Halifax Info Feed

Celebrate Mother's Day Even If You Can't Be Together


Lets face it, day to day life has completely changed, how are we expected to celebrate anything during a global pandemic? The answer is - get creative! Mother's Day is coming up and your Mom still deserves to be spoiled just a bit! Here are a few suggestions from our team on how to celebrate that special lady in your life; while adhering to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.


Go Old School & Send Her Mail



Most of us miss the old days when receiving a letter was a regular occurrence, but in our fast paced world, “snail mail” seems a thing of the past.  Your Mom would LOVE a handmade card, or handwritten letter. Add a little whimsy by making crafts like you would have as a child! Hand prints, finger paintings, hand drawings, she'll be delighted! Click here for homemade card ideas 



Decorate Her Front Door



If you live close enough, drop by and decorate her doorway. A lovely wreath, drawings from grandchildren, special messages telling her how much she means to you, there’s so many possibilities and she’s sure to smile (and probably shed a happy tear or two!)



Cook Together Virtually



Try a recipe that’s new to both of you, or let Mom teach you a treasured family recipe.  You’ll have a lot of fun while cooking, & at the end you can sit down “together” for a tasty meal!  If you’re the designated shopper in your family & grab the ingredients for your mom & drop them off in a nice basket or decorative shopping bag as an extra treat.



Support Local


7 Ways You Can Support Local – Discover Halifax

Here are a few shops and restaurants that would be great ways to spoil your Mom this weekend.  Obviously there are many many more amazing local shops that we have not included. Please feel free to share your favourites in the comments below.


Gift shops

Selby’s Bunker  

1090 Cole Harbour Road, Cole Harbour

Offering local delivery and in-store pick up



Kept Housewares & Gifts

75 King St, Dartmouth

Offering local delivery and curbside pick up



Amos Pewter

1521 Lower Water Street

Shipping available www.amospewter.com


Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique Inc.

Offering local delivery & curbside pick up



Restaurants with Mother’s Day Specials & Promotions

Robie Street Station

2394 Robie St, Halifax

Mother’s Day Picnic Baskets available for pick up



Le Bistro By Liz

1333 South Park St, Halifax

Dinner for 2 in a box Mother’s Day Special Curbside Pick Up



Vines Pasta Grill

4 Panavista Dr, Dartmouth

Mother’s Day Special (and regular menu) available for take out



aFrite Restaurant

1360 Lower Water St, Halifax

Mother’s Day Brunch for Pick Up



Rhubarb Restaurant

Mother’s Day Take Out

8650 Peggy's Cove Road (19.87 mi)

Indian Harbour



Florists - Delivery

My Mother’s Bloomers - Halifax https://www.mymothersbloomers.com/

Janet’s Flowers – Dartmouth https://www.janetsflowers.com/

Jake's Florist & Chocolatier – Halifax https://www.jakesflorist.com



The 10 Freshest Farmers Markets in Canada

Halifax's Own @HalifaxSeaportFarmersMarket is #2 in Canada according to escapehere.com!  


Summer is officially here and now is the time to take advantage of the wonderful bounty our farmers grow, from coast to coast. Canada is blessed with an abundance of fresh seasonal produce, award-winning local wine and locally raised meats; all available at one of the many farmers markets. From the largest year-round market to the historic market of Halifax, to the market that specializes in potatoes; we have rounded up the 10 freshest farmers markets in Canada. From coast to coast, there is great food to be found at all of these awesome markets.

10. St. Lawrence Market -Toronto, Ontario

Although this market is open almost every day of the week, we highly suggest visiting on a Saturday. Saturdays are when both the North and South Market open to the public, as opposed to every other day when just the South Market is open. The North Market stands in a space that has been used as a marketplace since 1803, making this the second most historic market on the list. Ontario produce, eggs, poultry, honey, olives and fresh baked bread are amongst the favorites here. The market starts early; 5 am on Saturdays and by 9 am is packed full so make sure you come early if you want to avoid the crowds. Expect to find exotic cultural food, peameal bacon sandwiches, homemade pasta noodles, camel meat and everything else in between. Make sure to carve out a few hours to walk around this gigantic market and you will soon understand why it’s hailed as being one of the best in the world.

St. Lawrence Market

9. Charlottetown Farmers’ Market -Charlottetown, P.E.I

It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out that potatoes are the main star of this market, but that’s not all you will find here at this overly friendly farmers market. Fresh produce, organic cheeses, handmade chocolates, fresh coffee and baked goods are just a slice of what you will find here. Besides all these amazing products, what really make this market so special are the people you will meet here. From vendors who give you the perfect advice on how to boil the perfect potato to meeting entire families who take part in the growing and harvesting; it is truly the people who make a difference here. Come hungry to this market as there is no shortage of hot and cold food to buy and enjoy in the seated dining area, where you will enjoy Celtic music and a sense of community that you can only find on the island.

8. Jean-Talon -Montreal, Quebec

The flavors and sites here have been attracting visitors since 1933 and Jean-Talon Market remains one of the favorites across the country. Open all year round, Saturdays are the liveliest and perhaps the best time to visit as this day houses the most vendors. This is also the day where you will find the most fresh, seasonal produce in the province. Summer is the favorite time to visit, with brightly colored produce and terrific wine. Visitors will find gourmet meats, cheese, the famous maple syrup, pastries, spices and so much more. Eating your way through this market is highly recommended, from maple glazed salmon bites to slow braised meat tacos to artisanal ice-cream. Hailed as the largest open air market in North America, don’t be surprised to find yourself standing beside famous Montreal chefs, food bloggers and amateur foodies.

7. St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market -Waterloo, Ontario

Located just an hour outside of Toronto, visitors here will feel as though they have stepped back in time. The nearby countryside is home to an abundance of Mennonite farmers, many of whom can be seen traveling in their horse and buggy. These farmers are who you will find selling products at Canada’s largest year-round market. A fire nearly destroyed this wonderful market a few years back but the market is back up and running in full swing. Expect to shop both indoors and out when you visit in the warmer months, as over 300 vendors congregate here. Many shoppers come here specifically for the fresh produce and hormone-free meats, although you can find just about anything you have ever wanted. Expect entertainment, music, buskers and more when you take a visit to the St. Jacobs Market in Waterloo.

St. Jacobs Farmers Market, Ontario

6. Crossroads Market -Calgary, Alberta

It is Calgary’s largest year-round market and provides a bustling atmosphere with an abundance of vendors and products. It also happens to be just five minutes from downtown with plenty of ample parking. The marker is only open on the weekends so make sure you plan around visiting then. With over 150 vendors here, it is considered part flea market and part food market. The abundance of fresh local products is what really makes this market a winner. Visit in the summer and fall to experience Alberta’s local produce or head over to the cheese shop where over 300 varieties of cheese are sold. The market is a great place to grab some local meat, fresh squeezed juice and a loaf of freshly baked bread.

5. Marche du Vieux-Port -Quebec City, Quebec

This year round market entices visitors with its fresh products, locally sourced items and friendly atmosphere. Arguably the best time to visit here is in the summer when the strawberries are at their finest. Locals and visitors also love this market for the specialties you can’t get anywhere else; such as the ciders, maple syrup, pates and preserves. The cranberry wine also happens to be a huge hit with visitors. The market is located on the waterfront and during the summer there is often live music or other entertainment located just outside the building. Even if you just come for the experience, we promise you won’t be leaving this market empty handed. Insider’s tip: head to the spice store at the very end of the building and get lost for hours discovering the worldly spices that you have never even seen before.

4. Evergreen Brickworks Farmers’ Market -Toronto, Ontario

In one of the most picturesque settings in Toronto also lies one of the best farmers markets in the country. What was once a former quarry has been transformed into a park and every Saturday morning from May until November between 65 and 85 vendors show up to sell their products. Expect to see fresh produce, organic baked goods, free-range meats, teas, leather products and everything else in between. Some favorites include fresh-made meals from Canadian chef Doug McNish and the abundance of organic options. We recommend you come hungry to this market as the plethora of breakfast and lunch options is unbelievable. From handmade Belgian waffles to organic French fries, we promise you won’t leave here feeling hungry. Take a stroll through the magnificent park afterwards to work off those waffles.

