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Winnipeg sees second-largest drop in urban greenness in Canada

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Winnipeg is seeing the second-largest drop in urban greenness in Canada, a worrying trend that advocates say all Winnipeggers will need to pitch in to change.

A recent Statistics Canada report on Canadian cities shows Winnipeg’s urban greenness dropped by more than 24 percentage points from 2018 to 2022, compared to the last measurement from 2000 to 2004.

The only other city that saw a greater drop was Milton, Ontario.

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“The trend isn’t good,” said Martha Barwinsky, a forester for the City of Winnipeg.

She said while urban greenness includes all vegetation, Winnipeg’s sprawling tree canopy accounts for a large part of it.

“As Winnipeg, we identify as having the largest American Elm population in any urban centre in North America,” she said.

But Winnipeg has been losing trees by the thousands.

From 2019 to 2021, Barwinsky said the city removed approximately 20,400 trees from boulevards and parks. Of those trees, only about 5,600 have been replaced.

“We know that we’ve been challenged with not just invasive pest management – with Dutch elm disease and now the discovery of emerald ash borer and cottony ash psyllid – but we’ve also been challenged with weather events and climate change,” she said.

It’s a concerning, but not surprising outlook for Trees Winnipeg Executive Director Christian Cassidy.

“There’s nothing saying that the trend is slowing down. We’re still losing trees,” he told CTV News. “This is a trend that’s going to continue and it is worrying.”

He said part of the issue in the loss of urban greenness has to do with urban development.

“In an older neighbourhood, taking down three houses and putting up a condo block, you’re losing three backyards, maybe six or seven trees, and the condo block might end up with a decorative shrub outside the front door,” he said. “That’s all you’re getting, so that’s a loss of green space.”

Barwinsky said the city estimates it currently has over three million trees, but many of those are on private property which has a gap in replacing trees.

She said the city has set a target to reach a 24 per cent canopy cover by 2065. As of 2018, she said the city was at 17 per cent canopy cover – meaning to reach that goal, approximately 750,000 trees need to be planted across the city.

To change the trend and dig out of the hole Winnipeg is in, Cassidy said everyone has to get involved.

“It’s kind of an all hands on deck sort of situation,” he said. “When you’re talking about the city as a whole, most of the land is privately owned.

“It’s really something where people have to look at their own land, whether they be a business owner or homeowner, and see if they can somehow add green space and trees to their property.”

Barwinsky said programs like the Trees Winnipeg ReLeaf Planting Program are a good place to start for Winnipeggers looking to help change the trend.

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3 Awe-Inspiring Décor Ideas with Rugs for Your Living Room

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The living room is the heart of your home, where all the family members sit together after a long, hectic day to interact and catch up with each other. No matter what’s the theme of your living room, adding an elegant and classy touch to it is a must. Bear in mind that decorating a living room isn’t a breeze.

Without any doubt, rugs are the most crucial and must-have part of a living room. In addition to adding elegance and stylish accent to your home, they enhance the functionality of your living room’s décor.

In this blog post, we’ll spotlight five worth-considering living room décor ideas with rugs so you can maximize your efforts.

 

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1.    Harmonize Rugs with Furniture

It’s another best way to make your living room appear more cohesive right off the bat. You just need to pick out a rugs canada from a trustworthy brand that has bright colors for your couches, tables, and chairs. However, it’s not just one option.

If you recently updated your living room with new furniture, you must have a rug that best matches the furniture. Rugs are the best yet budget-friendly option, but you can also buy a pair of matching cushions, a wall painting, or any other decorative goods to put in front of the table.

Be sure that your rug makes an interesting statement on its own without affecting the other room’s decorations or furnishings.

 

2.    Always Place a Rug in Front of the Sofa

A rug placed in front of the sofa is an excellent idea to keep shoes off the floor and add some bright colors to that area. Rugs work best when it comes to filling an empty space and offering a decent backdrop for your furniture.

If you already have a rug in your living room but not in front of the sofa, be sure to place it there. It will help define the comfortable seating area and make it appear more spacious than it actually is.

Remember to utilize a high-end rug pad underneath your rugs to ensure they won’t slip on your hardwood or tile floors when you walk or sit on them.

