All posts by Dave Gray


20/Twenty Townhomes in South Mississauga!

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20/Twenty Townhomes in South Mississauga!

Your first home could be your dream home… And why shouldn’t it be? Nestled between the lake and uptown Mississauga, 20/Twenty Townhomes is a collection of contemporary urban townhomes offering inspired living at an affordable price. Ideal for couples, young families, busy professionals or empty nesters, this spectacular development features spacious open concept interiors, private outdoor patios or rooftop terraces, contemporary exteriors and attractive greenspaces where neighbours can relax in comfort and style. Take your kids to the parkette after dinner or walk your dog through well-maintained community spaces. 20/Twenty offers two-bedrooms, two-bedroom plus den and three-bedroom designs starting from just $599,000.


This exclusive development is situated in the prestigious Camilla Park neighbourhood of South Mississauga, just minutes from beautiful Port Credit. Convenience is everywhere you look, from inside your home to the lifestyle this desirable area provides. Walk to shops and restaurants or take a short drive to Square One, the largest shopping centre in Ontario, with more than 360 stores and services. Close to excellent schools, two nearby GO Train stations and the Mississauga Hospital, 20/Twenty offers easy access to all major highways and is just a 15-minute drive from Pearson International Airport. The planned Hurontario LRT system will be just steps from your door, allowing residents to seamlessly connect with downtown Toronto.


You can take a walk to the waterfront with ease or explore one of the many nature trails nearby. Cooksville Park, Camilla Park and Hancock Woodlands Park are all within walking distance while Erindale Park and the expansive David Culham Trail are just a short drive away. The charming village of Port Credit offers additional lakeside trails, scenic parks and restaurants, great shopping and endless entertainment options – all just five minutes from home.


Enjoy the benefits of a vibrant city lifestyle in a quiet, modern community by the lake. It’s the perfect place to grow your family or retire in style – a great investment in your future.

20/Twenty has it all. The team at Consulate Development Group, one of the most trusted names in Mississauga, is proud to present this incredible real estate opportunity to discerning buyers.

Live your best life, no matter what chapter you’re in. Register now for your advanced preview at


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Peak performance – Traditional storage space makes room for a stunning master suite

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Peak performance – Traditional storage space makes room for a stunning master suite

Can you really afford to waste space with these housing prices? Like most working people, I’m guessing the answer is NO! It used to be that the attic, or that space above the eaves, was reserved as a storage space for seasonal decorations, discarded art, and old furniture. Now, attics are being renovated for master suites and the results can be exceptional.

All The Right Angles

The highest spot in the house gives you a vantage point of the street and places you up above the ruckus where you can retreat, relax and feel like you’ve escaped the city. The downside, if you don’t know how to use the challenges to your advantage, is dealing with the wall angles and pitch of the ceiling as most products are designed for straight walls and flat ceilings. All of these angles can present a design challenge. There is no question that you are going to have to customize some elements of the room, but many things will still work with a little ingenuity. For example, a vanity and shower may present a challenge because short walls and sloped ceilings make it hard to install fixtures that stand up straight. Place things like the vanity and towel storage, and even built-in dressers, along the walls. You get function on the short walls and that storage moves people a few feet into the middle of the room, where it’s most comfortable to stand.

Showstopper Features

What do you do with those tight little peaks right at the front of the house? You use them as a frame. Whatever you put there will be the focal point of the room. In the space shown above, we used the eaves to frame the tub and give it a place of honour. We even tiled the floor in a marble mosaic to further elevate the tub to a ‘functional artistic sculpture.’ Realistically, the tub is rarely used in most urban homes, so it is the sculptural piece of the master bath. The crystals hanging above the tub make it an inviting space to escape for a while as you soak your body and calm your mind. The peak makes the space feel just a little mythical.

