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Frustrated realtors, maple syrup beverages and a 24-hour child care centre

A realtor's sign is placed on the front yard of a home for sale at 138 Barton Ave. in Toronto on Mar 20, 2017. The number of homes for resale in some parts of Toronto are very slim, with housing prices often going for well over asking in some cases.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Toronto realtors frustrated by the soaring housing market

Every time real estate broker Chander Chaddah has to tell one of his clients they didn't get the house they bid on, "I'm the guy who's punching my client in the stomach," he said. "Unless you're some kind of masochist, who enjoys doing that?"

That's just one of the reasons that Mr. Chaddah of Sutton Group Associates would like to see some of the heat go out of the Toronto area housing market, which saw the average selling price of a home climb almost 28 per cent in February year-over-year.

"People think this market is just awesome for agents," Mr. Chaddah said. But for GTA realtors – who essentially operate as small businesses – that atmosphere of "irrational exuberance" (to quote former U.S. Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan) creates a host of problems, from lengthier home searches to pressure on commissions and a generalized nervousness about how long the market can charge ahead at such a break-neck pace. Full story.

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Could maple sap be the next coconut water?

A rite of spring in much of Quebec and Ontario, the maple sap season is as Canadian as hockey and curling. For Keith Harris, it's also a way of life since he founded KiKi Maple Sweet Water with his wife, Lorraine, eight years ago. The company, based in Arthur, Ont., produces five flavours of its all-natural maple water, which Mr. Harris says offers high levels of minerals and electrolytes and is low in calories. Full story.

Small business gears up for baby boomers

The older crowd rules at Body Harmonics Inc., a Toronto business that runs Pilates studios and health clinics out of two locations. "Approximately 1,200 people walk through our doors each week," says Body Harmonics owner Margot McKinnon, who started her company 19 years ago. "Today, about 75 per cent of them belong to the boomer generation, and we also see people from the so-called 'silent generation,' with some of our oldest clients being in their late 80s." Full story.

Rare 24-hour daycare has 800 families on wait list

When Amanda Bullock began looking at daycares during her first pregnancy, she might as well have been looking for a unicorn. A Barrie, Ont.-based child-protection worker, Ms. Bullock's job requires a blend of scheduled day shifts and drop-of-the-hat emergencies that can occur at all hours. Her husband works in sales and covers a territory so large he's often on the road until late evenings. With no extended family close by to help patch their gaps, a workable child-care solution seemed impossible. Full story.

Eleven signs that you lack emotional intelligence

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence. Full story.

More small business news from around the web

More than Obamacare repeal, small businesses want Congress to rein in costs

LaRonda Hunter, a business owner in Fort Worth, Tex., views the Affordable Care Act as a literal job killer. Fearful of triggering the law's employer mandate, which requires businesses with 50 or more workers to offer health insurance or pay penalties, Ms. Hunter has held off on expanding her small chain of hair salons. Full story.

How to make the most of your workday

Do you often find your workday spiraling out of control? You start each day with a plan to get so much done, but soon find yourself becoming distracted, focusing on low-priority tasks and, simply, procrastinating. So how can you regain control of your time? One-size-fits-all lists on how to be more productive don't work; we'll outline productivity techniques that can be adapted to your personality and working style. Full story.

Why networking events are a waste of time, and what to do instead

Most professionals are not getting a good return on their investment of time and money when attending networking events. This is because people have entirely different objectives when it comes to networking. Most events are mixing bowls for professionals who are there for different reasons, whether it be signing up a new client, meeting prospective employers, creating awareness for their business, or connecting with someone in the hopes of developing a mutually beneficial relationship. Full story

How Bunz transformed from a grassroots community to an up-and-coming startup

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Emily Bitze launched Bunz (originally called 'Bumz Trading Zone') as a money-free trading zone within her own friend circle in 2013. Since then, the group has grown to 120,000 community members, and recently launched its own app and rebranded with marketing agency Cossette. Full story.

Compiled by Sarah Efron

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