Unsolved Toronto Homicide 2008

January 4th, 2010

Carolyn Connolly, was fatally stabbed sometime between midnight and 1 a.m. on Aug. 2, 2008, in the Seaton St. laneway behind her apartment at Dundas and Sherbourne Sts.

Found dead in an alley behind a Sherbourne St. highrise near Shuter St, her bloodied body sprawled on the sidewalk shortly after 7:30 a.m. The alley, which sits behind 191 Sherbourne St., is tree lined and bordered by neat fences and tended gardens.

The autopsy showed Carolyn had been beaten to a pulp and then when she was on the ground, unable to defend herself anymore, she was stabbed multiple times in her heart.

Later, it was discovered that Carolyn's screams had been so loud they could be heard for three blocks.

Police said Connolly was wearing black pants, a blue top with thin straps and red flip-flops embedded with rhinestones.

Connolly, 54, was an Ojibwa woman originally from Curve Lake First Nation, near Peterborough. Connolly was a mother and grandmother, but also a surrogate mom to dozens of girls on the street, helping to steer them away from drugs and into housing.

It is quite likely -- unreported until now -- that Carolyn Connolly's killer or killers are walking around today with a souvenir trophy from their kill, a pendant that Carolyn Connolly always wore on the key chain around her neck that was a gift from her young grandson.

When she was found, the 54-year-old grandmother and crack addict had nothing on her body: No money, no cigarettes and no house keys, and this despite the fact she always carried her keys on a neck chain that had a miniature pink shoe on it, and a medallion that read, "I love Ryan."

It is quite likely that Carolyn Connolly's killer or killers are walking around today with a souvenir trophy from their kill, a pendant that Carolyn Connolly always wore on the key chain around her neck that was a gift from her young grandson.

There is a brief Metro Most Wanted sequence you can view at:

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Michael Barsky at 416-808-7422,
Detective Peter Code at 416-808-7393, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS
(8477), or online at www.222tips.com.

Toronto Murders 2008:

Jan. 1: Stefanie Rengel, 14, Denvale Rd.-Northdale Blvd. According to a police source, the city's first murder victim of '08 was ordered stabbed in the stomach by a 17-year-old boy out of "jealousy" from his 15-year-old girlfriend.

Jan. 12: John O'Keefe, 42, Yonge and Bloor Sts. The father of a nine-year-old boy is hit by a stray bullet late at night as he walks toward the subway just outside the Brass Rail strip club.

Jan. 17: Hou Chang Mao, 47, Gerrard St.-Broadview Ave. No arrests have yet been made in the killing of Hou, who was gunned down while stocking fruit outside the Fu Yao Supermarket.

Jan. 24: Shawn McLean, 22, Jane St.-Wilson Ave. Found in front of a church with no pulse, paramedics revive McLean -- who was shot in the neck -- yet he dies in hospital two days later with his mother by his bedside.

Feb. 1: Tyler Roulston, 18, and Adrian McFarlane, 19, Brimley Rd.-Eglinton Ave. E. A gun-and-knife fight at a highrise complex leaves two men dead and one critically injured. Autopsies confirm Roulston was shot to death and McFarlane died of stab wounds.

Feb. 17: Tristan Wright, 23, Neilson and Finch Aves. Police believe dozens of witnesses saw the unsolved killing of Wright, who was shot several times in the head outside a weekend house party in Scarborough.

Feb. 23: Jonathan Rodrigues, 21, Lawrence Ave. E.-Markham Rd. Police said Rodrigues was answering the door of a friend's east-end bungalow when several men started a confrontation and shot him dead.

Feb. 23: Xin Lei Huang, 40-days-old, Queen-Bathurst Sts. Cops charge the newborn's 38-year-old mother with second-degree murder, but it is later dropped when her confession is deemed unreliable in court and no definitive cause of death is found.

Feb. 25: Edyta Lewandowski, 32, Danforth Ave.-Main St. Picking up her two-year-old, Lewandowski is shot in the head near the door of her estranged husband's Morton Rd. home. Three months later, the man is charged with first-degree murder.

Feb. 28: Felicia Hosany, 51, Wilson Heights Blvd.-Sheppard Ave. W. Hosany dies of suffocation inside her flower shop when burglars completely wrap her head in duct tape. Police said the murder was likely a robbery gone awry.

March 14: Abdikarim Ahmed Abdikarim, 18, Lawrence Ave. W.-Allen Rd. Cameras catch the entire murder of the son of a former Somali soccer star, who was gunned down when a man approached his group of friends and opened fire, wounding five others in the shootout.