Closet Cover-Up

While there can be many angles, corners, bulkheads and wall jogs in these spaces that can be irritating to work around, understand that most of the mechanical elements of a house run through this space. If you leave them exposed, they look awkward and industrial, but adding floor-to-ceiling closets conceals the mechanics and creates a room that looks graceful and elegant. The closets simply get built around these elements. You will just want to carefully plan the closet’s interior to maximize storage.

With the right kind of planning and the help of a good design team, you can transform that space above the eaves from storage to stunning! The structural requirements up there can be complex, so I don’t recommend this as a DIY project, but when planned well and properly executed, it will become a personal retreat designed for rest and relaxation.

Extensive experience in residential, commercial and hospitality design. Principal of design firm Grafus Design Build, Glen Peloso is frequently in the media as design expert on the Marilyn Denis Show, and CHCH Morning Live, a contributor to Global Morning News, Breakfast Television Toronto, past series with HGTV and the Food Network. Twitter: glenpeloso Instagram: glenpelosodesigner


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It’s Show Time! Follow our home show survival guide to get through the season

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It’s Show Time! Follow our home show survival guide to get through the season

With the sun setting earlier and the temperatures starting to drop, it can only mean one thing: Fall Home Show season is upon us. Setting up a booth at a consumer show can be a great way to generate business. It can also be an expensive, exhausting way to waste a weekend if you don’t prepare for it properly. Here are some tips to make your next show a success.

  • You’ll obviously deduct the cost of renting the booth space and any staff time or materials used to set up it, but remember to get receipts for parking, meals, and any other expenses incurred onsite.
  • Wear comfortable shoes – leave the sky high heels at home ladies – and change your shoes and socks at least a couple of times a day.
  • Drink lots of water, and use lip balm liberally.
  • Eat healthy foods. If you start your morning loading up on bacon from the breakfast buffet then spend the day topping up with chips and junk food you’ll feel lethargic by mid-afternoon. Snack on a piece of fruit or some nuts to tide you over, and drink more water.
  • Bring a “survival” kit to the show with you: along with the aforementioned change of footwear and healthy snacks, also pack some Advil or Tylenol, hand sanitizer, gum, eye drops or contact solution, and chargers for your phone and laptop.
  • Set some targets. If you go into a show without a plan there’s no way to know at the end of it was a success or not. Set hourly goals for how many people you’ll speak with and a target for how many solid leads you’ll walk away with.
  • Get people’s attention. If you’re not a natural showman you’ll need some way to stand out from the crowd. Contests, giveaways, videos showcasing your best work, or a standout display stand help prevent eyeballs glazing over as they pass your booth.
  • Go easy on the booze, particularly if there’s a hospitality bar at night. You’ve spent a lot of time and money to be at the show. You’re not going to find new clients if you’re sleeping off a hangover in your hotel room.
  • Sleep well. That starts with leaving the party early. But conference centre hotels can draw boisterous crowds. Pack a sleep mask and ear plugs to help block out the party scene.


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Practical tips for remodelling your home and garden

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Practical tips for remodelling your home and garden

Remodeling your property allows you to gain greater equity and resale value. It’s also a good way to enjoy the comforts and pleasures of your home and garden even more.

Here are some ideas on how to improve your home and garden.

Start with the garden

Before you start the heavy work of remodeling your home, see if your garden has any issues that you should take care of sooner rather than later. If you don’t start with the garden, you’re likely to be too exhausted after the construction work in your home to consider working on the garden at all.

One common problem many homeowners with large gardens overlook is soil erosion. Mulch and blankets are effective ways to prevent this issue from getting out of control and you can find out more about them on this erosion control website:

5 tips for remodelling your home

Your remodeling project will go smoothly if you plan a realistic budget, find a reputable general contractor, get all necessary building permits, and find a good home insurance policy. It’s also important to address any problems with your garden. Soil erosion, for example, is a common problem.

Tip #1: Create a detailed plan

It may surprise you how many new ideas you’ll come up with on how to improve your home when you brainstorm. Your plan should include the prep work that you will need to do before starting your remodeling project, a schedule on what areas to gut or deconstruct, and a long list of remodeling steps to take, such as rebuilding, painting, and deep cleaning. The more meticulous your planning, the happier you will be with the new look and feel of your home after the dust has settled.

