Tag Archives: books

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Examining the GTA affordable homeownership crisis

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Examining the GTA affordable homeownership crisis

A definitive new book providing a deeper insight and understanding

A book titled “The GTA Affordable Home Ownership Crisis: A Deeper Understanding and the Pathway to the Solution” has just been released and is available to download online at affordablehomeownership.ca.

It is no secret that the problem of affordable homeownership in the GTA is out of control, and is especially a concern for the millennial population. A recent OREA/Nanos survey found that 58.7 per cent of nonmillennial Ontarians agree or somewhat agree that homeownership is unaffordable in their neighbourhood, while 41 per cent listed saving enough for a down payment as the most important barrier to owning a home.

With average new GTA condo prices at $500,000, average new GTA house prices at $1 million and resale at about $800,000, generally speaking, the next generation has little chance at homeownership without a significant financial contribution from their parents.

The book’s aim is to bring an understanding of the relevance and implications by exposing the drivers behind the problems and pointing towards a pathway to the solutions so that our children, and their generation, will not have to face a future without affordable homeownership.

The majority of GTA residents count their home as their largest asset. A future without affordable homeownership could hollow out the wealth of the middle class and have a catastrophic effect on the economy, for a generation.

The book identifies drivers of the crisis, such as excessive taxes on new homes and condos, excessive mortgage regulation, and the imbalance between supply and demand, but also offers creative solutions that can be applied in order to address the crisis in a responsible and timely way.

Written by R. Scott Davie, a leader in the sales and marketing of GTA new homes and condos for decades, and a trusted advisor to many of the GTA’s top developers, this book is rich with ideas and breaks down the elements of the crisis in an interesting way.

“The solution of the GTA homeownership crisis will only grow through understanding, resonating from professionals in the development Industry to the public, and it is only through public awareness that government and non-governmental organizations will have the motivation, and the ability, to make the needed changes,” says Davie.

“I wrote this book to make a relevant personal contribution towards solving the serious crisis of affordable homeownership by bringing awareness to the public, developers, their employees and consultants, and politicians. The hope would also be to generate a potential spark for additional creative solutions, not to make a profit of any kind,” he adds.

Recognizing that we live in an age that we are inundated with information, the book takes a concise and approachable magazine style format with pictures and infographics and is about a 30-minute read.

Written by R. Scott Davie, a leader in the sales and marketing of GTA new homes and condos for decades, for a limited time you can download a free copy at affordablehomeownership.ca.

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Simply Tech: Books vs Kindle Paperwhite

Put down the book – It’s time to pick up the Kindle Paperwhite

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Put down the book – It’s time to pick up the Kindle Paperwhite

For book lovers everywhere, this is a touchy subject. There’s something tangible about a book – even the smell of it triggers our senses. However, if you’re an avid reader, and are always on the go, books can be very heavy. Plus, they take up a lot of room (and weight) when packed in a suitcase. Even if you have a tablet or an iPad, you might want to consider the all-new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.

The Kindle Paperwhite is a compact, low-cost, high-resolution e-Reader that electronically stores thousands of books with an innovative display screen – you almost think that you’re reading from a paperback. It’s only 6.6 inches tall, 4.6 inches wide, 0.30 inches thick and weighs less than seven ounces, making it easy to hold in your hand, and slip into a large pocket, purse or knapsack.

A sight for sore eyes

Its six-inch, hi-res screen offers 300 pixels-per-inch resolution – the same as a standard photograph. The glare-free (almost) screen makes it a beach-worthy companion. If you read at night, it’s less likely to keep you awake after you turn off the lights due to E-ink display technology. This feature doesn’t emit the same type of blue light as you find on televisions and tablets, which, apparently, keeps you more alert. With a five-LED manually adjustable backlight, you can comfortably read at night without additional light, and without disturbing your partner.

How many times have you picked up a book and found that the type was very small? With the Kindle Paperwhite, you can adjust the font type and the font size. The built-in dictionary is easy to use, plus the extended battery life requires less downtime for recharging and is ideal for a lengthy plane ride.

Enhanced highlights

The biggest improvement of the fourth generation of the Kindle Paperwhite is its new waterproof body. Previous models were toast if they got wet. Now that it’s IPX8-rated, it’d still work if it was soaked for an hour in two metres of fresh water – making it less of a worry when beaching it with the family.

The standard model now comes with 8GB of storage. You can store thousands of e-books on the device, and you can store Kindle e-books in the cloud for free. Millions of titles are available on Amazon, and many are free or cost less than $1, making it easier to discover new titles and authors. It’s important to note that Kindle still doesn’t support the e-Pub format, which is commonly found on other platforms and at public libraries, but you can store your own PDFs and select documents.

The new 32GB model includes more storage, and supports Audible. While you can listen to audiobooks, it appears (at the time of publication) that files from Audible U.S. accounts currently work with this model. There isn’t an on-board headphone jack, but the new Paperwhite is equipped with Bluetooth, so you can connect to a wireless headset, a speaker or earbuds.

