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What’s On in Toronto This May


May is always a fun time in Toronto. Spring has officially taken hold, summer is around the corner, and the city feels rife with possibility.

Get out there!

Here are four events to add to your calendar:

Becoming Dr. Ruth tells the story of North America’s favourite sex therapist, from escaping the Holocaust to surviving as a single mother in the United States. Catch the play until May 16 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. More: Becoming Dr. Ruth

From May 6 to 12, Canadian Music Week brings dozens of bands and solo acts (mostly Canadian) to venues across the city. Buy tickets to see your favourite performer or pick up a wristband for access to all official shows. More: Canadian Music Week

The 20th annual Doors Open Toronto takes place May 25-26. Don’t miss this chance to peek inside some of Toronto’s most historically, culturally, and architecturally significant buildings and venues. More: Doors Open Toronto

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. In its honour, the Aga Khan Museum presents The Moon: A Voyage Through Time. On until Aug. 18, this exhibition explores humans’ enduring fascination with the moon. More:The Moon: A Voyage Through Time

Who Needs Hollywood When We Have Toronto?


Who needs Hollywood when Toronto offers deep discounts and a cityscape as varied as the American cities it pretends to be? With the cheap Canadian dollar and easier unions, filming in Toronto can save a production big bucks.

But that’s not all. From the right camera angle, Toronto’s amazingly diverse architecture instantly turns the city into Anywhere USA.

A downtown shot easily mimics Chicago, as it did in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Hairspray, The Shape of Water and Chicago. Union Station was a favourite backdrop for dozens of films, like The Freshman, Amelia, and Johnny Mnemonic. Another favourite site is the massive 19th-century red stone building at Queen’s Park. With its impressive architecture, meandering paths and park, it is where the Legislative Assembly of Ontario meets.

The Batmobile has been seen racing down Yonge Street and American Psychoused a number of Toronto’s upscale bars and restaurants. The University of Toronto’s old stone buildings are frequent substitutes for Ivy League schools. InGood Will Hunting, they were stand-ins for Harvard and MIT. In The Skull, they played Yale. But of all the beautiful buildings on campus, Knox College is probably the star; you saw it with Tom Cruise in Cocktail.

The Elgin Theatre, Osgoode Hall and Nathan Phillips Square are also silver screen favs. And Casa Loma is perfect when the script calls for a scary castle.

Indeed, in the past decade, no fewer than 1,500 movies and TV shows set in the US were filmed in Toronto.

Like we said, who needs Hollywood?

Top Design Trends for Today’s Homes


Wondering what’s hot and what’s not for interior design? Whether you’re hoping to create a buyer-friendly look as you prep your home for sale or simply want to stay on trend, these finishes will help you keep your surroundings looking sharp.

On the walls: Neutral is still in, but cold whites are fading away. Designers are reducing their use of these cold tones in favour of softer whites. These trending paint colours help make modern spaces feel warmer and more welcoming.

In the kitchen: Designers are moving away from all-white kitchens to add splashes of colour. Deep blues, greys, and greens are growing in popularity for kitchen cabinet choices. All the cabinets don’t have to be the same colour, either. One hue may be chosen for top cabinetry and accented with another shade for bottom cabinets. Contrasting metals in the hardware and fixtures complete the trend.

Off the presses: Recent enhancements to printing processes and modern materials have increased the quality of faux finishes. This emerging technology is allowing homeowners and designers to achieve the look of stone and other high-end finishes for flooring at a fraction of the cost and with easier installation. Choices such as marble and concrete will likely see a downturn as they are replaced by faux options.

From the outdoors: Homeowners are looking to connect with nature in their décor. Wood finishes are a top solution. Wood offers beauty and flexibility to apply to a variety of surroundings and suits a broad range of tastes. Designers can also incorporate this material to create a lighter and airier space, which is what many clients are seeking.

For the future: Builders and buyers are more environmentally aware than ever before. Current trends include eco-friendly materials and processes that reduce a home’s carbon footprint. Contractors and homeowners are striving to make sustainable choices that have a positive long-term impact on the environment.

What do you think about these trends? Have your design preferences changed over time? If you’re looking for any of these in a new home or thinking of making changes to your home, let me know how I can help.

Ask an Expert a.k.a. Us!


What if the seller doesn’t accept my offer?

First, it’s important to realize that this is common. In many cases, sellers don’t accept the offer given to them by the potential buyer. Instead, they make a counter offer.

This is likely what will happen when you make an offer on a home. If this occurs, your offer has not been rejected. It has simply been countered. The seller will typically ask for a higher price than you originally offered and may request an alteration of other terms on the contract as well.

When a counter-offer is made, you will work with your real estate agent to review the offer and decide if you want to accept it or make another counter-offer.

It is normal for negotiations to go back and forth several times before all parties come to a final agreement on terms. This could happen in a matter of minutes, but it often takes up to several hours or days.

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