Tapping into Home Equity: Why Choose a Reverse Mortgage Over a HELOC?

General Joni Ferguson 4 Sep

As the cost of living has increased, it may be challenging to meet your retirement income needs and access the cashflow you need to live a desired lifestyle. One advantage that many retired Canadians possess is home ownership. Tapping into some of the equity you have built in your home can help you obtain the additional funds you require.

Tap into your home equity 

If you wish to stay in your current home, there are two popular methods to tap into your home equity: a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) and a reverse mortgage.

HELOC: lenders typically allow homeowners to access up to 65% of their home’s value. With a HELOC, you can borrow money as needed, based on an agreed-upon amount, and you’ll be required to make minimum monthly interest payments. Unlike a conventional mortgage, there are no fixed scheduled payments towards the loan’s principal, offering you the flexibility to repay the loan at your convenience.

Reverse Mortgage: is another common way homeowners tap into their home equity. Specifically, the CHIP Reverse Mortgage by HomeEquity Bank is designed for Canadian homeowners aged 55 and above. It allows you to access up to 55% of your home’s value and receive the funds as tax-free cash, all without the need to move or sell your property. While you continue to live in your home, there are no required monthly mortgage payments to worry about. The full loan amount only becomes due when you decide to move, sell the house, or through the estate after the homeowner’s passing.

Advantages of the CHIP Reverse Mortgage 

The CHIP Reverse Mortgage offers several benefits, one of the most notable being the absence of monthly mortgage payments. This feature is particularly valuable to Canadians 55+ when cashflow can be a concern. Here are some of the other benefits of the CHIP Reverse Mortgage:

  • Simplified underwriting. The CHIP Reverse Mortgage caters to Canadians aged 55+ who rely on a fixed income and might face challenges qualifying for a HELOC.
  • No need to requalify: Unlike a HELOC that requires continuous credit score checks, the CHIP Reverse Mortgage eliminates the need for requalification, ensuring access to funds without credit score barriers.
  • Death of a spouse does not impact a reverse mortgage. With a HELOC, the passing of a spouse may prompt the bank to conduct a credit score review of the surviving spouse. With the CHIP Reverse Mortgage, the loan doesn’t become due until after both homeowners no longer live in the home.
  • Fixed-term rate options:  The CHIP Reverse Mortgage provides fixed rate choices, allowing borrowers to lock in rates for up to five years. On the contrary, a HELOC’s interest rate floats and fluctuates with the Bank of Canada’s prime rate, leading to increased borrowing costs in times of rising interest rates.

Contact me to learn more about how you can use the CHIP Reverse Mortgage to tap into your home equity.

Written by the good people at HomeEquity Bank

What is the First Time Homebuyer Incentive?

General Joni Ferguson 10 Apr

What is the First Time Homebuyer Incentive?

The first-time homebuyer incentive program is a shared-equity mortgage with the Canadian government that helps qualified first-time buyers reduce their monthly mortgage payments to better afford a home!

The Incentive: This program allows you to obtain an incentive from the government to assist with your down payment, thereby lowering your overall mortgage amount and, in turn, your monthly mortgage costs.

  • 5% or 10% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a newly constructed home
  • 5% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a resale (existing) home
  • 5% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a new or resale mobile/manufactured home

Qualifying for the Incentive: This program is designed to assist first-time homebuyers, therefore you must:

  • Have never purchased a home before
  • Have not occupied a home that you, your current spouse or common-law partner owned in the last 4 years
  • Have recently experienced a breakdown of marriage or common-law partnership

If you meet the above criteria, further qualifications are based on your income and status as follows:

  • Your total qualifying income is no more than $120,000 ($150,000 for homes in Toronto, Vancouver, or Victoria)
  • Your total borrowing is less than four times your qualifying income (four and a half times your income if you’re purchasing in Toronto, Vancouver or Victoria)
  • You are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or non-permanent resident authorized to work in Canada
  • You meet the minimum down payment requirements

Here’s an example.

Cali wants to buy a new home for $400,000.
Under the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, Cali can apply to receive $40,000 in a shared equity mortgage (10% of the cost of a new home) from the Government of Canada. This lowers the amount she needs to borrow and reduces her monthly expenses.
As a result, Cali’s mortgage is $228 less a month or $2,736 a year.

Additional Costs: With the incentive, there are a few additional costs to be aware of such as additional legal fees (your lawyer is closing two mortgages, the one on your behalf and that on the Government’s behalf), appraisal fees to determine the repayment value of your home when it comes due, plus other potential fees such as refinancing or switching costs if you decide to move or update your mortgage.

