Sobeys in the Urban Core- “To where the Neighbourhood comes to get Fresh.”


Last night I wandered down to Sobeys  which just opened on the corner of Lisgar and Metcalfe.

Welcome to Ottawa’s Urban Lifestyle-  – walking and biking to all your needs.

Wow, many of us had hoped that the old Goldstein’s on Elgin would be replaced by another grocery store but this is better than one could hope for.Certainly all the people who also work downtown are overjoyed as well.

With the amount of condos being built downtown, the “hoods” were in dire need of a large grocery store. Especially with good take out and pre cooked foods.

This one delivers that in spades. SOBEYS  Clean, friendly, and choice galore.

The take out food is plentiful and varied with a Sushi counter with Ramen noodles and soup . There is a serving counter for take out and a self serve counter which both times that I have been there ( late evenings) is almost sold out ( the chick pea masala is excellent). Lots of cooked vegetable’s ( my favorite the spaghetti squash- cooked al dente – which was of course sold out).


The cheese displays are endless. Picture is only part of the display.


Just try to get past the  cake counter. The cream pies have their own cooler !


Fish counter looked great and a butcher counter as well as display coolers.


The vegetables make you want to become a Vegetarian.


There is a coffee bar attached and a wine outlet.

Best of all- Open from 7:00 a.m. till 11:00 p.m. every day.




Is it the right time to Sell!


As is my usual habit, I awake at 5 -make a latte and sit down to read my papers, which awake me as they hit my front door- it is my morning ritual. I spend some time on the Globe’s business section- not because I really have a good grasp of the stock market, but I like to keep abreast of the business/economic markets which have their own take and advice on real estate.

This morning there was an article regarding homes, there are lots of these and depending on who you believe either the market is overinflated or is still continuing to grow.  Most of the info about markets are based around the Toronto or Vancouver markets so not as relevant to the Ottawa market.

However, information not to be ignored either by any means.

Part of the article today (again mostly about the TO and Vancouver market) had something I think is worth sharing .

I have been in the business a long time and have been through the up and down markets- interest rates of 21 %,  price and wage control economy’s as well as the boom high teck market and the last 20 years of good growth. I am often asked by older clients about when to sell. I thought this part of the article  summed it up nicely:

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Is it the right time to sell your house? Look at the historical data

part of an article from the Globe and Mail paper written by Robert Champion

For many older Canadians, their home is their single largest asset. As we age, many of us sell our homes and use the proceeds to help fund our retirement. Knowing that we will need to sell our homes at some future date, we look at the rising house prices and assume that they will continue to rise. We believe that we will benefit from deferring the decision to sell. That can be a huge mistake: If you choose not to sell your house in the near term and prices decline, a health or financial crisis could force you to sell at a much lower price.

For older homeowners, here is the key takeaway: The historical data shows that when house prices decline, it takes 10 years or more for them to recover. Younger homeowners have time on their side; they can afford to wait for prices to recover. Older homeowners may not have that luxury.

Buying and selling a home are the biggest financial decisions most of us are likely to make in our lifetimes. Our behavioural biases mean that we tend to make decisions based on recent data that fit our view of events, rather than incorporating long-term historical data. We base our decisions on the fact that house prices have risen significantly in recent years and ignore that fact that they declined by 30 per cent in the 1990s. It’s different this time, right!

Robert  Champion is vice-president of client services for Toronto-based Sprung Investment Management

I am not suggesting that prices are falling, just if you are thinking of a move,  planning a retirement and a new lifestyle you know what you have now and what your home is worth – no one has a crystal ball.

To quote my old friend Michael Provost

“Where do you want to be in 1 year ?- where do you want to be in  5 years?”


Take a look at our historical data.

Ottawa Real Estate BoardResidential Resale Activity

1980 – 2014- Year Sale Price Change

Residential Resale Activity 1980 – Last Year (Chart) (1)






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The best garage sale ever- GREAT GLEBE GARAGE SALE

THIS WEEKEND-Saturday May 23th. 8 a. m. till 3p.m. however people are crawling the streets way before 8-

For over two decades( started in 1986)  this amazing event has taken place all over the Glebe, bringing thousands of people into the area to find hidden treasures, bargains, and a truly varied array of goods for all ages. It is also great fun. In truth  a “Festival like” atmosphere. Although the feet may get tired , you will meet the wonderful people that live in the Glebe and make up its vibrant and diverse community. Share some stories , bargain a bit , meet old friends and make some new ones, and all in all just create some memories of either the event or what you bring home with you.

About the Sale

Saturday May 23th 8 till 3- but people are actually out alot earlier and the “pickers”( professional bargain/antique hunters) are out at the break of day.

I suggest to get out early. There will always be someone that gets out before you so relax and enjoy.

The sale is in the garages, front lawns  and porch’s of most homes as well as in the church’s.

Bring Cash: “Cash is King” here and don’t count on running to the bank machines during the sale as they run out early.

There area ATM machines at Royal bank (Bank and First) Kettlemans ( Holmwood and Ban)k and Scotia Bank ( at Bank and Fourth)

Bring Bags: you will need them to carry any of those small items. Back packs are good as well.

Bring a Hat : if it is sunny (and it usually is) you will need one.

Water: bring a water bottle, it can be refilled at churchs.

Camera or phone: take pictures . Great sea of humanity to capture.

Mommy I have to go! There are public washroom facilities available on the second level of Fifth Avenue Court (Fifth and Bank Street). The Glebe Community Centre (Third and Lyon), Glebe St. James United Church (650 Lyon St.) and St. Matthew’s church at 217 First Avenue (near Bank St.) may also be open to the public

The Good : Most of the households donation 10% of the sales money to the Food Bank This year they are looking o raise $12,000.00. Way to go Glebe!


