VOL. 10 NO. 3
GREATER TORONTO APARTMENT ASSOCIATION
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Les Woods, and the Certified Clean Air Services team, would like to thank you for your patronage and continued loyalty over the years. With 2012 marking 40 years of service excellence, we wish all of you and your families the best for the holiday season, and our very best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year. Certified Clean Air Services 905.602.1555 email@example.com
PROVIDING COMPREHENSIVE MECHANIC AL SERVICE SOLUTIONS SINCE 1994
GOVERNMENT/CITY MUNICIPALITIES COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL HI-RISE RESIDENTIAL/ CONDOMINIUMS RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES HOSPITALS COMPUTER SERVER ROOMS
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CFAA Survey Reveals Compensation Costs in Toronto Landlords Gaining Strength Through Information Toronto Housing Outlook CFAA Seeks Proposals for 2012 Conference Presentations
PROVINCIAL CORPORATE PROFILE Founded in 1998, the Greater Toronto Apartment Association (GTAA) represents the interests of Toronto’s most active and concerned firms working in the multifamily rental housing industry today. In a climate of rapidly changing issues such as realty taxes, municipal fees, property and fire standards, inspections and bylaws, the GTAA was established as a municipal association to advocate for the rental housing industry and to provide a source of vital information, representation and leadership in the rental housing industry. The GTAA now boasts more than 240 property management companies that own and operate more than 160,000 apartment units. As well, there are over 150 supplier members in all trade categories. GTAA’s regular meetings with municipalities throughout the GTA, including politicians and officials, provides a voice the industry needs for early warning about new policies, regulations and research reports. The GTAA also engages in effective action campaigns in the media and local communities.
MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS BENEFITS GTAA is an active participant in the formation of municipal policy and helping to shape legislation and regulations that affect the industry. GTAA is “front and centre” on the entire spectrum of housing-related issues. GTAA will inform member firms how actions by the respective municipal governments and other agencies concerning the building code, affect the multifamily industry’s costs and operations. GTAA will alert members to important proposals to change the model codes, inform members of code improvements favored by the industry, and interpret the practical impact of major code decisions.
17 Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing 18 Ontario Cabinet Ministers
MUNICIPAL 19 20 23 25 27 28 29 30
Public Pool Inspections Pool and Spa Safety: Avoid Getting a Citation Waste Case Delay Waste Collection Rates 2012 Multi-Unit Buildings Green Bin Program Toronto Water Rates 2012 Revised Rental Application Form Energy Savings Purchase Agreements
GTAA 8 10 21 33 34 34 36 37 39 39 40 40 41 42 43 44 44
President’s Message Message from the Chair Upcoming Events Annual General Meeting GTAA Standing Committees Annual Dinner Charitable Foundation Donates $100K at AGM Millennium Members Honoured at AGM Sam Grossman Award of Excellence Database Update 2012 Source Directory Pharaoh Ants – A Modern Plague A Few Words on Holiday Etiquette How to Protect Your Rental Business Marketing Beyond Vacancies Millennium Member Directory Supplier Member Directory
ON THE COVER – Broadview Towers, 1000 Broadview Ave
BUILDING BLOCKS VOL. 10 NO. 3 DECEMBER 2011 PUBLISHER RICHARD SOREN Design Print Media T. 416.465.6600 firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR DARYL CHONG President & CEO, GTAA T. 416.385.3435 X36 email@example.com
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• Building Blocks is published six times per annum (February, April, June, August, October and December) by Design Print Media on behalf of the Greater Toronto Apartment Association (GTAA) and is distributed through controlled circulation to the GTAA membership. • Please contact the Publisher for advertising dates and rates. • Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the GTAA Board or management. • GTAA accepts no liability for information contained herein.
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ime sure does fly by. The holidays are upon us, signalling the end of the year. As we close it out, I wish to thank Perry Fryers the now Past Chair, for his guidance over the last several months. I really appreciated him stepping up to help me out and get up to speed.
Ivan Murgic recently started his term as Chair. I’m certain he will do a fabulous job. His inaugural message is in this edition. The GTAA Annual Meeting and Dinner was another huge success. Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti provided some inspiring words during his keynote address. He acknowledged that the GTAA is appreciated and respected at City Hall by City Council and the administration. We look forward to working with him and his colleagues on a variety of issues through this term of Council. The City’s respect is evidenced by their regular participation at our events. Public Health – swimming pools, Public Health – hoarding, MLS, Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Community Housing, and elected officials have all participated at GTAA organized events in the past three months. We will continue to work closely with the City, and foster a better relationship along the way. Our goal is to be recognized as important partners who provide essential infrastructure. If GTAA members did not provide housing to a large portion of the population, who would? As one year ends a new year begins. 2012 is full of opportunity. We have lots planned and are developing more. We will be busy with education and training sessions, keeping the industry informed, working on government relations, organizing fun networking events, and generously helping the community by volunteering time and raising much needed money. We are also making changes that will result in more effective and efficient communications with you. Some of these improvements are detailed in this edition. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Much of this will be in place during the next month. Enjoy the holidays. Best wishes to you and your families in the New Year.
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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
hange. When did the world become so complicated? Roller coaster-like headlines about “occupy movements”, up and down markets, housing crashes and bubbles, up and down employment, sovereign debt, personal debt, and on it goes. The rental housing industry is not immune to any of these issues. Generally speaking in the Greater Toronto area, vacancies, turnover and rent arrears are down. However, storm clouds are never far away: rising unemployment, increasing competition from condos, changing (and sometimes confusing) legislation, increasing costs to maintain aging buildings (waste levies, HST, maintenance, utility and capital costs). Furthermore, as rents climb slowly and more tenants pay “market rents”, they also know more, expect more and share more through communication tools like social media.
It’s interesting how big and small investors are looking to rental housing in the GTA as a safer investment than the stock markets and other jurisdictions. Despite the challenges, ownership in the industry is becoming more diversified and professional. Pension funds, REITS and off shore investors want rentals. There is some new construction of rental housing but not enough. Even when you add the growing amount of condos that are rented out, supply falls short of demand. On a municipal level, cities are under growing pressure to reduce spending and increase revenues, while infrastructure, transit, social programs and services do not keep up with growing cities. Provincial and federal aid is not forthcoming. We all have to do more with less. At the same time, our staff must adapt and learn about new legislation like the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, be proactive in terms of e-mail, social media like Facebook and Twitter, technology, software, bed bugs, hoarding, etc. This never was a 9 to 5 job, but the lines between personal and business have become increasingly blurred. Again, when did things become so complicated? Remember the basics, keep it simple and stay focused. Make sure things are cleaned and maintained. Collect the rent. Continue to train and support your staff. Focus on customer service. Take care of existing tenants first and attract new ones if you have to by word of mouth and curb appeal. It can be done. We’ll do our part. We’ll organize education and training, work with stakeholders, promote new services, opportunities and relationships. We can influence change. We have to. We’re in this together.
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CFAA SURVEY REVEALS COMPENSATION COSTS IN TORONTO re your employees satisfied with the compensation you provide? Are your competitors offering better wages and benefits?
If you want to ensure your employees remain satisfied in their current roles, you will want to review the results of the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associationâ€™s 2011 Employee Compensation and Benefits Survey. Salaries, rental subsidies and bonuses were reported by 23 major Toronto-area rental housing providers, including CAPREIT, DMS, Homestead, Morguard, Oxford, Park Properties, Realstar, Minto, Sterling-Karamar, Timbercreek, and Vertica. The survey covered 48,474 units in the City of Toronto (Mississauga and Thornhill), and an additional 6,863 in the GTA beyond Mississauga and Thornhill. The full survey provides comprehensive information on benefit programs, pension plans, turnover rates, and other HR practices. Compensation is reported at various levels (mean average, median, P25, P75, etc.) for Toronto for building superintendents, cleaners, doorman/concierge, leasing agents, legal administrators/paralegals, maintenance managers, maintenance technicians, marketing managers, property accountants, property administrators, assistant property managers, property managers and regional managers (and mean average and median for security guards). COMPARATIVE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES Besides providing data to manage employee costs, the survey also provides an interesting window on management practices. In Toronto and many other cities, buildings are typically managed by a person (or two people) known as a resident manager, building superintendent or community manager. Those people are real jacks-of-all-trades. They have to communicate with tenants about tenant behaviour, repairs and late rent; perform minor repairs; and often keep the buildings clean.
Building superintendents or resident managers are common in buildings of all sizes up to 250 units. In addition, usually in buildings of 100 units or more, landlords will also employ cleaners and maintenance technicians. In Toronto, for example, superintendents made up 37% of the staff reported, while cleaners and maintenance techs together made up 13% of the reported positions. However, in Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon, superintendents made up only 27%, 17% and 10% of the incumbents reported, respectively. Conversely, cleaners and maintenance techs together made up 50%, 54%, and 53% of the reported positions. It may be that the recent tight labour market conditions in the Western cities have driven landlords to manage in the most cost-efficient way possible. That means not paying a staff person who can perform repairs to clean hallways, and looking for a staff person who can perform repairs or communicate effectively, but not needing someone who is comfortable doing both tasks. The survey also indicates that compensation costs are not as high in Toronto as they are in other parts of the country. For a number of positions, landlords in Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver pay higher compensation rates on average than the rates paid in Toronto.
FOR MORE INFORMATION To inquire about the survey or to purchase it, please contact Krista Johnston at 613-235-0101 or at email@example.com. For survey participants, the cost for the Toronto and GTAA report is $350. For those who did not submit data this year, the Toronto and GTA compensation report can be purchased for $700, or for $950, if you want the benefits information as well as the compensation data. To learn more about pricing for other cities across Canada, please visit the CFAA website at www.cfaa-fcapi.org.
GTAA IS A MEMBER OF THE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF APARTMENT ASSOCIATIONS, THE SOLE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF CANADAâ€™S $40 BILLION PRIVATE RENTAL HOUSING INDUSTRY, WHICH PROVIDES HOMES FOR MORE THAN SEVEN MILLION CANADIANS.
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LANDLORDS GAINING STRENGTH THROUGH INFORMATION JOHN DICKIE, PRESIDENT, CFAA
he Greater Toronto Apartment Association speaks for multi-family landlords in Toronto, tackling all kinds of issues at the City of Toronto and the surrounding municipalities. The GTAA does a terrific job at that.
licences landlords for quality assurance, although the Western provinces license landlords and property managers as businesses, and regulate the trust accounts property managers hold for owners.
What the GTAA cannot do by itself is to manage the ideas that come into Toronto from other places. Often Toronto takes the lead on new initiatives, but not always. Sometimes other cities and provinces across Canada have ideas that can help or hurt landlords in Toronto.
GTAA and other Ontario associations shared information about the municipal plans for licensing and the arguments against it. Both GTAA and EOLO defeated landlord licensing, in part by directing attention to how the cities can best deal with problem properties. That has helped the Hamilton association to avoid licensing to date. So far, licensing seems to be directed solely at the issues that arise from students living in large numbers in close proximity to homeowners.
