Newsletters

 

Welcome to June!

We have an election this week, please get out and vote on June 7th. Voter turnout has been increasingly dismal in the last few elections, let’s help turn that around this time!

Quick reminder as well: the Water Conservation By-law is in effect every year from May 31 to September 30.

In K-W in May
– the average single detached sold for $571,934 in 19 days
– the average semi-detached sold for $393,616 in  13 days
-the average freehold townhouse sold for $433,611 in 15 days
– the average condo sold for sold for  $307,246 in  27 days
– the average list price to sale price was 100%

Renewing your mortgage? Ottawa has quietly made some regulatory changes that could save you big money
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/investing/personal-finance/household-finances/article-switching-lenders-is-now-easier-for-some-homeowners/

Some money-saving updates to Canada’s mortgage rules could save you some loot if you’re renewing a mortgage.

Here’s what changed.

In October of 2016, the government banned refinances from being default insured. But regulators allowed lenders to keep insuring transfers. A “transfer” is when you switch lenders to get a better deal, but don’t increase your mortgage risk − as opposed to a “refinance,”in which you may increase your mortgage amount and/or amortization.

Ever since, lenders have not been able to insure mortgages that were previously refinanced. That means you couldn’t get insured mortgage rates, which are often at least 20 basis points (bps) better than uninsured rates.

But now you can.

On April 30, all three of Canada’s default insurers officially announced an end to this costly prohibition. Canada Guaranty, for example, stated:

“After additional consultation with the Department of Finance and the other mortgage default insurers, we have received clarification that if a prior uninsured loan has already been advanced with an Approved Lender, that loan may be switched to another Approved Lender and insured, regardless of the loan originally being a refinance, purchase or having an amortization greater than 25 years.”

Long story short, if you refinanced your mortgage and now want to switch lenders to get a better deal, you get access to Canada’s very best rates (which are insured rates). On the average existing $200,000 mortgage, 20 bps of rate savings keeps almost $1,900 in your pocket over five years. …

Cottage or vacation property rentals and GST/HST 
http://bdoreinvestor.ca/2018/05/17/cottage-vacation-property-gst-hst/?_cldee=anphYmVsQHRtYWNjLmNvbQ%3d%3d&recipientid=contact-ee51dc3438cbe511955c005056a8000f-746d4f9213534a119b6a5228572c3476&esid=4cd0b4e5-5559-e811-868a-005056a8000f

… How the cottage or vacation property will be used – short- or long-term rentals

When considering how GST/HST applies to a vacation property, you must be aware of the primary use of the property. Is this a residential property (longer-term rentals or personal use) or a commercial property (shorter-term rentals)?

  • Residential property – this would be longer-term continuous use of the property. It can be occupied as a principal residence or a vacation property but without pause in the tenancy.  Generally these leases are exempt of GST/HST and the purchase or sale of the property would be exempt of GST/HST.
  • Commercial property – this would include shorter-term rentals, less than 30 days in length. For example, a cottage property where you are renting it out under-30 day stays, through services such as Airbnb.

$220M toward Cambridge and Woodstock Toyota plants
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/cambridge-toyota-plant-justin-trudeau-kathleen-wynne-1.4648502

Toyota plants in Cambridge, Ont. and Woodstock, Ont. will see a significant financial investment as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a combined $220 million fund.

… The provincial and federal governments fund is part of a $1.4 billion investment Toyota announced it is making to upgrade its facilities in Cambridge and Woodstock.

The investment will help retain 8,000 jobs, create 450 new jobs and provide1,000 more co-op placements, making Toyota the largest producer of Toyota hybrid vehicles in North America, Trudeau said. …

Bingemans to Open Excavation Station for June – powered by Diggerland
https://www.heavyequipmentguide.ca/article/28140/bingemans-to-open-excavation-station-for-june-powered-by-diggerland

An exciting adventure is in the works for Bingemans, as it will open a new outdoor construction-themed amusement zone this upcoming June. Powered by Diggerland, the Excavation Station at FunworX is set to feature uniquely modified machines that adults and children of all ages will be able to ride and operate.

