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Halloween is just next week and I know my daughter can hardly wait. With her new costume ready, candy all bought, we are ready. But if you are not into trick or treating, there are places you can go to for a more "personal" halloween experience...

 

Here is an article listing some of the more haunted places you will find in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Why not go see if you can find a spirit or two this All Hallow's Eve in one of these super spooky places! Don't forget to send me a picture of your findings!!!

 

But however way you choose to spend your Halloween, please make it a safe and enjoyable one for all!

 

 

1. Banff, Alberta - The Banff Springs Hotel

Legend has it: A family was brutally murdered while staying in Room 873 - hence why it's been covered in since (but if you look closely you can still see where the room was.) Also, years ago, a bride accidentally touched her dress to a candle on a flight of stairs. Her dress went up in flames and she fell down the stairs to her death. Guest report seeing her frequently roaming the halls of the hotel.

 

2. Calgary, Alberta - The Deane House

Legend has it: Several unusual deaths took place at the residence, including a young woman jumping to her death from the second storey and a man being gunned down on the porch. Staff at the house say they sometimes see a man smoking a pipe in Deane's study, hear ringing from an antique phone that's not plugged in and can smell tobacco, even though the house is non-smoking. Rumour also has it the attic is home to a bloodstain that reappears, changing shape and size, no matter how many times it's been washed.

 

3. Frank Slide, Alberta

Legend has it: In the spring of 1903 the face of Turtle Mountain came loose, causing a massive landslide and covering the town of Frank below. Seventy-six people were reported dead, some bodies never recovered from the rubble. People often report seeing mist and eerie apparitions when looking at the wreckage from the slide. Many think ghosts frequent the area because not all of the bodies were recovered and they are still looking for their loved ones.

 

4. Edmonton, Alberta - Edmonton General Hospital

Legend has it: Despite being closed and unused for years, the old B wing of the hospital still smells of sick people. As well, children's cries can be heard coming from the old pediatrics floor. A construction worker was killed while working in the basement of the hospital and is often seen in the spot where he died. As well, a mother crying for her dead child wanders the halls of the hospital, but disappears when approached.

 

5. Winnipeg, Manitoba - Fort Garry Hotel

Legend has it: Room 202 is considered the most haunted room in the hotel after a woman was rumoured to have committed suicide upon finding out her husband was killed in a car accident. Cleaning staff have reported seeing blood running down the walls of Room 202. Former Liberal MP Brenda Chamberlain often retells the story of how, during her stay, she felt someone climbing into bed with her and tossing and turning in the middle of the night.

 

6. Winnipeg, Manitoba - St. Ignatius School

Legend has it: A little girl haunts St. Ignatius after she died falling off the rings on the playground. Many children have stopped using the red rings out of fear, claiming that when you try to cross them you will feel hands on your legs trying to pull you off.

 

7. Winnipeg, Manitoba - Walker Theatre (Burton Cummings Theatre)

Legend has it: Staff claim to hear phantom applauding coming from this theater, which is over 100-years old. 200 lb. steel doors have been seen moving on their own and there are constant whispers and disembodied voices to be heard. Some people believe the unusual activity can be explained by acting team Laurnece Irving and Mabel Hackney who died in 1914, after less than a week of performances at the theatre.

 

8. Weyburn, Saskatchewan - Weyburn Mental Hospital

Legend has it: An investigation into one of Canada's first mental institutions in the 1930's turned up cruel and inhumane practices by the doctors. It was the site of lobotomies, electric shock therapy, and some of Canada's controversial LSD experiments. Before being demolished in 2009, people heard voices and some reported seeing a woman in the fourth floor window, pacing back and forth through the night.

 

9. North Battleford, Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan Hospital

Legend has it: Another prairie psychiatric institution that suffered from extreme overcrowding, which lead to deplorable conditions. The hospital still stands today, and has three large cemeteries on the grounds, where there have been reports of strange voices coming from gravestones. A patient who was burned badly in a fire still haunts the building.

 

10. St. Louis, Saskatchewan

Legend has it: Just outside Prince Albert, this friendly town by day is known for dark happenings by night. A set of train tracks was covered over after an accident on the tracks killed an entire family. It's rumoured the engineer responsible for the accident was so wracked with guilt he committed suicide. To this day, people have reported seeing ghost trains come through the area or see the engineer walking where the tracks once were.

