Posts

Edmonton’s Top 10 Neighborhoods & How They Got Their Names

Each year, Avenue Magazine publishes a list of the “best” neighborhoods in Edmonton, as voted by their readers. As you probably know, the list is fairly similar each year, but do you know how each neighborhood got it’s name? We have the list of the top ten neighborhoods in 2017 below, but with an added bonus of how each community got it’s name.

1. Glenora

The development of the Glenora neighborhood began in 1906. Land originally owned by Malcolm Groat was bought by Montreal businessman and developer James Carruthers. Carruthers named the area and persuaded the city to bridge Groat Ravine at 102 Avenue. Carruthers placed a caveat on the development, dictating housing standards in the area. The regulations were implemented in order to ensure that Glenora would be an upscale development. In 1909 the Alberta Government built Government House in Glenora as the official residence of the lieutenant-governor.

 

2. Strathcona

Strathcona was named for Sir Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal (1820-1914). He was born in Forres, near Inverness in northern Scotland, and apprenticed with the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) in 1838. Fifty years later, in 1889, Smith became governor of the company.

In the 1870’s, Smith was a politician and railroad financier who promoted the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). In 1896 he was appointed High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom. Smith held this position, and the governorship of the HBC, until his death. Smith can be seen in one of Canada’s most famous photographs: he is the white-haired top-hatted gentleman driving the last spike for the CPR ath Craigellachie, B.C., in 1885.

In 1891, a town site was established when the Calgary and Edmonton (C&E) Railway reached the south side of the North Saskatchewan River. Rather than embark on the building of a bridge across the river, the C&E located its terminus on the south side. Its plan was to promote “South Edmonton” as the areas major commercial centre in competition with Edmonton, on the north bank of the river. To this end, C&E purchased land for the establishment of a town site in the spring of 1891. By the end of 1898, South Edmonton was renamed Strathcona (informally known as Scona).

The high hopes for Strathcona were never quite fulfilled, however, and by 1910 the CPR had undertaken to build the High Level Bridge across the North Saskatchewan River. Stathcona became a town in 1899 and a city in 1907. The City of Strathcona amalgamated with Edmonton in 912.

The area now known as the Strathcona neighborhood was originally part of River Lots 15 and 17. Whyte Avenue between 101 Street and 109 Street is Strathcona’s traditional commercial area, and has gone through a number of transformations over the years. Through the efforts of the Old Strathcona Foundation and many others, much of the area’s original historical character has survived.

 

3. Oliver

Newspaperman and politician Frank Oliver (1853-1933) brought the first printing press to Edmonton and co-founded the Edmonton Bulletin in 1880. Oliver came to Edmonton in 1876 and went on to formulate much of the early legislation in the North-West Territories.

He was born in Ontario and attended high school in Brampton where he apprenticed at a local weekly newspaper. It was during this time that he dropped his original last name, Bowsfield, in favour of this mother’s maiden name, Oliver. The name change apparently followed a disagreement between Oliver and his father over his plants to enter the printing trade. Oliver later worked in the composing room of the Toronto Globe before coming west in 1873, where he was employed at the Manitoba Free Press and the Manitoba Journal. In 1876 he moved still further west to Edmonton, then only a small village controlled by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

After a telegraph line to Edmonton was established, bringing regular news from the rest of the country, Oliver went into partnership with the telegraph operator, Alex Taylor, and founded the Edmonton Bulletin. It was only the second newspaper on the prairies, the first being the Herald in Battleford, Saskatchewan. The first two-page edition of the Bulletin was published on December 6, 1880. In the paper’s editorials, Oliver was an outspoken and sometimes fiery supporter of the west. He lobbied for elected representation, protection of settler land rights and the building of schools. Between 1883 and 1885 he was a member of the Regina-based North-West Territories Council; he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the North-West Territories (which succeeded the council) and served from 1888 to 1896.

Under Liberal Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Oliver became the privince of Alberta’s first member of parliament in 1905. He sat in the House of Commons from 1896 to 1917, and was minister of the Interior and superintendent general of Indian Affairs from 1905 to 1911.

 

4. Westmount

Westmount, one of the oldest areas in Edmonton, may have been named for a Montreal neighborhood of the same name. Malcolm Groat settled here in 1878. In the early 1900’s, Groat sold his land and Westmount was quiclky developed. Most of the area’s homes were built around 1910. Marketed towards young professionals, the Westmount neighborhood was a popular location because of its proximity to downtown Edmonton. Beginning in 1910, residents could easily travel to and from downtown on the electric streetcar that ran from Jasper Avenue to 110 Avenue via 124 Street. The portion of Westmount located from 107 Avenue to 11 Avenue and 124 Street to 127 Street has also been known as West Ingle; the first settlers here were Malcolm Groat and John Norris.

 

5. Ritchie

Robert Ritchie (1848-1932) arrived in Edmonton from Ontario in the early 1890’s, just as development in South Edmonton was being spurred by the arrival of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway. In 1893 Ritchie and his brothers established the Edmonton Milling Company and built the Ritchie Mill. Ritchie went on to become the mayor of the Town of Strathcona in 1901, and again in 1906; he was also an alderman and school trustee. He retired in 1920. Ritchie School, built in 1913, was named in his honor. The area, present-day Ritchie neighborhood, was known as Richmond Park until the late 1950’s. In 1959, the name Ritchie first appeared on a city map.

