Monday, August 25, 2008

City of North Vancouver CityViews: Sustainability Website , Waterfront Pier Development, National Maritime Centre, City Library, LEC, Spirit Trail

Sustainability in the City of North Vancouver

City of North Vancouver Sustainability involves three main areas: environmental, economic and social and with green building techniques, improvements in North Shore liveability and a North Vancouver Official Community Plan for the next 100 years, this municipality has a lot going for it.The North Vancouver City has long had a clear vision of the kind of sustainable community it wishes to be: vibrant, diverse and highly liveable. This North Vancouver vision has roots that reach as far back as the city of North Van's incorporation more than a century ago. Since its beginnings as a small milling and shipbuilding based community along Burrad Inlet, the City of North Vancouver has remained committed to protecting the natural environment; creating a robust, sustainable economy; and enhancing the quality of life for all those living and working in the community. Today, the City of Vancouver's award winning municipality is home to more than 48,000 residents and the commitment to build a sustainable community has not changed. The environmental, economic and social health of our City of North Vancouver community is vitally important, which is why our sustainability goals influence every aspect of our growing, developing City. Our City of North Vancouver sustainability goals can be represented as thre circles with one for each of the environment, economy and community/society. Where the circles overlop are the areas of sustainability. Here, all the things tha mek up our quality of life come together. The city of North Vancouver recognizes these circles not as separate, unrelated entities but as a single, vital, complete community much like the one we are working to achieve. Founded on these principles of sustainability, the City of North Vancouver's Official Community Plan established the long term goals, plans and actions that will successfully balance the environment, economic and social needs of the community. More than a statement for the City of North Vancouver's future, the Official Community Plan establishes over 200 goals and objectives that can be monitored and measured for success. The City of North Vancouver recognizes that the support of its citizens and larger community is vital to achieving its sustainability goals today and beyond. As such, the City of North Vancouver supports community driven environmental initiatives and is presently working with the UBC Design Centre for Sustainability to prepare an innovative 100 Year Sustainability Vision for the city of North Vancouver. This long-range plan will look at the effect of climate change on the City's resources and examine how planning work and energy conservation actions are supporting sustainability goals. While the City of North Vancouver Official Community Plan charts course of action for the City, these collaborations will help advance long-term viable solutions to environmental changes.

Click here for the latest boutique town home development in Central Lonsdale West Townhomes in North Vancouver.

City of North Vancouver Sustainability Website

The launch of the City of North Vancouver Sustainability website allows everyone in the public community to express their thoughts on various sustainability issues surrounding their neighbourhood and the future of the North Shore real estate district.The North Vancouver City has dedicated a large section of its web site to serve as both a comprehensive online resource and opportunity to the community to connect with the City on sustainability issues. The City of North Vancouver Sustainability in the City website enables you to find information about the City's vision, plans and progress in the three major areas of sustainability: environmental, economic and social. This City of North Vancouver Sustainability web site portal also contains links to sustainable programs and initiatives at the regional, provincial and national levels. The City of North Vancouver Sustainability Website will continue to be a work in progress as the City's many sustainability intiiatives grow and expand. Visit regularly to see our progress and offer your views of living sustainably in the City of North Vancouver. Economic sustainability: The city supports growth and real estate development that are well integrated with environmental and social considerations. This approach has helped to shape several important City of North Vancouver initiatives, including the City's Economic Development Strategy, which in turn supports other policy documents such as the Official community Plan and Transportation Plan. The City of North Vancouver recognizes that a strong economy can be a vehicle to change, a catalyst for a greener way of thinking and living. As such, its economic sustainability goals aim to meet the diverse needs of a community, while taking into consideration how resources are used. Visit for more information about the City of North Vancouver Economic Sustainbility in the City.

City of North Vancouver Waterfront Real Estate Development

City of North Vancouver Waterfront Project is a master planned community along the waterfront real estate development district at The Pier in Lower Lonsdale where there is a huge project of residential condo towers and the National Heritage Centre being constructed.The North Vancouver waterfront real estate district has long been a focal point of the municipalitiy's identity and development. More than a century ago, the area was a vital, bustling transportation centre for shipbuilding and marine-related industries. Today, the City of North Vancouver's waterfront real estate community is recognized as both a heritage landmark and signature attraction. The City of North Vancouver's Waterfront Project aims to create a sense of place and pride in the local community and bring economic opportunities to neighbouring areas. Considerations include establishing a National Maritime Centre for the Pacific and the Arctic and providing new residential real estate and commercial property opportunities for the growing Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood through The Pier Development real esate project. Construction Update: Site preparation, excavacation and construction are presently underway on the real estate development sites north and south of Esplanade in Lower Lonsdale in the City of North Vancouver waterfront Project. Work includes the dismantling of a large heritage structure, which will be stored and erected again later as part of the City of North Vancouver National Maritime Centre real estate development. There will also be some dynamic soil compaction to ensure that foundations for the new real estate buildings can be built to current seismic standards. Traffic and pedestrian access along Esplanade may be impacted as this work continues through thet summer until spring 2009. Visit for more information about the National Heritage Museum of North Vancouver and The North Vancouver Pier Development real estate project. For construction updates, visit

North Vancouver National Maritime Centre for the Pacific and Arctic

The North Vancouver National Maritime Centre for the Pacific and Arctic recently received a huge boost in funding from the Provincial Government and is awaiting funds from the federal level as well for this magnificent waterfront museum in Lower Lonsdale's Pier Development.The City of North Vancouver would like to thank the BC provincial government for their generous support of the national Maritime Centre real estate project. On May 2, 2008 Premier Gordon Campbell announced that a grant of $9 million will be provided to the City of North Vancouver to advance its plans to build a world class maritime facility on the city's historic real estate waterfront district. With this significant financial support, the City of North Vancouver National Maritime Centre is yet another step closer to being established and now awaits a similar commitment from the federal government. Envisioned as a world class facility, national landmark and major tourist attraction, the City of North Vancouver National Maritime Centre will be a dynamic year round destination for City residents and tourists. Once built, the facility will offer historic and interactive exhibits, martime education and training, community events, business forums and boat festivals as well as amenities such as restaurants and retail shops. The North Vancouver real estate project is an impressive example of public private partnership. During its North Van real estate development, the proposed National Maritime Centre attracted the support of more than 45 potential partners, including all levels of government, First Nations, maritime and tourism industries, and educational partners. Once completed, the National Maritime Centre of North Vancouver will be self sustaining through commercial revenues generated on the site. Visit or call 604.982.3911 for more information.

Party at the Lower Lonsdale Pier of North Vancouver
Sunday, August 31, 2008, come celebrate the Maritime Community in Lower Lonsdale from 11am to 3pm at the Burrard Dry Dock Pier and St. Roch Dock Foot of Lonsdale. The Lower Lonsdale Business Association invites the entire community of North Vancouver to the 2008 Party at the Pier! This unique marine themed celebration includes entertainment and activities for the whole family. Enjoy a wide variety of musical guests, roving performers, an amazing stilt walker, fantastic face painters, the Seaspan tugobat ballet and tours of the harbour. A variety of food and refreshments will be available to satisfy a range of palates. Visit fo rmore information about the real estate transformation of Lower Lonsdale community.

North Vancouver City Library Construction Update and Grand Opening "You're Invited!"

The real estate development at the North Vancouver City Library is now nearing completion and the new City Library on the North Shore will be located in Central Lonsdale and opening September 2008.The new City of North Vancouver Library will be completed in September 2008 and the community is invited to attend the special grand opening celebration on Saturday, September 20. Did you know? That it takes a community to raise a library? Your contribution to the City Library's Donation Program can help create services that will have a long legacy for the community. Visit for more information. Construction is nearly complete on what is considered one of the North Vancouver City's most important public facilities. Since early 2007, the City Library of North Vancouver has achieved several significant milestones, including the creation of the first sustainable district energy mini-plant in Central Lonsdale, and the installation of rooftop solar panels which will collect energy for the mini-plant. The new City Library of North Vancouver is also constructed to a minimum LEED Silver Certification Standard, utilizing a combination of natural ventilation, geo-exchange cooling and solar energy to meet the heating and cooling needs of the building. Located in the heart of Central Lonsdale, the new city of North Vancouver Library will be a landmark structure with spectacular mountain and water views. In addition to its beautiful design and public art, the Library of North Vancouver will feature state of the art technology, public computers, wireless access, an expanded collection of 150,000 items, a study hall, community meeting rooms, a children's reading garden, an area for teens, underground parking, and an extension to the existing public plaza that fronts City Hall. A café located on the plaza level will enhance the experience. Join the City of Vancouver Library Grand Opening Ceremony Celebration in Civic Plaza on Saturday, September 20, from 11am to 3pm. Visit for more information about the City of North Vancouver new City Library.

