Category Archives: brampton

Questions about Home in Peel?

The Home in Peel Affordable Ownership Program is designed to provide low-to-moderate income residents who are currently renting a unit in the Region of Peel (Brampton, Caledon or Mississauga) the opportunity to qualify for down payment loan assistance, up to $20,000.00 to buy a home in Peel Region.
This program will assist eligible applicants who have a total gross (pre-tax) household income of $87,800 or less to purchase a resale home in the Region of Peel that does not exceed a purchase price of $330,000.00.

To find out more on how to qualify, contact The Ray C. Mcmillan Mortgage Team – Mortgages Made Simple, or visit http://www.RayMcMillan.com to schedule your consultation.

Applicants are considered on a first-come-first-served-basis subject to ‪#‎qualification‬

Home in Peel Affordable Ownership Program

Region of Peel, Human Services
7120 Hurontario St.,
PO Box 634 RPO Streetsville
Mississauga, On L5M 2C2

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Car-less in the 905: One family’s quest for automotive freedom

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Kevin Montgomery and his children, Sebastian, 8, left, and Adela, 10, get on the bus as they run an errand to the music store. The Montgomerys gave up their cars a few years ago and use public transit and their bicycles to get around.

A Brampton family dares to exercise its options and trade two cars for more time together

Rick Madonik / Toronto Star Order this photo

By: Transportation reporter, Published on Fri Feb 20 2015

Kevin Montgomery and his children, Sebastian, 8, left, and Adela, 10, get on the bus as they run an errand to the music store. The Montgomerys gave up their cars a few years ago and use public transit and their bicycles to get around.

The Montgomery family’s driveway, like most on their meandering Brampton street, is clear of snow. But there’s one obvious difference — it doesn’t have any cars.

Living without a car — or two — would be unthinkable to most 905-area residents, particularly a family with three young children.

But for Kevin and Emily Montgomery, who made the decision to go car-free about three years ago, it just made sense. It has allowed Emily to stay home with their children, giving her the time and energy to be a more engaged parent. It has improved Kevin’s physical fitness and has put breathing room in their family budget.

Despite the shortcomings of a community largely designed for motorists, the Montgomerys don’t expect to go back to automobile ownership any time soon.

“It’s really about having the right tool for the job. There’s no reason to own a car if we’re able to do everything we need to without one,” said Kevin.

They don’t know any other local families like theirs, but Emily has read about similar people in Wisconsin and Alberta.

“They don’t even have public transit,” she said. “We have public transit and taxis.”

They are also keenly aware they have the luxury of choice when it comes to car ownership.

Their journey began when Emily was assigned the night shift at her old job with Air Canada.

“I wasn’t getting sleep. I wasn’t able to follow what the kids were doing at school. I had no clue what was going on, whether I was coming or going.

“We sat down and did the math and basically worked out (that) what I was paying in daycare and for my car (meant) I was working so I could have a car so I could be very tired,” she said

Kevin, 33, a lifelong Brampton resident, had taken a job in Toronto. He drove downtown, sometimes spending up to 45 minutes on the way home just to get onto the Gardiner Expressway ramp.

The commute was costing more than time. Kevin figures the cost of owning their 2004 Hyundai Accent and 2009 Dodge Caliber could easily have been about $10,000 annually factoring in insurance, gas, maintenance and financing.

The Hyundai was the first to be sold. Once he figured out that the GO train fare was less than the price of downtown parking, Kevin stopped driving to work. He rides a folding bike 10 minutes between home and the station and then between Union Station and his office near University Ave. and Dundas St. He has become such an enthusiastic cyclist, he will occasionally bike all the way and he figures he’s dropped between 10 and 20 pounds.

“Kevin enjoys challenges. I was looking for sanity,” said Emily, 34, adding she’s not as “hard core” as her husband when it comes to cycling. She walks or rides the bus because she’s usually with the children and neither parent feels safe cycling on the road with the youngsters.

“It’s no secret, a lot of the time when Brampton puts in their bike lanes, it’s a speed reduction strategy. It’s not a network,” said Kevin.

“It would make sense for this neighbourhood to have a bike lane that would go down to the grocery store, but they don’t have any. They start nowhere, they go nowhere. And then they say no one uses it,” said Emily.