Besides lobbying at the federal level, the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations (CFAA) provides an effective flow of information among apartment associations across Canada. The information includes warnings about risks of new government action, information about negatives to enable associations to fight off bad ideas, arguments and techniques to address government relations issues, and good ideas that associations can promote. Toronto’s fight over waste and recycling has alerted other cities to the danger of aggressive municipal efforts to drive recycling through differential waste levies. As a result, the associations in Ottawa and Vancouver have ramped up their efforts on waste and recycling plans to try to avoid a Torontostyle waste levy. When the Manitoba government started looking at copying Ontario’s rules allowing pets in rental apartments, the association in Manitoba contacted Ontario associations immediately. GTAA, the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO), and the Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization (EOLO) replied with information that allowed the Manitoba association to achieve a much better solution. (Landlords can refuse pets and can take a special damage deposit if they do allow them.) The City of Toronto was at the forefront of municipal consideration of landlord licensing. Early on, CFAA organized an exchange of status reports across Canada, together with a conference call to discuss them. From that, GTAA and FRPO learned that apart from the new Ontario rules enabling municipal licensing regimes, no province
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The Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton success stories may yet allow London landlords to have licensing repealed or modified to be more benign. Housing policy is another area where ideas travel across Canada. Portable housing allowances have long been used with great success in Quebec, Manitoba and BC. Since 2004, CFAA has been promoting them vigorously, and they have been adopted in Saskatchewan and to a limited extent in Alberta. GTAA was able to use the success of housing allowances elsewhere to achieve the inclusion of housing allowances and rent supplements in the Housing Opportunities for Toronto (“HOT”) plan adopted by the City of Toronto. In turn, the City of Ottawa is looking at the HOT plan as a possible model for its housing policy. All of these examples illustrate the benefits for rental housing providers when their apartment associations share information effectively. CFAA is the ideal conduit to achieve that information sharing, as well as for implementing effective federal lobbying. GTAA is a member of the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations, the sole national organization representing the interests of Canada’s $40 billion private rental housing industry, which provides homes for more than seven million Canadians.
TORONTO HOUSING OUTLOOK oronto’s housing market will see few changes next year as sales flatten out, prices stay near current levels and condominium apartment construction remains strong, according to Shaun Hildebrand, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC), Senior Market Analyst for the Greater Toronto Area. CMHC released its latest forecast for the GTA at the annual Toronto Housing Outlook Conference on November 3, 2011.
In fact, excluding some volatility in 2007 and 2008, annual sales totals have remained within a tight range of between 85,000 and 90,000 since 2004. A good chunk of the pool of potential buyers from the past few years have already bought in advance of a couple rounds of mortgage policy changes as well as anticipated increases in borrowing costs. While we could see activity rise in early 2012 as a reaction to improved affordability and higher listings, expect the number of potential owners to see limited expansion with the creation of fewer full-time positions and the slower immigration.
“The market will feel somewhat slower than previous periods of high activity as buyers practice more restraint in light of slowing economic fundamentals,” said Shaun Hildebrand. “Low interest rates will help keep a decent sales pace, but expect resistance to price increases as more supply enters the market,” added Hildebrand.
NEW HOME MARKET Condos Will Keep New Home Construction Strong
While the headline numbers won’t change much in 2012, several subplots within the diverse GTA housing market will be worth paying attention to. Resale market activity will hold steady in 2012. Sales will remain close to previous years with a total of 88,500 transactions, while prices will remain fairly flat with annual growth of one per cent. New home construction will stay elevated next year at 35,000 units on the strength of condominium apartment construction. New home sales will moderate to 33,500 units in 2012. Total employment will see little growth next year amidst a slowing global economy. The unemployment rate will remain above eight per cent and net migration will stay muted at 64,000. High levels of condo construction will help alleviate some pressures on vacancy rates as rental demand remains strong. RESALE MARKET Flat Sales and Higher Listings will Slow Price Growth The market for existing homes will continue along its steady path in 2012. The biggest movers of ownership demand — interest rates and employment — are expected to see little change next year. Weakened financial market conditions and a slower profile for economic growth won’t provide any stimulus for the housing market, however the lasting need for low interest rates will alleviate pressures on affordability. Increased supply and slower growth in prices should also help keep the door open for would-be homebuyers. All-in-all, resale market activity in 2012 will be largely unchanged from annual results tallied over the past few years.
The shift towards more affordable product occurring in the resale market will hold true for new development in 2012. Overall housing starts will slow by about 10 per cent next year, although the multi-family segment will remain steady and keep total construction elevated in comparison to the last couple years. Condominium apartment starts over the 2011-2012 period will be the highest ever recorded over a two year span. New condominium sales, however, should scale back after a record year to 18,000 units in 2012. The weakest link for new housing development in 2012 will be found in the single detached segment, which will limit low rise sales to 15,500 units. The rising supply of condos also plays a critical role in satisfying rising demand for rental accommodations. As firsttime buying pulls back and population growth for those aged 25-34 (which will become the largest cohort of renters) continues to pick up, rental demand will be at its strongest in several years. And since purpose-built rental units typically make up less than 10% of apartment starts, the market will turn towards condo investors to list their units for rent. About one quarter of newly completed condos are added to the rental pool, which has been expanding as condo completions are on track to hit a new record this year. Yet market conditions remain tight – the number of units rented through the MLS system has been rising even faster than the number of units listed. This suggests that vacancy rates have stayed low through the fall and the market remains supportive of this elevated level of new condo supply. The market for both condo rentals and apartment ownership should see more balance in 2012, but will remain stable as demand holds steady. Condo rental supply will continue to grow as completions stay high and investors stay active in listing their units for rent. Since most units that are expected to complete next year were purchased at pre-construction in 2008 or 2009, average rents should still be able to cover total continued on page 14 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 1 V O L .1 0 N O . 3 B U I L D I N G B L O C K S 1 3
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carrying costs. More investors may also be inclined to hold their units as price growth in the resale market begins to slow. A flat profile for demand combined with rising resale listings (10-15% of new units are listed for sale within 12 months after registration) will lead current rates of appreciation to moderate in the coming quarters. LOCAL ECONOMY The Fundamentals have Slowed Ironically, some of the sectors that helped the local economy recover quickly from the recession will temper growth in employment next year. A levelling out in consumer spending and a continued shift towards lower government expenditures will weigh on job creation in the service sector — notably the retail trade and public administration fields.
Hiring in the finance, insurance and real estate sector should also pull back as first-time home buyers take a breather and companies linked to equity markets maintain a cautious outlook. On the production side, the recovery in manufacturing will slow in 2012 as U.S. consumption is restrained by elevated unemployment and continued weakness in housing markets. One apparent bright spot for employment in Toronto next year can be found in the construction industry. As more and more condo projects shift from the sales to construction phase, labour and trades will be in high demand. Keep a look out for CMHC’s semi-annual Rental Market Report due to be released in December. Download the latest housing market information available to you, visit us today at www.cmhc.ca/housingmarketinformation.
TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CMHC’S MORTGAGE LOAN INSURANCE, CONTACT PAULA GASPARRO, MANAGER, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, MULTI-UNIT MORTGAGE INSURANCE AT 416-250-2731 OR VIA E-MAIL AT PGASPARR@CMHC.CA. FOR MORE INFORMATION, LOG ON TO WWW. CMHC.CA/MULT-UNIT.
CFAA SEEKS PROPOSALS FOR 2012 CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS eing held in downtown Vancouver, CFAA’s 2012 Conference will feature two days of panel discussions during the Investment Conference on June 14, and the Facilities Management Conference on June 15.Two streams of presentations will again be offered to delegates, including topics that pertain to rental housing investors and executives, as well as property managers and hands-on owners.
the country in fun and informal settings, including the Building Innovations Bus Tour, which will open the Conference on June 13, and the Dinner Boat Cruise on June 14.
CFAA welcomes proposals from landlords, suppliers, and industry professionals, who want to offer an educational perspective on the panel discussion themes. CFAA is also open to input on alternate topics that will offer practical information to rental housing businesses of all sizes.
For more details, please visit www.cfaa-fcapi.org. For 2012 presentation opportunities, see the CFAA website or contact Krista Johnston at 613-235-0101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Besides education, the Conference also promises valuable networking opportunities with industry leaders from across
Please mark June 13 to 15, 2012, on your calendars. The 2012 CFAA Conference should not be missed!
For 2012 partnership opportunities, contact Erin Wallace at 613-235-0101 or email@example.com.
TOPICS FOR THE CFAA INVESTMENT CONFERENCE ON JUNE 14 CROSS CANADA ROUND UP REPORTS KEY RENTAL HOUSING SALES CANADA WIDE ECONOMIC UPDATE POPULATION TRENDS IN BC AND CANADA RISKS TO INDUSTRY PROFITABILITY SENIORS HOUSING AS A GROWING NICHE INNOVATIONS IN CREATING VALUE STUDENT HOUSING AS A NEW SPECIALTY TOPICS FOR THE CFAA FACILITIES MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE ON JUNE 15 COST-EFFECTIVE BUILDING REPAIRS (LOW-RISE) EMPLOYMENT LAW AND COMPENSATION LEAKY BUILDING SOLUTIONS WASTE DISPOSAL AND DIVERSION INNOVATIONS IN FACILITIES MANAGEMENT BED BUG EXTERMINATION UPDATE NEWS IN LANDLORD-TENANT ADJUDICATION DEALING WITH DISTURBING TENANTS
GTAA IS A MEMBER OF THE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF APARTMENT ASSOCIATIONS, THE SOLE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF CANADA’S $40 BILLION PRIVATE RENTAL HOUSING INDUSTRY, WHICH PROVIDES HOMES FOR MORE THAN SEVEN MILLION CANADIANS.
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Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing THE HONOURABLE KATHLEEN WYNNE – MINISTER OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND HOUSING Kathleen Wynne is the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. She was first elected as the MPP for Don Valley West in October 2003. Wynne previously served as the Minister of Transportation and the Minister of Education. She also served as a Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities; Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education; Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Community Affairs Policy; and Chair of the Liberal Women’s Caucus. As the Minister of Transportation, Wynne was responsible for ensuring that Ontario is a world leader in moving people and goods safely, efficiently and sustainably to support a globally competitive economy and a high quality of life. Before joining the government, Wynne served as a trustee on the Toronto District School Board. She holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in Adult Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She also completed mediation training at Harvard University. Building on a lifetime of political activity and a career of public service, Wynne is a knowledgeable and passionate advocate for her community of Don Valley West. She has led citizens groups in a number of grassroots community projects and has played a major role as an organizer and facilitator. Wynne has three children, Chris, Jessie and Maggie, and two granddaughters, Olivia and Claire. Kathleen and her partner Jane have lived in North Toronto for more than 30 years. PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT TO THE MINISTER OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND HOUSING (HOUSING) Mario Sergio was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 1995 and was re-elected in 1999, 2003 and 2007. He has served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, as well as to the ministers responsible for Senior’s Issues and Consumer and Business Services. In Opposition, he was critic for small business and Deputy Whip.
Sergio’s service in public office spans more than 29 years. His first municipal election victory was in 1978, when he was elected to the City of North York Council. He was chair and a member of North York’s Planning Board Committee for 14 years. From 1985 to 1988, he also served on Metro Toronto Council, where he was chair of the Metro Transportation Committee. Sergio has also served on the Public Works Committee, the Metro Toronto Housing Authority, the Metro Toronto Region Conservation Authority and the Canadian National Exhibition Board. Before he entered politics, Sergio was a registered general insurance and real estate broker. At age 21, he started his own general insurance business while working as a life insurance agent. In 1969, he started his own real estate brokerage, which he operated until his municipal election win nine years later. Sergio’s community service spans more than 35 years and has included being a founding member of COSTI; member of the York Finch Hospital Board; co-chair of the United Way of North York; director of the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association; and member of the Knights of Columbus, the Children’s Aid Society and American Public Works Association. Sergio was born in Italy in 1940. He and his wife, Rose, have two sons and four grandchildren. PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT TO THE MINISTER OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND HOUSING (MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS) David Zimmer was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2003 for the riding of Willowdale. Before entering politics, he was chair of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation — Canada’s largest community housing provider and the second largest in North America. Zimmer has practised law for many years in Toronto and has served as a part-time Crown Attorney. For 10 years, he was an administrative law instructor in the Law Society’s Bar Admission Course. He has extensive experience before administrative boards and tribunals and in the civil and criminal courts. Zimmer has also served as assistant deputy chairperson at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. continued on page 19 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 1 V O L .1 0 N O . 3 B U I L D I N G B L O C K S 1 7
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Through his volunteer work, Zimmer has demonstrated his commitment to community and international affairs. He has served as a director of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs and president of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. In 1993, Zimmer was awarded a Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation for his significant contribution in promoting research and awareness of Alzheimerâ€™s disease. DEPUTY MINISTER OF THE MINISTRY OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND HOUSING William Forward became the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on June 7, 2010. His distinguished public service career spans more than twenty years with both the federal and Ontario governments.
