Top March Break Activities

13 March 2018
Larose Team

Looking for March Break activities to do with the family around Mississauga? Our favourite is ‘Maple Magic’ located at the Bradely Museum. There’s no better way to soak up Canadian heritage than feasting on and learning about our traditional maple syrup.

Below are a few of 'Insauga's' top march break activities in Mississauga.


Maple Magic at the Bradley Museum

Who doesn't love maple syrup? There's no better way to soak up some Canadian heritage than by feasting on and learning about our traditional maple syrup, and the Bradley Museum has March Break activites every day from March 10-18! Some activities that families can indulge in?

  • Learn the Story of Maple with hands on interactive learning stations
  • Explore the Maple Trivia Trail
  • Oversize family games
  • Camp Lumperjack
  • Sample maple treats in the Bradley House
  • Pancake lunch at the Sugar Shack
  • Maple gift shop
  • Tours of the Historic Bradley House

This year, there’s also a petting zoo. Click here to learn more.

Indoor Skating Event at Erin Mills Town Centre

If you or your kids like to skate but don’t like to freeze in the great outdoors, you can head on over to Erin Mills Town Centre for an indoor skating event. EMTC says the event, which offers “prizes and fun,” will run from March 12-16. The week-long event boasts free skating for families and an evening skate with music and lights, free $5 food court gift cards for the first 50 families, free inflatable hockey shoot out, free giveaways and more.

Skates can be borrowed, but quantities are limited.
For more info, click here.

Skate on the Square

Although we’ve been experiencing some milder than normal temperatures, winter lovers should take comfort in the fact that it’s not going to be too warm next week. Weather permitting, the Celebration Square ice rink will be open to March Breakers for some of the final skate times this winter. For more information about skate times, you can visit this link.

Note that the Square skating hours are 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., so you'll have all day to enjoy the great outdoors.

Free Family Programs this March Break at The Riverwood Conservancy

If you love nature, you might want to check out some free family programs this March Break at The Riverwood Conservancy. Some activities on tap include the Party Safari Animal Meet & Greets (with exotic animals such as snakes, birds and lizards that kids can interact with), guided nature hikes and an informative look at Canadian animal skulls.

All children must be accompanied by an adult and registration is required.
Click here to register for an event.


22 February 2018
Larose Team

Although most of the recent articles in the Globe and Mail and The Star seem somewhat gloomy, market results last January were highly unusual due to the spike in activity for the first few months of last year coupled with low inventory. Sales in January posted by the Toronto Real Estate Board were down 22%, new listings up 17.4 percent, with days on market stretching to a healthy 32 from 19 a year ago. The average price was down 4.1%.

“In analyzing the data compared to 2016, we are seeing more typical results in both the number of new and active listings as well as unit sales and days on market” says Kevin Larose from The Larose Team.

Although down from last year, the average price for January 2018 is still up 16.6 percent over January 2016 which is in line to growth levels over the past 10 years. We have had a cold start to the year here in the GTA - a harsh winter that is keeping many buyers from coming out to see new properties with the exception of condos. The condo market continues to experience a surge of activity as first time buyers jump in to buy. A good sign of things to come.

Treb forecasts the overall sales units for 2018 should end up close to 90,000- just slightly less than the 92,394 recorded in 2017. What will most likely change is the mix of property types as prices continue their upward climb.

For example- in Mississauga, overall unit sales in January were down 24% with the average price down 11%- primarily due to the lack of sales in single family homes. Sales of condos and townhouses are up in units and in average price as first time home buyers step into the market. “We are experiencing more activity in single family homes as we move in to February and new inventory arrives on the market says Kevin. We expect those who get their homes listed now may end up ahead of the surge.” Again, a good sign of things to come.

If you have decided to sell your property this spring, contact us for more information and a complimentary market evaluation.

You can reach us at 905 278-7355 or email

How using light in interior design can brighten your mood

01 February 2018
Larose Team

Winter can be a dark time, both literally and figuratively. From yoga studios to cafés, however, recognition is growing of how light can be used to set an internal scene.

When architect Monica Adair arrived at the hospital for the births of her two sons, she insisted on bringing a set of Japanese paper lanterns into the delivery room both times. "I was like, 'There's no way a baby is going to go from this darkness, this translucent environment, into fluorescent lighting,'" she says. The nurses laughed, but Adair says the lights set a precious, intimate stage as she recovered, and the family bonded. "That really mattered to me: I wanted them to come out and experience this world as beautiful, not cold, or hard."

