The flu season has arrived in Canmore. Many people are sick or not quite feeling right. Here are some tips to keep the bug at bay.
As temperatures and leaves fall, cold and flu viruses are on the rise. Whether you’re trying to avoid the office bug or stay healthy while you’re out networking and hustling, here are five key ways to avoid going viral (not the social media kind) this flu season.
1. Don’t share food
When late-afternoon cravings hit, what could be more appealing than that plate of homemade treats beckoning from the lunchroom? Unfortunately, stomach flu strikes when infected, highly contagious fecal particles find their way to your mouth — often via contaminated food. A 2015 survey revealed that about 60 per cent of men and 40 per cent of women don’t routinely wash their hands with soap after using a restroom, which means your chances of encountering a wayward virus from shared food are considerable.
Not only that, but a 2013 study from the University of Arizona showed that just one sick worker can infect over half of the office by lunchtime — one of the worst spots being the communal coffee-pot handle.
Stock your desk with healthy snacks so you’ll be less likely to give into temptation, especially if there’s a stomach bug going around your work.
If you must use the shared coffee station, sanitize your hands afterwards to avoid picking up more than just your cup.
2. Shake it off
Nothing says business like a firm, effective handshake. Unfortunately, it’s also an effective way to spread cold and flu viruses. In fact, handshakes are so notorious for transmitting bugs, some doctors recommend banning them altogether from hospitals. Thankfully, there is a less germy alternative: fist bumping.
Researchers in a 2014 study from the UK discovered that a friendly bump resulted in about 90 per cent less bacteria transfer than the traditional handshake. Although the fist-to-fist spread of viruses wasn’t specifically studied, the mechanism is likely similar.
If a handshake is unavoidable in your particular business situation, keep your hands (and newly acquired germs) far away from your face, food and drink until you have a chance to wash them.
3. Know your nose
The nose is your body’s primary entry point for cold viruses, therefore making it the first line of defence. When the weather gets chilly, indoor central heating turns on, reducing ambient humidity. This dries out and thickens your nasal mucous, making it much more difficult for your cilia (tiny, moving hairs) to whisk away pesky germs.
Interestingly, a 2014 Yale study also discovered that cold noses are significantly worse than warm ones at defending against the common cold virus.
If your work plans involve flying, be extra cautious. A study from the University of Victoria indicated you’re about 100 times more likely to catch a cold during plane travel — likely due to the combination of low cabin humidity and increased exposure to viruses from shared air.
Keep your nose in tip-top shape by drinking plenty of water and deploying a humidifier near your desk, aiming for 30-to-50-percent humidity levels.
If you’re hopping between meetings outside on a cool day, bury your nose in a scarf to keep it warm.
Be sure to lubricate the inside of your nose with an over-the-counter nasal gel or even petroleum jelly before a flight.
4. Sanitize the smart way
Keeping your hands clean is essential for keeping viruses at bay — and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be one of your best allies. In fact, research shows that office workers who use it five or more times a day can cut their risk of developing colds by an impressive two thirds.
Be sure to choose a brand with at least 60 per cent alcohol, which is most effective for disrupting viral cells. And don’t skimp when you pump! If your hands are dry within 15 seconds of applying the product, you’re not using enough.
Stow hand sanitizer on your desk and in your work bag for easy access on the go.
Keep in mind that it may not neutralize all gastrointestinal bugs, so you might want to opt for a soap-and-water scrub if stomach flu is making the rounds.
5. Sleep tight
Although sleep is often sacrificed when you’re facing an urgent deadline or travelling for business, it’s especially important that you get enough during flu season. Sleep deprivation has profoundly negative effects on your immune system, ranging from suppression of virus-killing T cells to an increase in inflammatory proteins.
Not surprisingly, a 2015 American study demonstrated that volunteers who slept fewer than six hours per night were four times more likely to fall ill when exposed to rhinovirus, a major culprit for the common cold.
Set an alarm for both wakeup and bedtime if you have trouble sticking to a regular schedule.
Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night to keep your immune system happiest.
If you’re crossing more than five time zones for a business trip, talk to your doctor about possible prescription and alternative sleep aids (like melatonin) to help you slumber sweetly when you arrive.
NEWS, STATISTICS & MARKET UPDATES
Reasons why the Canadian property market refuses to fall
So far low interest rates, a strong economy and large immigration are thwarting the doomsayers
Don Pittis · CBC News · November 28, 2017
Near a construction site, a real estate agency advertises its specialties including selling, renting and managing properties for absentee landlords. (Don Pittis/CBC)
It isn't just Canadians waiting to see tomorrow's latest real estate numbers.
On Wednesday when the Canadian Real Estate Association releases the latest sales statistics and prices for resale homes, it will feel like the whole world is watching.
At the end of last month the Swiss banking giant UBS put both Toronto and Vancouver in the top five of its international bad boy list.
Toronto had the distinction of placing number one on the company's worst global bubble risk, beating out Hong Kong, London and Amsterdam. Vancouver wasn't far behind.
'Fear of missing out'
"Annual price-increase rates of 10 per cent correspond to a doubling of house prices every seven years, which is not sustainable," said the UBS report. "Nevertheless, the fear of missing out on further appreciation predominates among home buyers."
If there's a bubble about to burst, nobody's convinced Canadian buyers or builders.
