Be creative

As the economy was emerging from the ashes of the Great Depression, building began in earnest on a new subdivision on the northern edge of Toronto. It would become one of the country’s first planned communities, with curvy streets, skinny 30-foot lots and two styles of houses – boxy two-storeys and 800-square-foot bungalows. Today little has changed about Leaside, with a few exceptions. Now the city engulfs it and extends miles to the north, and you need a million bucks to buy in.

Well, maybe a little less. Like this house. It’s listed at $989,688 and will, I’m told, go fast. But its real value is as a tear-down for a 2,600-foot new build. That will sell for the current Leaside average of $1.3 million. That’s $43,000 for each foot of frontage.

The average SFH in 416 is just under $600,000 and the average property (including a bazillion condos) is $443,000. The average family earns $96,000, so to buy a detached home takes about six times income – twice the national norm. To acquire a skinny house on a serpentine leafy Leaside street is out of the reach of all but a small percentage of the population. Despite that, every home coming to market is subject to bidding wars and snapped up within hours.

Miles away in the undistinguished west end lives Bryan. “I’m a happy renter,” he writes me. “Really. The Volvo-driving yuppies would topple each other’s duallie baby joggers and gouge each other’s implants out in a mad rush to pay twice what I do to live in this little brick shack in east Etobicoke. I’m good with that.”

Bryan’s a cynic, watching the fools rush in. But he says there is something which has suddenly aroused him with house horniness.

“I’ve discovered a place where there are income properties that actually produce – get this – income! I don’t really want to give this secret magical land of revenue away, but as a hint it starts with “Ham” and ends with “ilton”.

“Sure, one would have to aspire to becoming a slum-lord, but there are some places for sale down there with stable tenants who don’t want to move and they’re throwing off anywhere from $500 a month and up. Ok, no one’s getting rich on that, but income is income. And the best part is that they’re dirt cheap. Cheap like Saskatoon should be.

“Am I missing something? Isn’t this exactly the kind of “should own” property you’ve been bleating on about for years? So here’s the thing. I have no idea what it takes to become a slumlord. Does this kind of income property investment even make sense? Am I dreaming? Help.”

For those who’ve never gone there fearing it’s carcinogenic, Hamilton is a Winnipeg-sized place stuck on the end of Lake Ontario about an hour from the godless GTA. In fact the western edge of the Toronto area (Oakville) touches the eastern flank (Burlington) of what used to be called Steel City and is now known as The Hammer.

Hamilton has been derided for decades as a grimy industrial burg, full of expectorating blue collar rubbies that would be at home in a Charles Dickens novel. But the recent financial crisis helped to bring that to an end. Car parts plants shuttered and the giant steel works dominating the sheltered harbour is a mere wisp of its former belching glory. The water actually supports aquatic life, the city’s developed a cool artsy section, new lofty condos are being built and there are gleaming university buildings, sports arenas, convention centres and expressways. Oh yeah, and a mountain.

Interesting, people who pay $800,000 to live in Oakville have a 70-minute rush hour commute to downtown Toronto. People who pay $200,000 in Hamilton can get to Union Station on the train in sixty. Such is the discount for living in a place people tell jokes about.

In fact the average house price in the centre of the city is $157,000, while in the prestigious west end, it’s $277,000 – still only 20% of the cost of living in Leaside, in a similar-sized home. Of course, all is not sunshine and lip gloss. The city has hundreds of abandoned buildings, most of them 19th Century industrial relics covered with graffiti. It has a crappy public transit system, an alarmingly robust hooker population and a football team named after kittens.

But, Bryan, it’s cheap and there are lots of renters – just like in Windsor. While it is now officially impossible to buy an apartment building in the GTA and be in positive cash flow, it’s still simple to achieve in The Hammer. Rents are lower, mind you, and tenants are covered with the same thick blanket of rights as everywhere else, but the cost of admission makes all the difference.

Examples: a solid but empty flour-plex for $249,999; a tenanted duplex for $209,000; 13-unit apartment building for $686,000; or a totally renovated, historic 15-unit brick edifice for less than the cost of a Leaside hovel.

You ask if you are missing something in the midst of your sudden horniness, Bryan. Is Hamilton too good to be true?

Of course not. Just a place that makes a little sense.

There are precious few left.


#1 shanks on 09.04.11 at 9:46 pm

1st!!!! (in line for the free robo sex of course)

#2 LS on 09.04.11 at 9:49 pm

Here’s an attempted flip in Kitsilano. This house is on a 40’ by 122’ lot in a nice area in Kitsilano in Vancouver. Sold in January (or thereabouts) for $1.570 million.

Listed again for $1.788 million. (Note how much worse these pictures are in this listing, just thrown together for your $1.8 million price!)

The costs to flip this would include $30,000 in property transfer tax when bought, plus, realtor commission when selling, I don’t know about $45,000. Plus legal. Say $80,000! That’s a $140,000 profit if they get another $220,000 on top what they paid for it. If…. Thankfully it comes with a suite to help those mortgage payments!

Interesting times, very interesting… I note that it seems things are also not moving on the West side like they used to. The prices get more ridiculous with each passing month…. it is clearly unsustainable

#3 mackie on 09.04.11 at 9:58 pm

Well I am happy living in Hamilton. Mortgage free.

#4 T.O. Bubble Boy on 09.04.11 at 10:05 pm

Cheap RE in cities with universities = rental gold

#5 Andrew on 09.04.11 at 10:06 pm

Hamilton is cheap because there are not a lot of good paying jobs there, it is a long way from Mississauga/Toronto, and the city is pretty run down. It is hardly surprising that it is much, much cheaper than Toronto.

Oakville (well the nice parts of it anyway) is expensive because there are lots of good paying jobs in business parks in Mississauga and Oakville at 401/407, 403/QEW, 401/427, 401/Hurontario, etc. Not everyone in Oakville works in downtown Toronto remember.

Gee, that means good jobs in Oakville are only 15 minutes from Hamilton. — Garth

#6 Smell The Coffee on 09.04.11 at 10:13 pm

All assets are only prized if they produce ‘rents.’ Everything else is vanity and delusion. All purchase are like tuberculosis … consumptive.

The aim is to basically snag some other fiscally sound warm body, who will pay you long enough for your 30 square meters of partilce board nirvana such that at some point you in turn can pay off your debt to a prior lesser fool.

A salable asset is only of a type that remains unencumbered … for gain … after fees, municipal taxes, provincial taxes, federal capital-gain taxes, wear and tear/depreciation/maintenance, interest, levies, insurance and then gain is adjusted for inflation.

It usually takes 20 years with any form urban realty, and only if you have had a real estate boom for half of those years.

Given human lifespans predilections, by then you don’t really care, because you don’t have the energy to piss away the gains like you would when you were in your twenties (and didn’t know squat to figure out the difference).

Now you know better … being older, sober and worn out and furitively hope some better fool comes along and takes it off your hands soon so you can put a solid down payment on your assisted living slot, which will take away in 5 years what you built up in thirty.

Happy trails pardner.

#7 T.O. Bubble Boy on 09.04.11 at 10:14 pm

FYI – that Leaside tear-down was just reduced from $1,035,000 (Aug 13th) to the current price of $989,688.


#8 45north on 09.04.11 at 10:33 pm

I am skeptical that interest rates will remain low. Here’s a piece by zerohedge, the US intrabank rate “starts in the lower left and proceeds to the upper right”:

zerohedge is all over the Euro. Let’s see what the morning brings.

#9 Aaron - Melbourne on 09.04.11 at 10:34 pm

THIS is for all the schills, pumpers and bubble deniers…

….the new theme song for

#10 Bottoms_Up on 09.04.11 at 10:51 pm

#218 Utopia on 09.04.11 at 8:44 pm
Ok, here’s a panned-out version. All the pock marks are clear-cut areas. Actually kind of scary (satellite imaging is useful for this).,-123.651123&spn=1.68388,4.938354&t=h&vpsrc=6&z=8

#11 David in Oakville on 09.04.11 at 10:57 pm

Hi Garth, long time since I have commented on your blog but I have been a long time reader and one of your former constituents who wishes you were still in the HOC.

I live in Oakville, work in Burlington and my wife of one year works in Hamilton centre, very close to the properties that you have highlighted (she is a nurse)

Before buying my townhouse in Oakville, I looked extensively in Hamilton, Dundas and Burlington.

I love Hamilton.. but the city is perhaps the most poorly managed city in the country and the property taxes / downtown core reflect this. My estimate is that the property tax is about 2.5 times the comparable house in Oakville.

The only train that takes 60 mins to union station is the express and I believe it runs once in the morning and evening.. otherwise you are on the bus to Aldershot.

None of the places you highlighted are 15 minutes from Oakville, more like 30 and realistically 45 minutes between 7:30 and 9:30.

And, there are houses priced as outrageously in Hamilton as elsewhere. Look at the houses in West Hamilton or on the “high end” streets like Scenic, Mountain Brow and Auchmar.

Also, I cannot see how the Leaside property could make sense at that price. A very very conservative estimate on build costs is $120 per square foot. This puts the all in costs for a new house on this property in the range of 1.3 million…. so a builder would have be looking for at least 1.5 to 1.6 million in return?

I know this advice is free, but I would love to see you outline how you do the math on an investment property with rental income to decide if it is worthwhile.

Thanks for your blog and advice, hope you keep it up.

#12 Snowboid on 09.04.11 at 11:05 pm

Just watched the latest ‘House Porn’ on HGTV – Urban Suburban with Sarah Daniels (former Global weather reporter).

Sarah is now a RE agent, who battles it out with her brother and partner in their RE adventures. Not only that, but Sarah also hosts a RE segment on Global!!!

Better-half had to leave the room because I was yelling at the TV. Luckily my pills were close by so I kept watching.

Premise of this episode: should we buy the cheap $750K home in White Rock, or go for the heritage conversion (1100 sq ft) in Kitsilano for about $800K.

I was hoping the buyers would go for the final option, a $1.2 million SFH after Sarahs’ brother suggested the buyers become a one-car family so that they could afford the additional mortgage costs of $2000 a month (along with the income from the head-banger basement suite).

I haven’t tuned into HGTV for a few months, now I remember why!!

It looked like the next episode was from the GTA but my tranquilizer had worn off, will have to save that for another day!

