Blog entries will be posted in the language in which they were written.

Archive for September, 2010

September 30th, 2010

Encouraging housing report from CMHC

Posted by Joan McGuigan

The CMHC has released a very encouraging housing report that suggests that the Canadian housing situation may not be as dire as some think. For instance, the money spent on new home construction, as well as the rental, sale, and renovation of existing homes reached one-fifth of Canada’s total gross domestic product in 2009—$307 billion total!

“The Canadian Housing Observer provides a comprehensive review of the critical role housing plays in the Canadian economy,” said Karen Kinsley, President of CMHC. “The Observer details the far-reaching impact of housing in generating economic activity and employment across sectors, and highlights how housing finance continues to be a cornerstone of Canada’s financial system.”

The report also shows that more Canadians are buying and occupying condos, and that home sales and financing are generating a solid portion of  Canada’s economic activity.

The report released by CMHC covers several important topics, including the EQuilibrium™ Communities Initiative, which will “help developers bring to market neighbourhoods that are affordable, energy-efficient, and environmentally sustainable”. Click here to read more!

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September 18th, 2010

Why Westmount is still BIXI-less, from Mayor Peter Trent

Posted by Joan McGuigan

Westmount mayor Peter Trent wrote in to the Westmount Examiner to clear up some misconceptions about why Westmount is still sans BIXI.  Among the highlights of the letter:

“[…]the City of Westmount and the City of Montreal are two distinct legal entities and […] BIXI’s legal arrangement is with the City of Montreal only; […] Westmount doesn’t want to be treated as, say, the City of London and pay for the whole BIXI infrastructure; […] inserting such a system in a highway called Sherbrooke Street (or any other major street) is irresponsible without proper planning”.

Kudos to Mayor Trent for clearing up this matter!

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September 17th, 2010

Local events

Posted by Joan McGuigan

September 23:
“Economic and Environmental Solutions: The Potential of World Federalism”  — An illustrated talk given by McGill grad student Sara Hayward. Open to the public, no charge, 7pm at the Unitarian Church (5035 de Maisonneuve Ouest). For more info, call Carol Greene at (514) 426-4170

Atwater Library Lunchtime Series
John Aylen gives a presentation on his new book, Revive and Grow Strong: The Story of the McEuens and the McEuen Scholarship Foundation. Free admissions (donations accepted), 12:30PM at the Atwater Library (1200 Atwater, at Ste-Catherine)

September 28:
St. James Literary Society
Professor Thomas Fox (mathematics professor at Dawson College and classical music singer) will give a presentation about the music and the life story of Paul Robeson, including his fate during the McCarthy era. $10 admission for non-members, 7:30PM at the McGill Faculty Club (3450 McTavish). For reservations, call (514) 484-0146.

Atwater Library Fall Book Sale:
September 30, 6:00PM to 8:00PM
October 1, 10:00AM to 5:00PM
October 2, 10:00AM to 2:00PM
Atwater Library and Computer Centre (1200 Atwater), in the Library’s Reading Room

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September 17th, 2010

TD Bank Financial Group Predicts Housing Softness

Posted by Joan McGuigan

A recent report from TD Bank Financial Group predicts a pinch in existing home sales by mid-2011. Canadians have some of the highest leveraged households in the world, says the National Post, and this could negatively affect the housing market. Housing indebtedness has been on a “sharp and unsustainable climb” over the past few years. The debt-to-person disposable income ratio  is at 144% in Canada.

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September 13th, 2010

BMO slashes mortgage rates amidst wide-spread rate raises!

Posted by Joan McGuigan

When the Bank of Canada met last week, they made a decision to raise the overnight lending rates by 25 basis points to one per cent. Many banks and mortgage brokers have responded by raising their fixed rates, up to 5.39%!

However, we have just gotten word that BMO has slashed their five-year fixed rate by 20 basis points to 3.59%!

This cut comes in advance of the usual fall home-buying season. E-mail us today to find out how you can take advantage of this historically low rate and find your dream home!

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