“These machines are the first of their kind in Ontario,” says Mark Bingeman, President of Bingemans. “Children will be able to safely explore real construction equipment that has been adapted and custom tailored for their size.”

Excavation Station will be equipped with three imaginative machines: Shape Challenge, Maze Challenge and Bowling Challenge. Attractions within Excavation Station are supplied by Diggerland, an organization providing construction-themed adventure parks to global visitors. All Diggerland equipment undergoes advanced engineering to ensure safe and accessible public use. …

Events:
June 5 World Environment Day
June 6 D-Day
June 6 Tim Horton’s Camp Day
June 7, Voting Day
June 8 World Ocean Day
June 8 – 10, Ever After Music Festival, http://www.everafterfest.com/
June 9 Waterloo Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy https://muscle.akaraisin.com/walk2018/walk2018waterloo
June 9 2018 HOWLer Fundraiser for Pound Dog Rescue https://pdrhowler.ca/
June 9 City of Waterloo Service Centre Open House http://www.waterloo.ca/openhouse
June 14 World Blood Donor Day
June 16 World Juggler’s Day
June 17 Father’s Day
June 18 International Picnic Day
June 18, Solstice Sampling, Waterloo Square
June 20 World Refugee Day
June 21 International Yoga Day
June 21 Summer Solstice
June 24 World Partnership Walk K-W, https://www.worldpartnershipwalk.com/en/walk-cities/kitchener-waterloo
June 29 International Mud Day
June 30 International Asteroid Day
July 1 Canada Day

City of Waterloo Council Summary for May 28, 2018

Neighbourhood Action Sports Venues
Council approved the initiation of planning, design and construction plans for a series of neighbourhood action sports venues. This phase of the project includes the steps needed to prepare construction-ready plans for a series of neighbourhood skateboard/BMX parks and consider one or more locations for dirt-surface mountain-bike circuits. The action sport venue locations being considered are: John M Harper Library and Stork Family YMCA, Albert McCormick Community Centre and Albert McCormick Branch Library, and RIM Park. …

June’s Recipe – it’s bbq season!

Coca-Cola Chicken Skewers
Special equipment: 24 wooden skewers
Ingredients

2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup cola, preferably Coca-Cola
2 cups barbecue sauce
6 scallions, white and green parts, chopped for garnish

Preparation
1. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat grill to 400°F. (These can also be cooked in a grill pan over medium-high heat).
3. Trim chicken of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine the salt, pepper, garlic, jalapeño, both paprikas, oil and cola. Mix with a rubber spatula until the ingredients are blended.
5. Add the cubed chicken and mix until well coated with the spice mixture.
6. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Thread the chicken onto the soaked skewers.
8. Place the chicken on the hot grill and cook until browned and slightly charred, about 5 minutes on each side.
9. Brush the top of chicken with barbecue sauce, turn and cook until sauce has browned, about 1-2 minutes. Turn and brush the second side with sauce, cooking an additional 1-2 minutes or until chicken has browned
10. Remove the chicken skewers from grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
11. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve with remaining barbecue sauce on the side.

June Jocularity

Why did the police officers go to the barbeque?             They heard it was a place to have a steak out

Why did the sausage quit playing baseball?                   Because he was the wurst on his team.

Why couldn’t the scientist plant any flowers?                 He hadn’t botany!

THEMUSEUM To Expand, Doubling in Size
https://themuseum.ca/themuseum-expand-doubling-size/

THEMUSEUM has announced its intention to acquire the neighbouring Bank of Montreal building at 2 King Street West, Kitchener.

“We’re thrilled to announce this sole purchaser agreement with THEMUSEUM and be a part of this important campaign to help bolster the burgeoning arts and culture community of this growing region,” said Julie Barker-Mertz, Senior Vice President, South Western Ontario Division, BMO Bank of Montreal.

“And to further assist, BMO has pledged a $1,000,000 donation to help transform downtown Kitchener’s cultural connection to the community and be a catalyst for renewal of arts and culture in the heart of the city.” …

The purchase of 2 King Street West is expected to close later this year.

Take it easy in the heat, and remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated in the humidity.  Have you checked out my FaceBook Page? Cindy Metcalf, I tend to post news about housing, community events, new developments in the region, and anything else which strikes me as interesting.

