Peterborough This Week Asks: Does Peterborough have the infrastructure it needs to grow?

In this article yesterday in Peterborough This Week,  Joel Wiebe explores a recent report on projected growth for the city and county of Peterborough.  One of the main themes of the piece is the need for improved traffic movement in the city and the debate that just won't die: The Parkway.
Facing a 13 per cent population growth and only a four per cent employment growth, he (Jeff Leal, MPP) says reflects the City's demographics, with many retired residents here and more on the way.

MPP Leal points out it also shows increased commuters using services like the Go buses.

The City's director of Utility Services, Wayne Jackson, says it is up to councillors to determine what is too congested for a road. Is an extra 15 minutes in a commute acceptable?

"Time is money for businesses," he says of possible economic impacts.

He highlighted Mayor Ayotte's comments about people heading down residential side streets if the roads get too busy. This leads, he explains, to angry residents.

Good alternatives need to be found, he adds, whether it means expanding or altering current roads to allow more traffic to be handled or to entice people use different roads.
I can't believe I agree with Coucillor Peeters, but:
Councillor Patti Peeters has a simple answer -- build The Parkway.

"Why are we still talking about The Parkway?" she asks. "Because we need one."
This is something I've been vocal about in the past.  Click here for my letter to the editor, and here for a response to that letter about the Parkway.  Councillor Peeters is absolutely right, we need the Parkway and it should have been built 50-odd years ago when the land was assembled.  Roads identified in the print edition of the paper as congested or in danger of congestion included: Monaghan Road, Parkhill Road, and Fairbairn Street.  Sounds suspiciously like the route one would take if the Parkway existed...

Route taken by many city residents today.

Parkway Route as envisioned by city planners 50 years ago.

Of note is that the route most people take today, along Clonsilla, up Monaghan, across Parkhill and then north on Fairbairn, is primarily through residential areas.  I know, because I regularly use this route because there is no alternative.  These are mostly two lane roads built 50 - 70+ years ago when average traffic counts were likely less than a third of the volume seen today.  The people that live on those streets must curse those politicians of the past who didn't have the will to see this road built. 

Not one of those streets was designed to handle the volume of traffic that they see every day.  As a result of driving so much traffic through those residential streets, there are far too many lighted intersections.  The amount of stop and go traffic in a city the size of Peterborough is inexcusable.  Where are the environmentalists on this issue?  I thought that constantly starting and stopping your car was terrible for the environment?  I thought sitting in an idling car was bad for the environment; did I miss something?

I've said it before, I'm saying it again:

Build the Parkway. Now.

Update: There was a really good letter to the editor in Peterborough This Week on February 9, 2010 that supports what I've been saying: Build The Parkway

Nicely put Mr. Bayly!


Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

Found via Also check out: - the creators of the video.

It's the economy, stupid ;)


Canada Ranks 3rd Best Place to Invest in Commercial Real Estate for 2010


The United States remains the country selected as the “most stable and secure real estate investment  environment,” according to a recent survey report by The Association of Foreign Investment in Real Estate.  But the country on the move is Canada, which now ranks 3rd worldwide thanks to our stable investment environment!
The United States remains the country selected as the “most stable and secure real estate investment environment,” although with a declining lead:
• The U.S. receives 44 percent of the vote;
• Germany receives 21 percent;
• Canada receives 14 percent.

In addition, according to the AFIRE site, Canada is also number 5 on the list for the best expected appreciation in property values going forward.


Should You Renovate to Attract and Retain Tenants?

Are you a small independent landlord trying to rent your properties? Consider renovating them. A recent survey indicates that over half of small, independent landlords are renovating vacant properties in an effort to differentiate themselves from the competition and attract tenants. Renovations don’t just help you attract new tenants; they help you retain current tenants as well.

“With so many homes and apartments sitting empty, landlords want their properties to stand out from the competition,” says Tracey Benson, president of The National Association of Independent Landlords. “Even if landlords have no rent coming in, they need to bite the bullet and make improvements to put their properties on renters’ short lists.”

The Association recently conducted a survey of landlords across the country and found that over half (52%) of smaller, independent landlords who expect the difficult rental market to continue are renovating their vacant properties. Over three-quarters of these landlords (76%) are doing so in an effort to attract tenants, while 42% of respondents said they are renovating to keep current tenants from moving.

But you don’t need to install high-end accoutrements like granite counters, stainless steel appliances or laminate floors to attract or retain tenants. Even low-budget investments like new carpeting or a fresh coat of paint can make a difference.

“Just about any improvement will make a property look better than one that hasn’t received much TLC,” Benson says.

For more information on how to attract or retain tenants in your apartment properties, or to learn about available properties, give our Century 21® office a call today.

Source: Century 21® USA


Point of Capitulation Reached in U.S. Commercial Real Estate

Great video from CNBC on the state of commercial real estate according to Barry Gosin, CEO of Newmark Knight Frank.

Of particular interest to me were his words, "The market has, for the most part, capitulated." This is important because it reflects the words of some of my clients - they have been looking for this 'capitulation' so that they can get back into the market and start buying again.

Do I agree with them that they needed to wait for this point of capitulation?  Not at all.  A good deal is a good deal is a good deal regardless of what everyone else is doing and it's always the right time to buy if the fundamentals of that particular deal make sense.

Why am I happy to hear this kind of talk then?  It means that the market is catching up with common sense and we can get back to business!  Don't wait any longer to look at investing in commercial real estate.  Let's get back at it!

If you're ready to get started, call me.


Bludgeoned Commercial Real Estate Has Begun To Entice Chinese Bottom Feeders


7 Time Management Tips For Small Business Owners

Guest Post

Are you a small business owner who is always late in meeting deadlines? Or are you the kind of business owner who does not have time for his family and always feels the pressure of doing more in less time. Then please keep on reading. Being self employed is really great but it also demands you become more organized. This article is going to cover the tips which would help you to manage your time in much better way so that you can become more efficient and therefore more productive.

Learn to say no: You should learn to say no to all unnecessary business meetings or enquiries from customers who are not really interested in your services. Unnecessary business meetings and customer enquiries take too much time that could be saved if you start filtering them and ignoring the less important ones.

Make a list: Making list of tasks that you want to do in one day and to arranging them according to their importance and allocating a fixed amount of time to each task saves a lot of time that used to get wasted in thinking about which task to do after completion of any other task.

Set small goals: Day to day you should set smaller goals which are easily achievable instead of setting long term goals. For example, if you want to read a book having ten lessons, rather than setting your target to read the whole book in ten days, set a goal of one lesson a day. Reading one lesson a day has a better chance of being achieved than reading whole book in ten days.

Avoid wasting time on social media websites: We never notice but most of us use to waste lot of time checking emails, surfing social media sites, reading blogs etc. Set a fixed amount of time to read your emails, twitter, forums etc.

Complete task in one shot: Never leave the tasks without completing them. We have a habit of delaying tasks that are either tough or are not of our choice. But leaving them without completing them and resuming them again wastes your valuable time which you have to spend every time to make yourself ready to start the work exclusively for each specific task.

Use technology/outsource: Many free applications are available which can easily handle almost all kinds of business operations. You can use such applications or outsource your administrative tasks so that you can focus easily on creative ways to grow your business.

Be flexible: It is very common to face unpredicted situations where you have to give your attention to other activities which are not related to your business. For example: taking care of an ill family member or attending a family function. Try to keep your schedule flexible so that you can easily adjust to such things without sacrificing already scheduled tasks.

Rudo Barr is working as an internet marketing executive for Fortepromo which creates high quality promotional products that help companies to promote their brands. 

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