Archive | Society

Toronto housing called ‘bubble,’ as new listings fall rapidly

Posted on 25 February 2017 by admin

An unprecedented imbalance between the supply and the demand for Toronto-area homes is exerting a disproportionate impact on the national picture, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Its chief economist Gregory Klump said Wednesday that he doesn’t see that changing any time soon, although one bank economist suggested that the Toronto and area market may be “dangerously” overheated.

Across the country, home sales declined 1.3 per cent between December and January, but the actual (non seasonally adjusted) sales activity rose 1.9 per cent compared to a year ago, said CREA.

Its report showed dollar volume of Greater Toronto residential property sales rose 35.6 per cent year over year in January, compared to a 2.1 per cent national average rise, which was dragged down by a 51.1 per cent decline in Greater Vancouver.

New listings in Toronto fell a seasonally adjusted 17 per cent in January from a month earlier, the biggest one-month decline since 2002. Sales as a share of new listings — a gauge of how demand compares with supply — rose to a record 94 per cent.

But there are different takes on how concerning that is.

Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter described the Toronto region, including cities surrounding it, as being in a “housing bubble,” in a note to investors.

“Toronto and any city that is remotely within commuting distance are overheating, and perhaps dangerously so,” Porter wrote.

But CREA’s Klump said prices won’t go sideways until affordability starts to erode sales and buyers can no longer afford to purchase a home.

“As long as we see the (Toronto area) shortage of supply there’s no end in sight,” he said.

What is clear, however, is that the high price of Toronto real estate — coupled with the city’s unique municipal land transfer tax — is driving activity to unaccustomed high levels in communities farther and farther outside the city.

New mortgage regulations introduced last year that make it harder to qualify for a home purchase are a boon to urban sprawl, said Klump.

The average price for what is considered a “benchmark” home in Toronto is up 22.6 per cent from a year earlier, according to CREA. That has lifted prices for areas like Oakville-Milton to 26 per cent over the past year.

Kitchener-Waterloo, Barrie and Brantford are all feeling the city spillover, said CREA.

Comments (0)

Dubai To Launch Flying Drone Taxis In July

Posted on 25 February 2017 by admin

Up, up and away: Dubai hopes to have a passenger-carrying drone regularly buzzing through the skyline of this futuristic city-state in July.

The arrival of the Chinese-made EHang 184 — which already has had its flying debut over Dubai’s iconic, sail-shaped Burj al-Arab skyscraper hotel — comes as the Emirati city also has partnered with other cutting-edge technology companies, including Hyperloop One.

The question is whether the egg-shaped, four-legged craft will really take off as a transportation alternative in this car-clogged city already home to the world’s longest driverless metro line.

Mattar al-Tayer, the head of Dubai’s Roads & Transportation Agency, announced plans to have the craft regularly flying at the World Government Summit. Before his remarks on Monday, most treated the four-legged, eight-propeller craft as just another curiosity at an event that views itself as a desert Davos.

“This is not only a model,” al-Tayer said. “We have actually experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai’s skies.”

The craft can carry a passenger weighing up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and a small suitcase. After buckling into its race-car-style seat, the craft’s sole passenger selects a destination on a touch-screen pad in front of the seat and the drone flies there automatically.

The drone, which has a battery allowing for a half-hour flight time and a range of up to 50 kilometres (31 miles), will be monitored remotely by a control room on the ground. It has a top speed of 160 kph (100 mph), but authorities say it will be operated typically at 100 kph (62 mph).

Al-Tayer said the drone would begin regular operations in July. He did not elaborate.

The Road and Transportation Agency later issued a statement saying the drone had been examined by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and was controlled through 4G mobile internet. The agency did not immediately respond to further questions from The Associated Press.

The United Arab Emirates already requires drone hobbyists to register their aircraft. However, drone intrusions at Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest for international travel, has seen it shut down for hours at a time in recent months.

EHang did not respond to a request for comment. In May, authorities in Nevada announced they would partner with EHang to test the 184 to possibly be cleared by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

The drone may be a techno curiosity for now but Dubai — the commercial capital of the oil-rich UAE and home to the long-haul carrier Emirates — has bold visions for the future and the 184 fits right into its plans.

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced in April he wanted 25 per cent of all passenger trips in the city to be done by driverless vehicles in 2030. To that end, Dubai already has had the box-shaped driverless EZ10, built by France’s EasyMile, cruise nearby the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

In October, Dubai signed a deal with Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One to study the potential for building a hyperloop line between it and Abu Dhabi, the Emirati capital.

A hyperloop has levitating pods powered by electricity and magnetism that hurtle through low-friction pipes at a top speed of 1,220 kph (760 mph). Elon Musk, the co-founder of Tesla who appeared on Monday at the Dubai conference, first proposed the idea of a hyperloop in 2013.

