Phishing Scams Hit Indeed

If you’re on Indeed or other career sites, you may be a target for phishing scams. The scammers will contact you via email with a promise of part-time employment. They then ask for you to submit personal information, which they can use to steal your identity. In some cases, they can then take that personal information to potentially take over some of your banking or other accounts and steal your money.

This morning I received yet another attempt from a scammer, only this time through Indeed. Its been quite a while since I visited Indeed, so I’m not sure why or how I showed up on this scammer’s radar. Most educated people will be able to determine by the email he/she sent me below, that this is a scam. However, In this time of global crisis, many indivdiuals may be tempted to provide the requested information out of desperation. These scammers are looking for this type of prey.

Protect yourself! Never send personal information, identification, passport, driver’s license, banking information, residential address or anything that can be used to steal your identity.

Please share this with your family and friends to help protect them.

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10 Tips For Traveling While Pregnant

Being pregnant is one of the most wonderful times of your life. It does, however, come with certain restrictions. Especially if you plan on traveling while pregnant. Carrying and building a baby limits the kind of transport you can use to get around, especially internationally. One cannot fly when over a certain amount of months, or if you are experiencing complications. A very easy way to get to your destination via train. Train companies often cater to pregnant women, making it one of the most popular means of travel when you are expecting.

  • Train Transport Is The Eco-Friendly Way To Travel. This article is written to educate about Train Travel by Save A Train, The Cheapest Train Tickets Website In The World.

Before You Begin

Before you even begin your journey with your little one aboard, take some time to prepare your body. Try to do as much exercise as you can, this will ensure that your body is in the best shape to sand up to the rigors of travel. Traveling while pregnant can take a lot out of you. Practice stretching, and strengthening your core and legs. Sleeping in traveling compartments is often more cramped than you are used to, and you may need the extra flexibility to get comfortable.

Luxembourg to Brussels Train Tickets

Antwerp to Brussels Train Tickets

Amsterdam to Brussels Train Tickets

Paris to Brussels Train Tickets

Traveling While Pregnant Tip 1: Check With Your Doctor

Before you travel, and this may sound like a no brainer, check with your doc that you are in fact cleared for it. Be sure to explain that you are traveling by train and not by air, as that will most likely have a big difference on the outcome. High-risk pregnancies and those who are very late in their third trimester may be denied access to travel, so it’s always best to be cleared beforehand to avoid disappointment. Once you have the all-clear, book your train ticket online.

Munich to Zurich Train Tickets

Berlin to Zurich Train Tickets

Basel to Zurich Train Tickets

Vienna to Zurich Train Tickets

Doctor check

Tip 2: Plan Carefully

We all know that events such as weddings and parties don’t always fall into your perfect pregnancy travel plan. Where possible, however, try to make sure that your travel coincides with the most comfortable part of your pregnancy. The first trimester is often plagued with nausea, lack of appetite and generally feeling awful. The third trimester is when you begin to feel a bit like a whale, and standing for any period of time makes your feet want to fall off. Add swollen ankles, the lack of sleep, and the ever-growing baby’s movement cycles into that and you may have a very uncomfortable trip. The second trimester is usually the best time to get your travel on. You aren’t too big yet, and in most cases, the nausea has subsided. Traveling while pregnant is always best done if you don’t spend the entire time wanting to throw up, or lie down!

Amsterdam To London Train Tickets

Paris to London Train Tickets

Berlin to London Train Tickets

Brussels to London Train Tickets

Traveling While Pregnant Tip 3: Bring Your Own Pillows

Getting comfortable while pregnant is not easy. This is especially true if it is a bit later in the pregnancy. Be sure to pack your own favorite pillows for your trip. Having your own pillows will not only guarantee more comfort, but it will also give you a sense of familiarity to help you feel less stressed. Traveling while pregnant can make your back, neck, and pretty much every part of you sore. Let’s face it, pretty much anything can be stressful whilst pregnant, so always try to make things as easy as possible.

Milan to Rome Train Tickets

Florence to Rome Train Tickets

Pisa to Rome Train Tickets

Naples to Rome Train Tickets

Bring your own pillow when Traveling while pregnant

Tip 4: Keep To Your Time Table

Traveling while pregnant often comes with many unforeseen delays. You never know how you are going to feel on the morning of your trip, or if your body is going to need some time out. Everything is more stressful, and one can often run late. Draw up a time table before your train trip, ad be sure to add as much extra time into it as possible. Aim to be early enough that delays such as traffic or anything else will not cause you to have to rush. Sure, sitting around waiting for your train may be a pain, but it is infinitely better than rushing, while pregnant, to catch it.