3. Marché St. Norbert Farmers’ Market -Winnipeg, Manitoba

From May until November, rain or shine you can find Manitoba’s farmers selling the bounty of their fields to visitors at Manitoba’s largest and best-known market. This market originally started back in 1988 with just eight vendors that gathered on the grass to sell their products and support other local producers. The market has grown enormously since then and features about 150 vendors, intent on keeping its local roots. Visitors here can expect to find an abundance of fresh local produce, freshly baked breads, home-style jams and preserves, freshly cut flowers and more. One of the more interesting things to note about this market is their online presence, which was created to help farmers sell their products over the winter. Customers can go online and order their products directly from the producers, who then prepare the order and meet in a designated spot for delivery. This market is big on sticking with their local roots and this is just one awesome way of keeping everyone connected.

2. Halifax Farmers’ Market -Halifax, Nova Scotia

This market has a long history, dating back to 1750 and in 2010 finally relocated to its current location on the south end of the Halifax Waterfront. The new space provides plenty of room for people and the natural light makes this a gorgeous spot to spend the morning. Unbeatable ocean views coupled with a hip vibrant atmosphere are just the beginning of what makes this market so spectacular. You can make your way here year-round and although the market is now open seven days a week, we highly suggest visiting on a Saturday when all of the vendors are present. Some of the favorites at this market are the artisanal crafts, seasonal produce, local wine and of course the freshest seafood found anywhere in the province. This market also runs a really neat program called Lunch and Learn, which features presentations on sustainability, wellness, food demonstrations and workshops.

1. Trout Lake Farmers’ Market -Vancouver, British Columbia

This market is loved by many and has quite the history to go along with it. The market actually started with 14 farmers who squatted at the Croatian Cultural Centre back in 1995. Today the market has moved to John Hendry Park and is one of the most beloved markets in all of the country. Visitors come from all over the world to pick up the freshest cherries and blueberries, stock up on free-range eggs and organic meats and get the freshest vegetables found anywhere in the city. The market is open on Saturdays from May to October and people are encouraged to use public transit, walk or bike here. Think fresh baked bread, artisan crafts, fresh cut flowers and a community like atmosphere. Make sure you come to this market hungry and grab some lunch from one of the terrific food trucks, the favorite being the crepe stall.

Photo by: Vancouver Farmers Markets

Halifax is booming thanks to thriving manufacturing and constructing sectors, a record population boom due to immigration and it has become Canada’s fifth biggest tech hub.  An Ontario native can tell you why he moved his family and brought his start-up company to Halifax.

To read full story, Click Here


The site of the formal coast guard property in Dartmouth has landed a $20 million government investment. The 8.5 acres of  land owned by the Waterfront Development Corp. will be known as COVE, Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurs. As the name suggests the facility will be a place for researchers and businesses to come together, the facility is set to open April 2018.

20M Dartmouth Upgrade

The 2017 Housing Market Report: Halifax Real Estate Market Expected to Increase!

The Halifax residential market has experienced positive growth in 2016 with average residential prices increasing by 4% over 2015. It is expected to continue an upward movement in 2017 thanks to an increase in immigration and the ongoing $26 billion Royal Canadian Navy Shipbuilding contract.

View 2017 Housing Market Report

2017 Housing Market

Halifax has been named one of Canada's best cities for jobs and affordable housing, competing alongside major cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. Atlantic Canada has made its way to the top of the list thanks to shipbuilding activities that has soared the manufacturing sector by 5%, projecting the city to have the third strongest economic growth this year and in 2017.

 Halifax_ Clock_Blog





What is a PCDS form? Property Condition Disclosure Statement is a form completed by the Property Seller, disclosing all "known" problems or concerns with the property prior to sale. This document is relied upon by the Buyer, to be correct, to the best of the Seller's knowledge so Buyer is aware of potential issues or repairs.

The following article demonstrates how important a PCDS can be to Home buyers in Nova Scotia, complete honesty is imperative when completing this document as it has been relied upon to settle many lawsuits from new Home Buyers mislead by false claims.:


Seller to Pay $14,000 for Misleading PCDS


For this weeks #myhalifax Adam was at the Greek Fest! where it was a true celebration of all things Greek! Some fantastic food and entertainment! Next week will be at the ArtBattle!

If there is anywhere you think we should make a video? Let us know in the comments below!

Thanks for Liking, commenting and Sharing!


Music by:

Next to You by jimmysquare https://soundcloud.com/jimmysquare

Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 
Music provided by Audio Library https://youtu.be/gJGoEPryKmI

This week, Adam takes us on a fabulous hike to Duncan's Cove.  There is a rich military history surrounding this area, the Chebucto Peninsula, about 20 mins outside of Halifax off Route 349 which became a foDuncan cove2rtified coastal battery.

Duncan's Cove was founded in 1752, a small fishing community named after Admiral Adam Duncan who defeated the Dutch at the Battle of Camperdown.

  Duncan cove1

The hike along the trail to the ruins, with it's breathtaking views and natural tranquility, is almost surreal.  The view of Halifax from the Lighthouse, is one of the best!


Halifax is home to many famous military sites dating back to the early 1800's as the Halifax Harbour was and continues to be an important naval port of call.  Halifax was ideal for a military base, with the vast Halifax Harbour, among the largest natural harbours in the world, which could be well protected with artillery battery at McNab's Island, the Northwest Arm, Point Pleasant, George's Island and York Redoubt. Banner YR.ashx

In its early years, Citadel Hill was used as a command and observation post, before changes in artillery that could range out into the harbour.

York redoubt

This week Adam takes us on a historical walk through the York Redoubt, which was one of the sites used to protect the Halifax Harbour from enemies.



With summer fast approaching and the number of Condo-Living-Haligonians on the rise, there's been a sharp increase in creative approaches to gardening.  Check out some of these fantastic ideas for Condo Gardens.  Just because you're living "multi-unit" does not mean you have to give up eating fresh and enjoying outdoor life.  Urban Gardening

Balcony garden Gutter_gardens



This week Adam is visiting the The Board Room Game Cafe, it is Nova Scotia's first Cafe of its kind - it has a library of over 500 games, serves food, snacks and is fully licensed!  BoardroomThey host a variety of events and activities such as Movie nights and Trivia Nights. It's a fantastic spot for couples (and first dates), alone or with a large group of friends. Definitely a place everyone should check out! 



On this weeks episode, Adam takes a tour of the Discovery Centre, where we meet Sue the T-REX and he also races Usain Bolt and WINS!!(Although, we think he cheated.) If you would like more information about The Discovery Centre and any of their up coming events check out their website.


Discovery Centre

If there is anywhere you think we should make a video - LET US KNOW!!

BluedropMore good economic news today for Halifax, NS.  Fleetway Inc and Irving have announced a local Halifax company, Bluedrop Training and Simulation, will receive impressive $15M contract under the National Shipbuilding Program, for the design of the training and simulation software for the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) vessels under Canada's National Shipbuilding Strategy. To date Nova Scotia companies have been awarded over 405M in contracts to  support the strategy and the AOPS combat vessels currently under construction at the Halifax Shipyard.

Halifax Company Awarded $15M Contract to Support Shipbuilding Initiative


This week's episode of MY HALIFAX Adam takes us on a tour of the beautiful Halifax waterfront, taking full advantage of Earth Day and the beautiful weather to show you the sites and attractions of the waterfront. 

For more information on Earth Day in CanadaCanada-halifax-harbor-tourists_71210_600x450



Recently The Bagogloo Team were invited to participate in the Scotiabank Home Buying Days event Scotiabank Montage Dayswhere we teamed with our good friend, Vanessa Chalhoub,Home Financing Advisor (Scotiabank). Visitors were introduced to homebuying solutions designed to meet their needs and goals.  We discussed current real estate market conditions and trends in the Greater Halifax Area and offered current homeowners a FREE COMPLIMENTARY Current Market Analysis of their home. (Get Yours)

Thank you Vanessa! Vanessa chalhoub




DingleJoin Adam for Episode #2 of MY HALIFAX.  Today Adam takes us on a tour of the historic Dingle.  The Dingle Tower was constructed between 1908-1912 to commemorate Nova Scotia's formation of it's own representative government.  The Dingle (meaning Wooded Valley) is a beautiful park (Sir Sanford Fleming Park) with a public beach and beautiful hiking trails.

