Window installation workers installing double-glass pane.

Behind the Scenes: How Windows are Installed

Your windows are an important part of your home. They protect you from moisture, wind, and drastic temperatures during the winter and summer. It’s always a good idea to invest in higher quality materials, as improper methods can lead to rotting or drafts. From bay windows to awning, window installation comes in all shapes and forms. With such a wide variety of sizes, styles, and configurations, it’s often a mystery as to how they’re installed. We’re here to show you a behind-the-scenes look at a step by step guide to window installation:

Remove Trim, Casing, & Guide Track

Use a crowbar to remove the window trim and jamb extension (side tracks) from the perimeter of the old window. Then unscrew the window from the jamb and remove it. Go slowly, making sure you don’t break the glass during removal.

Prep/Repair New Window Opening

Once your window has been removed from the wall, check the window jamb for structural damage. If you come across any damage, you may want to call a professional since the jamb will have to be replaced before installing the new window. Now you’ll need to ensure that the rough opening can accommodate the new window installation. The opening should be 1/4” to 3/8” larger than the exterior dimensions of your new window.

Inspect & Replace Window Stop

A window stop is a piece of wood that can be found on the exterior side of the window jamb. Its purpose is to prevent the window from sliding out of the opening, as it physically stops the window from moving. Chances are your original stop will still be usable, but you may need to repair or replace it if it is damaged.

Dry Fit the New Window

The next step is to dry fit the new window into the opening so there are no issues with fit. If you’re struggling to make it work, make adjustments to the rough opening until it fits. If you’ve done it properly, the new window should fit snugly into the opening.

Install New Window

Window installation itself is often very simple once the previous steps are out of the way. First, you’ll need to run a bead of silicone on the inside edge of the window stop, then slide the window into place. Use a level on the top of the window then use cedar shims between the frame and jamb to get it level. Once it’s sitting right, there are two screws that go into each side of the window, then another one near the top and the last near the bottom.

Mount Trim Molding, Add Finishing Touches, Then Paint or Stain

You’re almost there! Now it’s time to pick a molding that suits your decor, then create a frame around the window. Measure the length of each piece, then cut the trim to the appropriate length. Using 45-degree angles cuts will ensure that your trim will fit together nicely, giving off that picture-frame look. Finally, attach the trim to the wall with finish nails. Fill any nail holes with wood putty, then paint or stain the trim any way you desire. Done! New windows have been replaced in your home. If your looking for professional window installation, look no further than Thermo-Bilt Windows & Doors. Contact us for high-quality windows that will leave your home looking brand new.
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Ontario Green Rebate: Everything You Need to Know

The Ontario Green Rebate is a new rebate program that was recently announced by the Ontario government in 2018. It will be run through a provincial agency called the Green Ontario Fund. The rebate is aimed at residential homeowners who are interested in making green choices for their home. Homeowners can claim a variety of rebates through this program, including:
  • Up to $7,200 for new insulation
  • Up to $20,000 for installing an ENERGY STAR certified ground source heat pump (home geothermal) or up to $4,500 for repairing an existing heat pump
  • Up to $5,800 off air source heat pumps that are ENERGY STAR certified or meet program requirements
  • Up to $5,000 for replacement windows that meet program standards
  • $100 for air sealing your home.
This new rebate program comes after an August commitment to provide thousands of free smart thermostats to homeowners, a promise that the environment minister acknowledged. This has rolled out more slowly than the government would have liked. Only 1,000 of the devices have been installed to date.

Who is Eligible to Receive The Rebates?

To be eligible for the rebates, you must be an Ontario resident who lives in a detached home, townhouse or semi-detached home. If you rent, you must have the written permission of your landlord to receive the rebate. The major part of this program is that the renovations done to your home need to be done by contractors who meet the proper criteria, which includes:
  • They must have an HST registration number and either a Master Business Licence or Articles of Incorporation valid for at least two years.
  • $2 million dollars in liability insurance.
  • $1 million dollars in auto insurance.
  • A letter of clearance from WSIB.
To find out more about this program, if your contractor is qualified, and if you’re eligible to receive these rebates, visit GreenOn.ca.

