City of North Vancouver okays 300-metre Lonsdale water slide 

The slide will be part of the Car Free Day street festival in Lower Lonsdale on Aug. 22

 
 
City of North Vancouver okays 300-metre Lonsdale water slide
 

Salt Lake City residents slide down a 1,000-foot water slide. Slide the City is coming to North Vancouver on Aug. 22.

Photograph by: Slide the City , North Shore News

NORTH VANCOUVER — On Aug. 22, it'll be the most fun you can (legally) have on Lonsdale.

City of North Vancouver council has voted to revive the Car Free Day street festival in Lower Lonsdale and add to it a 300-metre (1,000-foot) water slide running all the way from Keith Road to Third Street.

If the plan comes to fruition, city staff will block off the intersections below Keith Road and redirect traffic and buses for the day-long festival, while Utah-based for-profit company Slide the City operates the slide.

Council largely gushed at the plan - particularly over the water slide.

"This is an opportunity for us to have an event that puts the City of North Vancouver on the map as being someplace that's fun to be and come and hang out," said Coun. Linda Buchanan, who added that not only were her kids excited to hit the water slide, but so was she.

Mayor Darrell Mussatto characterized the plan as a "21st century soap box derby."

"I think we used to have soap boxes down Lonsdale at one point in time and this is going to sort of kick it up a notch," he said.

Mussatto said he'd work on his courage about heading down the slide himself.

The slide won't be free. If the company uses the same price structure it has in other cities, a single slide starts at $15 if you pre-purchase your tickets. Participants must be at least five years old and 117 centimetres tall.

The estimated 45,000 to 75,000 litres of water needed to run the slide can either be flushed right into storm drains, collected and taken for treatment or used to water city greenspace. The company also donates a portion of its profits to dig wells in underdeveloped countries and will kick in an extra $7,000 to $10,000 in donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, according to a city staff report.

For its part, the city was willing to put up $2,500 for extra policing costs.

Car Free Day festivals typically see merchants and food vendors opening stalls on the street, along with live music stages, kids' games, sports and hobby demonstrations, performance art, informational booths from community groups and glad-handing politicians.

Under the North Vancouver plan, Esplanade and Third Street will remain traffic controlled intersections throughout the day.

Last year's events on Vancouver's Main Street, Fourth Avenue, Denman Street and Commercial Drive drew about 250,000 people, according to Matt Carrico, a representative of the Vancouver Car Free Society, which pledged its support for the event.

 

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By: Michael Aynsley MARCH 22, 2015
 

These psychedelic schemes will take your home on a magic carpet ride.

A mesmerizing rock wall feature.

rock wall surreal designPhoto: imgur

And this wall that reacts to your movements.

interactive wallImages: designboom/vimeo

Created by graphic designer Thibaut Sld. More info here.

These floating stairs.

floating stairsPhoto: interbau

And these glass floors that gaze upon the kitchen.

glass floors surreal design-1Photos: Tradition

Or this one that peers into an underground river.

river home surreal designsPhoto: imgur

Fresh green walls.

green wall surreal home designgreen wall surreal home design-1Photos: Amazon

And this green table that turns every meal into a picnic.

grass tablePhoto: Haiko Cornelissen Architecten

Or this table that mimics the ocean depths.

abyss table surreal home designs-2abyss table surreal home designs-1Photos: Duffy London

Yours for only $23,300.

This trippy wallpaper.

surreal wallpaperPhoto: surrealien

This door that magically flips open.

magic door surreal designPhotos: Klemens Torggler

This living room that was built around a forest.

in-home tree surreal designPhoto: Travis Price Architects

This upright bath orb.

wall-mounted bathtub surreal designPhoto: Pinterest

And these heat-sensitive shower tiles.

heat-sensitive shower tiles surreal designPhoto: imgur

Or these tiles that look like dragon scales.

bathroom scale shower tiles surreal designPhoto: imgur

More spectacular shower designs this way.

This interactive storm cloud lamp.

storm cloud lampImages: Richard Clarkson/Vimeo

From designer Richard Clarkson. Read all about it here.

And this 3D flooring in the bathroom.