 

View slideshow at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/20/haunted-places-canadian-prairies_n_4132292.html#slide=3026095

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SMI Brokers Expert Answers Some Burning Questions

 

On 11th March, 2013, TD Economics, one of the largest financial institutes in Canada, presented its special report, titled ‘Long-Run Rate of Return for Canadian Home Prices.’ In the report, TD listed Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton as prospective out-performers in the future real estate scene. Marcus Arkan, CTO Syndicate Mortgages, recently presented his analysis of TD’s report on the future of various markets.

 

According to the report, house prices in Canada are expected to remain flat for the upcoming decade. TD’s lead economists, including Craig Alexander and Derek Burleton, also forecasted a downward trend and market adjustment over the next three years. The report states that annual price gain and rate of gain will be around 2 percent over the next decade. However, the report has clearly listed markets that are likely to out-perform in the future. Calgary, currently one of the hottest markets in Canada, is also one of the prospective out-performers on TD’s list.

 

Mr. Arkan agrees with TD’s forecast regarding Calgary and stated that there are numerous reasons why Calgary will continue to perform at above par levels. He stated, “Real estate market goes through cycles. There has been plenty of price correction and adjustment in Calgary. It is currently one of the most affordable and least overvalued markets in comparison to other major metropolitans.”

 

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the average sales price of MLS in Calgary peaked in 2007 at $423,770. In 2009, the prices experienced a significant drop at $394,064 in 2009. In 2012, MLS sales prices reached an all time high at $428,644.

 

Mr. Arkan further added that the underlying economy of the region will play a far more significant role than foreign investments in the area. “Average income in the region is higher and plenty of people are migrating to Calgary. Canada mortgage rates have also remained favorable. The sales and demand will both continue to rise in the city.”

 

TD Economics’ report also presented the list of markets that are expected to perform at par with national average and also the ones that are expected to underperform. Halifax and Saint John are specified as prospective under-performers.

 

You can learn more about Canada housing market and Canada mortgage rate at http://www.syndicatemortgages.com/

 

Source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/3/prweb10526157.htm

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Who says Albertans don’t like to dress up? Whether they’re in cowboy boots and jeans or stylish haute couture, shoppers in our province have been paying big bucks to satisfy their clothing desires.


In 2012, sales by clothing, footwear and accessories retailers totalled $4.03 billion, up 8.4 per cent from sales in 2011. December of last year alone set a monthly record with sales of $560 million.


The graph below shows monthly sales trends since 2004. The light orange line represents sales by month, unadjusted for seasonal variation. The strong peaks in December stand out—obviously much of Albertans’ new attire finds its way under the Christmas tree. The heavier orange line is the 12-month trend, which gives a clearer visual picture of sales over the past several years. It has been a gradual but steady climb, notwithstanding the small dip in 2009 when recession gripped our province.


The two main drivers for the record-setting clothing sales last year? Demographics and high incomes. Since Alberta was the destination for so many newcomers last year, retail sales are bound to grow. The low average age of Albertans—and the fact that many Albertans are shopping for children—is also a factor.


The other driver is high incomes. With their strong economy and high average earnings, Albertans have been confident consumers. That means most of them haven’t been too shy about shelling out major dollars for those new ski jackets. Or earrings. Or silk ties. Or...

 

Source: ATB Financial

 

Who says Albertans don’t like to dress up? Whether
they’re in cowboy boots and jeans or stylish haute couture,
shoppers in our province have been paying big bucks to
satisfy their clothing desires.
In 2012, sales by clothing, footwear and accessories
retailers totalled $4.03 billion, up 8.4 per cent from sales in
2011. December of last year alone set a monthly record
with sales of $560 million.
The graph below shows monthly sales trends since 2004.
The light orange line represents sales by month,
unadjusted for seasonal variation. The strong peaks in
December stand out—obviously much of Albertans’ new
attire finds its way under the Christmas tree. The heavier
orange line is the 12-month trend, which gives a clearer
visual picture of sales over the past several years. It has
been a gradual but steady climb, notwithstanding the
small dip in 2009 when recession gripped our
province.
The two main drivers for the record-setting clothing
sales last year? Demographics and high incomes.
Since Alberta was the destination for so many
newcomers last year, retail sales are bound to grow.
The low average age of Albertans—and the fact that
many Albertans are shopping for children—is also a
factor.
The other driver is high incomes. With their strong
economy and high average earnings, Albertans have
been confident consumers. That means most of them
haven’t been too shy about shelling out major dollars
for those new ski jackets. Or earrings. Or silk ties. Or...
April 5, 2013
Dressed for success
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
Jan'04 Jan'06 Jan'08 Jan'10 Jan'12
Clothing
and
Accessories
Sales
in
Alberta
$
millions
(not
seasonally adjusted)
Source:
Statistics Canada,
CANSIM
table
080-­‐0020