Lots of kids have lemonade stands so relax and have a glass.

The Bad: Your feet and kids will get tired, Take breaks and if you find something , don’t wait and go back to buy it – Buy it and take it as it will not be there when you get back.

The Ugly: parking and cars, It is chaos- the streets are jammed with people so DONT TRY TO DRIVE . You may get lucky and be able to park nearly but dont bring the car into the Glebe, unless it is on the outskirts and early in the morning. There is also the Ottawa  Race weekend event going on . So the term “nightmare” comes to mind. If you have to bring the car park in Old Ottawa South or the Golden Triangle and walk, it is not far.


Have fun- even  you  do not buy anything the whole event is delightful and a great way to meet people, get to know what the Glebe has to offer and share some stories and laughter.

Have a great time.




NOW SOLD; Mooney’s Bay Tamarack Built Home- Stylish Comfort



16 Bayport   Asking ; $736,900.00

Exceptional floor plan and entertaining space in this Tamarack built home. Open floor plan yet defined by pillars and French doors. Steps away from Mooney’s Bay Beach and a short drive to downtown via the Colonel By  Drive.


Offering sun filled rooms with walls of  south facing windows accented by hardwood floors and a wood burning fireplace.


Perfect ample sized formal rooms and a main floor family room that is open to the kitchen. French doors open from the main rooms into the gourmet kitchen. An abundance of counter and cupboard space, rich wood cabinets , granite topped counters, brushed steel appliances and a  prep island as well as breakfast area with space enough for a full table.



The second floor is generous in size with a lovely stairwell and landing and again oak hardwood though out . There is a convenient laundry room with upper cabinets for storage. The master suite has a luxury ensuite bathroom with separate shower stall, double granite topped vanity  and oval soaking tub. There is  a walk in closet. Three additional bedrooms are all of  good size and there is a large updated bathroom.  More space for family and casual entertaining is provided in the huge lower level family  room that is beautifully finished  with good ceiling height .Four large windows provide the space with natural light.


For summer relaxing and entertaining the  rear garden with its red cedar deck and privacy fence is  perfect. Great locale, minutes to downtown. Direct entry from double car garage.




Space and Light on the Canal – New build-SOLD

JUST A stroll away from the New Lansdowne shops/restaurants and Whole Food


5 ROSEDALE AT THE CANAL .$1.399.000 includes HST





Breathtaking new build , contemporary inspired townhomes ( 2 only) nestled on Colonel By Drive. Architecturally designed to bring the highlights of outdoors indoors . Jason Flynn the renowned architect has provided a design that has exceptional interior spaces that benefit by the  great location at corner of the Canal and Rosedale Ave in Old Ottawa South. Designed by Jason Flynn  Built by Alan Bateman






The plan opens to a large foyer and main floor family room. There is an elevator to take to  all the floors if needed. Main floor is spacious with a family room and generous foyer for greeting guests.The 2nd floor is all open concept so while cooking in the gourmet kitchen you can talk to family and friends as well as enjoy your modern living space and beyond through the floor to ceiling windows. The bedrooms were carefully thought out and of course the luxurious master suite  benefits from the views. There is a full basement as well as a garage .


Worried about stairs- there is an elevator, parking – attached garage, space galore and vistas without obstruction.


“all the world’s a stage”- part 5: The Basement and Lighting

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Part 5 of a 5 part series about getting your home ready for sale

‘Staging is preparing a home for sale so the buyer can mentally move in”

“Depersonalizing a home has now become essential to creating a welcoming atmosphere for potential buyers’

The internet has changed the way people buy and sell homes and that has made how a home shows more important than ever.

First impressions have always been important and now with U-Tube  videos , internet ads, Facebook , social media   and multiple interior photos on web sites a buyer visits your home  before stepping though the front door. The impression that those photos make are very important and that comes down to what is broadly known as staging.

9. The Basement: Purge, Purge, Purge. Get rid of anything you no longer want or use. Organize the remaining in one area so that the basement walls and floors are visible. Try to have shelving units to organize the items ( they do not have to be fancy – Ikeas /Rona /Home Depot have lots of good items that are very affordable . Make sure that around the electrical, plumbing stack and furnace is easily accessible and visual. Broom clean /vacuum the floor and also highly recommended is to paint the concrete if the area is not finished. Make sure the stairs are solid and easy to access- handrail a must. Get rid of those spider webs from the ceilings and walls of unfinished parts and clean the top of the furnace and hot water tank.  If you have a finished basement remember that if you are /marketing it as a living space then make sure it shows like the rest of the house. The basement is usually the last place a buyer goes and it leaves a lasting impression. Make it a good one._MG_5085images (8)images (7)

10. Lighting:  Take advantage of your windows by having them cleaned and keep the drapes or blinds open. Outdated and broken light fixtures can easily and cheaply be replaced and remaining ones should be dusted and cleaned- including exterior lights. Add lamps and supplementary lighting to dark areas or rooms. Make sure the basement is well lit as well. For showings  have the blinds and drapes open as well as having the lighting on. Kitchen , bathrooms , basement and main hallways should be lit, it makes a big difference. Table lamps  on for the darker spaces. In the summer of course the lights can make the house warm so  air out the house and have the air conditioning  on to keep it fresh .

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You are looking to sell a valuable asset and the time spent on getting your home ”Fit to Sell” is worth it.

Stay tuned for “where’s my stuff “and the Life Box to survive selling your home .