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Hearth & Home October 2017

The inner harbor in the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, with the classic Empress Hotel in the background.
Photo: ©2017 Brandon Godfrey.

Canadian Leaf Canada: An Introduction

While unemployment is low and the currency rate has improved, the interest in Canada is in watching the real estate market.

The message from Canada is that business is okay, but could be better. Unemployment is low (6.3%), and the currency rate has improved substantially (CA .81 vs. U.S. 1.0). The real estate market is being characterized as “slumbering” as prices drop in many areas; a correction is underway that some experts say “now rivals the 2008 downturn.”

Year-to-year home resales declined -11.9% throughout Canada; -8.8% in Vancouver; -5.0% in Calgary; a whopping -40.7% in Toronto, and a plus 14.5% in Montréal.

A major concern for those in the hearth industry is the Zero Net program being implemented in Metro Vancouver. Natural gas is being eliminated as the local government attempts to become the Greenest city on the planet. A major portion of the Canadian hearth industry could become a casualty of that effort, but the industry is fighting back.

Other cities embarking on a similar quest are Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Toronto, as well as London, Sydney, Copenhagen, Berlin, Paris and Stockholm.

More Stories in this Issue

The Cost of Paradise

Fourteen months ago, the government of British Columbia imposed a 15% tax on foreign homebuyers in the Metro Vancouver area. The tax went into effect on Aug. 2, 2016, only nine days after it was announced.

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Meet Jonathan Burke

By Richard Wright

One year ago, in July of 2016, Burke became CEO of Montigo when a private equity group purchased the company; as you will see, in one year he’s learned a lot.

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2017 August Business Climate

In early September, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare August 2017 sales to August 2016. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 189 useable returns.

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