Hurontario Light Rail Transit Project Update: Details For Procurement


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.

Moving with a Pet, Settling in the New Home – Shawn Gandhi


Moving with a Pet – Settling in the New Home. 

You and your pet made it! You both survived the drive, and now all that’s left is to get him settled into his new home. Here are some tips to help that process go as smoothly as possible. (For more advice, check out our other posts on introducing a new pet to your apartment).

Assign him to a room. 

After the long drive with your fur-ball cooped up, you’ll be tempted to give him a chance to run around and explore the new apartment that you’re so excited about, but this is not a good idea. You’ll want to place your pet in a small room with his litter, food, water, and carrier (even if he usually hates his carrier, leave it with him. It’s something familiar, and he’s likely just spent hours curled up in it). The bathroom is the ideal place for this because you won’t be unpacking loads of boxes into it, and, bonus, it usually has an easy-to-clean floor in case of any accidents. Sit with him for a few minutes and let him explore his new room while you’re still there. When he seems okay, leave him in the room by himself, making sure to close the door behind you.

Keep him in his room.

Now, that your pet is set up, you can start unloading your car or moving van without worrying about him being overwhelmed or slipping out the door when no one is looking. Be sure that anyone helping you unload is aware which room the animal is in and knows not to open that door. If you’ve hired professional movers, you may even want to tape a note to the door warning them not to enter your pet’s safe space. Don’t let him out until you’ve finished unloading all of your boxes. You may even want to keep him in his room until the majority of your things are unpacked; change can be stressful for pets (especially cats), and having you moving around quickly and making lots of noise in a new environment could be very overwhelming.

Let him explore slowly.

When you finally do let your cat out of his room, do it when your apartment is quiet and calm. Keep an eye on him while he explores (he’ll likely be very nervous, and some animals will pee on things when they’re stressed), but give him enough space that he doesn’t feel overwhelmed. For the next day or two, return him to this room whenever you’re going to be gone for long periods of time. After your pet seems comfortable in your new home, you can move his food and other things into their permanent homes—just don’t forget to show your pet where you’ve moved them to!

Give him familiar things.

If you read my //previous post// about driving with your pet, then you know that you should bring a jug of water from your previous home with you when you move. Well, the same is true for food and litter (if applicable). The stores around you might not sell the same brands that your pet is used to, so rather than changing everything he knows in one fell swoop, transition him by giving him his usual food, water, and litter while he gets used to his new surroundings. The same rule goes for his blankets, toys, etc. Even though you might be tempted to buy him all new things for your brand new house, wait a while. He’ll feel safer and calmer if his things smell like him, not like the store.

Be there for him.

Finally, be prepared to give your pet extra attention for a few days; he’s been through a stressful experience and may need more love and comfort than usual. I know you’re probably going to be very busy getting yourself settled, running errands, and setting up your new life, but make sure that you take half an hour every day to be with your pet. Even if he’s not the cuddliest animal, just sit in a room with him and do something quiet. He’ll appreciate the company and familiar presence.

A Short Guide to Your First Apartment Viewing -Shawn Gandhi

Realtor Showing Hispanic Couple Around New Home

A Short Guide to Your First Apartment Viewing

One of the most important parts of finding an apartment is seeing it. You need to schedule an apartment viewing and thoroughly check out the space that will potentially be your home for the next year or longer. The viewing is the time to make sure that this is the kind of space you want to live in. It can be pretty daunting at first but I swear you’ll get a hang of it quickly.

Ask questions

If there is a time to ask questions, this is it! I always found it helpful to have a printout of the rental ad, so I could confirm what the landlord provides and what is missing from my own personal checklist. You will have someone to answer questions right in front of you, so take advantage of that. Ask  about parking fees, what utilities do they cover (water? garbage collection? internet?), are pets allowed, what is the noise level like, etc.  Also, clarify the costs that you will be paying. How much is the security deposit? How much is the monthly rental? What forms of payment do they accept for rent? Is there a late fee? How much is the estimated monthly electric bill? What paperwork is required for the apartment application process? Always get the name of the person showing the apartment, in case you have post-viewing questions.

