The canoe’s role in the making of Canada is as deep as any river or lake that runs through this vast country.
Adventurous fur traders and explorers like David Thompson and Alexander Mackenzie travelled westward by canoe toward the Pacific Ocean along challenging waterways, meeting and trading with indigenous peoples. The result was they opened up what was once known as Rupert’s Land, which the Hudson’s Bay Company claimed.
So it was only fitting that Canada’s 1967 centennial celebrations included a history-making 5,250-km voyageur canoe race that ran from Rocky Mountain House all the way to Montreal.
Now 50 years later there will be another race — this time with paddlers travelling 1,600 km along rivers in Western Canada — to mark Canada’s next big confederation birthday, it’s 150th in 2017.
Vic Maxwell, 80, one of the original paddlers in 1967, is now involved with a Rocky Mountain House committee organizing the Rupertsland Express — Heritage Canoe Race. Before the big race, there will be a less competitive 120-km, five-day trip down the North Saskatchewan River from the Kootenay Plains to Rocky.
As in 1967, the Rupertsland Express — Heritage Canoe Race will start on the banks of the North Saskatchewan by Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site.
Maxwell, who still canoes, said the 2017 race will end in The Pas, Man., and invitations are just going out now to canoe clubs across the country.
“If they’re tough enough, send in their entries. They’ll have to be tough,” Maxwell said.
He ought to know. He was captain of the Alberta team in 1967 at the age of 31.
The journey to the 1967 race began with “trial” races in 1966. There were 100 paddlers, 10 teams in total, from eight provinces and the two territories. Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island did not compete.
The first trial began in British Columbia at Fort St. James. The canoers raced down the Stuart and Nechako rivers to Prince George, and then down the Fraser River to Vancouver. Then they paddled their big canoes across the Strait of Georgia to Galiano Island, on to Sidney and and around Vancouver Island, ending at Victoria Harbour in front of the provincial legislature buildings.
The second trial run began in Montreal at Expo Island. They paddled along the St. Lawrence and Richelieu rivers, across Lake Champlain, down the Champlain and Hudson rivers, pulling the canoes out at the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor in 1966. That run was intended to also promote the upcoming Expo 67 in Montreal.
The next year the teams then went on to race in the gruelling Centennial Voyageur Canoe Pageant, which began at Rocky on May 24, 1967, and ended 104 days later in Montreal on Sept. 4.
The large canoes — also known as north canoes — each held six men who raced at 60 strokes a minute, switching from one side to the other without pausing. Some days were shorter than others, said Maxwell, but often they paddled for as long as 15 hours a day.
Manitoba won the race, British Columbia was second, and Alberta was third. All participants received cash prizes.
Maxwell said the 1967 paddlers had backgrounds as farmers, miners, lumberjacks and many were trappers. He’s not sure it’s possible to find 100 up-to-the-task paddlers now but he’s hoping. “It’s a very hard sport … when the gun goes in the morning there are no stops for anything.”
Marathon canoeing still goes on in a few communities in Canada and the United States.
Never a week goes by now when someone doesn’t mention the 1967 race to him, Maxwell said.
The original Alberta team included Maxwell, and Archie Griffith, from Rocky; Dave Ellery, Drayton Valley; George and Albert Abel, Robert Poluck, from Calgary; Dave MacLure, Ken Hardy, Sid Webb from Edmonton; and Adam Borys, Medicine Hat.
Since the centennial race, there have been reunions in 1992 and 1999 in Rocky, said Maxwell, who was also chief voyageur during the Northwest Territories centennial in 1970 in a race down the Mackenzie River to the Arctic Ocean.
After the centennial race, the Alberta paddlers built a canoe pavilion at the Rocky Historic park and their north canoe they used to race to Montreal was put on permanent display.
They also buried two time capsules in the pavilion — one to be opened in 2017 and the other after another 25 years, said Maxwell.
He said he suggested another reunion around the time of the capsule opening, and now Clearwater County, the Town of Rocky, the Confluence Heritage Society “and what’s left of my compatriots from 1967” agreed to hold Voyageurs Rendezvous 2017 just before the race to The Pas, he said.
