2019-09-27 — 10 Plants for Fall Curb Appeal
Bring your home to life this fall with the help of these plants!
2019-09-26 — Renovate the Space Under the Stairs
Here are some awesome ideas for that space under the stairs!
2019-09-23 — A Guide to Skylights
Check out this interesting article on skylights!
2019-09-20 — Natural Ways to Make your Home Smell Fantastic
Keep your home smelling fresh without the harmful ingredients!
2019-09-19 — Top Kitchen Trends for 2020
Get a sneak peek at what’s to come for 2020!
2019-09-18 — Protect your Home from Raccoons
Protect your home from raccoons with the help of these tips!
2019-09-12 — Transform your Kitchen Cabinets
With a little bit of creativity and some elbow grease, you can give your kitchen cabinets a facelift without breaking the bank!
2019-09-10 — Fancy Mobile Homes
These mobile homes are amazing!
2019-09-06 — Canadian Apartments Under 350 Square Feet
These apartments are so beautiful, it’s hard to believe they are all under 350 square feet!
2019-09-05 — Buying a Home: A Guide
Hoping to buy a home but don’t know where to start? Check out this great guide!
2019-09-03 — Looking Ahead at 2020 Design Visions
As we look ahead to the start of a new decade, this article explores what home trends we can expect!
2019-09-02 — Clever Hacks for Small Kitchens
Check out these 10 ways to make the most of small kitchen spaces!
2019-08-30 — How to Plan for Homeownership as a Millennial
Are you a millennial planning on purchasing your first home? Congratulations, here are a few tips!
2019-08-28 — Biggest Hazards to Watch Out for When Using Tools at Home
No matter what job you’re tackling, there are always some potential hazards when working with tools. Here are some tips to help keep you safe.
2019-08-26 — Staging Techniques to Attract Better Buyers
In order to sell your home, your buyers need to be able to envision themselves in the space. Here are a few tips to help with that!
2019-08-23 — Tips to Protect Your Home
Check out these tips to make sure your home is safe and protected.
2019-08-21 — Designing Lighting Schemes
Lighting is an important element to remember when designing a room!
2019-08-19 — Tips for Reducing House-Hunting Anxiety
Buying a home can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips on how to reduce your anxiety levels!
2019-08-16 — Helping Kids Buy Property: What You Need to Know
More and more parents are stepping in with financial help to home ownership for their kids.
2019-08-14 — Cool Barn and Church Conversions in Canada
Check out these gorgeously revived spaces throughout Canada that give the original structures a second life.
2019-08-12 — Ways to Modernize an Older Home without Losing its Charm
Here are a few tips on how to renovate an older home without compromising any original charm.
2019-08-09 — Downsides of Open-Concept Living
For the past few years, open-concept homes have seen a rise in popularity. However, it is important to weigh all the pros and cons before you take down any walls!
2019-08-07 — Simple DIY Reupholstering: New Life to Old Furniture
Are you getting bored of your furniture? Try out these upholstering tips and tricks!
2019-08-05 — Toronto Heritage Home Sells for the First Time in 100 Years
This Toronto has been in the same family for 100 years and it’s on the market for the first time in a century!
2019-08-02 — Rock Garden Ideas to Beautify your Backyard
Rocks can add texture, depth and drama to any outdoor space!
2019-07-31 — Plants that are Poisonous to Children, Cats, and Dogs
Before you pick out new plants to add to your home or garden, check this list to make sure they won’t be harmful to your pets or children!
2019-07-29 — Transformational Reno Ideas for Empty Nesters
Your home can feel like a completely different place once your children move out. Check out these awesome transformations!
2019-07-26 — How to Make your Own Living Wall
Do you love plants? Check out this unique way to bring some greenery into your home!
2019-07-24 — Garden Decor Ideas
Here is some inspiration to help take your garden to the next level!
2019-07-22 — Get the Most Return on Investment in your Kitchen
When it comes to return on investment, there are certain elements that are essential!
2019-07-19 — Choosing the Right Pool for your Space and Lifestyle
The options are endless when it comes to choosing a pool!
2019-07-17 — Ways to Create a Multifunctional Guest Room
If you’re having a hard time remembering the last time your guest room actually hosted any guests, it might be time to put that extra space to work!
2019-07-15 — Improve Your Curb Appeal on a Budget
If you have the time, there are jobs you can tackle to create your own high impact curb appeal!
2019-07-12 — Working Without a Kitchen: A Reno Survival Guide
Kitchen renovations are disruptive. Here are a few strategies for working around it!
2019-07-10 — Is the Loft Lifestyle Right for You?
Here are a few things to think about before deciding if a loft is the right home for you.
2019-07-08 — Choosing the Perfect Grill
Here are some tips to consider when choosing a new grill!
2019-07-05 — Eco-Friendly Home Renovations that Save you Money
Renovating your home doesn’t have to have a negative impact on the environment!
2019-07-04 — Renovations that Won't Add Value to your Home
It can be easy to go overboard with renovating, but some upgrades aren’t worth the expense and time.
2019-07-02 — Renovation Ideas to Help Boost Creativity in your Home Office
If you spend the majority of your work day, it’s important to create a space that will inspire productivity.
2019-06-27 — The Unmarried Couple's Guide to Buying a House
So you’ve decided to buy a home with your significant other but you haven’t quite tied the knot. Check out this article to help you navigate the process.
2019-06-25 — This Toronto Home Sold for $350k Above Asking
Despite its location near a set of train tracks, this home sold for $350k above asking!
2019-06-21 — Buy a Home Before Turning 35
The rising cost of real estate has made home ownership a distant dream for many young people. Check out this article to help make that dream more attainable!
2019-06-20 — Redesign Your Laundry Room
Design the perfect laundry room with the help of these tips!
2019-06-18 — Buying a Century Home
Century homes can be so appealing with their gingerbread trim and charm. Check out these 6 things to remember before purchasing one.
2019-06-14 — Picking the Right Shade of Paint
Did you know that the paint colours you choose can influence your emotions and mood? Check out this article to find out more!
2019-06-13 — Keep Your Plants Alive While You're on Vacation
You’re ready to head out on a lovely vacation but what about your plants? Here are some tips on how to keep them alive even while you’re away.
2019-06-11 — Do You Need to Renovate Your Pool?
Summer’s here and it’s time to open up the pool. Here are some signs that you may need to get some repairs done.
2019-06-09 — Natural Products to Keep Pests Out of your Lawn and Garden
Chemical pesticides are bad for you and your pets, but if we don’t use them how do we keep the bugs and pests out of our gardens? Here are a few more natural alternatives.
2019-06-07 — Buying a House with Friends
As real estate prices remain high, one solution that’s gaining traction is to join forces with a family member or friend. *Click here for a Helpful Guide.**
2019-06-06 — A Guide to Smart Home Hubs and Devices
Setting up your smart home can be as simple as putting a device in your living room or as complicated as installing a system of interconnected devices that speak to each other; here’s a guide to help you figure it all out!
2019-06-05 — House FOMO
An interesting article about how social media is driving millenials to buy homes!
2019-05-29 — DIY Backyard Weekend Projects
Revamping your outdoor space doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. Try some of these easy DIY backyard projects that can be done over a weekend.
2019-05-28 — Easy Upgrades for your Patio, Porch, or Balcony
Are you getting your backyard ready for summer? Here are some great ideas to upgrade your space!
2019-05-26 — Home Upgrades that are Worth the Extra Money
Ready to tackle your next home project? These 10 upgrades are always worth the extra money!
2019-05-23 — How to Recreate a Five Star Hotel Experience for your House Guests
Are you expecting guests sometime soon? Try out these sure fire ways to make their stay feel like a luxury vacation.
2019-05-22 — 9 Things to Never Leave Out During an Open House
Everyone knows not to leave out money on the kitchen table, but there are other things you should think about tucking away before an open house.
2019-05-20 — How to Survive a Home Renovation with Kids
Home renovations can be stressful, especially when kids are involved. Here are some tips on getting through it!
2019-05-16 — The Easiest Shade Plants to Grow in your Yard
Give your garden a refresh this year with these shade-loving options!
2019-05-15 — The Most Popular Flowers for Canadian Gardens
Ready to start gardening? Here are some of the top flower picks in Canada!
2019-05-14 — How to Grow the Best Lawn in your Neighborhood
Are you hoping to have the best lawn on the block this season? Here are some tips to help you out!
2019-05-10 — Tips to Improve your Home's Curb Appeal
Most people place their focus on the inside of a home when staging, however the outside is just as important for making a sale. Read these tips to improve your home’s curb appeal.
2019-05-08 — How to be a Good Neighbour During a Major Home Renovation
This fresh spring air is likely to spark some home renovation inspiration. Here are some ways to make it a smooth process with your neighbours.
2019-05-06 — 5 Ways to Renovate More Sustainably
Renovating a home is no easy task but trying to do it sustainably can pose an even bigger challenge. Check out these great ways to keep the Earth in mind the next time you’re planning out a renovation.
2019-05-03 — Why Some Young People are Buying a Cottage Before a House
More and more young people are choosing to buy their “second home” first. Check out this article to find out why that is.
2019-05-01 — Where to Save and Splurge on your Next Home Reno
Renovating your home can be a great way to freshen up your space as well as make a few upgrades. Here are Mike Holmes’ top tips on what’s worth saving on and what’s worth the splurge.
2019-04-29 — 10 Things that will Make the Biggest Impact in your New Kitchen
It all comes down to the details when designing your dream kitchen while staying on a budget. Here are 10 great ways to make your dream a reality without breaking the bank!
2019-04-21 — Helping Your Children Purchase a Home
More and more parents are stepping in to help their children purchase a home. This article dives into some of the most important steps to take and questions to ask if you are interested in going down this road.
2019-04-20 — Inexpensive Ways to Update Your Kitchen
Often times when we think about kitchen updates, we think big spending. It doesn’t have to be that way! Try some of these stunning ideas to instantly transform your kitchen without breaking the bank.
2019-04-19 — Unexpected Ways to Add Value to Your Home
We all know that kitchens and bathrooms add an incredible amount of value to a home but what about the rest of the house? Read more to find out some unexpected places you can upgrade to add value to your home.
2019-04-18 — How to Survive a Home Renovation without Ruining Your Relationship
Home renovations can be incredibly stressful and can take anywhere from a few weeks to months to complete. Here are some great tips to help get you and your partner through it together.
2019-04-17 — What to Look for in Your Forever Home
Although it may take time to reach your forever home, asking yourself these three vital questions will definitely help you narrow your search and pinpoint exactly what your most important features are.
2019-04-16 — A Tripled Value in 6 Years
This Toronto property tripled its value in just 6 years thanks to strategic renovation and restoration efforts by its owners. A terrific balance between historic charm and modern features had it sold in just a week.
2019-04-12 — Guide to Becoming a Homeowner
Many are talking about it these days and wondering why many young people aren’t buying homes these days. For many young adults it comes down to price. Buying while young is one of the best investments you can make and here are some tips to get you there.
2019-04-11 — Spring Maintenance Tips
Spring is finally here to stay which means one thing for most homeowners: spring maintenance! Here is your guide to making sure everything is taken care of as we prepare for summer!
2019-04-10 — World's Most Expensive Homes
It never hurts to dream! Here we take a look at some of the world’s most expensive homes (as well as those who own them!) From Oprah’s home in California to Buckingham Palace in London, you will not believe what some of these properties offer.
There are many reasons to want to soundproof a room or home but not to worry, the process does not need to be complicated or cost prohibitive. Take a few simple steps to keep the noise out (or in!)
If you are thinking of installing hardwood floors in your kitchen, there are many factors to consider. From food spills to dropped dishes, kitchen are notoriously tough on floors. There are many great options to consider to get that look though with the durability that you need.
Low inventory continues to dominate the news when it comes to the Ottawa real estate market. March saw price increases and buyers bidding on limited offerings. Let’s see what April brings!
Homebuyers often offer more than what they initially planned on because they want to beat their competitors. However, now the Ontario government is looking to make the transaction a lot more transparent for both sides. Get more details here.
Have you been taking advantage of the colour of the year? Do you need some inspiring designs to get started on your next interior project? Learn how you can create a fun and playful space for your family and friends to enjoy!
Don't just throw out things in your home that you don’t think you need anymore! Take a second to consider how it can be reused. Here is a list of of 20 surprising uses for everyday household items.
“At our age, we weren't interested in owning another home,” Ms. Sutton says. "We wanted to be able to lock our doors and come and go as we please." Janice Sutton and Frank Wiebe’s story about downsize from a 92 acre farm to renting a home is one for the books.
Rainy season is upon us which can only mean one thing: spring is coming! Are you ready to get reacquainted with your garden and backyard? This insightful article can help you get a handle on weeds and mulch effectively.
Our personal items follow us into our new homes. If you’re moving into a bigger space there are ways to get creative with your storage space. However, if you’re downsizing to an apartment then you’re going to need some smart ideas to help you organize your living space.
Robert Wang, the creator of instant pot has revolutionized kitchen appliances into one single entity. And now he is coming for the rest of your kitchen. If you haven’t already heard about the multi-purpose cooker (that is instant pot) then prepare yourselves to be blown away!
It’s a rare treat to hear that a home you’re interested in buying has ‘great bones’. But no one really talks about what that really means. Discover traits and qualities of a house that identifies its structure, interior and personality.
Are you a consumer of vegan cheese? Did you know this subject is causing controversy in Canada and across the pond? In Canada, the number of dairy-product complaints increased to 415 in 2018 from 294 in 2014, an increase of 41 percent.
Some trends are so progressive they find a way to be relevant in modern time. This is the truth for tiles. Discover how you can easily paste and remove chic and cool designs on your walls to liven up your living space.
Matric Homes is letting buyers build their dream home from scratch for a fixed price of 1.3 million dollars. “Walking through the massive model feels like touring a CHEO dream home,” Anita Murray reports. If you’re anywhere near Terry Fox Road in Kanata South, drop by to see what it’s all about.
Are you planning on moving soon? Remember that staged homes are more likely to sell on the market. Here are some great DIY home staging tips you can use to help sell your home.
This 20 year old decided to start saving up for a house when he was sixteen years old. Thanks to his super-saving skills, he was able to put down 20% for a new condo. This goes to show you that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Bold, geometric designs are allowing homeowners to add lots of interest to hallways, laundry rooms, and small bathrooms. And all of this is lead by one simple trend: tiles. Start learning ways to implement them into your home today.
Millennials (aged 24 -38) are becoming known as ‘plant parents’. They are encouraging everyone to start composting and growing vegetables inside and outside their properties. This movement has opened doors to an entirely new idea for home decor and gardening.
Did you know engineered hardwood floors are less likely to expand than solid ones? Learn about the different types of wood to see which one will add value and structure to your home. Start exploring your options today.
Is your basement finally finished? Have you been thinking about what do with all that free space? Here are a few design ideas you start contemplating.
Have you have been thinking about investing in a property? The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) released its Top Ten Ontario Towns report and ranked Ottawa as the #1 town to invest in for the next 5-8 years. Get more information here!
Do you want to purchase a house that is move-in ready or something that requires work to be done? Discovering your dream home is an incredible feeling but so is bringing it to life. Contractor Jonathan Scott and real estate agent, Drew Scott discuss the pros and cons of fixer-uppers.
Truthfully, home ownership isn’t for everybody. Some people don’t like to be tied down and prefer to rent instead. There is nothing wrong with that but if you have ever contemplated buying a home then you should read up on its advantages.
Home inspectors are not expected to risk their safety while on the clock and they shouldn’t be expected to, says Mike Holmes. It’s important to know if the home you’re planning to move into is safe and up to date. Here are a few reasons why you should limit your expectations.
Let’s be honest here. Moving is stressful and you want to do what you can to avoid dealing with surprises along the way. Take downsizing to condominiums for example and all the rules and bylaws you should familiarize yourself with before taking the plunge.
There are so many alternatives you can invest in while renovating your bathroom. You don’t necessarily need to spend a huge load of cash to bring your vision to life. Interior designers and building experts have figured out a way you can trim down the cost effectively.
Greens are good for you! We all know this but by nature we lean more towards consuming meat. Here are a few reasons why you should consider cutting down on your carnivore diet.
Protecting your home is a natural and practical instinct but make sure you are investing in the right system. Review the best home security systems in Canada. You can also see which provinces they are serviced in.
It’s easy to get carried away with ideas when you're renovating your kitchen. It’s one of the most essential rooms in your home. Discover the top five kitchen remodeling mistakes you should avoid today.
Are you currently working from home? Have you been thinking about turning one of the rooms into an office? Well, before you jump the gun and start re-organizing things at random, consider these tips to help you improve your work space.
Did you know that a quarter of Canadians with home equity lines of credit are paying only the interest on their loans? Over the last 15 years, this has been the cause of non-mortgage household debt. A government survey breaks down the dirty details for you in this educational video.
500 people have already registered with Claridge in November for the new builds in Findlay Creek. If you’re looking to make a move in the south end of the city then now is your chance. Review home designs, layout and more here.
Stuck on ideas for this weekend? Get the family together and enjoy all the festivities and entertainment Ottawa has to offer. Winter shouldn’t stop anyone from living their best life!
It’s true what they say! Home staging can help a lot when you’re trying to sell your home but it’s not always necessary. Before you go looking to hire a professional, get a better understanding of what home staging will require and if you have the budget for it.
A huge percent of first-time home buyers are millennials! This means a group of people born in the year between 1980 and 1995. If you fit the criteria and you’re considering purchasing a home then you might want to consider these tips for the future.
A good foundation and beautiful exterior. The only thing missing for this house (which was built in the late 1990s) was a makeover. Atrium Built Design quickly to came the rescue.
Try to think ahead. Your current needs might change in the future so make sure you consider all the facts before you rush into purchasing a house. Here are six things you may want to know over before taking that big step.
Discover dependable contractors for your next renovation project. It’s normal to hit a few bumps along the way but make sure it doesn’t cause you unnecessary headaches and anxiety. Start your search through Perspective Renovations.