Repayment Process: When it comes to repayment of the incentive, the homebuyer is required to pay back after 25 years or when the property is sold, whichever comes first. They are also able to repay anytime prior to this without penalty. The repayment is based on fair market value at the time of repayment and you would pay back what you received. For instance, if you received a 5% incentive, you would repay 5% of the current home value at the time of repayment.

Keep in mind, if you choose to port your mortgage or go through a separation during the term and want to buy out your co-borrower, you will have to repay the incentive sooner.

Updates to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive can benefit more homeowners

The Government of Canada will limit its share in the appreciation of a home! Now, homeowners will pay back up to a maximum gain of 8% per annum (not compounded) on the Incentive amount from the date of advance to the time of repayment.

This means that participants may be able to keep more when their homes increase in value

The Government of Canada will also limit its share in the depreciation of a home at the time of repayment. This is up to a maximum loss of 8% per annum (not compounded) on the Incentive amount from the date of advance to the time of repayment.

In the case of appreciation, the above Incentive repayment calculation is retroactive to the implementation date of the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (September 2, 2019). In the case of depreciation, the above Incentive repayment calculation applies to all borrowers who have signed a shared equity mortgage agreement on or after June 1, 2022.

Already repaid the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive?

CMHC has contracted FNF Canada to administer reimbursements to eligible borrowers. If you are eligible, you will be contacted by FNF Canada and asked to verify your information in order to proceed with your reimbursement.

Fall in Love with Your Home… All Over Again.

General Joni Ferguson 16 Feb

Fall in Love with Your Home… All Over Again.

Most of us like where we live, but we might not love it. Have you fallen out of love with your home? No sweat! We have the tips to help you fall in love with your home, all over again!

Cleanse and Purge

Depending how long you have lived in your home, you have probably gathered up a number of items that you no longer need, want or use. One of the first steps to falling in love with your home again is purging your space of all that unnecessary stuff – whether it is old clothes, furniture you hate, outdated accessories – removing the old to make way for the new can have a huge effect on how you feel about your home.

Rearrange Your Rooms

Once you have purged all of the unwanted items around your home, you probably have a bit more space to work with! A great way to breathe new life into your space is by re-arranging your furniture! While not all rooms will have optimal space, you might be surprised if you just try and see how it would look with a different layout! Simply moving around your furniture will make your home feel revived, without any extra spend!

Consider a New Colour

If you’re looking for that little extra refresh, a new coat of paint is a great way to get the job done! Changing the tone of your room from darker to lighter, or warm to cool, can make the space feel brand new again! This year’s tones include purples and pink hues, matched with grey and white or pops of teal and blue for that extra 70s vibe!

Or Try a New Style

If you’ve always had a home with traditional cupboards or furniture, it might be time to mix it up! Swapping out a few old pieces for something new, perhaps with a modern twist, can revive any space. Consider starting small by swapping lamps or your coffee table and moving up to larger items like TV stands and bookshelves for that fulsome redo!

Enhance Your Lighting

Lighting has a big effect on mood, and it is the same for your home. Installing new light fixtures, adding or removing lamps, or even changing your bulbs from a bright white to warm or vice versa for a different environment. If you’re looking for that extra ambiance, try a lava lamp or a cute candle tray!

Retouch and Refinish

If you’re not interested in going all out on your home makeover, you don’t have to! There are still plenty of ways you can fall in love with your home again… such as with a little retouching and reviving! A great place to start is your kitchen cupboards. refinishing and painting your existing cabinets is easier than you may think!

Don’t Forget About the Exterior!

While we spend a lot of our time indoor our home, you don’t want to forget about the exterior! New and inviting front door lighting, a cute brick path and some new flowers can create a whole new world for you to enjoy. Consider also adding wicker furniture, an outdoor rug and hanging fairy lights or adding a water feature for that extra relaxation.

Not sure if you can afford updates to your home? Consider utilizing your home equity!  Contact me any time, I’m more then happy to assist you in making your dreams a reality.

Written by the DLC marketing team

Change of Address Checklist.

General Joni Ferguson 9 Feb

Change of Address Checklist. 

So, you’re moving! Before you hunker down in your new home, there are a few things you will want to  take care of regarding your new address.

