Steam Shower Installs by Jim Ridley

If you are considering a reno and installing a steam shower, we can offer a couple of insights from personal experience.  Jim has installed two, the first one incorrectly.

Often what leads a home owner to consider a tub reno or replacement is a spongy back wall behind adhesive tiles.  After removing tile and tub you will want to inspect studding for mold and consider replacement.  Install green wall board which is a bathroom rated gyprock or green e-board which has no paper and is actually magnesium rock, not in any way permeable to water.  Then a coat of “Redguard” paint which is very much like rubber, is called for.  It goes on pink and turns a bright red when dry so you can see if any areas have been missed.

Most  tub replacements are Acrylic and so choose one totally open on one side for stepping in and out of the shower plus a seat/bench built in to sit on while you are enjoying your Steam Shower.  The open side of the shower can be fitted with a raindrop glass door and side panels that you cannot see in or out of.

A local plumber can order in either a left or right hand drain tub that are 5 ft in length and fits perfectly where the old tub was placed.  A steam generator is needed to be located outside the tub either in the utility room or a nearby closet and needs only 110v current to power plus a water line in and out to the shower.

Now the tricky part if you’re going to take on tiling.  The ceiling must be done at a slight angle so that water will slide along the ceiling to the back wall so place that first.  Use epoxy tile mortar and epoxy grout as this is what swimming pool installers use.  You can only do a couple of rows of tiles at a time as it sets up super quick.

After the tiling is complete use a waterproof grout sealer as well.  Now it’s all water tight.  An operating tip would be that after use and a 30 minute cool down period with glass door closed, open the door for 24 hours to completely dry out your shower.  This will help avoid the build up of any mold over time.  Sit down and enjoy your new Steam Shower; I do every morning

~ Handyman Jim

Canada Turns 150 Years Old - Celebrate Wherever You Are

We would like to wish everyone a Happy Canada Day, Happy 150 and a great summer! Jim & Jordie

This is an opportunity to gather in our communities, from coast to coast to coast, and to proudly celebrate all we have in common. It is an opportunity to celebrate our achievements, which were born in the audacious vision and shared values of our ancestors, and which are voiced in nearly all of the languages of the world through the contribution of New Canadians.

Canada Day is a time to celebrate the heritage passed down to us through the works of our authors, poets, artists and performers. It is a time to rejoice in the discoveries of our scientific researchers, in the success of our entrepreneurs, and to commemorate our history – a history in which each new chapter reveals itself to be more touching, more fascinating than the last.

In this momentous year marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation, our Canada Day celebrations will be bigger than ever! There will be major celebrations in 19 Canadian cities in addition to the many festivities set to take place in various communities from coast to coast. A full weekend of activities is also on the agenda in Canada’s Capital Region to celebrate Canada Day and our country’s anniversary in a spectacular way.

As we look ahead, we have every reason to show our pride in being Canadian and to face the future with confidence and enthusiasm.

Wherever you are in Canada you can celebrate.

Canada Celebrates Everywhere on July 1st

If you are in Canmore here is a list of things to do on July 1st. 

Canmore Rotary/Calgary Stampede Pancake Breakfast

Centennial Park 8:00am - 11:00am

Family Fun Run and Walk

Centennial Park 9:00am

Canada Day Parade

Main Street Canmore
12:00pm - 1:00pm

Party in the Park

Centennial Park & Stan Rogers Stage (1:00pm to 9:30pm)

1:30pm to 2:30pm Infield Band Parade Show
2:30pm Stan Rogers Stage:
Indigenous welcome
Mayor Borrowman and MLA
Oh Canada with Suzanne Morley
2:45pm Indigenous drummers and dancers
2:57pm Parade Float Winners – Ribbon Presentation
3:10pm to 3:40pm Depayses – French Canadian local band
3:50pm to 4:30pm Elk Run and Riot
4:45pm to 6pm The Fates
6:10pm to 6:50pm The Wardens
7pm to 7:40pm Sullivan, Eckerle, March, Mills
7:50pm to 8:40pm Abbey Rodeo
8:45pm to 9:30pm Seth Anderson

All afternoon
Shaw Kids Zone including bouncy castles, face painting, balloons, beat the bucket, petting zoo, circus arts workshop, water splash zone, ACFA craft area  and lots more.