It’s normal to have high expectations when you’re looking for your first or forever home. However, it’s also a good idea to make a list of things you think would be ‘nice to have’ and things you ‘can’t live without’. This will help you validate your needs.
Are you a visionary? Do you have big plans for your home? Need someone trustworthy to help you implement them? Hire Ottawa’s #1 interior designers and bring your visions to life.
All those home projects you have been putting off can finally be addressed. There is no shortage of neat ideas on bathroom upgrades and unfinished basements that you can’t find here. So pull out your brainstorming board and start planning your dream makeover today.
Here are some easy ways to keep your home inventory up to date. Making a list of house items will help you in the long run with insurance claims. Start learning more about how to protect yourself and your home today.
The stats are out for Ottawa’s resale market for the month of November 2018. Stay up to date with the fluctuating prices of condos and homes. The numbers suggest a hunt for bargains is well underway.
It’s natural for kids to change their hobbies and interests, but Sonia Lemire can tell her two boys are getting ready to trade in their roller blades for dumbbells. So what does she decide to do? Sonia connects with Just Basements to create a space that will help her boys make a smooth transition into adulthood.
It’s normal to feel out of place in your own home and common to crave change after you’ve spent x amount of years there. Joanne Hall felt just that and started a hunt for a new house that would keep her in the Glebe. However, after a meeting with Design-firm Linebox Studio, she learned moving wasn’t the answer.
It looks like Santa Clause isn’t the only one coming to town. Alpha Art Gallery is hosting Ottawa’s very first Christmas Market this year! So bundle up and experience the magic of local artisans and the Byward Market Restaurants with your family and friends.
2018-12-18 — Calling All Food Lovers
Queen St. Fare is now officially open in downtown Ottawa! If you’re not jumping for joy yet then get a load of what this incredible food hall has to offer. Not only is it serving a wide selection of delectable dishes but it’s also doubling as a music venue.
2018-12-12 — Helpful Rental Guide
It’s important to know where you stand as a tenant, especially if you’re sharing space and responsibility with multiple people. Keep calm and stay informed with this helpful rental guide. Learn about landlord/tenant laws and the rent increase taking effect Dec 31, 2019.
2018-12-05 — 12 Ways to Up Your Home's Curb Appeal to Sell This Winter
Even in our winter wonderland called Ottawa, creating curb appeal this season can seem like an overwhelming task. Especially when you are trying to sell your home because you know that creating a strong first impression is important. Luckily, it comes down to a few key areas for you to devote a bit of time to. Look to DIY projects, topiaries, beautiful hanging lights, and gorgeous wreaths. Bring in potential buyers this season with great curb appeal!
2018-12-03 — Know an Avid DIYer? See These Great Tool kit Gift Ideas
Do you have an avid DIYer in your life? Think about helping them build their tool kits with ergonomic tools, better safety and protective gear, and creative storage solutions. That is if you aren't hoping they'll hire a professional to do any future home renos!
2018-11-30 — Things To Do Nov 30 - Dec 2
It's finally the weekend, Ottawa! If you're looking to enjoy great winter holiday events, live music, and parades - look no further! Ottawa has several great events and family-friendly activities taking place in and around the city.
2018-11-28 — 8 Ways to Improve Your Home's Air Quality
Winter can make your home's air dry and stuffy, which no one wants! Your home's air quality has a major impact on you and your family's overall health and comfort, right off the bat you may start noticing sinus congestion, excessive static cling, dying house plants and dry, itchy skin.
You don't have to buy a humidifier or break the bank to add more moisture to the air in your house. For 8 ways to help improve your home's air quality, click here!
2018-11-26 — Get Inspired for 2019 with the 10 Best Interior Design Trends
The new year is just around the corner, and luckily the 10 best interior design trends are available to get you inspired. See how popular trends from previous decades have made their way back with a modern twist and how eco-friendly has a big movement in interior design. Get creative with materials, finishes and statement ceilings to dress your home for 2019.
2018-11-23 — Things to do: Ottawa
It's Friday! Which can only mean one thing, the weekend is here. If you're looking for activities for the whole family, like the Magic of Lights, live concerts, sports games and theatre - Ottawa has you covered.
2018-11-21 — 7 Winter Curb Appeal Tips
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can slack off on curb appeal. If you’re trying to sell your home during the holiday months, making a good first impression is just as crucial as ever. Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing your home’s exterior for a fall or winter sale:
Safety first. First and foremost, you want to ensure that buyers can make it to your front door without any accidents. Prevent slips by clearing your driveway, walkways and stairs of snow, ice and leaves. A tidy lawn. Your grass may no longer be green, but you can still keep your lawn looking neat so buyers can picture what it will look like in the spring and summer. Keep your lawn clean by periodically raking up leaves and other debris.
Clean gutters. Leaves will accumulate in your gutters in the fall, so clean them out before putting your home on the market to show buyers that you care about exterior home maintenance.
Fresh paint. Because of bare trees, buyers have a clearer view of your home in the fall and winter than they do in the spring and summer. Faded or chipped paint will really stand out, so give your home a fresh coat if it needs it.
Outdoor lighting. As the days get shorter, having proper outdoor lighting will make your home safer and more attractive for buyers who come to visit at night. Use a series of path lights to illuminate the way to your front door, or flank the door with decorative sconces or lanterns.
Winter decorations. A giant inflatable Santa Claus in the front yard is sure to distract buyers, but subtle wintry decorations can bring out the best in your home. Try a simple wreath on the front door, small white lights strung around shrubbery, or a pile of firewood stacked neatly against a wall.
Cold-weather plants. Evergreen trees or plants that can stand up to the cold weather such as pansies or witch hazel can liven up a drab landscape.
2018-11-19 — Paint Colours are in for 2019
The major paint manufacturers have unveiled their picks for colour of the year 2019, and if all the choices could be summed up in one idea, it would be “relaxed.” That’s not to say next year’s palette is neutral or boring; ¬there are jewel tones and an evolution of strong shades, including near-blacks, from past years. But what distinguishes this year’s picks is a general smokiness, a gentling down of colour, and a sense that many of these colours would work together beautifully, even across brands. Which means that making choices in décor, from fabrics to materials and textures, is easier than ever for consumers.
What’s driving this movement towards easy-going, simplified decorating? Colour-of-the-year choices often grow out of a range of demographic, cultural and even political trends, as well as more material influences such as fashion and industry. Arguably, political noise on both sides of the border and around the world has given us an urge to just go somewhere and be quiet for a while. And what better sanctuary than the home?
“When we sat down to discuss design and colour from a social perspective, we came to the idea of the Quiet Revolution,” explains Sharon Grech, colour and design expert at Benjamin Moore. “The mood is similar to last year, but now the reaction is different. Where we might have been more passive in our convictions last year, now the feeling is, ‘I need to pause, to take a break.’”
Cloud White Ben Moore
For Susan Forint, design and colour expert at Dulux, there’s a certain exhaustion with 24-hour political news, communications and technology. “Perhaps we have too much information at our fingertips; we need to turn to nature, to reboot, step away from it.”
It’s also about a longing for simplicity, adds Erika Woelfel, Behr VP of colour and creative services. “Curation is a word we’ve been hearing a lot. It’s about simplicity, streamlining our choices, helping to narrow down our decisions.” The rise of super-decluttering trends like the Marie Kondo Method appeals to our need to regain control through overcoming the excess — physical and psychological — in our lives.
Sherwin Williams’ director of colour marketing, Sue Wadden, points out that a return to our own unique touchstones is very important these days. Disparate influences, from roots and global cultures to the women’s movement, translate into colours that have a personal resonance. The popularity of cosmetics colours, such as blush, peach, corals and other shades that are flattering to the skin and soothing to the soul, tie into this.
Benjamin Moore recently announced Metropolitan as its 2019 pick, a complex mid-grey with undertones of green, yellow and blue. “It’s more interesting than just a plain battleship grey,” says Grech. “It’s not always what it appears to be. It’s versatile and glamorous, but it’s soft as well. It’s as if society needs a break and a way to find common ground, and grey is great for that.” Even the name carries a sense of community, Grech observes, comparing it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. “It’s about a sense of commonality we share with other people.”
Sherwin Williams’s 2019 pick, Cavern Clay, picks up on the one-world idea. A rich, desert terra cotta, it’s similar to the Santa Fe colours of the ’70s, but more versatile than that. “It’s really like a matte version of copper, or rose gold,” says Wadden. “There’s something familiar about the colour that appeals to people. We’ll be seeing this shade in many media: furniture, textiles, and consumer products of all kinds. And it works well with many colours and textures: neutrals, navy, greys, natural materials.”
Dulux has chosen a deep, velvety green with grey and blue undertones called Night Watch. “It’s both calming and invigorating at the same time,” explains Forint. “There’s a nod to nature, but it has an urban sophistication as well.” The shade has a cocoon-like, almost dimensional feeling, and a mid-tone value that can perform either as a neutral, or a colour, depending on what you pair with it.
Metropolitan Ben Moore
Behr’s 2019 choice, Blueprint (one of the most illustrative names in the 2019 palette, since it’s exactly the colour of blueprints), reflects a trend to blues of every hue in such disparate areas as travel, automotive, fashion, textiles, consumer products and even food. “And of course it’s a colour we see everywhere in nature,” says Woelfel. “Blueprint is neither dark nor light. It represents stability but also confidence; it’s a classic. It hits the sweet spot between all of these things.”
Usually, paint companies roll out a range of supporting shades to offer inspiration and choices to combine with their colours of the year. In the case of Benjamin Moore, Metropolitan was drawn from its Affinity Collection, introduced a few years ago as a way to simplify the task of choosing colours that go well together. (The Marie Kondo Method applied to paint, in a sense.)
“Every one of these colours has the same feeling as Metropolitan, with that softness,” says Grech. “Kendall Charcoal has been my go-to grey for years; it just envelops you. Beau Green is a bit brighter than some of the others, with a global feeling to it. And Head Over Heels is warmer, more mature than a lot of other pinks.” A nod to the idea of familiarity comes in the inclusion this year of BM’s top-selling white of all time, Cloud White, along with a cooler tint called Decorator’s White.
According to Behr’s Woelfel, all the colours in the 2019 palette have similar saturation levels, which help them naturally harmonize. The company divides its suggestions into four palettes, each of which create different moods or effects. Some of Woelfel’s favourites include Sand Dance, a misty tan-peach that pairs especially well with Blueprint; Watery, a delicate light blue more sophisticated than baby blue; Antigua, a near-tropical teal; or Mars Red, a gentle, pale coral-red.
In the Sherwin Williams palette, Sue Wadden recommends Distance — “blues will be very important next year, but not sweet blues; this is a dusty, natural, earthy blue. It looks great with stone whites and mushroom shades.” Haven is an updated sage green, another ’70s colour due to reappear that, says Wadden, “plays well in the sandbox with many colours and looks, from Scandinavian to mid-century modern.”
Dulux recently introduced a new finish called Venetian Silk as an updated version of the paint treatments of the ’90s, available in 40 colours, including a variation on the colour of the year called Mojito Shimmer. Applied in a simple two-step treatment, it produces a shimmering, dimensional effect, and can be used either as an accent wall, or for a whole room, to instantly elevate a space.
All of the 2019 picks are relaxed and easy to work with; unlike some edgier shades we’ve seen in past years, the overall mood is elegant but softer. And all of these colours seem to have been chosen for ease of decorating, since every one is equally at home with natural fibres and textiles, hard metals or soft woods, and a range of decorating styles.
“All of these colours will play together and bring out the things in your room — furnishings, art, accessories,” says Grech, “rather than draw attention to themselves. Which is really the whole point of a great paint colour, after all.”
2018-11-16 — November 16 - 18: Things To Do
Welcome the snow with the great events taking place in Ottawa! Enjoy one of the Santa Clause Parades, DJ Skate Night at TD Place, 613flea and the Ottawa Comicon: Holiday Edition.
2018-11-14 — 5 Ways to Heat a Garage in Winter
Insulating and heating your garage has a host of benefits. Not only does this allow you to use your garage year round, but it protect stored items, reduces noise, keeps the heat in and protects you from dangerous Carbon Monoxide.
2018-11-12 — Your Ottawa Real Estate Market Update
2018-11-09 — Lest We Forget
Lest We Forget.
This Sunday, November 11th is Remembrance Day. If you are looking for an event to help commemorate and show your respect to those who have sacrificed for our country, see the list of Ottawa-based events below.
The National Remembrance Day Ceremony at the National War Memorial, put together by the Royal Canadian Legion, downtown Ottawa from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm.
The Virtual Wall of Honour and Remembrance, from 9:00 am - 10:00 am, displays photographs of late veterans before the Veterans Parade (departing from Parliament Hill).
The National Arts Centre is presenting a special free concert commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War at 12:30 pm.
Visit the Canadian War Museum, a memorial to Canada’s proud military history and the brave souls who have sacrificed for our country.
National Military Cemetery will hold a ceremony to honour those who have served, and those who continue to serve, our country.
If you are unable to attend any of the above, observe a moment of silence for our brave soldiers and our fallen.
2018-11-07 — Mike Holmes: Fall means rise of recurring water issues in windows
With the fall season in full swing, you may notice condensation on your windows, or take note of their overall ‘health’. If there is moisture, it could be a sign of something more severe and potentially serious water damage. Water damage never comes alone, if left untreated, it invites mould and rot into your home too.
2018-11-05 — Creaky floors make a sound of installation issues
Are your floors starting to make sounds that remind you of a haunted house? It may be time to bring in a professional to inspect them. Creaky and moving floors can be the result of poorly installed subfloors.
2018-11-02 — Don't Forget to Change Your Clocks this Weekend!
This Sunday, November 4th 2018, the clocks will go back one hour at 2:00 am. That means we can look forward to more light in the mornings!
2018-10-31 — Have a Happy Halloween!
Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween this year!
2018-10-29 — Evenings Out in the Capital: Four of Ottawa’s Best Kept Secrets
Whether you’re an Ottawa native or a tourist on the hunt for some cultural treasures, the capital city of Canada has much to offer. Though less visited than Montreal and Toronto, this pint-sized and picturesque place has dozens of attractions to keep you occupied, from museums to chateaus, theatres, and more, many of them hidden away off the beaten track.
So, you have an itinerary to fill and no idea where to begin? Then here are just a few of the city’s best kept secrets…
Nature Nocturne at the Canadian Museum of Nature
Although the Canadian Museum of Nature offers a diverting day out for children and adults alike, it is on the last Friday of every month that it really comes to life. Hosting a themed night that’s for over eighteens only, it provides attendees with a whole array of special activities to keep them entertained, from dancing to karaoke to live artists and performers. That’s not to say, of course, that the creatures on display won’t be joining you. Indeed, as the photographic evidence attests, a selfie with a blue whale is certainly not out of the question.
Rideau Carleton Raceway and Casino
If you’re looking for a little excitement, a trip to Rideau Carleton Raceway and Casino will be a good way to fill a day. Setting itself up as the ultimate destination for fun and entertainment, this gambling paradise offers punters over 1,200 slot machines to choose from, plus 35 live table games including roulette, mini baccarat, and more. Should you wish to refine your strategy beforehand, you can do this online, to set yourself up for success and give yourself a greater chance of winning. There’s a list of the best places to try out your fledgling skills on this site, together with list of welcome bonuses - so if you need some help becoming a slot machine supremo, you know exactly where to find it. Enter Rideau as a certified high roller and see if you can come out on top.
Fancy something a little more family friendly? Then Dundonald Park is the place to go. Tucked away in downtown Ottawa, this green space hosts plenty of enjoyable events, especially in the summertime. These include everything from outdoor film screenings every Friday and Saturday evening from July through to August to yoga, tai chi classes, and giant checkers games. If you need to fill up while you’re there, you’ll even find a food truck on-site - one which serves up the most delicious Indian dosas (a type of light and crispy crepe) around.
As the oldest active movie theatre in the city, the Mayfair has plenty to offer besides the films it screens. An architectural icon in its own right, this Spanish revival style structure is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside, with sweeping balconies, towering windows, and luxurious seating. cheap as chips to enter, it shows everything from independents to classic films and local movies, with many special screening events too. Probably its most popular offering is its monthly Rocky Horror Picture Show showing, but you’ll find plenty to choose from if this is not quite to your taste.
2018-10-26 — Halloween: Ottawa Events!
It's almost Halloween! Make it a spooky weekend filled with ghosts, vampires and ghouls with any of the great events taking place this weekend. Try Frightfest at Saunders Farm, Skreamers at Proulx Maple & Berry Farm, and Acres of Terror.
2018-10-24 — Top Places to Photograph in Ottawa this Fall
Autumn may be the most photogenic time of the year in Canada’s capital, with colourful foliage contrasting deep blue skies throughout the city and in the countryside. Take advantage of this vibrant season to explore some of the best places to photograph this fall in Ottawa.
2018-10-22 — Election day essentials: Here's how to vote in Ottawa
Election day is here, and that means voters will be lining up at their assigned polling stations across Ottawa to cast their ballots.
2018-10-19 — Fun to be had October 19 - 21
Liven up your weekend with thrilling events like Haunting Season & Frieght Fest at Saunders Farm, Incident at the Bunker, and Haunt Nights at Watson's Mill. If you're looking for something a little less spooky, enjoy events like Splash'N Boots LIVE and live music in the city.
2018-10-17 — Insulating a Garage Door & Getting Weed-Free Flagstones
Your questions on insulating garage doors to make the garage a warmer place in your home and obtaining weed-free flagstones answered! Making sure you take the time to properly plan out your projects, and using the proper materials are important to success.
2018-10-16 — The Fall Give Away Weekend - October 20th to 21st
Don't put your unwanted or gently used items in the garbage! This weekend, bring them curbside for the Fall Give Away Weekend. Head out and take a tour of Ottawa communities to search for hidden treasures.
2018-10-12 — October 12-14 Ottawa Events
There's many fun events taking place this weekend that the whole family will love. If you're looking for ideas, check out the Ottawa Fury games, the Metcalfe Farmers' Market, Paranormal Investigation of the Mill, the October West Beer Fest, or the Ottawa International Burlesque Festival. You'll be sure to find an event that piques your interest!
