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Montreal Gazette and various other publications

Retrofit gives Ahunstic family the first Passive House in Quebec

If you were taking a walk down just about any street in any borough of Montreal on July 23 this year, when the temperature topped 26 Celsius (and the nighttime low was 25 C), you would have heard the buzzing and whirring of air conditioners cooling the homes on both sides of the street. Some homes, mostly apartment buildings or the typical Montreal duplexes, weren’t built with the need for air conditioning in mind. In order to cool their homes, people typically install window air conditioners.

Climate crisis inspires Hudson couple to live in eco-conscious home

Up a rugged dirt road in Hudson and nestled among the trees sits a couple’s eco-conscious home. It’s their response to the alarm that environmentalists have been sounding for years. According to Climate Atlas of Canada, many scientists report “Earth has been heating up for more than a century and especially over the last 50 years. In fact, 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001.” The fallout from this change is negative and far-reaching. A recent article in National Geog

The kitchen: Remodelling the heart of the home

Consider the kitchen and the role it plays in the modern North American home. Most often it’s the centre, or “heart,” if you will. It’s not only where meals are prepared, but it also has become increasingly a place for congregating. It hasn’t always been that way. Once upon a time, the kitchen was strictly utilitarian, often hot, uncomfortable and not very esthetically pleasing. According to an article on, a website dedicated to connecting homeowners with local home-improvement contra

T.M.R. renovation: How a 1950s home went from okay to oh, wow

When buying a home, deciding which one is the one can be tricky. It is one of the biggest financial investments most people will make in their lives and there are many factors to consider, such as cost, location, size and layout of the house. According to Scott McGillivray, a property investor and host of HGTV’s Income Property, location is the biggest factor potential home buyers need to consider. He told financial website Cheat Sheet, “You can always renovate your home, but you can’t just pic

Neighbourhood Walkabout: C.D.N.-N.D.G. is a community of choice

This look at Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce is the second in the Neighbourhood Walkabout series. Sometimes we choose the neighbourhood, sometimes it chooses us. As befits its reputation for diversity, the 167,000 residents of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough are a mix of both. The city of Montreal’s website boasts about the borough’s “social, economic and cultural dimensions” as well as its “multi-ethnic population.” Convenient location is also a plus for many people — not to m

Neighbourhood walkabout: Plateau couple loves the people, the bakeries, parks

Inside our houses, apartments and condos, we surround ourselves with things that we like and items that have personal significance. In fact, it’s been said that one’s home is an extension of one’s self. Couldn’t it also be said that the neighbourhoods in which we choose to live are an extension of not only our homes but also ourselves? If you are among the estimated 130,000 people planning a move during Montreal’s traditional moving season, you probably aren’t merely looking for the right build

Are we there yet? Riding the wave of home automation

Imagine yourself on the métro, checking your notes on the way to a very important meeting when, suddenly, you’re hit by the dreaded question: “Did I turn off the stove top?” Maybe you’d continue to your meeting, distracted by nagging worry. Or maybe you wouldn’t be able to help yourself and would rush home to check only to realize you had actually turned off the stove top. Of course you did. Or maybe, you’re one of the people who are riding the wave of smart home devices, so you would simply c

Early holiday decor adds to the magic of the Christmas season

Last week, the Montreal Gazette profiled the homes of two families who decorated early in celebration of Hanukkah. Readers saw how their homes, adorned with Hanukkah lights and colour, created a festive atmosphere and learned that there’s at least one study that suggests, in a nutshell, more time with decorations up equals more joy and potentially less stress and an overall happier feeling the whole season long. Now, with Christmas on its way, it’s time to look at the wreaths, lights, baubles a

Embracing the spirit of Hanukkah through vibrant decorations

When it comes to holiday decor, some people are happy to simply put red and green candy in a decorative bowl or a single menorah on the table. Others go all out in a competition for the biggest display in the neighbourhood, where the goal seemingly is to have the most extravagant illumination spotted by Google Earth. Regardless of where you fall between these two extremes, most people who enjoy the winter holidays decorate in one form or another. People do it to lift their moods or to get into
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