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COURTESY OF THE TORONTO STAR - After the year and a half that was, it’s understandable that you might be feeling a bit rusty when it comes to socializing in person.


As a refresher, there are some typical protocols to try to follow when you’ve been invited to a friend’s gathering or a family event: never show up empty-handed, arrive within 15 minutes of the invite time and don’t overstay your welcome.


The pandemic changed everything but, as lockdowns lift and invites flow, experts say we still have to be mindful guests.

 

“Now that we’re done wiping down groceries and other items, it’s OK to bring a hostess gift again,” says Toronto etiquette consultant Lisa Orr. She says if you ask your host if you can bring something and they say no, you should still bring a little something anyway.


“The host gift is a pre-emptive thank you in recognition of the effort it takes to have an event or get-together, and for being included,” Orr said. Your gift doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be thoughtful. She suggests flowers, candles, chocolates, gourmet pantry items or wine, all of which are simple and pandemic-friendly.

 

If you’ve been invited somewhere last minute and you don’t have anything on hand, send a little something after the fact, and if you’re invited with a guest make sure you’re clear the gift is from both of you.

Natasha Koifman, president of NKPR, will host client events and brand launches in her own backyard this summer. She is also planning her annual Artists for Peace and Justice gala on Sept. 11, in the same location.

 

“You should never show up with a surprise guest unless your host knows about it, especially during a pandemic,” says Koifman. You may think it’s no big deal, especially if you know other guests are bringing plus ones, but it’s not your party and having another person attend may not be within your host’s or their guests’ comfort level.


Koifman says guests should be aware of the new rules of engagement. “Transparency is important here. There’s nothing wrong with asking someone or telling them that you’re double vaccinated. It creates a sense of confidence and changes the style of engagement between two people.”


If someone is double vaxxed versus not at all, the way to engage will vary. “Either way, you can show warmth and appreciation based on your tone versus the physical interaction.”


When it comes to physically greeting your host or other guests, Parambir Keila, an ER doctor at Quinte Health Care in Belleville, Ont., says to always ask for consent before physically engaging with others. “The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S.) believes it is safe for those who are double vaccinated to hug,” Keila said. “I haven’t seen any specific hugging guidelines from (Premier Doug) Ford, but I’d love to pick his brain on it.”

Keila’s hugging tip? “Direct your face away from the other person and a French-like double kiss is still a no no.”

If you need to go inside to use the washroom, consider masking up. “If you may encounter someone who is not part of your gathering, you must wear a mask,” Keila said. “If it’s the same small group indoors and out, going maskless to the bathroom should be safe.” He also suggests asking the host if they want you to mask inside if you’re helping them clean up.


Orr also warns guests to let their hosts play host and to not take over. For more than a year now, we’ve gotten used to running the show. We pick the food, the movie, the music during our leisure time but, as a guest, you’re expected to participate in a social gathering the way the host has envisioned without giving your two cents.

For example, if your host has set the mood with a playlist, do not ask to play your own music, ever. “I don’t care if you just wrote the most incredible song or if it’s your very favourite party tune, this is a no go,” Orr said.

It’s likely your host has selected songs the same way they selected the menu, the dress code and the decor. “Asking them to go a different way, as innocent as it may seem, is not polite or appropriate and, depending on how seriously your host takes their music, could be downright offensive,” Orr said.


Koifman says you should be present and socialize with others in attendance, even if you’re feeling a bit awkward since you haven’t been out in ages. “It’s important to interact with all guests (pending comfort levels and regulations), not just one or two,” she said.


But avoid talking about COVID the whole time as well as your experiences during it. “Suffice it to say that the world is in an intense time politically and socially right now, and people are on edge,” Orr said.

 

With that in mind, she suggests being thoughtful about selecting conversation topics. “It’s not to say that you should censor yourself, but for a fun, social gathering you should let your host set the tone, listen to find common ground if you don’t agree and, if you really don’t agree, finish your cocktail, say your thanks and skedaddle early, and maybe send regrets next time,” Orr said.


Both Koifman and Orr say the long-standing rule of not overstaying your welcome still stands, even though we’re all hungry for connection.


“If you want to get invited to another event or gathering, never overstay your welcome. You’ll always be remembered as that person. Keep your visits short and sweet,” Koifman said.


If the get-together doesn’t have a specific end time, stay for two to three hours. “If it’s past that time, use your discretion and read the room.” Koifman said.


