http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/21072007/3/canada-fire-destroys-edmonton-street.html This story really hit home with me because the city where it happened is only a few hours away. The part that really makes me angry is that I know exactly what they are talking about when they say "lax building codes". This area is going through a major boom and everyone is trying to cash in. If you look at older parts of the city's in Alberta they all look the same. nice homes with spacious yards. The new homes that they are building are pure ****. they are spaced so close together that you cant even drive a small car between them. The materials used are the cheapest available and the workmanship is extremly poor. A friend of mine moved into one such home and the front door did not fit properly into the door frame. I did some work in the areas where they were building these new homes and after talking to one of the workers I found out they they were using fewer nails than they should be in order to save money. There is a lottery done out here to win a dream home. the one for this year was worth over $1,000,000 CDN. I went with my GF to have a look since we bought a ticket. I could not believe the shoddy workmanship in it. For example the brand new foundation already had several major cracks in it. each one was several feet long. They also advertised the basement as being able to have a few small bedrooms. There were no windows, which is illegal for a bedroom. It does not suprise me that this has happened, the homes all feature great things like marble countertops and built in speaker systems throughout the house, top rate fridge's and stoves come with. But if you scrape away the nice looking finish you get a house that wont last 10 years. and the average price is up to around 350,000 and it keeps going up. On a side note, in another town close by, two hotels that were underconstruction burnt down. One started and the other was so close that it cought fire. The rumor going around is that the builder ran out of money (something not uncommon around here) and did an insurance scam to recover the money they has spent. Any places in Europe where I should consider moving to?