The Rebate that Keeps on Giving

Getting a rebate will help homeowners fund their next home renovation project. This is a great benefit of the program, but there are other reasons to get involved in the new Ontario Green Rebate. You’ll also be able to:
  • Reduce your heating and cooling costs.
  • Decrease your carbon footprint.
  • Increase your home’s resale value by upgrading to high-performance windows.
  • Upgrading your insulation can help you save 15 percent on heating and cooling costs.

The Green Ontario Fund & Ontario’s Pledge to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Green Ontario Fund is a not-for-profit provincial agency that invests proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market into climate change actions to help people and businesses reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use cleaner technology when powering their homes and workplaces. Ontario has pledged to cut greenhouse gas pollution to 15 percent by 2020, 37 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. The Ontario Green Rebate is a key part of the province’s Climate Change Action Plan and will help the province meet these targets. This not-for-profit agency takes consumer protection very seriously, which means that their agents will never come to your door without consent. To claim your rebate, you also need to ensure your contractor is qualified and screened, and they have signed up with GreenON.ca – check before you begin your project.
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Man installing cassette roller blinds on windows

Full Frame versus Retrofit Windows

Many people do not realize that regardless of which replacement window you choose, there are two different ways to install the window. It is essential for you to know the difference between full frame window installation and retrofit window installation to get the right install for your home.

Full Frame Window Installation

Full frame window installations require that the existing window and all of its supports are removed, including the trim and sill. The new window is then installed right into the framing of the home. The trim and sill are then replaced, and sometimes the internal trim. Full frame replacement may be preferred if there are issues with the exterior or interior wall near the window. Occasionally, the interior or exterior trim (or even the windowsill) can been damaged or infested with bugs or mould. This is one reason to go with vinyl in the future-- vinyl can’t rot and is more durable than traditional wooden window elements.

The Pros and Cons of Full Frame Window Installation

If your window is damaged, it’s much better to start with a blank slate and correct the underlying issue. Remember, professional window installers will always inspect and look out for structural or cosmetic issues in your home that might impact the performance of your new windows. New homes are less likely to need full frame replacements. But, even if it’s not required, you may want a full frame install because it gives you more choice in window materials and style. Full frame window installation is more expensive than a retrofit window installation. It takes more time and extra materials. You also need to be careful to match the trim and sill to the style and colour of the rest of your home.

Retrofit Windows

The alternative is retrofit window installation. Also called an insert or replacement window. This window installation method essentially means placing a slightly smaller window into your old window’s spot. The trim and sill remain unchanged.

The Pros and Cons of Retrofit Window Installation

If there are no problems with the existing window elements you can have a retrofit window installed. It takes less time and uses the same trim and sill. This can reduce your costs significantly. However, this installation method requires more glass area. This might reduce your view and limit how much light comes through the window. If installed poorly a retrofit window may not be level, may not be sealed correctly, or may be difficult to open. That’s why you should choose the professionals and expert team at Thermo-Bilt Windows and Doors. You can rest assured your windows are perfectly installed every time.    At Thermo-Bilt Windows and Doors, we always take the time to understand your concerns about window installation, aesthetic design, and the energy performance you want. Our knowledgeable staff knows what kind of window replacement you’ll need to get the look and results you’re aiming for.  Call (905) 752-3536 or contact us today for a free quote!  
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Girl at window

Can Window Installation Be Completed In Winter?

We’ve had our share of customers ask us if we can complete a window installation for them during the winter. It may be surprising, but almost without exception our answer is yes! In fact, there are many benefits to having your winter window installation completed.

The Off-Season

Every savvy shopper knows that purchasing something in the off season comes with all kinds of savings. For window installations, expect less delay in getting specialty windows ordered, delivered, and installed. Our schedule is much more open in the winter too, so we can better meet your needs for emergency installs, quick installs, or installs during busy hours.

