Still Not a Done Deal Open Mike

Open MikeBuying a house sure is fun. We're close, but it's still not a done deal.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.


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Mississauga Phil


July 16, 2013 @ 9:12 AM

4x4 Time

I heard Ian Troop, CEO of the 2015 Pan Am Games on the radio defending the cost of these games. The original budget was 1.4 Billion (95% Public Money). He claims, they will be “close to budget”, others argue cost overruns will see the costs as high as 4 Billion when everything is factored in. He was very vague in questions on cost control which is alarming.

I think it is pretty much a given that these kind of projects will always have some kind of cost overruns, and we just pray they are not too big, because it is taxpayers who will foot the bill. The Feds are already on record as stating they will not out in one extra nickel over their $500 Million contribution, so any extra cash will be provided by Ontario taxpayers.

His argument was look at the legacy the Pan Am Games will bring Toronto, and look what the Olympics did to transform both London and Sydney which is weak comparison at best (also,the London Games were well over budget). I am pretty sure there is huge difference between the Olympics and the Pan Am Games in terms of consumer interest and worldwide appeal.

I hope the Pan Am Games are successful, lots of people visit the city, and transit infrastructure is improved to move people all around to the spread out facilities, but I cannot help but fear of a financial nightmare about to drop on Ontario taxpayers.

Hope I am wrong..

July 16, 2013 @ 9:16 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@4x4 Time

There's a massive difference between the Olympics and the Pan Am Games. I love the Olympics and don't at all care about the Pan Am Games. Most people are the same.

July 16, 2013 @ 10:03 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Al The Royal Pain

I'm out of the Honest Ed loop!

It's a dump, but it's charming in a "stuck in time" sort of way. And that sign is iconic in a city that loves its signs.

Save the sign!

July 16, 2013 @ 10:05 AM

4x4 Time

@Mike - Pretty much what I thought...

July 16, 2013 @ 10:06 AM

Mississauga Phil

I have a questions for Mike and the Divorced Dads in the hivemind (Hell,the mom's might have some insight here too)

My ex and I split 5 months ago after 6.5 years together. Our son was conceived about 2 months into our relationship and we tried to make a go of it. My son lives with me, and his mom has been dating like crazy since we split (apparently she set up a POF account a few weeks after we split). I have not as there really hasn't been time, and quite frankly, i felt like i needed to focus on my son.

Since Ribfest I have been spending a lot of time with a female friend of mine (known her for years) and it looks like it's starting to shift into something more than friendly.

My ex has caught wind of this, (while my friend and I have not been anything more than friends in front of my son, she has been around a lot and he mentioned it to his mom). She is now freaking out.

She contacted my friend and accused the girl of trying to steal her family.

Any thoughts on how to deal with this. I am blessed with not having had any divorce in my family, and as such, no one really has any insight on how to deal with crap like this.

July 16, 2013 @ 10:16 AM


Pan Am Games: Brought to you by former mayor Miller and former Premier McGuinty. As if these clowns didn't do enough damage when they were in power. Now taxpayers have to pay for this dog for years to come.

July 16, 2013 @ 10:16 AM

Al The Royal Pain

This city is killing its character to make room for more freaking condos! Maybe Honest Eds means more to people who visit the city than to those who actually live in it. I find it really sad.

July 16, 2013 @ 10:24 AM

Ben Vidal

@ 4x4: Issue here is, any major sporting event, whether it be Olympics, World Cup, Euro Cup, Pan Am games or anything else that requires a large infrastructure cost always goes over budget. That's why when Pan Am was announced I laughed when people said they would stick to a budget. Money vanishes, in some countries it's organized crime related disappearance and others it isn't. Cost of goods can sky rocket as the projects take years to complete and cost of goods/services aren't always stable.

The only good thing out of this will be infrastructure to Toronto and surrounding area's in terms of sports facilities. To truly get the proper cost benefit analysis, Toronto should have tried their best to host the 2018 Olympics.

Before people jump down my throat let me explain. All of the changes going into Pan AM, would have made it easier(not saying it would be easy just easier) to execute an Olympic event. Sort of like a dry run if you will. If you look to Brazil, they are actually doing it right. World Cup 2014 then Summer Olympics after. Things in Brazil aren't without problems, but they are ultimately in a better position for the olympics. The main reason why is because they are scrambling for World Cup.

