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March Market Recap: “Growth on the Horizon as Prices Increase This Spring.” If you haven’t checked out our latest market report, click here!

What’s On in Toronto in April.

The worst of winter is finally behind us, and now we can look forward to the promise of spring. It’s time to end your self-imposed hibernation, so check out these upcoming events in the city.

What is The Art of Leadership for Women? Join the powerful company of Malala Yousafzai, the Hon. Rona Ambrose, and others on April 13 to find out. This inspiring event is sure to encourage women to find their own voices and blaze their own trails. More: The Art of Leadership for Women

Tea and java lovers rejoice! The Toronto Coffee & Tea Expo returns for its second year, April 14 and 15. Sixty local vendors and indie cafés will come together to help you discover the city’s best cuppas and most buzzworthy new beans. More: The Toronto Coffee & Tea Expo

One of America’s most insightful social commentators will return to Toronto after a five-year hiatus. Fran Lebowitz: In Conversation will bring Lebowitz’s unapologetically sharp commentary on current events to the city on April 21 and 22. Hosted by the CBC’s Anna Maria Tremonti, the conversation will conclude with an audience Q&A. More: Fran Lebowitz: In Conversation

Gather your friends, family, and work colleagues and put on your comfiest pair of shoes for the 2018 Toronto Walk for Muscular Dystrophy on April 28. Last year, it raised $1.3 million nationwide, and organizers hope to surpass that success this year. More: 2018 Toronto Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

Playing Fair in the GTA’s Off-Leash Dog Parks.

There are dozens of off-leash dog parks in Toronto for you and your furry children to enjoy, and plenty of trails to sniff and explore. But having endless options doesn’t mean pups and their humans are really free.

As dog owners know, you must follow written and unwritten rules in dog parks, including picking up after your pooch and following the clearly marked signs and boundaries. And it’s not advisable to bring your 150-pound dog to the enclosure built specifically for small pups. Owners should also make sure their dogs are on-leash unless they’re in a designated off-leash area.

Once in the park, the temptation to gather with other doggy parents is strong, but ensure your eyes are always on your dog. Watch to make sure Spot’s not being rude to other dogs or humans, or digging holes (and if he is, make sure you repair them before you leave so other dog owners don’t twist their ankles). Watch for escalating behaviours like humping, jumping and excessive barking. Be prepared to act quickly if something happens.

Keep your dog engaged with you: Move around the park to keep your pup guessing. And have fun. Playing by the rules doesn’t mean you and your dog can’t enjoy the company and the chance to play outdoors. Don’t forget toys, and if the park is Frisbee-friendly, bring one along.

Remember that an off-leash park doesn’t give dog owners permission to relax their guard. Pet parenthood doesn’t stop the moment the gate closes behind you.

Standing Strong: Paints That Reflect Our Reality.

If you have the urge to remodel this spring, don’t start tearing down walls. Consider updating with paint.

This year, you can find just the colour to suit your mood; the very influential paint manufacturers have chosen palettes ranging from peaceful shades to vibrant colours.

Turn inward but stand strong

According to Martha Uniacke Breen in The National Post, paint colours reflect the way we see the world. “[This year] in both a décor and a psychological sense, it’s hard to be neutral,” Breen suggests. “There’s both a turning inwards towards peace and refuge and a sense of standing strong, even defiance.”

For example, Benjamin Moore’s colour of the year for 2018 is a spicy red called “Caliente” (“Hot” in Spanish), and red, generally, is showing up in everything from appliances to cars. But for the shy among us, Benjamin Moore offers a variation: deep rich pinks.

Dark colours are also on trend. Paint manufacturer PPG’s Black Flame is best as a wall colour; it highlights the room’s architecture, furniture, and lighting. That said, dark colours can be unforgiving and may highlight those less-than-perfect walls.

Challenging “Ultra Violet”

Pantone has challenged décoristas with its 2018 colour of the year, Ultra Violet. It has a tendency to take over, designers say, and so must be handled with care. Some are using softer shades (even extending to lavender), and others are pairing it with partners such as celadon green or camel. But be aware: this bold colour should be used judiciously.

Another trend is bringing the outside in with colours such as Beauti-Tone’s Green Peace. “It’s peaceful and almost neutral, but it has attitude,” says company representative Bev Bell.

Fortunately, the 2018 colour palette is generally easy to use. Says Breen: “…all of these shades are amazingly versatile. They can be either dramatic or quietly enveloping, depending on what else you choose to put with them.”

Ask an Expert a.k.a. Us!

What Can Sellers Do Before a Home Inspection?

Buyers want to know they’re purchasing a property not only that they love, but that’s safe and well-maintained. A home inspection is designed to reveal any potential problems with the property. So sellers should try to make the buyer’s inspection as smooth as possible to avoid red flags that might scrap the purchase.

Clean, then tackle tasks you might overlook in your day-to-day life. Change the furnace filter. Replace light bulbs. If you haven’t yet, replace smoke detector batteries. Review major home features for potential concerns. Check windows for cracks, and replace any damaged panes or screens. Check outlets and replace if needed. Remove any clutter around HVAC systems to provide easy access. Some inspectors are more thorough than others, and some buyers are pickier. Completing these steps proactively may bring you and your buyer to the closing table – faster and happier.

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