2018-10-10 — Maintained fences make happy homeownwers & neighbours
Your outdoor structures need as much preventive maintenance and care as the rest of your home does. Many homeowners think of structures like fences and sheds as replaceable, when they are anything but. You need to maintain them. Any structures that fall into a state of disrepair aren’t just an eye sore, they could be a safety hazard! On the positive side, well-maintained outdoor structures can provide overall value to your home, so it pays to do the upkeep.
Your fence works overtime: it provides privacy and security, keeps your kids safe, and can seriously add to your curb appeal. With fall setting in, and winter not far behind it, doing a quick maintenance check on your fence is a good idea. Here’s what you need to know about your fence to protect it against the harsh elements.
They can deteriorate
There are two kinds of rot that can affect your wooden fences: dry and wet. Wet rot comes from moisture, so a fence that gets pounded by rain and snow can start to develop wet rot over time. You can recognize wet rot because the wood can become soft and spongy or cracking starts to occur.
Dry rot happens when the hot, dry weather attacks your fence, weakening the protective oils in the wood. You can tell it’s dry rot if the wood feels brittle or show signs of crumbling.
How do you prevent fence rot? Well, start with a good quality wood. While pressure treated pine is cheaper, choosing something more resistant, like cedar or composite woods can prolong the life of your fence, and reduce the amount of maintenance needed to keep it strong. Wooden fences should be maintained every few years, depending on the beating they take from Mother Nature. They should be painted or stained at least every five years, but you may need to more often depending on your climate.
Cleaning your fence should be a regular part of your maintenance, and if you do notice any instances of rot, it’s best to remove those boards, and replace them quickly to prevent it from spreading.
While in many cases, a metal fence can mean less maintenance than a wooden fence, if you notice paint peeling, or instances of rust starting to crop up, take action immediately before it spreads. Start by scraping off any loose or bubbling paint, and instances of rust, then sand the area and buff with steel wool. Put a coat of primer on the affected area, and then paint over it with as many layers as necessary.
How to secure your fence
If you don’t build it right in the first place, your fence is going to be a lot more trouble than it’s worth. All the staining in the world won’t protect it from strong winds and ice. So how else can you protect your investment?
First, before you place your first post in the ground, you’ll need to determine what the frost line is in your climate. The frost line is the depth in the soil that doesn’t freeze in the winter. As the ground freezes and thaws, it heaves up and down. If you place your fence posts above the frost line, what do you think happens to the posts? They move up and down with the heaving soil, eventually becoming unstable.
Instead, place your posts below the frost line, and don’t fill the hole up with concrete (or your choice of filler) all the way to the top either. By doing that, you’ll be giving the moving soil something to grab on and push up. It will actually make your fence stronger not to fill the entire hole with concrete. Once your filling has set, fill the remainder of the hole with excavated soil. Or better yet, use a concrete form tube.
Stability is the name of the game when it comes to keeping your fence standing during a windstorm. Any loose or decaying posts should be replaced as soon as possible. Gates should be secure with strong latches, a gate that slams open and closed during high powered winds, can fly off, damaging your fence, your home, or your neighbour’s home. Any trees near your fence should be monitored for dead branches. that could be hazardous during windstorms, too.
Treat your fence and other outdoor structures like you would your home. Take the time to give them their proper maintenance, and don’t put off necessary repairs longer than you have to. Problems that you ignore can easily spiral from a simple to fix, to a full-blow replacement job.
2018-10-09 — Ottawa-Gatineau unemployment shrinks to 4.5% in September
Statistics Canada reported, Friday October 5th, that Ottawa's employment rate went up during the month of September. This is a great news, following a three-month trend of a hike in unemployment.
2018-10-05 — Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving!
Hoping you & yours a happy Thanksgiving, & a wonderful long weekend!
2018-10-03 — New Recipes for Thanksgiving
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you may be looking for some different recipes to change things up this year.
2018-10-01 — 5 Steps Smart Sellers Take to Generate Multiple Offers
Online – Randy Oickle, President and Broker of Record of Innovation Realty Ltd. Aug 29
Home sales (and values) have been on a strong uptick nationwide thanks to low interest rates, freer lending standards and a drop in the foreclosure rate. Sellers everywhere are breathing a giant, collective sigh of relief! But for all of the buyer activity, it seems like most houses sit on one end of two extremes: they either get snatched up the moment they hit the market (with multiple offers and an above-asking sale price) or seem to languish on the market without an offer in sight.
All sellers aspire to be on the multiple-offer end of the spectrum. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make that happen. Here are five tips to move your listing in to the multiple offers zone.
- Price it aggressively. Homes that get multiple offers are often sold in an “auction” atmosphere. If you think back to the last auction you saw on TV or participated in online, you’ll remember this basic element of Auctions 101: the starting price is lower – sometimes quite a bit lower – than the final sale price.
In fact, it’s the low list or starting price that gets people excited about the possibility of scoring a great value, whether they’re bidding on an antique Chinese pug figurine on eBay or on your home. And when it comes to your home, it’s that same, low-price-seeking excitement that will cause many more buyers to show up and view your home than would have come at a higher price point.
In real estate, more showings are an inescapable prerequisite to more offers.
This doesn’t mean you have to give away the farm, just that sellers who get multiple offers price their properties from a retailer’s or auctioneer’s perspective. Work with your agent through the comparable sales data – as recent and as comparable as possible – and then do your best to list your home as a slight discount, not at a slight premium, compared to the recent neighborhood sales. That will get buyers’ attention.
- Give buyers and brokers ample access. Put yourself in your target buyer’s shoes. Say there are 40 homes on the market which meet their specifications, in terms of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, price range and location. And 25 of those top the list. But they only have time to see 8 today. If the buyer’s broker can’t get into your house today, because you have so many restrictions around showing it, your home could very well miss out on a showing with this qualified, motivated buyer.
It might seem overly simple, but if you want multiple offers, it behooves you to make sure your home is available to be shown today. Every day that it is on the market. Inconvenient? Yes. Frustrating? Sometimes. A challenge to keep the place clean at all times? Assuredly. But consider your priorities and what is at stake. If getting top dollar for your home is at the top of your priority list, then you have to be ready and willing to deal with the inconvenience involved in churning up multiple offers and getting your home sold.
- Make it beautiful. Really, really beautiful. The homes that get multiple offers are those with look, feel and function that can be described in one word: covetable. You’re not trying to create a situation in which your home barely edges out the listing down the street in the hearts and minds of your target buyer. If you want multiple offers, you need multiple buyers to fall deeply in love with your home – enough to bid above the listing price, and enough to compete with others for it.
To generate multiple offers, prepare your home by ensuring it is: immaculately cleaned from the inside out – closets, basements, garages and crawl spaces included, de-cluttered and staged to the nines – this includes fresh paint, carpet and other things that need replacing in perfect working order – make sure things like doors, windows and systems buyers test (e.g., stoves, faucets, heating and air conditioning) are not creaky, wonky, leaky or otherwise dysfunctional.
If you’ve done any major home improvements or replaced any appliances or systems lately, market that! Show off how immaculate, adorable and move-in ready your home is now – and tout its great working condition for the long run.
- Expose it to the market. An offer the very first day your home goes on the market may sound like a dream come true. But it might also incur opportunity costs. See, many buyers can’t get out to see homes that quickly – some are unable to house hunt except on the weekends. Listing agents who get multiple offers often plan from the start to expose the home to the market long enough for target buyers to see it and get their offers on the table.
Some agents expressly include open house and offer review dates in the timeline of the listing. It’s not uncommon to see a listing come on the market with a calendar of 1-2 Open Houses and an offer date sometime early in the week following the second one. Ask your agent to brief you on the standard practices for market exposure in your local area.
Setting – and publishing – a timeline for market exposure and offers lets buyers know that they will be able to get to the property and get their offers considered, while still creating a sense of urgency.
- Be ready to course correct. Is your home one of the houses that has been sitting on the market for months without any action? Do not fret – there might still be hope. In real estate, there’s something insiders call the Sweet Spot Phenomenon, where an overpriced home sits on the market for months with no bites, sometimes even through multiple price reductions. Finally, the seller lowers the price to the ‘sweet spot,’ and it generates multiple offers and sells for more than the final list price.
Yes – there are listings whose sellers net more than they expected because they were willing to revise the list price downward in response to market feedback (i.e., no showings, no offers or lowball offers).
If your home has been lagging on the market, talk with your listing agent about what sort of price reduction strategy is likely to maximize your net sale price. Hint: many more buyers are attracted by chunky reductions or reductions below a common online search price point limit than by tiny, incremental reductions.
For example, you might draw more buyers, and ultimately more money, with a price reduction from $499,000 to $474,000 than with a series of small reductions from $499,000 to $479,000, because there is a set of buyers who may be cutting their search off at $475,000 – so a price cut below that point will expose your home to a whole new group of prospects.
2018-09-28 — Fall Fun This Weekend
There's a lot of exciting fall events and activities taking place to keep you busy the whole weekend. Many activities and events for the whole family to enjoy, check out the Metcalfe Fair, Acres of terror, Pumpkinferno, or a range of live music across the city to get a jump on your weekend adventures.
2018-09-26 — Autumn's a good time for making compost, and a bin is key
Fall is an excellent time of the year for composting. General garden cleanup, cutting the grass, and fallen leaves are some of the things that contribute to that. You don't need to dig into exotic ingredients or have fancy, expensive equipment to do it.
2018-09-25 — Helping the victims of the Ottawa tornadoes
After the aftermath of a severe windstorm and two tornadoes ripped through the Ottawa area on Friday, many residents are left without power, shelter and food. Approximately 60 buildings were decimated in the Dunrobin area and more than 215 structures in Gatineau were damaged or destroyed.
2018-09-21 — Things To Do This Weekend
Kick off the first day off Fall tomorrow with some fun events and activities happening around the city this weekend. There's plenty of fun for everyone, like the Carp Fair, Night Shift at Watson's Mill, the REDBLACKS Family Day Game, or the Canada Army Run.
2018-09-19 — Ready, Set, Paint!
Looking to put some life back into your kitchen? Give it a brand new face-lift, with a fraction of the cost of a full renovation, by painting your kitchen cabinets.
2018-09-17 — Adventure Capital: Autumn is Here
If you're looking for new and fun ways to explore Canada's capital this fall, look no further! Ottawa has a vibrant outdoor scene and is sure to get your heart racing.
2018-09-14 — 174th Richmond Fair this Weekend
Looking for something fun for the whole family to do? Check out the 174th Richmond Fair. It has activities for everyone, like: helicopter rides, live music, children's entertainment, exhibits, and more!
2018-09-12 — It's time to start thinking about Fall Home Maintenance!
2018-09-10 — 8 Home Staging Tips for the fall
Looking to sell your home this Fall? Seasonal home staging can help! Catch homebuyers’ attention with stylish decor and updates this Fall.
2018-09-07 — Ottawa housing: the hunt for bargains moves to the periphery
Ottawa is showing a trend of home buyers looking to the outskirts of the city for bargains. Despite a busier than usual summer, momentum slowed during the month of August.
2018-09-05 — Pool Closing Tips for Ottawa Winters
As fall approaches, it's time to start thinking about closing your pool for the Ottawa winter. Help keep your pool clear and trouble free by following the 9 pool closing tips!
2018-08-31 — Things to Do During the Last Long Weekend of the Summer
It's the last long weekend of the summer, Ottawa. If you aren't getting out of the city or heading to a cottage, there's plenty of events happening here to make your weekend! Enjoy the Latin American Parade or head to Beachburg for a whitewater rafting adventure!
2018-08-29 — Plan Your Long Weekend Getaway with Ease
Stay up-to-date with Ottawa traffic, road closures, events and incidents with an interactive map to help make your drive home or planning your long weekend trip a breeze!
2018-08-27 — Safety Tool kit for DIY Renovation Projects
Tackling a DIY home renovation or project? Being prepared and having the proper protective gear is the first place to start. No matter the project size, you should always be wearing the appropriate protective gear!
Ottawa has many exciting events and activities taking place this weekend, August 24th - 26th. Not only is there The Capital Fair, and festivals (like Lumiere Ottawa), but there will be an outdoor showing of Jurassic Park on Sparks Street! There will be something for everyone to enjoy this weekend.
2018-08-22 — Do It Now: Tips To Get Ready For Back-To-School
A new school year is just around the corner! As exciting as that is, back-to-school time comes with it's own sets of challenges and difficulties. Trying to stay organized, getting your family prepared, and buying school supplies can be tough to manage smoothly!
2018-08-20 — Checklist: At least 40 things you should do in Ottawa before summer’s over (2018 edition)
We’re nearly halfway through August and the summer is just flying by. But there’s still a lot of hot days and sunshine left. Here’s a list of 40 or so things you should check out before September.
- Go see Northern Lights and/or do yoga (Wednesdays at noon) on Parliament Hill.
- Ride your bike on a parkway during Nokia Sunday Bikedays.
- Have another beer (maybe for just a buck?) on another patio.
- Buy fresh food at a local farmers’ market.
- Visit a local winery or brewery.
- Take a road trip to Almonte or Merrickville or Perth or Wakefield or even Cornwall.
- Go to a music festival.
- Watch some theatre in a park from A Company of Fools or Odyssey Theatre.
- Go to the fair.
- Take a haunted walk.
- Go see Van Gogh Up Close at the National Gallery.
- Walk around and admire Ottawa’s street art.
- Sample some street food.
- Go for a stroll on the path along the Rideau Canal.
- Build a sand castle at a beach or swim in an outdoor pool.
- Explore a cave.
- Take a photo of a gorgeous sunset.
- Go to a drive-in movie. There’s one in Gatineau and one near Perth.
- Go to an outdoor movie like Centretown Movies.
- Check out Saturday night reggae at Westboro Beach.
- Go see The Art of the Brick at the Museum of Science and Technology.
- Walk through the grounds at Rideau Hall.
- Rent a paddleboat at Dow’s Lake.
- Play mini-golf.
- Take your dog for a run at Lemieux Island.
- Take a hike in the Greenbelt.
- Go to a water park; Calypso or Mont Cascades.
- Check out Armour at the War Museum.
- See some fireworks at the history museum.
- Go to a beach in the Gatineaus.
- Bike down that really steep hill behind Major’s Hill Park.
- See the birds at the Museum of Nature.
- Invite your neighbours over for a BBQ.
- Go to a block party.
- Hire a rickshaw.
- Learn how they wash the cows at the Agriculture Museum.
- Ride on a pirate ship on the Rideau Canal.
- Watch the hot air balloons over Gatineau.
- Go ziplining.
2018-08-17 — Things To Do in Ottawa this Weekend
If you're looking for something fun to do with family and friends, there's plenty going, so enjoy another busy weekend! From the Casino du Lac-Leamy Sound of Light Fireworks Competition, the Vanleek Hill Fair, and enjoying live bands at the Hopped and Confused Beer, Music and Food Festival - there's something for everyone!
2018-08-15 — Summer Vacation Checklist for Your House Sitter
2018-08-13 — Thinking of Selling this Fall?
2018-08-10 — Things To Do this Weekend in Ottawa!
Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Ottawa's got you covered! Many fantastic events and festivals will be taking place, such as the 4th Annual West End Food Truck Rally in Bells Corners and visiting Parc Omega with the family to learn about Canadian wildlife.
2018-08-08 — A Sizzling Summer for Ottawa Real Estate
2018-08-03 — Things to do in Ottawa this Weekend!
Happy long weekend!
If you're looking for things to do, Ottawa has plenty of exciting events and activities for you and the whole family! Check out events like the Northern Lights: Sound and Light Show, Capital Ribfest, and Casino du Lac-Leamy Sound of Light.
2018-08-01 — New Tax on Ottawa Airbnb Rentals
Airbnb users are now paying a tax on their nightly rental in Ottawa.
Starting today, Airbnb will collect a four per cent “municipal accommodation tax” on all Ottawa listings. The tax will then be remitted to the City of Ottawa to help support Ottawa tourism.
Ottawa was the first Ontario city to enter into a Municipal Accommodation Tax collection agreement with Airbnb.
In January, the City of Ottawa imposed a four per cent Municipal Accommodation Tax on hotel rooms in Ottawa. The money is used to support the tourism industry.
Airbnb has an agreement with the province of Quebec to collect and remit taxes.
Airbnb estimates the city would have received $850,000 if a municipal accommodation tax was in place in 2017.
2018-07-30 — Summer entertaining: Patio-party decor mixes old with new
It's the season to host outdoor parties or events, and when it comes to creating a beautiful and cozy space for your guests - it's all about eye-appeal. Keeping fresh flowers, playing with patterns, and treating yourself are some of the key must-haves for your patio party.
2018-07-27 — Ottawa: Weekend Road Closures
Plan your Queensway trips well in advance this weekend, because Highway 417 will be closed in both directions between Bronson and Carling avenues.
Significant traffic impacts are expected during the closure, which is planned to start at 5 p.m. Saturday and end 11 a.m. Sunday.
The closure is necessary for the demolition of the Harmer Avenue pedestrian bridge, which is set to be replaced over the next two years.
Several eastbound on-ramps will be closed, including those at Carling, Parkdale and Maitland avenues.
Some westbound on-ramps will also be closed, including those at O’Connor, Catherine, Rochester and Lyon streets, and Parkdale Avenue.
The city has suggested alternate routes for westbound and eastbound drivers during the closure, and is asking motorists to plan all trips well in advance.
2018-07-25 — Lightning Safety on the Soccer Field
With all of the thunderstorms in our forecast, here is a good tool for planning.
2018-07-23 — CMHC wants to make it easier for self-employed Canadians to get a mortgage
Are you self-employed and looking to buy a home?
The CMHC is giving lenders more guidance and flexibility on determining whether a self-employed person qualifies for a mortgage.They are implementing changes in order to make it easier for self-employed individuals to obtain a mortgage, as these Canadians tend to have a more difficult time qualifying. This is due to incomes varying and being less predictable than those with salaries/are employed by a business.
2018-07-20 — Ottawa: Things to Do This Weekend
If you're looking for something to do this weekend, the city has a plethora of events and activities happening!