Tip #2: Design a realistic budget

If you’re not shopping with a clear budget in mind, you’ll be tempted to spend much more than you planned because when you shop for equipment, tools, and building materials, you’ll be thrilled by the number of innovative products and attractive designs available in stores.

Incidentally, your budget should also include a financial cushion to pay for anything that goes wrong during the remodeling. For instance, if someone drops drywall panels while on a ladder, this loss of material will be an unexpected cost.

Tip #3: Hire a reputable general contractor

The plethora of information available on how to start your own do-it-yourself (DIY) remodeling projects may tempt you to do all the work on your own.

However, unless you’re working on a small project like tiling the bathrooms, you probably won’t save as much as you imagine. You are more likely to waste money on buying the wrong tools or materials or making expensive construction mistakes.

It’s always better to hire a general contractor for big projects, like breaking down or building a wall. Ask people you know who have remodeled their homes for referrals on whom you should hire.

Tip #4: Find the best home insurance

Homeowner’s insurance will protect your home during renovations. Many unexpected things could occur, such as spills, tears, breaks, or material thefts. Take the time to shop for the best policy for your needs.

Tip #5: Get all the necessary building permits

Find out about all the necessary building permits that you need. They’re issued to ensure safety during construction work because renovating a home can be hazardous to both you and your neighbors.

In conclusion, although you may have a clear idea about exactly what you need to do because you’ve been thinking about renovations for a long time, following these six remodeling tips will increase your chances of getting your home just the way you want it.


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Exterior home improvement tips for the fall

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Exterior home improvement tips for the fall

When you think of home improvement projects, it’s easy to get caught up in the interior ideas. Renovating your kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms make home life more comfortable and give the house an aesthetic appeal. Yet, to overlook the exterior of the property would be a mistake.

The exterior of the home is one of the first things people see when visiting your property. It helps to provide a first impression and, therefore, should be invested in on occasion. The exterior is also what provides you shelter from various elements of weather. If you don’t take care of it, your home loses its efficiency and causes expensive problems.

Fall is the perfect time to get started on home improvement projects. The weather is perfect and it’s just before winter when an ill-prepared home can become pretty unsafe. If you’re looking for great ideas to make your home more efficient and aesthetically appealing this fall, consider these exterior home improvement tips below:

Maintain the roofing system

The roof is one of the most essential parts of the home’s structure yet homeowners commonly forget to keep it maintained. Missing or damaged shingles on the roof, however, can cause significant structural damage. Not to mention, clogged gutters can cause flooding, pests, and other issues for the home. Though some people feel safe using a ladder and working on the roof, it is often best to leave this to the pros so no one gets hurt. Have a roofer inspect the roof make any necessary repairs, and clean the gutters so you’re ready for the winter.

Check for pests

Insects and pests are looking for a warm place to stay as the weather gets colder. Since they make their way into your home from the outside, it is a good idea to inspect the perimeter of your home to see if there are any ants, spiders, or other insects. You should also check parts of the property made from wood to see if there are any termites present. If you find signs of pests around your home, contact pest control services like Moxie Pest Control to come treat your lawn and home’s exterior so you’re safe.

Power wash siding and pavement

You may not see the dirt that has accumulated in your house and walkways, but it’s there. You’d be surprised at how much is exposed when you use a power washer. These powerful cleaning devices can wash away dirt and give your home a clean appearance.

Paint windows and doors

Another way to improve the exterior of your home for the fall is to update your windows and doors. If they are old and inefficient, you should invest in more secure ones. However, if they’re just a bit worn down or you’re just looking to change the appearance of your home, you can always apply paint. Use a complementary color to make the rest of the house. For example, if you have a blue house, a red door would really make it stand out. A gray house would look very modern with white windows and trim. If you have a garage door, painting them the same color as your windows and doors is also recommended.