3d bathroom floorPhoto: Pinterest

This starry night ceiling for your home theater room.

star ceiling surreal home designPhoto: imgur

This curved ‘skin’ sink.

curved sink surreal home designcurved sink surreal home design-1Photos: Lago

This glow-in-the-dark wall mural.

glow in the dark wall muralglow in the dark wall mural-1Photos: Bogi Fabian

This landscaped outdoor dining room.

landscaped outdoor living room surreal designPhoto: Pinterest

For Alice in Wonderland-themed tea parties.

And finally, this secret playroom obscured by a wall mural

tree house mural surreal designPhoto: fazook

 
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50 things to do in Vancouver this Spring

 
50-things-to-do-in-spring

Longer days, brilliant sunrises, breathtaking sunsets. Spring sprung early in Vancouver this year, and warm weather is here to stay giving Vancouverites time to soak up all this city has to offer.

From now until June, here is our guide to Spring time in Vancouver.

brought to you by park avenue west

Free things to do in Vancouver this Spring

unnamed

Image: Kenneth Chan / Vancity Buzz

Go on a tour of cherry blossom hotspots

Vancouver is home to many cherry blossom trees. You can find thousands of them all over the city, but we’ve outlined the 21 best locations to get your cherry blossom fix in Vancouver.

Vote in the Transit Plebiscite before May 29

Transit shapes our future, and without it the city will take a step back. We’ve outlined 15 reasons why you should vote YES and also outlined 6 reasons the NO side argues. The decision is yours to make, Vancouverites.

420 celebration

The largest annual celebration of all things marijuana takes place at the Vancouver Art Gallery on April 20. If you don’t like the smell of marijuana, it’s best to avoid the area surrounding Robson Square and the Art Gallery.

Earth Hour

Turn off the lights and unplug for an hour! Let’s see if we can get Vancouver nearly dark this year.

  • When: March 28 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Food and drink

Check out Juno Kim’s Dinner Series at 33 Acres

Every Monday, Juno Kim takes over the 33 Acres tasting room creating a unique meal. Kim has been given the reins to be creative; pair this with a good brew and your Monday night just got a lot better.

  • When: Every Monday night
  • Where: 33 Acres Brewing – 15 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver

Richmond Night Market

Great food and all the funky cartoon socks you can handle! The market opens up in May and runs into October so you’ll have plenty of time to check it out.

  • When: May 15 to October 12
  • Where: 8351 River Road, Richmond (near the River Rock Casino)

The International Summer Night Market

The other Richmond night market (near Home Depot). This one will start one week earlier than the previous night market.

  • When: May 8 to September 27
  • Where: 12631 Vulcan Way, Richmond
  • Cost: Free entry

North Vancouver Night Market

Every Friday night at the Shipbuilders’ Square, check out some great food, live music and take in a little shopping.

  • When: Friday nights from 5 to 10 p.m. from May 1 to September 25
  • Where: Shipbuilders’ Square, North Vancouver (just east of the SeaBus and Lonsdale Quay at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue)

Hawkers Wharf

Those familiar with the monthly Hawkers Market are in for a treat. Not much is known right about Hawkers Wharf, but if you love food then you’re going to want to check this out many, many times when it comes. Look for a late Spring release of the brand new Hawkers Wharf.

Grab ice cream in Gastown’s new soft serve spot

Vancouver’s newest ice cream spot is doing things differently, they’re taking a softer route to success. Check out Soft Peaks in Gastown when the weather gets a little warm.

  • Where: 25 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Check out a Whitecaps FC game and try the new food

BC Place and Centerplate, the venue’s food and beverage provider, has expanded their partnership with local celebrity chef Vikram Vij to bring new menu items and open up two new food concessions as well as a mobile food cart.

Check out a patio or two

People were packing patios towards the end of winter. Once May rolls around, patio season will officially kick off in Vancouver. Check out our guide to patios in Vancouver.

Check out Prohibition Bar

Prohibition, the opulent newly-renovated drinks destination inside downtown’s Rosewood Hotel Georgia, is open and ready to give Vancouverites an upscale, Jazz Era-inspired bar experience.

  • Where: 801 West Georgia Street at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia (enter off Howe)
  • Phone: 604-673-7088
  • Websiteprohibitionrhg.com
  • Hours: Monday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Friday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Spot Prawn Festival

The 9th annual Spot Prawn Festival returns in May to Fisherman’s Wharf near Granville Island.