Check out the apartment

During any viewing, it is essential to check out all the features of the apartment. One of the key things for me was looking through the cabinets and closets. You want to make sure that you are getting what you are paying for and that everything is in a good working condition. If you see anything amiss, say something. Try to spot any holes that indicate vermin or some other type of infestations. Look inside closets and under the sinks for signs of mold. See if any cabinets are broken, which indicates poor maintenance. Turn on the faucets and see what the water pressure is like. (That may seem like a minor detail but I guarantee you’ll be annoyed with a weak shower every day as long as you live in the apartment.) Test the oven and stove burners. Do the windows open and close and lock easily? What is right outside your window? Is the apartment on a main street or a quiet neighborhood with minimal traffic? Take a moment and listen. You may not hear the regular sounds of your neighbors but its always good to hear what’s around you. How is the exterior of the apartment? Does the landlord or the company take proper care of the facility? Is it evident that it needs maintenance? Is it older but well maintained? These are all things that are important when scoping out your new place.

Take pictures

We continue to document even the most insignificant moments in our lives, but apartment viewing is actually one of those times when it’s important to take lots of pictures. You do it for couple of reasons. First, this will help jog your memory when you look at many places and aid in making your decision. Having a visual will give you the opportunity to look back and see what you liked (or disliked) about a certain place. It will assist in visualizing the layout of one apartment compared to others that you viewed. Second, you’ll have a record of any problems you spot (chipped tile, stain on floor, etc.) so your landlord will not try to ding your security deposit for them when you move out.

Give yourself options. If they have other apartments in the building or complex that you can look at, go for it. See as many places as you can, so you’ll be sure when you sign the lease that you got the best one.

Please share in the comments your best apartment viewing tips.

How To Add Color To Your Condo With An Accent Wall


How To Add Color To Your Condo With An Accent Wall

Have you been looking for a change in your decorating scheme, to make your condo feel fresh, new, and invigorating, but just haven’t been able to decide on a design theme? Or maybe you’re about to move into your first condo and are ruminating on the best color schemes for your new place and can’t settle on just one.

Who can blame you? A full house paint job is a huge commitment – after all, you’re going to be living with these walls for years, it’s a lot of work and it’s not exactly cheap. A full apartment paint job can cost $800/room or more, when done professionally, and still cost $200 – $300/room when you do it yourself, and that’s not even counting the time, and the headache of making sure your belongings will be safe and un-splattered with drop cloths, trim tape, etc.

If you are looking to add a pop of color to your condo and sparkle up your existing design theme, an accent wall could do the job.

What Is An Accent Wall?

Have you ever walked into a home or office to be confronted with a bright, bold, colorful wall, different from the other three? That’s an accent wall and, if you’ve seen it, we likely don’t have to explain why they’re a good idea.

Accent walls are a simple and nearly foolproof way to make a design statement, without breaking the bank or requiring too much of an investment in time, energy, or resources. An accent wall can be wallpapered or even tiled, for example in the kitchen, but most often it’s painted.