Spruce up the yard

You can’t improve the curb appeal of your property without taking some time to care for your lawn. Start with basic chores like cutting the grass, pulling weeds, and trimming trees and shrubs. You can do this yourself or hire a landscaper and an arborist to assist you. Then, work on improving the look of your front yard. You can put down pavers, install landscape lighting, plant some seasonal flowers, and add some planters.

Porch decor

Fall is one of the best times of year to add some decor to your porch. There are so many decorative pieces you can add to the porch to make it look more appealing. You can invest in outdoor furniture such as a few chairs and a table. You can make jack-o-lanterns with your family, a scarecrow, or add some decorative pieces like a festive wreath, wind chimes, and window decals.

Making improvements to your home’s interior is essential, but don’t overlook the importance of keeping up with the exterior. It’s the first impression people get of your home and also the most exposed part of your property. To improve curb appeal and to keep you safe, it is important to complete home improvement projects such as those listed above.


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Everything’s coming up Goldcon

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Everything’s coming up Goldcon

North Vancouver’s Goldcon Construction is on a winning streak.

While winning industry awards certainly isn’t the be all and end all of homebuilding, when one your projects takes home no less than six different trophies, it’s a safe bet that you’re doing something right. Such is the case for brothers Karim and Kaveh Goldan, co-founders of Goldcon Construction in North Vancouver, B.C.

That particular project, which they dubbed “Endlessly Elegant,” involved gutting a 30-year-old home – purchased new by their client’s parents – and adding an addition.

“We converted the entire basement into a man cave,” says Karim. “There are three TVs, there’s a pool table, storage for more than 500 bottles of wine…”

Asked if the client was single, Kaveh quickly answers, “No, it’s a husband and wife. Her project was the other two floors. The kitchen, the bathrooms… It worked out nicely for them.”

It also worked out very nicely for Goldcon, winning the brothers the 2019 CHBA National Awards For Excellence award in the Best Kitchen Renovation Over $100,000 category, a finalist in the CHBA’s Whole House Renovation between $501,000 and $1-million, a 2019 Ovation Award for Best Renovated Room for that basement man cave, and three other titles.

Another recent project of theirs, a 4,700-sq.ft. spec build, was so eye-catching when it went on the market that home décor retailer Urban Barn used the home as the location to shoot their fall 2019 catalogue. They even had an enquiry from a Netflix series, but the home was sold by the time that proposal came in.

Impressive considering that the brothers Kaveh, 30, and Karim, 35, only officially launched the company in 2013. But Goldcon’s pedigree goes a bit deeper than that. Their father, Amir Goldan, worked as a carpenter when he immigrated to Canada from Iran, and later became a licensed electrician. “He has always been a handy guy and is quick to learn new trades,” says Kaveh. Both the younger Goldans learned to work with tools at a young age under their father and, today, he works part time on some of their jobs, and is a co-investor in the company’s spec build projects.

While all the publicity has been great, they still invest in modern marketing. Early on, Karim would film, edit, and post short marketing videos onto various social media platforms. One before-and-after video clip of a bathroom reno that they posted in 2014 has more than 145,000 views. They now outsource their photography and video work, including drone footage of their projects – and when you’ve got lush mountains as a backdrop, why wouldn’t you?

They have a couple full-time employees, and rely on a regular group of subcontractors. They typically have three or four larger projects on the go – a mix of custom and spec home builds – along with a few smaller renovations.

They do some cost-plus jobs but about three-quarters of their projects are fixed price. “People are a bit more comfortable knowing the final cost,” says Karim

One interesting and potentially lucrative new avenue for the company is building coach houses.

The City of North Vancouver allows coach houses on lots that are at least 32-feet wide, provided the new building doesn’t exceed 15 percent of the total lot area.

They’ve built two so far, the most recent a 1,000-sq. ft. unit that their clients built for their daughter and granddaughter to live in.