Personal Contacts:

First and foremost, if you haven’t yet, make sure to tell all your personal contacts about your address change, including:

  • Relatives
  • Friends
  • Employer
  • Schools, colleges, universities, daycares
  • Landlord (if necessary)
  • Clubs, associations and charities

Healthcare Professionals:

For the purposes of keeping your health care records up to date, make sure to update your professional contacts:

  • Doctor(s)
  • Dentist
  • Veterinarian
  • Other healthcare specialist(s)

Creditors and Services:

If you haven’t yet reached out to your services, you will want to do so as soon as possible for a smooth change of service from your existing address to your new address. These services include:

  • Phone, cable, internet, mobility company
  • Electricity / hydro
  • Natural gas
  • Heating fuel company (ask if you receive a deposit refund)
  • Financial institution
  • Credit card companies
  • Insurance companies / broker(s)
  • Lawyer / notary
  • Subscriptions (e.g., newspapers, books, music, loyalty programs)

Government Services:

Lastly, it is vital to inform the federal and your provincial/territorial government of your address changes to ensure all your data and ID cards are updated:

  • Driver’s license
  • Health Card
  • Vehicle registration
  • Canada Post / E-post
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Canada Pension Plan / Quebec Pension Plan
  • Old Age Security
  • Employment Insurance

Need assistance in your search for a new home? I can help make that search easier by getting you pre-approved before you go shopping for that forever home.

Written by the Marketing team at DLC

4 Key Things to Know about a Second Mortgage.

General Joni Ferguson 1 Feb

4 Key Things to Know about a Second Mortgage.

A second mortgage is a mortgage that is taken out against a property that already has a home loan (mortgage) on it. Generally people take out second mortgages to satisfy short-term cash or liquidity requirements, have an investment opportunity or to pay off higher-interest debts (such as credit cards and student loans) that a second mortgage might offer.

If you are considering a second mortgage for any reason, here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Second Mortgages and Home Equity: Your second mortgage and what you can qualify for hinges on the equity that you have built up in your home. Second mortgages allow you to access between 80% and 95% of your home equity, depending on your qualifications.

For example, if you seeking 95% Loan-to-Value loan (“LTV”):

House Value =                                                          $850,000
95% LTV (maximum mortgage amount)            $807,500
less: First Mortgage                                                 ($550,000)
Amount Available Through Second Mortgage    $257,500

Second Mortgages and Interest Rates: When it comes to a second mortgage, these are typically higher risk loans for lenders. As a result, most second mortgages will have a higher interest rate than a typical home loan. There is also the option of working with alternative and private lenders depending on your situation and financial standing.

Second Mortgage Payments: One advantage when it comes to a second mortgage is that they have attractive payment factors. For instance, you can opt for interest-only payments, or you can select to pay the interest plus the principal loan amount. Work with your mortgage broker to discuss options and what would work best for your situation.

Second Mortgage Additional Fees: A second mortgage often comes with additional fees that you should be aware of before going into the transaction. These fees can vary widely but often are a percentage of the mortgage.  Other fees to consider include appraisal fees, legal fees to set up the second mortgage and any lender or broker administration fees (particularly with alternative or private lenders).

Second mortgages are a great option for many homeowners and, in some cases, may be a better solution than a refinance or a Home Equity Loan (HELOC). If you are interested in learning more or want to find out if a second mortgage is right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me today.

Written by the DLC Marketing Team

10 Money Saving Tips.

General Joni Ferguson 25 Jan

10 Money Saving Tips.

When it comes to saving money, there are a lot of little things you can do that add up to make a big difference! Here are 10 doable money-saving tips:

