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Real Estate and Business

For Rent: Upscale 1 Bedroom Flaire Condo Apartment at Shops at Don Mills in North York

Urban Lifestyle Living Within The Community At The Shops At Don Mills

Welcome to Flaire Condos at The Contemporary Urban Village at The Shops At Don Mills. 

This one bedroom unit on the 10th floor has one of the best views in the building. The South West Facing view captures the core of Toronto’s cityscape with the CN Tower and surrounding high-rises, the Yonge/Eglinton and Yonge/Sheppard clusters, and the expansive vista of detached homes and landscapes in between. The unit offers a clean layout with functional and elegant linear kitchen, state of the art ventilation system, and movable bedroom corner walls. This fashionably designed unit is ready for you to make your abode with your personal touch and character.  

This unit is unfurnished and does include window coverings. Appliances include washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator, cooktop oven, microwave, parking and storage locker. Includes Heat, Water, Air Conditioning, Parking, Storage. Tenant pays for own use of Hydro and Cable/Internet.

Amenities

Flaire provides great amenities including: 24 hour concierge service, impressive upscale lobby, Gym, Cable, Internet/TV. Movie Screening Room, Rooftop Terrace with BBQ, party room, security guard and lots of visitor parking. 

Step outside into the Shops at Don Mills with its upscale shops, restaurants, cafes, VIP Screening Room Cineplex Theatre, Centre Square and the wonderful seasonal sculpture and events. Take a walk to discover nearby walking trails, parks. Very close to DVP and TTC.

Lifestyle

This unit is perfect for the young professional looking for lifestyle in a diversified community of fashionable professionals of cultures from around the world. Great place to make new friends, stay at the forefront of innovations and develop your network.

Whether you’re a corporate executive, professional, entrepreneur, writer, artist or social media influencer, this building and this neighbourhood will provide you with both the inspiration and environment to produce, relax and excel. For more information on the neighbourhood visit Living At The Shops At Don Mills

Only $2300 per month!

If you’re a AAA tenant, don’t miss this exclusive listing opportunity. Application form, credit check, proof of income and/or employment is required.

Listed through Baldo Minaudo, MBA, Broker, Real Estate Homeward 416-564-0245

*** Not intended to solicit clients under contract with a broker***

Living Near A Nuclear Power Plant

Some people living near a nuclear power plant may not be fully aware of the immediate and potential consequences. According to initiatives from The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC; the federal agency that monitors the safe operation of nuclear stations), the concern is for homes and businesses within 10 km of nuclear power station. Homeowners, should be aware of the potential health impact, as well as the impact on the value of their homes.

This post will help in guiding you to become more aware of both the health and financial issues of living in proximity to a nuclear power plant. You will be made aware of sources for information about potential health hazards to you, your family and employees. In addition, you will be made aware of potential consequences to owning a home or business in proximity to a nuclear power plant.

Living in Proximity to the Pickering Nuclear Power Plant

This map depicts a 10 km radius around the Pickering Nuclear Power Plant. This distance was used because The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) now requires that all homes and businesses within 10 km of a nuclear power station receive a supply of potassium iodide (KI) pills.  I am not aware of why they chose a 10 km distance or the difference in impact to a 15 km distance.

Map of 10 km distances from Pickering Nuclear Power Plant

Map showing 10 km distance from the Pickering Power Plant near Toronto

Home Value Near Nuclear Power Plant

It is not unusual for homes in proximity to Nuclear Power Plants sell at lower prices than similar homes outside the 10 km radius of the plant. This difference in price is due to the stigma of being near a potential source of radioactivity and potential for a major incident. Though some people can live their daily lives with this concern, many would rather pay higher prices to live with the belief that they are safer from these risks.

The reality is that if there were to be major incident at a nearby nuclear power plant, then the value of nearby homes would be significantly impacted. In cases where long-term or permanent evacuation were mandated, the property would be pretty much useless. Unfortunately, homeowners insurance does not cover nuclear or radiation damage.

Of course, there would be law suits filed. But, these take years to work through and if the owners don’t die during the incident, they may be dead by the time any lawsuits are settled. It is unlikely that the true damage to one’s family and life could be recouped from any lawsuit. Lives could be destroyed.

If you are one of those individuals that is not willing to live with the potential hazard and stress of living within a 10km radius of the Pickering Power Plant and you would like to move, I provide a full service that includes assessing the value of your present home, identifying neighbourhoods you may want to move to and creating a plan to get you moved within the budget and resources at your disposal. You can contact me via email (baldo@baldominaudo.com) or by telephone to book a complimentary consultation session.

Employees, Tradespeople and Sales People

There are many employees that work daily within the 10km radius of the Pickering Power Plant. There are also many tradespeople (plumbers, electricians, drivers, etc.) that come in and out or through the area every day. The area also covers a large portion of Highway 401 which has hundreds of thousands of cars moving through it every day.

