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Two Victoria real estate agents fired following sexual assault allegations – Saanich News – Saanich News




Two Victoria real estate agents have been fired following allegation of sexual assault made against them.

In its initial statement made on Instagram Thursday midday, The Agency Victoria – a luxury real estate company – said it had just become aware of the allegations and that it was taking appropriate action to resolve the matter.

“The allegations predate the agents working with our brokerage, although, we are extremely concerned and taking these allegations seriously,” the statement read.


At the time of the allegations, the two agents were working as independent contractors with Engel and Volkers Vancouver Island. Owner of the company Scott Piercy said although the individuals left Engel and Volkers in 2019, the company is taking the allegations seriously and will continue to look into it.

A few hours after its first post, The Agency took to Instagram once again to say it had fired the two accused.

“We want to be perfectly clear; we are shocked and deeply disturbed by the accusations,” The Agency wrote. “We stand in full support of women who have endured sexual abuse and we encourage anyone with information to please come forward.”

The Local has severed ties with one of its minority partners after sexual assault allegations arose against them online. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)

At the same time, Victoria pub The Local also took to Instagram to state that Wednesday night it became aware of sexual assault allegations made against a minority partner.

“I and the whole Local community are deeply shaken by the allegation – the actions described are disturbing, disgusting and wrong,” owner Jeremy Petzing wrote. “Our thoughts are first and foremost with the woman who has brought forward these allegations.”

The pub severed ties with the accused and said they will no longer be welcome at The Local or Farmhouse.

The allegations, which surfaced on social media, are part of a growing number calling out individuals in Victoria.

In early February, Chuck’s Burger Bar fired an employee after numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct emerged against him online. Later that month, Victoria police confirmed that its officers were investigating the allegations, but that no charges had been laid. Soon after, the bar closed its doors.

READ ALSO: Chuck’s Burger Bar closes its doors after sexual assault allegations

Earlier this month, a second Victoria restaurant recognized that sexual assault allegations had been made against one of its employees. E:Ne Raw Food and Sake Bar announced it would be closing temporarily while it internally investigated the situation. Days later, it announced the employee had been fired and that it was committed to annual sex education programs for management.

READ ALSO: Victoria restaurant fires employee accused of sexual assault, commits to education

Social media pages can serve as a safe place for sexual assault survivors to share their stories, said Janni Aragon, gender studies and political science professor at the University of Victoria, speaking with Black Press Media in February. They can also help survivors to understand they aren’t alone.

Anyone who wishes to report an incident or has information about an incident can call the VicPD report desk at 250-995-7654 ext. 1.

The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre offers counselling, victim services and a sexual assault response team. The centre can be reached 24/7 at 250-383-3232.

READ ALSO: ‘There’s so much stigma:’ Greater Victoria’s sexual violence allegations find safe space on social media

Do you have a story tip? Email: [email protected].

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Climate-Proofing Your Edmonton Garage Door: A DIY Guide



Edmonton has a one-of-a-kind climate, which can be very harsh on residential garage doors. Homeowners need to ensure that their garage doors are able to withstand severe weather conditions lest they compromise the safety of their homes.

This piece aims at providing tips for DIY insulation, weather stripping and maintenance to enable you maintain your garage door in good working condition throughout the year.




Significance of Climate-Proofing Your Garage Door

Adapting to any weather is possible when you ensure your Edmonton garage door is ready. It keeps your home warm, saves on power bills, and lessens the concern of what lies beyond coming in.


Tailoring Garage Doors for Edmonton’s Climate

Edmonton experiences lengthy freezing periods during winter. Such extreme cold requires tough garage doors; hence, people living around Edmonton should consider the Thermacore insulated steel door series, which are among the best. They are made to fight the winter cold by keeping the garage warm.


These doors block out all things chilly while retaining heat inside. As John Carter, who conceptualized garage door repair Edmonton, states, Choosing a garage door that can withstand the winter in Edmonton is not just wise but necessary.


Enhancing Insulation for Energy Efficiency

Start with the garage door when you want to make your home more energy efficient. It is a simple move, but one that pays off. If filled with materials such as polystyrene or polyurethane, this will keep heat in and cold out, especially during winters, when temperatures can drop significantly in places like Edmonton. This is not only for comfort’s sake; it also saves money on power bills.