  1. Automatic savings: Are one of the most effective ways to save because you can’t spend what you can’t access! Instruct your employer to transfer a certain amount from your paycheck each pay period into an RRSP or savings account (or both) or set up automatic transfers in your banking account to coincide with your payday. I had my company do this for three years and was able to save up the money towards the down payment on the house.
  2. Consolidating debt: Will result in a single monthly payment and lower interest costs! Many people don’t realize just how much money they are wasting on interest each month, especially if you have multiple loans or credit cards. Consolidating debt can help you gain control and maximize spending on the principal amounts to pay off the loans faster. Go thru your statements for one month, then for the year and see just how much is being wasted on service fees and interest charges.
  3. Budget with cash: If you have trouble with overspending or find it too easy to use your card. After your bills are paid, take out the remaining cash (spending money) and only use that. Once the cash is gone, you’re out of money until next payday! Having physical cash in hand can also help you think twice when making purchases.  Keep your credit cards off your phone and at home so when you are out, your not tempted to tap that purchase.
  4. Buying in bulk: Is a great way to save a bit here, and a bit there, when doing your regular grocery shop or purchasing other items. If you know  you’ll need more, stock up at once for bulk savings, which will help you in the long run! With the prices of groceries at record levels, stock up on items that can be stored easily and without issue of going bad. Keep an eye on your local flyers!!
  5. Before Buying:  There are two things you should always do. The first is to wait at least 24 hours, and the second is to shop around! If you still want to buy something the next day, make sure you get the best price available!
  6. Plan Your Meals: Most of us don’t have time to make breakfast (let alone lunch!) before we fly out the door for work.  What if I told you that getting up an hour earlier could save you over $100 a week! Even just making your lunch the night before, if your not an early riser,  that’s big savings!  Just think about how much you spend going out for breakfast AND lunch each day? Groceries are a lot cheaper, and you can even prep a few days worth of meals on your day off as part of your prep for the week. Get a thermos for your coffee or tea.  Add that expense up for the month! How much can you save just by doing that.
  7. Think in Hours versus Dollars:  Every time you are looking to make a purchase, especially large ones to help you understand the TIME value of money. A new $24 Blu-Ray = 1 hour of work. A brand-new mattress = 41.67 hours of work. Understanding the time that went into earning money for a purchase can help with reconsidering frivolous items, or encourage you to look for the best deal on necessary products.
  8. Utility Savings:  Can help you save each month! Don’t blast your A/C with all the doors in your house open, don’t pump the heat without sealing cracks and consider things like installing water-saving toilets and running cold-water wash cycles to save energy (and money!) every day. Turn off lights that don’t need to be on. Change your bulbs to a lower watt.  Run the dishwasher at night when the cost per gallon is less. Flush the toilet only when needed.
  9. Master DIY:  While sometimes you can spend $120 to make a $20 item yourself, there are some things that do benefit from DIY, such as installing dimmer switches, that can help save you money in the long run.
  10. Save Windfalls and Tax Refunds:  For a rainy day. A good rule of thumb is to put 50% of bonuses, tax refunds or other windfalls into your savings account and put the rest against loans owing. While you might want to go on a shopping spree or plan a vacation, paying off your debt NOW will free you up in the future.

I hope you find these tips useful. I thought they were real common sense habits you can do that don’t hurt too much. If your debt is beyond these quick little fixes and you own your home, with some equity built into it, perhaps a reverse mortgage is something to look at as a solution.

If you would like to brainstorm a strategy on getting your debt under control, or on getting that down payment saved, please feel free to contact me and we can work together to find a solution that works for you.

Written by the DLC Marketing Team

Post-Holiday Debt? Consolidate Today!.

General Joni Ferguson 5 Jan

Post-Holiday Debt? Consolidate Today!

The holidays are a season of giving and often times, households can often find themselves carrying some extra debt as we enter the New Year.

If you happen to be someone currently struggling with some post-holiday debt, that’s okay! Whether you’ve accumulated multiple points of debt from credit cards or are dealing with other loans (such as car loans, personal loans, etc.), you are likely looking for a way to simplify your payments – and reduce them. Rolling them into your mortgage could be the perfect solution.

Consolidating other forms of debt into your mortgage has multiple benefits. For starters, this process can help you to pay off your loans over a longer period of time with smaller payments per month, and often at a reduced interest rate when compared to a credit card.

By freeing yourself from these high interest rates and gouging interest payments, you will not only have more money each month but have a better chance of taking back your financial control and getting your loans completely paid off!

If you’re still not sure if this is the right solution for you, here is an example… if you have $30,000 of credit card debt, you are probably paying AT LEAST $600 per month and $500 per month of that is likely going directly to interest. If you let me help you to roll that debt into your home equity and monthly mortgage, your payment to this $30,000 portion would drop down around $175 per month, with interest charges closer to $140 per month. That is huge savings!

Not only does debt consolidation into your mortgage help with reducing interest charges and making your loan more manageable, but it is also much easier to keep track of and pay a single monthly installment versus managing a dozen different loans or bills.

While debt consolidation through refinancing will increase your mortgage since you have to add the debt into your existing mortgage amount, the benefits to lowering your overall payments and management can be well worth it when it comes to cost savings, time and stress. Keep in mind, you need at least 20 percent equity in your home to qualify for this adjustment.

If you are looking for a way to simplify (or get out of) debt, you can always reach me via phone call, text, email, all available on my website or scan my QR for access to my toolbox. I would be happy to take a look at your financial portfolio and current mortgage, and help you come up with the best option to suit your needs.

