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OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

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OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

Great Gulf wins prestigious 2018 Ontario Home Builder of the Year Award for the first time.

For the first time in OHBA history, Great Gulf won the prestigious 2018 Ontario Home Builder of the Year award from the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) during its awards gala in Ottawa on September 25, 2018. A finalist in the Builder of the Year category in years past, 2018 was Great Gulf’s year to shine.

An industry leader and innovator in energy efficient, high-quality new homes for more than 40 years, Great Gulf utilizes leading technology in their residential construction, such as the H+ME Technology panelization system and Tucker HiRise, an integrated platform to manage and coordinate the design and construction of buildings.

Great Gulf also has a long-standing tradition of serving the community with partners like The Daily Bread Food Bank and actively participates in fundraising initiatives to assist disenfranchised youth and families.

Great Gulf also supports the industry as a founding member of the Canadian Active House Alliance, volunteers on the BILD Board, as well as the OHBA/EnerQuality Technical Committee and Canada Green Building Council.

The 2018 Ontario Renovator of the Year award was merited by Ottawa-based OakWood. It is renowned for its technology-driven innovation, demonstrated in their partnership with Tesla MPOWER Powerwall for solar roofs, which stores solar energy for later use, thereby reducing reliance on the grid and lowering the electric bill. In addition, OakWood’s High Performance Initiative with Mike Holmes and The Holmes Group leverages additional design-build expertise, allowing OakWood to provide energy-efficient, sustainable services and products.

Fourth-generation and family-run, the company participates in ongoing support for local organizations and charitable causes, including the Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Algonquin College and several local sports teams.

This year there were a record 511 entries submitted to the awards program.


Project of the Year Lowrise: Minto Communities for Glen Agar, Etobicoke (credit to: Montana Steele Advertising, NAK Design Group, RN Design Ltd.) Project of the Year High or Midrise North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto (credit to: kg&a, The Walsh Group/Printserver Inc.)

OHBA People’s Choice Award: Paradise Developments for High Point, Brampton (credit to: Ryan Design International)

Ontario Renovator of the Year: OakWood, Ottawa

Ontario Builder of the Year: Great Gulf, Toronto


Production Built Home (one storey): Silvergate Homes for Amuse by the Lake “The Beechwood,” Fort Erie (credit to: Aristocrat Floors of the World, Artcraft Kitchens)

Production Built Home (two storeys up to 2,500 SF): Marz Homes for South Coast Village “The Beachside,” Crystal Beach

Production Built Home (two to three storeys 2,501 SF and over): Georgian International Build for Braestone Estates “The Thoroughbred,” Oro-Medonte

Attached Multi-Unit Home: Granite Homes Guelph for Gallery Towns “Gallery Corner Model,” Guelph (credit to: AM Roofing Solutions, Ceramic Decor Centre, Sarmazian Brothers Ltd., Space Age Shelving)

Stacked Townhome Unit: Sorbara Group of Companies for The Way “Dreamway ,” Mississauga (credit to: Greybrook Realty Partners, Guthrie Muscovitch Architects, Metropia)

Custom Home (up to 3,000 SF): Art House Developments for Vaughan St, Ottawa

Custom Home (3,001-5,000 SF): Larco for Canal Terrace House, Ottawa (credit to: Christopher Simmonds Architect Inc.)

Custom Home (5,000 – 10,000 SF): Timberline Custom Homes for Stoney Cove Lake House, Stoney Lake

Midrise Building (4 – 10 storeys): Morley Hoppner for Schoolhouse Lofts, Ottawa (credit to: Hobin Architecture)

Highrise Building (11+ storeys): Mizrahi Developments for The One, Toronto High or Midrise Condo Suite (4+ storeys up to 800 SF): CentreCourt Developments and SmartCentres for Transit City, Vaughan (credit to: Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., Figure3)

High or Midrise Condo Suite (4+ storeys 801 SF and over): Tridel for Via Bloor, Toronto (credit to: architects Alliance, The Brand Factory)


Home Renovation (actual retail value up to $250,000): Accubuilt Construction for Maple Sugar Lane Renovation, Thornhill

Home Renovation ($250,001 – $500,000): Oke Woodsmith Building Systems Inc. for Small Cottage Bliss, Goderich

Home Renovation (over $500,001): Homes By Hendriks for The Butterfly Effect, Oakville (credit to: Amber Stairs & Railings Ltd., Aristocrat Floors of the World, Regional Doors & Hardware, Turkstra Lumber Co. Ltd.)

