Crush your mortgage

Moshe Milevsky, an author and finance Professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, says people applying for mortgages should pull their credit scores six to 12 months in advance to make sure there’s nothing wrong. “Get your credit report from all the bureaus,” he advised in MoneySense magazine’s June 2013 issue. Also, try to avoid job volatility for at least six months before applying, as this will make your income appear more stable in the eyes of the banks. Read full story.

Taking the politics out of planning
When it comes to development in Ontario, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), which dates back to 1906, is the lightning rod for public criticism….“It’s a necessary evil,” said Schulich School of Business Professor James McKellar in Canadian Lawyer’s June 2013 issue. “It is the only protection against the irrationality of political decision-making. I do see it as a safeguard against the kind of wanton disregard for planning principles by council.”…The problem with the Ontario system, he said, is local politicians have too much say, which “leads to let’s make a deal. The mediocrity in the planning process is appalling. I don’t think anyone can look at what we built in the past 15 years in Toronto and say it’s really good.” Read full story.

Ground breaks on new Lassonde School of Engineering at York U
If you are going to dream big, you might as well have your head in the clouds. So, it’s fitting that a cloud is the inspiration for York University’s new Lassonde School of Engineering, reported the North York Mirror June 18. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new building was held Monday, June 17, on the southwest side of the University, beside Stong Pond, where the new building will be located. The new Faculty of Engineering aims to turn out “renaissance engineers” who will combine an entrepreneurial spirit with a social conscience and a sense of global citizenship, said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. Read full story.

Startup University: How local universities are prepping next-gen entrepreneurs
Spread across five levels of the AMC building on the corner of Yonge Dundas Square, the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) is Ryerson’s end-to-end startup incubation and acceleration solution. It currently hosts 253 so-called innovators across 51 startups, and since its official opening in 2010, the DMZ has incubated and accelerated 84 startups and helped create 822 jobs. Perhaps more encouraging, however, is the fact that Ryerson is not the only university to embrace helping its students build their own businesses. Across the GTA, the city’s major universities are in the process of developing their own startup incubation and acceleration programs….York University has its new 3D Film Innovation Consortium program, which helps film students innovate in the 3-D cinema space, reported Yonge Stree June 19. Read full story.

Plight of the bumblebee
Bees have come to symbolize a deepening ecological crisis in North America….Not only do bumblebees pollinate about 15 per cent of our food crops (valued at $3 billion), they also occupy a critical role as native pollinators. Plant pollinator interactions can be so specific and thus the loss of even one species carries with it potentially severe ecological consequences….A recent study carried out by Sheila Colla and Laurence Packer at York University compared surveys of B. affinis from 1971-73 and 2004-06, both in Ontario and throughout its native range (18 sites in Canada and 35 in the U.S.). From 2004 to 2006, they found only one individual of B. affinis, foraging on a woodland sunflower in Ontario’s Pinery Provincial Park. None were found in the U.S., reported the Earth Island Journal June 18. Read full story.