Eco-Friendly Homes - Energy Efficient Appliances

August 11, 2017



Energy Efficient Appliances

The ENERGY STAR symbol on products allows us to easily identify energy efficient products.  ENERGY STAR has a voluntary partnership with the Government of Canada to promote energy efficiency.

ENERGY STAR products use typically 20-30% less energy than regular products, and using less energy means saving money on utility bills.  Using less energy also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and these products are also tested & certified by a government approved agency.

ENERGY STAR certified products that are available in Canada:
This link shows many categories of products to make it easy to search.

Another handy link leads you to the ENERGY STAR most efficient 2017.  This page shows the most exceptional efficient ENERGY STAR products, as well as the ENERGY STAR most efficient 2017 recognition criteria.

This link shows you lowest prices for ENERGY STAR appliances, utility breaks & more:





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July Stats

August 09, 2017



The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 2,013 new listings were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in July, which is 17.8 per cent higher than the same month last year, 9.2 per cent higher than the 10-year average and the most new listings in the month of July.

All property sales were 20.4 per cent lower than the same month last year, and 12.9 per cent lower than the 10-year average.

“Comparing our sales and listings to last year’s shows just how the market has shifted in recent months,” said RAHB CEO George O’Neill. “More homes on the market and fewer purchasers combine to give more balance to the market.”

Seasonally adjusted* sales of residential properties were 20.5 per cent lower than the same month last year, with the average sale price up 10.1 per cent for the month. Seasonally adjusted numbers of new listings were 22.1 per cent higher than July of 2016.




Overall residential sales of 1,125 units were 21.4 per cent lower than the same month last year. Residential freehold sales were 21.5 per cent lower than July of 2016 while sales in the condominium market were 20.9 per cent lower than the same month last year.

“The trend that started developing back in April and May seems to be continuing, at least in the short term,” noted O’Neill. “Where earlier in the year we were seeing list-to-sell ratios as high as 91 per cent – which indicates a deep seller’s market – on the residential side, we are now seeing a more moderate market, with a 60 per cent list-to-sell ratio. This is much closer to a balanced market.”

The median price of freehold properties increased by 11.7 per cent over the same month last year while the median price for condominium properties increased by 21 per cent compared to the same period.

The average price of freehold properties showed an increase of 9.2 per cent compared to July of last year; the average sale price in the condominium market increased by 20.5 per cent compared to the same period.

Average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold through the RAHB MLS® System. Average sale price can be useful in establishing long-term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. Contact a REALTOR® for information about your area or property.

“Home prices, while higher than last year, have actually dropped from the early highs from March through May,” noted O’Neill. “The average sale price for residential properties has come down 3.3 per cent from last month and 12.2 per cent from the high in May, while the median price has decreased 11.2 per cent from the high in April. These are certainly not the price drops experienced in other areas of the Greater Toronto-Hamilton area, but may still be an indication that the hot market is cooling – at least for now.”

The average number of days on market increased to 25 days from 24 days in the freehold market and decreased from 27 to 25 days in the condominium market, compared to July of last year. Compared to last month, average days on market rose from 18 days for freehold properties and 17 days for condominiums.

Every community in RAHB’s market area has its own localized market. Refer to the accompanying chart, and please ensure you contact a local REALTOR® for professional advice.

*Seasonal adjustment removes normal seasonal variations, enabling analysis of monthly changes and fundamental trends in the data. 





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This weekend in Hamilton...

August 04, 2017



The Festival of Friends is back in Hamilton at Gage Park once more! 

Admission is free

Festival hours:
2:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday
noon until 11:00 pm on Saturday & Sunday.

The music starts at 4:00 pm today, with Terri Clark headlining at 9:00 pm.

There are 2 stages in use on Saturday, with Kathleen Edwards at 8:30 pm and July Talk at 9:45 pm.

Sunday night Stars are performing at 9:30 pm, with Hollerado on at 8:00 pm.

For a complete schedule of performers head on over to:


Saturday August 5th

Parkrun – Free timed 5k
Waterfront Trail – 180 Van Wagners Beach Road
8:00 am to 10:00 am
Cost: free

Thai Chi Mystyle
947 Rymal Road East
7:00 am to 8:00 am
Cost: free
Phone: 905-527-7255

Sunday August 6th 

Round the Reservoir Family Race
Valens Conservation Area
9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Historic Garden Tours at Dundurn Castle
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Cost: free outdoor event


Sunday August 6th & Monday August 7th
Ice Cream Festival
Westfield Heritage Village
10:00 am to 4:00 pm, both days
Cost: Adults $11, Seniors (65+) $10, Youth (6-17) $6.50
There will be free samples of ice cream that volunteers will be making, an Edwardian style carinval, and plenty of delicious food!


