The series of 'Car Free Day' events, meant to re-imagine and showcase a city less dependent of cars, takes place from June to August.

Each festival will be held on a single street in each respective neighbourhood, all to be held on different days, allowing festival goers a chance to attend each of them.

This year you can expect even more art, music and activities than before.

The West End Festival will be held on Saturday, June 16 on Denman Street from Robson to Davie, featuring 4 new stages.

The Main Street Festival will take place on Sunday, June 17 on Main Street from Broadway to 30th Ave, featuring more than 10 stages hosted by local communities and businesses.  This year you will find more interactive art installations and children's activities.

The Commercial Drive Festival will be held on Sunday, July 8th on Commercial Drive from Venables to North Grandview, featuring new and returnng stages put on by community groups and individuals, including a live DJ van.

Car Free Day 2018 expects to attract more than 400,000 people out this year.

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By now, all of the outdoor pools in Metro Vancouver will be open for the summer, including Kits Pool which has just undergone a nice renovation. 

Get a full body workout swimming lanes or taking an aquafit class, relax after a busy day in a hot tub or make a splash with friends and family.

Swimming lessons and birthday party packages are available at many locations and several lower cost 'discount dip' sessions are available throughout the week.

All the pools are maintained in accordance with established health guidelines and standards in order to maintain a safe and hygienic environment.

Bring on Summer!

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Memorial Park will host Ladner Pioneer May Days Fair this weekend which has been going on since 1896. The Fair will feature live bands, free entertainment, carnival rides and a beer garden for the adults. The festivities begin Friday evening with discounted midway rides for kids. On Saturday the day is filled with a broad range of top notch family entertainers and many FREE activities and entertainment for children.

The food fair area will offer a broad range of food and picnic tables with a great view of the baseball tournement.

Sunday's activities kick off with a pancake breakfast followed at noon by the May Days Parade featuring the May Queen float.

The Fair takes place Friday to Sunday, May 27 & 28 from 3pm to 10pm on Friday and 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday at Memoral Park - 5010 47th Ave. Ladner.

Ladner May DaysLadner May Days MidwayLadner May Days Crowds


The biggest technological revolution of our lifetime is just around the corner as we start to get ready for the advent of driverless cars.

Toyota and Tesla will have fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2022, with all the other auto manufacturers following by 2025.

The shift promises virtually no deaths due to traffic accidents, drastically reduced commute times and emissions as most of these cars will be electric.

Are our governments doing enough about the fact that there are going to be so many of these driverless cars on the road?

Less than half of the people who currently own a car today will own one in 12 years - there won't be any need to.

With driverless cars, commuters will be able to order a ride to their door using a mobile app, and customize their trip with personal music, movies and more.

The costs of owning versus operating will be dramatic. If you own, it will cost more than twice as much than if you just order a vehicle every time you want a ride.

There will be a massive change in the need for public transit, public transportation and interconnectivity with driverless cars.

Municipalities will have to completely rethink the way they do their planning.

Right now cities are dealing with signage, curbs, lanes, signals, traffic interestions and parking. That's all going to change because none of that is going to be necessary.

The car will operate by lidar, radar and cameras... so the cars talk to each other, but they also have to talk to the infrastructure.

With the technology being used there will also be a need for strong IT protections.

What will happen when you have 40,000 cars on the road during rush hour and all of a sudden Surrey's system goes down, or Burnaby's system goes down. We are going to have to deal with ransomware and hacking and freezes and all the stuff that each of us deals with when we are trying to put together a word document.

There won't be any need for gas stations, parkades and there won't be any on-site parking issues.

But as of now, we are totally unprepared.  When are we going to come up with new stategies?  We have to plan ahead. We have to do a 5 year financial plan and each community will have to do their regional growth stategy and Official Community Plan in the next 2 years to deal with what's coming in the next 4 years. Is this going to happen?

autonomous car on highway


With the high price of gas putting a damper on many weekend plans that require a bit of a drive - here is a nice surprise. This summer you can get some great outdoors time in while saving some bucks thanks to a free shuttle bus service that will run between Vancouver and Golden Ears Provincial Park.

