Forecast for 2014

January 4th, 2014

New data suggest some of the economic uncertainty that characterized much of 2013 appears to be lifting as a new year begins, though economists are cautious.



Reports indicate the world economy should see an upturn in growth over the next 12 months, but the increase is expected to be incremental.  In Canada, growth is expected to accelerate to around 2.3 per cent in 2014, reflecting improving global and domestic economic conditions.  In  real estate, national activity is forecast to climb to 475,000 units (+3.7 per cent) and the national average price is forecast to rise 2.5 per cent in 2014 to $391,100.

Overall, housing sales and prices are expected to remain range-bound on a modest uptrend in the face of rising mortgage rates. Employment rates are forecast to rebound only partially in 2014.  It seems important to note that un-employment rates in the local area are much higher than the national average and Government programs continue to stress that the diversification of rural Ontario's economy is key to Canada's future. 

A word to the wise: Those planning to relocate to a small town and hope to secure employment should investigate the possibilities before making a commitment to purchasing property or signing a lease.

Peter O'Toole

December 14th, 2013

Peter James O'Toole (August 2, 1932 – December 14, 2013) was an Irish-born, British reared and educated actor. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company, before making his film debut in 1959


O'Toole achieved stardom playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) for which he received his first Academy Award nomination. He received seven further Oscar nominations – for Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982) and Venus (2006) – and holds the record for the most Academy Award acting nominations without a win. He won four Golden Globes, a BAFTA and an Emmy, and was the recipient of an Honorary Academy Award in 2003.


Ho Ho Ho

December 5th, 2013

Every year towns across the continent host holiday parades -  they're particularly imaginative in small towns where local truckers provide their flatbeds and service clubs present colourful handmade floats and celebrate the season with all sorts of walking and marching magic.  

The townsfolk flock to town to share the fun, lining the sidewalks, watching old cars, trucks and tractors and some of the locals clown around in old cars, on flatbeds and on trailers, in boats.


The Bancroft Santa Claus Parade is scheduled for December 7, 2013, starting at 2:30 p.m.


The Maynooth Brighten the Night Parade is scheduled for December 14, 2013, starting a 5 p.m.

Farewell to Tata Madiba

December 5th, 2013



The most widely recognized symbol of the struggle against apartheid, and of South Africa in the aftermath of that struggle, was Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (July 18, 1918 to December 5, 2013), known to the millions who loved him as Tata Madiba ("Tata" is "daddy" in Xhosa, and "Madiba" is Mandela's clan name; in the usage of his Xhosa ethnic community is a form of address that shows respect. May he rest in peace.


November 30th, 2013

Back in the 1970’s, Comet Kohoutek was expected to be the “Comet of the Century,” but it turned out to be a disappointment.  There was a legitimate possibility that  ISON (named for the International Scientific Optical Network) might have been able to light up the the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere for much of December and well into January. 

Comet experts were excited by the comet, explaining that ISON’s path is very similar to that of Kirch’s Comet, a.k.a. Newton’s Comet, a.k.a. the "GREAT COMENT of 1680, which was bright enough that its long tail could be seen in daylight.  

On the morning of Nov. 28th, expectations were high as ISON neared perihelion, or closest approach to the sun. The icy comet already had a riotous tail 20 times wider than the full Moon and a head bright enough to see in the pre-dawn eye with the unaided eye. A dose of solar heat could have transformed this good comet into a great one.

Unfortunately, ISON appears to have broken up into small pieces and although ISON won't be providing a spectacular show, it has given scientists a great deal of data.  Enthusiasts will continue to watch for bits of the comet, which may provide some interesting star-gazing, but not nearly the display that had been expected.