March 2014

Found 28 blog entries for March 2014.

More and more head offices have decided to call their home Calgary within the last few years. In fact, Calgary comes in third place overall for having the most head offices in Canada for 2012. This information was released in a report by Statistics Canada this week.

Toronto was the city with the most head offices in the country with a total of 726. This number was down 1.1% when compared to the figures in 2011. There were 73,380 employees working in these head offices. In Montréal, there were 397 head offices to be found with 40,824 employees. Calgary had the third spot position with 222 head offices and 31,572 employees.

The province of Ontario was home to 40% of the Canadian head offices, Québec had 20.5%, Alberta had 14.2% and British Columbia

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The mortgage rates in Canada are dipping lower than the 3% mark, which is good news for buyers as we march into the official busy spring season. The Bank of Montreal decreased its fixed-rate 5-year mortgage to 2.99% from 3.49%.

Earlier in the month, Scotia Bank and TD Bank reduced their fixed rate 4-year mortgages to lower than 3%. It's expected that rivals will also reduce their short-term rates but according to experts they are not expected to last long.

The lower rates will help with the affordability factor especially for first-time homebuyers. On a home with a $300,000 mortgage, for instance, this lowered interest-rate would save the homeowner approximately $600 per year.

Joe Oliver, Canada's Finance Minister, says that he will be watching

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Getting a home inspection on a previously-owned property is a necessity and should not be viewed as only an option. Approximately 40% of the listings on the market have a defect that could be serious. In some cases these defects can be easily rectified and at other times a substantial investment will be required to fix them up.

Just think of what you would do if you were going to buy a used car from somebody on Kijiji. You would get a mechanic to check it out thoroughly before handing over any money. If not, any problems that come up will be yours to deal with. The same goes for a house.

A home inspection puts you in the driver's seat so that you have control over your purchase. You'll know exactly what you're getting into from the get-go. An

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Foreign investors continue to keep their eyes on Canada and are willing to pour their money into lucrative investments. Last year, foreign investment in the Canadian hotel sector was the highest seen since 2007 according to a new report by Colliers International.

One of the biggest transactions of its kind occurred last year when the Westin Canadian portfolio was purchased. Investors from the Middle East backed the winning bid that was received from a Starwood Capital Group affiliate.

Hotel purchases last year

Due to the overall size of the hotel real estate transaction, this affected the metrics and pricing in this sector for the year. The sale represented 89% of the Canadian hotel purchases last year. In total, $2.02 billion worth of activity

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When you first walk into the office, how do you get started with your workday? According to Lynn Taylor, a renowned author and a workplace expert in the United States, you'll want to get focused on the important matters first while clearing out any noise. Successful people have learned how to prioritize and are able to set up a productive workday by implementing certain actions.

Successful people will take a look through their calendars and to-do lists to get an idea of what the rest of the day involves. They also strategize their day based on long-term goals that they want to achieve. Any conflicts in the office will be put on hold and handled later in the day when things are more relaxed in the office.

During the first hour of the day the boss will

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Image Credit: you're planning a romantic date or need a place for a business meeting, the right restaurant atmosphere makes a difference. Some spots are just too loud to carry on a conversation, while others cram you in so close everybody else can hear what you're saying. However, some restaurants in Calgary are perfect for a conversation. Here are the top choices.

The Belvedere - 107 8 Avenue SW

This soft and warm restaurant is one of the best choices for a romantic date. Start with a martini in the beautiful lounge as you enjoy the custom-made furniture. Then, head into the dining room to enjoy delicious cuisine, one of the best wine lists in the world and the perfect atmosphere for great conversation.

The Belvedere also provides a great spot for a

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The busy spring season is almost upon us here in Calgary and if you haven't yet prepared your home for the market, it's time to do so now! There is the potential for this to be a record-breaking spring in terms of real estate sales so you’ll want to have your home ready and on the listings early.

Here are some selling tips to keep in mind for the 2014 Spring Rush.

1. Beat the competition

You still have time to get your home ready before the turning point arrives and the buying and selling frenzy gets out of control. Putting your home up for sale now instead of waiting will give you an advantage. Most people will be listing their homes from May to June. You'll rise above the competition by getting a jump on it early. Even though it's still cold out,

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Not only was yesterday the official first day of spring but it was also the International Day of Happiness. For this reason, we are going to let you know about the happiest countries in the world and show you exactly where Canada falls on this list.

#1. Denmark

#2. Norway

#3. Switzerland

#4. Netherlands

#5. Sweden

#6. Canada

#7. Finland

#8. Austria

#9. Iceland

#10. Australia

The report outlining the happiest countries, the World Happiness Report, was put together by experts from various countries. It goes into great detail to provide an analysis of the data available regarding global happiness. It examines trends and other information gathered from Gallup polls. Other data that factors into the happiness equation include generosity,

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VolunteersVolunteering doesn't have to be all about serving food at a soup kitchen. There are many great choices for volunteer activities in Calgary and many of the fit with specific passions. From art assistants to animal foster homes, there are plenty of great opportunities to volunteer throughout the city. Here are some of the best choices.

Dog Adoption Program at Animal Rescue Foundation of Alberta (ARF) - Telephone Interviewer

You can volunteer to call applicants looking to adopt a dog through ARF and spend a half-hour providing a telephone interview. You will be part of the process of ensuring dogs end up in good homes. Find more information about this opportunity at

Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) - Mentor

If you're

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If you're renting a building, you are not required to take out tenants insurance. All you technically need is good credit and an income that can support the rental payments. It's a good idea to get rental insurance, however, to make sure that you are covered should a disaster strike.

A lot of people believe that they are automatically covered by the insurance that the landlord holds. The landlord’s insurance, however, doesn't cover the contents of the tenant’s rental unit. It only provides coverage for the building structure should an environmental catastrophe take place.

As a renter, your belongings won't be covered and replaced should a fire or other disaster occur. This is where tenant insurance comes in handy and the policy payments are

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