While I never ever watch Pan Am games, you can't deny that whether it's 500K or 3 million foreign visitors, it's never a terrible thing for tourism or local economy.

I don't condone cost overruns. In fact I think there should be harsh penalties written into contracts for being aspirational in commitments. Especially when it's tax payer money. It's just a fact of life with these types of events

July 16, 2013 @ 10:30 AM



I don't get it Phil, she's out dating like crazy, you have the kid, and she's freaking out because you have a female friend.
I can see why you separated!!
Why don't you ask your ex to a barbecue at your place along with your friend and your son so she can see the type of relationship you have with your friend.
Yeh I know it sounds crazy, but frankly I don't think their is an easy answer to how you control Jealousy.

July 16, 2013 @ 10:35 AM

Ben Vidal

@ Phil: I'm not married and seperated like yourself, but I've had enough ex girlfriends to know. She's being a two faced hypcrite. Why. Because it's alright for her to date, but not you. The reason being is if you are dating and completely out of the picture in her mind she's lost a fallback guy. Whether or not you two would ever consider getting back together. In her mind you are the safe bet should all else fail.

You can't change how she's going to react and if she's out dating multiple men she has no leg to stand on. The main idea here is to not to feed into the drama. Let her get hysterical, let her complain, but as long as you conduct yourself in the proper manner, you have nothing to worry about. Keep acting the way you are in front of the kid and just be honest with him. That's the relationship you really need to work on.

July 16, 2013 @ 10:37 AM



I hope your real estate transaction works out for you better than mine did. Last December we purchased a "new" old house - it was in the same neighbourhood, but was a detached on a small, quiet court where literally nothing had gone up for sale in years. We had our eye on that street for a long time and while outdated inside, it met all of our criteria. Seemed perfect, but we made some critical errors in judgement that I'm still beating myself up for. It's really soured me on real estate agents, lawyers and home inspectors. I almost hate to detail any of this because it makes us look horribly naive, but I prefer to look at it as just being too trusting. The big mistakes:
1) Using the same real estate agent who had listed the house we intended to buy to represent us as the purchasers. Yes, this is completely legal, and you you can negotiate their commission down this way (which we did), but in the end, you're giving him/her a huge upper hand because they know the true level of interest you have in the property.
2) Thinking that the agent really likes you on a personal level. This guy is our age, lives in the neighbourhood, went to the same high school as my wife (although they weren't friends). He connected with us as someone you felt you could hang out with socially. Which lead us to take him at his word for most of his advice. See 3 & 4 below.
3) Using a Home Inspector recommended by the agent. This wasn't a fly-by-night company by any stretch, so I felt reasonably confident in taking the recommendation to use them. To make it short, the inspection missed enough serious issues (we discovered after purchase) that I ended up getting a full refund without so much as an argument - I could probably have pursued it a lot further.
4) Using a pool inspector recommended by the agent. We knew going in that this was on old pool and should be looked at closely. The pool inspection report indicated no problems other than the equipment was older, but functioning well. They documented that a pressure test was performed on the lines that indicated no leaks. Guess what? Not only is there a leak in the lines, the next door neighbour told me (unsolicited) the owner of the house knew he had a leak. So the owner knew it, and I have to believe the real estate agent and the pool inspector knew it too.

The worst part is that while right from the get go, we were left holding the bag for several thousands of dollars in unanticipated repairs that the home owners absolutely knew about but obfuscated them. Sellers aren't necessarily obligated to disclose defects, but they liable for misrepresenting the property, which would include lying when specifically asked about something or actively concealing known defects. These owners did both, but trying to even get them to acknowledge letters written by my lawyer to theirs was impossible. At a certain point, my lawyer gave up trying and told us that he would require a retainer to proceed any further. It made no sense to start incurring legal fees for damages that to this point were more than 5k but less than 10k., so we ended up dropping the whole thing.

We're left feeling pretty shocked that there was no one involved in this transaction with any integrity, from the sellers, to the real estate agent, to the inspectors. I can't imagine behaving like that and being able to sleep at night.