March 18: Ranjdida Khairi, Dundas St. W.-The West Mall. A 60-year-old man was arrested at the bloody murder scene of a mother of five grown children. Reports suggest her throat had been slashed.

March 18: Sasha Haroutiun, 35, Dundas St. E.-Carlaw Ave. After being shot in the stomach, Haroutiun crawls back into his apartment to call 911, but dies shortly after arriving at St. Michael's Hospital.

April 17: Joseph Samai, 29, Dupont St.-Lansdowne Ave. Following 28 murder-free days in the city, Samai is stabbed repeatedly in the upper torso with a hunting knife. He dies later in hospital.

April 24: Ricardo Erik Kelly, 22, Markham Rd.-Eglinton Ave. E. A highrise fight breaks out just after midnight and Kelly is fatally stabbed in the hallway outside his 20th-floor apartment.

April 30: Ronald Koci, 47, Keele St.-Junction Rd. A roominghouse tenant was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Koci, who is knifed to death just before midnight.

May 4: Mahamed Adbi Warsame, 16, Markham Rd.-Eglinton Ave. E. Just 10 days after another man is fatally stabbed in the same building, Warsame, a Grade 11 student, is beaten to death inside the complex's ninth-story stairwell.

May 17: No name released, 70, and no name released, 46, Don Mills Rd.-Eglinton Ave. E. After finding three bodies in a house destroyed by a North York fire, police conclude a grisly double murder-suicide has taken place. Before dying of smoke inhalation, cops allege a 41-year-old man stabbed his wife through the heart and then strangled her mother. The names of the three were not released to protect the identity of a three-year-old child, left orphaned by the crime.

May 28: Tina Picoulas, 19, Rexdale Blvd.-Hwy. 27. Found dead in a room at the Comfort Hotel, the teenaged stripper's death is initially ruled accidental. Months later, on Aug. 27, the Coroner's Office finds the Niagara Falls girl was murdered.

May 28: Shammal Ramsay, 19, Sewells Rd.-McLevin Ave. Witnesses said they saw Ramsay walking down the street with his killer as if everything was normal before the gunman stepped in front of the teen, turned and riddled him with bullets.

May 28: Levis Taylor, 17, Kennedy Rd.-Sheppard Ave. E. In hysterics near the crime scene of a gunned-down teen, Carol Taylor calls her son's cellphone in hopes the boy dead on the pavement is not hers. When the phone rings, she faints and is hospitalized before having to ID the body.

May 30: O'Neil Dockery, 35, Victoria Park and Eglinton Aves. E. The father of a baby girl was shot in the head after an argument with his killer, just inside the back door of his East York townhouse.

June 13: Dylan Ellis and Oliver Martin, both 25, Richmond and Bathurst Sts. Sitting in a parked SUV after watching the NBA Finals at a friend's house, the longtime pals from Rosedale are shot dead when an unknown gunman walked up to their vehicle and opened fire, seemingly at random.

June 15: Claudio Andres Alamos, 19, Jane St.-St. Clair Ave. W. Eating a pizza slice around 1:30 a.m., Alamos is shot in the neck while sitting on a steel barrier outside a 2-4-1 Pizza store.

June 22: Ruth Hall, 89, Danforth and Victoria Park Aves. Initially ruled the result of a medical condition, an autopsy determined the great-grandmother died of a head injury at an east-end nursing home.

June 23: Donald Cuthbertson, 74, Danforth and St. Clair Aves. A retired cab driver, Cuthbertson is killed by blunt force trauma to the head after the patio door to his apartment was forced open. His 40-year-old son, who also lived in the unit, was charged with the murder.

July 9: Justin Brunet, 21, Victoria Park and Lawrence Aves. Shot several times, Brunet is left for dead by up to seven males seen fleeing the scene. Amidst rumours of retaliation, the prime suspect in Brunet's murder is shot in the head at close range weeks later.

July 14: William Magill, 64, Yonge St. and St. Clair Ave. The beloved interior designer was stabbed several times following an argument after opening his apartment door to a pair of young men late at night.

July 17: Shazad Khawaja, 17, Finch and Victoria Park Aves. Having been called by someone just before he was shot dead, Khawaja's father, Waheed, said at the time he believed his son was set up by a gang that controls his Mornelle Ct. apartment complex.

July 19: Michael Watson, 28, Sheppard Ave. E. and Kingston Rd. Watson is felled by a gunshot to the head while at The Inner Circle, a restaurant-nightclub at the Abbey Lanes Shopping Centre in Scarborough.

