Monday, 28 March 2016

Transform your home today to stay safe tomorrow


While many can only dream of the day they'll retire, for Baby Boomers, that dream is becoming a reality. But retirement doesn't necessarily mean relocating to a senior community. More and more, adults choose to “age in place,” remaining in their current home, even after retirement. Here are a few ways to add extra convenience today – and ensure a safe home in the future.
Change Up Common Areas
When thinking about the long-term, start with the layout. In a perfect world, it's ideal to have all the key living spaces – bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom on the first floor. If your home wasn't built with a first-floor bedroom or bath, and stairs have to be a part of your plan, install no-slip strips on the edge of each stair to limit trips and falls.
Next, make sure there's plenty of room to move. Aim for doorways that are at least 31 inches, though 35 inches is ideal. Tight corners and doorways are a challenge for those with walkers or canes. For stress-free opening and closing, change out door handles from traditional knobs to lever handles for an easier grip.
Then, focus on the flooring. Installing carpeting can provide warmth and cushioning for you to enjoy now, and offers an added element of safety when it might be harder to maneuver around in the future. Choose a low pile carpet to minimize tripping – too much shag is a safety hazard. Area rugs are a major no-no, as unsecured rugs and loose carpet are one of the main causes for slips and falls. If you can't bear the thought of losing your area rug, use carpet tape to secure it firmly to the floor.
Boost the Bath
If you can only update one place in your home, make it the bathroom. The bathroom typically offers the most opportunities for injury. In fact, one in three seniors will experience a fall in their home each year, as stated by the Public Health Agency of Canada. An easy way to incorporate safety is to install grab bars. Today's grab bars are stylish, fitting in seamlessly with your space, rather than seeming obtrusive and sterile. Install them near the toilet, (make sure you have a comfort-height commode for easy sitting and standing) as well as in the shower. Some models, like the corner shelf with grab bar from Moen, pull double duty, adding an element of additional storage where you can store your shampoo, while also helping keep you safe while entering and exiting the bath.
A handheld showerhead, like the Magnetix from Moen Canada, is an ideal option for those who may want to be seated while they bathe. Magnetix hand showers are also handy for cleaning, by eliminating bending and squatting. Finally, at the vanity, choose a faucet with lever handles – they're easiest to grip and turn – and install sconces near the mirror for additional lighting.
The most important advice for any room in your home is to think efficiently. Locate items that work together near each other to make tasks easier.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Commuter Life: Is Living Outside Of The City Worth The Hassle?

Commuter Life: Is Living Outside Of The City Worth The Hassle?

A writer from Hamilton crunches the numbers.
Photo by MrDanMofo from the Torontoist Flickr Pool
Photo by MrDanMofo from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
I really did enjoy it at first. Sitting on the GO train for two hours every day—from Hamilton to Toronto, and back again—offers a glorious, uninterrupted opportunity to read. During the first month of my commute to my job downtown, I devoured six books. I hadn’t read six books so quickly in years. In the mornings, the train ride felt like a gradual easing-in to the day, and in the evenings like decompression, a chance to mentally unwind after work. One of my coworkers told me it seemed very European, taking the train into the city every day.
The novelty wore off fast. I began to understand why, when I first told friends and colleagues I was commuting in from Hamilton, they recoiled in horror.
An eight-hour workday becomes a 12-hour one when you live cities away—80 kilometres one-way, in fact. I leave my house at 7 a.m. and I’m rarely home before 7 p.m. It doesn’t leave much time for anything else. I commute, I work, and I go to bed early so I can rise at the crack of dawn the next day and do it all over again.
I moved back to Ontario last fall, to my parents’ house in the Hamilton suburbs, and started a six-month internship in Toronto. Commuting made sense. I wouldn’t be making much money—not enough to afford living in Toronto—and my parents kindly offered up their place rent-free. I’d save my money, and once the internship ended, I’d move to the city. Taking the GO train was preferable to driving, given the out-of-control congestion on the QEW and the Gardiner Expressway every day.
It takes an absurdly long time just to get to the train station. I spend nearly an hour each day bumper-to-bumper, staring at brake lights, swearing at other drivers on Highway 403. Lately, when I finally make it onto the train, I’m so tired I struggle to keep my eyes open. I have not read six books in the last month. And at the end of the day, I merge with the throngs of people surging along Front and Bay Streets toward Union Station. All in the name of saving money!
I don’t regret the decision to commute. But when I calculated my expenses about two months into my internship, I was surprised to find I wasn’t saving as much money as I thought I would:
Monthly costs
GO train$370
Car insurance$200
I know I could find an apartment, with roommates, in Toronto for that much. When I lived in the city a few years ago, I paid $650 per month.
I wondered: Is it worth it, financially, to live outside Toronto and commute in?

Rent in Toronto is notoriously high. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s fall 2015 rental market report, the average rent of a bachelor apartment in Toronto (excluding the suburbs) is $983. Add to that the cost of a Metropass to get to work every day and you’re paying about $1,100 per month, less if you’re bunking with roommates. (Rent for a Toronto two-bedroom is $1,651, on average.)
Here, a breakdown of the estimated cost of living in GTA neighborhoods and hopping on public transit to get into the city.1

GTA commuter costs. Map by Sean Marshall.

