Houses For Sale London – House for Sale in South Africa

25 October, 2011

House for Sale in South Africa – HOUSE SALES IN SOUTH AFRICA-South Africa is a mixture of plateaus with grasslands, mountain ranges and coastal areas. The deserts, stretch of grasslands, mountains and tablelands found in South Africa makes it a wonderful place to explore areas with diversified climate. To buy a property in South Africa will definitely be a dream for most of us. We make the job of buying and selling properties in South Africa an easier one. It is not easy to buy or sell a property where were we wanted in South Africa. Flats, houses, bungalows, Villa and town houses in important towns and cities, namely, George, Plenttenberg bay, Alexander Bay, Mossel bay, Durban, East London, Cape Town or Johannesburg. Renting a property abroad is a great way to enjoy the freedom of your next holiday – no fighting for sun beds around your own pool here. Book your next holiday rental property abroad online here and save money. More and more people are traveling independently nowadays and as such the overseas property rental market has grown exponentially over the past decade.

Investing money on properties and spending time with our family after retirement is becoming casual now days.  It is a dream to buy a property for many of us. Each one of us will definitely have certain expectations as to where and how the property that we buy should be. Nevertheless, South Africa has not only got a sublime climate but also landscape with golden beaches, to green belts, safari parks and rocky mountain peaks. If you are interested in urban chic, seaside living or a rural retreat, there is a range of residential homes to suit your every whim. Each and every House for sale is unique in price and position and is generally more expensive in the outlying suburbs.  However, once money is invested on a property in South Africa the potential is excellent due to high rental levels.  South Africa has got all kinds of Stylish, fashionable and modern development of properties of land available, different types of bedrooms along with superb mansions and housing estates. South Africa has a massive amount of properties for sale in all urban and rural areas throughout the country

Buy or Sell Property and House in South Africa. Whether you are ready to sell a Property in South Africa or Planning to Buy a property in South Africa visit House Sales South Africa today.

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Houses For Sale London Ontario – Tesla Motors

15 October, 2011

Corporate strategy

Tesla’s primary goal is to increase the number and variety of EVs available to mainstream consumers in three ways: Tesla sells its own vehicles in a growing number of company-owned showrooms and online; it sells patented electric powertrain components to other automakers so that they may get their own EVs to customers sooner; and it serves as a catalyst and positive example to other automakers, demonstrating that there is pent-up consumer demand for vehicles that are both fun to drive and socially responsible. General Motors’ then-Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said in 2007 that the Tesla Roadster inspired him to push GM to develop the Chevrolet Volt, a hybrid sedan prototype that aims to reverse years of dwindling market share and massive financial losses for America’s largest automaker. In an August 2009 edition of The New Yorker, Lutz was quoted as saying, “All the geniuses here at General Motors kept saying lithium-ion technology is 10 years away, and Toyota agreed with us — and boom, along comes Tesla. So I said, ‘How come some tiny little California startup, run by guys who know nothing about the car business, can do this, and we can’t?’ That was the crowbar that helped break up the log jam.”

The Tesla Roadster has a base price of US9,000, prompting criticism in the media that the company is catering exclusively to affluent consumers. Tesla’s goal is to sell EVs to mainstream consumers at more affordable pricesut Tesla purposely aimed its first production vehicle at “early adopters” so that the company could optimize the technology before cascading it down to less expensive vehicles. (The company’s subsequent car, the Model S sedan, is anticipated to begin production for the 2012 model year with a base price of ,400, roughly half that of the Roadster.) This approach is a well known business strategy in Silicon Valley and the global technology industry, where prices for cellular phones, laptop computers and flat-screen televisions drop dramatically every product cycle. However, this approach has been rare in the global auto industry, where the prevailing business model has been one of mass production in assembly plants optimized to build hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year with comparatively low sticker prices. According to a blog post by Tesla CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk, “New technology in any field takes a few versions to optimize before reaching the mass market and in this case it is competing with 150 years and trillions of dollars spent on gasoline cars.”

