What type of floor to pick?

Floor heating. Young woman walking in the house on the warm floor. Gently walked the wooden panels.

In your own condo, every part counts. From the floor to the ceiling, you want to have everything right. One of the most visible improvements you can make is to redo your floors – nothing upgrades your place faster than changing the dingy, cheap-looking wall-to-wall carpeting that came with your condo to nice new floor. Let’s look at some of the common flooring options and evaluate the pros and cons of each type.

Hardwood

Hardwood is milled from a single layer of timber, which is what makes it stand out from other types of wood floors. The most popular types of wood flooring include oak, hickory, maple and walnut.

Hardwood floors are extremely durable and very easy to clean. In addition, they can be sanded and refinished several times to have a sleek and updated look. They can give your home a luxurious and earthy feeling and they can be a powerful selling point if you ever want to move.

The negative aspects of hardwood floors are that they are very costly and require a lot of time and effort to install. They are not DIY-friendly because this flooring can expand or shrink during the warmer and colder seasons, so correct  installation is a must.

Cork

Cork is derived from the barks of cork oak. It adds an earthy feeling to the floor and has earned some comparison with wooden flooring. Its eco-friendliness has given it an edge over non-natural materials.

This type of flooring might be ideal for you since it’s resistant to both moisture and wear. Also, it’s easy to keep in good condition and cleaning it requires little effort.

On the minus side this type of flooring is somewhat expensive and if it’s not finished right it can absorb water.

Floating wood tiles

Well, if you have not already heard of this material it is because it is relatively new. Floating wood tiles are made of a synthetic material that replicates the look of natural floor materials, such as stone and wood. The tiles are laminated for durability.

This flooring is very DIY-friendly; easy to install and uses a lock-in technology that doesn’t require any adhesive. In addition, if the floor gets damaged, floating wood tiles can easily be replaced. It is also a cheaper material that still offers a natural feel.

The big negative of this type of flooring is that it can be very slippery when wet. Also, it cannot be refinished like real hardwood or stone.

Bamboo

Bamboo is another durable and eco-friendly option. It’s also very easy to clean and maintain.

The most visible problem with bamboo flooring is that the color often fades over time due to sunlight. It’s also very susceptible to water damage and the adhesive used for this flooring can release harmful compounds.

Engineered wood

Engineered wood is referred to as composite wood and can be confused with hardwood. However, engineered wood is different in that it only has a thin veneer of hardwood on top of several layers of wood. Engineered wood flooring typically comes pre-laminated.

The benefits of this type of flooring are that it can be installed quickly and easily. Also, it is more resistant to moisture than hardwood flooring. Engineered wood flooring can be used over several different types of flooring, such as concrete and padding.

The problem with this type of flooring is that there are very limited options for refinishing and it’s not as durable as natural hardwood. Also, the edges can allow some water to come in.

Natural stone

Natural rocks can be precisely cut and used as flooring materials. Some of the common types of stones used are slate, granite, and limestone.

The positives of natural stones are that they add a timeless natural feeling to your home. Also, this type of flooring improves with age. Out of all the flooring options, this type of flooring is the most durable option.

The big negative stone flooring is that it’s very hard on your feet if it is in an area where you have to stand a lot. It also requires careful maintenance and can be very pricey. Also, when wet, stone flooring can be very slippery and danger for falls.

Porcelain/ceramic tiles

This type of flooring has been a very popular choice among people for centuries. Porcelain and ceramic tiles come in dizzying array of styles and patterns.

The positives of having porcelain and ceramic tiles is that the damaged areas can quickly be fixed. Also, it’s easy to clean.  This flooring is very durable and can withstand a lot of weight.

On the minus side, this option is not ideal for a living room. Any type of glass object will break if it’s dropped on porcelain or ceramic tiles.

Vinyl

Vinyl is the least pricey flooring material available for your home. For those with a small budget for house décor, this is the best way to go.

