One of Richmond's most iconic, historic houses is set for a big renovation that will give it a new lease on life.

McKinney House on Dyke Road, next to London Landing was granted approval by city council to give the home a facelift and rebuild a non-historic extension at the back.

The renovation will maintain the historic features of the house, which was built on Steveston Highway and No. 2 Rd. in 1911.

The 4 storey house is considered an excellent example of Foursquare Edwardian era architecture with Craftsman influences. It became a protected heritage house in 1988. In 1993 the house was moved overnight to 6471 Dyke Road with local fanfare.

The plans are to tear down a non-historic 2 storey extension that was built in the 1990's and double its size, to accommodate a small pool downstairs and a living room upstairs.

The McKinney's arrived in Richmond in 1890. They ordered 'The Hamilton' house from the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalogue in 1908. They made significant upgrades to the original Sears plan with the goal of constructing an unrivalled residence in Steveston.

The McKinneys were known for their philanthropy, volunteering with the Liberal party and the Kiwanis club, and hosting LIberal functions, Red Cross teas and fashion shows in the house.

They sold the house in 1948 to the Scallon family.

McKinney House

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Author, Roy MacGregor explains our hockey values best - teamwork, resourcefulness, tenacity, humility and truimph - which are the same principles Canadians try to uphold on the world stage, as individuals.

Across our country, on frozen backyard ponds, community rinks and in state-of-the-art arenas, Canadians play our national sport, hockey. The game that is invariably tied to our collective sense of what it means to be Canadian and is perhaps our most identifiable icon.

All season long, fans gather around TV's at home or in pubs to watch our national drama unfold - which only intensifies this time of year, during the playoffs.

This is the only time of year that I would dare cheer for the Winnipeg Jets, or worst, the Toronto Maple Leafs, but we  support our only Canadian teams left playing. Let's face it, if either of these teams made it to the final, we as a nation would be rushing to the nearest TV to cheer them on. 

And this year, more than any I can recall, our big Canadian Hockey Family, rallies together if support of the game, and those that we so tragically lost in Humboldt. 

Thank God for Hockey! 

Image result for humboldt bronco photos

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When you think of your average rock star, you probably picture him living in a multi-million dollar mansion, surrounded by luxury items galore. But rather than be bothered with flashy art work, a one-of-a-kind wine cellar or a pricey infinity pool, Kid Rock prefers to keep it really simple.

The multi-platinum artist, who's sold more than 26 million albums across the globe, hangs his cowboy hat inside a double wide trailer he placed on 102 acres he owns outside of Nashville.

He says that he doesn't require a lot and downsizing over the years has made him more happy.

He loved that idea that once he ordered his new home, it came delivered to the door in 2 weeks. You can customize a few things as you go along, and  put a nice wrap on it. Simplicity at its finest.

Image result for kid rock pictureImage result for picture of kid rock double wide home

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As housing sales dropped to the lowest level in 5 years, Metro Vancouver new home starts have climbed in the first quarter with starts in Vancouver alone more than twice as high as the same period last year.

There were 6,542 homes sales on MLS in Metro Vancouver during the first quarter of 2018, which is a 13.1% decrease from the same period last year. This is the areas lowest first quarter sales total since 2013.

But housing starts have increased to 6,864 units in the first quarter this year, up 30% from last year.

In Vancouver, first quarter starts went up 109% to 1,959 homes, including 1,592 condos or townhouses.  Detach house starts jumped 93% to 364 homes.

So far this year there has been a smaller demand from buyers and fewer homes listed for sale. High prices, new tax announcements, rising interest rates and stricter mortgage requirments may be among the affecting factors.

Last month was the quietest for new home listings since 2009 and the total inventory, particularly in the condo and townhouse segments remain well below historical norms.

Even though there are 42,590 homes under construction across Metro Vancouver, the current inventory remains low. Of the nearly 7,000 new strata units or houses that have been completed so far this year, only 1,004 remained unsold as of last month.

In Vancouver, first quarter starts soared 109 per cent to 1,956 homes, including 1,592 apartments or


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Richmond Centre sits on a pre-zoned site and as such its massive redevelopment will not be subject to the usual demands made by municipalities to ensure developers and new residents have contributed fairly to the community's growth.

The plan calls for about 2,000 new dwellings in about a dozen new towers between No. 3 Rd and Minoru Boulevard. The old, brick Sears building and the mall parkade will be demolished, as will the southern most lots. Park Rd. will be extended through the development, which will neighbour City Hall along a new east-west Road.