History and financing

Corporate headquarters in San Carlos, CA

Tesla Motors was incorporated in Delaware on July 1, 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning to pursue mass production of AC Propulsion’s tzero prototype electric car. With a small amount of personal funding, they rented Tesla’s first office in Menlo Park, California and set about developing a business plan. They quickly added Ian Wright to the team and in January 2004 started looking for funding to develop an production electric sports car. They arranged with AC Propulsion to borrow their TZero prototype to demonstrate to potential investors the performance possible with an electric car. By April, they found a lead investor in Elon Musk and closed a Series A capital investment round of USD.5 million. The round included Compass Technology Partners and SDL Ventures, as well as many private investors. Musk, a South African-born entrepreneur, became Tesla’s Chairman of the Board. Musk later led Tesla Motors’ Series B, USD million, investment round which added Valor Equity Partners to the funding team. Musk co-led the third, USD million round in May 2006 along with Technology Partners. Tesla’s third round included investment from prominent entrepreneurs including Google co-founders Sergey Brin & Larry Page, former eBay President Jeff Skoll, Hyatt heir Nick Pritzker and added the VC firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Capricorn Management and The Bay Area Equity Fund managed by JPMorgan Chase. The fourth round in May 2007 added another USD million and brought the total investments to over USD5 million through private financing.

In August 2007, Martin Eberhard was replaced by an interim CEO, Michael Marks. In December 2007, Ze’ev Drori became the permanent CEO and President of Tesla Motors. In January 2008, Tesla Motors fired several key personnel who had been involved from the inception after a performance review by the new CEO. According to Musk, Tesla was forced to reduce the company workforce by about 10 percent to lower its burn rate, which was out of control in 2007.

The fifth round in February 2008 added another USD million. Musk, who was President of PayPal before it was bought by eBay, had contributed million of his own money to the company by this time.

In October 2008, Musk succeeded Ze’ev Drori as CEO. Drori became Vice Chairman. He left the company in December.

By January 2009, Tesla had raised USD7 million and delivered 147 cars.

On May 19, 2009, Germany’s Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes, acquired an equity stake of less than 10 percent of Tesla for a reported million. The investment deepened the relationship between the inventor of the automobile and the newest member of the global auto industry. As part of the collaboration, Prof. Herbert Kohler, Vice President E-Drive and Future Mobility at Daimler AG, took a seat on Tesla board of directors. In July, Daimler announced that Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments bought 40 percent of Daimler’s interest in Tesla.

In June 2009 Tesla was approved to receive 5 million in interest-bearing loans from the United States Department of Energy. The funding, part of an billion program for advanced vehicle technologies (Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program), supports engineering and production of the Model S sedan, as well as the development of powertrain technology that Tesla plans to sell to other automakers. The low-interest loans are not related to the “bailout” funds that GM and Chrysler have received, nor are they related to the 2009 economic stimulus package. The Department of Energy loan program was created in 2007 during the George Bush administration in order to get more fuel-efficient vehicle options to U.S. consumers and to decrease the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

The company announced in early August 2009 that it had achieved overall corporate profitability for the month of July 2009. The company said it earned approximately million on revenue of million. Profitability arose primarily from improved gross margin on the 2010 Roadster, the second iteration of Tesla award-winning sports car. Tesla, which like all automakers records revenue when products are delivered, shipped a record 109 vehicles in July and reported a surge in new Roadster purchases.

In September 2009, Tesla announced an .5 million round to accelerate Tesla’s retail expansion in advance of the Model S. Daimler participated in the round to maintain equity ownership from its initial investment. A new investor was Fjord Capital Partners, under the leadership of founders Michael Obermayer (a former senior partner and director of McKinsey & Company, Inc), Arild Nerdrum and Xavier de La Rochefoucauld. Fjord is a specialized European private equity manager investing into the clean energy sector globally. Fjord invests growth capital in renewable and low-carbon companies and projects.

On 29 January 2010, Tesla Motors filed Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as a preliminary prospectus indicating its intention to file an initial public offering underwritten by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J. P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank Securities.


