Keeping Contents, Connection, and Compassion

We are Helping to Build a Community, One Locker at a Time.

Solution! Secure, outdoor storage lockers accessible 24 hours a day

We would like to thank the following People who helped bring this dream into reality.

  • PK Welding and Fabricators for going above and beyond in the design and construction of the lockers and for their financial contribution
  • Dailey Enterprises for donating expert consultation and assistance in preparing the site and coordinating installation
  • OPUC for generously donating equipment and manpower for site preparation and installation
  • John Henry, Mayor of the City of Oshawa, for catching the vision quickly
  • Rick Kerr, Councillor for the City of Oshawa, for his enthusiasm and for facilitating many important connections
  • Dirk Taylor and Jonathan Mash for website design, development, hosting, and support
  • PI Tool Ltd. for donating use of a truck for transportation
  • Region of Durham Police, Business Improvement Association, Chamber of Commerce for enthusiasm and support
  • Simcoe St. United Church for allowing the lockers to be placed on their property
  • MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, the community who will use the lockers for suggestions, encouragement, and the assurance that this project was worth doing

In Memory

Spirit Alive Outreach Ministry would like to remember Don MacLeod.  Don was the President of Back Door Mission for the Relief of Poverty and, when presented with the idea, quickly began working tirelessly to ensure that this project would happen.  Unfortunately, Don passed away before the Keepers Project was completed.  We firmly believe that the individuals who will be helped by the KeepersProject will be a lasting legacy to Don.

Participate!

A pilot project consisting of 12 lockers has been installed in downtown Oshawa. We are actively looking to install lockers in other sites in Oshawa and elsewhere. If you would like to be part of the next exciting adventure in helping the marginalized please donate!

Learn More

NEED:  Members of Spirit Alive have recognized for a number of years that a real need of homeless individuals is a safe place to store their personal belongings.   Carrying all one’s personal belongings everywhere is not only cumbersome, it stigmatizes the individual by identifying him/her as homeless.  This can limit one’s ability to attend appointments, seek work, and find accommodations.  Stashing or hiding those belongings, on the other hand, often leads to theft and further vulnerability since one’s appearance and ability to provide identification and other documents, are essential to seeking assistance.

PLANNING:  Board members have done a great deal of brainstorming and research into this problem and potential solutions.  This included a visit to an area in Portugal where a successful locker project for the homeless has been established.   After much consultation with elected city officials, interested downtown Oshawa residents and business organizations (Chamber of Commerce, BIA), community police, and, most importantly, members of the homeless population of Oshawa,  it was determined that a pilot project should take place in downtown Oshawa.

ACTION:  A set of twelve outdoor lockers has been installed in downtown Oshawa.  Each locker includes a mail slot and a USB connection for cell phone charging.  Spirit Alive is partnering with Back Door Mission for the Relief of Poverty (a local, downtown-based service agency)  to administer the first set of lockers as a pilot project.  Consistent connections with staff and volunteers at Back Door Mission will potentially lead to solutions to other issues.  It is believed that having a permanent, secure place for belongings will be an important stepping stone to a better life.

FUTURE:  After this pilot project has proved successful, and any adjustments deemed necessary have been made,  it is anticipated that there will be additional locker sites in Oshawa. As well, Spirit Alive hopes to be a resource for other communities who feel that lockers could help in their work of assisting individuals to end homelessness.

 If you would like to see this initiative brought to your area we would love to help!  Please contact:  info@spiritaliveoutreach.org or http://www.keepersproject.ca for more information on How To Donate.

Holiday Fire Safety

There is nothing like decorating your home for the holidays with fragrant candles, colorful lights, and festive bows and ribbons. But take steps to protect your family this season with these fire prevention tips.

 

There is nothing like decorating your home for the holidays with fragrant candles, colorful lights, and festive bows and ribbons. But take steps to protect your family with some holiday fire safety.

This holiday season, when you are gathered around the fireplace with family and friends enjoying the smell of pine needles from your freshly cut tree, a little holiday fire safety can give you peace of mind.

Holiday Candles and Fire Prevention

Fragrant candles can add a festive flare to a room, but take precautions to avert a fire by making sure that your candle is placed on a heat resistant base and never leave your candle burning when you are not in the room. Keep your candles high up where children cannot reach, and do not under any circumstances leave your home without extinguishing your candles. One unattended candle can cause terrible damage and at the very least, ruin your holidays.

Lighting and Holiday Fire Safety

Holiday lights and lighted trees add a celebratory cheer to your home, but use these fire prevention tips to keep your family and you’re home safe. Check all electric plug-ins and extension cords. Make certain the plug-in has a place for a ground wire. Check the extension cord for splits in the wire.