A walk past a Toronto open house this weekend was like watching a sugar bowl attacked by ants. The interior of the newly renovated house glowed in the grey afternoon light like a film set as well-off looking couples dipped in for a taste and headed back to their expensive cars.
By the next day a sold sign indicated one set of lucky buyers was now likely saddled with a million-dollar mortgage.
There may be some justification for bidding up the price of a detached brick house near good public transportation. The supply is limited.
But not far away, construction cranes tower into the sky as workers build more condos. The builders insist they are selling.
Montreal hot too
And Toronto and Vancouver aren't the only hot spots. After provincial governments used a tax on foreign buyers to try to slow overseas demand in those two cities, Montreal has seen a condo sales explosion of its own.
Powered by a surging Quebec economy that has made it a target for foreign cash diverted away from B.C. and Ontario, real estate in the province's business capital is playing catch-up.
So why isn't the latest round of warnings, including one from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation that the Canadian market was "highly vulnerable," having an effect?
Certainly hot international money looking for a safe home must still be having an impact. For example, some analysts have pointed to a resurgence in overseas buying in Vancouver as investors find ways around the tax or merely chalk it up as a cost of doing business.
Safer than bitcoin
If bitcoin, an imagined currency that has no floor value, can continue to attract investors in spite of this past weekend's heart-stopping plunge and recovery, it's no wonder overseas money thinks of Canadian property as a secure investment.
Maybe it's a sign of dangerous times to use bitcoin as a comparison, but if you are choosing between the two, Canadian property easily comes down as the blue chip investment. If the worst were to happen, bitcoin's billions could disappear in a cloud of smoke, but Canadian homes would retain a long-term value.
Whether it's because investors are sitting on unrented properties or due to soaring domestic need, markets continue to show plenty of unsatisfied demand, especially in areas closer to city centres and near good public transit.
Canada's surging economy continues to crank out good quality jobs and well-employed people demand quality accommodation. Besides, people hired in one of Canada's big cities need to find someplace to live whatever the price or quality.
And even if a bubble were to pop and Canadian houses were to experience a real bear market, with a million new immigrants scheduled to arrive in the next three years, there is every reason to expect a long-term return to value.
Cheap rates are getting expensive
As UBS notes in its warning, fear of missing out continues to drive buyers, convinced from years of experience that property prices only go one way — up. Of course if they look back at about a decade's worth of previous warnings they would quickly come to a conclusion warnings are not to be trusted.
Perhaps most important for the prospective homeowner trying to get into this market is that borrowing to buy a house or condo remains dirt cheap. Floating rates remain in the order of two per cent and five-year fixed rates can be as little as three per cent a year.
Those low rates are deceptive because houses are growing less affordable relative to income as prices continue to rise.
Global inflation is weak and after, two recent increases, Canadian interest rate rises appear to be on hold, so Canadian buyers are getting very little discipline from the market.
Until that happens — and despite the potential consequences — it is unlikely Canadian property buyers will be able to discipline themselves. We'll see tomorrow.
Source Article CBC
"Casablanca" The movie turns 75 years old this week
From what got censored to the film's Canadian connection,
13 things you may not know
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman starred in the film, which is widely considered one of the greatest of all time. (Warner Brothers)
Of all the classic Hollywood films, it's one of the best-known and most enduring — this week, Casablanca turns 75.
Amazingly, the people involved thought it would be just another Hollywood flick, one of hundreds the studios would release every year. But the film shot Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman to a new level of stardom and their lines in the film have been woven into the fabric of modern pop culture.
So to celebrate the anniversary, we've gathered 13 fascinating facts, from the pricey purchase of the original play to the movie's Canadian connection.
The story was purchased for $20,000
Playwright Murray Burnett co-created expat café owner Rick Blaine, piano player Sam, Czech resistance fighter Victor Lazlo and fresh-faced Ilsa Lund when he and his writing partner Joan Alison penned a play called ''Everybody Comes to Rick's" in 1940. Having watched the political change that was sweeping across Europe, the pair intended it as a cautionary tale about the perils of fascism.
The play was meant for Broadway, but never made it — reportedly in part because of the implication that Ilsa had slept with Rick in order to get letters of transit. But Warner Brothers certainly saw it's potential: they purchased the script and all rights for a record $20,000. (By comparison, the studio paid $8,000 for The Maltese Falcon.)
The studio thought it was a done deal, but in the 1980s, Warner Brothers created a short-lived TV show based on the movie, and Burnett filed a lawsuit claiming he owned the characters even though he had sold the play. ''These characters are part of me, and I have a great regard for them — even Ugarte,'' he said in a 1985 New York Times interview. ''I want them back.''
Over the years, Burnett was reportedly approached by many people who wanted to buy the rights to a sequel, among them director John Cassavetes, but the writer turned them all down because he thought Warner Brothers might sue him.
An Italian Casablanca poster sold at auction for $478,000 US in July, 2017. (Heritage Auctions )
Originally the story was set in Lisbon
The movie title definitely wouldn't have had the same ring if the creators had stuck with the original setting — Lisbon. But they later moved it to Casablanca, a place that Burnett had never seen, and never did in his lifetime, despite the sweeping success of the story he created.
''I never had any desire to go there,'' he said. ''I've been told they have a place there named Rick's, and it's a dump. Maybe I don't want to destroy the image of Casablanca which I created.''