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2012 saw end to four years of weaker sales activity

 

 
Calgary, Jan. 2, 2013 – Residential real estate sales in the city of Calgary ended the year on a high note, with sales volume up 15 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011, and benchmark prices up five per cent.
 
“Calgary’s housing market has finally started to recover,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist. “While prices remain shy of the highs recorded in 2007, this is a move in the right direction.”

Much of the sustainable recovery is fuelled from the growth in the energy sector, spilling over into all aspects of our economy, including housing, Lurie said. “There is no question employment and migration growth has supported housing demand, a trend that is expected to continue this year, albeit at a slower pace.”

The single-family market sales growth outpaced increases in the total condominium market within city limits. Single-family sales rose by 15 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011. New listings did not keep pace, declining by seven per cent over the same period. This has significantly reduced the inventory of single-family homes in the market, pushing prices up.

“Consumers in the market were looking for value, and, if a home was priced right based on a longer term view of their housing needs, they were buying,” said 2012 CREB® President Bob Jablonski.|

The price spread is expected to narrow as balanced market conditions support further price growth, he said. But in most communities, prices remain lower than 2007 levels.

The unadjusted single-family benchmark price was $434,800 for the month of December, 8.7-per-cent higher than 2011. On average, single-family prices are up by seven per cent for the year, and remain two per cent below peak pricing in 2007.

Condominium sales are improving, as lower supply levels and rising prices in the single-family market drove consumers to explore alternatives. Sales in the apartment and townhouse sector recorded annual increases of 12 and 16 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, listings are declining in both sectors, keeping both markets in balanced conditions. Price growth has not been at the same pace as what was recorded in the single-family sector.

Condominium apartment benchmark prices totalled 248,700 in December, a 5.4 per cent increase over 2011. Annual average benchmark increases were two per cent, significantly lower than the five per cent increase in the annual average price.

The average price increase is misleading, as there were several multimillion-dollar condominium sales in 2012 that skewed figures up. With more sales occurring at the higher end of the spectrum, average and median prices are trending higher than the benchmark, which represents price growth for the same type of property.

“Calgary’s 2013 housing sector growth will ease both in terms of sales and price growth, differing from the declines expected on a national level,” Lurie said.

Calgary’s housing market did not recover at the same pace as other Canadian centres, and 2012 was the first time resale sales returned to more normal levels of activity, she said.

“It is expected that continued weakness in the natural gas sector, combined with the more cautious expansion approach in the oil sector, will persist this year. While economic activity will be strong enough to support moderate housing growth, the notion of an overheated housing market in 2013 is unlikely, given the economic backdrop.”
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The province of Ontario has gone from criticizing the oilsands to increasing its efforts to capture their economic benefits.

 

Brad Duguid, Ontario's minister for economic development, says he plans to increase his department's attention to Alberta by adding more staff to deal with trade issues.

 

"I think we have a recognition that our relationship could be stronger. I think that we want to now move forward with the knowledge that the oilsands are important to Ontario's economy," Duguid told The Canadian Press on Wednesday.

 

He said he understands the value of the oilsands to Ontario business and estimated that value at $63 billion over the next 25 years.

 

"It may be a time for Ontario to increase our presence in the province of Alberta in terms of our business supports here," he said from Calgary. "We may want to look at having some more presence here in terms of staffing."

 

The Ontario government doesn't currently have an office in Alberta. A bureaucrat at the Ontario legislature spends part of his time dealing with Alberta files.

 

"The intent is move that to a full-time contact so that we've got more of a personal contact here — a good liaison between the business community in Ontario and Alberta."