Amsterdam to Paris Train Tickets

London to Paris Train Tickets

Rotterdam to Paris Train Tickets

Brussels to Paris Train Tickets

Traveling While Pregnant Tip 5: Don’t Rely On Bought Food

All sorts of things can set off your stomach when you are pregnant. Not to mention that there is a list as long as your arm of things that you are not supposed to eat. Bringing your own food with you will negate most of those issues when traveling while pregnant. When you pack your own meals, you know exactly what is in it, and exactly what to expect. Be sure to pack them in a cooler box or some other insulated packaging to keep it cool or warm.

Brussels to Amsterdam Train Tickets

London to Amsterdam Train Tickets

Berlin to Amsterdam Train Tickets

Paris to Amsterdam Train Tickets

Food to eat while pregnant

Tip 6: Triple Check Your Medications

That sinking feeling when you realize that you have left an important medication behind is something that none of us wish to experience. Being pregnant, you may be on different medications to everyday life. These may not instantly pop to the forefront of your mind when packing. Be sure to not only triple check that you have more than enough medications but get someone else to check them for you too.

Nuremberg to Prague Train Tickets

Munich to Prague Train Tickets

Berlin to Prague Train Tickets

Vienna to Prague Train Tickets

Tip 7: Don’t Lift Your Luggage!

This may also sound like a no brainer, but so often we just carry a suitcase or a bag just to get it done and out of the way. Luggage is heavy, so lifting it while pregnant is a no-no! Get someone else to give you hand if you can, otherwise flag down a guard.

Frankfurt to Berlin Train Tickets

Leipzig to Berlin Train Tickets

Hanover to Berlin Train Tickets

Hamburg to Berlin Train Tickets

Traveling while pregnant

Tip 8: Don’t Travel Alone

Even if you plan on taking a trip by yourself, try to tie it in with a co-worker or a friend that needs to go to the same place. Traveling alone while you are pregnant exposes you to enormous risks. You never know if something may go wrong, so you need a friendly face there with you to help you out.

Milan to Venice Train Tickets

Padua to Venice Train Tickets

Bologna to Venice Train Tickets

Rome to Venice Train Tickets

Tip 9: Bring Some Music

The whole point behind being prepared when you travel while pregnant is to reduce stress. Stress can cause all sorts of unwelcome and unhealthy effects on your body. Be sure to bring some music with you on your train. Pop in your headphones, and just sit back and relax as you get to your destination. Remember to breathe.

Marseilles to Lyon Train Tickets

Paris to Lyon Train Tickets

Lyon to Paris Train Tickets

Lyon to Avignon Train Tickets

Bring Some Music and Headphones

Tip 10: Book Your Tickets In Advance

Make sure that not only do you book your tickets online, but you also get the cheapest train tickets with Save A Train. Making sure that you have peace of mind regarding getting the best tickets, do it in far in advance as possible, get the correct train tickets is essential to having a good train trip while pregnant.

Salzburg to Vienna Train Tickets

Munich to Vienna Train Tickets

Graz to Vienna Train Tickets

Prague to Vienna Train Tickets

Being pregnant is a wonderful and sometimes scary experience. At Save A Train we would love to help you to enjoy your trip, plan ahead, and avoid any potential pitfalls. Traveling by train is such a lovely experience, and that shouldn’t change because you are expecting a baby!

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Covid-19 Train Travel Industry Advise On Traveling

Covid-19. It’s all we seem to be able to speak about, and for good reason. This virus has gripped the world and completely changed the way we think about daily life and of course Train Travel. Train Travel is a mode of transport many use not just for holiday pleasure, but for work commutes as well.

So, What Is The Train Travel Industry Advise On Traveling? 

Let’s discuss what the train industry is doing to keep you safe. The majority of train stations are intensifying its cleaning protocol for trains and stations. Besides intensifying cleaning, the frequency on trains and at stations has also increased. Cleaning occurs on an hourly basis, and includes the use of disinfectant to wipe down handrails, doorknobs, handles and restrooms. Additional antibacterial products, including sanitizers and wipes, are being provided at stations, on trains and in employee work areas.

Train Travel Industry Advise On Traveling Tip 1: Online Payment

We recommend going 100% contactless if you can. If you have not bought your train ticket online for whatever reason, going forward all payments should be contactless if possible. Why? Well, there are some mixed messages. This is what the Bank of England says: “Like any other surface that large numbers of people come into contact with, notes can carry bacteria or viruses. However, the risk posed by handling a polymer note is no greater than touching any other common surfaces such as handrails, doorknobs or credit cards.” Earlier this month a newspaper report claimed the World Health Organization (WHO) had said banknotes may be spreading the coronavirus, so people should try to use contactless payments instead. But it was then reported that the WHO denied it had said cash was transmitting the coronavirus, and that it had been “misrepresented” – so go figure.