The positive aspects of vinyl are that it’s quite inexpensive and very DIY-friendly to install. Also, it’s easy to clean and very water resistant. In addition, the chemicals and the process used to make vinyl release less harmful chemicals than some other DIY flooring options.

Carpeting

Wall-to-wall carpeting is another flooring material that offers a a wide range of colors, styles, and patterns to choose from. Carpeting can be made from both synthetic and natural materials.

Carpeting provides a good noise dampener, so many highrise condos come with carpeting and the condo association may even require that certain portion of floors are carpeted. Carpeting also keeps your home warmer and cozier during the winter.

Installation of wall-to-wall carpeting is not a DIY project, but requires professional installation. Other negatives of carpeting are that they can wear out quickly when placed in high traffic areas and they stain easily. The maintenance requires frequent vacuuming, occasional cleaning with special shampooing equipment or hiring of an expensive carpet cleaning service.

Well, if you have been wondering what kind of flooring to use for your home, you now have a better idea of your options. With the positives and negatives of each type of flooring, your decision will be easy. Just make sure that when you compare the cost of different flooring materials, you also include the cost of labor that goes into the installation.

I want to buy a house that has a tenant but I don’t want to be a landlord

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I’m seriously thinking about buying a house that has a tenant, but I don’t want to become a landlord. What are my options?

Any time you buy or sell a property that houses tenants, it’s important to remember: a) tenants have rights, and b) the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board takes those rights very seriously.

If you buy a house with a tenant who you don’t want to keep, talk to a real estate salesperson who has handled similar transactions.
If you buy a house with a tenant who you don’t want to keep, talk to a real estate salesperson who has handled similar transactions.  (DREAMSTIME)

I recommend speaking to a lawyer who understands landlord and tenant issues, and working closely with a real estate salesperson who has handled similar transactions. Be sure to ask specific questions about their experience when you interview potential candidates.

The Real Estate Council of Ontario regulates the conduct of real estate salespeople, brokers and brokerages. We don’t adjudicate landlord and tenant cases, but we expect anyone who is registered with us to be aware of all relevant laws — including the fundamentals of the Residential Tenancies Act.

A landlord has the right to put their property up for sale at any time, and a tenant can’t prevent potential buyers from viewing their home. But there are some defined rules on the subject. For example, a tenant must receive at least 24 hours of advance written notice before a showing, and it can only occur between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. You’re not allowed to photograph the property while it is occupied by a tenant unless they provide their express consent.

You mentioned that you don’t want to become a landlord. If you decide to purchase the house, it’s a good idea to obtain a copy of the tenant’s lease so you know how long they have been living in the building, and the terms of the agreement. You can’t evict the tenant until and unless their lease has expired. If the tenant is paying month-to-month — meaning the lease has expired — you must give them adequate notice to vacate the property.

As the owner, you are allowed to evict the tenant if you plan on living in their unit, or allowing a family member to use it. But you or the family member must intend to live there, and you’ll have to provide compensation and sufficient notice.

It’s illegal for a homebuyer to evict a tenant under a false claim of the “Landlord’s Own Use” rule. If you evict your tenant and they find out you weren’t truthful, the tenant could sue you for moving costs and the higher rent paid at their new home. Moreover, the Ontario Rental Housing Enforcement Unit may investigate the matter and press charges.

Check out the Landlord and Tenant Board website if you wish to learn more about a landlord’s rights and responsibilities.

How Often Should You Look at Your Zestimate?

Stacks of coins in a growth real estate concept.

To hear the real estate portals tell it, you should track your home’s value on a weekly basis, and sign up for all their email reports so you know the local market inside-and-out. You can do it via Zillow, Redfin or Trulia.

If that sounds like a lot of busy work, that’s because it is. You’re tracking a theoretical value based on other comparable sales, without having any offers in hand or even the desire to sell your place.

