You are browsing the archive for 2013 October.

Neighbourhood Alert: Car break-in and stroller stolen

October 30, 2013 in Neighbourhood Alerts Blog

Report from Winner’s Circle Resident, West Side on Sat Oct 26 – CAR BREAK-IN:

My car, parked on Winners Circle, was broken into on Friday night. The only thing of value taken was my garage remote unit. I will be filing a police report.

Report from Northern Dancer Blvd Resident on Sat Oct 26 – STROLLER STOLEN :

Our new stroller was recently stolen from our front yard.

Please make sure you take the proper precautions to ward off any criminal activity.

Thinking of Renovating? Some things to keep in mind

October 28, 2013 in Legal Advice Blog, Real Estate Blog


My fiancé and I renovated our kitchen this past summer. We took out the old one completely and replaced it. We had a reputable cabinet maker. We kept the same footprint. There was no new electrical or plumbing. The old kitchen was taken out on July 5th. We were told that the new one would take 4 days to install. 31/2 weeks later…

Our house is only 12 years old. We did not have to deal with the issues posed by much older houses. Since we started we have spoken with many people who have been through renovations of various kinds. Each one has a story to tell.

The rest of this article is a summary of the wisdom of those who have gone before,  for those who are thinking about undertaking their own upgrades.

Hire a Reputable Contractor

Hiring a reputable contractor is THE single most important step in the whole process. There will be unforeseen challenges and you want a contractor who will stay the course, not cut and run at the first sniff of a problem.

You want a contractor who is reliable and stays on schedule; one who does 1 job at a time, not 6.

This contractor will likely not give you the lowest quotation. There is a price for quality and reliability.

Get references and be sure to check them out.

Get a Contract and Plans

Take your time putting together a proper contract and proper plans. They should be as detailed as possible.

Leave as little as possible to chance or interpretation. In almost every renovation, you will want to changes the plans after you start and insofar as possible you want to avoid being hit with charges for extras.

Consider including an efficient dispute resolution mechanism. Construction lien litigation is not a good solution to disagreements.

Budget to Go Over Budget

Whatever the budget, allow 10-15% more.

When you structure payments keep the Construction Liens Act in mind.

  • Clearly define the work to be completed before a payment is made
  • Remember that you should hold back 10% of each payment for 45 days in accordance with the Act and only release it after your lawyer has searched to make sure no liens have been registered.

Depending on the nature of the renovation, you may require a certificate of completion from an architect or a project monitor at each phase before making a payment.

Finally, make your payments by way of cheque. Proper records are worth their weight in gold.

Be Prepared for Surprises

Especially with older homes, no-one can know for sure what you will find when the contractor gets behind the walls. Be prepared. As an example, friends of ours encountered a serious mold problem that was invisible until the walls were removed.


Many renovation jobs require permits. If yours does, make sure that you or your contractor get all the necessary permits and that you understand the role of a building inspector. I have heard stories from contractors of jobs being halted by building inspectors and the challenges of completing them thereafter.

Check the Subcontractors

No matter how reputable your contractor is, he is only as good as the tradespeople who actually do the work. In our case, the cabinet maker sent in an installer who started well but ended badly. He caused most of the delay and his carelessness required a cabinet maker to build most of our kitchen twice.


Keep your sense of humour.

P.S. We love the kitchen!

The foregoing is intended for information purposes only and is not legal advice.

Prime East York Bungalow Just Listed $574,900

October 28, 2013 in Real Estate Blog

This is a wonderful opportunity for a first time buyer or investor.  This prime renovated East York bungalow in the Woodbine and Plains area, sits on a 140 ft. lot and has a private driveway and single detached garage.  It also has a brand new one bedroom basement apartment to help with the monthly carrying costs. Check out this video and send it onto anyone who may be interested.


Just Listed: Renovated South Leaside Condo for $459,000

October 28, 2013 in Real Estate Blog

This is a great opportunity for first time buyers or empty nesters at 928 Millwood Road.  Lovely, renovated 2 bedroom penthouse condo in boutique building of just 35 units.  1,100 square feet with parking and locker.  There are many upgrades including a new kitchen, two new bathrooms and bamboo floors in both bedrooms. Units in this building rarely come on the market. Check out this video for more information:



Is the real estate market really going to cool off?

October 16, 2013 in Latest Community News Blog, Real Estate Blog

As a former journalist  (and spouse of a lawyer) I always try to present both sides of the story, even if it’s unpopular with some of my real estate colleagues. For as long as I can remember, and no matter how strong the economy and housing market is, there’s always an underlying hope that the real estate market will crash.  In today’s Toronto Star, even the economist for the Canadian Real Estate Association, is predicting a cool down in the market.  Here’s the article that appeared today:

Overnight Work At Leslie and Lakeshore for Leslie Barns

October 2, 2013 in Latest Community News Blog, Neighbourhood Alerts Blog


On the evening of Wednesday October 2nd (pending weather conditions) overnight work will take place on Lake Shore Blvd.

The contractor will paint pavement markings in westbound lanes on Lake Shore Blvd from Coxwell Avenue to 100m west of Leslie Street. Additional paint markings will also be added to the temporary plaza entrances. A paid-duty officer will be on site to guide and ensure the safety of traffic, pedestrians and cyclists.

Traffic Impacts:

Westbound traffic will be reduced to one lane. There will be no impact to eastbound Lake Shore Blvd.  Right-in/right-out temporary access to the Lake Shore plazas remains open.

Hours of work:

The work will begin on Wednesday October 2nd at 9:00p.m. until Thursday October 3rd  at 5:00 a.m.



Additional safety measures have been added to the temporary accesses off Lake Shore Blvd that include larger stop signs and speed humps. Please proceed through the temporary accesses with caution – vehicles must yield to pedestrians and cyclists.

Please contact us if you have any questions.




Elizabeth Garkowski & Niki   Angelis

Community   Liaisons — Leslie Barns

Engineering,   Construction and Expansion | Toronto Transit Commission

1258   Queen Street East, Toronto ON M4L 1C3

Community   Office Hours: Weekdays 9a.m.-5p.m., evenings by appointment

416.981.7360| | @TTCLeslieBarns

Please consider the environment before   printing this e-mail   ü


Just Listed 58 Joseph Duggan $1,399,000

October 2, 2013 in Real Estate Blog

I’ve been through quite a few homes in Woodbine Park, and I must say that this house at 58 Joseph Duggan is one of the best I’ve seen!

A Truly Spectacular House,Wonderful Custom Upgrades Throughout. B/I Banquette Seating In Eating Area. The 2nd Floor Houses All The Bedrms. Perfect For Young Families Who Prefer The Kiddies On The Same Level. The Third Offers A Huge Open Space For Just About Anything & A Private Office. All Bathrms Upgraded With Designer Finishes. Gorgeous Lower Level.

This house is a must see!

For an appointment to view, give me a call.  416 568 1242 or email me