Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Toronto Condo Market: what’s REALLY going to Happen?

Image by PeapodLIfe: Screenshot of Google Search “condo market toronto crash”
Source: Google
“I’ve been perplexed about that for a couple of years.”
Prof. John Andrew, Queen’s University
Source: TheGlobeandMail.com: Reading Toronto’s real estate market is no easy task

It’s ridiculous, really. We offer the above screenshot of a Google search to demonstrate how there are as many differing opinions on the state of the condo market in Toronto as there are condo developments under construction.

So what’s really going on? 

I had an interesting meeting yesterday at my favourite cafe, The Good Neighbour coffee shop in the Junction. My companion was an experienced provider of business services to Toronto condo developers.

“Their worried,” began my newly found friend (who shall remain anonymous). “I mean, you would be too if you’re sinking millions into your development and across the road you see XYC Corporation breaking ground on a 300-unit high-rise.”

“And these guys spend millions of dollars on marketing, public art, anything to differentiate their products.” 

“Really?” I thought. Anything?

Image by PeapodLife Partner: Genetron Systems Living Wall Ecosystem, former Club Monaco Head Office

If there’s one thing we know about our ecosystems, is that you can't put a price tag on the “wow!” factor they induce in people when they first experience one.

Forget public art. You’ve seen it once; you’ve seen it a thousand time. A condo developer can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a giant piece of metal (or whatever) which will only ever be one thing: a giant piece of rusting metal (or deteriorating whatever).

An ecosystem is different. An ecosystem is alive. It grows, changes, adapts, and flourishes. There’s always something new to see. There’s always new discoveries to be made.

An ecosystem fills the air around it with a freshness and an energy that no piece of art can match—David and other works by the great masters notwithstanding (but what condo developer is springing for the equivalent of David?)

Image: Let’s face it, you won’t be seeing anything close to Michelangelo’s David in a Toronto Condo anytime soon.

But condo developers can still have a masterpiece in their buildings—what few low-rise or mid-rise condos can match and even fewer competitors will have—a beautiful PeapodLife ecosystem.

The best part, PeapodLife can install a compact, fully-functioning 5-biome ecosystem in sales offices and model suites, along with high-detailed renderings of what the ultimate full-size ecosystem will look like.

The result? Potential condo buyers don’t have to rely solely on renderings or their imagination. They can actually experience the freshness and energy of an ecosystem first hand, and let their imagination run wild as they see images for the full-size system.

Image Collage by PeapodLife: Small Unit to Big Ecosystem in your Condo Development

The bottom line is this: no one knows what’s really happening with the Toronto condo market, but PeapodLife knows what needs to happen if condo developers want to truly differentiate their product in a tightening marketplace with waning demand.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Are GMO Foods Dangerous? Opinions Aside, History shows us the Truth

Image: David Suzuki speaks out against GE (GMO) Foods 

“Any politician or scientist who tells you these [GMO] products are safe is either very stupid or lying.”

Genetically Modified Foods, or GMO Foods are certainly one of the hot-button issues of our day. Never before in the history of humanity have we had the ability to tamper with nature on such a fundamental level as we do today with the creation of genetically modified organisms.

But are GE (Genetically Engineered) Foods toxic? (GE Food = GMO Food)

Video: Dr. Leonard Coldwell talks about the dangers of genetically modified foods. 
Credit: iHealthTV.com  Source: naturalnews.tv: GMO Foods are Toxic

Dr. Coldwell talks about why GMO foods will cause cancer and what other toxic properties these foods have. He frames part of his argument on the energetic foundations of nature and the human body, and how tampering with nature on a genetic level alters the body’s ability to process it energetically.

We at PeapodLife concur with this premise. The long forgotten science of ancient civilizations is slowly coming to fore as alternative medicine slowly begins to go mainstream, and medical research is beginning to rediscover the significant impact more subtle aspects of our being have on our health.

