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Del Condominium Rentals

In Conversation With… Shanker Narayanan, General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals

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In Conversation With… Shanker Narayanan, General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals

Shanker Narayanan, general manager, Del Condominium Rentals
Shanker Narayanan, General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals

Condominiums are booming in the GTA, with an increasing number of owners choosing to rent out their units for investment purposes.

Del Condominium Rentals, setting a standard in suite rental management in the GTA since 1986, offers such owners suite leasing services without having to worry about the day-to-day concerns related to being a landlord. From marketing, tenant screening, leasing, maintenance and repair, accounting, insurance coverage, compliance enforcement and revenue retrieval, the company does it all.

We spoke to Shanker Narayanan, general manager of Del Condominium Rentals to learn a little more about this growing business.

Condo Life: What is the scope of the management services you offer to condo unit owners? Is it a one-size fits all package, or is there a range of services owners can choose from…?

Shanker Narayanan: We provide day-to-day management of the suites, including complete research and marketing for new owners, arranging insurance, utility transfers and other services – all for a fee of six per cent of the monthly rental. We plan to also introduce a tiered system involving additional services, such as rent guarantee, suite inspections and maintenance.

Del Condominium Rentals

CL: How much of a growing business category is this for Tridel? We’re hearing so much about the investor element in condominium ownership these days…

SN: We have 2,550 condos in our portfolio today and are planning to grow to 3,500 by 2024. We were primarily a company that provides leasing services for Tridel suite owners, and about 78 per cent of our business comes from their new builds. We have evolved over the past five years into a leading condo rental management company in the GTA. We are aggressively trying to grow the non-Tridel portfolio. If this happens, we would look at increasing the overall portfolio to hopefully 5,000 suites in five years.

For Tridel new builds, we provide lease-up services from interim occupancy to eventual unit registration. This period might vary from building to building. We are currently leasing about 35 to 40 per cent of the inventory in all new builds.

CL: What is your typical client profile? Investor-owners who want to be completely hands off? First-time investors who really need the help being a landlord…?

SN: About 90 per cent of our owners are first-time homeowners or single unit owners, who don’t have the time to self-manage their units. We do have a lot of seasoned investors who have multiple suites in their portfolio. On average, a homeowner stays in our program for five years. They usually have an investment cycle that culminates in either them selling, -self-occupying or in rare cases self-managing the unit.

Del Condominium Rentals

CL: What are the main benefits of using your services, that perhaps suite owners couldn’t do on their own?

SN: Most owners don’t know that there are a million things that could go wrong when managing a condo unit. We know this from experience and from managing a portfolio of more than 2,500 condos over the past decade. Most owners who self-manage condos have a belief that “this won’t happen to me.” Things get complicated at times, and that’s when expert knowledge comes handy. For example, an owner might have a new condo but there might be a water leak from a unit above and that causes water damage in suites below. There could be resulting claims from owners against this owner even though the problem isn’t with their unit. We manage these complex scenarios with the insurance adjusters and the condo property management.

We are a one-stop shop for homeowners, providing turnkey management and peace of mind.

CL: How do you arrive at the end cost to clients for these services? Does it depend on the unit size, rental rate, specific services they’re using…?

SN: Our management fees are very competitive. We have always been a market leader and have been looked upon as setting the benchmark. We also have preferred rates with vendors for services such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC and handyman work. In addition, we co-ordinate works for window coverings, flooring and window and door installation. We have synergies with Tridel and ensure that we pass on the benefits to suite owners.

CL: And how do you determine the rental rate for units?

SN: We do a thorough market evaluation. We are the rental experts, and as such, Tridel sets the rental benchmark for any community. Our expert team looks at trends on MLS and third-party Internet sites and comes up with the best practices to research and tabulate rentals.

CL: Ideally, suite owners would want to be cash-flow positive when renting out their investment condo. How do you help them achieve this goal?

Del Condominium Rentals

SN: Most suite owners have a set financial cycle that will allow them to realize market potential. We save them costs and the hassles of day-to-day management and they see the benefits over a period of time. While cash flow is key for many owners, they see the merit of us ensuring that the unit is well maintained and the equity grows over time.

CL: And when it comes time that they wanted to sell, how can you assist in that transaction, say, to another potential investor-owner?