There are a number of other restrictions, including that the owner has to reside in one of the buildings, and the coach house can’t be severed from the deed, but with a dire shortage of housing throughout the lower mainland, many municipalities are looking at in-fill projects to help meet local demand. “It’s starting to get a lot more traction,” says Kaveh.

Knowing how delicate family dynamics can be whenever money’s involved, one has to ask how co-owning a company with your only sibling is.

“That’s a tricky question,” says Kaveh before Karim replies, “It’s good. We drive each other to be better.”

With that drive and already recognized talent the Goldan brothers’ next project should likely be a mantel to store their next batch of awards on.



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Perennial Tough Guys

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Perennial Tough Guys

The never-say-die plants that your garden needs right now

Got a slope in the sun? Plant sedums or sempervivums.

Got a hot spot where nothing seems to grow? Plant sedums or sempervivums.

Looking for the ultimate low-maintenance plant in a sunny spot so you can enjoy lengthy times away each summer? Plant sedums or sempervivums.

Do you have plant-and-forget insect and disease problems? You’ve got it – plant sedums or sempervivums.

If there is a difficult job to do in the sunny garden, you can count on one family of plants to pull through. Do you remember the ‘hens and chicks’ that your grandmother had in her rock garden? Those were sempervivums (closely related to sedum) and chances are, if the garden still exists, so do the hens and chicks.

The secret to their long-term survival rate is their ability to store water in their leaves for long periods of time. They are the camels and dromedaries of the plant world and they make fabulous garden plants.

The meaning of ‘sempervivum’ is ‘always living’ but unlike many other plants that you can say this about, such as common mint for example, these plants seldom make a nuisance of themselves by spreading where they are not wanted. And if they do, it does not take much effort with a sharp hoe to flip them out of the soil and into the compost.

The same shallow roots that make them easy to move around the yard also make them easy to propagate and adaptable to poor (gravelly or sandy) soil conditions. That is why they have been popular for use in rock gardens for generations. For that matter, few plants do as well in the shallow recesses of rockery stone as these succulents.

For Slopes

The most aggressive sedums are the ‘spurium’ types, such as Dragon’s Blood and TriColor. They spread quickly once established and flower beautifully early to mid-summer. Dragon’s Blood produces a stunning red carpet of flowers that turns heads, while TriColor is best known for the three colours of its leaves. Spurium sedums only grow to 10 cm high at maturity, so they lend themselves well to a steep slope where erosion control is desired.

For a fast groundcover, space each plant about 20 to 25 cm apart, depending on the size of the plants that you are starting with. They spread horizontally quickly, knitting into a consistent carpet after one or two seasons.

For Perennial Gardens

The standard ‘Stonecrop’ that most of us think of is actually ‘spectabile.’ It grows about 45 to 60 cm tall and even if you ignore it for a whole summer, it will reward you with flowers in September through October in the red/pink/rose end of the spectrum. Butterflies and honeybees frequent sedum spectabile.

Leave large flowering sedum standing over the winter to allow songbirds to feed on the seeds of the finished flowers.

Dig And Divide

This is the perfect time of year to dig and divide established sedums and the smaller, lower growing sempervivums. Use a sharp spade or shovel to gently remove the mother plant from the soil and then cut it into halves and quarters using the same spade, shovel or a kitchen knife. Replant these smaller divisions around your yard or give them to your neighbours if you run out of room.

Green Roofs

If you have a hard time finding a broad selection of sedums and sempervivums at your local garden retailer, perhaps one of the reasons is that they have become the number one choice for people wanting to plant up a green roof. They require little attention once established, and that is reason enough to seek out a variety of colourful, winter-hardy succulents to plant on the roof of your house, your doghouse or your tool shed. We think it’s a great idea for esthetic appeal and for environmental reasons. You will cool your home (or the dog’s house), slow storm water run-off, filter rainwater and produce oxygen rather than a heat sink, as we do when we use asphalt shingles on a sloped roof or tar and gravel on a flat roof.