July 20: Adrian Inglis Bannerman, 29, Aaron Brendan Macdonald, 20, and Kurt Atiba, 27, Kipling and Evans Aves. The first of two triple murders this year, the three young men are shot dead while sitting in an SUV by at least two gunmen. Homicide cops said the victims, who were at the Fluid Lounge downtown earlier that night, were followed and ambushed.

July 26: Devon Wynter, 40, Jane St.-Hwy. 401. Gunfire erupted at a dance inside the Disciples Revival Church that left Wynter dead and another wounded. Police said more than 200 bystanders were nearby when the gunman opened fire.

July 26: Dominic Shearer-Hanomansingh, 20, Eglinton Ave. W.-Keele St. Shot in the head at close range by a suspect wearing a bandana. Many speculate Shearer-Hanomansingh's death was in retaliation to Justin Brunet's July 9 murder -- one police concluded the 20-year-old was responsible for.

Aug. 2: Carolyn Connolly, 54, Sherbourne and Shuter Sts. Stabbed several times in a downtown alley, the fatal stab wound pierced the heart of Connolly, who was left sprawled on the ground.

Aug. 3: Katelynn Sampson, 7, Queen St. W.-Lansdowne Ave. In a story that dominated headlines, Sampson is found beaten to death inside a Parkdale apartment, allegedly by her legal guardians. Mourners who attended her open-casket visitation days later said the little girl had been "brutalized."

Aug. 3: Andre Paquet, 45, Dundas Ave.-Kingston Rd. Paquet is stabbed to death at an east-end lowrise apartment complex. Police arrest a suspect days later during a fight at a local bar.

Aug. 10: Ryan St. Christopher Rowe-Reid, 20, McCowan Rd.-Sheppard Ave. E. A gunfight in a Scarborough apartment complex parking lot left the 20-year-old dead, another man wounded and a third on the run.

Aug. 24: Evan Andrew Rouse, 22, Sheppard Ave. W.-Bathurst St. Rouse is found shot to death on a North York bike path behind the Bathurst Jewish Community Centre. "We have no sense of what Evan was doing there," cops said at the time.

Aug. 27: Caxtons Kyeremeh, 19, Markham Rd.-Finch Ave. E. Kyeremeh is found dead of gunshot wounds on Bon Echo Dr. in Scarborough.

Aug. 27: Andre Pelliccione, 42, Lakeshore Blvd.-Cherry St. Cops believe Pelliccione, who was savagely beaten and dumped in an industrial-sized recycling bin, may have been killed up to five days before his body was found.

Aug. 28: Tahmina Yeasmin, 23, Spadina Ave.-Dundas St. W. Pending her autopsy results, it wasn't determined until Nov. 18 that Yeasmin had been strangled. An arrest warrant was issued for a 23-year-old man, who was picked up in London, Ont. a day later.

Sept. 2: Yuan "Tracy" Tian, 31, Bayview and Sheppard Aves. Tian is found in her North York apartment, bound and dead from multiple stab wounds. Cops don't rule out the possibility of a random attack.

Sept. 8: Stephen Barton, 18, Eglinton Ave. W.-Glenhaven St. Standing by a bus stop waiting for the TTC, Barton is shot twice in broad daylight just steps from Gramma's Place Childcare.

Sept. 8: Haleema "Nadia" Kasana, 21, Finch Ave.-Weston Rd. Less than a week after a 31-year-old was bound and stabbed to death, Kasana is found with multiple stab wounds inside her North York apartment.

Sept. 10: Dayne Rose, 29, Hwy. 401-Keele St. According to witnesses, Rose tried to jump out of his car along the traffic-congested highway, but was pulled back in by a gunman and shot to death.

Sept. 16: William Junior Appiah, 18, Jane St.-Finch Ave. W. Cops said Appiah, a reputed drug dealer, was shot down on a basketball court just across from the Driftwood Community Centre.

Sept. 16: Daniel Boakye, 19, Sheppard Ave. E.-Kennedy Rd. After a fight with two men, Boakye is stabbed to death outside his Scarborough apartment building.

Sept. 22: Darnell Grant, 31, Jane St.-Finch Ave. W. The father of a four-year-old daughter, Grant is gunned down by two men on Driftwood Ct., less than a week after an 18-year-old was killed in the same neighbourhood.

Oct. 3: Boris Cikovic, 17, Royal York Rd.-Eglinton Ave. W. With a group of friends, Cikovic is approached by three or four gunmen who demand he give up his backpack. He was then shot dead trying to get it back, his parents said later.

