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Archive for April, 2015

Revive Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Revive Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Whether you’re thinking of selling your house or staying put, creating curb appeal is something every home owner seems to aspire to. Having an admiration worthy home is something many of us yearn for and some of us spend serious time and money trying to achieve.

There’s no better time than now to dust off the cobwebs, pack up winter gear and roll out springtime. Here is our must-do checklist for adding a bit of curb appeal:


The Front DoorFront Door

As the home’s focal point, your front door should be inviting and attractive. It should say, ‘You’re welcome here.’ Make sure it’s clean for starters. Paint it a pretty, eye-catching colour. Think of changing the hardware or adding an attractive door knocker. Finally, consider adorning it with an attractive spring wreath or door decoration.


What’s Your Number?

Is your house number clear and easy to read? Walk across the street to see yours. You don’t want the numbers blocked by shrubs or trees and it’s best if they’re placed near an outside light housenumberso the pizza delivery person can find you in the dark. Also, try to position the numbers horizontally because they are easier to read than if laid out vertically.



Garden in a Pot

gardenpotAdding to that welcoming feeling is a grouping of spring plants near your front door. Depending on your space place one great big pot or three various sized ones on your porch or the walkway near your front door. Providing your steps are wide enough, you can also use the sides of your front stairs to arrange pots bursting with spring blooms. Hanging pots of plants also lend curb appeal.


Pretty Up Your Porch

Many older city houses have a front porch ideal for watching the world go by or just being a nosy neighbour. Regardless, your porch can be an extension of your summertime living space so throw down an outdoor rug, a table and some patio furniture. Decorate your space with favourite colours and tchotchkes such as lanterns, pillows and candles. You’ll never want to go indoors.


Grass & Flower Beds

Is your lawn looking a little tired after winter’s abuse? You may need to reseed your graflowerbedss or replace patches of it. Cover your flower beds with natural mulch such as leaves, sawdust or shredded bark so they retain moisture longer and look even and finished.

Wash Windows & Siding

There’s nothing like clean windows and spotless siding to draw the eye. Try using a power washer or simply a regular hose with a washing attachment.

Look Up

Your roof should get a once over. Curling shingles or those that are crumbling should be looked at by a professional.


Putting the Green in Spring Cleaning

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Come the warmer temperatures, our longing for renewal, shine, even a little spit and polish grows stronger with each passing day.

Spring cleaning is somehow more tolerable than regular cleaning simply because, well, it’s springtime. Add to that ways to clean that don’t pollute or waste valuable resources and you have an activity that’s practically heaven-sent.  So let’s get to it. imagesM6BA60CL

Start by opening up your windows and letting all that fresh air inside your home. You’ll likely need to clean your windows so using a mixture of water and vinegar is a good green way to start. Wipe them clean with newspaper for a lint-free shine. Wash curtains and sheers. Dust shades and blinds. If yours are really grimy you may want to soak them in the bathtub or laundry sink. As the eyes of a home, the windows play an important role in maintaining its appeal. Don’t forget to clean your interior windows and window ledges as well.

The entryway or hallway of your home suffers a fair bit of abuse with the comings and goings of family members, friends and pets. Use an all-natural all-purpose cleaner to wipe away mud, salt stains and grime. Vacuum out your closet and de-clutter. Hang something fresh and spring like on the outside of your door.

Vinegar is a great cleaner for most floors. Mix it with some rubbing alcohol and a few drops of dishwashing detergent. Area rugs will need a good going over after winter’s assault. Sprinkle baking soda on your rugs to eliminate odors. Be sure to vacuum both side of your rug.

Use old athletic socks turned inside out to dust your home. Just cover your hand with the sock and start dusting.

Springtime is the right time to get rid of clothes you haven’t worn and other household items that have been left to collect dust. Consider donating gently used items to charity, where they can get another life. Opt for tearing up old absorbent articles of clothing and towels to add to your rag bag. Think of the money you’ll save on paper towels. untitled

Remember to go easy on the toxic chemicals. Many household cleaning supplies, while safe in small doses, may have longer term side effects. Volatile organic compounds, phosphates, petrochemicals and chlorine bleach have been linked to various health concerns. Instead, stock up on kitchen essentials that with a little finesse on your part do a beautiful job of making your home sparkle. Vinegar, baking soda, lemon, borax and essential oils either on their own or in various combinations make great eco-friendly cleaners that easily match or exceed store-bought products.

There’s no need to choke back noxious fumes or waste gobs of paper and water when spring cleaning. And while old habits die hard, it’s not a bad idea to stop and think can I clean in a way that’s safer, less toxic and generally kinder to the planet.

Explore the West Annex

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Come celebrate spring by taking part in an historic walking tour of the West Annex on Sunday, April 26.
Freeman Real Estate is again hosting one of its free neighbourhood tours that will take participants on a trip down memory lane thanks to local history buff and retired school teacher Marilyn Spearin. As a resident of the West Annex, Marilyn will point out significant historic sites and buildings in addition to noting the homes of illustrious historic figures and the origins of the neighbourhood’s street names.

The walk begins at 1 p.m. and participants are asked to meet outside of Freeman Real Estate at 988 Bathurst St. just before that time. It runs about one hour and explores the area between Bloor Street West to the CPR tracks north of Dupont Street and from Bathurst on the west to Kendal/Dalton to the east.

The historic homes in Toronto’s Annex were built largely from the 1880s to early 1900s and they are great examples of a wide assortment of architectural styles including Victorian, Queen Anne, Edwardian, Georgian, English cottage and Romanesque.

Expect to learn about the former Cathedral of St. Alban-the-Martyr on Howland Ave. The construction of this magnificent Neo Gothic structure began in 1884 but certain events such as the death of its architect, the Boer War, WW I and the depression slowed enthusiasm and fundraising efforts. Today the church is home to St. George’s College, a private boys’ school.11083681_812659938788059_7979411821931710135_n

Marilyn will share information about the Walmer Road Baptist Church. Built in 1889, the church at one time was the largest Baptist congregation in Canada.

We’ll see the house in which Timothy Eaton, the founder of Canada’s largest privately owned department store, lived. It’s at the corner of Lowther Ave. and Spadina.

And we’ll view the site of a gruesome murder that took place in 1915, when Charles Bert Massey was shot to death by a domestic servant, Carrie Davies. The scandal involving one of Canada’s most powerful families made international news. Davies was found not guilty of the murder.

Jane Jacobs was also a resident of the West Annex. A journalist, author and activist who influenced urban planning, she was a leader in the fight against the planned construction of the Spadina Expressway. Jacobs died in 2006 at the age of 89, but her sway on matters affecting how cities are planned and built still lives on.

The tour ends at Jean Sibelius Square at 50 Kendal Ave., where participants are invited to sit down, rest a bit and ask questions about the neighbourhood.

Those interested in taking the tour should register with Freeman Real Estate at 416-535-3103 or email us at frontdesk@freemanrealty.com.


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