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Friday , 31 October 2014

Category Archives: Urban Living

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Features on the downtown scene, events and urban living.

Detroit developer buys 6,000 properties for $500 a piece

Two cities, two very different real estate markets. Detroit is the current poster city of rampant urban blight in North America. Toronto is the poster city for rampant growth and development. This week, Detroit auctioned a parcel of 6,000 foreclosed homes, a package that included 1,000 vacant lots, 1,000 houses in “disrepair” and 4,000 abandoned and burned out properties slated for demolition. To everyone’s surprise, someone paid $3.2 million for the whole lot of them. The city had offered the lot for sale more or less pro forma, not anticipating anyone would want the derelict homes. They would have become the property of the Detroit Land Bank Authority and been ... Read More »

Canadians not well prepared for emergencies: CIBC

Sometimes bad things happen quite unexpectedly. We usually call them emergencies, and they happen to everyone at one time or another. Whatever their nature, they usually have one thing in common: most often they require money to fix them. Almost half of Canadians experienced one last year and had to either borrow money or use their savings to cover the unplanned costs. The fact that most of the people (74 per cent) who were faced with an emergency didn’t have enough money on hand to deal with it is not especially surprising. When you’re paying a mortgage, supporting children, paying for a car, buying groceries, just starting out in a ... Read More »

Condo security a matter of prevention, not catching criminals

A major benefit of living in a condominium is the security it affords. Coming home at night to a building where a concierge, and in some cases a doorman, controls access, and where surveillance cameras and other technology contribute to the building’s security makes many condo residents feel quite secure. But could it be a false sense of security? Last week in Toronto, police released security images of a couple of suspects in a spate of recent break-and-enter incidents at a downtown condo. The thieves targeted the building’s parking garage, and managed to steal at least one motorcycle. Some others were reportedly damaged. As crimes go, these were not especially ... Read More »

Feel better, save money—just get up and move!

We’re a nation of couch potatoes. We drive to work, where we sit at desks all day, drive back home. where we sit down for dinner, then sit in front of the television or computer for the evening. Then we go to bed. Because of this lifestyle, most of us are at risk of developing debilitating chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and hypertension, as well as heart disease and cancer. We could prevent this from happening, and save the health care system billions of dollars, if we just got up and moved a little more, says a new report. We have heard this before, of course. In the last ... Read More »

Canadians pay back mortgages fast, don’t overuse credit cards

Whatever you may have heard about Canadians being over-leveraged with mortgages and credit card debt, there’s a reassuring message from one of the country’s big five banks: it’s not that bad. Benjamin Tal of CIBC, who more and more resembles the kindly uncle who defends his well-behaved nieces and nephews from their overly strict parents, says, “It’s almost too good to be true.” He’s referring to the fact that even with a “mediocre” labour market and a higher-than-optimal unemployment rate, debt service performance in Canada “has almost never been better.” Fewer people are declaring bankruptcy: the rate of personal bankruptcy has been dropping for five years. More to the point, ... Read More »

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