Check out a Farmers Market

There are quite a few farmers markets going on in and around Vancouver:

Trout Lake Farmers Market – Saturdays 

  • When: Saturdays – May 9 to October 24
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each week
  • Location: North Parking Lot of John Hendry Park at Trout Lake
    Between Templeton and Lakewood south of the 13th Avenue Alley

Kitsilano Farmers Market – Sundays

  • When: Sundays – May 10 to October 25
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each week
  • Location: 2690 Larch Street at 10th Avenue, Parking Lot of Kitsilano Community Centre

West End Farmers Market – Saturdays

  • When: Saturdays – May 10 to October 25
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each week
  • Location: 1100 Block of Comox Street across from Nelson Park at Mole Hill

Main Street Station Farmers Market – Wednesdays

  • When: Wednesdays – Opening June
  • Time: 3 to 7 p.m. each week
  • Location: 1100 Block Station Street along Thornton Park across from the VIA Rail Station and near the Main St. SkyTrain Station

Kerrisdale Village Farmers Market – Saturdays

  • When: Saturdays – June 13 to October 10
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each week
  • Location: East Boulevard between 37th and 41st Avenue – near Kerrisdale Arena

Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market – Sundays

  • When: Sundays – June 14 to October 11
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each week
  • Location: Guelph Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, on the paved play area between Mt. Pleasant Elementary and Guelph Park

Yaletown Farmers Market – Thursdays

  • When: Thursdays – May 7 to October 29
  • Time: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. each week
  • Location: Mainland Street between Davie and Helmcken at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Canada Line Stop

Hastings Park Farmers’ Market – Sundays

  • When: March 8 to April 26
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each week
  • Location: Hastings Skatepark, Renfrew Street

Oak Street Farmers’ Market – Wednesdays

  • WhenWednesdays – June 3 to October 14
  • Time: 3 to 7 p.m. each week
  • Location: Unitarian Church parking lot (Oak Street and 49th Avenue)

River District Vancouver Farmers’ Market – Saturdays

  • When: Saturdays – May 30 to October 10
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each week
  • Location: Kerr Street and East Kent Avenue

Dine Out for Life

On Thursday, March 26, restaurants around Metro Vancouver will be participating in Dining Out For Life, an annual fundraising event in support of local men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Eat Vancouver

The EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival has expanded to a full week of delicious eating, drinking and learning, and will bring together a stunning array of culinary talent from across the city and country.

From April 26 to May 3, the festival will showcase a multitude of local, national and international culinary culture through workshops, meals and events, all culminating in a three-day tasting show at BC Place Stadium.

  • When: April 26 to May 3
  • Where: Around Vancouver and BC Place

Tequila Expo

The Fourth Annual Vancouver International Tequila Expo (VITE) is Western Canada’s largest festival dedicated to Mexico’s number one export spirit. The festival aims to increase the presence of tequila and mezcal in Western Canada.

  • When: Saturday, May 30
  • Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel Vancouver – 655 Burrard Street, Vanocuver

Get in shape for Summer

Biking via shutterstock

Biking via shutterstock

Try out the new parkour park in East Vancouver

The public park next to Empire Fields in East Vancouver is being built by the Vancouver Park Board and is part of the 20-year redevelopment of Hastings Park and the $10-million Plateau Park project. The park will be ready in April.

Bike ride along the seawall

Whether you rent or own, you have to do this route at least once. If you’re looking for another, be on the lookout for best biking routes in Vancouver article coming soon.

Go for a hike

The Chief is one of the more popular hikes, but there are plenty of other hikes in Metro Vancouver for you to attempt. Slap on some sunscreen, put on your shorts, grab some water and prepare to take on mother nature.

Go for a run along the entire Stanley Park seawall

There is no doubt that the seawall along Stanley Park and downtown Vancouver is the most scenic and active running route in the city, and one of the most beautiful in the world.

The run is flat for the most part, making it the perfect spot for runners of all skill levels.

Try one of the ride cycle clubs

Ride cycle clubs are all the rage in the fitness world these days – from the logo, to the gear, to the club-like ambiance, complete with candles, it’s a whole experience. There are quite a few that have opened up in the city for you to check out.