Reasons To Feature An Accent Wall In Your Condo

  1. Highlights Interesting Architectural Features: One common reason people don’t want to paint an entire room is there’s an element in the existing interior design they’re hoping to maintain. If you’ve got a fireplace; built-in shelves; a mantelpiece; or vintage architectural features that you’d like to preserve, an accent wall is a way to draw attention TO these interesting features, rather than covering them up.
  2. Becomes A Backdrop: One of the most common uses for an accent wall is to draw the eye towards a focal point, often behind a bed or sofa. If you’ve got some furniture you’d like to highlight, or you just enjoy the sense of flow that comes from a well-designed room, a backdrop accent wall is a surefire way to add a bit of drama to your condo.
  3. Create New Patterns: Accent walls do not all have to be minimal, modern monochrome designs. You can accent your room with absolutely ANYTHING. If your room features patterned textiles, in the furniture or drapery, or has some kind of elaborate floor covering, or even patterned hardwood floors or tiles, playing with a similar effect in your accent wall can be your friend. You might not necessarily want your entire room to complement those tweed curtains, but a nice little emphasis can be that extra touch that ties the whole room together.
  4. Define Different Rooms: In condos with open floor plans, it can be hard to know where one room ends and another begins. Are you in the kitchen or the living room? It can be hard to tell. An accent wall is a simple and surefire way to distinguish between two rooms, without having to have a sharp, jarring contrast.
  5. Adds Color: We save the most obvious for last. For the better part of the 21st Century, minimalist design has reigned supreme. Our condos resemble either an Ikea catalog or an advertisement for a Nest thermostat – favoring either a stark palette with white, black, grey, and silver; or, rather, an earthy naturalist look – raw woods, hunter green, taupe, or cream. If you’d rather not feel like you’re living in a Scandi-cool furniture store OR on Walden’s Pond, perhaps an accent wall might be the perfect change agent for you!

Toronto Condo Prices Soar 28%, Pass Half-Million Mark

TORONTO, ON - MARCH, 17   Condo buildings clog the downtown core where the CN tower is often obscured from the street.  This is at the corner of Yonge street and Queen's Quay.  condo apartment housing balcony living downtown        (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Forget single-family homes: Even condos are moving out of affordability range for Toronto’s middle class.

Despite the slowdown in the broader market, new data from the region’s real estate board shows condo prices in the Greater Toronto Area have now passed the half-million-dollar mark, after soaring 28 per cent in the second quarter of this year.

The average condo in the region sold for $532,032 in the second quarter, up from $415,454 in the same period of 2016.

TORONTO, ON - MARCH, 17   Condo buildings clog the downtown core where the CN tower is often obscured from the street.  This is at the corner of Yonge street and Queen's Quay.  condo apartment housing balcony living downtown        (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

TORONTO, ON – MARCH, 17 Condo buildings clog the downtown core where the CN tower is often obscured from the street. This is at the corner of Yonge street and Queen’s Quay. condo apartment housing balcony living downtown (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

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This makes condos unaffordable for many middle-class households.

With an average household income of $75,000, a typical Toronto family can afford some $380,000 to $420,000 in insured mortgage debt, following the federal government’s new mortgage rules announced last fall.

“Despite the recent dip in overall GTA home sales, the condominium apartment market was quite resilient, especially when compared to low-rise market segments,” Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos said in a statement.

“Condo apartment sales accounted for a greater share of overall transactions during the spring compared to the same period last year. Market conditions also remained tight, which resulted in the continuation of strong annual rates of price growth.”

Condo slowdown ahead?

But those tight conditions in the condo market may be coming to an end.

In June, the last month covered in the period of TREB’s report, condo sales turned downwards, with sales activity down 23.4 per cent from the previous June. Prices, however, were still up 23.2 per cent from the same month last year.

It may be that the slowdown in the overall Toronto market is beginning to infect the condo market.

According to preliminary mid-month data for July, Toronto’s housing market continued to sputter, with sales down 39.3 per cent from the same period a year ago.

Single-family home sales are down 45 per cent, and the average price has fallen 17 per cent from its peak earlier this year, BNN reported, though it’s still 6.5 per cent higher than it was a year ago.

Too much regulation?

The sudden slowdown in Toronto’s market has some experts worried the government may be taking its mortgage reforms too far.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), Canada’s banking watchdog, has proposed a “stress test” for conventional 20-per-cent down mortgages that would require borrowers to qualify at a rate two percentage points higher than the one being offered.