Because the area was pre-zoned back in the 80's, the City's ability to secure community ammenties, such as affordable housing is severly compromised.

However the site will be subject to amendments to the City Centre Area Plan, enabling city planners to negotiate some community amenity contributions, such as approximately 150 dwellings for low income in 2 purpose-built rental buildings suitable for operation by no-profit housing providers.

This however will only represent 5% of the dwelling space, not the 10% now required under a rezoning application of similar magnitude. 

The development proposed 50% 'family-friendly' housing, meaning half of the total units will be 2 or more bedrooms. Because of the pre-zoning, the developers do not require consultation with Richmond School District, but the application will be forwarded to the Board of Education as a courtesy, where nearby schools are already bursting at the seams.

Due to population growth, the Canada Line is already nearing maximum capacity. Hopefully we will see more trains by 2020, but the line is single tracked to Brighouse Station, which hampers train frequency to the area. There are no current plans to expand capacity, according to TransLink, which also does not require consultation because the site is not immediately adjacent to the site.

Is this the way you saw Richmond growing, moving forward?

City Centre surges on development tidal wave_6

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Onni has accepted Richmond city council's demand of $5.5 million in amenity contributions in exchange for rezoning the Steveston boardwalk from maritime to commercial use, but the hotel proposal has councillors hesitating.

Unlike a normal hotel, which have permanent staff on site, Onni has proposed a remote operation where customers would arrange a way to gain access to their room by barcode.

City councillors have some concerns about the operation model, feeling that there would be a lack of supervision. They would like a legal commitment from Onni as to how the hotel will be operated, but Onni declined to have that put into a covenant.

Shouldn't agreeing to a rezoning change for Onni be enough?  Should the city be forced to throw in a proposed hotel agreement? Your thoughts. 

Onni

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Starting this Friday, April 6, emergency alerts in B.C. will be sent to compatible wireless devices, such as smartphones, to ensure more people have the information they need to act quickly in an emergency.

Alerts will be broadcast automatically at no cost to the user. Wireless-compatibility information is available online at AlertReady.ca.

Wireless alerts will be publically tested for the first time in B.C. on May 9th at 1:55pm, alongside routine TV and radio tests.

Emergency Management BC (EMBC) is the sole agency responsible for issuing emergency notifications on the Alert Ready system in the province.  It will initially issue such alerts for tsunami threats only, while considering expanding the system to include other hazards and emergencies in the future.

Wireless alerts will contain instructions for a safe response and all BCer's are urged to abide by these instructions without delay.

Emergency alerts intended for wireless devices are issued to a defined geographic area, which can be as small as a a few city blocks, so the only people in the defined area receive the alert. Compatible devices in the targeted area, including devices that are roaming will receive the alert. You cannot opt out of receiving threat-to-life emergency alerts.

message alerts

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Bob's sandwich and all day breakfast spot at No. 3 and Cook Roads closed its  doors last week after nearly 30 years in business.

The submarine shop was doing a booming business south of the Brighouse Station, offering huge portions at rock bottom prices,but the shop was forced to shut down because of redevelopment.

Bob's seated about 30 people and was stuck in a bit of a time warp that could be seen with it's prices. All day breakfast is a calling card. Eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, toast and coffee - all for less than $5. Then there was the likes of corned beef or steak and cheese subs, chicken salad and fried chicken.

Behind it all is the husband and wife team of Mi-Yeong and Frank Lee, Korean immigrants from the early 1980's, who raised 2 children in Richmond.

They came to Richmond to study but soon found Bob's, operated by their friend Bob, who changed the name from its original name 'Paul's Subs'.

The food was always Western food. Never once had they considered mixing their roots into the business. They didn't want to toy with the original business recipe.

They knew the time to close was coming, because of all the changes in the area. Whether the business is reincarnated elsewhere, time will tell, but retirement is certainly an option.

Finding a new location with a similar lease rate will be very difficult. Mi-Yeong went on to say - 'things are changing, I guess for the good, maybe for the bad. I can't say. Everyone sees it differently. 

An end of an era for Richmond.


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With Once Upon a Time wrapping up its filming in Steveston for good, a new Steveston filmed television series is ready to take over the streets, bringing viewers into a whole new fantasy world.

Siren, which will air on ABC Spark Canada, is a thriller that brings mermaid legends to life.

So from 'Storybrooke' - Steveston will now convert to 'Bristol Cove', a town that's obsessed with mermaids thrown into chaos - when a mysterious girl appears.