Ease of Installation

With only one exception, window installations are done just as well in the winter as they are in the summer. Vinyl barely swells with heat or cold, meaning it is unaffected by the yearly change of season (especially compared to wood). Also, we use suitable caulking to ensure the seal on your windows is perfect, even in cold temperatures. Unfortunately, the only downside is caulking cannot be applied at temperatures below -20°C (even the cold-weather resistant kind won’t seal). At extreme cold temperatures, caulking becomes brittle instead of forming into a thick and flexible seal. However, you don’t need to worry because it rarely drops to such extreme temperatures in Ontario. Additionally, below-freezing temperatures are also a benefit for window installation. It’s much easier to detect leaks around your window in the winter, because any external air will form moisture droplets as it moves in. Furthermore, you can precisely pinpoint entryways for cold drafts, which helps ensure a tight seal for your new window during installation.

Energy Reductions

Many of our customers are looking to replace their windows because they want additional energy savings. If that’s the case, why wait? You save the most on your energy bill from new windows in the winter, so start reaping the benefits of your investment now.

Heat Loss

Most customers are generally worried about how much heat their home will lose if they choose to install their windows in the winter. At Thermo-Bilt, we are professional and respectful of your time and your home’s energy resources. We take all precautions to prevent any heat loss during a winter window installation. We install each window one at a time, by preparing new windows before we take the old one out. This limits how much time your home is exposed to cold air. We also place plastic coverings over an empty window to further protect your home from chill. Generally, we recommend that the door to whichever room we’re installing a window remains closed. You can pile towels at the base of the door to help insulate the rest of the home. Furthermore, while your home may lose some heat during the installation process, you’ll find it warms up a lot faster once your new windows are put in place. Why be uncomfortable throughout the winter when you can get a toasty warm house with new windows? Contact us for a free quote so you can enjoy the rest of the winter season in comfort.
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windows and doors covered in blanket.

How to Winterize Your Windows & Doors

Winter is here, along with it is an increase in your heating expenses. Are you looking for ways to keep your home warm this winter without spending a fortune? Take the time to check your home's windows and doors – a good place to start is your home’s main entry points.

Find Drafts in Your Home

Drafts are a killer on your home’s energy bill. If your home has drafty windows and doors then you’ll see a substantial increase in your energy bill every month. As cool air sneaks into your home, your furnace will be working twice as hard to keep your house warm, which can significantly reduce the life of your furnace. How can you determine if your home has drafts? Take a candle and place it near a window or door. If you see the flame dancing or flickering, it's likely a draft is getting through the window or door. If this occurs, you’ll need to do some extra work to prepare your windows and doors for the winter.

Block Drafts

Your local hardware store will have draft snakes to place at the bottom of your windows and doors. Draft snakes are effective in preventing warm air from escaping and cold air from entering your home. If you’re on a budget, try this do-it-yourself option instead: Roll up several old towels and tie elastics at each end to keep them in their tube form. This is an inexpensive but temporary way to stop drafts. The best way to keep your house warmer and save on your energy bill in the long-term is to replace your drafty and leaking windows and doors with new ones.

Check Your Caulking

Caulking helps maintain a tight seal around your windows and doors. Using caulk is a huge defence against cold air entering your home and warm air escaping. Unfortunately, over time even the best caulking eventually develops cracks and gaps. Luckily, it’s easy to seal up cracked caulk or gaps around your window’s seal. Depending on the severity of the problem you might need to remove the old caulking and replace it with a new one. However, if the caulking is in adequate condition with minimal damage, you can simply patch up any problem spots.

Plastic Film is an Affordable Fix

Many homeowners place plastic films over their windows. During the winter months, this protects against the cold and helps to maintain warmer indoor temperatures. Clear plastic film is a more affordable option since it can be found at most local hardware stores. It’s held in place using double-sided tape and doesn’t block your outdoor view (although you won’t be able to open your windows). However, plastic film should be used with caution. Natural Resources Canada points out that some people are sensitive to the plastic used in heat-shrink film. To prevent damage plastic film may not be the best option for households with small children or pets. For safety reasons, it should be kept away from strong heat sources.

Take The Screens Off

It’s also a good idea to remove your screens at the beginning of the winter months. This ensures your screens are protected from harsh winter weather and make them last longer. Furthermore, having them on hand will make them easier to clean when spring arrives. Make sure you store your screens in a warm and dry space until winter ends.