Enjoy your journey and please send your requests for locations you'd like to see covered in MY HALIFAX.


JOIN US on an epic journey through MY HALIFAX visiting some of the most popular and fantastic venues we have to offer.  Each week Adam Cooper (Team Partner at THE BAGOGLOO TEAM, RE/MAX nova) will guide you through some of our favorite places to visit in Halifax, with loads of information and tips.  We welcome your input and feedback, if there is somewhere you'd like featured, just let us know!

MY HALIFAX - Episode #1, Museum of Natural History



Be sure to visit GUS, the 90 yr old Gopher Tortoise - museum mascot!

    For hours of operations, and current exhibits visit:  HALIFAX MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY








There's been plenty of buzz over Halifax's developmental boom but what exactly does it mean for our city? Each and every development impacts Halifax to some degreRainnie-Drivee, whether it changes the skyline or a neighbor's view - there will always be mixed opinions on it's favorability .  The attached article reviews the 6 developments that are expected to have the biggest impact on Halifax in 2016.  

    Greater Halifax Developments 


Halifax is home to many fantastic places to eat.  Recently, we've dubbed the DONAIR as the official food of Halifax but, that's not to say there aren't an amazing variety of spectacular culinary treats to be found here and across the province.  Well known for it's seafood specialties Nova Scotia boasts some of the best pubs and eateries you can find.

Every year, Local Connections Halifax, assembles a list of the best places to eat in our area and the 2016 list looks better than ever!  Admittedly, we've not tried them all ...YET, but be sure to check out as many as you can this year and let us know your favourite!! 

Pub food"Nova Scotia's 25 Best Local Eateries".




It's almost that time of year again... At In-visible we are planning a Christmas party for the kids and we would love for Santa to make an appearance. If anyone could lend us a Santa costume from November 23-30th we would be so grateful.#tistheseason #party

If you are planning on going to visit Santa this year but not sure when and where he is going to be, then you have come to the right place. Below are the four major shopping centres with their time and dates so you don't miss out a wonderful tradition. It is the fastest way to get your holiday order in!

Santa at MicMac Mall

Santa is on duty until December 23rd.
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm and Sundays 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Free Printed 5X7 Photo

Santa at Halifax Shopping Centre

Santa will be at HSC on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays Nov. 29th through Dec. 23.
Photo Emailed Free
Printed 4x6 with $5 Donation - proceeds to Operation Winter Warmth.

Santa at Bedford Place Mall

Our social media elves report that Bedford has a really wonderful Santa, on duty daily through Dec. 23. His hours are:
Monday and Tuesday: 2:00-4:00pm
Wednesday-Friday: 6:00-8:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am-12:00 noon and 1:30-4:00pm
Sunday: 1:00-4:00pm
Photos $5 - proceeds to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Santa at Sunnyside Mall

His hours are:
Thursdays and Fridays 6:00-8:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am-4:00pm
Sundays: 12:15-4:00pm
Photos are free (with a donation to Paths 2 Learning).
Silent Santa: Sunday mornings by appointment (Phone: 902-835-5099)
More details  here.


















Looking for something fun for the whole family this Saturday? #Cineplex Theatres at 760 #SackvilleDrive is showing a 10 am showing of Elf! Admission is $2 with the proceeds going to the Beacon House Food Bank! For more details please visit http://sackvillebusiness.com/events/sba-christmas-movie/


In case you missed last weekend’s back to back Parade of lights in Halifax and Bedford, all is not lost. You can still see a parade of lights this coming Sunday evening, November 23rd starting at Barrett Lumber at 6 pm and runs to the Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre. 

For more information please visit: http://www.bbkcc.ca/event/lions-club-parade-of-lights/


Even though Christmas is 6 weeks away there are events starting to get everyone in the spirit! Take Victorian Christmas at the Halifax Citadel for example; this has been a tradition for 25 years. Maybe it is something you have been doing every year, but if you haven't then maybe it is time to check it out. This event is free to enter with a cash donation or non-perishable food item and takes place Saturday and Sunday Nov 22-23 from 12-4. For more details please visit Destination Halifax!


If you are looking for a great way to show your respects for the service and sacrifice of our soldiers, then visit Halifax Citadel National Historic Site at 5425 Sackville St. this Remembrance Day. There will be FREE admission from 10 am – 2 pm, with a special 21 Gun salute at 11 am. To learn more about this event visit http://www.destinationhalifax.com/experience-halifax/festivals-events/remembrance-day-army-museum.

Purchase plus improvement mortgage allows you to buy and renovate so that you can enjoy your fixer upper.


Source: Original Content can be foun at http://mortgageintelligence.ca/mi/about/about-us/renovation-sink-or-swim/

ReMax Nova's 2nd Annual Pink Campaign - Sold On A Cure

ReMax Nova's 2nd Annual Pink Campaign - Sold On A Cure - Fighting Breast Cancer 

In support of the CIBC Run For The Cure - Remax Nova goes PINK!
It’s official. REMAX nova has turned PINK! We, at REMAX nova, have always been strong supporters of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s (CBCF) quest to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research, mainly through our “Sold On a Cure” Program. In October, its our 2nd Annual Pink Campaign & time to take things to a whole new level. In an unprecedented company effort, we are going “PINK” for the month of October. 

So, what do we mean by “PINK”?

Well almost all of our marketing efforts for the next 30 days will be, you guessed it…PINK. This includes all 500+ or so FOR SALE signs being replaced with specially designed PINK signs. In addition all newspaper ads, Real Estate Book, Website, TV ads and of course kicking the month off with members of our team participating in the CIBC Run For The Cure this Sunday, Sept 30th. If you are able, please donate to this terrific cause that affects 1 in 9 Canadian women & in 2012, there will be an estimated 22,700 more Canadian women diagnosed with breast cancer. TO DONATEhttps://secure3.convio.net/cbcf/site/Donation2?idb=355374326&df_id=1605&1605.donation=form1&FR_ID=1415&PROXY_ID=2551316&PROXY_TYPE=20&JServSessionIdr004=fda8kq9ova.app337b
Breast cancer is not limited to women. Man can develop breast cancer as well but is rare ( Fewer than one per cent of all breast cancers occur in men which equates to approximately 227 men in Canada being diagnosed in 2012 ).
We look forward to an exciting month ahead & thank of those who continue to support this cause & REMAX nova. For more details on how you can help visit the CBCF Atlantic Chapter website by clicking on the photo above.
There are many myths about the causes and detection of breast cancer that are unfounded or simply untrue. Here are some of the common myths about breast cancer causes that you may have seen or heard reported in the mediahttp://www.cbcf.org/atlantic/AboutBreastCancerMain/AboutBreastCancer/Pages/Facts-and-Myths.aspx
Breast cancer is a complex disease with no single cause. Breast cancer researchers believe that a combination of inherited and environmental causes must be present for breast cancer to develop. For more information on causes, please visithttp://www.cbcf.org/atlantic/AboutBreastCancerMain/AboutBreastCancer/Pages/WhatCausesBreastCancer.aspx
In 2012, breast cancer continues to be the most common cancer in Canadian women over the age of 20, representing 26 percent of all cancer cases in Canadian women. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canadian women and the third leading cause of death after heart disease, and lung cancer.
Fewer Canadian women are dying from breast cancer today than in the past. Breast cancer deaths have decreased by almost 40 percent since the peak in 1986 due to earlier detection through regular mammography screening, advances in screening technology, and improved treatments. For more statistical information or information on diagnosis, symptoms, treatments & more, please visithttp://www.cbcf.org/atlantic/AboutBreastCancerMain/AboutBreastCancer/Pages/default.aspx


By Mark Hurley, AMP

Today’s Bank of Canada rate hold announcement marks almost four straight years that the key benchmark rate has remained unchanged, since September 8, 2010. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or home equity line of credit; the prime rate stays at 3%.

The announcement noted that “the risks to the outlook for inflation remain roughly balanced, while the risks associated with household imbalances have not diminished.” With these considerations, the Bank is maintaining its monetary policy stimulus, and remains neutral with respect to the timing and direction of the next change.