  1. Never run extension cords under a rug.
  2. Do not overload extension cords.
  3. Equip your home with a fire extinguisher.
  4. If you plan on using your lights outdoors, make sure the lights you are using are rated for outdoors.

Fireplace Safety

Gathering with friends and family around the fireplace can keep you cozy and warm your heart. Be sure to have your fireplace cleaned and inspected every year to avoid disasters and keep your family safe. Do not dispose of Christmas wrapping by burning it in your fireplace.

If you have a live tree, water it often to preserve the pine needles — this is especially important if your tree is located close to the fireplace or wood stove. As beautiful as your tree may be, remember pine needles are very flammable. Many deadly fires have been caused by family Christmas trees with lights that are plugged into defective wiring or trees that are dried out.

Oven Fire Safety

Christmas cookies and other holiday treats are great this time of year, but watch out for burns and keep all plastic away from the oven heat — burning plastic is toxic.

Count Your Blessings

By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the holidays and celebrate with family and friends worry free, and concentrate on what this time of year is all about, counting your blessings.

How to Achieve Modern Minimalism

Modern minimalism is evolving to incorporate color and evoke a calm, homey feel. Here are six minimalist techniques to try at home.

Guest post by  Michelle Lee

When we think of minimalist style, blank white interiors similar to hospital rooms are often what first come to mind. However, this style is evolving to incorporate color and evoke a calm, homey feel. It doesn’t require throwing away all of your possessions or taking a bucket of white paint to everything in sight, but rather choosing things with meaning and honing in on nature’s beauty. Here are six minimalist techniques to try at home.

Selectively Cut Clutter

Decluttering is always a hard process and you’ll often find sentimental reasons to keep everything, but press further. Ask yourself what you really need and love. Keep things that have practical use value, then tackle the rest by digitizing old photos and oversized mementos, donating unwanted hand-me-downs and engaging the entire family in a whole-house decluttering effort.

Choose a Neutral Color Palette

Black and white are some of the most popular colors seen in minimalist spaces, but you don’t have to limit yourself to the two ends of the spectrum. Welcome muted shades, such as cream, beige, brown and gray, into your palette and layer them for depth. If you can’t paint your walls, incorporate these colors with decorative accents and furnishings, like the rug and pillows seen here.

Embrace Mother Nature

A key element of minimalist style is to connect with the outdoors as much as possible. Expansive floor-to-ceiling windows are common in minimalist rooms and capitalizing on any and all natural light sources are crucial to getting the light and airy look.

Bring nature indoors too with fresh flowers or indoor plants to add a pop of color and life. Also consider organic and natural materials for your decor, like handmade wooden tables or linen bedding.

Go for Sharp, Straight Lines

Straight lines have the power to capture one’s eye immediately. Minimalism usually maximizes on this idea. From windows and doors to bed frames and even sofas, you should be able to easily spot crisp edges everywhere. The idea of straight lines is not limited to rectangles and squares, but can be angled to create cool geometric shapes and patterns.

Make a Statement With a Few, High-Quality, Large-Scale Pieces

The famous saying “quality over quantity” really comes into play here. You’ll often see only a few furnishings in minimalist spaces, such as one ornate chandelier in the center of a room or one big painting on a wall, rather than several smaller ones. These pieces are chosen with intention and speak volumes by themselves. Put a lot of thought into every purchase to achieve this modern look.

Structure Rooms With the Right Layout

An essential rule of minimalist style is to create a sense of openness with the least amount of furniture and decor. After you’ve bought your key pieces, browse different layouts before placing them in a room. A good practice to follow is to group pieces in a corner or against a long wall, rather in the center. Leaving big, open spaces in common areas and hallways helps achieve the ideal sense of spaciousness.

222 Dovedale Dr. Whitby

Open House Sunday November 26, 2017. 2-4 pm

$500,000

Great Investment Opportunity

House of TWO’s. 2 kitchens, 2 floors, 2 living areas, 2 baths, 2 fridges, 2 stoves and parking for 2+ cars. This home features 3+1 bedrooms, newer kitchens, Newer CAC, windows, and beautiful hardwood flooring on main level. Home has large recreation room and laundry on lower level, plus 1 bedroom suite. Shows well. Move in before Christmas.

 

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222 Dovedale Dr. Whitby

Good Investment Opportunity…

Price: $500,000

House of TWO’s. 2 kitchens, 2 floors, 2 living areas, 2 baths, 2 fridges, 2 stoves and parking for 2+ cars. This home features 3+1 bedrooms, newer kitchens, Newer CAC, windows, and beautiful hardwood flooring on main level. Home has large recreation room and laundry on lower level, plus 1 bedroom suite. Shows well. Move in before Christmas.