A thought experiment: if you knew your home’s value went up $10,000 over the past month, as computed by an algorithm, would you sell? What if the estimated value of your home dropped by $4,000? Would that have any impact on your day-to-day life? The answer in both cases is probably no.

That’s not to say that having a rough estimate of your home’s value isn’t important. In some instances, it can be. But in most cases, checking your home’s value quarterly is plenty, and checking every year is usually totally fine.

Sometimes knowing your home’s value is important

You actually are considering selling. Yes, then looking at the Zestimate makes sense. But you’ll also want to consult with several real estate agents, to get their opinion on what your condo could sell for, as well as look at comparable recent sales within your building.

You’re considering taking out a home equity loan. You’re borrowing money based on how much of your condo you own. If the condo has gone up in value, you can borrow a larger amount. That’s worth knowing. An online estimate can be a good start, but you’ll need a formal appraisal to appease the bank.

Your property tax bill. The amount of your property taxes is based on the value of your home. While an online estimator likely has no standing with your local tax jurisdiction, it can tell you whether the assessor has properly valued your place. If not, you might use that information to do more research and ultimately file an appeal.

You have private mortgage insurance (PMI). If you put down less than 20 percent on your place, your bank usually requires you to carry PMI. That’s costing you extra money each month and in most cases you can stop paying it as soon as you have 20 percent equity in your home. If your home’s value shot up, you might have that right now. Knowing that means you can contact your bank, get a new appraisal and stop paying extra earlier than expected.

Sometimes checking value isn’t vital, but can still be useful

The market is changing substantially. You probably don’t need a valuation to tell you what’s up, but it can provide valuable confirmation about your neighborhood. Is it gentrifying? Or are values dropping, as you see more foreclosures? Knowing that can affect your long-term life plans.

You’re worried you might be underwater. Being underwater means you owe more on your home than it’s worth. That means you’d have to pay money to sell your place – getting an algorithm’s thoughts can tell you if you’re in danger of this. Usually this is only a problem during a major housing crash.

You want to tote up your net worth. Financial experts say it’s a good idea to assess your savings, debt, spending and assets about once a year. It’s a good way to review your financial goals and habits. Knowing how much your home is worth is part of that.

Relax and focus on long view!

There’s almost no situation where checking your home’s value every week – or even every month – will serve you well. Doing so might be fun and a little addictive, but like much online, it could also make you a bit neurotic or obsessive about it.

The situations where you really need an estimate – like when you’re ready to sell, or you want to tap your equity – you’ll also need a more formal estimate, done by an appraiser or a real estate agent.

So, check your home’s value every once in a while, just to keep tabs on it, but there’s really no reason to make it a habit.

Do you need an extra bedroom?

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Do You Need An Extra Bedroom?

Condo hunting will bring a lot of options to consider. If you have extra money to spend on payments each month, one of those options may be choosing a place with an extra bedroom, whether that means you choose a 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom. But, do you really need the spare space, or would the cash be better? Here are some questions to help you decide.

Are you moving in with your SO?

No matter how close you are with your significant other, moving in together will teach you a LOT about your partner, and very quickly. When I first moved in with my SO, he had a one-bedroom, and we felt cramped with stuff, plus there wasn’t anywhere to spend personal/alone time. Adding a second bedroom to our next condo was a game-changer. Not only was the floor plan more spacious, but the extra bedroom serves as an office space as well as bedroom for guests, meaning we can take some quiet time apart there.

Does moving in with your SO mean you NEED two bedrooms? No way! But be sure to consider the floor plan of your new place and try to decide if the area gives you enough space to breathe.

Do you often have overnight guests?

Hosting overnight guests is one of the best things about having a 2-bedroom condo, because your guests get a comfortable space and privacy. I’ve found that friends are much more excited to come visit now that they are ensured a bed instead of a spot on the floor! Plus, friends stay overnight more often, even just after a late-night dinner party, because it’s more convenient.

Again, you don’t need an extra bedroom to host friends and family in your condo. If you’re tight on space, consider investing in an air mattress, or even just a few extra pillows and blankets if the need arises.

