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Boxing Day shoppers flood airport outlet mall, causing havoc for those trying to get to YVR – Vancouver Sun

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The designer outlet mall that shares a road into Richmond with the airport has parking space for 2,000 cars and the lineups to get in and out were bumper-to-bumper. Crowds were light at a nearby traditional mall at the same time


McArthurGlen Designer Outlet mall on Sea Island was expecting over 50,000 shoppers on Boxing Day.


NICK PROCAYLO / PNG

Boxing Day may have lost some of its drawing power from its hey day when retailers were loathe to offer pre-Christmas deals, but the promise of hefty discounts still drew big crowds to at least one outlet mall on Thursday.

Shoppers driving to the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet mall clogged the bridges and roads leading on to Sea Island, forcing Vancouver International Airport to warn travellers to give themselves lots of time if driving to catch their flights.

“We anticipate heavy congestion and those travelling to and from the airport by road should expect delays,” said YVR’s website. The airport said 90,000 travellers would fly in or out of YVR on Thursday.

Similar scenes were found at Tsawwassen Mills, with traffic backed up well down Hwy. 17 on Thursday.

McArthurGlen expected 50,000 shoppers for its biggest shopping day of the year, which is more than triple the 15,000 it gets on a typical weekend, said spokeswoman Ally Day.

The mall opened at 8 a.m. and there was a lineup at 6 a.m., she said. Mid-morning, it took one motorist 45 minutes to park, and cars were bumper-to-bumper heading in and out of the lot.

The mall hired 25 parking attendants to control the steady lineup for the 2,000 spots and put up digital signage to help direct shoppers.


McArthurGlen Designer Outlet mall on Sea Island was expecting over 50,000 shoppers on Boxing Day.

NICK PROCAYLO /

PNG

Sepideh Kassaian, who was at the back of a line of about 80 people for one shop, was optimistic it wasn’t going to take long for her to get to the front.

“It’s moving fast,” said Kassaian, who had arrived at the mall at 9 a.m. to buy some clothes for her and her son and hopefully a wallet.

She was expecting a 50 per cent discount but said it wasn’t about the savings.

“The deals aren’t that great, but it’s the concept. We don’t really celebrate Christmas, to be honest, so it’s more of a fun thing, to get out and say I went to the Boxing Day sale,” she said.

Anita Bujoni, who is from Paris, bought a pair of pants for her boyfriend said that in Europe you normally have to wait until January for sales.

“We don’t have Boxing Day,” she said. “I wanted to experience Boxing Day sales.”

Day said Boxing Day still beats out Black Friday — which drew 35,000 shoppers in November — as McArthurGlen’s busiest day because in Canada, unlike the U.S., most people are at work on Black Friday.


McArthurGlen Designer Outlet mall on Sea Island was expecting over 50,000 shoppers on Boxing Day.

NICK PROCAYLO /

PNG

They were few signs of a post-Christmas shopping frenzy at Oakridge Centre on Thursday.

Online sales may be hurting in-person sales, said Arshad Auyb, at the Cellicon kiosk, which sells mobile phone accessories.

By 11 a.m., he’d had only five customers since the 8 a.m. opening, “so far, not as much as we expected.”

“We are expecting they will come in the late afternoon,” said his colleague, Mohmad Akram.

Michelle To, who went to Oakridge specifically to get some Christmas decorations on sale, said she thought the crowds were light.

She browsed a bit but she wasn’t after any blockbuster deals at Oakridge or at Richmond Centre that she had visited earlier without buying anything.

For the mother of two young children, the mall outing was more of a chance for a respite from Christmas duties.

“I just needed to get out of the house,” she said.

slazaruk@postmedia.com

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RBC warns house price correction could be deepest in decades | CTV News – CTV News Toronto

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A housing correction, which has already led to four consecutive months of price declines in the previously overheated Greater Toronto Area market, could end up becoming “one of the deepest of the past half a century,” a new report from RBC warns.