Maxwell was raised on a farm, and he was a a surveyer and helped build oil roads in the 1950s in Northern Alberta when he was young man.
It was there he came across an aboriginal man in 1958 who was driving a dog team in the very remote area. Maxwell, who had always had an interest in historical items, asked the man if he had any such items to sell.
The man returned by dogsled a few days later with a large item wrapped in flour sacks. “In it was the bow of an old birch bark canoe … in red you could see the ‘HBC’ marked across it.”
The man told Maxwell it had come from his grandfather’s grandfather. It was from a time when traders had come for fur and birch bark for canoes.
When Maxwell was 23, he “retired” from the frontier business and bought land in Rocky and built the first motel there. He called it the Voyageur Motel and it’s still there.
The Rocky Mountain North Canoe Brigade begins June 24, 2017, at the Kootnenay Plains and arrives on June 28 at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site.
The Voyageurs Rendezvous 2017 reunion with a variety of events takes place from June 28 to July 1 at the historic site.
Lap 1 of the Rupertsland Express race — which will offer “serious prize money for all teams” — runs from the historic site to Hwy 11A and back on June 30.
Then on July 1, Canada’s 150th birthday, the race departs, headed to the finish line in The Pas, Man., expected to arrive on July 21.
For more information, contact Maxwell by email at *protected email*
There is a seemingly endless supply of retirement homes with different amenities, and knowing where you fit in the mix is an important piece of the puzzle. Your current mobility level will play a big part in where you look, but remember to keep an eye on the future. If you know mobility or personal care will be an issue, check out retirement homes that have both assisted and independent living choices that will allow you avoid another stressful move down the road.
2. Bring someone you trust.
Retirement home tours tend to be thorough, and there is a lot of information to remember. Bringing a trusted friend or relative with you can help alleviate any confusion and can help you remember which facility had which amenities, and so on.
3. Review the living quarters.
Is the temperature controllable from within my unit? Is there a variety of styles to choose from? Is there a kitchenette? Is cable, phone, and Internet hookup provided? The more questions you ask about the living quarters, the easier it will be to find a place that meets your current and future leads.
4. Research the activities.
Have a look at any community activity calendars to review the variety and scope of offerings. Ask yourself if the activities gel with your current interests and hobbies before deciding if it’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and meet some of the residents during your tour. When asking questions, try to stay away from questions that will elicit a “yes” or “no” response. Instead, ask open-ended questions that will allow you to view the residence from their point of view.
5. Try before you buy.
Be sure to tour retirement homes when an activity or two is taking place, and use this opportunity to gauge how well the event is attended. Note whether other residents seem to enjoy themselves. If possible, eat a meal at the residence and ask plenty of questions about meal plans, how they are delivered and how menu changes are handled.
6. Check out your surroundings.
Be sure to take a close look at the building and the grounds when taking your tour. Note if any areas are lacking from a maintenance standpoint, and if updates seem appropriate for the age of the buildings. Most importantly, use your nose to guide you. The sense of smell remains a powerful tool in determining how clean a facility may be.
7. Review the personal care options.
Personal care can be an expensive amenity to overlook, and you’ll want to ensure its services grow with your future needs. Ask about 24-hour medical care and how emergencies are handled. Is there a doctor on call or who does regular visits? What about bathing and dressing assistance?
Though it may be hard to leave the family home behind, selling your home and moving to a retirement community can open up a whole new world of independent living — just give yourself enough time to make a thorough decision, so begin the search early. That way, when the time is right, you can make a smooth transition to the next chapter of your life!
Forget the roller coaster stock market ride. For most Canadians, a home is a solid, familiar investment. Over time, your home will increase in value at a steady, safe rate.
Some renovations can help to improve the value of your home. Whether you are updating that 40’s style kitchen, removing green shag carpeting from the bedroom, or adding exterior curb appeal by applying attractive, maintenance-free siding, you will increase the market value of your home.
When renovating your home, here are few things to consider.
If you are financing an improvement, consider your budget. Keep your monthly payments within your limit.
