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Wednesday , 26 November 2014

Category Archives: Urban Living

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Features on the downtown scene, events and urban living.

3D printed concrete coming soon to world’s construction sites

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One of the world’s foremost architectural firms and its partner, a leading construction and engineering firm, are confident that it will soon be possible to save a great deal of time and money by creating buildings using 3D printed concrete. The renowned London-based architectural firm of Foster and Partners has teamed with Swedish construction and concrete giant Skanska with the aim of developing viable 3D technology for printing with concrete. The partners have said they hope to develop the world’s first commercial concrete-printing robot within eighteen months. The development work will be taking place in collaboration with Britain’s Loughborough University. The machine, controlled by computer and mounted on a gantry, will ... Read More »

Health groups urging Canadians to test homes for radon gas

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Radon is the forgotten cancer risk. The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) says that radon is second only to cigarette smoking as a cause of lung cancer in Canada. The CCS estimates that 16 per cent of lung cancer deaths, amounting to around 3.000 cases each year, are caused by inhaling radon gas, the colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that is found naturally in the environment. It would be quite innocuous were it not for the fact that it is radioactive. Despite the fact that it is present in almost every home in Canada, according to the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada (RSIC), almost no one seems concerned about it, probably due ... Read More »

National Housing Day draws attention to plight of the homeless

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A national day whose origins are in a “national disaster” must be one on which emotions are mixed. National Housing Day, “celebrated” November 22 in Canada, has its origins in the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC), which in 1998 called on all levels of government to declare homelessness a national disaster requiring emergency humanitarian relief. It went on to urge the development of a National Homelessness Relief and Prevention Strategy, declaring that Canada’s governments were violating the human rights of the homeless. The TDRC formulated what it called the “1 per cent solution,” a funding formula whereby each level of government would allocate 1 per cent of its budget to ... Read More »

E-signatures coming to Ontario real estate transactions

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Ontario is moving closer to allowing electronic signatures in real estate transactions. The provincial government has already made e-signatures legal in other commercial transactions, and has accepted their validity for real estate in principle. People buying and selling real estate will be able to sign documents and email them back and forth rather than having to present the hard copy in person, as is now the norm. The government says it needs to determine how to implement e-signing without putting the public at risk. The attorney general, Madeleine Meilleur, said at Queen’s Park that the government will continue consulting the public about e-signing until the end of the year as ... Read More »

You’ve got to keep the customer satisfied

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“Our goal is to exceed your expectations.” How many times have you seen those pious-sounding words in some company’s advertising or website? They are everywhere. They are what may politely be called a marketing cliché, and what may be less politely represented by two initials, the first of which is “b”. With every business from car dealerships to law firms to nursing homes to manufacturers of semiconductors claiming to want to exceed our expectations, it must follow that consumers everywhere are exceedingly well satisfied. Why, then, do only 2 per cent of Canadian consumers say that the companies they have dealt with exceeded their expectations? What’s more, why do so ... Read More »

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