New data released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) last week revealed that the average benchmark price for a home in the GTA fell six per cent month-over-month in July to $1,074,754.

Sales were also down a staggering 47 per cent from July, 2021.

In a report published on Aug. 4, RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue said recent data from real estate boards underlines that higher interest rates are beginning to take a “huge toll” on the market.

Hogue said that with further hikes to come, prices will likely continue to slide in the coming months.

That prediction, it should be noted, goes against a report from Royal LePage last month which painted a rosier forecast for sellers in which values would more or less holding for the rest of the year following some declines in the second quarter.

“Our expectations for further hikes by the Bank of Canada—another 75 basis points to go in the overnight rate by the fall— will keep chilling the market in the months ahead,” Hogue said. “We expect the downturn to intensify and spread further as buyers take a wait-and-see approach while ascertaining the impact of higher lending rates. Canada’s least affordable markets Vancouver and Toronto, and their surrounding regions, are most at risk in light of their excessively stretched affordability and outsized price gains during the pandemic.”

The Bank of Canada has hiked the overnight lending rate by 225 basis points since March and has warned that further hikes will be necessary given that inflation remains at a near 40-year high.

In his report, Hogue pointed out that the housing correction “now runs far and wide across Canada” but he said that it is particularly pronounced in the costlier markets of Toronto and Vancouver.

In fact, Hogue said that housing resale activity in Toronto is at its slowest pace in 13 years, outside of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stockpile of available homes is also up 58 per cent from a year ago, he noted.

“With more options to choose from and higher interest rates shrinking their purchasing budgets, buyers are able to extract meaningful price concessions from sellers,” he said, pointing out that the average price of a home in the GTA is down 13 per cent from March. “We expect buyers to remain on the defensive in the months ahead as they deal with rising interest rates and poor affordability.”

While Hogue did say that condos in the City of Toronto are likely to remain “relatively more resilient” he said that prices elsewhere will continue to fall for the time being, especially in the 905 belt “where property values soared during the pandemic.”

The July data from TRREB suggested that the average price of a home in the GTA was still up one per cent from July, 2021.

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Commuters face GO transit cancellations, possible strike – CityNews

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Canada Revenue Agency plans email blitz to get Canadians to cash outstanding cheques worth $1.4-billion – The Globe and Mail

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The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is planning a massive e-mail notification campaign to reach Canadians across the country who have uncashed cheques worth a net $1.4-billion.

The e-mail notifications will target recipients of the Canada child benefit and related provincial and territorial programs, as well as recipients of the GST/HST credits and the Alberta Energy Tax Refund.

The CRA said it plans to send approximately 25,000 e-mails in August, another 25,000 in November and a further 25,000 e-mails by May, 2023.

However, even without receiving an e-mail notification, the agency said a taxpayer can check if they have a cheque by logging into My Account, a secure portal on its website to check if they have an uncashed cheque over a period of six months. It added that representatives can also view uncashed cheques of their clients.

Each year, the CRA said it issues millions of payments to Canadian taxpayers in the form of refund benefits. These payments are issued by either direct deposit or by cheque.

“Over time, payments can remain uncashed for various reasons, such as the taxpayer misplacing the cheque or even a change of address which did not allow for delivery,” the agency said in a statement.

The CRA said since the e-mail notification initiative was first launched in February, 2020, about two million uncashed cheques valued at $802-million were redeemed by May 31, 2022.

The average amount per uncashed cheque is $158 with some of them dating as far back as 1998, the agency said.

As of May, 2022, there were an estimated 8.9 million uncashed cheques with the CRA. In May, 2019, about five million Canadians had an estimated 7.6 million uncashed cheques.

“As government cheques never expire or stale date, the CRA cannot void the original cheque and re-issue a new one unless requested by the taxpayer,” the statement read. “These upcoming e-notifications are to encourage taxpayers to cash any cheques they have in their possession.”

The agency said taxpayers can register for the direct deposit option on its website to receive payments directly into their bank accounts.

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