 

A spokeswoman for Duguid's office later clarified the Ontario government is looking at many ways to boost its profile in Alberta, which may or may not include opening an actual office in the province.

 

Duguid said it's time to help businesses in his province that are looking for oilpatch opportunities and Alberta companies that are looking for skilled labour.

 

"There's a recognition that that's important to Ontario's economy and it makes sense to look at ways we can work closer together, both in providing opportunities for our respective businesses and at the same to work together as governments," Duguid said.

 

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said earlier this year that the booming energy sector was driving up the Canadian dollar and hurting the manufacturing and export sectors in Central Canada.

 

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has made similar comments. He has said the oilsands are artificially inflating the Canadian dollar and hollowing out the country's manufacturing sector. He calls it the definition of Dutch disease — a reference to the Netherlands and how a natural gas find in that country led to declines in manufacturing in the 1960s.

 

Duguid said his government wants to move past that debate.

 

"We're aware that there was a lot said about those comments. We just want to move forward."

 

Stronger links between Canada's largest provincial economy and its fastest-growing one would be good for the whole country, said Duguid.

 

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/10/10/ontario-alberta-trade.html

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Could Canada could slip into the same traps that hurt the U.S. economy in 2008-09? Some are sounding the alarm bells – at least on the housing front.

 

Clearly, Ottawa is worried about the debt levels being carried by the average household. Witness Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s recent announcement that he was changing the maximum amortization on a government-backed mortgage to 25 years from 30 years.

 

The announcement was greeted with mixed reviews, including loud criticism from those who worry younger generations will have a significantly harder time being able to afford first homes.

 

But reducing the limit for mortgage amortization is not only good public policy – cooling the speculative real-estate sector without killing the home-construction industry – it is good for homeowners in general. Here’s why.

 

U.S. banks and lending institutions took part in two inappropriate activities in the U.S. housing and mortgage market prior to 2008, both passively allowed by the government in the hope of assisting low-income Americans to own their own homes.

 

First, banks were offering mortgages with low introductory interest rates that would later (one to three years later) rise to higher ultimate rates. Second, banks were offering mortgages at very high ratios to the value of the house (even up to 100 per cent). This was all fine – for both banks and home owners – so long as incomes and house values rose.

 

It all came to a thunderous halt in 2008.

 

As homeowners’ mortgages with low introductory rates came up for renewal, many could not afford the new higher payments that went along with the higher ultimate rates. Americans had to walk away from their loans, and therefore, from their homes – in droves.

 

At the same time, for those who had leveraged a very high percentage of their home value in their mortgage, the falling house prices meant that they now had a mortgage with an outstanding value that was larger than the value of the house. So, they too, simply walked away, handing the keys to their homes to the lending institutions.

 

This all snowballed into the exponential fall in American home values in 2008-09, and the accompanying loss in value of the mortgage assets held by the lending institutions – a very important piece of the global financial crisis.

 

In Canada, we are fortunate that our successive governments have always forced higher down payments for homes here than those required in the U.S. With the new limits on the amortization period, our government wants to dodge the American crisis. This is prudent, and safeguards the economy in general. But the new limits are also good for the individual home owner.

 

Let’s do some arithmetic. Consider a $100,000 mortgage. (Most mortgages are much larger, but you can get to the answer to your personal situation easily by multiplying by the size of your mortgage.) I will assume today’s five-year mortgage rate of 5.24 per cent.

 

If you take out a mortgage to be paid off over 30 years, your monthly payment will be $548.10. Over 30 years, you will pay a total of $197,316, including $97,316 in interest. If, however, you choose the 25-year mortgage, your monthly payment is $595.34 ($47.24 more a month). Over 25 years, you will pay a total of $178,602 – $78,602 in interest, just 80 per cent of the interest you would pay on the 30-year mortgage. Further, you will own the house debt-free five years sooner.

 

If interest rates rise, the arithmetic becomes more dramatic.

 

Consider a $500,000 mortgage at 6 per cent. If you choose the 30-year mortgage, you pay $2,974.12 a month for 30 years, a total of $1,070,683, including $570,683 in interest. Using a 25-year mortgage requires monthly payments of $3,199.03 ($224.91 more a month) for a total payment of $959,709, including $459,709 in interest.