Deputy Forward previously held Interim Deputy Minister and Assistant Deputy Minister positions at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. He also served as Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministries of Intergovernmental Affairs; Public Infrastructure Renewal; and International Trade and Investment. Prior to joining the OPS, William served as senior economist with the federal Department of Finance and as research associate at the Science Council of Canada. He earned a Master of Science degree in Economics from University of London, UK, as well as Bachelor and Master of Political Science degrees from York University in Toronto.
ONTARIO CABINET MINISTERS On October 20, 2011 the new Ontario Liberal Cabinet was sworn in. With fewer seats in this minority government there are 22 Cabinet Ministers â€“ down from 28 in their previous majority government.
Dalton McGuinty: Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Jim Bradley: Minister of the Environment Rick Bartolucci: Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Chair of Cabinet Dwight Duncan: Minister of Finance, Deputy Premier John Gerretsen: Attorney General Chris Bentley: Minister of Energy Madeleine Meilleur: Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
Harinder Takhar: Minister of Government Services
Margarett Best: Minister of Consumer Services
Charles Sousa: Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Kathleen Wynne: Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
Laurel Broten: Minister of Education, Minister of Women's Issues
Ted McMeekin: Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Michael Chan: Minister of Tourism and Culture
Linda Jeffrey: Minister of Labour, Minister Responsible for Seniors
Michael Gravelle: Minister of Natural Resources
Eric Hoskins: Minister of Children and Youth Services
Brad Duguid: Minister of Economic Development and Innovation
Glen Murray: Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
Deb Matthews: Minister of Health and Long Term Care
Bob Chiarelli: Minister of Transportation, Minister of Infrastructure
John Milloy: Minister of Community and Social Services, Government House Leader
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OTHER NOTABLES ARE: Dave Levac: Speaker Mario Sergio: Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Housing) David Zimmer: Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Municipal Affairs)
PUBLIC POOL INSPECTIONS – LUNCH N LEARN Much ado was recently made in the local media. Worrying headlines appeared regarding the safety, or lack of it, of almost every Toronto vessel that contained enough water to sit in. At our session, Toronto Public Health officials advised the audience that a news reporter was looking very hard for a story. BUT, there was not one. Compliance is around 90%. In 2010, 3454 inspections were conducted and 3170 (92%) has “minor or no infractions”. Year-to-date 2011, 89% (2282 of 2579) had “minor or no infractions”. In 2009 it was 89%. Public Health officials applauded the apartment industry for great work, but noted that it is not perfect and the goal is 100% full compliance. DID YOU KNOW?
n Tuesday, November 8, 2011, the GTAA hosted a “Swimming Pool Inspections and Maintenance” Lunch n Learn seminar to provide apartment owners and property managers with a detailed overview of what the City of Toronto’s Public Health Inspectors are reviewing and measuring during their swimming pool inspections.
…THAT SUNLIGHT DESTROYS CHLORINE? CYANURIC ACID ACTS AS A STABILIZER WHEN ADDED TO OUTDOOR POOL WATER TO PREVENT THE DESTRUCTION OF CHLORINE. USING A STABILIZER HELPS MAINTAIN THE CHLORINE LEVEL. CYANURIC ACID LEVELS MUST BE CHECKED AND RECORDED WEEKLY BY THE PERSON CARRYING OUT THE TEST.
Mahesh Patel, Manager of Health Hazards, Public Health Department, City of Toronto, who is in charge of swimming pool safety and compliance inspection, was our keynote presenter. He is commonly referred to as the City’s main ‘Pool Inspections Guy’. Mahesh was accompanied by David Tucci, a Public Health Pool Inspector. David explained what he looks for while on site at your pool. Kavos Arran the Regional Manager of Superior Pool Spa and Leisure provided an outline regarding how to ensure compliance with the City’s requirements. Kavos presented options ranging from training your building staff to outsourcing parts or all of the maintenance requirements. Each attendee was given a CD copy of Toronto Public Health’s “Spa & Pool Operator’s Manual” which includes valuable information. Superior Pool, Spa and Leisure POOL RECORDS provided a useful information WRITTEN RECORDS MUST BE SIGNED package which included an BY THE PERSON THAT CARRIES OUT operational flowchart. THE INSPECTION
Nonetheless, the story was run, and spun, by the local media. The final result will be fines (if approved by the Province) and a rating system.
The ratings will be similar to the food safety system (restaurant) with green, yellow and red, but will include a more detailed numeric score, likely out of 10. Details are still being worked out. Regardless of the eventual outcome, all apartment buildings with pools should comply with the straight forward rules and regulations for safety and liability. If compliance is not met, financial liability in the case of a claim will be significant. In the event of serious injury or death, the liability would be considerably greater. Swimming pools are a great amenity that can be used to attract and retain tenants. Comply with all the regulations and keep everyone safe.
BLACK DISC TEST & POOL WATER CLARITY A BLACK DISC ON A WHITE BACKGROUND AT THE DEEPEST POINT OF THE POOL MUST BE CLEARLY VISIBLE FROM ANY POINT ON THE DECK 9 METRES AWAY.
RECORDS MUST BE KEPT UP TO 1 YEAR FROM THE DATE OF THE INSPECTION
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POOL AND SPA SAFETY: HOW TO AVOID GETTING A CITATION BY THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT ccording to the Lifesaving Society “The Drowning Report” (2008), Canadians have been successfully reducing the number of preventable water-related deaths in Canada. This exciting trend is also occurring in Ontario, with a 50% decrease in less than 20 years. Unfortunately, over the past 20 years, there has been an average of 190 preventable waterrelated deaths each year in Ontario. These statistics do not include all of the injuries (reported and unreported) sustained while participating in aquatic recreation activities. As a province, we still have more work to do and all facility owners, managers and operators have a shared responsibility to continue enforcing swimming pool and spa regulations and developing regular compliance programs.
For decades, the health departments in Ontario (Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care) have devoted their time and effort to develop, educate and enforce safety measures in the pool and spa facilities around the province. Regardless of how high the level of enforcement is; having a healthy and safe pool or spa will prevent accidents and untimely death. This will also keep property managers, owners and the pool and spa operators out of court on criminal negligence convictions. The role as the operator of a pool or spa is to implement and ensure the highest level of safety possible by training, communicating and performing regular maintenance of the facility. These things can only be accomplished by putting a proper maintenance and operations plan in place. Over 15 years ago as a motivated 16 year old, I completed my Bronze Cross and then my National Lifeguard Service (NLS) to become a lifeguard. Through this training at an early age, I was taught that every time I start a shift, I have to perform a set of standardized safety checks. These safety checks include checking all the areas where the patrons go through to enter the pool/spa area and then the surrounding pool and spa areas, to name a few. It is crucial for any operator to know the facility really well, to see and realize small changes, defects or abnormalities that compromise the overall safety of the facility that he/she is charged to oversee. A lifeguard who is the facility operator is responsible for managing water clarity and chemistry, and the filtration systems. This collection of responsibilities is delegated to the pool/spa operator – the person who spends most of his/her
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time in or around the facility and has a general knowledge of pool/spa operations. So where do we find a list of items to check in the pool or the spa area? How do we know what to check for? How do we keep up with the regulations? How do we continue to pass our facility health inspections? How do we save ourselves from showing up on the Toronto Star’s Map of Pool/Spa Infractions? The answer is as easy as 1-2-3: 1. R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 565 PUBLIC POOLS 2. ONTARIO REGULATION 428/05 PUBLIC SPAS 3. CONSISTENT AND PERSISTENT EDUCATION AND TRAINING
The pool and spa regulations are the instruction book on running a safe pool and spa operation. The bottom line is that there is a vast amount of information in the industry available to anyone who is interested to learn. The information is available through the Ontario Ministry of Health and also complimented by The Lifesaving Society. As an affiliate organization to the Lifesaving Society, Superior Pool has developed a series of training programs for site operators who are less involved with the pool and spa and their day to day job compliments the services of a professional company. On the other hand, we have la pièce de résistance training program for those ‘one-man-army’ situations where one individual takes care of their own pool and the spa, called The Certified Pool Operator courses for Level I and Level II. These courses are available and conducted on site, by request. It’s important for the owners, property managers and site staff to know that the pool professional that provides its regular maintenance services to their sites periodically and is not present on site all the time, is never the operator of the pool or the spa. Per the Ontario Public Pool and Spa Regulations, the facility must have a dedicated and designated operator. That operator is in charge of attending the pool and spa in times of need for checking the safety items, balancing the chemistry of the water, performing regular maintenance on the pool and spa, performing pre-opening procedures and has a basic knowledge during any emergency situation. The operator’s main role is also to communicate the ongoing issues or concerns to the facility managers and working with them to find resolutions.
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2011/2012 UPCOMING EVENTS MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!
Reduce Heating COSTS and improve your tenants’ comfort
2011/2012 WILL BE ANOTHER YEAR JAMMED WITH EVENTS, SEMINARS AND ACTIVITIES FOR MEMBERS. HERE ARE SOME OF THE UPCOMING EVENTS.
HOLIDAY WISHES TOY ROOM Peel Children’s Aid Friday, December 9, 2011, 9:30 AM – noon 6665 Millcreek Drive, Unit 1 & 2, Mississauga CMHC RENTAL SURVEY BREAKFAST Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 8 – 10 AM, Old Mill Inn HOPE SPRING FOOD DRIVE The GTAA is continuing our annual food drive and striving to collect more than the 126,000 pounds of food that was collected in 2011. The 2012 date will be confirmed early in the new year. We encourage you to enrol your buildings and participate in this great event. You will be notified very soon. NIGHT AT THE RACES Last year we set a new attendance record at 300. This year we plan on beating it – you can bet on that! Mark your calendars and start saving up your loose change. In the spirit of things, we will be introducing a 50-50 draw that night. Big cash prizes for those willing to wager a bit. All the proceeds are for a great cause – the GTAA Charitable Foundation. Wednesday May 16, 2012, Woodbine Race Track ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT This year’s event is moving to a premium course. A bit further away, but well worth the drive. Another sold out tournament is anticipated, so sign up as soon as ticket sales open up. Great food, a fabulous course, good friends, and all the proceeds go to our Charitable Foundation. Monday, July 16, 2012, Rattlesnake Point Golf Club, Sidewinder and Copperhead courses ANNUAL MEETING AND DINNER We will return to The Liberty Grand for our Annual General Meeting and Dinner. As usual, the business meeting will be conducted in the mezzanine and include voting for seven Board members. A reception with lots of hors d’oeuvres and drinks will continue upstairs. Then a great dinner with presentations and a special guest will follow in the main dining room. The theme has yet to be decided. This is an excellent social event and it should not be missed. Thursday, October 18, 2012, The Liberty Grand FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALL EVENTS OR HOW YOU CAN SPONSOR AN EVENT, CONTACT LORRAINE FISHER AT LFISHER@GTAAONLINE.COM OR CALL 416-385-3435 X 37
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Waste Case Delay – Déjà vu xactly one year ago in the December 2010 Building Blocks it was reported that the GTAA’s lawsuit against the City of Toronto to quash the by-law that created the waste levy and property tax rebate system “has now been delayed until June 21, 2010.”
It was later rescheduled to be heard on November 17-18, 2011. In late October 2011, the City asked for an adjournment (delay) because they and the other applicant were unable to schedule dates for their examinations. This had absolutely nothing to do with the GTAA as we did not need to examine the City. We pursued to keep the November 2011 hearing date stating that the GTAA’s application was only scheduled together with the second application for convenience – so that the court could hear both cases consecutively – but noted that the two applications were not joined in any way. We were then separated from the second application and the GTAA hearing was confirmed to be heard on November 17, 2011, as scheduled.