However, let’s put two and two together, shall we? Most notes and coins will have previously been handled by large numbers of people , so if you are worried, paying with a contactless card where possible is probably the way to go.

Milan to Rome Trains

Florence to Rome Trains

Pisa to Rome Trains

Naples to Rome Trains

Tip 2: Social Distancing!

Social Distancing means NO TOUCHY under any circumstances. But, what about the crammed trains, tubes, and trams?

Anyone who has regularly used Train Travel will know that it can be hard to stay a few cm’s away from the next passenger, never mind the recommended 1M. In Milan, passengers have been advised to sit opposite an empty seat, something of which passengers in more busy cities can usually only dream.

One of the busiest Train Travelling cities is London. The Transport for London unveiled an “enhanced cleaning regime” to improve the hygiene levels on the capital’s public transport, but nothing to enforce social distancing. This is up to you. Bottom line is that you need to try avoid touching other people. Travel at less busy times if possible, wear gloves if you can’t avoid touching rails, seat etc. Carry your own disinfectant with you. Don’t rely on the Train Stations to provide for you at all times. Better safe than sorry!

Amsterdam to Paris Trains

London to Paris Trains

Rotterdam to Paris Trains

Brussels to Paris Trains

Train Travel Industry Advise on how to speak

Tip 3: Don’t Use Refillable Cups!

The Train Travel Industry Advise on Traveling includes guides on the do’s and don’t and your favorite cuppa. While getting into the habit of carrying and using refillable cups when out and about has been encouraged as an eco-conscious move, we’re afraid this no longer applies.

Many large coffee chains are having a rethink in response to the coronavirus outbreak, with Starbucks temporarily banning the use of reusable cups – typically made of plastic, glass or bamboo material – for the safety of both customers and staff. Usually you receive a discount for bringing your own cup, but you may not get the same response now! You’re going to have to forfeit that small discount for safety’s sake.

Brussels to Amsterdam Trains

London to Amsterdam Trains

Berlin to Amsterdam Trains

Paris to Amsterdam Trains

Tip 4: Don’t Touch!

Many people are asking if taking the train means more risk of infection. The short answer is that if you are sitting on a train and within 1-2 meters of an infected person who coughs, you are at risk of infection.

But what we think is more pertinent to point out that the more likely risk is the virus lingering for 48-72 hours on a hard surface, such as the hand rail. This doesn’t just apply to Trains though. It’s ANY public space.

If you have to touch rails, buttons, tickets and so on, try to do it with just one hand or better, your elbow! Keep phones in the other “clean” hand and wash both as soon as you can at your destination.

Nuremberg to Prague Trains

Munich to Prague Trains

Berlin to Prague Trains

Vienna to Prague Trains

Don't Touch! Use elbow to say hello

Tip 5: Travel By Train!

If you’re going to travel, let it be by train. We’re increasingly seeing no refunds on air travel, while train travel is more flexible. Normal terms and conditions apply seem to be many of the airlines responses. “There is currently no change to advice for airlines, so our flights are operating as normal and standard terms and conditions on tickets continue to apply,” says easyJet.

Some rival airlines are being more accommodating. British Airways is offering a degree of flexibility on flights to northern Italy, while its sister airline Aer Lingus is going one better with the promise: “Guests who made bookings on and wish to change the dates or destinations of their upcoming flights can do so.”

Frankfurt to Berlin Trains

Leipzig to Berlin Trains

Hanover to Berlin Trains

Hamburg to Berlin Trains

no refunds on air travel

Tip 6: Pack Your Own Snacks!

Pack your own snacks if you’re traveling by train. Many trains have temporarily closed their First Class Lounges and removed on board catering. So, time to get creative with your lunchboxes! Take your own refreshments or purchase from station food retailers before you board. These measures are of course, designed to protect you and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus!

Milan to Venice Trains

Padua to Venice Trains

Bologna to Venice Trains

Rome to Venice Trains

Train Travel Industry Advise on food

We know this is a scary time. But, we encourage you to remain calm and logical in your approach to health and safety when traveling by train or other means. At Save A Train we are committed to ensuring all our customers and staff are kept safe and are up to date with all the latest safety procedures and developments.

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For Sale: Townhouse in Heart of Toronto at Affordable Price

98 Carr St. Townhouse

You’ll find this bright, sun-filled, Multi-Level Townhouse in the heart of the City. Located near Alexandra Park, it’s on the edge of the Kensington-Chinatown neighbourhood. It is conveniently close to Kensington Market and the Fashion District.

Also, it is conveniently less than 3 kilometers from the financial district. This home is perfect for young professionals or investors in rental properties catering to high-income downtown professionals.

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Juliette Balcony
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98 Carr St.