#13 Mr Buyer on 09.04.11 at 11:09 pm

Lived in hamilton for many years, many many years ago. Dropped by to visit my mother who lives in the east end. I was surprised by how clean it is now but I made the mistake of trying to find a convienience store at midnight downtown around the Sheridan. I did not make it two steps outside the hotel before two crack heads, tiny and godzilla, asked me if I could spare some change. The surprised look on thier faces when I did not stop said sorry partner and continued on my way suggested to me they were not really asking. The University is nice, as is dundas, the mountain, the west and east end, just do not hang around downtown after dark. I know I shouldn’t assume they were crack addicts, perhaps it was heroine, it seems I am somewhat prejudice as my druggie slurs suggest. I would have hung around and found out more but I was not interested in fighting for my life and we really needed tooth brushes (a friend suggested later that a simple request at the front desk would have resulted in tooth brushes being provided, I should hope so, it was the Sheridan after all). I think I may have been away from Canada too long. These were after all Canadian drug addicts asking for change so they may have been politely asking and nothing more would have come of it. The giant hulking farm boy lost in the city crack head (sorry, drug addict) standing behind one of the shortest thinnest men I have seen in my life set off large alarm bells that closed my mind to alternate possibilities. Call me narrow minded.

#14 Killer Chicken or Imploding Boomer? on 09.04.11 at 11:11 pm

220 Betamax

“That’s why they’re logging remote places like the Queen
Charlotte Islands.”

And this is news? They were logging Haida Gwaii
decades ago.

#15 JSS on 09.04.11 at 11:39 pm

Should you be living in ontario to successfully manage a rental property in Hamilton? or can you manage remotely using a property mgmt firm? Any advice?

#16 Joe on 09.04.11 at 11:43 pm

I live in Hamilton and I love the stigma about Hamilton. It keeps housing prices depressed here. :)


#17 Utopia on 09.04.11 at 11:47 pm

#221 Killer Chicken or Imploding Boomer? wrote….

To #204 Utopia – “Did you understand my post? I said the easy second growth is gone. Do you even know what it is? Have you ever put on caulk boots? Ridden in a crummy? Grabbed devil’s club?”

Sorry Killer Chicken. Don’t feel offended. My post was not a criticism of yours even though on a second read it sounds that way. I was only making an alternate point.

By the way, I am originally from BC. Before my days of stepping in cattle splatter each morning I traveled the province from end to end. Love most of it but am disgusted by what has happened to Vancouver, Victoria, and the Okanagan R/E as a result of all the easy credit and low rates.

I am very familiar with the logging practices there. Have flown all over the Island and seen it first hand. Even had a place up in Port Alice for a spell.

It is a crime how the trees were stripped off the steep mountain faces there. Once erosion set in all that was left was barren rock. Fifty thousand years is not enough time to repair the damage that one single forest company caused. I am not even an environmentalist but I still felt sick about it.

Go there and see for yourself.

Peace. Out.

#18 jess on 09.04.11 at 11:50 pm

From the other day

187 Aussie Roy
Did you read the story? Of course those are NOT your words. They are the trader’s opinion that was interviewed for that article. Once again here is the article.
Speculating with Lives How Global Investors Make Money Out of Hunger By Horand Knaup, Michaela Schiessl and Anne Seith
Asymetrical information

read George Akerlof’s “The Market for Lemons” from 1970, which brought informational issues at the forefront of economic theory. It discusses two primary solutions to this problem, signaling and screening

“This is what many financial players do by default, basing their trading decisions purely on the behaviour of price series (algorithmic trading), which can lead to a commodity price bubble.”The Role of Information
Study prepared by the secretariat of the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Although, I do like the feisty words of Peter Cannon where the journalist Coby Cosh quoted him as saying, “Canadian farmers should have their balls ripped out if they give up the single desk without a fight.”

Colby Cosh Monday, June 6, 2011
Whither the wheat board?Australia abolished theirs. Are we next?
Australia abolished theirs. Are we next?

CWB voting in the producer plebiscite on the future of the CWB ended August 24. Results will be announced by plebiscite coordinator MNP on September 9.

1. The Canadian Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) is pleased to provide the following discussion of the roundtable topic “Monopsony and Buyer Power”.
Welcome to Australian Grain Accumulation Services Pty Ltd (AGA)

Australian Grain Accumulation Services (AGA) provides growers with greater access to marketing alternatives via our local field merchant network. We have an origination field team across Australia with 11 offices in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. AGA originates grain and oilseeds on behalf of Cargill Australia and Allied Mills.

#19 Mr Buyer on 09.04.11 at 11:50 pm

I just remember one of the more interesting comments from my hamilton experiences. It was a long time ago and I do not clearly remember when but here goes. I landed the only job I ever got through a referal by the government office we used to call Manpower (now a private temp firm in Ottawa uses the name but it is totally unrelated). Anyways, I wound up working on a house framing crew. The guy who ran the crew was an Italian guy and he appeared to know his bussiness really well and did a great job wacking up frames for huge houses in like two days (three tops, before nail guns even). One lunch time at a site on the mountain in Hamilton while the crew was putting away a case of beer the guy says that we are now framing houses with the same quality wood that used to be used to package the wood used for framing in the past. I took that to mean that the houses were framed with what used to be palette grade wood. Now I do not think that is a Hamilton construction thing but rather an industry wide thing. Having subsequently seen the framing in a two story balloon framed house after the lath and plaster was torn out during a renovation I now understand clearly what he was saying.

#20 Dark Man on 09.04.11 at 11:59 pm

Go for it! I bought a student rental for $163000 eight years ago. 6 bedrooms @ $ 365.00 per room, tenants pay all utilities. Better than gold baby! It has rented out completely every year. Trick is to buy within walking distance to the university.

#21 Jon B on 09.05.11 at 12:07 am

The Hammer, hilarious, haven’t heard that one before.

#22 monkeemadness on 09.05.11 at 12:12 am

Ahead of everybody in Vancouver…

#23 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 09.05.11 at 12:14 am

Free Robot Sex. Hmmm. Does the person say what sex the robot is? A plethora of choices exist, but this may be on another playing field.

Leaside may be good for a Timmie’s, but my brother and I were born in Hamilton, which is why The Big Smoke (TO) will always be a distant relative, a hillbilly with big city dreams and not much else.

“Just a place that makes a little sense. There are precious few left.” — Amen and Yeeehawwww to that! An hour each way on the GO train leaves more sanity upstairs, esp. in winter.
Debt Precisely what the IMF stands for, to crush people and countries; Jobs in US Not getting any better; US$5 Trillion is what US taxpayers will hand over the financial system in a decade; Robert Zoellick New danger or small talk? Ireland, the IMF’s poodle. Now that DSK is free, how well is Sarkozy sleeping? Italy and Germany, contd.; not The Forsyte Saga, ‘tho it’s getting closer.

From Wikileaks. First couple of sentences are right, but discernment is advised.

New Zealand Their swell is crunching California. Undersea ‘quake? More Cracks caused by nuke – ‘quake; Agenda 21 fascism benefits corporations; Suicide Ummm, who stuffed the stocking in her mouth? US, UK and Libya A tight relationship, so someone else is driving the wars; Providing Electricity Iran’s first plant up and running; Superpower? Not the US, it seems.

Is Change that good? Plus Clean air Money talks; Germany’s Energy Policy What govts. were created for — to screw things up; Link in Calif. looking at new ways to elect presidents (TPTB won’t like it).

#24 Moneta on 09.05.11 at 12:20 am

I’m not sure where you get that figure – I’m currently working on a spot for my Aunt and the wait in Vancouver is about 12 months – you *do* have to be in the system first (not with any particular illness) and it’s best to have someone involved who knows the system to make things go smoothly.
Eastern Ontario. I was responding to someone who lives in Ottawa I believe.

#25 Cabot Lodge brylcreem & trenchcoat on 09.05.11 at 12:22 am

Hamilton’s Dick Beddoes. Leaside is Don Cherry.

#26 Moneta on 09.05.11 at 12:30 am

My next door neighbor’s mom has been on the list for over 1 year and was bumped off because after a while you have to reapply or something like that. She could not get a place because she doing too well… she’s around 90, broke her hip and is not independant. She had to be placed in a private centre.

Maybe if no one had shown up to care she could have gotten a place in a public center, who knows?

#27 kitchener1 on 09.05.11 at 12:34 am

Hamilton and Windsor are cheap, and yes they do have posistive cash flow. But they are not cities that a novice or first time investor should try to manage, not at first anyway.

before anyone tries this, they should go an read up on some case law or better yet, set aside a few days and go to the ontario housing tribunal and hear the cases.

The properties shown, one is a rooming house, the others are in the ghetto part of town. There cheap because the owners just want to sell and get out. In those parts of town, its going to short term tenants with probelms paying rent.

A good stragedy that I heard of from my investing buddies (RE) is to buy some low income properties, and rent them out to low income folks, whose rents get deducated automatically from ontario works. The other is a program by CMHC were they give you $$ to renovate if you are willing to rent out your property below market value for (?? i cant remeber how many years).

#28 milan M. on 09.05.11 at 12:46 am

Bubbles come about if two things come together: 1) the asset in question is being bought on credit and the banks are happy to lend against this asset as collateral; 2) there is some erroneous belief regarding the demand for this asset. This is true of R.E. in the GTA.

#29 timo on 09.05.11 at 1:45 am

“All except four of them predicted that housing markets around the country would hit bottom no later than the end of 2012 before climbing again. Only one of them thought that home prices would not bottom until the end of 2013.

By way of contrast, a survey of consumers released in May by and found that 54% thought that a housing market recovery would not occur until “2014 or later.”

My premise is simple: There is no housing bottom in sight. To test this assertion, let’s take a brief look at three major metro markets and see what I’ve found.”

good read and the picture says it all

#30 spryguy on 09.05.11 at 2:03 am

I often listen to max keiser , check out his recent showing ,,, starts talking about “the true north strong and free” at 6:45 .

#31 Onemorething on 09.05.11 at 2:05 am

Parents grew up in Hamilton and Guelph. Still two good destinations even though they moved to Burlington in 1957.

Single Storey Ranch 1400 sqft up 1000 down finished. Purchased for 8G’s now worth 500G’s.

Owned the home since 1960! Lot is 130×250! 60 full grown maples and what’s left of the elms.

All I can say is it really helps when your not house poor and as Garth says willing to think about your commute and plan alternatives.

Who know’s maybe the next big thing is everyone moves to Steel Town, or Stoney Creek or the Ham Mountain or Windsor.

90% of Ontario drops 30% in values with the exception of the above. Worth a thought!

#32 Davey Boy on 09.05.11 at 2:16 am

One thing about living in Vancouver that makes it unique and entertaining(and in some cases worth the price of admission) is the arrogance of the people. Never seen so much spandex, purse size dogs, a laugh every minute. Even the license plates with “best place on earth”…really? Who are they trying to convince…themselves perhaps. Seems to me the smartest people I’ve met are humble and the people who really don’t know themselves are the ones who are always looking for validation. Anyway, another sunny day tomorrow which can only mean more boomers in spandex so I’d better go to bed so I can out early and enjoy the show!