Grand Opening of the LEED Silver Built New City Library of North Vancouver
You're Invited to the North Vancouver City Library Grand Opening Launch! Saturday, September 20, 2008 from 11am to 3pm at the North Vancouver City Library Civic Plaza at Lonsdale and 14th Street. The City of North Vancouver is celebrating the completion of a landmark real estate building in the heart of central Lonsdale, marking the official opening of the North Vancouver City Library and Spirit Square Civic Plaza. Join us for this outdoor, literary-themed, community celebration, beginning with an official ceremony and the unveiling of commemorative plaques. Activities and attractions at the grand opening of the new City Library of North Vancouver includes: musical guests Mimosa and the Fugitives, author readings and book signins, children's activities, fire juggler Mike Battie, strolling entertainment, featuring popular storybook characters, educational displays and celebration cupcakes and much more. Visit for more information about the celebrations at the North Vancouver city Library Civic Plaza.

Lonsdale Energy Corporation (LEC)

The North Vancouver Lonsdale Energy Corporation has been providing clean energy sources for Lower Lonsdale on the North Shore for years, and the new City Library will provide more power for the LEC.The North Vancouver City's Lonsdale Energy Corporation is one of the city's environmentally friendly ways of enabling a green community for the future. Since 2004, this award winning district energy system has been providing Lower Lonsdale with dependable clean energy, while significantly reducing the demand for electricity. Through a network of underground pipes and boiler mini-plants, Lonsdale Energy Corporation or the LEC circulates hot water to heat the buildings that are connected to its system. LEC systems are designed to capture up t o95% of the heat energy derived from burning natural gas to heat water. Depending on the temperature of returning water, LEC boilers have a nominal efficiency between 87% and 98%, a rate that exceeds stand alone boilers typically installed in multi-unit residential buildings. LEC or the Lonsdale Energy Corporation presently uses highly efficient natural gas to power its mini-plants. While relatively clean and competitively priced, LEC recognizes that natural gas remains a fossil fuel. As such, LEC is continually exploring ways to switch to alternative/renewable fuels such as hydrogen, geothermal or solar energy options. Because the LEC boilers are designed to use any of a variety of fuels, Lonsdale Energy Corporation will transition to using zerio emissions sources as soon as it becomes economical to do so. This move is already underway in Central Lonsdale North Vancouver where the new City Library's mini-plant will have solar panels as one of its heating sources. LEC presently provides heating for more than 1,000 residential units. By 2010, LEC anticipates serving 20 Lower Lonsdale buildings, totaling three million square feet of building area. Lonsdale Energy Corporation is considering the big picture when it comes to energy use. The growing energy gap and global energy crisis demand innovative solutions like distinct energy systems. As an early pioneer of this service, LEC has great potential to become a sustainable source of energy for the future and has captured the attention of other municipalities, as well as cities in foreign countries. Visit for more information about Lonsdale energy Corporation LEC and the advantages of district energy.

North Shore Spirit Trail

The newly launched North Shore Spirit Trail is another step in the City of North Vancouver's vision to create a truly sustainable community for all residents.The North Vancouver City is working with the BC provincial government, North Shore municipalities, First Nations and other organizations to create the North Shore Spirit Trail. Conceived as a 35 km waterfront oriented, multi-use greenway, the North Shore Spirit Trail represents an exciting opportunity for the City of North Vancouver's sustainability goals. Through the creation of the North Shore Spirit Trail, the City of North Vancouver can provide safe, accessible, alternative transportation options for pedestrians, cyclists, inline skaters and people with wheeled mobility aids. Visit for the latest information and progress updates on the North Shore Spirit Trail.

$1 Million More from BC Province for North Shore Spirit Trail in North Vancouver

Money to go toward North Vancouver pedestrian overpass according to Melanie of the North Shore News. A new links hould soon be added to the North Shore Spirit Trail, thanks to a $1 million provincial donation announced by Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon in North Vancouver on Tuesday. The funding will go toward the construction of a pedestrian overpass over CN Rail Lines that will allow users to reach North Vancouver’s waterfront real estate district, including Lonsdale Quay. The 35 kilometre trail, which is still under construction runs near or along the North Shore waterfront real estate community. It will be open to cyclists, inline skaters and pedestrians. “I’m extremely pleased. It’s a very substancial contribution,” said North Vancouver City Mayor Darrell Mussatto. “I’m really trying to give alternatives for people to commute other than the automobile. (Also) it’ll link up two areas that are completely disconnected because of the railway tracks. We’ve had lots of people trying to cross the train tracks.” The aim of the North Shore Spirit Trail is to make the trail stretch uninterrupted from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. Mussatto called the North Shore Spirit Trail a gateway to the North Shore real estate community. “(It will be) our own little Stanley Park seawall,” said Mussatto. “It will be good for locals and tourists.” “it’s not often in government that you will have the opportunity to be involved in these really important legacy projects that can have such a positive impact,” said Falcon. When asked if the North Shore Spirit Trail could expect future funding he said his ministry would be willing to help out. “I believe very, very strongly in this,” said Falcon. The four metre wide paved North Shore Spirit Trail will have a low grade, avoiding steep areas in order to be more accessible. This means that the bridge itself must have low grades also. That explains the hefty price tag for the BC Spirit Trail North Shore, since the bridge must be quite wide to reach the required two story height over the train tracks. The entire North Vancouver Spirit Trail project will cost $3 million. The balance will come from the city, although students at Bodwell High School also raised $5,000 toward the North Shore Spirit Trail project. Currently, the province’s LocalMotion program, designed to promote greener, more active and accessible communities, has already allotted $3.5 million to North Vancouver Spirit Trail upgrades. The funding for the North Shore Spirit Trail depends upon the municipality contributing at least 50 per cent of the cost. Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon announces a $1 million provincial investment in the North Shore Spirit Trail on August 26th. The money will go towards a pedestrian overpass that will traverse the railway tracks at North Vancouver’s Mackay Creek. The North Shore Spirit Trail will eventually run from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove.

District of North Vancouver seeks Spirit Trail Input

Two routes options for western portion- a public meeting is planned according to Hollie L for the North Shore News. The DNV will look west rather than east in prioritizing planning for the North Shore Spirit Trail. Public consultation will begin September 30th and construction on one section could begin as early as next year. During a Sept 15 workshop, a council discussed plans for the trail with engineer Erica Geddes. The North Shore Spirit Trail is envisioned as a 35 km low lying path that will link Horseshoe Bay and Deep Cove. It was initiated by the North Shore Spirit of B.C. committee with the goal of creating a legacy for the 2010 Olympic Games for North and West Vancouver. A consultant has reviewed route options for the district , and a portion west of the City of North Vancouver will be focused on first, said Geddes. A public workshop will be held on Sept 30 to get feedback on the western trail. The two possible routes from the boundary with the District of West Vancouver that will be discussed are: a trail through Welch Park, meeting up with West First Street near Mackay Creek or a trail starting at Welch Park then cutting down Garden Avenue to a majority of the trail on West First Street. Geddes noted there is already an existing trail in Welch Park, which is something that “could be built on” with the Spirit Trail North Vancouver project. Counc. Lisa Muri was outspoken in her preference of the two options: “Let’s just leave the Welch Street one,” she said. Geddes replied that the North Shore Spirit Trail through Welch Park has been getting better feedback, but both will be presented to the public. “We expect the public to give us suggestions,” she said. The first section of the North Shore Spirit Trail is expected to cost anywhere from $500,000 to $1.2 million based on the route option. A good portion of the funding from the western portion of the North Shore Spirit Trail is expected to come from the province and from TransLink, with the remainder paid by the district of North Vancouver. “Our neighbours are already on this,” said Geddes, noting that North Shore Spirit Trail planning in West Vancouver and City of North Vancouver are already progressing. The western portion of the district trail could start “relatively soon” with the possible start date of 2009. Construction would take around two years, she said. The Sept 30 public meeting will be held at the Squamish Nation’s Elder’s Centre at 100 Mathias Road from 7 to 9pm.

Legislative Report from Katherine Whittred, M.L.A. on $1 Million Funding for North Shore Spirit Trail
Katherine stands with Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon, City of North Van Mayor Darrell Mussatto and fellow MLA Ralph Suttan to announce additional provincial funding for the North Shore Spirit Trail. I was pleaed to join Minister of Transportation Kevin Falcon in announcing the Province of BC is investing $1 million toward the City of North Van’s Makay Creek/CN Rail overpasss. This adds another link to the North Shore Spirit Trail in North Vancouver. The funding will enable construction of an overpass for pedestrians and cyclists over the CN Rail Lines, just south of the intersection of Mackay Road and West 1st Street. Trail improvements for the North Shore Spirit Trail on either side of the overpass will provide users with safe and convenient connections to the Lower Mackay Creek Park/Marine Drive neighbourhoods to the north and to Kings Mill Park to the south. Improvements to this portion of the North Shore Spirit Trail are in addition to more than $3.5 million in funding under the LocalMotion Porgram for upgrades to the North Shore Spirit Trail. Once complete, the Spirit Trail of North Vanocuver will be a low level route spanning communities from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. I look forward to sharing the North Shore Spirit Trail with walkers, cyclists, wheelchair riders and all those wishing to get out and get active.

