Category Archives: Information

New Province-Wide Shutdown and What It Means For Real Estate

Premier Doug Ford announced that Ontario would be placed into a COVID-19 Province-wide Shutdown.

The Shutdown will start Boxing Day at 12:01 a.m. and be in place for all of Ontario from December 26th, 2020 to January 9th, 2021. The restrictions will remain in place for all 27 Southern Ontario public health regions from January 9th, 2021 to January 23rd, 2021.

The Shutdown has been put in place to help save lives and prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

This is a serious measure being taken to protect our fellow citizens and REALTORS® have to do our part to help stop the spread of the virus.

What Does It Mean for Real Estate?

Real estate continues to be listed as an “essential service” by the Province. That means that real estate businesses and board offices can continue to operate while the Province is in Shutdown and real estate transactions can continue to close.

But let’s be clear.

It is NOT business as usual. If we are going to avoid the worst-case scenario with the spread of the pandemic everyone has to do their part.

During this Shutdown, Members should only conduct essential business and avoid face-to-face interactions with customers and clients unless it is absolutely necessary.

Instead, Members should work remotely and use technology like virtual showings, electronic signatures and virtual meetings to the greatest extent possible.

While real estate is deemed essential, there are restrictions that all Members, brokerage offices and real estate boards have to follow, including:

  • Open houses are banned (including pre-construction) – in the whole province for two weeks and in Southern Ontario for four weeks. Scheduled in-person showings are permitted but should be used very sparingly and only in urgent situations. Please review OREA’s guidance on safe in-person showings for more information.
  • Workplaces must screen any workers or essential visitors entering the work environment. See the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces for more information.
  • While indoors at a real estate brokerage or board office, all people MUST wear personal protective equipment that provides protection of the eyes, nose and mouth. PPE is required if a worker is required to come within 2 metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering and is not separated by a plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier. See OREA’s guidance for brokerage and board offices here.
  • All brokerage and board offices must limit capacity so that every member of the public is able to maintain two metres of physical distance from every other person and limit the people occupying any room that is open to the public to 50% capacity of that room; and,
  • Short-term rentals (e.g., cottages, cabins) can only to be provided to individuals who are in need of housing.

The Holidays

With regards to travel during the holidays, the Province has indicated that no indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with) are permitted. Individuals who live alone and single parents may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation.

Outside organized events and social gatherings must comply with public health advice on physical distancing and are limited to 10 people.

The Government is urging Ontarians to stay home and avoid travelling outside of their region unless it’s for essential reasons.

Visit Ontario’s COVID-19 website to learn more about how the restrictions apply to schools, business and other organizations.

I have been so proud of the leadership you all have shown over the last nine months. Together, we have worked to keep our communities safe while offering an essential service to the people of our Province.

I know this is difficult and these measures are going to be tough for you, your family and Ontarians at large. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. A vaccine is on its way, we will beat this pandemic and life will return to normal.

Until then, thank you for your support. Stay safe and all the best to you and your family this Holiday Season.

Yours sincerely,

Sean Morrison
​​​​​OREA President

The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

Disclaimer. The information contained in this email is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice by REALTORS®, or others. Members wishing further clarity or advice should seek independent legal advice specific to their circumstances. Due to the quickly changing regulatory environment during the COVID-19 emergency, this information may not be current or accurate by the time it is read.

Meet The Baverstock’s

We were recently featured in a neighbourhood magazine. Thought you’d enjoy the article…

Working Together

by Susan Hastings       Photos By Stan Switalski

Whether you’re 14 or 40, when you meet your soulmate, you just know they’re the right one for you.

“Gary and I met at Glenview Park Secondary School in 1971, half-way through our grade 9 year,” says Debbie Baverstock, “and we were married in 1975.”

The Baverstock’s have been together for almost 50 years and have two adult children, Richard and Elizabeth.

When their children were younger, the family spent long hours at the ball diamonds where Richard and Elizabeth played t-ball and later softball, as well as at the arenas where they both played “between the pipes” – in goal – for their respective hockey teams.