Oct. 7: Chi Ngu Ngo, 47, Hwy. 27-Major Mackenzie Dr. Remains of the North York father of three are found in Vaughan, the victim of "foul play," police said. Cops are forced to identify the man by his fingerprints.

Oct. 9: Burrell Bennett, 26, Wilson Ave.-Jane St. Bennett, a father of a three-year-old girl who was not known to police, was shot in the parking lot of the Sheridan Mall in North York. Bennett dies two days later in hospital.

Oct. 11: George Ngo, 22, Bathurst St.-Queens Quay. Ngo is killed along with Colman Leung, also 22, when their minivan is driven at high speeds into Lake Ontario. Ngo, a passenger in the van, dies trying to swim to shore in what police rule an apparent murder-suicide.

Oct. 13: Susan John, 43, and Saramma Varughese, 65, Meadowvale Rd.-Sheppard Ave. E. Varughese was allegedly being raped by her 31-year-old neighbour when John, her daughter, ran in to help her. After a violent struggle, both women are stabbed to death.

Oct. 14: Andre Moore, 27, Eglinton Ave. E.-Markham Rd. Moore, who police said shot and wounded a cop in 2001, is blasted in the head by a gunman inside a blue Honda Civic.

Oct. 25: Bailey Zaveda, 23, Leslie and Queen Sts. Just out for a cigarette at the Duke of York Tavern in Leslieville, Zaveda is a bystander in gunfire that takes her life and wounds five others.

Oct. 26: Gary Anthony Mitchell, 31, Sheppard Ave. W.-Bathurst St. Mitchell was found shot to death inside his 2006 Infiniti by a North York neighbour out walking her dog.

Nov. 19: Richard Delong, 38, Wanda Delong, 64, and Elizabeth Tompkins, 44, Markham and Ellesmere Rds. A grisly domestic violence case that rocked a Scarborough neighbourhood, autopsies confirmed Keith Delong killed his wife, son and daughter with a knife before shooting himself dead. The bodies were discovered by Elizabeth's common-law husband, James Tompkins, who found a note tacked to the Welwyn Ave. home's front door saying, "Do not enter. Call police."

Nov. 23: Miksa "Max" Fischer, 83, Rathburn Rd.-The West Mall. The elderly man was found beaten in the west-end home he shared with his wife, Carmen. His son, David, was charged with manslaughter.

Nov. 26: Youssef Faad, 22, Victoria Park and Lawrence Aves. Toronto cops believe the young man was ambushed as he arrived home to his family's Scarborough highrise, where he was shot after a confrontation with two men.

Dec. 3: Richard Clements, 72, 10th St.-Lakeshore Blvd. A "nice ... lovely man," neighbours said, Clements was found stabbed in his west-end apartment around lunch time.

Dec. 6: Zdenka Praljak, 53, Keele St.-Eglinton Ave. W. Police answered a 911 call from the victim's mother to find Praljak dead from a stab wound to the chest. Her husband, Mladen, was charged with her murder and held under police guard in hospital with "self-inflicted injuries to his arms," cops said.

Dec. 25: Kurt Gonsalves, 49, Birchmount Rd.-Eglinton Ave. E. A night of heavy drinking ended in a murder when one of three friends allegedly snapped, beat his friend to death and stomped a second man who tried to stop the assault.

The Market May Be Heating Up BUT There Are Still GREAT Deals And…

December 10th, 2009

All of the “big names” in real estate are reporting that the market has recovered… and then some! Certainly, my colleagues in the big cities (Toronto, Ottawa) are reporting a brisk market with many, many multiple offers (bidding wars). To be honest, we’ve had a few here; too… but there are still some superb deals to be had.

This morning, I did a quick review of our MLS ® data base and discovered 21 listings for houses priced $100,000 or lower. I would classify 1 or 2 of them as pretty hefty projects (handyman’s specials), 1 is a trailer on leased land and a couple of them are out on the edges of our territory. Still… pretty amazing possibilities!

There are 135 matches when I do a search for “vacant land” under $100,000 and 58 are under $50,000; four of them are about $15,000. Our area has a listing for a waterfront (small, no motor boat lake) cottage on ½ acre- 2 bedrooms, 4-piece bathroom, with nice sandy, shallow shore for $149,000! There’s a rustic cabin on about a half acre, too, but not waterfront… they’re asking $49,900.

Sure, we have lovely, beautiful cottages- year round; on motorboat lakes… they’re priced from $200,000 and up…. And we’ve got spectacular homes on lakes and acreages (several hundred acres in some cases) that are completely private… for the discerning buyer or the celebrity looking for an excellent hide-away… one in particular that is outstanding is priced at $2,100,000.