SN: We typically refer owners back to their agent when they consider selling. This is our partnership with our realtor colleagues. We do, however, ensure the transaction and unit transition go smoothly. For example, we make sure all necessary restorations are completed and that things are co-ordinated with residents and property management.

CL: Any other key pieces of information potential clients should know about your services?

SN: We are leaders in the rental business. What sets us apart from others is that we are part of Tridel. We bring synergies from other group companies such as Del Property Management, DelSuites, Tridel Customer Care and Deltera (construction). This is invaluable and often beneficial for homeowners.

For more information, contact Del Condominium Rentals at the website, 4800 Dufferin St., Toronto, or call 416.296.RENT (7368).

 

 

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Toronto City Hall

City of Toronto councillors’ decision ‘irresponsible,’ will worsen housing affordability and supply problems

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City of Toronto councillors’ decision ‘irresponsible,’ will worsen housing affordability and supply problems

Toronto City Hall

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) is outraged by the announcement made today by City of Toronto councillors Joe Cressy, Mike Layton and Kristyn Wong-Tam. The trio said they would red light any development that supports council approved TO Core Plan, ignoring the direction given by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s approved plans. These actions are a clear example of political interference that slows the development of new housing and increase costs.

Blatant disregard

“This blatant disregard of provincial policy is the opposite of a housing strategy, in fact it’s an anti-housing strategy,” says Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of BILD. “The net impact will add cost to the City, add cost to new home purchasers, increase the delays of much needed livable housing close to transit and lengthen approvals times as challenges and appeals are undertaken to ensure that the law is respected,” adds Wilkes.

It was the City of Toronto’s decision to file the Official Plan Amendment for TO Core with the province under Section 26 of the Planning Act. This rarely used mechanism requires ministerial approval and is non-appealable. Disliking the results of this decision, the councillor’s statements to developers that they will de-prioritize projects that are in accordance with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s decision and not the City’s version of the plan is like asking them to take sides in schoolyard spat. Councillors Cressy, Layton and Wong-Tam are disregarding the planning process, abdicating their responsibility and adopting planning by threat.

“The decisions to amend the official plans just prior to the last election was politically motivated and went against the recommendations of the City’s own planning staff,” says Wilkes.

Desperate need

“More housing is desperately needed to accommodate growth in the region. It makes sense for this type of housing to be built in places that can leverage existing investments in infrastructure and be transit supportive. We are calling on Toronto City Council to take the necessary steps to address housing supply and affordability in Toronto.”

The provincial government rightly recognizes that changes are desperately needed to provide adequate and affordable housing to a growing province. More than 115,000 new residents are expected in the GTA every year through 2041 and the population is set to grow by 40 per cent. Meeting this generation challenge will require policies that enable housing supply and affordability, not illegal actions that add cost, delays and restrict supply.

BILD is the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA. With more than 1,500 member companies, the industry provides $33 billion in investment value and employs 271,000 people in the region.

TREB reminder

The Toronto Real Estate Board is also concerned about the councillors’ decision.

“With some City of Toronto councillors announcing plans that could add obstacles to the creation of new housing supply in their wards, TREB is reminding all levels of government that housing supply is one of the most important issues in Toronto and the GTA, and is encouraging cooperation between governments,” the organization says. “TREB has been at the forefront in calling for governments to do what they can to ensure an adequate, appropriate and affordable supply of housing for the Toronto and GTA real estate markets.

“This is an issue that will require both provincial and municipal government efforts and policy initiatives from various perspectives, including minimizing unnecessary red tape, while maintaining the high quality of life that makes Toronto and the GTA such a desirable place to live, work, and play.  TREB is encouraging provincial and municipal decision makers to work cooperatively to make the interests of homebuyers their first priority.”

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GTA builders launch public awareness campaign

 

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Heathwood Eleven Altamont

Coming soon to North York – Eleven Altamont by Heathwood Homes

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Coming soon to North York – Eleven Altamont by Heathwood Homes

Heathwood Eleven Altamont

If you’re scouting about for new lowrise home options, take note: Eleven Altamont, by Heathwood Homes, is set to launch this fall.

Urban living on Yonge Street is what Eleven Altamont is all about, with luxury townhomes from 1,708 to 2,504 sq. ft., in two- and three-bedroom configurations.