I have about two months left until my internship ends, and I’m going to stick it out on the train for the remainder. The ride itself isn’t so bad—rush-hour commuters take a business-like approach to their daily grind. We’re polite, but not friendly. We know and abide by the etiquette: no small talk, no sprawling baggage, no smelly food, and absolutely no staring at the others around you, packed like sardines into the train car. Professional commuters are masters of the averted gaze.
For me, the commute means long days that infringe upon my productivity, social life, and sleep—that’s the part that I hate. If you’re saving money, it’s all worth it. But I’m counting down the days until my move to Toronto, when I can throw my hard-earned dollars at a landlord rather than at GO Transit.

Are you sick and tired of commuting? 

Thinking of how can we replace long commute by time for yourself? 

Save your valuable time and save your hard-earned money!!

  There are many ways to cut down and eliminate commute. Make a brief meeting with me and we will make it happen! Live close to where you work,live life fully for what you have thought in your dream, not for you have to! 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Recessed Ceiling Designs: The Best Way To Accentuate A Room

Recessed Ceiling Designs: The Best Way To Accentuate A Room

Having a recessed ceiling can definitely be a great decorative feature for any room in the house because it can serve to accentuate the beauty of the room even further. It will make the room appear just right in size; not too big, but not too small and either. Aside from this, it will be a structurally sound design addition that will help you increase the longevity of the room for sure. Here are some examples of photos that you can use as a basis for your own recessed ceiling in the future.
If you want to go for an all white color scheme for your dining room, a recessed ceiling will be a good way for you to accentuate the design without doing anything more than necessary.
Source: hgtv
Additionally, you can play around with the architectural design of the recessed ceiling as well. Notice the two levels of the ceiling in this picture. The inner level served to frame the lights of the room. In turn, this added to the beauty of the design for sure.
Source: studiomint
You can also use different shapes in terms of a structural design for the recessed ceilings. This will be a good way for you to experiment with architecture as well as designing for your home.
Source: hgtv
Here is a small recessed ceiling that will definitely add an impact for your hallway designs in the future. You should definitely use it if you want to have a uniquely designed hallway in the end.
Source: marcusdesigninc
This is a clever way to use the recessed ceiling because it helps hide the lighting fixtures for the particular room. The reflection thus creates an even more dramatic effect for the room.
Source: decorextra
You can also take this opportunity to create a contrast in design by making a part of the recessed ceiling darker than the rest of it. Just look at this picture to see what I mean.
Source: rocahomes
If you have a white recessed ceiling, having a darker shade of gray can give your bedroom an even more sophisticated look in the future. You should definitely try it out as soon as possible.
Source: houzz
In this picture, you can see a reverse contrast in the recessed ceiling by having the inner part as the white one and the rest gray.
Source: hgtv
You can also use different materials for the recessed ceiling if you want to. Look at the middle part of the ceiling in this picture. It is covered by a wooden plank.
Source: hgtv

As a last option, you can also add some wood paneling for your recessed ceiling. It will definitely be a great addition to your design plan for sure. Why don’t you give it a shot and see how it works out?
Source: decorextra

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

9 ways to start an urban garden

9 ways to start an urban garden

As someone who lives in downtown Toronto, I can tell you first hand that some of the preconceptions about the Big Smoke are spot on: it’s smoggy, there’s not a ton of green space so it’s hard to get those essential nutrients and, sometimes, it can even be a bit suppressing when it comes to getting that fresh air we all so desperately need.
With the recent influx of condos popping up in every previously unoccupied nook and cranny of the city, Torontonians are quickly losing much of our green space. Despite these eco obstacles, we can thank crafty humans, Pinterest and the Internet at large for helping to spread the green love. Urban gardeners and green thumbs from around the world have united on the Internet to deliver awesome options and ways for urbanites to start wonderful, space-saving urban gardens that provide us with essential nutrients and fit into tight living spaces. Without further ado, check out our list of nine ways to start an urban garden:

Vertical iron rod garden

vertical teracotta garden
Photo via, photographer Sharon McGrath
This vertical iron rod garden is a great example of how to plant efficiently and also in style. By creating an iron rod framework, this urban garden ensures all-out stability as well as presentation using these cute terracotta pots. This grid comfortably fits 44 pots, which is definitely more herbs and veggies than most humans can handle.

Cactus paradise planter

If you’re one of those people who has trouble keeping a pet goldfish alive, this cactus paradise planter is going to be ideal for you. Whether they’re potted or planted, featuring a variety of cacti in your urban garden is the definition of non-committal beauty. These cacti create a tropical, exotic look in your backyard and the best part is that if you forget to water them for a week, they’ll be just fine!