There was a height issue
Like most film stars, Bogart seemed larger than life, but in person he stood 5' 8" tall. Bergman, however, was almost two inches taller. As a result, director Michael Curtiz had Bogie stand on blocks or sit on cushions to make him seem taller than his Bergman.
It was shot almost entirely in Burbank, California
As exotic as it looks, the entire film was shot at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California. There was one exception: the opening scene, which sees Nazi villain Heinrich Strasser flying past an airplane hangar, was shot at Van Nuys Airport in Van Nuys, Los Angeles. The final farewell tarmac scene, however, was filmed at Warner studios in Burbank.
Incidentally, that famous airplane hangar, which also appeared in the Laurel and Hardy comedy The Flying Deuces, was removed from Van Nuys during renovations in 2007 and moved to a Los Angeles parking lot. Earlier this year it was saved from the wrecking ball and will be moved to the Valley Relics Museum. The goal is to restore it and use it as part of a Moroccan-themed restaurant at Van Nuys Airport.
The release of the film was rushed
The release of Casablanca was rushed because of real-life world events. Originally the film was slated for release in early 1943, but the film premiered at the Hollywood Theater in New York City on November 26, 1942. Why? The publicity people moved it forward to coincide with the Allied invasion of North Africa and the capture of Casablanca.
The film then went into wide release on January 23, 1943, to coincide with the Casablanca Conference, a high-level meeting between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt in Casablanca.
Many of the actors were themselves victims of the war
Many of the actors had first-hand experiences of the war and of Nazi brutality. S. Z. Sakall, who played the waiter Carl, was a Jewish-Hungarian who fled Germany in 1939 and lost his three sisters to a concentration camp. Helmut Dantine, who played the Bulgarian roulette player, spent time in a concentration camp and left Europe after being freed. Curt Bois, who played the pickpocket, was a German-Jewish actor and refugee. Conrad Veidt, who played Major Heinrich Strasser, was a German film star and refugee, and even though he fled the Nazis, he was often cast as a Nazi in American films.
Director Michael Curtiz was a Hungarian-Jewish immigrant who had arrived in the U.S. in 1926, but some members of his family were refugees from Nazi Europe.
There was also a Canadian connection
John Qualen, who played Berger — Laszlo's resistance contact — was a Canadian, born in Vancouver and raised in both Vancouver and rural Illinois. His family was of Norwegian descent, and Qualen specialized in Scandinavian roles, appearing in The Grapes of Wrath, The Long Voyage Home, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Arabian Nights, Jungle Book and many more. Qualen died on September 12, 1987 at the age of 87 in Torrance, California.
The last surviving member of the cast was Madeleine LeBeau, who played Yvonne, Rick's girlfriend. She died on May 1, 2016, at the age of 92.
The screenplay was heavily censored
At the time Casablanca was made, censors used a heavy hand when it came to Hollywood films — and in a later interview, Julius Epstein remembered just how stringent they were. "The main thing that affected our work in those days was that we were so handcuffed by censorship — remember, the nation shook when Clark Gable said 'damn' in Gone With the Wind," remembered Epstein, who said at the time you couldn't even show a woman getting divorced. Still, when they wrote Casablanca, they tried to sneak stronger language past the censors.
"I remember after a long time we could finally say 'hell.' But it had to be a sparse use of 'hell,'" Epstein recalled. "So what we would do was write fifty 'hells' and then bargain with them. We'd say, 'How about twenty-five?' We'd wind up with two or three."
Nobody expected it to be a hit
Even though it featured a stellar cast and top writers, nobody working on the film expected it to be anything special — just one of dozens of films to come out of Hollywood each year.
But favourable reviews and Academy Awards for outstanding motion picture, best director and best screenplay propelled the film into the limelight.
"Don't worry; we won't tell you how it all comes out. That would be rankest sabotage," read the 1942 review in the New York Times. "But we will tell you that the urbane detail and the crackling dialogue which has been packed into this film by the scriptwriters, the Epstein brothers and Howard Koch, is of the best. We will tell you that Michael Curtiz has directed for slow suspense and that his camera is always conveying grim tension and uncertainty. Some of the significant incidents, too, are affecting—such as that in which the passionate Czech patriot rouses the customers in Rick's cafe to drown out a chorus of Nazis by singing 'the Marseillaise,' or any moment in which Dooley Wilson is remembering past popular songs in a hushed room.
"We will tell you also that the performances of the actors are all of the first order, but especially those of Mr. Bogart and Miss Bergman in the leading roles. Mr. Bogart is, as usual, the cool, cynical, efficient and super-wise guy who operates his business strictly for profit but has a core of sentiment and idealism inside. Conflict becomes his inner character, and he handles it credibly. Miss Bergman is surpassingly lovely, crisp and natural as the girl and lights the romantic passages with a warm and genuine glow."
"Play it again, Sam" is not a line in the movie
The line "Play it again, Sam" is one of the most widely quoted lines from Casablanca — but it never appears in the film. In the famous piano scene, Ilsa leans on the piano and says, "Play it once, Sam" and "Play it, Sam." Rick also says, "Play it" — but nobody says, "Play it again, Sam." Most attribute the phrase, and the misunderstanding, to Woody Allen's stage play of the same name, which became a major motion picture in 1972.
