Archive for Real Estate Agent

Business As Usual!

It’s business as usual for Mincom New Choice Realty.

They wouldn’t let a little thing like a fire in the building slow them down, no matter how much damage was done. In fact, most people, including their clients, weren’t even aware that the office had been uninhabitable for more than a week.

On Monday, November 20th, Mincom Jo was diligently working online at the office keeping up with her courses. Around 6:00 pm, alarms started to sound. Following protocol, Jo left her computer and joined residents in the lobby to find out what was happening. Unfortunately, it was not a drill.

There was a fire in one of the residential units. The occupants were lucky enough to escape unharmed. Things happened pretty quickly and it wasn’t long before firetrucks and ambulances were on the scene. Mincom Jo didn’t even have enough time to exit in her vehicle before being blocked in.

City buses weren’t far behind, their crews offering people a warm place to sit and handing out blankets. The building on Church Street has a very high occupancy of seniors and everyone was helping those in need. One resident was taken to the hospital with chest pains as was a fireman with minor injuries.

Sadly,  the unit was completely gutted by fire and there was extensive smoke damage throughout the building. The main floor commercial area where the Mincom New Choice offices are located suffered a lot of water and smoke damage. The water knocked out their server/internet room, and between that and the smoke, our Mincom Jo and her team mates were forced to work remotely.

Clean up started right away. Once the water was soaked up and the wet drywall and flooring were removed, the team was able to move back in and work. Meanwhile, the repairs continued. As an added fashion bonus, they had to wear masks to protect their throats from the lingering smell of smoke.

Mincom Jo Sporting The Latest in Anti Smoke Fashion

Mincom Jo summed the whole thing up pretty accurately,

“At the end of the day, everything can be replaced. No one was seriously injured and that’s the most important thing. It’s a great community here at Village Gardens. The building superintendent Ron and manager Janice went without sleep to make sure everyone and everything was looked after. A heartfelt thank you to them and to the contractors who worked tirelessly to get our lives back to normal. Also, many thanks to the first responders for getting things under control so quickly, for keeping the fire from spreading and becoming a major disaster.”

It’s good to know that nothing, not even water, smoke and fire keeps our Team from serving our clients.

More Than The Need For Speed

Chris Cleaver drives an altered 1932 Dodge, but not to work. He turns the AA Fueler loose at the drag strip where its 3,000 HP hemi works to turn seven second ¼ miles reaching speeds approaching 200 miles per hour. The blown “supercharged” engine runs on methanol. It’s a different world…roaring engines, screaming tires and fire suits. Oh, and parachutes to slow you down at the end of the run.

It doesn’t matter how hot it is out, full fire gear is required!

For Chris, drag racing is more than just a hobby. He invests a lot of time, energy, money and skinned knuckles. “I’m not a mechanic”, he says. “The engine was built by Keith Black and I take care of maintenance and everything else but the machine shop work.”

Judy is in the pInk when working as pit crew – Photo Credit Darwin Kent

On event weekends in the summer, you’ll probably find Chris and his wife, Judy Stacee-Cleaver, at one of the province’s four major drag strips competing with members of the Ontario Nostalgic Drag Racing Club (ONDR). “There’s lots of traveling and many racers come from all over the USA and Canada to participate,” says Judy. “They bring Funny Cars and Jet Cars which are very fast, and motorcycles and snowmobiles too. “And it seems like everyone has a golf cart to tow their dragsters to and from the staging area and to scoot around and visit old friends.”

Chris lets everyone else do the driving…in the golf carts

Judy plays an active role in the racing operation and among her other duties gets Chris lined up in the groove (approaching the starting point), then tows the car and him back to the pit after the run. Family friend and sponsor Johnny Bergeron is quite often along and is a main part of the crew.

Life in the "pit"

Life in the “pit”

The dynamic duo race at Toronto Motorsports (the old Cayuga Dragstrip); Grand Bend Motorplex, on the shores of Lake Huron; St. Thomas Raceway Park, just outside of Port Stanley on Lake Erie; and at Shannonville Motorsport Park, near Belleville and have made many friends along the way. ONDR usually has their season finale at St. Thomas, which hosts a Thanksgiving event called the Turkey Nationals. It’s very much a family affair and along with many other clubs, there will be young kids racing their “Junior” dragsters, with their parents sending them off.

This puts a whole new meaning to the term “Kiddie Car”

Often you’ll even see dogs wearing ear muffs as they take in the races.

No chasing cars for this fellow, fully geared up to protect his hearing

There will also be many campers and RV’s as members enjoy a weekend of fun which winds up with a festive turkey dinner.