 

6. Highlands

Now, in the early 21st century, the Highlands neighborhood can boast some of Edmonton’s best preserved historic homes and street-scapes, dating from 1912. In the 1880’s this area was known as the “lower settlement” and was originally owned by three Hudson’s Bay Company employees who were bought out by J.A. McDougall in 1888. By 1910 the real estate developers Magrath, Holgate, and Company, acting as brokers for McDougall, sponsored a contest to select a name for the district. The judges awarded the prize of $50 in gold to a 19-year-old law clerk, S. Loughlin, who suggested the name “The Highlands”, which is descriptive of its position on the banks above the North Saskatchewan River.

In 1910 William J. Magrath and Bidwell Holgate advertised the area as Edmonton’s newest “high class” neighborhood. Its selling features included the healthful, beautiful setting, large lots, and a $2500 minimum cost per house to ensure the standards of building would be high. So enthused were they about the area, they bought out J.A. McDougall’s interest in the land in 1913. Messsrs Holgate and Magrath also build houses next to each other on the Ada Boulevard in 1912-1913. Their houses were worth $49,000 and $76,000 respectively.

 

7. Garneau

Laurent Garneau (1840-1921) was of Metis descent and is believed to have been born in Michigan. He later moved to the Red River Colony in Manitoba, and in 1869 took part in the Red River uprising under Louis Riel, which led to the formation of Manitoba in 1870. By 1874 he had moved west to Fort Edmonton and by 1883 had been granted River Lot 7 in the Edmonton Settlement, on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River. He was active in local affairs and politics. After 1901, Garneau moved to St. Paul. His property, known as “The Garneau,” became part of the Town of Strathcona, and later, in 1912, part of Edmonton. That part of Garneau south of Whyte Avenue was part of a subdivision formerly known as Strathcona Place.

 

8. Downtown

In the late 1800’s, as the town of Edmonton began to develop outside Fort Edmonton, Edmonton’s downtown was established to the east of the Hudson’s Bay Company Reserve. At the turn of the 20th Century, Jasper Avenue and 97 Street were the hub of downtown activity. Much of the Downtown neighborhood is now located to the west, within the southern portion of the original Reserve. By the late 1980’s, Edmonton’s downtown was being challenged for its position as the city’s center of business and commerce by suburban shopping malls and commercial trips. Nevertheless, the Downtown neighborhood continues to be an important cultural, historic, governmental, and business area.

 

9. Crestwood

Crestwood neighborhood was developed around 1952. It had formerly been know as the Jasper Place and Capital Hill subdivisions. City council allowed the local community league to help choose and vote on the new name.

 

10. Bonnie Doon

The neighborhood of Bonnie Doon was named around 1912. The name is Scottish for “pleasant, rolling countryside.” In the early 1900’s, Canadian-born Premier Alexander Cameron Rutherford owned a portion of land east of the Mill Creek which later became part of the Bonnie Doon neighborhood. Rutherford is believed to have subdivided the land in 1906 and then named it Bonnie Doon in memory of his ancestral homeland, Scotland. He also named a second, nearby subdivision Scona Brae (the subdivision no longer exists under this name). In keeping with Rutherford’s fondness for reminders of Scotland, his second home, located along Saskatchewan Drive, was named Achnacarry, after a castle in the County of Inverness, Scotland.

 

Resource:
Naming Edmonton, From Ada to Zoie, published by the University of Alberta Press.

 

 

 

 

 

21 Places to Buy Furniture in Edmonton

I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Sending my clients to an interior designer who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important.  Jennifer Woch from House of J has proven herself to be one of the best interior designers I have had the privilege to work with over the last 9 years. Here is Jennifer with her handy list of 21 places to buy furniture in Edmonton!

 

Looking for stylish furnishings? Not sure where to go? Here is a quick list of some of the hottest spots in Edmonton for furniture and home decor.

The furniture stores listed offer furnishings for every room of your home. The styles very from traditional to modern and everything in-between!

Generally all furniture must be ordered. Although a few furniture stores, such as Reside and Pier 1 Imports, do have some stock readily available. Accessories are usually cash and carry. Order times can vary from 1-2 weeks, or 4-18 weeks for custom orders. Good things come to those who wait!

Most shops will deliver, but there is usually a fee associated with delivery. You can expect custom orders to be a final sale (non-refundable) in most cases, however, some shops will return items and charge a restocking fee.

Before purchasing furniture it is a good idea to think how you function in the space you are buying for. Do you like to lie down while watching t.v. in your living room? Then a comfy couch is a must. Do you mainly entertain guests in the living room? Then perhaps a selection of accent chairs would be a good option.

Another very important consideration when purchasing furniture is size! Before ordering be sure to check dimensions of the item being purchased and the space it’s going into. Ensure it is not too large to get through the front door or around that corner on the stairs up to the bonus room! *Always measure before ordering.

