Air Canada Reports Second-Straight Quarterly Loss

A decline in travel due to the Covid-19 restrictions has caused Air Canada to report a loss for the second quarter on Friday. Covid-19 cases have increased in Canada and the U.S. and have crushed hopes that we would have a quick recovery for air travel. Countries have reinstated restrictions causing travelers to fear of contracting the virus.

Read more HERE

Big Tech Profits from Pandemic

Some of the biggest U.S. technology companies are flourishing during the Covid-19 pandemic. These big tech companies are causing people to rely on their products and service, while also crushing down the rest of the economy. Quarterly reports released on Thursday show that Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc., and Apple Inc. are benefiting from the situation as quarantined consumers use many of their services for work, shopping, learning, and entertainment.

Read more HERE

TD Bank & RBC Staff to Work From Home Until 2021

To help stop the spread of Covid-19, TD Bank Group and the Royal Bank of Canada announced that most of their staff would continue to work from home until next year. In a memo sent to staff, RBC’s Chief Human Resources officer Helena Gottschling explained that most employees would work from home until 2021. 

Furthermore, she said some staff would return to RBC offices by mid-September, but most of the other employees will continue to work from home.

Read more HERE

Canadian Retailer DavidsTea to Close Down Multiple Locations

On Thursday, after months of financial troubles, DavidsTea announced the closure of 166 stores in Canada and all U.S. locations. The Tea brand announced it will be focusing on online shopping. DavidsTea will only reopen 18 locations in Canada, permanently closing down a total of 166 stores, and all 42 locations in the U.S.

Read more HERE

Frank Leo Community Profile: Whitchurch-Stouffville

History of Whitchurch – Stouffville 

Whitchurch Township dates back to 1792 as part of the newly-created York County. The name comes from the village of Whitchurch in Herefordshire, England where the wife of Lieutenant Governor Sir John Graves Simco was born.  

While settlement in the area dates back to the 1790’s, the first regional survey wasn’t carried out until 1800. Along with a 2nd survey 2 years later, the township established a system of land concessions which allowed land to be easily allotted to settlers.  

Evidence of this system, which parcelled out 200-acre lots, is still visible today in the layout of the road network. Each square in the grid of rural roads represents the boundaries of original concession blocks.

Typical of GTA towns, the first settlers in the area were Quakers and Mennonites, pacifist groups from New England States who were seeking religious freedom and to escape from conflict. Due to their resourcefulness and settling abilities, the Upper Canada Government granted them permission to settle with the hope that a population centre would attract more settlers

The first settlements in the township were built in the “4-corners” model at the intersections of main roads or near streams where mills could be built to process felled timber. One such hamlet would eventually give its name to the town of Whitchurch – Stouffville. It was called Stouffville and was named after a Mennonite settler named Abraham Stouffer

Stouffer’s successful mill encouraged other Mennonite settlers to join him, and by 1830 “Stouffville road” as it became known was carved through pristine woods to connect with York (Toronto). The establishment of a post office in 1832 cemented the name “Stouffville”  as opposed to Stoufferville. 

Stouffville grew rapidly, perhaps foreshadowing the rapid growth of today’s town, and by 1877 it was officially incorporated as a village

The 1880 survey map of Stouffville. (licensed under creative commons, unknown author)

Rapid growth continued thanks largely to the Toronto and Nipissing Railway which had arrived a few years earlier. By 1877 a second track was built north to Lake Simcoe. Although the railway’s primary purpose was industrial it also made travel throughout Ontario more convenient, further promoting growth. 

 

By the turn of the century Stouffville had modern amenities such as its own newspapers, as well as telegraph and telephone connections. By this time the once lush forests of the region had been stripped down to only 7% of all land being woodland. 

 

Evidence of this deforestation is clear today, though the 1911 reforestation act has brought back a good deal of woodland with conservation areas like Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area and the Porritt Tract York Regional Forest. Today, the area is one of the most successful restorations of degraded landscapes in North America. 

 

Loss of the forestry industry caused the township to Stagnate over most of the 1900’s, up until the ‘70’s when the growth of Toronto incentivized commuting from out of town. What resulted was the amalgamation of Whitchurch Township and the Village of Stouffville into a single governing body called the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville. 