Consider the type of renovation. You could overdo a good thing if you spend too much on less favorable items. Perhaps you are planning to move in a few years and hoping to recover the costs.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation suggests the following as a payback range of typical renovations:
– Kitchen 68-74%
– Bathroom 64-71%
– Interior painting 62-66%
– Exterior painting 62%
– Main floor family room 49-56%
– Finished basement 50-52%
– Upgraded heating system 48-50%
– Landscaping 45-49%
– In-law or rental suite 40-42%
– Central air conditioning 38-43%
– Energy-efficient upgrades 33-39%
Forget singing in the rain. Singing in the shower is WAY more fun
Singing in the shower is one of those awesome moments we have in the privacy of our own home that is, simply put, good for the soul. Whether you think you can hit high notes like Mariah or laugh out loud at your lack of skills there is nothing like belting out a good tune while you get squeaky clean.
But to be the ultimate shower rock star you need the right equipment and Moxie® by KOHLER® is just what you need to step up your game.
Moxie is a showerhead with a wireless speaker that allows your to stream your favorite music, news or talk radio right in the shower with you. That’s right…gone are the days of playing your music from your iPhone sitting on the sink.
The Moxie showerhead holds a portable wireless speaker that pairs wirelessly with Bluetooth®-enabled devices to deliver high-quality audio to your shower. The speaker docks directly into the showerhead, so your music is closer than ever when showering. While it plays your favorite sounds, this revolutionary showerhead generates a full-coverage, revitalizing spray of water for a sensory experience like no other.
And while this may sound like a lot of work to install it actually couldn’t be easier. The wireless speaker pops out for recharging (delivers up to 7 hours of music) and is then placed back in once fully charged. If you want to continue your concert while you are getting dressed in the other room feel free to keep rocking by taking the wireless speaker with you.
With a long to-do list to complete before moving, it is important to remember preparation for your pets.
1. Gather Vet Records
If you are moving a considerable distance away from your current home, it is important to ask your current veterinarian for records that will be requested by the new vet office. These can usually be easily printed out of faxed over to the new medical-care provider, but the source says to always keep the former vet’s contact information on file, just in case of an emergency
2. Update Tags With New Address
It is also crucial to update your pet’s tags with proper identification including up-to-date contact information and your new home’s address. This will be helpful if something were to happen during the moving process. Including a cell phone number is best, as your new home phone may not be set up yet.
3. Manage Their Stress Exposure
Studies show that pets can easily be stressed out during moves, so The Pet Realty Network suggests keeping them secluded from chaos that can ensue on moving day. This means keeping them in a separate and familiar room or even asking a friend or family member to watch over them while multiple people are in the house and items are being moved around. If you’re keeping your pet in the house while movers are present, make sure they are in a room that has already been cleared out and post a do-not-disturb sign to keep those helping out.
4. Remember Pet Meds and Pets First Aid Kit
When preparing a first aid kit be sure to leave medications and food outside of moving boxes, as they could be needed in case of an emergency. If your pet is on medications, be sure to get them filled before relocating. When preparing your first aid kit, be sure to include bandages, towels and hydrogen peroxide.
5. When Traveling Protect Your Pets
If you are transporting your pet to your new home by car, be sure to keep them in a crate, as allowing them to roam freely around your vehicle can be dangerous and unsafe for both of you. Pets can be a major distraction when behind the wheel and giving them their own space can also keep them calm. When flying, be sure that you and your pet meet all necessary airline requirements and purchase a proper crate for their travels. The source notes you should also consult your veterinarian before making flying arrangements, as not all pets are fit to do so.
6. Ask Your Current Vet For a Referral
Pet owners should ask their former veterinary clinic for a referral for their new location, while talking to other pet owners in your new community can be helpful. Selecting a new vet is important, so be sure they are convenient and that facilities are kept up. Asking for a tour and meeting the doctors, technicians and assistants can help you make the best decision possible.
In 2015, real estate sales sharply shifted toward the Millennial buyer and there are many ways sellers can prepare their home to attract this buyer. Here are ten things Millennials look for, and how to implement them in your home.
In 2015, real estate sales sharply shifted toward the Millennial buyer. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that for those between the ages of 32 and 44, home owners are beginning to surpass home renters. With the oldest Millennials approaching 34, these young professionals are now first-time buyers and are a demographic that cannot be ignored when preparing your home for sale. There are many ways sellers can prepare their home to attract this buyer. Here are ten things Millennials look for, and how to implement them into your home.