Whether you are ready to start purchasing for your home or you’re simply dreaming of all the possibilities, Edmonton has some excellent options and variety when it comes to home furnishings. Happy Shopping!

 

ANTHROPOLOGIE

Eclectic, mixing traditional, mid century, modern, bohemian styles.

Address: West Edmonton Mall, 8882 170 Street #2154

Price: $$$

 

CHINTZ & COMPANY

Eclectic, chic, traditional twist. Unique details. Canadian company.

Address: 10502 – 105th Ave NW

Price: $$$

 

RESTORATION HARDWARE

Large selection. Industrial with rustic raw elements. Clean classic flavourings and muted tones. Pricing in USD.

Address: Southgate Centre 5015-111st

Price: $$$

 

POTTERY BARN

Large selection. Traditional contemporary, some rustic and nautical elements..

Address: 8882-170st

Price: $$$

 

CRATE & BARREL

Mid-Century modern with warm clean lines

Address: Southgate Centre 5015-111st

Price: $$

 

PIER 1 IMPORTS

Traditional contemporary with ethnic exotic flavour.

Address:13530-137 Ave// 17515 Stony Plain Rd// South Edmonton Common1910-99st

Price: $

 

F2 FURNISHINGS

Very modern, mid-century, clean lines. Canadian Company.

Address: 2950 Calgary Trail

Price: $$$$

 

RESIDE FURNISHINGS

Contemporary with industrial and rustic elements. Edmonton based family company.

Address: 10434 Mayfield Rd

Price: $$$

 

FINESSE FURNISHINGS

Huge selection. Modern, contemporary, traditional. Edmonton based company.

Address: 4210 Gateway Blvd.

Price: $-$$$

 

COTTSWOOD INTERIORS

Huge selection. Modern, contemporary, traditional. Edmonton based company.

Address: 4210 Gateway Blvd.

Price: $$$$

 

SCANDIA

Modern stylish, clean lines. High quality. Edmonton based family company.

Address: 4210 Gateway Blvd.

Price: $$$$

 

McELHERAN’S

Tradtional and contemporary classic style.  High quality. Edmonton based family company.

Address: 10115-124st

Price: $$$$

 

29ARMSTRONG

Modern mid-century, industrial elements.

Address: Manulife Place 10180-101st

Price: $$$

 

STRUCTUBE

Modern funky, mid-century, clean lines. Canadian company.

Address: 10179-13Ave

Price: $

 

HOME ENVY

Contemporary warm rustic. Canadian made.

Address: 3865-99st// 975 Broadmoor Blvd. Sherwood Park

Price: $$

 

COSAFINA

Old world, traditional, unique. Quality. Edmonton based company.

Address: 10508-109 Street

Price: $$$$

 

DWELL MODERN

Modern clean architectural. Edmonton based company.

Address: 10549-124 Street

Price: $$$

 

LE BELLE ARTI

Funky modern. Mid-century twist. European. Edmonton based company.

Address: 16844-111Ave

Price: $$$

 

URBAN BARN

Contemporary with flavours of traditional, modern and industrial. Canadian company.

Address: 13620-137Ave// 15427-115aAve// South Edmonton Common1918-99st

Price: $

 

KONTO

Contemporary, transitional, traditional.

Address: 13030 St.Albert Trail// 6120-99st

Price: $

 

ASHLEY FURNITURE

Contemporary, transitional, homey. Massive selection.

Address: 18715 Stony Plain Rd//  South Edmonton Common 1430-99st

Price: $-$$

 

Want more information on decorating for your home? Connect with Jennifer on:

houseofjinteriors.com

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

Installing a Gas Line

I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Sending my clients to an electrician who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important.  Darren Kingstree from Kingstree Plumbing has proven himself to be one of the best plumbers I have had the privilege to work with over the last 9 years. Here is Darren letting us all know the amazing benefits of installing a gas line in your home, and how easy it really is.

 

Most people will put up with what they have, as far as household appliance are concerned.  If you have an electric stove, that’s what you’ll use, and that’s the end of it. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

If you watch any cooking shows you’ll notice no one cooks on an electric stove. Gas is instant and cooks food evenly, and looks cooler too. But as I’ve already pointed out, you use what you have. This is because most people think a new gas line is a great deal more work and money than it actually is.

Adding a new natural gas line is not as hard as you think, although it does have limitations which can  increase the price. Dry-walled basement ceilings with coated finishes can make the install more difficult and add to the cost with drywall repair – this means holes in your drywall.  You will have as many holes as it takes to install the gas line, to code. If you have a good plumber, they will know a good drywaller and painter that can deal with the repair. An unfinished ceiling or hanging tile makes the install much easier.

Every new gas line installed needs to be inspected by the city, so always make sure your installer is pulling a permit and ask for the permit number.  As a home owner, you will need the permit to call the city, and organize the inspectors visit. If your gas line has been installed correctly you will receive a green “passed” sticker. Do not, for any reason, decide that you can do with out a gas permit. You could run into real problems if you ever have a fire, because the first thing the fire inspector will do is look for shoddy workmanship on any appliances that could cause a fire to start. This inspection will also uncover any illegal gas lines (those without permits), if this is the case your insurance company can wash their hands of you, and pay nothing towards your rebuild.