The opposite is true too: don’t leave too early, eat and run, or order your Uber before saying proper goodbyes to the host(s) and fellow attendees. If you’re unsure if it’s too early to leave, Koifman once again suggests reading the situation. “As people are starting to leave, it’s probably time for you to leave as well.” Should the host want you to stay longer to have one-on-one time once other guests leave, leave them to invite you for an extended stay and never assume, Koifman added.


When leaving, thanking the host for having you and follow up via text or email after the gathering with a personalized note to let them know you appreciated being included. “I’ll always follow up within 24 hours of attending. In your note to the host, highlight something that you particularly enjoyed about the event and show your appreciation for being invited,” Koifman said.

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Courtesy of CTV news - read the full article here


OTTAWA -- After months in a red-hot real estate market, which has seen bidding wars and homes purchased for hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking, there are signs the market in Ottawa is normalizing.

“June’s resale market performed similar to a typical (pre-pandemic) June, with unit sales on par with the five-year average and a lower volume of activity compared to May, particularly in the last two weeks of the month,” said Debra Wright, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB).

Wright said a tapering off this time of year is common, as families shift their focus over the summer, spending more time away and outdoors — even amid a pandemic.

 

“It will be interesting to watch the market over the summer to see if this normalization of the real estate sales' ebb and flow is indeed the case moving forward. Last year, summer resales skyrocketed due to pent-up demand when the first lockdown ended,” said Wright.


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I have listed a new property at 8 Falk Avenue in Ottawa.
Looking for a spacious family home with an INGROUD POOL in time for this summer? This 4 bed Holitzner home with over 2300 SqFt(as per MPAC) fits the bill. The main floor offers a large foyer,separate living/dining,a large kitchen, laundry facility, powder room, a family room with HRDW floor &wood burning FP. Upstairs: primary bedroom with HRDW floor, walk-in closet & a full UPDATED ensuite, 3 good-sized bedrooms & a second UPDATED bathroom. The partially finished basement offers a recreation/games room, a large den perfect for at home work/study & a utility/storage room & partially space for a gym.The rear lot offers:a fenced 32 Ft Heated pool, shed,a grassy area for kids/pets & a large deck for outdoor lounging/entertaining. Updates: Furnace/AC (2015),Windows (2018/2011),Garage doors(2018), Pool liner(2014), Roof(2010). A short walk to the Walter Baker Center, Fallowfield transit station. No conveyance of offers until May 26 th at 4:00 PM.
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I have listed a new property at 8 FALK AVENUE in Ottawa.
Some photos are virtually staged. Looking for a spacious family home with an INGROUD POOL in time for this summer? This 4 bed Holitzner home with over 2300 SqFt (as per MPAC) fits the bill. The main floor offers a large foyer,separate living/dining,a large kitchen, laundry facility, powder room, a family room with HRDW floor &wood burning FP. Upstairs: primary bedroom with HRDW floor, walk-in closet & a full UPDATED ensuite, 3 spacious bedrooms & a second UPDATED bathroom. The partially finished basement offers a recreation/games room, a large den perfect for at home work/study & a utility/storage room & partially finished space for a gym.The rear yard boasts:a fenced 32 Ft HEATED POOL, shed,a grassy area for kids/pets & a large deck for outdoor lounging/ entertaining. Updates: Furnace/AC (2015), Windows (2018/2011), Garage doors(2018), Pool liner(2014), Roof(2010). A short walk to the Walter Baker Center, Fallowfield transit station. No conveyance of offers until May 26th at 4:00 PM. (id:2493)
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Let's face it - we've all fantasized about what it would be like to live large. It's always fun to look at those nice houses you pass on the street and wonder what they're like. Well, wonder no further! Here are 4 of some of the most expensive homes on the market in Ottawa!

101 QUEEN STREET #PH17 - $7,649,000

This Penthouse Sky Suite boasts the most incredible views in the city and incorporates two penthouses together making the entire 17th floor your own! Imagine Canada day parties in the centre of the Universe with an open concept looking straight on to Parliament Hill. The changing lights throughout the year and the sunset views over the Ottawa river with the Gatineau Hills in the background. 5,515 sqft of interior, extremely well finished space and 1468 sqft of exterior terrace space. There isn't a close second to this scenario, if this is the lifestyle you have been dreaming of in the nations capital.