West Vancouver Spirit Trail Construction Set to Begin

District of West Vancouver staff is preparing to begin construction on Phase 1 of the West Vancouver Spirit Trail stretching behind Park Royal Shopping Centre this fall! According to a report by director of engineering and transport Raymond Fung, construction of the section reaching through Ambleside Park from Pound Road to 13th street should begin in the next few weeks. Fung said staff is only waiting on final approval from Park Royal Shopping Centre and the Squamish Nation, expected to come through next week. Fung also encouraged council to create a working group to help the West Vancouver Spirit Trail staff westward expansion. “We recommended that a Spirit Trail consultation working group be established to assist staff in developing a process to work with residents as the project proceeds from conceptual design down through detailed design in specific neighbourhoods,” Fung said. The Spirit Trail is a bike and walking path intended to span the North Shore from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to Deep Cove in North Vancouver. By Jessica for the North Shore News.

New Green Building Standards

Beginning September 5, 2008, all new construction in B.C. will need to meet progressive green building standards for energy and water efficiency. The new green building standards and requirements are available online at The Province is exploring additional ways to reduce the impact of buildings on the environment by further improving water conservation, reducing energy use and promoting the use of more environmentally friendly construction materials for improved green building standards in BC. Greening the B.C. Building Code is one of the extensive steps being taken across government to meet the Province’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

North Shore Real Estate Trends, North Vancouver Housing Market, Continued Redevelopment and Re-Zoning Plans for Central Lonsdale, Extra Foods Project

Taking Stock of North Vancouver Real Estate As Our Hot Propety Market Cools Off

Straight from the desk of ‘Architecturally Speaking’ by Kevin V and written for the North Shore News, this article dissects what is meant by the recent slowdown and decrease in North Vancouver property values. The crazy ride appears to be over. It only takes a quick glimpse at the North Vancouver real estate listings to see that the market is settling. The tanking housing property market in the U.S. mixed with rapidly increasing fuel costs and a general economic unease seems to be sobering our North Shore housing sales. It’s time to take stock of what we have and recognize the inevitable ebb and flow of the North Vancouver housing marketplace. From an architectural point of view, this slow down can be a good thing. A few years back I remember getting a frantic call from a contractor asking if I was absolutely sure that I wanted ¾ inch plywood on a given section of the roof. The prices of plywood were going up 25 per cent the following day and he needed to put in his order immediately. It was a crazy time. In the height of it all a cost consultant of mine suggested building costs were increasing at one per cent each month. We were struggling to give clients accurate estimates and to keep real estate North Shore projects on budget. It was hard to run a successful race when the finish line kept moving. Regardless of what North Vancouver housing prices do over the next little while, it’s important to realize what we have here on the North Shore real estate market. The three point adage for a successful business “location, location, location” holds true for us as well. The North Shore real estate is one of the most beautifu locales on earth with a mild climate, an astounding picturesque backdrop and a perfect position next to a world-class metropolis. If one compares our North Shore housing prices to equally striking cities like San Francisco or Sydney, one realizes that our real estate property market is a bargain. For the international buyer, we’re still a deal. The topography has limited our real estate development projects to the extents it has with a steep mountainside to our north and ocean on all other sides. It’s densification or no growth at all. “We live in a place where people want to live.” It’s my mantra when discussing the merits of a renovation or new construction. There’s tremendous value in the land we have on the North Shore market. As the real estate market settles, so too wil the construction industry. Material costs have already dropped in the wake of the slumping U.S. housing market and labour rates will surely follow. It wasn’t long ago that I struggled to find a good builder to bid on my projcts but now I’m the one getting the inquiring calls. I’m content with the direction of the North Vancouver housing market is going. I feel strongly that we’ve never been in the proverbial “bubble.” Our North Shore housing prices reflect the value of the place we live. The slowing trend will bring with it cheaper material costs and more competitive labour costs. The real estate industry will take a well-earned deep breath as everyone associated with it takes a little more time for the work at hand. The near future might not be a bad time to consider a construction project after all.

Slowdown in North Shore Real Estate Housing Sales Not a Concern, Say Realtors

According to the North Shore News, drop in North Shore property housing sales a minor correction only by Melanie K. Although Greater Vancouver’s housing market is showing distinct signs of cooling off, North Shore real estate home owners have no reason to worry – at least not yet – according to North Vancouver real estate agents. That the market is slowing down is evident in the figures from the region’s real estate board. In 2007, 73 per cent of houses listed in North Vancouver real estate and 63 per cent in West Vancouver sold, while this year it has dropped considerably: only 47 per cent of North Vancouver houses listed sold in North Van and 35 per cent of listings sold in West Vancouver real estate market. That stagnation has had an effect on prices – particularly in the last month. The median price of a detached house in West Vancouver has dropped nine per cent since June, from $1,538,000 to around $1,400,000. North Vancouver real estate has experienced a similar thing on a smaller scale, with the median house price slipping two per cent from $880,000 to $865,000. But to those in the real estate North Shore industry, this shift comes at no surprise. “We’re going through a correction process like we did in 1990. It’ll correct 15 to 20 per cent,” said realtor Brent Eilers. “I think this process will take a further six to 18 months, depending on how quickly the prices drop.” The correction in North Vancouver and West Vancouver real estate is inevitable after the meteororic price gains of recent years, said North Shore real estate agent Ray Proc. “Ever since Expo, the real estate market has been continuously going up, and after September 11, the market really took off,” said Proc. “Just about everything in West Vancouver has doubled in the past five years. It just can’t sustain itself.” The correction in the North Shore real estate market housing prices should be kept in perspective, however, said the real estate agents. Overall, North Shore prices are still higher than last year. West Vancouver’s rose 13 per cent between June of 2007 and June 2008 and North Vancouver real estate’s rose ten per cent over the same period. The slip is only “a temporary breather,” said Proc.

More about the Future of North Shore Housing Prices

And the North Shore real estate market is protected in contrast to other Lower Mainland municipalities because space here is so limited, he said. “What we have here is what we have. You can’t open up 350 acres like you can in Surrey real estate to keep the prices down,” said Proc. Realtor Alan Skinner agreed with that assessment. “The demand is still extremely healthy for the North Shore property market,” said Skinner. “We’re not into a tragic situation where people shouldn’t have bought last year. The North Shore real estate is kind of a microcosm in Greater Vancouver that is extremely special.” Skinner emphasized that this kind of real estate property market is good for North Shore buyers who can now take time to rationally reflect on making a good purchase decision. As long as the North Shore real estate is desireable place to live, the market will stay strong, he said. “We’re really bulletproof for our lifetimes and beyond.” For the time being, the best thing North Shore homeowners can do to protect themselves is to list their homes at prices that reflect the demands of the North Shore property market, said Proc. Doing so might help cut down the backlog of unsold North Vancouver and West Vancouver property currently on the market. “If people would be more realistic on their asking price, we wouldn’t have 550 homes for sale,” he said. To make sure they hit the mark, said Proc., North Shore home owners should “look at what sold, not what’s for sale.” In the end, the hardest hit are the realtors themselves, said Skinner. A drop in sales means a drop in revenue. After so many years of white-hot sales on the North Shore, many are not used to dealing with a slump. “the majority of the real estate agents on the North Shore haven’t experienced a correction,” said Eilers. Agents who are used to making sales easily are kicking up the most fuss, he said.

North Vancouver City Backs Off 10 Storey Condo Plan North of 17th Street

According to the North Shore News Heidi C writer, the City of North Vancouver had a 5-2 majority favouring further consultation regarding plans to build condo/mixed-retail/commercial high-rises north of 17th Street along Lonsdale Avenue. City of North Vancouver council has put the brakes on a density bonsuing scheme that would see residential apartment building height along Lonsdale Avenue top out at 10 stories north of 17th Street. The plan, coming out of Central Lonsdale Planning Study stakeholder group discussions that included key city staff as well as community members, sees a trade-off of one market-priced residential North Vancouver Lonsdale Avenue unit for every one rental unit built. In the case of non-profit housing the ratio would be three market units for each one non-market North Vancouver resience. The goal is to build up the City of North Vancouver’s diminishing rental housing stock, hard hit by aging buildings and high priced real estate. Instead, in a 5 to 2 vote July 21, North Van Council voted against changing the city’s official community plan for real estate development to advance the plan. First it wants further public consultation. “this decision does not need to be taken tonight,” said Coun. Barbara Perrault. “What’s the rush?” Condo Towers in North Vancouver’s Central Lonsdale district were never envisioned for the area north of 17th Street. Such a drastic OCP change needs more consideration, she said. “We need broader consultation beyond the stakeholder group with property owners, rentants and the real estate development community.” The stakeholder group was not unanimous in its proposal, with one dissenting voice strongly opposed to blocking views of the North Shore mountains from Lonsdale Avenue, said Perrault. “I believe what’s porposed here is quite radical a change,” said coun. Pam Bookham. “It is so complex and it is very controversial. I think people need to fully understand the impoications of these proposals.” For the redevelopment of the Central Lonsdale real estate district. She said she sould like to see a scale mock-up of the North Vancouver Central Lonsdale new building heights proposed in roder to properly envision what Central Lonsdale real estate district will look like.