Do you love to entertain friends and family? 

If you’re a big entertainer (like me!), look for living spaces that are more spacious, whether in a second bedroom or in the living room/dining area. Often, multiple-bedroom floor plans include more common space, which may be worthwhile for you. Space is crucial in your condo, especially when there are multiple people over!

Are you able to work from home?

This is a key question, because your second bedroom can easily convert to an at-home office with the addition of a desk and chair. If you’re able to work from home some days during the week, you’ll save commuting money by relying on your home office. Yes, you can be productive at your bar or kitchen table or sofa, but nothing compares to having a haven to focus and get work done.

Where would this help me save money?

Consider ways to use your second bedroom to help you save money. Can you use it as a home gym (and cut out your gym memberships)? Save money on commuting to work? Save money on travel by hosting friends at your place instead?

A second bedroom can add significantly to your monthly housing costs, but if you are comfortable in your budget and have the funds available, it could be worth it to improve your condo experience. Plus, if it makes you too tight on money, you can always move into a smaller space if you find you don’t use the extra room!

Moving Out: Apartment Showing Etiquette

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Are you moving from one apartment to another? If you’re in a complex or building with limited open units, your landlord will likely want to start showing your apartment to prospective renters while you are still living there. This gives the landlord a chance to fill your apartment’s vacancy before you’ve moved out, meaning if you move out on April 1, they can secure a new tenant in March who will move in April 15. Although your behavior  shouldn’t affect your security deposit, it’s always best to leave your landlord with a positive impression, in case your next landlord asks them about your track record. When the landlord schedules a showing of your apartment, consider these quick etiquette tips.

Ask your landlord to schedule apartment showings well in advance

Your landlord should have this listed in your lease, but ask them for some advance notice before they plan to show your apartment and have them confirm that the date and time works for you. By understanding their showing schedule, you can determine when to clean up and ensure your place is presentable.

Pick up your belongings

Even if you keep your apartment neat and tidy, take a few minutes to pick up any clothes or shoes that are lying around, clean off kitchen and bathroom counters, and tidy up. This shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes, and don’t feel the need to deep-clean (unless your apartment really needs it!). Your landlord should not make any notes for your security deposit during an apartment showing, but it’s great to keep your best foot forward when you know they’ll be by.

Secure any pets

If you have any pets, be sure they are secured when the showing occurs. Whether that is crating your pet, giving your landlord instructions on getting acclimated to the pet, or you staying home during the showing to tend to the pet, make a decision to ensure everyone is comfortable. If you’re not sure how your pet will react to strangers in your apartment, make arrangements with your landlord to be home when they come over.

If in attendance, be polite and honest

If invited to attend the showing or reminded that you don’t have to leave, be polite but honest with the potential tenant. You have insight about living in your apartment that not even your landlord knows, so feel free to answer the potential tenant’s questions. Be polite and respectful of your landlord but don’t feel the need to sugar-coat the truth.

A final note: There are laws in place to protect tenants from overbearing landlords. If your landlord’s behavior isn’t consistent with the lease, or he enters the apartment without advance notice, or comes during non-business hours without notice, check into your local regulations.

Must-Asks During Your Rental Apartment Tour

Realtor Showing Hispanic Couple Around New Home

Your apartment tour is your chance to learn everything there is to know about your potential first apartment. After talking to the landlord or leasing agent over the phone or in their office, you’ll want to ask them for a tour of the place. Apartment tours generally last no more than a half hour and let you get acclimated to the layout and ensure it fits your needs.During your apartment tour, you’ll have the landlord’s (or more likely his agent’s) undivided attention. Don’t waste this opportunity to ask some crucial questions while you’re there!

Location

  • What are the nearby subway or commuter train lines?
  • Where’s the nearest public transportation station?
  • Where’s the nearest highway?
  • How quickly can I get to a certain highway or street? During rush hour?
  • What is the crime rate in this area?
  • Are there any buildings nearby that leave lights on late at night?
  • Are there trains or other loud noises nearby?
  • How busy is the area at night?