Food Booths
Big Melt
Iron Goat
Kwality Ice Cream
Mad Dog Café and Market
Panago Pizza
Popcorn Machine
The Bean Company
B&N Fire and Ice Truck

Fireworks at Milennium Park

10:30 pm

Mountain Made Market

Civic Centre Plaza
9:00am - 3:00 pm

We make sure this does not happen to you:: Man fInds he does not own his backyard

3 years after moving in, homebuyer can finally call backyard his own

'I'm just glad I can move on,' says Nova Scotia man who discovered someone else owned parts of his property

By Yvonne Colbert, CBC News

Nearly three years after settling into his first home, a Nova Scotia man can finally enjoy his backyard knowing that he actually owns it.

Ryan Manning of Salmon River has spent the past nine months trying to figure out how he bought a house only to discover its backyard, shed and part of the deck technically belonged to someone else.

"I'm feeling relieved," Manning told CBC News on Thursday.

"[It] feels 10 times better to know that something that's been going on for so long has finally come to a resolution and one that I can live with."

Manning bought the duplex — a foreclosed property at 8 Miller Rd. outside Truro — in September 2014 and moved into the fixer-upper.

Last fall, a stranger named Cory Wood knocked on his door and told Manning he didn't own the backyard, the shed or part of his deck. Wood offered to sell it to him.

Manning was shocked because the property was fenced and the listing's real-estate agent had told him the fence was his boundary. The original listing also included a picture of the backyard. He was even given the keys to the shed when the purchase was finalized.

But when Manning checked, he learned the house and backyard were two separate parcels of land and Wood did indeed own the backyard.

Manning didn't have the money to buy the land from Wood and spent six months trying to get help from everyone who was involved in the purchase, including the listing agent and the law firm. With no result in sight, he turned to CBC News.

'Unbelievably happy'

After CBC News contacted Patterson Law earlier this month, the firm worked with Manning and ReMax Fairlane Realty to purchase the property from Wood and transfer its full ownership at no cost to Manning.

The amount paid has not been disclosed. Other associated fees were also handled by the law and real-estate firms.

On Wednesday, Manning signed documents and the agreement was finalized.

"I am unbelievably happy about that," he said. "I'm just glad I can move on. I don't have to have this burden anymore in my life."

Sharon Corcoran, owner of ReMax Fairlane Realty, said she's never experienced a situation like this.

"There were many errors that had to occur for this to happen," she wrote in an email to CBC News.

"I would like to offer one great takeaway lesson for buyers of foreclosed properties or all properties for that matter: it is always in the buyer's best interest to have a surveyor's location certificate prepared before closing their transaction."

At the time of the purchase, Manning's lawyer recommended a survey but indicated in a letter that a title insurance policy was an alternative.

Manning opted for the insurance, but when the trouble started he discovered the policy only protected the lender.

Tangled selling history

Manning isn't the only person to encounter the same problem with the property. Wood also thought he'd bought it complete with the backyard only to find out later he hadn't.

Wood purchased the property from Joan Brundin in 2010. She thought she was selling him the entire property and he thought he was buying all of it.

Months later, however, it was discovered only the piece of land containing the house had been transferred to Wood. Brundin subsequently signed over the backyard property to Wood for one dollar.

It is unclear whether anyone informed the bank of the situation.

The bank subsequently foreclosed on the property containing the house seemingly unaware its mortgage only covered the house and not the backyard, leaving Wood as owner of the backyard property and free to sell it to whoever bought the house.

'I was like him'

Wood told CBC News he didn't realize he owned the backyard until a year ago when he received a tax bill.

"I was like [Manning]," Wood said. "When I bought the property, I thought I bought everything."

He remembers receiving a second deed months after the purchase, but said he didn't pay any attention to it because it showed the land he had purchased.

Wood said he didn't make any money on the sale of the backyard to Manning. He used the money to pay legal fees and taxes.

One last step

George White, managing partner of Patterson Law, said he was pleased the matter was resolved but could not comment further.

"We are appreciative of the co-operation of our client, and the real-estate agency, both of which worked together with us to resolve Mr. Manning's concerns," he said.

Manning, though, said there's one more step: a local surveying company has offered to review the situation and possibly survey the property.