More about the Redevelopment of Central Lonsdale Real Estate Corridor

This is an election issue, said Bookham, who hopes North Vancouver city council members take a stand and residents speak up through ballot decisions. Two significant issues, the future of Central Lonsdale real estate corridor and rental housing in North Vancouver city are mixed in this proposal, said Coun. Bob Heywood. “Looking at the rental housing stock situation, I’m really troubled with us trying to find the absolute solution to this in the City of North Vancouver, which has one per cent of the Metro Vancouver housing stock,” he said. “If you take every four level walk up in the city and go to three times the density, we’d come up with a very, very uninteresting city. And would we sovle anybody’s problems?” asked Heywood. “We already, in this North Vancouver City, have 53 or 54 per cent of our people in rental accommodation.” The argument between rental and strata ownership is moot, said Heywood. The cost to the individual is the same, he said. “It may be cheaper to own,” he said. Few City of North Vancouver home owner pay 30 per ent of their income for housing as do some renters, he said (referring to upscale rental residences not subsidized rental stock.) Heywood said he would support trying the scheme out on a single building first. City of North Vancouver council needs to be concerned about the loss of rental housing to market condominium North Vancouver real estate development, said Counc. Craig Keating. The real estate development on the southeast corner of 13th Street and Chesterfield Avenue is an example, he said. “that is the future, unless this council or the next council takes action,” said Keating. “And the only action I can say that we can do with the measly powers that municipalities have, is make the construction of rental and renewed rental units affordable and possible in this market place.” This one-for-one plan and three-for-one for non profits does that, he said. Both Keating and Major Darrell Mussatto voted in support of the OCP amendment. “the reality is the buildings are getting old,” said Mussatto. “We have very few tools to provide affordable housing rental housing.” Senior levels of government are not in the game, he said. “We need to use all the tools we can that the stakeholder group recommended and go forward with this. That’s being realistic,” he said. “If we’re going to look at some OCP changes let’s go forward with that. Let’s talk about how we are going to keep rental housing in our community.” The staff report noted that the limitation to 10 stories may be economically restrictive and insufficient to cover building costs along the redevelopment of the Central Lonsdale real estate corridor. It’s on the point that Counc. Sam Schechter said he wanted further public discussion that a policy committee meeting would provide. The height limitation ay be too conservative for Central Lonsdale he said. Forty two per cent of North Vancouver’s rental housing stock is in Central Lonsdale. Most of the rental apartments are between 20 and 60 years old. The North Vancouver City rental housing stock is shrinking as it losses rental housing to redevelopment.

North Vancouver City Sends Extra Foods Real Estate Redevelopment Proposal to Hearing

By Heidi for the North Shore News. The redevelopment of the Extra Foods site at 17th Street and Lonsdale Avenue passed another stepping stone July 28th when City of North Vancouver council sent the real estate redevelopment of this North Vancouver site to a public hearing. The Extra Foods real estate site plan calls for replacing the existing 25,000 square foot store with one approximately twice the size almost 200,000 sq ft of residential apartment development. In December 2007, City of North Vancouver council approved a height variance of up to 40 feet above what is allowed in the official North Van community plan and some density bonusing for the current Lonsdale North Vancouver Extra Foods site. The real estate proposal sent to hearing is 240 feet in height – 60 feet above the OCP limit. Staff point out that is no higher than the proposals on the table from the Central Lonsdale Planning Study of North Vancouver real estate rezoning and redevelopment. Council hopes the real estate development will contain community amenity space, a publicly accessible open space and the potential for up to 10,000 or 12,000 square feet of affordable housing for North Vancouver City. The new real estate building at Extra Foods will be connected to Lonsdale Energy Corporation’s heating system. A large underground parking lot will also be created at the Extra Foods proposal for redevelopment. The entrance and exit to the parking and the potential for pedestrian/vehicle conflict, is so far the only point in Loblaw’s real estate development proposal to catch some council criticism. Extra Foods retailer proposal for their North Vancouver Lonsdale property site calls for right in, right out vehicle access across the east side of Lonsdale Avenue sidewalk into the underground parking. Site access is critical to the store’s reopning, Dallas Wingerak, director of real estate development of Loblaw Properties, told council on July 28th.

More about the Redevelopment of Central Lonsdale Real Estate

During the anticipated 18 month closure Loblaws expects to lsoe some customers, she said. “What we need to do when we reopen the store is ensure that the store is designed in such a way that everyone we lost is welcome back into the store,” she said. In addition to the traffice for the proposed rezoning and re-develompent of the Extra Foods North Vancouver real estate site, impact study done by Bunt and Associates Engineering, which supports the Lonsdale acess option, Loblaw’s commissioned a third party independent traffic impact study through Opus Hamilton, a transportation planning and engineering firm. That study also showed improved overall traffic safety with the right in, right out alignment. It relieves pressure off of 17th Street. Moreover, there’s several examples of successful similar access situations throughout Metro Vancouver said Wingerak. “Our commitment to the City of North Vancouver in developing this Extra Foods site is that the brand new 40,000 square foot modern food store will continue on a very attractive price offering, as a price leader on the North Shore. We believe this real estate development is well aligned with the city’s goals for Central Lonsdale in becoming a great pedestrian environment and that it will be a highly successful anchor in the Central Lonsdale area,” she said. According to the City of North Vancouver engineering report, staff don’t fully support the Lonsdale Avenue option for a number of reasons. These include a city policy to eliminate driveways across Lonsdale – currently vehicular access off Lonsdale Avenue is prohibited except for service station use. Also the City of north Vancouver real estate transportation plan identifies Londsale as a pedestrian precinct and vehicle access across the sidewalk would detract from the city’s goal for a pedestrian friendly streetscape. The public hearing for the redevelopment and rezoning of Extra Foods int eh real estate corridor of Central Lonsdale in North Vancouver property is scheduled for September 8th.

Building Awareness in North Vancouver Central Lonsdale Real Estate Rezoning Plans

As with any change to a community, the development proposal for the City of North Vancouver’s Extra Foods rezoning site will no doubt meet with hostility from many Central Lonsdale residents according to the Viewpoint in the North Shore News. If and when the condo towers start to rise at the corner of 17th Street and Lonsdale Avenue in the North Vancouver Central Lonsdale real estate corridor, there will be griping about the loss of views, increased traffic, pedestrian safety issues and the impact on neighbourhood character. But to those affected by the real estate rezoning Central Lonsdale Extra Foods North Vancouver project: understand that you have the opportunity now – before the first brick has been laid – to influence the outcome. On Monday night, city council of North Vancouver will be holding a public hearing on the matter of the rezoning of North Vancouver’s Extra Foods site in the Central Lonsdale real estate redevelopment plans. Councillors will be gathering input and deciding whether to allow the rezoning project to go ahead. The questions they will be addressing are not small. The proposal for the rezoning of the Central Lonsdale Extra Foods North Vancouver real estate site calls for the existing supermarket to be replaced with one twice the size and a 240 foot high residential condo building – 60 feet above the OCP limit. It will likely include public amenities, a significant amount of affordable housing and an underground parking garage that opens on to the Lonsdale Avenue sidewalk as part of this rezoning of Extra Foods Central Lonsdale site. This is not to suggest the North Vancouver redevelopment project should necessarily be viewed as bad, but it will unquestionably be a significant change to the Central Lonsdale real estate corridor. Municipal meetings are notoriously under-attended, but municipal decisions are met with no shortage of complaints. Now is your chance to make your concerns known ahead of time about the redevelopment of the North Vancouver Extra Foods Central Lonsdale rezoning site, when they can actually have an impact. Grumbling after the fact will be of little value to anyone.