The next rate-setting day is October 22nd.

Whether you are looking to purchase, refinance, or renew, we can help you decide whether a fixed or variable-rate mortgage will work best for your situation. Or you may find that a hybrid mortgage, which is part fixed and part variable, is better suited to your needs. Call today!

We regularly receive short-term rate promotions that are not posted online, which means our rates change frequently. Please contact us for the unpublished rate specials.

Terms Posted Rates Our Rates
6 MONTHS 4.00% 3.95%
1 YEAR 3.09% 2.89%
2 YEARS 3.04% 2.34%
3 YEARS 3.44% 2.69%
4 YEARS 3.94% 2.77%
5 YEARS 4.79% 2.99%
7 YEARS 6.04% 3.79%
10 YEARS 6.50% 4.39%

Rates are subject to change without notice. OAC E&OE

Prime Rate 3.00%
5 yr variable 2.40%

Whatever your need is today – first or next home, renewal, refinance, renovation financing, equity take out, business-for-self mortgage, investing in property or a second/vacation home, contact us for a review of your situation, and the advice you need to achieve your homeownership dreams. After all, the right mortgage can build your wealth and save you thousands of dollars.

Every single day we're making homeowner dreams come true. And we're here to help you.

Source: https://www.magnetmail.net/actions/email_web_version.cfm?recipient_id=1252096266&message_id=6356990&user_id=INVIS&group_id=1393260&jobid=21460922

Ride For The Cure Pic 1


The Bagogloo Team is proud to support our team partner Terry Campbell in his third year participating in a wonderful cause; Ride 4 The Cure. The 11th annual Ride 4 The Cure motorcycle rally through Cape Breton's Cabot Trail will take place on September 5th-6th, 2014.

Help Terry reach his personal goal of $2000 for a fantastic cause. To donate please click this link: http://www.ride4thecurecb.ca/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1105399&supId=410783819

Blizzard Treat

Miracle Treat Day

Buy a Blizzard® Treat on Thursday, August 14th, 2014
All proceeds will be donated to Children’s Miracle Network®

On Thursday August 14th, 2014, all proceeds from every Blizzard® Treat purchased at participating DQ® stores will be donated to your local Children's Miracle Network® member hospital to help children in need.

Together we can provide hope and healing to sick and injured children in your community.

To find a participating store please visit http://www.miracletreatday.ca/

Source: www.miracletreatday.ca/

Natal_DayHalifax-Dartmouth is celebrating it’s 119th Natal Day. The Halifax/Dartmouth Ferry will be FREE all day on August 2nd. There are lots of events going on including Fireworks!

There are several fireworks displays, choose the one that fits your needs.

Saturday Aug 2nd
Halifax Harbour Bridges Natal Day Fireworks
10:00 PM Launched from Macdonald Bridge!

Sunday Aug 3rd
Natal Day Halifax Common Family Fireworks presented by GoodLife Fitness
9:30 PM @ Halifax South Common, Canada Games Ball Diamond

Monday August 4th
119th Natal Day Lake Banook Fireworks presented by
Heritage House Law & The Dartmouth Kiwanis Club
9:45 PM @ Lake Banook

For a detailed list of activities going on over the long weekend visit: http://natalday.org/index.php

Residential Direct Install of Efficient Products

The Residential Direct Install of Efficient Products program aims to reduce the amount of energy used by Nova Scotian homeowners.  To achieve this goal, the program educates homeowners on available energy efficient products while providing free product installation. As one of the service providers, Clean Foundation delivers this program on behalf of Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation

This is a free-of-charge program, open to all Nova Scotia homeowners and renters. As a partner of Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation, Clean Foundation will come to your home and install, where appropriate:

  • Energy Efficient Lighting
  • LED Nightlights
  • High Efficiency Shower Heads and Faucet Aerators
  • Insulating Wraps for Electric Hot Water Tanks and Copper Pipes

All upgrades are done at no cost to you and should result energy savings for your home. A typical homeowner could save up to $160 annually on their energy bills.

To participate; call our Customer Experience Department at 1-888-281-0004 and book your appointment today. Or, if you prefer, visit the Clean Foundation website and fill out the form and one of our Booking Agents will contact you shortly.

SOURCE: Clean Foundation - http://clean.ns.ca/programs/energy/residential-direct-install-of-efficient-products/

The voodoo of lobster economics

Ian Brown, The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 11 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
Last updated Monday, Jul. 21 2014, 1:34 PM EDT

Amid an unprecendent glut, Larry the doomed lobster is followed from a Nova Scotia trap to a Toronto table

Small lobsters are thrown back during an early morning fish off the coast of Nova Scotia. (Scott Munn for The Globe and Mail)

To the best of my recollection, Larry the Lobster showed up in one of Lloyd Robicheau’s traps some time between dawn and 8 a.m. on a Tuesday. My memory of the event is impaired because at the time I was either vomiting overboard or lying in the hold of The Master Rebel, Lloyd’s boat. We were seven kilometres out to sea on a rare gorgeous June day, the eastern shore of Nova Scotia a long eyebrow in the distance, and Lloyd Robicheau had been saying what he often says: “In the lobster racket, sooner or later you’re going to get bit.”

He meant not just in the business sense, but on a lobster-by-lobster basis as well. The feeling had only just returned to his left hand after being nipped by a pincer claw two weeks earlier; now another glistening black devil was trying to sever another of his fingers through his orange rubber gloves. To make a lobster open a claw, you hold the other claw shut. “It’s like playing with fire,” Lloyd said to Reese Reardon and Glendon Bellefontaine, his crew.

Finally freed, he tossed the waving crustacean into the slotted wooden box that keeps newly landed lobsters from ripping each other apart. Then Lloyd searched across the silvery water for the glint of the buoy that marked his next trap. I returned to vomiting. It was 6 o’clock in the morning, and the sea was as calm as a mussel’s day.

Clockwise from top left: Deckhand Glendon Bellefontaine puts a rubber band on a lobster's claw; deckhand, Reece Reardon steadies a trap; three of the catch sit in a wooden box. (Scott Munn for The Globe and Mail)

In 2013, Atlantic Canada was responsible for 68,000 tonnes, or just over half, of the 131,500 tonnes of lobster landed on the east coast of North America last year. And for the 160 fishermen in Lobster Fishing Area 32 off the coast near Dartmouth, N.S., this year’s annual nine-week lobster season (April 19 to June 20) has been breathtaking. So much lobster had been landed in Nova Scotia by the second week of June that the shore price dropped to $3.50 a pound, which was why everyone was so cranky. I’d been calling it a glut until a couple of local exporters begged me to refer to a “bountiful harvest” instead. They didn’t want their customers to think lobster was cheap.

To a lobster enthusiast, of course, cheap lobster sounds like a good, i.e. delicious, thing. But it never materializes. There is a voodoo to lobster economics. What used to be poor man’s fare, the fallback meal of people too impoverished to afford anything else, is now a billion dollar business and a universal mark of luxury – with the result that a lobster that sells for $3.50 on the wharf can cost $60 and more on a restaurant plate in New York or Toronto or Shanghai, regardless of how many lobsters are pulled from the sea. How this happens is the life story of Larry the Lobster.

As Captain Lloyd Robicheau steadies the boat, deckhand, Reece Reardon, hauls up a lobster trap during an early morning fish. (Scott Munn for The Globe and Mail)

Like every other licensed fisherman in Area 32, Lloyd is allowed 250 traps. He checks every trap every day. The routine’s always the same, give or take the roughness of the sea. Lloyd steers the boat to a buoy. Reese gaffs the rope and slips it into an automatic winch that hauls the trap off the bottom. A trap consists of a kitchen (where the bait is) and a parlour, and for a lobster operates like a conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness: It’s easy to get into but almost impossible to get out of. Lloyd’s using wire, or “American” traps, at $118 each (plus $30 more for rope and the buoy) whereas most fishermen in Area 32 swear by wood, because it’s “darker” and absorbs water faster and is therefore less buoyant. It’s not much of a theory, scientifically, but a lot of Area 32 lobster fishermen swear by it. Early on in his fishing career, Lloyd lost 130 traps on the third day of the season, and another 45 at the end, so he sticks to wire.