1. Location, Location, Location
Millennials view a home as a base camp from which to explore their world. If your home is within walking distance to any type of shops, cafe’s, restaurants, or within easy transport to a major city, highlight this in your listing to show off the unique characteristics of your area.
2. Updated Fixtures
Millennials, as well as any other demographic, know that kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms in a house to renovate, and remain budget conscious. While a full renovation is not required, consider small fixes like replacing cabinet hardware, installing a new backsplash, or even painting worn cabinets to create spaces that are clean and fresh.
3. Less Maintenance
With busy lives and time spent away from home, Millennials are looking for houses that are easy to care for and won’t require extensive maintenance. If you’ve recently replaced any major components in your home such as the roof, furnace, or air conditioning unit, let buyers know. Similarly, a yard and garden that is lush with low-maintenance greenery can also be a selling feature.
4. Smart-Home Savvy
Recent research suggests that homebuyers are learning to expect smart technology in their purchases, and this includes their home. Adding a smart thermostat, some USB charging ports, or even just a few more outlets or dimmer switches, may give you an edge.
Even if you don’t have an open floorplan, you can create the open flow Millennials want simply by reducing the amount of furniture in a room, or changing its location to allow free passage from one room to the next.
6. Home Office
With work-at-home options still on the rise, having a dedicated space for an office is essential. Convert a bedroom into an office or create a nook in a larger room with a desk, chair, and lamp to create the feeling of a dedicated space.
7. Energy Efficiency
Today’s first-time buyers are very aware of environmental impact, so using low VOC paints, replacing traditional bulbs with energy efficient models, and replacing worn weatherstripping on windows and doors are all easy ways to add efficiency to the home.
8. Staged to Meet Expectation
With design-related television shows and social media dominating the market, the Millennial buyer desires the latest home trends. One of the biggest returns can come from replacing wall to wall carpeting with a hard surface laminate or hardwood flooring. Smaller changes can be made by shifting furniture around and picking up some on-trend accessories to give your home a modern look.
9. Great Photos
Most buyers make a decision on your home via the Internet. Great photos are a must for any buyer and are essential to getting buyers through the door. Taking photos during the daytime, de-cluttering, and including outdoor photos are all must-dos.
10. Market as an Investment
If your neighborhood is going through regeneration or growth, this could be attractive to the Millennial buyer who, unlike past generations, may not be looking for their forever home. Marketing the potential of your home as an eventual resale can be a great strategy to win these buyers over.
4 Must-Do Home Tips to Keep You Dry This Spring
Spring showers may bring flowers as the saying goes, but it can also bring unwanted water into your home. Fortunately, with these home tips, you can use the transition from winter to spring to assess your home from top to bottom and stay dry this spring.
Spring showers may bring flowers as the saying goes, but it can also bring unwanted water into your home, and that’s something that will put a damper on even the nicest day. Fortunately, with these home tips you can use the transition from winter to assess your home from top to bottom, and get moisture under control, before a problem starts.
1. Check the Roof
Maintaining your roof as an annual activity is essential to ensuring it continues to keep you warm and dry, and if you own a pair of binoculars or a camera with a good zoom, you can likely check your roof without having to climb to great heights to get the job done.
Look for shingles that are curled, buckling, or missing. Rust spots or missing caulk around roof flashing or on the underside of roof overhangs could also indicate a water penetration issue. In most cases, roof caulk, and a hammer can help you solve the problem yourself; however, roofing professionals can also make the repairs without having to replace the entire roof.
If you notice large patches of moss growing on the shingles, remove them with a broom and spray with an anti-fungal agent designed for roofs. If any of the signs above is accompanied by staining, peeling, or moisture in interior ceilings, call a professional to have the situation assessed.
2. Watch the Windows and Doors
Take a moment while spring-cleaning the windows to check the caulking for areas that have cracked, dried-out, or shrunk. An easy fix to make, simply scrape off the old caulk and replace it with new — just be sure that the weather is warm enough for the caulk to set — anywhere above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t forget to replace any worn out weather stripping on doors and windows to protect against drafts and leaks while you’re at it.