Kitchen Renovation: OakWood for The New Timeless, Ottawa

Bathroom Renovation: Amsted Design- Build for Ensuite Getaway, Ottawa


New Home Kitchen (up to 2,500 SF): Schuit Homes for Residence 7-Novokowsky, Ancaster

New Home Kitchen (2,501 SF and over): FarSight Homes for Sunset Ridge, Uxbridge (credit to: Builder Insight Group Inc., Colours & Concepts Inc.)

High or Midrise Condo Suite Kitchen: Mizrahi Developments for The One, Toronto

New Home Bathroom: Activa Holdings for The Greystone – Riverwood, Kitchener


Low Rise Project Video (1-3 storeys): Starward Homes for Parkview at River Mill, Cambridge

High or Midrise Project Video (4+ storeys): North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto

Social Media Campaign: Empire Communities for Love Design Live, Breslau (credit to: LuxStoryMedia)

Website: North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto (credit to: The Walsh Group/Printserver Inc.)

Lowrise Ad Campaign (1-3 storeys): Empire Communities for Empire Legacy, Thorold (credit to: Pureblink)

High or Midrise Ad Campaign (4+ storeys): North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto (credit to: kg&a, The Walsh Group/Printserver Inc.)

Lowrise Project Logo Branding (1-3 storeys): Great Gulf for Arbor Peaks, Milton (credit to: Community)

High or Midrise Project Logo Branding (4+ storeys): Skale Developments Inc. for 1181, Toronto (credit to: The Brand Factory)


New Home Sales Office (Up to 1,500 SF): Mountainview Homes (Niagara) for Timberwood, Fonthill (credit to: ADhoc Studio, Cambria Canada, PS Mediahouse)

New Home Sales Office (1,501 SF and over): DECO Homes for Richlands, Richmond Hill (credit to: Guidelines Advertising Inc.)

Design/Decor Centre: Sky Homes for Sky Homes Design Studio, Woodbridge (credit to: Cambria, Quality Sterling Group)

Model Home/Suite (up to 2,500 SF): Empire Communities for Empire Riverland 3 “Coastal Chic,” Breslau Model Home/Suite (2,501 SF and over): Reid’s Heritage Homes for Lora Bay Masters, Blue Mountains

Lowrise Project Sales Brochure (1-3 storeys): Marz Homes for Smithville Station, Niagara

High or Midrise Project Sales Brochure (4+ storeys): RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust for Kingly, Toronto (credit to: The Brand Factory)



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Savvy condo purchase begins with the builder

Savvy condo purchase begins with the builder

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Savvy condo purchase begins with the builder

by Scott McLellan

Fall typically brings a flurry of new condo launches and if you’re a buyer contemplating getting into the market, the choices may seem overwhelming.

Let me help simplify the purchase decision process for you: Begin with the builder. The builder is vital to a project’s success. Choose the right one, and you can be reasonably assured that your future home or investment property will meet your expectations.

Seek out a builder who is experienced in condo development and construction. Research the builder’s history. Does the company have a proven track record and have the financial resources needed to fund a project from pre-construction sales through to occupancy? You want to have confidence when you put your deposit down on a condo unit that the building will get finished and you’ll be able to take occupancy a few years in the future – and not to be disappointed to learn down the road that your intended project has been cancelled.

Check out the builder’s sites and prior buildings. Remember the golden rule of real estate – location, location, location. This adage is as relevant today as it ever was with land prices soaring and prime sites hard to come by. The top builders tend to have the best sites in the most desirable neighbourhoods, on transit lines, close to shopping, restaurants and services. Condominiums on or in close proximity to transit, whether you are in downtown Toronto or in suburban locations such as Mississauga or Vaughan, make the best investments. They will have greater price appreciation and market appeal in the future than condo buildings in secondary locations.

See who is on the builder’s team. Does the builder use top architects and designers known for their excellent work? A beautiful building with superb interior design and well-planned suites will have more value, not just as an investment, but as a place you’ll enjoy living in and take pride of ownership in. A well-designed suite can pack a lot of efficiency into a compact space and maximize function. If you’re an investor buyer, you’ll be able to command higher rents and attract quality tenants.