#33 Jane24 on 09.05.11 at 3:16 am

A friend of mine tried buying low price rental investments in Hamilton about 8-10 years ago. He found that with low-end apts you get really low-end tenants and he was in court most of the time. He cashed out with a huge loss after 5 or so years of hell.

The rule with rentals is to always buy sometime you would live in yourself and thus attract a middle class tenant with both money and morality. There are a lot of these too in Hamilton with positive cash flow.

And yes there is a lot of student rental business for Mcmaster. Good business as you can get the contract co-signed by their middle-class parents.

Cheers as they say here in England

#34 Mike on 09.05.11 at 3:37 am

#4 re: “Cheap RE in cities with universities = rental gold”

The cheap houses aren’t near the university, and the aforementioned sucky public transit doesn’t help. Hamilton is also a place where you don’t really want to spend time in the city, but you might be stuck with street parking if you want to have a car to get out of the city.

The most unpleasant thing to me about Hamilton are all the fast-moving one-way streets. It makes it loud and uncomfortable.

The train to Union runs three times a day, only during the week. Good news is that you can afford a house within walking distance of the station. Monthly passes on that train are expensive though, and you might want to add the price of a metropass.

Oh and the rental market is full of criminals who’ve been run out of Toronto and welfare cases who can’t afford to rent in Toronto. The shortage of jobs means that these are often people who are not even looking for a job.

People have been speculating on a rebound of Hamilton for decades. You can snap up the broken dreams of many speculators. Well upgraded houses for nothing.

What will happen when Toronto sinks? The real estate boom is getting closer and closer to Hamilton, but if things sink soon, Hamilton might stagnate for another 20 years.

Only reason to buy in Hamilton is if you want to live there.

#35 I'm stupid on 09.05.11 at 7:02 am

Two things I would like to add today.

1. CNN (i know) reported that people in US are working for free in exchange for unemployment benefits. The President likes the idea. I don’t even know how to respond to that. It has left me speechless.

2. The consequences of a failing country. I have a friend that just arrived from Portugal. He is an illegal immigrant, came as a tourist and never plans to leave. He said something that stuck in my mind. “why would I live in a country that will need 3 generations of sacrifice to pay back EU loans? Germany can have Portugal if they want it.” I know it’s one persons opinion but to make a statement like that says something about how potentially bad things can get in Europe.

#36 miketheengineer on 09.05.11 at 7:43 am


Everything you said about Hamilton is true…

One thing to note…when me and my spouse moved from Hamilton to Mississauga….my spouse’s “smoker’s” cough mysteriously stopped.

Don’t know why….but Hamiton does have a ton of pollution, VOC’s and air bourne particles.

Still I love the city. Everything is a bit cheaper there. I needed a new car. I looked all over GTA for the used Ford that I wanted. All the dealers in GTA didn’t want my old heap for a trade (most laughed at me). The dealer in Hamilton had my car, it was 1000 bucks cheaper than the one in Mississauga and they gave me 1000 trade for my old van. Thank you Hamilton.

Garth you did not show some of the links to the “awesome” victorian homes that can be had. You can get what you want in Hamilton, what ever that is, and it will not bankrupt you like Toronto.

#37 Hoser on 09.05.11 at 8:42 am

Your commute times between Oakville and Hamilton are extremely optimistic.

15 minutes would be possible only if both ends were right by the train station.

#38 Leighton Tebay on 09.05.11 at 9:14 am

I’ve only recently been to Hamilton and I’m a little disturbed that Bryan thinks prices in Saskatoon should be dirt cheap like Hamilton.

Hamilton is as ugly as sin, Saskatoon is not.
Saskatoon has jobs
It is the fastest growing city in Canada per capita-
The average family income has significantly outpaced inflation over the last 10 years
Saskatoon is surrounded by things on the ground and in the ground that are extremely valuable in a resource constrained world
Saskatoon even manages to treat its sewage before dumping it

I’m *NOT* saying Saskatoon’s housing prices don’t need to fall back to reality…but there is no comparison as to which city is more livable.

#39 BrianT on 09.05.11 at 9:16 am

#33I’m-Very slowly people are starting to realize the nature of the global Ponzi. The debt cannot be repaid, so the puppets are promoting more debt (put on different backs, in this case working Germans) as the solution. The flip side of debt is assets-the puppets are creating all these assets out of thin air as a solution. Who gets the newly created assets? The financial sector and governments-who pays the bill? Everybody else. At this point we are nearing the end game where even the sheep are starting to question the basic premise of this scam.

#40 BrianT on 09.05.11 at 9:31 am

#13Buyer-That will happen to you in TO all the time if you are wandering around after dark. The other thing you might not be aware of is that TO has lots of very dirty, graffitti strewn extremely expensive neighbourhoods. Just because you paid 800 grand for your home does not mean your neighbourhood is well kept (not in TO).

#41 Deano on 09.05.11 at 9:52 am

Hamilton has a lot in common with Brantford…though I think Brantford has a leg up on the revitalization thing right now.

This is the 3rd most expensive house in Brantford right now…

I tried to convince a buddy to cash in on his Van home and come back east. He’d probably have 7 figures in his pocket and live in this place. He’s so house poor right now he can’t go out for sushi…but he still laughed at me. It’s kinda funny b/c I laughed at him too. Who’s right? Well, I’m pretty sure I am.

#42 Utopia on 09.05.11 at 9:56 am

#28 spryguy

Yeah. I watched that Max Keiser segment. Now I am positive that his show is comedy and it is written to panic the masses.

He is just so certain that Canadian Banks are all going to collapse based on a single set of numbers. So much depth to the argument (sarc). He might as well have added that the whole country will bankrupt in one major blowout event. Good grief.

Does the madness of armchair economic theorizing never end in anything sensible anymore? Why is every event an end of the world scenario now instead of just a challenge to be overcome?

Guess that’s showbiz. Ratings must be low. They are really having to dig deep for the next “end of the world” situation. It just bugs me that they did not do any research. The banks are fine. It is the taxpayer who will pony up for all the spending idiocy.

The whole damn country is going to be subsidizing the housing insanity in the end. We are all on the hook together.

#43 islander on 09.05.11 at 10:01 am

OK guys. Off topic. I apologize, but Enough already on your ignorance of forest practices and the nature of forest growth in British columbia….I am very knowledgeable of the subject having spent over 50 years involved in forestry and forest management in BC, and I mean all over BC. Do you know that in almost all cases that you can not erase a forest forever here; you can cut down trees but in nature’s time frame they will be replaced with new growth, granted not always what and when we would like but eventually, through succession that which nature dictates. It really does abhor a vaccuum. The last 20 years of my forestry career were spent specifically in forest inventory related to the measurement of change over time in the forests, and other research projects. We too flew the province…to get to where we could get out and do the serious work of actually seeing and measuring what was happening. We (My crews were among many) walked and walked literately one end of this country to the other many times over. It is not what you see from a plane or a satellite unless you know what you are looking for. Believe me there are lots of trees, big and small out there. Utopia “the great re-iterator” get a cogent thought of your own and stop parroting popular myths.

#44 ballingsford on 09.05.11 at 10:05 am

I’m not sure how some people are making ends meet these days. I’m a renter and I’m OK, but the cost of everything keeps going up and the loaves of bread keep getting smaller

What’s going on with the price of gas? I hear it’s getting cheaper in the US but why is it still $1.30/litre here? Also, I went to Walmart yesterday (I like their cat litter), and bought the litter, sugar, cereal, and a $12 toy for my youngster and it came to $35.

How are people coping these days?

Anyway, going out this evening to a fish restaurant that will likely cost about $50 – $60 but I’m not concerned. I rent. I’ll cook the rest of the week.

#45 Regan on 09.05.11 at 10:06 am

I was interested in some advice on my situation. I am 44, wife is 36. We have 3 kids, oldest is 7. I bought my home with my ex for $200K about 18 years ago and repurchased her half when we split up. Right now, we owe $44K on the mortgage and have maybe $50K total in savings/investment plans. I’ve thought about selling the house to cash in on the current value- probably about $600K, but the cost of selling and moving takes a really big bite. Plus, where would we live? Right now, staying here costs half of what we’d pay in rent for a 4 bedroom place, although that’s a cash flow calculation that doesn’t take into account that we’re living off equity. Still, since we basically own the place, I’m currently thinking we stay here, raise the kids for another 15 years and then sell only to downsize/rent once we retire. We’re going to buy out our mortgage in October when it comes up for renewal and transfer it to our HELOC – and then we will have it paid off in a couple of years. Once that’s out of the way, we can refocus our surplus on some savings and investments to balance our finances as we head into retirement. Any thoughts on the plan?

#46 young & foolish on 09.05.11 at 10:08 am

The market sets the price, no? And money likes to live with money. Even within the godless GTA you will find incredible price differences. A huge Victorian in long neglected Parkdale can be bought for a fraction of the cost of a similar sized place in Forest Hill.

With rental RE as with just about everything else, nobody is going to give you money for nothing. The best you will likely ever do is to buy ahead of the curve (revival in Hamilton?). Today, yields are low, and so is the ROI with rentals.

#47 Smoking Man on 09.05.11 at 10:09 am

Back to School.

As mommy and daddy pack up the uhall trailer sending Jr and little Ms Jr off to chase the 50 thousand dollar obedience certificate with thousands of others in hopes of getting that one in a zillion 100k job down the road that will mostly be in China and India. Smoking Man is in year 2 with son number three’s quest for a real education and millions.

So far on track…Ya see kids in the world wide game of monopoly only a few are holding most of the money, not enough to go around fairly. Unions can’t even donate to political parties anymore. Now that our real estate is on the cusp, the tax farm slave have no where to go but down…..

There is only one way to make big bucks, you need to be a revenue generator, hence SELL only thing that gets reasonably reward these days. All other jobs just pay from the crumbs of someone’s sale.

Last year I helped my son with a resume for a summer job, it was a complete fabrication, had an MBA at Queens. We went to Chapters got every sales book and a few psychology books, did not even buy them just put them on a table and took a few photos. Did not even put them back on the shelf. A ha Heather

Sent out the resume and got some interviews, first few crashed. Then he hit the jack pot.

Joe the owner of a good size food mfg has my son across the table. Says wow MBA at Queens, you look a bit too young. My son just laughs, you know your HR lady and the sales manager never pick up on that, I know why you are the owner, he looks the guy right in the eye and says I lied, Pulls out the photo’s of the sales books, slams it on the table and says, that’s my education, in fact everything I’m doing right now is out of those books, which ones have your sales people read? Joe smiles.

Joe says how can I hire you, you lied, My son says of course I lied, I would not be sitting here if I didn’t, I’m not applying to be a priest. This is a lucky day for both of us. If you want I can leave right now. I’m young, ambitious, smart, believe me, you don’t want me working for your competitors.