If your home has wooden window frames, ensure the paint is intact and hasn’t exposed the raw wood underneath. An annual coat of paint can help protect the wood, and if any signs of rot appear, don’t panic. The bad wood can be removed and replaced with new, or scraped out and filled with a paintable compound to avoid having to replace the entire window.
3. Direct Water Away
The easiest way to stop water from pooling around your foundation is to clean the gutters and extend downspouts away from the base of the house. While clearing out gutters, check for an abundance of asphalt grit that may also indicate it’s time for your roof to be replaced. Downspout extenders can be found at any hardware store, and can easily be tipped out of the way or removed for mowing the lawn.
The next best way to direct water away is to ensure your yard doesn’t slope towards the house. A load of topsoil, some grass seed, and a rake to change the slope around your home is a great spring project that will offer a long-term solution.
4. Check the Foundation
If you have a basement, check the interior for cracks wider than one-quarter inch, discoloration on foundation walls, or areas of dampness in the insulation. If your basement is finished, a dampness meter placed against the drywall can pick up any areas of concern.
On the exterior, check for cracks and staining that sink deep into the foundation and consider filling with hydraulic cement or other bondable crack filler.
Using these home tips to check your home now for problem areas will make sure you can look forward to the beautiful spring weather that’s on the way, rather than dreading the thaw.
Find Your St. Patrick’s Day Getaway
St. Patty himself would be proud to call these gorgeous Irish abodes home.
Each March 17, people from around the world reach into the back of their closets and grab the brightest and greenest article of clothing they can find to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Irish and non-Irish alike take to the streets with dancing, parades and bagpipes. They celebrate with corn beef and cabbage, drink pints of adult beverages dyed green and think about the old country.
Instead of just using your imagination to what the old country would be like, we have you covered. Discover your St. Patrick’s Day dream homes below!
“Knockabbey Castle”: Ardee, LH, Ireland
This property is listed by Coldwell Banker Previews Ireland for $1,780,000.
Although I’m about as Irish as a Shamrock Shake, when I look at this castle originally built in 1399, it makes me wish I was Irish royalty. Besides the water gardens and woodlands with winding paths running through the property, this estate boasts an interior worthy of kings and queens.
This property is listed by Coldwell Banker Estates for $4,003,000.
Even though this home is located next to a different castle (apparently they’re everywhere in Ireland), this property just outside of Dublin offers exceptional modern amenities including a leisure facility with an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, home gym and movie theater.
“Cielito”: Ticknock, Ireland
This property is listed by Coldwell Banker Estates for $933,000.
Named “Cielito” – Spanish for “Little piece of heaven” – this property nestled in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains offers panoramic views over the city and the Dublin Bay; living up to its divine nickname.
The spring real estate market is about to hit its seasonal high. If you will be buying a home this spring, whether for the first-time or not, it’s helpful to identify a few real estate basics that every buyer should know.
With the spring real estate market about to hit its seasonal high, buyers and sellers will be flocking onto the scene. If you will be buying a home this spring, whether for the first-time or not, it’s helpful to identify a few real estate basics that every buyer should know.
A statement that indicates the official value of a property.
B: Bridge Loan
A short-term interim loan that is made to a buyer to purchase a new home before they have sold their current home and can use the equity towards the new purchase.
C: Closing Costs
Costs paid over and above the selling price of a property — this includes legal and administrative fees to finalize a home purchase and can typically run several thousand dollars when buying a home.
D: Debt to Income Ratio
Used by lenders and is calculated by determining an individual’s total debt compared to total income.
In real estate terms, equity is the difference between the total value of a property and the amount left owed on the mortgage.
Something movable that is physically attached to a home, such as a light fixture or wall shelf. Unless specifically excluded from a contract, a fixture is deemed to remain with the house upon sale.
G: Government Loan
A government run program that provides purchasing assistance for first-time and other qualified buyers to assist in entering the real estate market.
H: Home Inspection
One of the most important aspects of the home buying or selling process, a home inspection is a visual accounting of a home’s current condition, which is completed before the sale of a home is finalized.