The first, 10- episode season of the new series was also filmed in Vancouver and Port Moody.

Will this new show attract similar attention that ' Once Upon a Time' did, drawing tourists from all over for a visit to Steveston?

Siren poster

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New revelations about a U.K. data firm gathering data from 50 million users has changed how many Canadians view Facebook.

According to a recent survey, almost 75% of Facebook users in Canada say they are at least making some changes to how they interact with the social media platform, 27% say they will keep using Facebook as usual and 10% say they plan on abandoning the platform all together.

The majority of B.C.'s Facebook users are on alert - with more than half saying they will make changes as to how they use the social platform, including 37% who say they will keep using Facebook but check and/or change their privacy setting and 27% say they will use Facebook less. 7% of BCer's say they will suspend their account and 5% are planning  on deleting Facebook.

What are your plans?

facebook fallout

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Whether you're skiing or camping you know how annoying it can be to get ahold of your friends (or even kids)! Well the goTenna can solve messaging without cell service by using an app to communicate and share locations with friends or family who also have a goTenna on them.

With a 4 mile point to point range and 24 hour battery life, it's the perfect accessory for throwing into your bag when you head out skiing or camping.

Additionally, if you aren't in range of your friends your message will hop off other goTenna mesh users that are nearby to send your message securely and correctly. A great safety idea!!

goTenna: Text & GPS on Your Phone, Without Service

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JUNO Week is in full swing, ahead of the highly-anticipated awards show this Sunday.

Michael Buble will host the ceremony which will take place at Rogers Arena. Don't worry if you don't have tickets - the ceremony will be broadcast nationwide so you won't miss out on any of the action.

The JUNO celebrations start today with a live weekend festival at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Let's Hear It! Live - Vancouver is a 2 day outdoor music festival where you will see the city join together at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.  BC's top talent from a wide range of music scenes will be showcased at the event. Expect unforgettable moments with surprise guest performers and collaborations throughout the 2 days.  The event is set to kick off with a performance by the Coast Salish Nations. Check out the full schedule and ENJOY!

Image result for Let's Hear it LIve Vancouver images

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It's sad that so many Richmond residents refuse to welcome those that are less fortunate. Especially those residents that brought along their children to attend the rally and pose for the picture. What is this teaching our children about the tolerance of one another?
Canada is a country that thankfully accepts those from other countries, cultures, religions and circumstances - but when it come to the homeless, too many Richmond residents are exclusive of those who only live up to what they think are acceptable standards.
All the  homeless need is a chance to recover, a place to call home and a chance to thrive and survive without judgement of life on the street.
The protesters need a change of attitude. They ackowledge that someone should do something to help the homeless, as long as it isn't in their neighbourhood.
Let's help these less fortunate by providing a decent roof over their head and give them a place to call home. Something that these protesters take for granted.
Some of Richmond's residents who drive luxury cars and live in million dollar homes need some perspective. Shame on you.
Congratulation to Richmond's City Council's response to homelessness and in keeping with what should be a guide to a healthy community.  The City of Richmond and BC Housing seem committed to ensuring everyone has a place to call home. Let's be a little more supportive of this initiative.
modular housing
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Have you ever gone to an auto repair shop for an oil change, only to have the mechanic say you need to have some serious repairs done? Or has the mysterious 'check engine' light come on, and the next thing you know the mechanic has a list of engine parts that need replacing?

Now there's a way to help you avoid any of these issues! Introducing FIXD...an easy to use maintenance monitor that gives you real time diagnostic results right on your phone.

A new affordable device that plugs into you car's OBC (on-board diagnotics) port - the very same port that mechanics use to figure out what's wrong with your car.

Every car built since 1996 has this port. This device is simple to use in 3 easy steps.

1) Plug it into your car's port - takes less than 60 second and anyone can do it.

2) Sync it with your phone - using the free app (available on Adroid and IOS)

3) Start getting health updates immediately - just like that, your car tells you how it's doing and what is needs. And based on your cars make, model and year, FIXD sends your phone notifications about upcoming oil changes and scheduled maintenance needs, and more.

Now, when your 'Check Engine' light comes on, FIXD tells you exactly what's causing it, in a way anyone can understand.

You can also turn off your check engine light right from the FIXD app if the problem is not serious or if you want to see if it will reoccur.

Check Engine Light Is Easy NowCheck Engine Light Is Easy Now

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With over 40,000 cherry trees lining the streets of Vancouver, it's time to celebrate the pink blossoms that dominate the neighbourhoods in the springtime. The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival runs from the end of March to the middle of April each year and offers a calendar full of opportunities.