Check out the level of finishes the builder offers as a standard. Everyone appreciates quality appointments such as stone countertops, stainless steel appliances, engineered hardwood floors and porcelain tile, and this add value to a suite. What amenities are offered? Is the builder offering amenities that are relevant to what you need and want? The best builders are on top of the trends, offering facilities such as outdoor landscaped terraces with barbecues and fire pits, lounges, theatre rooms, kitchens and party rooms for socializing with friends, and state-of-the-art fitness rooms. If you plan to raise a family in your condo, you may want a playroom in the building. If you work from home, a co-working space or a room to meet with clients could be on your wish list.

Investigate a builder’s track record. Do they complete their projects on schedule? What is their record with Tarion, the home warranty program? Have they had conciliations or claims against them? Obviously, you’ll want to choose a builder with an untarnished record and a reputation for delivering suites with zero deficiencies, along with excellent customer care.

If you begin your condo search with the builder and keep this advice in mind, odds are that you’ll find a suite you’ll be happy with and one that will provide financial benefits as it appreciates in value.

Scott McLellan is Senior Vice President at Plaza.

Plaza recently earned the Highrise Builder of the Year honour at Tarion’s annual Homeowners’ Choice Awards for excellence in customer service.


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HPG golf tournament helps fight homelessness

HPG golf tournament helps fight homelessness

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HPG golf tournament helps fight homelessness

HOMES Publishing Group’s 15th Annual Invitational Charity Golf Tournament at the Kings Riding Golf Course in King City on September 18 began with a shotgun start and finished with a $18,000 cheque presentation to Raising the Roof, with a 15-year of over $290,000.

The team from HOMES Publishing Group, from left, Josh Rosset, Jessica MacInnis, Frances Mangos, Sonia Presotto, Kim Barton, Michael Rosset, Trish Sutton, Melanie Attridge, Amanda Bell, Fay Splett and Tony Loria.
The team from HOMES Publishing Group, from left, Josh Rosset, Jessica MacInnis, Frances Mangos, Sonia Presotto, Kim Barton, Michael Rosset, Trish Sutton, Melanie Attridge, Amanda Bell, Fay Splett and Tony Loria.

The tournament was originally scheduled for August 21, but huge rain and wind storm forced postponement until September 18, 2018.

On behalf of the participants and tournament sponsor Enbridge, Michael Rosset, founder of HPG and the longest-serving board member of Raising the Roof, made the presentation to Raising the Roof’s CEO Michael Braithwaite, bringing the total raised through the annual event to $290,200. Since 1997, Raising the Roof has raised over $5 million for agencies working to reduce homelessness at the community level.

“We are grateful for the support of so many clients, suppliers and friends over the years, for such a worthy cause as youth homelessness,” Rosset said. “It is vital to find a solution with youth before the challenges become systemic and multi-generational. I also want to thank all our hard-working staff for executing such a fun, well-executed and successful event.”

Some of the tournament highlights include:

Winning Foursome


Closest the Pin

Men: Jonathan Dalima, BILD

Women: Nicole Damianidis, Olympia Steel Buildings

Longest Drive

Men: Julian Scaini, Sun-Brite Drapery

Women: Nicole Damianidis, Olympia Steel Buildings

Closest to the Chair Sponsored by Sensational Signs

Men: Sheila Moffat

Women: Richard Luciani

Raywal Cabinets TV Contest Hole

Svanco Stepic, Ballantry Homes

Bradstone/StoneRox Contest Hole

Brendan Charters, Eurodale

Raising the Roof 50/50 Putting Contest

Raywal Cabinets (total amount raised $1,230 as Raywal Cabinets donated their 50/50 portion back to the charity

Fisher & Paykel Beat the Scott

Men: Matt Andrews, PMA Breathour Realty

Ladies: Shannon Bertuzzi, EnerQuality


Tournament Sponsor


Corporate & Dinner Sponsor

Solisco Printers

Gold Sponsors

Empire Communities

Heathwood Homes

PMA Brethour Realty

Raywal Cabinets

Silver Sponsor

Stateview Homes

Bronze Sponsor

Hanstone Canada

Gold Hole Sponsors

Cassidy & Co, Brampton Brick, Hanstone, Brookfield, In2ition, Ryan Design International, Mark’s Choice, Fieldgate Homes, Rosehaven Homes, Toronto Home Shows, Uniform Custom Countertops, B First, Coughlan Homes, Bradstone/StoneRox, Mattamy Homes, Great Gulf, Reliance Home Comfort, Ballantry Homes, My Design Studio, Geranium Homes, TAG Vodka, Reliance Home Comfort, Raywal Cabinets, Madhouse Advertising Inc., Reno Run, Sensational Signs