The Enemy: Too Much Water

If there are a couple things that hardy succulents do not like (besides shade), it is too much water and heavy, clay soil. After planting, you will have to water them, but as time passes, you will learn to ignore your sedums and sempervivums. Remind yourself why you planted them in the first place: to reduce the maintenance around your garden. If your soil is heavy with clay, deposit generous quantities of sharp sand to open it up and allow for good drainage.

There are lots of benefits to growing the humble sedum and sempervivums. If you are blessed with some sunny, hot spots in your garden, you won’t go wrong by planting a few.

Mark Cullen is a Member of the Order of Canada. He reaches over 2 million Canadians with his gardening/environment messages every week. Receive his free monthly newsletter at Ben Cullen is a professional gardener with a keen interest in food gardening and the environment. You can follow both Mark and Ben on Twitter (@MarkCullen4), Facebook ( and Instagram (


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Winter-ready maintenance tips

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Winter-ready maintenance tips

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association that represents power equipment, small engine, utility vehicle, golf cart and personal transport vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. OPEI offers maintenance tips for preparing for upcoming seasonal changes.

“Doing good maintenance in the fall means that your lawn mower will be in ready when spring arrives and you are eager to tackle landscaping projects,” said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “As you get ready for winter, now is also the time to do snow thrower and generator maintenance. You should also review safe handling procedures, so you know how to use your equipment and are ready when snow falls.”

  1. Re-familiarize yourself with how to handle your equipment safely, along with any maintenance needs. If you lost your manual, you can usually find it online. Save a copy so that you can consult it when needed.
  2. Before storing equipment that you won’t need during the winter months, clean and service it yourself or take it to a small engine repair shop. Drain and change engine oil, then safely dispose of old oil. Service the air filter, and do other maintenance activities as directed by your service manual. Check all winter equipment to see what maintenance and repairs are required.
  3. Handle fuel properly. Unused gas that’s left in gas tanks over the winter can go stale. It can even damage your equipment. Before you store your equipment, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, and then run the equipment to distribute it. Turn the engine off, allow the machine to cool, then restart and run until the gas tank is empty. For winter equipment, be sure that you use the fuel that your manufacturer recommends. Most outdoor power equipment is designed, built and warranted to run on 10 per cent, or less, ethanol fuel.
  4. If your equipment has a battery, remove and fully charge it before storing. It’s important that batteries are not stored on metal shelves or touching metal objects. Store the battery on a plastic, or wood, shelf in a climate-controlled structure.
  5. Store your spring and summer equipment in a clean and dry place, such as a garage, barn or shed. Winter equipment should be kept away from the elements, but be easily accessible for use when needed. Always keep your outdoor power equipment out of the reach of children and pets.
  6. Clear the paths the are regularly used in your yard, especially during the winter months, and put away warm weather items. Clear space in your garage and basement (before the weather changes), so that you have room to store larger yard items, like patio furniture, umbrellas and summer toys.
  7. Familiarize yourself with your winter equipment and make sure that you know how to turn the machine on and off the machine, along with safe handling procedures.
  8. Buy the type of fuel that is recommended by the manufacturer no more than 30 days before required. You should use fuel with no more than 10 per cent ethanol in outdoor power equipment. Also, fuel goes stale and will need to be replaced if you have not used it within a month. Use a fuel stabilizer, if recommended by your manufacturer.
  9. Keep heavy duty, weatherproof extension cords on hand for your generator.



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Recall roundup, Under pressure, plus things are heating up

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Recall roundup, Under pressure, plus things are heating up

Randomly Radiant

Whirlpool, KitchenAid, and JennAir Electric Radiant Heat Cooktops
Models affected: Various models of 24″, 30″, and 36″ units. Visit for a complete list.
Potential problem: In the recall notice’s verbiage, “The electric radiant heat cooktops may become energized without consumer interaction.” In other words, they can start on their own. There have been several incidents reported of damage to cabinets and other nearby objects.
Sold: Nearly 3,000 of the affected units were sold in Canada between March 2017 and August 2019.
Contact: Whirlpool, 888-900-7897;

