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Nicholas Kyriacopoulos: How to Make Your Home Cozy in Canada




As someone who knows a bit about planning communities and constructing housing units, Nicholas Kyriacopoulos has seen what people can do with their spaces. The fact that he’s grew up being exposed to the cultural wonders found in Montreal also provide some insight into how to make a dwelling into a true home. If you’re wondering how to take a rental unit, a house, or any other type of dwelling truly cozy, look closely at some of these recommendations. You’re sure to find that one or two from Nicholas Kyriacopoulos will help.


Walk Around the Area For Some Inspiration

As a child, Nicholas Kyriacopoulos had the opportunity to walk around town and be exposed to some of the best examples of French, European, and British architecture. From building facades to stately courtyards to beautiful cafes, that setting provided all sorts of ideas about how to create spaces that were functional as well as inviting.

You can do the same thing by drawing inspiration from what’s in your area. Spend some time walking around and see what sort of ideas come to mind. Use the notes feature on your phone or carry a small notebook and pen with you on those adventures. Jot down notes about colours, textures, and other elements that you think might work in your space. As Nicholas Kyriacopoulos would later do, what you see now could be the foundation for a great idea later on.


And Draw on Your Heritage

Along with what’s around you, consider drawing on what went before you. Young Nicholas Kyriacopoulos was able to draw on Grecian and Jewish influences thanks to the backgrounds of their parents. The lessons they taught proved invaluable later in life. Doubtless they also taught him a few things about elements to make spaces into homes.

You can do the same. Delve into the heritage that has been passed on from your parents. There may be elements there that provide clues on how to arrange your space and what to include in it. The result will be something that’s truly yours, just as the structures that Nicholas Kyriacopoulos created are truly his.


Invest in Plants That Are Easy to Grow

As Nicholas Kyriacopoulos knows well, greenery indoors is both functional and attractive. Bringing a little of the outside into the home provides a sense of life. The right plants also help to keep the air a little cleaner.

If you aren’t lucky with plants, don’t worry. There are varieties out there that thrive when they’re left alone except for a little water once a week. Place them carefully based on what they need to grow. You’ll find, as did Nicholas Kyriacopoulos, that the effort pays off in more than one way.


Find or Create Wall Art That Suits You

As someone who appreciates art, Nicholas Kyriacopoulos learned early on that it comes in many different forms. One of the simplest to include in any home decor is wall art. You can find pieces that help to introduce colour and set the mood for each room.

Remember that if you can’t find what you like, there’s no rule that says you can’t create your own. Feel free to invest in a canvas and some paints in the colours that you want. As Nicholas Kyriacopoulos would remind you, something that’s just right could emerge from your efforts.


Try Something New With the Window Treatments

Window treatments don’t have to be the same old thing. Experimentation is the parent of creativity, something Nicholas Kyriacopoulos points out often. Consider treatments like shelves over the windows that you use to display some of your treasures. Consider a valance that’s made of hanging green plants.

The goal is to come up with something that is fun to look at and allows natural light into the space. If your home is like many of those designed by Nicholas Kyriacopoulos, windows are plentiful. Have fun with them.


Lighting Makes a Difference

Lighting also goes into making any space into a home. It’s not just overhead light that’s helpful in certain areas of the house. Nicholas Kyriacopoulos often uses recessed lighting or lamp light to create moods in different rooms. Imagine how subdued light in your bedroom helps to make it more inviting.

Experiment with different lighting options and see what you think. The right mix will add something to common spaces as well as personal ones. You can be sure that Nicholas Kyriacopoulos would agree that if low lamp light makes you happy, it’s the right choice.


Give Area Rugs a Try

Area rugs add texture and a splash of colour to any space. Whether you have hardwood flooring or wall to wall carpeting, using an area rug is possible. In fact, it may be one of the most practical things you could do, according to Nicholas Kyriacopoulos.