Cindy

Welcome to May, and at long last, warm weather!

In K-W in April:
– the average single detached sold for $569,303 in 16 days
–  the average semi-detached sold for $402,842 in 13 days
– the average freehold townhouse sold for $464.399 in 16 days
– the average condo sold for sold for  $332,264 in 32 days
– the average list price to sale price was  101.8%

The perils of flipping new houses
The full article can be read here: The perils of flipping new houses

All over Southwestern Ontario in cities like London, Woodstock, Brantford, Paris, Kitchener and Cambridge, out of town buyers – mostly from areas like Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton – are purchasing new houses and townhouses on spec with the sole intentions of doing flips.

It all sounds so easy. First you follow the roadside signs to a homebuilder’s trailer and sign an offer to buy. Make sure you bring your I.D. and make sure you ask about the $5,000 free appliance offer. Then you must follow further builder’s instructions to make a series of small extra down payments. That’s no big deal, it’s just how it works. Let’s hope you have the money to do it or room on your credit cards. The agreement will state a closing date off in the future, like 18 months away. It’s that simple. Over that period resale prices should jump up 10 or 20 per cent. Conventional wisdom seems to tell us that

Then you wait and do nothing except do a final walk-through and then close the deal. It helps if you know a good mortgage broker. It also helps if you spring for the one minor upgrade of putting in a gas hookup in the kitchen for a gas stove. Some buyers expect that and sometimes it can make or break a deal. Then resell the house and take the profits and go somewhere else and do it again. Some purchasers are now on their second or third successful flips. What an easy way to quickly get ahead in life!

But sometimes unexpected wrinkles pop up. If you buy one of these units, sometimes you must wait a year or two until the market prices reach up to your expectations. This means you may have to rent it out for a short period to help cover the carrying costs. …

You just have to hope for the best. No stains on the carpets, no oil stains on the driveway, no hockey puck dents in the garage door and no dropping of frying pans on the ceramic floors in the kitchen. No matter what kind of lease you write up, the tenants will always have the right to cook and some people like to cook up a storm.

The concept of having tenants in a brand-new house for a year might be somewhat difficult to get your head around. You also must hope the new tenants will report back to you on such issues as sump pumps not working properly and window wells clogged up with debris. It is not nice to get a midnight call about a basement flooding. …

Who is going to foot the bill for the much-needed fences, decks and landscaping? This is an issue that often squashes deals being done by real estate agents who are trying to get them leased out. For many “flippers” these are all minor concerns, which will somehow work themselves out over time at someone else’s cost.  …

The Ontario Municipal Board will soon be no more. Here’s what that means for you
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/omb-planning-appeal-tribunal-development-1.4595608

… the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), the quasi-judicial body that deals with development proposal appeals, will become the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

… The much-criticized OMB was often perceived by municipal councillors and communities as being too deferential to developers.

So in early 2016, the province launched a review of the OMB — spearheaded by Yasir Naqvi, Ontario’s attorney general and the MPP for Ottawa Centre — and held public town halls across the province.

Hundreds of people submitted comments and complaints, leading to the creatively-named Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act 2017, which abolishes the OMB altogether and substitutes the scaled-down LPAT in its place.

Here’s what that may mean for you and your community:

A tale of two tests
Before: The OMB would hear arguments from both sides and make decisions based on what it believed to be the “best” planning outcome, at times overruling the decisions of local councils.
Now: The LPAT will answer a simple “yes or no” legal test — does the proposal follow the city’s official planning rules? If not, the matter will be sent back to municipal councils to issue another decision. The tribunal will not make planning decisions itself. …

More help for the little guy
Before: There were few supports for ordinary citizens, who complained that the costs of participating in matters before the OMB was prohibitive.
After: The establishment of the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre will provide legal and planning help for both citizens and community associations. …

More weight given to local councils
Before: The OMB held de novo (from the beginning) hearings where it would consider the development proposal as though it had never been considered before.
After: All hearings will consider only the decision made by local councils — rather than starting from scratch. …

City council decisions in the spotlight
Before: The OMB sometimes served as a “scapegoat” for council to approve projects that catered to the wants of developers …
After: Accountability. There’s no threat of an OMB appeal if the city council decision adheres to its own planning rules, … — so council will have to “wear its own” decisions.  …

Turning Kitchener’s Victoria Park into an outdoor gym
https://www.therecord.com/news-story/8369022-turning-kitchener-s-victoria-park-into-an-outdoor-gym/

People exercise in Victoria Park by walking, running, hiking and cycling, but they have to hit a gym for a leg press or elliptical machine.