Climb the Urban Grind 

The alternative to the Grouse Grind? Go up 593 steps to the lookout of Vancouver’s iconic Harbour Centre.

  • Dates: Every Tuesday in March (24 and 31)
  • Times: Enter anytime between 4 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Location: Harbour Centre (access at West Hastings Street)
  • Cost: $5
  • Perks: FREE $5 voucher to Harbour Centre’s food court, FREE beer and a great workout that ends with incredible views.

Do the Grouse Grind

The Grouse Grind is one of those Vancouver things you have to try at least once in the summer. Attempt to beat your time or just make it to the top without stopping (unless a tourist gets in your way). The Grind will likely open in May.

Going out

seasons festival

Seasons Festival

The festival takes place from Friday, April 3 to Saturday, April 4, with the flagship event set to take place at the Pacific Coliseum. The event will grow to two days and feature headlining sets from Mad Decent impresario and world renowned tastemaker Diplo on Day 1 (April 3). This will be followed by the legendary Swedish progressive house producer Eric Prydz on Day 2 (April 4).

Get your tickets to Squamish Festival happening in the summer

The hottest ticket this summer make sure to get your tickets for this massive music festival featuring Drake, Sam Smith, Kaskade and more.

Check out the local arts scene

There are many theatre productions going on every week in the city, check out our extensive coverage in our Arts section.

Concerts galore

From small to large, we have listed some of the best concerts coming to Vancouver in our Concerts section.

Take in a concert at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver

Don’t want to venture all the way into downtown Vancouver to get some excitement. The Hard Rock Casino Vancouver offers plenty of entertainment options.

World Ski & Snowboard Festival

Just an hour and a half drive from Vancouver is the annual World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler.

  • When: April 10 to 19
  • Where: Whistler
  • Website: wssf.com

Check out one of the many escape games in and around Vancouver

The escape game phenomenon has arrived in Vancouver and there are plenty option in and around Metro Vancouver.

Women’s World Cup kicks off

FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ will be held in Canada this year with nine games in Vancouver. Matches start in late Spring and carry on through early summer.

Check out Gastown’s newest club, M.I.A.

After almost a year of careful planning and design, Blueprint announced the launch of its newest nightlife project, M.I.A., located at 350 Water Street.

Around town

Vancouver Fan Expo

Catch the Cricket World Cup 2015 at local bar

We have highlighted the 5 best spots in Vancouver to check out all the Cricket World Cup action.

Go on a naked bike ride

Hundreds of cyclists will be riding nude on Saturday, June 13 for the annual Vancouver Naked Bike Ride, which will, no doubt, catch a few Vancouverites off guard.

  • When: June 13
  • Where: Sunset Beach

Dragon Boat Festival

The annual Dragon Boat Festival at Creekside Olympic Village brings out thousands of spectators in world class dragon boat racing.

  • When: June 19 to 21
  • Where: False Creek, near Olympic Village

Vancouver Theatre Sports League

Head on over to the Improv Centre at Granville Island for some laughs courtesy of Vancouver Theatre Sports League.

Book your campsite for the summer

Camp grounds around British Columbia are now open for reservation.

Outdoor enthusiasts and summer-lovers can go online or call in to make a reservation at 115 campgrounds in 99 provincial parks up to three months in advance before the summer rush begins.

Sea monsters at Vancouver Aquarium

This spring is the Canadian premiere of the groundbreaking exhibition Sea Monsters Revealed. This highly anticipated exhibition will take you on an exciting journey to discover some of the world’s most amazing sea creatures.

  • When: Now until September 7
  • Where: Vancouver Aquarium

Fan Expo Vancouver

Comic book and Sci-Fi fans will descend upon the Vancouver Convention Centre for the annual Fan Expo Vancouver.

  • When: April 3 to 5
  • Where:Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Hall C – 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver

Cherry Blossom Festival

The annual renewal that takes place outside, in the canopies of our parks and avenues of our beautiful city.

  • Where: All over the city
  • When: April 2 to April 29, 2015

Vaisakhi Parade

Celebrate with the South Asian community in Vancouver’s Little India at the annual celebration that marks both the New Year and the anniversary of one of Sikhism’s most important events, the establishment of Khalsa in 1699.

