February 2011 Newsletter
Elli's Update Camp Rockwood Reunion!
The internet has certainly helped all of us connect with our past. Through social networking and search engines, it seems like my days at Forest Hill Collegiate are never more than a click away!
Reminiscing further back, I have recently been informed of a Camp Rockwood reunion. It will be held on April 9, 2011 and I am excited to be going! If you also went to Camp Rockwood you can sign up for the reunion by visiting their website:
I have been in touch with many of my former schoolmates who have asked me to assist either in the sale of their homes or that of their parents. This week I listed the home of a friend of mine whose family have owned it for 65 years. It is such a pleasure to become re-acquainted with friends from the past whether it is through a camp reunion or assisting them with their real estate needs.
Celebrating 28 Years in Central Toronto Real Estate
February Newsletter 2011
- Hot Listings!
- Real Estate News: Government Changes to Insured Mortgages
- Market Watch Report: January 2011
- Toronto Events: Valentine's Day Events & More!
- February Bites: What's Your Number?, Ask the Nutritionist
- Cooking: Gingery-Carrot Salad Dressing
Central Toronto - Leaside - $1,890,000
11 Burkebrook Place #6
"The Shelborne" bungalow with loft & lower level at "Kilgour Estates"! Choose your finishes! The great room features a gas fireplace & double height ceiling. The separate dining room has a coffered ceiling.
Central Toronto - Yonge & St. Clair - $1,499,000
58A Oriole Road
This beautiful "8 years new" executive townhome is located in a prime neighbourhood: walking distance to Yonge/St. Clair & Forest Hill Village. Tthe only home in this group with a private garden, 2 car garage + 2 parking spaces.
Thinking of buying? Thinking of selling?
Real Estate News - Government Changes to Insured Mortgages
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced upcoming changes to the rules for government-backed insured mortgages. These changes are aimed at supporting the long-term stability of Canada's housing market and assist Canadians financial security through home ownership.
Here is a brief synopsis of the new measures, and why they are being implemented:
- Reduce the maximum amortization period to 30 years from 35 years for new government-backed insured mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of more than 80 per cent. This will significantly reduce the total interest payments Canadian families make on their mortgages, allow Canadian families to build up equity in their homes more quickly, and help Canadians pay off their mortgages before they retire.
- Lower the maximum amount Canadians can borrow in refinancing their mortgages to 85 per cent from 90 per cent of the value of their homes. This will promote saving through home ownership and limit the repackaging of consumer debt into mortgages guaranteed by taxpayers.
- Withdraw government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes, such as home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs. This will ensure that risks associated with consumer debt products used to borrow funds unrelated to house purchases are managed by the financial institutions and not borne by taxpayers.
Adjustments to the mortgage insurance guarantee framework will come into effect on March 18, 2011. The withdrawal of government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes will come into effect on April 18, 2011.
Read the Department of Finance News Release.
Market Watch Report
Click here to read the latest Market Watch Report published by the Toronto Real Estate Board.
January 2011 Marketwatch Report
Toronto's semi-annual culinary celebration kicks off on Jan. 28 and runs through Feb. 10. Diners can choose from an array of top quality restaurants offering prix fixe menus for this event.
For full details:
Winterlicious 2011 Guide
Can't decide where to go? Why not check out Toronto Life's chef critic's Best Bets of Winterlicious for recommendations?
February 14 is Valentine's Day and there are many events in the city that you can participate in sharing the love!
From the family friendly "Love Bugs" at the Toronto Zoo to racy burlesque shows and erotic arts & crafts sales, to romantic salsa dancing lessons in the Distillery District or Valentine's Day Tea at Casa Loma. You can even learn how to become a cupid, taking aim with archery classes...
More ideas and information here: Valentine's Day in Toronto
Billy Elliot:The Musical
Based on the international hit film of the same name, this stage adaptation tells the story of a young boy growing up in a working class town who dreams of nothing more than becoming a professional dancer. At the Canon Theatre, starting February 1, 2011.
Starring Christopher Plummer, this stage play tells the story of the last month of John Barrymore's life. Playing at the Elgin Theatre until March 9.
What's Your Number???