Keep Warm, Winterize Your Home

Protect your windows and doors this winter. You’ll find it easier to keep your home warm and cozy with these simple tips – which you’ll appreciate when you need a break from the cold. Contact Thermo-Bilt to get started on winterizing your home!
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woman sitting on window reading a book.

How To Choose The Best Windows For Your Home

Considering almost every room in your home has windows, you probably rarely think about the design options that are available to you. Need a change in your home? Your windows and doors may be the perfect place to start.

Identify Your Needs

First, when deciding on the best windows for your home, it is important to identify your needs. Start off by asking yourself these questions:
  •    Do you need windows that provide a lot of natural light?
  •    Do you have a beautiful view you would like to take in?
  •    Do you live somewhere cold and therefore need windows that insulate well?
  •    Do you open your windows often to let fresh air in?
  •    Do you care about your windows being purely functional or would you like to add some aesthetic value to your home as well?
Your answers to these questions will help you determine the best windows and doors for your home.

Consider your options

Once you recognize your needs, it can be overwhelming to wade through the mass amounts of options that will be available to you. Follow the guide below for a breakdown of some popular types of windows.

Bay Windows

If you have a beautiful view outside your home that you want to take in from the comfort of your living room, a bay window is a great option. Their large size allows for a tremendous amount of visibility and natural light. Bay windows also help create a cozy space to snuggle up and read a book while basking in the sunlight.

Awning Windows

Awning windows are a must have for anyone who enjoys letting fresh air into their home or who does not have central air. Awning windows have cranks that easily turn to open and close the window on a hinge. Another function of the awning window is that because they usually open along the top edge, they create an awning that will keep rain from getting into your home in the case that you accidentally leave them open during a storm.  

Skylights

Skylights help you maximize your natural light intake during all hours of the day. Many people prefer adding skylights over additional windows because they allow extra light in without compromising wall space or privacy. That’s why they’re so popular in washrooms.

Entry Door Windows

Your front door is often the first thing people notice about your house so combining windows with your door is a great idea. Putting windows around your door can make the entry way look more visually appealing while also providing a clear view of the front yard, making it possible to see who is knocking on the door before you open it.

Energy Efficient Windows

No matter which design style you choose when it comes time to replace your old windows with a newer model, consider investing in energy efficient windows. There are many energy efficient options available now that will substantially reduce your utility bills each month. Speak with a professional today to start your journey to new windows and doors!
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Winter windows to keep home warm.

The Best Winter Windows to Keep Your Home Warm

In the winter, the quality of your windows will make a huge impact on your heating, comfort, and energy bill. Instead of wrapping yourself up in heavy quilts, or turning up the furnace until your bill increases, invest in winter windows to keep you warm throughout the cold season. Here are our top priorities you should keep in mind when planning your winter window replacement.

Window Energy Efficiency

Your winter replacement windows should have a good energy efficiency rating. According to Canadian Energy Star ratings, that means aiming for the lowest number possible. Furthermore, you should also invest in  R-rated windows, which are intended for single-family homes. After educating yourself on the vast ratings consider glazing and filling. At a minimum, you should invest in double-glazed windows. This two-layer protection keeps heat from escaping through your windows. Additionally, there are higher quality glazings available that function in different ways, which may benefit your home – depending on your needs. Modern windows are filled with inert gases ( argon or krypton) which increase their insulating properties. Those living in colder climates of Canada may prefer using krypton gas, it’s more expensive than argon,  but it’s insulating properties are better concentrated.

Protect Windows from Humidity

Your winter window replacements need to withstand humidity. The contrast between warm air inside and the cool exterior air drains your home of moisture, which leaves many people feeling dry and uncomfortable. Many homeowners choose to compensate with a humidifier as the most effective solution to dry, dull air. Unfortunately, if you have poor quality windows and frames it will react poorly to increased humidity. The window’s surface wears down and the frame can harbor mold. However, you don’t have to sacrifice your comfort. Instead, look for more energy efficient windows that can tolerate higher humidity levels without developing frost or wearing down the material. Furthermore, take fitted vinyl windows into consideration. They provide additional protection against humidity, such as accelerated mold growth which usually occurs on wooden surfaces.