Be Prepared For An Incident

Meanwhile, you might want to read the post from MetroActive for how to prepare for an incident and what to do if one happens. Also, check out the “Security and Safety” Links in the “tools & links” section of this website for how to order free treatment pills from the government for radiation poisoning.

Information Only

This post was prepared strictly for awareness of potential issues and not to alarm any individuals or create panic. It is highly unlikely that a massive nuclear radioactivity incident were to happen at most nuclear power plants. It is your sole responsibility to conduct your research to be fully aware of the potential consequences and mitigating options so that you can make an informed decisions for yourself and your family.

Sources of Information

Nuclear Radiation and Health Effects

Radiation Health Effects

Pickering Nuclear Generating Station

https://preparetobesafe.ca/

Disclaimer

This is not an exhaustive discussion of issues and consequences of living or working near a nuclear power plant, but simply meant to get you started on your research. I am not a medical, nor nuclear professional and it is your responsibility to verify any information that may be provided in this post. This post does not represent the opinions or viewpoints of Real Estate Homeward Brokerage or any other entity.

Lowe's Closing of 34 Stores in Canada and What They Should Do

It is no surprise to me that Lowe’s is closing 34 stores across Canada. This morning Lowe’s reported Third Quarter sales and earning results in which it announced it will be closing 34 stores. You can get into the financial symptoms of why the decision is being made, but I’m going to jump to the fundamental source of why those stores have done poorly and what could have been done better.

Background

The financial statements are a result of decisions and plans that were created and implemented from years ago when the Lowe’s acquired RONA. Combined, Lowe’s now had 539 stores. That’s almost three times more than Home Depot’s 182 Canadian stores.  In a news release dated May 20, 2016, Lowe’s highlighted previously stated commitments as part of its acquisition of RONA, including:

  • headquartering the Canadian businesses in Boucherville, Quebec;
  • maintaining RONA’s multiple retail store banners;
  • enhancing distribution services to dealer owners;
  • continuing RONA’s employment of the vast majority of its current employees and maintaining key executives from RONA’s strong leadership team;
  • continuing RONA’s local and ethical procurement strategy and potentially expanding relationships both Lowe’s and RONA have developed with Canadian manufacturers and suppliers; and
  • continuing to support Canadian communities through RONA and Lowe’s charitable and environmental initiatives.

Analysis of Lowe’s Operations

From my perspective a a business consultant with expertise in locating operations, commercial realtor, residential property manager and homeowner, I have much more to share about Lowe’s than I’m going to publish in this post. Overall, I’m grateful for Lowe’s and RONA and would shop there more often if the stores were better located or if the online ordering process was better. However, I can share the generalities of what I’ve seen of Lowe’s and examples from others experiences:

  1. Lowe’s Distribution Network – instances where online orders take up to 2 weeks for delivery, distribution centres not knowing what store to ship to, re-routing of shipments,  product sent to stores that aren’t closest to the destination. All these result in greater operating costs and damage to reputation among frequent purchasers of hardware items. Here are some examples of these consequences: Nov. 2, 2019, Nov. 13, 2019Nov. 18, 2019,
  2. Product Offering – products in stores often don’t match the demand for those products in that area. This indicates that whoever is doing the ordering for those stores isn’t in touch with the local market.
  3. Retail Locations – great discrepancy in success of different locations. Some locations are inconvenient to get too. Some pulling areas are concentrated, while others are too distant.
  4. Corporate Decisions – Lowe’s decided to have their headquarters in Montreal rather than the economic headquarters of Canada and where there is the greatest economy for renovations and construction. This also impacted the ability to attract top management talent and operating efficiencies. The preservation of retail banners also impacted the ability to leverage marketing and consumer behaviour.

Of course, significantly impacting the situation is the prolonged devastation to the Albertan economy from the collapse of oil prices. Reflecting this is Lowe’s higher per capita closure of stores in Alberta compared to other provinces. Further impacting the situation is the economic circumstances in other provinces. Had Lowe’s considered the cyclical nature of the Albertan oil-based economy and looked at the situation with the Tar Sands projects and price of oil, they would have acted more quickly. The question in my mind is who was responsible for looking at such significant considerations and why didn’t they hire someone like me to help with the research and analysis?