You should always be asked by your installer what the BTU’s (British Thermal Units – this is how volumes of gas are used hourly) are of the appliance that’s being installed. Without this knowledge, there is no way the gas line can be sized correctly.

A gas line has to increase in diameter as the needed BTU’s increase.  Barbecues most commonly have 40,000 BTU’s, and the length of pipe also must be factored in.

Most original gas lines, in your home, have a large amount of extra BTU’s, these BTU’s can be tapped into.  If you have used up all your BTU’s for a tankless hot water system (which are usually 199,000 BTU’s) you will need to pipe all the way back to the Gas meter.

If you have chosen an experienced, qualified Plumber, they will explain what the scope of work will be, and how it will be carried out. A Certified Plumber will never be annoyed if asked to produce their  Journeyman’s card.  They have trained very hard and are normally very proud to be certified, so if your unsure, just ask! This will ensure your installer is up to code and up to the job at hand.

If you have ever cooked on gas, you’ll know why professionals choose gas above electric. If you upgrade your barbecue to natural gas, you’ll have the peace of mind that half way through entertaining guests you will not run out of propane and let your steaks go cold!

Patio heaters and natural gas fire pits come in a great variety of designs that can look very contemporary, these will allow you to entertain long after others have moved inside.

When you are in your outdoor kitchen “Think Gas”!

 

Want to chat with Darren more about having a gas line installed? Connect with him here!

Home Automation – The High Tech House Movement

I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Sending my clients to an electrician who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important.  Kevin Jackson from Yellow Jacket Energy Services has proven himself to be one of the best electricians I have had the privilege to work with over the last 9 years. Here is Kevin letting us all know the amazing benefits of home automation, and the packages that Yellow Jacket Energy Services offers.

 

Until recently, home automation seemed like something from a futuristic sci-fi movie. Now, there are amazing developments in technology which allow us to be able to control interconnecting features of our home from anywhere in the world.

 

Having a home automation system installed and making your home “smarter” has so many benefits!

 

  • Save Money – Having a home automation system can save you money with your utility costs for years to come!
    • Set your lights to turn off or dim automatically to save energy usage
    • Have your outdoor lights turn on when motion is detected, instead of leaving them on all day or night
    • Set your furnace and air conditioning to use less energy
    • Avoid monthly fees for security features, and monitor them yourself with your system

 

  • Feel Secure – Installing an HA system can mean more security for your biggest purchase, lessening stress and worry about your home and your safety.
    • Set sensors and alarms for the whole house, or for rooms of your choice
    • Get notified instantly if any doors or windows are opened if they aren’t supposed to be
    • Program sirens and strobes to go off if your home is invaded
    • Lock and unlock your doors from anywhere, and set reminders to lock your doors remotely
    • Get an HD video alert if someone is on your doorstep. You can even scare off a potential thief with two-way voice communication from anywhere.
    • Monitor specific cabinets so your children don’t get into something hazardous
    • While you are on vacation, make your home look like it’s being lived in
    • Set a temperature sensor for when you are on vacation and get notified if your temperature is too low or high.
    • Detect water leaks in your home and be notified before your basement starts to flood
    • Set your system to notify you about smoke and carbon monoxide, which allows you to call for help instantly.

 

  • Increase Your Home’s Value
    • A smart home is cutting edge and will make your property more prominent in the market, will increase interest, and add value to your home.

 

  • User friendliness – The home automation package can be used right from your smartphone and tablet!

 

  • Up your comfort! Set routines such as “good morning” or “movie night”, and set your devices to do exactly what you want during those routines

 

Yellowjacket Energy Services has a great home automation package for sellers who want to increase their home’s value. This package includes:

  • Main control hub (brains of the operation)
  • Voice activated controller (install in common area to show clients you can talk to your house and have it control lights, play music, turn up heat, etc.)
  • Dimming smart switches and 5 on/off smart switches (pick areas of house best shown with automation and voice control.  Also, set as a “vacation routine” to make house lived in, even if it is vacant)
  • Moisture sensors
  • Water shutoff valve (if any of the 3 above moisture sensors detect a leak, it will automatically close the water main and prevent house from flooding)
  • Indoor motion sensors (set up to show clients lights can turn on/off as you walk into rooms without touching anything)
  • Smart Thermostat (control by smartphone or voice activation)

 

Each package can be customized with options from many devices, sequences, and alarms, and the price to supply, install and program everything above is $2,995 + GST, which also includes an electrical permit and inspection report.  Yellowjacket Energy Services also offers financing on Home Automation packages based on a 120 month term, but can be paid off at any time without a penalty. If you are listing your home and want to include this package, you can pay $30/month while your home is on the market, then pay the balance when the property sells.

 

Find more information on Yellowjacket’s home automation packages and services here 

 

Want to connect with Kevin? Keep in touch with Kevin and Yellow Jacket Energy Services!

Visit their website here

Email at contactus@yellowjacketenergy.ca

Call at 1-855-955-2285

 

Still have questions about home automation, and how it can help you sell your property? Let’s chat!

Living Next To Transmission Lines: Will I Get Sick?