It’s staggering to think that our average cottage price would barely purchase a condominium apartment in the city… and the property taxes are close to the same… without the maintenance fees!

Now, having been enlightened about the super deals that are available, I feel I must touch on a significant item of note… at least, I think it’s significant.

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend… it’s called the request for abatement. It seems to be a bit of a dirty trick that is being foisted on sellers. Typically, offers these days include a condition that the Buyer obtains a home inspection WITH results considered suitable to them (in their sole opinion). That’s a good thing. Now, pretty well EVERY home… including a brand new one will have something the home inspector will find… after all, that’s their job. I’m talking about things like: they would recommend a gfi-plug in a certain location… or, there’s a hairline crack in the ceiling but it’s from settling and it’s old and it’s nothing to worry about… or, the roof looks like it will need doing in a year or two… usually they are things that are plain to see.

Once in a while, a good home inspector will come across something serious… for instance… there is absolutely NO insulation in the attic… and that IS a problem. In cases of serious deficiencies (things that can’t be seen by the untrained eye), it is not uncommon for the prospective Buyer to go back to the Seller and request some sort of abatement (or reduction) on the price. I’ve done it myself!

The problem is… lately; abatement seems to be the game. Even on properties being sold “as is” or those with obvious issues… and advertised as “unfinished” or “needing tlc” and, asking a price that reflects such deficiencies are seeing Buyers come back and requesting a reduction… in some cases a few hundred dollars.

Now, I realize that ten dollars is ten dollars and sometimes a home buyer is tapping their resources to purchase a property, however, when a Seller has identified that there are issues, it is in the best interest of the Buyer to address the cost of remedying those issues, before the price is agreed upon.

Sellers who are offering their property at what they feel is a “steal” and have identified it as a “fixer upper” (etc.) become rather disgruntled at being asked to replaced missing register cover or light switch plate- especially when their listing agent has already pointed this out to them and they've priced accordingly.

AND- a good Buyer’s agent will explain this to their client, when preparing an offer. A deal is meant to be fair and reasonable- a good Realtor ® will show their Buyers comparable properties and give them good advice.

Now, once in a while, a Seller demands a certain price and there is nothing that is going to sway them from it. Not even an unfavourable home inspection! Again, a good Realtor ® will explain that to a prospective Buyer- before an offer is drawn.

I do agree, that when something substantial is found (i.e. bats are infesting the attic) the parties should meet and decide on whether a price abatement might make a difference in the deal moving forward!

I just wonder sometimes, what happened to common sense?

Some of my colleagues will shrug and tell me that the vultures keep circling until there’s nothing left to gather around!

Past Being Cranky

November 26th, 2009

Okay, so scrolling through my blog posts, one has to note the number of times I speak out about ethics… I actually left the local real estate board of directors over a point of ethics… I actually left several brokerages over points of ethics… my sister recently changed employment over ethics…

Without my personal set of ethics, I feel I am nothing. Ya, there are “codes of ethics” and “standards of business practice”… but really… you can’t teach people honest morality. It just is. And even though Realtors have to learn the code of ethics, it usually becomes something they memorize for an exam or two… and it gets somewhat hazy after that.

Over the years, I have had people throw snipes at me about rules and regulations and the truth is, they’ve never read them. Over the years, I’ve also had people call me for advice, for they know that I have a pretty good idea of whether the matter is something in legislation or local rules and I can direct folks to the proper source of reference.

I’ve been pretty upset, a number of times… over issues of inappropriate conduct in the industry of real estate… and I’d like to reiterate… I’m not perfect… I strive to be as perfect as I can be.

The past several years have been “learn to bite your tongue, Jody” years… still, I’m baffled.

For the past several years, the Canadian Real Estate Association (who controls Multiple Listing Service®) has been embroiled in a lawsuit. We’re not supposed to talk about it, yet the media is full of reports… and, misinformation, I might add.

Maybe I don’t understand.

The thing is… to be a real estate sales person in Ontario, you take courses (I took mine through the Ontario Real Estate Association) and you learn a whole lot. In fact, a lot of real estate people have to re-take the courses numerous times to pass. These courses are geared into steering the student toward a career in “organized real estate”… that’s what the association calls itself.

Now, to be licensed, you have to get through 3 phases of initial courses and then take an additional group of courses over the next two years. This is professionally labeled “articling”. Sounds good. Licensing for real estate practitioners comes from the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). A real estate sales person does NOT have to be a member of “organized” real estate… a real estate person does NOT have to join the real estate association… but… in order to use MLS®.