My son says, I’m going to do this for 5 years, make you a tone of extra money going to spot some opportunities in the market then start my own company, you will have first crack at being my partner, so long as you are fair with me here. You in Joe? (see I taught he well, he went from being the Judge’ee to the Judger, Joe is now the Judge’ee)

Joe leans back in his seat is flabbergasted, says did you really read all these books, Son says with a smile, yup. Joe smirks but looks at this young handsome 6 foot 4, Brad Pit look alike and says will try you out for a month. They connected, it’s all about likeability.

Son demanded a company car, a credit card and clothing allowance ,also got the base salary up by 20k. and re jigged the commission before he left the office. Those balls are what give you value, if you don’t have em go to school and get a diploma, a cube, a ball chair, and a bicycle.

On Sept 12 my son will be the new sales manager after a year of setting sales records. One year is all it took with 22 years of coaching from pops. Plus the kids a natural, 1500 face book friends should tell you something.

Then there are my other two sons….O boy 1 out 3 aint bad.

#48 sam on 09.05.11 at 10:13 am

the fourplex I have actually seen. It is legally a triplex and in massive need of repair. Good buy for someone who gives a lowball offer and then spends half a year and a ton of cash fixing it up. The owner inherited it and does not have the ability to manage it so he is selling. The area is NOT a ghetto at all, most of the ghettos are north of king closer to barton.

For those wondering how to value income on property here goes. Take all revenue coming in, subtract all expenses (including mortgage interest) and there you have your profit.

I enjoy being a hamilton landlord. Lots of tenants to choose from and alot of them are good working class people. Just get a credit check and references and keep your place in good repair and looking nice. Ya its alot of work but the income is totally worth it.

#49 Utopia on 09.05.11 at 10:22 am

#12 Snowboid told us…

“Just watched the latest ‘House Porn’ on HGTV – Urban Suburban with Sarah Daniels….Better-half had to leave the room because I was yelling at the TV. Luckily my pills were close by so I kept watching”.

So that is what it has come too. Ranting at the telly. People need pills now just to watch TV or they go crazy. Especially when HGTV is airing. Marriages are being broken up because of it. I should have suspected this day would eventually arrive.

#50 maxx on 09.05.11 at 10:30 am

#22 monkeemadness on 09.05.11 at 12:12 am

Interesting post. Increasingly more common-place.
Why do so many dive into debt with abandon? When will people get real and buy only what they can afford? It would appear that there is a short-circuit in many house-horny brains that prevent them from determining what they can truly afford to buy and more importantly, maintain- ego, perhaps?
House-horny fools need to take a more holistic view of things and realize that they need to factor in their actual LIVES as well as their mortgage payments.
“The stress is killing us”- please, do us all a favour- stop whining and think of the child first. Here’s a simple equation: When pushing the limit on financing YOUR fantasy, DON’T bring a child into it= <stress=not looking like a FOOL! Plus, just a side benefit, the bank doesn't end up owning as much of your life, ie., lock, stock and barrel. Whining never has, nor ever will, cut it with the banks.

#51 Daystar on 09.05.11 at 10:57 am

#33I’m stupid on 09.05.11 at 7:02 am

1. Depends on whether or not its self sustaining, actually profitable perhaps and by whom but I know what you are thinking. Working for employment benefits keeps one from getting a real job. Thing is, where are those real jobs? Manufacturing has truly been decimated and it slows down shipping and transportation volumes, commodity development, R & D, it puts a drag on everything and its because U.S. multinationals decided and were given every political green light to go elsewhere. In my humbliest unsolicited opinion (one probably shouldn’t seek it when I’m not), america’s problem is twofold. Their currency is on a downward trend likely for decades… and their policy makers could do much, much more to bring back manufacturing jobs in the near term but it means a new brand of protectionism and all that goes with it.

Its great times when a nation goes from an undervalued currency to an overvalued one. Ask Canada what its been like here the last 17 years. Its terrible times when a nation goes from overvalued currency to undervalued. Ask the U.S. . They’ve got a long way to go and seeing the simplicity of what I’m saying here, what are the prospects for China and as a consequence the rest of the world, for China could become the next U.S. if they play their currency cards right under an appropriate timeline and I think they are, but China… well… they are doing lots that is wrong there, its called overdevelopment but policy is so exasterbated by their sheer size of populations so its very interesting to see how China unfolds in the near, mid and long term.

2. I wouldn’t base national sentiment on one persons opinion, especially hearing that person’s motivation to travel to begin with. True travellers at heart can be displaced by a fly landing on their shoulder, truth be told.

#52 Darryl on 09.05.11 at 11:00 am

I’m Stupid

If the guy is illegal you are obligated to inform the police. He can apply through the proper channels like other people.

#53 The Emperor's Clothes on 09.05.11 at 11:01 am

@#30 Davey Boy
You forgot to mention that the Vancouver spandex”ers” are also texting/talking on their phones while drinking a Starbucks while walking their dogs.
Saw a young gal downtown last week early on a sat morn (7am-ish) exiting a Con-dumb-mini-um with a Great Dane!!!!!! WTF? 600 sq ft condo with a Great Dane? Insanity.
….and ,of course she was wearing spandex and blathering nonstop on the phone….which begs a question.
WHO are they talking to at 7am in the morning on a Sat? I was stuck behind a car in rush hour traffic at 6am one weekday and for the ENTIRE 45 min. commute this guy was babbling nonstop. Unbelievable AND illegal and a regular Vancouver occurance even after a year of being illegal(not like the Van cops would actually get out of their squad cars to write a ticket).
Not to be outdone was the ambulance I was stuck behind last week where the driver was CRAWLING along at 30km for at least 10 blocks until I could finally pull out and pass, I glanced over to see what the problem was….. Mr Paramedic was laughing and babbling on his phone.
I wonder how many “driver/talkers” CAUSE accidents in Vancouver because the frustrated drivers behind them pull dangerous manouvers to pull out and pass…….

#54 The Emperor's Clothes on 09.05.11 at 11:13 am

@#30 Davey Boy
Oh , almost forgot.
The BC License Plates that read ,”Best Place On Earth” ………I almost vomitted when I saw the first one.
The fact that any idiot with that ridiculously arrogant juvenile statement bolted to the front of their car actually PAID an extra $75 to have it on their car. Merely proves the stupidity of the person driving the car.( and they have probably never lived anywhere else.)
The ‘free’ license plates that state “Beautiful British Columbia” are inoffensive and not nearly as pathetic as a license plate that effectively says, ” I live in the best place on earth and you dont”. The ultimate snub to potential tourists if your car is somewhere other than BC. The plates might as well have said, “Your Country Is Crap,Mine Isnt”

#55 Killer Chicken or Imploding Boomer? on 09.05.11 at 11:19 am

223 Snowboid – I never claimed the industry was well-managed. If it had been we’d be in much better shape. It astounds me how well some areas grew back from pre-war cutting with no management. A clearcut is not a pretty thing (though it helps with the view!) and the
industry cant be judged on that appearance alone. We all live in past clearcuts. A relation visiting from Austria was
puzzled over the lack of clearcuts in my area. I had to
explain that the trees he was seeing were all second

A combination of government policy, corporate greed and
labour inertia has resulted in todays situation, but it is partly due to the nature of the beast – a renewable natural resource which in a global perspective is not neccesarily unique.

17 Utopia – my reciprocal apology as well. You are just about the most even-tempered blogger there is. Port
Alice?? I did brief stints in Hardy/McNeill and still have
strong ties there. Still get a warm fuzzy feeling once I
pass thru Campbell River heading North.

#56 Live Under Your Means on 09.05.11 at 11:21 am

#12 Snowboid on 09.04.11 at 11:05 pm
Just watched the latest ‘House Porn’ on HGTV – Urban Suburban with Sarah Daniels (former Global weather reporter).

Sarah is now a RE agent, who battles it out with her brother and partner in their RE adventures. Not only that, but Sarah also hosts a RE segment on Global!!!


I only sleep 4 hours at a time – the pits. So, I turn on the TV in the middle of the night. Agree, house porn it is, along with so many other shows on HGTV. HGTV used to have gardening shows – guess they’re not as profitable. I think they should change their name to HPTV.

Can’t recall the name of that young, good looking chap’s that renos basements in TO to create an apt. to help them cover their mtg. Anywho, hear he’s coming to our neck of the woods to offer his ‘sage’ advice. :-)

#57 Mr Buyer on 09.05.11 at 11:27 am

Around the time I graduated from the University of Ottawa (2000) I heard news that they came upon a virus that was killing all their cancer cells. Well 11 years later they have advanced from mice to trying the treatment in 23 humans with 70% of many types of tumors being decimated by the virus. There appears to be some real potential as a cancer treatment option there. Congratulations to the researchers at the University of Ottawa and/or the the Cancer Research Institute. Canadian made. Here is the link to the Yahoo News video if you have not already seen it…

#58 Snowboid on 09.05.11 at 11:37 am

#47 Utopia on 09.05.11 at 10:22 am…

Okay, I was kidding about the pills, but I do have a tendency to comment loudly when watching the RE porn on the tube.

No worries about a marriage breakup, we are having too much fun!!

#59 Waterloo Resident on 09.05.11 at 11:40 am

THIS is the ONE THING that will definitely make you NOT WANT TO BUY A HOUSE right now ! :


Yes, you got me right; the chance of you guys getting a divorce if you’ve been married less than 10 years are about 60%, so whatever you do, wait and live with a woman in a rental house FOR THE FIRST 10 YEARS before you buy any house.

It is 1000 times more simple to get a divorce when you don’t have any assets to split up ( I.E. house ), so make sure you’ve lived in a marriage with a lady (or a man if you are a woman) before you jump into house ownership.

I know this because it has happened to me, my neighbours, my friends, and my relatives.

With me, I supported my wife 100%, helped her get 2 new careers, and cured her of a disease that was slowly killing her.
I did all of the things that every man is supposed to do to win a woman’s heart, things like these: Wine her, Dine her, Call her, Hug her, Support her, Hold her, Surprise her, Compliment her, Smile at her, Listen to her, Laugh with her, Cry with her, Romance her, Encourage her, Believe in her, Pray with her, Pray for her, Cuddle with her, shop with her, Give her jewellery, Buy her flowers, Hold her hand, Write love letters to her, Go to the end of the Earth and back again for her.
After 6 years she fell in love with a much younger fellow student in her evening accounting classes and by our 7th year she asked for a divorce. Didn’t matter that 6 months after the divorce he dumped her for some other woman who was more hot in bed, the fact is that I literally killed myself to make her happy and yet for some reason she still cheated on me and divorced my sorry @ss. If I had owned my own house (and didn’t have an iron-clad pre-nup too) then my balls would have been served to me in divorce court, I have read of a few cases of women who have had the same things happening to them too, so EVERYONE; WATCH OUT ! And don’t buy a house until you’ve lived with you’re spouse for a minimum of 10 years !!!