There has never been a remake
There have been short-lived TV series, radio plays and Broadway musicals that never hit the stage, but there has never been a major remake of Casablanca. There have been plenty of spoofs and references in pop culture, however. Among the famous parodies are the Marx Brothers' A Night in Casablanca (1946) and Neil Simon's The Cheap Detective (1978).
The film is also heavily referenced in The Usual Suspects (1995) and in Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam (1972), where Rick appears to give Allen's character life advice.
The Simpsons also offered an alternate ending.
There is still confusion about who wrote what
Brothers Julius and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch are credited with writing the screenplay for the film — and they were behind many of the most famous lines, including "Round up the usual suspects," "This could be the start of a beautiful friendship" and "Here's looking at you, kid." But the script passed through many hands, and wasn't even complete when the film began shooting, so the screenplay's true authorship remains blurry. Producer Hal B. Wallis reportedly wrote the final line, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" after shooting was complete, and Bogart had to be brought back to dub it in.
The song "As Time Goes By" almost didn't make the cut
The music for the film was written by Max Steiner, an Austrian-born, Hungarian-Jewish composer and arranger who gained fame for his score of Gone With the Wind and King Kong.
The classic song "As Time Goes By" was included in the original play, but Steiner didn't like it and wanted it excluded from the film adaptation. But Bergman had already shot the scenes with the song and cut her hair for her next role, so they couldn't be re-shot, and the song stayed.
After the movie was released, "As Time Goes By" spent 21 weeks on the hit parade.
Steiner later admitted that the song "must have had something to attract so much attention."
Listed Today - 101E Stewart Creek Landing #5103
Hibernate in style then walk out to nature's glory. Alpine Homes has gone over the top with this beautiful townhome.
Relax in a wonderful amenities building ~ enjoy indoor/outdoor hot-tubs, top-notch fitness centre, big-screen movie room and party area, after an active or interesting day in the mountains.
Stainless steel appliances, designer series knotty alder cabinetry, granite countertops. Immense vaulted living room opens to a lofted 611sq/ft entertainment room/den on the lofted level. A formal dining area streams in warm south sun. The focal point of this home is the massive stone fireplace. Custom vanity cabinets and warm tile flooring are found throughout baths and kitchen. Stunning is not only a word that describes the immediate environs of Three Sisters Mountain Village but also a warm welcoming abode that exudes comfort. Walk directly from your two car underground parking stalls straight into your walkout lower level. Choose from four decks and one patio to relax on.
Just Listed today - Give us a call at 403-678-2206 for more information on this gem.
10 Things to do in Canmore this Month
Canmore is full of things to do each week for families, couples or singles. From Arts and Entertainment to Sports and Festivals. This vibrant little town has it all.
Each WeekKaraoke Mondays at the Drake Pub (Entertainment) - 10:00pm - midnight
Friday Bingo at the Canmore Legion (Gathering) - 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Canmore Eagles Hockey Games - http://www.canmoreeagles.ca/
This MonthPine Tree Players Presents "Noises Off" (Theatre) at the Canmore Miners' Union Hall November 17 & 18, 23, 24, 25 with a Nov 19 matinee at 2:00 pm
Grizzly Paw Comedy Night at Artsplace (Comedy)- Friday November 17 from 7:30 - 9:30pm
The Raven & The Fox: Underground (Music & Spelunking) with Canmore Cave Tours - Saturday, November 19 from 5:00 - 10:00pm
Canmore Christmas Artisans' Market (Shopping)- November 25 & 26 from 10:00am - 4:00pm at Canmore Collegiate High School
Reel Rock 12 (Film)- at Artsplace on Saturday November 5 from 7:30pm - 10:00pm
William Prince with Justin Lacrouix at Community Cafe (Music) Sunday, November 26 from 7:30pm - 11:00pm
Royal LePage Christmas Spirit Food Drive (Community) November 20 from 5:30pm - 8:30pm Collecting non-perishable food for the Christmas Spirit Campaign.
Jim and Jordie will be walking the streets and knocking on doors so come and join them or prepare a donation. Sign up here.
For more information on the other events above visit the Toursim Canmore Events Calendar.
How to Remedy Creaky/Squeaky Wooden Chairs
In the Mountains our humidity level is very low. As we go into the winter months the moisture levels in our homes drops further due to the cold weather outside and the furnace coming on frequently. This can cause your wooden furniture to start to creak when you sit on it. Your wood floors may show a little larger crack between slats but don't worry they will swell again in the spring.
For other furniture such as wooden chairs, as the wood glue dries and the wood itself shrinks a bit, causing the joints and dowels to loosen making the creaky noise. Here are a few easy tricks to help the situation.
Use Wood Swelling SolutionStep 1 - Inspect the joints in the chair to ensure the dowels that run into the leg or back of the chair are secured tightly. You can apply pressure on the outside of the leg or chair back to press them tightly into the dowel. Once you find a joint that seems to be causing the squeaking, move on to Step 2.
Step 2 - Apply a wood-swelling solution all the way around the dowel that is causing the squeak. There are many different types of wood-swelling products, such as Chairlock (available at Home Hardware) that will work.
Step 3 - Allow the wood-swelling solution seep into the hole where it will tighten and harden the dowel and secure it tightly.
Step 4 - Allow the solution to dry completely before sitting in the chair. The drying and swelling process should take no longer than an hour.