City of North Vancouver Approves Extra Foods Central Lonsdale Condo Tower

A great article on the most recent developments regarding the re-zoning of the Extra Foods site in Central Lonsdale North Vancouver real estate by Stephanie for the North Shore News. Nearly two years in the making, a controversial plan to redevelop Extra Foods site at 17th Street and Lonsdale Avenue was passed by City of North Vancouver council after a crowded Monday night public hearing. Council voted 6 – 1 in favour of rezoning this Central Lonsdale North Van property site that will result in roughly 200,000 square feet of residential real estate development and the replacement of the existing 25,000 sq ft grocery store with one nearly double its size. A 240 foot Central Lonsdale North Vancouver condo high-rise will top OCP height limit by 60 feet. Council’s approval will allow the residential condominium high-rise to reach 240 feet, again about 60 feet above the present City of North Vancouver official community plan limit. Several speakers at the overflowing public hearing said they were opposed to amending the OCP and drastically changing the Central Lonsdale North Vancouver real estate skyline. “I am really glad to see some sort of configuration of the 17th street… but I am very disappointed about the ehgith of the building,” said Gloria Atkinson, a local resident for 59 years. “I feel that is (a height increase) is approved by council, where does it end? We are the North Shore please keep us distinct,” said Atkinson. “We don’t want a concrete jungle.” Other speakers about the Extra Foods rezoning plan for City of North Vancouver real estate in Central Lonsdale condo high-rise said they were concerned that Council members were jumping too quickly at the opportunity to secure affordable North Vancouver housing in exchange for an increase in density and height for the North Vancouver real estate developer. The City of North Vancouver will receive approximately 8800 sq ft of non-market North Vancouver rental housing from the joint venture between owner Loblaws and real estate developer Anthem Properties. A decision on how the condo suites and rental housing in North Vancouver’s Central Lonsdale extra Foods site, possibly 12 to 13 in total, will be managed is yet to be made by city council. Ken Hawthorne, a Lower Lonsdale resident, called the process a “total destruction of the official community plan in the neighbourhood in the name of affordable North Vancouver housing. “I hear people say, from council that (the North Vancouver OCP) is a guide. Well, if it’s a guide then why isn’t it called a guide? It’s an official community plan,” he added. It was the issue of North Vancouver affordable housing, however, that caused several speakers, some of whom wore green placardsthat read GO! Redevelopment of Extra Foods, and members of council to support the Central Lonsdale real estate development. “I commend a development like this that allows people to work downtown and live in the Central Lonsdale area,” said resident Blaine Barden. He said this type of residential North Vancouver real estate development allows people to get “a foothold in the market.” Councillor Sam Schechter also supported the proposal, citing concerns over a lack of rental housing in North Vancouver. “Senior governments aren’t playing the game of providing affordable, subsidized housing,” he said. “We should deal with these issues; we should tackle them head on.” Councillor Barbara Perrault agreed. “A lot of young people who have grown up here cannot live here anymore. This will give them a leg up to find housing here,” she said.

Height Bonus for the Extra Foods Condo High-Rise in Central Lonsdale Nets Non-Market Rental Units for North Vancouver

The Central Lonsdale real estate development includes a green roof (among other sustainable initiatives), a publicly accessible plaza area and an underground parking garage which conists of right in, right out parking access on Lonsdale Avenue. The current Extra Foods site has a right out ext on Lonsdale Ave. Concerns on how this change will affect traffic and pedestrians were raised several times by speakers from the Central Lonsdale North Vancouver community. “(Allowing this access) flies in the face of what council has been working to achieve,” said William Caulfield, who lives and works in the area. “Loblaw’s proposal is unsafe for pedestrians and unnecessary.” The City of North Vancouver’s existing policy has been to eliminate driveways across Lonsdale sidewalks and to develop the avenue as a pedestrian friendly streetscape. But Dallas Wingerak, director of North Vancouver real estate development for Loblaw Properties, told council that the Lonsdale access is critical for the store to regain customers when it reopens. “When we’re looking at a decision where we will close a store that is profitable for 18 months and build a more expensive store that doesn’t have what we deem to be successful access, ti becomes a very difficult decision for us,” she said. A traffic impact study conducted by Bunt & Associates Engineering supported the Lonsdale access option. So also did a second traffic study, commissioned by Loblaws, through Opus Hamilton, a third party independent firm. Both studies on the Extra Foods rezoning and building of the new condo high rise Central Lonsdale tower in North Vancouver real estate show improved overall traffic safety by relieving pressure on 17th Street. However, in a July 22 report to council, city staff recommended against the Lonsdale access chiefly because of pedestrian concerns. Councillor Bob Heywood voiced concern over the potential for vehicular and pedestrian conflict. He said, however, that if Loblaws was willing to conduct safety audits and continue to improve the right in, right out access after the North Vancouver real estate project was complete that he would be more inclined to support it. Loblaw’s Wingerak said working with the city of North Vancouver on safety audits had already been discussed. Councillor Pam Bookham, the only councilor to vote against the Extra Foods Central Lonsdale rezoning proposal said there are too many unanswered questions as to how the city’s non market housing will be managed. “When we look to use density bonusing as a tool, we need to be able to explain to the community the benefit that we see,” she said. “Judging by comments made tonight [the community] has not received the answers they were looking for.” Anthem Properties says it will take 2- 3 months to develop a construction schedule for the rezoned Central Lonsdale Extra Foods North Vancouver condo tower development. Building should take 18 months.

Scaled Down Extra Foods Central Lonsdale Condo Tower Wins North Vancouver Council Approval – October 2008

An article from the North Shore News by James W updating the status of the approval of the condominium tower residences at the existing Central Lonsdale Extra Foods site. Central Lonsdale real estate corridor will be getting a new condo tower after all with the decision by City of North Vancouver council Monday to give the proposed Extra Foods site redevelopment property the green light. From an earlier proposal that was shot down by city countil regarding the overheight portion of the condo building, the new Extra Foods condo building tower will only be one hundred and eighty feet or fifty five metres as opposed to the originally proposaed and passed 240 feet or 73 metre high-rise Central Lonsdale North Vancouver condo tower. The drop in height puts this North Vancouver real estate development within the limits of the official community plan, which caps construction of condo high-rises at about 18 stories, but also comes at the expense of a number of below market rental units and affordable housing suites in addition to community amenities that were part of the original proposal for this North Vancouver Extra Foods Central Lonsdale real estate site. Bypassing a total of $6 million dollars in development for North Shore affordable housing units, the city council gave way to the construction of a market value condo North Vancouver tower. The original planned proposal was for a 25,000 sq foot Extra Foods store to be converted into a massive new 200,000 square foot grocery store, 24 storey residential North Shore condo tower that would have been 60 feet over the allowable height under the existing Official Community Plan of North Vancouver real estate. With this added height, the developers were asked to build about 8,800 square feet of affordable housing in the form of below market rental suites for the Central Lonsdale property market in addition to a public plaza. However, all changed on October 6th, when the city council reversed course and the building proposal had to be amended from there. With community opposition to this North Shore condominium tower, the voices were heard somewhat. Now, in October 2008, it is a done deal with the height reduction in the market value North Vancouver condo tower at the Extra Foods Central Lonsdale site in addition to a reduction in the non market rental units. Whichever side you are on, there are certainly benefits and disadvantages to this passed proposal.

North Shore Real Estate Update August 2008 – Property Value Correction Does Not Mean Disaster

Reading some commentators one might believe that “Chicken Little” was too great an optimist. No, an adjusting real estate market on the North Shore is not a disaster – like strenuous exercise, some discomfort does lead to a healthier, sickness-resistant organism. Indeed, an anxious seller on the North Shore property market may well be “giving back” a little to a canny home buyer or do we as a society favour existing property owners over those wanting to buy? I do know thought hat it is cold comfort for the August 2008 seller to hear that the March 2008 seller did well with 10% of the stress in the North Shore real estate market. This is according to the Allan Skinner editorial in the North Shore property newspaper, the most trusted news source for trends in the North Vancouver and West Vancouver real estate market. You can visit for more information or you can get an email version of these updates by requesting them from or calling 604.988.7368. These are highly recommended to North Shore home buyers and sellers. How to deal with today? Fact, lots of North Shore property on the market. The figures below show West Vancouver real estate inventory up over last year by 50 to 80% and North Vancouver property up over double in all North Shore real estate segments. If one has to sell, accept (i) that the North Shore property will sell for less than it would have 4 to 6 months ago and (ii) that nay real urgency to effect a sale may dictate a further reduction. Appropriate asking price and North Shore property condition are the key to achieving the speediest an dhighest sale result. Consider the following- if one North Shore property were selling on average every 5 days and there are 110 on the real estate market (ignoring new listings) that would mean that the North Shore inventory for property sales will be fully sold in about 1.5 years! If one has truly the average home, in average condition , in a middling location, it could take approx 9 months – hardly an exciting prospect! One has little control over one’s existing location but condition and price are “adjustable”. The buzz word for “sale condition” is now “staging” – a concpt which may connote something distatesful for some as in creating an illusion for increased sales price of North Shore real estate property. True condition is fortunately hard to fake. We are no longer in a phase (seller’s market) where anyone could say “I have a property to sell… it’s a bit rundown, but since the demand is so high (and supply low)… you’ll have to take it as is.” Remember, the well maintained and well presented North Shore property real estate will be easier to sell than the West Van and North Van properties where work has to be deferred. For the North Shore home buyer, the time is now to start looking seriously – no pressure to complete, time to consider rationally and a significant breadth of supply. Work with an experienced Realtor who has encountered this sort of real estate market on the North Shore and remember that Calgary’s 7100 detached home investory end of May ’08 became June ‘08’s 6500. Now si the time home buyers on the North Shore real estate market! The commend has been made – “why would it be called a buyers’ market if so few of them are making the decision to buy!” Predictions – continued leveling off of values this year and (I agree with CMHC) some increase in values once 2009 rolls around. Now the sevent months 2008 figures versus 2007 – North Vancouver real estate detached homes sold down 20% from last year, attached townhomes down 19% and apartments down by 21% from 2007. Detached average North Vancouver home prices +15% and inventory now up by 105%. Average prices up 8% townhouses and up by 12% for apartments. Inventory for North Vancouver townhomes is up 110% and apartments are up 107% - both of these continue to affected by slower absorption of new construction properties. While there still is demand, continuing high investory will maintain a tempering of sales prices – continuing of the plateauing. West Vancouver real estate market – detached number of sales has dropped by 25% from 1007. Average price of West Vancouver homes is up 7% and inventory is now up 85% over 2007. On the condo side, attached townhouses sold are marginally up over 2007 by 5% and average price down 10% YTD. Active listings are now 57% over last year and apartments reflect 96 sold versus 128 by July 2007. Overall North Shore real estate demand still evident with inventory remaining higher.