Deckhand, Reece Reardon, of West Chezzetcook, stacks a lobster trap. (Scott Munn for The Globe and Mail)

When the trap has been hauled to the gunwales, Reese – 26, built like a fridge – hauls it onto the boat and starts tossing pregnant females and undersized chicks back into the sea. The little ones look like bath toys. Lloyd helps him. They fling the keepers to Glendon, who measures them and checks for blooms of roe or a V notched in a female’s tail (a decade-old conservation measure used to track egg-bearing females that fishermen believe has increased stocks), either of which gets the lobster thrown back. Glendon then bands the claws of the keepers before packing them into grey plastic 100-pound crates, the most common object in the lobster business. While he does that, Reese replaces the trap’s bait with fresh redfish heads or mackerel or gaspereau or occasionally a sculpin on a spike (the big lobsters like them) and waits while Lloyd repositions the boat. On Lloyd’s nod, he heaves the trap overboard and prepares the next bait bag. They can haul and change out a trap in less than three minutes.

They leave every morning at 3:20 in the pitch dark to avoid the breezy seas of the afternoon. Rocks and whistling are forbidden on the boat, as is turning against the sun while steering out of their harbour. Lobstering’s a superstitious business.

Deckhand, Reece Reardon coils a rope on the deck of the Master rebel. (Scott Munn for The Globe and Mail)

Today starts badly. Several strings of traps produce nothing but little ones, and by the point where the boat would normally have landed 250 pounds, they haven’t filled a 100-pound crate. The mood on the boat grows quiet. “Get out and walk,” Glendon says to an undersized lobster, throwing it overboard. Ten years ago, 80 pounds of lobster a day was an average catch in Area 32, and the Eastern Shore was one of the poorest places in Canada. This spring, however, most fishermen are hauling 500 pounds a day. Theories abound, all of which are true to an extent: lobsters procreate in cycles; climate change is warming the ocean, and the lobster are moving north out of Maine’s coastal waters; fishermen have better technology and bigger boats; conservation is working. But everyone knows the most important reason: The disappearance of codfish means lobsters have no natural predators.

Suddenly, at 14 fathoms, the bottom gets rockier, to judge from Lloyd’s electronic scanner. Two keepers in a trap is all it takes to turn his spirits. Five keepers is a great trap. In an instant, it’s a good day again. By 8 a.m., the boys have hauled 300 pounds of lobster, including the aforementioned Larry. “It’s in the hunt,” Reese says, lighting another smoke. “You move, you try here, you try there. But you’re always on the hunt.”

Deckhand, Glendon Bellefontaine measures a lobster. (Scott Munn for The Globe and Mail)

By 10:30 they’re done. The trio gaff six brimming 100-pound crates up to the dock and into a tank of cold circulating sea water. They then retire to the eight-by-eight-metre boatside shacks they live in during lobster season, to await the shore buyer.

The shore buyers in Area 32 have paid as much as $7 and as little as $3 a pound for live lobster this spring. Lloyd’s daily catch has ranged from nearly 700 pounds to less than 300. If he can trap 500 pounds a day (not a given) and average $5 a pound (especially not a given), and can get out, weather permitting, five days a week for nine weeks (he has lost as many as 21 days to weather in past years), he’ll gross $112,500. The average fisherman on the Eastern Shore grossed $98,000 last year. “If you don’t gross $100,000,” Lloyd insists, “you can’t really call it a living.” Still, as people who aren’t fishermen say, that isn’t bad for nine weeks of fishing.

But they’re very big ifs. Lloyd runs the math incessantly in his head. The Master Rebel cost him $200,000, and drinks 95 litres of diesel a day. A license, if he had to buy his today, would be $160,000 more. Reese (who hopes to fish for himself eventually) earns at least $150 a day. Life raft, $1,000; electronics, $30,000. Insurance, traps, bait (500 pounds a day at 80 cents a pound): Lloyd figures it costs him $600 a day to fish. If he nets two-thirds of his (theoretical) gross, and doesn’t have any mechanical breakdowns, he still has to pay taxes. But nobody knows how long the lobster will last or what prices will do. (They have dropped and risen in the weeks since I went fishing with Lloyd.) That’s why, despite the bountiful harvest, he fishes swordfish in the summer, plows snow in the winter, and for a long time farmed wild blueberries.

“A dollar-a-pound drop doesn’t sound like much,” Reese says. “But on just a crate of lobsters, that’s $100 gone, like that.” It’s all a gamble. That’s part of what appeals to us about lobster, and part of what we pay for. It’s why Lloyd calls lobstering a racket.

Larry the lobster. (Ian Brown/The Globe and Mail)

Derek Stevens, the shore buyer at Lobsterworld, shows up at 1:40 p.m. to pick up Lloyd’s lobsters. It is Derek, in fact, who spots Larry in one of the cases and suggests he would make a fine homarus americanus to follow from trap to plate.

Derek’s been at work since 7 a.m. “Price is back up to $4, okay?” he says to Lloyd, almost as an afterthought, and hands him a piece of paper: 590 pounds, or $2,360.

By 5 p.m., Derek is back at Lobsterworld, having picked up lobster from 12 boats in three communities – 60 crates in total. The lobsters are roughly graded – chix (a pound), culls (one-clawed lobsters and other mutants), females to be thrown back, pound-and-a-quarters, pound-and-a-halfs, all the way up to jumbos (4.5 pounds) and beyond – and re-stacked in drain-through crates under spigots spouting cold sea water. It sounds like we’re standing under a 30-metre waterfall. This is when I get my first real look at Larry.

Drain-through crates for lobster storage at Lobsterworld. (Ian Brown/The Globe and Mail)


Larry the lobster's value out of the water. (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)

He’s a fine specimen: two pounds, green-black, large claws, male (two penises!), and a brand new rock-hard shell, judging from the unworn spines under his tail. His chitinous carapace (or shell, which is actually his skeleton, just worn on the outside) is an eat-but-don’t-be-eaten machine. He has the classic inscrutable, pissed-off, prehistoric arthropod lobster look: I often try to imagine the moment when the first person figured out these things were ultra-edible if dropped in boiling water. Omnivorous, cannibalistic, even self-cannibalizing if they get hungry enough, utterly devoid of any feeling except the urge to eat and scuttle and survive – does that not sound like the devil, or at least the head trader at a large brokerage firm? Larry even has blue blood – like spiders, like snails, like Satan.

Rick Murphy, the owner of Lobsterworld, peddles a few live lobster in his storefront for $5.99 a pound – nothing like the $12.99 they fetch at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto – but sells most of what he buys to shippers. “If I could get 50 or 60 cents a pound, I’d be very happy,” he says. He seldom is, thanks to the shore price system, whereby 20-odd buyers up and down the Eastern Shore are forced to match each others’ prices.


Larry's value after staying at Lobsterworld. (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)

But “there’s too many lobsters coming out, not just here but everywhere,” which means Mr. Murphy is paying $4 a pound today for live lobster he may not be able to sell for $3.50 tomorrow. Other regions such as Newfoundland and the Magdalen Islands price lobsters by auction, or have binding collective agreements that help guarantee fishermen’s incomes. Mr. Murphy blames the federal government for glossing over the intricacies of the fiercely independent Nova Scotia lobster fishery.

Like Geoff Irvine, director of the Lobster Council of Canada, Mr. Murphy would like to see more vertical integration between his region’s inshore fishermen, if they could agree to a steady shore price or a boat quota, and buyers and shippers, if they’d agree to share their subsequent profits with the fishermen – one of many schemes the Lobster Council is considering. “We’re not organized,” Mr. Murphy says. “But there could be a lot more dollars landed on shore.” Between 2002 and 2012, Maritime lobster landings leapt 40 per cent, from 26,000 tonnes a year to nearly 44,000 tonnes. The shore value of that lobster, however, rose only 6 per cent, from $391-million to $416-million. This is why fishermen like Lloyd think someone in the lobster business is getting richer a lot faster than they are.