Whether you're looking for a family event like the Ottawa Lebanese Festival or a great date night activity like the Outdoor Movies in the ByWard Market - there's something for all.
2018-07-18 — Tips to Keep You Cool All Summer Long
It's no exaggeration that this has been an extremely hot summer for Ottawa, and trying to stay cool has been a challenge! Overheating is unpleasant and exhausting, not to mention dangerous for your health, so it's important to find ways to keep cool (especially if you don't have AC or an AC unit in your home).
Luckily, there are a few tips you can easily implement in your home that will drastically cool things down!
2018-07-16 — Income properties: How suite they might sound
Do you have extra space in your home you're not using? Or do you need an additional source of income? If you've been thinking about turning part of your home into an income suite, there's some factors you should consider!
2018-07-13 — HOPE Volleyball this Saturday!
HOPE Volleyball SummerFest's 36th edition, sponsored by Big Rig Brewery, is this Saturday, July 14th at Mooney's Bay! There's lots of fun to be had by everyone. Watch the exciting games, check out the HOPE Mainstage to listen to the great lineup, all while supporting the community!
2018-07-11 — How to Fertilize Your Garden Organically
In gardening, whether you’re talking about pest control or fertilization, “organic” generally means natural. The word “organic” refers to “organic matter,” the linchpin of organic gardening and, traditionally at least, all good gardening. “Organic matter” is material derived from what is or was once living.
Plants are most hungry for three nutrients — nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium — and organic fertilizers can supply them just as synthetic (chemical) fertilizers can. The three prominent numbers on any fertilizer label indicate the percentages of these three nutrients that the bag contains. In the world of organics, many different sources exist for each of these major nutrients.
NITROGEN, MOST IN NEED BY PLANTS
Let’s begin with nitrogen, because it’s the nutrient needed in greatest amounts and the one most readily lost from the soil.
The richest organic sources of nitrogen are manures, ground-up animal parts (blood meal, feather dust, leather dust) and seed meals (soybean meal, cottonseed meal). Nitrogen concentration in any manure varies not only with the kind of animal, but also with the kind of bedding used, the age of the manure and how it was stored.
Ground-up animal parts and seed meals generally have the highest concentrations of nitrogen. Because they undergo some processing, they are more consistent in their nitrogen concentration.
ORGANIC SOURCES FOR THE TWO OTHER KEY PLANT NUTRIENTS
Major organic sources of phosphorus include, again, certain manures, as well as bone meal and pulverized rock phosphate.
Rock phosphate is a phosphorus-rich rock that is ground into fine particles that release their phosphorus slowly and over the course of many years. Hence, only infrequent applications are needed — I spread some every 10 years. Colloidal phosphate is especially fine, so releases its phosphorus somewhat more quickly.
Manures contain some potassium as well as nitrogen and phosphorous, but richer sources of potassium include seaweed, wood ashes, and the minerals greensand and granite. Wood ashes are alkaline so should not be used on rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, mountain laurels and other plants that thrive only in very acidic soils.
Some commercially available organic fertilizers are blends of one or more individual organic fertilizers, so can offer a balance of all three major nutrients. Particular blends vary in their nutrient concentrations and in how quickly these nutrients are available to plants. For instance, blood meal, bone meal, seaweeds and wood ashes release their nutrients into the soil relatively quickly, while leather dust and pulverized rocks release their nutrients slowly. Read the label carefully if your plants need food quickly.
COMPOST FOR ALL
The Cadillac of balanced organic fertilizers is compost. Besides offering a wide spectrum of nutrients, especially when made from a wide spectrum of raw materials, compost also is a good source of organic matter. So good, in fact, that its nutrient concentrations are not high enough for compost to be legally sold as “fertilizer”; it must be classified as a “soil amendment.”
Nonetheless, compost spread over the ground can provide all the nourishment that even the hungriest plants need for a season. All that organic matter that hitchhikes along with the nitrogen has far-reaching benefits, indirectly bolstering biological activity in the soil, and helping it retain air and moisture.
Sometime each year, usually in autumn or early spring, all the beds in my organic vegetable garden get blanketed with an inch of compost. Nutrients in compost are available slowly over the span of a number of years, so yearly additions keep my plants very well nourished.
2018-07-09 — Condo Sales Keep Market from Over Heating
News Release July 5, 2018 The Ottawa Real Estate Board
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,070 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,163 in June 2017, a decrease of 4.3 per cent. The five-year average for June sales is 1,914. June’s sales included 455 in the condominium property class, an increase of 11.5 per cent from June 2017 and 1,615 in the residential property class, a decrease of 8 per cent from a year ago.
“The first half of 2018 has performed very well with the number of year to date residential sales almost identical to this time last year,” states Ralph Shaw, Ottawa Real Estate Board President. “Condo unit sales have led the way, increasing by 16.8 per cent over the same period.”
“The robust condo numbers are likely fueled by lack of inventory, particularly in the lower price points of the single-family resale market. For example, in the first half of the year there has been a decrease of 37 per cent in the number of single-family units sold at the $250-275K price point and a 41 per cent decrease for the $275-300K price range, whereas there is a corresponding increase in condo sales of 49 per cent and 22 per cent respectively for those same price points,” Shaw points out.
“This suggests that at the lower end of the single-family resale market, buyers are turning towards condominium units as a way of achieving ownership at a price they can afford. The oversupply in our condo market that once was an issue is now helping to ease our overall inventory shortage.”
“Further, with construction costs up (concrete is one example) as well as increasing development fees, and skilled labour at a premium which is extending build timelines, the price of purchasing a new build is simply out of reach for many entry-level buyers,” he adds. “The options then become to move further outside the urban boundary to less expensive markets in surrounding communities.”
The year to date average Days on Market (DOM) for residential homes has decreased 18 per cent from 46 days in 2017 to 37 days currently. For condos, the DOM has decreased from 71 days to 52 days, a 27 per cent decrease from June 2017.
“The decrease in DOMs indicates that inventory is turning over much more quickly, likely due to the lack of available inventory in certain areas of Ottawa. To increase the number of listings available, we need the right product availability to entice sellers to give up their homes, particularly boomers. Many have indicated they would happily list their homes if we could offer them a property that fits into the lifestyle that they want. The downtown apartment condo is not at the top of their list,” remarks Shaw.
The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in June in the Ottawa area was $449,200, an increase of 3.4 per cent over June 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $293,303, an increase of 1.2 per cent from June 2017. Year to date, residential properties have seen a 5.2 per cent increase in average price with a 1.1 per cent price increase for condominiums.*
“Ottawa’s real estate market continues to move forward at a reasonable pace. Undoubtedly, inventory remains low, but our property prices continue to be stable and affordable. We are very fortunate not to be experiencing the volatility of other markets in our country,” Shaw acknowledges.
In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 1,320 properties since the beginning of the year.
- The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
2018-07-06 — Ready for the 2018 Ottawa Bluesfest?
Looking for a fun music festival to attend this summer? Why not hit up the Ottawa Bluesfest, on until July 15th! See performers like Brett Eldridge, Foo Fighters, Blue Rodeo, Jethro Tull and many more amazing bands.
2018-07-04 — Why Summer is a Good Time to Move
School’s officially out for summer! If you’re like us, you’re probably thinking beaches, holidays, cottages… any activity that will get us out to enjoy the warm weather…but it can also be a perfect time to move! While there might not be as much real estate activity in July as there is in May, it may surprise you to find out that June, July and August are busy months in Ottawa real estate, especially in recent years. The weather is fine and there are still a lot of great opportunities to buy and sell. Stats show that houses (and people) are making moves during the warmer months and many buyers and sellers are motivated to get deals done before the cooler weather returns.
So what are some other reasons why summer is a good time to move?
Home Maintenance / House Hunting
If you are buying or selling during the winter, there might be things buried under snow that you can’t see or get access to if snow is a factor. It’s also nice to be able to open the windows and get fresh air while doing tasks like painting. Since you’ll be busy packing and preparing, you might hire a teenager who is looking to make a bit of cash for small jobs like mowing the lawn, weeding, babysitting, etc. Delegating small tasks will pay off big time.
Do you really want to move that lamp you’ve had in the basement since college again? The answer is probably not. Getting rid of stuff you don’t want or need before you start packing will make your move so much easier (and probably cheaper too!). If you have children, encourage them to go through their books & toys as well, the thought of earning a few dollars is usually a great incentive to purge! Bonus: whatever doesn’t sell is already out an organized making it easier to drop off at a local charity donation bin.
Tip* Before picking a date, check to see if there is a neighbourhood garage sale planned in your area. Community garage sales like the Great Glebe Garage sale have caught on in other areas and tend to draw more “shoppers”. If that’s not an option you might talk to your neighbours to see if you can get a street sale happening, and don’t forget to ask for Garage Sale Signs from your Royal LePage Realtor!
This is a pretty obvious one, winters in Ottawa are notoriously cold and snowy. It’s much easier to move when you’re worrying about icy walkways and 3 feet of snow. You might find more willing volunteers to help with your move too, especially if there’s a promise of cold beer and pizza! Having said that, moving in 35 degree heat can also be pretty brutal, make sure you have plenty of cold water on hand and hire professional movers for the larger items. Your back and your friends will be grateful!
Kids & Schools
Changing schools in the middle of the year can be disruptive and unsettling for some children. If there’s moving to be done, you should try to move before the new school year starts. If older children are off to college or moving out, this might also be a great opportunity for empty-nesters. The Ottawa area condo market has been booming in the last year, and there are great deals out there for those looking to downsize.
Business is Slower
Unless you’re in the construction or tourism industry, most businesses slow down during the summer months, making it easier to book time off of work. Summer is a good time to move but don’t forget to take some time to enjoy the season.
Making a move can be stressful in any season, but being organized and asking for help when you need it will help ensure a successful move. And when it’s all done you can enjoy a cold beverage and enjoy your new space!
2018-06-29 — Happy Canada Day Weekend!
An epic weekend of festivities awaits you as we highlight Canada Day on three official sites! Join us in expressing Canadian pride and a common sense of belonging to such a diverse country on June 30 and July 1. Fun-filled activities and live entertainment will pump up the crowd for sure! There will be something for everyone to enjoy on Parliament Hill, at the Canadian Museum of History and at Major’s Hill Park. Don’t miss out!
2018-06-27 — Ottawa Public Health advising residents to take precautions during the Canada Day weekend heat wave
Shad Qadri, Councillor Serving the community of Stittsville within the City of Ottawa
A special Early Notification for Extreme Temperatures has been issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada for the Ottawa area, as very hot temperatures are forecast starting Friday June 29 and for the Canada Day weekend.
A heat warning is issued when the temperature is expected to exceed 31°C during the daytime and the nighttime temperature will not be cooler than 20°C or a humidex of 40 C is forecast for two consecutive days.
Extreme heat can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death. Seniors, infants, young children, outdoor workers and athletes, people who are homeless and people taking certain prescription medications for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and depression are at a greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness.
Tips and advice during hot weather:
Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, preferably water and limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Be cautious if engaging in Canada Day events and avoid strenuous physical activity outdoors.
Limit or avoid direct exposure to the sun and wear a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and SPF lip balm. Dress in light and loose fitting clothing.
Look for shade or a cool shelter in an air-conditioned location such as a shopping mall, local library or community centre.
If taking part in Canada Day celebrations, especially where large crowds are expected, please limit your exposure by planning where to seek shelter from the heat.
Never leave children, the elderly or pets unattended in a car, even with the windows open.
Take frequent cool showers or baths. If you cannot shower or bath easily, sponge often with cool wet towels. Focus on cooling the back of the neck, under the arms and groin area. Soak feet and hands in a basin of cool water.
Stay connected with people in your community who have a difficult time coping with hot weather and those who live alone and check on them regularly.
Residents and visitors can cool down at City of Ottawa pools, splash pads, wading pools and beaches, and community centres as well as at Ottawa Public Library branches. Please check respective web pages for, locations and schedules at
2018-06-25 — Keys to a high-performance home
A high performance home isn’t just energy efficient. It provides a healthier environment for you and your family. Turn your attention to durability, value and health. But how is this done? When the home is built to be air tight, you need a method of cycling in fresh outdoor air, while exhausting the warm, moist air generated in your home by living in it (especially in kitchens and bathrooms). Enter the Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) which adjusts the temperature of the outdoor air to match your home, while expelling the moist indoor air. An HRV doesn’t perform the function of a furnace or air conditioning — its job is to constantly provide good quality air to your home.
2018-06-22 — Home Maintenance: Answers to your Outdoor Home Maintenance Questions
If you're looking to do some general maintenance on your fences and windows, it's best to get started in a way that will set you up for success!
2018-06-20 — Events Happening in the Capital this Week
Looking for fun events and activities to attend with family and friends to kick off the summer season?
2018-06-18 — A Critical Key Step for Sellers: Give Your Potential Buyers a Home They Would Want
If you're selling your home there are several steps that should be taken care of before holding an open house. What is important is giving your potential buyers a home that they would want to live in, and can see themselves in. With that in mind, there are a few important factors to keep in mind, such as: making repairs, deep-cleaning your home, and making your home more efficient (i.e. heating & cooling).
2018-06-15 — This Weekend We Celebrate Dads!
Have a great Father's Day Weekend! How will you be celebrating dad?
If you're looking for ideas, check out what's happening in the city here.
2018-06-13 — Ottawa Lawn Care
Our yards are often a point of pride, and need some extra love and care. Looking for tips and tricks to ensure a beautifully maintained lawn?
The following are highlights from the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s latest News Release read the full story.
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,279 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,294 in May 2017, a decrease of 0.7 per cent. The five-year average for May sales is 2,041. May’s sales included 485 in the condominium property class and 1,794 in the residential property class.
“Although our overall inventory stock is down in both the residential and condo market, the number of listings coming onto the market this month is typical spring activity,” states Ralph Shaw, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The sheer number of home sales that took place in May indicates that inventory is turning over quickly– certainly a sign that Ottawa is a healthy real estate market.”
The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in May in the Ottawa area was $464,401, an increase of 6.3 per cent over May 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $281,247, an increase of 3.4 per cent from May 2017.*
“In the first five months of 2018, the value of a single-family home has increased about 8% and approximately 6.5% for condominiums,” Shaw notes. “This price acceleration is encouraging news for homeowners who have now seen an average of 3% price growth per year for the last five years.”
“Much of the total increase in property values have been experienced since the beginning of this year. Not only will this help new homebuilders validate their pricing since construction costs and development fees are so high, but it also will give baby boomers incentive to sell their homes which will help put inventory back onto the market,” he explains.
“While our inventory stays at historically low levels, especially in some neighbourhoods, there will continue to be upward pressure on home prices. We definitely have the demand for housing in this city not only because it is still very affordable but because all the fundamentals are solid here. However, our city does need to have a longer-term housing supply strategy so that we aren’t confronted with future affordability challenges,” Shaw advises.
The $300,000 to $449,999 range remains the most active price point in the residential market, accounting for 45 per cent of home sales, while the $500,000 to $750,000 range continues to gain momentum, now representing almost one-quarter of residential home sales.
“Between $150,000 and $249,999 was May’s most active price point in the condominium market, accounting for 49 per cent of the units sold,” Shaw reports. “Moreover, apartment condos represent 52 per cent of the sales. This is likely a reflection of the low vacancy rate in the rental market. If you can scrape together a down payment, the carrying costs of one of these condos should be less than renting,” he suggests.
In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 1,020 properties since the beginning of the year.
- The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
2018-06-08 — This Weekend is Westfest!
Ottawa's favourite FREE music and arts festival is June 8th - 10th with over 30 acts and over 100 Canadian artists. An exciting experience that will delight those that attend with beautiful and inspiring art, and phenomenal music performances. Head on over this weekend to support the development and work of Canadian artists!
2018-06-06 — Summer projects to boost your home's resale value
2018-06-04 — 6 of the Best Ways to Secure Your Home Before Going on Vacation
With summer fast approaching, you may be planning some much needed vacation time. We prepare for vacations by doing things like making lists of what to pack and making sure we have the proper travel documents. But have you thought about the security of your home while you’re away? Vacation-proof your home before you leave town to give you peace of mind and to ensure that your home is secure while you’re not there.
2018-06-01 — A list of Ottawa Farmer's Markets
Who doesn't love a great Farmer's Market? Fresh fruit, veggies and baked goods can be found in abundance all over Ottawa. From our urban markets, to rural and even Gatineau, there's one close by!
2018-05-30 — BBQ Safety
2018-05-28 — Getting Your Pool Ready for the Summer
With summer just around the corner, it's time to get your pool ready, if you haven't yet! From opening your pool for the season to monthly pool maintenance, you're covered with this checklist.
2018-05-25 — Annual Great Glebe Garage Sale is Happening Tomorrow!
Saturday, May 26 from 8:00 Am - 3:00 PM the Annual Great Glebe Garage Sale will take place. People from across Ottawa (and further) come to the event to enjoy the bargains, great finds and atmosphere.
2018-05-23 — YTD - April 2018 Ottawa Real Estate Market Review
2018-05-18 — Things to do in Ottawa this long weekend!
Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Ottawa has a host of events and activities for you to choose from. With something for everyone, you're sure to have fun!
2018-05-16 — Wiring work requires connection with electrical experts
If your home needs electrical work it's best to call on a professional to get things done. Inspecting and preforming wiring on your own can be quite dangerous. Though bringing in a licensed electrician comes with a bit of a price tag, it will give you peace of mind regarding the safety of you and your home.
2018-05-14 — The Best Deck Designs, Layouts & Ideas For Your Backyard
The days for spending time on the deck are finally upon us here in Ottawa! If you're looking for great design and layout ideas to make your backyard your own personal sanctuary, Lowe's has great concepts that will suit your needs.
2018-05-11 — 8 Fun Mother’s Day Activities in Ottawa
Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 13th and there’s lots to do in the Capital to celebrate how great Mom is! Take her to the Tulip Festival for beautiful sights or to the the House of Targ for arcade games and brunch – whatever Mom likes, there’s something happening in the city that she’ll love.