That’s about to change thanks to a group of local residents who’ve made it their mission to install outdoor exercise equipment this summer.

“I think the city does a fabulous job with playgrounds for kids, but I think we need something for adults to exercise on and have fun with as well,” said Barb Ward, a volunteer and health professional whose family actively uses the trails and amenities in and around Victoria Park. …

An outdoor gym consists of sturdy, metal gym equipment that can be used during all seasons by adults and youth.  …

Her group plans to install up to nine pieces of equipment targeting upper and lower body strength, balance, flexibility and cardio, including at least two accessible pieces for those with mobility challenges. …

Ward said her group also applied for other grants and is actively looking for sponsors. The project will be officially announced soon along with a donor recognition plan.

While Ward is confident that construction will get underway in July, it could be done in phases as additional funds are secured.

“To meet safety requirements we need rubberized tiles for fall protection, and we also have to prepare the site which takes up almost $20,000,” she said. “The equipment actually isn’t that expensive, and it’s not the main cost.

“We’re going to have some benches and a bike rack. We need the posting put into cement, and there’s all these extra costs associated.” …

Sun Life sells Westmount Place for $77.8 million 
https://www.therecord.com/news-story/8371493-sun-life-sells-westmount-place-for-77-8-million/

A Halifax-based real estate investment trust has purchased Westmount Place from Sun Life Financial for $77.8 million and says it will focus on the “significant multi-residential opportunity” the site provides.

Killam Apartment REIT bought the mixed-use development because it has all of the key elements it looks for in potential sites for new development — a great neighbourhood, jobs, transit, shopping and entertainment, Philip Fraser, the Halifax-based company’s president and chief executive officer said in a statement.

Westmount Place has 297,000 square feet of space on 14.7 acres of land at Westmount Road and Erb Street West. It includes a grocery store, scheduled to open in September, a pharmacy, medical offices, a bank, a Michaels store and a four-storey office building that houses Sun Life workers.

Most important for Killam, the site has 88,000 square feet of land on the Erb Street side of the property that could be developed with buildings containing up to 600 new apartments. …

Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor among top 20 worldwide 
https://www.therecord.com/news-story/8398212-toronto-waterloo-tech-corridor-among-top-20-worldwide/

The Toronto Waterloo Region Corridor is among the top 20 technology clusters in the world because it links the country’s biggest, most diverse city with one of Canada’s leading centres for innovation, says a global survey.

The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018,  …  says the corridor benefits from the leading research at its 16 universities and colleges, notably the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo, which are recognized internationally for programs in computer science and engineering. …

The corridor is among only three startup ecosystems in the world that is strong in four of the hottest areas — financial technology, artificial intelligence-big data, life sciences and advanced manufacturing-robotics, according to Startup Genome, the Oakland, Calif.-based organization that put out the report. Silicon Valley and New York City are the only other areas that are strong in all four areas. …

Waterloo Region is ranked third in Canada for technology, behind Toronto and Montreal. When it comes to the number of technology workers and the density of startups, Ontario is second only to Silicon Valley. But Silicon Valley dwarfs all challengers when it comes to venture capital. …

Recipe Corner
In honour of the warm weather, sit out on the patio with a jug of Sangria:

Ingredients
1/2 apple, cored, skin on, chopped into small pieces
1/2 orange, rind on, sliced into small pieces, large seeds removed (plus more for garnish)
3-4 Tbsp (41-55 g) brown sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) orange juice, plus more to taste
1/3 cup (80 ml) brandy, plus more to taste
1 750 ml bottle dry red wine
Ice to chill (~1 cup)

Instructions
-Add apples, oranges, and sugar to a large pitcher and stir
-Add orange juice and brandy and stir again to combine
-Add red wine and stir to incorporate, then taste and adjust flavor as needed. Stir to combine.
Add ice and stir once more to chill. Serve as is, or with a bit more ice. Garnish with orange segments (optional).
-Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, though best when fresh.

