Toronto follows Vancouver in Passing Strict Airbnb Rules

Toronto City Council has approved new rules aimed at preserving long term rentals in the city. The new rules in Toronto are similar to the recent ones passed in Vancouver. 

It will now be illegal to rent out your basement or secondary space in your primary residence. You can still rent out primary residence as before.

Alex Dagg  spokeswoman for Airbnb Canada said the company could live with the new rules.

“What’s most important here is this is truly a big step forward for the City of Toronto, in terms of really recognizing and regulating home sharing for the very first time.”

Nearly 100 Toronto leaders in tech, real estate and local business signed an open letter to Toronto Mayor JohnTory and Toronto Council in support of fair regulations for home sharing few days before the vote took place.

Dear Mayor Tory and Members of Toronto City Council,

The growth of Airbnb and home sharing reflects Toronto’s continuing evolution into a global hub for the economy of the future. Entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world are drawn to our world-class city for its diversity, its quality of life, and its openness to embracing the next generation of ideas. Toronto is the place where large and small ideas alike are being transformed into the next big thing.

The new economy is challenging old ways of doing things. Toronto must maintain its reputation as a global centre of innovation by embracing new ideas. We encourage Toronto City Council to support fair, straightforward and equitable rules that allow all Torontonians to share the home where they live – whether they are an owner or a tenant, and whether they are sharing a room, their entire home, or a secondary suite.

ArtisticOperations / Pixabay

The following rules will kick in July 1st the same day as the weed legalization across Canada:

  • Secondary residences withing primary residences would not be allowed on AirBnb even if they have their own entrances / kitchens / bathrooms unless it is rented to a tenant and he is renting it out by him or herself. What is stopping you from renting it to your uncle or a friend and then renting it through them? There might be some loop holes that need to be worked out.
  • Airbnb host would need to register with the city for $50 and keep records of their billings.
  • Airbnb host can rent out his or her entire home but only for less than half a year.
  • Airbnb itself would need to cough up $5k fee for a licence and a $1-a-night tax for each booking.
  • Airbnb would also need to make sure each listing has a City Registration.
  • Airbnb has also agreed to work with the city to reduce the noise nuisances in the neighborhoods.

Uber Charges Toronto Rider $18k for 20 Min Ride

Uber Users – make sure you double check your Uber receipt emails from now on. You might have $18k to pay if you are not careful.

As you probably know, Uber and Lyft (which recently launched in Toronto – yey!) use surge pricing when demand spikes up for the rides, and that ride that usually costs you $15 can end up being $50 if you are not careful. But $18,000? That’s what happened to a Toronto user this week.

Life-Of-Pix / Pixabay

The ride itself was a 5 km ride that took about 20 min to complete, the bill that came was for $18,518.

When Uber when initially contacted, they said that the price was right and they are sticking with it. The story went viral as you can imagine.

The Uber said that the fare was correct when using pick up and drop off location:

A bit later – retracting from its initial comment, Uber released the following statement saying that it was a mistake on company part and they are looking to see what and how it could have happened like that.

There was an error here and it has been resolved. We have provided a full refund to this rider and apologized to him for this experience. We have safeguards in place to help prevent something like this from happening, and we are working to understand how this occurred.

So just in case, double check your Uber bills to make sure you do not have any $18k+ bills for your recent Uber rides.

Lyft is Officially Launched in Canada

The game is on, competition game anyways. Uber watch out. Lyft, the second most popular ride sharing service is now in the Greater Toronto area. Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa – you need to wait your turn – Sorry.

Lyft is a great alternative to Uber, especially if you do not want to get stuck with $18k Uber user has recently had to pay for 20 min Uber ride.

So now that Lyft has come to Toronto you can use our PlanetWeb promotional code to get $10 off if you are interested in signing up: code PLANETWEB – https://www.lyft.com/invite/PlanetWeb

As you can see from the area of coverage below, you can now use Lyft whether you live in Newmarket or Oakville or even as far as Hamilton and Oshawa.