2018-05-09 — Skipping Home Inspections a Major Red Flag for New Buyers
When you are planning on purchasing a home, one of the most important things to have done is a home inspection. Many buyers don't think it's necessary, or is too expensive. But, having a thorough walk-through of the property will help pin point problems early on and save you money down the road. A home inspection will look beyond the cosmetics of the home and take a serious look at the home's systems (HVAC, wiring, plumbing) and structural aspects, like the roof.
2018-05-07 — Hot Real Estate Market in an Icy April
The Spring market continues to buzz in Ottawa real estate, with the number of sales up over 13% in April in spite of inventory levels being down 23% over this time last year. Home buyers are seeing more competition, which is good news for sellers. Certainly we are seeing more multiple offers and higher sale prices, however, with prices still reasonable compared to income in Ottawa real estate these factors aren’t stopping buyers.
Hot Real Estate Market in an Icy April May 3, 2018 Highlights from the Ottawa Real Estate Board
“Full employment and reasonable house prices in proportion to incomes are fueling our market. Ottawa is not only a beautiful and dynamic capital but also one of the more affordable cities in Canada,” observes Ralph Shaw, Ottawa Real Estate Board President. “While prices and conditions do vary by area, the overall residential marketplace shows solid and steady performance on investment for homeowners, and offers a variety of property class options and price points for those looking to enter the market,” he advises.
“While sales were strong this month, certain areas in Ottawa continue to experience limited supply with both condo and residential inventory down 23.7% from the same month last year. With our low inventory, potential sellers are reluctant to put their home on the market if they are uncertain of their ability to acquire another property.”
“April’s colder than usual temperatures may have been one of the reasons potential sellers delayed listing their properties. However, there are other factors at play which are contributing to the lack of supply. Of course, the new mortgage stress test is affecting some homeowners who may no longer qualify to upsize their homes,” Shaw points out.
“Further compounding the issue within Ottawa proper is a restricted supply of serviceable land, and thus fewer new build opportunities. We need both the new build and resale inventory to be robust enough to meet demand on a consistent basis,” he explains.
“Moreover,” Shaw elaborates, “life adjustment sellers such as Boomers, lack suitable purchasing options due to urban engineering. Many of them do not want to live in downtown condominiums, preferring smaller homes with an attached garage and a decent sized yard where they can still host family BBQs and entertain. Our city council would benefit from the input of Ottawa’s long-serving REALTORS® who truly understand the variety of needs of local home buyers and sellers,” Shaw concludes.
2018-05-04 — Things to Do in Ottawa this Weekend
Looking for something fun to do this weekend? There's plenty of family friendly activities, live music, sports and more!
2018-05-02 — May is Bike to Work Month
May is Bike to Work Month in Ottawa, create a healthier and happier commute to work. Sign up and track your bike commutes to work for a chance to win prizes!
2018-04-30 — Ottawa Home Prices See Healthy Growth in the First Quarter of 2018
Continued demand and shortage of listings intensifies pressure on Ottawa home prices. The aggregate price of a home in Ottawa saw a healthy increase in the first quarter of 2018, rising 4.7 per cent year-over-year to $437,243, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released April 13th.
2018-04-27 — Here’s how Ottawa gardeners can fight back against common pests
Don't give up the battle for your garden. If you're looking for a way to protect your plants against common pests with homemade and commercial solutions that will fight off the offending intruders.
2018-04-25 — Renovation Inspiration for the Floors in your Home
Renovations can be expensive, that's why finding inexpensive ways to add your design stamp to your home is key. Though there are areas in your home that you shouldn't pinch pennies (like electrical work and plumbing), there are some projects you can find innovative work-arounds that look expensive.
2018-04-23 — Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
Spring is finally here and that means there's some work to be done to the interior and exterior of your home! Making sure your roof, windows, chimney, foundation and walls are in good condition and haven't been damaged during the winter season is very important.
2018-04-20 — Experience 613Flea this Saturday, April 21st
This Saturday, you should check out 613Flea! It is a non-for-profit eclectic marketplace where you can find vintage, handmade goods from over 100 different vendors.
2018-04-18 — Ottawa PoutineFest Starts this Thursday!
Looking for something fun (and delicious) to do this week? The Ottawa PoutineFest starts Thursday, April 19th and goes until Sunday, April 22nd at Ottawa City Hall.
2018-04-16 — What to do in a Power Outage
As winter refuses to leave Ottawa, and pelt us with a big ice storm/freezing rain, it has left many without power due to several Hydro poles down in areas across the city.
2018-04-13 — The National Women's Show Kicks-Off this Weekend
With over 200 exhibitors and 20,000 attendees, the National Women's Show is sure to be the ultimate girl's day out! Enjoy the fun features of the event, such as food and wine sampling, celebrity guests, complimentary makeovers, and travel inspiration.
2018-04-09 — Ottawa home sales jump 12% in March
Ottawa Business Journal Online, April 5th 2018
Ottawa’s residential real estate roared back to life in March with a double-digit increase in sales and an eight-per-cent increase in average house prices, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board.
“Properties that are priced well are selling quickly,” said OREB president Ralph Shaw in a statement, adding that homes are spending an average of 43 days on the market, down from 54 days in March 2017.
Ottawa realtors sold 1,660 residential properties last month, up 12.3 per cent from the 1,478 sold during the same period a year earlier, according to OREB figures.
Sales have now increased on a year-over-year basis in 20 of the last 21 months, with the only decline recorded in February 2018.
The average resale price, meanwhile, increased eight per cent year-over-year to $447,561.
Lower interest rates on loans and credit cards. Lenders consider people with great credit a good risk, meaning they’re confident the borrower will pay back the money. If you’re applying for a mortgage, good credit may get you a wider range of mortgage offers. One or two percentage points in interest may save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
Leverage to negotiate lower credit card interest rates. The higher your score, the more bargaining power you may have when negotiating interest rates. Why? Your credit card company does not want to lose your business and they will often lower your finance rate. You need to ask! Additionally, you may be able to cite other offers you’ve received from companies based on your score, which may help you negotiate a better deal and save money.
Qualify for lines of credit. If you need to make a large purchase, such as new appliances or furniture, good credit helps you qualify for a line of credit to buy them.
Qualify for higher limits. Since you have a strong history of repaying your debt on time, banks may be willing to lend you more money and, if asked, will often increase your credit limit.
Rental approval. If you’re renting a home or apartment, a good credit score increases your chances of securing your ideal location. Landlords use credit scores to screen their tenants’ payment history, delinquencies and charge offs. This is also true if you’re renting a vacation home. Many agencies will run a credit check and, if your credit is good, you may be able to negotiate fees and lower rates.
Gain employment. Many employers are checking the credit of their applicants. If you have good credit, you are seen as more responsible than applicants with lower credit scores.
Avoid security deposits. Utilities and cell phone providers often require a security deposit when you sign up for service. With good credit, you may not have to pay a deposit when you sign up for service or, in the case of utilities, transfer to another location.
How to Increase Your Credit Score
Great credit is within reach, if you follow these timeless tips.
Always pay your bills on time. This simple act each month will build great financial habits that will pay off over the long run.
Keep your balances low.
Credit issuers often report your balance to the credit agencies on a certain date, typically the last day of your billing cycle. Consider paying all or part of your bill before the closing date (call your credit issuers to find out the specific date) so the issuer will report a lower or zero balance. Also, ask your issuer if they accept multiple payments during the month to help you maintain a lower balance and still earn rewards.
Maintain a credit utilization ratio of less than 30 percent.
Simply put, your balances make up 30 percent of the total amount of credit available to you. If you’d like to increase your credit score faster, lower your credit utilization ratio to less than 10 percent.
Tackle your debt. Start with the highest interest rate card or loan. Once that debt is gone, pay down the balance with the next highest interest rate. Continue the process until you’ve paid off all your existing credit card and loan debt.
Avoid using your credit cards to pay for large purchases. While credit cards make it easy and convenient to buy what you want, the compound interest can add up quickly and work against you if you don’t pay the balance off in a timely manner.
Good Financial Habits to Cultivate Now
Check your credit report. You’re entitled to a free credit report from both credit agencies—Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada— if you request it by mail. Be sure to save both reports and review thoroughly. If you notice any inaccurate information, report it immediately to the credit agency.
Set up automatic payments. If you have trouble remembering when bills are due, set up automatic payments. Or, if you prefer to pay all of your monthly bills at a specific time, set up payment reminders to help you remember due dates.
If you’re young or have a short credit history, avoid opening several new accounts at once. Opening multiple accounts in a short amount of time may lower your score. Also, if you’re rate shopping, lump it into a single inquiry. Several new inquiries into your credit can count against you.
It’s never too late to repair your credit. If you have to start over due to bankruptcy, be diligent about opening new accounts and continue to make your payments on time. This will help you rebuild your good credit history.
© 2018 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK APRIL MF C
2018-04-04 — Design Inspiration to Freshen your Home 2018
If you're looking to freshen up your home and give it some new life in 2018, look to bright colours and lots of white, bold design choices, and natural textured accents. Many design trends this year are mixing simplicity with bold design elements, and maintaining a modern, but earthy feel.
2018-04-02 — Top 5 ways to turn your bathroom into a spa-like retreat
Looking to create a relaxing oasis in your home? What better way to unwind than making a calming sanctuary out of your bathroom. Giving yourself simple luxuries can help decrease stress and provide you with a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day.
2018-03-29 — Easter 2018: What’s open and closed in Ottawa
Wishing you and yours a safe and fun Easter Weekend!
2018-03-28 — Technology is Evolving to Make Our Homes Smarter Than Ever Before
Technology is always evolving, and that new tech is making homes smarter while making life easier. Homes can be outfitted with seemingly futuristic gadgets such as smart ovens that help you be a better cook, smart mattresses that help you track your sleep, and mirrors that let you virtually try on clothing in the comfort of your own home. Not only incredible tech like that, but smarter lights, smarter security, and smarter basic home functions that can save you money and keep your safer.
2018-03-26 — Spring is here, bring on the Mudroom!
Though the people of Ottawa are thrilled to see the beginnings of a sleepy Spring take place (and the snow melt), they are less thrilled with the mess it brings into their homes. A well-designed mudroom can help limit the slushy, muddy mess and keep your home cleaner and fresher.
2018-03-23 — You Don't Have to Wait to Start Gardening, Just Take it Indoors
It may be officially Spring, but it's still fairly cold. You don't have to wait for it to warm up, or even have the backyard space, to get started on your garden - you can start inside! A great solution to the temperature and space issues, or lacking a green thumb, is starting an indoor Hydroponic Garden. Not only will what you grow be available to you year round and accelerate plant growth, but you don't need any soil.
2018-03-21 — The Ottawa Home and Garden Show
Spring is on its way, and what better way to get ready than to go to the Ottawa Home and Garden show this Thursday, March 22nd - March 25th at the EY Centre. Get great ideas on how to get your home and yard ready for the new season.
2018-03-19 — March Home Maintenance Checklist
Even though it doesn't feel (or look) like Spring, the first official day of the new season is tomorrow! Help maintain your home and get it ready for the warmer weather by completing some of the indoor upkeep.
2018-03-16 — Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day!
From Celtic events, to beer-related festivities, to film festivals, Canada’s Capital loves to celebrate Irish culture in honour of St. Patrick’s Day. Soak up some Irish culture on and around St. Patrick’s Day at the following events and activities. Sláinte!
2018-03-14 — Thinking of selling your home? With low inventory and high buyer demand, now is the time!
2018-03-12 — 10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home
The idea of living a simplified, uncluttered life with less stuff sounds attractive to many. They have considered the benefits of owning fewer possessions: less to clean, less debt, less to organize, less stress, more money and energy for their greatest passions. They are ready to declutter but some get quickly tripped up by the very next question… where in the world do I begin?
2018-03-09 — Daylights Saving Time is this Sunday, March 11th
2018-03-07 — Getting Started on Your Home Renovation Project – 7 Questions to Ask
It's that time of year where people are thinking about renovations and freshening up their home. Renovating your house can be a long and time consuming project, but to help you stay on track with your reno goals, there's a few questions you need to ask yourself first.
2018-03-05 — Celebrate International Women's Day with Canada's top women in business!
March 8th 2018 is International Women's Day. Come celebrate the contributions of women to business and the economy with Canada's top women in business. Listen to great guest speakers, network and learn how to we can all work together to advance gender equality in business.
Get inspired by outstanding women in politics, industry and entrepreneurship.
2018-03-02 — What's Happening in Ottawa this Weekend
Looking for something fun to do to kick off the first weekend in March? Ottawa has lots of fun activities, live music, sports and events for the whole family this weekend. Enjoy Disney on Ice Dare to Dream with the kids, a night of live music with your friends, or a sugar rush from the Maple Fest - there's something for everyone!
2018-02-28 — Looking to Buy? Spring into the Spring with a New home + Neighbourhood.
The promise of warmer weather is upon us, and it's the perfect time to be looking for a new home. The best way to decide if an area is right for you is to explore it! Whether you're looking for an area with the best schools, emergency services, within walking distance to museums, or has plenty of parks - Ottawa In My Neighbourhood is a great place to narrow down your search.
2018-02-26 — List of Fun March Break Activities
March break is just around the corner, but luckily there's many events to keep you and your children occupied! There's several fun activities taking place, some during both the Ontario and Quebec March Breaks, like the Funhaven Family Centre, Camp Fortune, Escape Rooms and more.
2018-02-23 — Skating and horses and nature! Oh My! Lots to do this weekend!
(Photo for RCMP Musical Ride)
Check out the great activities happening in Ottawa! Here is a list of activities happening in and around Ottawa this weekend, beginning February 22, 2018.
2018-02-21 — How to Protect your Home from the Melting Snow
With the warmer weather and rain that we've been having, an awful lot of snow has been melting. This can lead to flooding and other damages to your property, which can be very expensive to fix. Instead, focus on preventative measures to ensure that your home won't become damaged, instead of spending money to fix it after the fact.
2018-02-20 — Now is a good time to get your home on the market before spring.
2018-02-16 — Have a great Family Day Long Weekend!
Wishing you and your family a fun, safe long weekend.
2018-02-14 — 10 romantic, fun and unique ideas for an Ottawa Valentine’s Day!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Looking to celebrate your love with flare today? Ottawa has several romantic activities and events you and your partner can take part in. Treat yourselves to couples spa treatments, gourmet meals, or a comedy show – the options are endless.
2018-02-12 — Don't wait until the last minute, plan your Family Day Weekend now!
Family Day is Monday February 19th, which means there's a long weekend ahead! There's plenty of activities and events going on in the capital this week and weekend to choose from. Don't wait until the last minute, plan your fun-packed weekend now!
2018-02-09 — PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Begin!
The Winter Olympics have begun! Cheer for Canada while staying up-to-date with the latest news, updates, and photos surrounding the Olympics.
2018-02-07 — 22 Ways to Subtly Spice Up Your New Space
Just purchased a home or are in the process? Sometimes it can be a challenge to figure out how to make your new home reflect your taste and personality. If you're looking to make your house showcase you and your lifestyle, try incorporating intriguing, bolder design choices.
2018-02-05 — This Important Element Often gets Overlooked when Buying a Home
Ottawa Citizen, Stephen Moranis, Postmedia News 08.15.2016
It’s the most common hazard that home buyers overlook: disagreements between homeowners that can turn entire neighbourhoods into war zones. These can happen anywhere, of course; but they’re especially common in tonier, wealthier communities, where people are more inclined to lawyer up, and where small contrarian disputes can escalate quickly.
These conflicts end up becoming embarrassing, upsetting and expensive, occasionally leading some residents to consider selling and moving on. So much for that friendly block party.
It’s a shame. The neighbourhood you once thought was charming and peaceful becomes the one where your neighbour plays loud music all the time, their dog barks constantly, and their high-powered leaf blower becomes the final straw for you and your family.
But how could you have known all this before you moved in?
It is advisable to meet your neighbours and familiarize yourself with the neighbourhood before you purchase, especially if it is a recreational property like a cottage or ski cabin. It is imperative that you get a sense of things before you close any deals. That said, not everything is foreseeable, and any number of neighbour issues are still likely to arise when you’re a homeowner. So here are a few helpful tips in trying to address and resolve these disputes.
Communicate with your neighbours before you plan to do significant work to your home such as additions, major renovations or a complete rebuild. It is best to canvass their support first-hand. Too often, neighbours will object to your plans and it can become adversarial. This may result in seeking additional approvals from government regulators and tribunals, which can be timely and costly. Your neighbour’s consent is the best way to proceed with any plans for change. One high-profile neighbour dispute case had the judge ruling that the neighbours needed “a rather stern kindergarten teacher“ and not a court for their goading, shouting, 24/7 surveillance, middle-finger flipping, alleged parking with the intent to annoy, and recording of insults and profanities.
Animals and pets can be an irritant to you and your neighbours, especially if your neighbour is keeping chickens, sheep or pigs in their backyard. Local bylaws generally spell out what is allowed. Make sure that you clean up any dog messes and try to keep your cats under control, although it can be hard to stop them marking out their territory on your neighbour’s property. If your animals become too noisy, don’t let them bark or howl all the time but try to attend to them. Many neighbours are scared of animals. You must respect this and keep those noisy and excitable dogs away from them.
Join the neighbourhood watch program in your area. This allows you the advantage to get to know people and reassure them that you are a good neighbour. Showing an interest in what is happening in your community allows you to gain their trust as someone who cares about the neighbourhood and is less likely to cause problems.
Keep your children under control. Ensure that you know where they are and what they are up to. If they are disturbing your neighbours by being noisy or messy, try to nip it in the bud. Make it clear to your neighbours that you care about what your children are up to, and that they can come to you with any concerns.
Keep the noise down, especially if you are planning a party or having people over late. It is wise to let your neighbours know in advance, especially if things are likely to carry on into the wee hours. You might ask them to join you, and then they can’t complain. It is all about being considerate and reasonable and thinking about what would annoy you too.
Parking manners are important. Try not to block the access to your neighbour’s property with cars, bicycles, or even the kids’ toys. Do not use other people’s common parking spaces unless you have no choice, as this can lead to bad feelings. Be sure to inform your visitors where they can or cannot park outside your house. And if anything’s unclear, talk about it.
