Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Oven Cleaning

Know how your oven can be really hard to keep clean sometimes? The stuff just doesn't come off even after using muscle and scrubbing. Well, the folks who cleaned our BBQs on the roof did a great job and also do home appliances. Give them a shout after your Christmas holidays.

Monday, 1 December 2014

How a Condo Works - A general essay

This post is a bit of an update on how a condo corporation works. We all need to understand the management and the running of a building with multiple residents and owners.

First, there are two primary groups involved in running the building. A third group, the owners themselves, are also part of the team. (Please note this is an unofficial memo of general understanding, consult the Condo Act of 1998 and the Declaration for precise details.)

You can find information and forms on the condo website.


Board of Directors

A condominium corporation is created to manage the property and assets on behalf of the owners. Under section 27 of the Condominium Act 1998, a Board of Directors is elected to manage the affairs of the corporation and carry out the objects of the corporation as set out in s.17; basically making all major decisions regarding the maintenance of buildings and grounds, condos’ finances, and upholding and enforcing the Condo Act, the declaration, by-laws, and rules.

It is a primary board duty to make sure that rules and the declaration are applied uniformly and not just from time to time as suits owners, directors or management. The Board hires the management company. In our building, as in most, Board Directors are an unpaid, volunteer position who work on your behalf. They attend a monthly meeting with the management company, investigate savings and improvements during other meetings, meet with owners and residents and generally try to make sure the corporation runs smoothly. They do not act alone but as one part of the team.

Management Company

The Management company, in our case is TAG. They are paid a fee and are responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the building, and making sure that all systems remain in working order. They supervise staff (cleaning, grounds maintenance etc), do paper work, have the bookkeeping done and see to it that owners pay their condo fees in a timely fashion, following up where needed.

They also serve notices to residents of any violations of Rules, Bylaws etc. They help ensure that residents do not leave excess garbage in the garbage rooms, or junk in the locker rooms, store items on balconies or leave a mess in the underground parking area. Essentially, they police the building for violations. They are not however, onsite every day and since we do not have a superintendent or security personnel either some things can occur temporarily unnoticed. That is where owners can come in.

Owners and Residents

Owners have a vested interest in the building and who uses it. We should watch out for each other, tell TAG when violations are noticed so perpetrators can be charged or billed and of course, obey all the Rules and Bylaws in place. Residents should realise they can be part of the solution and not the problem, by treating the place like they would their own home and not leaving it up to someone else.

We all have a duty to treat the building as our own, to keep it neat, leave the doors locked and not propped open, to keep our dogs on a leash and to clean up after them or after any mess we make.

Remember that everything you leave up to the cleaners or "someone else" to look after costs you money, it a reason condo fees keep rising in many buildings.

If you see a locker room or garbage room light on, turn it off! You end up paying for it so you might as well try and save money.

Items owners need to remain aware of: basically you own everything inside your unit so the heat pump and bathroom fans and dryer vents are your responsibility as they would be in any house. You need to remember to clean your dryer vents to prevent buildup and possible fires, it also helps immensely to service your heat pump regularly like any furnace. Replacing the filter is a part and critical to the functioning of your heat pump but it also needs the coils cleaned to function properly. This is best done in my opinion by professionals.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Roof top mess - UPDATE

UPDATE Oct 15th
I went on the roof top patio this afternoon and found dog poop all over the grass on the East side. It would be apparent it was a small dog.

Firstly, NO DOGS are allowed on the roof. This is in the Bylaws.

Secondly, who lets their dog crap on the roof without picking up after them? If we can find out who is doing it they will be charged with the cleanup. Possibly they are on camera so we might be able to, otherwise it is yet another cost all owners are paying. We need to work together to make sure responsible parties are held accountable for their actions. there are far too many dog owners leaving their deposits everywhere and also killing off the grass.

I went onto the roof to BBQ with my wife on Saturday evening and this is what I found - food left lying on the bench.

and a broken beer bottle.

What is the matter with people? This is our roof top and BBQ area for everyone to enjoy. If you want to be a pig, do so in your own unit and not here. If you make a mess, clean it up!

