle Beach area hotels, merchants and attractions are offering tremendous discounts throughout for Canadian travellers. Ranging from 25 per cent to as much as 55 per cent, the discounts are designed to help Canadians make up the difference in the exchange rate. Through May 2018, travellers with a valid Canadian passport can receive discounts at select hotels, attractions, golf courses, restaurants and live entertainment venues during their visit to the Myrtle Beach Area.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and its partners hope that with these discounts, Myrtle Beach will continue to be a popular, affordable destination for Canadians looking the escape the cold this spring.

“We have seen a growing number of Canadian visitors to the Myrtle Beach area, especially in the past decade,” said Julie Ellis, public relations and communications manager for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB. “The late winter and early spring seasons offer mild weather, more affordable accommodations and more elbow room at area attractions. The special promotions for our Canadian neighbours provide even more incentive by bridging the gap in the exchange rate.”

Several hotels, resorts and attractions are offering deep discounts during Can-Am Days and throughout the spring.

Some of the Myrtle Beach area’s top attractions are also offering tremendous deals including the Myrtle Beach Speedway, Ripley’s Myrtle Beach Attractions, WonderWorks and The Carolina Opry. Special discounts are available for valid dates listed on the individual deal/coupon. To receive discounts, visitors must also show a valid Canadian ID.

The Can-Am Days truly showcases Southern hospitality at its finest. Special offers will continue to be added on the Can-Am promotions page where more detailed information will be posted. With nonstop flights from Toronto available through Porter Airlines and WestJet, it’s even easier to enjoy Can-Am Days in Myrtle Beach.

The Myrtle Beach area, popularly known as the Grand Strand, stretches from Little River to Pawleys Island, comprising 14 distinct cities along the South Carolina coast. Home to 95 kilometres of sandy beaches, an assortment of entertainment and family attractions, Southern hospitality, outstanding fishing and world-class golf, the Myrtle Beach area presents the quintessential vacation experience. https://www.visitmyrtlebeach.com/things-to-do/events/can-am-days/


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina continues to rank as one of the fastest-growing family and vacation destinations in the nation, attracting roughly 18 million visitors annually. Given the accessibility and multitude of attractions for families, the Myrtle Beach area received several new accolades in 2018 including being ranked by Google as the Third Most Searched Travel Destination in the World, one of the Travel Channel’s Best East Coast Beaches and a Top 10 Beach Town with the Highest Quality of Life by Coastal Living. The following is the latest information on new tourism developments in the region.

810 Billiards and Bowling: Two new entertainment venues are coming to the region by the same owner. Named 810 Billiards and Bowling, both complexes will include bowling, billiards, darts, ping pong and other amenities. It will also serve gourmet food, craft beers and inventive cocktails that can be enjoyed on luxurious couches at each lane or in the well-appointed dining room. One location will be in Conway across from Coastal Carolina University and the other will go into the Market Common district in Myrtle Beach.

Asher Theatre: The Asher Theatre is Myrtle Beach’s newest live performance, conference and event centre. They are bringing Vegas and New York City acts to the area in a family-oriented theater setting. The season will begin on April 7, 2018. For more information, visit www.ashertheatre.ca

Gateway Galleria: Plans have been approved for a mixed-use complex on Seventh Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard in downtown Myrtle Beach called the Gateway Galleria. The $20 million project will include a four-story 75,000-square-foot complex that will house over 40 visitor condos and a bottom floor filled with restaurants, fitness and retail.

Ocean Boulevard facelift: Changes are coming to the 14th Avenue South area of Ocean Boulevard. The new 32,000-square-foot, four-story building will feature retail and commercial on the ground floors and visitor accommodations on the upper floors. The building will have a bright, multicolored facade with balconies.

Oceanfront Beach Club Entertainment Complex and Boardwalk: Construction has begun on a new 55,000-square-foot complex along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk at 14th Avenue North. The new beach club will bring several new restaurants, retail stores and a live music venue. In addition, the Boardwalk will be extended another block on the north to connect to a new Hilton hotel. An oceanfront park will be built as part of the project. The beach club complex is expected to open by April 2018.

