In The News
December 20, 2018
Huntsville, ON – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® continued their annual tradition of supporting local charities, donating a total of $18,000 to regional not-for-profit organizations. The initiative is part of the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation (ORCF). Incorporated to the Ontario Real Estate Association in 1977, the foundation has been doing its part to support shelter and shelter-related organizations.
Since mid-December, representatives from the Lakelands Association travelled on behalf of the foundation to present cheques to the following organizations:
• The Burk’s Falls District Food Bank ($3000).
• The Alzheimer Society of Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland & Haliburton ($3000) and Cottage Dreams ($1500). Cottage Dreams supports families touched by cancer, providing an opportunity for them to reconnect and rejuvenate at a private, donated cottage.
• The Child Advocacy Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka ($1500), a child-friendly centre in which multidisciplinary professionals provide services to children and youth who have experienced abuse.
• Couchiching Jubilee House ($1500), an organization committed to empowering women to improve their quality of life through a program of individualized support and transitional housing.
• West Muskoka Food Bank ($1500)
• Esprit Place Family Resource Centre ($3000) is a ten-bed emergency shelter for women and children, serving the District of Parry Sound since 1986. They provide safe and secure residential accommodation twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
• Baysville Winter Pantry ($1500) provides food support services during the winter months for people who live in the Baysville and Dorset areas.
• Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group ($1500) operates two, 24-hour anti-violence crisis shelters for abused women and their children. Muskoka Interval House is located in Bracebridge, Ontario and Chrysalis in Huntsville, Ontario. Chrysalis also offers supportive transitional housing units for vulnerable women.
“We feel deeply entrenched in the communities we represent,” says Wendy Webb, President of The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. “We see giving back to those in need as a vital component of who we are as an organization as it highlights the meaningful local support of our REALTOR® members.”
The Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation (ORCF) is supported by monthly donations by local REALTORS® to benefit community shelter-based organizations. The Lakelands Association has contributed $18,000 annually through The Foundation accumulating roughly to date $160,000 in grant funding across Parry Sound, Muskoka, Haliburton & Orillia. Shelter is defined as a refuge, haven or protection that provides or improves quality of life from hunger, the elements, physical/psychological abuse, disabilities and illness.
Crystal Henderson, Executive Director
(705) 788-1544 ext. 222
Kelly Warr, Operations Manager
(705) 788-1544 ext. 229
OREA Releases Recommendations to Protect Consumers Against the Risks Involved in Purchasing a Former Grow-op
Muskoka, ON, April 9, 2018 – Growing marijuana in a home can pose significant health and safety issues for unsuspecting home buyers. With the legalization of marijuana looming, there are no rules in place to protect a home buyer from purchasing a former grow operation. In its Action Plan for Cannabis Legalization released today, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is urging the Provincial Government to bring forward measures that will ensure home buyers are protected from the health and safety risks associated with former grow ops.
“The legalization of recreational marijuana in Ontario is going to have significant impacts on homes, as many people will choose to grow their own plants,” said Mike Stahls, President of The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. “Growing cannabis indoors often involves creating conditions that can lead to the formation of mold and fungus, which can have serious health risks for seniors and young children. Therefore, the long-term impact of legal marijuana cultivation on Ontario’s housing stock must be taken into consideration by policy makers.”
In its Action Plan, OREA proposes five policy changes to protect consumers from the risks involved in purchasing a former grow operation, including:
- Designate illegal grow operations as unsafe under the Building Code Act.
- Mandate that illegal cannabis operations are inspected by a municipal building official
- Require municipalities to register remediation work orders on the title of a former grow operation.
- Mandate that all licensed home inspectors receive training on how to spot the signs of a former marijuana grow operation.
- Restrict the number of plants that a home owner can grow from four to one in units 1,000 square feet or smaller.
Legalization of marijuana in other jurisdictions, like Denver, Colorado, has led to a significant increase in cultivation inside private dwellings. Moreover, the RCMP does not believe that legalization will eliminate the involvement of organized crime in the cultivation and sale of illegal cannabis.
“Property owners often go to great lengths to hide the evidence of a former grow operation, making it difficult for Realtors®, home inspectors and unsuspecting home buyers to detect,” said Mike Stahls. “It is unlikely Ontario will introduce a law banning the cultivation of cannabis in homes if federal legislation permits it. However, the Provincial Government has the authority to enforce measures to ensure consumers are protected in the largest investment of their lives, and we urge them to exercise that authority.”
