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Barbara Meyer’s empowering journey | REM





When people think about breast cancer awareness events, walks and rides come to mind. Dragon boat races not so much. However, thousands of breast cancer survivors participate in local and international competitive dragon boat racing events every year.

Barbara Meyer, manager with Royal LePage Triland Realty in London, Ont., is a breast cancer survivor and has been a member of London’s Rowbust Dragon Boat team since 2015. The team won three gold medals (200 and 500 metres and 2,000 km) in Hungary this year in the breast cancer survivors division. On the same trip, they also participated in an international event in Florence in the breast cancer survivors division. The event drew 4,000 participants of all ages and from all walks of life.

It’s a club no one wants to belong to, but those who do feel privileged to do so, says Meyer, a glass half-full kind of person. She was blind-sided one day in January 2015 when she went in for a mammogram, expecting to be on her way to the gym a few hours later. However, she was sent for numerous tests, was diagnosed with breast cancer and learned that she would undergo a double mastectomy a few weeks later.

Not too long after, an acquaintance told her about Rowbust. It would be the first of three people who told her she’d be perfect for the team. She had crossed paths with all of them in the past, and all were connected to Rowbust. She said she thought the angels were trying to tell her something.

Meyer says she believes everything happens for a reason that’s positive even though it may not seem to be at first, and that every person she meets, she meets for a reason.

Rowbust was started in 1995 in Vancouver by Dr. Don McKenzie, a sports medicine physician and exercise physiologist researching rehabilitation after breast cancer treatment. He determined that regular exercise benefits everyone, including breast cancer survivors.

A few years later, Dr. Annette Richard encouraged survivors to attend an information session, and Rowbust Dragon Boat Racing Team was born, the Rowbust website says.

Coincidentally, or not, Meyer had been a student of McKenzie when she attended the University of British Columbia decades earlier. Richard had once been her physician. They were two more signs that she should join the team.

Meyer says if something feels right, go for it. “Believe in signs. Listen to your inner goddess.”

When Meyer, 49, joined she was one of the youngest of the London club’s 70 members, she says.

Meyer’s husband, broker/manager Peter Meyer of Royal LePage Triland Realty, put together teams to raise awareness in the community.

Meyer has been with Royal LePage for more than 10 years. She jokes that she’s been the guinea pig for the training programs developed by her husband, who is in charge of training and development. “The training programs work. It works if you do all the steps,” says Meyer, who sold houses for more than two years before Peter bought out the partners. “I didn’t want to be a selling manager or owner who competes with the agents in the office,” she says. She is still licensed but provides referrals to the other agents in the office.

Triland has 230 salespeople with offices in London, St. Thomas, Woodstock and Ingersoll. “It’s amazing how people come together, she says. People in her office have also been supportive.

Rowbust is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019 with a two-day dragon boat race/festival on June 8 and 9.

“We invite teams from all over the world to come and participate. We are still looking for a title sponsor and encourage anyone interested to reach out. We are a registered charity,” she says. Meyer encourages any Realtors across the country who have been affected by breast cancer or know someone who has to see if there is a dragon boat team in their area. “It’s empowering,” she says. “I’m so proud to be part of Rowbust and the amazing group of women/athletes it represents. I’m honoured to be coached by world-class coaches former Olympian Cheryl McLachan and Sarah Shellard.”


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Real Estate

The cost of renovating your bathroom in Toronto in 2021





Home renovations can be a big task, especially bathroom renovations where you have to work with either an awkwardly shaped space, or one with lots of pipework and very little natural light.

Nonetheless, getting a bathroom renovation by Easy Renovation to change your existing bathroom layout, improve the ambience or add more natural skylights can be worth all the trouble. But determining how much a bathroom renovation would cost is important while setting a budget.

The pandemic has changed a lot of things with social distancing rules, working from home, and for some, being made redundant. Therefore, having a complete grasp of the financial implication of a bathroom innovation is very important.

Owning your dream bathroom can be made a reality and the good thing is, regardless of your financial situation, there are always available options. If you also decide to put up your property for sale in the future, a bathroom upgrade would be a great investment—as it would add significant value to the property. Your bathroom renovation project, like every home renovation, can either be very affordable or extravagant, but one thing is certain, you’re bound to have a more refreshed, stylish and modernistic space.  

Looking through detailed sketches of luxurious and expensive bathrooms can be quite tempting, especially when you’re on a budget. However, your bathroom can be equally transformed into something that looks just as modern, stylish and refreshing but without the heavy price tag.