This house is freshly painted cleaned from top-to-bottom. Also, it has an upgraded kitchen with stainless steel appliances, wine rack and granite counter-top. Enjoy open concept living and dining with a wonderful Juliette balcony overlooking the courtyard. The large rooftop terrace with gas hookup makes for special summer experiences. Gather with family and friends, while taking in the incredible south facing view of the city and famous CN Tower. It is also close to shops, hospital, schools, and streetcars.

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The complex has 24-Hour security. Home comes with fridge, stove, built-in microwave, built-in dishwasher; stacked washer and dryer; all window coverings, all electric light fixtures and underground parking.

Do you want a townhouse in the heart of Toronto, close to the financial district and diversified neighbourhoods? Do you like being near young professionals and a happening atmosphere? This home is ready to move in and its affordable. Contact me if you’re ready to buy and would like to see the home.


Bustling Chinatown has a variety of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants offering a selection of cuisine from dim sum and pho to modern fusion. Animated Asian-style open-air markets and shops along Spadina Avenue offer fresh fruits and vegetables, along with herbal medicine and souvenirs. Chinese New Year celebrations and live stage shows, martial arts demonstrations and live dances draw tourists.


Kensington Market is a pedestrian friendly, walkable bohemian-type neighbourhood. No wonder that it draws artists and tourists to its vintage boutiques, indie shops, and arts spaces. In addition, the Market is home to a wide range of specialty grocers, bakeries and cheese shops. While hipsters frequent trendy bars, cafes and international restaurants, students and families fill the Victorian houses along tree-lined streets. As a result restaurants range from casual to fine dining experiences.

According to Toronto Life, Kensington-Chinatown neighourhood ranks 40th amonth Toronto’s 140 communities for quality of life. It was given a score of 100 for Shopping, 98.6 for Entertainment, 97.2 for Education, 95 for Transit, and 82.9 for Health.


In the historic Fashion District, are old textile factories and warehouses which now house fabric stores, clothing boutiques, artists’ studios, offices, and condos. The neighbourhood has a mix of trendy international restaurants and old-school diners, which make for a busy dining scene. Also, King Street West’s dance clubs are known to draw late-night crowds. Colourful, frequently changing street art defines ‘Graffiti Alley’, a popular name for a long lane found in the neighbourhood.


Alexandra Park is a compact district in downtown Toronto. Conveniently, lots of casual restaurants, cocktail lounges, and karaoke bars line the busy streets that outline the community. Enjoy some intimate live music venues, modern Canadian plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille. The park, who’s name defines the neighbourhood, contains a playground, outdoor pool with splash pad, and a winter ice-skating rink.

Ready to buy your home in Toronto, let me help you make it an enjoyable experience, the right decision for you. 416-564-0245.

The post For Sale: Townhouse in Heart of Toronto at Affordable Price appeared first on Baldo Minaudo, Broker.

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Your Mind versus Meditation

Your mind is complex.

The conscious mind governs body/mind actions. This is the part of the mind that has the ability to think and can originate thought. It is connected to all our senses. Through our senses we connect to the external world and it is reflected back to our conscious mind as an image. It can accept or reject any idea to which it is exposed. It can make choices. This is where our free will lies as well as both inductive and deductive thinking. We have six intellectual faculties that give us our creative ability: Reasoning, Will or Concentration, Perception, Memory, Intuition, and Imagination.

The subconscious mind governs the body/mind functions. It functions in every cell of our body. This is the part of our mind that is the power center. It does not recognize time or space, only vibrations. It processes images, not words. The subconscious mind has no ability to reject a thought. It accepts everything that is impressed upon it. It is totally deductive. It operates on autopilot. It never sleeps; it is always on duty recording everything.

Your conscious mind loves to control. It loves to predict, and it loves to reason. It has opinions, it takes things personal, and it thinks it knows what’s best for you. It loves to think, it loves to analyze. It cannot stop thinking. The reason it cannot stop thinking is because it was programmed for survival; to keep you alive.

Now, where does meditation come into this? Well, when we meditate, we are going against the grain; we’re going against the mind. The mind does not want to stop thinking. Meditation silences your mind. Meditation actually takes you out of the mind and puts you in the present moment.

See, when you enter meditation, you enter a new level of awareness; of higher consciousness. This is where you can get information; insight from what is known as your true self or the higher self. When you meditate, information is actually downloaded into your subconscious that can be used at a later date, to help you to solve many issues that your intellect couldn’t solve.

When you meditate, you will get inspired action, you will gain more happiness, more peace, more alertness. You will figure out the ways to create a marvelous life. Why? Because meditation is coming from the superconscious mind. You can say the mind of God, Creator, a higher connection; but that information has to come in and the only way that information can get in to be processed is in the present moment. Because time is one constant in all direction, in simple terms, everything happens now.