If you are handy and want to take a different approach further you can always insert wooden pegs across creaking joint or tenon of the of the chair.
Step 1 - Sit in the chair to make it squeak. Rock back and forth, up and down until you have a good idea where the loose parts are. Get up and grab the offending pieces with your hands. Pull and tug on the parts of the chair until you have located the loose dowels or tenons.
Step 3 - Squirt the hole full of glue. Pound a dowel all the way through the hole until it protrudes out the hole equally on both sides. if the hole doesn't go all the way through, just pound the dowel in as far as you can. Wipe the excessive glue off with a wet cloth. Place a clamp anywhere on the chair across the joint and tighten to get pressure on the joint. If you can't get a clamp on it, stretch masking tape around it as tight as possible. Wait 24 hours for the glue to dry.
Step 4 - Remove the clamps and tape. Cut the ends off the dowel with a small coping saw. Use a small file to file the dowel off flush and smooth with the joint. Sand the end of the dowel with 180-grit sandpaper. Use a stain marker to color the end of the dowel.
Note: Check the stability of older chairs. If joints are broken, pieces are split or if it has multiple defects, cracks or pieces that are missing, you may need to have the chair refurbished by a professional.
Royal LePage House Price Survey
Expanding Regional Economies to Lift Home Prices in Canada’s Major Markets
Shorter than anticipated housing market correction puts Toronto back on trackHighlights:
Toronto to have a shorter housing correction than seen in Vancouver
Tighter access to mortgage financing and eroding affordability in Vancouver and Toronto have more buyers shifting their focus to condominiums, putting upward pressure on price appreciation
Rising interest rates and a strong Canadian dollar support more moderate home price appreciation
TORONTO, October 12, 2017 – According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released today, home prices in Canada’s five most populated housing markets are rising at a similar, healthy pace on a quarter-over-quarter basis, the first time this has occurred in six years.
The year-over-year price change data in the Royal LePage House Price Composite is the most useful metric for determining the health of Canada’s real estate market. However, examining quarter-over-quarter movements can reveal useful short-term housing market trends. In the third quarter, home prices in the Greater Toronto Area, Greater Vancouver, Greater Montreal Area, Calgary and Ottawa all rose at rates between 1.5 and 3.5 per cent on a quarter-over-quarter basis, indicative of a much more balanced Canadian residential real estate market.
The Royal LePage National House Price Composite, compiled from proprietary property data in 53 of the nation’s largest real estate markets, showed that the price of a home in Canada increased 13.3 per cent year-over-year to $628,411 in the third quarter. When broken out by housing type, the median price of a standard two-storey home rose 13.9 per cent year-over-year to $748,049, and the median price of a bungalow grew 9.5 per cent to $525,781. During the same period, the median price of a condominium rose 15.2 per cent to $413,670.
“Uneven regional economic growth has plagued Canada for much of the past decade, a challenge most evident in the nation’s housing markets,” said Phil Soper, President and CEO, Royal LePage. “For the first time since 2011, we are seeing real estate in all five of our largest cities appreciate at a manageable, healthy clip. Canadian housing is enjoying a Goldilocks moment – not too hot, and not too cold.”
“For now, the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets have returned to earth,” continued Soper. “After a period of unsustainable price inflation and sharp market corrections, we are seeing low single digit appreciation in each. Calgary has shaken off the oil-bust blues and Montreal appears to be at the beginning of a new era of economic prosperity. Rounding out the ‘big five,’ the Ottawa market is behaving like it usually does – a picture of healthy market growth.”
Soper noted that rising interest rates and a strong Canadian dollar should help to keep a lid on major market price appreciation.
“Marginally higher borrowing costs should dampen domestic demand somewhat, and with less currency-adjusted purchasing power, foreign buyer activity is off peak levels and will likely stay that way in the near-term,” added Soper.
During the third quarter, the Greater Toronto Area saw the largest year-over-year home price increase of any major Canadian market, surging 21.7 per cent on the back of strong gains witnessed at the beginning of 2017. Meanwhile, home prices in Montreal continued to climb at a rate beyond what has been the historical norm, appreciating by 14.3 per cent when compared to the same time last year, while Ottawa grew by 7.9 per cent over the same period. When looking at the largest markets in Canada’s westernmost provinces, Calgary and Greater Vancouver inched further out of their recovery, with home prices rising 5.0 and 2.5 per cent year-over-year, respectively.
Following a very similar trend to the Vancouver housing correction of 2016, the Greater Toronto Area market experienced a sharp drop in sales volumes beginning in April 2017, which continued through much of the third quarter. With underlying employment and economic growth on solid footing, the Toronto market began to grow again in August.
Potential buyers who were previously on the sidelines taking a wait-and-see approach have now jumped back into the market after realizing prices did not drop as certain market watchers had anticipated. On the supply side, some sellers who had attempted to capitalize on an uncharacteristically strong spring have taken their homes off the market. Together, these trends have caused the region to revert to a more balanced market where supply and demand have stabilized in the majority of areas.
“A severe shortage of listings introduced unsustainable home price inflation into our two largest markets beginning in 2015,” commented Soper. “Affordability eroded rapidly, concerned policy makers reacted with measures to slow demand, and sales volumes plummeted. Market corrections were triggered in Vancouver first, and some ten months later, in Toronto.”