Brampton claims to have 365 kilometres of multi-use pathways and trails, including 96 kilometres of asphalt pathways in boulevards. But it has only 4.3 kilometres of designated bike lanes.

“Their utility is very niche,” said Kevin. “If I want to get to the Bramalea City Centre it’s not going to happen on the pathways. There are no east-west pathways in the city. They point to these miles and miles of recreational trails but as a transportation option it’s not very useful.”

While Brampton has a variety of on- and off-road biking options “the network is incomplete,” a city spokeswoman said in an email to the Star.

It is also trying to do better, said Megan Ball. Staff is considering a review of the decade-old Pathways Master Plan and this year it hopes to hire an active transportation co-ordinator.

The Montgomerys own a cargo bike they use to haul groceries. When weather and time prevent riding to the store, they rely on Grocery Gateway deliveries.

They took a phased approach to relinquishing their cars. Once the Hyundai sold, they “practised” not using the second car for about a year. When they were down to one drive a month to visit family, they decided to sell their second car and use auto sharing.

They got some strange looks at first. People don’t expect a respectable professional with three children not to own a car, said Kevin.

“But we have options outside of car ownership,” he said, adding that’s an important lesson for the children.

“I want them to know that people do get by without owning a car. They’re going to be subject to seeing all their friends’ parents drive them so I think it’s important they have other options.”

 The financial savings haven’t made them rich but the Montgomerys are paying more into their mortgage and they replaced the roof last year. Renovations weren’t affordable before “because we were always having surprises with our cars,” said Emily.

The Montgomerys thought through a lot of big and small concerns. What if someone needed to get to the hospital?

“We can take a taxi. If it’s something that we can’t wait we call an ambulance. You shouldn’t be driving if you’re panicking anyway,” she said.

If it’s a matter of just taking the kids out for ice cream, Emily has to ask herself, “How much do you really want that ice cream?”

Their kids don’t do a lot of extracurriculars. But they did sign up for private swimming instruction as a family so everyone could go together on the bus.

As the children get older they will want to do things further afield. At that point, said Emily, they will have to figure out how to get to those activities.

The kids have their own Presto cards, the regionwide fare cards accepted on GO and Brampton’s buses. The family uses the Brampton Number 8 bus that stops near their home. But it takes planning. The bus comes about every 45 minutes for most of the day.

“They seem to think that everyone only travels during rush hour but I don’t,” said Emily.

She said you take your life in your hands using the Number 7 bus that runs along Kennedy Rd. Riders must walk a long way between traffic lights to cross to the bus stop on the street that Emily says functions more like a highway.

“Along Kennedy it’s all apartment housing. A lot of those people don’t have cars. You see them trying to cross that road. They go with a stroller and they’re trying to cross. You see them running across the road with little kids and people are honking at them,” she said, adding she has complained to the city to no effect.

Emily said she feels like shouting at drivers: “Have you noticed there aren’t any crosswalks there people? Why are you honking at them? I don’t think it’s reasonable.”

Brampton has plenty of studies that look at automobile traffic but virtually nothing on pedestrian numbers and patterns, said Kevin, who ran for Brampton council in the last election.

“Well they count what they care about. If they cared about pedestrians they’d be counting them,” said his wife.

The Montgomery kids barely remember what a family car felt like. Only Sebastian, 8, recalls riding in it as boring.

Toby, 6, enjoys riding the Trail-a-Bike that clips to the back of the family cargo bike. He claims he’s ready to cycle on his own.

Asked if she would like a car one day, Adela, 10, surprises her dad by admitting she has her eye on an ELF, a kind of oversized tricycle covered by a hard shell that has a solar-charged battery.

People underestimate kids, said Emily. “I’d rather them learn the independence of being able to get around on their own. Some of these people I see are 20 years old and they don’t know how to use transit.”

Parenting without a car may have been the biggest adjustment of the whole experience. She has more time to talk and consider what the children are saying. But if someone isn’t behaving, she doesn’t have the option of buckling them into the car and dealing with the issue privately.

Parenting without a car may have been the biggest adjustment of the whole experience. She has more time to talk and consider what the children are saying. But if someone isn’t behaving, she doesn’t have the option of buckling them into the car and dealing with the issue privately.

