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Keeping up with Toronto’s Evolving Architectural Identity

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On the southeastern tail of Ontario, the 175-year-young city of Toronto is home to 2.5 million Canadians, making it the largest city in the country. Rodolphe el-Khoury, an architecture professor at the University of Toronto, said in a 2008 interview that he noticed an underlying rural tone in Toronto's architectural identity. “It’s a kind of tension between a cosmopolitan international culture and a more Ontario-based kind of heritage,” described el-Khoury. What Toronto is known for is its skyscrapers – it is second only to New York as having the most in North America. Along with the skyscrapers, progressive-minded young people who champion environmental friendliness inhabit downtown Toronto.

Kitchen Design Trends and Ideas

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We’ve all heard the phrase “champagne taste on a beer budget,” right? This certainly applies to kitchen design and decorating. Our space is an integral part of our lives -- as we spend a good deal of life at home -- and it doesn’t take a Feng Shui expert to understand the value of creating a space that is personalized, practical, and, of course, positive.

How to Refinish a Wood Deck

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Refinishing your wood deck every few years is necessary maintenance. Learn when and how.

When is it time to refinish your wood deck? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Use the “splash test” to see if your wood deck needs attention. Take a glass of water and splash it on the most heavily traveled areas. If the water beads up and sits on top of the wood, then refinishing is not required. If the water soaks in and darkens the wood, then it’s time to get on that deck maintenance before any serious damage is done. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, as he demonstrates how to refinish a wood deck.

Small Houses: The Benefits to a Downsize

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Ever considered the amount of house you choose to occupy? Join Jeff Wilson, the host of Everyday DIY on the At Home channel, in thinking small to see what it can do for you and what great possibilities exist for living in tiny spaces.

Back in my “salad days,” I spent a little time working in a ski town out west, and I do mean working – I had three jobs at any one time and had job titles as diverse as Record Store Clerk, Taxi Driver, Pizza Delivery Guy, and Graveyard Shift Convenience Store Clerk. That last job was the only one I ever had where I had to routinely carry a baseball bat (and I don’t mean that in a good way).

Capital Gate: Abu Dhabi's Leaning Tower

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Look out, Pisa, there is a new building on the block! Capital Gate, located in Abu Dhabi, now holds the Guinness Record for the "Worlds Furthest Leaning Manmade Tower." Scheduled for completion in late 2010, this 35 story building with an incline of 18 degrees is the focal point of Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company's (ADNEC) new mixed use development.

How to Install a Toilet

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Many puns have been applied to toilet replacement and installation, but in reality replacing or installing a toilet is a pretty simple home improvement project for a do-it-yourselfer. The workings of a toilet are contained within the fixture itself, so the installation comes down to making a couple of plumbing connections, one for the water supply and one for the waste drain. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, for a video guide through the process of installing a toilet.

Contractors Look to BIM to Streamline Construction

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The building industry is moving inevitably away from 2D paper drawings and toward 3D virtual modeling. When a new technology offers people a better way of doing something, they will eventually use it, even if it means overcoming old habits and facing a sometimes steep learning curve. The use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) has increased dramatically over the past few years, not just in architecture firms, but industry-wide. Construction firms that were early adopters of BIM now have the hard data to justify their choice: projects are taking less time and costing less money, and demonstrated mastery of state-of-the-art technology is winning these firms more jobs.

Innovative Infrastructure: Smart Bridges

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There are over 600,000 bridges in the United States and almost 13% have some sort of structural damage. Most bridges still require field methods to assess this damage, including visual inspection, dye penetrant testing, magnetic particle testing, and ultrasonic techniques. These field methods can miss structural problems or fail to catch them in time to prevent a catastrophe. In the case of the Minneapolis steel truss bridge that collapsed in 2007, resulting in 13 lives lost, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ruled that 16 of the gusset plates that connected the trusses failed. Smart bridge technologies are being implemented in the redesign, providing more efficient and real-time monitoring and inspection.

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