Events:
May 3rd, Engineering Explorations for grades  1-8, at UW. https://uwaterloo.ca/engineering/events/engineering-explorations?_ga=2.129710988.1037868285.1524159417-65763010.1524159417
May 4th, Star Wars Day
May 4th, International Tuba Day
May 5th, Cinco de Mayo
May 5th, KW Gem and Mineral Show, Waterloo Arts Centre, http://www.calaverite.com/kwgmc/
May 7th, The Canada Lecture on Citizenship with the RH Joe Clark at KPL
May 8th, World Red Cross/Red Crescent Day
May 8th, V-E Day
May 12th, International Nurses Day
May 13th, Mother’s Day
May 15th, Ramadan
May 20th, World Bee Day
May 24th, Victoria Day
May 26th, International Jazz Day
May 26th, Hot Shots Street Hockey Tournament, https://www.facswaterloo.org/hotshots
May 28th, Amnesty International Day
May 31st, World No Tobacco Day

Public to receive monthly updates on LRT
https://www.therecord.com/news-story/8404193-public-to-receive-monthly-updates-on-lrt/

Residents of the region will now receive regular monthly updates on the production status of light rail trains.

Waterloo Region Council supported the action at its meeting Wednesday night, Coun. Sean Strickland suggested the idea. …

“Staff gets weekly production updates from Bombardier, so staff will look at those production reports and put them in a format that will be easily understandable by council and the community and then we’ll release them publicly.” …

“I think it’s important, at this stage in the game, to let the community know more frequently and more openly just what’s happening with their investment in Ion and their investment in Bombardier,” said Strickland.

May Mayhem
What always runs but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats?
A river
What do you get when you cross Lassie with a daisy?
Collie-flower!
Where does the Pillsbury Doughboy sleep?
In a flour bed!

Cindy

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Welcome to April! I’m looking forward to May flowers, but unfortunately we have to go through April showers to get there. Ah well, it’s all part of being Canadian!

Our local real estate market has been quite active, and we do have a shortage of residential properties for sale.  Please let me know if you – or if you know of, anyone looking to sell, as I’d be happy to help!

In K-W in March:
– the average single detached sold for $582,954 in 17 days
–  the average semi-detached sold for $396,932 in 13 days
– the average freehold townhouse sold for $432,399 in 14 days
– the average condo sold for sold for $326,322 in 27 days
– the average list price to sale price was  100.1%

 In mortgages, what’s old is new again – the one week’s salary rule
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/household-finances/in-mortgages-whats-old-is-new-again-the-one-weeks-salary-rule/article38287522/

Back in the good old days – assuming you deem pre-Second World War the good old days – there was a time-honoured maxim. It went like this: “One week’s salary for one month’s mortgage payment.”

That was the measuring stick for how large of a mortgage you should get. It defined a comfortable life whereby your payment would never be big enough to cause ulcers, marriage breakups and other bad stuff.  …

Most new buyers have never heard of the one-week pay rule because one week’s pay stopped buying what it used to. Today, it doesn’t get you to first base in our biggest cities. As of December, the average wage earner making $992.87 a week and putting down 20 per cent could get a $289,000 mortgage with a payment that’s 25 per cent above their weekly earnings.

As years went by, lenders and policy makers catered to home-buyer demand by allowing a bigger percentage of income to be consumed by housing costs. Whereas the old rule of thumb suggested no more than one-quarter of your income should go to housing, the industry let that number rise, up to 39 per cent (or even 50 per cent at pricey non-prime lenders).

The trouble is, not only did debt ratios and allowable amortizations go up, but interest rates went down. So people could take on more and more debt with the same payment size. That’s a concern when rates are falling. But it’s a macroeconomic danger when rates are climbing. …

Seemingly overnight, federal policy makers have taken us back to yesteryear.

By imposing new mortgage stress tests, they’ve required most lenders to use a two-percentage-point higher interest rate when assessing people’s debt-service capacity.