Apartment Unit

  • Does the unit contain hookups for laundry? If not, where is the closest unit or laundromat?
  • What options are available for Internet and television?
  • Are tenants allowed to paint? Put holes in the walls to hang photos?
  • How new are kitchen appliances? Will any be replaced before move-in?
  • When was the apartment’s last renovation or new carpet and paint?
  • Will the apartment be painted? Any choice in color?
  • How accessible is the building or the apartment complex? What security measures are used to control access?
  • What demographic does the building rent to mostly? Singles, couples, families, elderly?

House Rules

  • What are inspections like before move-in? Upon move-out?
  • Are pets allowed? Is there a monthly pet fee?
  • Do they require a fee for the rental application? How quickly can the approval process move?
  • Will the rental application pull credit history?
  • Does the landlord have any specific rules against certain behavior? Smoking? Quiet hours?
  • Do they require renter’s insurance? How do they verify?
  • What is the penalty for breaking a lease?

Outside of your basic questions, consider adding some of these in during your apartment tour. This will help you make the most informed decision possible before selecting your first apartment! Any other must-asks during your tour? Leave your ideas in the comments.

Should You Rent Out Your Condo Instead of Selling?

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You’ve decided to move. Should you rent our your condo? Certainly, the idea of being a part-time landlord has its appeal. But is it the right path for you? Let’s take a look.

Benefits

You’ll Continue Building Equity on Your Home

Even if you rent out your condo for roughly what it costs you to keep it, a portion of that is going towards your equity. In other words, as you rent, you’re getting closer to completely owning your condo. That’s money in your pocket.

The Possibility of Profits

If the rental rate has gone up since you bought, you may be able to rent out your place for a lot more than it costs you to keep it. In this case, you’re not just building equity, but raking in substantial additional income as you do it.

Hold on to a Very Favorable Interest Rate

If you bought any time in the last five years, you’re getting a spectacular interest rate on your mortgage. As interest rates creep up – which they’re expected to do – you’ll be coming out ahead by having a mortgage rate that may end up being lower than inflation.

Keep Your Options Open

Maybe you’re only moving temporarily, or otherwise think you might have reason to move back into your condo. Renting it out is the perfect way to keep that possibility alive.

Ability to Time the Market

Maybe you’d have to sell at a loss right now. Or, you think the neighborhood’s property values will spike in the coming years. Either way, you’d prefer to sell when the market’s more in your favor. Renting out in the meantime is a way to do that.

Liabilities

Remember the Total Expenses

Association Dues, Taxes, Special Assessments, Insurance. These fees can only go up, and none of the money you put towards them goes towards equity. Not necessarily a problem, but do factor them into the total cost of renting out your unit.

Condo Association Headaches

Some associations don’t allow people to rent out their units. Or, they have arcane rules related to the process. By keeping your unit, you’ll need to continue to be involved in your condo association.

Where Will You Get a Down Payment for a New Place?

Most people use the sale of their first place to fund the down payment on their second place. Do you have the spare cash to swing it without the proceeds from a major sale? Or do you have enough equity in your old place to refinance for extra cash?

Finding (Good) Tenants Can Be Tricky

Have you ever tried to find a tenant? Finding someone who’s reliable, reasonably neat and quiet, and wants to live in your unit long-term isn’t always easy. Until you find that tenant, you’ll be paying for an empty unit all by yourself.

Two Mortgages Equal More Financial Pressure

Ideally, of course, you’ll be renting out your condo pronto, for more than you pay to keep it. But, that’s ideally. Keep in mind that your monthly financial obligations will be steep, even if you have plenty to cover the expenses right now. Would you have the stomach (and savings) to bear a tenant backing out of their lease? What about if you lose your job shortly thereafter? With great potential rewards also comes risk.