Parkbus operated last summer as a pilot program, but this year, with support from MEC and TD you can ride the bus free.

Operated by Vancouver based Environmentall Sound Transportation, Parkbus will run every Saturday and Sunday, starting July 7th until September 2nd with departures from MEC Vancouver Store on West Broadway in the morning, and returning late afternoon.

You will need to pre-book your seat online with a credit card deposit to prevent no-shows, and the reservations will open up in mid June.

Ahead of your reserved trip, riders will get safety information and park details via email. While on board, you can learn about Leave No Trace principles from a ride facilitator.

At 62,540 hectares, Golden Ears is one of the biggest parks in B.C.

Known for its extensive trail systems for hikers and equestrian use, Golden Ears is also home to Alouette Lake, which is a popular spot for swimming, windsurfing, water skiing, canoeing, boating and fishing.

Alouette Lake Golden Ears Park


Steveston's 15th annual Maritime Festival will feature the indie soul ban, The Boom Booms on the main stage at Britannia Heritage Shipyards this summer.

The festival will run for 2 days, Saturday, July 28th and Sunday July 29th from 10am to 6pm with many displays.

There will be the row of interesting, historic ships along the docks. The River Queen will operate tours of Steveston Channel and the Shady Isle Pirate Society will be bringing their miniature canon ships to the river.

As always, the festival will feature a variety of local performing artists, including the Boom Booms who will play for you at 2:15pm on Saturday.

Each year, the festival invites local visual artists to submit proposals to design the event poster. Richmond based Ashley Rose Goentoro has been commissioned to design this year's poster.

Ashley will bring her charm to her watercolour paintings that tie in perfectly with the Richmond Martime Festival's focus on arts, culture and history. She will be documenting her creative process on Instagram (Ashley Rose Illustration). The final artwork will be used throughout this year's festival site and marketing materials.

This year's festival will be a scaled back version of last year's special event, which had twice the budget at $200,000 thanks to Canada150 sponsorship money. 

maritime festival


A new community is planned for Vancouver's Heather Lands that will include 2,500 new homes where at least 40% will be for either low or moderate income households.

The 21 acre site, between west 33rd & 37th, between Willow & Ash, with Heather Street running through it, sits in the Cambie Corridor development area.

The land is owned by 3 First Nations - the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh (MST) - and Canada Lands Company, which in 2014 entered into a 50/50 venture for the ownership and redevelopement of the property.

This could see the end of the historic Fairmont Academy building, built in 1914 and is now a class A heritage building which was first a private school and then an RCMP base. It currently stands directly in the way of the site, but could be moved to a new site, but not likely.

The newly released details of the Heather Lands masterplan include:

*  approx 2,500 residential units, in buildings from 3 to 24 storeys;

* a minimum of 20% of units for affordable houses for lower-income households (around 530 units);

*  a further 20% to be attainable home ownership targeted at moderate income households (earning $50,000 - $80,000 for singles and couples and $80,000 - $150,000 for families with children);

*  of the social housing units, 50% to be geared  to families with 2 or 3 bedrooms;

*  up to 60,000 square feet of local serving and service uses;

*  a minimum of 4 acres of secured park and more.

Heather LandsRCMP Fairmont building


Our moms always love being surprised with flowers on Mother's Day and this weekend Richmond is offering 2 special annual sales.

At the corner on No. 3 Rd and Steveston Highway, the Richmond GoGos group will be selling sunflower seedlings and African-designed tote bags.

Proceeds of this charitable sale will go to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which combats the spread of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Richmond GoGos are one of hundreds of GoGo groups around the world that fundraise for this cause. The African word GoGo means grandmother.

After picking up your sunflowers you could head to the second flower and plant sale which takes place at London Heritage Farm.

On both Saturday and Sunday, the farm will be selling featured plants and flowers from its garden. Perennials, annuals, herbs, hanging baskets, tomato seedlings and garden accessories will be sold.

There will be a free surprise plant for each child at the checkout and a draw to win a hanging basket.