July 16, 2013 @ 11:48 AM


@phil...I wonder if her issue is to do more with your friend spending time with your son? Despite it starting out as platonic if it is now romantic maybe that is her she introducing your son to her dates? Maybe you could try to agree at what point boyfriends and girlfriends will be a part of the picture...

July 16, 2013 @ 11:52 AM

Mississauga Phil

@ Speyside - The Masochist in me would love to see how that BBQ plays out, but I think that might be asking to a fight.

@ Ben - yessir, my son is the most important thing in all of this.

@ Alison - I understand your point, but there is a difference. The guys she's going our with are random dudes from the internet. This girl has known my son his entire life so i feel it's a bit different. But again, we don't act as a couple around him (not so much as holding her hand). As far as my boy is concerned she is Daddy's friend and nothing more. (although, truth be told, we think he might have a little crush on her himself.)

July 16, 2013 @ 12:02 PM

Ben Vidal

@ Corey: Bang on. Honestly Realtors are the weasels of the real estate world. Especially for buyers. The commission is crazy. I had a similar situation with a realtor. I own a couple of properties some of which are rentals, but the largest problem I ever had was with a home inspector recommended by the Realtor.

There was a big bump in carpet on the mainfloor, where a support beam had bowed. The home inspector told me that was acceptable and a house that age. I should have run right then and there, but I used that to knock dollars off the price actual cost to repair 3K.

The house I was buying had pictures all over of the asian family that owned it. He tried to con me and tell me the hood fan over the stove was best on the market and the people must be asian..... When he asked the realtor and she said yes, he said you see I know my stuff. On top of this there were numerous things he missed. Much like your experience this was right after the purchase that I found out.

When I complained about things to the realtor, she didn't seem shocked. WTF? Whole reason she didn't say eff all was because she was representing the seller too.

The worst part was this was a family friend who had helped my parents buy and sell their houses when they were married and when they seperated.

Unfortunately it's apparently a climb on the shoulders of others in the real estate world. When you really think about it, the slimiest most untrustworthy morons I knew in highschool all became real estate agents. Male and females... Well real estate agents or cops, but that's for another rant.

I feel your pain Corey.

Next time find the name of a good contractor that you may already know and get him to come around with you vs. a home inspector. When you can get a home inspection kit at Canadian tire for less than $100 dollars how can you really trust any of them.

July 16, 2013 @ 12:02 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Mississauga Phil

The most stressful part of the whole deal is when you introduce the kid(s) to your girlfriend.

1. You don't want to do it unless you think it's going to be long(er) term
2. Your great fear is that the kids will hate her - that would make life tough

I was lucky in that my kids liked Monica and felt comfortable with her immediately. I think our first group date was a light dinner and game of Monopoly or something fun like that.

I'm sorry your ex is being a dink. That sucks.

July 16, 2013 @ 12:29 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Mike - Thanks buddy, it does suck.

It's a bit of a tricky situation because he's known her as long as he can remember. I've already told her that we don't talk to him about anything until we are 100% sure. But I'm not worried about him hating her thankfully.

July 16, 2013 @ 12:44 PM

Woodbridge East Phil

@Mississauga Phil

Being "the kid" in a similar situation 14 years ago, I can tell you you've got an angel of a son for knowing your girlfriend on such a level. My mother introduced her new partner in the rudest possible way... in an argument with my father in front of us. That scared him so much he didn't wind up dating for several years in fear of scaring us again.

One day at a time, that helped me figure it out when I was younger...

July 16, 2013 @ 12:53 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Woodbridge East Phil - I've got an angel of a son for more reasons than I can count. I'm so proud of him :)

July 16, 2013 @ 1:46 PM

Al The Royal Pain

@Mississauga Phil

You know, sometimes when you hear how selfish and hypocritical you're being (which it sounds like your ex is) from someone you're close to, it doesn't resonate...especially if that someone is an ex...what you need to do is send your ex the link to this thread so she can read it from other people...maybe then she'll get it.

Seriously though, have you tried appealing to her maternal side and ask that she think about how such behaviour might effect your son? By the sounds of it, that kind of rational thinking won't sway her, but it's worth a try. At the very least you two need to figure out how to act civil to each other in front of him for his sake.

