By Yvette Van Veen Special to the Star Wed., May 15, 2019 Q: This will be our dog’s first summer. How do we best prepare him for the bustle of the summer season? More importantly, how do we prepare him for fireworks on the long weekend? Should we take him to an event so he can get used to them? A: Socialization is critical for all dogs. Well-socialized dogs feel safe in the world. They can cope with all that life throws their way. This would include noisy and crowded environments such as the summer festivals. When it comes to fireworks, the short answer is no, you shouldn’t take a dog to a show as a means of socializing them to the noise. Each year, after Victoria Day, lamp posts are covered with posters of lost dogs. Many of these dogs bolted when frightened by fireworks. While some people may insist that they take dogs to events with no ill effect, it’s a very high-risk strategy with potentially tragic consequences. The issue with risky … [Read more...] about How do we prepare our dog for fireworks on the long weekend?
By Carola Vyhnak Special to the Star Tues., May 14, 2019 Neal Mortensen has a downtown “piggy bank” — as he calls it — holding onto his retirement funds until he gives up his Newmarket dentistry practice in a decade or so. It’s a pair of rental condos he invested in when the neighbourhood of Liberty Village was getting off the ground. His piggy bank is growing plumper from the appreciation of the properties and the $350 a month in rental income he clears after paying all expenses, fees and mortgage interest. “This is kind of like a pension plan and an insurance policy as well,” explains Mortensen, who’s in his early 50s. Renting out an investment property or part of your own home in Toronto can pay off for both landlords and tenants with all signs pointing to a prolonged rental housing shortage and growth in real estate values. Article Continued Below In Mortensen’s case, the two-bedroom unit and … [Read more...] about Why an investment property is a long game, not a quick flip
By Kate Carraway Special to the Star Mon., May 13, 2019 My husband, who works in the relatively stiff realm of finance, recently forwarded me an email chain between himself and some colleagues. Their messages were short, specific, and direct. No one apologized for anything. This was an email chain without any paragraphs, with only one exclamation mark, following the terminal “Thanks” (!), and without any… emotions. I loved it. It’s not often you get to wander into a magical reality so completely different than your own, and even less often that the experience comes in the form of an email you originally mistook for something sent directly, intentionally, to you. As a person in a creative field dominated by women — and as an overshare-y, feelings-y person, who communicates with and on a probably too-high frequency— my emails, are a meadow of adjectives and exclamations, with bowers of all-caps, and the occasional emoji … [Read more...] about What should we do about email?
By Special to the Star Fri., May 10, 2019 Jade is a 25-year-old student who lives in East York. She says “I don’t like wearing things that make me uncomfortable unless I’m going out for a special night, but I also don’t like to wear something that looks ‘lazy’ or like I didn’t try at all.” Jade is “bubbly, funny, energetic, nice, smart and ambitious.” She says “I always have a smile on my face. I’m the type of person that gets along with almost everyone.” Jade says “I love to travel, even on a tight budget. My best friend and I spent several weeks travelling in Europe and it was one of the best experiences of my life.” Pete and I were seated at the same table at my cousin’s wedding. I kept catching him looking at me. He was very obvious about it. Over dinner, we kept trying to talk to each other, but it was too loud. We talked at one point on the dance floor. He was smart, … [Read more...] about I was feeling burned from a breakup, but I took a chance
By Carola Vyhnak Special to the Star Tues., May 7, 2019 When Leisse Wilcox got married, she happily delegated household finances to her husband. “Wilfully oblivious” she calls her former self. But everything changed when her 14-year relationship ended in 2015, and the Cobourg stay-at-home mother of three suddenly had to navigate money matters. It was “frightening,” Wilcox recalls. “I had shame for being divorced and knowing nothing about money. And I was 36.” With the departure or death of a partner who oversees finances, their mate can be left floundering. Add emotional upheaval, grief and even guilt, and suddenly just paying the bills can be overwhelming. In Wilcox’s case, becoming suddenly single had an upside once she learned to “turn the ship around.” Today she’s a confident and outgoing entrepreneur, homeowner and self-described “financial nerd” who’s teaching her own … [Read more...] about How to survive and thrive financially after becoming single