By Debra Basch, RHN
Director of Nutrition, eMbody Fitness Clubs
Certified Personal Trainer
We live in a password protected society. Every day we are expected to remember passwords, sequences and numbers. Failure to punch in the correct code can have dire results. Access denied!! Why is it then that so many of us don't know our top 5 health numbers? These numbers are clear indicators of whether or not we are doing a good job of trying to stay healthy. Knowing these numbers means that you know your body and that gives you the POWER to change it.
February is Heart and Stroke month. Whatever your personal reasons are for eating healthfully or exercising according the recent guidelines (adults are expected to complete 150 minutes of heart-beat raising exercise per week with an intensity higher than previously recommended), being informed is essential. These numbers will help you understand the aging of your heart and blood vessels (responsible for strokes, heart attacks, memory loss, sexual dysfunction), aging of your immune system (which can lead to cancer, infection, autoimmune diseases), and general deterioration of your body's infrastructure (bones, organs, joints, tissue). So, do you know the following?
- Your Blood Pressure
- Waist Circumference
- Blood Sugar
Being ignorant of these important numbers is irresponsible. Knowing your waist measurement and weight will not cause you to become obsessed in an unhealthy way. How can you set health goals and keep that machine called your body working optimally if you don't know what you should be aiming for?
Ideal Blood Pressure: 115/76 - established in fifty-six studies and fifty-two countries. A staggering statistic: 50% of heart attacks can be attributed to a blood pressure of between 125/80 and 140/90.
Weight: Being overweight contributes to important health risks: it increases your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, lipid disorders like high LDL levels, sleep apnea, cancer, and arthritis.
Waist Circumference: Women should have a waist <35 inches and men <40 inches. Tummy fat squeezes your kidneys. Extra abdominal fat has adverse effects on your body. Abdominal fat cells secrete a hormone that directly increases inflammation in your blood vessels. A weight loss of even 5% will improve your health.
Cholesterol: Healthy and Lousy are easy ways to remember the different types of cholesterol! Your blood test will reveal the results of both. With HDL you want the highest number possible and with LDL you want to keep it to a level under 100. Ideal: HDL >40, LDL - under 100.
Blood sugar: Keep it lower than 100 mg/dl. Excess sugar in the blood can cause damage to those all important arteries.
Gingery-Carrot Salad Dressing:
(Adapted from Real Simple, January 2011)
Why not get a healthy dose of immune boosting ingredients, like vitamin A and ginger in a delicious and easy salad dressing. This dressing has heart healthy mono-unsaturated olive oil and calcium-rich sesame seeds. Both are also healthy fats and are helpful for you to absorb your fat-soluble vitamins in your dark leafy green salad. Word of caution: fat is fat, healthy or otherwise. If weight loss is still part of your 2011 goals, stick to 1.5 Tablespoons, thin with a little extra lemon juice and toss really well.
2 large carrots, diced
2 small shallots, peeled and sliced
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup white miso soybean paste - level
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 - 4 tablespoons lemon juice (use to thin and or flavour)
¾ tsp toasted sesame oil (use a good quality version)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Makes 1.5 cups - keep refrigerated
- Place carrots, shallots, ginger, miso, vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, and sesame seeds into a food processor and blend until well mixed.
- Add olive oil slowly until almost smooth.
- Thin with extra lemon juice as needed.
- Use as a dressing on salads made with dark, green leafy vegetables, peppers, apples, and anything else you can dream of!
Ask the Nutritionist
Photo by Uwe Hermann
Q: With all the negative talk about sugar, what are my options? I do not want to resort to artificial sweeteners and I know that brown and/or raw sugar is nutritionally the same as refined white sugar. I have heard a lot about agave syrup. Is that a healthier alternative? What exactly is it?
A: Good for you for not being fooled into thinking that sugar: raw, brown, organic, molasses, beet sugar, and cane are all the same. Marketing is the master of all disguises. When reading an ingredient list, words that end in "ose" are another way to disguise sugar. You literally need to be a detective. Agave is four times sweeter than sugar, so you need far less. Sweet deal? Not really if you are still concerned about calories, metabolic syndrome or diabetes. Agave is all natural and its sweetness comes from fructose which means that it requires extra processing in your body (specifically the liver) before hitting the blood stream. Glucose from sugar (raw or brown) goes straight to your bloodstream and WOW .... Blood sugar goes up... sometimes way up! Agave is still refined (the sap is refined down and boiled into a syrup) so just like sugar - use sparingly.