Monday August 7th
Recreation Centres are closed, but Hamilton’s outdoor public pools are open.
For locations & times:

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Eco-Friendly Homes - Solar Power

July 26, 2017



While talking about solar power it is important to know that it won’t replace your current electricity service.  Solar power is actually meant to work with it.  When the sun isn’t shining, or if extra power is needed, then we must rely on local utility supplies.  Most solar homes use solar power for just a portion of their electricity needs.

The declining cost of solar panels makes them more attractive to consumers.  If you are thinking about solar power you should check out a few reputable solar installation companies to get a quote.   Cost will depend on factors such as the type of panels you choose & how many panels you can fit on your roof.  When you talking potential installers you should find out what costs are/are not included in the price.  Such costs are: solar panels, installation, design, wiring system, labour, permits, etc.

Solar panels allow photons or particles of light to knock electrons free from atoms, generating a flow of electricity.  

The microFIT Program is designed to support the development of solar panel installations.  Participants get paid for the power they produce, contributing to a cleaner environment & earning a return on their investment.

2017 is actually the last year that applications for the microFIT program will be accepted.  To keep up to date on the microFIT Program:

The Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) has a lot of helpful information, particularly Going Solar: A Guide for Consumers:

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Eco-Friendly Homes - Building Materials

July 19, 2017



Eco-friendly homes are designed to be environmentally friendly & sustainable, and focus on efficient use of energy, water & building materials. They can be built or renovated using recycled or used materials and produce less waste.

In this blog entry I will focus on some different building materials which are eco-friendly.


Wood is considered one of the most sustainable materials and requires little processing. When using reclaimed lumber which has been reworked, less trees are cut down. Another great thing about wood is that when trees are growing they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, store carbon & emit oxygen. The carbon remains in the wood for the life of the timber until it is burnt, decays or rots.


Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants, which makes it incredibly eco-friendly for building.  It can be replanted & reforested quickly. The waxy surface of the bamboo does not require painting, can withstand some wetness & can be easily refurnished. Bamboo fibres are much stronger than wood fibres and are much less likely to warp. Other than being used as a structural element bamboo can also be used for flooring, furniature, wall paneling, cabinets & more.


Cork is harvested from the bark of the tree. As the tree is not cut down cork can be harvested faster than other trees that are cut down. Cork flooring is a non-slip surface and is highly resilient to traffic, which makes it perfect for high traffic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms & play areas. Cork flooring is warm to walk on, extremely quiet with natural sound absorbing qualities and naturally resistant to mud & mildew. Cork is also hypoallergenic & cannot absorb dust, and can also be used as insulation.


Some Palm flooring is made from trees that are past their fruit bearing years, instead of the trees being dumped in landfills when they no longer produce nuts.  When the trees are used for flooring, paneling & veneer it helps rainforests intact. The wood can also be pulled apart & woven to create carpets & wall coverings. The palm is non-toxic and doesn’t emit any air pollution.


Recycled Metal is another eco-friendly choice. Using recycled scrap metal helps reduce the growth of landfills as well as consuming less energy during the manufacturing process.The strength of steel does not wear down and is one of the most reusable and recyclable materials used in building homes. As steel can support thicker layers of insulation, as it is one of the strongest materials you can use in building, homes don’t lose as much heat (or coolness) which helps your energy bills.

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Things to do this weekend in Hamilton

July 14, 2017




Hidden Garden Tour in Gage Park Neighbourhood
Friday July 14 from 6:00-9:00 pm
Cost: free
This is your chance to walk through hidden gardens around historic Gage Park neighbourhoods.
For more information:  or 905-527-0470


Friday Night Fish Fry
Friday July 14 from 4:00-7:00 pm
Royal Canadian Legion Branch
435 Limeridge Road East
Cost: $5.75-$10.00
Every Friday night fish fry!
For more information:   or  905-387-4515


Because Beer Festival – Hamilton Pier 4 Park
Friday July 14 from 3:00-midnight
Sloan is headlining the evening, with Born in the Eighties and the Diamond DJ collective. 

Saturday July 15 from 2:00-midnight
Said the Whale is headlining the evening, with Fast Romantics & Basement Revolver.

If you don’t have tickets they may be purchased at the event.


Peace by Piece – Hamilton Canada 150
Saturday July 15 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
The Cotton Factory – 270 Sherman Ave N
The Quilt of Belonging, a 120 foot quilt, made up of 263 pieces is on display for the next 5 weeks as part of Canada 150 events.


Beginner Salsa Workshop – Dance Series 1 of 5
Sunday July 16 from 2-4:00 pm
The Cotton Factory - 270 Sherman Ave N
Cost: $15
Participants will learn basic salsa patterns.  No experience necessary.
Event Page & Tickets:


Thai Chi
Sunday July 16 from 7:00-8:00am
947 Rymal Road East
Cost: Free
Easy flowing & practical at your own pace using gentle & flowing movements.
For more information: 905-527-7255

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