Don’t Forget Cold Drafts

Older windows don't function as well as new windows; they allow drafts to seep through, significantly reducing your home’s energy efficiency making your home chilly in the winter. Do a quick test to check if your windows let in drafts before the weather gets too cold. Simply place a lit candle near the window and see if it flickers. If it does, small currents of air are moving in or out of your home. This means your window isn't sealed off properly and you'll need to replace the window. Don't worry, at Thermo-Bilt you can trust us to do the job. Our team of professionals install window replacements tightly and securely the first time. We can also apply industry grade weather stripping, to seal up your window and stop drafts from forming.

Cost Matters

Despite what others say, you don’t have to spend a fortune to obtain excellent quality windows. Our large collection of winter window products will meet your needs while considering your budget. We will personally walk you through each window and explain their function. Before making a decision, take advantage of our FREE quote on replacement windows. Contact us today for more information on the latest winter window replacements for your home!
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Energy efficient windows ratings.

Energy Efficient Windows: A Comprehensive Guide

How do you know which energy rating is the best? What do the ratings mean? In Canada, energy-efficient windows are rated based on their U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and air leakage grading. Generally, the common rule of thumb is the higher the number of the energy rating, the higher the efficiency of the window. You may also see a letter rating on the windows, which is the North American Fenestration Standard. This indicates which type of building a window is best for; R is for single-family residential buildings. LC is for low rise, CW is for mid-rise, and AW is for a high-rise. For the Canadian rating system, there is a lot of technical information included. Therefore, you'll want to make sure you do your research and look into it the best window that meets your needs. We've made it easy to understand. Simply follow our the rating explanations below:

What is U-Factor?

U-Factor is always examined in energy ratings. It is the rate of heat transfer from the product's warm area to a cold area. Usually, you want your window to transfer this heat slowly, so you’re not losing heat to the outdoor environment. The lower the U-factor number, the more energy-efficient your windows will be.

What is the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient?

This ratio describes how much of the sun’s heat passes through a window, warming up the interior behind the window. The higher the number, the more solar heat the window provides. In a passive home, you would want a high solar heat gain coefficient to help the home stay warm in the winter.

Air Leakage

This factor is more straightforward. Air Leakage measures how much air leaks out of a window. For obvious reasons, you don’t want air to leak through your window, as it lets your heat (or air conditioning) escape into the environment. If your windows have high air leakage, it’s time to get them replaced.

What is R-value?

The R-value factor is not a concern under the energy rating, but it’s often used as an indication of energy efficiency in windows for industry experts. It measures how much resistance there is to heat transfer in the glass, or the amount of heat retained by the window. The higher the number the better the glass, indicating high heat has trouble passing through the window.

What is the difference between Argon and Krypton gas?

Energy efficient windows are filled with either argon or krypton, both are non-toxic gases to help insulate the panes. While argon is the cheaper gas, krypton is a better insulator. Sometimes the gases are blended so the windows can meet specific energy standards, while still being easy on your wallet.

What are Low E-coatings?

These glazings are applied onto the glass to block additional heat transfer. The three most common choices are Low-E 180 (a standard application), Double Low-E (which provides better efficiency), and Low-E 366 (which is meant for windows with intense sun exposure).

What is the ENERGY STAR® Certification Program?

Administered by Natural Resources Canada, this certification is meant to help consumers identify products which are energy efficient. Every year, ENERGY STAR® gives out accolades to the products with the best energy efficiency. Do you have more questions? We can answer all your inquiries about energy efficient windows – from glazing, ratings, and different window types to fit your home's needs. Contact us today for a FREE quote!
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winter windows for the cold season

Preparing Your Home’s Windows and Doors for Winter

Winter is right around the corner with its harsh winds, cold temperatures and winter storms. While it’s pretty to look at from a distance, you want to make sure you keep winter outside of your home. To keep the cold out, it is important to make sure you properly prepare the main entry points -  your windows and doors for the wrath of winter.

