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Saks Fifth Avenue Sherway Gardens

February 27, 2016 Leave a comment

First Impressions

We went to check out Saks Fifth Avenue at CF Sherway Gardens this afternoon, which opened on Feb 25th. This is the second location of the Saks brand in Canada, after the downtown Bay location, which opened a week ago.

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The Sherway Gardens store is located in suburban Toronto (Etobicoke), and is about 143,000 square feet in size. The store occupies three floors, in a space previously occupied by Sears Canada (east end of the mall). The mall seemed busier than usual, even for a Saturday afternoon, and the parking lot was full when we got there in the late afternoon. When we eventually got inside, there were large crowds of people.

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We approached the store from inside the mall, and just at the entrance, we came across two metal statues of horses – one fully grown, and one colt, created by local artist John McEwen. They feature his trademark ‘stars’ incorporated into the metalwork, and are quite intricate in their design. The artwork is titled ‘The Miracle’. Between the two sculptures there is a fountain. We saw several people taking selfies in front of the statues.

Main Floor

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Entering the Saks store, first impressions: extremely luxurious, with a very American vibe to it – which is a good thing, in my opinion. The store was busy, lots of people milling about, and we saw quite a few people purchasing goods. We first spent time on the main floor, which features shoes, accessories, & perfume, and the selection seemed vast. There are designer highlighted areas with every brand I have ever heard of, and many that I haven’t heard of. Everything from Gucci to Prada, Dolce & Gabbana to Stella McCartney, from Armani to Jimmy Choo.

I am no fashionista, but my girlfriend, who was with me, was impressed. Prices are not cheap, but these are some of the highest-end goods on the planet.

Second Floor

Next we went up to the second floor, which is dedicated to women’s fashions. At the top of the escalator there is an interesting display.

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The second floor features another vast selection to choose from, with everything from lingerie to furs. This is not a bargain discount store, but we managed to talk to a couple members of the staff, and they were very friendly and welcoming.

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Lower Level

Next, back down the escalator to the lower basement level, for a look at men’s fashions. Lots of high quality stuff here, including everything from business attire to casual, shoes, ties, and so on. The basement level is not quite finished, and although the men’s section is open, they are still finishing a Saks Food Hall, which is planned to open by March 7. On this lower level there were staff serving hors d’oevres, which we sampled, a nice touch!

There is a functioning restaurant on the main floor, Beaumont Kitchen, operated by Oliver & Bonacini, which we somehow managed to miss (too dazzled by those Stella McCartney purses, I guess)!

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I think one of the biggest eye openers for most Canadians when they shop in the U.S., is that there always seems to be a much greater variety and selection of merchandise available there. Today at Sherway Gardens we saw a lot of high end merchandise which may have been difficult to find here in Canada prior to the entrance of Saks into the Canadian market. I mentioned some of the well known brands, but there are literally dozens and dozens of lesser known brands with large displays in this store. Overall, I think Saks brings a very upscale addition to CF Sherway Gardens, and we wish them success. They are a class act all the way.

 

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5 Government Programs that help Home Buyers in Ontario

February 4, 2016 Leave a comment

ontario programs home buyers

There are a number of programs available from both the provincial and the federal government, which provide help for home buyers in Ontario. Each of these can help you to save money, either directly, or when you file your tax return. Here are 5 helpful programs which can save you money:

 

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit

This is a tax credit that helps low to moderate income individuals with property taxes and the sales tax on energy expenses. The credit is part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit and refunded on your tax return.

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/oeptc/

 

Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC)

This is a tax credit for first time buyers which reimburses a portion of closing costs. The credit is refunded on your tax return.  The max is $750.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2009/fqhbtc-eng.html

 

Ontario Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit

ontario healthy homes credit

This tax credit benefits seniors and can help them with the renovation costs to improve safety and accessibility in the home. Seniors are eligible for up to 15% back when they spend a max of 10,000 on home renovations.  Amounts are refunded on your tax return.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/healthy-homes-renovation-tax-credit

 

Home Buyers Plan (HBP)

First time home buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 from their RSP’s tax free to use towards down payment and closing costs when buying a home.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/rrsp-reer/hbp-rap/menu-eng.html

 

GST/HST New Residential Rental Property Rebate

This rebate is for purchasers of a newly constructed home for use as a rental property and GST/HST was payable at closing. As a landlord, you are eligible to receive most of it back by filling out an application and mailing it in.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gp/rc4231/rc4231-e.html

We hope you find these programs useful. With thanks to Sherry Love, Home Financing Advisor at Scotiabank Mississauga, for her expert input. You can reach Sherry at (416) 908-8563.

Got questions about home financing? You can equip yourself with all the latest money saving tips, by clicking here. Get all the answers to help you with the purchase of your next home.

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