#60 Waterloo Resident on 09.05.11 at 11:51 am

Wow, that’s great information about Hamilton !!!
I like the city, and if I can find a house for less than $200,000 then I’m going to be buying 2 of them next weekend !!!

#61 Waterloo Resident on 09.05.11 at 11:59 am

I was thinking of waiting until next weekend to buy a house in Hamilton but its a holiday Monday so ‘what the heck’, I’m getting dressed now and I’m going to go to Hamilton this very minute and check out the houses there RIGHT NOW !!!

If they are as you say they are, then by this time next month I will be a proud owner of 2 houses in Hamilton. One for myself, another to flip in a bank scam the way I was earlier talking about.

#62 Linda Pearson on 09.05.11 at 12:02 pm

#45Smoking Man on 09.05.11 at 10:09 am

Congratulations, SM! You raised a lying, cheating shyster for a son; but at least 2 out of 3 may turn out alright. One day we can read about this one, a la Bernie Madoff.

#63 Live Under Your Means on 09.05.11 at 12:15 pm

#20 Dark Man on 09.04.11 at 11:59 pm
Go for it! I bought a student rental for $163000 eight years ago. 6 bedrooms @ $ 365.00 per room, tenants pay all utilities. Better than gold baby! It has rented out completely every year. Trick is to buy within walking distance to the university.

Lots of that going on here. My DH met 2 Polish refugee couples at an ESL 6 mo. course. We befriended both couples. One, a mechanic, bought a house downtown a few years later & rented out basement bedrooms to university students. When I saw them I was disgusted. He was a real slum landlord. They eventually sold and bought a nice townhouse. He has his own business. A few years ago they came for dinner. We like her, but cannot stand him. A bro took his car to his shop & said never again.

BTW, we are not prejudiced against any Polish people. Our wonderful next door neighbours we’re Polish. He died while we were overseas this year and, unfortunately, she has dementia.

#64 jess on 09.05.11 at 12:21 pm

Greek “nosos” disease+”gnosis” knowledge
Ano sog no sia

“A psychopath can actually put themselves in your skin, intellectually not emotionally.

“They can tell what you’re thinking, they can look at your body language, they can listen to what you’re saying, but what they don’t really do is feel what you feel.

Parenting – darwinian competition ? for mates in canadian woman for every 100males there are 104 females (stats can)
Beautician spray tans her 4-YEAR-OLD daughter to help ‘boost her confidence’
Disturbing: Maddy Jackson, 4, sporting the new must-have accessory – the removable breasts for toddlers

To poll or not to
The Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM) is a real-money, small-scale futures exchange in which the ultimate values of the contracts traded are determined by political events, financial events and economic indicators. Participants in these markets invest their own funds, buy and sell listed contracts, and bear the risk of losing money as well as earning profits.

#65 Waterloo - Gentleman on 09.05.11 at 12:32 pm

I want to buy a house, but ONLY for just myself to live in.

I really like the idea of living within walking distance of the University, so I will pay upwards of $400,000 for a house like that ( a 3-bedroom ), just for myself to live in on my own.

#66 TaxHaven on 09.05.11 at 12:46 pm

So all real estate IS local…! And some forgotten places ARE bargains compared with the “hot” spots.

We did the same thing in Port Alberni ~ a place derided as a low-income former “milltown”, a now nearly-jobless one at that. Fortunately, we paid no attention to a recent listing of the city as #153 out of 160 on a Canada-wide ranking of “livability”…

It’s beautiful here. So quiet, leafy, intense price competition in the supermarkets and loads of lakes, rivers, forest trails nearby. Nice neighbours. Not to mention the west coast.

But Bryan didn’t say what his job was. That’s the downside to Hamilton, to here (Nanaimo would be a 75-min. commute each way), to Winnipeg, etc. The economy sucks. There are no jobs. There is a sharper divide between the comparatively financially-secure and the welfare cases.

So bring money when you move. Real estate is priced based on the job markets…

#67 rosie on 09.05.11 at 12:48 pm

O.T. Bad day in Europe today, market wise. Gold over $1900.00. Tomorrow could be crazy. I hope everyones’ investments are well diversified

#68 BrianT on 09.05.11 at 12:55 pm

#57Waterloo-Look on the bright side-at least you learned how not to behave-better luck next time.

#69 timo on 09.05.11 at 1:03 pm

Markit/CIPS also found that business confidence in the UK services sector was the lowest for a year. The survey found that worries over the impact of government spending cuts were also “depressing sentiment”.

austerity live…The world is going into recession and people will be hoarding/saving again. Enjoy the credit bubble Canada because reality is just a pin prick away.

The FTSE 100 is 3.58pc down, the CAC slipped 4.73pc, the DAX dropped 5.28pc and the FTSE Mib lost 4.83pc.

Within the FTSE 100 there was just one stock that escaped a slip into the red, Randgold, which was up 0.97pc.

The largest fallers, by far, were the banks; RBS lost 12.3pc over the day, Lloyds fell by 7.46pc and Barclays lost 6.69pc.

#70 BrianT on 09.05.11 at 1:08 pm

#36Leigh-Nothing against Saskatoon, but IMO if everyone in this country was forced to choose between Saskatoon and Hamilton there would be about 30 million people living in Hammertown.

#71 Calgary Illusion on 09.05.11 at 1:08 pm

#57 Waterloo Resident

My best advice for all males thinking about marriage is a prenup. Any present and future hidden agendas are removed.

#72 young & foolish on 09.05.11 at 1:12 pm

Sam says: “For those wondering how to value income on property here goes. Take all revenue coming in, subtract all expenses (including mortgage interest) and there you have your profit.”

The man ‘s got the picture. Plus one more thing … as a buyer of investment RE, your tenants eventually pay off your loan. Say you bought a 300K multiplex, but secured it with 50k down. The logic goes that even if your cash flow is just barely positive, the loan will eventually be payed down (but not by you). And if RE remains stangnant for years, the 300K value eventually becomes yours (as your cash flow rises). Of course, your tax bill rises as well.

Now compare that with obtaining a 300K line of credit for the purposes of investment. The interest is tax deductable while your liquid assets hopefully grow (but you never loose the 300K debt). You skim the cream off the top (the deductable cancels taxable gains).

In the end, it’s all about creating positive cash flow.

#73 Calgary Illusion on 09.05.11 at 1:13 pm

I forgot to mention prenups are only useful if you have assets to protect or credit liabilities to shield yourself from.

#74 Mister Obvious on 09.05.11 at 1:18 pm

Wow! Anyone seen the markets in Asia and Europe today? Hong Kong closed down nearly 3% and the German DAX is down over 5% an hour before closing. That doesn’t inspire great confidence for Tuesday morning in NA. But then again, what do I know?

#75 Killer Chicken or Imploding Boomer? on 09.05.11 at 1:21 pm

43 Regan – sounds good to me as long as family
employment is steady. What you might want to consider is stretching out that remaining mortgage as long as
possible and lock in a crazy low rate, and start using the
freed up cash to add to liquid savings.

Moma said – never speculate with the family house – either way.

41 Islander – thank you for your post.

#76 Dale in TO on 09.05.11 at 1:31 pm

I am a Hamiltonian thru and thru, and I get very insulted any time some vitriol is spewed about this City … a City that I would move back to in a heartbeat if circumstances were different for me. First off, for anyone thinking of making some mindless derogatory comments about this City, I say at least go visit, if not live there for a while and then try and tell me how bad it is. I lived there 40 years and owned a house for eight years on the West Mountain …. a beautiful area with ‘no crack addicts’. I bought my house in 1998 for $120K and sold in 2006 for $220K. I had parking for four cars and a beautiful backyard with 100 year old trees. When I got board I would grab my roller blades and drive 15 minutes down to Pier Four park and blade along the water on the 6 meter wide, 6 km long path to Cootes Paradise. Another day I would drive 30 minutes to the Grand River to fish for Walleye. Another day I would go Waterfall hiking to one of the 40 Waterfalls in area or I would go Biking in the Dundas Conservation Area (one of the largest conservation areas in Ontario), or maybe Kings Forest, or Flamborough or Binbrook …. or

If I wanted incredible fine dining I would drive 20 minutes to Ancaster or downtown Burlington.

Sure there are some undesirable areas in Hamilton. The downtown is almost a lost cause after years of neglect and poor City planning. They do have a great Arts scene and a World Class University. Did you know that the biggest empolyer in Hamilton is now Hamilton Health Sciences and they employ a few of the top geneticists in the World. But how could that be for an Ugly Steel town.

And Garth, by the way, a ‘Crappy Public Transit’. Where is that from? Have you lived there and taken public transit? Are you saying this based on Hamilton’s lack of a subway system. Hamilton is a tenth the size of Toronto. Also, the Steel Industry in Hamilton started to collapse a long time before 2008. Hamilton has been trying to re-invent itself for the last 20 years and they have come along way.

Hamilton has beautiful parks, great services and ‘VERY AFFORDABLE’ housing, which makes it a great ‘LIVABLE’ City. It will never be TO with all it Bank Towers, Condos and money, but who needs that really. Not Me.

#77 Daystar on 09.05.11 at 1:36 pm

#45Smoking Man on 09.05.11 at 10:09 am

Interesting story. Son walks into an interview, lies, tells the employer he lies and backs up the need with all these other “truths” and gets liked for it. Interesting plot with father’s narrative sub plot worth expanding on, if I may say so (assuming its credible).

There are two kinds of people (well, more than two obviously, but today we keep it simple, there are only two). There are those who earn the most by paying or contributing the least and there are those who are driven mainly by the fulfillment of goals & the execution of a successful plan with material profit never really being the prize to begin with, expected at times but secondary at best. (Its the fulfillment of goals and the manner of which they were achieved that matter far more) The latter tends not be cheap, petty and most of all, without class. (what an ironic world we live in)

You follow me?

It seems as though you believe that a lie made palpable (here, I’ll throw you a bone):

…is the sales pitch but its the contrary my friend. Its the truth made palpable that makes the sale. Its the one who presents the truth in a positive light that has a brilliant long term future ahead of them. The rest, well, in order for a career to evolve one generally needs to move on (mainly because lies and labels catch up to us, employers included).

If I may pleasantly inquire, your other two sons, are they percieved as not making it in this world because your own material standards haven’t been met? I truly hope your reasoning is much more broad based than this.

#78 Dale in TO on 09.05.11 at 1:38 pm

#16 Joe

I live in Hamilton and I love the stigma about Hamilton. It keeps housing prices depressed here. :)


You are Right ON. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

#79 John Reid on 09.05.11 at 1:39 pm

My uncles used to tell me how anyone could buy in the West side of Vancouver in the 1940s and 1950s. Today, only questionable foreign fortunes can afford to. We need government that provides measurable results for
time and money spent by government. All we have had for the last 50 years is paper shufflers with no results in hand.