At least Larry has a place to rest. For trucking and giving him a home for a few days, Rick Murphy will add 65 cents a pound to Larry’s price. Two-pound Larry was worth $8 out of the water. Rick resells him for $9.30.

The outdoor "seasoning" tank at Tangier Lobster Co. Ltd. (Ian Brown/The Globe and Mail)

Larry cools his carapace at Lobsterworld for three days, until he’s trucked half an hour down the road to Tangier Lobster Co. Ltd., a shipper, on Friday.

Tangier is the lobster equivalent of a spa in Palm Springs, one of 30-odd companies in North America that specialize in shipping premium live lobster. It’s run by Stewart Lamont, a large, pink, pleasant and voluble man who grew up wanting to be a writer in Yarmouth, N.S., but became a lawyer and travel agent for lobsters instead. As the annual North American catch has nearly doubled to 136,000 tonnes a year over the past decade, lowering the price of lobster, Mr. Lamont has turned to Asia as his saviour.

“China has 1.4 billion people,” he will tell you, whether you ask or not. “Those 1.4 billion people have a huge disposition to seafood in general, and to lobster in particular.” They’re also used to paying $35.40 (U.S.) a pound for Australian rock lobster – vastly inferior, Mr. Lamont claims, to the product plucked from the pristine (7 C versus 13 in PEI) Atlantic Ocean.

His trick is to keep the lobster as fresh as the day it came out of the ocean for as long as possible, preferably until the season ends and prices rise. Hence the cutting-edge operation at Tangier, an intricate series of refrigerated, 2- to 4-degree ocean-water holding tanks and hi-tech packing rooms designed to keep live lobsters in a state of sluggish semi-hibernation so their shells stay hard and their eggs unreleased.

Outside in the 25 C sun, a lobster will die in an hour. But in Tangier’s refrigerated slumber-party conditions, they can live six months. Darrin Hutt, Tangier’s operations manager, conducts a blood-protein analysis on every 100 cases of lobster that arrive to see how close the lobsters are to moulting their old hard shells for soft new ones. The ones he can’t delay he sorts for immediate sale by size and colour.

"Lobster condominiums" at Tangier Lobster Co. Ltd. (Ian Brown/The Globe and Mail)

Darrin stores the keepers in indoor tanks and “lobster condominiums” – adjustable, individual compartments in which the lobsters don’t have to be banded or fed, given their limited movements and lowered metabolisms. You can tell if a lobster has spent a long stretch in a holding tank, Darrin says: “They’re cannibals, he’ll eat his own antennae.”

Mr. Lamont can truck bugs to New York, Boston, Montreal and Toronto for 25 cents a pound, and can fly them everywhere else for roughly $1.25. In the office next to Mr. Lamont’s, imminent orders are listed on a wipe board: 40 cases (at 30 pounds a case) to Sobey’s, 100 cases to the largest shellfish supplier in Korea, 67 cases to the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas (where a two-pound lobster dinner sells for $98), 39 cases to Edmonton. That’s 7,400 pounds of live lobster. If Mr. Lamont’s profit is 40 cents a pound on air shipments – a reasonable assumption – his profit on those orders alone is $3,000.


Larry's value after staying at Tangier, the lobster "spa". (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)

For these tender ministrations, Tangier adds another $1.15 per pound. Two-pound Larry is now worth $11.60.

But where is Larry? Why, he’s lolling in Tangier’s outdoor “seasoning” tank, where over the next three days he will defecate what’s left of the last meal he ate (the mackerel and gaspereau in Lloyd’s trap), which will in turn prevent him from soiling his shipping container. (“The poop really messes things up,” is how Darrin put it.) Larry is having a colonic irrigation.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mean to belittle Larry. I realize there are groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who believe, as David Foster Wallace explained in his brilliant essay Consider the Lobster, that lobsters have feelings, and that my decision to eat Larry is an act of cruelty and an affront to his existential spirit. I’m not a monster; I’ve had pangs. I have. One afternoon during Larry’s spa vacation at Tangier, in fact, I asked Kimberley Shears, the company’s director of logistics, whether eating Larry was cruel. Admittedly we were enjoying a delicious lunch of cold lobster tails in Tangier’s shoreside gazebo at the time, not the most sensitive choice of nourishment, considering the subject at hand. Ms. Shears bestowed a kind look on me, and said, “They technically don’t have a brain.” No, I thought: They have two penises instead, I guess it’s a trade-off. What lobsters have is ganglia, and a stomach where their brain would be if they had one. The jury seems to be out on whether lobsters feel pain. But even if they do, it is the act of confronting one’s own desire, and the moral price of that desire, that makes eating a lobster so compelling. That, in any event, was my thinking on the matter. “My advice,” Ms. Shears continued, “is not to be afraid of the lobster.” She said it as if many people were.

Deckhand Glendon Bellefontaine holds a lobster. (Scott Munn for The Globe and Mail)

One afternoon driving along the Eastern Shore I noticed a small house by the side of the road that was covered in carvings of animals and devils and pictures of Jesus. I pulled over and looked around. Eventually the owner came out. His name was Barry Collpitts. He was a folk artist, and a devout Catholic. (Acadia University’s art gallery was about to mount a show of his work.) There was a carving of a devil by the door, red and black, with horns and a pitchfork, and the legend I Am Not Welcome Here painted on his chest. I asked if I could buy it.

“The carvings on the house aren’t for sale,” Barry said. “Because then I’d have to make another for my house.” He meant that if he sold it to me, he’d have to put up another devil-guard in its place. “I guess you’re not religious or superstitious,” he said. “But I bet if you did put it up on your house, you wouldn’t take it down either.”

After that I began to notice how superstitious people who dealt with lobster could be. Not just Lloyd, with his rules about no whistling and no rocks on the boat, but everyone. They’re gamblers, reliable people who love tradition and schedules, but who also fancy a spot of danger too, whether it’s the possibility of a poor catch or too much catch, of a shipment delayed by weather or some other act of satanic randomness. Even Larry the Lobster looked a bit like the devil, dangerous and foreign but tempting. Larry embodied the dilemma of desire. Every time I thought of him – I’m serious about this – I was struck by the gravity of what I was about to do: Spend a shocking amount of money to boil alive an animal that had survived on the bottom of the ancient sea for 15 years before I came along.

Fedex staff unload a consignment of east coast Lobsters from the belly of Flight 7054 as it arrives at the Fedex facility at Toronto's Pearson Airport. (Chris Young for The Globe and Mail)

The following Monday, six days after being trapped by Lloyd Robicheau, Larry leaves Tangier Lobster Co. by refrigerated truck in a cardboard box with two ice packs and seven other lobsters at 11 in the morning. By 7 he’s on a plane in Halifax, having been passed as loose cargo from the truck into the rear belly hold of FedEx Flight 7054, a gleaming white 757.


Larry's value after flying FedEx. (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)

The plane stops in Moncton and again at Mirabel Airport outside Montreal for fuel and more freight, and arrives in Toronto, on a dedicated runway at FedEx’s vast complex north of Toronto’s Pearson International, at 11:05 p.m.

By 1 a.m., Larry’s sitting comfortably in a FedEx way station in Toronto’s east end, for which FedEx charges $1.44 a pound, bringing Larry’s worth to $7.22 a pound, or $14.44 in total.

Tomorrow morning at 11:50, FedEx will deliver him to Toronto wholesaler and retailer Lorne Ralph at Seaport Merchants, who will in turn add another $1.50 a pound for handling and delivering Larry to The Abbot, a gastropub in north Toronto, between 4 and 6 in the afternoon.

By then Larry will be worth nearly $9 a pound. He’ll arrive with his fellow lobsters in the same unopened box he flew in, and he’ll look good – moving and shaking and reaching his claws back behind him as if he were John Travolta dancing his way into a disco. Alas for Larry, he is not.

Ian Brown and his wife Johanna Schneller, centre, and others eat the lobster dinner at The Abbot in Toronto. (Matthew Sherwood for The Globe and Mail)

And so Larry the Lobster reached the final stage of his great journey. Chris Davis owns the Abbot with his wife Carrie McCloy and doesn’t usually serve lobster: It’s too expensive. But Lorne Ralph offered him a good price, so Chris thought he’d try it as a promotion and charge $30 a plate for a one-pound lobster.

