Sunday, October 15, 2017

Real Estate Prices, Here and There.

Who says Vancouver real estate is out of control? In much of the Vancouver region you can pick up a habitable house for around 1.3 million.

Then again, if you spend the same amount in Normandy you can get:
Spacious 18th Century 6 Bedroom Petit Chateau with Coach House and Stables and Dovecote set on 7.4 acres of Garden and Grounds with orchard, small Lake and far reaching Views. Approached over it's own tree lined private driveway this superb property offers 300 m² of living space with the potential to create further accommodation in the attic and lower ground floors. Located 45 minutes from the regional capital of Caen and 15 minutes from a town with main line railway connections to Paris (2 hrs). The property which provides a large comfortable family home has huge potential to create a Chambre d'Hotes and Gite accommodation if required. Many original features are retained including Parquet floors and Marble fireplaces. 

Are we mad to live here?

Thursday, October 05, 2017

"The Global Canadian" hits the streets

In an age when printed newspapers are supposed to be dying off, the North Shore just added a new publication.  The Global Canadian can be found in a handful of locations in North and West Vancouver, with broader distribution (and a web site) coming soon.

The new paper is the brainchild of Gagandeep Ghuman, perhaps best known for the Squamish Reporter, which took aim at the North Shore News' sister publication The Squamish Chief

The Global Canadian is a broadsheet, a format that seems to say "serious journalism," and it seems that Ghuman likes long form journalism that allows the writer to really dig into a story.   The question he'll need to answer is whether North Shore Readers (and advertisers) will prefer the more hard news style of his paper over the light and breezy North Shore News.

Included in Issue One are stories on:
  • Horseshoe Bay ferry pollution
  • the ONNI bowling alley
  • Edgemont trash cans
  • Mayor Walton's higher learning
  • West Van's bridge to nowhere
  • Bike lane opinions
  • A two page infographic about North Shore churchgoers.

You can find the paper at:

WV Locations

Marine Drive and 25th (Dundarave, outside IGA grocery store)

Marine and 15th street (Behind bus stop, outside the gas station)

6330 Bay street (Horseshoe Bay, across from Blenz coffee shop near the ferry terminal)

Bellevue and 17th (outside CIBC bank, east of Fresh St Market)

CNV Locations

Lonsdale between 13th and 14th (Outside Scotiabank)

Lonsdale between 14th and 15th (Outside McNews)

Lonsdale between 16th and 17th (Outside Loblaws)

Lonsdale between 17 and 18th (Across from Browns)

Esplanade and Lonsdale (Outside the Pinnacle Hotel)

Brooksbank and Cotton Rd (The bus stop besides the mall)


DNV Locations

Edgemont and Crescentview drive (outside HSBC bank)

Edgemont and Highland (Outside COBS Bread)

Woodbine and Edgemont

Pemberton and 15th (Outside ethnic food aisle)

Gallant Ave and Panorama (Deep Cove, outside Café Orso)






Saturday, September 23, 2017

How Much House is Too Much?

This week a client living in the Caplano Highlands told me that they were looking for a new house.  In her words "2500 square feet is just more than we need."  That would be two adults, two kids, and a dog.

Lucky for them both the City and District are looking at ways to take single family lots and turn them into two family homes.

The City has designated one area for studying the possibility of of allowing duplexes to increase density.  Deadline for study participation is September 25th.
The Duplex Special Study will explore low density housing options (such as duplex development) for the 300 blocks of East 13th to 19th Street in consultation with area residents. This effort will contribute to the implementation of the City’s Housing Action Plan (2016) which established strategies to address the housing needs of City residents including the provision of smaller, more affordable ownership options and increasing the stock of accessory rental units in proximity to transit and services.
The District meanwhile is looking into the idea of subdividing large lots in Upper Capilano to allow two smaller houses.  As reported in the North Shore News:
District of North Vancouver council voted Monday night to begin drawing up an amended bylaw that would make it easier for people who own 66-foot lots in the Upper Capilano neighbourhood to subdivide them into two 33-foot lots. 
If approved by council following a public hearing, the district would create new “small lot infill areas” or SLIAs along the north side of Montroyal Boulevard between Cliffridge Avenue and Ranger Avenue, and on Canyon Boulevard and Clements Avenue between Ranger and Belvedere Drive. Council is also reviewing the possibility of adding the 1000 block of Prospect Avenue.
(I will leave it to others to imagine the impact of these subdivisions at a time when every road into or out of Capilano Highlands is still under construction.)

