Admin's blog

Thinking Aloud: A Better Way to Install a Tankless Water Heater in a Cold Climate

This is by no means an actual recommendation, and I have no idea if it would meet any building codes (though I don't see why it wouldn't). I'm just thinking aloud of what might work.

The biggest problem with tankless water heaters in an area like mine (S. Ontario Canada) is that the incoming cold water pipe is COLD, year-round. Probably 10 degrees Celsius year round here, and perhaps even colder for some people in some seasons. 

This creates a problem for tankless water heaters that have to heat water another 40 degrees Celsius on an ongoing basis. 

Visa Gift Cards in Canada

Background on Prepaid Visa/Mastercards in Canada

I've already written a very popular article on prepaid cards in Canada, and I do recommend reading it, as it is full of useful of information on this topic. When purchasing a card like this, it is very important to shop around and look at all of the available options. 

US Accounts for Canadians: Bank of America and other Big US Banks

Past Article on US Bank Accounts for Canadians

I've already written an article here on opening up a US$ bank account at a US-based bank in the USA. It's a good background, so I suggest reading it for its useful information and posted comments. 

The only problem is that the bank I chose is a relatively regional one that doesn't do much business in border states.

Every Kilowatt Counts: Not a Chance. Just how low electricity costs are in Ontario

As written in my article on the roll-out of "Smart" Meters for electricity in Ontario (which doesn't seem to be a very smart idea in many situations), the cost of electricity generation itself is determined by supply and demand by the "Independent Electricity System Operator".

Electricity Prices & Rates In Ontario: Smart Meters

Will Smart Meters Cause my Electricity ("Hydro") Bill to Increase?

(Just want to see the rates and not the commentary? Scroll to the bottom!)

March 2009 US Dollar Canadian Dollar Currency Exchange Rates

These are the noon-time US<->Canadian Dollar Exchange Rates. The source of this information is the Bank of Canada.

This information is for the month of March, year 2009. 

These are nominal values, rather than actual "sell" or "buy" rates, so they're best used for comparison or statistical purposes. Having said that, there's no "official" exchange rate either. 

Protect Yourself Against Power Outages with Multiple Cellular Phones

A Potential Cellular Phone Power-Cut Scenario

Say you don't have a landline telephone, but you use a cell phone for all of your calling. This could leave you in a scary situation if you need to make a 9-1-1 call and your cell phone provider doesn't happen to backup power, or its backup power has run out.

An Excellent Pharmacy Resource: PharmacyFind

PharmacyFind is a database of just about every pharmacy in Ontario, as well as related companies. They have maps, addresses, phone numbers and fax numbers to all of these Pharmacy Locations, as well as other helpful links to other stores and services.

Canada's Best Bank Account - Premium Bank Account with Unlimited Transactions

The best bank account in Canada, for those that need an advanced banking package with a ton of features is the TD Canada Trust Select Service Account.

Coin Counters at Canada Trust Followup

This is a followup to my original article here, where I posted a list of Canada Trust locations that have the coin counters.

So this will be a bit of a review and tips that I feel others should know of before they go. 

Well, I finally got the chance to use the machines myself.

Average 2008 Currency Exchange Rates: For CRA, Canadian Revenue Agency Purposes

Average Canadian Currency Exchange Rates for 2008

Please click here for the 2009 CRA Average Currency Exchange Rates

The CRA has a rather annoying process to get the average 2008 exchange rates for income tax reporting purposes.

TFSA Brokerage Accounts: Hold Stocks, Bonds, Trusts in your Tax Free Savings Account

I just wanted to put a little comparison of all of the TFSA brokerage accounts available to Canadians.

Please, if you have further information on the Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) offered by these brokers, leave a comment, and I'll add it in. 

Airmiles Reward Credit Cards in Canada (& Debit Cards, No-Fee Too!)

My Personal View on Air Miles Credit Cards

I prefer cash-back cards, less hassle and you never have to worry about your points getting de-valued, but an Air Miles credit card is still better than a no-rewards card!

Canadian Passport Renewal/New Application Mini Guide

Quick Canadian Passport Application Guide

This is a shortened/condensed version of my more in-depth & longer Canadian Passport guide, which has received over 60 000 reads since May 2007. By using this guide, I got my new passport (not renewal) in hand within 7 days without paying anything extra, and spent 30 minutes in a passport office that had a 2 hour lineup to get to a counter. 

TD Visa (and other Mastercards): Overlimit Fees & Avoiding Them

I got hit with an overlimit fee on my TD Rebate Rewards Credit Cards

I'll say that these fees are a bit sneaky.

Bloomers Flowers in London Ontario Review

I just wanted to post a quick review on a good experience I had with a florist in London Ontario, Bloomers Flowers.

Canada's Highest Cash Back Credit Card: National Bank of Canada Ultramar MasterCard

The 1.25% Rebate Credit Card Details

This Mastercard credit card has no annual fee, and offers a 1.25% cash back IF you spend more than $9000 in a calendar year. If you spend that much, or more, you get the 1.25% rebate on ALL of your spending. So this isn't one of those tiered reward credit cards, like the TD Rebate Rewards Card.

Canadian Dollar <-> US Dollar Exchange Rates: Banks, Currency Exchangers, Bank of Canada...

On this page, I plan on providing links to as many sources for the Canadian Dollar to US Dollar Exchange rates as I can. It has been fluctuating greatly in recent weeks, so up-to-the-minute figures are best.

Now, there are two kinds of data: The actual rates, and then what rates you can get when you want to actually bring US Currency to a place and change it into Canadian.

TD Rebate Rewards Credit Card: Not Worth It

TD Rebate Rewards Visa Card

The Toronto Dominion Rebate Rewards Visa is a fairly run-of-the-mill no fee credit card. It has one main benefit over TD's basic "Green" Visa card, and that is its 0.5% cash back on your first $3000 in purchases, and then 1% cash back, up to some maximum.

Prepaid Mastercard or Visa Cards as Gifts: Bad Idea For the Holidays

For Christmas, I'm sure many people are looking toward possibly buying one of those prepaid Mastercard or Visa cards. I would say DON'T buy one of these as a gift.

Prepaid Visa & Mastercards Are Worse than Store-Branded Cards as Gifts

It's like giving money that's less useful than money. Why would you want to do that? People like money, and I don't believe (unless it's really thoughtful) much in giving out non-unique gift cards when one could just use the cash.

MuchMusic Prepaid Mastercard: Get that Credit Card Feeling, for a fee

Why Get a Prepaid Mastercard or Prepaid Visa?

In my opinion, there are only two reasons to get a Prepaid Mastercard/Visa card:

  1. You can't get a credit card, but need to make some purchases that require a Mastercard/Visa Credit Card
  2. You have a credit card, but want to make a purchase 100% anonymously, or pseudo-anonymously.

The Muchmusic Prepaid Mastercard is the kind that you need to fill out an actual application for, and you get a Mastercard that has your (teen's) name on it.

Euro Bank Accounts For Canadians: Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC

Looking to Safely Save Some Euros?

The Bank of Nova Scotia, errr, Scotiabank does offer a Euro Savings account that is easy to open for personal account holdings.

Scotiabank's Euro Daily Interest Savings Account Review

No fees if you have more than 200 Euro in the account, otherwise 1 EUR /month

2 in-branch transactions included/month, 0.60 EUR thereafter

Time to ship package from Toronto Canada to Paris France

Just thought others would benefit from this read world experience.

I shipped a package via Canada Post Surface Mail from Toronto Ontario Canada to Paris France.

I'm sure UPS/Fedex/DHL could get it there faster, but probably at a substantially higher price.