MLS ® is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) falls under the CREA… and our local board comes under OREA. Essentially, to work for most franchises, you need to become a member of your local real estate board and pay dues to them, as well as OREA and CREA- this is above and beyond your licensing fees to RECO.

The benefit of being involved in “organized” real estate is that you may expect notification of changes in legislation, be provided the opportunity to purchase educational courses to learn about changes in legislation and, of prime importance, you have access to the MLS® system.

MLS® then, is a tool used by an organization. It has been thoughtfully developed, over many years, to serve the specific needs of the membership that has paid for its development.

Many real estate practitioners have made a good and honest living without being members of the association and without the use of MLS®.

With membership to a local board, and then OREA and CREA, a real estate practitioner also has the privilege of identifying themselves as a “Realtor ®”. This is a term that was developed to refer to members of “organized” real estate. Real Estate sales people who aren’t members are not permitted to call themselves Realtor®.

Are you with me?

I could go on… but frankly, most real estate sales people have a hard time understanding the babble…

All licensed sales people in Ontario must follow the Code of Ethics of RECO, as well as government regulations. Realtors® are required to adhere to further codes, practices, rules & regulations, in addition to the RECO codes and government regulations. Further, CREA and OREA’s codes are noted as “minimal requirements” for Realtors®- meaning that a Realtor® should strive to be even better and more ethical than the codes outline.

No real estate sales person is allowed to discuss commission rates with one another… this would be a violation of “competition law”… still… the media reports constantly about our rates for service… and there’s a lot of misinformation reported there, too.

Realtors® aren’t supposed to talk about the problems or violations that happen within the organization. These are supposed to be handled according to policy & procedure- and sorted as to whether they fall within the jurisdiction of the organization or are a matter for RECO. In most cases, they are handed over to RECO to be reviewed.

Here’s my point…like all Realtors®, I pay a good deal of money to be a member of “organized” real estate… and I want to believe that I am a member of an elite group of real estate licensees who wish to adhere to the highest code of ethical behaviour… after all, our regulations are more strict than those of RECO. I feel that someone who has been found to have violated the minimal requirements under RECO should be kicked out of the club! At least suspended!

We need to have the public realize that there are Realtors® and there are real estate sales people. & we need to them understand the difference.

Before the inception of RECO (around the year 2000), the real estate industry was regulated by the Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. You can have a look at the RECO website www.reco.on.ca . On the home page, RECO says “Fostering confidence and upholding integrity in real estate transactions.”

Under “Who we are”… “fostering confidence…” is defined as the CORE PURPOSE.. and the RECO mission states: To regulate the trading in real estate in the public interest. Responsibility: Interpret, enforce, and suggest modification to regulation.

If you visit the OREA website www.orea.com you will see 5 boxes: 1/ Become a Real Estate professional 2/ Continue your Real Estate Education 3/ My portfolio 4/ Members only and 5/ Questions about real estate. There is a running banner beneath these boxes that invites people to enroll in the OREA Real Estate College.

At the bottom of the page, you have “What is OREA?” and “What is OREA Real Estate College?” if you click “more”… this is what you will get:

What is OREA?
OREA's Mission:

To represent its members and to provide a professional environment for members to maximize business opportunities.
The Ontario Real Estate Association represents over 45,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the province's 42 real estate boards. OREA serves its members through a wide variety of publications, educational programs and special services. The association provides all real estate licensing courses in Ontario.

OREA was founded in 1922 to organize real estate activities and develop common goals across the province. These goals included promoting higher industry standards, protecting the general public from unscrupulous brokers and salespeople, and preserving private property rights.

OREA continually strives to improve the image of REALTORS® by enhancing educational and professional standards. OREA develops and publishes standard forms, and supports educational and charitable causes through the REALTORS Care Foundation.

What is OREA Real Estate College?

The OREA Real Estate College provides award-winning registration and continuing education in the field of real estate.

All real estate practitioners in Ontario must pass a comprehensive program of study to ready them for the complex business of trading in real estate. The OREA Real Estate College offers this registration education as the nominee of the licensing body, the Real Estate Council of Ontario.

The College also offers a complete program of continuing education courses designed to provide life-long learning and to satisfy the requirement of continuing education for all registrants under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act.

Both registration and continuing education courses are offered in three formats: online, by correspondence and in the classroom.