Written by the DLC Marketing team

5 House Hunting Mistakes to Avoid

General Joni Ferguson 26 Dec

5 House Hunting Mistakes to Avoid

Buying a home is one of the largest investments you will ever make! In order to make your home hunting experience the best it can be, there are a few key mistakes to avoid and be aware of before you start your journey:

  1. Not Getting Pre-Approved: One of the most important aspects of buying a home is the mortgage application and approval process. No matter what type of home you are looking for, you will need a mortgage. One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to the home-buying process is NOT getting pre-approved prior to starting your search. Getting pre-approved determines the actual home price you can afford as it requires submission and verification of your financial history to ensure the most accurate budget to fit your needs.
  2. Not Setting or Following a Pre-Determined Budget: Another mistake that people make when home-hunting is not setting, or following, a pre-determined budget. It can be tempting to start looking at the top of your budget, or even slightly over, but when you consider closing costs and the long-term financial responsibility of home ownership, it is best to avoid maxing yourself out. Getting pre-approved will help determine what you can afford, and that’s where I come in as your mortgage broker.  I will help you get your pre-approval.  I can access the best possible lender for your situation with one credit check.
  3. Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent: Your mortgage broker and your real estate agent are two of the most important members of your homebuying A-Team! In today’s competitive real estate market, it can be very difficult to acquire property without the help of a realtor. One reason is that realtors can provide access to properties that never even make it to the MLS website! They can also gain access to information about homes that may come onto the market, before a listing is even signed. Most importantly though, a realtor understands the ins-and-outs of the home buying process and can tell you how to be successful in your endeavors to purchase a home by guiding you through the process from the first viewing to having your bid accepted.
  4. Focusing Too Much on Aesthetics: While we understand that bad interior design can really affect the perception of the home, you don’t want to be blindsided by it. At the end of the day, aesthetics can always be updated! Giving up the perfect price or location or size for a few aesthetic details (such as paint color, flooring, or even outdated appliances or light fixtures) is one of the biggest mistakes people make! Most homes have incredible bones that only need some minor tweaks to become your perfect space.
  5. Not Thinking Ahead: What you want and need in a house today, could be very different from what you want and need in a house in the future. It is important to be able to look ahead – are you planning on having children? Are your parents getting older and in need of a retirement space? These are things that are good to take into consideration when buying a new home. Buying a home isn’t a permanent decision as you can always sell your home later on if it doesn’t work for you in the future, but it is almost always easier to plan ahead so you can grow with—and not out of—your home whenever possible.

If you are looking to purchase a new home, whether your first space or a step-up from your current living situation, I would be happy to help! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to set up a virtual appointment and discuss your mortgage options, pre-approvals and everything you need to know BEFORE you get started.

Written by the DLC Marketing Team

Top Eats Across Canada: Favourite Dishes per Province.

General Joni Ferguson 16 Dec

Top Eats Across Canada: Favourite Dishes Per Province.

Here in Canada, we are fortunate to be a melting pot with so many incredibly diverse cultures, languages, beliefs and (most importantly)… FOODS! We have gone through and found the top dishes from each Province for you to try the next time you’re looking for something new and fun to make in the kitchen.

British Columbia – Nanaimo Bars

Over the years, this delicious treat has gone by many names. In fact, the first recipe actually originated in the 1952 edition of the Women’s Auxiliary Nanaimo Hospital Cookbook where it was simply named “chocolate square”. A similar recipe was later published in a 1953 edition of the Edith Adams’ Cookbook with the name “Nanaimo Bar”. In fact, the recipe clipping still hangs in the Nanaimo museum!

A no-bake dessert bar, this mouth-watering treat consistent of three main layers: graham wafer crumb and shredded coconut for the bottom, a custard-flavoured butter icing in the middle, and a chocolate ganache on top.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup fine coconut unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • 3 tbsp milk room temperature
  • 8 oz good quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter


  1. Grease a 9 x 9″ pan and line with parchment.
  2. Place 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 3 tbsp cocoa powder into a large, heatproof bowl over a pot with simmering water. Whisk until combined.
  3. Slowly pour in egg while whisking vigorously. Add vanilla. Continue whisking over simmering water until mixture has thickened and resembles a pudding.
  4. Remove mixture from heat and stir in graham cracker crumbs and coconut.
  5. Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of your 9×9 pan. Press down firmly to pack in. Chill in fridge while making custard.

For the Custard:

  1. Cream together butter and powdered sugar, add in custard powder and milk and beat until smooth.
  2. Spread evenly over base layer and return to fridge. Chill for 30mins.

For the Chocolate:

  1. Place chopped chocolate and butter in to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir. Continue microwaving in 10 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate has melted.
  2. Spread evenly over custard layer. Chill in fridge until set (about 1 hour).
  3. Cut with a hot serrated knife.

Alberta – Grilled Steak

Alberta produces 44% of Canada’s cows and subsequent beef.  So it is no surprise that a favourite dish for this province would be a grilled steak!