Always introduce yourself to new neighbours. When you are the newbie on the street, remember that everyone is curious about you. The best way to reassure them is to introduce yourself. Smile and say hello when you see people around, as the friendly approach is the best way to endear yourself to your neighbours. This ensures that if they need to speak to you about anything, they are more likely to feel comfortable doing so and less likely to go behind your back. Getting to know them will also make the neighbours more likely to look out for you.
Boundary and property line disputes are one of the biggest causes of neighbour discord. Many times these matters go to court and they are one of the most popular reasons for neighbour complaints. One of the first things to do is check the property title deed and look at the survey and do this with your neighbour who will be affected. Fences and hedges probably cause the greatest number of arguments, whether it’s existing ones or newly proposed ones. Issues arise over who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of fences. If you are proposing a new fence, be sure to discuss it with the neighbour in advance as to the exact location, style and materials, as well as the possible sharing of costs.
Trees and gardens become a source of conflict between neighbours. If a neighbour does not take care of their garden or property and it impacts yours, causing damage or an accident, then your neighbour may be liable for the costs. This includes roots growing under your property or causing an obstacle. Many a drain problem has been caused by underground roots. Local bylaws regulate tree protection and normally inhibit the injury or removal of privately-owned trees that measure at least 30 centimetres in diameter or 1.4 metres tall. Tree branches that hang over your property line may be trimmed by you. If your tree falls on your neighbour’s property, you are not generally responsible unless you caused the damage. Disputes over blocking out light are best to be dealt with sensitively: you are allowed to prune back hedges if they block your light, but you can’t reduce their height.
It is not surprising to learn that the City of Toronto has over 50,000 yearly complaints submitted to them concerning residential property issues between neighbours. The most common ones are noise complaints, fence heights and driveway boundaries. Occasionally, these matters end up at provincial municipal boards and/or in the courts, resulting in bad feelings and lengthy feuds. As a neighbour you should always try and keep the peace. While reasonable people can disagree, you should always try to compromise and talk things through before getting anyone else involved.
2018-02-02 — 6 More Weeks of Winter? Here's 5 Ways to Make the Time Fly and Get Your Home Ready for Spring.
6 more weeks of winter is enough to make some of us seriously contemplate going to a tropical place to wait out the rest of winter. If you can't manage that tropical escape, here are some great ways to get through the last of winter and freshen up your home for the spring.
2018-01-31 — Let’s work together to create a stigma-free Canada!
Bell Let's Talk Day is a day for everyone to come together and work through mental health stigmas. For every applicable text, mobile and long distance call, tweet using #BellLetsTalk, Bell Let’s Talk Day video view on social media, use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter, Bell will donate 5¢ to Canadian mental health initiatives.
2018-01-29 — The Genius Reason to Tape a String To Your Moving Boxes
Moving and unpacking can be tedious. Click HERE for a great tip to make it easier!
2018-01-26 — Mike Holmes: How to detect your home’s seeping cold spots
When the temperature drops and the snow starts to blow, most Canadians beat a hasty retreat indoors. Now that we've had longer bouts of freezing weather, are you starting to notice any drafts and/or cold spots around you home? To win the fight against the seeping cold, you’ll want to take action, and quickly.
2018-01-24 — YTD - Ottawa Real Estate Market Review
2018-01-22 — Don't Make These Mistakes When Arranging Your Living Room
Have you ever felt that a room was just "off" somehow, but you just couldn't place what it was? The keys to a well arranged living room is comfort, functionality, and walkability.
2018-01-19 — 5 Kitchen Trends That Are Poised To Take Over In 2018
With a new year comes thoughts of how to renovate, refresh, and redecorate our living spaces. And where better to start than in the heart and hearth of the home, the kitchen?
2018-01-17 — The Ottawa Home & Remodelling Show Starts Tomorrow!
Looking for somethng great to do this week? Look no further! The Ottawa Home & Remodelling Show starts Thursday, January 18th at the EY Centre. Speak with experts and see unique design ideas, while getting inspiration for your home's next refresh.
2018-01-15 — ‘Shortage’ of homes for sale pushes Ottawa property prices up 6.8% in Q4: Royal LePage
The Ottawa Business Journal, online, Published January 10th 2018
Low inventory levels and a last-minute rush to beat tougher Canadian mortgage rules helped push the average price of a home in Ottawa to $442,533 in the final quarter of 2017, Royal LePage said Wednesday.
The real estate firm’s latest house price survey said the average price of a home was up 6.8 per cent, year over year – four percentage points below the national average.
New mortgage rules came into effect at the start of this year that require would-be borrowers to show they can withstand a hike in interest rates.
John Rogan, the broker of record at Royal LePage Performance Realty, said in a statement that this pushed more buyers to enter the market at the end of 2017 to get ahead of the new requirements, placing upward pressure on prices.
Additionally, Ottawa is facing a “shortage” of homes for sale, Rogan said. While he said the capital’s real estate market remains more balanced than other major Canadian urban markets, the imbalance between supply and demand is pushing up home prices.
Looking ahead, Rogan said one of the big questions for 2018 is whether the current low inventory levels of homes for sale will persist, particularly in the condo market.
He said condo sales have “surged,” an observation also recorded by the Ottawa Real Estate Board in the second half of the 2017. Rogan said the relative affordability of condos is attracting many first-time homebuyers.
At the same time, an oversupply of unsold condos several years ago prompted some homebuilders to switch development plans to purpose-built rental units.
“It will be interesting to see if new (condo) construction supply will rise to meet growing demand in the segment,” Rogan stated.
Nationally, Royal LePage said Canada’s residential real estate market saw strong, but slowing year-over-year price growth in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The real estate company says based on data in 53 markets, the price of a home in Canada increased 10.8 per cent year-over-year to $626,042 in the quarter.
Broken down housing type, Royal LePage says the median price of a two-storey home rose 11.1 per cent year-over-year to $741,924, and the median price of a bungalow climbed 7.1 per cent to $522,963.
But the company said the median price of a condo grew faster than any other housing type studied, rising 14.3 per cent to $420,823 on a year-over-year basis due to gains in many of the largest markets.
In the Greater Toronto Area, the median price of a condo grew 19.5 per cent year-over-year to $476,421, while in the City of Toronto, the cost of a condo rose 19.6 per cent to $515,578.
In Greater Vancouver, condominiums followed a similar pattern during the quarter, rising 20.2 per cent to $651,885, while the median price of a condo unit in the City of Vancouver rose 18.7 per cent to $775,806.
Royal LePage also says the GTA showed signs of slowing as 2017 drew to a close, notably in the single-family detached segment.
In the fourth quarter, the median price of a two-storey home and bungalow in Toronto and surrounding area fell by 2.0 and 2.4 per cent respectively on a quarter-over-quarter basis.
The company says condos were the only segment to appreciate on a quarter-over-quarter basis among all housing types, rising 1.1 per cent in the final three months of the year.
At the same time, the price of two-storey homes and bungalows fell 0.3 and 0.2 per cent quarter-over-quarter, respectively.
“To prospective homeowners in our largest cities, condominiums represent the last bastion of affordability,” said Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper.
“This is especially true for first-time buyers whose purchasing power has been reduced by tightening mortgage regulations.”
– With reporting by the Canadian Press
2018-01-12 — Re-making Sparks: take a 360º tour of Ottawa's pedestrian mall
Ottawa is planning to revitalize downtown's Spark Street, and they're looking for ideas on how the pedestrian mall should be updated.
2018-01-10 — A Strong Finish for Ottawa’s Real Estate Market in 2017.
2018-01-08 — The 7 Home Design Resolutions That Will Make You Happier
New Year's resolutions don't just have to be for you - they can be for your home too! Whether you're looking to be more organized, incorporate bolder designs, or are finally ready to update an area that drives you crazy, there's ways to tackle any resolution.
2018-01-05 — The Rideau Canal is Open to Skaters Today
We can be thankful for this bout of cold weather because it's official! The Rideau Canal Skateway is open to skaters today.
2018-01-03 — 11 Ways to a New, Fresh Home
It's a New Year, so why not freshen up your home? Find 11 unique ways to completely update the look of your home.
2017-12-29 — Happy New Year!
Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy New Year, as well as a fun and prosperous 2018!
2017-12-27 — Ring in the New Year, Ottawa Style!
2017 is coming to an end and it's been an epic year of celebrating Canada's 150. Ring in the New Year with one of the incredible events happening all over the city!
2017-12-22 — Happy Holidays!
Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday!
2017-12-20 — White Christmas "Guaranteed" for Ottawa
This year, Ottawa is looking at a white Christmas in the forecast. Those looking forward to a snowy Christmas Day should be pleased!
2017-12-18 — The Week Before Christmas at a Glance
Christmas is just around the corner, which means that there's only a few shopping days left. Hopefully, you've got that covered and have time to enjoy some of the amazing things happening around the city this week!
2017-12-15 — Sweeten Up the Holidays with this Simple Sugar Cookie Recipe
This time of year is busy enough without adding complicated baking recipes. Stick to simple, yet delicious and fun, treats for the whole family and all of your guests.
2017-12-13 — November Blues? Not in the Real Estate Market.
The Ottawa Real Estate Market is going strong, with house and condo prices steadily rising.
2017-12-11 — How an in-law suite can add value to your house
Looking for a way to increase the value of your home or simply a way to give your parent or in-law their own space?
Living in a multi-generational household can have its challenges, but adding an in-law suite to your home can create a better home dynamic, give privacy, and increase the worth of your house.
2017-12-08 — DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition
Ever wanted to get a behind-the-scenes look at how digital animation really works? Or what the creative process behind your favourite movies, like Shrek or How to Train Your Dragon, really looks like?
From December 8th, 2017 to April 8th, 2018 you can take the whole family to the Canadian Museum of History to see the exciting DreamWorks: Animation Exhibition.
2017-12-06 — Mild Winter? Yes, Please!
Tired of cold, endless winters? You're in luck! This year Ottawa has an excellent chance of a white Christmas, probably followed by a winter on the mild side, Environment Canada says.
2017-12-04 — From Smart Phones to Smart Homes
Integrating technology with the home, and home automation are not new ideas. But, today consumers are embracing Smart Phones and technology more than ever, and it seems to be paving the way to homes functioning with a tap of a finger. Is that why “smart homes” are suddenly a big topic in today’s technology market?
2017-12-01 — Things to do in Ottawa this Weekend!
Looking for something fun to do? In spirit of the eventful year our capital has had so far, there's even more great events for you to partake in this weekend! Like the Santa Shuffle 5K Fun Run at Lansdowne, or outdoor skating at the SENS Rink of Dreams.
2017-11-29 — Ottawa: Project Give 2017
This holiday season, help give hope and health to those in need in Ottawa. This Friday, Dec 1 join CBC Ottawa for their annual charity drive, Project Give in support of the Ottawa Food Bank.
2017-11-27 — Considering selling your home over the holidays?
Putting your home up for sale during the winter holiday months can seem… daunting, to say the least. Present shopping, decorating, and family can be overwhelming on their own without throwing in open houses, getting ready to move, looking for buyers and finalizing a sale. However, there are a lot of benefits to selling during this time.
Check out this blog on why it's a great idea to list over the winter holidays!
2017-11-24 — Make this a Merry Christmas!
It’s Toy Mountain time again! Together we can brighten the life of a child, and make them smile this Christmas!
Drop off your new, unwrapped toys at my office: 384 Richmond Road Ottawa, ON
2017-11-22 — Ottawa's Exciting Grey Cup Festival
This Sunday, the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts will go head-to-head in the 2017 Grey Cup final in Ottawa! Leading up the big game comes the 105th Grey Cup Festival.
The lineup includes tailgates to family fun, and offers both free and ticketed entertainment.
2017-11-20 — Ottawa Winter Survival Guide
Well, that time of year we all dread has snuck up on us chillingly fast. Here are some Winter Survival Tips on what you should carry with you to help get you through. Whether you’re new to Ottawa or have simply erased any and all previous winter memories, this list can help you out.
2017-11-17 — Christmas Lights & Santa Claus Parades in Ottawa
Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Here's a list of events happening from Santa Claus Parades to Christmas Lights.
Join in the festivities and make the most of your weekend!
2017-11-15 — Cozy Cold Weather Hacks
Ottawa Winters can be daunting, as we look forward to deep freezes and endless snowy months. Looking for ways to warm up your winter?
2017-11-13 — Reopening: Canada Science and Technology Museum
The Museum will open its doors to the public at 9 a.m. EST on November 17, 2017. After an expansive 80.5 million invested on upgrades and repairs, expect an exciting and immersive heritage experience. Observe completely redesigned exhibits, a demo stage, and more artifacts on view than ever before.
2017-11-10 — Ottawa: Where to Commemorate Remembrance Day
The National War Memorial will be the site of the largest commemoration of Remembrance Day in Ottawa, but there are many other functions throughout the city.
2017-11-08 — Ottawa Real Estate Market Update
2017-11-06 — Leaves may be falling, but the real estate market is not
News Release November 2nd 2017, OREB
“As we enter the 3rd quarter of the year, we continue to see the resale market outpace last year’s performance, which was also a stellar year,” says President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.
2017-11-03 — Don’t forget to change your clocks this weekend!
2017-11-01 — What to do when it Floods
2017-10-30 — Keeping You Safe on Halloween
The night is quickly approaching when the streets will be filled with ghosts and goblins, not to mention princesses and fairies. As always, there are a few important Halloween safety guidelines that should be observed to ensure the night runs smoothly.
2017-10-27 — Looking for something to do this weekend?
Ottawa has plenty of Spooky Halloween events and family friendly activities to keep you busy!
2017-10-25 — Canada's new budget numbers show booming economic growth — and booming spending
Published online Ottawa Citizen by Brian Platt: October 25, 2017 | Last Updated: October 25, 2017 8:43 AM EDT
OTTAWA — Surging economic growth has Canada’s government on track to lower its deficits, but it’s also committing billions of dollars in new spending, including an extra $5.6 billion pumped into the Canada Child Benefit program over five years.
“We’re very pleased with our economic situation, it’s what we would have hoped for.” Finance Minister Bill Morneau
An extra $1.8 billion is already booked this year in new spending since the spring budget, and starting next year, hundreds of millions will be spent on boosting two benefit programs: the Canada Child Benefit and the Working Income Tax Benefit.
2017-10-23 — OSFI sets new mortgage rules, including stress test for uninsured borrowers, find out more about how this will affect you
By Pete Evans, CBC News Posted: Oct 17, 2017 9:29 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 17, 2017 3:02 PM ET
Canada’s top banking regulator has published the final version of its new mortgage rules, which include a requirement to “stress test” borrowers with uninsured loans to ensure they could withstand higher interest rates.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released new guidelines for the mortgage industry on Tuesday. The regulator floated a similar version of these rules earlier this summer in draft form, but Tuesday’s release makes them official as of Jan. 1.
2017-10-20 — The fall Give Away Weekend will take place on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22, 2017
City of Ottawa website
The fall Give Away Weekend will take place on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22, 2017
Don’t put your unwanted stuff in the garbage. Set them out at the curb on Give Away Weekend. Tour your neighbourhood, community and city to find hidden treasures.
Examples of acceptable items
Books, CDs and DVDs Old furniture and small appliances Construction materials including drywall and hardware such as nails, bolts and screws Kitchen gadgets, dishes, cutlery, pots and pans Unwanted gifts
Please consider safety when deciding which items to set out to the curb. The Consumer Product Safety Bureau of Health Canada advises that used children’s items such as baby walkers, yo-yo balls, cribs, car seats, strollers, playpens, bath seats, mattresses, blinds, toys and other child-related items should not be placed at the curb for Giveaway Weekend.
Rules for setting out items
Place items at the curb Place stickers or signsPDF opens in a new tab or window on items with the word “FREE” Ensure any items you want to keep are away from your giveaway treasures or tucked away safely in your garage At the end of the day, bring any uncollected items back to your home Give Away Weekend etiquette
Respect other people’s property, don’t walk on people’s lawns and gardens Take only the treasures marked free at the curb We wish you best of luck in finding hidden treasures. It’s another way to reduce our waste and protect our most precious treasure – the environment
2017-10-18 — How to help your home withstand oncoming cooler conditions
Mike Holmes October 13, 2017 1:04 PM EDT
Even the best built home will need some maintenance to keep it as efficient as it can be. If you know your home has trouble keeping its heat when the temperatures drop, now is a good time to shore up your home’s defence against heat loss, so you stay warm all winter long.
2017-10-16 — CMHC explores cutting red tape to make it easier for self-employed to get a mortgage
The Canadian Press – Joanna Smith Oct 2, 2017
OTTAWA — The national housing agency is exploring ways to make it easier for entrepreneurs and new immigrants to buy a home by cutting some of the red tape required to prove they can afford to pay the mortgage.
“Right now, under our mortgage insurance policies, you have to be able to document income to get mortgage insurance, to a level of specificity that discriminates against new Canadians, because they can’t do that,” Evan Siddall, the CEO of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said in a wide-ranging interview with The Canadian Press.
2017-10-13 — Ottawa Real Estate YTD Market Update
2017-10-11 — Thinking of selling your home?
2017-10-10 — Ottawa Real Estate Market Update
2017-10-06 — Steady September contributes to strong third quarter for 2017
News Release Ottawa Real Estate Board – October 4, 2017
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,387 residential properties in September through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,365 in September 2016, an increase of 1.6 per cent. The five-year average for September sales is 1,250.
“We are seeing no slowdown in the condo market. Sales have been increasing in this property class since February, with the average increase per month coming in at 25.5 per cent,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The boost in condo sales has impacted our year-to-date unit sale figures and is putting us on track for a strong year-end finish.”
September’s sales included 311 in the condominium property class, and 1,076 in the residential property class. “Inventory levels and the number of new listings continue to tighten compared to the same time last year,” explains Eisert. “REALTORS® are reporting substantial increases in attendance at open houses over the past few months. The low inventory and the late summer weather have certainly contributed to this increased traffic.”
