Starbucks Reserve Bar

Starbucks is about to unveil a swanky new Reserve store downtown, and it's going to be the biggest Starbucks location in Vancouver.

Located at Pacific Centre at 700 West Pender, the new 4,000 square foot store featuring the coffee chains Reverve Bar stylings and offering will be the second Reserve store in Vancouver and the fourth overall in Canada.

After their launch on December 11th, the new Starbucks Reserve will be open Monday to Thursday from 5:30 am to 10 pm, Friday from 5:30 am to 11 pm, Saturday from 7 am to 11 pm and Sunday from 7 am  to 9 pm. 

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The 2018 Telus Vancouver Santa Claus Parade returns on Sunday to the delight of children and big kids alike.  More than 300,000 people will see the parade as it starts at noon at Georgia and Broughton streets and travels east on Geogia to Howe. It will then turn on Howe and finish at Howe and Davie streets.

Before the parade there is a Breakfast with Santa at the Fairmont Hotel on Geogia Street. There will be a breakfast buffet and meet and greet with Santa before the parade. This event will cost $40 per adult and $20 per child..and you'll need to make reservations by calling 604-647-0517.

There will also be some free family activities as well. From 10am to noon you can visit Christmas Square at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Georgia Street. Activities include face painting, kids crafts and a 'letters to Santa' station. 

If you have small children, you may want to avoid the area around the Art Gallery to watch the parade. The crowds tend to be heaviest there because of the events at Christmas Square. 

It should be a great day. Have fun!!

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How about taking all that sound of a G.M. LS-based V8 corvette engine and replacing it with some pure electric fun instead?

If you were to buy an electric powerhouse like a Tesla Model S P100D, you would get a car with a single gear ratio. That's why, although it's the 'king of the quarter mile', the Tesla falls short of setting any speed records.  So why not pump all that power through a 7 speed transmission, making use of all 800 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of instantaneous torque. By doing this the electrified Corvette was able to set a speed record of 209 miles per hour, which is somewhere between a Porche 959 and the Ruf CTR.

Sprinting from 0  to 60 mph takes less than 3 seconds, which is 3.5 seconds quicker that it take the C7 Corvette Grand Sport.

Interested? For $750,000 USD, less a $250,00 USD initial deposit, one of these 75 Genovation GXEs could be on its way to you in 2019. For that money, hopefully you'll feel a bit of satisfaction knowing that you have one of the few electric cars with a manual transmission, and one that few people would suspect. Click here for 'test drive' video.  Have fun!

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Our Real Estate may be slowing in growth, but it's still the most expensive market in the country. Greater Vancouver's benchmark reached $1,602,100 in October, up 1.03% from the same time last year. The Fraser Valley's benchmark in October was $853,600 up a whopping 6.84% from this time last year. and up 87.84% over the past 5 years.  What is also worth noting is the B.C. real estate markets are seeing huge declines in sales right now. 

If you are looking to sell in today's market, being successful isn't that challenging. Just don't do what almost everybody else is doing by trying to sell for what their home would have been worth at the peak. Be reasonable with your asking price, and you will likely sell for more than what your home was worth this time last year. It's still a great market to sell a home!


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Man rides horse through liquor store drive-thru

Yes, for those of you who didn't know, Ladner does have a drive-thru window for liquor purchase at 'The Landing'.  And yes, recently a man  riding horse was spotted taking a trot through it.

The man of the horse is perhaps a little harder to explain...but the local who look the photo captioned it" 'When people ask, "What is Ladner like?"'

Hmmm, maybe it will go viral? Other sightings of the horse and rider and been spotted at local spots like Safeway.

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Yaletown

After a somewhat lacklustre summer performance, is Metro Vancouver's $1 million - plus real estate market set to see an even greater decline this fall?

Patterns in 'top-tier' real estate activity over the summer, across all 3 property types suggests that the market will weaken further.

The top-tier market saw low sales in July and August with sales of single family homes over $1 million dropping 27% from the previous summer to 213 units and detached sales of over $4 million falling 38% to just 24 homes.

Now we are seeing the more robust condo market, which has continued to increase being affected.

It is clear that the 'high-end' sales and selling prices in Vancouver are softening, not only in the single family segment, but across the city's heated condo and attached home market as well. It will most likely be the buyers holding the upper hand this fall.

With new listings inventory being added to the market and cooling demand, Metro Vancouver's top-tier market will shift towards a 'buyers market' probably to the end of the year and beyond.


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The video is a double throwback of Vancouver in the 1930s vs. 1990s

Nineties nostaligia is real, but things get really intense when you double down and throw back to the 1930's in a photographic then and now comparison.

That's the premises of this video from the early 1990's, that takes a look at landmard Vancouver locations sixty years apart... and now that's all in the past as well.

The 1930's footage was shot by Sidney Groberman, and the video produced in 1993 for the Knowledge Network. A lot of changes have taken place in 80 years. Take a look!