Like Adair, a wave of designers and artists, alongside medical professionals and wellness entrepreneurs, are increasingly using light to reset our mental landscapes and help us perceive our environments in new ways. From cheeky neon signage to medical-grade light boxes, twinkling fairy lights to high-tech preset mood lighting – this most visible of invisible forces gives us another way of seeing life more clearly. For many Canadians, winter is a dark time, both literally and figuratively: It's typically when seasonal affective disorder (SAD) occurs, in the form of fatigue, carbohydrate cravings, irritability and depression. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, those who experience SAD make up around 10 per cent of all cases of depression, and about 2 per cent to 3 per cent of us will experience the disorder in our lifetimes.

And the culprit isn't necessarily winter's washed-out colour scheme of snow and salt on pavement. It's the lack of bright light early in the morning that disrupts our mood, says Robert Levitan, the Cameron Parker Holcombe Wilson Chair in depression studies at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "Many people will have changes. Once it prevents people from going to work, or functioning at home, that's when we call it SAD," Levitan says. "But there's tons of people who have less severe versions."

But, he says exposure to an ultraviolet-filtered light for a half-hour in the morning has been clinically shown to improve mood and have a stimulating effect on our circadian rhythms. The Toronto Public Library also introduced light therapy lamps at some of its branches last year, and Levitan says some cafés in Europe even offer ultraviolet-filtered lighting as a draw.

Beyond its use as a medical treatment, light also adds an aesthetic element to how we see the world. As American artist James Turrell once said of his work, "I want to create an atmosphere that can be consciously plumbed with seeing, like the wordless thought that comes from looking into the fire." Famed for using vibrant colour washes and elaborate visual illusions to disorient and re-engage our sense of sight, Turrell's work simultaneously tackles both the human exterior and interior, intended to set an internal scene as much as an exterior one.

And it's light's primal power to set a mood and hijack our sense of space or time – speaking directly to our primordial, reptilian brains – that appeals to artists Nina Ryner, founder of London's ChromaYoga. Housed in a soundproofed space in the city's eclectic Shoreditch neighbourhood, the studio uses a shifting colour spectrum as the backdrop for a wide range of yoga classes: from an active, energetic red class to a pink-washed yin class Ryner says evokes feelings of "nurturing and love." This month's classes are packed with the New Year's resolution crowd, and she plans to open another location in London by the end of the year.

Ryner, who hopes to eventually export the concept to North America or Europe, cites Turrell, along with artists Liz West and Dan Flavin, as major influences on her colour-drenched sensibility. Similar to how a heated yoga studio can help focus in the mind, Ryner says her modern studio uses light to help attendees access a new level of mental clarity. While most initially come to the studio for the physical benefits, she says yoga-goers are increasingly showing interest in how a room bathed in a single colour impacts their mental geography.

Lucky for those of us looking for design – and wallet-friendly ways to brighten or lift a space closer to home – designers and retailers are increasingly selling beautiful and functional fixtures, even branching into once prohibitively expensive materials such as neon. When planning lighting, Adair recommends thinking carefully about what mood you're trying to set. Lighting companies are increasingly selling electrical panels that use pre-set levels, from romantic to business meeting, and she says dimmers are always a good investment. And as LED technology improves and evolves, a white light can become red, yellow, or blue with a simple touch of a button.

Then there's always cheap-and-cheerful twinkle of Christmas and patio lights. In the airy top-floor office in Saint John, where Adair and her husband, Stephen Kopp, run Acre Architects, strands of sparkling orbs provide more ambiance than illumination. The pair also like using small, ground-level lights to help brighten walls, for instance. "There's a difference between atmospheric lighting and lighting a space to be able to dust or clean," Adair says. "Think of it like this: It's not necessarily about seeing light, but eliminating darkness."



2017 Results

24 January 2018
Larose Team

TORONTO, ONTARIO, January 2018 – The Toronto Real Estate Board recorded 92,394 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in 2017 which is is down 18.3 per cent in units compared to the record set in 2016. Record sales in Q1 were followed by a decline in Q2 and Q3. The average selling price for 2017 was $822,681 – up 12.7% over 2016. The annual growth was driven by extremely tight market conditions during the first four months of the year. Of note, home price growth in the second half of 2017 differed dramatically depending on home type. The detached segment experienced the lowest increase while the condominium apartment segment experienced double-digit growth.

Much of the sales volatility in 2017 was brought about by government policy decisions. The Ontario Fair Housing Plan, which included a foreign buyer tax, had a definite psychological impact on the market. Some areas in GTA such as Oakville have seen prices fall on a year over year as they they had a higher level of foreign investment in the spring which has largely concentrated at the high end of the market. We experienced the same run up as well in the prime south Mississauga areas. Wealthy foreign buyers continue to price local affluent buyers out of high end neighbourhoods.

