Interest rate cut more likely as Canadian exports stumble

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Toronto-Dominion is the latest major bank to declare a recession in Canada, saying the “balance of probabilities” has tipped in favour of another quarter-point rate cut next week.

“It is likely the economy was in recession in the first half of the year,” thanks to the damage from a collapse in oil and commodity prices that has persisted since 2014, senior economist Randall Bartlett said in a note to investors Monday.

Echoing a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch on July 1, Bartlett said the Bank of Canada will probably cut its 0.75 per cent key interest rate at its July 15 meeting and maintain the historically low rate until mid-2017. That will probably keep Canada’s exchange rate below 80 U.S. cents through this year, he added.

Bartlett said gross domestic product output likely fell by about 1.0 per cent in the first three months of 2015 and by 0.6 per cent in the second quarter. He said the second half is likely to be weaker than expected and will moderate annual real GDP growth to around 1.2 per cent for all of 2015.

That would mark the weakest pace of real GDP growth outside of a recession in more than 20 years.

Bartlett said growth is tracking well below the 1.9 per cent pace expected by the Bank of Canada with the first half rate roughly 1.8 percentage points below the bank’s latest forecast.

He added that some aspects of the economy have been surprisingly resilient, with the labour market posting advances in months when GDP has contracted.

In a separate note, TD Securities’ chief Canada macro strategist David Tulk said forecasters have underestimated the impact of the oil price decline on the Canadian economy, calling the shock “longer-lived and larger” than expected.

Meanwhile, the August contract for crude plunged $4.40 to close at $52.53 (U.S.) a barrel Monday on the prospect of increased oil output from Iran and worries over Greece.

The Canadian dollar was down for a fifth consecutive trading day, losing 0.58 of a U.S. cent to 79.04 cents as traders anticipate a second rate cut following a surprise 25 basis point reduction in January that was intended to stimulate the economy.

The Bank of Canada reported Monday that business sentiment for future sales growth remained “weak” in the second quarter as Canada’s energy industry struggled with an oil shock. Crude oil is the country’s top export and Statistics Canada also said Monday companies intend to cut capital investment by 18.7 per cent this year in the oil and gas, mining and quarrying category.

TD’s forecast runs counter to the Canadian government’s view. Citing optimism from manufacturers and consumers, Finance Minister Joe Oliver said last Friday that the economy is poised for a rebound and won’t fall into recession. The latest Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, which last week remained close to the 2015 high, supports Oliver’s view however his office declined a request for comment Monday.

 

–  The Toronto Star

TOP 22 Reasons To Live In Mississauga!

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22.  It still has a lot of growth opportunities ahead! The future looks promising!

21.  The former mayor, Hazel McCallion has won mayoral elections since 1978- this makes her the nation’s longest serving mayor, retiring after 36 years in 2014.

20.  Very close proximity to Pearson International Airport.

19.  Home to two large hospitals run by Trillium Health Partners – Credit Valley Hospital and Mississauga Hospital.

18.  Home to over 40 major Canadian headquarters, and top international and Fortune 500 corporations (including General Electric, General Mills, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Samsung, Canon, Whirlpool, Mattel, Oracle, Baxter, Chevron, Loblaws, Patheon, Pepsi, Honeywell, FedEx, GlaxoSmithKline Inc., RBC and TD Bank Financial Groups, Peel District School Board, Canada Revenue Agency etc.)

17.  Home to a well renowned university campus (University of Toronto – Mississauga) and a major college (Sheridan College). It is within commuting distance to 10 major Ontario Universities and 11 colleges.

16.  The city still looks and feels “new”(other than the HWY 10 and Dundas area).

15.  There is still lots of vacant land that has not been touched in the downtown core –opportunities for growth.

14.  It has one of the largest clusters of ethnic groups in Canada, and very diverse neighborhoods (we all get along well).

13.  It has the tallest Marylyn Monroe structure in the world.

12.  It has more than 480 parks, 12 City owned/operated Arenas, and 18 Branches of the Mississauga Library System.

11.  Parking is plentiful.

10.  It probably has more movie theatres per capita than any other city in the world.

9.  This city is so great it has 4 downtown cores: Square One (Main), Port credit (Southside), HWY 10/Dundas (Central) and Streetsville (Eastside).