An excellent lobster dinner for $30 is good value. I now knew, however, that the actual cost of Larry was barely $10 a pound. But that’s the formula in the restaurant business. “On the industry standard theory,” Chris said, “a third of what you sell it for is food cost.”


Larry's value after passing through the wholesaler. (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)

Add another third for labour, and another third for overhead and profit, of which 60 per cent is rent, taxes, heating, napkins and the like. If Lorne sold Chris lobsters at $10 a pound, and Chris sold them for $30 a plate, he made $4 profit per meal. (No wonder nine out of 10 restaurants go broke.) The voodoo of lobster economics never goes away: a chunk of tail meat on a $23 apple, truffle and spaghetti squash salad may shout “Fancy!” to a diner, but the restaurant is making less profit than it can on steak, which isn’t alive and doesn’t spoil as quickly.

(By the same logic, two-pound Larry would cost Chris $8.70 a pound, or $17.40 in total, and tripled into a $52.20 meal on my plate. I gave the Abbot $60, including the tip. The lesson? There is no such thing as cheap live lobster in a good and profitable restaurant in Toronto.)

Chris planned a two-course meal: a butter-poached lobster crepe with ginger and pea shoots to start, and a boiled lobster later. By 6 p.m., his chef, Kevin Beale, had three huge pots of heavily salted water roiling with lemons and bay leaves. He planned to cook 30 one-pound lobsters for 14 minutes from the moment the water started boiling again after what he called “the drop.”

I watched Larry go into the pot. I waved goodbye. I am somewhat ashamed to say I felt no pang. Like, none. But by my count, at least 30 people helped Larry to his demise. I am willing to name names if it helps my moral case.

Left to right: A lobster is dropped in a pot of boiling water; cooked lobsters are removed; chef Kevin Beall cracks the shells of lobsters before serving them. (Matthew Sherwood for The Globe and Mail)

The meal was served at a communal table to 14 people, none of whom I knew except my wife. This is an excellent way to eat lobster. People are never shy at a lobster dinner, perhaps because you eat with your hands.

I asked Ms. McCloy what her next restaurant was going to be and she said, “It’s not a restaurant. I want to open a brothel.” I think she was serious. Then someone talked about eating tempura lobster in New York City, which sounded delicious and made me think about all the great lobster I had eaten – in the rough by the ocean and in a sublime lobster roll at a restaurant called Neptune in Boston; with friends every New Year’s Eve. I couldn’t separate the food from the company and the places. I can get quite emotional about this stuff, even if I have no feelings about eating Larry.


Larry's value on the plate. (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)

Suddenly Larry arrived at the table. He was huge and red and imposing, but for some reason I waited before I cracked him. I owed him that. As I waited, I watched a young woman named Emma take on her own lobster. She approached it so methodically she might have been a welder. “It’s not for you that you need the bib, “ Emma said. “It’s for the person across from you. Always break the shell away from you.”

But mostly I remembered what Kim Shears said, back at Tangier, on that bright crisp day by the sea: Do not be afraid of the lobster. When I finally broke into Larry, I took my time. I rolled the sweet meat out of each of his legs with my thumb. I had to work to crack his massive crusher claw, but the flesh was astonishing and tender. I dipped his tail in butter or in lemon, and preferred the latter. I sucked his telson dry, and when it looked like there was nothing at all left in him I cracked his chest lengthwise and found mouthfuls of meat in there as well. I felt guilty and grateful, all at once. For that rare sensation alone Larry was worth the money.

Ian Brown is a Globe feature writer.

Source: The Globe and Mail
To View Original Artical - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/my-travels-with-larry/article19557387/

CMHC's new premium rates will be effective for new mortgage loan insurance requests submitted on or after May 1, 2014.

  • The home is located in Canada.

  • For CMHC-insured mortgage loans, the maximum purchase price or as-improved property value must be below $1,000,000, when the loan-to-value ratio is greater than 80%.

  • You will typically have a down payment of at least 5% of the purchase price of the dwelling, depending on the dwelling type.
    • Single-family and two-unit dwellings (5% minimum down payment)
    • Three- or four-unit dwellings (10% minimum down payment)

  • Normally, the minimum down payment comes from your own resources. However, a gift of a down payment from an immediate relative is acceptable for dwellings of 1 to 4 units. For eligible borrowers, additional sources of down payment, such as lender incentives and borrowed funds, are also permitted. Check with your lender for qualifying criteria and availability.

  • Your total monthly housing costs, including Principal, Interest, property Taxes, Heating (P.I.T.H.), the annual site lease in the case of leasehold tenure and 50% of applicable condominium fees, shouldn’t represent more than 32% of your gross household income (Gross Debt Service (GDS) ratio). Use the GDS form to calculate how much you can afford in housing costs to be eligible.

  • Your total debt load shouldn’t be more than 40% of your gross household income. The Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio is your P.I.T.H. + the annual site lease in the case of leasehold tenure and 50% of condominium fees (if applicable) + payments on all other debt / gross annual household income. Add up your costs and determine your Total Debt Service ratio using the TDS form.

  • You also need to think about closing costs (for example, legal and land transfer fees) equivalent to 1.5% to 4% of the purchase price. Many first-time buyers are surprised by these costs. That is why, when qualifying for CMHC’s Mortgage Loan Insurance, our Home Purchase Cost Estimate worksheet form will help you calculate your total homebuying costs.

    Closing costs include but are not limited to one-time items such as lawyer fees, GST and PST as applicable, land transfer tax if applicable, adjustments, etc., to allow you to complete the house purchase.

  • Other requirements may apply and are subject to change. For details, please contact your lender or mortgage broker.

    Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. To view original article: http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/moloin/moloin_003.cfm

"The smart money is betting on increased construction activity for the next several years, especially in the downtown core. Projects are underway now and beginning soon in Halifax that will keep crews busy and focus growth where it will benefit the city most- in the high-density core. ‎More density downtown lessens the burden on stretched infrastructure budgets, makes it easier to enhance transit and deliver municipal services, and concentrates population where the most services already exist. It leads to improved amenities (like our new public library currently under construction) and a healthier business district- for large AND small businesses.

The growth and increased success of the downtown is good for all existing homeowners in the Halifax Region, through rising property values and potentially better future property tax rates and better service delivery."


TAYLOR: A building boom for Halifax


Several sizable developments in the works for the city’s downtown area

An artist’s rendering of a proposed development by Southwest Properties Ltd. for 1583 Hollis St. in Halifax. (Contributed)
An artist’s rendering of a proposed development by Southwest Properties Ltd. for 1583 Hollis St. in Halifax. (Contributed)


Halifax has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to construction these days, especially when compared to other Nova Scotia centres.

After many years in the doldrums, development activity in the provincial capital has woken up in a big way.

That means much of the downtown and Spring Garden Road districts will be a construction zone for summer — and several construction seasons to come — if everything goes as planned.

Of course, the below-grade concrete work on the massive Nova Centre project on Argyle Street has already started, but Rank Inc. expects to receive official approval from regional council this spring to quickly start construction of the one-million square-foot complex.

The plans call for two office towers, a luxury hotel and the Halifax Convention Centre.

Earlier this week, the city’s influential design review committee approved three projects that could start construction as early as next month, once they jump through more hoops at city hall.

The endorsement by the city’s design review committee is a milestone for any developer.

It clears the way for developer Jim Spatz’s Southwest Properties Ltd. to move forward with its 21-storey mixed residential and commercial development at 1583 Hollis St., commonly referred to as the site of the former Bank of Canada building.

It is being demolished and Eric Burchill, Southwest’s vice-president of planning and development, says construction should begin in early May.

He says the company will reveal the name of the new building before starting construction, which should take two years to complete.

Southwest’s plan includes retail and restaurant space on the ground floor, with the remaining 20 floors containing a total of 281 residential units. The building will also have four levels of underground parking, enough room for 253 cars and 145 bicycles.

A number of the residential units in the building have been set aside for Premiere Executive Suites to use for long-term accommodations for visitors. Southwest is a major investor in Premiere.

Burchill says the company also hopes to get started this summer on the development of the Cunard Block on the Halifax waterfront and the long-awaited Motherhouse residential development in the Rockingham area.