A must-have item for purchasers, the cost of home insurance and required coverage should be obtained by all buyers prior to purchasing a home.
J: Joint Tenancy
The ownership of a property held joint by two or more individuals to whom ownership passes upon the death of one of the parties.
K: Knob and Tube
A rudimentary system of electrical wiring, used up to the 1950s and consists of tubes held in place by porcelain knobs. A home containing knob and tube may have difficulty securing home insurance and is a consideration for potential buyers to have replaced.
L: Liens and Encumbrances
A lien is a form of security which can be held for the payment of debt. Encumbrances are other restrictions on the property including setbacks, and right-of-ways that can complicate the sale process.
A loan to cover the purchase of a home, usually amortized over several decades.
N: Non-Load Bearing Wall
When considering a home for renovation, a non-load bearing wall is one that doesn’t support the structure of a home, thus can be removed.
The legal contract to purchase or sell a home.
P: Property Tax
A mandatory fee paid yearly to a local government body for basic services such as garbage and street lighting.
R: Real Estate Agent
A highly skilled real estate professional who assists buyers and sellers during the sale process.
A map showing the official boundaries of a property.
T: Title Search
An administrative search to ensure that no liens or other encumbrances exist on a property.
Fees paid for services such as water, sewer, electricity, and gas, which are part of a home’s annual operating costs.
The seller of a home.
A private, agent-guided tour of a property for sale.
The physical space surrounding a house that requires upkeep and maintenance.
The regulation that determines the use of buildings and other areas, such as residential, commercial, or agricultural.
(Note: The letters Q and X were purposefully omitted.)
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The Ten Commandments of Mortgage Financing
Thou shalt not change jobs, quit your job or become self-employed during the loan process. Your current (not potential) income is used to support your qualification of your mortgage loan – if you change this before the loan closes you may not qualify as your application would have to be re-underwritten to support your job change.
Thou shalt not co-sign for any loan for any one. Your qualifying ratios are based upon your reported liabilities and your qualifying income. If you add additional liabilities into your ratios by co-signing for someone, you may no longer qualify.
Thou shalt not buy a vehicle or any large purchase during the loan process. Inquiries on your credit report are also viewed as part of the underwriting process and all inquiries generally within the last 90 days must be explained. So, even shopping for a car may be addressed by the underwriter.
Thou shalt not use credit cards excessively and thou shalt make all payments on time. Keep in mind your credit is generally ran at origination and again at closing by the underwriter as part of the pre-funding audit, so any late payments or increases in your reported monthly payments will be addressed prior to closing your loan.
Thou shalt not spend funds you’ve set aside for reserves. Even though you generally must provide a Verification of Deposit to evidence the available reserves, if you spend the funds prior to closing, you jeopardize delaying your closing or even loan denial.
Thou shalt not omit any liabilities or debts on the loan application at origination. Underwriting prudence requires that all your debts and obligations be considered to support qualification for mortgage financing. Any qualifying debt found during the analysis process will be included whether it is reported or not, but better to disclose than explain – it will give your Mortgage Broker a strategy to help assist you in the qualifying process.
Thou shalt not finance any furniture, appliances or household items during the loan process. Many homeowners are anxious to furnish their new home, however save this until after you receive the keys. Remember, even those “No Interest Until 2017” credit offers affect you. The underwriter will generally use a percentage of the total credit line you received to calculate the payment and count that against your liabilities. If those ratios have little “wiggle room” a credit trade line like this could make all the difference.
Thou shalt not make large deposits into your banking institution without first checking with your Mortgage Broker. All large deposits require an explanation to the underwriter. If you’re expecting a bonus deposit from your employer, a gift from your grandparents or a refund from your tax returns, share that information with your Mortgage Broker – it will help him/her present your complete loan file with this information disclosed upfront.
Thou shalt not change banking institutions during the loan process. Remember, asset guidelines generally require the account stated to have been open for at least 90 days, so a new account would not qualify.
Thou shalt not ignore your Mortgage Broker’s emails or calls. This will ensure that all parties remain informed of the loan progress and that your loan closes smoothly and on time.