July 16, 2013 @ 1:48 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Not sure if this is the appropriate time for this big reveal or not, but....

Woodbridge East Phil a.k.a. Phil the Associate Producer of the Humble and Fred podcasts is my son.

July 16, 2013 @ 1:52 PM


@Ben - "When you really think about it, the slimiest most untrustworthy morons I knew in highschool all became real estate agents."

never gave it much thought, but you're right!

July 16, 2013 @ 2:18 PM

4x4 Time

@Mississauga Phil - I have no first hand expierence in this sort of thing, and can only imagine what a complete frustration it must be for you. Take the high road, ignore her ranting the best you can and make sure you stay honest and true with your son. It won't take him long to figure out you have only love and his best interests at heart. Good luck man!

July 16, 2013 @ 2:35 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Mike - I thought your son was incommunicado at camp right now.

July 16, 2013 @ 3:05 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Mississauga Phil

I could have two sons...

July 16, 2013 @ 3:13 PM

Mississauga Phil

Very True.

July 16, 2013 @ 3:18 PM


@Mike: Or one son who traveled back in time.

July 16, 2013 @ 3:53 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Lorne - can you please come clean up the water I just spit all over my screen.... Hilarious

July 16, 2013 @ 3:56 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I'm sorry, but Mayor Ford is an idiot.

Hearing him talk now, he clearly has no idea what an LRT is... what the proposed Scarborough LRT is...

And hearing that the federal gov't money is coming from the Sheppard LRT means we'll be choosing 3 subways stops over 34 LRT stops.

Ford keeps making statements that are 100% false... how the hell did he get this job?

July 16, 2013 @ 4:32 PM



The majority of the people voted for him,
And they will again next year.

July 16, 2013 @ 5:35 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I suppose some people will support the incompetent in order to "get the elites".

July 16, 2013 @ 5:39 PM


14 seconds of my commute to work:

July 16, 2013 @ 5:46 PM


Well, got the new software installed today for work. Tomorrow I will have my training. I just hope everything will work with Jaws, but who knows. Anyway, hope your house deal gets completely done soon. That will be good.

Yes, Ford is an idiot. I'll never vote for him. I didn't vote for him last time and he will never get my vote.

July 16, 2013 @ 6:10 PM


Too bad Cheryl,

It's always nice to vote/support a winner sometimes.
Unlike your Habs, coyotes, etc.

July 16, 2013 @ 7:43 PM


Don't worry Mike, I would never refer to you as an "elite".

July 16, 2013 @ 8:20 PM



Actually you may be closer to the truth than you know. In the latest edition of Toronto Life, there's an article that breaks down "Ford Nation" which I found very interesting.

The highlights (this is post crack scandal):

40% of Toronto voters continue to be die-hard Ford supporters

Among those who voted for Ford in 2010, 75% still approve of the job he is doing.

The divisiveness between pro-Ford and anti-Ford voters is NOT downtown vs. suburbs. It is between neighborhoods with improving prospects (anti-Ford) and those on the decline (pro-Ford).

Ford has the least support in affluent neighbourhoods where the average income i higher than $104,000, and the most support in inner neighbourhoods where average income is on the decline.

Ford connects with the marginalized and disaffected better than anyone on the left does. These people see him as a straight talker who offers immediate response the rarely see from other government representatives.

This may very well be interpreted as liberal arrogance, assuming the poor and disaffected are just uninformed masses that need guidance, and we (i.e.: the well to do, educated lot with good jobs) know better - don't be at all surprised if Ford wins another term easily.

July 16, 2013 @ 8:49 PM


Corey please explain how Mike maybe closer to the truth than he knows?
The poor, disaffected , incomes on decline, yet Mike calls it the elite??
Did I misunderstand his comment and Argies or are you just talking drivel again?

July 16, 2013 @ 9:34 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Corey- You may be right that Ford wins another term. But if he does, it's not due to his political brilliance. It will be due to an utter lack of an alternative. I don't have a vote, but if my options are Ford, Smitherman or Chow, I'd vote Ford because none of the aforementioned know how to run a city, but at least Ford won't steal taxpayers money.