Starting today you can now catch Lyft anywhere you go in the GTA. You can also compare prices with Uber to see which one is faster / cheaper.

Quotagame / Pixabay

Lyft has also launched a campaign to raise money for Sick Kids, Toronto children’s hospital. Noble cause indeed.

We Ride for SickKids Foundation

Round Up & Donate uses the power of our community to raise money for good causes.

Lyft riders can opt in to round up each fare to the nearest dollar, and the difference is donated to a cause of their choice. On average, Round Up & Donate costs just a few dollars per month, but collectively our action can make a big change.

To kick things off, we’ll round up the fares on our end for every ride in December and donate the difference to SickKids Foundation. The more you ride, the more we’ll donate.

In January, Torontonians can raise money for SickKids Foundation by opting in.

Once again, now that Lyft has come to Toronto you can use our PlanetWeb promotional code to get $10 off if you are interested in signing up: code PLANETWEB – https://www.lyft.com/invite/PlanetWeb

Canadian Cell Phone Companies Can No Longer Lock Your Phone

As of December 1st, 2017, Government of Canada and specifically CRTC, has requested that all telco companies in Canada can no longer lock your phone or ask you to pay to unlock it.

They have also requested that all wireless contracts are readable to make sure you avoid unpleasant surprise when your bill comes.

JESHOOTS / Pixabay

All phones sold in Canada as of December 1st will be unlocked and you can use them with any provider you chose.

Also now if you have a family plan, you as plan administrator will be the only person, who can authorize how much data your kids can use.

Lastly, all contracts must be in simple language without any small print that can get you for thousands of dollars. You will be given a permanent copy, it will tell you how much exactly it is by the month, and potential optional charges and how much more you would need to pay.

Finally, we are catching up to the rest of the world. PlanetWeb loves this new regulation. Thanks!

 

Quebec Tries Restricting English Greetings For Businesses

Quebec just passed a non legally enforceable motion in the Quebec’s legislature for all businesses to stop using English Word Hi when saying “Bonjour Hi”. They say “all businesses and workers who enter into contact with local and international clients to welcome them warmly with ‘Bonjour. ’” And just “Bonjour.”

While this story does not have any real technology side to it, most of the Canadian, US and International media picked up the story with a negative spin on it.

So did a lot of Twitter users who vent their frustration online:

While Quebec is picking up a lot of good publicity for AI research and Facebook recently coming to Montreal, it also is getting a lot of bad rep for this Bonjour Hi as well as Burqa fiasco and getting itself marked as anti business, or place where businesses from outside of Quebec will think twice before opening in the province or businesses inside the province will consider leaving. And a lot do: about 7,000 Quebecers abandon the province every year.

As a leading Montreal tech entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Island , Greg Isenberg, who have recently moved to San Francisco once said, in his famous Montreal is a dying city Medium blog that has gotten taken down:

dric / Pixabay

Here’s the truth: Montreal is a dying city.

  • Montrealers and Montreal needs to be a bilingual city. English in Quebec is only introduced in the 4th grade. For a city that is a mere 60 miles from the US border, that’s absolutely absurd.
  • The more languages we know, the better. That is a global competitive advantage not a loss of our Quebecois identity. One language is not better than the other.
  • One culture is not better than the other. We are brothers and sisters. I believe laws should be in place to protect our Quebecois and French language culture.
  • However, some laws are completely onerous and it puts Quebec in the right hand lane when other cities are zooming by in the left lane. Get this — if you move to Montreal from outside Quebec, your children cannot go to an english public school unless you parents were educated in Quebec in english.
  • How can a Montreal company attract top talent (usually from the US) when there are laws that make it downright uninviting and difficult to raise a family there?
  • Why would a NYC entrepreneur start a company in Montreal when their french skills are limited and government paperwork is only in french?
  • We are failing these folks. They will bring jobs, spend money, pay taxes and create change.