Remember this when your condo fees go up because we have to pay someone to clean up these messes - it isn't a free cleaning service - we all pay for this. If you know who did it, report them to TAG so they can absorb the cleanup costs and not all of us.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

HVAC Cleaning - UPDATE! - DONE

DONE Oct 15th
Leeds is working their way through the building cleaning all the heat pumps for those who signed up. Finally. It has been a long battle but we are on our way. Those who think it isn't necessary might want to reconsider. One leak or a broken heat pump will cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Remember, unit owners own the heat pump, not the corporation. Personally, I signed on for the cleaning and the insurance for peace of mind. The fourth floor is complete and the remaining units will be done over the next few days as Leeds goes floor by floor.

The list will be coming down any day now!

Talk to your neighbours and friends in the building and make sure they know and have signed up. We need another 18-20 owners and we will all save money.

Right now it is $50 a cleaning, if we get 100 owners signed up it drops to $40. That is a savings of $20 a year ongoing with twice yearly cleaning.

Once the list is down you "might" be able to sign up with an email to TAG but no guarantees.


As you know now, we have arranged with Leeds to supply the building with heat pump cleaning for owners who sign up. So far we have about 50 owners signed up but I would strongly suggest this should be well over 100 so we still have a ways to go.

Remember, the heat pump is yours - if it breaks you pay, no-one else.

Perhaps you think changing the filter is enough. It is not. Heat pumps need their coils washed and cleaned from dust and particulates like cat hair etc to ensure they run efficiently and that the coils are not overly stressed. In addition, each unit's heat pump has a small drain hole underneath it to drain off the overflow condensation. You can easily get 1 or 2 gallons of liquid an hour in the summer cooling time. This drain hole can plug up and cause your unit to stop working or worse, overflow into your unit and the units below you. If this happens to you, it will be expensive as "your" insurance will have to pay, not the buildings.

If we get 100 owners signing up we save $10 each cleaning and for $80 a year you can have the satisfaction of knowing your unit will function properly. Purchasing the optional insurance can give you complete peace of mind as it fixes anything that goes wrong. Right now it is still reasonable at $50 per cleaning.

If your heat pump fails it could cost you easily $1500 - $2000, even a trip to fix a problem is going to cost you around $80-90 an hour.

Sign up now before the sign-up sheet disappears and cleaning begins.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014


Burlington recently changed the street parking laws. You can now park on the street for 5hrs at a time and you also allowed to park on street in Orchard park (where we live) between 1am and 6am. This gives you options for parking if the visitors is full.

Be aware that the last couple of weeks parking enforcement has been around checking.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Using the BBQs

The BBQs are installed and ready for use. Please be neat, clean up after and turn the gas off when done.

The gas should be OFF when you begin (and when you finish) Note the one yellow handle that is sideways.

You must start by turning the gas on: (Turn the yellow handle so it is in line with the gas line)

Then turn on a burner, press the Igniter a few times and it should light.

Please clean up after you are done, use the wire brush you can find inside the doors beneath the burners, and brush off while they are still hot so the BBQ is clean and ready for the next person. YOU pay for the gas in your condo fees so please be considerate and turn it off when not using it.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Roof Top Lights

The builder added some nice lighting for evenings on the roof. Hopefully we will get our BBQs up and running so we can all enjoy the space.

This is what it looks like at night:

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Furnace Filters! Update - Update 2

Sunday May 4th for FILTERS in the lobby. There are still lots left!
Please stop by and take them off my hands. $4 each

(Seems I got the days wrong here, it is Saturday and Sunday May 3 and May 4 - sorry for any confusion. A seniors moment. Weekend being the operative word I guess<S>)

We will be in the Lobby this coming weekend for everyone to get  a chance to pick up a filter. Check the size you need and come by and get a replacement filter

May 2nd, 3rd 10-11am 
May 3rd,  4th 11-noon


We now have three boxes of filters from the Whalen office in Bolton. Myself and other Board members will be in the Amenity Room Monday evening from 6pm till 8pm providing filters to anyone who needs them.