In the first few months of 2018, government policy could continue to influence consumer behavior as changes to federal mortgage lending guidelines came into effect on Jan 1st. New mortgage rules have been expanded to apply to uninsured mortgages as well, (those with a downpayment in excess of 20%) “What it means for buyers is more money down, a less expensive property- or seek a mortgage from a mortgage lender not governed by the federal banking regulator” says Kevin Larose of The Larose team. “Some but not all pre-approvals were subject to 2017 rules- check with your lender before you purchase.”

A growing supply of inventory has kept price increases in check. The central bank raised its key lending rate by .25% this month to 1.25%. And Canada’s 6 largest banks have announced they will raise the prime lending rates to 3.45% “What will have more of an affect on the market than anything else is rising interest rates” says Kevin Larose. We can expect a steady spring market and those that go to market early could end up the big
winners this year.”

The economy is healthy and there is much building and growth planned here in the south Mississauga areas. If you are looking to make a move in 2018, contact us at 905 278-7355.

Market Watch - November 2017

21 December 2017
Larose Team

TREB stats - the demand for housing in the GTA is strong over and above the regular seasonal trend according to TREB. Similar to the Greater Vancouver results, the impact of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan seems to be starting to wane. In addition, the upcoming changes to mortgage lending guidelines which come into effect in January 2018 may have encouraged some buyers to speed up their home buying decision.

The MLS® average selling price for all home types in November combined was down by two per cent compared to November 2016, due in large part to a smaller share of detached home sales versus last year. Year to date, the average selling price was up by 13.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Condos continue to lead the way in terms of price growth, with the average condominium apartment price up by double-digits compared to November 2016.

November sales in Mississauga were virtually flat to last year in number of unit sales at 754 (all types) and average price of $675,000 for same. New listings were up 38% over last year averaging out to a balanced sales to new listing ratio of 54% and a healthy 1.6% months of inventory- which is still low by historical standards. Average days on market is currently sitting at 25 and average sales to list is 98%. If you were to ask most Realtors in the Mississauga area about the November market stats, most would agree things are looking pretty solid.

This remains to be seen as we approach January 2018. The first few weeks into January should tell us a lot about the impact of the mortgage rule changes. Stay tuned!

Publishing sold data - What has changed?

21 December 2017
Larose Team
Mississauga- Last week, the Competition Bureau won an appeal forcing TREB to allow real estate companies to publicly post extensive data including sold prices on their websites. These data sites have been available to consumers in the U.S.A. for years. The appeal court ruled that TREB could not prevent its members from posting the data closing the argument that it breaches privacy restrictions.This data has been available to realtors and Treb members as agents have always been allowed to distribute limited sales data up to 100 clients at a time.

The new ruling will allow the information to be made available online for anyone to view. Several technology companies have already developed sites that provide the data, although at at this time, you still need to log in and create an account. On one site, you can create an account for 1.00 per month (the subscription fee of $3.00 is payable quarterly) and receive sold listings sent to you daily.
We expect other comprehensive sites to pop up all displaying data and capturing potential buyers and sellers using different incentives. “Its not just publishing the data- it is being able to interpret the information to help you navigate the current market, whether buying or selling” adds Kevin Larose from the Larose Team.

“The truth is we have been offering this kind of service for years” explains Kevin. ‘As realtors, we have been able to pass on all sold data to our prospective buyers and sellers with no hassle or fee. We see the new ruling as a small change in that we will be able to host the data in one area on our site with easier accessibility to prospective clients. Its a win for everyone’.

If you are looking to buy or sell in 2018- sign on to our site and we will provide you with daily, weekly or monthly sold prices on all properties in your area. Call us for more info at 905 278-7355

Tougher Mortgage Rules Could Shut out 50,000 Potential Home Buyers

05 December 2017
Larose Team

Tougher mortgage stress-testing rules could make it impossible for 40,000 to 50,000 Canadians to buy a home each year, driving down real estate sales and reducing the anticipated pace of new mortgage-lending growth, according to a new analysis.

A report by Mortgage Professionals Canada, a national mortgage-broker industry association, forecasts about 18 per cent of home buyers – or about 100,000 people a year – would not qualify for their preferred home purchase option under new rules announced in October by Canada's banking regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

Websites publishing Toronto home sales data quick to spring up after federal court ruling

Mortgage Professionals Canada chief economist Will Dunning, who wrote the report released Tuesday, estimates 50 per cent to 60 per cent of those not qualifying will be able to adjust their expectations and buy a cheaper home, but he anticipates the other 40 per cent to 50 per cent will likely not buy anything because the adjustments they have to make would price them out of the market.

It will leave about 40,000 to 50,000 potential buyers a year shut out of the market, which means a 6-per-cent to 7.5-per-cent drop next year in home sales, including sales of both new and resale homes, he said.