“Toronto home prices are much lower than those we see in Vancouver, and the overall size of the market is considerably larger,” he continued. “Waning foreign investment should impact the Toronto market less severely. We expect the correction to be shorter in comparison to what was experienced last year in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.”
According to the Royal LePage Peak Millennial Survey released in August 2017, members of the largest cohort of the millennial demographic, or “peak millennials,” are concerned about high home values in Canada’s largest urban markets and job uncertainty in other regions. Eighty-seven per cent of Canadians aged 25 to 30 believe homeownership is a good investment, yet only 57 per cent believe they will be able to afford a house within the next half decade. Consequently, though 61 per cent of peak millennial purchasers would prefer to buy a detached home, only 36 per cent believe that they will realistically be able to find a property within the market segment. This has led many of these young people to look for property in the more affordable condominium category.
“In our largest urban centres, condos are seen by many young home buyers as the last bastion of affordability,” explained Soper. “We expect single home buyers, couples or families with one child to favour condominium living. With the arrival of a second child, many young families will still follow their parents’ footsteps and head to the suburbs.”
“Regardless of where they live, the sheer number of peak millennials in Canada will shape our real estate markets over the next decade. Developers and planners will certainly respond with housing product that meets the needs of this influential cohort of real estate consumers,” added Soper.
Nationally, condominium prices increased 15.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis and have begun to appreciate faster than any other housing segment in large urban centres such as Toronto and Vancouver. This is likely to continue for the foreseeable future and begin a trend in other cities. The overall affordability of condominiums continues to attract first-time homebuyers and purchasers looking for attractively-priced real estate as new mortgage regulations, interest rate increases and higher home prices have effectively limited purchasing power.
Under the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, all private rental units in the province are now subject to rent control, and housing market watchers have a number of concerns regarding the impact of this legislation. Removing the ability to adjust prices by more than 2.5 per cent a year when long-term residential real estate price appreciation is approximately 5.0 per cent per year makes rental units less attractive to investors. It is likely fewer purpose-built rental projects will be launched in the near future. According to one industry report, more than 1,000 such projects have already been cancelled and vacancies have already fallen to 1.3 per cent across the GTA.
“Ontarians deciding between renting and buying a home are facing two tough options,” said Soper. “Purchasers trying to break into the entry-level market now face a highly competitive environment, while those waiting to buy are met with high rental prices brought on by a significant shortage of inventory.”
“There may be unintended consequences to new province-wide rent controls,” concluded Soper. “We need more family-sized units in the province’s cities; apartments with two or three bedrooms. Yet purpose-built rental projects are likely to focus on smaller bachelor or one-bedroom units, which tend to attract shorter-term tenants. The higher turn-over allows landlords to raise rates more frequently. This will put further upward pressure on the price of existing family-sized rental units.”
Provincial and City Summaries and TrendsForecasters continue to raise their expectations for British Columbia’s growth, with the province poised to lead or come close to leading all provinces in GDP this year, creating new jobs and stimulating growth within the province’s residential real estate market. While the newly-elected NDP government released their first budget update, which included increases in the top marginal income tax and corporate tax rates, these hikes only put B.C. on par with other provinces, not above them. As well, the government is bolstering their already-robust social programs and infrastructure, which will allow them to entice more Canadians into the region in search of a new home.
During the third quarter of 2017, the aggregate price of a home in Greater Vancouver increased 2.5 per cent year-over-year to $1,229,133. Over the same period, the City of Vancouver saw an increase of 2.2 per cent to $1,439,652. Meanwhile, the regions of Langley, Surrey, North Vancouver, and Richmond saw third quarter price increases of 9.2 per cent, 6.3 per cent, 4.5 per cent and 1.4 per cent, to $831,283, $796,466, $1,417,226, and $1,103,064, respectively.
Alberta’s economy continues to rebound from its recession, and drilling activity has come back from last year’s levels. The price of West Texas Intermediate oil has averaged over $49 USD per barrel this year, and the Alberta government is forecasting a price of $55 USD per barrel in its 2017-18 budget. Over the past year, Alberta has added 13,000 jobs, and full-time employment has grown by 31,500. When looking to the housing market, many regions in the province have benefited from this recovery, with the aggregate price of a home in Calgary and Edmonton rising 5.0 per cent and 4.0 per cent year-over-year to $479,211 and $389,330, respectively.
The improvement in the energy sector is also helping Saskatchewan’s economy, which is experiencing an additional lift from the strengthening U.S. economy. This has been partially offset by soft commodity prices, like potash, and its unemployment rate creeping up. Over the past year, Saskatchewan lost 1,400 jobs, although the bulk of these were in part-time positions. Together, these trends slightly dampened the province’s real estate market during the third quarter of 2017, with the region witnessing modest home price declines in its largest cities. Over the quarter, the aggregate home price in Regina decreased 1.9 per cent year-over-year to an aggregate price of $327,636, while the aggregate price of a home in Saskatoon fell 2.4 per cent to $377,191.