Rich, dark charcoal brick and beige stone set the tone of sophistication for these luxury townhomes in a master plan around a landscaped courtyard garden. Inside, the homes offer large contemporary, open concept designs finished with only the finest in luxury appointments. Even more, each incorporates the flair and flexibility of a custom home catering to your own family’s unique needs. Choose whether you want your master suite on the second or third level. Select the most convenient location for your laundry and choose if you want a third bedroom or a family room. This is sophisticated urban living taken to the next level.

Heathwood Eleven Altamont

In the heart of North York

Set amidst tree-lined streets in the very heart of one of North York’s most sought-after established neighbourhoods, Eleven Altamont will afford cosmopolitan living in an intimate residential enclave, only minutes from everything that matters. Live just steps away from schools, parks, transportation and fabulous shopping.

Vibrant outdoor living is an integral part of Eleven Altamont. At the centre of the community is a landscaped courtyard where residents come together to relax, mingle and socialize. Walkways, trees and a parkette offer a soothing touch of green, while shaded benches invite you to rest and watch the world go by. This is your sanctuary, a retreat to come home to after a busy day.

Stroll through parks, savour international cuisines, send your kids to the best schools, enjoy a theatre production, hop on the subway and be downtown in minutes. Edithvale Park and Community Centre is steps away and offers a host of fun children’s activities, the Toronto Centre for the Arts provides world-class entertainment, and Mel Lastman Square hosts numerous civic events.

Heathwood Eleven Altamont

Highlight features include an eight-ft. front door, smooth nine-ft. ceilings throughout all three levels, eight-ft. interior doors with stained nickel lever handles and hinges, central air and a Smart Home Package that includes a home hub, smart thermostat video doorbell and more.

The master ensuite boasts an upgraded furniture-style vanity and free-standing tub and frameless glass shower with rain shower-style showerhead. For all bathrooms, you have your choice of granite or quartz countertops.

Epicurean tastes

For epicurean tastes, gourmet kitchens come with custom designed cabinetry with extended upper cabinets, your choice of granite or quartz square edge countertops, choice of designer selected tile backsplash, soft close doors and drawers and a premium appliance package.

Step outside your new luxury town and into the nearby great outdoors, with private rooftop terraces with a natural gas barbecue connection, on each terrace, and exclusive shared outdoor amenities, including seating areas, exercise areas, bicycle storage, pet zones and play areas.

Register now at heathwood.com

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Groundbreaking at Kingdom Developments' KSquare Condos in Scarborough

Kingdom Developments breaks ground at KSquare Condos in Scarborough

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Kingdom Developments breaks ground at KSquare Condos in Scarborough

Kingdom Developments Inc. has broken ground at its Canadian flagship, mixed-use condominium development, KSquare Condos, just a month after launching sales for the project.

“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to start construction just one month after our sales launch,” says Eric Jensen, Kingdom Developments’ vice-president, projects. “This speaks volumes to the success of KSquare Condos and the significant demand the project commands from both end-users and investors who recognize the incredible value and ownership opportunity that KSquare presents.”

KSquare Condos is located in the heart of central Scarborough at Kennedy Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E., an area currently experiencing a major transformation in new city planning and rapid development growth.

Major transformation

“As one of the first major developments in the city’s most dynamic neighbourhood, KSquare Condos is an exciting addition to Scarborough, an area that’s naturally poised for a residential density boost,” says Ward 22 Scarborough-Agincourt Councillor, Jim Karygiannis.

With more than 485,000 sq. ft. of planned development comprising of retail, office and mixed-use residential, KSquare presents a strong investment and ownership opportunity, the company says. Over the next decade, KSquare Condos is expected to kick-start rapid growth in population density and spur new job opportunities in this already fast-growing neighbourhood.