Thunderbolt Park at The Market Common: The City of Myrtle Beach is planning to open a new park and building complex in the Market Common district. Features of the park will include almost four kilometres of new paths, picnic tables and a lawn. The paths can be used by bicyclists, walkers and runners and will have an outdoor reading room, bike racks, bike repair stands and an outdoor classroom. It will also include the renovation of a building originally used for support for the Thunderbolt jets when the area was an air force base for use as a classroom and recreation facility. Expected completion is by summer 2018.

Dockside Village: A new restaurant district is going into the Barefoot Landing shopping and entertainment complex at Barefoot Landing. The district will feature waterfront dining along the Intracoastal Waterway as well as new outdoor attractions and live music. It will be anchored by Lulu’s restaurant, owned by musician Jimmy Buffet’s sister, Lucy. The restaurant will also have live nightly music, a large sandy beach area, and a ropes climbing course, arcade and other activities in the 20,000 square-footspace. For more information, visit www.bflanding.com.

Wings Over Myrtle Beach: A new air show is coming April 28 and to the Myrtle Beach International Airport. This is the first air show in Myrtle Beach in more than a decade. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will headline the show and there will be a host of world-class aerobatic and war bird performers. Additional information can be found at http://wingsovermyrtlebeach.com



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When moving, it’s all about the timing

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When moving, it’s all about the timing

By Chuck Resnick

Two Men and a Truck

When it comes to ensuring a successful move, timing is everything. Even if it’s not “everything,” careful planning and forethought helps “everything” happen efficiently. The point is, as soon as you decide to move, start your thinking process, explore your options and take action.

The first question to be answered is “Are you moving yourself, or will you hire movers?”

It’s wise to book the moving company or truck at least a month ahead, and preferably more. Keep in mind that late spring, early summer and early fall are the most popular times of year for moves because of more co-operative weather. If you wait too long to book, you may have trouble getting a mover during those seasons.

Also don’t forget, June 30 is the busiest moving day of the year.

Next, are you going to pack or take advantage of professional packing services? If you are thinking DIY, start collecting/buying boxes and packing material. Remember that professional movers usually sell standard-size boxes that are sturdy and easy to stack, as well as paper that can protect your items without leaving newsprint behind.

Last, but not least, what do you want/need to move? Now is the time to purge all of those unnecessary items that have been at the back of closets and basement corners for months, and often years. The less “stuff” you move, the easier and less expensive the transfer. Following is a handy reference for what to do when.

A month before the move:

De-clutter, sort, pitch, give away, donate to charity, host a yard sale — whatever — but pare down your goods.

  • Obtain change-of-address cards from your local post office.
  • Notify magazines, insurance companies, banks, credit card companies, schools, employers, etc. of your change of address.
  • Start using up food and perishables to minimize what you throw out on moving day.
  • If you are moving to a new home or condo that includes appliances, ask for the owner’s manuals ahead of time.

One to two weeks in advance:

  • Make a survival closet of items you will need to clean the place once furniture is moved (broom, dustpan, cleansers, etc.), and even snacks that you can grab quickly during the process.
  • Either start packing or make sure your mover begins. Label boxes as you pack with both the contents and which room each will go into at your new digs. Write the destination room on the top and sides of each box.
  • Schedule disconnects for utilities and phone, but make sure you still have the use of your phone on moving day. At the same time, arrange for hook-ups at the other end.
  • Cancel newspapers, cable TV, security system monitoring and any companies you use for services such as cleaning and lawn maintenance.
  • Send change-of-address cards.

The day before the move:

  • Clean out, defrost and dry the fridge and freezer.
  • Get to a bank or bank machine and take out enough cash to tide you over.
  • Pack a last-minute essentials bag/box.
  • Arrange for children and pets to be looked after elsewhere on moving day.

On moving day:

  • Double and triple check rooms, closets, the garage, basement, etc. to ensure that you have all of your things and the areas are left clean.
  • Don’t forget to personally carry your own (family’s) valuables, cash and documents relevant to the move and all other important papers.

Chuck Resnick is vice president, marketing and operations at Two Men and a Truck Canada.