8.  3rd largest transit system in Ontario -routes throughout the City connect with the TTC, Oakville Transit and all GO Transit stations. GO Transit operates 3 of its major train lines through Mississauga that provide frequent service to Toronto and surrounding areas.

7.  Excellent highway connections can get you to the U.S. border in less than 2 hours.

6.  The only city in the GTA that is serviced by all major highways -401, 403, QEW, 407, and 410. This can get you to any end of the city fast!

5.  It has the third largest mall in Canada, and one of the largest malls in Ontario (Square One Shopping Centre). With over 360 stores and services. It is welcoming new anchor stores including: Holt Renfrew and Simons.

4.  There is 22km of waterfront on Lakeshore.

3.  26,000 residents live in just the “City Centre” area of Mississauga (surrounding square one).

2.  It is Ontario’s 3rd largest city and the 6th largest city in Canada (752,000 population as of 2013).

1.  Canada’s safest City 9 years in a row.

 

References:

http://www.livemississauga.ca/facts-about-mississauga/
http://www.mississauga.ca/file/COM/A_Great_Place_to_Live.pdf
http://www.insauga.com/25-reasons-why-mississauga-is-the-ish
http://vandyk.com/10-reasons-to-live-in-mississauga/
http://www.mississauga.ca/file/COM/Top_Employers.pdf

Mississauga Home to New Toronto Raptors NBA D-League Team – Raptors 905

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The City of Mississauga welcomes the Toronto Raptors’ new National Basketball Association Development League (NBA D-League) franchise, Raptors 905, to Mississauga.

A partnership between the City of Mississauga, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) and the Toronto Raptors will see the Raptors 905 play their home games at the City’s Hershey Centre starting this fall.

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“We are thrilled to welcome the Raptors 905 to Mississauga. Our city has always been a leader and it is an honour to be the home of Canada’s first NBA D-League team,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Mississauga has a strong sporting community and through a new partnership with MLSE and the Toronto Raptors, we will continue to strengthen this community and promote basketball with our youth. We will also raise the profile of sport in Mississauga and attract basketball fans from across the GTA and beyond to our great city.”

“We are excited about entering into this partnership with the City of Mississauga,” said Masai Ujiri, Toronto Raptors President & General Manager. “Thank you to Mayor Bonnie Crombie and City Council for your co-operation. The popularity of basketball is growing rapidly across the 905 region and we are thrilled that Mississauga will be at the centre of this movement.”

In addition to games at the Hershey Centre, the City of Mississauga, MLSE and the Toronto Raptors will work together to deliver a variety of community-based programming including local basketball events and outreach initiatives.

“We know the value and benefit sport provides. This partnership with MLSE and the Raptors will have a positive impact on our city and help us build strong and healthy communities,” Crombie said. “It offers fans another exciting, affordable, family-friendly sports entertainment option right here in Mississauga.”

Fed Up With Bank Fees? Negotiate and Shop Around.

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Complaining about bank fees is a bit like complaining about the weather. We all do it.  But unlike the weather, those in the know say Canadians can do something about the fees they pay their bank with a little negotiating and shopping around.

Alterna Savings branch manager Angela Dzinas said someone with more than one account as well as a mortgage and a line of credit all with the same bank may be in a position to have some fees waived.

Loyalty counts a lot with financial institutions, so the more products and services you have with us does count for something,” Dzinas says.

“We typically try to work with our members and customers to deliver a package and a product that suits them and saves them money.”

But keeping fees to a minimum means picking the right account and that starts with understanding what you need.

Dzinas said you should think about often you use your bank card and what you use the account for. How often do you take out money from a bank machine and how often do you pay using your debit card? Do you need cheques? How many do you write?

For some, an account with no monthly fee that offers relatively few free transactions each month might be the right choice, while for others an account with a higher monthly fee, but more or unlimited transactions might end up being cheaper.

The editor of RateSupermarket.ca, which helps you compare bank fees and mortgage rates, said while a monthly fee may not seem like much, they can add up over time.

