March 2015 Ontario Economic Fundamentals

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Ford adding 400 jobs in Oakville to build Edge SUV

OAKVILLE, Ont. - Ford Motor Co. announced the addition of 400 new jobs to its assembly plant in Oakville, Ont., Thursday as it officially launched production of the new Edge crossover SUV — a vehicle which will be built for Canada, the U.S. and a number of other countries.

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Vast construction site reshaping Toronto's waterfront

It may take another decade, but if all goes as planned, Toronto could very well hold bragging rights to the world’s most enviable waterfront. Not only that, but those residing a hop, skip and a jump from the water’s edge will be able to boast that they’re truly living green.

Take the Aqualina and Aquavista at Bayside condominium buildings in Waterfront Toronto’s East Bayfront neighbourhood as an example. Tridel has two NETZED (net zero energy dwelling) suites up for grabs there that promise the ultimate in green living. The penthouses − at 1,182 and 696 sq. ft. respectively − get their hot water and electricity from the roof’s solar panels during the day and use the building’s energy come nighttime.

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Southwestern Ontario on
track to lead province's economy


Southwestern Ontario will lead a resurgent Ontario economy in 2015, one analyst says as a heavyweight new forecast hammers home a bullish outlook for the province.

With the recession that clobbered the region now fading to black, and the all-important U.S. market that is its largest customer roaring back to life, Southwestern Ontario — which rides the American economy’s coattails more than any part of Canada — has been watching all its stars align for a comeback.

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Why falling oil prices will squeeze Ontario too



With the plunge in oil prices over the last six months (and already soft natural gas prices), it’s not headline news to note that provinces heavily dependent on energy-related revenues are suffering.

The decline in the resource sector has also contributed to a decline in the value of the Canadian dollar against the greenback. That has led some to speculate that Ontario’s economy will improve. (The depreciation of the loonie makes Ontario’s manufactured goods artificially more competitive.)

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Overview What Rights do
your Tenants have in #Ontario


Hunting for an apartment is tough, and it can feel like the landlords are holding all the cards. In Canada, there is a lot of protections for tenants, from being discriminated against when finding an apartment or a house to rent, to ensuring you don’t get taken advantage of when living at a rental or moving out. These vary from region to region, and even between cities there are some variations in what protections are extended. Here are the specific rights that you have as a tenant living in Ontario.

When looking for an apartment, while landlords can check that you have enough money to pay the rent, they are not allowed to discriminate based on how you get your money (for instance, employment insurance or social assistance). They can ask about your job, but cannot require that applicants have a job or work full time. Your S.I.N. number should not be requested, as some of the information on a S.I.N. could be used to discriminate, and it is not needed for renting housing.

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Hamilton city planners to
be choosier in evolving downtown


When it comes to development in Hamilton's downtown core, the city is no longer in a mindset of beggars can't be choosers.

While planners want to keep the new development spigot flowing, they are also beginning to explore what leverage they have with developers to push for some broader public benefits.

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Is the Toronto real estate market immune to roadblocks?

The Canadian real estate market has faced a number of roadblocks in recent years, many designed to slow down a heated market – but these obstacles don’t seem to have had any impact on investors in Toronto.

“The Toronto market is a very unique animal,” said Steve Arruda, an investor and Realtor at Keller Williams Neighbourhood Realty.

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Average price of Toronto detached homes shoots past $1 million

Home sales in February were surprisingly hot — even in the face of record-low temperatures — as sales climbed 11.3 per cent over the same period a year ago, and so did prices, with the average detached in the City of Toronto exceeding the $1 million mark.

Prices for all housing types — from condos to detached homes — were up 7.8 per cent in February across the GTA, bringing the average sales price to $596,193, according to figures released by the Toronto Real Estate Board Wednesday.

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Honest Ed's development plan envisions 1,000 rental housing units

More than 500 people packed a ballroom at the Hyatt Regency hotel on Avenue Rd. Tuesday night for the unveiling of development plansfor the Honest Ed’s site at Bloor and Bathurst Sts.

The plan calls for 1,000 units of rental housing plus retail and restaurants spread throughout 55 buildings that range in height from 2.5 storeys to a 29-storey “micro-tower” — a term used by architect Gregory Henriquez because of the building’s small footprint — on the northeast corner of the site.

