<Aerial view of Toronto City with residential buildings & houses.>   Canada is talking again about whether most of the country is in a soon-to-burst real estate bubble. In Vancouver last month, the benchmark price for detached homes rose by 13.7% compared with a year earlier reaching $1.6-million Canadian dollars. In the Toronto area the average selling price for detached homes rose 23.1% over the same time period, 2020. And a composite price that includes all kinds of housing topped $1-million dollars.  A sellers’ market prevails in many parts of the country, even at a time of economic distress for many. I was surprised to learn that bidding wars, something I associated with Toronto and Vancouver, were now common in my hometown, Windsor, Ontario, for sales of even relatively modest houses. . . . . In my Ottawa neighborhood, a city that posted a record number of house sales last month, little time elapses before “for sale” signs are plastered with “sold” stickers.   Story by Ean Austen, March 5/2021

<Aerial view of Toronto City with residential buildings and houses>

A gift from the New York Times ‘Style’ magazine to TORONTO’s ‘Monkey’s Paw’

Writer JODY ROSEN, and photographer ANDREW ROWAT have published a three-page story with accompanying pictures in the March/2013 issue of the New York Times ‘Style Magazine’.  This kind of publicity you can’t buy – especially if you’re running a smallish bookshop several kilometres from the centre of TORONTO.  The article focuses on The Monkey’s Paw, “an oddly modern antiquarian bookshop next door to a laundromat” in the West End.  “It’s a tiny shop, specializing in the arcane and the absurd, and may just be publishing’s great new hope” in the face of BigBoxMerchandising and the internet.

paw22KANSAS CITY native, STEPHEN FOWLER, 48, says “this  isn’t the store where you’ll find the book you were looking for.  It’s the store where you’ll find the book you didn’t know you were looking for . . . You have these hip 26-year old downtown TORONTO kids – they’ve actually never been to a bookshop.  They come here and they’re like: ‘It reminds me of a scene in Harry Potter.’”PAW4During her visit, Ms. Rosen checked out the BIBLIO-MAT, which has been photographed countless times.  It’s Mr. Fowler’s experiment in randomization.  You put a $2 coin into the slot, there’s a buzzing sound, a bell rings and out pops a book.  The idea being that even the cheapest book can offer pleasure.  You’ll find The Monkey’s Paw at 1229 Dundas Street West, one of several independent bookshops in our city – miraculously still doing business.PAW3<PHOTO – Andrew Rowat/New York Times Style Magazine, March/2013>