If you visit the CREA website www.crea.ca you will see that:

CREA represents more than 96,000 REALTORS® across Canada. The Association owns the MLS® trademark, has proprietary ownership of the REALTOR® trademark, and operates national web sites including REALTOR.ca for residential properties and ICX.CA for commercial listings across Canada. AND Not every real estate practitioner
is a REALTOR®.

Only real estate professionals who are members of their local real estate board and of CREA, and subscribe to the ethical standards of the REALTOR® Code, are allowed to call themselves REALTORS®.

In 1986 the CREA offices were moved from Toronto to Ottawa, in effect acknowledging the increasing importance of CREA's government lobbying activities.

The mission statement for CREA is

The Canadian Real Estate Association represents and promotes the interests of the members, enhances members’ professionalism and ability to succeed, and advocates policies that ensure real estate property rights and ownership.Key Objectives: · To maintain an organizational structure for CREA . Its volunteer leadership and professional staff are there to effectively address the expectations of all members across Canada. · To promote, protect and safeguard all certification and design marks associated with this association. · To maintain a continuing relationship with the Federal Government in order to monitor and influence all public policy which affect the industry. · To help members become more aware about the Competition Act and how to apply it to their business activities. · To collect, analyze and disseminate data/information on significant market, economic, demographic and technological conditions affecting the housing and real estate industry. · To formulate, promote and foster consistent professional standards of business practice, integrity and ethical conduct among the membership. · To provide an interactive forum for the analysis and communication of industry issues, trends, and association benefits.

The responsibilities of The Canadian Real Estate Association include national and international representation of the industry, and the maintenance, protection and standards for certification marks and trademarks. CREA also develops and maintains a national Code of Ethics, Privacy Code, and Standards of Business Practice, which are implemented at the local board level. The national association also provides arbitration services for disputes between provincial or territorial associations, or between members from different provinces.

CREA explains OREA’s role:

The association at the provincial or territorial level handles membership processing in non-board areas, and is the facilitator for the maintenance of board jurisdictions, or for resolving disputes between boards or members from different boards in the same province. The association is also responsible for provincial or territorial licensing and education, and for the development and implementation of political action activities at the provincial level.

& CREA explains the local board’s role:

The real estate board is the primary point for processing membership, and the recording and collection of dues. It also operates a Multiple Listing Service® system that in turn, provides data for display on either REALTOR.ca or ICX.CA. The local board develops and implements the regulations that support CREA’s national policies, and is responsible for the enforcement of the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Business Practice.

The board also provides an arbitration service to resolve disputes between members, and determines membership prerequisites, including the planning of seminars and workshops. The board also ensures local industry representation, and works in liaison with provincial associations and CREA.

So, with all of these checks and balances, why are there still ethical issues in the industry? Why does the media feel the public should have any proprietary interest in regard to the MLS® system or related websites? Why is there so much misinformation about the industry?

I’m past being cranky and wanting answers. I just want to make an honest living, to do right by my Buyers and Sellers and to be treated with respect.


It’s official… Fabian has been made “Ski Hill Coordinator” for Madawaska Valley’s Radcliffe Hills Ski Area (5 minutes south of Barry’s Bay). He is a Level 2 Instructor… in his younger days he was provincially recognized for his skiing talent.

As well as being an avid skier, Fabian is passionate about seeing the local ski hill up and running. I will be assisting him with office administration and day-to-day operations, however, we will both still be available to our Buyers and Sellers.

The hill is being operated by the Township and managed by Craig Kelley, of their offices. Last year, the township had the ski hill open, but faced some serious setbacks. They’ve decided to give it one more try.

Fabian and I believe that the ski hill is an important asset to our community and trust you will understand our dedication to maintaining its operation.

We hope to see you on the slopes!

Seeking The Family of Mollie Wager of Birmingham

November 13th, 2009

I came across this article while surfing... and I am hoping that the spirit of the message conveys permission for me to copy it in full here:

Among a box of cassettes and books bought at a Newport auction for just £2, Jane Atherton and her partner Charlie Baxter discovered the life story of a devout woman who worked with disabled children, wrote fairy stories, and even apparently penned a song for the crooner Matt Monro.

Now the pair are hoping to trace relatives of the woman, Mollie Wager of Birmingham, so that they can offer the material back to them.

“It’s almost like we are holding her life in our hands,” said Mrs Atherton, of Oakengates, Telford.

They came across the material while delving through the box, discovering it included music Mrs Wager had written, manuscripts, an author’s agreement with a publisher, photos, and a handwritten journal, covering the period from November 1982 to December 1983, when she was working at the Jerusalem Crippled Children’s Centre, The Mount of Olives, Jerusalem.