“The Ottawa market is showing signs of stabilizing after the record-setting spring and summer. All indications suggest that it will be a typical selling season heading into the fall,” says Eisert. “Although properties continue to sell much faster in comparison to this time last year, our market is still balanced, though trending toward a Sellers’ market. The average increase in sale price has not skyrocketed, but rather has increased gradually due to more homes selling in the $450+ price range compared to last year.”
The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in September in the Ottawa area was $416,464, an increase of 8.2 per cent over September 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $261,548, an increase of 3.9 per cent over September 2016. The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
“The most active price point in the residential market continues to be the $300,000 to $399,999 range, accounting for 36.2 per cent of the market. While the most active price point in the condo market, between $150,000 and $249,999, accounts for 51 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 2,364 properties since the beginning of the year.”
2017-10-04 — Outdoor Family Fall Activities
Though the kids have gone back to school, evenings and weekends still provide ample opportunities for having fun.
Why not get the family together and enjoy the crisp, cooler weather? From nature walks among the fallen leaves, to bustling outdoor markets, the Ottawa region has something to entertain you and your little ones all harvest season long!
2017-10-02 — 7 Curb Appeal Tips for Fall
Make sure your house catches homebuyers’ eyes this fall with these stylish updates and landscaping ideas.
Highlight Your Front Door
Making your front door the focal point of your home’s exterior is a good tactic no matter what time of year you decide to sell your home. During the fall, a simple wreath of fall foliage and flowers can add an inviting touch. A fresh coat of paint in a vivid red can also make your entrance stand out.
2017-09-29 — Fall is here – Enjoy Fall Rhapsody starting September 30
Come and enjoy the spectacular fall colours on display throughout Gatineau Park. In addition to the popular spots in the Park’s southern sector, many other unique and fascinating places offer magnificent views — as well as being great spots to have a picnic in nature, take a walk in the woods or enjoy a bike ride.
2017-09-27 — Don’t miss the Ottawa Fall Home Show – starts tomorrow!
Find out what’s hot in home renovation, decoration, landscaping and outdoor living One of the largest fall home shows in Ottawa, Ontario, this show features landscaping companies, remodeling contractors, interior design companies, and more …
2017-09-25 — Heat wave continues into Wednesday: Here's how to stay safe
Though this extended summer may be nice for some, it still can present some risks as a Heat Warning was issued for Ottawa that will extend until Wednesday.
Extreme heat can effect anyone, though the risks are greater for children, pregnant woman, the elderly, and people working outside (among others). Be safe and continue to monitor the weather as it comes.
If you need advice on how to stay safe until this heat breaks, click here for an interesting resource with some great tips
2017-09-22 — It's fall...sort of!
It sure doesn’t feel like autumn, does it? But, nonetheless, today is the first day of fall.
With this summery weather though, we really have to ask what the rest of the year is going to look like as winter approaches. Does this unusual warm weather mean we’re going to pay dearly with a cold, bitter winter? According to Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips: Not so much!
"It is so Canadian to worry about winter before summery weather is even over."
Well, can you blame us?
"There is going to be something for everybody. There are going to be some melting days, there are going to be some freezing days, and some wind chill numbing days ... But I think it will make for maybe a shorter winter."
So it looks like it will be business as usual in Canada this winter, and we can all sit back, relax, and enjoy this weather while we have it!
You can find the original CBC article at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/summer-fall-weather-winter-1.3771676 for the full interview, and check out last week’s blog for Fall home maintenance tips to make sure your home is ready!
2017-09-20 — Fall Maintenance Tips
Arguably one of the most beautiful times of the year! The weather has cooled and the leaves have begun to change, reminding us that winter isn’t all that far away.
Before the snow flies, our homes need a little TLC in order to ensure our warmth and safety over the months – yes, months – of winter. We’ve prepared a few tips on where to begin and what to include in your home maintenance checklist for the fall:
Inspect and clean out your eaves trough. In order to ensure a smooth and safe flow of water away from your home’s exterior and foundation walls, you’ll need to keep up with the maintenance of your gutters. So, before the leaves fly this fall, have your gutters cleaned, then covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning.
Check the quality of your roof. Those of us who have lived in the Ottawa area for a number of years know that our winters are no walk in the park. We get a lot of snow, heavy winds and even heavier ice build-up. If you set aside some time before the cold snap to inspect your roof from top to bottom – checking for cracked and/or damaged shingles etc. – you’ll avoid such issues as a leaky roof over the winter.
Give your furnace a checkup. This is very important to do on an annual basis (especially before the depth of winter hits). This includes making sure that its overall performance is up to par, its filter is clean, and its thermostat works accurately.
If you use a snow blower, have it serviced. If you are considering hiring a snow removal company now is a good time do your research. Talk to your neighbours and ask for recommendations, read online reviews and contact the snow removal companies on your short list to ensure they meet your expectations. While price is always a consideration, reliability is especially important when it comes to those heavy snowfalls.
Unless you’re one of those hardcore grill-masters, accept the end of BBQ season. Don’t forget to cover yours up or store it away, clean its grills and burners, and disconnect the tank keeping it in a safe place.
Seal gaps where mice and other critters could enter. We all love nature but let’s keep the wildlife outdoors! Mice only need the tiniest gap to sneak into your house. With colder weather coming, they are looking for warm and lovely places (like your home!) to nest. Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps securely. If you aren’t sure which materials to use, check with your local hardware or home improvement store for advice on what will work best for the job.
Add weatherstripping around your windows and door frames. While many newer homes may not need this, if you have ever lived in an older home, weatherstripping applied around the frames of windows and doors can make a big difference in helping to keep the cold out and the heat, saving you money on heating costs and keeping your home cozy and dry.
Fireplace maintenance. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of winter, gathering around a cozy fire on a chilly day is the best! If your home has a wood-burning fireplace, arrange for a chimney cleaning and stock up and stack wood in a dry place. Making sure your chimney is cleaned, maintained and in working order before you start a fire is an important safety measure. If you don’t already have one installed, add a chimney cap to stop wildlife from crawling down your chimney. Gas and electric fireplaces may not require as much maintenance as wood-burning but should not be ignored, ensure that they are working properly and ready to use.
Clean up your yard. Put tools and furniture that won’t necessarily stand up well to the cold into storage. Cover and secure items that are too large to move. In fact, the fall is a great time to take on projects that are family-friendly: raking the leaves, organizing the toys, disconnecting the outdoor hose, and so on. Simple ways to get the whole family involved and ready for the winter!
Taking the time for fall home maintenance will help avoid unpleasant surprises in the future.
Enjoy a pleasant fall and winter, folks!
2017-09-18 — Ottawa’s population continues to increase, with western suburbs seeing largest growth in 2016
Published on: September 6, 2017 | Last Updated: September 7, 2017 5:52 PM EDT by Jon Willing
Ottawa continues to welcome new resident as the population steadily climbs and developers build new homes.
Commercial and industrial space vacancies inched up last year, but developers continued to add more space to the market.
All of the latest statistics are in the City of Ottawa’s 2016 development report, which was published this week.
The City of Ottawa’s population at the end of 2016 was 968,580, up by 0.8 per cent from 2015.
2017-09-15 — Lots of great things to do in Ottawa this weekend!
Although the summer season is wrapping up, there are still tons of great events happening in Ottawa this weekend! (Richmond Fair, City Folk, Northern Lights Show...)
Here is a list of activities happening in and around Ottawa this weekend, from September 15-17, 2017.
2017-09-13 — Brand new listing in Hunt Club!
This lovely condo townhouse has 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a finished basement and is loaded with upgrades. At $189,900 it's the perfect starter home. Let me know if you have questions or would like to view!
2017-09-11 — Autumn is the perfect time to lay the groundwork for a gorgeous spring garden
2017-09-08 — Condo sales help set new record for August unit sales
News Release Ottawa Real Estate Board September 6, 2017
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,538 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,481 in August 2016, an increase of 3.8 per cent. The five-year average for August sales is 1,343.
“Condo sales continue to strengthen the Ottawa resale market,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “These numbers also assisted in setting a new record for the number of units sold in August, pushing August 2016 unit sales into second-place. In comparison to last year the number of condo units sold was up 22.1 per cent, whereas residential units have held steady with a less than one per cent decrease over this time last year. We are actually seeing very similar numbers to that of July 2017.”
August’s sales included 359 in the condominium property class, and 1,179 in the residential property class. “The number of new listings and inventory levels for the month of August continued their steady downwards trend compared to last year,” explains Eisert. “However, prices continue to remain relatively steady, especially in comparison to other markets in Canada. Over the past several years, Ottawa has been more or less on par with inflation rates.”
“While REALTORS® have reported fewer multiple offer situations in the past month, we are seeing Sellers receive asking price or very close to it,” says Eisert. “Cumulative days on market have tightened significantly since last year. Residential listings are selling almost 30 per cent faster than this time last year, and condo units are selling just over 10 per cent faster than last year. Although, keep in mind that while some areas within the Ottawa market are quite active, other areas of the city remain less active.”
The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in August in the Ottawa area was $420,335, an increase of 7.6 per cent over August 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $270,768, a decrease of 0.4 per cent over August 2016. The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
“The two most active price points in the residential market continue to be the $300,000 to $399,999 followed by the $400,000 to $499,999 range, combined accounting for 55.6 per cent of the market. Within the condo market, the most active price point was between $150,000 and $249,999, accounting for 49.5 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 2,153 properties since the beginning of the year.”
2017-09-06 — Back to School for Drivers and Pedestrians
Josh Pringle, CTV Morning Live Published Tuesday, September 5, 2017 2:58AM EDT
Ottawa Police will be testing motorists and pedestrians on the rules of the road during the first week of the school year.
As tens of thousands of students head back to school today, officers will be conducting School Zone Enforcement blitzes across the capital.
Ottawa Police have several tips for drivers and cyclists:
There are also safety tips for students and pedestrians:
Reduce speeds in school zones and be ready to stop at any time.
Watch for pedestrians! Slow down, drive carefully and watch for pedestrians and cyclists.
Obey school bus signals! Drivers must stop for buses when the bus is stopped with its lights flashing. Fines for not obeying the law range from $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points.
Avoid letting children walk to or from school alone. Talk to your neibhbours – there may be another child who needs a buddy to walk with.
Walk on the sidewalks, always cross at intersections and check for traffic before crossing the road.
Follow adult crossing guards, student crossing patrols and school bus operator’s signals.
2017-09-05 — Fall Staging Tips
Are you thinking of selling your home?
Fall is just around the corner. Here is an article with staging tips to help make your home appealing to prospective buyers
2017-09-01 — September in Ottawa begins with a busy Labour Day long weekend!
Here is a list of activities happening in and around Ottawa this weekend, from September 1-4, 2017.
2017-08-30 — Resale homes should carry energy use label by 2019, environmental groups say
By The Canadian Press
PUBLISHED: Aug 17, 2017 8:32am EDT
Listing your home for sale in Canada could soon mean you not only have to tell people how much it costs to buy it, but also how much it costs to run it. When 11 provinces and territories signed the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in 2016, they agreed to look at requiring all existing buildings to have an energy label outlining how much energy the home or building uses as early as 2019.
2017-08-28 — Easing back into routines can also ease back-to-school jitters
POSTMEDIA NEWS, VANCOUVER SUN 08.23.2017
Headed back to school? Better get back into those routines now.
While the worries may seem trivial to adults, things like meeting new teachers and figuring out who to sit with at lunch can cause anxiety for students, Grade 1 through senior year of high school. But experts say it’s possible to ease those fears by easing into a routine before heading back to school in just under two weeks.
2017-08-25 — The last weekend of August is packed with fun activities in Ottawa!
Here is a list of activities happening in and around Ottawa this weekend, from August 25-27, 2017.
There is an abundance of festivals this weekend, including the Capital Fair (August 18-27), House of PainT Festival (August 24-27), the Hopped and Confused Beer, Music & Food Festival (August 25), the Palestinian Festival Ottawa (August 25-27), Baconpalooza (August 25-27), the Upper Gatineau Whitewater Festival(August 25-27), the Ottawa Lumière Festival (August 26), the North Lanark Highland Games (August 26), Westboro FUSE (August 26-27), and the Outaouais Gourmet Festival (August 27). Admission is FREE! to some festivals.
The best golfers of the LPGA Tour compete in Ottawa at the 2017 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club from Monday, August 21 to Sunday, August 27!
Show your pride! Ottawa celebrates Ottawa’s LGBTTQ+ communities from Monday, August 21 through to Sunday, August 27 with Capital Pride. The festival includes a week of activities, wrapping up with the Pride Parade on Sunday, August 27. Expect road closures down Bank Street and on parts of Kent, Gladstone, and Laurier for the parade. Admission is FREE!
Head to Lansdowne to celebrate Ukrainian culture on Thursday, August 24 and Indonesian culture from Friday, August 25 to Sunday, August 27 as part of the Ottawa 2017 event Ottawa Welcomes the World. FREE!
Chow down on corn at the ByWard Market Corn Roast on Saturday, August 26 for cobs of corn and a laid-back afternoon of music! While in the area, visit Inspiration Village on its second-last weekend, as it wraps up on Labour Day, Monday, September 4.
Visit Major’s Hill Park on Saturday, August 26 for the Great Trail Cross-Canada Connection Celebration! The path formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail finally completely connects across Canada – celebrate with musical performances, food trucks, and lots more! FREE!
At Rideau Hall on Saturday, August 26 enjoy an outdoor screening of Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2 at Rideau Hall Movie Nights! FREE!
Cirque du Soleil: VOLTA wraps up at the Zibi site this weekend, with its final performance on Sunday, August 27.
Although sold out, it will be hard to miss the Ottawa 2017 event Canada’s Table on Sunday, August 27! The best chefs from across Canada will gather in Ottawa to cook for 1,000 guests seated at a 305-metre long table in front of Parliament Hill on Wellington Street. Road closures begin at 10:00pm on Saturday, August 26 and continue through to the very early hours of Monday, August 28, including Wellington Street from Bank to Elgin, and Metcalfe and O’Connor Streets from Wellington to Queen. Although sold out, check out the Canada’s Table Culinary Series or Agri 150 Series for more delicious events.
2017-08-23 — Ottawa viewed as Canada's safest city: Poll
Josh Pringle, CTV Morning Live Published Wednesday, August 23, 2017 7:06AM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, August 23, 2017 7:42AM EDT
Canadians believe Ottawa is Canada’s safest city.
A new Mainstreet poll looks at Canadian perceptions of safety in 15 major cities across the country.
Ottawa is viewed as Canada’s safest city. The survey shows 74% of Canadians say Ottawa is safe, while 14% say Ottawa is unsafe.
This is the second straight year Ottawa is ranked 1st for perceived safety. The survey notes Canadians believe Ottawa is safe despite the 5% increase in the crime rate last year.
Charlottetown was ranked second, followed by Victoria, Moncton and St. John’s.
Montreal was ranked 13th out of 15 Canadian cities for perceived safety, followed by Toronto at 14th. Canadians view Winnipeg as Canada’s most unsafe city.
2017-08-21 — Solar eclipse today: Everything Canadians need to know about the event
By Maham Abedi National Online Journalist, Breaking News Global News
Millions of people in North America will have the chance to view a solar eclipse as it moves across the continent on Aug. 21.
While several states in the U.S. will see a rare total eclipse, meaning the moon will completely cover the sun. The path of totality will stretch from Salem, Ore. to Chaleston, S.C. The total eclipse will last from 10:16 a.m. PT to 2:48 p.m. ET.
Canadians will see a partial eclipse, with the western coast seeing the most dramatic coverage of the sun.
People across the continent are gearing up to catch a glimpse of the event, which according to NASA will begin just past 9 a.m. PT.
2017-08-18 — Things to do in Ottawa this Weekend!
Summer fun in Ottawa continues this weekend!
Here is a list of activities happening in and around Ottawa this weekend, from August 18-20, 2017.
2017-08-16 — Do It Now! Tips To Get Ready For Back-To-School
Move over, summer–a new school year is coming!
With the start of school, families face new organization challenges.
School bells ring–and so do early-morning alarm clocks.
Paper piles swell as hand-outs and homework stream into the house.
Shorter autumn days bring a hectic round of sports, activities and events, and calendars fill with cryptic notes. Can the holidays be far behind?
Get organized now for the best school year ever! Use these ideas to prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead.
2017-08-14 — Making your home secure before vacation time
Making your home secure before vacation time
Now that there are only a couple of weeks left in summer, you may be thinking of squeezing in another vacation.
The last thing you want to do while enjoying a week at the cottage is worry about the shape of the home you’ve left behind.
Lose that stress by taking a few steps to make sure you are protected while you’re away from home.
2017-08-11 — Summer's not over yet! Here are some fun things to do this weekend!
Check out all the fun activities happening in Ottawa this weekend!
Here is a list of activities happening in and around Ottawa this weekend, from August 11-13, 2017.
2017-08-09 — Your Ottawa Real Estate Market Update
2017-08-08 — Condo sales drive the Ottawa resale market in July
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,530 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,490 in July 2016, an increase of 2.7 per cent. The five-year average for July sales is 1,446.
“The Ottawa resale market continued its steady pace into mid-summer, with condo sales really bolstering the market this past month,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “We’ve actually been seeing this positive trend since February. The condo market had been in a slump for the past few years because it was overbuilt. Some owners who had difficulty selling their condos rented them instead, thereby decreasing supply. Now as rental leases are coming due, combined with evidence of stronger condo sales, these owners are placing these units back on the market for sale. Meanwhile, residential sales have remained virtually the same in comparison to this time last year.”
July’s sales included 332 in the condominium property class, and 1,198 in the residential property class. “The number of new listings coming onto the market continues to be on the lower end of the five-year average, especially where residential units are concerned,” explains Eisert. “Inventory levels continue to tighten, however the choice for buyers continues to be decent, with both entry-level properties and higher-end properties available, particularly in the condo market.”
“Cumulative days on market has been holding pretty steady throughout the course of 2017,” says Eisert. “However, when compared to numbers from 2016, residential properties in July 2017 are selling almost 22 per cent faster and condos just over 11 per cent faster than July of last year.”