“If you’re paying let’s say $10 per account per month and you stay with the bank for a number of years, you’re potentially looking at thousands of dollars that you’re spending on fees,” Penelope Graham said.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has an online tool to help you review the various options offered by Canada’s big banks and other financial institutions.

The website includes 243 products from 30 financial institutions and is updated regularly by banks and credit unions.

Agency spokeswoman Natasha Nystrom says the online tool allows you to narrow your search by account type and feature and then compare them.

“It is up to the consumer to really take a look and take an informed decision as to which account would best meet their needs and according to their habits,” she said.

Nystrom suggested Canadians looking to save may want to consider accounts that require a minimum balance, but carry no or a lower fee, or look for discounts if you have more than one account or financial product with a bank.

She says you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions about things you don’t understand and be careful to read the fine print for your account.

“Really take the time to read your terms and conditions, to understand what you’re getting into,” she said.

The Royal Bank sparked outrage earlier this year when it decided to raise its fees including a change that will charge customers a fee to make a mortgage or other preauthorized payment if the customer had already used up all of their free transactions for a month.

However, the Royal Bank wasn’t alone. All of Canada’s big banks raised at least some of their fees by a lesser or greater degree in recent months.

But there are alternatives to the big banks including credit unions and online banks.

“The competitive landscape is much broader than it ever was,” Dzinas says.

Canada Day in Mississauga

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In Mississauga on Canada Day here is what’s open/closed and all the fireworks and events on Wednesday July 1, 2015. Canada Day is the biggest celebration day of the year in Mississauga with celebrations happening in the 3 following areas:

Celebration Square

Streetsville

Port Credit

What’s open in Mississauga on Canada Day?

Open:
Square One Shopping Centre is open from 11am to 6pm
Wal-mart Supercentre will be open at Square One
Whole Foods Market Square One is open 10am to 7pm
Some smaller grocery stores like Rabba
Most Shoppers Drug Marts
Playdium 10am to 11pm
Living Arts Centre 12pm to 4pm
Art Gallery of Mississauga 12pm to 4pm
Mississauga Chinese Centre
Movie theatres

Whats closed in Mississauga on Canada Day?

All major grocery stores (Metro, Loblaws and even T&T)
All Major Malls (except for Square One)
Heartland and other power centres
Banks
Libraries
Community Centres
LCBO
Beer Store
All levels of government offices
City hall
No mail delivery
Garbage and recycling (blue box, green bin and yard waste) will be collected one day later
Transit

What Other malls are open in the GTA? 

– Bramalea City Centre (11-6)
– Vaughan Mills (10-7)
– Eaton Centre (10-6)
– Pacific Mall

Canada Day Events and Fireworks:
Mississauga Celebration Square
Port Credit
Streetsville

Mississauga Condo Market Outlook 1st Quarter 2015

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Summary of 1st quarter condo sales in the Mississauga City Centre Area:

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The average price for a condo in the first quarter of 2015 was $298,451, while the median price was $265,000.  Listings lasted an average of 37 days on the market before they were sold.

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Peel region had accounted for 14% of all condo sales in the GTA.

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2 Bedroom plus den condo’s seemed to be the most popular condos to buy and sell, and the average selling price was considerably higher than the median price.

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The One Bedroom plus den and 2 Bedroom plus den condos had the most transactions in the first quarter of 2015.  The amount of transactions in the $200,000 -$299,000 outweighed every other price range.  2 bedroom plus den condos were preferred by buyers while 1 bedroom plus den condos followed shortly behind.

The Rental Market in Mississauga showed great results.  The Vacancy rate was down to 1.2% and 25% of units in the city centre area were listed for rent.   The number of units listed for rent was down in comparison to 2014 while the number of units actually rented was higher then last year.   

In Summary, market statistics showed strength in One bedroom plus den and 2 bedroom plus den units in the Mississauga City Centre area.  The most popular prince range was in the $200,000’s.  Vacancy rates were low and the rental market showed strong gains.