My favourite is the Bike The Blossoms bike ride with is a free tour that starts out by Trout Lake and winds through of Vancouver's blooming neighbhourhoods, led by a Vancouver Parks Board arborist.

You can also lace up your walking shoes and take part in the guided tour, Tree Talks and Walks. This walk actually starts before the official kick off to include some of the neighbourhoods that are planted with early blooming varieties. The dates haven't been set yet, so check the site for dates and times. Enjoy.

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Vancouver City council votes on a staff report next week that, if approved, will see Vancouver become one of the 1st cities in the world that would require new residential buildings to be 100% electric ready.

The report calls for all parking spots - excluding visitor parking - to be equipped with charging infrastructure, a significant increase over the current required 20%.

The report also recommends building more Fast Charging hubs and creating reserved parking stalls for zero-emission vehicles at city owned EasyPark lots.

The city's goal is to be 100% renewably powered by 2050, but it can't be done without providing the infrastucture people need in order to make the transition.

Vancouver has the largest municipal fleet of 30 electric vehicles in Canada, powered by more than 70 city owned charging stations, which are among the most heavily used in the province and electric vehicle sales are projected to steadily increase - 70% year over year from 2011.

With more electric vehicles on the road, the city says the need for convenient charging stations is greater than ever.

Do you currently own an electric vehicle? Do you plan on buying one?

In January, the Vancouver Park Board approved installing electric vehicle charging stations at three

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The Altus Group's Canadian Construction Cost Guide for 2018 has been released. A high-quality 2,000 square foot detached house in Vancouver would cost up to $460,000 to build, while in Toronto the same house would cost $420,000 and in Montreal, Calgary or Halifax, it would run you around $300,000.

This price spread is also there in the condo sector.

In Vancouver, for example, you would pay $250 per square foot for a high-quality 4 storey wood frame condo. This compares with $195 per square foot in Toronto and $175 or less in nearly every other city in the country.

These estimates are for hard contruction costs only and do not include land values or any of the soft costs, including profit.

The Altus Group did not provide an explanation why these costs vary so much from region to region. Any thoughts?

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So far about 98% of the city's homeowners have declared their properties. Of those a total of 6,349 were either declared vacant by the owner or claimed an exemption, with many of them ending up being taxed. 

The homeowners that have not declared, which is about 2%, or about 2,132 homes will automatically be deemed vacant and will be issued a tax bill this month, with a payment deadline of April 16th. If each of these property's is worth about $1 million, as most of them are condos, that would raise about another $21 million in tax revenue.

The empty home tax is 1% of the property's assessed value.

Will this be enough to encourage most of these 8,000 plus properties to became rentals? Is this a step in the right direction?


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With Lower Mainland housing prices soaring past our incomes in the last couple of decades we are moving further and further away. Some young people looking to buy a home are now looking at places like Abbotsford, Chilliwack and even as far as Hope, which is 155 km away from Vancouver. Cities that used to draw these young first-time buyers like Surrey and Langley are getting too expensive.

With affordable housing moving so far out, Vancouver commuters really have to do their math with our increasing gas prices. How about a high speed train? Would you consider living in the Fraser Valley and commuting to Vancouver for work if you had the option to ride a high speed train?

In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, a bullet train passes over Yongdinghe Bridge in Beijing Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. With affordable homes now as far out of Vancouver as Chilliwack and Hope is it time to start talking about a high speed train connecting Vancouver and the Fraser Valley?

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Does B.C's Motor Vehicle Act need an update to better reflect modern day use of our roads?

The Motor Vehicle Act was written in 1957 and hasn't really changed fundamentally since then. It should be modernized and be recognized that it doesn't just regulate motor vehicles, but how we share public space and the rights and responsibilities have to be divided up between cyclists, pedestrians and vehicle users.

Back in 1957, motorists were the primary consideration. Since that time, car volume has increased by 1,400% and cycling volumes have increased by 300%.

The Road Safety Law Reform Group of BC is recommending 25 changes to the existing act, including changing the name to the Road Safety Act, adding rules for cyclist and pedestrian safety and adding fines for violations that theaten vulnerable road users.

Some of the recommendations include:

Amending the MVA to include the definition 'vulnerable road user', which means pedestrians and operators cycles, including motorcycles.

Set the default provincial speed limit to 30 km/h for local streets that do not have a centre line and specify that a vehicle must be at least 1 metre away when passing a cyclist.

What would you like to see included in a new Act?



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