So, if you start to meditate and you start to get into this present moment, watch how amazing things happen. Watch how the answers that you couldn’t figure out pop into your head. Watch other solutions to create what you want pop into your head. Why? Because in the superconscious mind, all the knowledge or the information of whatever you desire exists, it has to funnel in. It cannot come in if the thinking mind is looping. There is no space, the thinking mind has to retreat.

So, to get the thinking mind to retreat, BREATHE! Put your attention on that breath. You are no longer thinking, the mind is silence. You can allow your higher self to filter information. Now, it takes practice, because of course, the thinking mind will fight back because it is not familiar with not thinking. But the moment you can get this discipline and the moment you can get your mind out of that mode is the moment you will see the changes in your life. Because as you know, what you put your attention on, you will create.

Lead your day.

Charlene Day

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For Rent: Upscale 1 Bedroom Flaire Condo Apartment at Shops at Don Mills in North York

Welcome to Flaire Condos at The Contemporary Urban Village at The Shops At Don Mills. 

This one bedroom unit on the 10th floor has one of the best views in the building. The South West Facing view captures the core of Toronto’s cityscape with the CN Tower and surrounding high-rises, the Yonge/Eglinton and Yonge/Sheppard clusters, and the expansive vista of detached homes and landscapes in between. The unit offers a clean layout with functional and elegant linear kitchen, state of the art ventilation system, and movable bedroom corner walls. This fashionably designed unit is ready for you to make your abode with your personal touch and character.  

This unit is unfurnished and does include window coverings. Appliances include washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator, cooktop oven, microwave, parking and storage locker. Includes Heat, Water, Air Conditioning, Parking, Storage. Tenant pays for own use of Hydro and Cable/Internet.


Flaire provides great amenities including: 24 hour concierge service, impressive upscale lobby, Gym, Cable, Internet/TV. Movie Screening Room, Rooftop Terrace with BBQ, party room, security guard and lots of visitor parking. 

Step outside into the Shops at Don Mills with its upscale shops, restaurants, cafes, VIP Screening Room Cineplex Theatre, Centre Square and the wonderful seasonal sculpture and events. Take a walk to discover nearby walking trails, parks. Very close to DVP and TTC.


This unit is perfect for the young professional looking for lifestyle in a diversified community of fashionable professionals of cultures from around the world. Great place to make new friends, stay at the forefront of innovations and develop your network.

Whether you’re a corporate executive, professional, entrepreneur, writer, artist or social media influencer, this building and this neighbourhood will provide you with both the inspiration and environment to produce, relax and excel. For more information on the neighbourhood visit Living At The Shops At Don Mills

Only $2300 per month!

If you’re a AAA tenant, don’t miss this exclusive listing opportunity. Application form, credit check, proof of income and/or employment is required.

Listed through Baldo Minaudo, MBA, Broker, Real Estate Homeward 416-564-0245

*** Not intended to solicit clients under contract with a broker***

The post For Rent: Upscale 1 Bedroom Flaire Condo Apartment at Shops at Don Mills in North York appeared first on Baldo Minaudo, Broker.

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Interested in Real Estate Investing?

Interested in Real Estate Investing? Join me at our VIP Client Event on Delta Hotels (formerly Novotel), 3670 Hurontario St., Mississauga (Burmanthorpe Hurontario) Wednesday, Feb. 26. We’ll teach you about building wealth through investing and you’ll get VIP access to an amazing, turn-key investment that I think is great for my friends and clients. Positive cash flow within as little as 30 days. PLUS you get a chance to win a free Condo when you attend.

If interested email me at

#EasyInvesting #investmentrealestate #rentalproperty

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Living Near A Nuclear Power Plant

Some people living near a nuclear power plant may not be fully aware of the immediate and potential consequences. According to initiatives from The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC; the federal agency that monitors the safe operation of nuclear stations), the concern is for homes and businesses within 10 km of nuclear power station. Homeowners, should be aware of the potential health impact, as well as the impact on the value of their homes.

This post will help in guiding you to become more aware of both the health and financial issues of living in proximity to a nuclear power plant. You will be made aware of sources for information about potential health hazards to you, your family and employees. In addition, you will be made aware of potential consequences to owning a home or business in proximity to a nuclear power plant.

Living in Proximity to the Pickering Nuclear Power Plant

This map depicts a 10 km radius around the Pickering Nuclear Power Plant. This distance was used because The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) now requires that all homes and businesses within 10 km of a nuclear power station receive a supply of potassium iodide (KI) pills.  I am not aware of why they chose a 10 km distance or the difference in impact to a 15 km distance.