The simmering class war over basement apartments in Brampton


The simmering class war over basements apartments in Brampton
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2012 14:37:22 -0400

By Jan Wong |

I once moved into an illegal basement apartment in Toronto for a newspaper series about working undercover as a maid. At $750 a month, it was the most affordable roach-free dwelling I could find. What’s more, it helped my landlord, himself a cleaner at the Four Seasons, pay his mortgage. Secondary suites are mutually beneficial for renters and homeowners. So I applaud the controversial new legislation that has finally legalized the subterranean world of basement apartments. The province-wide law, which took effect in January, overrides any municipal bylaws prohibiting them—bylaws that were typically passed due to residents’ complaints about traffic congestion, overcrowded schools and, though less often vocalized, there-goes-the-neighbourhood fears.

The laws that regulate secondary units are confusing, thanks to some political flip-flopping over the past two decades. In 1994, the provincial NDP government under Bob Rae passed Bill 120, permitting second units in houses, regardless of local zoning laws. A year later, Mike Harris’s new Conservative government introduced Bill 20, restoring to municipalities the right to outlaw secondary suites. Brampton, the epitome of sprawl, quickly took advantage of Bill 20 and banned the apartments. Pre-existing units that had been built to code were grand­fathered, but anything built after 1995 was deemed illegal. (Secondary suites, for the record, are legal in Toronto, where they constitute 20 per cent of the rental stock and tend to be 10 to 15 per cent cheaper than apartment building units.)

Brampton is the fastest-growing munici­pality in the country; between 2001 and 2011, its population increased by 61 per cent, to 525,000. The downside to this substantial growth has been a housing crisis—a very 21st-century suburban housing crisis. Nearly half of Brampton’s residents are new immigrants, many of whom can’t afford to buy one of the area’s predominant single-family detached homes.

At the same time, there’s a dearth of affordable rentals; the CMHC estimates that the Peel region is in need of 1,900 new rental units per year over the next nine years. And for low-income residents requiring subsidized housing, the wait time is up to 11 years—one of the longest in the GTA. All of this explains why so many newcomers are landing in illegal basement suites, of which Brampton has an estimated 30,000.

Few neighbourhoods welcome basement apartments with open arms, but they’re especially unpopular in the supposedly bucolic burbs—low-density neighbourhoods where people have traditionally relocated to get away from the riffraff. Not surprisingly, many Bramptonians are furious about the new law. Legitimizing basement apartments, they argue, will decrease property values and increase pressure on the city’s already strained infrastructure. They worry property taxes will go up in order to cover the costs of bylaw enforcement and added municipal services. Chris Vernon, the managing editor of the Brampton Guardian, dislikes the proliferation of basement apartments because of overcrowded hospitals and street parking that impedes snowplows in winter. Grant Gibson, a city councillor, says there’s been “a huge outcry” over basement apartments, with complaints about safety issues and overcrowded schools. “We used to know we’d get three kids from every household,” he says. “Now a lot of times the schools don’t know where the kids are coming from.”

It’s true that the estimated 60,000 illegal basement apartment dwellers wouldn’t be counted in the census, nor would they be factored into property taxes, creating a challenge for the municipality. But what opponents fail to see is that any added strain on the system is a result of the population boom itself. Bramptonians are desperate not only for affordable housing, but for other services as well. Their hospital, Brampton Civic, has only 553 beds—not enough for a city of Brampton’s size. Social services agencies are stretched. Basement apartments are merely filling a need that’s not being met by the city and the province. They’re an environmentally friendly form of social engineering that, if legalized and regulated, doesn’t chew up taxpayer dollars.

It makes economic and environmental sense for two households to share the same pile of bricks and mortar, the same furnace and water heater, not to mention the same roads and public transportation—especially in a city like Brampton, which has half the population density of Toronto. And basement apartments have the healthy side effect of integrating newcomers into the middle class—where they can mingle with homeowners who go to work, mow their lawns and send their kids to university—instead of ghettoizing them in public housing.

 

 

Queen’s Park is looking at ways to curb speed limits in Ontario cities, including lowering the standard from 50 km/h.

The World Health Organization has found that pedestrians hit by a car or truck travelling at around 45 km/h have a 50 per cent chance of being killed. But those struck by a vehicle going 30 km/h or slower have a 90 per cent survival rate.