Such improvements translate into great savings, generally speaking too. If you insulate your garage door along with windows and skylights, which are energy efficient, you will cut down on heating and cooling costs immensely. These alterations are relatively cheaper than other methods but will eventually have paid for themselves through reduced energy expenses.


Integrating Heat Pumps and Renewable Systems

Incorporating heat pumps in your home comes with a myriad advantages. These small devices pack quite the punch when it comes to saving power and, therefore, are ideal for those who wish to introduce green solutions into their living spaces. By slashing energy bills and cutting reliance on non-renewable power sources, these systems are easy on the bank account and good for our planet.


Homeowners who leap witness a rise in their indoor air quality levels while at the same time ensuring more comfortable living spaces; this contributes towards making the world eco-friendly. living sustainably should start from your home – this is among the many steps we need to take toward coming up with climate-resilient solutions for tomorrow.


Practical Approaches to Garage Door Climate-Proofing


Leveraging Canada Greener Homes Grants

Even Canadians can apply for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, which aims to make their houses energy efficient, including garage doors. It provides up to $5,600 to cover part of the expenses for eligible renovation works geared towards enhancing energy performance in a home.


Out of this total amount, not less than $5,000 goes into financing different types of retrofits, such as improved insulation or heat pump installation to create more comfortable living environments and save on utility costs. This support encourages eco-friendly renovations across Canada by helping cover the costs of retrofit improvements necessary for sustainable living enhancements.


These financial incentives are crucial for pushing forward energy-efficient upgrades and retrofit improvements without putting too much strain on personal budgets.


Implementing Garage Door Resiliency Features

Weatherproofing adds an extra layer of protection against storms and extreme temperatures. People typically seal gaps around their garage doors to prevent drafts and leaks, which also helps control the indoor climate. Adding storm protection features can shield homes against severe weather.

This may involve strengthened panels or materials capable of withstanding winds, rain, and snow. It ensures that despite whatever is happening outside, a steady temperature is maintained inside.

So, giving your garage door a climate makeover keeps out the cold and cranks up the cozy in your house. Taking advantage of programs like Canada’s Greener Homes makes it less of a hit on the wallet. Protecting against every kind of bad weather while still managing to be friendly towards both our planet and our finances Sounds like a win-win to me. Therefore, feel free to get all DIY with that garage door.

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Calgary’s ultra-luxury real estate heats up



New report from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada highlights that the city leads the nation for demand growth.

Ultra-luxury homes in Calgary may not be selling like hotcakes, but homes priced $4 million or more are seeing higher demand than ever before, says a local realtor, specializing in the niche resale real estate segment.

“This spring, Calgary has seen multiple ultra luxury sales over the $4-million mark, compared with last spring,” says Corinne Poffenroth, senior vice-president of sales with Sotheby’s International Realty in Calgary.


She points to one sale in late April in Upper Mount Royal for more than $5 million among a handful of ultra-luxury home transactions that are becoming more common, though still far from the norm in Calgary. The recently published Top-Tier Real Estate: Spring 2024 State of Luxury Report, by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, reveals that Canada’s luxury market is recovering after the recent slump in activity in many major centres, resulting from higher borrowing costs.

It also highlights Calgary as a luxury market outlier with higher demand than other large cities, further adding the city should continue to lead Canada for percentage sales growth of high-priced homes.

“One big reason is Calgary is attracting a lot of new businesses right now,” says Don Kottick, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

What’s more, Calgary is a value market for luxury, unlike Vancouver and Toronto where luxury starts at $4 million. In Calgary, by comparison, luxury starts at $1 million.

Yet luxury is a moving target in Calgary these days — upward in price, that is — given that the average price for a single-family detached home in the city exceeded $800,000 at the end of March, Calgary Real Estate Board statistics show.

Still, buyers are arguable purchasing a luxury home in Calgary for about $1 million, with Kottick noting a comparable home in Vancouver costs $4 million — which is considered luxury there.