Groundbreaking at Kingdom Developments' KSquare Condos in Scarborough
Groundbreaking at Kingdom Developments’ KSquare Condos in Scarborough. Left to right, Raymond Chau, sales and marketing manager, Kingdom Developments; Danny Tito, executive vice-president, Skygrid; Jacob Ma, president, Kingdom Developments; Jim Karygiannis, councillor, City of Toronto; Jason Heidman president, Skygrid; Gary Chen, senior project manager, Kingdom Developments. Photo: AGI Studio

Across the rail corridor from KSquare, the City’s ambitious plans for Agincourt Mall will create retail and office jobs in a dynamic community of new shops, restaurants, cafes, offices, parks and a public square. With 10 million sq. ft. of office space, Scarborough has seen impressive job growth over the last decade, and is home to the head offices of top Fortune 500 companies including Toyota, IBM, Compaq, BMO, HSBC, Sony, Volvo and Lenovo.

‘Kennedy Central’

Dubbed “Kennedy Central,” this area between Kennedy Rd. and Hwy. 401, will soon benefit from improved planned transit service with the proposed $5-billion plan to build a three-stop subway extension in Scarborough with stops at Lawrence East, Scarborough Town Centre and McCowan Rd.

With the existing Agincourt GO station to the north and projected SmartTrack and Sheppard East LRT stations nearby, residents will be able to connect to downtown in minutes. Drivers will also appreciate easy access across the GTA via Hwy. 401, which is directly to the south of KSquare Condos.

Designed by IBI Group with interiors by Tomas Pearce Interior Design, KSquare Condos features two sleek, elegant glass towers rising 36 and 39 storeys above a shared seven-storey podium.

Eric Jensen, vice-president, projects, Kingdom Canada
Eric Jensen, vice-president, projects, Kingdom Canada

KSquare features a wide range of suite types and sizes including one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts. Prices start from $372,900 and early buyers can also take advantage of a free parking space included in their purchase price.

“We have a really diverse group of condo units and sizes,” Jensen told Condo Life. “On the one end, we’ve got the students at (University of Toronto Scarborough) that are looking for a small one-bedroom, but at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got a number of three-bedroom plus den corner units for full families.”

Signature amenities

KSquare will not only be home to Toronto’s largest private condo library and study area, residents will also have access to amenities such as two private music rehearsal rooms, state-of-the-art gym, pet grooming spa, kids zone, 24-hour concierge, an expansive party room with two dining areas and a rooftop terrace offering panoramic neighbourhood views.

“The real highlights are… the seventh-floor outdoor terrace is spectacular, it’s really like having a taste of a forest or High Park that you can just step out into,” Jensen says. “The private library is probably the crown jewel of them all. The versatility that this type of space offers… you can go there to study, there are breakout rooms, quiet spaces… it all ties into the library, and we’ve got moveable panels to open up spaces.”

Construction now underway at Kingdom Developments' KSquare Condos in Scarborough
Construction now underway at Kingdom Developments’ KSquare Condos in Scarborough

“The lobby itself is very unique, if for no other reason than its size,” Brian Woodrow, senior designer, Tomas Pearce, told Condo Life. “It’s almost a full double height, has a fireplace lounge, a business/tech lounge, so its broken into two areas and its meant to draw people together in a work, live and communicative environment.”

Kingdom Developments gave Tomas Pearce the freedom to execute its ideas, Woodrow says. “They came to us with these ideas… I wouldn’t call them prerequisites because they gave us a free hand, which is very unusual, and allowed us to develop these thoughts and notions from our design standard point of view.”

The KSquare community will be surrounded by nature and greenspace. Bordering the building, South Linear Park boasts over half an acre of parkland and trails and the building’s grounds will also feature lush landscaping that will weave into a central courtyard to the east of the main entrance.

Register at ksquarecondos.com or visit the Presentation Gallery located at 2035 Kennedy Rd., open Monday to Thursday noon to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Fridays.

RELATED READING

KSquare Condos is the flagship of Kingdom Canada coming to Agincourt

Luxury condos coming to Scarborough with KSquare Condos

 

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Hombuyer incentives web

Federal government releases details on homebuyer incentive programs unveiled in Budget 2019

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Federal government releases details on homebuyer incentive programs unveiled in Budget 2019

 

Hombuyer incentives web

The federal government has released the details of the first-time homebuyer incentive programs promised in March in the 2019 budget.

Beginning Sept. 2, 2019, the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive will help middle class families take their first steps towards homeownership by reducing monthly mortgage payments required for first-time homebuyers, without increasing the amount they need to save for a down payment. This program complements other measures taken in Budget 2019 to support first time homebuyers with their down payment such as increased RRSP withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $30,000 The government has allocated $1.25 billion over three years for the program. The incentive will be available to first-time homebuyers with qualified annual household incomes up to $120,000.