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In Toronto, bidding wars
enter new territory (or is it just repeat of previous ridiculousness?)


Last week real estate agent Christopher Bibby listed a double-storey Cabbagetown loft with an asking price of $785,00.

The first offer landed within about six hours so Mr. Bibby set a deadline for 10 p.m. that night and set about contacting any agent who booked an appointment.

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Toronto ranks among the cities that will 'dominate' for world's megarich

Toronto ranks among cities of key importance to the world’s megarich, a new report suggests.

Indeed, Toronto will be among those that “dominate,” says the study released today by Knight Frank, a global real estate consultancy whose annual Wealth Report is widely followed.

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New condo sales still strong

How best to describe the GTA new-home market at the start of 2015?

Well, it’s complicated. Sales are down, but prices are up.

There were 1,939 new homes sold across the region in January. While that’s tracking three per cent above the market’s 10-year average, it represents a decline of 12 per cent from last year.

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Ontario among provinces to receive economic boost

"Ontario, with its minor exposure to the oil and gas extraction sector, is expected to receive a significant economic boost in the short term," said Marie-Christine Bernard, CBoF provoincial economic trends associate director, in a press statement.

A recent CBoC report predicts that B.C., Manitoba and Ontario will all expand at a faster rate than the Canadian economy, which is forecast to post real growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 1.8 per cent in 2015. This represents a drop from 2.4 per cent last year. The fall in the price of West Texas Intermediate crude to about $50 a barrel in the first part of February, from more than $100 in early August 2014, is having a ripple effect on the national economy. However, at the provincial level the impact of falling oil prices will be highly uneven.

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GTA to lead Ontario construction growth in 2015, other regions express less certainty



Growth within Ontario's construction industry and its correlating job creation is expected to occur at significantly different rates across the province in 2015, according to the annual Construction Confidence Indicator, released today by the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS). This is despite an overall confident outlook for Ontario's $16 billion ICI construction economy.

Findings from the province-wide survey of contractors, prepared by the OCS and Ipsos Reid, show that the Greater Toronto Area is expected to lead the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) construction industry in 2015. This activity is being driven by major public transportation projects and urban infrastructure developments throughout the GTA.

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Ally

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Real estate brokers defy TREB, vow to publish home sale stats

Those Torontonians cut off from receiving their regular dose of home sales stats will get a welcome fix in their inbox.

Two of the three brokers who shut down their online service this week after receiving a threatening letter from the Toronto Real Estate Board have decided to get back in the game.

They say they've concluded they're breaking no rules in doling out the coveted information about what homes are selling for in the city.

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Ally

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Toronto condo building
market booming again - is it sustainable or a blip?


After years of slow growth, Toronto’s condo market has come roaring back to life.

Builders were putting the finishing touches on nearly 10,400 new condo units in January, eight times more than the monthly average over the past decade, Bank of Montreal senior economist Sal Guatieri said in a report last week.

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Ally

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Toronto council approves
2.75 per cent property tax increase including the Scarborough subway levy


The total property tax increase — which includes a previously-approved 0.5 per cent levy to pay for the Scarborough subway — becomes 3.2 per cent with adjustments for the current value of properties. That hike is equivalent to an annual increase of $83 for the average household.

A majority of councillors voted Tuesday to approve the increase recommended by the budget committee and Mayor John Tory (open John Tory's policard)’s executive committee.

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Ally

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The #Hamilton housing
market up 14% vs last year. The People Have Discovered It!


Home sales in February were up 14 per cent compared to the same month a year ago, according to new numbers released by the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington.

The median sale price for all homes sold in February in Hamilton and Burlington was $365,000, up 7.4 per cent compared to $340,000 in February 2014. Prices for condos alone rose, too — the median was $287,000 in February, up nearly 5 per cent from the same month a year ago.

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Ally

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First Gulf engages the community on transformative 'Project 21'

With many of Downtown's development plots being snapped up for new condo and office buildings, some future expansion plans for Toronto's business core is stepping outside the traditional boundaries. First Gulf Corporation's Globe and Mail Centre near King and Parliament Streets, on the shoulder of the Financial Core, marked an important eastward step in the developer's goal to find new markets and spaces for high-quality office space.

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