The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in July in the Ottawa area was $420,335, an increase of 5.3 per cent over July 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $267,641, an increase of 2.8 per cent over July 2016. The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
“Ottawa buyers are beginning to see prices climb in certain areas of the Ottawa market, so they are getting in on the market now,” says Eisert. “We continue to see an increase in the number of ‘lifestyle’ properties sold – the $750+ price range. As prices and the number of units sold in higher-end price ranges increase, so does the total sales volume. The condo market sales volume is up 32 per cent over last year, while the residential market is up by 16.5 per cent.”
“The two most active price points in the residential market continue to be the $300,000 to $399,999 followed by the $400,000 to $499,999 range, combined accounting for 56.1 per cent of the market. Within the condo market, the most active price point was between $150,000 and $249,999, accounting for 50.7 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 1,825 properties since the beginning of the year.”
Source: Ottawa Real Estate Board News Release Aug 3, 2017
2017-08-04 — Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable long weekend!
Summer fun in Ottawa continues with great activities on this August long weekend!
2017-08-02 — Thinking of Selling this Fall?
2017-07-31 — Why Ottawa’s housing market steers a steady course
“People continue to buy and build homes in Ottawa, with more focus on the higher end of the market. We might not see the storm surges in pricing that Toronto does, but the market remains healthy and robust.”
(John Clark, published online at renx.ca 2017-07-27)
2017-07-28 — There are lots of great events taking place in our city this weekend!
La Machine invades Ottawa this week! Check out the larger-than-life dragon and spider that will roam Ottawa streets this weekend, as well as all the other fun activities on offer. Here is a list of activities happening in and around Ottawa this weekend, from July 28-30, 2017.
From Thursday, July 27 to Sunday, July 30, catch La Machine’s Long-Ma (the dragon) and Kumo (the spider) as they roam the streets of downtown Ottawa in a mixture of static scenes and walkabouts. Make sure to consult the schedule as well as be aware of road closure information. Visitors may want to make use of public transportation with the special OC Transpo Weekend Family Pass for $10.25 (up to 6 people with a maximum of two who are 13 years of age or older). This Ottawa 2017 event is a North American first and is sure to be one of the most memorable events of the year! FREE!
Ottawa 2017 presents Kontinuum: An Underground Journey Through Time running until September 14! Step inside the tunnel of the future Lyon LRT station for an immersive multimedia experience with amazing effects throughout! Tickets are FREE, but visitors must pre-select time slots online. Head to Parliament Hill to catch Northern Lights, the sound and light show. The FREE, bilingual show runs nightly until September 16. The show begins at 10:00pm in July, 9:30pm in August, and 9:00pm in September.
The Senior Pan Am Cup 2017 volleyball competition comes to the Robert Guertin Centre now through Sunday, July 30. Now through Thursday, August 3, enjoy Presdelicious on Preston Street with special three-course prix-fixe menus ($28 or $38) at participating restaurants to introduce visitors to the eclectic and delicious tastes of Little Italy.
Ottawa Chamberfest continues presenting chamber music across Ottawa in various venues this weekend, with the festival continuing until Friday, August 4. Harley Davidson celebrates its 100th anniversary with the Cruise The Capital 2017 National HOG Rally,Thursday, July 27 to Saturday, July 29 across the city with a ride on the morning of Saturday, July 29. From Friday, July 28 to Sunday, July 30 head to Chinatown for Night Market Chinatown! This summer night market will include food vendors, karaoke, a beer garden, and much more!
Learn about Thai culture at the Ottawa 2017 event at Lansdowne Ottawa Welcomes the World: Thailand! On Friday, July 28 enjoy traditional food, music, and more showcasing Thai culture. FREE!
Get your country on at the 25th Festival country du Grand Gatineau! Friday, July 28 through to Sunday, August 6, check out country music in the Casino du Lac-Leamy parking lot on outdoor stages in Gatineau, Québec.
Cheer on the Ottawa Fury FC as they play the Toronto FC II at TD Place, this Saturday, July 29. Don’t forget to share your pictures of this weekend on social media using #MyOttawa!
2017-07-26 — Rain got you down? Escape the Diefenbunker!
Looking for something different to do with all the rainy weather? The Diefenbunker and Ottawa’s premier escape room company, Escape Manor have partnered to launch the World’s Largest Escape Room. The experience will run Thursday through Sunday evenings and reside within the 100,000 square foot facility.
This elaborate endeavor will be themed around espionage…
2017-07-24 — 40 Summer Home Staging Tips For Sellers
First impressions have a significant impact on the buyers decision-making process. Prepare your home for its future occupants.
Use the following tips to stage your home to perfection and get more buyers interested in closing the deal on your home this summer.
2017-07-21 — Lots of events happening in Ottawa this weekend!
Ottawa is buzzing this weekend with all the fun events going on! Here is a list of activities happening in and around Ottawa this weekend, from July 21-23, 2017.
2017-07-19 — Have you had a chance to check out this must-see attraction yet?
This experience of sound and light is a thrilling thematic journey through Canada’s history. Combining bold digital technology with the architectural splendour of the Parliament Buildings, the show illuminates Canadian stories of nation-building, partnership, discovery, valour, pride and vision for a country. Key figures, events and achievements from Canadian history are brought to life using five distinct artistic styles. All are presented in spectacular detail, with stirring narration and an original score, against the backdrop of the Centre Block and Peace Tower.
2017-07-17 — Ottawa Real Estate Market YTD Market Review
Here is a look at the Ottawa Real Estate Market from Jan – June 2017.
If you are thinking of buying or selling, give me a call and we can discuss the activity in your neighbourhood!
2017-07-14 — How does the increase in the Bank of Canada Rate affect your loans?
By Solomon Israel, CBC News Posted: Jul 12, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 12, 2017 4:29 PM ET
After seven years of leaving its key interest steady or cutting it to near-historic lows, the Bank of Canada has finally increased its overnight rate by 0.25 percentage points to 0.75 per cent.
The overnight rate determines the rate at which banks lend money to each other on a regular basis. In practice, changes in the overnight rate get passed on to consumers through corresponding changes in interest rates on different financial products.
Here’s how the increase in interest rates could filter down through the kinds of loans held by Canadians:
2017-07-12 — Ottawa resale market proves strong in first half of 2017!
2017-07-10 — Ottawa ranked #1 as Canada’s Best Places to Live 2017!
by Mark Brown
July 4th, 2017 Online only
Where is the best place to live? Many Canadians are convinced they already know the answer: Wherever they are now. But as proud as we are of our hometowns, there are some cities that simply have it all. And for the second consecutive year that place is Ottawa.
Year after year, our nation’s capital excels on our list but we know there are naysayers out there. On the off-chance readers get the idea we have a soft spot in our hearts for the nation’s capital and played favourites, we shuffled the data a bit and used a tool to reweight our scoring system to see if Ottawa would be dislodged. It didn’t budge from its perch: Ottawa is unassailable as Canada’s Best Place to Live in 2017.
2017-07-07 — Ottawa real estate market heats up as Toronto cools down
CBC News Posted: Jul 06, 2017 4:09 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 07, 2017 11:13 AM ET
While sales plummeted last month in Toronto, Ottawa’s homes sales — and prices — jumped in June, according to figures released Thursday by the Ottawa Real Estate Board.
The number of homes resold increased by 10 per cent, to 2,162 in June 2017 compared to 1,985 properties for the same month the previous year.
“Since the announcement in April by the Ontario Liberal government of cooling measures in Toronto, it’s no surprise that the Ottawa market has been thriving,” said Ralph Shaw, president-elect of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.
In Toronto, home resale numbers plunged 37 per cent last money over June of 2016. And it’s not just the number of sales that’s rising — prices are going up too.
2017-07-05 — Ottawa Bluesfest starts tomorrow!
Bluesfest is one of the largest international music events in the world, with over 220 varied musical acts on several outdoor stages, attracting more than 300,000 music fans each year.
2017-07-04 — Get out and explore this summer!
The Capital Pathway network is a great resource for many activities such as cycling, walking, running and in-line skating, picnics and more.
2017-06-30 — Happy 150!
It’s going to be a busy weekend, with lots of crowds and festivities (as blogged about on Wednesday!) It’s going to be a tremendous experience!
I just wanted to wish everyone, who chooses to celebrate, a very happy and very safe Canada 150 holiday weekend!
2017-06-28 — The countdown to Canada's 150th birthday is on and there is no shortage of ways to celebrate in the Ottawa-Gatineau region!
2017-06-26 — Ottawa Home Buyers Don't Take Summer Holidays!
2017-06-23 — Summer Fun Guide
The Summer Fun Guide Event Calendar is your best place to find things to do in Ontario today, this weekend or next month. With loads of great events for singles, couples, and families, everyone can find a festival or event for a day off, a beautiful Sunday or a holiday.
2017-06-21 — HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!
Here is a list of outdoor pools in the Ottawa area to help you beat the heat this summer!
2017-06-19 — Keep Your Home Safe While on Vacation
With summer just around the corner, you may be planning your summer getaway. Here is a great article with tips to keep your home safe while you are away
2017-06-16 — Thinking of building a deck?
Here's a great article to help you get started
2017-06-14 — How to maintain a healthy lawn in seven simple steps
2017-06-12 — May 2017: the best May on record for unit sales, and the record for highest unit sales in a single month ever!
2017-06-09 — There are lots of fun events happening around Ottawa this weekend!
There is the Ottawa Dog Festival, Italian Week, Dessertfest, Latin Sparks and so much more!
2017-06-06 — House prices climb 7.4 per cent in May as Ottawa market strengthens
JAMES BAGNALL, OTTAWA CITIZEN
Published on: June 2, 2017 | Last Updated: June 2, 2017 7:26 PM EDT
Real estate agents are finally getting a taste of spring — at least in some parts of the city. The average price for residential properties in Ottawa sold in May jumped 7.4 year over year to $436,600, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reported Friday. It’s the second month in a row that has seen prices increase in excess of seven per cent, suggesting Ottawa’s real estate market is strengthening in favour of sellers. Certainly agents are seeing multiple offers for new listings, particularly for single family homes in popular districts to the west and south of the downtown core. Toronto investors are now on the scene, hunting for real estate investments that don’t cost the moon. “I’ve had six clients from Toronto looking for properties,” said one agent who did not want to be named.
Certainly the number of transactions in Ottawa picked up in May.
“It was a rainy month,” said board president Rick Eisert. “It’s possible a lot of people couldn’t do outdoor things so they went shopping for houses.”
The board reported that its members sold nearly 1,900 residential units in May, up sharply from 1,600 a year earlier. The market for condominiums was even more active as real estate agents sold a record 444 units in May, compared to just 307 in May 2016, representing a surge of nearly 45 per cent.
“The condo market has really helped strengthen the whole market over the past few months,” said Eisert. “There were a lot of condos in inventory and people were happy to be selling them off.”
Even so, the prices fetched for condo sales were modest. They averaged $271,000 in May, up just 2.3 per cent year over year. A look at 46 districts tracked by the Ottawa Real Estate Board reveals some remarkable divisions across the city. A dozen areas recorded year-over-year gains in benchmark prices of less than 3.5 per cent for single family homes — and all but two of these were in the eastern sections of the city. These include enclaves such as Blackburn Hamlet and Orléans, home for thousands of Department of National Defence employees.
(The detailed district data uses a benchmark price developed by the OREB and other regional agencies. This tracks housing characteristics such as age of property, number of bathrooms and type of roof, which permits the creation of an index on which the benchmark price is based. The OREB claims it offers a more consistent view of underlying trends in the housing market.)
Real estate agents reported a significant shift in preferences among DND employees for homes closer to the department’s new headquarters in the west end of the city, especially for those who are being transferred into the city. While the DND headquarters move is running behind schedule, more than 1,000 workers have finally moved onsite, with 7,000 more due to arrive in the next two or three years.
Of course, many DND staff members will continue to work out of downtown office buildings — about half DND’s total local workforce will eventually be based at the new headquarters. This means DND’s influence over the housing market isn’t being felt entirely in the west. Some families are opting for homes south of the downtown core, which may account for some of the popularity of districts such as Hunt Club/Windsor Park (where single family homes sold for 20 per cent more in May compared to a year earlier) and Billings Bridge/Riverside (up 15 per cent).
A strengthening high-tech sector, much of it clustered in Kanata, is helping to drive up prices in western districts. But with online retailing specialist Shopify set to significantly expand its downtown operation, house prices in the south and perhaps even the city’s core could be set for a boost in the months to come.
Here is a great video from Environment Canada that explains what to do in the case of lightning and how to access The Canadian Lightning Danger Map which represents areas at greater risk of being struck by lightning in the next ten minutes.
2017-06-02 — Doors Open Ottawa – Explore Ottawa’s culture, history, and architecture for FREE June 3 and 4, 2017!
The City of Ottawa is proud to present Doors Open Ottawa, a free annual architectural event that celebrates our community’s built heritage. During the first full weekend in June, over 150 historically, culturally, and functionally significant buildings will be featured in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday! From Carp to Cumberland, over 80,000 visitors will explore some of the city’s most interesting places, and you’re invited!
2017-05-29 — Have you had a chance to check out the City of Ottawa 'In My Neighbourhood' application?
It is a bilingual, interactive map of Ottawa that offers a quick way for residents and prospective buyers to locate schools, libraries, parks, recreation facilities, events, and more.
2017-05-26 — Ottawa beefs up spending in federal budget for data collection on the housing market to provide a clearer picture on the conditions driving housing prices
The government will spend nearly $300 million over the next decade to collect data about the housing market. In particular, the Liberals have budgeted $39.9 million over the next five years so that Statistics Canada can compile information on foreign ownership of homes in Canada, as well as assembling data on the demographics of owners and how they are financing their home purchases.
With all the rain and flooding the Ottawa area has dealt with this spring, mosquitos are going to be a problem this summer. Here is a list of plants that when planted in your yard or in a pot near your porch, will help to keep these pesky bugs away naturally.
2017-05-23 — Not sure what to do with your tulips after they’ve bloomed?
HOW TO PLANT, GROW, AND CARE FOR TULIPS
Here is a great article that explains the best way to care for your tulips!
2017-05-19 — Looking for things to do this long weekend?
Here is a list of What’s On in and around Ottawa this May Long Weekend – including free, fun family & kids’ activities, live music, theatre, performing arts, sports and exhibitions.
2017-05-17 — 11 EASY AND BUDGET-FRIENDLY WAYS TO BOOST YOUR HOME’S EXTERIOR
The countdown to summer is on! That means it’s time to get your home’s exterior—including the front entry, deck, lawn and garden—ready. Follow these expert tips and tricks to boost your curb appeal, prep for outdoor entertaining and have your yard looking its best (even on a budget).
2017-05-05 — OTTAWA HOUSE PRICES UP 7.9% IN APRIL
JAMES BAGNALL FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, MAY 03, 2017 04:14 PM EDT | UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, MAY 03, 2017 09:51 PM EDT
Ottawa’s housing market strengthened in the favour of sellers in April as average prices for residential properties jumped 7.9 per cent year over year to $435,900. Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold nearly 1,500 properties in April, up 2.5 per cent compared to April 2016, the OREB reported Wednesday.
Staying indoors to avoid your own backyard? Most gardeners tend to bury their love of gardening due to fear of plant pollens and other allergy and asthma triggers.
But you don’t have to throw in the trowel! Stop and smell the flowers (minus the sniffles) with these tips from the experts at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM.
2017-05-01 — The Tulip Festival is coming up May 12-22!
This year’s special 65th anniversary program offers activities at four official sites as well as breathtaking Tulipmania Fireworks set to music, guided tours, vintage military displays paying tribute to our veterans, and the WWII liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian troops; and restaurant and hotel special offers.
2017-04-28 — 2017 Ontario budget: 10 things you need to know
MATT LUNDY AND TOM CARDOSO
THE GLOBE AND MAIL LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, APR. 28, 2017 12:18AM EDT
The Ontario Liberals announced the province’s first balanced budget in a decade on Thursday, an expected move that could be construed as the unofficial start to the 2018 election campaign.
Much of the budget covered several areas that have already been addressed – most notably, the province’s 16-point plan for housing reform. But it also unveiled several billion dollars of additional spending in health care, referred to as a “booster shot” by Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa.
2017-04-24 — An interesting look back at our city's past
A glimpse into our visual past reveals a nascent Ottawa very different from the one we know today
CBC News • Danny Globerman April 22, 2017
With Canadians celebrating a year-long 150th birthday party, CBC Ottawa is digging into the archives — our own and others — for the unusual, the revealing, and the historic images from our city's past.
2017-04-21 — Home inspectors welcome Ontario’s plan to regulate their industry
Published CBC.ca By Trevor Pritchard, CBC News Posted: Apr 16, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 16, 2017 5:00 AM ET
Home inspectors in Ontario are lauding new legislation that would require them to be licensed, have insurance, and abide by a code of ethics — and potentially face discipline if they don’t.
The Putting Consumers First Act, which was passed last week at Queen’s Park, will impose new rules upon one of the few professionals involved in real-estate transactions that have not been historically subject to provincial regulation.
“It’s terrific news,” said Michael Levitan, a home inspector who also teaches home inspection skills at Algonquin College in Ottawa.
“Right now home inspection is not a regulated industry,” Levitan told CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning. “So if you hire a home inspector, you’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen during your home inspection.”
2017-04-19 — Enjoy Spring in Ottawa with these Family Outdoor Activities
As the weather gets warmer, it’s time to shed some of those cozy winter layers and head outside into the sunshine. Ottawa has several activities that lets the whole family take advantage of the warmer springtime weather. Whether you want to see new baby animals or you want to head out to explore the city on a bike, Ottawa has an attraction that is sure to delight. Explore some of the spring activities Canada’s Capital has to offer!
2017-04-12 — Wishing Everyone a Happy and Safe Easter this upcoming weekend!
2017-03-15 — 30 Days of Spring Cleaning Tips for a Sparkling Home
Now that Spring has arrived and we are waiting for the weather to warm up, it is a great time to get started on some spring cleaning.
Here is a great article that spreads the tasks over 30 days.