On November 14, 2011, just a few days before the scheduled date, we were advised by the Court that no judge was available to hear our case. Officials at the Civil Trials Office (Ministry of the Attorney General) advised our lawyers that: “[Civil Trials Office] do not have a Judge to hear any of these applications and therefore have to adjourn all of these matters.” This is a situation that our lawyers have not encountered in the past. Completely unbelievable! Our lawyers were advised to attend Motion Scheduling Court to obtain another “new” hearing date. A week later on November 25, 2011 our lawyers did so. So in this edition – the December 2011 Building Blocks – this is to advise that the case is now scheduled for June 25-26, 2012! Yes, you’ve seen this movie before.
COURT DATE JUNE 25-26, 2012
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The cost of water, hydro, chemicals and maintenance of the aquatic facility can be managed effectively, which will save time, limit aggravation such as down time, and limit the cost of future renovations and large retro-fits.
Communication is the key to resolving many issues when it comes to aquatic facilities. The tools (i.e., log sheets) are used to chronicle the rise of an issue, which in turn will be used as a diagnostic measure to find possible remedies. Pool and spa log sheets are legal documents and must be kept on site for a set period of time. To help ease the worry of a health inspector citing your swimming pool or spa, and risk the chance of indefinite closure, Superior Pool has put more than 35 years of experience into action by creating a Pool/Spa Protection Plan and conducting Pool and Spa Safety Inspections. The inspection lists all of the regulated items for both the pool and the spa, and our CPO Level II certified Service Technician can diagnose potential issues and provide suggestions for improvement in a detailed report and/or provide repairs on the spot after receiving approval. Once this report is received and reviewed thoroughly, management will identify priority areas and come up with a plan of action.
Our goal as the leading professional swimming pool/spa management, maintenance and construction company in the industry is to be the link between the Health Department and operators to sustain a consistency in maintenance of the aquatic facility, while continuing to set a high bar for safety which will in turn prevents accidents. Not everyone likes to carry the burden of being responsible for the operations of an aquatic facility, but at the end of the day we are here to ensure the patrons have a safe and enjoyable time during their visits to ALL of the pools and spas we collectively manage. Being knowledgeable and well rounded in the operations of the facility is the most effective way to accomplish the first step towards safety. The technological advancements continue to evolve and regulations are adapting at light speed to cope with the all too common occurrences of drowning in Ontario. As a facility manager, or operator we all need to be prepared to be proactive enough to ensure the safety standards are upheld. At Superior Pool, we believe in the slogan â€œBe Safe, It Pays!â€?, and so should you.
Swimming pools and spas are expensive to operate, however an effective maintenance program, combined with a pool/spa protection program and regular safety inspections will ease the financial burden and more important increase the recreational quality of your facility.
FOR MORE INFO PLEASE CONTACT MEHDI PAHLAVAN
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Waste Collection Rates 2012 MULTI-RESIDENTIAL FRONT-END COLLECTION RATES HAVE NOT CHANGED.
MULTI-RESIDENTIAL CURBSIDE COLLECTION (SUBSCRIPTION) CUSTOMERS WILL SEE A RATE CHANGE THAT MIRRORS THE FRONT-END COLLECTION RATE.
IF YOUR BUILDING IS SERVICED USING FRONT-END LOADERS, THE 2012 RATE IS THE SAME AS 2011.
IF YOUR BUILDING IS SERVICED WITH CURBSIDE COLLECTION (LARGE BINS, BUT NOT FRONT-END LOADERS) THEN YOUR RATE IS CHANGING TO THE FRONT-END COLLECTION RATE. THE CHANGE WILL VARY FOR EACH PROPERTY. SOME MAY SEE DECREASES, BUT MOST WILL SEE AN INCREASE. IN MANY CASES THE INCREASE WILL BE CONSIDERABLE.
he new Multi-Residential rate for Curbside collection will now be the same as the rate for Front-End collection.
Base Allotment Fee (per unit/year) $191.30 Fee for excess waste: un-compacted (per yard3) $13.27 Fee for excess waste: compacted (per yard3) $26.55 Bag only (26 bag tags per unit) $191.30 The annual rebate per unit of $185 will apply to all multi-residential customers. WHY? The City is changing the curbside collection rate because they state that they pay out more in credits than they receive in payments. Apparently there is a flaw in their current system. Some properties have been taking advantage of this and receiving unusually high credits in the tens of thousands of dollars per year. In order to “fix” their problem the City has decided to penalize this entire service category. Daryl Chong, GTAA, made a deputation at the November 10, 2011, Budget Advisory Committee meeting. A letter implying the same was formally submitted to the November 22, 2011, Executive Committee. Both were unsuccessful. Solid Waste Management Services officials were unwilling to amend their position. From the questions and comments by Committee members it was clear that the staff recommendation would be adopted. Council will approve this change.
The highlights of the deputation and the letter are summarized here: When this system was first introduced, apartment owners were assured that with aggressive recycling that it would be cost neutral. Property Managers, superintendents, and all on-site staff were fully trained to achieve maximum recycling. We then spent considerable time/effort to educate residents. The financial loss in revenue that the City is incurring is largely due to good recycling. In 2010 the City collected $5.6M from curbside collection – this harmonization of rates will result in an anticipated $3.72M increase which is more than a 60% net increase. Don’t penalize buildings that have done what you asked – aggressively recycle. Several GTAA members have stated that with very aggressive recycling that they have reduced their net payment, but it is still well above zero. They have found it impossible to go any lower. FIX THE FLAWS. There is no rationale to simply harmonize the rates. It appears that it is being done solely for convenience. Frontend and curbside collection are mechanically different and this was recognized before, thus the initial creation of two separate systems. continued on page 26
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The following “briefing note” to Councillors was created used by Solid Waste Management Services to convince the various Committee members and Council to approve their rate change recommendation. Multi-Residential Billing System and Rate Structure for Multi-Residential Curbside (Subscription) Customers Notes: 1. The allowable base volume of waste is based on 1.917 cubic yards of uncompacted waste per unit per year or 0.9585 cubic yards of compacted waste per unit per year. Waste in excess of the base volume allowance will be charged the excess waste fee per cubic yard as set out in the table above. 2. Total volume is determined by the number of bins at a Multi-Residential Bulk Curbside (Subscription) Property and collection frequency and not what is actually set out for collection. 3. The Solid Waste Rate includes the collection of garbage, recycling, yard waste, green bin organics (as available), bulky
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items, electronics, white goods/metal items and household hazardous waste. 4. The above fees are based on a mandatory, all-or-nothing service. That is, buildings must fully participate in the City’s diversion programs to receive City waste collection. Similarly, buildings will not be allowed to utilize free City recycling services while contracting private waste collection. 5. Annual fees and rebates will be prorated on a daily basis based on the billing cycle of the utility bill. 6. Fees are based on waste being compacted or uncompacted to a 2:1 compaction ratio. 7. In order to receive the above rebates, multi-unit residential customers must receive City solid waste collection service. 8. The base allotment per unit is equivalent to 3/4 the volume of the single residential small bins.
MULTI-UNIT BUILDINGS GREEN BIN PROGRAM t its meeting on November 14, 2011, the Budget Committee requested the Acting General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services (SWMS) to provide a Briefing Note to the Executive Committee for its meeting on November 21, 2011 on the impact of the 2012 Recommended SWMS Operating Budget on the implementation of the Green Bin program in multi-unit buildings.
Here are the highlights of the 2012 Operating Budget Briefing Note regarding the City of Toronto Operating Budget Impact on Multi-Unit Buildings Green Bin Program. At its meeting of June 19, 20 and 22, 2007 City Council adopted EX9.1 â€œProposed Initiatives and Financing Model to Get to 70% Solid Waste Diversion by 2010â€?. As part of that report it was recommended that the Source Separated Organic Programs (Green Bin Program) be rolled out city-wide. Key Points: In 2009 SWM began inviting Front-End Multi-Unit buildings to participate in the Green Bin Program. Implementation of the Green Bin Program in Multi-Unit buildings receiving front-end collection service was delayed for the 2010 SWMS Operating Budget until the end of 2011 in order to reduce the volume-based rate increase to 2%. Council then approved the allocation of one-time labour disruption savings to offset the need for a 2% rate increase. The Approved 2011 and Recommended 2012 SWMS Operating Budgets do not require any further delays to the rollout of the Green Bin Program to Front-End Multi-Unit Residential Buildings.
As recommended in the 2012 SWMS Operating Budgets, funding is provided to collect and process 7,500 tonnes of SSO from front-end customers, which represents a 36% increase to the amount of tonnes projected to be collected from Front-End Multi-Unit buildings for 2011. Currently all of Front-End Multi-Residential buildings on the Solid Waste Management Services database have been invited to participate in the Green Bin Program. SWMS staff are constantly updating the database to ensure opportunities to invite newly constructed buildings, or discover any buildings that may have been inadvertently missed. Buildings that are invited are provided with information packages including the specifications for front-end collection containers and in-unit application forms. Upon receipt of the collection containers and delivery of the inunit containers, SWMS staff will schedule to begin collections. Both telephone and on-site support is provided to frontend locations to answer questions and to provide educational materials to residents and property management companies to assist in the implementation of the Green Bin Program. Buildings are responsible for advising SWMS when they are ready to implement. To date there are approximately 112,500 Multi-Unit units receiving front-end collection service on the Green Bin Program which represents just under one-third of the existing clients in the database.
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Toronto Water Rates 2012 Water rates continue to increase annually by 9%. This was first introduced in 2009 and will continue through to 2014. It is planned that the rate will then increase annually by 3% until 2021. PROJECTED RATES
RATE PER CUBIC METER FOR 2012
TORONTO RETAIL WATER CONSUMPTION
The broad education regarding general water conservation, the implementation of water efficiency measures and increased rates tied to use, have resulted in a steady decrease in water consumption in Toronto during the past decade.
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REVISED RENTAL APPLICATION FORM he revised rental application forms are now available from the GTAA. Please contact Lorraine Fisher (email@example.com) to purchase printed pads or electronic copies.
The following excerpt from the revised Rental Application form (Version: Sept. 2011.) highlights the main changes. Please review the form in its entirety.
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ENERGY SAVINGS PURCHASE AGREEMENTS A NEW FINANCING APPROACH FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY UPGRADES nergy efficiency upgrades will pay for themselves — it’s a refrain we’ve all heard before. In fact it is well documented that the average multi-unit building can shave 25% or more off its energy costs by investing in proven energy efficiency measures which will pay for themselves in 3 to 8 years (see www.towerwise.ca/case_studies for examples). More than just money in your pocket, reduced utility bills increase net operating income which increases building value. Other things being equal, every dollar you can save off your annual utility bills will increase the estimated value of your building by over $10.
Yet building owners and operators face a number of challenges in implementing energy efficiency upgrades. One of the biggest barriers, not surprisingly, is financing the projects. A multi-measure energy retrofit can cost anywhere from $100K to over $1M, depending on the size of the building and the scale of the project. One option is to use the equity in your building by refinancing or taking out a new loan. This can be cash flow positive from day one if the value of the energy savings exceeds the cost of the loan payments. However, conventional loan financing may not be an attractive option for every building. The equity in the building may be fully leveraged already, or you may want to keep that equity available for other purposes down the line. The other concern with a standard loan is what happens if the energy savings from the project don’t meet expectations. There is a risk that the building will be stuck with debt for a project that didn’t create a sufficient increase in cash-flow to cover the loan payments. Recognizing these issues, Toronto Atmospheric Fund (an arms length agency of the City of Toronto) set out to create an alternative financing option for energy projects, which we call an Energy Savings Purchase Agreement (ESPA). The ESPA model turns a conventional loan on its head. TAF will pre-purchase a share of the projected energy savings from the project, providing up to 100% of the funds needed to purchase and install the equipment. Our security is that we retain ownership of the energy efficient equipment through the term of the agreement. Actual energy savings are measured and verified. Every quarter for the term of the agreement, the building transfers 75% of the verified energy savings to TAF. If actual energy savings are less than projected, payments are reduced accordingly – without extending the term of the agreement. The arrangement is designed to be cash flow positive for the building from day one. Once TAF is repaid (including a return on our investment), ownership of the energy efficient equipment is transferred and the building can keep 100% of the energy savings from that day forward.