Wall-mounted herb garden

Photo via
No space? No problem! This wall-mounted herb garden is the perfect urban garden solution for anyone living in tight quarters. The other awesome thing that this mason jar garden offers is a very inexpensive solution to starting your own herb collection. With very little maintenance, set up or clean up needed for this petite urban garden, the wall-mounted herb garden is a sure-fire way to get your greens.

Staircase garden

Photo via
Small-space dwellers are familiar with having to come up with ingenious ways to save space and still get what they want. This staircase garden is a great example of taking that attitude to the next level as this clever planting system places this delicate greenery right under your very feet. Whether it’s decorative or for consumption, being able to plant between the lines like this allow true urban green thumbs to make an awesome, eco-friendly urban pad.

Recycled hanging soda bottle planters

Photo via
The great thing about this urban garden concept is that it addresses two key issues with one solution. By reusing inexpensive, two-litre soda bottles and hanging them on your railings, these hanging soda bottle planters allow urban planters to save money and space. You can even decorate the soda bottles to jazz them up a bit and make them fit in with your decor.

Balcony terrarium

Looking for a gardening solution that adds a little more pizzazz to the balcony? The balcony terrarium is a great solution for urban gardeners with an eye for design and an interest in growing exotic plants. The beauty of this design is that because the terrarium traps warm air inside, plants that would typically not be able to handle colder climates or adverse weather conditions are able to live longer.

Earthy rooftop relaxation zone

Photo via
For those who are not interested in tending to fruits and vegetables, but instead just crave the beauty of the outdoors, a earthy rooftop relaxation zone like this may be just right for you. With the emphasis on creating a zen, laid back atmosphere, this urban garden uses a simple design and a lush wild garden to create the cottage effect. A great place to crack a beer and enjoy the sunset.

Rustic garden wall

Photo via
Simplistic in its design and easy on the eyes, this rustic garden wall makes a great addition to any urban space that features some beautiful exposed brick. The great thing about an urban garden like this is that it’s relatively low maintenance and can be used to grow vegetables as well as delicate flowers that will accent your already rad looking hangout spot.

Hanging clay pot garden

Hanging Pot Garden
Photo via
When in need of space, look up! This hanging clay pot garden is a great solution for urban dwellers in desperate need of somewhere to plant their roots. This clay pot garden is easy to assemble and looks great. You can also make sure that your plants get as much sunlight as possible if you’re able to hang them in the direction of the sun.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Toronto Housing Starts in February 2016

Newsroom > News Releases > 2016 > Toronto Housing Starts in February 2016 

Toronto Housing Starts in February 2016

TORONTO, March 8, 2016 — Housing starts in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) trended at 42,352 units in February 2016 compared to 45,296 in January 2016 according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
“While housing starts in Toronto trended lower in February, low listings of single-detached homes in the resale market have resulted in some demand being carried over to the new home market as indicated by higher trending single-detached home starts, ” said Dana Senagama, CMHC Principal Market Analyst for the GTA.
CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations, analysing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite variable from one month to the next.
The standalone monthly SAAR was 47,341 units in February, up from 26,120 units in January. The increase was the result of greater apartment starts.
With 2,101 new apartment units breaking ground within the City of Toronto meant it recorded the highest number of starts within the GTA. Brampton recorded the next highest number of starts comprising mostly single-detached units. This was followed by Mississauga, where apartment construction was robust.
Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link:Preliminary Housing Starts Tables
As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.
For more information, or follow us on TwitterYouTubeLinkedIn and Facebook.
Information on this release:
Media Contact:
Angelina Ritacco
Cell: 647-210-7420
Additional data is available upon request.

Preliminary Housing Start Data
February 2016
Toronto CMA1January 2016February 2016
February 2015February 2016
February — Single-detached358731
February — Multiples1,2992,671
February — Total1,6573,402
January to February — Single-detached7981,374
January to February — Multiples3,8333,871
January to February — Total4,6315,245
Source: CMHC
1 Census Metropolitan Area
2 The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR). By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.
Detailed data available upon request
Preliminary Actual Housing Start Data by Type
February 2015-2016
Toronto CMASingleSemiRowAptTotal
List of Sub- markets
Richmond Hill94--810------1912
King Township8--------------8--
East Gwillimbury1416------------1416
Georgina Township366------12----378
Toronto City4047----48211,0142,1011,1022,169
Town of Mono--------------------
Halton Hills41--------------41--
New Tecumseth574--8----48--5382
Bradford West Gwillimbury626--12--5----643
Total Toronto CMA Starts35873144281931941,0622,4491,6573,402
Source: CMHC
Preliminary Actual Housing Start Data by Type
Year to Date / 2015-2016
Toronto CMASingleSemiRowAptTotal
List of Sub- markets
Richmond Hill1214--8296----4128
King Township3712----4------4112
East Gwillimbury3618------------3618
Georgina Township10106----1212----22118
Toronto City84114--248332,7962,8262,9282,975
Town of Mono--------------------
Halton Hills826------------826
New Tecumseth251212834275048--128205
Bradford West Gwillimbury1143232616----1991
Total Toronto CMA Starts7981,3741101003764563,3473,3154,6315,245
Source: CMHC


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