Tesla Roadster

Main article: Tesla Roadster

Tesla Roadster

Tesla Motors’ first production vehicle, the Tesla Roadster, is an all-electric sports car. Tesla announced in January 2010 that it had produced its 1,000th Roadster and had delivered cars in 43 states and 21 countries. According to test results from an EPA certified laboratory, the car has a range of 244 miles (393 km) per charge (using a standard EPA cycle of 45 percent highway driving and 55 percent city driving). Tesla acknowledges that if the car is driven extremely fast in typical racecar “performance testing,” efficiency is not optimized and the car, like its internal-combustion engine predecessors, will not achieve 244 miles per charge — and conversely if driven more moderately it can achieve significantly more range than 244 miles per charge. On Oct. 27, 2009, the Roadster set a new world record when customer Simon Hackett drove the entire 313-mile segment of Australia’s annual Global Green Challenge on a single charge. The company and reviewers state that the Tesla Roadster accelerates from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in under four seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h) (limited for safety). The cost of powering the vehicle is estimated at US.02 per mile. The base price of the car is US9,000, and it qualifies for numerous state tax waivers, as well as the ,500 federal tax credit.

Prototypes were introduced to the public in July 2006, and the Tesla Roadster was featured on the cover of Time in December 2006 as the recipient of the magazine’s “Best Inventions 2006ransportation Invention” award. Demand was high for the first “Signature One Hundred” set of fully equipped Roadsters, which sold out in less than three weeks, and the second hundred sold out by October 2007. The first production model was delivered to Elon Musk, then-Chairman of the Board, in February 2008, and general production began on March 17, 2008.

In July 2009, Tesla

Houses For Sale London Ontario – Burger King

24 June, 2011

Main article: History of Burger King

The predecessor to what is now the international fast food restaurant chain Burger King was founded in 1953 in Jacksonville, Florida, as Insta-Burger King. The original founders and owners, Keith J. Kramer and his wife’s uncle Matthew Burns, opened their first stores around a piece of equipment known as the Insta-Broiler. The Insta-Broiler oven proved so successful at cooking burgers, they required all of their franchises to carry the device. After the original company began to falter in 1959, it was purchased by its Miami, Florida franchisees James McLamore and David R. Edgerton. The two initiated a corporate restructuring of the chain, the first step was to rename the company Burger King. The duo ran the company as an independent entity for eight years, eventually expanding to over 250 locations in the United States, when they sold it to the Pillsbury Company in 1967. Pillsbury’s management made several attempts at reorganization or restructuring of the restaurant chain in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The most prominent change came in 1978; Burger King hired McDonald’s executive Donald N. Smith to help revamp the company. In a plan called Operation Phoenix, Smith initiated a restructuring of all franchising agreements to give the company more oversight of its franchises,broadened its product offerings by adding new items to its menu, and laid out new store designs to standardize the look and feel of the company. While these efforts were initially effective, many of them were eventually discarded resulting in Burger King falling into a fiscal slump that damaged financial performance of both Burger King and its parent. Poor operating performance and ineffectual leadership continued to bog the company down for many years, even after it was acquired in 1989 by the British entertainment conglomerate Grand Metropolitan and its successor Diageo. Eventually, the institutional neglect of the brand by Diageo damaged the company to the point where major franchises were driven out of business and its total value was significantly decreased. Diageo eventually decided to divest itself of the money-losing chain and put the company up for sale in 2000.

In 2002, a troika of private equity firms led by TPG Capital, L.P with associates Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners agreed to purchase Burger King from Diageo for .5 billion (USD), with the sale becoming complete in December of that year.The new owners, through several new CEOs, have since moved to revitalize and reorganize the company, the first major move was to re-name the Burger King parent as Burger King Brands. The investment group initially planned to take BK public within the two years of the acquisition; this action was delayed until 2006 due to several reasons including the failure of its largest franchisee, AmeriKing. In May 2006 TPG took the chain public with a successful 5 million (USD) initial public offering (IPO), the largest for a U.S.-based restaurant in history at the time.

Some of the structural changes Burger King underwent under the ownership group’s watch were new advertising agency that created a series of new ad campaigns, a revamped menu strategy that focused on male consumers, a series of programs designed to revamp individual stores, and a new restaurant concept called the BK Whopper Bar. These changes led a score of consecutive profitable quarters for the company between March 2004 and March 2009 that successfully re-energizing the company. Despite this, the slowing of the economy during the financial crisis of 2007-2010 caused the chain’s business to decline while its immediate competitors McDonald’s grew.