Manitoba’s economy continues to track at the national average, but key indicators reflect a mixed picture. For the first two-thirds of the year, Manitoba’s housing starts were up by 78 per cent and urban housing starts were up by 58 per cent, with both representing the strongest gains of any province. As of September, Manitoba’s unemployment rate was 5.5 per cent, well below the national average of 6.2 per cent. On the other hand, at 3.1 per cent, Manitoba’s seasonally-adjusted retail sales gains for the first half of 2017 were less than half of the national average, and exports to the province’s largest importer, the U.S., declined by 6 per cent over the same period. Despite a mixed picture from other indicators, the housing sector is proving unambiguously strong. In the third quarter, Winnipeg’s aggregate home price rose by 5.5 per cent year-over-year to $305,413.
The economic expansion that has been powering Ontario for the past couple of years has accelerated in 2017, and some forecasters are upping their expectations for growth. This has translated into more jobs, with the September unemployment rate falling to 5.6 per cent, representing the lowest level seen in the region in 16 years. Conversely, the biggest drag on Ontario’s economy for the majority of this year has been its housing market, which has seen a decrease in sales activity on the heels of high price appreciation, the implementation of new regulations from the provincial government and the Bank of Canada’s moves to hike interest rates.
While price appreciation has recently moderated to healthier levels on a quarter-over-quarter basis, in the third quarter of 2017, home values across the Golden Horseshoe continued to show substantial year-over-year gains, thanks in part to significant price increases experienced at the beginning of the year. The aggregate price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area increased 21.7 per cent to $860,295, while the price of a home in the City of Toronto rose 21.8 per cent to $861,397. Home prices in the surrounding GTA regions saw significant year-over-year increases, with suburbs such as Richmond Hill, Oshawa, Vaughan, Markham and Oakville posting increases of 17.5 per cent, 26.8 per cent, 26.5 per cent, 22.2 per cent and 21.9 per cent to $1,288,411, $572,177, $1,099,899, $1,108,943 and $1,145,644, respectively. Regions such as Hamilton and Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge were among the province’s hot spots, with year-over-year price increases of 27.9 per cent and 28.0 per cent, to $548,521 and $483,133, respectively, while Niagara/St. Catharines and London home prices rose 20.4 per cent, and 19.8 per cent to $372,717 and $354,466, respectively over the same period.
Ottawa is turning out to be a major economic success story in 2017, given the heightened levels of hiring by the federal government. As of September, the city’s 5.8 per cent unemployment rate sits below the national average, and it appears to be one of the few cities that has shrugged off the province’s new housing rules. Over the quarter, the aggregate price of a home in Ottawa increased by 7.9 per cent year-over-year to $441,453.
Quebec is now in the midst of what economists, and the province’s Minister of Finance, refer to as a “virtuous circle.” The province’s economy has been improving over the last few years, and confidence among businesses and individuals is rising, with both choosing to spend and invest, creating jobs and further stimulating the economy. Furthermore, the region is increasingly becoming a technology centre of excellence attracting industry giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and recently, Samsung. Technology is a growing sector for employment in the region and it should positively affect demand in the real estate market over the next few years.
In the third quarter of 2017, the aggregate price of a home in the Greater Montreal Area rose 6.6 per cent to $384,055. Within the region, Montreal Centre saw the highest year-over year home price appreciation with an increase of 14.3 per cent to $511,129, and home prices in Montreal West rose by 5.4 per cent over the same period to $422,515. Year-over-year, home prices in Quebec City and Sherbrooke increased 3.1 per cent and 4.2 per cent to $300,835 and $246,660, respectively, while home prices in Trois-Rivières fell 3.3 per cent over the same period to $200,080.
As Canada heads into the final quarter of the year, all provinces appear to be growing, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, which is still decisively in the midst of a recession. Large oil projects in the province are coming to an end and provincial revenues are coming in far below expectations. At 15.1 per cent as of September Newfoundland and Labrador’s unemployment rate is more than double the national average, creating less of a demand for large purchases, like housing. In the third quarter, the aggregate price of a home in St. John’s decreased 0.8 per cent year-over-year to $326,410.
In the rest of the Atlantic provinces, economic conditions in New Brunswick are proving to be solid this year, but some forecasters feel that the province is particularly vulnerable to trade conflicts with the U.S., especially in regard to softwood lumber. Home prices in Saint John rose 3.2 per cent year-over-year to $211,294, while home prices in Fredericton and Moncton fell 1.0 per cent and 1.9 per cent to $235,572 and $177,261, respectively. Although the economic growth of Nova Scotia is likely to be well under the national average over the next few years, many are referring to Halifax as a “boom town” because of the city’s base of colleges and universities, access to affordable homes and desirable quality of life. Over the quarter, Halifax saw an aggregate home price increase of 5.5 per cent year-over-year to $320,405. Prince Edward Island has not been as affected by the drop in oil prices when compared to the other Atlantic provinces, and home prices in Charlottetown saw a year-over-year increase of 4.4 per cent to $234,990.
Aggregated regions and the Royal LePage National House Price Composite (.PDF)
About the Royal LePage House Price Survey
The Royal LePage House Price Survey provides information on the three most common types of housing in Canada, in 53 of the nation’s largest real estate markets. Housing values in the House Price Survey are based on the Royal LePage National House Price Composite, produced quarterly through the use of company data in addition to data and analytics from its sister company, RPS Real Property Solutions, the trusted source for residential real estate intelligence and analytics in Canada. Commentary on housing and forecast values are provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts, based on their opinions and market knowledge.
About Royal LePage
Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of over 17,000 real estate professionals in more than 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE.