“It’s a sport that brings together people from all walks of life, with many different jobs and functions,” says Judy. “And I’m here to support my husband. “It’s very exciting, although the faster he goes the more nervous I get. “But, there are a lot of rules and many safety considerations.” For instance, racing on methanol is somewhat safer than gasoline. Methanol has a lower burn temperature and is easier to control in case of fire — and a methanol fire can be put out with water. On the other hand, it takes more methanol to generate the same energy as you would from gasoline. That means that the car gets lighter as the methanol burns off during the run and the dragster can become less stable as you near the finish. “It’s about learning, challenging yourself,” Judy points out and Chris adds, “It’s all trial and error.”

The nostalgia and camaraderie appeals to Chris, perhaps even more than the “need for speed”. “That’s what I really enjoy,” he says. In the Nostalgia Drag Racing world, friendships last longer than a few months of preparation and a blistering seven second rush on the strip.

 

All Aboard!

These are busy times. The world just seems to be going faster and faster. Maybe not faster than a speeding bullet, but while we all try to get through our lives as Superman/Superwoman, one of the hardest feats to accomplish is being able to spend time with family. What’s more powerful than a locomotive? Spending time with family on a locomotive!

We may not be able to leap tall buildings at a single bound but we can certainly share the “Adventures of Mincom Jo and her Dad” on the York-Durham Heritage Railway.

The York-Durham Heritage Railway train is a heritage coach diesel locomotive from the 1950s that travels between Uxbridge and Stouffville through the beautiful Oak Ridges Moraine. The current Stouffville-Uxbridge line was built in the 1860’s by William Gooderham, a well-known distiller from Toronto.

There is always on-board entertainment, a snack bar, souvenir stand and a wealth of knowledge about the heritage of Canadian railways of South Central Ontario available. During various times of year there are also specially themed adventures like “A Day Out With Thomas“, the “Teddy Bear Train“, “Halloween Train” and “Santa Train“, to name a few. Jo and her Dad, Yosh, opted for “Boxcars and Beer – The Cheese Train” to spend some time together.

Yosh and Jo

Boxcars and Beer – The Cheese Train, is a unique “taste of Ontario” experience, featuring artisan cheeses from across Ontario paired with handcrafted beer from The Second Wedge Brewing Company of Uxbridge. Fromager Cecilia Smith and brewery owner Joanne Richter hosted the trip and guided our duo through five amazing beer and cheese pairings. It was quite an enjoyable education. To make things even sweeter, Desbarres Chocola provided a tasting square featuring organic beans from the Dominican Republic which produce a quality cacao with deep chocolate and red fruit notes.

Upon reaching historic downtown Uxbridge, our delighted duo, Jo and Yosh, were able to deboard the train and make a beeline to The Passionate Cook’s Essentials where they stocked up on some of the cheese and chocolate they had tasted on the train. There was also an option to visit the brewery or the Uxbridge Farmers’ Market. Jo was really pleased with the day…

“I really enjoyed being able to walk around Uxbridge and being able to support the local cheese, chocolate and beer makers was a big plus. Finding out that Uxbridge is considered the “Walking Trail Capital” of Canada was cool. I also met some friends that happened to be on the Family car with their son. They had musicians and balloon artists to entertain the kids and said it was wonderful. Luckily the rain stopped and we had lovely weather when we got to Uxbridge”

Yosh was so impressed with the beer samples he went back to Uxbridge the following Friday to visit the brewery…

“I was able to do some more sampling and bought some great beer. I liked that it’s all local businesses, and they make delicious beer. It’s really a great idea to have the sampling on the train.”

From what we can see, there are enough options for everyone to get on board with a ride on the York-Durham Heritage Railway and have themselves a super day!

 

Open Doors

Alexander Graham Bell once said, “When one door closes another door opens…”, and people have been quoting these words ever since. Often, those “open doors” lead to interesting and exciting opportunities or adventures. Such is the case across Ontario this season. Doors Open Ontario 2016 offers you the opportunity to discover the story behind every door.

DOORS OPEN 2016

Each year from April to October, the Ontario Heritage Trust invites you to explore Ontario’s heritage treasures at  free public events across the province.

“For 15 years, the Ontario Heritage Trust and its partners have provided opportunities for Ontarians to learn about their rich history and diverse cultures by experiencing our heritage at Doors Open Ontario events. This year, we are shedding light on places associated with medical science and innovation. Hospitals, universities, laboratories, medical schools and museums are participating in Doors Open Ontario and telling the story that medicine has played in our lives. We invite you to explore these and other engaging aspects of our history, identity and cultural heritage at events across the province!” – Thomas H.B. Symons, Chair, Ontario Heritage Trust

“Since it began, Doors Open Ontario has allowed millions of people to glimpse into some of our province’s most fascinating cultural sites. Not only does the program boost local economies, but it also raises awareness of and interest in heritage conservation. I encourage Ontarians and visitors to get out and discover the unique story and experience waiting behind every door.” – Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

This year we are fortunate that four of the 43 free events happen right here in the Durham Region.