Map of 10 km distances from Pickering Nuclear Power Plant

Map showing 10 km distance from the Pickering Power Plant near Toronto

Home Value Near Nuclear Power Plant

It is not unusual for homes in proximity to Nuclear Power Plants sell at lower prices than similar homes outside the 10 km radius of the plant. This difference in price is due to the stigma of being near a potential source of radioactivity and potential for a major incident. Though some people can live their daily lives with this concern, many would rather pay higher prices to live with the belief that they are safer from these risks.

The reality is that if there were to be major incident at a nearby nuclear power plant, then the value of nearby homes would be significantly impacted. In cases where long-term or permanent evacuation were mandated, the property would be pretty much useless. Unfortunately, homeowners insurance does not cover nuclear or radiation damage.

Of course, there would be law suits filed. But, these take years to work through and if the owners don’t die during the incident, they may be dead by the time any lawsuits are settled. It is unlikely that the true damage to one’s family and life could be recouped from any lawsuit. Lives could be destroyed.

If you are one of those individuals that is not willing to live with the potential hazard and stress of living within a 10km radius of the Pickering Power Plant and you would like to move, I provide a full service that includes assessing the value of your present home, identifying neighbourhoods you may want to move to and creating a plan to get you moved within the budget and resources at your disposal. You can contact me via email ( or by telephone to book a complimentary consultation session.

Employees, Tradespeople and Sales People

There are many employees that work daily within the 10km radius of the Pickering Power Plant. There are also many tradespeople (plumbers, electricians, drivers, etc.) that come in and out or through the area every day. The area also covers a large portion of Highway 401 which has hundreds of thousands of cars moving through it every day.

Be Prepared For An Incident

Meanwhile, you might want to read the post from MetroActive for how to prepare for an incident and what to do if one happens. Also, check out the “Security and Safety” Links in the “tools links” section of this website for how to order free treatment pills from the government for radiation poisoning.

Information Only

This post was prepared strictly for awareness of potential issues and not to alarm any individuals or create panic. It is highly unlikely that a massive nuclear radioactivity incident were to happen at most nuclear power plants. It is your sole responsibility to conduct your research to be fully aware of the potential consequences and mitigating options so that you can make an informed decisions for yourself and your family.

Sources of Information

Nuclear Radiation and Health Effects

Radiation Health Effects

Pickering Nuclear Generating Station


This is not an exhaustive discussion of issues and consequences of living or working near a nuclear power plant, but simply meant to get you started on your research. I am not a medical, nor nuclear professional and it is your responsibility to verify any information that may be provided in this post. This post does not represent the opinions or viewpoints of Real Estate Homeward Brokerage or any other entity.

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Lowe’s Closing of 34 Stores in Canada and What They Should Do

It is no surprise to me that Lowe’s is closing 34 stores across Canada. This morning Lowe’s reported Third Quarter sales and earning results in which it announced it will be closing 34 stores. You can get into the financial symptoms of why the decision is being made, but I’m going to jump to the fundamental source of why those stores have done poorly and what could have been done better.


The financial statements are a result of decisions and plans that were created and implemented from years ago when the Lowe’s acquired RONA. Combined, Lowe’s now had 539 stores. That’s almost three times more than Home Depot’s 182 Canadian stores.  In a news release dated May 20, 2016, Lowe’s highlighted previously stated commitments as part of its acquisition of RONA, including:

  • headquartering the Canadian businesses in Boucherville, Quebec;
  • maintaining RONA’s multiple retail store banners;
  • enhancing distribution services to dealer owners;
  • continuing RONA’s employment of the vast majority of its current employees and maintaining key executives from RONA’s strong leadership team;
  • continuing RONA’s local and ethical procurement strategy and potentially expanding relationships both Lowe’s and RONA have developed with Canadian manufacturers and suppliers; and
  • continuing to support Canadian communities through RONA and Lowe’s charitable and environmental initiatives.

Analysis of Lowe’s Operations

From my perspective a a business consultant with expertise in locating operations, commercial realtor, residential property manager and homeowner, I have much more to share about Lowe’s than I’m going to publish in this post. Overall, I’m grateful for Lowe’s and RONA and would shop there more often if the stores were better located or if the online ordering process was better. However, I can share the generalities of what I’ve seen of Lowe’s and examples from others experiences:

  1. Lowe’s Distribution Network – instances where online orders take up to 2 weeks for delivery, distribution centres not knowing what store to ship to, re-routing of shipments,  product sent to stores that aren’t closest to the destination. All these result in greater operating costs and damage to reputation among frequent purchasers of hardware items. Here are some examples of these consequences: Nov. 2, 2019, Nov. 13, 2019Nov. 18, 2019,
  2. Product Offering – products in stores often don’t match the demand for those products in that area. This indicates that whoever is doing the ordering for those stores isn’t in touch with the local market.
  3. Retail Locations – great discrepancy in success of different locations. Some locations are inconvenient to get too. Some pulling areas are concentrated, while others are too distant.
  4. Corporate Decisions – Lowe’s decided to have their headquarters in Montreal rather than the economic headquarters of Canada and where there is the greatest economy for renovations and construction. This also impacted the ability to attract top management talent and operating efficiencies. The preservation of retail banners also impacted the ability to leverage marketing and consumer behaviour.