  • When: April 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: South Vancouver (Main Street and 50th Avenue is the epicentre)

Easter at Stanley Park a great time for kids

Easter long weekend is a perfect time to spend with the family. If Easter egg hunts and treats is your type of thing you’ll want to check out the Easter Train at Stanley Park and the egg hunt at VanDusen Gardens.

PlayDome at BC Place

Canada’s largest indoor carnival with over 45 rides and attractions is back at BC Place! Feel like you’re floating in air with the Zero Gravity ride, be spun around on the new open air cars of the Ring of Fire and be flung into oblivion on the Super Shot. Popular favorites such as 1001 nights, The Ferris Wheel and the Zipper are all back to be enjoyed.

It ends on March 22 so hurry and go before it’s gone.

Italian Day on Commercial Drive

A vibrant cultural street festival, it spans 13 blocks and shares all that is Italian in a day-long celebration with Vancouver’s diverse and multi-cultural community. Held annually on Commercial Drive (‘The Drive’), the district represents a rich history of over 50 years of Italian heritage and is synonymously recognized as Vancouver’s original ‘Little Italy‘, making it the ideal event venue.

  • When: Sunday, June 14
  • Where: Commercial Drive between 3rd Avenue to Parker Street

Bring out your pillows and get to fighting

On April 4, Vancouverites will descend on downtown Vancouver with a pillow in hand as they embark on a journey to the Vancouver Art Gallery (Robson Street side) for International Pillow Fight Day.

  • When: Saturday, April 4 (rain or shine)
  • Time: 3 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Where: Vancouver Art Gallery along Robson Street

Soar above the USA with FlyOver Canada

For a limited time only, you will be able to visit the United States’ beautiful natural and urban landscapes at FlyOver Canada’s virtual flight ride experience.

City of Bhangra Festival

A 10 day dance and music celebration showcasing the songs and dance from Punjab, India.

  • When: May 28 to June 6
  • Where: 111 West Hastings, Vancouver

Vancouver Jazz Festival

One of Vancouver’s premiere festival’s, the annual jazz festival is full of programming and is growing every year.

  • When: June 19 to July 1
  • Where: Various venues
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24 things you definitely need to set up in your backyard this summer
Michael Aynsley
By: Michael Aynsley MARCH 15, 2015
 

Live in an apartment building and don’t have a backyard? That’s okay, just gain access to the roof.

An outdoor movie theater.

outdoor movie theaterPhoto: AVS

A picnic table with a built-in beer cooler.

picnic table beer coolerPhoto: modernkitchenset

A hidden, sunken trampoline.

hidden-trampolinePhotos: sunkentrampolines

Beside a pool disguised as a pond.

Trampoline and pond poolPhoto: imgur

An inflatable bubble tent.

Inflatable bubble tentPhoto: Bulle d’R

A giant hammock for you and your 16 closest friends.

giant hammockPhoto: Edinburgh Hacklab

Or if you’re not that popular, a three-person will do.

three-person hammockPhoto: Trinity Hammocks

More unique hammock designs this way.

A waterfall.

backyard waterfallPhoto: Pinterest

A treehouse that’s nicer than your neighbor’s actual house.

backyard tree housePhoto: imgur

More tree house designs right here.

A lazy river.

backyard lazy riverPhoto: Elite Pools

A detached rec room.

backyard roomPhoto: Kenjo

A landscaped chessboard.

giant chessboard backyardPhoto: bonneylassie

And a giant scrabble game.

backyard scrabblePhoto: Pinterest

Or pool table.

giant pool tablePhoto: Pinterest

An outdoor shower.

outdoor showerPhoto: Pinterest

A poolside climbing wall.

poolside climbing wallPhoto: AquaClimb

Floating mini golf.

floating mini golfPhoto: HomeDepot

And a floating poker table.

floating poker table backyardPhoto: eBay

An outdoor kitchen with a swim-up bar.

outdoor kitchen with swim-up barPhoto: bravacasa

A swing bed.

swing hammock bed backyardPhoto: Pinterest

A greenhouse converted into a bedroom for stargazing.