Being a Landlord Can Be A Lot of Work

It’s not just cashing checks. It’s showing up to fix leaky faucets, replacing broken stoves and dealing with insulation problems. It’s fielding calls from your tenant whenever they come, doing a deep clean and repainting the place every time a new tenant moves in, and collecting on your rent, should you tenant not pay in a timely fashion. Especially if you’re not planning on living near the unit, these things can take a lot of time and effort.

Taxes and Paperwork

Generally speaking, rental units are treated very favorably tax-wise. But, for those who dislike paperwork, there’s a decent amount of it. And not just for the taxman. You’ll need to conduct background checks, file away leases for future reference, document received payments and keep track of repair expenses.

The Unit Will Deteriorate

Conventional wisdom says that rental units are treated a bit more roughly than owned units. In other words, your nice new paint job and refinished floors likely won’t last long. It’s just the normal wear-and-tear of someone living there, but it’s a capital loss. When you eventually do go to sell, you might need to invest in a modest remodel before putting it on the market.

Summing Up

First, the finances need to make sense. But, if they do, then the decision is as much about personality as it is about money.

  • Do you have the energy to take on what amounts to a part-time second job?
  • Do you have the nerves to deal with a total stranger living in one of your major financial investments?

If you answered yes to these two questions, renting out your unit might be for you.

Should You Rent Out Your Condo Instead of Selling?

for-rent

Should You Rent Out Your Condo Instead of Selling?

You’ve decided to move. Should you rent our your condo? Certainly, the idea of being a part-time landlord has its appeal. But is it the right path for you? Let’s take a look.

Benefits

You’ll Continue Building Equity on Your Home

Even if you rent out your condo for roughly what it costs you to keep it, a portion of that is going towards your equity. In other words, as you rent, you’re getting closer to completely owning your condo. That’s money in your pocket.

The Possibility of Profits

If the rental rate has gone up since you bought, you may be able to rent out your place for a lot more than it costs you to keep it. In this case, you’re not just building equity, but raking in substantial additional income as you do it.

Hold on to a Very Favorable Interest Rate

If you bought any time in the last five years, you’re getting a spectacular interest rate on your mortgage. As interest rates creep up – which they’re expected to do – you’ll be coming out ahead by having a mortgage rate that may end up being lower than inflation.

Keep Your Options Open

Maybe you’re only moving temporarily, or otherwise think you might have reason to move back into your condo. Renting it out is the perfect way to keep that possibility alive.

Ability to Time the Market

Maybe you’d have to sell at a loss right now. Or, you think the neighborhood’s property values will spike in the coming years. Either way, you’d prefer to sell when the market’s more in your favor. Renting out in the meantime is a way to do that.

Liabilities

Remember the Total Expenses

Association Dues, Taxes, Special Assessments, Insurance. These fees can only go up, and none of the money you put towards them goes towards equity. Not necessarily a problem, but do factor them into the total cost of renting out your unit.

Condo Association Headaches

Some associations don’t allow people to rent out their units. Or, they have arcane rules related to the process. By keeping your unit, you’ll need to continue to be involved in your condo association.

Where Will You Get a Down Payment for a New Place?

Most people use the sale of their first place to fund the down payment on their second place. Do you have the spare cash to swing it without the proceeds from a major sale? Or do you have enough equity in your old place to refinance for extra cash?

Finding (Good) Tenants Can Be Tricky

Have you ever tried to find a tenant? Finding someone who’s reliable, reasonably neat and quiet, and wants to live in your unit long-term isn’t always easy. Until you find that tenant, you’ll be paying for an empty unit all by yourself.

Two Mortgages Equal More Financial Pressure

Ideally, of course, you’ll be renting out your condo pronto, for more than you pay to keep it. But, that’s ideally. Keep in mind that your monthly financial obligations will be steep, even if you have plenty to cover the expenses right now. Would you have the stomach (and savings) to bear a tenant backing out of their lease? What about if you lose your job shortly thereafter? With great potential rewards also comes risk.