Mental and emotional health have a direct impact on the physical health of an individual. Likewise, physical activity has a profound impact on cognitive function and psychological health. The word disease itself is a compound word meaning dis-ease…stress. One can understand stress as “negative vibes”…negative energy.

In the above video, Dr. Leonard Coldwell also makes repeated references to one of the GMO Food issue’s champions, Jeffery M. Smith, and his project, Seeds of Deception.

The website states that Smith documents “how the world’s most powerful Ag biotech companies bluff and mislead critics, and put the health of society at risk.” It also features books and films on the subject of GMOs including the 2012 film, Genetic Roulette – the Gamble of Our Lives.

Video: Genetic Roulette – the Gamble of Our Lives Trailer. 

Is there a precedent to GMO foods in history?

We opened today’s blog with the statement that human beings have never been able to tamper with nature on such a fundamental level. While this may be true, what precedents can we draw on to understand the potential consequences of genetically engineering life?

Video: Invasive Species Introduction 

Now, call us crazy, but if introduced organisms have the potential to devastate an ecosystem, what does an INTRODUCED GENE have the potential to do to the organism; and, by extension, what effect will that organism have on the ecosystem?

Australia is a shining example of the IDIOCY, sheer lunacy of so-called “experts” who decided it was a good idea to introduce species from other parts of the world to make life in Australia “better.” English hares for hunting and food. Cane toads from South America to control mosquitos.

All these experiments (and they were just that: not “hard science,” but reckless tinkering with the natural order of things) have proven themselves to be unmitigated disasters to ecosystems…failures on a continental scale.

Now, here we are again, being told by men in white lab coats (and the men in suits who fund them, and lobby politicians to draft laws in their favour): “trust us, we know what we’re doing.”

They don’t. They never have. But they’ve always claimed that they do. There is no way ANY materialist scientist can begin to comprehend the infinite complexity of nature, because they cannot even accept the existence of positive, negative and neutral energies at work at its foundation.

So long as we put our faith in a materialist science—so clearly being developed for the economic gain and political power of a few—we will be destined to keep repeating the same mistakes. Only this time, with GMO’s, it’s on a much more fundamental level.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

How Green Roofs & Walls Impact Building Occupants’ Well-Being
Living Architecture Monitor looks at Green Infrastructure & Human Health

Image Collage: Living Architecture Monitor Summer 2014 Cover & PeapodLife Living Wall Ecosystem  
Source: livingarchitecturemonitor.com: Living Architecture Monitor (LAM) magazine Digital Edition Summer 2014 - Health Issue
“…Green infrastructure in commercial or residential properties can increase employee productivity and property values, by providing visual and physical access to green space.” 
– Living Architecture Monitor¹ 

In the Summer 2014 edition of Living Architecture Monitor, three professionals share their insights into the advantages and benefits of installing “green infrastructure”—green roofs and walls—into their buildings. The complete article can be read in Living Architecture Monitor Online, but here are some highlights:

On the affects of green roofs and/or walls on building occupants:

“The response that our employees had was and is overwhelmingly positive…The investment into what was unusable space and the environmental benefits increased company-wide awareness, exposure and appreciation of the overall design.” – Kevin Repasky, Director of Operations, Hanover Architectural Products Source¹

“The Manulife Centre’s green roof…is considered to be a garden in the heart of the city, a quiet and tranquil place for tenants and employees to use at their leisure, hidden above the bustling corner of Bay and Bloor Streets.” – Michael Bardyn, Managing Director, Greater Toronto, Manulife Real Estate Source¹

On the financial impacts of Green Architecture:

“The living wall is definitely one of the greater features to the building and an added value to the project. The visitors and guests are always admiring the living wall. It’s also a tour stop for our leasing team. The living wall is definitely an emenity for the tenants and visitors to the property." – Sherry Mashadian, Manager, Operations, Irvine Company Office Properties, Source²

“We believe it has a very positive affect on our tenants as evidenced by our low vacancy rate which drives long-term value for the property.” – Michael Bardyn, Managing Director, Greater Toronto, Manulife Real Estate Source²

Additionally, the article cites that 1330 Boyslston Street Apartment near Fenway Park in Boston generates an additional $120,000 in additional revenues for units that overlook a newly installed green roof. J.P. Morgan Asset Management estimates the green roof has increased the value of the property by $2.4 million.²

And, according to Economics of Biophilia report, 10% of employee absences can be attributed to architecture which has no connection to nature.²

For more information on what nature can do for YOUR commercial or residential building, its tenants, your business, etc, Connect with PeapodLife Today.