 

Although the township is still officially known as Whitchurch-Stouffville the Town decided to rebrand by dropping the word “Whitchurch” from all signage. As a large and spacious stretch of rural land not far from Toronto, Whitchurch-Stouffville has a promising future as one of the GTA’s suburban communities. 

Overview

Whitchurch-Stouffville, pronounced “Wit-Church Stew-Ville” is a largely rural township of the Greater Toronto Area located on the eastern border of York Region. With the motto “Country Close To The City” it’s no surprise that this pocket of Ontario is one of the fastest growing communities in the GTA. 

 

Although the township sits at just over 45,000 residents according to the latest census, it’s also the 2nd fastest growing municipality in York Region with a population increase of nearly 25% between 2011 and 2016. With a projected 97% of the population growth rooted in the Community of Stouffville, it’s shaping up as a major suburb for the GTA.

Real Estate in Whitchurch-Stouffville

Real estate in Whitchurch-Stouffville is mostly made up of single-family detached homes. 

 

What’s more, most Whitchurch-Stouffville residents own their homes. In a 2012 report issued by the Town, home ownership in the township is considerably higher than the provincial average of 71.4% with 85.3% of local residents owning their homes.

 

Although there are some historic homes in the Whitchurch-Stouffville, the modern population boom began in the 1970’s when suburbs were already a common fixture in urban planning. As a result, The Town of Stouffville has a modern layout and design with winding streets, cul-de-sacs, and plenty of greenspace. 

An example of a new Whitchurch-Stouffville development from 2010. (creative commons license).

Outside of the city there are numerous country estates and micro-communities, many of which are quite affluent.

 

For home-buyers seeking privacy, Whitchurch-Stouffville is an ideal choice. Since the turn of the millennium the number of private residences has practically doubled, creating ample opportunity for the GTA home buyer who wants a break from the city.

 

Interested in learning more about Whitchurch-Stouffville real estate? Review real estate listings & homes for sale in Whitchurch-Stouffville or reach out to one of our representatives for expert advice. We’re here to answer all of your real estate questions. 

Shopping

While you might not find boutique shopping opportunities in Whitchurch Stouffville, the town nicely combines a Main-Street shopping thoroughfare with a more contemporary strip-mall packed with most major big box stores. 

 

The small pedestrian commercial district cuts through the town horizontally following Main St. in typical small-town fashion, with a few dense commercial patches spanning its length. Many of the businesses along Main St. are franchises, but there are still several independent restaurants and shops along the strip.

 

For a more suburban style of shopping, SmartCentres Stouffville is the place to go. There you’ll find all the big names you could expect of an Ontario outdoor shopping centre. 

Recreation

As a smaller GTA town, Whitchurch-Stouffville may only have 2 recreation centres but still offers numerous other recreational opportunities for the whole family, both indoors and outdoors.

The Stouffville public library, image courtesy of creative commons.

Leisure Centre

The Whitchurch-Stouffville Leisure Centre provides all the amenities and facilities you would expect from a municipal fitness and recreation centre. It’s the town’s primary centre and boasts a large 25m pool complete with slide, gymnasium, and multi-use fitness rooms. 

 

The “WSLC” as it’s referred to also houses the Latcham Gallery and Whitchurch Stouffville Public Library.

 

Stouffville 55+ Club

Catering to the town’s older population, the 55+ club is exactly what it sounds like – a club designed to foster community, friendship, and activity for older residents. Activities include exercise, socializing, and even shared meals. 


For a mere $20/year members can take part in card games, travels & book clubs, or just enjoy the “meals together” initiative. Actively-inclined members can take yoga & tai chi classes, try line dancing, or even take a group day trip.

 

Stouffville Arena

 

Although the Stouffville Arena Recreational is mostly used for ice bookings, it also provides public hours for free skate, shinny hockey, family skate, and adult free skate. You can get all the details on the town website’s Skating section.

 

Other Active Recreation in Whitchurch-Stouffville

 

In addition to indoor facilities, Whitchurch Stouffville manages a number of outdoor recreation spaces, parks, camps, classes, and a spring/summer guide to help residents take full advantage of all local and surrounding amenities.

 

For a complete list of all recreational opportunities & programing, consult the Whitchurch-Stouffville town website.

Schools in Whitchurch-Stouffville

For many GTA residents considering a move to a smaller town like Whitchurch-Stouffville, one of the big draws is the education. It’s no secret that in small towns class sizes can be smaller and communities generally more tight knit, and Whitchurch-Stouffville is no exception.