Being a Landlord Can Be A Lot of Work

It’s not just cashing checks. It’s showing up to fix leaky faucets, replacing broken stoves and dealing with insulation problems. It’s fielding calls from your tenant whenever they come, doing a deep clean and repainting the place every time a new tenant moves in, and collecting on your rent, should you tenant not pay in a timely fashion. Especially if you’re not planning on living near the unit, these things can take a lot of time and effort.

Taxes and Paperwork

Generally speaking, rental units are treated very favorably tax-wise. But, for those who dislike paperwork, there’s a decent amount of it. And not just for the taxman. You’ll need to conduct background checks, file away leases for future reference, document received payments and keep track of repair expenses.

The Unit Will Deteriorate

Conventional wisdom says that rental units are treated a bit more roughly than owned units. In other words, your nice new paint job and refinished floors likely won’t last long. It’s just the normal wear-and-tear of someone living there, but it’s a capital loss. When you eventually do go to sell, you might need to invest in a modest remodel before putting it on the market.

Summing Up

First, the finances need to make sense. But, if they do, then the decision is as much about personality as it is about money.

  • Do you have the energy to take on what amounts to a part-time second job?
  • Do you have the nerves to deal with a total stranger living in one of your major financial investments?

If you answered yes to these two questions, renting out your unit might be for you.

Mississauga Ready to Make City Roads Safe this Winter

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Resident safety is our priority every winter season and the City of Mississauga is prepared to keep traffic moving this winter. We are ready to clear 5,600 lane kilometres of roads; 1,400 lane kilometres of priority sidewalks; 3,700 bus stops and over 1,000 pedestrian crossings. Lane kilometers are calculated based on the plowing or salting of a kilometer long segment of roadway that is a single lane in width.

“Our priority during a snow fall is to clear major roads first to allow access for emergency vehicles and public transit. This is followed by residential roads, pedestrian crossings, priority sidewalks and bus stops,” said Mickey Frost, Director of Works Operations and Maintenance. “Our snow plow tracker webpage allows you to track the routes for snow plows and salters so you are aware of road conditions ahead of your commute.”

What we clear and when

  • Roads are salted if the snowfall is less than eight centimetres or plowed and salted if the snowfall is more than eight centimetres.
  • Major roads are cleared first for emergency and transit vehicles. This is followed by local residential roads, bus stops, pedestrian crossings and priority sidewalks (around hospitals, schools and major transit routes for transit service).
  • Priority sidewalks, bus stops and pedestrian crossings are cleared within 24 to 36 hours of snow ending.

Winter on-street parking restriction

Residents are advised not to park their vehicles on City streets from November 1 to March 31 between 2 and 6 a.m. Vehicles left on City streets in violation of the Traffic By-law may be issued a penalty notice and subject to towing and storage fees at the expense of the owner. During snow removal, temporary parking permits will not be issued and current ones will be suspended.

Frost added, “Residents also play an important role in keeping the community safe. It’s important to clear your sidewalks after each snowfall to keep them safe for pedestrians and be a good neighbour by lending a hand to help seniors or people with disabilities to do the same.”

Snow Clearing Updates

Residents can track City snow plows and check routes in their neighbourhood by visiting the snow plow tracker webpage. In addition, they can follow @MississaugaSnow on Twitter or visit mississauga.ca/snow.

General questions about road conditions can be directed to the Citizen Contact Centre at 3-1-1 (or 905-615-4311 outside city limits).

Hurontario Light Rail Transit Project Update: Details For Procurement

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City of Mississauga staff reported at General Committee today on the Metrolinx-led Hurontario Light Rail Transit (HuLRT) Project currently in procurement.