Here’s What I Would Do If I Were Running Lowe’s

  1. Take a more rational and efficient approach to distribution and logistics. With increasing trend to online purchases, improved online ordering and processing systems. This includes the integration of AI into marketing programs. Rather than push out discount notices to the buyers, use phone apps and client data to recommend purchases and locations in real-time. Many property managers, trades people and realtors, who account for much of hardware store sales. They are frequent and volume buyers who in many cases purchase on a daily basis and must do so in between meetings and tasks. Integration of AI into real-time marketing and co-ordination with supply-chain and logistics will not only provide competitive advantage directly with consumers, but also create powerful operating efficiencies. Improve on product handling and delivery!
  2. Get to know the customers better, especially by buyer types, but also by local community. Having the right product in the right place is the KEY to any retail success. Online buying is one thing, but if I’m dealing with a leaking faucet or flooded basement and I need to get some supplies right away, I just can’t wait for next day (or longer). I’m also willing to pay extra for those products at that time. Some neighbourhoods are more prone to flooding or icing in certain  months. Make sure that the store managers and purchasing managers are aware of these trends. Also, make sure the distribution system can act quickly so that it can have the product in the store when its needed. For example last year there was a major icy snow storm and for two weeks de-icing salt for pavement was completely sold out across the GTA. I, and others, would have gladly paid double the price to have a supply available. There isn’t any reason why supplies or inventory couldn’t have been re-routed to have product in store the next day. Once in store, I would likely pick up other items that I may need, like a new pair of work gloves, windshield wiper fluid, etc. These are items I’m picking up anyway from whatever store I’m in.
  3. Hire an expert to help with locating stores. Locational Analysis is a necessity that U.S. retailers entering the Canadian Market either fail to conduct or don’t have the expertise to properly undertake. This is painful for me, someone trained in urban economics with experience in locating operations, to see. Yet, by  hiring someone like me to conduct this work, it will make the difference between failure or success to foreign retailers in Canada. Retail Locations are the  most important for most end-use consumers. When I’m picking up a new wire for my weed-wacker which ran out in the middle of trimming my lawn or oil for my motorcycle, I’m going to want to go to the nearest retailer. Also, trades people don’t like to go out of their way when picking up supplies, so they tend to go to locations near highway entry points. Many trades will pick up items in the morning on their way to different jobs. So, locate stores where these trades people tend to live. I know neighbourhoods that are heavily populated with trades people who would do just that, but with no hardware store nearby.
  4. Always make corporate decisions based on ability to best identify and service customers, followed by operating competency and competitive advantage, and finally with an eye on operating efficiencies and profitability. Make sure it’s all in that order because each one relies on the previous consideration. Of course to have the right expertise with knowledge of key markets, like the Greater Toronto Area, requires you to hire someone in that market or with extensive experience in that market.

How Can I Help?

When Wal-Mart bought out the Woolco Stores, I worked with Bank of Montreal to analyse the impact it would have on the remaining Canadian retailers from their sales and operations to their financial performance. In a matter of weeks I had dissection and analyzed the impact on every major retailer across Canada and translated that into the impact on their financial performance. How I did this is for another much more detailed post.

In short, I analyzed every single retail outlet of every major retail chain which included: 1) consumer threshold, 2) product-mix overlap, 3) local pricing sensitivity, 4) psychological and geographical traffic boundaries, 5) traffic flows and much more. Then I cross indexed the information and translated it into the financial performance. Finally I conglomerated the data by retail chain to product financial projections for each one. The report went up to the Bank of Montreal Board of Directors and the information was then used to dictate risk appetite and credit exposure among the major retailers.

As part of my analysis, I drew two powerful conclusions, one of which was contrary to what Bank Executives were expecting at the time. If it were not for that analysis, the bank would have made different decisions, created different lending policies, which would have significantly affected Canadian retailers and their employees.

What Should You Do Before You Locate or Acquire a Location in Canada?

Contact me to have someone on your side who can help with every aspect of what needs to be done. But, most importantly, who can get you the right information, with proper analysis and solutions so you can make the best decisions for your business success!

My Starbucks Community

The saying ‘What goes around comes around’ showed itself to be true at Starbucks. Last week, I dropped into my regular Starbucks location for lunch and work on a file. As I’m sitting down, my attention is drawn to a young south Asian man. He seems drunk as he lowers his pants and lifts his shirt while repeating ‘stomach empty, hungry’.

It appeared that the Starbucks customers were getting disturbed and didn’t know how to deal with this man approaching them. I mentioned it to Starbucks staff who seemed to be taken aback and also weren’t sure how to handle the situation. To manage the situation before it escalated, I approached the man and asked, “How you doing?”.

Stomach Empty, Hungry

The young man’s reply was the same line ‘stomach empty, hungry’. I straight out asked him, if he had been drinking, to which his reply was the same as before. I pulled out some money, looked at him in the eye and said ‘take this and buy yourself lunch across the parking lot. Make sure you take care of yourself.’ He was very grateful and kept thanking me. I repeated, ‘Just take care of yourself. Go. Go take care of yourself’. I had to repeat it a couple of times.

As he was leaving, I realized that I had seen that man around the neighbourhood before. In fact, a few years ago, I had given him some money to help me with some handy work on a property.