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Creating the ultimate craft room

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Creating the ultimate craft room

By Lisa Canning

I wouldn’t exactly call me a crafter (my lifestyle of six children and a business means I am of DIFM — do it for me — than DIY), but I might change my ways after creating this space for my most recent makeover. We created a craft room that I think is pretty ultimate.

Here are some essential things to consider if you want to create your own:

Keep it Colourful

If you can’t have fun with colour in a craft room, where can you have fun? In this case, we went with a beautiful teal called Sylvan Mist by Benjamin Moore. It’s soft and inviting but definitely saturated enough to be whimsical and playful. I think it’s also a really fun accent to the MDF tongue and groove we applied to the walls from Metrie.

And I had to add a bit of colour with the cabinet hardware. Shayne Fox Hardware is a newcomer to the Toronto artisan community and her handmade hardware really is a piece of art. We used her cast bronze knobs in bright bronze for a pop of contrast against the white cabinets.

And, again, because it’s a craft room and why not, we chose a bold colour on the chairs. These chairs from Wayfair provide a fun pop against the white base cabinetry. And don’t forget about accessories — even in stationary products you can incorporate colour like paper clips and the feather-shaped pen holder (and pens) from HomeSense.

Keep Practicality in Mind

A craft room has to be really practical so keep paint spills, sticky fingers and a general mess in mind. For this reason, I wanted a really durable, but beautiful floor. I used ErthCovering’s Tivoli natural stone plank, which has the texture of wood but the durability and liquid resistance of stone.

Including a sink makes so much sense. We used the Delta Cassidy faucet, with Touch20 technology, which allows you to simply tap anywhere on the faucet when the handle is in the on position. When your hands are covered in glitter glue, and the faucet is as pretty as this, you better believe that Touch20 capability comes in handy. I also love how the pull-down spout is integrated so elegantly in the design, and you can position elements like the spray toggle and handle as per your personal preference. Finally, I love how the Champagne Bronze finish looks with the knobs.

Keep it Cozy

This room is in the basement adjacent to the backyard entrance and is cold and drafty, especially in the winter. To keep it cozy, we put in the Celeste stove by Dimplex. My favourite thing about this electric fireplace is how portable and easy to install it is. It provides instant warmth and a cozy atmosphere to a space, with very little fuss, mess, or expense. The pop of colour in this carpet from HomeSense completes this cozy vignette.

To help with that exterior draft, we replaced the window with an Energy Star-rated, top-quality vinyl window in white by Fieldstone Windows and finished it off with Metrie’s Very Square casing to keep the details contemporary.

Keep it Personal

Again, I feel like a craft room is where you can get really fun and personal. This homeowner loves the outdoors, nature, and essential oils, so I worked with Posterjack to create all of the artwork in the room using personal photos to create unique pieces. With an assortment of styles and sizes to choose from including canvas prints, framed prints and acrylic prints you can really create a customized look featuring your own photos.

Keep it Organized

This is arguably the most important element! Keeping craft supplies organized really is the key to an ultimate craft room. And the best solution to this, hands down, is strategic storage cabinetry. I partnered with Tailored Living on this project, a custom organization company with franchise locations across Canada and the U.S. They provide all the tools to create effective storage solutions that will help you meet your organizational goals. In a craft room, this means a combination of shallow drawers for small items like essential oils and paper, base cabinets for tall bottles and jars, and tall cabinets for rolls of wrapping paper and banners. Colourful baskets from HomeSense keep the interiors neat and tidy.



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Put heart health first for a longer life

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Put heart health first for a longer life

NewsCanada — Everyone should take steps at all life stages to protect against heart attack and stroke. This is especially important for people who have diabetes. In fact, approximately one in two people with Type 2 diabetes die from heart disease, making it the most common cause of death.

People living with diabetes are up to three times more likely to be hospitalized for heart health problems, and may develop heart disease 10 to 15 years earlier than those without the condition.

Award-winning singer and songwriter Jann Arden understands the impact diabetes can have on a loved one.

“My dad had diabetes, and many other health problems, including heart disease. I was surprised to learn the two conditions were so strongly linked. It’s important to know your risk and take action to protect your heart health when you have diabetes.” Symptoms associated with heart problems can be silent. Risk factors — including uncontrolled or high blood pressure, poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking — can put a person at increased risk of developing heart disease.