 

The internet is great. It facilitates access to essentially all of the accumulated knowledge on Earth. The open source architecture of the internet allows anyone to create content, which for the most part is in the public interest. However, as most people are aware, there is content on the web which is created either for malicious intent (ie. to sell you something), or simply out of plain old ignorance. This brief blog aims at dispelling a certain myth perpetuated by both of those latter circumstances.

 

That myth is: Transmission lines cause, among other ailments, cancer and neurological disorders.

 

Transmission lines are so commonplace that most people are simply immune to their presence within their field of vision. However, when you are purchasing a house, they stick out like a sore thumb. Other than the obvious aesthetic drawbacks to a large transmission line neighboring your backyard, there is a worry about the negative health effects which accompany them.

The debate around the harmfulness of transmission lines is fueled directly from a fundamental misunderstanding of what “radiation” is. There are two types of radiation, non-ionizing and ionizing. Non-ionizing radiation does not possess the energy required to strip electrons (or ionize) from atoms. Ionizing radiation carries enough energy to knock electrons from their orbit, thus being able to change molecular compositions, which in turn may alter cellular DNA.

Transmission lines, microwave ovens, cellular telephones, FM and AM radio, and all household electrical appliances emit non-ionizing radiation.

Ionizing radiation can come from many sources, which may include cosmic radiation, medical imaging, industrial sterilization, and smoke detectors.

At this point, the debate should be over. Transmission lines do NOT emit the type of radiation necessary to impact humans in any negative way.

 

However, as this common misconception is still alive and well, below is further discussion on the subject.

Here are some excerpts from sources asserting that electromagnetic fields (EMF) from transmission lines are a direct cause of health ailments in humans.

From safespace (www.safespaceprotection.com):

“Strong, artificial EMFs that radiate from power lines can scramble and interfere with your body’s natural EMF, affecting everything from your sleep cycles and stress levels to your immune response and DNA!”

There is no evidence to suggest that the EMF propagated from transmission lines have any causal relationship with anything stated above. A 2002 study commissioned by the WHO (World Health Organization) titled “IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans” says the following:

“There is little experimental or theoretical evidence that mutations could be directly caused by ELF [extremely low frequency] magnetic fields… There is little evidence that ELF electric or magnetic fields can cause malignant transformation of cells in culture.”

A convenient graphic is also shown, which based on your proximity to the transmission line, puts you at risk of many illnesses and disorders.

This graphic, while hilariously incorrect, does raise an important question: what exactly is the field strength based on the proximity to transmission lines?

 

Well, this is easily determined with a high amount of accuracy, and is shown by the below graphic.

Source: Atco Electric

A typical 240kV transmission line right-of-way is about 60m in width. This means that if you are standing directly adjacent to the right of way, the highest magnetic field you would be exposed to is about 8 milligauss. For reference, standing a foot away from your electric stove or a fluorescent desk lamp would expose you to over three times that amount.

From Life Energy Designs (www.lifeenergysolutions.com):

“Another, well researched, way in which EMF interacts with our bodies is through the pineal gland and melatonin reduction… Cancer and other serious conditions are possible results of interrupting this bodily repair cycle.”

Again, this statement is easily refutable. A study produced in 2013 by Elliott et al (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23337237), came up with the following conclusion:

“Our results do not support an epidemiologic association of adult cancers with residential magnetic fields in proximity to high-voltage overhead power lines.”

 

Of course, as per the scientific method, it is impossible to prove that there is anything on the planet which is correlated with no known health risks. Research can only tell us that no observable correlation to negative health effects exists in any one study. After that, it all comes down to a simple risk/reward approach.

Transmission lines do not cause cancer or any other illness as some may suggest.

They may however, block a tad bit of your view.

 

Daniel Lang, P.Eng.

 

Connect with Daniel here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning in Eight Easy Steps!

The green growth of spring brings on feelings of renewal, which makes it the perfect time to clean out all that winter clutter. Spring cleaning can sometimes feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are eight easy ways to get your spring cleaning done in no time!

 

1. Let In The Light

After a long winter, it can be very refreshing to open the blinds and let in the light. Better yet, open your windows and bring in the fresh breeze to freshen up your home. Washing your windows from the winter buildup is a great first step to brighten up your home.

 

2.  Skim Off the Junk

Go through your home and get rid of the items you don’t use or need anymore. An easy way to do this is move from room to room, taking away five things that aren’t relevant anymore. Your home will seem much more organized and lighter than before.

 

3. No Need to Deep Clean

You may think that spring cleaning requires a deep clean, but a surface cleaning will do wonders after the long winter. Vacuuming, dusting, polishing, as well as a quick neatening will refresh your home in no time. Doing one or two spring cleaning task every day (dusting the ceiling fan, for instance), will help you stay motivated instead of doing it all at once.

 

4. Pack Your Winter Gear Away 

Now that winter is near over (knock on wood!), we can begin to pack away all those heavy coats, sweaters, and boots! Be sure to wash all your winter clothing before it goes into plastic bins.