Meanwhile, the new owner of the building at the corner of Sackville and Market streets also received approval from the design review committee for an eight-storey mixed residential and commercial project on that site.

Mosaik Property Management Ltd., headed by developer and landlord George Giannoulis, wants to redevelop the Night Magic Fashions building and the structure next door on Market Street.

The plan for Market Lofts calls for the demolition of the existing buildings while maintaining the three-storey brick facade of the building on the corner. The additional five storeys will be stepped back from the main facade.

A total of 39 residential units — a mixture of bachelor and one- and two-bedroom units — will be created, but the plan does not include any parking for cars. It has set aside facilities for bicycles, as stipulated by the land-use bylaw for the downtown.

In a slightly less ambitious plan, Westwood Developments Ltd. had its proposal for a two-storey addition to the former Royal Bank building at 5466 Spring Garden Rd., on the corner of Queen Street, approved by the design committee.

The building has two retail tenants: American Apparel and Starbucks. Westwood, headed by Halifax developer Danny Chedrawe, will also make alterations to the building facade along Queen Street, where American Apparel has its entrance. Another minor change is a new awning over the Starbucks entrance on Spring Garden Road.

There is plenty of construction going on in that part of the city, including the creatively designed new Central Library, which is being built across the street.

There are also many other projects in various stages of construction that should provide the sense that something positive is happening in Halifax.

by Crystal Hilchey, Client Care Administrator

There’s one dish my family can’t do without at any Holiday meal - sweet potato casserole. I expect to eat my sweet potato casserole at least three times a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. If you decide to try it, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have - maybe it will become a favorite in your household.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole

4 cups sweet potato, cubed

½ cup white sugar

2 eggs, beaten

½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, softened

½ cup milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup  all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter, softened

½ cup chopped pecans


Making a family meal special is all about preparation and looking after small details that come together to make an experience great. Trying to balance everyone’s favorites, timing the dishes so they’re all ready to plate together, paying attention to table presentation, special linens, fancy plates and the “good” table setting you don’t often use – these all make a difference in the final product, not to mention all the extra cleaning done & decorations put up to create a festive atmosphere.

Putting this time and effort into events (even though it can be extra work) pays off in the end. Although each of your family or guests may not notice every little touch, the overall effect helps everyone enjoy their time spent together and makes the food you’ve worked hard to prepare taste even better – it pays off in everyone’s positive experience.

That kind of diligence and caring about presentation can have the same effect on potential home buyers – if buyers feel at home in your property, and get that sense of care and preparation while they visit, chances are that feeling will be remembered. In life, people often don’t remember what they saw or what was said to them, but they always remember how those things or their experience made them feel. A house that looks and feels “together” during a viewing will often land at the top of a buyer’s favorites list, and will often sell sooner than its competition that may be lacking those qualities (even if the features or pricing make a better case “on paper”) and often for closer to asking price.

Working hard to “merchandise” or prepare your home in advance of showings can seem like a lot of work, but it all pays off in the end - through more favorable impressions from potential buyers and ultimately in earlier and better offers.

For help preparing your home for the most successful sale, give us a call. We can help.

ARIAL-PHOTO Public Gardens

It must be spring! The Halifax Public Gardens re-open on Thursday April 10th, from 8AM to dusk. Whether you live in the Halifax area or are just here on vacation, a trip to the Public Gardens is a must. Enter through the beautiful ornate wrought iron gates to visit the many attractions with-in.  There are two bridges great for wedding and graduation photos and you can enjoy lots of different kinds of flora and several statues and urns while you stroll around the park. Your trip would not be complete without a visit to the Bandstand, placed at the heart of the Public Gardens. Concerts and social events have been held here for over 125 years. For more information and details on the Public Garden visit www.halifaxpublicgardens.ca/.

A savvy Realtor can help you make smart decisions about not just how much you can spend, but how much you SHOULD spend, and how your investment in a home will fit into the market  for years to come. There are lots of extra factors that an inexperienced buyer may not consider, and an experienced Realtor’s insights can help you make the right choices for not only your budget but also your lifestyle.

Home buying has other related costs
By Denise Deveau, For Postmedia News

Home buying has other related costs
Jesse MacNevin decided to be modest in his choice in buying a home.
Photograph by: Tim Fraser For Postmedia News , For Postmedia News

Unlike a lot of first-time home buyers, in 2009 Jesse MacNevin decided to go for a house that was less than the amount he was approved for.

"I started doing the numbers and talked to a few real estate agents," he says. "Then I went to my credit union for a pre-approval. I realized then that I needed to focus more on what I could actually afford versus how much they would give me."

While he was given the green light to aim for a $350,000 home, he settled on a condo for just under $260,000 instead. "I didn't want home ownership at the expense of everything else. I remember looking at my budget at the time and thinking the last thing I wanted was not to be able to travel. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it was cheaper and fulfilled all my needs. In hindsight, it was a good move."

MacNevin says having a good real estate agent and lawyer helped him determine what he could really afford, where there might be potential problems and the ins and outs of closing the deal. A mortgage broker was also important when it came to the signing process and making sure there was flexibility in his mortgage terms.

Not everyone entering the home buying market is so diligent.

When doing the mortgage math, it's not enough to plug some numbers into an online estimator, says David Stafford, managing director, real estate secured lending, for Scotiabank in Toronto. "This is probably the largest single financial transaction that most people do in their lives, and it can get very complicated. Online estimators typically won't give you the full picture."

He says buyers need to look beyond the actual purchase price and factor in a percentage (typically 1.5 per cent of the purchase price) for closing expenses from the outset. "Land transfer taxes, legal fees, title insurance and other things are all part of the math." They also need to consider ongoing expenses that will be over and above monthly mortgage payments, such as utilities, property taxes, insurance, maintenance and condo fees.

Sometimes there are additional surprises that come into play in the initial stages of home ownership, such as reimbursement fees if the former owner has prepaid their property taxes and moving costs, says Toronto-based Richard Desrocher, a general legal practitioner and former real estate broker.

The immediate financial aspects are only part of the process, which is why a home inspection is a good idea, he says. "You won't know what's going on behind the walls and on the roof. It's pretty scary after you close a deal to have to deal with drain problems."

There are also ways people can reduce their costs if they talk to the right people, Desrocher says. "A lot don't realize that many financial institutions are willing to negotiate down from their published rates. A mortgage broker is much better informed about where the best deals are and can shop the market for you."

© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix
Source: To view orginal post http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/Home+buying+other+related+costs/9662480/story.html


April Fools’ Day is known for being a day of play and practical jokes. Some people love this day while others can’t wait for it to be over. There are several theories on how this day came to pass. One theory was that France changed its calendar in the 1500s to match the Roman calendar. This change made the New Year begin in January like it still does today. There were some people who chose to still celebrate the New Year in spring, and became known as “April fools.”

However this day is known for pranks so maybe another theory by Joseph Boskin makes better sense.  His theory is about a king who let a court jester become king for a day of the Roman Empire on April first. No matter how it came to pass it is a tradition at least for now and for the people who love pranks they refuse to give it up.

To see the “Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time” visiting the following link. www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/

Locals say the iconic Church Point Lighthouse was destroyed by wind during Wednesday night's spring blizzard.Photo: Dan Robichaud

We have all felt the effects of the nor'easter that hit the Maritimes yesterday. Our vehicles can be shoveled out, our driveways and roads cleared and the power outages restored, but some things cannot be fixed. A prime example of this is the loss of the iconic Church Point Lighthouse in Southwest, NS. The 140 year old lighthouse was ripped to shreds in the high winds. To see all the details please visit: www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/fierce-winds-destroy-iconic-nova-scotia-lighthouse-1.2589000


Say goodbye to the grass you see, and say hello to snow covering the ground! It is official there is a blizzard warning in effect, we all thought Spring had arrived, but I guess because we live in Nova Scotia we had to have one more storm. Isn’t it fitting that it is hitting Halifax tomorrow, a Wednesday! If you want to keep in the loop on closures and the weather conditions check out the CBC’s Storm Central Page. http://www.cbc.ca/stormcentre/ns/