Budget 2019 also previewed the Shared Equity Mortgage Provider Fund, a five-year, $100-million lending fund to assist providers of shared equity mortgages to help eligible Canadians achieve affordable homeownership. This will support an alternative homeownership model targeted at first-time homebuyers, help attract new providers of shared equity mortgages and encourage additional housing supply. The fund will launch on July 31, 2019, and will be administered by CMHC.

 

ALSO READ: Budget 2019 comes up short

ALSO READ: How the Liberals missed the boat on affordable housing

“Through the National Housing Strategy, more middle-class Canadians – and people working hard to join it – will find safe, accessible and affordable homes,” says Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for CMHC.“Our proposed measures will reduce the monthly mortgage for your first home by up to $286. This will mean more money in the pockets of Canadians and will help up to an estimated 100,000 families across Canada.”

First-Time Homebuyer Incentive facts

  • Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive will help qualified first-time homebuyers purchase their first home as the incentive reduces their monthly mortgage payment, without increasing the amount that they must save for a down payment. The program will launch on Sept. 2, 2019, with the first closing on Nov. 1, 2019.
  • The incentive will allow eligible first-time homebuyers who have the minimum down payment for an insured mortgage with CMHC, Genworth or Canada Guaranty, to apply to finance a portion of their home purchase through a form of shared equity mortgage with the Government of Canada.
  • For the purchase of an existing home, an incentive amount of five per cent may be available. For the purchase of a newly constructed home, an incentive amount of five or 10 per cent may be available.
  • Doubling the incentive for purchasers of new homes encourages new housing supply.
  • No on-going repayments are required, the incentive is not interest bearing and the borrower can repay the incentive at any time without a pre-payment penalty.
  • The buyer must repay the incentive after 25 years, or if the property is sold.

 

These details confirm that the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program will be an ownership stake in the property of qualified homebuyers, whereby the government will participate in appreciation of the property and – in the case of the property devaluing – depreciation as well.

“The key issue remains qualifying, and this program diminishes the amount that a first-time homebuyer can qualify for by about 15 to 20 per cent,” says James Laird, co-founder of Ratehub Inc. and president of CanWise Financial. “This is because the program limits the mortgage amount to four times the households’ income, whereas those not participating in the program can actually qualify for a mortgage that is 4.5 to 4.7 times their income. Household income for qualified homebuyers is also capped at $120,000.”

Those who would be attracted to the program would be Canadians who are trying to purchase at their maximum qualification, Laird adds. “However, because the program diminishes how much they can qualify for, it doesn’t serve the needs of the group it is targeted at. Canadians can get a larger loan by not participating in the program.”

 

Maximum affordability calculations

A household with $100,000 of income, putting a minimum down payment of five per cent, can currently qualify for a home valued at $479,888 with a $2,265 monthly mortgage payment.

The maximum purchase price for the same household, if they participate in the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program, drops to $404,858 with a five-per-cent minimum down payment. The total mortgage amount would then be $400,000 (or four times their household income).

Source: Ratehub.ca 

 

Mortgage payment calculations

If the household took a five-pre-cent incentive from the government (for resales), their mortgage amount goes to $378,947, and monthly payment is now $1,810.
If the household took a 10-per-cent incentive from the government (for new homes) their mortgage amount goes to $357,894 and  monthly payment is now $1,710.

Source: Ratehub.ca 

 

 

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Father's Day featured

Mouth-watering gift ideas for Father’s Day

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Mouth-watering gift ideas for Father’s Day

Let’s face it… dads can be hard to buy for. For Father’s Day this year, I’ve looked high and low for some of the most unique and fun ideas that will delight dad. Here are my top picks for your Father of the Year.

Grilling galore

Now what dad doesn’t like to grill? A great gift is the gift of grilling! I found these amazing grilling accessories at Lowe’s and RONA from Broil King and I know they are going to delight any dad on your list! These tongs, chicken roaster pan, spice rubs and mini thermometers make the perfect grilling gift this year!

Wine-not?