Saturday May 7th, 2016 found Whitby opening doors to sixteen historical sites including The Carnegie Library Building, Intrepid Park – Camp X Memorial  and Station Gallery. You may recall that even Trafalgar Castle School allowed Mincom Jo access to its hallowed halls.

Trafalgar Castle

Clarington opened its doors on June 11, 2016 to fifteen diverse locations. The Massey Building, Ebor House and the Durham Masonic Lodge were all part of the event.  Mincom Jo was able to take in three locations – Richard Varcoe House, St. George’s Anglican Church and Rosemary’s Gardens. Contrary to what one might have expected, no ill came of Jo entering the church. It was worth the risk to see the two Tiffany of New York windows, at each end of the church.

TIFFANY WINDOWS

Mincom Jo & Her Aunt Pat Were Moved To Tears By The Tiffany Windows In St. George’s Anglican Church

Rosemary’s Gardens was perhaps our Jo’s favourite stop. Located at 215 Mill St. South in Newcastle, it would be easy to pass by and comment on what a lovely home and garden this is without really knowing the secret beauty hidden behind the gate. These gardens have twice won top recognition for Ward 4 in the Clarington Blooms contest.

Rosemarys Garden 1

Rosemarys Garden 2

Rosemarys Garden 3

It’s not too late to cross over some mysterious thresholds in the Durham Region. Both Ajax and Oshawa will be unlocking doors on Saturday, October 1st, 2016. Click on the town names to find out what is available and make a day of it. Go behind doors that may normally be closed to the public and satisfy your curiosity. Doors Open Ontario is letting you in!

 

 

March Madness

March can get a little crazy in the Durham Region.  When it comes to weather one might even say it is bi-polar. One day you are getting emergency weather winter storm warnings, with “polar” temperatures and record snowfalls. The next day the sun is shining and you are tempted to walk about in your shorts. We won’t mention any names (Mincom Jo). Let’s face it, we are Canadians — there was a lot of shorts-wearing going on.

If the weather didn’t have you confused, there is always the calamity that goes with changing our clocks to Daylight Saving Time. Some people will always be confused. Try to remember we “Spring” forward and “Fall” back. That’s right. We lost an hour of precious sleep on the 14th.

spring forwarc

There were “Snow Days” with the kids home from school, then “March Break” let them off school for an entire week: not a problem if you live in the Durham Region where there was a lot going on for kids and their families. Ontario Power sponsored a whole week of events including hiking, crafts, skating and swimming. Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival launched March 12, 2016 just in time

pancakes

Anna & Family At the Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival

for the break and can still be enjoyed over the next couple of weekends. The Oshawa Airport hosted Girls Flying Girls, giving young girls one of the most exciting adventures of their life.  The Bowmanville Tackle Swap and Fishing Show was in full swing.  Both the Pickering Town Centre and the Oshawa Centre had activities for the kids and March break camps were offered through the City of Oshawa, City of Pickering, Town of Whitby, Town of Ajax, Municipality of Clarington, Township of Scugog, Township of Uxbridge or Township of Brock. This list goes on.

Things are always a little whacky on the 17th. The “Wearin’ of the Green” can make for some strange outfits on St. Patrick’s Day. You can pretty much find anything and everything coloured green…your food, your drinks, buildings and even bodies of water. One thing we don’t colour green is our Anna’s (Stinson) mouthwatering homemade shortbread. You can’t get more Irish than Anna and her shortbread. We are also fortunate that we have the number one ranked Irish restaurant in all of Ontario here in the Durham Region. The Snug, in Newcastle, brings authentic Irish fare right to your table. We recommend you save room for the Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Shortbread

The Snug

Walsh’s The Snug In Newcastle, ON

The kids are back in school for a short week. This weekend is Easter weekend giving them the day off on Good Friday. There will be an Easter Parade in Pickering and an Easter Egg Hunt in Ajax, both on Saturday. The Oshawa Airport is hosting an Easter Egg-stravaganza on Sunday.

Easter Parade In Pickering

Easter Parade In Pickering

In case we haven’t mentioned it, we also officially welcomed the March Equinox whose dual identity is called Spring, on Sunday, March 20th, 2016.  Yes, Spring has definitely sprung. Enjoy it folks!

flowers