263 SOPER PLACE - $5,000,000


A modern contemporary living awaits in this spectacular property in the old Village of Rockliffe Park. This luxurious home situates on an ~20,000 SQFT private lot backs on acres of treed green space of Lornado and is inspired to fit in with natural settings and exclusive neighbourhood. Approximately 7000 SQFT of living space on all 3 levels exudes the comfort of spaciousness. 5+1 bedrooms, home office, 5 Ensuites & 2 bathrooms, a stunning 2 storey entryway, fire place, this one has them all. 




6 CRESCENT ROAD - $4,298,000

Situated on a large corner lot on sought-after Crescent Road in the heart of the Old Village, this home offers features spectacular terrace and garden views, elegant wainscotting and moulding, and superb sightlines. The dreamy fenced backyard has gorgeous gardens, a courtyard set behind a picturesque wrought iron gate and a fabulous 40-foot saltwater pool. There is also a spectacular covered veranda with an outdoor fireplace. 




251 THOROLD ROAD - $4,250,000

Classically inspired, this Georgian Revival styled home is elegant and completely renovated and added on to, boasting 6300 sq ft of living space plus a completely finished lower level as well. This special residence sits on a beautiful private, 17000 square foot lot on one of Rockcliffe Parks’ best streets. Designed with entertaining in mind, the main floor spaces lend themselves to all kinds of configurations. A total of four bedrooms and three bathrooms on the second level including a sumptuous master suite.


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(Via Shelter Movers Ottawa)


I love being y'orchid, so that's why instead of flowers, give your Mom a gift that impacts other moms.

Mother's Day is only one week away!

Donate on behalf of your mom; A $240 donation provides free moving and storage services for a woman fleeing violence. In the last 4 months alone in Ottawa, Shelter Movers has moved more than 100 women and children to safety. That’s just $20 a month to make sure they are safe. Donate at: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/m/61624/donation

#MomJokesForMomsDay

Want them to receive something special for Mother's Day? Pick up a specially curated box from 

Ottawa Pop Up Events. From every box sold, Shelter Movers Ottawa receives $25.


Buy yours here: https://www.ottawapopupevents.com/mothers-day-party-in-a-box

Can't spend Mother's Day with your mom? Tune in to a show together virtually! Ottawa's Piano Man, Dave Kalil, will be putting on a special Mother's Day show, with proceeds (matched by Impact Ottawa Real Estate Team) going to Shelter Movers Ottawa.

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I have listed a new property at 215 MOSS GROVE STREET in Ottawa.
This is it! A family townhome in the sought-after neighborhood of Chapman Mills. From the interlocked front yard, porch & stylish front door, this home has it all.The main floor features beautiful hardwood floors, a spacious kitchen & eating area, and a bright dining/living area.The primary bedroom on the second floor offers a walk-in closet,full ensuite & a cozy nook that could easily be a great workspace.Two other bright bedrooms & the main bathroom round out this floor. The lower level family room with its cozy gas fireplace, is a great space to work & play. Enjoy your summer days in the maintenance free backyard with its interlocked patio & PVC fence. Enjoy the enhanced home security with an electronic front door lock with remote access & smart thermostat.Attic insulation improved to R60. Short distance to the Chapman Mills Transit & Market Place,Water Dragon Splash Park,future LRT station and schools. No conveyance of any written offers until Tues,April 20 at 4:00 PM. 4 hr irrev. (id:2493)
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I have listed a new property at 260 BRITTANY DRIVE UNIT#415 in Ottawa.
This top floor corner unit, 2 BED condo, located min from downtown, has tree top views. The new custom kitchen features: soft close, ceiling height SHAKER style cabinets with crown moulding and brushed stainless hardware, QUARTZ countertops, STAINLESS STEEL appliances, pot drawers. Bathroom has been redone too with the same quartz!, IN UNIT STORAGE and LAUNDRY and a private BALCONY for your seasonal enjoyment. AFFORDABLE RESORT STYLE LIVING within the city! Enjoy evening strolls around the nicely landscaped grounds complete with pond & fountains. Recreational facilities: INDOOR & OUTDOOR POOLS, tennis & racquet courts, sauna, exercise centre & party room and assigned parking. Convenient indoor bicycle storage for safe keeping avail for $60/year. Steps to public transit and parkway cycling paths and the shops/restaurants on Beechwood. Why rent when you can own? Offers Presented April 10th at 12pm. Seller Reserves the right to review and may accept pre-emptive offers. (id:2493)
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