Kindle Paperwhite models are available with Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi plus free cellular connectivity, which lets you download your books from anywhere for free. Prices start at $139.99 for the 8GB Wi-Fi model.

Greg Gazin is a syndicated tech columnist, blogger, podcaster (host and producer), and contributes to canoe.com, Troy Media and Active Life magazine.

GadgetGuy.ca


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Big Style, Small Spaces: Book Worm

Big Style, Small Spaces: Book Worm

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Big Style, Small Spaces: Book Worm

by Lisa Rogers

Books aren’t only a treasure to read, but also to hold and display

Whoever said anything about books being obsolete hasn’t met an interior designer! Because, to us, books aren’t only a treasure to read, but also to hold and display – on your shelves and coffee table. They add weight and layers to a room, and the sense that the space has been lived in and curated by someone who cares.

I love going to the bookstore and browsing through the coffee table books – about gardening, interior design, cooking, fashion and photography. There’s nothing quite like a gorgeous coffee table book for inspiration. Browsing interiors or gardens online doesn’t compare – you can’t sit on the sofa in front of the fire, a cup of tea at hand and with the computer in your lap in quite the same way as a big fat book.

Online images are all over the place, whereas a book has a set focus and the settings and photos are related to that focus. You can be transported to exotic places you otherwise wouldn’t get to see. Vogue Living: Homes, Gardens, People, for example, is full of lavish interiors culled from the past several years of celebrity homes.

Art books are wonderful coffee table books. My new favourite is the one I got from David Hockney’s latest exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art last fall. Fashion is another passion of mine – I love anything shot by Richard Avedon, arguably the greatest fashion photographer of the 20th century, and the 2015 book pulling together his collection of Dior photographs is another favourite.

The books are timeless; Tom Ford’s book of fashion — simply named Tom Ford — was published in 2008, the Chanel Collections came out in 2007, and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty was available in 2011, all of them still bestsellers. I never get tired of going through my coffee table books. If I’m starting a project, I’ll spend an hour or so flipping through and will inevitably see something I want to incorporate.

Gardening books take you to places you’d never get in to see, like secret parterre gardens in England or France, courtyards in Venice, vast expanses of flowers in The Netherlands.

Whatever your passion happens to be – horses, dogs, needlework, fashion jewellery, 11th- century Japanese porcelain — invest in some large books with beautiful photos and captivating text and put them out for the world to see.

Books aren’t just about beautiful pictures; they also help you understand something, whether that is the balance and symmetry of a garden or an interior design, or how the various flavours co-exist in a wonderful recipe. When I want to do gardening, I will pick up a gardening book because I want to know how to create a garden, what temperature the plants thrive in, the kind of soil, and so on.

Books also work well as an integral part of your interior decor – heavy ones on their side on the bookshelf, or coffee table, or on the console. I switch them up every week or so, depending on the season and my mood and love how the covers are so eye catching.

I even display cookbooks on the kitchen island, the kitchen table, sometimes with a vase of fresh flowers on top. I like to have them accessible and within reach for the recipe I might need. But they’re also handy for keeping friends occupied while you’re preparing food.

The only thing with cookbooks is they’re a genre of their own and don’t translate as well into lusciousphotography in the same way as design or gardening. But they have a unique collectible quality as social and historical documentation. I have a few cookbooks that were my great grandmother’s, passed down to my grandmother, my mother and now me. I still make the shortbread recipe at Christmas that my great-granny made.

My all-time favourite cookbooks are my mom’s Joy Of Cooking, the Silver Spoon series, all of Julia Child’s books, and the Gourmet cookbook, a classic collection that required sifting through 50,000 recipes by editor Ruth Reichel and her staff. My latest favourite is the one I picked up last summer while taking the Tuscookany gourmet cooking school in Tuscany.

It’s a wonderful thing to hand these down generationally – your kids might not want your china, crystal or furniture, but they love the cookbooks that yielded their food, because food and memories are all intertwined. I love to make something that I remember my mother making, which I now know my grandmother made and her mother before her. Every time I pick up the book I think of those women, a constant reminder and a thread through the family.

These books make great gifts, especially for thard-to-buy for friends and family. As long as they have a passion, there’s a book to satisfy it, which they can read, look at and display on the coffee table.

Where to find them? I’m reluctant to provide a list of must-have design books because I love so many of them and it’s such a personal choice. Since it’s always best to flip through them before buying, head to the biggest Chapters or Indigo you know because they’ll have the most extensive collection. Also, Elte Market has some beautiful coffee table books for sale. Check out publishers’ websites, especially the high-end houses like Rizzoli, Taschen or Vendome Press, because their books are excellent quality, even if a little pricey.

See what books your friends have. I visited my sister in New York recently and she had some gorgeous new books out so when I returned to Toronto I ordered them directly through Vendome Press – The Haute Bohemians; Out East: Houses and Gardens in the Hamptons; Life at the Top, a look at the rooftops of New York City, The Art of Celebrating by David Monn (about dinner parties in places like the White House) and A House in the Country.

I’ll be in reading material for quite a while.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes (DunparHomes.com).

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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