Area rugs help to define functions within a room. Use it to anchor a conversation area within a living room. It can also be used to enhance a reading nook in a bedroom. Draw on the other colours used in the space and choose the rug accordingly. As Nicholas Kyriacopoulos will point out, the rug adds another hint of coziness while visually unifying the space.


Accent Walls Help Too

Nicholas Kyriacopoulos would tell you that there’s no need to paint in order to create an accent wall. Patterned flat bed sheets soaked in starch and stretched flat on a wall will do the trick. When you’re ready to move, peel them off and wash the wall.

As with the area rugs, draw on secondary colours within the room to choose the sheet pattern. As Nicholas Kyriacopoulos will point out, that helps to further create a unified look.

Avoid Creating Too Much Clutter

While you want to personalize the space, do avoid clutter. As Nicholas Kyriacopoulos often says, not every surface has to be laden with belongings. Have areas of each room that are somewhat open. This approach as practised by Nicholas Kyriacopoulos and others, actually makes your other items stand out a little more.


Remember That It’s Your Space

When it comes to creating comfortable spaces, you’re not in competition with anyone. Nicholas Kyriacopoulos would tell you to go with your gut feeling and arrange things to suit yourself. If someone else things a certain chair design or placing a bookcase along a particular wall would be great, be open to the idea. Just remember that you make the final decision. In doing so, you will find that the space truly feels like yours.

One doesn’t construct hundreds with housing units and interact with people from a number of backgrounds without learning a thing or two about home decorating. Thanks to the experiences of Nicholas Kyriacopoulos you can draw on these ideas and see how they work in your space. Who knows? Some of these suggestions may lead to a few ideas of your own that pair nicely with what you’ve learned from Nicholas Kyriacopoulos and create space that’s cozy, comfortable, inviting, and all the other qualities that you want.

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Podcast: Raising capital for commercial and industrial real estate | RENX – Real Estate News EXchange



The Industrial Real Estate Show with Chad Griffiths.

Can you raise outside capital to purchase commercial real estate? What if you don’t come from a business-minded family or have a circle of affluent friends?

In this episode Griffiths is joined by Whitney Sewell, founder and CEO of Life Bridge Capital, a private firm with over $125M in assets under management.

Sewell shares how he started with small projects and now raises upwards of $10 million per project in a few hours. He also offers a number of actionable steps investors can take right now to raise capital, and why he is working so diligently toward accomplishing his goals.

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The Daily Chase: Toronto real estate broker laughs at housing pledges; Fed decision day – BNN



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Toronto real estate broker John Pasalis laughed at Greg when asked about campaign housing pledges and whether any of them make sense for addressing affordability. Check out that refreshingly candid reaction, and why Pasalis (like many other guests we’ve spoken with) fears the Liberals’ strategy will backfire and actually drive up prices. Mattamy Homes Founder Peter Gilgan was even more blunt, telling us “we need to declare that we’re at war with affordability.” We’ll have plenty more insight in the days ahead about what to expect in Justin Trudeau’s third mandate, including this afternoon when CAPREIT CEO Mark Kenney joins Greg to discuss the Liberals’ targeting of real estate investment trusts. We’ll note here that the Prime Minister’s Office released a readout yesterday evening from Trudeau’s call with U.S. President Joe Biden; the two “committed to getting together in person soon.”


Markets will find out this afternoon if the U.S. Federal Reserve is prepared to fine-tune its language about taper timing. Last we heard from Chair Jerome Powell in his Jackson Hole speech, he confirmed that the central bank thinks it will be in a position to scale back asset purchases before the end of this year, but signaled “considerable” progress was still needed to attain maximum employment. Since then, we saw August non-farm payrolls that fell way short of expectations. The policy statement and updated forecasts land at 2 p.m.; followed by Powell’s news conference a half hour later.