The North Shore Real Estate Market – The Land at the North End of the Lions Gate Bridge

A great article in the Home Renters Guide is all about apartment rentals and condos for rent on the North Shore that consists of North Vancouver (District and City) as well as West Vancouver and the outlying municipalities. Visitors to Vancouver are often told, “if you want to head north, just look for the North Shore Mountains,” unless of course the rain is obscuring the horizon, but that is another story. Huddled againt these inspring mountains, the three municipalities of the North Shore real estate market sprawl along the Burrard Inlet shoreline from Indian Arm ont eh east to Howe Sound on the west, and travelling through this diverse region reveals subtle and also major differences. The mountain wilderness which is the North Shore real estate’s forested backyard defines its character and speaks eloquently of its pioneer past, and of the First Nations who have called his land home for millennia. If you are looking for North Shore rental apartments or condos for rent in North Vancouver or West Vancouver, now is the time as vacancies are so low and not many new rental housing units are coming to the market anytime soon. Occupancy is usually near or at 100% especially in the City of North Vancouver complete with its excellent transportation system and idyllic location. Our trip starts at the historic birthplace of the City of North Vancouver in Lower Lonsdale rental condo market. Here the lumber industry was established on the North Shore of Vancouver in the 1860’s and soon families were settling around this bustling centre of industry and creating fledgling Lower Lonsdale North Vancouver rental communities that ultimately would become the municipalities of the North Shore real estate district. Small clusters of dwellings soon were scattered along the North Shore shoreline towards Horseshoe Bay in the west. Named Ambleside, Dundarave, and Hollyburn, these formed the nucleus of present day West Vancouver North Shore real estate rental market. To the east, the future of District of North Vancouver streteched towards Indian Arm.

The North Shore is a land of superlatives according to this Homebase Media article. The soaring snow-capped peaks of Grouse Mountain, Seymour Mountain and Hollyburn Mountains, here skiers and back-country enthusiasts explore the wonder of winter sports and summer hiking, are literally at Vancouver’s back door and the Coastal Mountain Ranges fo the North Shore real estate market. Grouse Mountain’s cable car chairlift operates all year, and this major tourist attraction is visible from the most palces in Vancouver. At the peak, you can tka eyour pick from skiing, hiking, helicopter trips, paragliding, lumber sporting events, and fine dining. West Vancouver real estate’s Cypress Bowl on Hollyburn Mountain also offers skiing with cross country trails forming a network through the mountains. Further east, Mount Seymour has its share of outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy exploring the mountains that overlook Indian Arm real estate in the North Shore. Whether you enter the North Shore real estate market over Lions Gate Bridge or the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge, or from the Seabus which darts across the harbour from Vanocuver, you can expect to find recreation, entertainment, and shopping: in fact, you may wish to stay. Lonsdale Quay in Lower Lonsdale North Shore real estate is similar to Granville Island, with its maritime ambience and endless array of shops and tantalizing foods to choose from. The Lower Lonsdale North Shore area around the Quay is steadily growing and undergoing revitalizing, with beautiful new rental condominium complexes and restaurants which have transformed the streetscapes of this energetic area. The adjacent Versatile Shipyards is currently being rezoned into a major waterfront North Shore real estate development with 1.6 million sq ft of residential/commercial and institutional use. The City of North Vancouver real estate, the smallest of the three North Shore municipalities is staunchly proud of its heritage and its independence.

More about the North Shore District of North Van Real Estate Rental District
The District of North Vancouver real estate on the North Shore of Vancouver with its wealth of natural wonders like the 250 hectares of Lynn Canyon Park with its suspension bridge, roaring toreents, and tranquil forest trails, offers neighbourhoods with woodland splendour. Deep Cove rental apartments and condos on its eastern boundary is a peaceful seaside village with a Mediteranean feel. Restaurants, boutiques, and funky stores makes this popular destination, and Panorama Park in Deep Cove and Beach is a favourite hangout for sunlovers, and kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts on the North Shore rental real estate market. A truly amazing way to explore the length of the North Shore real estate district from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay is along the rugged wilderness Baden Powell Trail which winds through wild terrain for 41 km. For an awe-inspiring experience, the Capilano Suspension Bridge which soars 230 feet above the Capilano River takes visitors across a numbing 450 foot span. While you are in this North Shore real estate district, visit the Cleveland Dam which is also on Capilano Road, nad thrill to the spilling waters from Cleveland Lake which course over the dam. This is a fine place to admire the peaks of The Lions in the distance, which provided Lions Gate Bridge with its name.

About the rental West Vancouver property market and what to expect
The waters of the Capilano River which flow into the sea beside famous Ambleside Park form West Vancouver’s eastern boundary in real estate North Shore. This recreational mecca offers white beaches, the start of the seawall which extends along the waterfront to Dundarave, playing fields, wonderful French fires at the conseccion, and views across to Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge and as far as Spanish Banks and the Endowment Lands of UBC. The rental apartment market for West Vancouver North Shore real estate has no industrial lands and has developed into a mainly residential community sparkling with seaside parks, fine shopping and some of the most expensive real estate in Canada. High on the mountainside overlooking this North Shore real estate enclave of wealth and natural beauty, the millionaire mansions of the British Properties creep up the hillside, reminding us that the Guiness family, who built the Lions Gate Bridge, also developed this incredibly expensive tract of North Shore real estate. Cocooned between mountains and the ocean, the North Shore real estate rental market has roged its own distinct identity and provides a scenic backdrop for visitors to the City of Vancouver to enjoy. This is a fine place to admire in the distance, the peaks of The Lions, which provided Lions Gate Bridge its name.

A Tradition of Sound Advice from Brent Ellers Prudential Sussex Realty on the Facts of the North Shore Real Estate Markets for West Vancouver and North Vancouver

Brent Ellers is a Diamond Medallion Club 2007 fro 19 years now and is trusted North Shore real estate agent who has given advice based on factual information to prospective buyers and sellers in both North and West Van. The experience to inform and the confidence to advise focused on results only. If you are considering a move in 2008, Brent Ellers would like to invite you to call him for a private consultation on the current North Shore real estate market conditions. For 25 years now, he has consistently been one of the North Shore’s most successful realtors providing professional advice, outstanding personal service, and achieving prompt results! Your North Shore home is your most valuable asset, get properly informed so call 604.984.9711 for North Vancouver real estate market conditions or 604.925.2911 for West Vancouver inquiries or visit What you need to know – the Factual Summary: Since January 1, 2003 the average prices for detached single family houses have risen 141% in West Vancouver real estate and 121% in North Vancouver property market (the previos 8 years from 1994 to 2002 saw only a 21% increase in total). For the last 5 years total detached North Shore family homes have falleneach year from 2225 in 2003 to 1887 in 2007. In 2989 we had 3283 sales (Currently we are on pace for approximately 1450-1500 in 2008). Record or near record interest rates from 2002 to 2007 as well as very liberal bank lending policies provided a much greater than normal borrowing oppoortunities for homebuyers on the North Shore. Inventory levels in West Vancouver and North Vancouver real estate markets fell to historic low levels from 2003 to 2007 providing for an outstanding sellers market. Inventory levels for North Shore real estate are now up substantially compared to the same time last year, up 126% in North Van and up 81% in West Van. This is providing a much more selection for home buyers. Conclusions: In the past 5 years plus, North Shore real estate sellers have capitalized on a unique supply/demand relationship. New initiating North Shore home buyers have paid strong prices due primarily to a lack of choie. Rising North Shore inventory levels in housing are now providing new home buyers the opportunity to purchase properties that represent the best value. Prices will adjust to account for that interpretation of value. The number of North Shore real estate housing sales will increase when the sellers price expectations get in line with the home buyers capacity to pay in both West Vancouver and East Vancouver. Your home is you most valuable asset. Make sure you are properly informed in this new North Shore real estate market. Mis-information could cost you money! His personal attention to all aspects of the selling process means that his invaluable experience, knowledge and negotiating skills are available to you at all times. If you desire knowledge, security and most important results in the North Shore real estate market, call Brent today!