 

Quality education is available across 2 school boards from elementary school to high school. Both local school boards are York Region boards and offer several school options for residents. Continuing education programs are available as well.

 

The township’s school boards are:

 

York Region District School Board – an amalgamated board covering the entire York region. It is the 3rd largest school district in Ontario.

 

York Region Catholic District School Board – York’s Catholic board which serves over 55,000 students across the region.

 

Elementary Schools

Whitchurch Highlands Public School

Stouffville Christian School

Glad Park Public School

Harry Bowes Public School

Barbara Reid Public School

Oscar Peterson Public School

 

Secondary Schools

Stouffville District Secondary School

Transportation

 

Public Transit in Whitchurch-Stouffville

Whitchurch Stouffville is serviced by York Region Transit, and the service consists of 1 route within urban Stouffville as well as connections to Markham and its other routes. Route 9 runs a course around Stouffville before going down Highway 69 to around Highway 407. There was a route 15 which connected the town to Yonge St., but it was cancelled due to low ridership.

 

Travelling By Rail

Staying true to its history as a town that was made by the railroad, Whitchurch-Stouffville remains well connected by track. In fact, the entire north-eastern branch of the GO Network gets its name from the town.

The GO Transit map showing both GO Buses and Trains.

Riders can take the Stouffville line up to Lincolnville and right back down to Union Station. That’s where travel opportunities truly open up, since there’s no VIA Rail service on the Stouffville tracks.

 

Travelling By Car

Whitchurch-Stouffville is covered by a grid of smaller, rural highways but the primary roads are Highways 408, 407 (toll road), and 404. The later 2 form the south-western borders of the township.

 

Personal transportation is essential for Stouffville residents, since transit options are limited and the GO Bus service follows the same route as the train tracks. 

Have Questions About Whitchurch-Stouffville or Whitchurch-Stouffville Real Estate?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling real estate in Whitchurch-Stouffville or you’re seeking advice about real estate in this beautiful part of Ontario don’t hesitate to reach out to Frank Leo & Associates

 

We have over 30 years of real estate experience in the GTA at your disposal. You can also get started taking advantage of our Guaranteed Home Selling System with a Free, no-obligation Home Evaluation

 

Frank Leo’s Community Profile: Ajax

The Town of Ajax is a suburban community nestled between the City of Pickering and the Town of Whitby, offering a modern, well-planned community for GTA residents who want to avoid the bustle of urban living. 

It has a great deal to offer its residents including quiet suburban living, spacious homes, abundant greenspace, all just a short commute from Toronto.

The History of Ajax

The town owes its inception to the Second World War. Prior to the war, the land that would transform into Ajax was forest and farmland in eastern Pickering Township. However, Defense Industries Limited (DIL) constructed a munitions plant in the area in 1941 in order to help with the war effort. Workers at the plant began to purchase land in the area and the beginnings of a town developed.

By the end of the war, the DIL munitions plant had produced millions of shells and employed over 9,000 people. People from all over Canada moved to Ajax to work at DIL. The land surrounding the DIL facilities were planned and developed into a comfortable community. This burgeoning town was expertly planned, with its own water treatment plant, sewage treatment plant, and school (with more than 600 students enrolled).

An aerial view of Ajax, Ontario which shows the suburban and industrial development. Image credit: creative commons.

The town, built to serve the industrial needs of the war effort, was named in honour of a British ship involved in the first significant naval victory of the war, the Battle of the River Plate, where three British war ships, HMS Ajax, HMS Exeter, and HMS Achilles, routed a powerful German battleship, named the Admiral Graf Spee, near the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo.

After the war, the University of Toronto was inundated with former soldiers who were studying to become engineers. Meanwhile, the need to produce munitions at the DIL factory in Ajax ended with the war. The University took over the DIL plant and used it to house its engineering students, who retooled the facility into classrooms and laboratories. The university operated out of the former DIL site until 1949 and in those years more than 7000 students were trained as engineers there.

 In the 1950s, the industrial base of Ajax migrated to elsewhere in Durham Region and the GTA, however the population of Ajax continued to swell, as new planned developments were built, expanding the original base of the town. People were attracted to the lakeside tranquility of a small town, which was not remote, but highly integrated into the surrounding region. By 1955, the people living in Ajax had established it as a distinct town, not part of Pickering, with its own town council and school board.