 

3.    Don’t Forget to Match Rugs with Curtains

If your living room has windows, consider adding sheer crushed velvet curtains to close for privacy or open for light and air. You can locate curtains and rugs in contrasting colors and designs in the market. You shouldn’t match the colors of the rugs perfectly because it will appear overdone and unnatural.

Try to opt for a rug in a modest color scheme; it will make your living room a more spacious and relaxing space to spend quality time in. If your living room’s curtains are printed, then always add a simple yet single-colored rug, resulting in a more decent and comfortable appearance.

On the contrary, the colors of both rugs and curtains can be the same, ensuring that you have other furnishings in other colors. Hence, we can say that the final finishing of your living room will enhance the overall home interior design.

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The Singapore Solution: Adam Gant Discovers the Key to Housing Affordability

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When it comes to scarcity in the housing market, could the second largest nation on the planet learn from one of the world’s smallest?

Canadian real estate investor Adam Gant thinks so. For years he’s studied how real estate markets work across cultures and continents, traveling the world to find innovative ways to improve access and affordability for North American families who are locked out of the current system, their dreams deferred.

In the tiny city-state of Singapore, he discovered something remarkable: a financing model that has resulted in a homeownership rate of 92 percent, creating a strong civic foundation of families who acquire a stake in the system by owning property.

Adam Gant returned home to Canada with this revelation and hasn’t stopped promoting it ever since. In symposia, media appearances, white papers, and even a novel, he has described the essence of the Singapore residential property system, which he terms “shared equity.” It’s a template for Canadian and U.S. financial institutions, real estate professionals and policymakers, he contends; a way to solve the endemic housing crisis that is keeping home ownership out of reach for millions.

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Beginning in the early 70s, Singapore embarked on an ambitious government program to turn a nation of renters into a society of property-owning stakeholders. The vehicle for this was its Housing Development Board, or HDB, which combines housing development with financing programs that are accessible to the citizenry.

The HDB builds, sells and finances. The goal is to keep down payments low and monthly payments affordable. The benefits have cascaded through society, allowing families to accumulate equity that provides financial stability and helps ensure secure retirements.

“How the HDB is different from CMHC in Canada or the housing finance agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the U.S., is that the HDB developed housing projects and offered self-insured financing in them,” says Adam Gant.

“The other key, and more profound difference in Singapore’s financing model, and the major missing piece in Canada and the U.S., is that the HDB did not get all of the ‘interest’ on the mortgage financing provided from the home purchaser’s monthly payment. They deferred part of the return on capital to the eventual sale of the home.”

This financing mechanism is at the heart of the HDB’s approach, Gant explains. “The home purchaser does not have to come up with all of the funds to repay the financing out of their own pocket; the home itself covers some of the costs out of its appreciation in value over time. Singapore has even turned housing into a supplement for retirement income by having ‘full life-cycle’ options for converting equity into additional income like an annuity triggered at retirement age.”

Adam Gant laid out the principles of this “shared equity” concept in a novel he co-wrote with Patricia Nicholson in 2020. A House Shared is a fictional account of a family whose sudden misfortunes push it to the edge of bankruptcy and homelessness. Shared equity is the solution for the book’s protagonists and is presented as a template for the wider society. The concept provides an epilogue of hope, as well as a preface for fundamental change in U.S. and Canadian models of home ownership.

Stepping away from the role of narrator, Gant urges North American financial and political elites to explore ways to apply the example of the Southeast Asian city-state: “Just like Singapore has aligned their housing fund that provides the capital used to construct homes with a funding source for the long-term solution which helps home buyers build up the down payment they need to eventually own, we need housing funds that can operate the same way in Canada and the U.S. We need ‘equity funds’ that finance housing development and shared equity agreements for home purchasers.”

If Adam Gant succeeds in his mission, the Canadian author will prove wrong another writer known for his love and admiration of Singapore: Rudyard Kipling, who nearly a century before the HDP began setting an example for the world, wrote: “East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”

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Why it’s difficult for international low-cost grocers to open stores in Canada

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It is a priority for CBC to create products that are accessible to all in Canada including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.

Closed Captioning and Described Video is available for many CBC shows offered on CBC Gem.

 

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