North Vancouver Lawyer Charged in $30 Million Housing Mortgage Scam

Law society says 77 homebuyers in North Vancouver and the Lower Mainland affected according to North Shore News writer Bethany L. After a six year investigation, a former North Vancouver lawyer is headed to court to face charges on an alleged housing mortgage scam valued at more than $30 million. Martin Wirick was arrested on Tuesday at local business Koko’s Gourmet Pet Foods, where he has been working since he resigned from the Law Society of B.C. in 2002. Former real estate developer Tarsem Singh Gill, a Vancouverite, was arrested on the samd day in connection with the frauds. The two men are charged with two counts each of fraud and theft against 77 North Vancouver home buyers, and two further charges against lenders in 30 separate transactions. Wirick faces further charges of uttering false documents, and Gill has been charged for possession stolen property. A joint investigation headed by Vancouver police and the RCMP’s crime section into the pair began in 2002, when Wirick was disbarred after the law society learned that he had allegedly been misdirecting funds to Gill. According to the law society, Wirick first began misdirecting homebuyer mortgage clients’ money in 1999, when he was working for Gill, a Vancouver real estate developer. His duties included collecting funds for down payments and mortgages, but instead of using that money for its intended purpose, he allegedly misdirected it to Gill and his companies. Gill then used some of that money to pay off a portion of the mortgage debts so that they wouldn’t default. According to the law society, Wirick told home purchasers that mortgage discharges could sometimes take up to six months to appear, in order to delay their suspicion. Then push came to shove, the law society claims, Wirick would redirect funds to secure a discharge, but occasionally, he would even forge discharge documents. The alleged misdirections weren’t discovered until 2002, when he was cited by the law society for two fraudulent transactions. Since then, the law society has paid out $38.4 million in compensation in response to claims from people affected by the alleged scam. Between 1986 and 2001, the law society paid a total of $5.2 million in compensation to clients defrauded by lawyers – about one seventh the amount reimbursed to Wirick’s alleged victims. In order to repay bank lenders and homebuyers, the law society had to remove its annual cap on compensation payments. Since Wirick’s alleged misdeeds were uncovered, the law society says that it has made changes to the reporting guidelines in its trust assurance program. The rules for handling trust funds and filing audits have also been tightened up.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Vancouver Retirement Communities & Active Seniors Living: Amica of West Vancouver, Lifestyles, Reminisce Sunrise Living Alzheimers, SAFER Program

For the most comprehensive resource for US and Canada retirement communities, assisted living, retirement homes, reviews and senior housing and 55+ neighbourhoods, please visit the Retirement Review website.

Amica of West Vancouver Retirement Homes

Mature lifestyle living at the Amica of West Vancouver retirement homes for active seniors and retired couples.  These West Van retirement communities at Amica provide the best in all facets of retired lifestyles.Some things you retire from. Others you retire to. Life’s greatest pleasures are both simple and timeess; with fine food and good company ranked high among them. Both are in abundance at every Amica retirement home residence in West Vancouver rental market, where our chefs are professionally trained in making healthy meals culinary masterpieces. Imagine: one of the finest restaurants you’ll ever experience just a short stroll from your luxury Amica West Vancouver suite. Something to think about over dessert. Join us for dessert and music on Thursday, August 7th from 7-8pm at the West Vancouver Amica retirement homes. Amica at West Vancouver is located at 659 clyde Avenue in West Van, BC. 604.921.9181. Luxury independent rental retirement living at Amica is all inclusive with full service fine dining and welness and vitality programs. Amica West Vancouver Vitalis Assisted Living Suites and Services. For more information, please visit You can shed the loneliness of living alone and still keep your independent spirit at Amica Retirement Homes! At Amica Mature Lifestyles, our private studios and suites are the ideal situatin for someone who cherishes their independence and privacy, yet still loves to get out and about with friends. A round of bridge, a walk in the park, an outing to a stage play …. There is always something social to do at Amica Mature Lifestyles Retirement Homes without the need to organize yourself. So stay independent, while enjoying an all –inclusive retirement lifestyle with just the right amount of services all right outside your door. This is living. This is Amica Retirement Homes. Visit an Amica Community near you! Call to arrange for a personal tour. Mainland Commnities: Amica at Artbutus Manor – 2125 Eddington Drive in Vancouver BC V6L 3A9 – 604.736.8936, Amica at Mayfair – 2267 Kelly Avenue, Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 6N4 – 604.552.5552; Amica Retirement Home at Rideau Manor – 1850 Rosser Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5C 5E1 – 604.291.1792; Amica at West Vancouver – 659 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, BC V7T 1C8 – 604.921.9181. Vancouver Island Amica Communities: Amica at Beachwood Village – 2315 Mills Road, Sidney, BC V8L 5W6 – 250.655.0849; Amica at Douglas House, 50 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8V 2N8, 250.383.6528; Amica at Somerset House, 540 Dallas Road, Victoria, BC V8V 4X9, 250.380.9121.

Come Fly With Me at Lifestyle Retirement Communities

LRC Housing or Lifestyle Retirement Communities is a great seniors living and mature lifestyle living community for retired people.A year ago, none of us knew each other. We weren’t looking for new friends when we came to Lifestyle Retirement Homes. One day at lunch, we started talking about 5 cent ice cream cones, the Eaton’s catalogue, our favourite hockey players when there were only six teams and Frank Sinatra. The next thing we knew, we were singing “Come Fly With Me” at the piano. We drew quite a crowd at the Lifestyles Vancouver Retirement Home. Now, we can’t imagine noe knowing each other. For more information about the Vancouver Lifestyles Retirement Homes for seniors, please visit for details. Here are the Lifestyles Retirement Communities in the Lower Mainland: Parkwood Manor Lifestyles Homes, 1142 Dufferin St, Coquitlam, BC, 604.941.7651; Whitecliff Lifestyles Retirement, 15501-16th Ave, Surrey, BC 604.538.7227; Crofton Manor for Seniors Living, 2803 West 41st Street, Vancouver, BC, 604.263.0921 and Hollyburn House Retirement Lifestyles Community, 2095 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, 604.922.7616.

Sunrise Senior Living in Vancouver, North Van and Victoria

Sunrise Living Vancouver, North Vancouver and Victoria retirement communities for active and retired seniors that provide a balanced lifestyle with plenty of activities and culinary delights.I am a mother, wife, career woman and a daughter caring for my aging mother. Balancing life’s roles can be both a joy and a challenge, but “doing it all” isn’t always the best answer. Sunrise Seniors Living understands. Did you know Sunrise Senior Living… provides a non-institutional alternative to long-term care, offers a warm home-like environment for seniors living, provides exceptional licensed residential seniors care, has provided care to seniors living for 25 years and focuses on residents’ changing personal needs? Also, did you know that the Vancouver Sunrise Seniors Living communities delivers care 24 hours a day based upon individualized service plans, offers a variety of resident oriented activities every day and has registered nurses and provides medication care management? Also, did you know that the retirement home communities by Sunrise Senior Living encourages independence and freedom of choice, employs a dedicated team members who ensure dignity of and respect fo residents and also offers a safe, secure area for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia! Sunrise Senior Living provides licensed residential care for seniors and provides a great retirement community for all. Sunrise of Vancouver at 999 West 57th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6P 6Y9 or 604.261.5799, Sunrise at Lynn Valley, 980 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver, BC V7J 1Z7 or 604.904.1226; Sunrise Senior Living of Victoria at 920 Humboldt Street in Victoria, BC V8V 4W7 or 250.383.1366.