Overview

Only 13 kilometres from Toronto’s eastren edge, Ajax is home to over 100,000 people. As one of the most populated communities in Durham Region, Ajax is a modern and diverse community.

Ajax is a densely populated town bounded on the north by quiet rural farmland and forests, and on the south by Lake Ontario.

People from all over the world call Ajax home and the city has an especially large South Asian population.

An image of the Ajax Ontario waterfront
The gorgeous waterfront views in Ajax, Ontario.

Real Estate in Ajax

Highway 401 travels through the centre of Ajax and the city spreads out to the north and to the south of the transit artery. The dense suburban neighbourhoods are all within a 10 minute drive to the 401.

The majority of houses in Ajax are single detached homes with four or more bedrooms. While four or more bedroom homes are the majority in Ajax, with 45% of homes fitting in this category, the second most popular kind of home are three bedroom homes. Most of these homes were built between 1960 and 2016. Ajax is full of relatively new and spacious houses ideal for growing families.

If you are interested in learning more about real estate in Ajax or browsing active listings, check the real estate listing and homes for sale in Ajax.

Ajax Shopping

Shopping venues in Ajax are concentrated in big box stores and stripmalls. These shops are concentrated mainly around two major intersections in Ajax.

Just south of the 401, near the corner of Harwood and Bayly streets, there are several shopping centres including the Ajax Plaza, the Harwood Plaza, the Baywood Centre, and the Mackenzie Plaza.

North of the 401, at the corner of Salem and Kingston roads, there are several more shopping centres and big box stores, including the RioCan Durham Centre, the Business Plaza, the Canadian Tire Centre, and the Harwood Centre.

Shoppers can find a comfortable indoor mall shopping experience at the nearby Pickering Town Centre or the Oshawa Centre.

Recreation in Ajax

There is no shortage of recreation options in Ajax. Residents in the town can choose from an extensive gamut of both private and public recreation facilities.

The Ajax Community Centre is an establishment that is run by the town of Ajax. It features a gymnasium, squash courts, a swimming pool, and a skating rink. Additionally, the centre is the base for several community organizations including the Ajax Boxing Club, the Ajax Judo Club, the Ajax Skating Club, and the Rock Oasis Rock Climbing Facility.

The Ajax community centre’s sign.

The Audley Recreation Centre is a modern, state of the art community centre located in the north-eastren section of Ajax. It features a variety of amenities including a fully equipped gymnasium and a 25 metre lap pool with six lanes. Outside of the recreation centre there are tennis courts, a skateboard park, a splash pad, a playground, basketball courts, and walking paths. The Ajax Sportsplex is located next to the recreation centre. The Sportsplex was originally built for the 2015 PanAm Games as the official facility for baseball and softball. The facility’s 7 ball diamonds are now run by the town.

Beyond recreation centres, another entertainment venue in town is Ajax Downs and Casino. Ajax Downs is the only race track in Ontario where you can watch Quarter Horse Racing. With free admission and free parking, an afternoon watching horse racing can entertain the whole family. The Downs also hosts Canada Day celebrations, Craft Brewery Day, Family Fun Day, and, every Monday, the Ajax Downs Farmers Market. The site is also home to the Ajax Casino which brings visitors from all over the GTA.

For lovers of the outdoors, Ajax offers a wide choice of green spaces for hiking, biking, or general outdoor enjoyment. There are at least 38 kilometres of trails in Ajax and 93 parks that the municipality maintains, with two leash free dog parks.

An image of the Ajax waterfront trail sign
The Great Lakes Waterfront trail map.

In particular, the Greenwood Conservation Area, at 283 hectares, is among the largest parks in the town. It features walking paths and picnic areas. Another noteworthy greenspace is the Duffins Trail System, which offers 5 kilometres of trail that is perfect for bikes, strolls, and, in the winter, cross country skiing. Finally, the Ajax Waterfront is a local gem of a park, perched on the shore of Lake Ontario. The park is six kilometres of mixed maintained and natural parkland. A 7 kilometre trail crosses through the park. This trail is part of a system of trails that stretches from Hamilton to Belleville.

Schools in Ajax

There are two school boards in Ajax, the Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board.