  • 4 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch-thick boneless rib-eye or New York strip steaks (about 12 oz each) or filets mignons (8 to 10 oz ea), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons canola or extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (or your choice of steak spice)


  1. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and allow to sit (covered) at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat your grill to high.
  3. Brush the steaks on both sides with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper (or your choice of steak spice).
  4. Place the steaks on the grill and cook until slightly charred – approx. 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Turn the steaks over and continue to grill 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare, 5 to 7 minutes for medium or 8 to 10 minutes for medium-well steaks.
  6. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board or platter, tent loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Saskatchewan – Saskatoon Berry Pie

Did you know? The berry is actually so important to Saskatchewan that they gave Saskatoon its name? The city of Saskatoon takes its name from the Cree word for berries! While you can find their berry jams and berry muffins delicious, nothing quite showcases the essence of summer like the Saskatoon berry pie.


  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups fresh serviceberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 (14.1 ounce) package double-crust pie pastry, thawed
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Combine sugar and flour in a bowl.
  3. Simmer berries and water in a large saucepan for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in lemon juice and then stir in sugar mixture.
  5. Press one pie pastry into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan.
  6. Pour berry mixture into the pan and dot with butter.
  7. Place second pie pastry over top; seal and flute the edges.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake until crust is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes more.

Manitoba – Perogies

Did you know? One of the most emblematic foods from Manitoba are perogies! I mean, who doesn’t love a perogi?!  Make them even more Canadian with a touch of bacon and onions!


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups water (approx)
  • 12 oz russet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 bacon strips
  • 2 onions finely chopped


  1. Melt 2 tbsp of the butter.
  2. Whisk flour with salt in a bowl and add in egg, water and melted butter
  3. Stir into flour mixture, adding up to 2 tbsp more water if necessary to make dough soft but not sticky.
  4. Turn onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth.
  5. Divide dough into 2 balls; cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, cook potatoes until tender in a large saucepan with boiling water and salt for approx. 15 minutes. Drain and return to pan; mash well. Stir in pepper and salt.
  7. Cook bacon, turning occasionally, in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel–lined plate and blot dry.
  8. Chop bacon finely; add to potato mixture.
  9. Drain all but 1 tbsp fat from skillet; cook onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are a deep golden colour, and very soft, about 12 minutes.
  10. Stir into potato mixture.
  11. Working with 1 ball of dough at a time and keeping remainder covered, roll out on lightly floured surface to about 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness.
  12. Using 3-inch (8 cm) round cutter, cut into rounds.
  13. Place 1 tsp filling on each round.
  14. Lightly moisten half of edge of round with water; fold over filling, gently stretching as needed to fit. Pinch edges to seal.
  15. Place perogies on flour-dusted cloth; cover with tea towel.
  16. Repeat with remaining dough and filling, rerolling scraps, to make 36 perogies. (Make-ahead: Freeze in single layer on baking sheet. Transfer to airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. Increase boiling time to 5 to 7 minutes.)
  17. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook perogies until floating and tender, about 4 minutes.
  18. With slotted spoon, transfer to colander to drain.
  19. In skillet, melt remaining butter over medium heat
  20. Cook perogies, in batches and turning once, until golden, about 5 minutes.

Ontario – Beaver Tails

Home to many things, Ontario is a bustling place, home to Canada’s capital, Ottawa. In fact, a great many things were invented in Ontario including Hawaiian pizza to butter tarts! But one of the more famous treats is the Beaver Tail, named right after our national emblem of Canada!


  • ½ cup warm water
  • 5 tsp active dry yeast
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • oil for frying
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon for dusting


  1. Mix ½ cup sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon, for dusting and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the yeast, warm water and ¼ teaspoon of sugar in a large bowl.  Allow to stand a couple of minutes for yeast to swell and dissolve.
  3. Add sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, salt, and more flour to the yeast mixture.
  4. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes using a dough hook, adding flour as needed to form a firm smooth, elastic dough.
  5. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover.
  6. Place in a warm spot and let rise for 1 hour.
  7. Pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough. Roll out onto a floured surface into an oval and let rest, covered with a tea towel, while you are preparing the remaining dough.
  8. Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 375F (190C).
  9. Add the dough pieces to the hot oil one at a time. Turn the beaver tail once to fry until both sides are a golden brown.
  10. Lift the beaver tails out with tongs and drain on paper towels.
  11. While warm, toss the beaver tails in the sugar mixture, coating both sides and shake off the excess.

Quebec – Poutine

Fries, cheese AND, gravy!? Does it get any better?! Poutine is a Quebec original that has become a classic Canadian favourite! It first came about in the late 1950s. While there are many explanations for the name, did you know? The word “poutine” is slang for mess in Quebec? A delicious mess it is!