"I want to make sure this doesn't happen again to someone else," Manning said.

Why choose Jim and Jordy for your Real Estate Needs

Building professional relationships with great Clients is our ongoing objective. We have the confidence to say to both Sellers and Buyers, “We’re going to give you our best work and we ask for your loyalty in return.”

Big Picture Market Data, Statistics & Trends
We have access to and examine market data and statistics through two powerful databases of market activity. We analyze information and trends become evident when we step back and look at world events and relate these to our local, unique real property market.

Analysis Of Buyer And Seller Goals
We listen well, learn your objectives quickly and set the right priorities.

For Buyers, our real time Private Client Services search engine identifies your property preferences and provides us with a unique ability to meet your needs.

For Sellers, positive and on-going dialogue about your objectives helps us develop a plan to meet your goals within your timeline.

Aware Of Timing Considerations
Timing is everything and for us it is an important piece of the transaction adventure. Whether you are challenged or comfortable with Buying and/or Selling, we pay attention to the pace you set for the length of the journey and guide you along the whole way.

Care And Attention To Detail
Sellers deserve the best quality representation of their property and we deliver. As an example, High Dynamic Range Photography is our standard. We tap into leading edge ways of doing certain things, but maintain a down home approach by listening to you and responding to your unique needs.

Thinking And Acting Ahead
We take a what-if approach to managing problems, just like a climber studying a wall considers the “problems’ to be solved. We always look ahead and want your experience to be a rewarding one, like summiting on a clear, safe peak.

Secure Digital Lockboxes
We utilize modern technologies to improve the efficiencies, providing secure access to properties. We follow up on viewing outcomes, provide short notice access to Buyers, and increase viewing frequencies when when convenient to Sellers.

We make your life simpler by moving through necessary paperwork quickly and efficiently via electronic signatures. More than convenient, it is also fast and allows you to compete when timelines are tight during negotiations and people are afar.

Transaction Flow Professionally Managed Start To Finish
Let our experienced Team members streamline the work flow and process with you. We coordinate with all parties involved to keep everyone on-task.

Timely Communication
Whether you phone, text or email us, you will reach a single contact point for our team and we're back at ya' in no time. All thanks to a state of the art integrated communication platform.

Team Of Two Offering 24/7 Service
Synergy hits the pavement: you profit from two unique perspectives and best solutions that two capable, experienced and knowledgeable Real Estate professionals can put together.

Jordy Shepherd, Realtor®
I am a licenced real estate associate and an internationally certified mountain guide. I have lived, worked and played in the mountain towns of western Canada all of my life. I live in Canmore, and my family and I enjoy all that the Bow Valley has to offer.

I enjoy being involved with my community: - Member of the Town of Canmore Heliport Monitoring Committee - Rockies Director on the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) Board of Directors - Member of the ACMG Awards Committee - Firefighter and rope rescue technician with Town of Canmore Fire/Rescue.

Jim Ridley, Realtor®
Along with business experience founding Positive People Placement, my assets include 28 years living and playing in the Bow Valley. This knowledge as well as an in-depth understanding of Land Use Zoning in Canmore through my seven years on Town Council provides Buyers with an expertise seldom found in Realtors. I can help figure out "what your property can do for you".

Glow in the dark Toonie - Happy Canada 150

The Royal Canadian Mint is going all out for the country’s 150th birthday by releasing a glow-in-the-dark toonie.

The mint has unveiled a limited-edition, glow-in-the-dark toonie to commemorate Canada 150.

The specially designed toonie will be the world's first glow-in-the-dark coin in circulation.

A range of other commemorative glow-in-the-dark coins are available on the mint's website, but the new toonie will be the first glow-in-the-dark coin you might find in your pocket this summer.

The toonie is part of the five-coin 2017 Canada 150 collection and features a depiction of the Northern Lights on one of its sides. Designs for the coins were revealed last November and were selected from drawings sent in by thousands of Canadians who took part in a national contest.

The coins include:

5-cent: Living Traditions by Gerald Gloade of Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia
10-cent: Wings of Peace by Amy Choi of Calgary, Alberta
25-cent: Hope for a Green Future by Joelle Wong of Richmond Hill, Ontario
One-dollar: Connecting a Nation by Wesley Klassen of St. Catharines, Ontario
Two-dollar: Dance of the Spirits by Timothy Hsia of Richmond, British Columbia

Watch for the glow in the dark toonie and all the other commemorative coins in a pocket or purse near you.

