Weekly Blend: June 26, 2015

The Weekly Blend is your ‘weekly’ source covering real estate news that you just may have missed. Our hard at work Weekly Blend crew scours the web, newsgroups and forums looking for obscure, bizarre, interesting and informative real estate (or real estate related) stories. If you have one you’d like to share please feel free to share it in our comments section or tweet about it using the hashtag #WeeklyBlend. So brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee and enjoy these stories…maybe even share them with friends or colleagues. Happy reading!

Here are my weekly picks:

The Parrish and Heimbecker Grain Mill stood in Saskatoon for over 100 years and came down in approximately six seconds (VIDEO).

Looking for a patio to spend Canada Day on? Open Table has ranked the top 100 outdoor dining restaurants across Canada.

If patios aren’t your thing, why not try one of the 13 of the most unexpected McDonald’s locations around the world (Moose Jaw represents!!!)

As the Pan Am Games get set to start, CTV News takes an inside look at the athletes village.

The secret is out! With skyrocketing property prices in Vancouver, buyers are looking towards Chilliwack as a safe haven for real estate refugees.

The penthouse of Vancouver’s Hotel Georgian is for sale for $18 million and it comes with a very important caveat: only a Vancouverite – or an aspiring one – should apply.

With the declining dollar, REALTORS® are seeing an influx of Americans buying Canadian cottage country.

Here’s a neat idea, Loews Hotels and Resorts are using Instagram photos (mostly taken by customers) in their latest ad campaign.

Say goodbye to the backyard pool and say hello to a swimming pond instead.

Have you ever fantasized about flipping over a table or desk out of frustration? Me either. But if you have, then Ye Olde Dandy in Toronto may just be the place for you to visit.

Thinking of renting out your property this summer? Be careful and read the fine print. One Toronto woman had her house trashed and robbed and the company she listed with refuses to pay.

Noah Brodeur, a 14 year-old Calgary Flames fan, has designed a new arena for the Calgary Flames and it looks pretty good.

Have you heard of LEAP – Living Ecological Alpine Pod? They’re pretty cool. Actually, they’re not cool at all, in fact, they are quite warm.

Airbnb is celebrating Pride Month with an ad about LGBT couples traveling with the tag line, “We look forward to a world where all love is welcome.”

Traveling this summer? Paulo Coelho offers up nine (yup, nine) tips on how you can become a better traveler.

Now that you know Johnny Depp owns an entire French village (because I just told you), you also need to know that he’s selling his entire French village.

If stargazing, fishing, and hitting golf balls into the Atlantic Ocean interest you then you might want to book a room at the Frying Pan Tower – a unique hotel 34 miles from land.

Type “Google Wants to Control Your Home” into Google and the Google result may turn up the following page found on Google.

Photographer Kelly Micheau took a look at some of the abandoned properties of rural America.

Even HRH Elizabeth and Prince Phillip are at the whim of contractors as it appears they may have to move out of Buckingham Palace during major repair work.

After discovering that she may have to move out, it’s good to also know that the Queen of British real estate is actually … the Queen.

Another week and another essay contest. This time the lucky winner will win a six bedroom log house in Columbus, Indiana.

Someone who calls themselves “the watcher” has forced a family out of their dream home after sending chilling letters to them. The previous owners, it turns out, knew about it. Doesn’t sound like full disclosure was provided. (VIDEO)

And in other “win your home news,” State Police in Maine are investigating whether the “Win an Inn” contest violated state law governing games of chance.

Add the Biblioteca Vasconcelos to the list of places to visit on your next trip to Mexico City. This gorgeous structure holds more than 470,000 books.

The Plastic Pink Flamingo: it has adorned hundreds of thousands of lawns across North America and its creator, Donald Featherstone, recently passed away at the age of 79.

Ignoring the horrible design of this website (funny because it is for an architectural firm), the Mirage House is quite breathtaking.

Looking for a massive fixer-upper property? Then this 46-bedroom, 60,175 square-foot home in Texas is the home for you.

It only took the New York Times one paragraph to make a Godfather joke about a Sicilian town that is giving away abandoned houses (and the joke had nothing to do with leaving a gun and taking the cannoli, Fredo breaking Michael’s heart, or Mo Green).

Yoga is heading to the Borscht Belt as a billionaire Indian media mogul plans to build a wellness retreat and resort on the now defunct Kutsher’s Country Club in Monticello, New York.

And speaking of reclaiming defunct properties, take a look at Dunton Hot Springs in Dunton, Colorado – formerly an abandoned ghost town transformed into a romantic ghost town.

Time.com offers up two useful and three passive-aggressive tips to dealing with the eyesore next door.

Honolulu-based Group 70 International is working with volunteer architects to transform old buses into shelters for the homeless.

J.S. Lovering Wharton built this house on a rock off the coast of Rhode Island because, as legend has it, he wanted a place where no one could bother him.

Want to know what’s involved in getting their “seal of approval?” Adweek takes a peek inside the Good Housekeeping Institutes test labs … and even they get a seal of approval.

Step inside this gorgeous San Francisco house that’s only 12 feet wide.

How much vinyl is too much? A San Diego thrift store learned the hard way when its ceiling collapsed from the weight of too many vinyl records.

According to a new Harvard University study, a record number of people are struggling monthly to pay their rent.

Jonathan Baker, our former Speech Writer, contributed to the development of speeches, advertisements, and communications to our membership. Our staff knew him as the go-to guy at 200 Catherine for some comic relief. Prior to joining CREA, Jon worked in the radio industry in Ottawa. If you meet Jon, be sure to ask him to tell you about his encounters with many famous musicians while volunteering at a local music festival for more than 10 years.

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