Missing from either of these proposals is a recognition that something like a third of people in the Lower Mainland live in rental accommodation. I've seen no tangible plans to increase that pool, though maybe our newly minted provincial government will find a way.

(Admin note: I have finally updated the list of links on the right hand sidebar. If there are any that you think should be added, drop me an email.)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Inter River Turf Wars!

Many thanks to Jerry Silver for pointing me to the Inter River Community Association, and their efforts to challenge plans to add two new artificial turf fields at the park of the same name. As they describe it on their web site:

The proposal includes the following key changes:

  • Replacement of an existing grass field with artificial turf
  • Removal of at least 1.5 hectares of forest to make way for a second turf field
  • Installation of tournament lighting towers on both proposed fields, allowing these fields to operate after dark
  • Additional parking plus a clubhouse and other sports club and tournament services






    There has been minimal consultation with area residents about these plans. Here are some of the issues residents are concerned about:
  • Loss of this forested area would have a negative impact to the overall quality of life to many people of diverse backgrounds in our community
  • Loss of this forested area would also represent a significant loss of ecological value and is a contravention of the District’s strategic commitment to tree retention and environmental sustainability
  • Increased traffic and noise, with fields operating year-round and late into the evening
  • The impact of artificial turf on health and safety
  • The loss of informal recreational space used by young families who live in the area and other residents, in favour of pay-to-play fields targeted to visiting sports teams

If this interests you, you should also be paying attention to the upcoming revision of the District Parks Bylaw.  These changes will impact every park user.  Check out the minutes and video from last May's Council Workshop.

And while still on Parks, do check out he new Lynn Valley Link trail loop, running from Princess Park, to Inter River, up to and beyond the suspension bridge, and across the Baden Powell back to the park.  The official launch is next weekend, and you should get out and hike part of it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Back to School Days

It's been a fairly quiet month since Christy Clark finally shuffled off to Buffalo Point Grey.  Despite the predictions of various right wing pundits and "Think Tanks" the world has not come to an end, people still have jobs, and anarchists are hardly ever seen rioting in the streets of Vancouver.  Somehow the Vancouver Sun/Province has managed to not to blame the Horgan government for all of the record breaking wildfires. (Then again, they seem to have also ignored stories about Liberal cuts to spending on fire prevention.)

Locally there are people in the City angry about the giant waterslide; in the District one council member is leading the revolt against the new "bear-proof" garbage bins, and we're heading towards the first possible approval of Beers and Haircuts in Lynn Valley.  And of course in both municipalities the big issue is, as always, traffic, bridges, construction, and the unholy combination of all three.

Or the lack of bike lanes, transit, and continuous sidewalks, if you're not vehicularly inclined.

It almost seems that after expending all too much energy on battling (or at least complaining about) the various "town center" and other major developments in recent years the activists in our cities have just run out of steam, and can't find it in themselves to raise a respectable ruckus these days.

Then again, it is summer, it is sunny, the PNE is on, and all of our North Shore concerns look pretty petty compared to what Trump is delivering south of the border.  Perhaps instead of looking for things to complain about, the nay-sayers are counting their blessings.

But September approaches, so if you've got a bee in your bonnet about local politics now is the time to sit down and write your version of "What I Did on My Summer Vacation."  Be sure to include some links and background information, and refrain from name calling, and email it to me.  If it's half ways interesting yours could be the first topic of the new school year.