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'The silver tsunami:' Baby boomers' impact on Ottawa's real estate market – CTV Edmonton



Almost a third of Ottawa’s population is made up of baby boomers. If you are between 56 and 74, you are part of that cohort and wielding an economic influence, yet again; this time in Ottawa’s real estate market.

“There are more millennials, but of those millennials only half are in their home-buying years,” says Taylor Bennett, a CTV contributor, and broker with Bennett Property Shop Realty.

“With one of the highest baby boomers rates per capita in the country, the baby boomers transitioning into their retirement years will impact Ottawa’s real estate market more than most cities.

The city saw an impact back in the 1980s, when many boomers were starting families and moving into larger suburban homes. Real estate prices in Ottawa climbed by nearly 50 per cent between 1982 and 1984, Bennett said.

Bennett’s team divides the housing cycle of Boomers into three phases.

In the first phase, buyers are looking for a smaller dwelling, with a focus on convenience and cost.  

In phase two, the Boomers were focused on a larger home for the ‘family phase.’At this time, according to Bennett, buyers are looking for schools and safety.

Phase three is what we call Retirement Phase.  People are downsizing and mainly focused on reducing maintenance and costs.”

Average Retirement Age in Ottawa: 65

“With the average age of retirement in Ontario being 65, baby boomers are right in the middle of their ‘phase three’ retirement phase. However, in Ottawa, our baby boomers are a little younger than the provincial average by about 5 years, and for every baby boomer over 65, there are approximately 2 under 65.”

Bennett says, “So if you are approaching your retirement age, you may want to start planning earlier than you think – with record-low inventory it can take much longer to find a home suitable for your needs.”

There are some clear trends for those boomers in Ottawa, Bennett says. Many still work on contracts or in consulting with reduced hours.

Bennett is seeing a shift in interest to smaller towns, with improved amenities.

“We see a desire to move back to a smaller hometown, often outside of the city. There is also a trend toward downsizing to a condo or retirement home and sometimes home renovations to add an income suite.”

Since 1950, the life expectancy in Canada has increased by 35% from 68 years old to 82 – meaning there are more retirees and downsizers than ever before; this influx is being playfully referred to as the ‘Silver Tsunami,’ says Bennett.

“Because of this, we have seen many different retirement trends take hold.  It’s not surprising, to see many baby boomers move to a more rural area, where home prices are lower and the pace of life is a little slower, or for some who prefer to be in a more urban setting – downsizing to a condo or into a retirement home. ” 

Now, though, boomers and millennials are hunting for the same properties.

“There is a generational shift. It is a very interesting time right now. We’re in an unprecedented time,” explains Bennett.

“We have the largest two demographics in the city essentially competing for the same styles of property for the first time ever.”

“Typically we have properties outside of Ottawa for those are downsizing.  They are were ‘retiree friendly’ and the downtown condos were typically for your young buyer, for first time homebuyers but now we’re seeing a crossover.  We are seeing some of the younger people move outside of the city and some of the downsizers are picking up condos.  We are seeing a lot of cross pollination.”

“As the Millennials enter into their home-buying years, they are looking for similar style condos to fit their lower maintenance lifestyles, increasing the demand and cost of condos.” 

Bennett also explains how COVID has had a significant impact on these changes.

“More people are working from home causing the demand to increase in the towns surrounding Ottawa.  So, that has some Baby Boomers are considering staying where they are and renovate to reduce their home maintenance level and/or to add income-generating elements such as an in-law suite to help with the costs. 

“And since the baby boomers are the most affluent generation we have ever seen, if home maintenance becomes too daunting, many have the option of paying for maintenance–snow removal, landscaping, etc… in lieu of moving.”

Bennett’s tips for baby boomers: Plan ahead and reassess your retirement plans

“With COVID having changed so much in our lives, it’s no question it has also changed the retirement plans for many people.  As telecommuting becomes an option for many workers, this has enabled many Baby Boomers to expedite their retirement plans by being able to work from almost anywhere.”

“Plus, in Ottawa, for every Baby Boomer over 65, there are two under 65, which means there will be more people entering their retirement years than ever before.”

“If you have yet to buy your rural dwelling, cottage or condo to use as your retirement property, start ASAP.  Inventory levels are at historically low and more downsizing buyers are entering the market than ever before, so it can take far longer to find the right home for you and more downsizing buyers will be entering the market within the next few years.”

Taylor and Marnie Bennett host the “Bennett Real Estate and Wealth Show” on 580 CFRA, Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m.