July 16, 2013 @ 10:17 PM


Phil: you don't think the Scarborough subway is a colossal waste of taxpayer money?

July 16, 2013 @ 10:18 PM


@ speyside - Talking drivel again? Oh because I don't see black and white on the Rob Ford thing, I'm talking drivel? Sorry I'm not a strictly partisan zombie, Phil. By the way, I was pointing out that it's probable based on the information I posted that much of Ford nation sees the anti-Ford crowd and the left-wing politicians that oppose him a elitists. You should like that. Try to keep up.

July 16, 2013 @ 10:21 PM


I find it very difficult to 'judge' one person's portrayal of a marriage, subsequent divorce and post-divorce circumstances.

My wife is a divorce lawyer and I've heard dozens and dozens stories of these situations, from very congenial collaborative family law mediations to the most aggressively litigious divorces with child services involved.

The truth is always 'somewhere in the middle'.

Listen with an open mind, support with an open heart, but always, "think of the children"...

July 16, 2013 @ 11:15 PM

Ben Vidal

The best part about the whole Ford subway/LRT/SRT debacle was the audio. The center for right-wing broadcasting 1010 was playing a clip with John Tory. Where a councilor called out Ford and asked him if he even knew what LRT was. It was evident that Ford had no idea from his response, which elicited laughs throughout the chamber. Ford had to have a break and someone literally had to show him a picture of what LRT is. WOW. It doesn't get much better than that.

I think he's as dangerous as Dalton McGuinty, just on the opposite end of the spectrum. Dalton was a smart weasel who knew exactly what he was doing, whereas Ford is a moron who just spews verbal diarrhea. He literally doesn't know what he's saying when he says things half the time, and what's worse is he just makes up numbers. i.e., $1 billion in savings his term has brought to the city.

July 17, 2013 @ 8:58 AM

4x4 Time

The sad part of the whole transit debate is these clowns in all three levels of government cannot agree on how to spend the allocated money most efficently, and we will likely see at least another year go by before anything gets resolved.

July 17, 2013 @ 1:42 PM

Ben Vidal

@Mike: When you actually see it like that, I actually feel ill. He is the main reason council is so disfunctional.

He's a disgrace who has no idea, he shoots from the hip and says moronic things and people still like him? More people should watch that video, Ford has NO IDEA what they are talking about.

July 17, 2013 @ 2:22 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ben Vidal

They love him because we hate him. As bizarre as that sounds, that's that only plausible explanation.

July 17, 2013 @ 2:23 PM


I don't understand the "we". Like I don't understand how having functional public transit becomes a "left wing" issue and why making it more expensive and burdening the existing system is "right wing".

July 17, 2013 @ 2:41 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


The right wing politicizes everything.

Someone once called me a lefty because I bike. That's right, riding a bicycle has been politicized!

July 17, 2013 @ 2:43 PM


Riding a Bike???? WTF? Mike You're not just a lefty you're a commie Pinko!!

You should be ashamed!


July 17, 2013 @ 5:03 PM


@Toronto Mike, yeah I've gotten the same. And "communist" for supporting Bixi.

July 17, 2013 @ 5:03 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'm not a big fan of the freezing cold... but too hot has never bothered me.

If it's ridiculously cold out, like minus 30 or something, I can utter an "it's too cold" under my breath. I've never uttered an "it's too hot" outside.

July 17, 2013 @ 5:37 PM


Well, the training didn't go very well today. There were some things that didn't work with Jaws or at least not yet anyway so they are going to talk to the people in the states who say it works with Jaws and I will probably have my training by someone else remotely from the states. Meanwhile there is still work on the old system so I'm not unemployed, thank goodness.

Well, it's too hot out there to play tennis or baseball. I would like it a few degrees cooler.

July 17, 2013 @ 7:35 PM


@Toronto Mike, I think you replied in the wrong post ;)

July 17, 2013 @ 8:09 PM

Blind Dave

Don't forget that as well as biking, Toronto Mike also reads the Toronto Star, which REALLY makes him a communist pinko! :)

I used to really suffer with the heat and never minded the cold. This past winter was brutal and in February I started an exercise routine. Somehow I've come to appreciate sweating and enjoying the warmth.

July 17, 2013 @ 8:33 PM

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