Hole Contest Sponsors

Bradstone/Stonerox, Fisher & Paykel, Raywal Cabinets, Sensational Signs and TAG Vodka

Treats Sponsors

B First Realty, Democrat Homes, Hanstone Canada, In2ition, Lindvest, Madhouse Advertising, Reliance Home Comfort, Reno Run, Sun-Brite Drapery, TAG Vodka and Torlys

Cart Donations

Enbridge, EnerWuality, Euroline Appliances, MOEN, Raising the Roof




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A beach of a deal from Warren Buffett

A beach of a deal from Warren Buffett

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A beach of a deal from Warren Buffett

In 1971, Warren Buffett bought a contemporary-style beach home in Laguna Beach for $150,000, long before prices on the Southern California Pacific Coast began to skyrocket. It’s now for sale for $7.9 million.

He has had the six-bedroom home listed for over a year at $11 million (U.S.), but recently cut the price by $3.1 million, now asking $7.9 million.

Known for his Midas touch in choosing investments, Buffett is equally well known for being a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to living like the billionaire he is. Never one to be led by societal advancements, he refrains from using popular technology and has no egotistical need to keep up with the Joneses or prove that his anything is bigger and better than his peers. Of course, with a worth of almost $85 billion, he has few peers. The only visible evidence of his largess is the private jet he purchased in 1989, only because it saved time in getting to his meetings.

One of the most unexpected things one would expect from a billionaire such as Buffett is that he would still be living in an average family home that he purchased in 1958 for $31,500 in Omaha, Nebraska, the city where he was born. That’s not to say that he didn’t make one splurge in personal real estate. While married to his first wife, Susan Thompson, he did buy the beach house where the family of five would vacation and spend holidays. The house, which he purchased for $150,000, overlooks the Pacific and is only a short walk to the sandy beach. Now that it is no longer used, he put it on the market in early 2017 and is now ready to make a deal, reducing the price by $3.1 million.

Today, the house is located in a much more developed community than when he bought in. It is located in a gated community that sports multiple tennis courts, a swimming pool and beach volleyball courts, among other amenities. He and Susan enjoyed entertaining their friends at the house but found that there were so many that he also bought a house next door and built a stairway to connect the two. After Susan died in 2004, Warren rarely used the home and sold the connecting property in 2005. At 3,588 square feet, the Laguna Beach house is much different than Warren’s traditional Omaha home, which is worth about $600,000. His California home is very contemporary with six bedrooms and seven baths, big windows, sculptured ceilings and recessed lighting to spotlight the home’s modern art, a long fireplace and multiple built-ins. Two of the bedrooms have private entrances so guests can come and go without disturbing others. All rooms, including the large family room and decks, have ocean and beach views and the rock cliffs spilling onto the beach of Emerald Bay. Though Buffett will no longer be playing his uke on the deck or bridge with his friends, it is an excellent property for enjoying family and friends with plenty to do on one of California’s most popular beaches.

Newly priced at $7.9 million, the listing agent is Bill Dolby of Villa Real Estate, Emerald Bay, Calif.

Source: toptenrealestatedeals.com


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Working with a dietitian

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Working with a dietitian

(NC) If you have someone in your family who suffers from a nutrition-related condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, you may want to depend on reliable and safe advice from a qualified dietitian.

The College of Dietitians of Ontario regulates these professionals. This means that the college works for the public to ensure that their members are qualified to offer safe services that you can rely on for your family. Below are the benefits of this model:

Accountability: All regulated health professionals are accountable to regulatory health colleges for the quality of care provided to patients. Dietitians, for example, are accountable to the College of Dietitians of Ontario for safe, competent and ethical practice. Each dietitian participates in quality assurance programs. The college monitors dietitians to ensure that they are competent throughout their career. Under certain circumstances, dietitians and employers have an obligation to report anyone to the college who is not practicing ethically, safely or competently.

You can get help: If you have questions or issues with the services you received, you can call the college for help. It has a professional advisory service and has a complaints process in place for anyone who has a concern or a complaint about nutrition services received from a dietitian.