222 Dovedale

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Open House October 29. 2-4 pm

See this Open house advertised in the Saturday edition in the Toronto Star….

433 Safari Dr. Oshawa

Premium Family Neighborhood.

Warm and inviting is the best way to describe this 3 bedroom, 3 bath home featuring a warm cozy fireplace in main floor family room, inviting living and dining room, main level master bedroom with ensuite and W/I closet, finished basement with room for pool table in recreation room, extra room for office or bedroom, lots of storage and extra bath. Exceptionally well kept. To see it is to want it. $575,000.

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10 haunted Halloween attractions in and around Toronto

10 Haunted Halloween attractions in and around Toronto

Haunted Halloween attractions in Toronto pop up every October. What better way to mark the spookiest month of the year than by taking a trip to a haunted house, castle or theme park? There are plenty of places get your scare on both in and just outside of the city.

Here are my picks for haunted Halloween attractions to check out in and around Toronto.

Halloween Haunt

This massive amusement park gets the haunted treatment each and every October, when 700+ roving monsters wander through the grounds and haunted mazes abound. New for 2017 is something called “Blackout,” which takes guests into a centuries-old underground tunnel beneath the park.

Legends of Horror

Take a trip to Casa Loma this Halloween for a truly immersive, next-level haunted house experience. Liberty Entertainment Group has transformed the castle into Legends of Horror – a nightmare of an attraction filled with tons of creepy creatures – all month long.

Black Creek’s True Terror Stories

This educational pioneer village in North York has stepped it up since the days of our elementary school field trips. For Halloween 2017, you can check out its new haunted escape room, various ghosts walks and a separate story series billed as a “journey to the underbelly of Victorian society.”

Toronto’s Horror Hallways

The 401 Mini Indy in Etobicoke debuted this new haunted attraction this year. It features a pitch-black maze for you to walk through and it’s supposed to be a pretty creepy. It’s not recommended for those under the age of 10, so you know it’s got to be good.

Screemers

This event at Exhibition Place has been a Toronto tradition for the past 25 years – and it boasts some seriously terrifying characters. With seven main haunted house attractions, a magic show and carnival rides, you’ll feel like you’re back at the Ex – only this time, with hyper-realistic zombies.

Haunted High Park

Tapping into the real-life ghost rumours surrounding this massive outdoor space, High Park’s annual October ghost walk series now includes everything from séances to “Victorian funeral and mourning traditions” inside Colborne Lodge. A separate, less-intense version of the event exists for children and families if you’d rather not have so many nightmares.

Fear Farm

Drive out to Kitchener-Waterloo to visit this farm, which features a creepy hike through the woods, a haunted hayride and of course, a haunted house. It also has a a candy barn, bakery and grill on site to satisfy your post-haunting hunger, as well as a pumpkin patch that’s open late.

Spooky Lagoon

We all know that Gibaltrar Point lighthouse is haunted, but what about the rest of the Toronto Islands? A series of evening boat rides, launched just this year, promise to take spook-seekers on a journey through island waters, telling the stories of old sunken ships, diving horses, and other infamous local ghosts.

Nightmares Fear Factory

Billed as “the scariest attraction in Niagara Falls,” this legendary haunted house is best-known for the approximately 150,000 people who’ve chickened out halfway through (full disclosure: I am one of said chickens). You can find it at the top of Clifton Hill in Niagara. Just follow the sound of screams.

The Fountain Gallery Halloween Bar 

An art gallery/bar hybrid in the heart of Dundas West is going full-on spooky this Halloween by transforming into a haunted house. Local artists have been hard at work turning The Fountain into something reminiscent of The Shining’s set, with the addition of some truly creepy masks.

Lead photo by Jesse Milns at Legends of Horrors

http://www.blogto.com/sports_play/2016/10/5_haunted_halloween_attractions_in_and_around_toronto

Premium Family Neighborhood

433 Safari Dr. Oshawa

$575,000

Open House Saturday October 21 and Sunday October 22, 2017 2-4 pm

Warm and Inviting is the best way to describe this 3 Bedroom, 3 Bath home. Open Concept Kitchen with Corian Coutertops, Over Looking Family Room with a Warm and Cozy Fireplace and Cathedral Ceilings. Inviting Living and Dining Room Large enough for all the Family. Main Floor Master Bedroom with Ensuite and W/I closet.  Huge Rec Room, 3 pc bath and bedroom/office complete the finished basement. Exceptionally well kept Family Home. To see it is to want it.