More information is available at, www.ProtectOntarioHomes.ca.
The Ontario Real Estate Association represents 70,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 38 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services.
ABOUT THE LAKELANDS
The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® is a professional organization committed to serving its 800+ REALTOR® members with the tools, advocacy and professional development opportunities required to promote excellence, knowledge and a high standard of ethics and business practices.
Our members provide real estate services representing different land use properties ranging from recreational, residential and commercial throughout the major geographical areas within the regions of the District of Parry Sound, District Municipality of Muskoka, Haliburton County and Northern Simcoe County including the City of Orillia.
REALTORS® are champions of homeownership and are committed to improving Quality of Life by supporting policies that help ensure economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods
~ 2018 Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation Board of Directors~
News source: My Muskoka Now
By Taylor Ablett
Back row from left to right: Lisa Patel, Regan Lee, Tom Wilkinson, Bradley Mayer-Harman, Barb Whitney & Vince Mirabelli (not shown)
Front row from left to right: Shelly Gracey, Crystal Henderson, President, Debbie Vernon, President -Elect, Wendy Giroux & Harjit Singh Khalsa).
A Muskoka realtor is leading the charge for an Ontario-wide foundation that supports shelter-based charities. Debbie Vernon, who has been a realtor for 18 years and works in Bracebridge, was voted in as the President of the Ontario Realtors Cares Foundation during the Ontario Real Estate Association’s annual conference at the beginning of March.
Vernon says the foundation, which just celebrated its 40 anniversary, was established to support shelters across Ontario. She says the majority of the funding comes from realtors across the province.
Vernon says they also hold some fundraisers throughout the year, like a motorcycle ride which raised $26,00 last year.
She says the fund is around $4 million, and last year around $1 million was given to various charities, including around $17,000 in cottage country. She says the Lakelands Association of Realtors decides where the money goes in Muskoka.
Shelter-based charities can apply for this year’s fund on the Lakelands website. Vernon says that also includes breakfast clubs at schools.
For further details about the Grant Application https://thelakelands.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/FDN-Grant-application-2017.pdf
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ONTARIO REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION
TORONTO – The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has announced that Orillia-based real estate broker, Mike Stahls, has been elected as Provincial Director of OREA. The announcement follows the association’s annual conference on Feb. 27-Mar. 1 in Toronto.
In this capacity, Stahls will serve a two-year term as Provincial Director for the Northeastern Ontario Area on the 2018 OREA Board of Directors.
The Northeastern Area consists of the Bancroft, Barrie, Kawartha Lakes, Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands, Northumberland Hills, Parry Sound, Peterborough and the Kawarthas, Quinte and Southern Georgian Bay real estate boards.
“Real estate is changing. OREA is committed to protecting the dream of home ownership for future generations and making sure our members are equipped for the modern real estate marketplace,” Mr. Stahls.
Active in the real estate profession for 14 years, Mr. Stahls is a Broker for Royal Lepage Real Quest Realty Brokerage in Orillia. Mr. Stahls is a member of the Lakelands Association of REALTORS President from 2013 and 2017 and Director from 2014-2016.
He served as President-Elect and Director of the Orillia & District Real Estate Board from 2010 to 2012. He has also served as a member and chair of the Lakelands Executive committee and OREA’s Marketing/Communications and Government Relations committee.
The Ontario Real Estate Association represents 70,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 38 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy and other services.
News Source: My Muskoka Now
By Taylor Ablett
A Muskoka real estate agent is the new voice for 70,000 brokers across Ontario. David Reid was named as the new President of the Ontario Real Estate Association during OREA’s annual conference this week. In the role, Reid will represent the OREA members on the Board of Directors and the senior level Executive Committee.
He says serving as President is also an opportunity to advocate the government and support the value of realtors to the public when buying or selling a home. He says OREA aims to protect the dream of home-ownership for future generations and make sure potential homeowners are ready for the modern real estate market.
Reid has been in the real estate industry since 2003, and is a former President of the Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. He has also served on various other committees. Reid says Lakelands, OREA and the Canadian Real Estate Association all work together in the industry.
When it comes to the Muskoka market, Reid says 2017 was a good year for sellers, with a lot of multiple-offer situations.
Reid says some of the OREA members will be in Huntsville this summer for a directors meeting. More about the organization and its political advocacy are on the OREA website.