Comments (0)

Chewing gum may adversely affect digestive system

Posted on 25 February 2017 by admin

Chronic exposure to a common food additive found in everything from chewing gum to bread can decrease the ability of small intestine cells to absorb nutrients and act as a barrier to pathogens, warns a study.

Ingestion of the compound, known as titanium dioxide, is nearly unavoidable. It can enter the digestive system through toothpastes, as titanium dioxide is used to create abrasion needed for cleaning. The oxide is also used in some chocolates to give it a smooth texture.

“Titanium oxide is a common food additive and people have been eating a lot of it for a long time — don’t worry, it won’t kill you! – but we were interested in some of the subtle effects, and we think people should know about them,” said one of the authors of the study, Gretchen Mahler, Assistant Professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

For the study, the researchers exposed a small intestinal cell culture model to the physiological equivalent of a meal’s worth of titanium oxide nanoparticles — 30 nanometers across — over four hours (acute exposure), or three meal’s worth over five days.

Acute exposures did not have much effect, but chronic exposure diminished the absorptive projections on the surface of intestinal cells called microvilli, showed the findings published in the journal NanoImpact.

With fewer microvilli, the intestinal barrier was weakened, metabolism slowed and some nutrients — iron, zinc, and fatty acids, specifically — were more difficult to absorb.

Enzyme functions were negatively affected, while inflammation signals increased, the study said. “To avoid foods rich in titanium oxide nanoparticles you should avoid processed foods, and especially candy. That is where you see a lot of nanoparticles,” Mahler said.

Comments (0)

‘Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana’ Teaser Posters Will Definitely Make You Curious

Posted on 25 February 2017 by admin

Akshara Haasan and Vivaan Shah will be seen in upcoming family entertainer ‘Laali Ke Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana’ and the teaser posters of the film featuring the fresh jodi, were released recently.

In the poster featuring Akshara, the lighteyed beauty is seen in bridal wear and a mischievous expression on her face as she clutches a piece of tamarind, hinting at the possibility of a pregnancy before marriage.

The other poster featuring Vivaan shows him holding a bouquet of wilted roses and a forlorn expression on his face. Needless to say, the teaser posters have made everyone curious to know more about the storyline and we guess the secret will be out as and when the film releases.

Written and directed by Manish Harishankar and produced by TP Aggarwal and Rahul Aggarwal under the banner Star Entertainment Worldwide Pvt Ltd., ‘Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana’ also features Gurmeet Choudhary, Kavitta Verma, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Mishra,Darshan Jariwala, Ravi Kishan, Suhasini Mulay, Navni Parihar, Kishori Shahane, Jyoti Kalsh and Ehsan Khan. This film is a family entertainer which revolves around a royal marriage and quirky characters, who are hilariously trapped in their own tragedies.

Comments (0)

Find out what made Sonam famous?

Posted on 25 February 2017 by admin

Remember Sonam Kapoor swaying to the tunes of Oscar-winning music composer A.R. Rahman’s “Masakali” with a pigeon on her head in “Delhi-6″? The actress says the song made her famous.

“Delhi-6″, which tells the story of an NRI, who returns with his ailing grandmother to his homeland and gets caught in a bizarre temple-mosque dispute arising out of monkey man menace in the heart of Delhi, clocked eight years of its release on the siver screen on Monday.

“The song that made me famous! I remember this so well, I was young joyful with no worries in the world,” Sonam tweeted on Monday.

The “Neerja” actress also said that the song was a symbol of freedom. “‘Masakali’ was a symbol of freedom and love… Abhishek Bachchan and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra… Eight years of ‘Delhi-6′,” she added.

The actress will next be seen in “Veere Di Wedding”. She will be seen sharing screen space with actresses Kareena Kapoor Khan and Swara Bhaskar.

Comments (0)

Very difficult to get good films: Taapsee Pannu

Posted on 25 February 2017 by admin

Taapsee Pannu has Running Shaadi.com, Naam Shabana, The Ghazi Attack and Judwaa 2 lined up.

Actress Taapsee Pannu is on a roll. She has at least four films lined up for 2017, and she is loving her busy phase. She has Running Shaadi.com, Naam Shabana, The Ghazi Attack and Judwaa 2 in her kitty.

“It’s very difficult to get good films for us, so I am very much excited about all my films,” Taapsee said here on the sidelines of a special screening of Running Shaadi, which is releasing on Friday.

The movie, debut directed by Amit Roy, also features Amit Sadh.

Talking about the romance comedy, she said: “I am little nervous and excited as well. ‘Running Shaadi’ is very special to me and because of this film, I got to work in Pink. I am looking forward to seeing the audience’s reaction.