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harvest

A massive celestial affair takes place this week in the Lower Mainland. On Monday, a beautiful harvest moon will illuminate Metro Vancouver skies.

What's more, this dazzling lunar event takes place much lower in the sky, and therefore you'll have a much easier time viewing it.  With that in mind, the moon didn't take any growth hormones; its angle in the sky simply makes it appear huge.

Stargazers should opt to travel as far away from city lights as possible in order to avoid light pollutions that will obscure the clarity of heavenly bodies. While this works best in more remote places, anywhere that has a higher elevation will also provide more ideal viewing conditions.

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Have you ever seen anyone brave the Grouse Grind wearing a ball gown?

That's what a group of 13 women will be wearing when climbing the Grind on September 29th for the inaugural 'Gowns on the Grind' fundraiser.

It's the brainchild of Karen Stark, from North Vancouver, who works in the sports and clothing industry and has a penchant for contributing to - and organizing-worthwhile causes.

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Stark asked some of her longtime friends in her life to join her for the event which will see them adorn the gowns and conquer the Grind in an untimed, zero pressure setting.

While not looking for outside participants, the gown-Grinders will have a videographer and photographer on hand when they take off.

Rather than trying to show off high fashion and experience the great outdoors, the group is just going to start hiking as a nice big group and draw some attention. Any money raised will go to KidSport, a not for profit organization the provides financial assistance for kids who want to play sports but might not be able to otherwise.

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Clock

A proposal to stop observing daylight saving time in B.C. was narrowly approved by the Union of B.C. Municipalities last Friday.

The resolution said daylight saving time and the resulting time changes twice a year no  longer serve a  purpose and affects  peoples health when the time changes.

The resolution was approved by 52.3% and the B.C. provinicial government will continue to consult with other jurisdictions before make any decisions on the issue.

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The lease is up and the restaurant that has been in Vancouver's English Bay for years will close on Octoboer 6th. Known for their seafood by-the-shore locations, The Boathouse originally opened in Vancouver's Coal Harbour in 1981, then relocated to English Bay in the late 80's.

I wonder what the rent increase was?? What's going to replace it? Another change in the name of progress!

There are 5 other nearby Boathouse locations in Kitsilano, White Rock, Richmond, New Westminster and Port Moody.

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Beer

Vancouver has been named as the Best Beer Town in Canada, an accolade and ranking for Vancouver in the number one spot comes thanks to the team at Expedia, who factored in the following criteria: the total number of breweries and brewpubs where you can grab a  pint; awards; and originality, whether that meanes creating unique flavours or building a brand new beer following.

A spokeperson from Expedia explains that it's hard to dispute that Vancouver is the craft capital of Canada - singling out the city for neighbourhoods like Mount Pleasant's historic Brewery Creek zone and the east side as 'Yeast Van, as well as a number of great brews.

Craft beer is definitely on an upward swing that seems to have no ceiling, and the game is contantly being improved with new developments like brewing collectives-bold new moves that keep the industry on its toes.

The Best Beer Towns in Canada included 17 places coast to coast. Other B.C. spots that are brewing up the good stuff are Nelson (11), Abbotsford (6) and Penticton (2).


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Rent sign

The rate for the maximum allowable rent increase has been set for B.C. in 2019.

The government uses the B.C. Consumer Price Index and the formula for rent increases, which adds up  to a top annual rent increase of 4.5%. But it's the largest allowable rent hike in more than a decade.

The maximum percentage allowed each year is 2% plus the inflation rate using the 12 month average percentage change in the Consumer Price Index ending in July at 2.5%.

Landlords must provide tenants with 3 full months' notice using the correct notice of rent increase form.

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With the rainy season again upon us, it's time, once again, to take shelter inside the Vanouver International Film Festival. Now in it's 36th year, the VIFF returns with another phenomenal selection of features from home and abroad, along  with festival hits from Cannes, TIFF, Sundance and Venice, all of it beginning on September 28th with a gala screening on Mina Shum's Chinatown-set Meditatioon Park.

There is no question that VIFF is a heavy hitter, with more than 140,000 film fans enjoying 380 movies screened during the 16 day festival. 

Where most film festivals seem to about more about celebrities walking red carpets, VIFF is staged for those that love and make films. Enjoy!

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Men take a selfie by the beach

It's shouldn't be a surprise that people who live in a slightly warmer climate live happier and more engaging lives.

Well this has now been scientifically confirmed. A recent study of about 1.7 million people found that 22 degrees celsius was the perfect temperature to harbour residents that were more agreeable, emotionally stable and extroverted.  The logic is somewhat straightforward: nicer weather leads people to go outside more often and interact with other members of their community.

This information also revealed why people from cold and warm climates have different personalities, and as global warming heats the earth, human  personalites will probably change as well.

22 degrees celsius has been discovered as the least taxing temperature for the human body to regulate.