Amateur Hour

Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops
Model affected: Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops with 2.2-2.5 GHz processors, 256 GB-1 TB solid state storage, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, two USB 3 ports, and one HDMI port. If you have a model like this, check the serial number online at com/15-inch-macbook-pro-batteryrecall to verify if it’s affected.
Potential problem: The batteries in the recalled laptops can overheat. There have been five reports of minor burns, and one of smoke inhalation.
Sold: Approximately 26,000 affected laptops were sold in Canada from September 2015 to February 2017.
Contact: Apple Canada Inc., 800-275-2273;

Spring Loaded

Sunsetter Motorized Awnings
Models affected: All soft vinyl awning covers used with SunSetter Motorized, Motorized XL, and Oasis Freestanding Motorized Retractable Awnings supplied with bungee tie-downs.
Potential problem: If the motor is activated while the tie-downs are still in place, once the bungees are removed the unit can open with violent force. In the U.S. there have been six injuries and one fatality related to this problem.
Sold: Some 7,500 affected units were sold in Canada between January 2007 and December 2016.
Contact: Multiple Awnings for a repair kit, 866-441-4182;

What a Knob

Mastercraft 5-Gallon Air Compressor
Models affected: 058-9315 and 199-5703 with date codes ending in 2014. The date code is located on the unit nameplate on the tank.
Potential problem: The regulator knob may break off under pressure. There have been at least 13 reports of incidents in Canada with one injury.
Sold: Roughly 14,000 units were sold from January 2014 to June 2015.
Contact: Canadian Tire, 800-387-8803

Extra Sanitized

Delta UV Generator
Model affected: EA-4H-10 manufactured between March 17, 2010 and April 1, 2019.
Potential problem: This supplementary pool sanitization system can overheat and cause a fire.
Sold: Approximately 290 units of the affected product were sold in Canada from March 2010 to April 2019.
Contact: Endless Pools, 800-910-2714;

When Caps Attack

Master Spas Hot Tub and Swim Spa Diverter Valve Caps
Models affected: Master Spas’ Twilight, H2X Swim Spa, and MP Signature Deep Swim Spas hot tub and swim spa models.
Potential problem: The diverter valve caps can become loose and pop off. There have been more than 100 reports of the diverter valve caps popping off in Canada and the United States, including four reports of consumers being struck by the cap.
Sold: More than 1,000 affected units were sold between December 2017 and May 2019.
Contact: Custom Molded Products, 800-733-9060;

Stripped Clean

Olympic Premium Stain Stripper
Model affected: Olympic Premium Stain Stripper packaged in a 3.78L container with model number 52102.
Potential problem: The container may rupture or crack, allowing the corrosive contents to leak out.
Sold: More than 30,000 containers were sold from January 2016 to May 2019.
Contact: PPG Architectural Coating Canada, 866-660-2220

Solar Flares

Fusion 3-in-1 Solar Powered Tiki Torch
Model affected: SKU 2494; UPC 672376249439
Potential problem: The batteries can overheat, causing the plastic housing to melt. There have been 19 such cases reported in Canada.
Sold: Nearly 9,000 units were sold from January 1 to July 17, 2019.
Contact: Fusion Products, 877-615-1378;


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Safety First, Bathroom upgrades that make sense for everyone in the family

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Safety First, Bathroom upgrades that make sense for everyone in the family

From the moment you are born… you start aging. This indisputable fact makes ‘aging in place’ design, otherwise known as universal design, important for everyone.

Universal design is designing for the present as well as the future needs of homeowners, people of all ages and abilities. It may not be an imminent concern but implementing living-in-place design will ensure your home is adaptable for the future, which includes accessibility and improved liveability for you and your guests. The ultimate goal is to make the space convenient, safe and functional for all who enter.

At My Design Studio, we are very passionate about Universal design. In a series of upcoming articles in RENO & DECOR, we will be looking at all the elements that will help you to consider implementing universal design in your next renovation. Since this is the bathroom issue, we thought we would start with this all-important space.