This financing model provides buildings with a chance to replace aging equipment, improve building comfort and value, and reduce exposure to rising energy costs, all at no financial risk. We are so confident that the energy performance of your building can be improved that we will buy a share of those savings in advance and leave you to reap all the additional benefits. In order to make this financing approach possible, we have worked with the insurance industry to launch an Energy Savings Warranty Insurance program in Canada. Essentially, this product guarantees that the insurer will make up any difference between projected and actual energy savings (up to 95% of projected). The policy is purchased by the engineering firm and/or contractors involved in designing and implementing the energy retrofit for your building. This allows them to guarantee the promised energy savings. The product is being offered in Canada by select insurance brokers including Jones Brown Insurance Brokers and HUB International and is underwritten by Energi of Canada Ltd, and is available to qualified engineering firms. In order to qualify for ESPA financing, the engineering firm(s) working on your project must provide an energy savings guarantee backstopped by the insurance product. We can work with you to help you find a qualified firm interested in working within this structure. Most reputable engineering firms want to be able to guarantee results. “TAF’s financing program, and the energy savings insurance product, are exciting new developments for our industry. We look forward to offering this to our clients.” – Ed Porasz, President, M&E Engineering. The other important aspect of this financing approach is that it requires ongoing measurement and verification of the energy savings, along with a comprehensive maintenance program. While there is some additional cost associated with this, it is a worthwhile investment. Our research indicates that when energy efficient equipment is installed and ignored, the savings tend to evaporate over time. When system performance is rigorously monitored, savings are maintained or even enhanced, ensuring you capture the full savings potential of your retrofit while extending the equipment life. So what are you waiting for? Roll in rebates from various utility energy conservation programs and you are virtually guaranteed to be in the black on an energy retrofit. In fact, in these tumultuous economic times, there aren’t many better investments available.
TIM STOATE | VICE PRESIDENT, IMPACT INVESTING | TORONTO ATMOSPHERIC FUND | TSTOATE@TAFUND.ORG | 416-393-6368 BRYAN PURCELL | MANAGER, INCUBATION AND SOCIAL INNOVATION | TORONTO ATMOSPHERIC FUND | BPURCELL@TAFUND.ORG | 416-393-6358 FOR MORE INFORMATION, LOG ONTO WWW.TOWERWISE.CA/ESPA
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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OCTOBER 27, 2011 T
he GTAA’s Annual Meeting was well attended. Member commitment is strong and many were present to hear the Chair’s annual summary, which augmented the details sent to every member in the 2010-2011 Annual Report. The meeting was informative.
At the Annual Meeting of the Greater Toronto Apartment Association on October 27, 2011, one new Board member was elected. The association is thrilled to have George Espinola of Medallion Properties join the 21-member Board. Six incumbents were re-elected.
Voting for seven available Board of Director positions was open through the meeting and beyond. Voter turnout was robust. Many cast ballots in person, while others submitted proxies. The ballot box was secured after the poll closed and the ballots were counted at the GTAA office the next morning.
At the first Board of Directors meeting on November 9, 2011, the Executive Committee was selected. Jack Beaton of Sterling Karamar Management has joined the 9-member Executive Committee.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS - Cora Armstrong (Schickedanz Brothers), Jack Beaton (Sterling Karamar Management), Tom Deutsch (Gold Seal Management Inc.), Peter Duff (Minto Management Ltd.), George Espinola (Medallion Properties), Debra Fine (Barrister & Solicitor), Perry Fryers (WJ Properties), Bruce Creber (Greenwin Inc.), Yehudi Hendler (Y.L. Hendler Ltd.), Rob Herman (Robinwood Management), Bonnie Hoy (Bonnie Hoy & Associates), Annette Mincer (Direct Properties Inc.), Ivan Murgic (Greenrock Property Management Ltd.), Roger Palmer (Morguard Residential), Mitch Rasmussen (Lawrence Construction Co. Limited), Jordan Rose (Glen Corporation), Gloria Salomon (Preston Group), Paul Smith (DMS Property Management Ltd.), Martin Tovey (Minto Apartments Limited), Steve Weinrieb (Park Property Management), Martin Zegray (Realstar Management)
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE - Ivan Murgic – Chair, Martin Tovey – 1st Vice-Chair, Cora Armstrong – 2nd Vice-Chair, Mitch Rasmussen – Secretary, Yehudi Hendler – Treasurer, Jack Beaton, Tom Deutsch, Martin Zegray, Perry Fryers – Past-Chair
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GTAA Standing Committees he Greater Toronto Apartment Association has five standing committees that deal with a variety of matters that are of great importance to our members. Members join these committees to participate more actively in the decision making of the GTAA. Each committee has a specific role and being part of it comes with some commitment. Attending and participating at meetings and voting on issues are the main responsibilities.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING MARTIN TOVEY, CHAIR MEMBERS’ SERVICES AND FUNDRAISING CORA ARMSTRONG, CHAIR POLICY, FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION PERRY FRYERS, CHAIR POLITICAL ACTION AND MUNICIPAL LIAISON IVAN MURGIC & PERRY FRYERS, CO-CHAIRS UTILITIES, ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS MITCH RASMUSSEN, CHAIR
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE AND/OR JOINING A COMMITTEE, PLEASE CONTACT DARYL CHONG (DCHONG@GTAAONLINE.COM).
ANNUAL DINNER he 2011 Annual Meeting and Dinner of the Greater Toronto Apartment Association on October 27, 2011, at the Liberty Grand was again a huge success. 420 members celebrated the achievements of the past year in a fun and social “Hollywood” themed evening.
Guests were met by Joan Rivers as they walked the red carpet into the venue. Along the way, the constant flash bulbs of the paparazzi followed their every step. Once inside, every one mingled with Marilyn Monroe and Elvis (the young version). Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti provided the evening’s keynote address. In it, he provided some personal history regarding how he started as a landscaper with the Metro Toronto Housing Authority. His hard work and determination led him to become the head of the CUPE Local 767. He openly admitted that he soon realized upon being elected to Queen’s Park that his term there was likely with the wrong party. He also thanked the Greater Toronto Apartment Association for providing vital information to members of Toronto Council. He recognized us as a very important stakeholder and welcomed us to reach out to him when needed.
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In lieu of receiving a gift, the GTAA will make a contribution to a local charitable organization with some direction from Councillor Mammoliti. Mayor Ford was unable to attend due to his last minute agreement to attend the closing ceremonies at the Pan Am games in Mexico as Toronto is the next host city. The success of this evening is largely due to the fantastic support of the many GTAA members who financially sponsor all the moving parts that make this event shine. The association wishes to acknowledge and thank those members.
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PLATINUM DINNER SPONSORS ACE PAINTING RENTERS GUIDE ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS STRATACON - ENERCARE THEME SPONSORS COHEN HIGHLEY LLP COM-PLEX SYSTEMS ORKIN PCO
RED CARPET SPONSOR R.F. PORTER GENERAL CONTRACTING WINE SPONSORS CONTERRA RESTORATION VIEWIT YARDI SYSTEMS PHOTOGRAPHY SPONSORS RENTSEEKER MAGICAL PEST CONTROL
COCKTAIL SPONSORS AIRD & BERLIS LLP ALPHA CREATION FLOORING COM-PLEX SYSTEMS LIMITED AUDIO VISUAL SPONSORS CANADA MORTGAGE & HOUSING CORPORATION THE PASCOAL GROUP
PARKING SPONSOR STRATACON - ENERCARE COAT CHECK SPONSOR COINAMATIC CENTREPIECE SPONSOR H & S BUILDING SUPPLIES CHAMPAGNE SPONSOR THE BYNG GROUP
CHOCOLATE SPONSOR HALSALL ASSOCIATES
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CHARITABLE FOUNDATION DONATES $100,000 AT AGM his year, the Greater Toronto Apartment Association Charitable Foundation made five donations totalling $100,000 to five community agencies.
The Foundation continued a Diversity Scholarship sponsor this year through the Toronto Community Housing Corporation and provided a $5,000 bursary to a recipient who resides in one of the TCHC communities.
Councillor Mammoliti and Perry Fryers, Chair, GTAA presented $20,000 cheques to each of the five partnering agencies the Foundation has adopted for this year. Each of these dedicated community based organizations are making a tremendous difference in the lives of the homeless and hard to house. We are proud to support and assist them in assisting others. Horizons for Youth Massey Centre for Women Street Haven at the Crossroads St. Stephen’s Community House Street Health
A number of other organizations including the Native Men’s Residence, Out of the Cold, Peel Children’s Aid Foundation, Eden Community Food Bank, Mississauga Food Bank, and Scadding Court Community Centre received grants from $1,000 - $5,000 toward worthy projects that benefit those who are homeless or requiring community support. In all, the Foundation provided in excess of $110,000 back into the community through the Housing & Community Support Fund. You can donate to the Charitable Foundation to continue and even expand on our annual efforts to make a positive difference. Annual Donation Request
The Board of Directors of the Foundation wish to express its sincere thanks to everyone that supported events throughout the year, like the annual golf tournament, Chair’s Lunch and Night at the Races, which enabled us to make these contributions. It would not be possible for the Foundation to make these significant investments in the community without the ongoing support of six main corporate sponsors. Platinum ($15,000), Gold ($10,000) and Silver ($5,000) Sponsors generously donate directly to the Foundation each year. Platinum Sponsor – Shirleen Vieira of Yardi Systems Inc. Gold Sponsor – Allan Weinbaum of WJ Properties Gold Sponsor – Margaret Herd of Park Property Management Gold Sponsor – Mitch Rasmussen of Crestview Group Silver Sponsor – Adam Goldstein of Preston Group Silver Sponsor – Scott Beneteau of Stratacon The Foundation was also able to sponsor close to 150 children living in Toronto’s family shelter system attend a Saturday afternoon in October at Nova’s Ark which was again very much enjoyed by these children and the staff of the shelters.
The Board of Directors of the Greater Toronto Apartment Association Charitable Foundation (“Foundation”) invites you to make a voluntary contribution to the Foundation as part of your membership in the Greater Toronto Apartment Association. As of July 1, 2005, the Foundation is now a registered charity with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and is able to provide tax receipts for donations. As you know, the Foundation is instrumental in providing financial support to community agencies doing on the ground work with the homeless and hard to house. These agencies are grateful for our support and have indicated that a number of their most successful programs only operate because of this support. Further, the support the Foundation provides also helps demonstrate that companies involved in the rental housing sector do care about people having homes. The industry’s positive aspects are shown through this support and it has been widely recognized by politicians, media and housing providers. We invite you to make a commitment for which the firm or individual will receive a full tax credit. Make your cheque payable to the “Greater Toronto Apartment Association Charitable Foundation” in any amount you wish to donate. It all adds up.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO MAKE A DONATION TO THE FOUNDATION, PLEASE CONTACT DARYL CHONG (DCHONG@GTAAONLINE.COM).
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MILLENNIUM MEMBERS HONOURED AT AGM illennium Members represent a very important part of the association’s support from its supplier members. In addition to the $1,500 annual membership fee, Millennium Members sponsor and support many initiatives of the association throughout the year. At the annual dinner year we acknowledged them for their outstanding dedication with a token of our appreciation.
ACE PAINTING ARCTIC PAINTING LIMITED THE BYNG GROUP OF COMPANIES THE CERTIFIED GROUP OF COMPANIES COINAMATIC COM-PLEX SYSTEMS LIMITED ENERGY NETWORK SERVICES INC. FIRST NATIONAL FINANCIAL CORPORATION H&S BUILDING SUPPLIES LTD HALSALL ASSOCIATES
HD SUPPLY INTELLIGARDE INTERNATIONAL INC. METRO GROUP OF COMPANIES PHELPS APARTMENT LAUNDRIES LTD THE RENTERS GUIDE R.F. PORTER GENERAL CONTRACTING ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS STRATACON WASTE SOLUTIONS GROUP YARDI SYSTEMS
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SAM GROSSMAN AWARD OF EXCELLENCE he Greater Toronto Apartment Association’s Founding Chair Sam Grossman was a leader in the property management industry. Sam played a major role in the development of the GTAA and encouraged all in the industry to participate in the association’s endeavours.