Effectively, that has pushed down the maximum mortgage payment that the average Canadian can be approved for to, you guessed it, about one week’s pay.

High Debt Loads Or Not, Canadians Are Rocking This Mortgage Thing
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/03/02/mortgage-delinquencies-canada_a_23375479/

House prices in many parts of Canada have been soaring for years. Mortgages are growing larger and the number of households with extreme levels of debt is multiplying rapidly.

So you’d think that we would be seeing an increase in the number of households that are having a hard time paying off their mortgages.

Not so. In fact, the opposite is happening. The rate of mortgages in arrears in Canada has fallen to its lowest in more than a decade. Just 0.24 per cent of mortgages were three months or more past due in November of 2017, the latest month for which data is available, according to the Canadian Bankers Association. …

Somehow, the situation is even better in the provinces with the highest house prices. In British Columbia, 0.16 per cent of mortgages were in arrears, the lowest since 2008. And in Ontario, the arrears rate is at an all-time low — a tiny 0.09 per cent.

In other words, just about everyone is making their payments.

There are a number of reasons for this. First and foremost, mortgage rates have been at or near record lows for almost the past decade, helping to keep mortgage payments stable even as house prices rose. We may be taking out huge mortgages, but we’re making relatively small payments on them.

Another likely reason is the 2016 tightening of mortgage rules for those who put down less than 20 per cent. These highest-risk borrowers now have to pass a stress test to ensure they can afford higher rates. So in theory, the most recent crop of borrowers should be better able to handle their debt. …

Emptying the Nest: How Parents are Helping their Kids Buy Homes
https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2018/03/gifting-money-parents-helping-kids-buy-homes/

For parents who have the means to help their kids buy a home in today’s pricey environment, gifting money towards a down payment is one of the best way to do it. … If you’re in a position to help your kids buy a home (and help yourself reclaim your home), you have many options. But a gift—otherwise known as a living inheritance—is among the most sensible. Here are three reasons why:

1. Gifting money makes the most sense for tax reasons. As a baby boomer, you’re in the middle of an unprecedented wealth transfer that CIBC capital markets estimates to be in the range of $750 billion in cash, property and investment holdings. If you’re in the position to not need the money coming to you, that windfall will just amount to a big tax hit. However, if you were to turn around and gift it to your kids, it’s no longer a tax burden for you or them (unlike in the U.S., Canada has no gift tax). …

  1. Gifting money makes the most sense for legacy reasons. … You won’t want to gift that money in the form of straight cash—it would be too easy for your kids to spend it haphazardly.

And you won’t want to gift a piece of property over to your kids. This is seen as a gift of assets “in-kind” and the Canada Revenue Agency will treat the transaction as if you sold the property at fair market value. You’ll be hit with a tax bill for 50 per cent of the capital gains, which could be substantial on an inherited property bought decades ago.

  1. Gifting money makes the most sense for legal reasons. If you want to help your kids with their mortgage and you don’t have the liquidity to hand over a sizeable amount of cash, the other option is to co-sign or guarantee their mortgage. The problem with this approach is varying degrees of liability. By co-signing or guaranteeing the loan, you are assuming responsibility if things go wrong for your child if they can’t pay their mortgage. You can potentially be putting your financial future at stake. …

Gifting a portion or all of the down payment, like gifting anything else, severs the tie you have with the money. None of it belongs to you, nor does the liability that comes with how it will be used.

April Absurdities:

Q: Why are frogs so happy?               A: They eat whatever bugs them
Q: When do people start using their trampoline?                   A: Spring-Time
Waterloo Region maintains highest credit score possible
http://www.570news.com/2018/03/14/waterloo-region-maintains-highest-credit-score-possible/

A major rating agency is maintaining Waterloo Region’s credit score at the highest level — and it could mean big savings.

Moody’s Investors Service has awarded the region with a triple-A credit rating, based on what is calls a “diverse and wealthy” local economy, positive operating results, and strong management practices. …

The triple-A rating is the highest available, and one Waterloo Region has maintained for 18 years.