¹ Source http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/greenroofs/lam_2014summer/#/8
² Source http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/greenroofs/lam_2014summer/#/10

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Affordable Retirement Residence’s Rainforest EcoSystem Bursts into Life
Improving Life for Retirement Lifestyle Residents is a Great Source Joy for Us

This recently completed Living Wall Rainforest EcoSystem was installed at 235 Fitch Street in Welland, Ontario. 
Like most PeapodLife EcoSystems, it features orchids, moss, bromeliads, African violets, cacti, aquatic plants, fish & more. 
Like all PeapodLife EcoSystems, there is no soil, chemical additives or fertilizers of any kind. 
Published on Jun 30, 2014 by PeapodLife

“You know, I suffer from depression. It’s my morning ritual to come down here and spend 20 minutes next to the living wall ecosystem. It just makes my day.”
~ Fitch Street Resident

It’s when we hear feedback like the above from a resident of Fitch Street Affordable Retirement Lifestyle Community in Welland, Ontario that we are truly humbled by the power of nature to heal mind, body and spirit.

Throughout the entire ecosystem installation process (which we documented in previous blog articles), the number compliments and thoughtful conversations we enjoyed from contractors, employees, residents and visitors was a real joy for us.

Image by PeapodLife: Completed Ecosystem at Fitch St. Retirement Residence 

It was a joy, too, to start putting the finishing touches on the ecosystem itself, including more moss, orchids, aquatic plants (surface and submerged), and fish.

Only one orchid was blooming when the above photo was taken, but as they settle into their new home and literally put down their roots, more will begin to bloom as well.

Image by PeapodLife: Bromeliads growing in Fitch St. EcoSystem

As vibrant and colourful as the bromeliads appear in the ecosystem at this early stage of its life, they, too, will only get better as they acclimatize themselves to their new environment and begin establishing symbiotic relationships with the other flora and fauna of the ecosystem.

Image by PeapodLife: Aquatic Plants & Fish in Fitch St. Ecosystem

Difficult to photograph, the fish seem quite content in their new habitat, swimming and schooling the full length of the large tank which not only serves as their home, but also a catch-all for the water dripping down the living wall and off the leaves of the plants—an important design & safety feature.

The benefits of this design? Cleanliness. There’s nothing worse than encountering so-called living walls that do not account for the tendency of water to drip. If those walls are made with soil, the resulting mess on the floor can be unsightly and slippery.

PeapodLife EcoSystems use no soil, and our designs keep the water where it belongs—in the ecosystem—to be enjoyed by beings who actually appreciate it: plants, moss and fish.

Image by PeapodLife: Fitch Street Affordable Retirement Residence EcoSystem

As a result, occupants and visitors of the Fitch Street Low-Cost 50+ Lifestyle Housing Complex can get up close and personal with their ecosystem in the main lobby without any fear of slips and falls. And get up-close and personal they do. Who wouldn’t want to?

Pictures and videos simply do not do our ecosystems justice. Like anything in nature, there’s no substitute for being there, experiencing its magic in person. We are happy to be able to bring a little magic into the lives of older individuals in such a simple yet meaningful way.

“Making someone’s day?” It makes it all worthwhile...all the time, effort and care we put into our Rainforest EcoSystems; all the special ways in which our Living Wall EcoSystems bring sustainable beauty and enduring vibrations of positivity to people and places.