 

5. Break Out Your Spring Items

Bringing out your spring clothing, décor, and supplies will get you excited for the new season and liven up your home. This might be the right time to replace your bed and bath linens, as those can be overlooked and get grimy fairly quickly.

 

6. Organize Your Paperwork

Since it’s also tax season, this is a great time to organize your files and paperwork. Go through and archive everything you don’t need to reference, and toss any old papers that are of no use anymore. Creating an organized space

 

7. Clean Large Appliances

It’s definitely important to give your large appliances a good clean to keep them in good working order. After dusting the top and behind each appliance, give it a good wipe down. Be sure to wear gloves, as many cleaners used in these appliances can be quite harsh. When you’re done, head out to one of Edmonton’s amazing farmer’s market and bring home some great fresh produce!

 

8. Take It Easy

You’ve worked hard at refreshing your home, now it’s time to enjoy it!

 

Do you have any spring cleaning tips or tricks? Share them in the comments below – I’d love to hear them!

 

 

Seven Qualities of a Great Realtor

the

Your home is one of the most important places in your life. It can be your most valuable asset, the place where you make your fondest memories, and live your greatest dreams – home is where the heart is, after all! Buying or selling your home is an exciting process, and deciding on your realtor is one of the first steps. Like any other professional service industry, the realty industry is made up of all kinds of realtors with differing styles, and selecting a realtor should be a thoughtful decision. Below are seven qualities of a great real estate agent, exactly what you should expect from your realtor.

Your agent should be…

1) An Excellent Communicator

No two deals are the same when it comes to buying and selling, and not every deal is going happen without a hitch. Your real estate agent should be communicating with you continually, updating you with every detail of your deal. To top it off, buying and selling is quite time-sensitive, so having a realtor who is always ready to talk to you about what’s best for you, what your next steps should be, and what’s happening with the deal is definitely an important quality.

I pride myself on always getting back to my clients emails, text messages, or phone calls within only a couple hours of receiving them. Even if I am busy showing homes to someone else, I will reach out to my client saying “I have received your communication and will respond before ___ time” – buying and selling real estate is always a big deal, and I know that you don’t want to be sitting at home wondering if I got your message. I always communicate in a timely fashion.

 

2) Very Proactive

Your agent should be proactive in working with you, either as a current, past, or potential client. They should be reaching out to you regularly and always on top of ways to keep your deals going smoothly. They should be thinking about you and how to improve your current real estate situation even when they are not around you – these are the agents who have your best interest in mind, and the ones you will want to work with for every real estate deal.

Aligning myself with my clients goals is very important to making our time together fun and productive. I will ask tons of questions so that I fully understand the motivation behind all of your needs and wants. This way I can make your goals my goals, making us a seamless team!

 

3) A Great Listener

Real estate agents are generally great at talking up a storm – however, they need to be great listeners too! They must be able to listen to what you’re saying, and understand your situation, your needs, and your wants. If you’re working with an agent who is actively listening to you, you’ll be that much more confident in your relationship.

I believe in forming a strong working relationship – key word relationship. Strong relationships are built on communication and trust. Part of good communication is listening, my father always said “you have two ears and one mouth” –it just makes sense.

 

4) Adaptable! 

Your needs and wants might change from time to time, and your agent should have no trouble adapting to your situation. Your agent should be able to change their style in order to conform to yours – if you prefer face-to-face meetings instead of texting or emailing, the realtor you are dealing with should be able to work with your needs.

Being a millennial, I have tons of experience with the latest technology and trends including going paperless and electronic signatures. But that is not for everyone, and rest assured that once we meet together we can discuss the systems that suite your needs best.

 

5) Able to Give Great References!

Companies don’t hire people without first checking their references, you shouldn’t work with a realtor without checking theirs either. Your agent should be happy to share past client testimonials with you, and if they don’t, that might be your clue to look for a different agent. I keep some of my testimonials online, you can click here to check them out.

My past clients are so happy with our time together that they are willing to get in touch with new clients to give a reference. Just ask!

 

6) Knowledgeable of Your Situation 

This goes hand in hand with being a great listener – your agent should be able to understand and be knowledgeable of why you’re buying or selling, whether it’s for investment purposes, personal family situations, or something different. A good agent will be mindful about the situation, and will know the steps to take to make your real estate experience as smooth as possible.

 

7) Able to Work with Your Time-frame 

Real estate deals are time sensitive, and your realtor should be able to gain a clear understanding of your timeframe – and how to work effectively within that allotment. They should be able to think quick on their toes in order to get each and every detail worked out in the time you need.

 

I love being a Realtor, and I am passionate about my clients and their current real estate needs. I work hard to make my clients’ experience smooth and tailored to what they need.

Do you have questions about your current real estate situation? Let’s chat! Click here to get in touch.