Also released for the Canada 150 is a new $3 Coin. 

The new $3 coin adorned with maple syrup, a beaver, a hockey stick, a lobster pot, and other quintessential symbols of the ‘true north strong and free.’

The 99.9 % silver coin was designed by Canadian artist Laurie McGaw and will cost you $19.99.

“This coin is filled with inspiring symbols, and even if you haven’t seen or experienced them all, you’ll likely notice they all feel like “home”—Canada, a rich and ever-changing combination of people, histories and aspirations that come together with the maple leaf at their heart,” the Royal Canadian Mint said on its website. 

Living with Wild Elk

In the Bow Valley year after year in the inhabited areas where people are living in Wildlife corridors a person is attacked by a wild Elk. These animals are as large as horses but do not share their tame temperament.

Spring is calving season for Cow Elk and fall is when rutting season starts and the Bull Elk can be aggressive.   A few days ago, on June 8 a Banff man was kicked in the head by a Cow Elk.  (see full story in the Rocky Mountain Outlook).

In this instance, it was a case of a new mother protecting her calf.  The newborn will hide in the brush while the Cow watches over and if a person inadvertently comes in between them she may attack.  The hooves of these large ungulates are very sharp and can injure a person easily.

Cow Elk charges Man

This interaction is not unusual as the close proximity of Elk and People will eventually cause an interaction which in many cases is purely coincidental.  There have been cases of people attacked while walking to work, running on the path systems in the forest or just walking down the street.

In the Fall during the Rut (mating season) the Bulls can become very aggressive and may attack. They will use their hooves and their antlers to attack you if you are too close to them.

Bull Elk chases Man

Many people just think they are tame and will react like animals in petting zoo.  This is not the case. These are Wildlife and are not tame.

Please be aware of these large and potentially dangerous animals and please keep your distance.  It is great if you can get a picture but is that picture worth being injured or worse.

Young male Elk vs Photographer

Many animals are injured or put down after encounters and that Humans are responsible for 50% of wildlife attacks (read article here from the RM Outook).  Please be responsible and stay away from Elk.

For more information on how be safe around wild Elk please visit WildSmart at  

Home prices remained stable in May - Calgary

Calgary - June 01, 2017

Demand for detached housing continues to rise

Fueled by the detached sector, Calgary home prices trended up for the fourth consecutive month, but remain below 2014 highs.

“The economic climate is supporting detached housing market recovery,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“Improved demand and easing supply has created more balanced conditions and ultimately some modest price gains. While it will still take some time for prices to recover, the transition in the detached segment is an important first step to stabilization across all segments of the housing market.”

For the first time since June 2015, prices in the detached sector did not decline on a year-over-year basis. Unadjusted detached benchmark prices reached $509,000 in May, one per cent higher than last month and May 2016 levels.

Like the detached market, the attached product has moved towards more balanced conditions. This has supported some recent directional shifts in pricing.  However, monthly price declines had fallen by 4.7 per cent over peak levels and year-to-date benchmark prices remain two per cent below last year’s levels.

“We can really see a slow but sure recovery in the housing market,” said CREB® president David P. Brown.

“Demand for detached product is driving a new sense of optimism for consumers as we move further into spring.”

Against this backdrop, the number of new listings rose to 3,866 units in May, which is 17 per cent higher than last year’s total for the month. Despite this rise, year-to-date new listings have declined by one per cent over last year.

“With the change in market dynamics, people no longer feel like they may need to settle for a second choice in a property,” said Brown.

“There are lots of housing choices in every segment of the market and that made for a good situation in an already active spring market.”

The variation in market activity also extends to regional areas outside the city of Calgary. Please go to CREB®’s Regional Report for highlights on regional activity.

Man who mowed lawn with tornado behind him says he 'was keeping an eye on it'

Theunis Wessels mowed his lawn at his home in Three Hills, Alta., on Friday as a tornado touched down nearby. The photo caused a bit of a storm on social media. (Cecilia Wessels/Canadian Press)

After this shot was captured of the "Man Who Mowed his Lawn with a Tornado behind him" the photo of this man has gone viral.  It has been noted in newspapers and media from all around the world including in the Guardian, Hindustan Times, BBC News, Washington Post, Time, Mashable and so many more.