Most luxury demand in Calgary is for single-family homes “accounting for 83 per cent of sales for homes priced at $1 million-plus,” Poffenroth says.

Yet ultra-luxury — $4-million-plus — in Calgary, often a slow market, has picked up, as noted in Sotheby’s report.

It points to two luxury properties worth more than $4 million selling in the first three months of the year versus none in the same period in 2023.

The market for luxury homes under that price, however, was much more active. All told, 441 sales over $1 million occurred in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 63 per cent year over year, the report states.

The vast majority of sales are in the $1-million to $2-million range, accounting for 92 per cent of luxury activity in Calgary.

While many of these transactions involve single-family detached homes, other luxury housing types — townhomes and condominium apartments — are seeing stronger demand than seen in the previous 10 years, Poffenroth says, pointing to recent sales for $1.5 million and $3 million for apartment condominiums downtown.

“We are seeing both downsizers wanting larger luxury condos and a lock-and-leave lifestyle to replace their large estates, combined with out-of-province buyers who see the investment value in Calgary luxury condos.”

CREB statistics from the first quarter of 2024 reveal 15 apartment sales of $1 million or more versus 10 in 2023, also a strong market historically. Row sales did fall from four to three sales year over year, ending March 31, but semi-detached transactions in that price range were up sharply from three last year to nine this year.

Kottick says the report forecasts improving demand for Canada’s luxury market, especially if interest rates fall, with Calgary expected to again be a luxury activity leader.

“The city is still booming economically, and that will certainly drive luxury sales.”



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This abandoned Toronto home is $6 million





It’s unclear how long this Toronto house has been abandoned.

The last time it sold was in 2009 for $1.8 million, and even then, it was being sold “as is.”

“The house had been vacant and derelict for years before I purchased it,” said current owner Marina Stefanovic.

“And at the time the sellers, the estate of the couple that passed away, was not allowing showings inside the house for safety reasons. The children of prior owners had chainsawed the house throughout (floors, fireplaces, walls,  etc.) looking for a valuable coin collection that the parents had.”

For the record, the kids never found the coin collection.

When Stefanovic bought it she had grand plans but she told blogTO that it took a long time to get through the Committee of Adjustments for approvals of new plans.

By the time plans were approved Stefanovic, her family had moved out of the area and things stalled.

In 2017, 132 Blythwood Rd. went on and off the market for the entire year. It started at $6,188,000 and dropped to $5,295,000 by December, but never sold as a deal fell through.

132 Blythwood Road Toronto

The front of the house.

In the intervening seven years, the house has remained abandoned and has only become more derelict.

And yet, despite the abysmal state of this house, the home has just been re-listed for $6,385,000.

Why? You might ask. Because land. It’s always land.

132 Blythwood Road Toronto

An aerial shot of the neighbourhood and property.

132 Blythwood Rd. is sitting on a massive 77 by 403-foot ravine estate lot with a substantial amount of table land (aka flat ground).

With over 30,000 square feet of land, the possibilities of building a dream home are pretty much endless, if you have the cash.

You could have a sprawling estate with a pool, detached four-car garage, and enough room for the greenhouse of all greenhouses.

In fact, according to the listing, plans for a dream home are already in the works.

There’s a survey, previously approved renovation/extension plans by Richard Wangle, and draft plans for a 13,000-square-foot new build.

Or, if you’re more entrepreneurial, you could divide the property in two and build a whole townhouse development, a condo, or whatever you want.

132 Blythwood Road Toronto

The backyard and detached garage.

This property has the space and potential to pretty much do anything you can get a building permit for.

Location wise, it is in the prestigious Lawrence Park neighbourhood where homes, on average, go for over $4 million.

So that obviously plays a part in the listing price, but even considering all that $6 million is likely high.

When we ran the address through HouseSigma and looked at the comparables, the value of the 132 Blythwood Rd. was in the $4 million range.

132 Blythwood Road Toronto

Looks like there once was a pool.

Then again, Stefanovic shared that in the years she’s owned the property she’s received a number of unsolicited offers – the highest offer being $6 million plus commission.

So who knows, maybe it will sell for close to the asking price.


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