Kekkillä / Linda Bergroth 5.9.09Photo: imgur

A giant DIY slip and slide.

backyard slip and slidePhoto: imgur

All you need is a couple hundred yards of industrial plastic sheeting, dish soap and a hose.

A badass fire pit with swing seating.

fire bitPhoto: ana-white

And another fire pit right in the pool.

fire pit poolPhoto: pictures-of-luxury/Tumblr

 
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7 Ways Pets Could Stall Your Home Sale

 
 

I love animals – and have a particular soft spot for dogs, especially my own wonderful rescued welsh terrier – so keep in mind that the advice in this post is all about helping you get your house sold, not neglecting your little furry family members. But as an experienced real estate professional, I have to admit: pets and home sales just don’t mix.

I’ve bought and sold many homes over the last few decades, and whenever I put a house of my own up for sale, I prearrange for my pets to have a little holiday with friends and family. Come list day, when your home first hits the market, you might consider boarding your pets elsewhere; at the very least, make sure they’re absent during showings and open houses.

Here are seven other reasons to reconsider keeping pets on the premises if you’re trying to sell

Bad First Impressions

I’ll begin with a personal anecdote: if a burglar were to climb through a window in my home, my dog would likely come over, sit by his feet, and try to play. Yet, my sweet, mild-mannered pup gets whipped into a frenzy whenever someone comes to the gate and rings the bell.  One day when I was selling my last home, my realtor arrived unannounced with two very interested buyers. But when he rang the buzzer, my dog went berserk – barking, howling, and yelping. Needless to say, the buyers were so thrown, they wouldn’t even enter the house despite my realtor’s pleas – and they never came back. Remember, you only have once chance for a first impression.

pets

Pets Distract Buyers

Pets are a very personal part of your home, and your goal should be to depersonalize your space prior to sale. You wouldn’t leave your Uncle Frank sitting in a rocker in the living room while buyers wander through the house, so why would you leave your pets running around? After all, they’re family members, too! Just as you remove personal photos and mementos, you also should remove all pets.

People Have Phobias

The last thing you want is to attract the perfect buyer, one in love with your house, who also happens to be highly fearful dogs, snakes, or other critters. In cases like this, if your pet is still in the home, that perfect buyer may not get much further than the front porch. Any other time, your pet can rule the roost, but during the critical selling period, be hyper-aware of potential anxieties and aversions – and plan accordingly.

Darn That Dander

Even when the furry friends have left the building, some of them remains. Be mindful of allergy-causing dander by super-cleaning your home from top to bottom – especially the carpets – to remove all traces of hair and dust. And don’t forget to remove the litter box, which can also be a trigger.

Surprise Showings Happen

Avoid them by insisting that the realtor gives you at least one hour’s advance notice before a showing so you have time to get out of the house and take the pets with you!

Locked Up Pets Are Unhappy Pets

Many sellers will make the mistake of thinking that they can simply lock their dogs and cats (and bunnies and ferrets) in a bedroom, basement, or garage during a showing. First, this restricts access for potential buyers who can’t see the room that’s on pet lockdown. Second, confined, unhappy pets will make noise distracting buyers. And most importantly, if the buyer or the realtors decide to take a peek in the off-limits room, your pet could be out and about in a heartbeat.

Exotic Animals

Let’s take a moment for all the lizards, snakes, geckos, spiders, and other exotics out there.  For some buyers, these types of animals are a little… out there. And I can promise you, after they’ve seen ten other properties without pets, those crawling critters will be the thing about your home that they remember, branding it in their minds as the ‘Lizard House.’ Please don’t let your love for rare pets overshadow the attributes of your home.

 
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Piers, cantilevers, towers and more can help minimize a

home’s environmental impact on its site.

Houzz Contributor, Residential Architect, Founder 30X40 Design Workshop... More 
 
Architecture’s relationship to nature — the building site — is something architects and designers must consider in the opening act of any project. Nature is a force that shapes all great works of architecture. The attitude we adopt toward the land has a strong impact on our perception of a place, the way we feel in it, how we arrive at it and where it fits in a broader context. 