The Executive Committee of the association established the Sam Grossman Award of Excellence designed to recognize an individual in the property management industry each year that has made a significant contribution to the member company as well as the association. This year’s recipient is Perry Fryers.
Database Update he Greater Toronto Apartment Association strives to serve our members as well as possible. In order to do so, we need to know if anything in your organization has changed.
You will soon receive a small information package from the GTAA, via regular post. In will include a copy of the details we currently have regarding your company. Much of it is general contact information. Companies re-brand, change their names, and are merged or bought. This often results in a web-domain name change, so email addresses need to be updated.
Members, we are creating additional commodity categories. We have outgrown the present list and we wish to better distinguish what you do so that property managers and owners can find you easily. Please self-select the category that best defines what you do. These, and some other changes, are being initiated to stay current and to better serve our members. An overhaul of our website is next. Stay tuned.
We need to know about your staff changes if these personnel are the recipients of information from the GTAA. New “replacements” need to be set-up by GTAA to start receiving email communication, invitations and Building Blocks. For “Regular Members” that own or manage apartment suites, we are asking for information such as current suite count. Buildings are bought and sold, so it is important that we have the correct details. In order to better direct important messages, it is useful for us to know the addresses of your buildings – either owned or managed. This is the same information that is typically listed on your corporate websites. For “Corporate Members” that supply goods and services to our Regular
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2012 SOURCE DIRECTORY P
lease submit your completed forms to ensure your company is included in the GTAA’s 2012 Source Directory. This is the industry’s guide. It is used by property managers and owners everyday to find suppliers of the goods and
services they require. Don’t miss out – provide your details and get listed. For even better exposure, upgrade to a variety of ad sizes.
FOR MORE INFO PLEASE CONTACT | PETRA PHILLIPS | MOUSETRAP DESIGNS | 905.891.7007 | STUDIO_GTAA@YAHOO.CA
PHARAOH ANTS - A MODERN PLAGUE DALE BLAINE, PHD, TECHNICAL CONSULTANT MAGICAL PEST CONTROL
he Pharaoh Ant (Monorium pharaonis) was once called the Pharaoh’s Ant because it was thought to be one of the plagues that descended onto the Egyptians in biblical times. While this turned out not to be true it has certainly become a plague for apartment management companies in the 21st century.
The name however does relate to the origin of this tiny pest. It comes from the tropical regions of Africa. It has now been spread by man throughout the world. It is the most easily spread ant species because of it habits and size. Pharaoh ants started turning up in Toronto about fifteen years ago and the number of infestations has been increasing ever since. The Pharaoh ant is a small ant, 1.5 to 2 mm (1/16th to 1/12th an inch) in size. The workers are all one size (monomorphic). The colour varies from golden yellow to reddish. Since Pharaoh ants originated in the tropics they can not survive outside in Canada year round. Each queen can lay 400 eggs and she normally lays about 8 to 10 per day. When a nest is fully developed it can contain 300,000 to 800,000 workers and 500 to 600 queens. At this time the nest starts to “bud”. That is some of the workers will leave the nest taking some eggs and larvae with them. Depending on what they feed these larvae they can produce new workers, males or females. This budding occurs because space in the old nest is becoming scarce or there is not enough food to keep expanding the nest Also some of the queens in the old nest may leave and start new nests in a different location. Normally they will only move as far as is necessary to find a new nest location or a new food source. Thus one nest will become 200 or 300 or more nests over time. This is how Pharaoh ants can
spread throughout a sixty storey apartment building or an entire townhouse complex. This budding is thus due to stress in the colony. If Pharaoh ants are put under a lot of stress such as by the use of liquid pesticide sprays the colony will undergo fission That is it will split into even more sub colonies and move even farther to form new nests. This is why spraying is not used to try to control Pharaoh ants and why tenants must be warned not to use aerosol spray if they see ants. In Pharaoh ant colonies only about 5% of the workers are out searching for food at one time. This is why spraying for visible ants is not a successful strategy. If only 5% are killed they will soon be replaced by other ants. Once the ants have found a food source they lay down a chemical trail for the other ants in the colony to follow to the food. They will continue to use that trail until the food source is gone. The food type they search for at any one time depends on what type of material the colony requires for development at that time. They will switch from looking for carbohydrates for example to proteins in a matter of minutes. When the ants find a food source they bring it back to the nest and then feed it to the other workers, the queens and males and to the developing larvae in the nest. There must be sufficient bait to have it distributed to all the ants in the nest and it must be bait that contains the food type that the ants are looking for at that time. If a proper baiting program is followed rigorously and the co-operation of the tenants obtained, this plague can be overcome.
DALE BLAINE, TECHNICAL CONSULTANT WITH MAGICAL PEST CONTROL HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN THE PEST CONTROL INDUSTRY FOR 30 YEARS. SINCE OBTAINING HIS DOCTORAL IN INSECT PHYSIOLOGY HE HAS CARRIED OUT PRACTICAL RESEARCH ON STRUCTURAL, AGRICULTURAL AND FORESTRY INSECT PESTS. HE HAS ACTED AS A CONSULTANT TO LARGE FOOD COMPANIES, RESTAURANT CHAINS, BUILDING MANAGEMENT COMPANIES AND THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT | DAN MCCABE, VICE PRESIDENT | MAGICAL PEST CONTROL | DAN@MAGICALPEST.CA
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A FEW WORDS ON HOLIDAY ETIQUETTE BONNIE HOY, BONNIE HOY & ASSOCIATES
n property management, as well as any other business, I think there are times we need to prepare an etiquette book on service. This past week has been an interesting week for phone calls about move-ins, holiday hours, and giving and receiving gifts. It’s a sensitive subject but after nearly thirty years in the industry I can honestly say I’ve seen it all.
coffee morning, a greeting card or email, an evening event something that shows we appreciate our residents. With respect to employees, whether it’s lunch, a gift card or money, it never goes unnoticed. Gift-giving from contractors has considerably improved over the past few years. Some companies have outstanding practices some of which I’d like to share. Briarlane for example, shares all gift baskets they receive with all head office employees. The executives don’t walk home with all the gifts. Every single staff member at head office goes home with something - a wonderful practice that everyone should consider adopting. In recent years, a number of companies (trades and service companies) have been asked to give gift cards in lieu of other gifts. The gift cards are then used as door prizes at the company holiday party. This gives everyone an opportunity to go home with something. There are lots of sensitivities around the holiday season. For some, gift giving and receiving has become an expectation. I love this time of year but I can’t give to everybody. However, if you can’t give a gift, give your time to someone. Sometimes that’s the best gift of all.
When a current unit is vacant we recommend giving the new resident the keys early. Don’t kid yourself, not everybody celebrates the meaning of Christmas but almost all of your residents celebrate the shopping aspect now so closely associated with the holidays. They need the elevator to bring up their presents, their company, and their families during the holiday season. I cringe at the thought of buildings letting new residents reserve the elevator for hours at a time the day before Christmas or worse yet Christmas Day. There are some times that should just be off limits and this is one of them. I’d take a vacancy before I gave the elevator to a resident for two hours on these days. It’s not worth it to me to upset hundreds of other residents in order to accommodate one. What’s worse is that the new resident probably would have been happier to move in a week earlier but didn’t want to pay the pro-rate and we didn’t want to give it for free. It’s never worth it. What is acceptable? Five minutes for residents who have large purchases that they need to get upstairs. In really large buildings it might be even helpful to have an extra staff member on hand to help residents carry in their purchases to their apartments. Sometimes it’s the smallest of things people remember when it comes time to renew their lease.
Holiday hours is another touchy subject but I’m giving my two cents worth anyway. No rental office needs to be open the 24th of December (a Saturday) unless they have move-ins (read paragraph one). Alternatively, I do believe clients with rental offices should open on the 31st of December. It’s rent collection time and it’s still move-in time (please note an elevator on this holiday shouldn’t be used excessively either). Some residents will need access to building staff.
Gift-giving is a sensitive topic and I’m sure my comments may generate hostility and lots of phone calls. All I can say is this is how I feel about it. There are three sets of potential gifts we need to consider: to our residents, to our employees and to our clients. In giving to our residents, every landlord should be doing something whether it’s a holiday season
Whatever your practices, think about etiquette and how you want to be perceived by your residents, staff and clients. If you don’t believe me, think about the times when a person says please or thank you to you today and how that made you feel. For me, it happens so seldom that I remember everyone who says it. Don’t you?
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL AND TO THOSE WHO CELEBRATE WITH ME, MERRY CHRISTMAS! MAY YOU ALL HAVE A HEALTHY, HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS 2012! D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 1 V O L .1 0 N O . 3 B U I L D I N G B L O C K S 4 1
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HOW TO PROTECT YOUR RENTAL BUSINESS – WRITTEN CONSENT RETENTION enants and Consumers periodically obtain and review their T credit and/or rent files, only to discover entities have accessed their information. They cannot remember who, for what reasons, or how these entities obtained access to their personal information, or even if consent was given at that time. In the scheme of things this process is very common, as many tenancy applicants do not read applications in enough detail to realize they have given consent for a credit and/or rental investigation to be conducted for Tenancy purposes using a Consumer Reporting Agency (Rent Check, Equifax, and TransUnion) The Tenant or Consumer who believes the Consumer Reporting Agency has conducted the search without permission contacts the agencies to investigate. In turn, when an investigation is performed on who did the search the agency tries to find existing proof of consent from the Housing Provider. If consent documentation is not available, the Housing Provider can be held liable as per PIPEDA. THE CASE OF NO PROOF AVAILABLE – REAL LIFE EXAMPLE
Mary (real name is changed to protect identity) is a landlord who had a couple that applied for tenancy and were declined. As stated by the male partner, because of serious problems with his credit file both applicants requested that only the female’s credit file should be accessed and that his file not be checked. The female partner gave consent verbally and in writing on the rental application. Mary then performed an investigation using Rent Check and obtained the landlord’s Tenancy Report, which consisted of Credit and Rental history information. As it turned out the female did not meet the Landlords requirements. Mary then reviewed and discussed the report with both parties, without asking permission from the female partner if she could discuss her personal information in front of the male partner. Mary then declined the couple for tenancy. The male partner challenged Mary in her decision, and became so aggressive in demanding the return of the rental application that Mary complied, without making a copy of the rental application showing that consent was given to conduct a Landlords report on the female. The male partner then complained to Rent Check about disclosure of personal information and how it should not have been discussed in his presence unless the other partner gave permission. He then stated that consent was not given to perform the credit investigation. In Mary’s situation, she has no proof of consent from the female partner for the credit investigation because she did not retain a copy of the rental application or another document that states written consent was given. In all cases, whether you approve or decline, retaining written proof for consent is mandatory and should be standard policy.
No! Show and discuss the report with each subject privately or, in a situation with a couple, get permission to discuss it with them together, but never hand over a copy or the original report. If the applicants wish to have a copy of the credit or rental file, provide the applicants with an adverse action letter that informs them of the agencies names, addresses, and phone numbers to be contacted to obtain a copy of their own personal report and correct any discrepancies. An adverse action letter can be obtained from the consumer reporting agency you used to obtain the credit report from, or a copy can be obtained from Rent Check. HOW LONG SHOULD THE RETENTION PERIOD BE FOR PROOF OF CONSENT?