#80 Utopia on 09.05.11 at 1:41 pm

#41 “Islander” exaggerated a little when he wrote his post. Then he slyly accused me of being a re-iterator (whatever that is) and suggested I do not think for myself. I suppose he believes I am a David Suzuki disciple or something along those lines. He wrote:

“Believe me there are lots of trees, big and small out there. Utopia “the great re-iterator” get a cogent thought of your own and stop parroting popular myths”

Yeah, there are lots of trees all right;

But it is almost all second and third growth monoculture. Those trees are often immature, diseased and vulnerable to pests. It is all overseen by a disastrous forestry policy that has tried to simplify your woods and an incredibly complex ecosystem into the role of basic farming techniques.

Are you people so ignorant that you actually think you are growing mere wheat fields when you plant new trees? Is it sustainable when you strip steep slopes and wreck creeks, rivers an ocean inlets with run-off?

It is bad enough that you cut 30 species, waste or burn off half and then return to plant just a single genetic variety to make the insult perfect. In the process you damage creek beds, wreck spawning grounds, bring on erosion that will take millenia to repair and build roads where none should EVER exist.

Yeah, you have trees. Mostly small and sick these days though….normal people call them Christmas trees during the festive season if they even bother. You lumber types just call them firewood.

So go get the helicopter, pal. You might still pull the last few gems out without actually having to build and harvest the old fashioned way.

Save lots of seed too. Do you think the same kind of tree grows on South slopes as North slopes? Do you think they are all the same at every elevation too? Fools!

And then open your damn eyes, Islander. Stop pumping the cause and being a noisy shill for the industry which has caused so much permanent damage in that fine Province of BC. If you guys keep wrecking it then the word renewable does not have a true meaning anymore.

What I am saying is that the forest is not a factory and it never will be. It is a living organism that needs to be treated with a little more respect if you want it to keep on giving. How much milk does a dairy herd give if you kick and abuse your animals everyday?

How much???!……….that’s right pal…….nuthin.

In any case, I know more about the practices and history of the industry there than you likely ever will. And I know it first-hand too.

So give it up. You are getting on my nerves already.

#81 Live Under Your Means on 09.05.11 at 1:54 pm

#23 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 09.05.11 at 12:14 am

Free Robot Sex. Hmmm. Does the person say what sex the robot is? A plethora of choices exist, but this may be on another playing field.


I was listening to CBC in my car yesterday. Discussion was about Robos but I didn’t hear all the conversations as I was in and out – grocery shopping, etc. Wonder whether it had any influence on Garth’s TOD?

#82 Moneta on 09.05.11 at 2:09 pm

Still, since we basically own the place, I’m currently thinking we stay here, raise the kids for another 15 years and then sell only to downsize/rent once we retire.
Sorry but unless you’ve got some other pension plan you did not mention, you won’t be retiring. Even less chance if you stay in that house.

#83 Moneta on 09.05.11 at 2:13 pm

Even less chance if you stay in that house.
And the age discrepancy between you and your spouse makes it even harder to plan.

Aiming fand planning for semi-retirement is more realistic.

#84 anjing bau on 09.05.11 at 2:37 pm

Dax closes down 5.28 % breaks the swing from Aug 19 th and is nicely back into the bar of July 2009…….at todays close of 5246 its just about 100 points shy of the 61.8% fib retrace….5140 ish +/-….

why does it matter? from a top down perspective all global markets are interelated they don’t operate ina vacumn. The key driver in the EU is in a world of hurt. NA is slowing down and chances of a double dip are growing. The excess capacity in China story is unfolding as well. Global slow down all round.

PS hang seng is down 3 % as well @ 19600 level its also trading back into the July 2009 levels.

for reference the July 2009 level on the SP500 is 980….first point is the aug 19 lows 1101…. needs to hold or the door opens up for lower prices…. keep an eye on the volume this week..last week was light trading which is normal for this time of year…..

#85 Devore on 09.05.11 at 2:39 pm

#33 I’m stupid

CNN (i know) reported that people in US are working for free in exchange for unemployment benefits. The President likes the idea. I don’t even know how to respond to that. It has left me speechless.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but unemployment benefits are paid out in cash, so they are not working for free. Would you rather they just sat around watching Oprah?

#86 Ron on 09.05.11 at 3:05 pm

In 2008, I thought the housing correction I was waiting for was finally here……no so. Kept investing and saving waiting for the predictable correction that wasn´t happening.

Last year when the Euro/Can rate was 1.28, I gave up on Toronto and used my savings to buy a beach front condo on the Costa del Sol in Spain. I´ve got a full time renter in it earning Euro´s for my retirement.

Now that my retirement is planned´out (25 years away), Im still waiting to buy my first affordable home in Toronto.

#87 betamax on 09.05.11 at 3:17 pm

#14 Killer Chicken or Imploding Boomer?: “And this is news?”

No, merely confirmation. Sorry if you were confused.

#88 Dorf on 09.05.11 at 3:24 pm

One of the biggest reasons Vancouver homes are so expensive is the impossible commute to the downtown from anywhere else. Therefore, anybody with the money to do so, wants to live right in Vancouver. Everybody else can spend their life driving.
Right now, the infrastructure is horribly outdated and it is impossible to get anywhere in good time, outside of midnight to 3:30 am.
However, they are in the long term process of making massive upgrades to all the roads and bridges, and I expect that once you can get to Vancouver in good time from the burbs, there will be an effect felt on downtown prices.
I know that right now, people commute from places like Hope, Princeton, Merritt, and even the Okanagan and Sunshine Coast. With people willing to make treks like that to work and still own an affordable home, who knows what will happen.

#89 betamax on 09.05.11 at 3:31 pm

#45 Smoking Man: “1500 face book friends should tell you something.”

It does. But not what you think.

#90 Bill Gable on 09.05.11 at 4:42 pm

New phenomenon (*for this generation, anyway) – reluctant landlords and how Strata Councils are wising up.

True North left a comment on Mr. Turner’s blog, regarding how, we had told our Landlord to get stuffed, when we had a two year lease, and she started having Open Houses – and we moved.

The Stratas in many Vancouver buildings (*can’t speak to Tranna) – are starting to CUT the number of ‘allowed rentals’.
Rentals create problems for buildings. The upkeep is not as sharp as it would be for on site owner – and with the paper thin walls in some of these Yaletown prison cells, owners are getting steamed.

So – at AGM….all of a sudden list of rentals allowed cut by, oh, a third. Grandfathering some – but if you are late to the list, when your tenant moves out, you move to the bottom of the list.

OMG. Can’t rent. Gotta SELL. Trouble is, the property has created zero buyer interest. *It’s been listed for 4 months.

Asked the Mgr of the building to guess how long it will be before our ex landlord will be without a renter…”oh, ten years the way things are going….”

Holy canoli.

There is a change in the wind, fellow dawgs.

#91 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 09.05.11 at 4:53 pm

#79 Live Under Your Means — “Wonder whether it had any influence on Garth’s TOD?”

Quite possibly, as Garth (like all of us here) needs as much help as possible!
Spot the connection! Could be into a downward spiral; Gold moves up; Europe’s slow bank run. “As globally interconnected as banking systems are, we may also see many more US banks go under as a result of European problems in the banking sector.”; 1:51 clip It’s the banks, stoopid. Huffington vs. Kaiser; All work and no pay; Central banks, BIS and GS — menage a trois.

Turkey freezes ties with Israel; 1:15 clip New footage of Flight 93. “Note that the narration talks about the REMAINS of a plane crashing and the scanner saying a terrorist bomb blew the plane apart in midair. This is consistent with the reports of wreckage being spread out over 8 miles of countryside and a skyphone call from inside Flight 93 that reported an explosion while still in the air. Flight 93 did not crash in one piece as the official story claims but came apart in midair.”; Yemen Getting closer to Algeria, S.Arabia and Iran; 14:37 clip Dick Cheney, the mother of all liars; Libya and BBC BS reporting; 2:28 clip Worldwide terror alert. Obama is about to break wind.

Destabilization Russia and Venezuela are great friends, China as well and Counterattackby Chavez in Libya? Fukushima A girl doesn’t talk, but trusts adults; Total War “I would really love to ask NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen the following question: since when did killing innocent civilians, and leaving the rest to cope with the horrors of depleted uranium poisoning, become “protection of civilians”?; Will Russia lose billions in Libya? Maybe not; CC Does it still exist or been put on hold?

Chile National strike. Not a bad idea for the west; Film Big Brother and get life in jail, rob citizens of trillions and be handsomely rewarded.

#92 maxx on 09.05.11 at 5:05 pm

#82 anjing bau-

always enjoy your commentary. Keep ’em coming!

#93 Bottoms_Up on 09.05.11 at 5:06 pm

#87 betamax on 09.05.11 at 3:31 pm
hahaha, my thoughts exactly. My tv is bigger than yours na-na-na-na-na

Facebook is disgusting, although it has some useful purposes, but for the most part it is a waste of time and energy, stressful and a huge personal security breach.

Thieves will browse FB and rob your house if you ever post your upcoming vacation. I have also seen people get longer prison sentences because pictures on FB showed they had no remorse after committing certain crimes.

#94 Killer Chicken or Imploding Boomer? on 09.05.11 at 5:08 pm

64 Tax Haven – good to hear from the Port Alberni crowd!
Regarding todays blogging re BC forest industry, you may enjoy reviewing this

Port was great town at one time. Too bad its fallen on the hard times.

#95 yorel on 09.05.11 at 5:34 pm

#45 Smoking Man
Please share with us what you’re smoking. Must be good stuff to dream up your stories.

#96 timo on 09.05.11 at 5:39 pm

I hope you have your front row seat and popcorn. I hear a helicopter and all it is going to do is shore up the banks so they can speculate on anything with a return. We are going to keep this party going as long as possible until the can hits the wall and cannot be kicked anymore. If Obama does not come up with a miracle speech this week all bets are off.

Enjoy your high debt load because it is a rope around your neck.