“Until now you have seen me doing rough and tough roles, so now I want to see if I can also make the audience laugh. I am pretty sure this film will be able to bring a smile on everyone’s face.”

Running Shaadi revolves around a unique concept of helping people run away with the love of their life to get married.

In The Ghazi Attack, where Taapsee plays a prominent role, is based on the mysterious sinking of PNS Ghazi during India-Pakistan war of 1971.

Her Naam Shabana is an action spy thriller and a spin-off of the 2015 film Baby. Taapsee is reprising her role as Shabana along with the previous star cast Akshay Kumar and Anupam Kher.

Besides this, she has started shooting for Judwaa 2, in which she will be seen playing Varun Dhawan’s love interest.

Comments (0)

How Has Technology Changed The Way We Trust?

Posted on 15 February 2017 by admin

Rachel Botsman has spent over a decade thinking about the “sharing economy.” As an an author and a visiting academic at the University of Oxford, Saïd Business School, who researches how technology is transforming trust, she’s an authority on the subject. She’s also one of Fast Company‘s Most Creative People. She is currently writing a book, due out next fall, about the new decentralized economies and how that has changed trust.

I recently chatted with her about what this means for the future of leadership. What follows is a transcript of our conversation. It has been edited for space and clarity.

Can you talk a bit about your current project and its background?

In 2009, I wrote What’s Mine Is Yours about the so-called sharing economy. And there were really two aspects that always interested me about it. One was how you can take these idle assets and unlock their value through technology, and then the second was trust. This notion that technology could breed familiarity and enable strangers to trust one another was fascinating, and the start of something much bigger.

I started to research things like the blockchain and our relationship to artificial intelligence, and all these other technologies that transformed how we trust people, ideas, things, companies. I felt that there was a paradigm shift happening.

At the same time, it’s hard to ignore the headlines that trust is really imploding. So whether it’s banks, the media, government, churches . . . this institutional trust that is really important to society is disintegrating at an alarming rate. And so how do we trust people enough to get in a car with a total stranger and yet we don’t trust a banking executive? So that’s essentially what the book unpacks.

And what I’ve discovered through writing the book is that these systems aren’t better—they still bump against human error and greed and market forces. It is very hard to have a decentralized system because you always end up with a center or a monopoly of power. What I find really frightening is this denial—and this is a leadership question—first of all [to accept] that trust is changing. And then the lack of organizations completely rethinking how you build trust, what you do with trust when it’s destroyed, whether the basic principles are really changing.

Comments (0)

Immigration fuels Canada’s population growth of 1.7 million in five years: latest census

Posted on 15 February 2017 by admin

Immigration, urbanization and a burgeoning west.

That’s the story of the nation, revealed Wednesday as Statistics Canada began its year-long roll-out of data collected in the 2016 census.

Statistics Canada counted 35,151,728 people in its May 2016 census, a 5 per cent increase over the 2011 national count, and 14 million private dwellings, up 5.6 per cent.

Toronto held its title as Canada’s largest city, with 2,731,571 residents, 7.8 per cent of the country’s population. That’s one million more than Montreal, the second-place city, with 1,704,694 residents.

Four cities in the Golden Horseshoe — Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton — ranked among the top 10 largest Canadian cities.

The new numbers reveal that Canada’s population grew by 1.7 million people since the last census in 2011. Immigrants accounted for two-thirds of the increase and the so-called natural increase — the difference between births and deaths — accounted for the rest.

Over the coming years, newcomers to Canada will account for more and more of the country’s population growth due to low fertility and an aging population.

Canada’s population growth slowed in the last five years, compared to the previous census period when the country grew by 5.9 per cent, but still led all G7 nations.

In the census done five years ago, the story was of a nation growing and going west. That’s the story this time around too, with Canada’s surging western provinces all recording above-average increases in population.

Population growth accelerated in both Manitoba, up 5.8 per cent, and Alberta, which led all provinces with an 11.6 per cent increase, despite the oil patch slowdown that has slowed its economy.

Urban areas in the west were also fast-growing with Canada’s fastest growing urban areas were in the west with Calgary leading the way (up 14.6 per cent), followed by Edmonton (13.9 per cent), Saskatoon (12.5 per cent) and Regina (11.8 per cent).

Ontario — Canada’s most populous province with 13.5 million people — grew by 4.6 per cent. It’s the second census in a row that the province’s growth rate has been below the national average.

“Are we seeing a new pattern for Ontario where growth will be slightly lower than the national average? Who knows,” Martel said.

Still, Guelph, Oshawa, Toronto, Barrie, Ottawa and the Kitchener-Waterloo region were among the larger Ontario centres that saw above-average growth.

Immigrant settlement is behind much of the regional differences in population growth.