The image has also inspired much conversation, deep thought such as this Twitter comment by Elliot "The tornado is my self destructive tendencies, the lawn is my life" and many memes such as Instagram comment by windriverroofingrestoration "Nothing can come between a Dad and his yard work".

Here is an article from The Canadian Press.

'It looks much closer if you look in the photo, but it was really far away'

A photo of a man in Alberta mowing a lawn with a tornado swirling behind him has been causing a bit of a storm on social media.

Cecilia Wessels snapped the picture of her husband, Theunis, on Friday evening as the twister passed near their home in Three Hills.

She says cutting the grass was on her husband's to-do list, and as he started the task, she went for a nap.

Wessels says she was woken by her nine-year-old daughter who was upset that there was something like a tornado in the sky, but her father wouldn't come inside.

Theunis Wessels says the tornado was actually much further away than it appears in the photo, and that it was moving away from them.

There have been no reports of injuries from the tornado, although some other photos show downed trees and a barn with its roof ripped off.

"I literally took the picture to show my mum and dad in South Africa, 'Look there's a tornado,' and now everyone is like, 'Why is your husband mowing the lawn?"' Cecilia Wessels said Saturday.

"Our whole street, everyone was on their back patios taking pictures," she added.

Theunis Wessels said he was keeping watch of his surroundings and saw the twister form as the swirling connected from the sky and the ground to form the funnel.

Theunis said he watched a TV program about storm chasers, so he's familiar with them.

The tornado moved away to the east, he said.

"It looks much closer if you look in the photo, but it was really far away. Well, not really far, far away, but it was far away from us," he said.

"I was keeping an eye on it."

Gardening and Yard Trends for 2017

Your yard and garden space can reflect your home style and your personality.  Here are 9 trends in gardening for you to choose from.

1. Bright, Bold Colors

Neutrals might be "in" in home décor, but outside, vibrant hues are trending. Instead of soft creams and pinks, flower beds will burst with bright orange, rich red, electric yellow, and brilliant fuchsia and purple.

2. Climate-Minded Gardening

Being climate-minded doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your beautiful landscape. As gardeners adapt to the climate, flower varieties that save water are becoming available. Look for native and drought-tolerant plants. For example, the company carries a variety of lilacs suited to a number of zones throughout the country.

3. Extreme Naturalism

Here's a landscaping trend we love: incorporating natural elements like rocks, boulders, and overgrown hedges for more structure.

4. Floratourism & Millennial Gardening

Too much technology has had young people heading to the great outdoors to unplug and connect with nature, says Monrovia. This movement can be seen in several trends including glamping and rustic dude ranches as popular vacation retreats, botanical gardens getting more foot traffic, and community gardens popping up in cities. And Monrovia predicts that millennials will embrace gardening more and more in the coming year as a respite from their digitally driven lives.

5. Backyard Edible Gardening

In response to the no-waste food movement, expect an increase in edible plants in American backyards. In 2014, the National Gardening Association reported that 1 in 3 households were growing food—63 percent of them millennials—and that number will only continue to grow. An easy way to get started? Add perennial herbs to your garden.

6. Statement Plants

Rather than sweat the small stuff, fill a large pot with a stunning "statement" plant to serve as the focal point of your garden. According to Monrovia, plant breeders have introduced varieties of boxwoods, compact hydrangeas, pomegranates, berries, and more that all make great "one-pot wonders" and require less maintenance.

7. Smaller-Scale Luxury

Large shrubs, hydrangea hedges, and crawling clematis hint at luxury, but if you don't have the space, you can still get the same aesthetic. Compact versions of these traditionally large plants have become available. Look for mini rose gardens, smaller-scale hydrangeas, and more manageable clematis.

8. Tough-and-Tender Balance

A sure way to elevate any outdoor space in 2017? Combine a mix of hardy, low-maintenance plants (think succulents, roses, and hydrangeas) with delicate, romantic varieties (like Itoh peonies and wisteria).

9. "Color Chameleon" Plants

Color-changing conifers that go from green in the summer to bronze, purple, and orange in the winter exploded in the gardening world last year, and they'll continue that same streak in 2017.