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OC and ORTIS to Merge: Over 13,000 REALTORS® Spanning 22 Ontario Associations to be Served by Same Shared MLS® System

Ontario – (January 16, 2019) – The Governors of the Ontario Collective™ (OC), a regional group providing MLS® System services to 12 real estate associations representing over 5,000 REALTORS®, and the Directors of the Ontario Regional Technology & Information Systems Inc. (ORTIS), a regional group providing MLS® System services to 10 real estate associations of over 8,500 REALTORS®, are pleased to announce they have signed a Transition Agreement to blend their two separate systems into one common shared regional MLS® System.

“We are beyond excited to announce the blending of two of Ontario’s largest regional MLS® Systems,” said Steve Dickie, Chair of the OC. “For going on decades now, progressive REALTORS® and Associations have been working to break down the artificial walls that have separated them. This initiative will significantly enhance the opportunities and services for our REALTOR® members as well as their clients.”

Both groups are using CoreLogic®’s leading edge Matrix system to power their MLS® Services. CoreLogic® is a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider and Matrix is used by more than 700,000 REALTORS® across North America, and 32,000 in Canada alone.

“From the beginning, this has been a member-centric process where we have put the needs of the REALTOR® first and foremost,” says Brad Johnstone, ORTIS Chair. “REALTORS® and their clients all have the same wants, needs and expectations, regardless of the size and location of the association they belong to.” In addition, Johnstone highlights, “The systems our two groups developed independently of one another are powered by the same stable, secure, proven and reliable technology, and both were developed by REALTORS® for REALTORS®.”

Combining the two systems into a seamless one will result in a “best-of-breed” solution by taking the lessons both groups learned in their individual regional projects and bringing them together in this initiative. Central to this project from the beginning is the recognition that members are equal. No matter what part of the province a REALTOR® practices in they have the same need for high standards and dependable technology.

The two groups are now developing a new single corporate entity to manage the services to all 22 associations.

“We’re going to take the best of both systems, combine them together to make something even better,” notes Kati Strickland, Project Manager of the OC. “We’re working with CoreLogic® now to align the needed resources and flesh out our project plan with the objective of having members online with it in the fall of 2019.”

Media Contacts:

Kati Strickland, OC Project Manager,

Bill Duce, ORTIS Project Coordinator,

About the Ontario Collective™ (OC). The OC is comprised of Bancroft and Area Association of REALTORS®, Kawartha Lakes Real Estate Association Inc., London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®, North Bay Real Estate Board, Northumberland Hills Association of REALTORS®, Peterborough and The Kawarthas Association of REALTORS®, Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® Inc., REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound, Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®, The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®, Tillsonburg District Real Estate Board and Woodstock-Ingersoll and District Real Estate Board.

About the Ontario Regional Technology & Information Systems Inc. (ORTIS). ORTIS is comprised of Barrie and District Association of REALTORS®, Brantford Regional Real Estate Association, Cambridge Association of REALTORS® Inc., Guelph and District Association of REALTORS®, Huron Perth Association of REALTORS®, Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®, Mississauga Real Estate Board, Niagara Association of REALTORS®, The Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board, and Simcoe and District Real Estate Board.

The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® 2018 AGM

August 22, 2018

Huntsville, ON – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® welcomed 159 real estate professionals to Deerhurst Resort earlier this month for their Annual General Meeting to network, share the latest industry news and announce the 2018 board.

The morning was packed with valuable information about marketing and social media, market trends and government relations, with a focus on advances in technology and equipping Realtors with the latest in lock box options to better protect themselves and their clients.

“We’ve always been progressive,” says Mike Stahls, the board’s Past President. “We just need to keep that pace up and stay on top of the new technologies.”

Wendy Webb is the 2018 president of the board. Webb brings ample experience to the role. She served as President of the board in 2010 and worked for two years at the national level, where she garnered valuable insights into best practices and how different boards operate.

Webb and Stahls agree that engagement and collaboration with the association is the key to success within the association and for its members. “When you’re connected with the association, rather than just working as a Realtor doing your everyday business, you’re able to stay ahead of the curve. You know what’s coming down the pipe and are having a say in how issues should be dealt with,” says Webb. “If you can’t be on the board, it’s great to join a committee,” says Stahls. “You get to meet a lot of people, you gain knowledge from watching how others work.”

Back Row: L-R Mike Stahls, Chuck Murney, Mike Taylor, D’Arcy Hunt Front Row: Lindsay Elder, President Wendy Webb, Executive Director Crystal Henderson, Debbie Gilbert and Catharine Inniss.


The 2018 Lakelands Association of REALTORS® board members are: Wendy Webb, (President), Mike Stahls (Past President), Catharine Inniss (President Elect), Lindsay Elder, D’Arcy Hunt, Mike Taylor, Debbie Gilbert and Chuck Murney.

Crystal Henderson, Executive Director
(705) 788-1544 ext. 222 Kelly Warr, Operations Manager
(705) 788-1544 ext. 229
Facebook: @TheLakelandsAssociation
Twitter: @TheLakelands

The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® gives back to local communities

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
Facebook: @TheLakelandsAssociation
Twitter: @TheLakelands


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:

  1. Designate illegal grow operations as unsafe under the Building Code Act.
  2. Mandate that illegal cannabis operations are inspected by a municipal building official
  3. Require municipalities to register remediation work orders on the title of a former grow operation.
  4. Mandate that all licensed home inspectors receive training on how to spot the signs of a former marijuana grow operation.
  5. 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,



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.



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



A foundation made up of 70,000 REALTORS® is being led by a Muskokan

~ 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

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