Did you know that the bathroom is the most hazardous and accident prone room in your home?

More than 65 per cent of emergency room visits are due to bathroom falls. That’s a high percentage. Falls happen frequently due to wet floors and the limited space within which to manoeuvre. Whether you have mobility challenges or not, know that even a temporary injury presents a problem with all the bending and lifting required to access the tub, shower and toilet.

Improve Functionality And Mobility

Here are the top design elements when planning an accessible for all bathroom without sacrificing style. Let’s begin with creating wider entry doorways and openings. A minimum of 36″ is recommended.

Plan your new design to allow adequate open space to comfortably move around in and easily access all fixtures: sink, shower and toilet.

It is important to choose high contrasting colour finishes for the transition of floor spaces. This helps identify space limitations and will help prevent tripping. For example, do not choose a white bathroom floor, white curb and white shower. Use a white shower step with a darker contrasting floor so you can see where you are stepping.

By adding a curbless walk-in shower, you eliminate the step over. This gives you an elevated design, and provides safety and convenience.Today these showers are the ideal design standard for everyone.

With the rise of mounted cabinetry, toilets, shower seats and grab bars in the bathroom, it is important to include plywood blocking reinforcement behind all the walls. Of course, the installation of grab bars is an essential component of universally designed homes. These aren’t the sterile type of grab bars we are used to seeing in hospitals, rather they are part of an attractive collection which includes, the toilet paper holder, soap holder and towel bars These products are available in a multitude of finishes and styles, from modern-contemporary to traditional farm house.

Solid Ground

Non-slip floors are one of the most important things to address in the shower to prevent falls. When selecting your tile, check for the tile-slip rating. As a general rule, choose textured tiles, as they are more slip-resistant.

Install anti-scald mixing valves to maintain a safe water temperature and volume as this will prevent burns when there are water pressure changes.

Take Charge

Install shower controls where they are the most convenient and accessible for you and/or a caregiver. Shower controls can be placed anywhere, even outside your shower stall. Or, get shower-smart and install a device where you can start your shower remotely using your cell phone. These products also feature user-memory for pre-set temperatures. Installing an additional hand-held showerhead on a slide bar, near the shower seat, will make controlling the temperature and showering easier in general.


Select bathroom fixtures and accessories for ease of use, considering which ones require minimal effort. For example, we recommend a touchless faucet on a sensor with a pre-set temperature and a convenient automatic shut-off function.

Improve Illumination

Plan for a combination of ample layers and natural lighting during the design process. Increasing the amount of light can prevent falls and provides overall safety by letting you see the details that escape us when it comes to performing everyday tasks, like cleaning.

Install layered lighting with LED lights; they are long-lasting, conserve energy and improve safety. The addition of a skylight is advisable as it provides a great deal of natural light, especially if there is no other natural light source.

Finally, install dimmable switches for ambient lighting to control the intensity and glare

Create Better Access

Design cabinetry to accommodate pull-out or slide-out full-extension drawers. Remember to add accessible shelving or niches in the cabinets or in the walls, this way you can place regularly used items at the front for easy access.

The key takeaway when incorporating universal design is to improve the functionality by creating spaces that work for everyone’s needs now, and in the future. All these recommendations will enhance your bathroom and help ensure it’s a safe space, without sacrificing style.

If you want to incorporate living-in-place design into your next renovation, look for designers and contractors who have experience in the area and be sure to ask for references.

We are certified in universal design and are avidly recommending and executing projects of this nature. We will be discussing the benefits of incorporating living-in-place design in every room of the home in upcoming issues, so stay tuned. In the meantime, stay safe and stylish.

Over the course of Yasmine’s 15-year career, she has developed, My Design Studio, the top independent decor centre servicing the residential construction industry in Southern Ontario. As a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) designer, Yasmine comes full circle on her passion for beautiful and sustainable design, by also adding design for living in place.


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