Fortunately, understanding the connection between diabetes and heart disease can better position you to take preventative steps to help reduce your risk. Listening to your body is important too. For example, signs like leg cramps when walking or chest pain are worth mentioning to your doctor.

Heart disease is a general term for a group of conditions that can affect the structure and functions of the heart and blood vessels. The most common form found among people with diabetes is coronary artery disease, or hardening of the arteries. This happens when fatty deposits block the arteries that supply the heart with blood.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage diabetes that may reduce the risk of death from heart disease. According to Diabetes Canada, you can do this by controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, managing weight, avoiding smoking, and taking medications to protect your heart.

Recently, advances have been made in the treatment of diabetes to specifically reduce the risk of heart disease. To find out more about your risk and ways to manage it, talk to your doctor and check out www.myheartmatters.ca.

Jann Arden

Tips to Reduce your Risk

Diabetes Canada recommends the “ABCDEs” to help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke:

A1C: Control blood glucose levels and keep your A1C around 7 per cent or less. A1C is a blood test that is an index of the average blood glucose level over the last 120 days.

Blood pressure: Keep blood pressure to less than 130/80 mmHg.

Cholesterol: The LDL (bad) cholesterol target is 2.0 mmol/L or less.

Drugs to protect your heart: Speak with your doctor about medication options to help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Exercise: Along with a healthy diet, regular physical activity can help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

Smoking and stress: Avoid smoking and manage stress effectively with, for example, exercise, meditation, yoga or whatever works for you.



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The Lawyer: City of Toronto amalgamates four groups into CreateTO

The Lawyer: City of Toronto amalgamates four groups into CreateTO

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The Lawyer: City of Toronto amalgamates four groups into CreateTO

by Zale Skolnik

Included are Build Toronto, Toronto Port Lands Corporation, Toronto Parking Authority and Toronto City Real Estate.

As a significant and influential landowner in the Toronto real estate landscape, the City of Toronto’s reorganization of the management agencies responsible for the city’s real estate assets is a move that comes with many questions. With an enormous and diverse real estate portfolio, developers are constantly working with the city to purchase, partner with and redevelop surplus lands, generally to create additional much-needed housing in the City of Toronto.

Up until January 1, 2018, most of the city’s portfolio was managed by four distinct groups consisting of: Build Toronto, Toronto Port Lands Corporation, Toronto Parking Authority and Toronto City Real Estate.

After a year-long process, the city has completed the consolidation of its real estate holdings into a centralized entity, which will have effective management and control over all surplus city lands and real estate activities. According to a recent City of Toronto press release, this new entity is called CreateTO and as of January 1, all development deals will be managed through the CreateTO offices.

The aforementioned city groups will gradually merge into/report through CreateTO, and all redevelopment opportunities related to city real estate assets are said to be continuing within the mandate of CreateTO. Exact details on CreateTO’s operations remain to be disclosed.

The intention is for CreateTO to centralize all decision-making on city properties in one organization. It remains to be seen how the consolidation of the city’s assets into one agency, which will now have direct involvement from both bureaucrats and councillors, will allow the City of Toronto to fully and efficiently maximize economic benefit from it surplus lands.

We do look forward to representing our clients in partnership with the city on future development projects and hope that the consolidation results in practical efficiencies and the further development of surplus city assets for the benefit of all involved.

Zale Skolnik is an associate at Robins Appleby Barristers + Solicitors.


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The Accountant: Start your succession plan now

The Accountant: Start your succession plan now

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The Accountant: Start your succession plan now

by Barry Sacks

Establishing a succession plan several years prior to transitioning your company will help you preserve or continue building its value.

As the owner of a development, construction or renovation business, you’ve likely invested years of hard work building a successful enterprise. Now that you’ve built substantial value in your company, have you thought about how to sustain it for the day you decide to sell to a third party, or transition to a family member or employee?

Establishing a succession plan several years prior to transitioning your company will help you preserve or continue building its value and bring you closer to realizing your long-term business and personal financial goals.