So, it seems what’s old is new again. Whether it was Ottawa’s intention or not, they’ve single-handedly brought us back to a quaint historic metric: “One week’s salary for one month’s mortgage payment.”

April Recipe – as April is Earth Month, here’s one to get us thinking of healthy snacks:

Sea Salt and Garlic Kale Chips
– 1 medium-sized bunch of kale washed and dried very well
– 2 tsp olive oil
– a pinch or two of salt
–  a pinch of garlic powder

Instructions
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry one bunch of kale, making sure the leaves are completely dry. If there’s any moisture left on the leaves you’ll end up with soggy kale chips.

Rip the leaves off the stems and away from the chewy veins of the kale and into chip-sized pieces.Arrange the pieces of kale on an unlined baking sheet.

Drizzle the olive oil as evenly over the kale as possible. Using your hands, gently massage the oil into the kale leaves” at first it may not seem that 2 teaspoons of oil will be enough but adding more oil will only add too much moisture. If you find you need a tiny bit more oil, add it one drop at a time.

Once you’ve finished massaging the kale, sprinkle a pinch or two of sea salt and a pinch of garlic powder over the kale and add the pan to your preheated oven.

Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan, flipping any pieces that are starting to look crispy and bake for another 10-15 minutes, watching the pan closely for the last 7-8 minutes to prevent over browning. Remove the pan from the oven and leave the kale chips on the pan for 3-5 minutes before serving to they can crisp up even more.

Events:
– April 7, International Pillow Fight Day – there’s a community pillow fight at Victoria Park in Kitchener
– April 7, Elmira Maple Syrup Festival
– April 7, UN World Health Day
– April 8, Outsider Art Show, Kitchener City Hall
– April 13 – it’s a Friday!
– April 13, Scrabble Day
– April 13-14, ScrapFest 2018; Kit. Auditorium http://www.scrapfest.ca/
– April 13-15, K-W Weavers and Spinners Show and Sale; Waterloo Rec Centre
– April 15, World Art  Day
– April 15-22, CANstruction, Conestoga Mall
– April 16, Save the Elephants Day
– April 20, Volunteer Recognition Day
– April 20-21, 54th Annual Used Book Sale, First United Church, Waterloo
– April 25th, World Penguin Day
– April 28, Earth Day, activities at Kiwanis Park and Laurel Creek

Buckle up for busy road work season in the region
https://www.therecord.com/news-story/8334027-buckle-up-for-busy-road-work-season-in-the-region/

Commuters who rely on Weber Street to quickly bypass central Kitchener should soon start looking for another route.

Traffic will be snarled on that main roadway during a two-year reconstruction from Borden Avenue to Queen Street that will reduce Weber to single lane westbound and close eastbound traffic in parts as the work is underway. …

Work is slated to last from this spring until fall 2019 at a cost of $8.585 million. …

Work will focus on the southern half of Weber below Cedar Street this year, then the other half headed into the core next year. The detour route will direct traffic onto King.

Weber Street in Waterloo will also be reduced to a single lane in each direction from Union Street to Erb Street for watermain work, scheduled from summer to fall.

These numbers aren’t trash: Green bin use up 120 % a year after garbage pick-up changes
http://www.570news.com/2018/03/20/numbers-arent-trash-green-bin-use-120-year-garbage-pick-changes/

It has been a year since Waterloo Region began its new bi-weekly garbage pick-up program and now it’s being called a major success.

Last March, the region switched to bi-weekly garbage pick-up with weekly blue box and green bin collection.

Green bin use has sky rocketed 120 per cent over the first nine months of the program.

Blue box recycling has improved by 8 per cent and yard waste pick up increased by 4 per cent.

The end result is 29 per cent less waste ending up in the landfill. …

Are you following me on FaceBook? I tend to post a lot of items on my page – community events, road closures, new buildings going up, mortgage information – it’s not just real estate information!  Cindy Metcalf – Facebook.

Cindy

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e had committed. The lion simply answered “pride”.

Don’t forget to like my Facebook business page! Cindy Metcalf.  I post all kinds of news – not just real estate, but community events, new developments, road closures, and anything else which strikes me as interesting.

Cindy

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I only keep three months of newsletters on line, any longer and the information contained therein is likely out of date.

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