City of Toronto Supports “Missing Middle” Housing Options

Last week, Toronto City Council voted 20-3 to approve Mayor John Tory’s motion to expand “missing middle” housing options in areas designated as Neighbourhoods in Toronto’s Official Plan. These neighbourhoods coloured yellow in the City’s land use plan map are known as the “Yellowbelt”, mainly zoned for single and semi-detached housing since the 1960’s, accounting for approximately… Read More

Radon Gas Is The Second Leading Cause of Lung Cancer

House with radiation hazard

Ongoing research into the presence and effects of radon gas has produced some disturbing results – the gas is in almost twice as many Canadian homes as previously estimated. Health Canada estimates that radon exposure causes the deaths of about 3,200 Canadians every year. That makes it the second leading cause of lung cancer, representing… Read More

Ontario Government ‘More Homes, More Choice’ Act

On June 6, the Ontario Government passed new legislation to deal with the housing crisis through a five point plan: 1. Speed: cut out government bureaucracy that slows down the development process; 2. Cost: encourage developers to build more housing by reducing the layers of permits, government approvals and charges by municipalities and making these… Read More

Your Leaving-On-Vacation Checklist

Now that summer is just around the corner, many of us will be planning a getaway, whether it’s for a few days or a longer vacation. The location is chosen and the hotel is booked… but have you thought about what to do to make sure your home is safe while you’re gone? Break-ins are… Read More

New Mortgage Qualification Rules – More Unintended Consequences

As previously reported here, the B-20 ‘stress test’ mortgage qualification rules (requiring buyers to qualify ‘as if’ the mortgage rate were 2 points higher than it actually is) has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of real estate sales across the country. In turn, this caused an unintended knock-on impact on economic activity… Read More

Interest Rates Unlikely To Rise In 2019

The latest data from Statistics Canada shows that GDP has actually fallen in four of the past six months, suggesting that, after the longest (if one of the weakest) recoveries ever, we are heading toward a recession within the next year or so. Click to view monthly GDP chart This is why the Bank of… Read More

Canada Is A Haven For Money Laundering

There’s a lot of ‘dirty money’ in the world, and many complex schemes to ‘launder’ this money and convert it into ‘clean’ funds. Real estate is a very popular venue for such laundering, particularly in Canada, as we have some of the weakest laws in the world to defend against money laundering. A recent report… Read More

Our Housing Crisis Won’t Be Easily Solved

Much has been written about Canada’s housing crisis and, in particular, the present crisis of housing affordability and availability in the GTA. Sales of single family homes have fallen steeply over the past couple of years as prices have increased,  and mortgage rules have tightened,  while the supply of new homes has been limited. Many… Read More

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive – Will It Help?

The federal budget included a proposed measure that would see the federal government take on part of the costs of buying a home. The basic elements of the plan are: It will be available only to first-time homebuyers; It will be administered by CMHC and will only be available for CMHC-insured mortgages; Buyers must have… Read More

Toronto Considering Land Transfer Tax Increase

In early 2007, the City of Toronto instituted a Toronto Land Transfer Tax (on top of the Ontario Land Transfer Tax) as a way to increase revenues while avoiding large (and politically unpopular) increases in property taxes or decreases in expenses. This tax applies only to properties in the “Old Toronto” 416 area code. For… Read More