He added that rising interest rates are expected to have a similar level of impact on home buyers next year, on top of the stress-test rule impact.

"Between the two – the policy effect and the interest-rate effect – we're looking at somewhere between 12-per-cent and 15-per-cent less sales next year than we saw in 2016," Mr. Dunning said in an interview.

The stress-testing rules, which will take effect Jan. 1, will require borrowers who are making a down payment of more than 20 per cent of a home's value to prove they could still afford their mortgage payments if interest rates were significantly higher. The OSFI rule change will require borrowers to qualify for mortgages at the greater of the Bank of Canada's five-year benchmark rate or an interest rate two percentage points higher than they negotiated.

Mr. Dunning said federal regulators have introduced six prior policy changes since 2010 impacting mortgage eligibility in Canada, but until now, only the package of changes in 2012 – which reduced maximum amortizations to 25 years from 30 years – had a substantial impact on home sales.

"It appears that this new policy change is also likely to have substantive and prolonged consequences," the study concludes.

While home sales are expected to fall, the report forecasts 5.5-per-cent growth in the amount of outstanding mortgage credit in 2018, which is a reduction from 5.9-per-cent growth in 2017 and the prior 12-year average growth rate of 7.3 per cent.

Mr. Dunning said mortgage borrowing is expected to grow despite his forecast of falling sales, largely because there are so many new homes under construction that have already been started and have buyers scheduled to take possession next year.

"There have been a lot of housing starts lately and those are going to be completed next year, so that's going to require a lot of new mortgages on those newly completed dwellings," he said. "That's what's holding it up. If you look further out, there's going to be a further drop off in credit growth in 2019 and 2020."

Many analysts have predicted buyers will have to reduce their target prices by 20 per cent under the new stress-testing rules, but the report said those estimates ignore the fact that most people borrow much less than the amount their banks qualify them to borrow, so have leeway to adjust.

Based on data from a survey the mortgage association conducted in the spring – asking potential home buyers their target purchase prices, their down payments and their borrowing rates – Mr. Dunning predicts average home buyers would need to reduce their target prices by just 6.8 per cent or by $31,000 under the new rules.


Are you still unclear how these new changes will affect you? 
Contact the Larose Team for a consultation today!


Source: The Globe and Mail

Christmas at the Lighthouse

27 November 2017
Larose Team

The annual kick off the Christmas Season at the Lighthouse is this Saturday!! The all-day family fun event features photos with Santa, interactive ice sculptures, face painting, festive artisan market, storytelling, ice figure skating performance and much more! 

 Stay for the lighting of the lighthouse at 5pm – the new lighthouse lighting is going to be incredible!!



21 November 2017
Larose Team

The real estate market in Mississauga has returned to more ‘balanced’ levels as we close off 2017. Although sales in units (all types) are down about 40% from October 2016, the average price is up about 5.3 percent and days on market have increased to a steady 24 from 15 a year ago.

“During the spring market- we experienced a frenzy like never before with properties selling at record prices” says Kevin Larose of the Larose Team. We are exploring all aspects of our business right now which revolve around how we can achieve the best outcome for our clients.”

So what lies ahead for 2018? As the market continues to balance out, we are currently experiencing a lift in sales prior to January 1st 2018 when the new ‘stress test’ rules kick in. The new rules are the latest in a series of policy changes aimed at ensuring Canadians can afford their homes and at curbing risky lending practices.

From left to right: Rick Declute, Frank Leo, Jay Miller, Marlene Baur, Barry Cohen, Shawn Lepp, Chuck Charlton, Dan Cooper, Melanie Wright, Kevin Larose

This past week, our Real Estate Group met to discuss the current markets and plan for 2018. What came from the discussion was the Toronto market has rebounded quicker than the market in the 905 areas- with a few exceptions. We all agreed with a recent report from an economist at CIBC World Markets who predicts that the new stress test rules will prove to be just a ‘speed bump’ in housing demand in the Toronto and Vancouver markets. That’s because many people will find ways around the rule changes by extending amortization periods- or opting for variable rate mortgages. Others will turn to non-bank lenders because they are not governed by the same banking regulations. “If you think Toronto and Vancouver are unaffordable now, just wait.”

Want to follow our insights as we move into next year? Check back on our blog and join our Facebook page.


Giving back this Christmas

17 November 2017
Larose Team

Each year our annual holiday card is one of a variety of festive cards with original art lovingly-designed by employees from Options, a not-for-profit charity in Port Credit. Their mission is to hire individuals with intellectual disabilities in order to help build their skills and provide meaningful employment in the community. The Holiday Cards are available for purchase and one hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to their cause.

Options is located at 113 Lakeshore Rd. W, Mississauga