I love to bring a good quality wine to family gatherings, and Father’s Day is no exception. I recently discovered Jackson Family Wines, based in California and specializing in producing quality wines from family-owned vineyards. For a gathering such as Father’s Day, I like to go with either an essential, like Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon , which pairs perfectly with meats on the grill, or for hotter days, I like to pull out their La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, which is perfect when chilled.

Moments that matter

I am a total daddy’s girl, so when I have the opportunity, I just love to give my dad something meaningful and special. FUJIFILM Printlife has an entire line of high-quality photo-finishing products to customize and preserve your favourite memories – and my dad and I have a lot! A great idea is to compile all your favourite “dad and me” photos and print them into a photobook or print your favourite memory on a canvas or on a mug for your dad to enjoy!

Only the eScentials

I am a huge fan of plant-based products that work. A great gift for Dad is an eScential Wellness’ bundle of products that are perfect for any gardeners out there. They have a Gardener’s Hand Salve that is made with shea butter, and a blend of essential oils and is 100 per cent organic. I love, love, love that these products are toxin- and cruelty-free. Bundle it with a few gardening tools and you have the perfect gift for the dad who likes to putter in the yard.

Tech talk

Style meets sporty in Samsung’s latest smartwatch innovation, the Galaxy Watch Active, bringing dads who want to live actively a device that is as smart as it is stylish. Pair it with your favourite Android or iOS smartphone so dad can manually engage in more than 39 activities, set daily goals and monitor his progress with real-time coaching, indoor/outdoor activity tracking and popular third-party apps, complete with a light and versatile design.

 

Decor for dad

For those dads with a man cave, add some fun masculinity with a camo or 4/20 pillow, which will surely be a great conversation starter for his friends. Even if he is messy, the handcrafted Canadian-made pillow is fully washable (no need to remove a cover) and is also hypoallergenic and has dust mite control. Fun and function come together!

Jo-Alcorn-Bio_Shot_jan19

Jo Alcorn is founder and design specialist at Alcorn Home.

alcornhome.com

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Peter Gilgan SickKids Hospital

Peter Gilgan Foundation donates $100 million – largest single gift ever to SickKids Hospital

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Peter Gilgan Foundation donates $100 million – largest single gift ever to SickKids Hospital

Peter Gilgan SickKids Hospital

The Peter Gilgan Foundation has donated an unprecedented gift of $100 million to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) – the largest single gift ever to SickKids. Together with donations made to other hospitals and health care organizations to date, this makes Peter Gilgan and the Peter Gilgan Foundation the largest benefactor to health care in Canada.

This $100-million gift will support the SickKids VS Limits campaign, a key element of which involves redevelopment of the SickKids campus, including building a new patient care tower on University Avenue, which will be named the Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower.

Gilgan is founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes, the largest privately owned homebuilder in North America.

Breakthrough research

“We are extraordinarily grateful to Peter Gilgan and the Peter Gilgan Foundation for their ongoing philanthropic leadership and dedication to SickKids,” says Dr. Ronald Cohn, president and CEO of SickKids. “Our vision for the children’s hospital of the future includes the construction of a state-of-the-art building, matching our world-class care with family-friendly spaces for patients and their loved ones. This gift is unparalleled and will help ensure our vision becomes reality. In conjunction with a commitment from the government of Ontario, and support from other donors, this gift will help SickKids continue to advance children’s health through exemplary clinical care, breakthrough research, and teaching excellence both at home and around the world.”

Peter Gilgan SickKids

“To continue to have the opportunity to support SickKids is an honour and is also very humbling,” says Gilgan. “I’m in a privileged position to be able to make this gift, and I know it’s going to be used to help children, today and in the future, live longer and healthier lives.”

The commitment from the Peter Gilgan Foundation to ensuring the SickKids campus is a cutting-edge world leader began in 2012 with a transformational gift of $40 million to support the construction of the SickKids Centre for Research and Learning. The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning brings together 2,000 research staff – who previously worked in six different buildings – under one roof to enhance interactions between clinical and research colleagues. The integration of research with patient care and learning are among the strengths of SickKids. This most recent donation brings the cumulative giving from the Peter Gilgan Foundation to SickKids to more than $140 million.