Virtual tour: 433 Safari Drive

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What does being rich mean? How to define it

You probably know wealth when you see it around you – but do you know whether you are rich?

With real estate values soaring across the country, many Canadians feel a level of financial confidence today they’ve never known before. But have they reached a point of financial security? Do they have enough money for their future, and if not, how will they know when they do?

Statistics Canada employs numerous metrics for the other end of the spectrum, without ever using the term “poor.” For instance, the income cutoff for a single person living in a large city was $24,328 in 2014. For a family of four the amount was $45,206.

But there is no magic threshold, no national statistic, that defines you as rich. Wealth is a malleable term that might mean a well-stocked beer fridge, living mortgage-free or having enough money invested for a long retirement.

When it comes to amassing wealth, the United States sets the gold standard. But Americans themselves can’t definitively articulate what being rich means.

Twenty-seven per cent define it as having a lot of money; while 24 per cent say wealth means enjoying life’s experiences, and 22 per cent say it means being able to buy anything they want. That is the breakdown according to a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed in April by Koski Research for Charles Schwab Corp.

When asked to express how much is required to be considered “wealthy,” this “average” group of Americans came up with the amount of $2.4-million (U.S.), or nearly 30 times the actual median net worth of U.S. households.

Ask rich people a question like that, however, and you get a completely different answer.

Many people who have the drive to make significant sums of money don’t have the ability to dial down that ambition once they are wealthy. For them, the thrill is in the pursuit and money is the scorecard.

When the investment firm UBS AG polled 2,215 U.S. millionaires in 2015, nearly two-thirds of those with a net worth of less than $5-million and dependent children expressed concern that they are only one wrong step away from a major setback – be it a large investment failure or job loss. For individuals with $5-million or more, one-third said they felt they couldn’t withstand a setback.

Clearly, money doesn’t make it easy to sleep at night; it can be difficult to relax once you get to the top.

“With memories of the financial crisis still lingering, most millionaires don’t have enough wealth to feel secure,” concluded the UBS report, entitled When is Enough … Enough? “As a result, many feel stuck on a treadmill, without a real sense of how much wealth would make them satisfied enough to get off.”

In Canada, the average household net worth rose 4.3 per cent to $680,098 in 2015, according to Environics Analytics. Vancouver households crossed a symbolic threshold, becoming the country’s first “city of millionaires,” with an average net worth of $1,036,202, up 7.3 per cent from the prior year.

These gains were powered largely by rising real estate prices; Canadians’ principal residences comprise about one-third of their assets, according to Statistics Canada. What homeowners generally fail to accept, however, is that the money in their principal residence is permanently locked in. Very few Canadians end up selling their homes in retirement and enjoying the proceeds until their last cheque bounces the day they die peacefully in their beds.

Instead of looking at home valuations, a better measurement of wealth is whether your earned income – that is personal income from investments rather than employment – exceeds your expenses. Another sign of real wealth is the ability to forgo life insurance, because your estate would have enough assets to support your family at its current lifestyle.

Probably the least helpful way to assess your wealth is by comparing your spending with others, a process that will surely leave you feeling short.

Consider the millionaire family that flies to Whistler, B.C., annually for a ski vacation during the March break. By most standards, they look rich. But those parents may well be looking at a select group of their friends who are redefining the holiday experience by opting for snow and surf during the two-week break scheduled by most private schools: the first week in Whistler, the second in the Caribbean.

Instead of chasing a mirage, the best approach may be to embrace a broader definition of wealth. If you knew you only had five years to live, how much financial hardship would your family incur? How drastic a set of steps would you need to take to get your financial affairs in a state acceptable to you? What financial legacy would you be leaving and how close to your goals would it be? And most importantly, what course would you set to optimize those final years? Answers to these questions could provide the best snapshot of your true personal wealth today.

 

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/what-does-being-rich-mean-how-to-define-it/article36380777/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

 

20 Barnard Crt. Ajax

Open House October 8, 2017 2-4 pm

$525,000

Quiet Family Court

You’ve got to see this one in person! Full of designer touches. The good life is certain in this 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home with finished basement, hardwood floors on top level, and walk-out from kitchen to covered patio overlooking huge back yard. Enjoy carefree living with low maintenance exterior, updated windows, furnace, newer shingles and electrical panel. Enjoy the convenience of an large eat-in kitchen that has been recently updated with top of the line appliances, quartz counter-top, under the counter lighting and over sized center island with B/I dishwasher, cupboards and seating for 5. All this for only $525,000 .

 

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With You Every Step Of The Way

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