Of course, significantly impacting the situation is the prolonged devastation to the Albertan economy from the collapse of oil prices. Reflecting this is Lowe’s higher per capita closure of stores in Alberta compared to other provinces. Further impacting the situation is the economic circumstances in other provinces. Had Lowe’s considered the cyclical nature of the Albertan oil-based economy and looked at the situation with the Tar Sands projects and price of oil, they would have acted more quickly. The question in my mind is who was responsible for looking at such significant considerations and why didn’t they hire someone like me to help with the research and analysis?

Here’s What I Would Do If I Were Running Lowe’s

  1. Take a more rational and efficient approach to distribution and logistics. With increasing trend to online purchases, improved online ordering and processing systems. This includes the integration of AI into marketing programs. Rather than push out discount notices to the buyers, use phone apps and client data to recommend purchases and locations in real-time. Many property managers, trades people and realtors, who account for much of hardware store sales. They are frequent and volume buyers who in many cases purchase on a daily basis and must do so in between meetings and tasks. Integration of AI into real-time marketing and co-ordination with supply-chain and logistics will not only provide competitive advantage directly with consumers, but also create powerful operating efficiencies. Improve on product handling and delivery!
  2. Get to know the customers better, especially by buyer types, but also by local community. Having the right product in the right place is the KEY to any retail success. Online buying is one thing, but if I’m dealing with a leaking faucet or flooded basement and I need to get some supplies right away, I just can’t wait for next day (or longer). I’m also willing to pay extra for those products at that time. Some neighbourhoods are more prone to flooding or icing in certain  months. Make sure that the store managers and purchasing managers are aware of these trends. Also, make sure the distribution system can act quickly so that it can have the product in the store when its needed. For example last year there was a major icy snow storm and for two weeks de-icing salt for pavement was completely sold out across the GTA. I, and others, would have gladly paid double the price to have a supply available. There isn’t any reason why supplies or inventory couldn’t have been re-routed to have product in store the next day. Once in store, I would likely pick up other items that I may need, like a new pair of work gloves, windshield wiper fluid, etc. These are items I’m picking up anyway from whatever store I’m in.
  3. Hire an expert to help with locating stores. Locational Analysis is a necessity that U.S. retailers entering the Canadian Market either fail to conduct or don’t have the expertise to properly undertake. This is painful for me, someone trained in urban economics with experience in locating operations, to see. Yet, by  hiring someone like me to conduct this work, it will make the difference between failure or success to foreign retailers in Canada. Retail Locations are the  most important for most end-use consumers. When I’m picking up a new wire for my weed-wacker which ran out in the middle of trimming my lawn or oil for my motorcycle, I’m going to want to go to the nearest retailer. Also, trades people don’t like to go out of their way when picking up supplies, so they tend to go to locations near highway entry points. Many trades will pick up items in the morning on their way to different jobs. So, locate stores where these trades people tend to live. I know neighbourhoods that are heavily populated with trades people who would do just that, but with no hardware store nearby.
  4. Always make corporate decisions based on ability to best identify and service customers, followed by operating competency and competitive advantage, and finally with an eye on operating efficiencies and profitability. Make sure it’s all in that order because each one relies on the previous consideration. Of course to have the right expertise with knowledge of key markets, like the Greater Toronto Area, requires you to hire someone in that market or with extensive experience in that market.

How Can I Help?

When Wal-Mart bought out the Woolco Stores, I worked with Bank of Montreal to analyse the impact it would have on the remaining Canadian retailers from their sales and operations to their financial performance. In a matter of weeks I had dissection and analyzed the impact on every major retailer across Canada and translated that into the impact on their financial performance. How I did this is for another much more detailed post.

In short, I analyzed every single retail outlet of every major retail chain which included: 1) consumer threshold, 2) product-mix overlap, 3) local pricing sensitivity, 4) psychological and geographical traffic boundaries, 5) traffic flows and much more. Then I cross indexed the information and translated it into the financial performance. Finally I conglomerated the data by retail chain to product financial projections for each one. The report went up to the Bank of Montreal Board of Directors and the information was then used to dictate risk appetite and credit exposure among the major retailers.