Peter Gilgan SickKids

Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower

SickKids will break ground in October 2019 on the first of two buildings. The first building, the Patient Support Centre, will house the SickKids Learning Institute with 1,200 world-class trainees, a Simulation Centre for hands-on teaching, and provide 6,000 professionals, management and support staff with up-to-date spaces to do their best work. The second building, the Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower, will house critical care and inpatient units. It will reflect the very latest in medical design: Private one-family rooms, dedicated mental-health beds, a state-of-the-art blood and marrow/cellular transplant therapy unit, specialty operating theatres, advanced diagnostic imaging facilities, and a vastly expanded emergency department.

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Peter E. Gilgan

 

 

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Securing a mortgage

Looking to secure a mortgage? Now is the best time to negotiate

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Looking to secure a mortgage? Now is the best time to negotiate

 

Securing a mortgage

The Bank of Canada again held its influential overnight lending rate today at 1.75 per cent, signalling the continuation of a stable interest rate environment – and underlining that now may be the best time to negotiate a mortgage.

Why? We’ll get to that in a second.

First, the BoC held the rate for the fifth straight announcement – it’s been at 1.75 since October 2018 – citing growing evidence that the Canadian economic slowdown in late 2018 and early 2019 is now being followed by a pickup in the second quarter this year. Housing market indicators point to a more stable national market, albeit with continued weakness in some regions.

In addition, the Bank says, continued strong job growth suggests that businesses see the weakness in the past two quarters as temporary, with recent data supporting an increase in both consumer spending and exports in the second quarter, and it appears that overall growth in business investment has firmed.

“The Bank’s language indicates that things will need to change to the positive or negative in order to move from their current rate strategy,” says James Laird, co-founder of Ratehub Inc. and president of CanWise Financial. “Therefore, Canadians can expect a stable rate environment for the foreseeable future.

“This announcement should bring peace of mind to consumers currently in a variable rate mortgage because it is unlikely that the prime rate will increase anytime soon,” he adds. “Going forward, a decrease seems as likely as an increase, which is also good news if you’re in a variable rate.”

Mortgage seasonality

Canadians may also be able to take advantage of seasonality in the mortgage industry to score the best deal on their lending rate. Just like spring is known as traditionally the busy season in real estate, it’s also a very good time of year to secure a mortgage.

Securing a mortgage to buy a condo in Toronto

Ratehub.ca, for example, analyzed historical rate data from 2016 to 2019 to identify the best times of year for Canadians to lock in to a rate, or refinance an existing mortgage.

According to Ratehub.ca’s historical data on the best five-year fixed and variable rates, Canadians have access to the lowest rates during the spring homebuying season – between April and July – every year. The second most competitive time period for mortgage rates occurs between October and December.

A similar story played out in 2017 when the average best five-year fixed rate fell to 2.4 per cent from 3.32 per cent, and the average variable rate dropped from 2.09 per cent to 2.04 per cent.

ALSO READ: Ontario releases plan to address housing affordability and supply issues

ALSO READ: Variable vs fixed mortgages? It’s complicated

A year later, 2018 proved that while a rising rate environment can override the benefits any spring mortgage deals, mortgage holders still benefited from certain promos. The average best five-year fixed rate increased from 2.94 per cent from January to March to 3.07 per cent, but the average best variable rate fell from 2.17 per cent to 1.96 per cent. Lenders actually slashed fixed rates over that period.

Spring promotions

“Lenders and mortgage providers come out with their strongest promotions during the busy spring and summer homebuying season,” Laird says. “Regardless of the interest rate environment, springtime is when lenders are willing to make the smallest margins in order to win business.”

During this period, many lenders will choose at least one rate and term to price very aggressively in order to attract attention to all of their mortgage products. Lenders also come out with special promotion offers to incentivize borrowers to lock in a rate. Consumers can expect to see cash-back deals to help with closing costs and refinance fees. Some lenders offer extra-long rate holds during this period. For example, BMO is currently offering a 130-day rate hold. The “30-day quick close rate” is another promotion many lenders opt for – this is a discounted rate that applies if your mortgage is closing in the next 30 to 45 days.

It’s crucial that lenders remain competitive through the spring market, Ratehub says, to hit their annual mortgage volume targets. In most cases, lenders will hit their targets during the second quarter (April to June) and, as a result, tend to be less competitive with promotions during the latter half of the year.