Check for drafts

It is important to check your windows and doors for drafts. If drafts are being let into your home, your energy bill can increase substantially every month, as your furnace will be working twice as hard to warm the cool air from entering your home. Unsure if your windows and doors are keeping the cold air out? If you have drafts take a candle and place it near any area you are worried about. If you see the flame dancing or flickering, it is likely because there is a draft coming through the window or door. This is a tell-tale sign that you should do some extra work to prepare your windows and doors for winter.

Caulk the windows

Caulking is the main line of protection used against cold air entering your home. The unfortunate reality is that even the best caulking can eventually form cracks or gaps. Having said this, it is an easy procedure to seal up these mishaps. You can either start from scratch and peel back the old caulking and replace it or you can simply patch up any problem areas.

Apply plastic film

Applying a plastic film to your windows can help insulate during cold weather. According to The Daily News Miner, insulating your windows with a plastic film can help retain up to 50% of the heat you generate inside, equivalent to adding an extra window pane! The plastic film is clear, allowing you to maintain a full view of the outdoors and is held in place using double-sided tape.

Use draft blockers

You can purchase effective draft snakes to place at the bottom of your windows and doors to prevent any warm air from escaping or cold air from entering your home. Hoping to save some money? Try a do-it-yourself option and roll up some old towels and tie elastics at each end to keep them in their tube form. This simple and inexpensive way to stop drafts will keep your house warmer and help you save on your energy bill.

Take your screens off

Your screens can get damaged from the snow that collects on them during the winter months. It is best to take your screens off and store them in a warm and dry space until springtime. This will ultimately protect your screens from weather damage and allow them to last longer. Winter is beautiful and you will want to look at it through your windows or head out your front door to experience it, but make sure you also remember to protect your windows and doors this winter. Contact Thermo-Bilt to keep your house as cozy as possible for when you need a break from the cold.
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Vinyl windows improve home make room bigger

Top 4 Ways Vinyl Windows Improve Your Home

If you are looking to upgrade your home, opting for vinyl windows can greatly improve the overall appearance of your living space, in addition to the countless benefits they provide. Windows are a central feature of any home or building, so it’s important to take care in making a decision before undergoing a replacement. From their exceptional durability to their insulating capabilities, and of course, their striking appearance, vinyl windows can drastically improve your home. Here are the top 4 ways vinyl windows improve your home:

Enhances Visual Appeal

Vinyl windows can have a dramatic impact on the aesthetic appeal of your living space. They are highly customizable and come in a variety of colours, styles, and textures so you can find something to suit your home and your personal tastes. Windows play a key role in the look of a particular room so upgrading to a quality vinyl windows can really enhance an area while adding a contemporary or classic fair to complement existing elements of your home.

Boosts Your Home’s Durability

Vinyl windows are highly durable. They require hardly any maintenance so you can rest assured they won’t be contributing to your seemingly endless list of property maintenance to-do’s. As well, vinyl is far less porous than wood which makes it harder for dust and dirt to get trapped, so an occasional wipe down with soap and water is sufficient to keep your windows looking like new. Unlike wood which requires a significant amount of preservation and maintenance, vinyl windows are not susceptible to rotting.

Increases Your Energy-Efficiency

One of the most significant advantages of vinyl windows is their insulating capabilities. In comparison to other materials like aluminium, vinyl is better able to keep heat from escaping during the winter months while preventing hot air from entering during the summer. When paired with a double-paned glass, their effectiveness is heightened even more so. In addition to helping the environment, you will also experience a significant reduction in energy costs when it comes to heating and cooling your home.

Increases the Value of Your Home

Renovations and investments such as vinyl windows can significantly heighten your curb appeal and raise your home’s value. They give your home a clean and fresh appearance as old window panes tend to lose their clarity over time. If you are considering selling your home in the future, vinyl windows are highly regarded by prospective buyers due to their minimal maintenance and attractiveness. Also, they are a fairly economical choice in comparison with other materials such as solid wood and fibreglass which can be expensive to install and maintain. Vinyl windows are top quality and can save you money in the long run due to their low upkeep, which is also well-regarded by buyers. If you are looking to upgrade your home, vinyl windows are an excellent choice. To find out more about their benefits or to get a free quote, call us at 416-756-0798.
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