The latest chapter in the company’s ownership history began in September 2010 when TPG and its partners announced it would sell their 31% stake in Burger King to another private equity company, 3G Capital, for (USD) per share, or .26 billion (USD). The offer, representing a 46% premium over the stocks selling price at the time, came as a surprise to Burger King CEO John Chidsey. The proposed sale is expected to help the company repair its fundamental business structures and continue working to close the gap with McDonald’s. Analysts commenting on the transaction stated that 3G will have to invest heavily in the company to help reverse its fortunes. David Palmer from UBS stated the company will need to work with its large group of franchise owners to brighten its locations and stabilize sales which could take several years and require significant reinvestment, while Steve West of Stifel Nicolaus stated that Burger King will need at least a year to right its fundamentals. After the deal was completed, the company’s stock was removed from the New York Stock Exchange ending a four year period as a public company.

International operations
See also: List of countries with Burger King franchises and Hungry Jack’s
Burger King in Chalco, Mexico City

While BK began its foray into locations outside of the continental United States in 1963 with a store in San Juan, Puerto Rico, it did not have an international presence until several years later. Shortly after the acquisition of the chain by Pillsbury, it opened its first international restaurant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in 1969.Other international locations followed soon after: Oceania in 1971 and Europe in 1975 with a restaurant in Madrid, Spain.Beginning in 1982, BK and its franchisees began operating stores in several East Asian countries, including Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea.Due to high competition, all of the Japanese locations were closed in 2001, however BK reentered the Japanese market in June 2007. BK’s Central and South American operations began in Mexico in the late 1970s and by the early 1980s in Caracas, Venezuela, Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina. While Burger King lags behind McDonald’s in international locations by over 12,000 stores, it has managed to become the largest chain in several countries including Mexico and Spain. To assist in its international expansion, Burger King has established several subsidiaries to develop strategic partnerships and alliances to expand into new territories; in Europe, Burger King’s subsidiary Burger King Europe GmbH is responsible for the licensing and development of BK franchises in the that market, Africa and Western Asia. In Asia, the BK AsiaPac, PTE. Ltd. business unit handles franchising for East Asia, the Asian subcontinent and all Oceanic territories except Australia.

Australia is the only country in which Burger King does not operate under its own name. When the company set about establishing operations down under in 1971, it found that its business name was already trademarked by a takeaway food shop in Adelaide. As a result, Burger King provided the Australian franchisee, Jack Cowin, with a list of possible alternative names derived from pre-existing trademarks already registered by Burger King and its then corporate parent Pillsbury that could be used to name the Australian restaurants. Cowin selected the “Hungry Jack” brand name, one of Pillsbury’s US pancake mixture products, and slightly changed the name to a possessive form by adding an apostrophe ‘s’ forming the new name Hungry Jack’s. After the expiration of the trademark in the late 1990s, Burger King unsuccessfully tried to introduce the brand to the continent. After losing a lawsuit filed against it by Hungry Jack’s ownership, the company ceded the territory to its franchisee.
Burger King in Beijing International Airport, Beijing, China

Over the ten year period starting in 2008, Burger King predicted 80% of its market share would be driven by foreign expansion, particularly in the Asia-Pacific and Indian subcontinent regional markets. While the TPG-lead group continued BK’s international expansion by announcing plans to open new franchise locations in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Brazil, the company plans to focus on the three largest markets, India, China and Japan.The company plans to add over 250 stores in these Asian territories, as well as other countries such as Macau, by the end of 2012. Its expansion into the Indian market has the company at a competitive disadvantage with other fast food restaurants such as KFC because the country’s large Hindu majority’s aversion to beef. BK hopes to use their recent non-beef products, such as their TenderCrisp and TenderGrill sandwiches, as well as other products to help them overcome this hurdle to expand in that country.

At the end of its fiscal 2010 year, Burger King is the second largest chain of hamburger fast food in terms of restaurant locations restaurants in the world behind industry bellwether McDonald’s (32,400 locations) and the fourth largest fast food restaurant chain overall after Yum! Brands (37,000 locations), McDonald’s and Subway (32,000 locations).

Main article: Burger King franchises
Burger King restaurant in Leicester Square, London, United Kingdom

When Burger King Corporation began franchising in 1959, it relied on a regional franchising model where franchisees would purchase the right to open stores within a defined geographic region.These franchise agreements granted BKC very little oversight control over its franchisees and resulted in issues of product quality control, store image and design and operations procedures.