#97 Unfooler on 09.05.11 at 6:00 pm

Insider Info from Vancouver…. a friend of a friend who is a real estate appraiser/ RE agent just listed and blew out his ownr home, it sold quickly for quite a bit less than i imagined, tide has turned folks, time to put on your life-jackets

#98 Ronaldo on 09.05.11 at 6:19 pm

#14 Killer Chicken – your absolute right. Logging there many decades. I was cruising timber with the Forest Service there back in 1965 when there were still forests of trees averageing 40 inches in diameter. Still have a pic of myself standing in front of a nice big spruce that was 12′ in diameter. There were many like that then. Even in the NW of BC about 120 miles north of Smithers we were cutting spruce, pine and balsam in excess of 36” diameter and that was not coastal timber. That operation shut down in March of 06. They’d been up there logging it for over 12 years. Still lots of timber but the beetles have gotten to most of it now. Big problem is that its far too costly to haul out (over 300 miles to Prince George by rail). Some of the best interior timber I’ve seen though even 4 years after attack by the pine beetles. Another 5 years and the beetles will have run their course. A major catastrophe really and a huge future impact on the BC economy as they run out of marketable timber. Don’t believe me, just ask Jimmy Pattison.

#99 Killer Chicken or Imploding Boomer? on 09.05.11 at 6:47 pm

Sorry,the forestry blog continues….skip if not interested

78 Utopia – I had to read your post twice but I still come to the same conclusion as blogger Islander. These are not new issues but have often been highlighted by the

Like the protesters who drive out the logging road to
protest logging, saying “no” is not an option.

There are also misconceptions about how the forest grows. Many think it remains the same if untouched. It does not. The inner coast areas where douglas fir pre-dominates are naturally susceptible to fire. The light-seeking fir saplings are the natural regeneration. Once they mature though they die off and are replaced with a climax forest of shade tolerant species – like cedar and hemlock (common around Port Alice)

We have seen this in Stanley Park and Cathedral grove. Freak wind storms devastate the overage timber.

#100 Smoking Man on 09.05.11 at 6:50 pm

#60 Linda Pearson on 09.05.11 at 12:02 pm
Congratulations, SM! You raised a lying, cheating shyster for a son;
Your conclusion is set by your belief system. If you are a kid in Israel you are raised to think that the Palestinians are bad, If you’re a Kid growing up In Gaza you are raised to think Israelis are bad.

Reality is they are all the same with a different belief system.

If you are raised and programmed to think that honesty, hard work and fair play equals success knock yourself out, but I know that little suppressed voice inside you head is saying it aint so sister. Cheating shyster, I don’t see it that way.

#75 Daystar on 09.05.11 at 1:36 pm #45Smoking Man on 09.05.11 at 10:09 am

On fulfillment of goals. He and I share the same belief, that life is a big fun playground, we want to get the most labour credits (money) with the leased amount of energy or worry spent with as much fun as possible. Yet you don’t think that is a worthy goal. It’s because of your belief system. People spend there entire childhood being made ready to be other peoples slaves. It bothers people when someone like me points it out, and shows you that it don’t have to be that way.

Have any off you ever done a head count at University X Cost, Man that is huge MONEY…Ever ask yourself who owns the schools, who controls that MONEY.
Does it not bother any of you that over priced University text books are only good for 1\2 a year. And virtually worthless after that. All info in the world is just a skilled Google key word search away.

So crucify us because we dared to take our eye off the magician hand for a sec to see how he was actually doing the trick.

As far as the other two boys, they take after mom, hounest and nieve. The matrix got them inspite of my efforts to show them the light.

#101 Smoking Man on 09.05.11 at 6:52 pm

#93 yorel on 09.05.11 at 5:34 pm
#45 Smoking Man
Please share with us what you’re smoking. Must be good stuff to dream up your stories.

Did you not read garths head line
Be Creative,
Zezz O

#102 Leighton Tebay on 09.05.11 at 7:04 pm

#68 BryanT
You can have your opinion I’ll still with facts.

#103 Mr. Lahey, Trailer Park Supervisor on 09.05.11 at 7:06 pm

Renting out to low income tenants is a recipe for disaster and the location of the property is irrelevent. Anyone who thinks they can make money off the poorest in society is smoking something stronger than Ricky. Randy and I have had more than our share of headaches here in the park with these types. A rental property near a university with parents to guarantee payments for the student tenants is ok. “Randy, pour me some scotch. The shithawks shat all over Europe and Asia today and they are crossing the Atlantic and Pacific and heading straight for our markets tomorrow. Shithawks Randy, economic shithawks”.

#104 Ronaldo on 09.05.11 at 7:08 pm

#57 – Waterloo Resident – re: Divorce

Yes, separation and divorce. Two events that never seem to be mentioned in developing a retirement plan but are two of the major reasons that can result in financial disaster for nearly half of married couples depending on years married and their financial status when these events occur.

Facts about divorce rates in Canada mentioned in the above link:

1. One of every two marriages end up in divorce.
2. 75% are initiated by women.
3. One year after separation or divorce, 50% of divorced or separated families never see their father again.
4. First marriages have a 50% chance of ending in divorce. That risk becomes greater with each successive marriage. (about 72% for second, and about 85% for 3rd)

Not very good odds are they.

#105 BrianT on 09.05.11 at 7:15 pm

#74Dale-You are missing the whole residential RE mindset-if it is not expensive, it must be crap. The status (which is what is desired) isn’t there if the market value isn’t there. This is why now Vancouver is on all these greatest places in the world lists (TO also), lists they didn’t make when the RE was far cheaper. It is also why people consider real dumps like Manhattan to be “great cities”-the RE is expensive. Nobody was saying this about the Big Apple in 1975.

#106 zipcar on 09.05.11 at 7:33 pm

I’ve lived ,worked and flipped in Hamilton. For 10 years I’ve visited my slumlord friend on Barton street. The trick is to get tenants who have issues other than crack/meth .If they have a case worker even better. Funny thing though surrounded by bad people nothing bad ever happens .It will get even better now that Hells Angels are a block away .

#107 Timing is Everything on 09.05.11 at 7:48 pm

#60 Linda Pearson

Ha! Like this guy…

‘Some of them included [Earl] Jones’ own relatives, who are no longer speaking to him.’

Watch your back Smoking Man. Haaaa!

#108 Industrial Guy on 09.05.11 at 7:49 pm

Hamilton is a nice place. Houses are much cheaper there for a good reason ….. the economic future of the area is very uncertain.
The “lockout” at US Steel has everyone wondering if the steel plant will ever reopen. Dozens of closed car parts plants and their suppliers in Hamilton and Stoney Creek remain boarded up. The departure of major industrial firms like Siemens / Westinghouse have left entire city blocks vacant. This is the city where there’s a reasonable probability that the next door neighbour who drives your kids to little league is a senior member of the Hell’s Angels!!

Hamilton is a very historic town…… The original Tim Horton’s coffee shop is on Ottawa St N. Martin Short is from there. His dad worked for Stelco (now US Steel).

Here is some good news for Hamilton …… News Release ….. September 1, 2011

U.S. Steel Calls Conciliator
“We are pleased to inform you that on August 31, 2011 we received a call from the conciliator informing us that U.S. Steel had a comprehensive settlement to offer USW Local 1005. A meeting has been organized for September 13, 2011 to put the offer on the table for discussion”. “USW Local 1005 can only consider the fact that this meeting has been called by USS to be a positive development. We have of course accepted the invitation to attend the meeting”.

US Steel played the United Steel Workers like a cheap fiddle. It’s hard to believe after getting their butts kicked by the same company in Nanticoke. The Union thought they could actually win this one. Clearly, they expected the Government of Ontario to intervene and hand them the settlement US Steel had refused them. There was a lot of Government money tied to the US Steel purchase of Stelco, but the expected leverage fell far short.

This is the same Union which fought VALE / INCO in Sudbury and lost (a year on strike and they won nothing). They fought Engineered Coatings in Brantford .. and lost. (plant closed)…. US Steel locked them out on November 7, 2010. To no one’s surprise, US Steel was in no hurry to settle this one.

So, the town is full of motivated sellers. Maybe more after this meeting ……..?

#109 Davey Boy on 09.05.11 at 7:52 pm

The Emperor’s Clothes

Good to find someone who enjoys the Vancouver “Scenery” as much as me! Today was no exception, laugh a minute, have to find a new hobby when the “best place on earth” becomes the “wettest place on earth”!

#110 Daisy Mae on 09.05.11 at 8:01 pm

No comments today from Garth…wonder why? LOL

I heard that. — Garth

#111 OttawaMike on 09.05.11 at 8:34 pm

Facebook is a necessary tool for some people. Like Smoking Man’s sales son. Sadly I agree with him, a good salesman has got to be elastic with truth.

While I find it inane and banal; Facebook is also a way for many to say “hey I exist”. While others may create art or still others buy huge homes to say the same.

#112 Junius on 09.05.11 at 8:42 pm

#106 Industrial Guy,

Re: Hamilton

I have relatives near Hamilton and also down towards St. Catherines. Apart from downtown Hamilton I think it is a very nice area. The suburbs West of Hamilton such as Dundas and Ancaster are beautiful.

It is much more historical than having a Tim Hortons. Originally it was a more important area than Toronto when TO was known as York. The War of 1812 barracks were in Ancaster and the major battle in Stoney Creek. As I understand it the concern after the war was the proximity to the US so they moved the government north to York.

What I don’t get is the Go Train. It is sooooo slow. If they had a proper rail line that connected Toronto all the way to Hamilton or even to Buffalo that would be amazing. It would turn the entire region into a bedroom or a connected community to Toronto. I don’t see why this isn’t being seriously looked at as an infrastructure project now that the mills are shut down in Hamilton and the GM plant in St. Catherines.

#113 Bruce on 09.05.11 at 8:45 pm

In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny: That’s all Folks! I’m bailing tomorrow. My advice: Get out while the gettin’s good. Global markets and governments in turmoil, Eurozone set to go up in flames, crisis now “out of control”. To paraphrase the IMF: The Global Economy is ****ed. Here’s Karl Denninger’s take:

You sure give up easily. — Garth

#114 Davey Boy on 09.05.11 at 8:47 pm

Waterloo Resident

I too belong to your divorce club, only saving grace is I lived common-law in Ontario but still will have a huge chunk of what I earned divided. Even if your renting she can still come after all your assets regardless. The only way to come out unscathed is have nothing, don’t live with them, better yet be in debt and then they can have half of that!
I feel for you, I guess getting married and buying a house in this market will make you “the greatest fool “

#115 Robert Dudek on 09.05.11 at 8:48 pm

“why would I live in a country that will need 3 generations of sacrifice to pay back EU loans? Germany can have Portugal if they want it.”

All they have to do is default and re-adopt the escudo. Worked wonders for Argentina as their economy rebounded nicely after defaulting.

#116 Ret on 09.05.11 at 8:50 pm

I have lived in Hamilton for all but 12 of my 59 years. It was a great town to grow-up in and then raise our daughter who is now 27.

We visited downtown Buffalo last week to check out their city hall and architecture in the downtown core. We felt safe and did not see anything that caused us any concern. A magnificent cathedral had its doors wide open for visitors. No one approached us for any reason even as we walked past the city welfare building. What a contrast to the many wild eyed characters in Hamilton’s downtown core.