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Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Announces Settlement Agreement with Sandpiper Group and Retirement of CEO And CFO – Canada NewsWire



WINNIPEG, MB, Nov. 30, 2020 /CNW/ – Artis Real Estate Investment Trust (“Artis” or the “REIT”) (TSX: AX.UN) announced today that it has reached an agreement with Sandpiper Group (“Sandpiper”) to withdraw its unitholder meeting request and pending litigation. Under the terms of the agreement, four existing trustees, Armin Martens, Edward Warkentin, Wayne Townsend and Bruce Jack, have tendered their resignations from the Board of Artis effective immediately. Sandpiper’s five nominated trustees: Heather-Anne Irwin, Samir Manji, Mike Shaikh, Aida Tammer and Lis Wigmore will be added to the Board. Armin Martens, President & CEO, will be retiring effective December 31, 2020 and Jim Green, CFO, will be retiring effective at the conclusion of the 2021 annual meeting of the unitholders.

Edward Warkentin, Chairman of the Board, said, “We are pleased to have come to an agreement with Sandpiper that Artis believes is in the best interests of the REIT and all of its unitholders.  The reconstituted Board will provide continuity as well as adding new Trustees with a broad range of experience and expertise.  The Board and management remain committed to ensuring that this transition be effected in an orderly and responsible manner for the benefit of all of Artis’ stakeholders.  On behalf of the Board, we would like to thank Armin for his leadership and contributions to Artis over the years.  Armin was instrumental in building Artis into the successful REIT that it is today and we sincerely thank him for those efforts and wish him the best on all his future endeavours.  We are also pleased that continuity in CEO and CFO positions will be thoughtfully managed by Senior Executives at Artis in collaboration with the Board.  On a personal level, I am grateful for the opportunity of having served as the Chair of Artis since its inception.  Throughout my tenure, I have had the privilege of serving alongside an exceptional group of talented, professional, insightful and dedicated Trustees and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their contributions over the years.”  

Armin Martens, President & CEO, said, “I am pleased that Artis was able to reach an agreement with Sandpiper that Artis believes is in the best interests of the REIT and all of its unitholders.  Having served as Artis’ founding Chief Executive Officer for 16 years, I feel this is an appropriate time for leadership renewal and succession.  It has been my honour and privilege to serve this great company.  I am proud of the people of Artis and the excellent business we have built and wish the new leadership team and all Artis unitholders continued success in the years ahead.”

“We are pleased to reach an agreement with the Board of Artis that we believe will benefit all unitholders,” said Samir Manji, Chief Executive Officer of Sandpiper. “On behalf of all fellow unitholders, I would like to thank Armin, Ed, Wayne, Bruce, and Jim for their many years of service to the REIT and their commitment to a smooth transition moving forward. I look forward, alongside the continuing and newly added trustees, to contributing to the future growth and success of Artis.”

About Artis

Artis is a diversified Canadian real estate investment trust investing primarily in industrial and office properties in select markets in Canada and the United States. Since 2004, Artis has executed an aggressive but disciplined growth strategy, building a portfolio of commercial properties, comprising approximately 23.8 million square feet of leasable area. Artis is focused on growing its industrial portfolio through strategic development projects in its target markets.

About Sandpiper

Sandpiper is a Vancouver-based private equity firm focused on investing in real estate through direct property investments and public securities. For more information about Sandpiper, visit

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

SOURCE Artis Real Estate Investment Trust

For further information: Artis Contact: Heather Nikkel, Vice-President, Investor Relations, Phone: (204) 947-1250, Email: [email protected]; Sandpiper Contact: Alyssa Barry, Vice President, Capital Markets and Communications, Phone: (604) 558-4885, Email: [email protected],

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Vancouver real estate: leaky East Broadway condo for sale, price reduced, $339900, cash only – The Georgia Straight



About two weeks ago, the Straight reported the sale of a unit at a leaky Vancouver condo complex.

It was a $285,000 cash-only, no-financing deal.

Now there’s another unit for sale in the same leaky condo development, Gardenia Villa.

It’s also cash-only, and no mortgage is available.

The price for 603-2468 East Broadway has been reduced to $339,900 from its original listing tag.

Gardenia Villa is known as a leaky condo development.

On September 16, 2006, Vancouver Sun reporters Fiona Anderson and Glen Bohn wrote that owners may have to pay up to $40 million to keep the complex from rotting.

“The project, designed by architect James Cheng and developed by Hong Kong-based Maple Resources Investment Co. Ltd., is a colourful eleven building complex with three gated courtyard gardens and a pool on five acres of land,” Anderson and Bohn reported.