During the 1970s structural deficiencies in Burger King’s franchise system became increasingly problematic for Pillsbury. A major example was the relationship between Burger King and Louisiana-based franchisee Chart House, Burger King’s largest franchisee group at the time with over 350 locations in the United States. The company’s owners William and James Trotter made several moves to

Houses For Sale London Ontario – What is a Real Estate Short Sale?

14 February, 2011

Short sales in real estate have become more common in the past few years as a result of the collapsing value of houses. It is an option for a homeowner facing foreclosure. In a short sale, the lender or mortgage holder will agree to accept less than the full amount due on the mortgage if the homeowner is able to sell the property at fair market value.

There are criteria that must be met for a short sale. The first is that the value of the home has dropped. A real estate agent can verify this through an analysis of comparable homes in the neighbourhood and their recent sales amounts. The mortgage must also be in default. Some lenders will consider a short sale if it appears that the property may go into default. This move could avoid the lengthy process of foreclosure. The homeowner must demonstrate that he/she has become insolvent; the prospect of continuing to pay the mortgage is unlikely, and there are no assets to cover the shortfall between the fair market price and the amount owing on the loan.

Although a short sale may seem to be a solution to many homeowners’ problems, a short sale is also a complex transaction. The first hurdle is to find a buyer for the home. If no offers are made, there is no short sale. The lender must approve the buyer, if one does make an offer. A real estate agent must be willing to handle the transaction for a reduced commission. The Internal Revenue Service may assess taxes on the difference between the amount owed and the amount received through a sale. This could be considered debt forgiveness, and is taxable in some circumstances. A short sale will also appear on the homeowner’s credit report, with adverse effects.

One of the advantages to the homeowner of a short sale is that he/she will find it easier to obtain financing on a future home; someone who has gone through foreclosure will find it more difficult to obtain financing for a number of years. A foreclosure stays on one’s credit report for ten years.

There are advantages for a mortgage holder to agree to a short sale. The process of foreclosure can be lengthy; a homeowner may remain in the home for a period up to a year without making any payments while the paperwork is completed. In a foreclosure, the bank then carries the property on its books, and must either sell it at auction hoping to recoup some of the outstanding loan, or find a private buyer for the property. Most banks are not in the business of actually buying and selling property. There are also liability issues on bank-owned homes and maintaining the properties in a safe and secure manner is costly.

When entering into financial agreements with long-lasting consequences, it is a good idea to get advice from a real estate lawyer and a tax accountant. The decision to short sell should be weighed against all other options. One of the benefits to the homeowner will be the knowledge that he/she did everything possible to make a clean break in an untenable situation, and can walk away with some dignity and relief at leaving a bad situation.

If you’re looking for a new home, make sure to check out London Ontario homes. It’s situated in a beautiful region and offers an excellent learning environment. For more details, visit London Ontario real estate.

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Houses For Sale London Ontario – Find Your Dream Home In London Homes For Sale

12 February, 2011

If you are planning to move to London, Ontario, you can find your new home in London homes for sale, an online real estate sales listing. London is a nice clean city; just about 2 hours drive from Toronto. It has parks, recreational and cultural facilities, and is a great place to live.

Finding A Home

Looking for a home can be a time and energy consuming task, so it is easier to find it online in London real estate advertisements, where you can specify your choices and find a variety of housing types to suit your budget and needs. Whether you need a condo, an apartment, a luxury home, or any other kind of place to live, your needs will be met here.

You can fill out a form online, and will be placed in the top priority list and informed as soon as houses of your range are available, even before they are open to the market. There will be no obligation for the listings to be emailed to you. One of them just might be your dream house.

Benefits Of Using London Real Estate Listings

You have a lot of advantages if you use the real estate listings. The online process will make your search easier.

* Fill out the search form for instant access to the type of home that you are looking for, in the area that you want.
* A real estate agent or a realtor from London homes for sale will get in touch with you with all the details.
* The agent will educate you on the home buying process.
* He will make appointments to view selected properties.
* He will inform you about various properties’ locations, through an extensive computerized system.
* The agent can also provide financial guidance, and arrange mortgage pre-approval.
* They have knowledge of the market and information about home buying process. They inform you about buying related processes.
* Realtors coordinate all details to ensure a smooth transaction and provide professional guidance.
* They are licensed and qualified.