 

Source: http://www.remonline.com/7-qualities-great-real-estate-agent/ 

Why Use a Realtor to Buy a New Home?

why-use-a-realtor

Many people think that when you are purchasing a new build, you might not need a Realtor. However, I highly recommend you have a Realtor to represent you – there are so many factors that go into buying a new home! As your agent, I can help with all aspects of your transaction, including:

  • The location, design, layout, and features of your new home – I have a unique aspect and can help you see what qualities are better for resale value in your new home
  • I can help you understand all that paperwork – what it all means, what can go wrong, and what to expect
  • I have so much experience in negotiating, and I can help you get the right price, the perfect upgrades, and the contract terms that suit you
  • I will be facilitating in the buying process from beginning to end – going through step by step and what to expect after each phase, including who to call and talk to, and when
  • I can give you objective professional advice and insight during all phases of the process, such as contract, construction, walkthrough, and closing
  • While the sale representative will always give the appearance that sales prices are non-negotiable, I am able to use recent and historical sales data to aid in the negotiation, data that is not available during new construction.
  • I have knowledge of and the ability to leverage contracts, real estate law and the real estate community when/if things go awry with the builder
  • Working with me will give you access to my contact sphere of vetted professionals who I have spent many years building relationships with, including mortgage brokers, bank managers, builders, contractors, tradesmen, lawyers, and home inspectors
  • I can help you with information on Alberta New Home Warranty

When buying a new home, it is easy to forget that the salesperson is working for the builder. They are friendly, knowledgeable, and trained to make you feel comfortable. When working with a Realtor you have someone who is legally mandated to look out for you and your best interests before, during, and even after your transaction!

Just the other day I had a client who had purchased a brand new Brookfield home. He spotted a foundation crack with water leaking in to his basement. He was obviously panicked. He sent me a text at 10:00 pm at night, and because I am a bit of a workaholic I was up and working and jumped at the chance to help. I connected him with his warranty partner, explained how the process will work, and within 24 hours he had all he needed to start the process of fixing the issue.

Buying a new home is a very emotional and exciting time, and sometimes this can cause some “blindness” in buyers. My ten years of experience selling homes (old and new) has made me immune to the emotion when buying. This allows me to be unbiased and because I always align myself with my client’s goals I am able to see things from your point of view but as a professional realtor.

Still have questions about buying a new home? Let’s chat! Click here to send me a quick email.

How to Stage Your Home Like A Pro Part Two

how to

 

Last week, we released part one of this post. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here! Read on below to get the best tips for staging your space to sell your home fast. 

Bathroom

  • It’s time to get out your cleaning equipment and scrub away all the built up grime on every surface of your bathroom, such as water stains, and soap scum.
  • Consider completing tasks such as re-caulking around the tub, painting the tile (this is much less expensive than replacing the tile, and can turn out to be a very beautiful upgrade), replace old towels with new and clean towels, un-clogging and cleaning drains, and fixing a leaky toilet.
  • Put away all your personal toiletries, from medicine to razors, and add in some spa-inspired items, such as nice soap dispensers, candles, and plants.


Walls, Windows & More

  • Brighten up dark rooms and hallways with a fresh coat of light neutral coloured paint, or add in a mirror to create a larger space.
  • Even out the nicks in your walls by filling them and touch up these spots with some paint.
  • To keep your home modern, paint over any wood panelling – if you want to you can fill in the panel lines with wood filler and paint over the whole thing, or keep the panelling as an interesting texture.
  • It’s also important to ensure that all your switch plates and outlet covers match and look new. Replace them if necessary.
  • De-personalize the space by removing your family photos and replace with interesting, modern art.
  • Lastly, wash all the walls and windows, you’d be surprised at how grimy they get from day-to-day life.


Throughout the House

  • Think about every possible way you can de-clutter, whether that’s getting ruthless and getting rid of things, or boxing them away for later assessment.
  • Keep any storage space as empty as possible so buyers can see how large the space really is.
  • Make your unused space functional – add in a desk or reading nook so buyers can see how to utilize your space.
  • Lastly, keep your floors updated by replacing any broken boards and deep cleaning your carpets.


Exterior

  • Freshen up the outside of your house by re-staining your porch and deck, and re-painting your door.
  • Keep your colour neutral or to red, black, or something that compliments the trim and won’t blend in too much. Before painting, it might be a good idea to power-wash everything.
  • It’s also important to make sure all your lights, doorbells, doorknobs, and locks are working, and if they aren’t it’s time to replace that.
  • Take a good look at your landscape, and see what upgrades you can do. We have published a great post on landscaping to sell your home here.


For Pet Owners

  • Deep clean all carpet and textile areas, and use a specialized carpet or textile cleaner made specifically for removing pet odours.
  • Stash away any pet toys, and check the yard for those special “presents” your animal may leave behind.
  • For showings and open houses, find a place where you can take your furry friend for the time, as pets can be very distracting to potential buyers.

 


Day of Showing

  • Add something special with a seasonal accent, such as a bouquet of flowers in the warmer weather, or simmering cinnamon sticks in the cold months.
  • Try not to do any cooking, as it might leave behind an unpleasant scent. Instead, you might want to bake cookies to leave a nice smell in your home.
  • Clean and tidy up everything as best as you can.

Now you can stage your home like a pro! Have questions about selling your home? Let’s chat!

 

 

 

Source: https://www.houselogic.com/sell/preparing-your-home-to-sell/home-staging-checklist/

 

What’s Going On Downtown Edmonton?