Strategic Plan: The Future of Mississauga Celebration Square

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On June 3rd,  General Committee, City Council learned about a strategic plan for Mississauga Celebration Square (MCS) that focuses on five goals which are as follows:

• Mississauga Celebration Square will be a leading civic square;
• Mississauga Celebration Square will grow and attract events with tourism appeal;
• Mississauga Celebration Square will be a showcase for digital technology;
• Mississauga Celebration Square will be a welcome community space; and
• Mississauga Celebration Square will be a stage for creative industry development

“These goals provide us with a clear vision for the Square over the next 10 years,” said Paul Damaso, acting director, Culture Division, City of Mississauga. “They will help guide us on matters related to operations, capital investment and future programming priorities.”

To achieve these strategic goals, the City has committed to a number of activities which include

• Produce the premier Canada Day celebration in the Greater Toronto Area. Timeframe: Two to three years.

• Produce a winter lighting program that will position Mississauga’s downtown as a winter destination. Timeframe: Two to three years.

• Facilitate ways for audiences within Mississauga and beyond to experience programming remotely through television broadcasting and internet streaming. Timeframe: Two to three years.

• Undertake a design strategy to continuously improve site navigation and accessibility for all. Timeframe: Two to three years.

• Incorporate functional public art to provide seating, shade, fountains, play equipment, etc. Timeframe: Two to three years.

According to Damaso, the project team connected with more than 1,100 MCS visitors through two online surveys and talked to more than 50 municipal staff. They met with the Mayor and each member of Council. They also engaged more than 20 arts and culture organizations, clients, local partners and subject matter experts through focus groups and individual meetings.

“Our vision is to make Mississauga Celebration Square the premier venue for outdoor events, creative expression and memorable experiences,” said Melissa Agius, manager, Celebration Square, Culture Division, City of Mississauga. “More food options, an expanded reading room and children’s programming are examples of what we will see more of on the Square in the future.”

Council also learned about a public art piece entitled The Book by artist Ilan Sandler that was donated to the City in December 2014. Council will provide direction on location for the piece in the fall.

The corporate report will go to council on June 10 for approval.

Background

Following a $40 million redevelopment in 2011, Mississauga Celebration Square (MCS) is an outdoor public square and state-of-the-art multi-media event venue complete with a permanent main stage, amphitheater and water fountain that transforms into Mississauga’s largest outdoor skating rink each winter.

Mississauga Celebration Square hosts a dynamic mix of free events and festivals throughout the year. The summer season offers an eclectic variety of events, including weekly movie nights and fitness classes, concerts, Canada Day and New Year’s Eve celebrations, food truck rallies and much more. In addition to a programmed venue, the square serves as a “living room” for local residents by providing space for passive recreation and gathering. In 2014, MCS attracted over 580,000 visitors to 55 events held over 143 days.

The Pan Am Flame is Coming to Mississauga

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Join in the spirit of the Games as the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay makes its way through Mississauga on Sunday,  June 14,  2015.

Submit “Being part of the Torch Relay will be a memorable moment that families and residents will always cherish,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “This is a momentous occasion for the City to come together, celebrate our passion for athleticism and culture, and to be part of Mississauga history. To look back and say we were there when the Pan Am flame came to our community will be a tremendous experience for everyone involved.”

Torchbearers will each complete a 200-metre segment in the 7.6 km relay from Mississauga Celebration Square to Port Credit Memorial Park.  Three Mississauga community members will carry the flame: Shivhoun De Melo, Jack Ranieri and former mayor Hazel McCalllion.  McCallion will complete a special water route along the Credit River.   At 94 years of age, McCallion will be one of the oldest torchbearers along the 41-day torch relay journey.

What:

TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay in Mississauga

When and Where:

Sunday,  June 14,  2015

9 a.m. Kick Off at Mississauga Celebration Square:
Free refreshments and snacks brought to you by The Real Canadian Superstore and The Cold Pressery.
Fun for the whole family.
Gymnastics Mississauga demonstrations.
Mississauga Power Basketball and Entertainment to celebrate the Pan Am Spirit of the Games.