In Ajax there are 27 schools, 24 elementary schools and 3 high schools, conveniently located throughout the city. They are administered by the Durham District School Board. The school board offers French immersion at several of the schools.

The Durham Catholic District School Board administers 13 schools in Ajax, 3 secondary and 10 elementary. The school board also offers French immersion at 3 of the schools in Ajax. 

Getting Around in Ajax

Ajax is highly connected to the rest of the Greater Toronto Area, along with Kawartha Lakes, Simcoe County, Northumberland County, and Peterborough County. 

The town’s suburban nature lends itself to road transportation, however Ajax provides its residents with many alternatives, in the form of Durham Regional Transit and GO Transit.

Travelling by Road

Owing to its proximity to Toronto, many of the people who live in Ajax commute into the city for work. The majority of these commuters drive their own vehicle to work, reporting that leaving between 7:00am and 8:00am gives them enough time to get to work. Commuters also report that they are predominantly heading out of the region and commuting for more than 60 minutes. 

The main travel thoroughfare in Ajax is highway 401. The highway is the main transportation route in Ontario and the most traveled road in the Windsor-Quebec City Corridor.

Durham Region Public Transportation

Durham Region Transit is one of Ontario’s largest public transportation systems. Formed in 2006 when the municipal transit systems of Pickering, Ajax, Oshawa, Whitby, and Clarington were amalgamated into one system. Durham Region Transit now services a much larger area than any of these smaller systems did. Residents in Ajax can ride DRT throughout Durham Region to each of the communities that make up the region (Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Clarington, Oshawa, Scugog, Uxbridge, and Brock). The DRT operates more than 200 vehicles, servicing nearly 3000 stops in the region. The system also features many interregional connections, which can get riders to different parts of Toronto, the GTA, as well as neighbouring regions.

Rail Transit

The Ajax GO train station is a hub stop for many DRT bus routes. From this connection, Ajax residents can take the GO train into Union Station, where connections to the TTC, Via Rail, and the UP Express are available. The GO train can also be ridden to Oshawa where Via Rail connections can be made, or to the Whitby GO station, where intercity Coach Canada and Megabus buses can be caught.  

Questions About Real Estate in Ajax

Thinking of buying or selling property in Ajax or in the GTA? Frank Leo & Associates are here to answer your questions based on 30 years of experience in the Toronto real estate business. 

We offer our expertise, honed over 30 years of experience in real estate in the GTA. Simply contact us or call (416) 917-5466 to get advice, or claim your free home evaluation if you’re thinking of selling

ActiveTO closing major roads due to Covid-19

Until the end of September 2020, ActiveTO major road closures will occur every weekend, including long weekends. Due to on-going evaluation by the city, planned construction or maintenance closures, and long weekends, routes and times for each weekend may change. 

To get a list of significant weekend road closures happening in most weekends in August, click HERE.

Due to Covid-19, the Emmy Award ceremony will be held online

Shortly after announcing the Emmy Awards nominations, The Academe informed nominees that the ceremony will be online due to COVID-19.

The announcement comes without surprise after restrictions and lockdowns imposed since the pandemic began. The Emmys will take place on September 20th and will be the first major awards show in Hollywood since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Read more HERE

Camera retailer Henry’s receives court approval to restructure business.

Henry’s, a Toronto based camera store chain, has received court permission to restructure, after being in business for more than a century, to survive during this Covid-19 pandemic. 

Henry’s Enterprises Inc. reported that earlier this year, they filed a notice of intention to submit a proposal for creditor protection and was given the green light to continue operations.

Gillian Stein, the CEO, said that the company is in a strong position to serve long-term, “Most importantly, we were able to save important Canadian jobs and keep Henry’s a Canadian, family-owned business,” she said.

Read more HERE

Pearson Airport makes temperature screening mandatory

In response to Covid-19, temperature screenings will begin in phases at Canada’s airports. 

Today screenings will begin in 15 of the busiest airports, including Toronto’s Pearson Airport and three international airports in Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary. 

The next phase of screenings will begin in the following 11 busiest airports: Toronto-Billy Bishop, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Kelowna, Victoria, St. John’s, Halifax, Quebec City, and Ottawa on September 30. 

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority reported that before proceeding to the screening checkpoint, all passengers departing from these airports will be required to go through temperature screenings.

Read more HERE