For more information visit: www.royallepage.ca.
 Aggregate prices are calculated using a weighted average of the median values of all housing types collected. Data is provided by RPS Real Property Solutions.
 Urbanation Inc. report prepared for the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario, “Ontario Rental Market Study: Measuring the Supply Gap,” September 2017
Canada's Unofficial National Snack
There are more doughnut shops per capita in Canada than anywhere else on the planet. Canadians eat more doughnuts than any other country's citizens. Although the doughnut is often seen as an American icon, it has become Canada's unofficial national snack. Coffee and doughnuts go hand in hand. And since coffee is Canada's number one beverage, its partner in crime, the humble doughnut, ranks up there in popularity.
Japan comes in a close second with a huge population of doughnut lovers.
National Doughnut Day is held on June 3 each year!
Top doughnut flavoursWhat is your favorite type of doughnut? Is it glazed? Maybe Boston Cream? Well, according to Standard-Freeholder.com, they listed what the most popular doughnuts are in Canada.
- Apple fritter
- Honey cruller
- Sour cream
- Boston cream
- Chocolate glazed
- Double chocolate
- Old fashioned
- Canadian maple
10 of the world’s craziest doughnut flavours
Every year, you hear about some baker out there who’s invented some new flavour to tempt your taste buds. Here’s 10 of the craziest ones:
Captain My CaptainYou’ll have to go all the way to Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon, to get this yummy donut covered in icing and… you guessed it, Captain Crunch cereal! Soft and crunchy at the same time, dessert and breakfast in one snack. Yum!
Photo by camknows
No Name DoughnutAnother great creation from Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts, they call this one the “No Name.” And I can imagine that’s it’s hard to describe in just one or two words a delicious raised doughnut covered in chocolate frosting, peanut butter, and Rice Krispies cereal!
Photo by camknows
White Chocolate RaspberryFrom the west coast over in Washington state we head over to Frost bakery where they make this ooey, gooey, stick to your fingers White Chocolate Raspberry cake doughnut. It sort of looks like a candy cane!
Photo by camknows
Raspberry Road RashIf you happen to be visiting Campbell, California, drop by Psycho Donuts (pretty cool name) and check out their Raspberry Road Rash cake doughnut which looks super tasty - cheesecake icing and raspberry dust!
Photo by Cheryl Lindo Jones
Key Lime PieThis one is a strange looking square shape and it’s covered in tart key lime pie-flavoured icing and glaze. Makes your mouth go all puckered!
Photo by Cheryl Lindo Jones
The Flying PigYou’ll have to head over to Austin, Texas, to get the Flying Pig doughnut from Gordough’s. This place is famous for their doughnuts and that’s all that’s on their menu - sandwiches, burgers, and full meals made with the delectable cakes. This one is covered in bacon (lots of it) and maple icing.
Photo by mbrand
Grilled CheeseNext time you’re in Florida, before you head out to all the big amusement parks or see Mickey and Minnie, head over to Tom + Chee in St. Petersburg. Their motto is “Eat What’s Fun!” and you can tell they take it seriously with their signature creation, the Grilled Cheese Doughnut.
Photo by Yelp Inc.
The Fruit PUNCHThis little creation from Lucky’s in Vancouver, BC, was created to raise funds for the 2013 Aprons For Gloves “Restaurant Rumble” annual event that raised money for the Eastside Boxing Club which offers boxing and mentorship programs for underprivileged youth. Shaped like a boxing glove, it was filled with mango/passion fruit curd and topped with a red raspberry glaze. What a tasty way to help out!
Photo by Roland Tanglao
Voodoo BubbleWow, this Voodoo Doughnut place really makes some incredibly wacky snacks? Who would have thought to put vanilla frosting, bubble gum dust (you can get gum dust?), and a piece of bubble gum on a raised donut! I wonder if you can blow bubbles after you eat this one.
Photo by Lisa Norwood
For this last one we head way over to Korea where they have the popular Dunkin’ Donuts chain (kind of like our Tim Hortons). This doughnut is filled with kimchi, a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables such as cabbage, and seasonings.
Photo by bionibgrrrl
Best doughnut shops in CanadaTo fill your doughnut fix, you’re going to have to go to a doughnut shop! But what is the best shop to get a doughnut. Here are the best places to get a doughnut in no particular order.
- Tim Horton’s, various locations
- Wawel in Montreal
- Suzy Q Doughnuts in Ottawa
- Lee Doughnuts in Granville Island
- Duffin’s Donuts in Vancouver
- Samos in Montreal
- Jelly Modern Doughnuts in Calgary
- Dough by Rachelle in Toronto
- Léché Desserts in Montreal
- Cartems Donuterie in Vancouver
Top Doughnut Lover CitiesWe mentioned earlier that Ontario is the most cities in that province that is 8 out of the 10 spots on the Top 10 list of cities whose residents that are most likely to search for donuts on the Internet. According to Google Trends, here are the top 10 cities that were most likely to search for doughnuts on the Internet.
- St. Catharine’s, Ontario
- Sudbury, Ontario
- Coquilam, B.C.
- Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
- North Vancouver, B.C.
- Oshawa, Ontario
- Cambridge, Ontario
- Richmond, B.C.
- Burlington, Ontario
- Oakville, Ontario
Wikepedia, Topmoving, CBC