The Community We Build

I had forgotten about the whole incident. Then, yesterday, I found myself at the same Starbucks. As I’m ordering my sandwich, the supervisor, Bonny comes over. Calling me by my first name she says, “I want to thank you for what you did last week. The manager was here and we saw the whole thing.”. At first I didn’t realize what she was talking about.

Then she reminded me about the incident. I wasn’t expecting her to say, “You handled that situation really well for us. Richard (the manager), didn’t think you should have to buy him lunch, so he wanted me to give you a free lunch and drink”.  I may not be getting every word exact, but it is basically what she said and she went on to explain how it made a big difference to the other customers.

It left me speechless. Not only hadn’t I realized that anyone really noticed, but that it would affect anyone beyond the hungry young man. All I could say was “thank you, but you don’t have to pay for my lunch”. Bonny wouldn’t have it any other way and insisted that the lunch was on Starbucks.

 

We Are A Community

That’s when I realized the extend to which Starbucks is wanting to build a community, an environment of support, in which customers can come and feel that Italian ‘piazza’ atmosphere. A place where you can feel free to talk about anything and build relationships with others that may rely on Starbucks for their morning jolt, snack, temporary office station, meeting point or just to get out of the home or office.

Over the last day, I’ve thought about all the friends and business acquaintances I’ve met at Starbucks. Some I’ve done business with, others I’ve exchanged wisdom. They’ve included aspiring authors, film producers, e-commerce entrepreneurs, students, teachers, crypto-currency traders, business owners, and many more that don’t come to mind right now.

It is up to you and I to build our community or communities and we need to be engaged and pro-active to make it happen.

Starbucks:

It happened at Starbucks
Where the hungry young man stood

A Glass of Water in The Dessert

One of the lessons I’ve learned in life is that you can give a glass of water to two different people and the impact can be totally different between the two. Give a man in a river a glass of water and he wouldn’t appreciate it. However, give a man in the desert a glass of water and he will remember it for life. It may have saved his life.

The glass of water is an analogy for needs that those around us may have. That young man in the Starbucks had a need for lunch because he was hungry. To him it was the most important thing, something he needed to go on. To everyone else, perhaps it would have been unneeded calories.

For the Starbucks staff, my gesture was needed because they may not have been equipped to handle the situation without escalation and potentially bad publicity. For that they were greatly appreciated.

And for me… my glass of water was being recognized by name and acknowledged for making a difference to others. You see, I needed that this week, perhaps as much as that young man  needed his lunch. We all have a tough time when we question the things we do and the value we add to others. Sometimes, getting acknowledge is our glass of water in the desert. Remember that today, look around you, and ask yourself who needs a glass of water!

That is the main reason why I’m sharing this with you. Another reason is that as important as this sort of thing is, the main street media will not likely mention it. At a time when our attention is being diverted to political mud-slinging, scandals, shootings and other discouraging activities, we need to see more of these unspoken acts.

Thank You Starbucks Community

I thank Bonny, Richard and the wonderful staff at the Kennedy Commons Starbucks (in Agincourt) for their service, support and importantly their glass of water in the desert.

 

 

#CBC #GLOBALNEWS #GLOBALNEWSTO #CITYTV #AM640 #CP24 #TORONTOSUN

Ontario Electricity Costs Increase 55% Effective November 1st

New Toronto Hydro Rates effective November 1st, 2019

On November 1st, 2019, Toronto Hydro sent out an email  advising that the Ontario Energy Board announced new rates for electricity costs, effective same day. The astronomical increase is familiar to hyper-inflation symptoms found in third-world countries going to economic crisis.

More disturbing is the lack of coverage by main stream media about this significant increase in electricity costs. This will have a potentially severe impact on some residents, such as the elderly on pensions.

Homeowners and tenants that pay their own utilities, will be surprised when they receive their next bill. No doubt Toronto Hydro will be receiving a lot of phone calls from across the city.

If you find yourself in a situation where you won’t be able to pay the higher electricity costs, there are a number of programs that could help you deal with the situation. Check out other programs as well that you may qualify for to help with your monthly bills.

Ontario Energy Board Offers Two Programs to Assist With Skyrocketing Electricity Bills

Ontario Electricity Support Program

The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) provides monthly on-bill credits for lower-income customers to reduce their electricity costs. Details

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program

“If you’re behind on your electricity or natural gas bill and face having your service disconnected, you may qualify for emergency financial help through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). There are also special customer service rules available for low-income households. You need to meet certain criteria to qualify for these programs, and must go through one of the intake agencies in Ontario listed below.” Details

Other Programs and Resources

Visit the links section for other programs, incentives, subsidies and tools.

Are you aware of other programs?… please enter a link in the comment section below so I can add them to the list.