Sept 3 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
** A drop in shipping rates amid the collapse in demand for coal, ore and other commodities has sparked a sharp rise in the number of ships yanked from the service and sold for scrap. (bit.ly/1IN2k03)
** The average price for single-family detached homes in Greater Vancouver has jumped 20 percent to a record $1.47 million over the past year as the affordability gap widens between houses and condos. (bit.ly/1LM42U1)
** The new executive chairman of Sears Canada Inc, Brandon Stranzl, says he is serious about fixing the challenged department store, but observers say he needs to hurry. Sears Canada has struggled with falling revenue and erratic profits or losses. Stranzl says he has developed a plan to turn around the retailer, partly by teaming with suppliers to focus on mid-priced brands. (bit.ly/1fWQU2E)
** Canadian crude oil exports to countries other than the United States jumped 25 per cent in the second quarter of the year, but remain far off year-ago levels, while exports south of the border dropped during the most recent period. (bit.ly/1JAPMdH)
** Canada's largest synthetic crude project will return to normal operations toward the end of September, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd, the joint venture partner with the largest stake in the project, said late on Wednesday, confirming market talk of an extended outage after last weekend's fire. (bit.ly/1LNmATH) (Compiled by Sangameswaran S)