Their hard work and commitment paid off, with Richard progressing to AAA, and Elizabeth playing Women’s Junior and varsity hockey at the University of Waterloo.

Elizabeth also practiced karate, earning a black belt, another sport where the family’s emphasis on hard work, commitment and perseverance paid off.

In addition to team sports, Richard was involved with the audiovisual department during his time at Southwood Secondary School.

“When there was an audiovisual problem at school,” recalls Gary, “the kids would chant “Baver! Baver!” to indicate that it was all down to Richard to remedy.

“One night there was a power outage during an assembly at the University of Guelph, and even though Richard wasn’t a student there, there were enough former Southwood students in the room that they started chanting “Baver! Baver!”.

Richard now lives in San Jose California, and has worked at Tesla for the past two years.

He graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2009 with a degree in computer engineering. While there, he had done one co-op in Africa, and the other in  California. The Californian company offered him a permanent position, and he left home two weeks after graduation.

“It was really hard to see him to,” says Debbie with a sigh, “but we Skype regularly, and manage to visit once or twice a year.”

When I met with them, the family was about to have a birthday barbecue – via Skype – for Richard and Clark, his son, who was born on Richard’s birthday.

“We’ve grilled hamburgers for Richard’s birthday since he was a boy,” says Debbie, “so distance isn’t going to stop us.”


Richard met his wife, Tristan, in California, and now they have three young children, Clark, Nicole, and Maverick, as well as a dog, Rocky.

“The whole family was here at Christmas, and the kids enjoyed playing in the snow – there’s none of that where they live in California,” explains Debbie.


Elizabeth graduated from Conestoga College with a diploma in recreation and leisure service, and subsequently from the University of Waterloo with a degree in applied health sciences.

She then went on to receive her Bachelor of Education at Redeemer University and Elizabeth is now a teacher at a school in Breslau. She enjoys teaching while coaching the track and field team and field hockey team.

“She loves working there, it’s such a beautiful campus,” says Debbie.

Gary and Debbie, the Baverstock Team, have been in the real estate business for over 30 years, during which they’ve often been privileged to assist several generations of the same family.

“In business and in life, we follow the Golden Rule,” Gary says. “Treating others as we would wish to be treated builds strong relationships.”

Running a business with your spouse can be a challenge, but Gary and Debbie make it look easy.

“We’ve been in business together since high school,” explains Gary, “when we operated a lawn and yard care business. We’ve always enjoyed working for ourselves, and working together.”

Gary and Debbie sparked some consternation in 1977 when they announced to their families that they were moving across the river from East Galt to West Galt.

“They didn’t know why we’d want to move ‘all the way over there,'” laughs Debbie.

They purchased their first home on Grand Ridge Drive, then, in 1986, they built their current home in the same neighbourhood.

“We bought the lot, and I met with a friend who had recently built his own house,” says Gary. “The more we talked, the more I realized it was what I wanted to do.”

“It was a lot of work, though,” continues Debbie. “Richard was a baby then, but Gary would be over working on the house until well past midnight.”

Location, as they say, is everything when purchasing a home, and they have found this neighbourhood to be ideal.

“It is very quiet because it is a loop street so there is no through traffic,” explains Debbie, “and we often see wildlife, such as rabbits, raccoons, skunks, deer and even fox on occasion.

“We are within walking distance to the three schools that our children attended – Tait Street, St. Andrews, and Southwood. All three schools were fantastic for our children, and we feel very safe in our neighbourhood.”

When the children were younger, their annual vacations usually consisted of camping at either Port Elgin or Sauble Beach. Trips further afield included Disney World, Myrtle Beach and Jamaica.

More recently, Gary and Debbie have made several visits to San Jose to visit Richard and his family.

They have reached a stage in their lives when, for others, retirement might be beckoning, but Debbie has other plans.

“Debbie says she’ll consider it when I’m 104,” says Gary with a chuckle. “Until then I’ll be doing what I love, taking care of my customers as if they were family.”

Working hard is such an integral part of their lives that they see no need to slow down just yet.

printed April 2020 by  Best Version Media