It is recommended that a minimum retention period for applicants who have been declined be two (2) years after the application date and if approved a minimum of two (2) years after the date a resident vacates the premises. BEST PRACTICES
Many companies like to destroy paper they do not need, especially after its purpose has been met. This is a gray area as PIPEDA has not clarified how long to retain a consent document and simply states in its principle for retention, Principle 4.5, that personal information must be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfillment of the purposes for which it was collected. It is recommended to treat a document containing the written consent of a tenancy applicant like precious metal since you are only as innocent as the proof makes you out to be. How can one explain that they once had consent but destroyed the document since they did not accept the subject as a tenant, and had no use for a declined rental application document? In some cases the subject may attempt to extort money on threat of a lawsuit and the landlord with no proof may have to pay something as per PIPEDA the threat of a $25,000 fine for individuals and $100,000 fine for corporations looms if proof is not available. To comply with the safeguards principle, Consumer Reporting Agencies have regular consent audits that periodically request a random number of end users to produce consent documents as proof that the end users had permissible purpose to access an individual’s personal information. The results of these audits are held private for owners to view only. In some cases a warning and correction notice is issued but disciplinary action is usually not the end result. However, retaining consent protects you from the complainant who may take action for your innocently missing a consent signature.
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION – CREDIT OR RENTAL FILE
As a Rental Agent or Landlord should I disclose and release a copy of the credit or rental file to the subject? FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: BRENDA J. MAXWELL | VICE PRESIDENT SALES RENT CHECK CREDIT BUREAU | "RENTAL HISTORY FOR HOUSING PROVIDERS" | BRENDA@RENTCHECK.CA
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G TA A
MARKETING BEYOND VACANCIES hen it comes to remaining at the forefront of renters’ W minds, establishing a marketing mission with staying power and follow through will pay off in droves – regardless of current vacancies. In the last five years alone, landlords have become increasingly savvy when it comes to marketing their apartments for rent. As vacancies ebb and flow, so too do marketing efforts. In many cases, however, it pays to ensure that your company remains at the forefront of renters’ minds – even if you’re among the lucky few landlords with close to 100 per cent occupancy. After all, according to CMHC’s Rental Market report, Canada’s rental vacancy rate decreased to 2.5% in April 2011 from 2.9% in April 2010. Ideally, when a renter decides to look for a new apartment, your company’s name will spring to mind. Unfortunately, a company is only as visible as their current marketing initiatives, so one of the best ways to ensure that renters are coming to you first is by promoting your brand across a broad range of channels at all times. Whether you’re a highly regarded landlord with thousands of suites or a smaller company with a few properties here and there, the virtues of marketing even when you don’t have vacancies are manifold. The goal is to spread the word about your properties – and the company behind them – on a consistent basis. Before you skip to the next article, remember that great marketing doesn’t necessarily cost a fortune, and great marketing spreads a specific message to the right people. All you need is a plan accompanied by a process that ensures that the message is constructed and positioned in such a way that potential renters will find it interesting. Taking the step beyond the as-needed marketing approach can be overwhelming. The key is to ensure your efforts are attracting new business while building upon existing relationships. While there are no quick fixes, here are some methods Canadian landlords are testing out to attract and hold an audience 365 days a year. PLAY THE PART You certainly don’t have to be an expert at everything, but playing the role of the rental industry leader will only help you in the long run. It’s often said that 50% of your communication efforts should be based on topics that will engage your clients. In other words, if your site only talks about available apartments for rent, the message will eventually fall on deaf ears. “We use our blog feature for everything,” adds Shane Grossman, President, Flagship Property Corp. “It’s a great way to stay current and, when used properly, can increase web traffic.” Mixing up content with information that helps current and prospective renters solve a problem in the realm of renting will position you as a company with a great product and rental expertise. For example, many landlords draw renters to their websites by posting helpful content about moving, decorating small spaces or living with a roommate. SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT If your website has a blog function, take advantage of it. If you haven’t added this application, consider consulting a professional
to offer some solutions tailored to your needs. Landlords who make consistent use of their blogs have the opportunity to promote changes in services, industry awards, community involvement, media mentions, new locations and much more. This forum also provides an ideal landscape to spotlight excellent staff members and renters deserving recognition. The goal is to constantly remind viewers of your company’s quality of service. Keep it graphic and engaging by filling it with a mix of words, photos and videos. ALERT THE PRESS Much like the blog function, news editorials can be a costeffective way to reach a wide audience. If your company has had a recent success, share it with local media by distributing a press release. Press releases are typically priced on a per-word basis and can be targeted to your media audience of choice. Topics of interest might range from industry awards and new acquisitions to on-site improvements targeted to community development. LEND AN EAR A cost-effective way to engage renters and keep them for the long haul is by letting them know you’re listening. Find out what your tenants want by conducting annual surveys at your properties to determine what kind of demographic you’re catering to. A time and cost effective site is SurveyMonkey (www.surveymonkey.com), which, for a nominal fee, allows you to create and publish online surveys and view results in real time. Oftentimes, you’ll find that a student-centric demographic will have different needs and expectations than a location more popular among seniors. This is also a great opportunity to find out how your current renters heard about you so that you can target similar audiences in future marketing endeavours. Remember: incentives speak volumes, so consider offering up a few modest prizes to a handful of lucky participants. GET SOCIAL There’s a reason Facebook has more than 800-million active users – because it’s an effective means of communication. We’re major proponents of social media here at RentSeeker, mainly because it’s a cost effective way for landlords to build and support their overall brand by demonstrating customer service, educating renters and communicating relevant news. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, the objective is to remain consistent on all fronts. Keeping posts regular, relevant and concise will garner more relationships over time while keeping your brand at the helm of the industry’s social media movement. Avoid the temptation of cutting your marketing and advertising efforts to save a few bucks here and there. Instead, take advantage of high occupancy rates by shifting focus to engaging and retaining current renters and attracting future business. Regardless of whether your buildings are full, maintaining a presence across all channels – print and online included – will help you when vacancies do come up. If you’re not there when a renter is searching, someone else will be.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS OR ANY TOPICS RELATING TO LISTING YOUR PROPERTIES FOR RENT ONLINE, APARTMENT VIDEOS, 3-D FLOOR PLANS, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, WEB DESIGN AND SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION, CONTACT CHAIM RIVLIN, PRESIDENT & CEO OF RENTSEEKER.CA.
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The Greater Toronto Apartment Association is very proud of the hundreds of supplier and contractor members of the association. Members are encouraged to choose an association member FIRST for all of your needs.
MILLENNIUM MEMBERS APPLIANCES/LAUNDRY Coinamatic 905-678-1946 Rod Wallace firstname.lastname@example.org Phelps Apt. Laundries Limited 1-866-557-5599 Leah Werry email@example.com BUILDING SUPPLIES/SERVICES ACE Painting 416-285-5388 Frank Evangelou firstname.lastname@example.org Arctic Painting Limited 905-787-1222 Steve Manikis email@example.com H & S Building Supplies Ltd. 905-738-6003 Mukesh Shanghavi firstname.lastname@example.org H D Supply 905-669-0525 Basil Sealy email@example.com
Metro Compactor Service 416-743-8484 Doug King firstname.lastname@example.org Waste Solutions Group 416-744-9183 Jason Tower email@example.com CONSTRUCTION/REPAIR/EMERG ENCY SERVICES Eco-Tech Roofing Solutions Inc. 416-759-9600 Mike Beauchemin firstname.lastname@example.org R.F. Porter Plastering 905-940-4131 Mark Porter email@example.com The Byng Group 905-660-5454 Frank Settino firstname.lastname@example.org
FIRE SAFETY/ SECURITY/PARKING Com-Plex Systems Limited 905-212-1474 Jack Petrie email@example.com Intelligarde International Inc. 416-760-0000 Ross McLeod firstname.lastname@example.org HVAC/MECHANICAL/PLUMBING/ ELECTRICAL/ELEVATORS Certified Group of Companies 905-602-1555 Les Woods email@example.com PROFESSIONAL/ LEGAL SERVICES/ENGINEERING Halsall Associates 416-487-5256 Naj Jivaji firstname.lastname@example.org Renters News 416-784-3311 Anne Marie Breen email@example.com
Yardi Systems Inc. 905-671-0315 Peter Altobelli firstname.lastname@example.org REAL ESTATE/MORTGAGES/ BANKING/INSURANCE First National Financial Corporation 416-593-2913 Peter Cook email@example.com UTILITIES/COMMUNICATIONS Energy Network Services Inc. 905-763-2946 Krishan Bhatia firstname.lastname@example.org Rogers Cable Systems 416-446-7014 Greg Stokes Greg.Stokes@rci.rogers.com Stratacon Group 905-660-1811 Peter Mills email@example.com
SUPPLIER MEMBER DIRECTORY APPLIANCE/LAUNDRY Appliance Canada (905) 660-2424 John Oulahen firstname.lastname@example.org Harco Leasing Co. Ltd. (905) 890-1220 Ugo Amendola email@example.com Mid Northern Appliance (905) 850-5333 Michael Gnat firstname.lastname@example.org Sparkle Solutions Corp (905) 660-2282 Maurice Kagan maurice@SparkleSolutions.ca Paul Weiss email@example.com BUILDING SUPPLIES / SERVICES 1-800-RID-OF-IT (416) 743-6348 Rick Crawford firstname.lastname@example.org
Action Roofing / 1406817 Ontario Inc (416) 607-5528 Robert Iosue email@example.com Alpha Creation Flooring (416) 750-0973 Altin Bufasi firstname.lastname@example.org Amre Supply (416) 412-7278 Larry Schaufele email@example.com Anax Roofing and Overhead Doors (905) 760-0017 Mark Walters firstname.lastname@example.org Atlas Overhead Doors Inc (416) 623-1198 David Stein email@example.com BFI Canada (905) 669-1900 Bill Robinson firstname.lastname@example.org Castello Landscape Construction Ltd. (905) 790-3462 Rick Piccirillo email@example.com
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D.A.J. Painting Limited (416) 346-2194 Darrell Ashby firstname.lastname@example.org G & G General Supply (905) 669-9556 Joe Sciammarella email@example.com Goodbye Graffitti (416) 421-9008 Brent Bowman firstname.lastname@example.org Hi-Rise Services (905) 761-0041 Bryan Roberts email@example.com Housing Services Inc (416) 891-6119 Reaud Singh firstname.lastname@example.org Hydronic Parts Group (416) 233-4222 Douglas Mader email@example.com In-Sink-Erator (Canada) (905) 717-6583 David Coffey firstname.lastname@example.org