According to a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, fewer than half of small- and mid-size business owners have a formal succession plan. Even though many owners are counting on selling their companies to fund their retirement, or intend to pass along the enterprise as an important legacy, the thought of turning over the company to someone else is often a difficult transition for them to face. Others may be reluctant to begin planning because they’re unsure of how to begin or are struggling to identify potential successors.

Yet without an exit plan in place it can be extremely challenging to realize maximum value for your company when you sell it. Selling a business typically requires several years of preparation to achieve optimal results. Transitioning a stable operation to a family member or internal person also requires years of groundwork.

It is therefore important to begin the succession planning process long before you intend to exit. Consider succession planning a key part of the sustainability plan for your business. This can help you develop and manage your enterprise in a way that smoothly facilitates a change in ownership when the time is right. Here are some key components involved in optimizing value for the future:

  • Establish your personal and business objectives; these will form the foundation of your exit strategy.
  • Determine your financial needs in retirement so you can structure a succession plan to generate sufficient retirement income.
  • Engage the right professionals to help you understand the current value of your business as well as the drivers that can increase this value. This will enable you to plan and implement appropriate strategies to maximize the value.
  • Identify tax solutions that will minimize immediate and future tax liabilities for yourself, your business and your potential future successor or buyer.
  • Establish an appropriate governance structure for family, management and ownership. Understand where they intersect, but also how they need to be different. The way your business is managed – including who holds key information and makes critical business decisions – impacts how it operates and the design of your exit strategy.
  • Develop a process to retain or acquire the skills and knowledge needed to successfully operate your business into the future. This requires identifying key positions, documenting the competencies required for these positions, assessing candidates who could potentially advance into these positions and implementing training and knowledge transfer strategies.

You’ve made a lifetime investment in your company. Be sure to protect that investment by planning its future successful transition. By starting a succession plan today you can ensure the sustainability of your business and the fulfillment of your legacy.

Barry Sacks is a partner in MNP’s Markham office.


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The Consultant: Time to get building in Brantford, Kitchener and Collingwood.

The Consultant: Time to get building in Brantford, Kitchener and Collingwood.

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The Consultant: Time to get building in Brantford, Kitchener and Collingwood.

by Ben Myers

The next hot areas

Demand for new housing in the GTA has never been higher. According to Altus Group data, the benchmark price for available new single-family homes was $1,225,774 in December, a 23.2 per cent annual increase. The benchmark price for available new condominium apartments was $716,772 at the end of 2017, 41.3 per cent above the average value from December 2016. And for the second consecutive year, new condo sales set a record high. So the industry must be building more homes than ever, right?

Actually, no. Housing starts in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (TCMA) reached 38,700 in 2017 according to CMHC, only slightly above the 10-year average of 36,800, but down 1 per cent from last year. There is a massive backlog of projects that have experienced strong absorption, but have yet to break ground due to a shortage of construction companies. The average single-detached home took 11 months to complete in 2017, the highest total ever tracked by CMHC, and it took 13.5 months to complete a semi and 14 months to complete a townhouse, both record highs. It took over two and a half years to finish construction on the average apartment (condo and rental) in the Toronto CMA last year, the second highest annual result to date.

Some buyers tired of waiting for new home deliveries are looking outside the region. According to Bullpen’s Residential Real Estate Round Up Report, the most popular destinations in December for prospective new homebuyers outside the GTA were Hamilton and Guelph. New homes are delivered much quicker in both of those markets. In fact, CMHC reports that it took just six months on average to build a single-detached home in Guelph last year. However, the prices are not as inexpensive as they used to be. Our report shows that the average new project in Hamilton has new single-family units starting from about $1,600 a square foot for about $570,000, while Guelph projects have lowrise product starting from $1,700/sf for $625,000.

GTA buyers are taking notice of these more affordable markets. Ryan Waller of Home Group Realty Group in Guelph estimates that a quarter of all resale transactions in Guelph were to GTA buyers based on the fact that 25.5 per cent of buyers were represented by GTA real estate agents in 2017.

With the new mortgage stress test in place, and GTA new home price growth through the roof, the next hot area for new homes will probably be outside the region. Based on our numbers, look for strength in the Brantford, Kitchener and Collingwood new home markets in 2018.

Ben Myers is President of Bullpen Research & Consulting.


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