Steps for Buying your Home

Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments that you make in your lifetime, so it is better to go about it the right way, and avoid pitfalls and mistakes.

First you have to think of the kind of home you want for your present and future lifestyle, and the area and the neighborhood. Find out what you can afford, and then think about the financing processes and procedures.

Mortgage financing has become very complex with the constantly changing rates. You have to choose the right one, best suited to your circumstances. Employing the services of a mortgage consultant can maximize your benefits. All the documents properly in place, speeds up the entire process. The down payment documents should be in order as well, for a smooth transaction.

Consider the improvements, repairs, or changes that are needed. This can be done with some cash outlay, and the balance can be financed with mortgage. Ensure that the home buying process is hassle-free, by completing the paperwork, closing costs, and building insurance coverage to protect your new investment.

You can make the perfect choice and profit from London homes for sale, and avoid costly mistakes by seeking professional assistance to buy or sell your home. Internet savvy buyers access the internet to buy or sell homes successfully. is a website for London homes for sale and London real estate listings in London, Ontario. You can finalize the deal for your dream home or sell your current home with the help of this online site.

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Apartments For Rent Calgary – Apartments for Rent London Ontario

24 January, 2011

Enjoy the best Apartments for Rent London Ontario, has to instance. This prestigious building nestled leadership the cynosure of downtown Apartments for Rent London Ontario. This former model suite exudes elegance. Complete adumbrate ceramic floors, granite countertops in both the bake house and unsuited bathroom. Relax on your north east facing 25×40 (largest available importance the building) balcony cloak solar lights and privacy screens. Escape to your ample captain suite shield walk-in closet and fixed onsite. Master bath boasts a Jacuzzi tub and separate shower. Floors are heated. 5 appliances are included as well over the cardinal fridge for the connoisseur in you. 2 parking spots for this unit protect cavity for three cars. Thing replete the for show these Apartments for Rent London Ontario, has to offer. Welcome home!

All our Apartments for Rent London Ontario are available on monthly rentals, downtown Toronto, and the works inclusive. Gym accesses, concierge aid also vastly additional are included in the rent. Apartments for Rent London Ontario, furnished accommodations downtown Toronto are more than a national straightaway from home. Apartments for Rent London Ontario are a exulting pied à Terre also a wise possibility to hotels or otherwise corporate housing providers.

Located in the heart of downtown, this quiet and quaint crash pad is just steps away from fashionable locations like Yorkville and Bloor way designer stores; you’ll serve ambulatory distance to everything: theatres, stores, schools, Ryerson and University of Toronto. Apartments for Rent London Ontario, personable further helpful club would sell for happy to pop up you around the building further answer any questions you may have about the area.

Apartments for Rent London Ontario, Amenities

Open, crowded vital areas go underground dishwashers (reputation some suites), huge closets and delicious for message installation, Private balconies, platoon mail delivery, Wood again tiled floors, Beautifully landscaped grounds, Underground and outdoor parking available, Controlled access entry whereas well as on-site professional also friendly staff, Lockers available, Debit further online rental payments available.

Apartments for Rent London Ontario, Advantages

Located just steps away from the vibrant nerve center of downtown Toronto. 5 minutes walk to Yoga/Bloor subway. 5 teeny offensives to Gardiner Expressway / DVP. Steps to shopping, restaurants. Grocery shopping in the area: No Frills, Dominion, Hasty Market, Raba elegant Foods. The Bay shopping centre at Yoga & Bloor. Schools and daycares rope the field. Cash Institutions: Scotia Bank, CIBC, RBC manifest Bank, TD Canada Trust, and Bank of Montreal.

Located just steps away from the vibrant nerve center of downtown Toronto. 5 minutes walk to Yoga/Bloor subway. 5 teeny offensives to Gardiner Expressway / DVP. Steps to shopping, restaurants.

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Mls London On – The Center Of London’s Wine Country

28 December, 2009

Nestled under brick arches that support the Victorian railroad, lies Vinopolis just yards away from the newly constructed Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in the London area of Southwark. Latin aptly names Vinopolis. The Romans once settled this area of London south of the Thames River. Vinopolis means vine city. Now it has come to mean wine center. The center opened in 1999 in what use to be a warehouse. The South-eastern Railroad Company built the original structure in 1866.