That follows a similar rule put in place last fall for insured mortgages, which have less than 20 per cent down. But many housing experts note a majority of mortgages in Canada are conventional, and the proposed OSFI rule would have a significant impact on how much money households can borrow to buy a home.

Condo towers on the shore of Lake Ontario in downtown Toronto.

Mortgage expert Rob McLister estimated it would shave 18 per cent off the buying power of conventional mortgage borrowers.

The rule has “the potential to notably slow down growth in mortgage originations,” CIBC economist Benjamin Tal wrote in a report last week.

“Given current slowing activity in the market, it might be advisable to rethink the timing of the implementation of those policies.”

Hurontario Light Rail Transit Project Update: Preparing for Procurement

Hurontario LRT - Shawn Gandhi

City of Mississauga staff reported to General Committee today on the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (HuLRT) Project. The project, led by Metrolinx, is moving into the next phase of the procurement process. Included in the report, is a staff proposal for additional design refinements and corridor enhancements that go beyond the initial project scope.

“We are excited to reach this next stage of the Hurontario Light Rail Transit Project,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “The design refinements and enhancements staff brought forward are placemaking opportunities that link to key downtown destinations to achieve a civic identity and sense of place. The proposed additional municipal infrastructure is an opportunity to complete work efficiently and good use of our resources. The Hurontario LRT is building and connecting our city and ensuring it remains competitive and offers our residents efficient and modern transit.”

The City of Mississauga has been working with Metrolinx on refining the reference design to address localized concerns prior to the next phase of the procurement process.

“Before Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario identify 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,” said Joe Perrotta, Director, City of Mississauga LRT Project Office.  “The additional municipal infrastructure being proposed can be integrated with the overall procurement process.  Separate budget approvals will be required through the 2018 Budget.”

The design refinements and proposed corridor enhancements include:
• Review of the Port Credit and Cooksville HuLRT stops to improve integration opportunities to the GO rail network
• Maintaining paid on-street parking in the Downtown Mississauga areas with the HuLRT, where appropriate
• Developing an enhanced corridor design for Duke of York Boulevard in addition to reconfiguring the track design to a centre roadway configuration
• Addressing constraints at the Highway 403 crossing with the proposal for a new separated HuLRT structure
• Maintaining additional on-street MiWay capacity at the City Centre Transit Terminal
• Ensure consideration for a context sensitive design adjacent to the Britannia Church and the Britannia Farm Lands

Metrolinx identified a Public Realm Amount (PRA) of approximately $10.6 million to be used towards enhancements for the Hurontario corridor in Mississauga. The City of Mississauga capital budget also identified up to $25 million in funding for related HuLRT project enhancements beyond the scope of the project. Departmental staff, working through the Metrolinx design process, have used this opportunity to identify and evaluate potential corridor enhancements and upgrades that would benefit the overall project and communities. These enhancements have been assessed and prioritized for Council to endorse and include in the Metrolinx procurement process. With a set commitment on funding, the City will not be held responsible in case of project overruns. The staff report, Hurontario Light Rail Transit Project Update: Metrolinx Project Procurement, includes $1.61 million in additional funding. Final approval of the staff report will be on the July 5, 2017 Council agenda.

Additional Municipal Infrastructure
A list of additional municipal infrastructure projects were identified that would have normally been scheduled through departmental budgets to be integrated with the HuLRT project. These include:
• Incorporating municipal storm sewer (new and upgrades)
• Incorporating uninterrupted power supply or backup systems at all or primary signalized intersections
• Including noise walls that are not a requirement of the HuLRT Project but still meet the criteria through existing municipal policy
• Protecting for variable message sign systems within stop platforms to communicate MiWay information

As agreements are finalized through the procurement process, budget approvals will be required by respective service areas during the 2018 budget cycle.

Procurement Update
Infrastructure Ontario (IO) is leading procurement and Metrolinx is leading implementation of the HuLRT Project. The project is funded by a $1.4 billion capital commitment from the Government of Ontario. Since the previous update, IO began the procurement process with the release of a Request for Qualifications in October 2016. The three short-listed consortiums were announced by IO on June 6, 2017.

