THE UBER CONTROVERSY

New regulations allow Uber and similar ride-booking companies to operate legally here while also easing oppressive rules that encumber the traditional taxi industry. The more than 15,000 UberX drivers currently operating in Toronto will now be in a legal position to carry fee-paying passengers using unmarked personal cars. These drivers will face the same criminal record checks and other standards required for cabbies, and they will have to carry the same insurance.
(Source: Toronto Star)

DOORS OPEN TORONTO THIS WEEKEND – DO NOT MISS!

Saturday, May 28 + Sunday, May 29
Free and rare access to more than 130 architecturally and historically significant buildings across the city.

SPRING MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR THE HOUSE

1. Check for loose or leaky gutters and have them cleaned out. They have likely accumulated leaves and sediment from the fall/ winter season

​2. Check all downspouts and reconnect parts that came apart. Make sure they always drain away from the foundation.

3Use binoculars to examine roof shingles from the ground. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Also check flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys. Use a qualified roofer should repairs become necessary!

4. Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage and check hoses for damage as well

5. Take a close look all around your house and the foundation if there are any cracks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to masonry, parging or exposed wood.

 

SPRING MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR THE BACKYARD

1. Potentially dangerous work or work that requires a certain amount of skill should be done by a professional!

2. Clean your tools, have your cutting blades sharpened, and check any electrical equipment

3. Clear plants and shrubs. If they are too close they can find their way into cracks and holes in the exterior walls of home, garage and shed, and can cause damage

4. Check trees for interference with electric lines and other structures. Consult an arborist and have them professionally trimmed if necessary

5. Low areas in the yard or next to any foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Water pools in these low areas can create a breeding ground for insects in the summer.

Interest Rates Hold Steady

The Bank of Canada announced on January 20, 2016 that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent. The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is March 9, 2016.

Source: Bank of Canada

 

Changes to Downpayment Rules

Effective February 15, 2016, the minimum down payment for new insured mortgages has increased from 5 per cent to 10 per cent for the portion of the house price above $500,000. The 5 per cent minimum down payment for properties up to $500,000 remains unchanged. Canadians who already hold mortgages will not be affected by this announcement.

Source: Department of Finance Canada