2017 NHL Conference Semi-Finals

The Stanley Cup.

The first round of the 2017 National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs have been completed.  Eight teams have qualified for the second round of the playoffs, the Conference Semi-Finals.

After the first round of the playoffs, I have a record of 4-4 with the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, and St. Louis Blues all winning their first round series.

This round of the playoffs breakdowns as follows: Continue reading

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Happy 91st Birthday, Your Majesty!

Queen Elizabeth’s Statute

I would like to wish Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada a very Happy Birthday.

Today, April 21st, 2016 marks the 91st birthday of Her Majesty.  Here’s to many more years in the future!

God save the Queen!

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Owners Indirectly Save on Electricity Rebate

Gerry Hyman has another article for the Toronto Star.  Let’s discuss two of the questions:

QUESTION:  We’ve seen an announcement that condominiums will be eligible for a proposed hydro rebate. Will our corporation be obligated to pass the rebate to the unit owners or can they place it in the operating fund?

ANSWER:  You are correct that condominium corporations are eligible to receive the rebate. The Electricity Consumers Act 2016 states that the rebate is available to consumers who have an “eligible account,” which is defined to include properties within the meaning of the Condominium Act. The rebate relates to hydro fees paid by the corporation, which will not transfer it to the individual unit owners.

If the Board acts wisely, they will use the rebate to offset any increase in maintenance fees for the next fiscal year.  While this will not put money into the pockets of the owners, it does offset a possible increase in their maintenance fees which would cost them money.  Thus they will be saving money.

The Board also has a couple other options for how to use this rebate, including:

  1.  Placing the rebate into the Reserve Fund.  This might allow the Board to do some work earlier than expected, or if there is work planned to be done in stages over the next few years, some of the work scheduled to be done in later years could be moved up a year or two – resulting in less inconvenience to the owners, but also providing for a possible cost savings.
  2. The money could be set aside into a Contingency Fund to be used to cover unforeseen costs that may come up in the future.  Again, this is not money in the pockets of the owners, but it might stop a large maintenance fee increase down the road or stop a special assessment from being incurred, both of which would come out of the pockets of the owners.
  3. Cost savings work.  The rebate could be used to cover work that will save the condominium money.  For example, the lighting system in the  building could be overhauled to use LED lights, which may save the condominium money every year.  This cost savings would then be returned to owners through lower maintenance fee increases.

Another question asked was:

QUESTION:  One of our owners, who applied for a city permit for renovations to his unit, was advised an existing window needed enlarging. The board advised it would consent if the owner agreed to enter into an agreement, under Section 98 of the Condominium Act, rendering the owner responsible for future maintenance and repairs of the alteration. The board also required an engineer’s report confirming no negative future structural effects or water seepage. The owner objected. Are we, as a board, being unreasonable?

Continue reading

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Opening Round of 2017 NHL Playoffs

The Stanley Cup

The 2017 National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs start today.

Highlights of this year’s playoffs include the Washington Capitals winning the Presidents’ Trophy for the second straight year with 118 points.  The Detroit Red Wings failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1990 after 25 consecutive seasons, and the third longest in league history.  Five Canadian teams (Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto) after no Canadian team made the playoffs last year.

The opening round match-ups breakdown as follows: Continue reading

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Reserve Fund Balance must be Disclosed

Gerry Hyman has another article for the Toronto Star.  I want to discuss two of the questions raised.

The first question is:

QUESTION:  A number of us as unit owners have written to the board requesting the current amount of the corporation’s reserve fund. The board has not replied or even acknowledged our request for over six months. Is that proper?
Continue reading

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Work Could Require Owner Approval

Gerry Hyman has another article for the Toronto Star.  Let’s discuss two of the questions:

QUESTION:  The corporation’s engineer recommended refurbishing the corridors. Is the board entitled to undertake a $5.1-million hallway renovation without the consent of 66-2/3 per cent of the unit owners?

Continue reading

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Singers Shine in Götterdämmerung

English: Entrance to Osgoode subway station at...

Four Seasons Centre of the Canadian Opera Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I attended the February 17th, 2017 performance of Götterdämmerung at the Canadian Opera Company.  The production stars Christine Goerke (Brünnhilde), Andreas Schager (Siegfried), Ain Anger (Hagen), Martin Gantner (Gunther).  The production is conducted by the COC Music Director Johannes Debus, and is directed with Tim Albery with sets by Michael Levine.  The lighting director was David Finn.

This is the third time the production has been staged by the COC, the first as part of the 2005-2006 season, and then part of the complete Ring staged in 2006.  The set is essentially a large section of power lines with chairs and tables that were changed at different times in an attempt to show different scenes.  By and large the set was a distraction and a concert performance would have been an improvement in my opinion.  And I found the lighting to be either too dark (for example during the first scene of Act Two) or too bright. Continue reading

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