Metrolinx and IO anticipate the release of the Request for Proposals (RFP) in the summer of 2017.  The HuLRT Project procurement process is anticipated to be completed mid-2018 with a contract award to the successful consortium. Construction is expected to begin later that year. The successful consortium is expected to complete construction and testing by the end of 2022 and will then be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the system for the duration of the 30-year contract.

Duke of York Stop Reference Concept Design

Britannia Stop Reference Concept Design

Cooksville Stop Reference Concept Design

Tips for Preparing to Sell Your Condo – Shawn Gandhi


Tips for Preparing to Sell Your Condo

The condo real estate market in big cities and their surrounding areas, like Toronto and Mississauga are currently very strong. Condo ownership provides many benefits to traditional single family homes, like being able to live close to public transport, parks, entertainment venues, and more.

It is important to take the time to understand how selling a condo differs from traditional homes so you can make your home attractive to numerous potential buyers.

Step 1: Hire a Real Estate Agent with Experience in Condos

One of the most common reasons some condos do not sell successfully is selecting the wrong real estate agent. Sure, any licensed realtor can list your condo, but not all are successful at knowing how to market it to attract buyers, like one with expertise in selling condos.

Step 2: Review the Selling Process

There are specific processes required to sell a condo that do different from traditional single family homes. Your real estate agent will review these with you in greater detail. Make sure to ask any questions if you are unsure of any process.

Step 3: Review Condo Association Regulations, Rules, Assessments, and Fees

It is beneficial to obtain a copy of the current condo association regulations and rules and have these available for potential buyers. In addition, you should note any special or annual assessments you pay annually, as well as monthly fees in the listing.

Step 4: Prepare Your Home for Sale        

Work with your realtor to correctly stage the home for potential buyers. This is also a good time to make sure all maintenance is up-to-date on appliances. Additionally, make any minor repairs and do a deep cleaning of the home.

Step 5: Prepare for Inspections

Home inspections are part of selling a condo and you need to be prepared for these. If you already took the time to complete Step 4, you should be in pretty good shape.

Step 6: Retain the Services of a Real Estate Lawyer with Experience in Condos

At some point you will need to hire a real estate lawyer to assist with closing processes. The sooner you retain one, the better, as they can assist with reviewing sales proposals and other documents related to the sale of your home.

Step 7: Trust Your Realtor and Their Marketing Expertise

Part of selling your condo is how it is marketed, which if you chose a realtor, who specializes in condos, you will be covered. Aside from listing the home through multiple channels, open houses can be beneficial to attract more potential buyers.

Step 8: Decide on a Listing Price

Working with your realtor, you can determine how much to list the condo for initially. Part of this price has to do with comparing data from comparable condos in your area that have sold recently. Another factor that determines listing prices is the current real estate market in your area.

For more information about how to successfully sell your condo or to check out the latest listings if you are looking to buy a condo, contact me, Square One Mississauga realtor, Shawn Gandhi, who specializes in condo selling and buying, by calling 905.795.1900 today!

The Difference Between Pre-Approved and Pre-Qualified When Purchasing a Condo or Home – Shawn Gandhi


Whether you are shopping for a traditional single-family home or a condo, there are several differences between being pre-approved and pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. Unfortunately, people often confuse pre-approval and pre-qualified and assume they mean the same things, but they do not, and these are major differences between the two terms.

It is important you understand these differences and how they can affect your buying experience, so you can determine which one is the best to use to fit your particular needs. Once you have learned the differences, you are sure to avoid any confusion and guarantee your home buying experience is fun and exciting while remaining stress-free!

Pre-Qualifying for a Condo or Home

The first step to securing, and being approved for an actual mortgage is to get pre-qualified. It is not too difficult and only requires minimum documentation. At this stage, you provide your bank or other mortgage lender with a general overall picture of your current financial situation including your current housing costs, debts, assets, and income.