Unfortunately the annual Mother's Day Tea is sold out, but there is limited space available for walk-ins. The special tea takes place Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Tea, scones and baked goods are served for $14.

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James has become just the 2nd Canadian born pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to throw a 'no-hitter'.

The Seattle Mariners southpaw from Ladner shutout the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0 last night in Toronto.  James needed 99 pitches, striking out 7 and walking 3. He got some terrific support behind him, including a diving stop by 3rd baseman Kyle Seager to rob Kevin Pillar of a hit in the 7th.

James's final pitch to Josh Donaldson was clocked at 99 mph. It was also the first complete game of his Major League career.

'The last inning was just fastballs. I was just out there throwing as hard as I could and guys were make every play behind me, James told Rogers Sportsnet.  He went on to say that it's very special being able to get it done in Canada, in front of Canadian fans.

The last time a Canadian threw a no-hitter was back in 1945, by Dick Fowler.

The Delta Secondary graduates previous start saw him record a career high 16 stikeouts against Oakland. 

Our boy is on a roll!



As the cost of living continues to rise in Metro Vancouver, finding ways to reduce energy and save on bills can make a difference to overall house expenses. Until June 15, if you replace your clothes washer with a high efficiency model you will not only lower your future energy costs, but you can get a $100 rebate.

Clothes washers are the second highest water consumers for most homes, just behind toilets. Not only will a high efficiency washer save you on electricity, it can save you up to 64,000 litres of water.

Through a joint initiative between many municipal governments and BC Hydro, those eligible for the rebate can purchase an approved clothes washer before June 15th. Qualifying appliances can be found at BC Hydro's website.

After you buy a new washer and send in a receipt, BC Hydro will issue the rebate cheque. Please dispose of your old washer properly, through municapal recycling depots.

washing machine


Real Estate is not just about location, location, location. It's also about timing, timing, timing.

While sellers can do nothing to improve the location of their home, the same is not true for timing. Sellers can optimize their returns on housing sales by picking the most opportune time to sell.

And the best time to sell is May. As temperatures start to rise, enthusiasm and hope are also rising among real estate buyers and sellers. For those sitting on the fence wondering when to list, the time is now.

Weather and consumer sentiment have a lot to do with housing sales volumes. Cold and wet weather is correlated with slower housing sales. The presence of seasonality in real estate, with sales rising in summer months and falling in winter months is a well established fact.

While the housing market can be shaken up by rising mortgage rates, new mortgage rules and uncertainty, nasty weather and bad storms make matters worse.

After the slower winter months, the pent up demand for housing purchases is realized in early summer with help from houses showing better with leaves on the trees and manicured lawns.

Smart sellers must, therefore, add timing to the location mantra. Whereas sellers cannot pick a better location for their homes, they may pick a better time to sell.

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According to a new survey, more than 7 in 10 Canadian first-time home buyers (71%) are afraid that they will be hit by unanticipated costs during the process, and over half of those respondents (56%) are afraid that they will forget to take a crucial step as they gain their foothold on the property ladder.

Many first-timers are not taking the steps needed to prepare for a home purchase, which should be taken as seriously as preparing for the birth of a first child. Just 39% of respondents reported that they are taking the steps to reduce their debt ahead of their home purchase, with only 28% are working to improve their credit score.

Owning your first home can be an exhilarating yet unfamiliar experience. Knowing and preparing for what to expect on the home buying journey is often half the battle, and can help reduce unexpected surprises.

Less than half of first time buyers have planned for additional costs beyond the purchase price and down payment, and many are not aware of appraisal fees (49%), mortgage default insurance (47%) and closing costs (41%).

Some steps to help buyers along the way include:

manage existing debt and get your financial house in order;

consider all homebuying costs including appraisals, title searches, fee and adjustments;

get the right mortgage for your needs and work with a mortgage broker/adviser;

don't overstretch yourself on monthly costs or underestimate other home related expenses, such as property taxes and maintenance, and;

of course work with a realtor who has your back.

Young first-time home buyers stress

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