All Alzheimer Care Begins with What’s Been Forgotten

North Vancouver Reminiscence Sunrise Seniors Living Neighbourhood for people living with Alzheimers.Suites now available at the Reminiscence Sunrise Seniors Living Neighbourhood for people living with Alzheimers. Each Alzheimer seniors has a history that makes them a unique individual. At Sunrise at Lynn Valley, our approach to Alzheimer care begins with understanding the stories and details of a senior’s life. Knowing the Alzheimers residents at Sunrise Living in Lynn Valley North Vancouver seniors community better means we can help them attain what they call “pleasant days” by finding activities they can enjoy and be successful at. We do this in specially designed surroundings that are both safe and maturing, where who they are is never forgotten at the Lynn valley Alzheimers care community at Sunrise Lynn Valley. Visit or call Sunrise at Lynn Valley alzheimers care facility for more information about how they care for seniors with memory impairement. Call 604.904.1226 or visit them at 980 Lynn Valley Road in North Vancouver BC. A licensed residential care community, Sunrise of Lynn Valley seniors living and alzheimers patients care is also online at

Affordable Rent for B.C. Seniors

Are you 60 years of age or older? Do you struggle to make your monthly rent payments? Low-income seniors, who have lived in B.C. for the past 12 months, may be eligible to receive cash assistance towards their monthly rent payment through the Shelter Aid Elderly Renters (SAFER) Program. The Government of British Columbia helps make rent more affordable through the Shelter Aid Elderly Program for more than 15,000 low-income seniors across the province through the SAFER program. To apply or learn more about SAFER, Contact BC Housing at 604.433.2218 in the Lower Mainland or 1.800.257.7756 in B.C. To learn more about other seniors’ programs and services, call 1.800.465.4911.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Tips on Home Buying, Rebate Tax on Green Homes, First Canadian Title, Mortgage Options, And Other Vancouver Real Estate News

First Canadian Title

They have title insurance. They know their home is secure. Title fraud can happen. With title insurance from First Canadian Title, the risk and cost related to resolving title fraud or other home ownership problems become ours, not yours. Join thousands of homeowners who have peace of mind from Canada’s leading provider of title insurance. Visit or call 1.877.888.1153 to order your policy now. Insurance by FCT Insurance Company Ltd. With the exception of commercial policies by First American Title Insurance Company. Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited. This material is intended to provide general information only. For specific coverage and exclusions, refer to the policy. Copies are available upon request. Some products/services may vary by province. Prices and products offered are subject to change without notice.

Take Advantage of Prepayment Mortgage Options

Seventy five per cent of recent Vancouver home buyers say they intend to pay off their home mortgage as soon as possible, but only 33 per cent even make a lump sum prepayment against their mortgage, according to a recent survey by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Mortgage brokers offer some strategies fro mortgage holders who are thinking about making mortgage prepayments. Here’s what you could do with a $200,000 five year mortgage at a now competitive fixed rate of 5.45 per cent and a 25 year amortization: Add a bit to your monthly payment: Adding an extra $50 onto the monthly payment of $1,215 will save $14,987 in interest over the life of the mortgage, and allow the borrower to pay off the loan just under two years sooner. Make a yearly pre-payment: Paying an extra $2,000 on this same mortgage once per year on the anniversary date of the mortgage will yield a saving of $39,015 in interest over the life of the mortgage, and allow the borrower to repay the loan about five years sooner. Make a larger prepayment early in the mortgage: Making a single $5,000 lump sum prepayment three years into that mortgage on the anniversary date will save $10,882 over the life of the mortgage. However, waiting 15 years before you make the same payment will result in savings of only $3,446 over the life of the loan.

“Rebate Tax on Green Homes”

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has joined in a call for the provincial government to cut the property purchase tax (PPT) on the purchase of homes that are built or renovated to high environmental standards. In nothing that PPT revenues are forecast to reach $1 billion in 2008, Brian Naphtali, president of the Real Estate Board of Vancouver, noted tha the government is in a position to tackle climate change by providing the tax incentive. Five recommendations that were delivered to the provincial government will see both PTT and Provincial Sales Tax (PST) revenues used to fund a provincial Green Building Tax Incentive and Rebate Program. The recommendations include offering a PPT rebate on new Built Green homes and PST rebate to homeowners renovating to energy efficient standards.

Home Buyers Weigh Real Estate Needs

Commute may be a factor when looking to purchase a home or condo in Vancouver according to Metro Magazine’s Andrea. First time homebuyers looking to save money should carefully weight their needs and lifestyles against what’s being offered in various municipalities, according to local realtors. Gary Born of Prudential Sussex Realty said that the further away from downtown Vancouver a house is, the cheaper it is likely to be, but other factors such as a lengthy commute can make it impractical. “That’s why they’re less expensive – because the commute is going to be long, expensive and frustrating,” he said. Smon Myara of Sutton Group West Coast Realty said Vancouver real estate home buyers can usually get more for their money the further east they go, in areas such as Burnaby, New Westminster and Langley, for example. “You’ll see that in Vancouver’s west side, for instance, for around $300,000 you would find a dmall, one bedroom apartment,” he said. “as you go further out, you start goint to two bedrooms for $300,000, $320,000. It happens almost right away when you go past a certain boundary,” he added. Born said Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Maple Ridge are three fairly inexpensive areas, as are Pitt Meadows and Northern Langley, which are growing in population due to affordable real estate and developing transit lines. Sebastien Albrecht of Royal LePage Westside recommended areas such as Fairview, an affordable pocket close to both downtown and Granville Island, and East Vancouver real estate, which is close to the Trans Canada Highway and rapidly developing.

Looking to purchase a new home? Congratulations – you’re part of a sophisticated, savvy group. According to a recent report by Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP), Canadians mortgage consumers are educated, informed, attuned to local real estate market conditions, and remain confident in our housing and mortgage markets. We’re also increasingly taking advantage of alternative mortgage products like longer amortization periods, no down-payment mortgages, and interest only mortgages. In fact, CAAMP found 37 per cent of recent home purchases in 2007 had been funded with extended amortization periods. Younger Canadians looking to become first time homebuyers are most interested in alternative mortgage products, and while cautious and conservative, they remain optimistic about the overall future of these options. And within that group, renters loking to buy remain most positive about the value of extended amortization mortgages as part of their home buying strategy. And if you’re one of the people with a new home in your future, here are a few that are making their first appearance in New Home Buyer’s Guide.

Tips on Buying a Vancouver Condo Assignment

The B.C. office of the Superintendent of Real Estate has issued an updated information bulletin for those buying assignment condominiums in Greater Vancouver for a new condo or other residential property. The alert is provided to consumers for information purposes only. It is important for purchasers to obtain appropriate real estate and legal advice prior to entering into an assignment condo Vancouver agreement. Things to consider before buying an assignment condo: Consider whether an assignment is permitted under the purchase contract. Some real estate developers in Vancouver do not permit condo assignments. Others may require the developer’s consent and a substantial assignment fee. Review the Developer’s Disclosure statement and thoroughly review all documents related to the sale. Obatin advice from a lawyer and/or real estate professional prior to entering into an assignment condo Vancouver contract. Consider all your options, such as whether the deposit and “lift” will be paid to the assignor upon signing the Vancouver condo assignment or held in trust until some later date. Generally, it is preferable from the assignee’s perspective if money is released to the assignor only after the unit is built and title is being transferred and Confirm in the Vancouver condo assignment agreement how the assignor will meet all of their agreements for a valid assignment of condominium, and set out what will happen if there is any breach of the assignment agreement or the presale contract. For further information on Vancouver real estate transactions and contact information for government offices and industry associations, visit or the Homeowner Protection Office official website at

Real Estate Council Censures Nixon

Management infraction nets District of North Vancouver real estate councilor 28 day suspension as published in the North Shore News and written by Bethany L on July 23, 2008. District of North Vancouver councilor Alan Nixon was handed a 28 day suspension from real estate practise last month, after he was censured for professional malpractice by the Real Estate Council of B.C He and three other real estate agents were also ordered to pay a fine of $1,500 between them. “This is a little bump in the orad. It’s something that I’ve put well behind me,” Nixon said about the real estate suspension, which ended on Tuesday. Alan Nixon was disciplined for allowing two real estate agents to act as property managers without the proper licenses and for not actively managing the brockerage that employed him. At the time, Alan Nixon was the managing broker for Re/Max Crest Realty, but he left the brokerage in March and is currently unlicensed. The suspect activities began in October 2005, when Nixon said he discovered that two Realtors under his supervision were managing several condos in Vancouver without the proper accreditation. Douglas Soo and Marjan Mazaheri, with help from their assistant Coral Ashe, were managing about 60 units when Alan Nixon said he told them they must hire someone with a license. “Ironically, this is probably one fo the best documented property management relationships that exist out there in the industry,” Nixon said. “Everything was done in strict accordance with the rules of the Real Estate Services Act, except they didn’t have the necessary accreditation to do it.” Soo and Mazaheri did hire a licensed property manager soon after Nixon spoke to them, but they fired him after six onths and resumed managing the units themselves until July 2007. Mazaheri and Ashe are still listed as Crest employees, but Soo is serving a 21 day suspension that will end on July 29. As part of the disciplinary action, Alan Nixon and Soo were also orderd to attend classes entitled Professionalism – It Pays! Be Safe or Be Sued! And Legal Update. He said he plans to enroll in September. The councilor said he plans to return to the real estate industry in the very near future. He has applied for a license for a new brockerage in North Vancouver, and expects to be approved within the next two weeks. Alan Nixon said that he left Crest because of a conflict between himself and the owner over different “operating philosophies”: the owner wanted to expand the brockerage, but Nixon wanted to maintain its current number of agents. A representative for Re/Max Crest Realty confirmed that Nixon left the company for reasons unrelated to the disciplinary action against him. Nixon comfirmed that he would be running for re-election as a district councilor this fall, when he will seek his third term in office.

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