Enforceable professional standards: The college establishes and enforces standards for entry into the dietitian profession and for safe, ethical and professional conduct throughout their career. Dietitians have access to professional advice to make sure they are knowledgeable about the laws and practice standards that apply in their practice.

The dietitian title is restricted: Only members of the College of Dietitians of Ontario are authorized to use the title dietitian in the province. Individuals who are not members of the college cannot use this title. If you find that someone claims to be a dietitian and they are not registered with the college, please contact the college. The public register: Anyone registered to practice as a dietitian in Ontario is listed in the Register of Dietitians. Use it to find if your dietitian is registered to practice, where they work, the languages they speak in their practice and any discipline history.


All healthcare providers in Ontario, including dietitians, are required by law to obtain informed consent from their clients before they can perform any non-emergency treatment. But what is informed consent and why is it important for your healthcare? Informed consent in healthcare means that you have all the information you need before you willingly agree to any health treatment. For example, if you are consulting a dietitian for help with a condition like diabetes or heart disease, you have a right to understand the nutrition treatment proposed before you agree to it.

It is the responsibility of the dietitian to make sure you have all the information you need for an informed consent.

In the consent process, you should be given enough time to ask questions and get the answers you need to understand the treatment. It is your right to know what will be done to you and to understand its risks and the benefits. You should also know whether there are reasonable alternative treatments available.

Giving consent is not about filling out forms and checking boxes. It’s about having an open conversation to get all the information you need. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Why is this treatment being proposed?
  • What exactly is the nature of the treatment or assessment?
  • Who will be following up with me?
  • How will the treatment help me?
  • Are there any risks and side effects I need to consider?
  • Are there any other options? How would they help and what are their risks and side effects?
  • If I decide not to do this, what could happen to me? Are there risks to not having the treatment?

Once you have all the information, you can make an informed decision. You can choose to consent to or to refuse any treatment proposed. You can also change your mind and say no after you have given your consent.


How can you tell when a health professional, like a dietitian, crosses a professional boundary? A boundary crossing happens when personal feelings develop between you and your dietitian that might interfere with the quality of your healthcare. Here are four examples of professional boundary crossings to watch for:

Exchanging gifts: Your dietitian provides you with excellent nutrition care and you want to show your appreciation with a gift. Should the dietitian accept your gift? Accepting gifts can be a slippery slope. While a small token to show gratitude may be fine, the gift could also mean that a personal relationship is developing, like becoming friends or a romance. A gift might even imply that preferential treatment is expected in exchange. Although accepting a gift can sometimes be okay, your dietitian may choose to not accept gifts to avoid misunderstandings.

Relationship advice: During a session with your dietitian, you tell her that you have relationship problems and ask for her advice. Should she give you advice? Dietitians can only provide nutrition advice. The dietitian would be giving you relationship advice that she or he is not qualified to give. Giving that advice would be crossing a professional boundary. For your safety, dietitians should always refer you to a qualified professional if you need help for something not related to nutrition.

Being friends: You are friends with your dietitian: you share on social media, you talk about your personal lives when you meet and you even receive treatment sessions in restaurants and coffee shops. Is the dietitian crossing a professional boundary? Dietitians should be careful about crossing the line into friendship. These activities blur the lines between your professional relationship and friendship. Dietitians need to keep their focus on your nutrition care, so you receive the best possible recommendations. Dating: Dietitians are never allowed to cross this line. Dating or having a romantic or sexual relationship with a client, even when the client consents, is professional misconduct.

Registered dietitians are accountable to the College of Dietitians of Ontario to maintain professional boundaries at all times. Your nutrition care always comes first. Find more information at http://www.collegeofdietitians.org/home.aspx

Source: News Canada http://www.newscanada.com/home


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Homework can be fun

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Homework can be fun

By Lisa Canning

I recently created a gorgeous bedroom space that incorporated a home office. Here are my top tops when creating multi-use spaces.

Start with a Beautiful Bed

All hard-working mamas and papas deserve a beautiful bed. After a hard day of raising kids, working outside and inside the home, moms and dads are tired. So invest in a beautiful bed.

This Wayfar bed does not disappoint; it is soft, plush and elegant. I love the tufted headboard and the drama the wingbacked headboard adds. Plus, this was a great value; I have spent upwards of $4,000 on custom upholstered, storage beds so getting this one for less than $2,000 all in is just fabulous.