“We know that the geographic distribution of immigrants has changed slightly over the last few years. More are going towards Saskatchewan and Manitoba and less to Ontario and that explains in large part why the population growth in Ontario has decreased,” he said.

New Brunswick was alone in seeing its population actually drop, falling by 0.5 per cent. The population of Saint John fell by 2.2 per cent, blamed on people moving out of the province.

Indeed, Atlantic Canada’s share of the population has dropped over the years because of lower population growth. In 2016, 6.6 per cent of Canadians lived in the region, compared with 10 per cent in 1966.

Population growth slowed in Ontario and Quebec but the two provinces still accounted for 61.5 per cent of the Canadian population.

Nunavut took top spot as the fastest growing province or territory, seeing its population jump by 12.7 per cent, to 35,944 residents, thanks to the highest fertility level in the country. Women in Nunavut give birth to 2.9 children on average, compared to the national average of 1.6 children.

The census numbers track the changing fortunes of towns and cities across the nation. Warman, Sask. took the prize as the country’s fastest growing town or city with a 55 per cent jump in its population to 11,020. Shelburne, Ont. saw its population jump by 39 per cent.

At the other end of the scale were towns like Bonnyville, Alberta, Flin Flon, Manitoba, and the Ontario communities of Espanola, Kirkland Lake and Elliot Lake, which all lost residents.

Still, the latest census data confirms the continuing urbanization of Canada with 83 per cent of its population now living in cities. And the large urban areas grew by 7.9 per cent, faster than the overall growth in population.

“Canada was a rural country 150 years ago at Confederation. Now, we’re among the countries in the world with the largest proportion of the population living in metropolitan areas,” Martel said.

The census data also shows that population growth was higher in so-called peripheral municipalities (up 6.9 per cent) compared with central municipalities (5.8 per cent). “This is very valuable information for those who are planning public transportation,” Martel said.

Canada had just 3.9 people per square kilometre in 2016, compared with 35.3 people per square kilometre in the United States. But the country’s population is highly concentrated with two out of three people living within 100 kilometres of the U.S. border.

Comments (0)

Here Are The Canadian Cities With The Most Empty Homes

Posted on 15 February 2017 by admin

There were more than 1.3 million empty or temporarily occupied homes in Canada in 2016, according to census data released this week — enough housing to accommodate some 3.2 million people.

That’s an increase of nearly 40 per cent since the 2001 census. As a share of all housing, 8.7 per cent of Canadian homes lacked a permanent resident in 2016, up from 7.6 per cent in 2001.

In Toronto, the number of empty homes has tripled to 99,000 since 2001, enough housing for some 240,000 people.

In Vancouver, empty homes have more than doubled in that time, to around 66,000.

The rising number of empty homes has got some policymakers in large cities worried. Many market observers have argued that foreign investors and house-flippers are leaving the homes they purchased empty, threatening the economic health of the community in the long-run.

Vancouver’s high-end neighbourhoods “have become just luxury items like Ferraris,” Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program, told Bloomberg News. “They’re not affordable for most local incomes.”

In the condo neighbourhood around Toronto’s King Street West, nearly 22 per cent of homes are empty, Better Dwelling reports.

Percentage-wise, the cities with the most empty homes in Canada are places not known for house-flippers or foreign investors:

  • St. John’s
  • Saskatoon
  • Halifax
  • St. Catharines, Ont.

In some of these cities, empty homes may simply reflect a lack of demand.

Another cause that has been suggested is Airbnb. Some academic articles have argued the short-term stay booking service is wreaking havoc with housing supply, by effectively turning homes into part of a city’s hotel-room stock.

Whatever the reasons, empty houses have become an obsession in Canada’s priciest cities, as evidenced by this Vancouver blog dedicated to the city’s most beautiful unoccupied homes.

Comments (0)

Amy Jackson to resume shoot for ’2.0′

Posted on 15 February 2017 by admin

Actress Amy Jackson on Monday said she is set to rejoin the shoot of superstar Rajinikanth’s upcoming Tamil science-fiction action-thriller “2.o”, a sequel to 2010 Tamil blockbuster “Enthiran”.

“Thanks Kerala! Next stop Chennai for ’2.o’ shoot,” Amy tweeted on Monday. Amy was in Kerala to perform at the Vanitha Film Awards.

At the event, she performed to a song from her Tamil film “Ai”, which has music by A.R. Rahman. “It was a privilege to dance to your magical music A.R. Rahman,” she wrote.

In “2.0″, being directed by S. Shankar, she is paired with Rajinikanth.

Nearly 80 per cent of the film which also stars Akshay Kumar, Adil Hussain and Sudhanshu Pandey – has already been completed and the makers are gearing up for its release this Diwali.

The film marks the Tamil debut of Akshay, who will be seen playing the prime antagonist.

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here