If you are keen to live in areas with the most ideal temperature, then Athens is most suited with an average temperature of 22 degrees on the dot. Barcelona, Monaco, Naples and Malta are also ideal, all hovering between 20 and 22 degrees.

Australia has several locations, including Adelaide, Sydney and the Gold Coast. Canada  doesn't have any cities with anywhere near an average of 22 degrees celsius.

Vancouver would be one of Canada's warmest cities with an average annual temperature of 11 degrees celsius, similar to other coastal or near coastal cities such as Seattle, Portland, Amsterdam and London, England. The only time the average temperature in Vancouver hovers around 22 degrees is in July and August.

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Condos

The number of new homes being built in Richmond is on the rise, while the number of existing homes being sold is declining.

Construction started on 1,413 new houses, townhouses and condo units in the first 6 months of 2018, according to a quarterly report from Business in Richmond. That's 60% more starts than this time last year.

Richmond has the biggest growth of new homes in the region. Other areas in the Lower Mainland a showing a slow down.

The areas of Richmond seeing the most new development are Capstone, City Centre and the area around the Richmond Oval.

At the same time as this development boom, fewer exisitng homes are being put on the market. Only 1,810 homes were sold in Richmond from January to July this year. That's 27% less compared to last year.

Measures like the foreign buyer tax and tightened mortgage rules may be factors contributing to the slowdown.

Although the number of homes sold has decreased, prices they have sold for haven't changed dramatically. The average price of a detached home in Richmond sits at $1.98 million and the average selling price for a condo is $576,000.

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oakridge main

Spectacular design details of phase one of the new Oakridge Centre, Vancouver's massive mixed residential and  commercial masterplan, have been revealed in updated renderings just recently released.

The new  concept is one of 'skin and bones' according to the design rationale in developer Westbank's proposal for the first phase.

Phase one includes 2 mixed use but mostly residential towers and part of the future  public park, which will total 9 acres.

The towers include 504 market condos, which break down as 212 one bedroom, 260 two bedroom and 32 three bedroom units. There will also be a large connecting podium for retail and office use and a further 173,113 square feet of office space in the shorter building 3.

Check out some more of the lastest renderings from the architect below.

oakridge balconiesoakridge mountainsoakridge towersoakridge masterplan

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Have you been unable to take amazing photos of things faraway because your phone's zoom doesn't go far enough?

Then you need a telescope lens! It attaches directly to your smartphone and adds an extra 8x zoom so you can capture those perfect photos.

Compatable with: Iphone,Samsung, HTC and Huawei. Click here for demonstration.



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illegal hotel

A house on the 75 hundred block of Railway was listed as a 'Sport Home Hotel' on various travel booking sites such as Booking.com, BedandBreakfast.eu and Agoda, which all cater to European travellers.

The posts show that the 'hotel' has 5 different room types and can accommodate 2-4 guests in each room, with prices from $120 per night.

However, the property is not a licensed bed and breakfast.

The owner of the home, who bought the house in 2015, has never moved in and doesn't hid the fact that the hotel is illegal, but appears not concerned about the consequences. She did not believe that the city would fine her, and has encouraged neighbours to operate their homes as a hotel as well.

The house is usually unsupervised and guests can access it through a keypad on the entrance door.

The city of Richmond issued the home owner a warning letter previously and issued 2 tickets for continuous non-compiance of the city bylaws.

The city has also gathered evidence necessary for further enforcement action if needed and will take 'progressive enforcement action'.

According the city's bylaw, fines related to short term residential rentals are $1,000 per offence.

Posts for 'hotels' are currently still available on those travel website, but all dates are show as 'unavailable'.

To report an illegal hotel in Richmond, call 604-276-4345

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daves

As far as merchants go, Dave Scott may be Steveston Village's elder.

Dave's Fish and Chips on Moncton rivals few other pre 1980 establishments in the village. Budget Appliances, Marine Garage and the Steveston Hotel might come to mind of the few left standing (all with newer ownership) and the departure of many longstanding business such as Steveston Marine & Hardware and Mary's British Home.

This summer marks the 40th anniversary with his son taking over the day-to-day operations.

When Dave opened the shop at 31, he had never cooked fish and chips before, nor had he ever run a business. So he got help from his neighbour who was an accountant and crafted a business plan and took it to the bank.

Scott planned to open during the Steveston Salmon Festival. By the time they opend at 11am they had a lineup down the street, and that was it - they just kept going.

The original joint opened on Chathan Street then moved to its prestent location on Moncton in 1984.

dave`s

According to Scott, the key to success is consistency. He maintained a simple menu and mushy peas with an abundance of tarter sauces as staples.

Dave is quick to express that he is not happy with the direction of Steveston, as he looks out his window looking at a 4 storey structure soon to house Save-on Foods of which seems to maximize every square inch of space to the sidewalk. "It's not quaint anymore. It's really busy. They really destroyed the BC Packers land; there was a good opportunity for a park" he states.

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