Consumers will typically see rates fall again in October, in the lead up to Oct. 31, when all of Canada’s major banks end their fiscal year. Lenders that want to get an early start on their targets for the following year often come out with promotions during this time period.

Bank results

Further benefiting the mortgage landscape for Canadians is that Canada’s big banks this week are reporting lower second quarter profits than expected.

“The poor results reported by Canada’s big banks in Q2 2019 could be good news for mortgage consumers,” Laird told Homes Publishing. “In light of these results, it would be unsurprising if the banks aggressively try to win mortgage business by offering lower rates to consumers or promotions to attract more business in the latter half of 2019.”

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HanStone Canada Storm interior

HanStone Canada unveils nature-inspired collection of premium quartz colours in its Unearthed Collection

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HanStone Canada unveils nature-inspired collection of premium quartz colours in its Unearthed Collection

 

HanStone Canada Storm interior
HanStone Canada’s Storm colour, used in this kitchen island and backsplash, features marbling windswept across a rich, earthy grey base for striking dimension and depth

HanStone Canada has revealed a trio of new colours and an exclusive Riverwashed finish that combine sophisticated style and remarkable design with the natural beauty of nature’s offerings.

The Unearthed Collection – in Storm, Terra and Coast – combines earthly elements such as texture and windswept veining with warm, tonal shades of pearl, grey and terra cotta, to create unique and distinctive quartz designs.

“My main source of inspiration behind this collection was simply nature itself,” says Michael Talbot, HanStone product design manager. “While designing this collection, I wanted to illustrate the beauty of nature and its unique characteristics and imperfections. With its rich texture and earthly tones, this collection captures the essence of our beautiful planet and allows us to embrace those outdoor elements from the comfort of indoors.”

Comprising three new colours and the distinct Riverwashed finish, the Unearthed Collection is a remarkable display of premium quartz that captures the natural beauty of nature through texture, colour and design.

 

Terra

Extracted from the earth, Terra seeks to echo the warmth of the land. A deep, warm tone with subtle movement, a true study of the planet’s beauty
Extracted from the earth, Terra seeks to echo the warmth of the land with a deep, warm tone with subtle movement.

 

Coast 

HanStone Canada's Coast colour from its Unearthed Collection
Coast’s neutral, sandy background is dappled with soft pearl veining for a sophisticated, casual look that brings calmness and harmony to any space.

 

Riverwashed finish

Capturing the essence of our planet through touch, this collection features our new Riverwashed finish, delivering a distinctive, natural texture.

 

About HanStone Canada

HanStone Canada, a division of Hyundai L&C Canada, is the country’s premier quartz manufacturer and Ontario’s only quartz manufacturer. HanStone Canada’s state-of-the-art facility, located in London, Ont., produces material for all of North America. HanStone quartz is known for its superior quality and exceptional design, with more than 45 unique colours, patterns and textures to draw inspiration from.

For design inspiration, product information, and showroom locations across Canada, visit hanstone.ca or on Twitter and Facebook @HanStoneCA.

 

 

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Scandinavian Collection wallpaper products from Suzanne Brown and Associates

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Scandinavian Collection wallpaper products from Suzanne Brown and Associates

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Suzanne Brown and Associates of Toronto, supplier of fine wallcoverings, fabrics, trim and hardware to the design trade, has some exciting new offerings – the Scandinavian Collection.

A unique opportunity to decorate walls with a piece of classic Scandinavian design, including Stig Lindberg’s imaginative textile pattern, which was first displayed at an exhibition by Nordic company NK in 1947.

The collection features patterns from five different designer icons within architecture and pattern design during the 1940s to 1960s. All patterns in the collection have a natural, colourful and imaginative touch that make them a perfect complement to the understated, clean Scandinavian interior design. Classic and contemporary have never been more to the point.

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An exciting pattern of leaves, so airy you can feel the sky appear beyond the leaves. The pattern is based on Viola Grasten’s original textile sketches that he made in 1964. A timeless design, this wallpaper carefully preserves the spontaneous and sketchy expression that was so important to Grasten. Available in four colourways.

OD item 3

An amazing, blooming pattern with Lisbet jobs’ characteristic style. The pattern was made in the 1950s and the fresh, green plants keep a sense of summer in the room all year round.

For more information, visit the website.

 

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