The debt-laden Chinese property developer that’s captured the financial world’s attention amid concern (seemingly misplaced, at least for now) that it could be heading toward a Lehman moment has managed to assuage some immediate fear, while simultaneously stirring confusion. China Evergrande Group said in a regulatory filing that it “resolved” an interest payment coming due tomorrow, without providing many details. Meanwhile, less than 24 hours ago, Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Damian Sassower told us the big question surrounding Evergrande was what the People’s Bank of China was prepared to do about it. Overnight, it pumped additional liquidity into the financial system in a reverse repo operation. That all added up to a steady session in Asia, where the Shanghai Composite closed flat after a two-day holiday.


  • FedEx had a rough fiscal first quarter as profit fell year-over-year amid supply chain woes and a US$450-million jump in costs due to what the company calls a “constrained labour market.” The parcel shipper cut its full-year profit forecast as a result. Shares have been down more than five per cent in pre-market trading.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives cleared the SAFE Banking Act last night, meaning the U.S. cannabis industry is one step closer to freer access to banking services.
  • Celestica announced last night that it’s paying US$306 million to acquire Singapore-based electronics manufacturer PCI Limited. Celestica, which also raised its profit forecast, said the deal will add more than 20 “blue-chip” customers to its business. CEO Rob Mionis is on The Open at 10:10 a.m.
  • Telus International announced a secondary offering of 12 million shares after yesterday’s closing bell. None of the proceeds are flowing to the company. TIXT shares have surged almost 22 per cent since their first day of trading in February.
  • Walt Disney Co. shares have steadied in pre-market trading after an abrupt five per cent plunge yesterday afternoon on the heels of a management warning about Disney+ subscriber additions this quarter.
  • Reminder that Ontario’s COVID vaccine passport program takes effect today, forcing venues including restaurants, bars, and movie theatres to screen patrons for full vaccination.


  • Notable data: Canadian manufacturing sales flash estimate, U.S. existing home sales
  • Notable earnings: BlackBerry, General Mills
  • 8:30: Wheaton Precious Metals investor day
  • 9:10: Suncor Energy East Coast Vice-President Josee Tremblay addresses Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association conference
  • 10:00: Ontario Superior Court resumes hearing Cineworld-Cineplex case
  • 11:00: U.S. President Joe Biden convenes virtual COVID summit on sidelines of United Nations General Assembly
  • 14:00: U.S. Federal Reserve releases interest rate decision and updated forecasts (plus 14:30 news conference)
  • Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business hosts virtual conference on rebuilding the Indigenous economy. Speakers include Suncor Energy CEO Mark Little (12:45)

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Artis REIT puts Calgary office portfolio up for sale | RENX – Real Estate News EXchange



IMAGE: Artis REIT is marketing the remaining six buildings in its Calgary office portfolio. (Courtesy Artis REIT)

Artis REIT is marketing the remaining six buildings in its Calgary office portfolio. (Courtesy Artis REIT)

Artis Real Estate Investment Trust is selling the remainder of its Calgary office portfolio which includes six buildings comprising close to 700,000 square feet.

It is part of the REIT’s overall strategy of divesting Calgary office property, which began in late 2016, to concentrate on other real estate assets.

At its peak in mid to late 2016, just prior to its shift in its strategy, Artis (AX-UN-T) owned in excess of 2.5 million square feet of office property in Calgary across approximately 20 properties.

“Artis pursued a significant portfolio shift away from Calgary office to prioritize capital allocation to higher-growth strategies, particularly emphasizing the U.S.A. industrial development program,” said Corey Colville, head of strategy, real estate, at Artis.

The Calgary portfolio for sale includes:

Canadian Centre, 156,772 square feet;
417 14th Street building, 17,517 square feet;
Alex Building, 61,847 square feet;
Campana Place, 49,123 square feet;
Heritage Square, 315,152 square feet;
– and Hillhurst Building, 63,394 square feet.

Colville said the present occupancy of the Calgary office portfolio is about 70 per cent.

“Strategic decision” to exit Calgary office sector

“We still have a very robust portfolio of retail and industrial properties in Calgary, but we’ve made this strategic decision to market our remaining Calgary office buildings,” said Colville.