11 a.m. The Flame arrives at Mississauga Celebration Square:
Watch history unfold as the TO2015 Pan Am flame arrives.  Jack Ranieri, community torchbearer is the first Mississauga resident to carry the flame!

11:30 a.m. Torch Relay:  Will travel south on Hurontario Street to the Mississauga Waterfront Festival in Port Credit Memorial Park.  Grab your spot along Hurontario and cheer on our torchbearers as the flame travels to Port Credit Memorial Park.

1 p.m. Day Celebration at Port Credit Memorial Park:
In partnership with the Mississauga Waterfront Festival, celebrate the arrival of the Pan Am flame! The community cauldron will be lit and the celebration begins with performances by headliners illScarlett and Carlos Bastidas!

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Mississauga’s Square One Southwest Expansion Under Way!

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Square One Shopping Centre acts as a large hub for downtown Mississauga.  Located right off Highway 403 and Hurontario Street,(also known was Highway 10) the mall lies right at the growing downtown core of the young city. With recent and ongoing condominium developments surrounding Square One, the shopping centre has been catering to the needs of the growing population and demand. In 2013, Square One renovated the mall’s common areas, entrances, restrooms, and elevators.  New retailers that opened last Fall included Ann Taylor, White House Black Market and Topman/Topshop within Hudson’s Bay.

2013 also saw much construction on the mall’s northwest expansion which will add several more stores to the mall later this year.  Now, Ontario’s largest mall is about to get larger still with the addition of an expansion to the southwest which will include a high-end Canadian retailer.

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A flagship Holt Renfrew department store will open at Square One in Spring 2016.  Work is now under way for the 120,000 square foot space designed by Janson Goldstein at a cost of $320M. Taking up just under half of the ground space of the southwest expansion, the addition of the new department store is further enhancing the premium shopping experience that Square One has to offer. “It is important to us to grow Oxford’s existing long term relationship with Holt Renfrew, and we believe the addition of this world-class luxury retailer will elevate Square One’s offerings and further entrench its outstanding reputation. This represents a win for Holt Renfrew, a win for Square One, a win for our customer base and a win for the City” said Blake Hutcheson, President of Oxford Properties.

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A First-Time Buyer Comeback?

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2015 got off to a snowy and sluggish start for residential markets. While running at a faster clip than at the same time 12 months earlier, January’s closing activity clocked in markedly lower compared to the final months of 2014.

Sure, the severe weather experienced by much of the country had a hand in the tepid performance—an annual pace of just 4.8 million sales. But other factors, apart from the season, could be restricting home sales.

First, buyers are not excited by their choices. Inventories are low and falling. The supply of homes fell in January for the second straight month on a year-over-year basis, after having risen for 16 straight months, and are far below what the market needs. Larger inventories not only help to motivate buyers, they also keep prices from rising too quickly.

But the news is not all grim. Demand for new construction is rising, and with it the need for workers. Homebuilders, who have been scrambling to find skilled laborers, may find a larger available pool as hard-hat workers leave the slowing oil drilling industry in favor of construction, which is experiencing wage hikes. As a result, we could see a 30 percent increase in new-home sales this year.

Second, there could be a change in lifestyle as young adult households—millennials—settle in as renters. Does this generation prefer not to be tied down? It’s too early to tell.  The home ownership rate—now at 64 percent —is at its lowest level in more than 20 years.

Practitioners are seeing more activity from buyers as interest rates remain low and financing becomes easier to obtain, at least in some markets.

This phenomenon may have little to do with lifestyle choices and more to do with economic realities. After all, the number of millennials—those in their 20s and early 30s—-living with their parents is at sky-high levels, and it’s doubtful that staying with mom and dad is their idea of freedom. More likely, they’ve felt -hampered trying to find stable, good-paying jobs, let alone obtain mortgage financing in today’s overly strict environment.But there are hopeful signs here as well.  Jobs and wages are steadily improving. The mortgage credit box is opening up a bit.

When you look at these trends along with the improving prospects for home construction amid a strengthening economy and continuing low interest rates, first-time buyers could be poised for a comeback in 2015. Overall, we could see a good year ahead. The formation of more new households is something parents, as well as their young adult children, can smile about.