A beautiful bed needs a quality mattress. Here we used the award winning Casper Mattress. This mattress offers ZonedSupport, an innovative foam framework that contours specifically to each area of the body for comfort, anatomical support and spinal alignment. I also chose Casper’s sheet and duvet set in a crisp white. A bonus, they deliver right to your door and arrive within days of ordering.

Designate a Spot for the Office

Once your bed is taken care of, designate the area you want to set up your office. I opted for custom millwork to utilize every square inch of storage I could. Going custom allowed us to paint the desk this gorgeous turquoise colour, Benjamin Moore Waterfall 2050-50. Take note of the brass hand-cast cabinet pulls from Toronto entrepreneur Shayne Fox. They’re like jewellery on this desk.

Every desk needs a chair, and this one is a game changer. It literally felt like a hug for my lower back and pelvis. The CoreChair is an ergonomic chair that provides support while introducing movement into your workday, meaning you kind of wiggle when you sit in it, which keeps the muscles active, helping us to avoid lower back pain. This chair needs to be in homes and offices everywhere.

Add Your Personality

This is important, regardless of the kind of space you are creating; it has to reflect you and your unique personality. Here I just had to add elements like the Metrie door painted Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter 2021-40. To ensure this was the focal point, we kept the adjacent Metrie sliding closet doors in white to ensure some balance.

Again, to ensure the space didn’t feel too overwhelming with all the vibrant pops, I wrapped the room in Metrie’s tongue-and-groove paneling and painted it Benjamin Moore Decorator White CC-20. I love interior mouldings; they provide such a beautiful textural element to any space.

Every bedroom needs to feel cozy and comfortable, which is why I added ample blankets and pillows in a variety of textures, all within our colour palette to stay harmonious, and displayed them on the ladder from Bouclair. Lighting also makes a big impact in the room, with a stunning modern chandelier from Bouclair adding an architectural element.

Lastly, the fun accessories. I picked up the tray and yellow pen holder at Bouclair, where it’s easy to come home with a carful of fun, well-priced accessories. I love the painterly element of this tray and on trend rope detail.

Lisa Canning is a busy mother of seven children and the founder of Lisa Canning Interiors. www.lisacanning.ca

Photos by Dann Tardiff


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THE MOVER: What else can we do for you?

THE MOVER: What else can we do for you?

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THE MOVER: What else can we do for you?

by Chuck Resnick
Two Men and a Truck

A reliable professional mover will welcome your questions and help you figure out your best plan of action.

There are many benefits to hiring a professional mover, including having your possessions handled with care and safety.

A professional moving company can make your relocation less stressful and ensure it’s handled with care. People naturally think of a mover for the transportation of their items from one home, apartment, condo or business to another, in the same town, city or province. But many professional moving companies offer different services.

For example, Two Men and a Truck Canada provides internal moving services.

Let’s say you’re working on office improvements like laying new flooring or full-room renovations. We have trained staff who can come and assist you in relocating your large furnishings to other areas within your office while the work is going on, and then move everything back when the renovation is complete.

Filing cabinets, desks and credenzas can be a headache but moving professionals can take the heavy lifting off your shoulders. Leave it to those who do moving for a living to achieve a smooth transition.

Some of our franchises also offer onsite storage for your furnishings. It’s best to ask what services are available. Think of it as a menu of choice; you can pick and choose from the buffet table of services and items available to you for your move. Do some research and ask questions about what might serve your individual needs. From a variety of boxes that are sturdy and stack well, to packing supplies such as tape, paper, markers, bubble wrap and the like, obtaining them from a professional mover ensures you are securing your possessions with quality.

We even have special boxes designed specifically to protect pictures and mirrors and flat-panel televisions. At Two Men and a Truck, we also rent varying sizes of reusable plastic totes that nest for stackable convenience and leave less of an environmental footprint than cardboard.

If you are planning to move your home or business, or simply need to move heavy, cumbersome items around your home, keep in mind that professional help is out there. It’s up to you to do your homework and determine what you need and what is available. When in doubt, ask. A reliable professional mover will welcome your questions and help you figure out your best plan of action.

It’s all about good, thoughtful service, from the smallest packing item to major moves.

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


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THE MARKETER: Mixed-use communities are looking up

THE MARKETER: Mixed-use communities are looking up

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THE MARKETER: Mixed-use communities are looking up

by Derek Nzeribe
Milborne Group

Ottawa is following in the footsteps of other large urban centres such as Toronto, where these neighbourhoods are proving tremendously successful.