Cost of a filter is $4 - so very cheap. First come first served but we have 100 of the 13x24 size and 50 larger ones at 15x28. .

Come and replace your filter. CASH Only please, correct change much appreciated

We also anticipate having quotes from reputable firms for you to consider for ongoing supply of filters but more importantly for annual or semi-annual cleaning. It is very important to get your furnace cleaned prior to starting up your air conditioning.

MONDAY - 6PM - 8PM Amenity Room

Saturday, 12 April 2014

YOGA has started

We started our first Yoga class today with thanks to Scott who is volunteering his instruction. Great class! And a great way to start the day!

This is a free service to anyone living in the building. Why not come to the Amenity room once  a week and get a gentle stretch in.

It is every Saturday morning at 8:30am for 1 hour. Did I mention FREE?

We all thank Scott for volunteering his time. Check out his gym at: http://www.snapfitness.com/gyms/burlington-on-l7l0b1/1421

We will be having a class this coming Easter Saturday. Get some fitness and stretching in before all your Easter family arrives

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Does your door slam?

As responsible neighbours we can all help out by making sure our front door doesn't slam shut each time we use it. Remember, your neighbours are quite close and probably hear it slamming. You can adjust the door to close properly with just a small ladder or step stool and a screwdriver.

Be safe doing it of course, but reach up to the door closer and look for two screws on the inside near where it attaches to the door. (see picture)

Adjust one way a couple of turns and try the door, adjust the other way if necessary until the door closes softly. Be a good neighbour!

Rooftop finishing touches

The builder has added some nice touches to the rooftop garden. Take a look at the cool logo in the walkway:

And the rooftop flower boxes were put in today as well:

Not sure what the plants will be but it should look really nice.
All we need now are the barbecue's and some tables<S> along with some warmer weather

Monday, 24 March 2014

Spring is coming? Hawks are stopping by

Saw a hawk perched on the light post outside my unit the other day. Grabbed my camera and managed a couple shots before it took off. I think it will be exciting time this spring (when it finally arrives) watching the birds on the pond.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Building Update

I have been away lot recently so the blog is a little behind.

We had a recent Owners meeting in the building where about 16 owners showed up to find out what is happening with the Performance Audit and Reserve Fund study. Basically, as required by the condo act, we are hiring an engineer to validate the builders work as well as determine our Reserve Funding for the next 25 to 30 years to help ensure we have enough funds to cover new roofs or other significant maintenance that will occur years form now. This study will be done my around August.

Spring (I hope) is finally coming so we should start seeing each other outside and on our balconies. Please get to know your neighbours and say hi. Also remember that throwing cigarettes, water or anything off your balcony is not permitted (in addition to not being nice for your neighbours). Check your condo papers for what is allowed on the balcony - no BBQs for instance or Cable antennae's/satellite receivers or storage items. Likewise, remember that sound travels even more so outside so respect your neighbours by keeping your noise within reason so as not to unduly disturb everyone nearby.

With the snow disappearing the garage entry will likely be dug up to fix the heating system in the driveway some time this spring and the outdoor lights will be repaired.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Garage Doors

We need to work together to make sure our garage doors close properly. There are a few door fobs that are not properly programmed according to maintenance folks, hence these few do not allow the door to close properly after they enter the garage.

In the last notice you received from TAG there was mention of the garage door fobs and what to do.

Please remember to check behind you to see if the doors are closing after you enter. They should close within a few minutes, if not then try and press the garage fob numerous times next time you enter and see if the doors close once you have entered.

If they still do not close then please contact TAG and get your fob replaced.

Working together we can reduce the times the doors stay open. Thanks

Friday, 10 January 2014

Winter and Humidity

With winter here many of us might not be realizing that the building is very dry and we most likely need to run humidifiers to protect our wood floors and walls etc from drying out.

The flooring people New Horizon used were here today and found one unit had only 15% humidity. This is not nearly enough as you need around 35-40%

I strongly recommend buying a humidifier and running it all winter.