In Hamilton, lowlife have steadily taken over increasingly larger areas of the downtown core. Anyone with a great paying gov’t/university/medical job, usually lives in Burlington or in the outer burbs, such as Dundas, Ancaster, Grimsby etc.

The RE numbers may work but you won’t like the brutal taxes, sky high insurance rates, inept politicians, lack of by-law and police enforcement and schools struggling to meet the needs of disadvantaged children.

#117 Smoking Man on 09.05.11 at 8:56 pm

#105 Timing is Everything on 09.05.11 at 7:48 pm

Grew up on this one, code I live by……………….

#118 Smoking Man on 09.05.11 at 9:02 pm

#111 Bruce on 09.05.11 at 8:45 pm

Dude follow my post re market turns I pick tops and bottoms within minutes of them happening, with exact precision…
I’m the best in the world when it comes to this stuff.

From last thursday

#92 Smoking Man on 09.01.11 at 12:13 pm
Soft BatMan formation between 10:04 and 10:24
If TSE does not get past 1280 in the next hour, short it big time….
God I’m good

#119 I'm stupid on 09.05.11 at 9:10 pm


Your right. But the issue is far more complex. We can talk about this for hours. Their are as many pros as their are cons. Every point will make sense on any side. I just stated it I do not wish to argue over it because I don’t know were I stand on the issue. I know 1 thing though, that that does not sound like a healthy capitalist economy.

#120 Timing is Everything on 09.05.11 at 9:12 pm

#78 Utopia

Wow. Square breathing. In, 1 2 3 4, out 1 2 3 4…. that or pills. ;)
Where does most of ‘our’ best wood go, and in what form? You all know the answer.


Anywho, works for me…(be creative)

‘Whatever energy source you choose, its use will have an impact on the environment. The best energy sources are renewable and the best of those are solar power and wind power because their environmental impacts tend to be low. As good as they are, though, they do have their problems and limitations. Wood is another renewable energy source with its own problems and limitations, some of which can be managed and minimized, others of which cannot. But when it is used effectively, wood is a fine fuel compared to all the other options we have available.

We hope you learn something useful and enjoy your visit.’ –

#121 Stinky the Fish on 09.05.11 at 9:24 pm

I ain’t buying sh-t. I’ll sit back and watch this non-sense unfold. Later will snatch up a cheaper house. Snatch that sh-t up like a vulture. Sit on a lawn chair, drinkin a brewski, and laugh at those folks who paid double. Savin up cash at the moment. I am the lesser fool. That’ll be good, I can envision it now.

Recession in Europe, United States and after that it’s Canada. Very easy prediction to make at this point.

#122 Smoking Man on 09.05.11 at 9:30 pm

Do any of you realize how bloody rewarding and fulfilling insanity is, the absolute and un-burdened felling of flying the sky of freedom when you accept insanity into your heart. You will love it.

Everything you are taught in school is a lie, has one purpose stated many times above.
Ya little old fire brought down world trade centre 7, yup I’m a crack pot, tin foil all the way.

Does this vid not move you, make ya think.

So much to teach so little time ……

#123 TaxHaven on 09.05.11 at 9:32 pm

@Killer Chicken or Imploding Boomer?

Still? My point is: Port is still a great town! If you’re safely retired or don’t have to work.

Most of those paying $400,000+ to live in the Lower Mainland or GTA or Calgary or Edmonton (with attached lifetime “mortgage” [read: RENT]) have no choice because those areas are where the jobs are.

#124 Beach Girl on 09.05.11 at 9:37 pm

I kinda agree with Smoking Man. I decided at 25, that the only way I was going to be successful was on my own. No large company or government institution was going to make me wealthy. Took many chances, not all worked. But I never have worked for anyone since. I believe it was harder for women back then. Screw the glass ceiling. I will make my own ceiling. I also agree with something Garth said about 3 million years ago. Diversify your income. Have many revenues of income coming in. As you are not dependent on one source. Which just makes you a quivering mess. They do not have to be huge, but plentiful. Although, I am jealous of people with defined pensions, I am better off.
Of course, I have had to kiss ass to my customers, price of freedom.

#125 Steevo on 09.05.11 at 9:44 pm

Hamilton is a hole. Always has been, always will be. Good though to pick up cheap rentals for University/College students.

#126 Timing is Everything on 09.05.11 at 9:44 pm

#106 Industrial Guy

And….TiCats 44 – Alouettes 21

#127 Sandpiper on 09.05.11 at 10:15 pm

G, loved your post today, I can totally relate to the piece on Hamilton. I grew up in Mississauga, went to school in Oakville and when I got married, well even 10 years ago I wasn’t thrilled about prices in Oakville (hindsight, I would have scored nicely if I did buy and sell today).

Anyways, Hamilton was the furthest limit to our jobs in Toronto, and as we searched, it became a love/hate relationship with that city. I always believe the City was on a tightrope, it was either going to become great or fall off a cliff and become a 2nd Buffalo.

I wouldn’t walk some streets without security, while others parts are awesome. The mountain is surely ideal but prices reflect the “safety”aspect. Ottawa Street is the number one area if your looking for prices on fabrics (as per my wife’s opinion).

We did numerous weekends, searching for the right home, some came close but there was always a major drawback that dashed our dreams. Eventually, we headed north of Toronto to a now thriving city of Barrie. If you love water sports (avid sailer) and can tolerate winters…Barrie is the jewel nicely tucked away. We bought a 50ft lot, 2400sq.ft all brick on a pie shaped court for $180K….nowadays – make that $360K for the same identical home.

I believe we made the right decision, and as a added bonus, I now work in the city – a 7 minute commute.

Thanks for bringing back some fond (and some not so fond) memories of Steel Town. I still believe they are on that tight rope – not knowing where they will land!

#128 Utopia on 09.05.11 at 11:00 pm

#118 Timing is Everything to #78 Utopia

“Wow. Square breathing. In, 1 2 3 4, out 1 2 3 4…. that or pills. ;)”

OK, you got me there. Maybe I was getting a little bit emotional. The woods can do that to you. I have my moments too as you know. Might just try the blue pill to cool off. Alice recommends it.

#129 Peakoilist on 09.05.11 at 11:02 pm

Gee , good work everybody and their brother will be moving down here..the secret’s out ( and btw anybody who has trashed our city are trash and I’m glad that you moved away..that was my soft version so GT won’t ban my a$$)

#130 Peakoilist on 09.05.11 at 11:04 pm

#57 Waterloo Resident on 09.05.11 at 11:40 am
Sorry about that bud..but next time don’t do so many things with her…especially the praying part..that just proves that prayer doesn’t work ..

#131 John Doe on 09.05.11 at 11:11 pm

Do you own a property in Hamilton?

#132 HouseBuster on 09.06.11 at 1:15 am

Commuting from Oakville is a lot easier than Hamilton Mtn. or Ancaster especially during rush hour. It will save you 45 mins each way per day.

#133 Echo on 09.06.11 at 9:06 am

#45 Smoking Man

Brilliant! : )

Your son’s actions showed what balls AND INTEGRITY look like. Despite this, 99.9% of Canadians only see that he LIED. Simpletons. The fact that he told the truth at the onset of the interview is actually the important part. If he hadn’t well, all bets are off. He gave the employer the chance to toss him out. Since the employer was also intelligent (otherwise why work for them, yuk), he paid attention to this creative and honest kid.

Then, let’s see, ummm…. having a successful reputation in sales almost always means that you’re honest, not dishonest, especially inside of a successful company.

Smoking Man, you didn’t teach him to let the ruse stand, you taught him to think outside the box and take names. He’ll also make a great boss. No doubt about it. The linear ones miss out on great employees everyday – a blessing for the interviewee.

Now, continue to keep him honest through all of the levels of his success and he’ll also be able to afford an awesome philanthropical bent. Courage combined with integrity know no bounds.

#134 disciple on 09.06.11 at 12:26 pm

Smoking Man,
“I’m not applying for a job as a priest” – made me LOL. Ahh, the old “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” nonsense. Just shows what a loser you and your son are. And that goes for you too Beach Girl and Echo. Being a loser has nothing to do with money, fyi.

I have retained my ethics and don’t need for anything. The more you give, the more you receive. I guess you missed out on that part as children. Probably why you still haven’t grown up, and still don’t understand what money is.

What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul. Fools! There is more to your pathetic vice-infested lives than money. But you will eventually learn this in subsequent reincarnations…hopefully.

#135 disciple on 09.06.11 at 12:39 pm

Liars, cheats, soul-less human beings, I can spot them miles away. All talk, no heart. All show, no substance. All hu-, no man. In every walk of life, in every corner of society, in every hall of government and academia, in every city office tower and every residential construction site, there will be at least one person, who will recklessly doubt the universal law of karma. The ultimate justice, the one unchanging, impenetrable rule of action and reaction transcending all levels of consciousness that even wild coyotes understand: YOU WILL REAP WHAT YOU SOW.

#136 disciple on 09.06.11 at 12:44 pm

Speaking of deforestation, our ancestors passed down the wisdom to us that an abundance of forest and trees help to retain the water table and mitigate flooding and storms. This wisdom is universal and known to natives the world over, e.g., from Austria here is, The vision of Viktor Shauberger:

#137 Rayman on 09.06.11 at 3:12 pm

Hi Garth,
Long time reader but first time to share a comment. Would Hamilton be comparable to Pickering/Ajax/Whitby (Durham) where houses are affordable and there is a steady renters market? I’d appreciate your thoughts.

The only possible downside to being a landlord is that houses are generally cheap and eventually, renters would be tempted to buy their own houses. So, a revolving door of tenants every 1 to 2 years.

Thanks and more power to your blog.

#138 NoName on 09.06.11 at 7:43 pm

#47 to smoking man
human brain is able to cope with only 150 different relationships at the same time, (Medically proven)

look like that son will be story teller like his father hahaha

#139 jess on 09.06.11 at 8:07 pm

#39 Deano

$375,000 in 2009

Beds 5 bed Baths 5 bath
House Size 5479 sq ft Lot Size Not Available
Price $199,000 Price/sqft $36

#140 EdmontonJim on 09.06.11 at 9:12 pm

#45 SmokingMan
That’s fine for politics. But I want to know that a doctor, nurse, or engineer has learned to ‘play by the rules’. When a businessman, banker, or politician lies and cheats, that’s theft. When an engineer, doctor, auto mechanic, or health inspector lies and cheats – that’s murder.
Think about that next time you drive your car or eat a hamburger.

#141 hot brainy chick on 09.06.11 at 9:24 pm


Hands off hamilton… Buying commercial rental property in hamilton and then hyping it. We are waiting for the prices to drop here, .. not raise from the blog dogs and like infiltrating the Hammer.