J. McBride & Sons Ltd. (905) 839-7775 John McBride email@example.com Lifesaver 101 First Aid & CPR Inc. (416) 538-5900 Chris Riedesser firstname.lastname@example.org Low Rider Sweeping Inc (416) 523-6309 Mark D'Angela email@example.com Magical Pest Control Inc. (416) 665-7378 Mark Joseph firstname.lastname@example.org Masterclean Contracting & Cleaning (905) 841-8000 Mark English email@example.com Pascoal Painting & Decorating Inc. (905) 625-9153 John Pascoal firstname.lastname@example.org PCO Services Inc. (905) 502-9700 Lorie Davies email@example.com
Property Solutions (416) 879-7263 Linda Giddens firstname.lastname@example.org Rent Ready (705) 792-1116 Tammy Crisafi email@example.com Rona Inc (647) 519-6893 Michael Andrew firstname.lastname@example.org Scooters Catering & Event Services (905) 467-0051 Scott Anders email@example.com Smartboard Building Products Inc (905) 761-1999 Ty Azzolin firstname.lastname@example.org Spinnaker Recycling Corp. (647) 215-4592 Nancy Moran email@example.com Stay-Brite Building Solutions (905) 670-2600 Jennie Boodoo firstname.lastname@example.org Superior Pool, Spa and Leisure Limited (416) 665-0410 Howie Kirshenbaum email@example.com TCG National Inc (905) 640-7200 Ed Charlebois firstname.lastname@example.org The BBQ Gourmet Food Company (416) 783-7257 Scott Danyshyn email@example.com The Marble Clinic (905) 270-2959 Ron Ebeyer firstname.lastname@example.org Tor Can Waste Management Inc (905) 856-3900 Liborio Gurreri email@example.com Vendables Vending Co. (416) 635-8826 David Star firstname.lastname@example.org Wenlight Ltd. (647) 258-3284 Wendy McDougall email@example.com Wilkinson Chutes Canada (416) 746-5547 Doug King firstname.lastname@example.org Worry Free Janitorial Service Inc (905) 277-1162 Gabriel Sebhatu email@example.com York Sheet Metal Limited (905) 850-3500 Vince Scaturchio firstname.lastname@example.org
CONSTRUCTION/REPAIR/ EMERGENCY SERVICES Brook Restoration (416) 663-7976 Geoffrey Grist email@example.com Centimark Ltd (877) 673-8221 Robert Penney firstname.lastname@example.org Conterra Restoration Ltd. (905) 848-2992 Tony Crisostimo email@example.com Davenport Construction (416) 838-5926 Dom Carnevale firstname.lastname@example.org Decora Building Restoration Limtied (416) 285-7788 Demetre Canavas demetrecanavas@ decorabuildingrestoration.com Dufferin Iron & Railings Inc. (416) 835-1074 Dennis Parolin Elite Roofing & Contractors Ltd. (416) 743-1908 Howard Glowinsky email@example.com Flynn Canada Ltd (416) 671-3971 Siobhan Webster firstname.lastname@example.org Maxim Group General Contracting Ltd (905) 303-7711 Andrew Porciello email@example.com MultiLogic Energy Solutions (416) 727-6300 Stefan Pacula firstname.lastname@example.org Multi-Tech Contracting 2000 Inc (416) 990-4412 Carlos Lopes email@example.com National Construction Design (905) 625-9153 John Pascoal firstname.lastname@example.org Paterson Evans Group Ltd. (905) 337-0199 Chris Paterson email@example.com RespondPlus Services Inc. (905) 567-7474 Melanie Gibson MGibson@respondplus.ca Roma Building Restoration Ltd. (905) 794-8174 Joe Battisti firstname.lastname@example.org T.G.A. Renovation Inc. (416) 881-2853 Alex Bakreski email@example.com The Restorers Group Inc (905) 770-1323 Dale Parmentier firstname.lastname@example.org
Tremco-RPM Building Solutions (416) 845-8375 Sean McCallum email@example.com FIRE SAFETY/SECURITY/PARKING AFPS (905) 532-0014 Mary Ongaro firstname.lastname@example.org Ideal Fire Protection Inc. (416) 739-9001 Sam Naukkarinen email@example.com Lonergan Alarms Limited (905) 738-6180 Peter Lonergan firstname.lastname@example.org Precise Parklink Inc. (416) 398-4052 John Romanek email@example.com Precise Parklink Inc. (416) 398-4052 Mary Sheridan firstname.lastname@example.org Robertson Fire Equipment (416) 233-3934 Rob Patten email@example.com Securitas Canada Limited (416) 898-1944 Angela Salewsky firstname.lastname@example.org HVAC/MECHANICAL/PLUMBING/ ELECTRICAL/ELEVATORS Attard Plumbing Ltd (905) 850-7473 Richard Attard email@example.com Clarified Air Technologies (800) 557-9801 Frank Sultan firstname.lastname@example.org Comfort Plus Mechanical (416) 991-3710 Ray Deveau email@example.com Cool Team Service Corp (416) 747-1000 Ola Remme firstname.lastname@example.org Copperhead Mechanical Ltd (416) 421-2111 Adrian Lew email@example.com Cynergy Mechanical Ltd. (416) 749-2200 Gerald McCann firstname.lastname@example.org DBS (416) 255-7370 Randy Kamula email@example.com Delta Elevator (905) 828-4423 Ruth Pimentel firstname.lastname@example.org Desco Plumbing & Heating Supply (416) 213-1555 Ted Ives email@example.com
Direct Energy (416) 771-4856 Rick Goodacre firstname.lastname@example.org E.J.Walsh Co. (905) 625-4600 Vlad Sladek email@example.com Elcan Industries Inc. (416) 494-1544 Mike Duffy firstname.lastname@example.org Elmac Enterprise Inc. (416) 759-7999 Zoran Petkovski email@example.com Firenza Plumbing & Heating Limited (416) 247-7100 Tony Baldassarra firstname.lastname@example.org Global Point Energy Inc (705) 791-3521 Norm Grant email@example.com J.A.M. Plumbing & Heating Ltd. (416) 398-1615 Kelli Morris firstname.lastname@example.org Log-One Ltd. (905) 729-4380 Hugues de Milleville email@example.com National Elevator Consulting Limited (416) 777-0660 Michael Morgenstern firstname.lastname@example.org Novitherm Canada Inc (416) 251-1772 Frank Snyder email@example.com Rainbow Mechanical Services Limited (905) 761-9101 Amedeo Ruscio firstname.lastname@example.org Schindler Elevator Corporation (416) 332-9081 Karen Kimber email@example.com Sean Caffrey Contracting Inc (905) 827-8876 Sean Caffrey firstname.lastname@example.org Thyssen Krupp Elevator (416) 496-6000 Robert Thackery email@example.com Trace Electric (905) 415-0300 Sharon Riberdy firstname.lastname@example.org Trident Elevator Company Ltd. (416) 724-2228 Allan Hopkirk email@example.com Watershed Technologies Inc (416) 538-7940 Doug Hart firstname.lastname@example.org
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PROFESSIONAL/LEGAL SERVICES/ENGINEERING Aird & Berlis (416) 865-3060 Robert Doumani email@example.com All-Rez-Solutions Inc. (416) 998-8367 Cosimo Marini firstname.lastname@example.org Belanger Engineering (905) 795-9997 Paul Belanger email@example.com Bentall Investment Management (416) 674-4190 Steven Gross firstname.lastname@example.org Bonnie Hoy & Associates (905) 854-1585 Bonnie Hoy email@example.com C.H.A.M.P. Engineering Limited (416) 741-2222 Frank Lippa firstname.lastname@example.org Cohen Highley (519) 672-9330 Joseph Hoffer email@example.com Construction Control (905) 856-5200 Galib Peermohamed firstname.lastname@example.org DALA (905) 319-2524 Derek Lobo email@example.com Davroc & Associates (905) 792-7792 Rocco Liscio firstname.lastname@example.org Debra Fine, LLB (905) 889-4860 Debra Fine email@example.com Dharsee Professional Corp (905) 940-8223 Al Dharsee firstname.lastname@example.org Diversified Business Communications Canada (905) 948-0470 Duane Widdis email@example.com Dube and Associates Professional Corp (519) 725-3566 George Dube firstname.lastname@example.org Efficiency Engineering Inc. (519) 624-9965 Scott Martin email@example.com Finn Projects (416) 921-0900 Derrick Finn firstname.lastname@example.org
Gatemaster Inc. (905) 509-9106 Ron Boston email@example.com Genivar (905) 475-7270 Peter Leong firstname.lastname@example.org Gottarent.com (519) 242-4474 Darren Henry email@example.com Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP (416) 862-7525 David Tang firstname.lastname@example.org GRG Building Consultants (416) 495-0260 Brian Shedden email@example.com J.D. Power and Associates (416) 507-3255 Adrian Chung firstname.lastname@example.org JEMS Paralegal Services (416) 464-4152 Jeff Shabes email@example.com Landlord Web Solutions Inc (905) 397-5088 Jason Leonard firstname.lastname@example.org Living Assistance Services (416) 483-0070 David Porter email@example.com Mann Engineering Ltd (416) 201-9109 James Mann firstname.lastname@example.org Maritime-Ontario Environmental Inc (905) 602-4376 Monica Dutkiewicz email@example.com MONEX Group 1 866 286 7787 Navin Kapoor firstname.lastname@example.org Morrison Hershfield Limited (416) 499-3110 Nancy Longueira NLongueira@morrisonhershfield.com Neighbourhood Buzz (647) 402-3236 Steve Ballantyne email@example.com OneStop Media Group (416) 646-7867 Janice Solway firstname.lastname@example.org Planit Measuring (905) 271-7010 Michael Laurie email@example.com Rent Check Credit Bureau (416) 365-7060 John Dobrowolski firstname.lastname@example.org
Rent Compass inc (888) 991-3456 Samir Al-Battran email@example.com Rent Magic Software (416) 238-7989 Yisrael Kopstick firstname.lastname@example.org Renters Classified (905) 761-3313 Leo Racioppo email@example.com Rentseeker.ca (416) 800-7572 Chaim Rivlin firstname.lastname@example.org RSM Richter LLP (416) 932-6243 Alex Levin email@example.com Sheryl Erenberg & Associates (416) 256-5868 Sheryl Erenberg firstname.lastname@example.org SPAR Property Consultants Ltd. (416) 922-7897 Heather Waese email@example.com Stringer Brisbin Humphrey (416) 862-1616 Landon Young firstname.lastname@example.org Taeus Group Inc (416) 577-1233 Kim Reid email@example.com TBM Productions Inc (289) 214-1960 Ian Goodwin firstname.lastname@example.org The SPG Engineering Group (905) 338-6662 Pat Silano email@example.com Toronto Star (416) 869-4210 Brian Cordingley firstname.lastname@example.org Trow Associates Inc. (519) 745-4676 Rod Smith email@example.com Viewit.ca (416) 461-6289 Ryan Schwerdtner firstname.lastname@example.org REAL ESTATE/MORTGAGES/ BANKING/INSURANCE Brokers Trust Insurance Group Inc. (905) 695-5159 Joseph Carnevale email@example.com CB Richard Ellis Limited (416) 362-2244 David Montressor firstname.lastname@example.org
CMHC (416) 250-2731 Paula Gasparro email@example.com KRG Insurance Brokers (416) 631-3419 Paul Martin firstname.lastname@example.org Penmor Mortgage Capital Corp (416) 646-1005 Chris Sharp email@example.com Scotiabank (416) 933-1816 Roman Bruchkowsky firstname.lastname@example.org Sinclair-Cockburn Financial Group (905) 948-0700 Eamonn Kinsella email@example.com TD Canada Trust (416) 944-6574 Frank Malone firstname.lastname@example.org UTILITIES/COMMUNICATIONS Bell Canada (416) 446-3269 Chris Scott email@example.com Blackstone Energy (416) 996-0776 Pete Stratakos firstname.lastname@example.org Canadian Rite Rate Energy (416) 972-1400 Steven Muzzo email@example.com Carma Industries (888) 298-3336 Shannon Williams firstname.lastname@example.org Cogeco Cable Canada LP (800) 565-0273 Elaine Shannon email@example.com Enbridge Electric Connections (905) 889-1501 Keith McAllister firstname.lastname@example.org Enbridge Gas Distribution (416) 753-4663 Rachit Bhambri email@example.com EnerStream Agency Services (905) 813-9333 Brian Baker firstname.lastname@example.org Plus Group of Companies (416) 887-5349 Christopher Burt email@example.com Priority Submetering Solutions Inc. (905) 837-8548 Andrew Beacom firstname.lastname@example.org Toronto Hydro - Electric System (416) 542-3100 Victor Darosa email@example.com
PLEASE CONTACT LORRAINE FISHER AT LFISHER@GTAAONLINE.COM FOR ANY CHANGES OR ADJUSTMENTS TO YOUR LISTING IN THIS DIRECTORY 4 6 B U I L D I N G B L O C K S V O L .1 0 N O . 3 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 1
It’s easy to sub-meter with EnerCare. It’s easy to say ‘yes’ Take the sub-metering quiz: I want a no capital investment solution
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Stratacon Inc., which will soon be combined with EnerCare Connections Inc., provides sub-metering services for electricity and water to condominiums and apartments in Ontario, Alberta and elsewhere in Canada.
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To learn more, call: 1-888-298-3336 CARMA Sub-metering and Billing Solutions
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Reaching the entire membership 6 times per annum, Building Blocks is the official voice of the Greater Toronto Apartment Association in prin...
Published on Mar 7, 2012
Reaching the entire membership 6 times per annum, Building Blocks is the official voice of the Greater Toronto Apartment Association in prin...