As part of my analysis, I drew two powerful conclusions, one of which was contrary to what Bank Executives were expecting at the time. If it were not for that analysis, the bank would have made different decisions, created different lending policies, which would have significantly affected Canadian retailers and their employees.

What Should You Do Before You Locate or Acquire a Location in Canada?

Contact me to have someone on your side who can help with every aspect of what needs to be done. But, most importantly, who can get you the right information, with proper analysis and solutions so you can make the best decisions for your business success!

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My Starbucks Community

The saying ‘What goes around comes around’ showed itself to be true at Starbucks. Last week, I dropped into my regular Starbucks location for lunch and work on a file. As I’m sitting down, my attention is drawn to a young south Asian man. He seems drunk as he lowers his pants and lifts his shirt while repeating ‘stomach empty, hungry’.

It appeared that the Starbucks customers were getting disturbed and didn’t know how to deal with this man approaching them. I mentioned it to Starbucks staff who seemed to be taken aback and also weren’t sure how to handle the situation. To manage the situation before it escalated, I approached the man and asked, “How you doing?”.

Stomach Empty, Hungry

The young man’s reply was the same line ‘stomach empty, hungry’. I straight out asked him, if he had been drinking, to which his reply was the same as before. I pulled out some money, looked at him in the eye and said ‘take this and buy yourself lunch across the parking lot. Make sure you take care of yourself.’ He was very grateful and kept thanking me. I repeated, ‘Just take care of yourself. Go. Go take care of yourself’. I had to repeat it a couple of times.

As he was leaving, I realized that I had seen that man around the neighbourhood before. In fact, a few years ago, I had given him some money to help me with some handy work on a property.

The Community We Build

I had forgotten about the whole incident. Then, yesterday, I found myself at the same Starbucks. As I’m ordering my sandwich, the supervisor, Bonny comes over. Calling me by my first name she says, “I want to thank you for what you did last week. The manager was here and we saw the whole thing.”. At first I didn’t realize what she was talking about.

Then she reminded me about the incident. I wasn’t expecting her to say, “You handled that situation really well for us. Richard (the manager), didn’t think you should have to buy him lunch, so he wanted me to give you a free lunch and drink”.  I may not be getting every word exact, but it is basically what she said and she went on to explain how it made a big difference to the other customers.

It left me speechless. Not only hadn’t I realized that anyone really noticed, but that it would affect anyone beyond the hungry young man. All I could say was “thank you, but you don’t have to pay for my lunch”. Bonny wouldn’t have it any other way and insisted that the lunch was on Starbucks.


We Are A Community

That’s when I realized the extend to which Starbucks is wanting to build a community, an environment of support, in which customers can come and feel that Italian ‘piazza’ atmosphere. A place where you can feel free to talk about anything and build relationships with others that may rely on Starbucks for their morning jolt, snack, temporary office station, meeting point or just to get out of the home or office.

Over the last day, I’ve thought about all the friends and business acquaintances I’ve met at Starbucks. Some I’ve done business with, others I’ve exchanged wisdom. They’ve included aspiring authors, film producers, e-commerce entrepreneurs, students, teachers, crypto-currency traders, business owners, and many more that don’t come to mind right now.

It is up to you and I to build our community or communities and we need to be engaged and pro-active to make it happen.


It happened at Starbucks
Where the hungry young man stood

A Glass of Water in The Dessert

One of the lessons I’ve learned in life is that you can give a glass of water to two different people and the impact can be totally different between the two. Give a man in a river a glass of water and he wouldn’t appreciate it. However, give a man in the desert a glass of water and he will remember it for life. It may have saved his life.

The glass of water is an analogy for needs that those around us may have. That young man in the Starbucks had a need for lunch because he was hungry. To him it was the most important thing, something he needed to go on. To everyone else, perhaps it would have been unneeded calories.

For the Starbucks staff, my gesture was needed because they may not have been equipped to handle the situation without escalation and potentially bad publicity. For that they were greatly appreciated.

And for me… my glass of water was being recognized by name and acknowledged for making a difference to others. You see, I needed that this week, perhaps as much as that young man  needed his lunch. We all have a tough time when we question the things we do and the value we add to others. Sometimes, getting acknowledge is our glass of water in the desert. Remember that today, look around you, and ask yourself who needs a glass of water!

That is the main reason why I’m sharing this with you. Another reason is that as important as this sort of thing is, the main street media will not likely mention it. At a time when our attention is being diverted to political mud-slinging, scandals, shootings and other discouraging activities, we need to see more of these unspoken acts.

Thank You Starbucks Community

I thank Bonny, Richard and the wonderful staff at the Kennedy Commons Starbucks (in Agincourt) for their service, support and importantly their glass of water in the desert.




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