Master-planned, mixed-use communities are looking up in Ottawa. The city is following in the footsteps of other large urban centres such as Toronto and New York, where these neighbourhoods are proving tremendously successful. Building “up” rather than “out” is making great use of precious land in Ontario, especially in major urban areas.

The continued demand for highrise condominiums is testament to the need for more, and combining the mixed-use aspect takes convenient living to the next level. In essence, these towers create vertical cities within cities. Most everything people may want are just steps away, eliminating much of the need for gas-powered vehicles. Easy access to amenities also frees up precious time that would typically be used for running errands and chauffeuring family members back and forth to shopping, appointments and other commitments.

Of course, municipal zoning is a big consideration, and developers have to accommodate this in their master plan. The goal is to balance private residential needs with the requirements of commercial/retail facilities.

For instance, what a retailer might want in the way of street signage may interfere with the residence’s eyes-on-the-street lobby. There are several parameters to figure out and have approved. Smart developers know that engaging a specific commercial or retail organization for a space in the mixed-use community can help with market appeal.

In Ottawa, I see the need for more multi-use condominium communities including everything from market housing to seniors housing, commercial and retail venues and even office space. Up to now, Ottawa’s residential condos may include some retail at the base, but are far from truly mixed-use buildings. Here, mixed-use towers and communities might encompass seniors residences or affordable housing, all under one roof. The convenience is obvious, as people need shops and services. Why not right in their building?

If you accept this principle, it opens the door to more creative thinking about how real estate is created, including collaboration between the private and public sectors. One example of the success of this concept is Arthaus, Montreal-based DevMcGill’s joint venture with the City of Ottawa, The Ottawa Art Gallery, Group Germain and the University of Ottawa. The first Le Germain Hotel in Ottawa forms the base for the residential condominium, which is adjacent to the expanded art gallery and a new theatre being programmed by the university. There is also a restaurant that is now open.

“This is the first time in Canada to combine an art gallery and a hotel with residences above it,” according to Stéphane Côté, president of DevMcGill. “We can see there is a bit of a change in the neighbourhood already. This project will be a big engine for continued growth.”

Part of the master planning for mixed-use urban communities is locating them close to transportation and local amenities. Arthaus is so close to shopping and services that most errands can be done on foot. The nearby Rideau Centre is expanding, and the new LRT station is next to it. Plus, highway access is minutes away. Sales have been outstanding. Residents are moving into the finished building and only a few suites remain.

It is refreshing that Arthaus has been received so eagerly by the public, as its cutting-edge minimalist architecture is also something new to Ottawa. Again, this is just one example of how the “vertical city” is catching on here.

With life getting more hectic all the time, the demand is rising for neighbourhoods where people can live, work, shop and play without travelling distances. I see more of these developments in Ottawa in the future to satisfy an unfulfilled market segment.

Derek Nzeribe is regional director, marketing and business development at Milborne Group in Ottawa.


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THE ARCHITECT: Design should pay tribute to location

THE ARCHITECT: Design should pay tribute to location

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THE ARCHITECT: Design should pay tribute to location

by Adrian Mauro
Chamberlain Architect Services

When it comes to designing buildings, architects need to balance numerous considerations, as well as the client’s vision and budget.

When it comes to designing buildings, architects need to balance numerous considerations such as form, function, aesthetics, site conditions and government requirements, as well as the client’s vision and budget.

When residences are built on the Ontario waterfront, conservation and environmental authorities take on enhanced roles in controlling the design and site works of the project. An example is Stone & South on the River in Gananoque, CaraCo Development’s community of residences on the St. Lawrence River.

These lovely homes are ideal for water lovers, so maximizing views of and access to the river were of paramount importance to the design.

As for aesthetics, CaraCo wanted to pay tribute to the area’s historical context, which includes the Thousand Islands Playhouse next door to the site. For this condominium to fit in seamlessly with its surroundings, we used brick and stone in complimentary colours such as terra cotta, taupe, brown and other earth tones. We call it quasi-transitional, with large windows, some with arched tops, numerous mullion treatments and a sloped roof. The look is more classic than contemporary, which speaks to the area’s existing architectural style.