Tara Walton / Toronto Star Order this photo

The World Health Organization has found that pedestrians hit by a car or truck travelling at around 45 km/h have a 50 per cent chance of being killed. But those struck by a vehicle going 30 km/h or slower have a 90 per cent survival rate.

Queen’s Park is looking at ways to curb speed limits in Ontario cities and towns, including lowering the standard from 50 km/h.

In a bid to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca will begin “comprehensive consultations” with municipalities across the province to discuss changes.

That’s a policy U-turn from the Liberals’ position last September when the government said there were “no plans to change the default speed.”

Sources say the province is acting upon the concerns from mayors, reeves, and civic councillors.

“No decision will be made without carefully considering all options and views from all stakeholders from across the province,” a government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wednesday.

“We have heard from a number of municipalities — for example, Ottawa —that as urban areas continue to intensify, lower speeds may be appropriate in high pedestrian areas and have requested a change to the default speed limit to enhance pedestrian safety,” the source said.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government is looking at four options:

  • Maintaining the current 50 km/h default speed limit.
  • Changing the law to reduce that limit to 40 km/h.
  • Allowing municipalities to set a default speed limit either of 50 km/h or 40 km/h within their boundaries and requiring the posting of signs at each entry point of the municipality.
  • Permitting municipalities to set different default speed limits inside their boundaries or specific neighbourhoods and forcing them to the post signs at each entry point of the city or neighbourhood.

Del Duca’s consultations will include workshops, questionnaires and webinars for municipal officials this spring.

“Each municipality that participates in these consultations will have the opportunity to comment and provide input into the impacts of the proposed options for default speed limits, area and boundaries of application and how these could be implemented into their communities,” said the insider, adding the Association of Municipalities of Ontario is also expected to take part.

A coroner’s review into pedestrian deaths in 2010 urged the province to allow municipalities to lower the default speed limit to 40 km/h.

Currently, the Highway Traffic Act says the “speed limit on roads within most municipalities and in built-up areas is set at 50 km/h” and for highways – other than through towns and cities – the default is 80 km/h.

The World Health Organization has found that pedestrians hit by a car or truck travelling at around 45 km/h have a 50 per cent chance of being killed.

But those struck by a vehicle going 30 km/h or slower have a 90 per cent survival rate.

The WHO noted that a car going 50 km/h requires 13 metres to stop while one going 40 km/h can stop in less than 8.5 metres.

“An increase in average speed of 1 km/h typically results in a 3 per cent higher risk of a crash involving injury, with a 4–5 per cent increase for crashes that result in fatalities,” the organization said.

Open House Etiquette for Home Buyers – Open House Do’s and Don’ts

Relator Showing House to Young Family - Ariel Skelley/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Open House Etiquette for Home Buyers

A favorite pastime of many people — whether in the market to buy a home or simply curious — is to attend a Sunday Open House . In fact, checking out open houses is almost a religious experience in California. Everybody goes to open houses.

If you’re wondering about the proper open house etiquette or have questions about the role of the agent holding the house open, here are suggestions to help make your open house visit productive.

Agent Roles at Open Houses

Because not all real estate agents host open houses in the same manner, you can’t always be certain who will answer the door. Could be the listing agent, a neighbor, a buyer’s agent or even the seller. One thing is for certain. You do not need to ring the door bell or knock, unless there is a sign posted instructing you to do so. Open the door and walk in. If you don’t see an agent, call out “hello,” just in case the agent is, um, otherwise occupied in a private room.

Here are types of agents you may encounter:

  • Standing at the front door to greet you. This type of agent will shake your hand, introduce himself or herself, get your name, hand you a flyer and say, “Go on through at your own pace.” The agent might even follow you to point out features and answer questions you didn’t realize you had.
  • In the driveway, asleep behind the wheel of her car. This agent might leave the door ajar and never get up to greet you. Free free to go inside anyway. Make a note of the agent’s name and promise yourself you will never call this company nor the agent.
  • Reading a book in another room. The non-engaging type agent will say, “There is information on the counter. If you have any questions, let me know.” Generally, this is an agent who didn’t really want to hold open the home but is doing it so she can tell her seller she did.

