President Maureen O`Neill announced today, Toronto Real Estate Board Members recorded 6,015 resale home transactions last month, down 11 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area overall , 14 per cent in the City of Toronto and 9 per cent in the 905 suburbs compared to February 2007.
"To get an accurate perspective of current market conditions, a number of factors have to be considered," said Ms. O`Neill. "With 18,018 properties available for sale, inventory has decreased seven per cent from last February."
Ontario lost more than 77,000 manufacturing jobs from 2001 to 2006, according to the latest employment trends report from Statistics Canada.
That trend is likely to stretch well into 2008 and beyond, labour market experts say.
"Ontario is largely the manufacturing centre of Canada. If the Canadian dollar stays high, and there`s all indications it`s going to, manufacturing will have a tough time in this country, no question," said Chris Higgins, professor at the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.
Economy continues to move forward; We`re one of the most significant municipalities
Barrie means business. It`s not just a slogan - or a pipe dream - anymore.
According to Statistics Canada, Barrie had the fastest employment growth rate of any major metropolitan area in all of Canada between 2001 and 2006. Barrie`s rocket-fuelled economy experienced a 22.9 per cent increase in its employment growth rate; the national average was 1.7 per cent.
"I believe this signifies that we`re not only one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, but we`re one of the most significant municipalities in all of Canada," said Robert Brindley, the director of economic development for Barrie. "That`s a bold statement, but it`s backed up by statistics."
The city has decided to sell a prime piece of land on the Bloor St. W. strip for a bargain price and expects the property to be flipped quickly to allow a 100-metre condo tower on the site.
After a closed-door session, city council voted 28-4 yesterday to accept the original offer of $3.38 million made by McDonald`s for the site the restaurant chain occupies with a cheap 99-year lease, across from the Royal Ontario Museum.
Lakehead likes downtown; New campus on city`s fringe won`t sever links to Orillia core, dean assures crowd
It will have high-tech labs, state-of-the-art lecture theatres and a student residence - all designed to a slick environmental standard meant to garner federal cash.
But one thing Lakehead University`s future campus, to be built on farmland located on the western fringe of the city, will not have is a bookstore.
Manticore Books, on Mississaga Street in the heart of downtown Orillia, will remain the university`s official bookstore, Orillia campus dean Kim Fedderson told a crowd gathered at city hall Wednesday night for a public forum.
Toronto has the dubious honour of having the highest property taxes in Canada. However, several other Ontario cities are following close behind, according to a detailed property tax report issued recently by the City of Edmonton.
Toronto, Ottawa, Brampton, Hamilton and London take five of the top six spots when compared with over 30 municipalities across Canada. Toronto ranked first with the highest taxes paid on average at $3,912, followed by Brampton at $3,826. Ottawa was third at $3,532; Hamilton and London were close behind at $3,305 and $3,078 respectively.
Another lineup for Yonge Street condos turned briefly ugly yesterday.
Real estate agents had waited up to two weeks, reporting for roll call daily, for rights to sell units in the 75-storey Aura tower, to be built at Yonge and Gerrard streets.
The building, which developer Canderel Stoneridge claims will be Canada`s tallest residential tower, offers units ranging from $300,000 to $1-million. About 400 unit contracts were available yesterday, with buyers limited to two.
A $3-billion development plan to revitalize a strip of Toronto`s central waterfront will do more to dot the area with buildings as high as 40 storeys than create a lakeside playground for city residents. In coming up with plans for the shoreline, architects of Toronto`s waterfront vision have touted the idea as opening up access to the lake, ensuring the city`s waterfront will become a destination for city residents -- especially those who can`t afford cottages.
A decision of the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board last month underscores the right of a landlord to insert a non-smoking clause in a residential lease, and that the clauses are enforceable in the event of breach by a tenant. The decision is relevant to non-smoking tenants who live within breathing distance of smokers in condominiums, apartment buildings, multiplexes or even homes with basement apartments. It will also resonate with the landlords of those units.
Innisfil comes of age; High-profile business park shows why area is tops in job growth Innisfil comes of age
The latest census data released this week shows the job rate has soared in the Barrie region by nearly 23 per cent in the past five years the fastest of any major metropolitan area in Canada. Nowhere is this more evident than in Innisfil.
For months, huge billboards stood alongside Highway 400 heralding the imminent new homes of Mercedes-Benz Barrie and Barrie Subaru. Now, those signs have been replaced by new world-class facilities visual symbols of the coming of age of a piece of prime land that lay dormant for years.
Groundwork being laid for west-end development; Orillia council takes `first step` toward servicing plan
City politicians have backed a study setting the stage for a $4.7-million plan to service land in west Orillia.
Adopting the plan to service about 284 acres alongside Old Barrie Road, the site of the city-owned Horne farm property, and roughly 52 acres west of Georgian College, adjacent to Memorial Avenue, lays the groundwork for future development.
"It`s a first step," Robert Lamb, the city`s economic development manager, told The Packet & Times during Monday night`s council committee meeting.
For one thing, more than ever the city is displaying and celebrating its wealth and success. It`s a great city in the process of becoming a world-class city, with a new opera house; a new and glittering $270 million addition to the Royal Ontario Museum; a cutting-edge, $254 million addition designed by Frank Gehry to the Art Gallery of Ontario, which will open later this year; and a new center that will be the home of the Toronto International Film Festival. Festival Centre includes screening rooms, full-size cinemas, a gallery, a library, shops and restaurants.
The city is also building a 150-acre shopping and entertainment complex centered on extensive studios for filmmakers, who last year spent more than $700 million in Toronto, which has become a kind of Hollywood North.
Sadaqad Rahman figured there were possible problems with his new two-storey home in Vaughan when the builder seemed to be rushing him through a predelivery inspection on his closing date last December. When he hired a home inspector, Rahman was informed of several examples of poor workmanship.
"When I saw the little problems (a poor paint job), I figured I should get an inspection and they can tell me about the major ones about the structure," says Rahman, who moved into his home in December, just before he had it inspected.
All roads lead to a tax increase; Oro-Medonte grapples with tax hike
When deliberations began about a month ago, council was looking at a 10 per cent tax increase. For the township`s portion, that percentage now sits at nearly eight.
"Council is not yet happy with the budget. Our real challenge is to get our overall budget increase down to five per cent or lower," Mayor Harry Hughes said. "We are bound that we`re going to keep the overall increase to below five. We`re going to keep working at this thing until we do."
A five per cent hike would mean a $90 tax increase for a home assessed at $300,000, for example.
Despite the record February snowfall, Toronto area builders somehow managed to pour concrete – and lots of it.
The seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of housing starts was up by 24.8 per cent at 47,800 last month, compared to January, according to figures released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. yesterday.
On an unadjusted basis, total housing starts for January and February are up a significant 50 per cent compared to the first two months of 2007. (A start is registered when a foundation is poured). Much of that was due to condominium building.
Housing starts rose, but sales of existing housing fell in February as the Ottawa economy got mixed signals on the future.
Housing starts in Ottawa increased 5.7 per cent in February to 317 units compared to a year earlier, led by a surge in new single-detached houses.
But sales of existing housing fell 4.5 per cent to 983 units, led by a decline in townhouses and two-storey houses, compared to a year earlier. It marked the third straight month that resale activity has declined.