Conducting a partial bathroom renovation means you only have to change a little part of your existing bathroom rather than tearing it down and starting from scratch. If you intend to carry out this type of bathroom renovation in Toronto, depending on the size of your bathroom, you can spend between $1,000 – $5,000. With a partial bathroom renovation, you can save money by tackling smaller problems that exist in your present bathroom—or you can just upgrade a few of its features.

Partial bathroom renovations are quite affordable and would leave your bathroom feeling new and stylish without being time-consuming or a financial burden—which is important considering the economic impact of the pandemic. Repainting the bathroom walls, replacing the tiles on the floor and in the shower area are examples of partial bathroom renovations which is the cheapest to accomplish.

A more expensive and popular bathroom renovation is the standard 3- or 4-piece renovation. This renovation type involves a lot more services that are not covered by a partial renovation budget. To execute a standard bathroom renovation in Toronto you need a budget of about $10,000 – $15,000.

Unlike with a partial renovation, you would have to make a lot more changes to various elements of your bathroom without the hassle of changing the overall design. You can easily restore your current bathroom into a modernistic and classy space that fits your existing style. Making changes to more aspects of your bathroom is quite easy since there is more room in your budget to accommodate it.

A standard 3- or 4-piece renovation includes everything in a partial renovation plus extras such as revamped baseboards, installing a new bathroom mirror, buying new lights, installing a new vanity, changing the toilet, and buying new shower fixtures.

If you’re one of those looking to make a complete overhaul of your existing bathroom, then the option of a complete bathroom remodel is for you.

Unlike a bathroom renovation, remodelling means a complete change of your current bathroom design and layout for one that is newer and completely unrecognizable. The possibilities when remodelling a bathroom are endless especially when you have a large budget of over $15,000. That way, you can get the opportunity to create the perfect bathroom for yourself.

In addition to all that’s available with a standard bathroom renovation, bathroom remodelling allows you to make bathtub to shower conversion, relocation of plumbing, relocation of the toilet, reframing the bathroom and even relocating the shower.

In conclusion, a bathroom renovation can be a very important upgrade to your home and depending on the features that you decide to include, in addition to the size of your bathroom, this would influence the total cost of the project.

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Real Estate

7 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers In Calgary





Buying a house for the first time can be overwhelming to say the least. If you’re wondering what neighbourhood to go with, what you can afford, or even how to just get started on the process, let us take some stress off your hands! We’ve teamed up with Hopewell Residential to give you 7 tips to ensure the home you end up with is everything you dreamed of.

Hopewell Residential is a five-time Developer of the Year award winner, so their expertise is second-to-none in Calgary and beyond. Who better to learn home-buying tips from than the homebuilders themselves?

Create a checklist of needs & wants

This is a biggie. When you’re buying your very first home, you’ll want to weigh your needs vs. your wants. Ensuring you have what you love in your first home is a big, big deal.

What should you do? Easy. Set up a list of needs and a list of wants, but be pretty strict with yourself, and make sure you take your lifestyle into consideration. With the increase in remote work over the past year, it’s important to keep in mind that a home office or flex room might just be the key to maximizing at home happiness. Especially if you’re thinking you might be expanding your family later on, spare rooms and extra space is key (but more on that later!).

Or for instance, you might need a home in an area with a high walkability score, but you want to be close to certain amenities. Set yourself up with the right level of compromise and the number of homes that actually fit your ‘perfect’ idea will skyrocket.

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Real Estate

‘Don’t give up’: Ottawa Valley realtors share statistics, tips for homebuyers in ‘extreme’ sellers market





The real estate market in the Ottawa Valley can be summed up this way: people from far and wide are in a buying frenzy, but there’s hardly anything to buy at the “store,” and the limited inventory is overpriced.

This “stampede” — as one realtor described it — will affect rural towns as residents grapple with finding affordable housing and agonize over their inability to purchase homes in their price range.

“We are seeing a lack of inventory in all price ranges,” said Laura Keller, a real estate agent from Carleton Place.

Helen Vincent, a Renfrew realtor, said she’s never seen a market like this in her 36 years of practice. “We postpone offers for four to five days in order to get all the buyers,” she said.

Multiple offers — between seven and 10 — became the norm, with cash offers and no conditions, as buyers faced bidding wars. “In Ottawa, they have up to 50 (offers),” she added.

“It’s very stressful. You’re going to get nine (people) ticked off, and one happy. So many people are disappointed,” Vincent said.

Terry Stavenow, an Arnprior realtor for 40 years, said that “the pent-up need took over with inventory going low. It made a stampede on everything that was available.“

“Brand new housing — it’s very much gone. Several building developers are rushing to get inventory. They usually don’t do construction in the winter months,” said Stavenow.

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