Owners first noticed water issues at the 250-unit Gardenia Villa located at East Broadway and Nanaimo Street, “shortly after it was built in 1994”, the Sun noted in a report about 10 years later on October 2, 2016.

Reporter Keith Fraser wrote in the 2016 report that a judge ordered the strata council to impose on the owners a $16.8 million special levy to repair the complex.

RE/MAX City Realty listed 603-2468 East Broadway on November 25, 2019 for $349,000.

The listing was terminated on January 20, 2020 at a price of $344,000.

On the same day, a new listing came up for $339,000. It expired on June 26. On the same day, a new listing was released for the same price of $339,000.

Now the seller wants a little bit more.

The current listing increased the price by $900 for the sum of $339,900.

Compared to its November 25, 2019 listing tag, the present listing price represents a $9,100 reduction.

The listing history of the property was tracked by, a real-estate information site owned and operated by Holywell Properties.

RE/MAX Crest Realty describes the property as a “large” unit on the sixth floor of a “concrete leaky condo”.

“Potentially building will be Rain-screened or sold to Developer. No Mortgage available for this complex. Must buy all cash,” the listing states.

The two-bedroom, two-bath, plus den unit “faces towards the center courtyard which is very quiet”.

The other condo unit that the Straight reported about on November 17 is on the fifth floor of the same 2468 East Broadway leaky condo building. That was Unit 502, which the listing described as one that faces a “beautiful courtyard”.


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Fort McMurray real estate agent pushes shop local campaign for Christmas



A Fort McMurray real estate agent is encouraging people shop local by creating a video series called 30 businesses in 30 days.

This month, Melanie Galea started posting videos showcasing small businesses in Fort McMurray. From pet stores, to coffee roasters and spas, Galea has been trying to remind locals about what businesses they could be shopping from.

“It just seemed like it was needed more than ever,” said Galea.

“These business owners are ready for Christmas.”

She said there are concerns that businesses are going to be shut down and several businesses have already closed during the pandemic and flood.

“People are staying home, they’re maybe not spending quite as much money. Some businesses are doing well, but I’ve seen businesses shut down because of what’s happening right now.”

Galea did a similar promotion in 2015, making videos to showcase 30 businesses. Thirteen of those stores have since closed.

Galea put a call out for businesses to contact her about making a video, and she was even surprised to find out about companies she had never heard of before.

“It’s great to see there are new businesses,” said Galea.

“The reaction has been fantastic.”

Galea said her videos have even inspired former McMurrayites. She said a former Fort McMurray resident, now living in Edmonton, reached out to Galea to ask about buying gift cards from Fort McMurray shops.


Carley Johnson sold her first bag of coffee in February. She’s seen an uptick in customers since Melanie Galea posted a video about the coffee company. (Submitted by Carley Johnson)


The entire series took about 100 hours to create. She charged $50 per business to do the video, but it’s costing her more than $250 per episode.

“This is my give to the community,” said Galea. She started filming the series in the beginning of October.

Carley Johnson, owner of Firebag Coffee Company, started selling coffee and coffee accessories in February. She roasts coffee at her home in Fort McMurray and sells it online and at local markets.

Since her video went live, she’s had people reach out to her saying they didn’t know her business existed and says her sales have increased.


From left to right, Catharine Vangen, Michael Langille, Kimberly-Ann McGregor and Brandon Kelloway. Langille stands with the employees of his pet store; he says some people don’t even know his shop is still open after the April flood. (Submitted by Michael Langille)


The company does free delivery in town, and she says they do about 25-30 orders a day.

“Since the video’s run I’ve probably had at least 5 to 10 new people contact me every day.”

“It’s wonderful,” said Johnson.

Michael Langille’s video hasn’t gone public yet — it’s slated for Dec. 9. He’s the owner of The Little Pet Company, which is in the midst of expanding.

“Some people think that we’re still shut down since the flood,” said Langille. “It’s about broadcasting that we’re here.”

He said many people thought the flood destroyed the shop, which it didn’t.

The store was “busier than ever” for the first few months of the pandemic, but recently noticed a “sgnificant change” in the number of customers coming in.

Langille said he doubled his store’s inventory with the expansion, but “we’re not seeing double the sales by any means.”

“We might’ve seen a ten per cent increase, which is not what you want to see when you’re expanding your business.”

He’s hoping the video gets people coming into the store, and spending their dollars in town, rather than online.


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