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Home prices across Canada continued to decline last month. The average price of a home in Canada was $353,147, which is 2% lower than July 2011. Overall sales across Canada, however, were up 3.3% from a year ago.

Keep in mind this is a national average, with Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver giving much weight to the figures due to recent peaks, and particularly Vancouver’s volatile market, (Vancouver’s average sale price dropped over 12% from last year, to $667,462.)  This sort of market correction is often a good thing, as it can prevent us from seeing interest rates rise dramatically. Most markets have stayed about the same as a year ago.

The Canadian Real Estate Association , tighter mortgage & lending laws appears to be what has cooled our national housing market.

What’s happening with the real estate market in the D. W. Howard Realty area? (Ridgeway/Crystal Beach, Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, and Port Colborne)  Stay tuned, more to come…

The Fowler’s Toad is an endangered species due to habitat loss and degradation. It lives on sandy beaches and breeds in marshy shallows of lakes or ponds. It has become a local issue to us in Ridgeway & Crystal Beach because the location where the Crystal Beach Gateway Project is to be placed is prime area where the Fowler’s Toad thrives.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has approved the Overall Benefit Permit (OBP) for Fowlers Toad at Bay Beach in association with the South Beach Waterfront Condominium Development.



Male Fowler’s toads begin to call as the water in the ponds/lake begins to warm in May or June. The call is described as a short trill, a nasal, sheep-like “waaaaa”

Adult toads hibernate under sand on raised beaches.

What’s the difference between a Fowler’s Toad and a common American toad? A Fowler’s toad usually has 3-4 warts in each brownish blotch on their backs. The bony ridges behind the eyes actually touch the front edge of the paratoid gland (the large kidney shape mark behind eye). The two species can interbreed and produce fertile hybrids.

Visit Port Colborne, Ontario this weekend, August 3-6, 2012, for the Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival.

D. W. Howard Realty proudly presents the following open houses this Sunday August 5th, 2012, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. in Fort Erie and Crystal Beach, Ontario:

Fort Erie is Canada’s bloodiest battlefield! Witness for yourself the 26th Annual Siege Weekend at Old Fort Erie, August 11-12, 2012!

Tour the fort and witness reenactments of the legendary “Major Buck’s Surrender” Saturday at 11 a.m. Artillery demonstration at noon. Battle at 2pm., and “Drummond’s night assault on the Fort’ at 8 p.m.

Eerie lantern tours of the fort “After the Battle” at 9 p.m. (tickets required.)

And then on Sunday…
10:30 a.m. Memorial Service at the monument; “U. S. Sortie” battle 1 p.m. and then 2 p.m. American Evacuation of the Fort

The Town of Fort Erie and the developer finalized and approved the maintenance & cost sharing agreement last Monday night.  The Town of Fort Erie will pay $116,000 in maintenance, insurance and amortization costs, but receive $190,000 in tax revenue, so will gain $75,000.

The cost to maintain the new “community pavillion” is estimated at around $45,000.

The province is considering options to deal with the massive increase in highway traffic on Niagara’s stretch of the QEW expected over the next 2 decades.

Pour billions into public transit? Widen the QEW to 10 lanes? Build a mid-peninsula corridor?

The proposed Mid-Peninsula Highway would run above the Niagara Escarpment (south of the QEW) and connect Highway 403 in Hamilton to the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie. Despite the urgency of its construction, much study is needed to explore options that would minimize envimonmental and agricultural disruption.

Town of Fort Erie and Last Mile Wireless Internet are collaborating to equip the Point Abino Lighthouse with high-tech upgrades:

– A transmitter to bring Internet service to shoreline residents; (the device is barely visible, so won’t affect the Point Abino Lighthouse’s aesthetics.)

– A webcam in the basement so the Town of Fort Erie can monitor sump pump

– A motion activated camera inside the Point Abino Lighthouse for security

– Internet phone inside the Point Abino Lighthouse for emergencies

This 2-year pilot project with be at no cost to the Town of Fort Erie.

A single windmill can generate electricity for about 1000 homes, but is there a relationship between wind turbine noise and health effects for people living near wind power developments? Residents seem to think so.

Health Canada is aware of complaints from those across Canada living near wind turbines, due to the low frequency noise they generate, so in collaboration with Statistics Canada will conduct a research study, with the results published in 2014.

In Ontario, wind farms near residential homes have attracted protests[and lawsuits from homeowners over health claims and damage to property values. People could experience stress or irritation caused by the swishing sounds wind turbines produce. Modern wind turbines produce significantly less noise than older designs, however, and turbine designers work to minimise noise, as noise reflects lost energy and output.

In the United States, landowners typically receive $3,000 to $5,000 per year in rental income from each wind turbine, while farmers continue to grow crops or graze cattle up to the foot of the turbines.

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