  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 20 oz beef broth
  • 10 oz chicken broth
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs Russet potatoes, (3-4 medium potatoes)
  • Peanut or other frying oil
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups white cheddar cheese curds, (Or torn chunks of mozzarella cheese would be the closest substitution)


  1. Prepare the gravy: In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns golden brown.
  3. Add the beef and chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Stir in about HALF the cornstarch mixture and simmer for a minute or so. If you’d like your gravy thicker, add a little more cornstarch mixture in small increments, as needed, to thicken. Season with pepper. Taste and add additional salt, to taste. Make ahead and re-warm or keep warm until your fries are ready.

For the Fries:

  1. Prepare your potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch-thick sticks. Place into a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. Allow to stand at least one hour or several hours. When ready to cook, heat your oil in your deep fryer or large, wide, heavy cooking pot to 300° F.
  2. Remove the potatoes from the water and place onto a sheet of paper towel. Blot to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
  3. Add your fries to the 300°F oil and cook for 5-8 minutes, just until potatoes are starting to cook but are not yet browned. Remove potatoes from oil and scatter on a wire rack. Increase oil temperature to 375°F Once oil is heated to that temperature, return the potatoes to the fryer and cook until potatoes are golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined bowl.

To Prepare Poutine:

  1. Add your fried or baked fries to a large, clean bowl. Season lightly with salt while still warm. Add a ladle of hot poutine gravy to the bowl and using tongs, toss the fries in the gravy. Add more gravy, as needed to mostly coat the fries.
  2. Add the cheese curds and toss with the hot fries and gravy. Serve with freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Newfoundland – Toutons

Newfoundland feels very different from the rest of Canada, but their food is just as exquisite! A great way to ease yourself into Newfoundland cuisine is with one of their provincial favourites – toutons. For those who don’t know, a touton is essentially a cross between a pancake and a flatbread and can be served in a variety of ways with berry jam and butter or fried up in pork fat! You can even use them in place of an English muffin for your eggs benedict!


  • 4 cups of white flour
  • 1 tbsp, fast rising or traditional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups, or more, of warm water
  • 1 tbsp, melted butter or margarine


  1. Combine 4 cups flour and 1/2 tsp sea salt in a large bowl and mix together
  2. In another bowl, add 1 tbsp dry fast rising or traditional yeast with 1 1/2 cups warm water and 1 tsp sugar. Let rise for about 5 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, melt butter or margarine.
  4. In flour mixture make a hole in the middle to pour yeast and warm water and butter, mixing all ingredients together with a wooden spoon or kitchen aid until it thickens, then keep adding 1/2 cup of flour to work dough together.
  5. Knead dough, add more flour (if necessary), until dough is smooth, no longer sticky and you can hear cracking of the dough when folding. Keep working dough into a ball.
  6. Sprinkle some flour over the top of dough, then cover with a piece of parchment paper and a towel.
  7. Let dough rise in a warm place until dough rises for about 30 minutes.
  8. Don’t deflate! Cut small or large pieces of dough about half the size as your hand and pull apart to make a flat dough.
  9. Pre-heat your frying pan to medium heat and add 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil.
  10. Place about 6 small pieces or 3 large pieces of flat dough in your pan and fry for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

New Brunswick – Oysters

Famous for its beautiful Atlantic coastline, New Brunswick has an incredible assortment of seafood. Atlantic oysters (also known as “Caraquets”) in particular are harvested in the province and are the perfect dish for first-time oyster goers due to their more subtle, briny flavour. For those who prefer to grill them, check out the recipe below!


  • 12 fresh oysters
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated or minced
  • 1 tbsp dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp diced chives
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp finely diced parsley


  • Combine the unsalted butter, garlic, white wine, chives, salt and parsley in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Preheat the grill for direct grilling with lump charcoal at 500 degrees F.
  • Shuck the oysters if you did not buy pre-shucked
  • Layer a pan with slightly crumpled aluminum foil.
  • Place shucked oysters onto the pan and gently press down so they sit well.
  • Place one heaping teaspoon of the compound butter into each oyster. Reserve some to top the oysters after they come off the grill.
  • Place gently over direct heat and grill for 4 – 6 minutes.  Butter will bubble,  remove when you start to see the edges of the oyster flesh slightly brown.
  • Remove with high heat using gloves or tongs. Be careful not to spill what’s left of the liquid when removing the oysters.
  • Top each oyster with a little of the remaining compound butter.
  • Serve warm on the half shell

Nova Scotia – Lobster Roll Bites

Another seafood-centric province, Nova Scotia is particularly famous for its fresh Atlantic lobster! Did you know? Nova Scotia even has its own way of serving lobster rolls compared to New England-style! In Nova Scotia, we serve them cold with the bun buttered. YUM!


