Tuesday, December 30, 2008


For many people 2008 will go down as one of the most stressful in recent memory, and 2009 is promising more of the same.

Despite the major retail development going on in West Hill, it has been a tough year for many. The weather patterns in West Hill have been more dramatic than any in recent decades. We've lost two of our three new car dealers and the Newspapers are not filled with encouraging economic predictions for the near future.

Coping with it all can be a major challenge, but there is hope. There is a pathway that is well tested over time for managing the unavoidable stresses of life. Or so Zen Buddhism would have us believe.

The Zen Habits website assures us there is no need to renounce the world or become a monk in order to benefit from what they have learned.

According to the Zen Habits website ( http://www.zenhabits.net/2008/03/12-essential-rules-to-live-more-like-a-zen-monk/ ) there are twelve habits monks have practiced for millennia that can reduce our daily stress no matter what the future hold for us in 2009.

Here are their suggestions.

1. Do one thing at a time.
2. Do it slowly and deliberately.
3. Do it completely.
4. Do less.
5. Put space between things
6. Develop rituals .
7. Designate time for certain things.
8. Devote time to sitting.
9. Smile and serve others.
10. Make cleaning and cooking become meditation.
11. Think about what is necessary.
12. Live simply.

How you practice these in our internet world, filled with all the demands of multi-tasking, I'm not entirely sure. But maybe it gives some hope and some guidelines for a less stressful future.

However, you decided to tackle 2009, here's wishing You A Happy And More Peaceful New Year!

santa buddha Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, December 18, 2008

BMO Official Opening In West Hill

To the sounds of Jingle Bell Rock, the huge Red Ribbon was cut, officially opening BMO Financial Services' newest branch office at Kingston Road and Lawrence Ave in West Hill.

City Councilor Paul Ainsley, Provincial MPP Margaret Best and Federal MP John MacKay joined BMO Officials and members of the public at the lavish opening of the new branch.

The cold evening did nothing to dampen the warmth of the reception inside. The large crowd enjoyed BMO the Bear, balloon artists, face painters for the children, great food and prizes.

And the BMO Staff Charitable Foundation generously presented the West Hill Food Bank with a cheque for $500.

West Hill is rapidly becoming the banking centre of South East Scarborough with BMO and new branches of CIBC and TD Bank joining the already established Scotia and Royal Banks in the area.

The crowd at the BMO opening enjoyed a generous buffet along with other events.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Getting The Best Deal On A New Vehicle

By Howard S. Buchin
West Hill Consumer Advocate

You’ve decided your old car is ‘toast,’ & you’re considering investing in a brand new vehicle. How do you go about getting the best deal from a car dealership? Here are some vital points to consider when working out a deal with your dealer.

First off you’ll need to crunch the numbers and decide upon how much you can spend without blowing your budget. Shop around for a loan [if you need one] through your bank or other financial institution.

Shop at a minimum of three dealerships before signing, so you can compare their prices on exact models [including extras] you wish to buy. Investigate the various engine sizes your model is available in. Compare the difference in price a larger engine might cost. Compare the fuel efficiency for each.

Test drive models with the exact features and equipment that you wish to buy.
Get a written quote that’s good for at least one week, or long enough that you can take it home and read it over, not just for the day you attend the dealership.

Keep your trade-in and financing charges out of the price negotiations for a new-car. It’s best to first settle on the new-car price and then get a written trade-in value for your ‘old beater’. You can always sell your old car for more if you sell it yourself. Remember you may not wish to deal with the hassles of selling your used vehicle.

Focus on the bottom line, including any freight - delivery charges, taxes, extended warranties, fuel and registration fees. This is your final true cost and the dollar amount that you’ll need to use to compare, so that you can decide which dealer is giving you the best price.

Some of the things to you might want to avoid when buying a new car: It’s not a good idea to just add 3% on to the invoice price and bargain from there. Currently buyers have the advantage due to the state of the economy, & the dealer’s needing to clear out current stock to get ready for the 2009 models.

Avoid telling your salesperson the amount that you are looking to spend. This might result in you not getting your lowest rate. Don’t put down a deposit in order to get a quote of go for a test drive. Don’t shop for a monthly payment.

Don’t waste time haggling with the salesperson about all the various features and extras on your vehicle. The dealer’s salesperson have much more time for this than you do. Dealer’s rake in large amount of profit from extended warranties, and rust protection. Make sure the salesperson provides you with the written extended warranty so you can decide if you feel you need it. Rust protection is usually less expensive at the local shop that specializes in rust protection.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New LCBO Opens In West Hill

The Greenest LCBO in Ontario opened its doors in West Hill on Wednesday December 3rd to the popping sound of bottles of Ontario Sparkling Wine being opened. Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO)President and CEO Bob Peter joined City Councilor Ron Moeser at the official opening in the new Morningside Crossing location.

The 11,000 square foot store, incorporates many energy conservation features and recycled materials in its construction earning it a LEED certification.

The store has a shopping area of almost 7,800 square feet – almost triple that of the store at 4543 Kingston Road which it replaces -- construction of this new store provided the equivalent of 14 new jobs.

Offering almost 1,800 products, 200 more than the former store, it features a large VINTAGES section with some 570 fine wine and premium spirits, compared to 20 at the previous location. The new store also has a large chilled section for beer and ready-to-drink cocktails and coolers

The store reflects LCBO’s latest layout and design, combining contemporary d├ęcor with innovative and informative product displays.

The new store also provides:

 an extensive selection of Ontario wines
 large chilled sections for beer and ready-to-drink cocktails and coolers
 a tasting counter
 gift section
 six checkouts, including a customer service counter offering product information and special order services
 good accessibility, visibility and parking