The site undeniably informs the building shape, how it’s supported, how it meets the earth and how sensibly the design reacts to local conditions. Sitting lightly on the land is a resilient strategy with economic, environmental, aesthetic and efficiency benefits for many building sites. Here’s how to determine if your project should sit lightly on its site. 
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BC expected to lead provinces in economic growth in 2015, says Conference Board of Canada
Michael Aynsley
By: Michael Aynsley FEBRUARY 24, 2015
 

bc economyPhoto: 3dpete/Flickr

British Columbia’s economy is expected to advance by a nation-leading three per cent this year, according to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada.

bc economy 1“British Columbia will be among the economic growth leaders, with Manitoba and Ontario, over the next two years,” said Marie-Christine Bernard, the board’s associate director, in a release. “The lower Canadian dollar, the acceleration in US economic growth and stronger consumer confidence will provide the foundation for these provinces to easily outpace the Canadian economic growth of less than two per cent this year.”

And that’s good news for the province’s housing market.

“The housing market slowdown expected nationwide will not be seen in British Columbia, as gains are forecast in both new and existing homes,” the report reads. Low inflation, new federal fiscal measures, and lower fuel prices will boost after-tax household incomes while inter-provincial migration, on a net basis, is expected to be positive again this year and next, the board predicts.

In 2014, BC’s economy grew by 2.8 per cent. In addition to three per cent growth in 2015, the outlook remains bullish for next year — with real GDP growth forecast to advance by a further 2.7 per cent in 2016.

Still, while the outlook is generally positive, the board says there remains considerable uncertainty surrounding the development of the liquefied natural gas industry in the province, because of lower LNG prices in Asian markets.

 
 
 
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Will the Bank of Canada lower the key interest rate yet again?
Monika Warzecha
By: Monika Warzecha MARCH 2, 2015
 

Bank of Canada rate-compressed (1)

Photo: Kat R/Flickr

In January, the Bank of Canada’s decision to bring down the already low key interest rate of one per cent to 0.75 per cent blindsided many economists who were predicting a rise in rates in 2015. But will Stephen Poloz, the Governor of Canada’s central bank, lower the rate even further in his upcoming announcement on Wednesday, March 5th?

The interest rate shakeup came after years of steadiness: the one per cent rate had gone unchanged from September 2010 until early 2015. The January rate cut was framed as a way to help cushion the blows to the economy, such as the declines in employment and income that are expected to accompany falling fuel prices.

Speculation about another rate cut in March was rampant early last month when Carolyn Wilkins, Senior Deputy Governor, made a speech at the Ottawa Economics Association.

“Our inflation-targeting framework gives us flexibility on the timing to achieve the inflation target while also taking into account other important dimensions of the economy – such as financial stability and the economy’s potential,” she said.

“Stifling the rebuilding phase of the recovery could mean lost economic opportunity. That being said, if potential output growth turns out to be lower than we think, we have the tools to bring inflation back to target.”

The reference to the “tools,” namely the overnight lending rate, was interpreted as a sign that the central bank was willing to lower the rate yet again if the economy continues to falter.

In the daily snapshot of economic trends and events for February 24th, the Bank of Montreal (BMO) noted that oil prices declined three per cent that week. Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist, stated this “would also aggravate Canada’s economic slowdown…giving the Bank of Canada another reason to cut rates next week.”

But a speech made by Poloz at the University of Western Ontario in late February changed many analysts’ predictions for March.

“Our decision to lower the policy interest rate last month was intended to take out some insurance against both sets of risks. It gives us greater confidence that we can get back to full capacity and stable inflation by the end of 2016, instead of sometime in 2017, and it will cushion the decline in income and employment, as well as the rise in the debt-to-income ratio, that lower oil prices will bring,” said Poloz.

“The downside risk insurance from the interest rate cut buys us some time to see how the economy actually responds.”

Today, the Bank of Montreal said the governor’s speech “quashed expectations of another cut in March.” However, they haven’t ruled out further cuts in the future.

“We now look for an April rate cut assuming the data weaken, oil prices fall further or the Canadian dollar strengthens (absent an accompanying rise in oil).”

TD Economics echoed the belief that the rate will remain the same in March thanks to the governor’s speech. Economist Brian DePratto pointed out that crude oil prices “have recovered somewhat” and “it appears that a rate cut next Wednesday is not set in stone.”

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