As you wander the rooms of Vinopolis, you see the graceful arches and brick vaulted ceilings. Extensive work transformed the long tunnels into a series of rooms that house the displays, artifacts, images and videos. Other rooms are available for special events.

Tom Forrest, the Tour Development Manager, spoke with us about the history of Vinopolis and its vision. When asked if the mission of Vinopolis was to educate the public about wine, Tom responded that the mission is to educate with a small “e.” Education occurs through a very relaxed atmosphere. Tom stated that the public learns through enjoyment. As a result, Vinopolis employees do not use sophisticated wine vocabulary. They are very knowledgeable about the wine they have to offer for tasting and answer all your questions.

A visitor to Vinopolis can choose among a series of tours. Each tour includes a walk through rooms that focus on wines from different parts of the world. In these rooms one finds displays of artifacts, videos and images. Each tour also comes with a number of tickets to use for tasting wines. The Original Tour offers five regular wine tastings and a Bombay Sapphire Cocktail. Other wine tours include a “How to Taste Wine” session and additional wine, beer, whisky, champagne, or absinthe tastings. A visitor can also use an audio guide. At different locations along the tour, a number signifies a number to type onto the playback device and you can hear a narrative about what is on display. The tour is self-paced. One can read as many of the display descriptions as they choose.

The tour began with displays that show that Georgia, an area surrounded by Russia, the Black Sea, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan was the cradle of wine. Archeological evidence points out that viniculture took place in Georgia about 6000 BC with more than 500 grape varietals. An antique kvevri, once used to ferment wines, is on display. These 300-500 decalitre jugs would have been buried in the ground up to near the top in order to control temperature. Next, one travels through displays of the importance of Bordeaux and Rhone areas of France.

We stopped for a twenty-minute session on how to taste wine. Our presenter offered each participant a glass of white wine. We sat in a comfortable small amphitheatre. He demonstrated how not to taste wine by quickly glancing at the wine, taking a quick smell and drinking all of it at once. We noted that he spat out the wine each time he demonstrated how to taste it. He then proceeded to demonstrate how to look, smell and taste a wine. He gave us plenty of time to follow his directions and asked us what we thought after each step. This session was very low keyed and entertaining. Throughout the rest of the tour, we noticed that many other people were swirling their wines and smelling the wines.

The tour continued self-paced through displays on Burgundy, France and Germany. Visitors then approach the first tasting table where they can choose wines from different countries to taste. The wine consultants are very knowledgeable and helpful. If you do not know what to taste, they will ask several questions to determine what you may like to try. We decided to pick a country and try a wine they suggested from that country. The tour then continued through displays on Australia, New Zealand, United States, Chile, Argentina, and South Africa. Visitors then approach the second wine tasting table.

We took a slight detour between the Argentina and South Africa displays to enter a series of rooms devoted to Bombay Sapphire. Bombay Sapphire is a distilled London dry gin. A large round table holds copper bowls filled with different spices. All the spices were fresh enough for one to smell. A hallway lined with different gin glasses led to the tasting bar. Three different Bombay Sapphire cocktails were available. We tasted the Summer Sapphire which consisted of 25 ml of Bombay Sapphire, 15 ml of vanilla syrup and some pineapple juice and the Bombay Berry cocktail which consisted of 25 ml of Bombay Sapphire, 15 ml of blackberry liqueur and topped with cranberry juice. Both of the cocktails were delicious.

The tour led us on to the Italy room, another tasting table and then on to displays about the health benefits of wine. A series of quotes from ancient times to present day make the case for the health benefits of wine. Our favorite is a quote from Dr. Thomas Stuttaford, London 1999 who stated, “A glass or two of wine a day will not only lengthen life, but may also enhance intellectual power during the extra years provided.”

The tour of Vinopolis was very educational and Vinopolis employees are very helpful and informative. As we left Vinopolis, we met a couple that we talked with earlier on the tour. They wished they had allotted more time for the tour. If visiting London in the future, consider making Vinopolis a destination and plan for plenty of time.

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