“It took us about three hours to sort all this out and make sense of it. We were going to chuck it on the tip. To me, it’s a shame. It’s like throwing away someone’s life history,” said Mrs Atherton.

They think Mrs Wager was a nurse, as there is evidence that she trained in 1947, and the content of much of the material point to her being religious. There is a hymn called Faith and Hope labelled “words and music by Mollie Wager”, from 1970.

The documents include an address for her at 20 Kelton Court, Carpenter Road, Edgbaston. They have not found a mention of a husband, although she does use “Mrs”.

One discovery was a 1978 letter from Mickie Monro, wife of singer Matt Monro, explaining that her husband was away and saying that she was returning two manuscripts – possibly Mrs Wager had sent some songs in the hope Monro would use them.

“We would love it all to go back to the family, if they are still alive,” added Mrs Atherton, who can be contacted on 07990 988569

Written by Toby Neal
Shropshire Star online

Madawaska Valley’s Radcliffe Ski Area

November 9th, 2009

Come Ski Ontario in one of the most scenic areas of the province! Great Family Ski Hill with small lift lines and a good variety of terrain. There are group Ski and Snowboard Lessons and Rentals available.

You're sure to enjoy the separate Tube Park and lift, too!

With the 6th highest ski vertical in Ontario, mile long runs and small lift lines, Madawaska Valley's Radcliffe Hills Ski Area will be open this year!

This quiet area is well known for its great snow and good mix of easy and challenging runs. They have reasonable rates and relaxed family atmosphere that will keep you smiling, while the lack of crowds will allow you to ski until your hearts content.

Whether you are into Skiing or Snowboarding Ontario, the snow is always here. The region benefits from higher than average snowfall and this hill has snow making services to help Mother Nature.

The Madawaska Valley's Radcliffe Ski Area features a full service pro shop, rental facility, ski and snowboard lessons and a separate Tubing area. The large chalet lounge is a favourite hang out with a crackling fireplace and hot chocolate to help warm you on those cooler days.

Madawaska Valley Ski Area boasts a vertical height of 137 metres (450 feet), making it the 6 highest ski hill in Ontario. Featuring 7 Alpine runs and a maximum slope length of 1,609 metres or 1 Mile. With over 12 runs and a total skiable area of 78 hectares (193 acres), this is one of the biggest ski and snowboard hills in the area.

Located approximately 5 km south of Barry's Bay on Highway 62 (Combermere Road), the area is ideally located 280 km northeast of Toronto, 185 km northwest of Ottawa, and 170 km north of Belleville.

To kick off the season, Madawaska Valley-Radcliffe Hills Ski Area will be hosting an EQUIPMENT SWAP on Saturday November 21, 2009 from 9:30-4:30 at the hill on Highway 62 at 41430 Combermere Road.

Directions from Toronto:

Take Highway 401 east to Highway 115/35, which leads north to Peterborough, eventually meeting Highway 7. Continue on Highway 7 east to Highway 28 and follow this highway north past Bancroft where Highway 62 takes over. Follow this scenic highway to Maynooth where it veers east and then north past the small community of Combermere. Madawaska Valley Ski Area is found halfway between Combermere and Barry's Bay on the right side of the highway. Allow 3.5 hours to travel approximately 280 km.

Directions from Ottawa:

Take Highway 417 west to Highway 17 at Arnprior. Continue northwest on Highway 17 before turning west on Highway 60 at Renfrew. Follow this scenic highway west past Eganville to Barry's Bay. In Barry's Bay, look for Highway 62 leading south. Follow this road for about 5 km to Madawaska Valley Ski Area, which will be on the left hand side of the highway. Allow just over 2 hours to travel approximately 185 km.

Directions from Belleville:

Take Highway 62 north from the 401. This secondary highway crosses Highway 7 and continues north to Bancroft. At this point Highway 62 takes over. Follow this scenic highway to Maynooth where it veers east and then north past the small community of Combermere. Madawaska Valley Ski Area is found halfway between Combermere and Barry's Bay on the right side of the highway. Allow 2 hours to travel approximately 170 km.

Great snow, relaxed family atmosphere, small lift lines and uncrowded conditions make Madawaska Valley Ski Area the place to Ski Ontario!

Madawaska Valley's Radcliffe Hills Ski Area
41430A Combermere Road
(Hwy #62, just south of Barry's Bay)
call 613-756-1ski

see facebook: "Radcliffe Hills Ski Area: EQUIPMENT SWAP"