An attractive component of this development is that the setback from the water opens up an extensive outdoor space where residents can walk their dogs, enjoy the views, or stroll to the marina. There is a public waterfront walkway that connects to the Town of Gananoque’s walking trails as well. Other features of the Stone & South include a grand lobby, an inviting social room with a kitchen, a fitness centre and ample parking.

Having obtained this unique waterfront locale, it all began with CaraCo’s vision of the kind of residences they want to provide for their clients. Our job as their architect was to translate that vision into a beautiful reality.

Adrian Mauro is president of Chamberlain Architect Services.


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THE RESEARCHER: Are developers properly managing risk?

THE RESEARCHER: Are developers properly managing risk?

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THE RESEARCHER: Are developers properly managing risk?

by Ben Myers
Bullpen Research & Consulting

With land prices skyrocketing across the GTA and zoning approval timelines growing, the upfront financial investment required by developers has increased substantially in recent years.

Many builders and developers are now taking on equity partners to reduce their exposure to any one project, share their entitlement, development and execution risk, while allowing them to free up the capital to pursue other opportunities. The institutionalization of residential real estate is growing rapidly, and even the typically old-school self-funded family homebuilders are considering alternative financing options. It would not be a surprise to see a couple of GTA developers go public in the next decade, as a way to access public funding for their massive new projects. Another way developers are managing risk is understanding the marketplace. After 15 years of advising developers and landowners about freehold and condominium market conditions in Ontario, I launched my own firm, Bullpen Research & Consulting, in January of this year to help my clients figure out those risks.

Buyer and investor sentiment shifts quickly with each successive federal, municipal or geopolitical change, and smart developers realize they need someone in their corner that’s staying up on the impacts of the latest mortgage rule changes, the reactions to increased rent control legislation, attitudes regarding rising interest rates and other industry participants’ opinions on changes to the OMB, land prices, midrise development and sales strategy.

How does a developer maximize revenues while reducing market risk in the condominium apartment market? Some developers prefer to sell all of their units in a building during the first six months, reducing future absorption risk. Others prefer to sell 60 to 70 per cent of their suites upfront and slowly release the remainder of the unsold inventory during the pre-sale and under-construction period. This second strategy is deployed to ensure they can take advantage of future price inflation and have a revenue source to cover potential cost overruns.

Five years ago, developers in Ottawa got burned by holding back inventory as the market tanked and values corrected. In Toronto, the opposite occurred; developers that sold out didn’t reap the benefits of the sharp increase in values and were ultimately hurt by the 10 to 15 per cent increase in construction costs in early 2018. The phrase “you have to sell and build in the same period” has been uttered quite frequently lately.

The market for singles, semis and row homes had experienced steady price growth for 20 years in the GTA. In 2017, average asking prices soared by 45 per cent annually, with buyers camping out in advance of new releases, and 300-unit new subdivisions selling out as quickly as the brokers could sign the deals. However, after the Fair Housing Plan announcement, sales have plummeted, values have dropped nearly 15 per cent and developers are facing never-before encountered issues. Should they lower prices and face blowback from existing purchasers? Do they offer smaller homes with a lower quality interior finish, or do they shut their sales offices and try again next year? Developers that spend years, and in some instances decades, waiting for approval to sell their homes, don’t want to give them away in what might be a temporary slowdown. There were a few highrise developers that regretted slashing prices in early 2009 during the global economic slowdown, only to see the market come flooding back in the second half of that year.

Low-density land transactions in the first seven months of 2018 were half of what they were during the same period in 2017, and developers are struggling with valuations, given they’ve always built in future end-unit price growth. Most small builders don’t have the in-house expertise to truly evaluate current values and understand future growth potential in such an uncertain market. Without that knowledge, they’re choosing not to buy. Perhaps if developers could acquire better knowledge of the market, had a third-party opinion on market valuations, and could provide those figures to the land vendor, they’d be able to take advantage of land buying opportunities.

In my own practice, I’ve done a number of studies because developers want to know how to program the suite mix and unit sizes in their building and get a sense of values for their project, with condominium and rental tenure. They’re looking to reduce their risk by having a well-researched back-up plan. Is your development firm doing enough to mitigate risk? Are you having these conversations with your senior staff and sales and marketing team?

Buyer sentiment, government intervention and rapid changes in revenue and costs assumption are all contributing to volatility in prices and profit. Volatility equals risk, so make sure you’ve done your research to manage that risk.

Ben Myers is President of Bullpen Research & Consulting.


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