Artis has five retail properties in Calgary of over 343,000 square feet and six industrial properties with over 362,000 square feet.

“Over the past trailing few years, Artis has marketed and successfully transacted on much of their Calgary office portfolio. These remaining six assets, we’re of the view that there’s a terrific opportunity for the market to capitalize on a substantial discount (to) replacement cost and create significant value,” said Colville.

“We’ve had interest from owner/user investors, from repositioning and converter investors as well as office investors.

“With these properties, we think with the amount of potential there’s just fundamentally an opportunity in the market for local investors to capitalize on.”

Colville said Artis has held some of the Calgary office assets for more than a decade. On balance, they’ve been longer-tenured assets for Artis.

“At the peak, (Calgary office) was a really significant component of Artis’ total valuation. At this point of time, the remaining assets in relation to our gross book value is actually quite immaterial and the contributory cash flows from them,” he said.

“We’re looking to focus our efforts in a more strategic way. We think that we’ll be very dominant long-term and competitive landlords and we don’t feel that this is going to be the case now that we’ve reduced our position so much in the Calgary office market.”

Downtown vacancy about 30 per cent

IMAGE: Corey Colville, head of strategy, real estate, at Artis REIT. (Courtesy Artis)

Corey Colville, head of strategy, real estate, at Artis REIT. (Courtesy Artis)

Calgary’s office market has struggled for the past seven years since the collapse of oil prices in late 2014. That led to massive layoffs, particularly in the city core where many energy companies had their corporate head offices. Obviously, fewer people has meant less need for office space throughout the city.

The downtown Calgary office vacancy rate has hovered around the 30 per cent mark for some time.

“You know, we’re not quite as pessimistic as some of the news headlines would indicate. Naturally, and quite obviously, there’s been a struggle in the market, but we are confident that Calgary is one of the most important cities in Canada and that Canada is a phenomenal country to invest in,” said Colville.

“In time, we believe that Calgary will make a strong resurgence and comeback and we believe that Calgary will benefit from the wave of immigration to come and the rejuvenation to the energy markets over time.”

The Artis REIT property portfolio

In Q2 2016, Artis had 260 properties of about 26.6 million square feet overall; 191 properties in Canada with about 17.1 million square feet and 69 properties in the U.S.A. with about 9.5 million square feet.

At that time, it owned 73 properties in Alberta with about 6.7 million square feet. By the end of Q2 2021, that number had decreased to 40 properties with about 2.7 million square feet.

At the end of Q2 2021, Artis had 133 Canadian properties with about 10.4 million square feet and 70 U.S. properties with about 11.6 million square feet for an overall total of 203 properties and 22 million square feet.

The REIT’s portfolio at the end of the second quarter was 42.7 per cent office, 38.2 per cent industrial and 19.1 per cent retail.

Its overall occupancy was 92.3 per cent in Canada; 97.7 per cent for industrial, 83.3 per cent in office and 90.8 per cent in retail. In the U.S., its overall occupancy was 91.8 per cent comprising 94.3 per cent for industrial and 87.4 per cent for office.

Colville said the third quarter will feature a further and material shift of the portfolio following the sale of 27 of 28 of its Greater Toronto Area industrial properties. The 28th property is also for sale.

Other recent portfolio activity

– Acquired a parcel of industrial development land in Minnesota’s Twin Cities Area, for US$1.5 million.

– Disposed of an office property in Calgary, three retail properties in Regina  and a portion of a retail property in Fort McMurray, Alta., for an aggregate price of $62 million.

– On June 30, Artis entered into an agreement to sell the GTA Industrial Portfolio, comprising 28 industrial properties located in the Greater Toronto Area. On July 15, the REIT closed on 26 of the 28 properties for $696.7 million. One of the remaining properties is expected to close in Q3 2021 and generate gross proceeds of $26.7 million. The remaining property will be actively marketed for sale.

– Subsequent to June 30, it also disposed of the King Edward industrial portfolio, comprised of two properties in Winnipeg, for $3.2 million.

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