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Empire Communities partners with Enercare to bring homeowners smart home technology in every new home

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The past few years have seen a rapid increase in the use of automation in our daily lives. Our phones can speak to us and understand voice commands, watches track heart rates and cars are almost self-driving. Empire Communities believes that your home should be as smart as all your other devices and has partnered with Enercare to provide new homebuyers a complimentary Smarter Home Essentials Package with every purchase. The package is included for three years and can be managed through one simple mobile app. After three years, the system is available at a discounted monthly rate or can be returned at no charge.



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The full suite of smart home technologies is designed to make everyday living simpler, providing you comfort and peace of mind. The package includes the hardware, professional installation and access to the Smarter Home mobile app for real-time notifications, remote access and the ability to customize your automation settings.



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It all starts with the Smart Home Hub — this is what collects and analyzes the data from all your home devices and sends it to your mobile app, ensuring you have all the information you need right in the palm of your hand. The system is extremely user-friendly and the best part is you won’t need to download multiple apps for all your devices or try to interpret trends or graphs on your own. Plus, all your devices are connected to a Google Home Mini smart speaker with Google’s voice-activated virtual assistant.

The Smarter Home Essentials Package includes a WiFi-compatible thermostat to control your home’s heating and cooling remotely through the app. This means you have the ability to control your home’s climate and temperature settings from your desk at work or your sun lounger at the beach. Homeowners can also program their thermostat based on their day-to-day schedule, reducing energy use and monthly bills.



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Maintaining your HVAC system is a breeze thanks to the Performance Monitoring System that looks at both short- and long-term patterns in your equipment. If it senses an issue, such as a decline in efficiency, it will automatically alert you should maintenance be required. For added peace of mind, leak sensors can be placed under a sink, near your water heater, dishwasher or washing machine to detect any moisture or water leaks before they have a chance to cause significant damage.

To learn more about smart home technology and to see all available Empire Communities’ visit empirecommunities.com.

For more information visit empirecommunities.com or email info@empirecommunities.com.

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New home? Prepare for the unexpected

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(NC) Buying a house, getting married or having your first baby are all major life events that are likely to affect your finances. But whether you’re in the midst of a major life event or not, it’s important to check in on your finances regularly to maintain good financial health.

Your financial health encompasses things like your spending, savings, borrowing and future financial plans. It also means dedicating a set amount of savings for unexpected future events. It can even include optional credit protection insurance, such as TD protection plans, to help cover your debt balances in case of death, a covered critical illness or total disability.

Even though it can be tough to think about the unexpected, life is unpredictable and it’s important to plan for the unexpected. Find more information at td.com.

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Mortgage pitfalls to avoid

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(NC) Throughout life, you may have moments where you’ll make a large purchase or invest in a costly item, like your family home. But whether you’re in the market for your first new property or already have a mortgage, leaving this asset unprotected can be costly.   

Insuring your housing financial debt, as well as debt for other big-ticket items like a new boat for your lakefront cottage or keepsake jewelry like an engagement ring, is a smart investment in your well-being.

To help protect your debt balances like a mortgage, your bank may have optional credit protection insurance products.

“Your home is one of your biggest assets, yet illness can happen at any stage of life. Worrying about your mortgage when the focus should be on health isn’t a situation anyone would wish for,” explains Shirley Malloy, vice president at TD. “Fortunately, we offer mortgage protection to provide coverage for your outstanding balance should you face a covered critical health event.”

Mortgage protection can be purchased whether you’re in the process of applying for a mortgage or already have a home financing solution. But what about protection options for credit card debt?

“Given the unprecedented circumstances of this year, many Canadians are trying to plan for the unexpected to protect themselves and their finances,” says Malloy. “TD balance protection plus is an optional product designed to help you deal with your credit card payment obligations in the event of a covered event, such as loss of employment.”

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Is your internet too slow? It’s probably not you

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(NC) We all know the aggravation of a school lesson that just won’t stop freezing or the family video call that looks more like a photo montage. And, as we adjust to the impact of COVID-19 on our day-to-day, that slow connection can have frustrating consequences.

Working from home and learning remotely, both need fast, stable internet, something not enough Canadians have yet. Even if you have fast devices in your home, if the infrastructure in your area is not optimal, your connection won’t be either.

Right now, cities have the infrastructure needed to ensure access. But rural and remote communities are hugely underserved, with fewer than half having high-speed internet, and fewer than a third of households on reservations have high-speed connections.

Fortunately, change is coming. The Universal Broadband Fund is backing projects across Canada right now to ensure the reliable, high-speed internet connections families need to work, study, access services online, and safely stay in touch with each other.

The fund existed before COVID, but as a response to the pandemic, its timetable has been moved up by four years to a target of 98 per cent of Canadians with high-speed internet access by 2026. With the faster pace, at least 90 per cent of us should be connected by the end of 2021.

The fund is focused on improvements in rural and remote communities across Canada to fix the disconnect between internet access for urban and rural households.  This means more remote work opportunities, better access to remote learning and safer access to healthcare, no matter where you live.

It’s not just for good connections at home, either. The improvements mean much better access to mobile networks on highways between remote communities. The result is better, safer navigation and access to emergency services for your family, even on the road in the middle of nowhere. Mobile projects will be focused on serving Indigenous communities and the roads leading to them.

The shape these improvements will take in your area will depend on where you live. Canada is huge, and its communities are hugely diverse, with diverse needs. Keep an eye out for local projects — they’re a small part of something much bigger.

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