Is the Open House Agent the Listing Agent?

The best way to find out if the agent holding the open is the listing agent is to ask. You can’t always count on the fact that the agent’s name will be on the For Sale sign or that the agent will be wearing a name badge. Sometimes two agents co-list a home. If you buy through this agent, and your state allows it, you could find yourself in dual agency.

More often than not, the agent holding the listing open will not be the listing agent but an associate agent. This agent will be hoping to represent a buyer to buy that home or, for that matter, any other home.

Open House Home Buyers With Agent Representation

If you are already working with an agent, you should pass on this information to the agent hosting the open. Realtors are required to ask buyers if the buyer is working with another agent, but sometimes they have a memory lapse.

The easiest way to inform the agent you meet that you are working with another agent is to walk in with your agent’s card in hand. Just give it to the other agent and say, “This is my agent.” Armed with this information, the agent at the home will not try to solicit you.

Open House Home Buyers Without Agent Representation

If you have not yet decided on an agent, let the agent at the home know that you are still shopping for a buyer’s agent. Maybe you will want to interview the agent to determine if you want to work with that person. Ask the tough questions to get the right answers.

Open houses are a good way to find an agent because you will meet face-to-face. You can witness the agent in action as well.

Open House Buyers Who Stop on a Whim

Often, buyers will drop in on an open house simply because it is open. Maybe it’s a home that you’ve often admired on that street and are curious to see what it looks like inside. If that’s the case, just tell the agent you have no inclination to buy. You can still tour the home. And who knows, more than one person has decided to buy a home because they unexpectedly and immediately fell in love with the house.

Neighbors Who Visit Open Houses

You might think the agent doesn’t want you to come to the open house if you are a neighbor, but actually, the agent would love to show the home and get your feedback. Neighbors are a great source of information. In addition, you might have a friend or coworker who could be interested in the home. So don’t feel embarrassed to admit to the agent that you are “a neighbor from down the street.”

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Fact of the week – Source: TheBuzzBuzzReport

newhome

Fact of the week

There are currently 10,312 homes under construction in Brampton, nearly three times the amount in Hamilton.

The Top 5 Cities That Truck Drivers Would Avoid Like The Plague (If They Could)

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The Top 5 Cities That Truck Drivers Would Avoid Like The Plague (If They Could)
Blog January 14, 2015 2:06PM
Drivers agree on five worst North American cities to drive in
by Kevin Snobel

Truck Drivers on popular social media site Reddit.com were asked for the towns they absolutely dread heading too and would avoid if they could. Here are there top 5 responses.

Gary, Indiana

If you type Gary, IN into Google image search, the related searches at the top of the page include ghetto, slum, gangs, and haunted houses. That pretty much sums it up. -rat-a-tat-kat

I once stopped in Gary, Indiana, at a Denny’s at around 4am. Here’s a tip: Don’t do that. -mattgrande

Camden, New Jersey

I’ll have a picnic on 8 Mile in Detroit before I get out of the car in Camden. -stosh2014

Blythe, California

When I’m hauling racehorses I will NOT go through Blythe CA. Once got rejected with 9 Canadian racehorse broodmares in 105 heat because their International Health Certs were signed in red ink instead of black. (Red was a Canadian requirement at the time. USDA preferred blue or black for USDA origin certs) he changed his tune when I demanded he call the state veterinarian. Boy was that vet mad. -Orthonut

Fontana, California

First 3 exits off the interstate say NO TRUCKS, get off at next exit and you end up in the left lane. The sign for the truck route is on the right side of the road hidden behind all the traffic. One block up the cop sits and writes no truck tickets all day long. Then you drive 300 miles to be there for the court date(and notice all the trucks in the parking lot), and that day is to set a date for court, not the actual trial. And then you find that the time to ask for a trial was the 2 hours before court started during the ask for a trail phase. If I had the last truckload of food and Fontana was starving, I would park the truck on the overpass and burn it to the ground. -rhekn

Brampton, Ontario

Brampton. A city in Ontario, Canada. Literally the worst drivers in Canada. There is so much insurance fraud that Bramptonians pay the highest auto insurance premiums in North America. fritzmongroid

Do you agree with the list? What locations would you add to it that you dread going to? Let us know in the comments below.