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Saturday , 28 February 2015

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Ontario’s home builders welcome Greenbelt and Growth Plan review

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The Ontario government today announced more details concerning the pending review of the province’s greenbelt laws. It is the tenth anniversary of the Greenbelt Act, 2005, which created the “largest permanently protected greenbelt in the world,” the announcement says. The act protects farmland, green space and clean water. Public consultations will be held around the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the Greenbelt area, in the form of town hall meetings, and the public will be able to comment through an online Environmental Registry, or by directly contacting the ministry. The Municipal Affairs Minister, Ted MeMeekin, said that the government was not looking to make major changes to the greenbelt laws, which ... Read More »

New office space measurement standard removes bizarre quirks

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Imagine that your company planned to open an office in Hong Kong and you decided that you needed, say, 6,000 square feet of space to start with. Your Hong Kong commercial real estate agent does a search and tells you he has found the perfect building, with a lovely office that overlooks the building’s bright, airy central atrium. Excited, you fly out to the Chinese city to inspect it and sign the papers, but on looking at the space you have the uncomfortable feeling that it isn’t quite as large as you had expected. The real estate agent assures you that it is exactly 6,000 square feet, showing you the ... Read More »

CRTC wants to save few remaining payphones in Canada

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There was a time, back in the twentieth century, when you could find a payphone on just about every street corner in every city, and in most any public place—bus and train stations, hotel lobbies, supermarkets. Today, it seems everybody has a smartphone. Does anybody use the few payphones still in service? As it happens, yes, they do. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been looking into the question, and today it released its findings. Just under one-third (32 per cent) of Canadians say that they have used a payphone at least once in the last year. In 2004, half of us said so. That’s a steep decline. ... Read More »

NetZED hopes to make off-grid living possible for condo dwellers

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Green building is a good news-bad news kind of story these days. On the one hand, it has broad public support—but only when people are prompted about its value. On the other hand, some fear that builders are not embracing the idea fast enough. The number of buildings being built to high standards of sustainability in the US has not increased significantly in recent years, according to some. Toronto, meanwhile, has its own new green building model, and it could turn out to be the most effective of all. LEED is the world’s best-known green building rating system (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). This is the rating system, created ... Read More »

Real estate a hard sell in city with historic snowfall

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Pity home buyers and sellers and the real estate agents who work in cities like Boston these days. More than two metres of snow has fallen already this month, with snowbanks on a lot of streets so high that houses are nearly invisible from the road. So much for drive-by viewing and curb appeal, not to mention the idea of driving around the neighbourhood to get a feel for it. Many for-sale signs are buried, as are the house numbers, so would-be buyers can’t find properties that way. Some realtors have had to cancel almost all of their weekend open houses on account of snow, killing business for the month. ... Read More »

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