Included in the staff report

• a request from Metrolinx to amend the noise exemption process of the City’s Noise Control By-law 360-79
• recommendation for additional municipal infrastructure to be included in the procurement process
• information on potential operating and maintenance costs

“City staff worked on details for the procurement process such as a request from Metrolinx for an exemption to the City’s Noise Control By-law for timely and cost-efficient construction of the project,” said Geoff Wright, Commissioner Transportation and Works. “We have also identified the opportunity to repair and upgrade City infrastructure during the construction of the LRT to be included in the procurement and are continuing to compile information on potential operating and maintenance costs. Much of this information is dependent on the procurement process and will be part of ongoing discussions with Metrolinx and future agreements.”

HuLRT Procurement Process

Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario are leading the procurement and implementation of the HuLRT Project through the Provincial Alternative Finance and Procurement Process. Proponents commit funding and bid for the design, build, maintenance and ongoing operation of the HuLRT Project.  The provision of light rail vehicles is being undertaken separately by Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario.

Since the previous update, the request for proposals was issued by Infrastructure Ontario on August 17, 2017 to three pre-qualified, short-listed teams for the procurement of the HuLRT Project. The procurement process is expected to take approximately 12 months to complete with the successful vendor team beginning construction by the end of 2018.

The City of Mississauga HuLRT Project Office team, along with supporting technical and strategic advisors, continue to work with Metrolinx to support the procurement process.

Noise By-law Exemption

Metrolinx requested an exemption to the City’s Noise Control By-law for timely and cost-efficient construction of the project. Staff consulted with the Ward Councillors on the Hurontario corridor regarding Metrolinx’s request for the exemption, and, in general, support the requested exemptions. the Commissioner of Transportation and Works retains the right to withdraw the Noise By-Law exemption.

1)  Major construction works to take place from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, throughout the corridor including:
• concrete placement (track infill, sidewalks curb and gutter, bridge and wall structures, LRT stops)
• aggregate and asphalt placement
• material movement (aggregates, track material and equipment)
• track installation
• testing of the train and systems

2) That the following activities will be allowed 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
• micro tunnelling for water, stormwater, sanitary sewer installation
• install, removal and adjustment of traffic control (construction set up, traffic signal modifications)

3) That the Noise By-Law exemption period be from approximately fall 2018 to the end of construction (planned for 2022)

4) That a limited number of full weekend closures be allowed for segments of Hurontario Street at the following locations:
• Port Credit  – bridge works/tunnelling
• QEW – bridge works/tunnelling
• Cooksville GO  – bridge works
• Highway 403 – elevated LRT span

These closures are necessary to safely complete the works and will not occur simultaneously.

Additional Municipal Infrastructure

In addition to the previously endorsed corridor enhancements staff recommended that the City take the opportunity that the LRT construction presents to
• replace and upgrade segments of the stormwater infrastructure
• install uninterrupted power supply at 65 signalized intersections
• protect for the future installation of variable message signs for local transit (MiWay) services at LRT stops to include MiWay service data and messaging such as the scheduled arrival/departure times of local transit routes, service information including alerts and service promotions

This proposed infrastructure is beyond the scope of the project and if approved in principle by Council will be included with the procurement of the HuLRT.  The construction and installation of these works will be delivered by the LRT contractor during the established construction period.

The total budget for the identified additional municipal infrastructure is valued at $26,307,000 and would be added to the 2018-2027 capital budget and forecast.

LRT Operating and Maintenance Costs

The provision of LRT operations and maintenance services are included in the procurement process that is currently underway. The responsibility for the costs of those services will be part of future negotiations and the development of an agreement between the City of Mississauga and Metrolinx.

“Prior to Metrolinx reaching financial closure with a successful bid team, an agreement will need to be in place with the City of Mississauga to address the detailed aspects of project delivery and long-term operations and maintenance of the LRT,” said Wright. “We continue to request information from Metrolinx on roles and responsibilities and anticipated operating and maintenance costs.”

Staff is also working on identifying potential short-term and long-term City costs and budget impacts related to the LRT, including roadway and boulevard maintenance and MiWay service.