In other words, for an extra $7.39 a day, you can own your house five years sooner and pay a whopping $110, 974 less in interest.

 

If a home buyer cannot afford an extra $7.39 a day in mortgage payments, should they be in the market? Aren’t we all really better off with the shorter amortization period?

 

The bottom line: The impact of this new legislation is less pain than pragmatism. For once, we should be thankful to our big brother in Ottawa.

 

Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/good-for-homeowners-and-the-economy/article4415948/?cmpid=rss1

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Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced new rules for Canadian mortgages on Monday that he said will "protect the stability of the economy."

 

Flaherty's announcement comes on the heels of a recent warning from the Bank of Canada that Canadians' domestic debt burden is the highest on record.

 

The Monday announcement included three new rules for the mortgage industry that will come into effect March 18:

 

  • Mortgage amortization periods will be reduced from 35 years to 30 years.
  • The maximum amount Canadians can borrow to refinance their mortgages will be lowered from 90 per cent to 85 per cent of the value of their homes.
  • The government will withdraw its insurance backing on lines of credit secured on homes, such as home equity lines of credit.

"Taxpayers should not bear any risk related to consumer debt products unrelated to house purchases. Those risks should be managed by the financial institutions that originate and offer these practices," Flaherty said Monday.

 

It is the third time in three years that Flaherty has tightened credit rules while interest rates remain historically low.

The new restrictions are intended to ensure that Canadians don't slip into unmanageable debt, which could throw the economic recovery off the rails, he said.

 

"Today's measures are about our government continuing to protect the stability of the economy by ensuring lenders' practices are sustainable, which will in turn ensure Canadian families have increasingly secure and sustainable home ownership."

 

Flaherty targeted home-equity loans and lines of credit because some Canadians were using the money on consumer goods rather than to build equity into their homes, he said.

 

"They are used to buy boats and cars and big-screen TVs, and that's not the business mortgage insurance was designed for," he said. "Our measures will help improve the financial situation of households in Canada."

 

The Bank of Canada announced earlier this month that Canadians' domestic debt burdens had hit the highest levels on record. The bank said the ratio of household debt to disposable income has reached 148 per cent -- which is higher than in the United States.

 

The International Monetary Fund also recently warned that household debt is the number one risk to the Canadian economy. Canadian household debt is now at $1.4 trillion, while mortgage delay payments have increased by 50 per cent.

 

However, Flaherty maintained that Canada is not facing a debt crisis.

 

"We are responding to a situation that could develop," he told reporters.

 

"It's obvious we could have gone farther. We have not touched down-payment requirements, for example. This is intentional. We are trying to strike the right balance so that we do not create any sort of shock in the market, or any sort of dramatic pressure in the market."

 

Phil Soper, president and chief executive at Royal LePage, said the new measures "shouldn't have a significant impact on the housing industry itself."

 

"Policymakers and the minister needed to put an exclamation mark behind the concerns related to rising household debt and they did that with this," he told CTV's Power Play.

 

Jim Murphy of the Canadian Association of Mortgage Brokers agreed.

 

"The government is trying to find a balance between increasing household debt while at the same time trying to keep a healthy housing market," he said on Power Play.

 

The measures are equivalent to boosting interest rates by half a percent but are more specific, according to Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at The Bank of Montreal.

 

"This is way a way of not affecting a lot of innocent bystanders, including the manufacturing and the tourism sector, by putting more upward pressure on the Canadian dollar," Porter told The Canadian Press.

 

Meanwhile Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC, said the new rules will have only a "marginal" effect on mortgage lending.

 

"It's the difference between somebody borrowing $200,000 and $180,000 or 190,000," he said. "More dramatic would have been to raise the down payment, which would have a larger impact on people's ability to finance their first home."

 

BNN's Michael Kane said Flaherty is clearly concerned that Canada's low lending rates have inspired people to borrow more than they would normally.

 

"What he is saying, and he reiterated this two or three times, is we see Canadians borrowing to the max at record low interest rates, and what he is afraid of is that when interest rates to start to rise...then you can get into a dangerous situation where you can't pay down your mortgage," Kane told CTV's Canada AM.

 

Source: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20110117/flaherty-mortgage-rules-110117/#ixzz1yXWV4Rkx

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