  • 1 pound (500 g) lobster meat
  • 6 hot dog buns
  • 3 oz soft butter
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 oz spinach


  1. Crack the cooked lobster and extract lobster meat.
  2. Roughly chop lobster meat into bite-sized pieces
  3. Finely dice celery stalks
  4. Butter hot dog buns on both sides and grill them on a frying pan.
  5. Toast the outside of the hot dog buns until golden brown
  6. Mix the lobster meat, mayonnaise and celery into a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste
  7. Open the grilled bun and place 1/2 oz spinach per bun.
  8. Spoon the lobster mixture onto the center of the hot dog bun. Squeeze lemon juice on if preferred.

Prince Edward Island – Potato and Leek Soup

Did you know? Prince Edward Island grows more potatoes than anywhere else in Canada?! In fact, they represent more than 1/5th of the country’s total acres of potato farms! So, naturally, our provincial favourite includes potatoes. While we’ve chosen just one to focus on, you can find even more on the PEI potato website, here (who knew!?).


  • 3 large potatoes
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil or butter
  • 2 cups (500 ml) leeks, washed & chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) summer savoury (herb) dried
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups (1250 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tbsp (8 ml)  fresh thyme, removed from stems
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat; add oil, leeks, garlic, onion and summer savory.
  2. Reduce heat and cook stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened; approximately 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add flour; stir to coat, do not brown.
  4. Add stock stirring constantly; add potatoes and thyme and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  6. Puree in a food processor or blender in small batches.
  7. Return to pot, add milk and season with salt & pepper
  8. Heat thoroughly and serve .

Northwest Territories – Bannack

The Northwest Territories are most well-known for its variety of traditional First Nations foods such as bison (or other game), fish and wild fruits. One of the more versatile dishes is Bannock, which is a traditional First Nations food that can even be cooked over a campfire!


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup butter, melted


  1. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Pour water and melted butter over flour mixture.
  3. Stir with a fork to make a ball.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently about 10 times.
  5. Pat into a flat circle, 3/4- to 1-inch thick.
  6. Warm a greased frying pan over medium heat.
  7. Place dough in the hot pan and cook until browned, about 15 minutes per side. Use two lifters for easy turning.

Give these tasty treats a try and let me know how it turns out for you. I know I will be trying a few for myself  hehe

Thank you to the DLC Marketing team for this great post.

When Higher Rates Can be Better.

General Joni Ferguson 23 Nov

When Higher Rates Can be Better.

When it comes to getting a mortgage, there is a common misperception that a low rate is the most important factor. However, while your rate does matter for your mortgage, it is not the only component to consider.

If you’re looking to get a mortgage, these are some other important factors that you should look at beyond simply the interest rate:

Term: The length of time that the options and interest rate you choose are in effect. A shorter term (5 years) allows you to make changes to your mortgage sooner, without penalties.

Amortization: The length of time you agree to take to pay off your mortgage (usually 25 years). This determines how the interest is amortized over time.

Payment Schedule: How often you make your mortgage payments. It can be weekly, every two weeks or once a month and will affect your monthly cashflow differently depending on your choice.

Portability: An option that lets you transfer or switch your mortgage to another home with little or no penalty when you sell your existing home. Mortgage loan insurance can also be transferred to the new home.

Pre-Payment Options: The ability to make extra payments, increase your payments or pay off your mortgage early without incurring a penalty.

Penalty Calculations: Where variable rates typically charge three-months interest, a fixed rate mortgage uses an Interest Rate Differential (IRD) calculation. This can add up quite quickly! In fact, in some cases, penalties for breaking a fixed mortgage can sometimes be two or three times higher than that of a variable-rate.

Variable versus Fixed: For fixed-rate mortgages, the interest rate does not fluctuate over time. For variable-rate mortgages the interest rate fluctuates with market rates, which can be great when rates drop but not so great when rates are rising.

Open versus Closed: An open mortgage is similar to pre-payment options, allowing you to pay off your mortgage at any time with no penalties. A closed mortgage, on the other hand, offers limited to no options to pay off your interest in full despite often having lower interest rates.

When considering your mortgage, the above components all have a part to play in your overall mortgage as well as your homeownership experience.

It is easy to think that a low-interest rate is good enough, sign on the dotted line… but you may be overlooking important options such as portability, which allows you to switch your mortgage to another property should you choose to move. Or pre-payment options, which give you the choice to make additional payments to your mortgage. Without looking deeper at your mortgage, you may find yourself being forced to pay penalties in the future because you wanted to make a payment or a change to your mortgage structure. In some cases, agreeing to a higher rate to have more options and flexibility is better in the long run than the savings received from a lower rate.

Before agreeing to any mortgage, lets sit and talk about your future goals and any potential concerns you have to ensure that you get the best mortgage product for YOU.

Written by my DLC Marketing Team