The lender will review this information and put together an amount to give you an idea of how much of a mortgage you could be approved for, along with how much money may be needed for a down payment. Oftentimes, this step can be completed either over the Internet or the phone and does not require an actual face-to-face meeting.

However, and this is where you need to take note: Pre-qualifying for a mortgage DOES NOT review your credit history. As you probably can guess, this means the initial amount you pre-qualify for and the type of mortgage program could easily change once you get ready to apply for actual financing. As such, being pre-qualified is not as significant for sellers compared to being pre-approved.

Pre-Approval for a Condo or Home

The second step to securing a mortgage is getting pre-approved. Even if you were already pre-qualified for a loan, you will still need to take this step. Pre-approval processes take a more in-depth look into your financial situation and DO review your credit history. You WILL complete an actual mortgage application to get pre-approved.

The main benefit of pre-approval is the lender will issue you a conditional approval letter that details an exact loan amount and anticipated down payment amount. Once you have found the home you want to buy, you supply the actual purchase price and other details to the lender and your pre-approved mortgage becomes a completed loan application.

In addition, once you have this amount, you can focus on condos and homes within your pre-approved price range. Furthermore, sellers place a greater value on pre-approved buyers since they are only a few steps away from closing on the home once an offer is made.

Keep in mind neither process takes into account certain costs, such as home appraisals, inspections, and closing costs, so you will need to make sure to budget accordingly. For assistance in finding the perfect condo or home, contact experienced Square One Mississauga realtor, Shawn Gandhi today at 905.795.1900!

A full list of housing measures announced by the Ontario Government – Shawn Gandhi


TORONTO — The Ontario government has announced what it calls a comprehensive housing package aimed at cooling a red-hot real estate market. Here are the 16 proposed measures:

— A 15-per-cent non-resident speculation tax to be imposed on buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area who are not citizens, permanent residents or Canadian corporations.

— Expanded rent control that will apply to all private rental units in Ontario, including those built after 1991, which are currently excluded.

— Updates to the Residential Tenancies Act to include a standard lease agreement, tighter provisions for “landlord’s own use” evictions, and technical changes to the Landlord-Tenant Board meant to make the process fairer, as well as other changes.

— A program to leverage the value of surplus provincial land assets across the province to develop a mix of market-price housing and affordable housing.

— Legislation that would allow Toronto and possibly other municipalities to introduce a vacant homes property tax in an effort to encourage property owners to sell unoccupied units or rent them out.

— A plan to ensure property tax for new apartment buildings is charged at a similar rate as other residential properties.

— A five-year, $125-million program aimed at encouraging the construction of new rental apartment buildings by rebating a portion of development charges.

— More flexibility for municipalities when it comes to using property tax tools to encourage development.

— The creation of a new Housing Supply Team with dedicated provincial employees to identify barriers to specific housing development projects and work with developers and municipalities to find solutions.

— An effort to understand and tackle practices that may be contributing to tax avoidance and excessive speculation in the housing market.

— A review of the rules real estate agents are required to follow to ensure that consumers are fairly represented in real estate transactions.

— The launch of a housing advisory group which will meet quarterly to provide the government with ongoing advice about the state of the housing market and discuss the impact of the measures and any additional steps that are needed.

— Education for consumers on their rights, particularly on the issue of one real estate professional representing more than one party in a real estate transaction.

— A partnership with the Canada Revenue Agency to explore more comprehensive reporting requirements so that correct federal and provincial taxes, including income and sales taxes, are paid on purchases and sales of real estate in Ontario.

— Set timelines for elevator repairs to be established in consultation with the sector and the Technical Standards & Safety Authority.

— Provisions that would require municipalities to consider the appropriate range of unit sizes in higher density residential buildings to accommodate a diverse range of household sizes and incomes, among other things.