Black Fly to include breathalyzer with purchase
LONDON’S BLACK FLY Beverage Company is the first Canadian spirits company to be affixing single-use breathalyzers to product, rolling out the inclusion with a variety of their popular Black Fly mixed drinks.
Co-founders and husband-and-wife Rob Kelly and Cathy Siskind-Kelly say they are fortunate to be successful independent Canadian beverage alcohol producers, but and with that comes a tremendous amount of responsibility.
“At Black Fly, our commitment to social responsibility is at the forefront of all aspects of our business,” explains Siskind-Kelly. “The opportunity to distribute MADD-endorsed single use breathalyzers on select Black Fly products across the country is an opportunity to broaden that commitment.”
The breathalyzer is both FDA Approved and endorsed by MADD Canada. The Alcograd single-use breathalyzer measures blood alcohol levels within certain ranges, and is easy to use and read. The crystals inside the tube will change colour depending on the individual’s alcohol level. White means a 0% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and purple indicates a 0.08% BAC, which is the maximum legal BAC for fully licensed drivers in Canada. In Ontario, drivers could face additional provincial penalties if their BAC is above 0.05%. The tests will not indicate blood alcohol levels beyond simply the legal limit.
Tight resale market aids new home numbers
THE LONDON AND St Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) announced that a total of 983 homes were sold in the London-St. Thomas area in April, down 19.6% over April 2017. While the April total jumps from 769 units sold last month as the spring market heats up, the resale marketplace continues to be hampered by low levels of housing inventory, which continues to impact sales across the region.
“For the last few months, the marketplace has been challenged with low inventory, and that trend continued in April,” says LSTAR president, Jeff Nethercott. “In April, there were 1,401 active listings, down 13.9% from this time last year and down 50.6% from April 2016.
“However, home prices continue to rise across the region as we continue to see a much lower level of homes available for sale than the last few years,” adds Nethercott.
The average April sales price in the region was $367,433, up 5.0% over April 2017 and up 33.6% over April 2016.
But while the tight resale market is making life tough for prospective buyers and real estate agents alike, one beneficiary is new home construction, as the steep drop in listings pushes more buyers into the new home market.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reports there were 367 housing starts in London-St. Thomas in April, up from 174 in the same month last year and the highest total for the month since 1989.
The biggest factor was a gain in the multi-family sector, with 147 apartment units and 64 rowhouses. But single-family starts were also strong, with 154 units last month compared to 136 in April 2017.
According to CMHC analyst Andrew Scott, it was the first significant upturn in London area housing starts in five months. “Strong spillover demand from a tight resale market has kept construction robust,” he says.
London included in autonomous vehicle development and testing
LONDON AND WINDSOR will each receive $2.5 million and form the Southwestern Ontario hub of the $80-million provincial Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) project.
Province-wide, there are six so-called Regional Technology Development Sites (RTDS) as part of the AVIN project.
The London Economic Development Corporation, Western University, Fanshawe College, TechAlliance and the City of London will partner to test the technology in London.
“Ontario saw the possibilities and moved quickly back in 2016, becoming the first Canadian province to permit on-road testing of automated vehicles,” says Ontario Minister of Transportation, Kathryn McGarry. “[AVIN] is another example of our proactive approach to keep Ontario at the forefront of innovation that promotes emerging vehicles and transportation technologies.”
The funding will be spread out over a five-year span across the six regions: Durham Region, Hamilton Region, Ottawa Region, Southwestern Ontario Region (London and Windsor), Toronto Region and Waterloo Region.
Ricor Engineering to become part of Dillon Consulting
DILLON CONSULTING LIMITED has merged with Ricor Engineering Ltd., a London-based engineering firm that serves municipal and land development infrastructure clients in Southwestern Ontario. Founded in 2011, Ricor’s 10-person team will be integrated into Dillon’s London’s office.
“We are excited to welcome Rick Dykstra and his firm to Dillon,” says Jeff Matthews, partner and engineering technical lead, Dillon Consulting Limited. “Ricor has done an excellent job at building deep relationships with developers and municipalities while completing road, sewer and water main replacement and rehabilitation projects in Southwestern Ontario. Our combined capabilities will allow us to better serve the needs of our clients across Canada.”
Ricor’s successful projects include Gates of Northridge in London, The Ridge in Talbotville, Huron Subdivision in London, Innerkip Meadows in Innerkip and the Grosvenor Street reconstruction in London.
Founded in London in 1946, Dillon is an employee-owned firm specializing in planning, engineering, and environmental science with 17 offices across Canada.
Hotel tax approved, will start appearing on tabs this fall
A PROPOSED HOTEL tax got the backing of city council this week and will be implemented this fall.
The tax, labelled a transient accommodation tax, will add an extra four per cent to all hotel bills, and is expected to generate between $2 million and $4 million a year, based on the 2.1 million visitors to London who stayed overnight in 2016.
The funds will be earmarked to improve existing entertainment facilities, as well as help develop new ones. The tax will also give the city the needed cash to attract large events, such as the World Junior Hockey Championships or the Juno Awards London will host next year.
Similar taxes have long been in place in cities such as Toronto, Ottawa and Niagara Falls. The tax will apply to hotels, motels and some hospitality operations. City staff are also reviewing the possibility of imposing the accommodation tax on short-term home rentals listed on services such as Airbnb and VRBO.
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