DSC_0172

Downtown Edmonton is going through a revitalization, which makes it a very exciting time to live in the city. With new developments, beautification, and many other projects on the go, we have gathered a list of what’s going on and how it might affect you.

Ice District

The Ice District is a whopping 25 acres of land located in the heart of downtown Edmonton. This new development is expected to house one of the best arenas in the world, new hotels, upscale residences, and bring in more entertainment. Features of the Ice District include:

  • Roger’s Place – a new arena with seating for over 18,000 people for events including musical entertainment and hockey games.
    • Cost: $480 million
    • Construction to be finished in the fall of 2016 – just in time for the next NHL season!
  • Wintergarden – this space, spanning over 24,000 square feet, is the primary entrance for Roger’s Place, but is also a space that will be used for different events throughout the year. It will be built atop a pedway, making it easy for people to access the Ice District and to catch the new LRT connection in the area.
    • Wintergarden Cost: $56.5 million
    • Medway Cost: $15 million
    • LRT Connection Cost: $7 million
  • Community Arena – A new community arena in the Ice District will be a space rented to community leagues for hockey games, used as a space for the MacEwan University Hockey Teams, and will be the ice the Oilers will practice on.
    • Cost: $23 million
  • Stantec Building – Stantec is designing and engineering the tallest building in Edmonton – around 250 metres tall. It is going to be Canada’s seventh tallest building, and will have space for retail and grocery shopping, a connecting pedway, and a rooftop garden. There will also be residential space – within the top 36 floors there will be about 450 condos.
    • Construction is to be completed in 2017.
    • Cost: Approximately $500 million
  • Edmonton Tower – Primarily an office space which will be about 27 storeys high, it will also hold common space, conference rooms, a café, and a bank. This tower will be built to meet a LEED gold standard – a step toward creating more sustainable developments.
    • Construction to be completed in 2016
  • Residences, Shopping, and More – Aside from the main attractions, there will be a new luxury hotel, over 1,300 residential units, office towers, and space for boutiques and restaurants.

Royal Alberta Museum – on the Northwest corner of 103A Ave and 97 Street

The new and improved Royal Alberta Museum will be a larger space (about twice the size of the original) to host even more artifacts and an exhibition hall which will house touring exhibitions from a variety of different museums. It will not only be a museum space, but a spot for community events, new programs, a café and a theatre. The new museum is being built on the former site of the downtown Canada Post building.

  • Cost of the new Royal Alberta Museum: $340.5 million
  • Construction to be completed some time in 2016

Blatchford Redevelopment Project
Close to downtown on the site of the old city airport, will be the community of Blatchford. It will house up to 30,000 people, with 20% being affordable housing, and will be a perfect space for transit.
Blatchford aims to stay “green” with urban agriculture plots and will use 100% renewable energy.
this development carries a $632-million price tag phased over 25 years and will house up to 30,000 people.

  • Housing will be medium-density residential, with high density residential being close to future LRT stations.
  • Included in the plan are schools, shops, and restaurants, as well as walking and bicycle routes connected to various trails within the city.

104th Avenue Corridor Plan
Between 111th Street and 123rd Street, 104th Ave will be developed into a more transit-oriented space with easy access to the Valley LRT line. Developing this space will encourage more people to take transit throughout Edmonton and reduce the number of motor of vehicles that pass through on a daily basis.

 

Mechanized River Valley Access

The new River Valley access is a new development which will allow easier connection from downtown to the River Valley. There are several main aspects to the new connection:

  • The Promontory – This is the top landing which contains a covered canopy, and is also the entrance or landing to the funicular, and as you wait for the funicular you can take in the incredible scenery near the Hotel MacDonald.
  • The Stairs – These stairs are designed for more than just walking, with wide lanes they are meant for strolling, leisurely stopping to take in the view, and socializing at one of the many stopping points on the route.
  • The Funicular – Creating a more convenient way to get downtown for people with bikes, wheelchairs, strollers, and trailers, the funicular is one of the most exciting parts of this renovation. Surrounded by glass, people who take the funicular will have an incredible view of the River Valley as they descend from the landing point into the valley.
  • The Promenade – The landing at the bottom of the steps and funicular will lead into a lush, green space made for enjoying the natural surroundings.
  • The Bridge and Lookout – There will be a bridge attaching the promenade to the lookout, and will also be a great way for passerby’s to pass over Grierson Hill Road. A lookout on the bridge will be created with grass railings in order to enjoy the scenery of both the river and the downtown horizon.
  • The Elevator – Creating a hassle-free connection to the river valley, the elevator will link the Mechanized River Valley Access to the current valley trails. It will also connect to the Low Level Bridge as well as the Rosedale/River Crossing space.

 

So that’s what’s happening in downtown Edmonton! With city enhancements and residential areas being developed, purchasing property near the area is a great idea! The value of property will only increase as the area is upgraded. Have questions about purchasing in a developing area? Let’s Chat!

Information sourced from:
http://icedistrict.com/
http://www.infrastructure.alberta.ca/3655.htm
http://www.wamdevelopment.com/projects/edmonton-tower/
http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/documents/104_Ave_Corridor_ARP.pdf
http://transformingedmonton.ca/edmontons-newest-downtown-destination/