After surprising growth in 2011, Greater Vancouver real estate prices will rise just two per cent in 2102, Canada Mortgage and Housing is forecasting.

In 2011, CHMC predicted price growth of just three per cent, tempered by an expectation of higher interest rates, but interest rates stayed low and prices ultimately jumped 16 to 17 per cent.

In 2012, the market will stabilize and show modest growth in line with inflation, said Robyn Adamache, senior market analyst with CMHC in Vancouver.

“I’d say it’s a pretty stable market out there. We’re not expecting to see a lot of change going forward,” Adamache Thursday said in an interview. “We have seen the market moving to more balanced conditions over the past five or six months, and that’s expected to continue.”

She said job growth and migration, including people from within Canada and immigrants, are the factors driving the housing market, and they should continue.

“So far, for the first 11 months of 2011, we’ve seen about 30,000 additional jobs created in the Metro Vancouver area,” Adamache said. “We’re forecasting that we’ll see 35,000 to 40,000 people moving here each year, going forward.”

Not all municipalities saw this kind of growth in housing prices in 2011; the west side of Vancouver and Richmond led the way with 20-per-cent or higher increases for single family homes, while other municipalities and multi-family homes saw lower growth.

For the five years leading up to 2010, the compound annual growth rate in Greater Vancouver for all types of homes was 10 per cent, while the 20-year average was six per cent, Adamache said.

In some areas, such as Maple Ridge, prices of condominiums have not recovered to pre-recession prices, Adamache said.

The average price of a home in Greater Vancouver, including single-family and multi-family homes, for 2011 up to Nov. 30 was $796,000. CMHC is calling for that average to rise to just over $800,000 by the end of 2012.

For November only, the monthly average was down slightly to $736,000, and Adamache said that trend might continue into the first half of 2012.

“I think we will see prices staying fairly flat until later in 2012,” Adamache said.

Across the country, prices were 5.8 per cent higher in 2010, to an average $339,042.

Forty-eight per cent of households in Vancouver own their own homes, while nationally the average is 68 per cent.

In Greater Vancouver, housing starts will see growth of about five per cent in 2012, compared to 12 to 15 per cent in 2011, and the number of houses sold will also increase about nine per cent over 2011, Adamache said.

Meanwhile, CMHC released its 2011 Canadian Housing Observer Thursday, showing that Canadians owed more than a trillion dollars on their mortgages as of March, which when added to other household debt is a “serious issue.”

The CMHC reported that housing-related spending of about $330 billion a year in 2010 has risen by 67 per cent since 2001 and now comprises 20.3 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product in 2010 — which underlines the importance of that debt load, and what might happen to the economy if for any reason Canadians crack under its burden.

CMHC figures show that mortgages made up about 68 per cent of total household debt in 2010 — up from 63 per cent in 1971 but down from the peak of 75 per cent in 1993. Consumer credit, which makes up the other 32 per cent, has been growing faster than mortgage debt over the past two decades, it says.

A breakdown of these numbers for B.C. was not available; however, the report shows that B.C. has a high percentage of mortgage-free homeowners at 47 per cent, a number second only to Cape Breton.

“The major risk in the mortgage market is impairment in a household’s ability to pay, often due to job loss. Recession or other adverse economic scenarios, such as rising interest rates, could certainly pose a challenge for some Canadian households,” the report states.

Canadians’ debt levels have been growing fairly steadily since the 1960s, the report notes, but adds that a number of more recent factors have allowed debt to grow to its current record level, including low interest rates, rising household incomes and financial product innovations, which have allowed Canadians to make lower payments on higher debt loads.

While about 6.5 per cent of Canadian households are financially vulnerable according to Bank of Canada guidelines, the CMHC says continued employment growth, increasing net worth of households and a growing population are all positive factors for housing demand.

 

By TRACY SHERLOCK and Kim Covert, Vancouver Sun and Postmedia News 

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Vancouver was chosen as the top Canadian travel destination for the ninth year in a row, in a recent survey of U.S. travel agents
 

Vancouver was chosen as the top Canadian travel destination for the ninth year in a row, in a recent survey of U.S. travel agents

 

Photograph by: Ric Ernst, PNG

 

U.S. travel agents chose Vancouver as the top Canadian travel destination for the ninth year in a row.

American travellers are “critically important” to Vancouver’s $4-billion a year tourism industry, representing about 20 per cent of hotel visits and one-quarter of the city’s 8 million overnight visitors, said Stephen Pearce, vice-president of leisure travel and digital marketing at Tourism Vancouver.

“It’s a nearby market with a great potential for repeat visitation,” Pearce said. “They become great fans of Vancouver and ambassadors for us.”

In a sluggish market, we need all the influences we can get, Pearce added.

“If we get travel agents who are fans of Vancouver, they’re playing a very important role for Americans doing travel planning,” Pearce said.

Travel trade publication Travel Weekly announced its Readers Choice Awards — selected by accredited U.S. travel agents — on Dec. 15. The awards are widely recognized as reflecting the professional opinion of travel agents who are not only avid travellers themselves, but also hear feedback every day from thousands of American consumers.

This accolade is a great way for Vancouver to end its 125th birthday celebrations this year, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a news release.

“The city is already renowned for its natural beauty and vibrant culture, and this award shows that we also have some of the best hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions in Canada,” Robinson said. “We will continue to build on our world-class reputation in the years to come and ensure that Vancouver remains a favoured destination among travellers worldwide.”

Dayna Miller, Tourism Vancouver’s director of sales, accepted the award in New York.

“These front-line agents can be extremely influential in their clients’ buying decision, and it’s gratifying to know they hold our city in such high esteem,” Miller said when accepting the award.

The Best in Destinations: Canada award is the latest in a list of honours that Vancouver has received over the years; other recent awards include being named one of the world’s most livable cities (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2011) and top city in the Americas (Mercer’s annual Quality of Living survey, 2011), Tourism Vancouver said in a news release.

By Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun

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Currently, it's nearly impossible to find smoke-free dwellings in Vancouver.

Nonsmoking multi-unit dwellings are next to impossible to find

 

By Carlito Pablo,

California’s Sonoma County is going to be the envy of Lower Mainland residents who have to put up with the secondhand smoke of their neighbours.

Starting on May 10 next year, all new multi-unit residences in the county will be smoke-free. Then, as of January 12, 2013, the ban will extend to all existing multiple-dwelling units like apartments and condos.

While Sonoma’s smoking prohibition may appear to be too ambitious for Canadian jurisdictions, a more modest approach could work.

Vision Vancouver’s Tim Stevenson is open to the idea that future multi-unit premises should be completely smoke-free.

“Even the people who smoke say if they try to live together, it’s so much smoke, they’re practically choking to death on each other’s smoke,” Stevenson said in a phone interview with the Georgia Straight.

However, the four-term councillor also noted that he’s concerned about how this measure would impact a certain sector of the city’s population. Having served on the board of the First United Church, he has seen how cigarettes are important to many Downtown Eastside residents dealing with addictions and mental illness.

“To ask them not to smoke or tell them they can’t smoke, they would be faced with the choice of not having living space or being out on the street—or trying to lie,” Stevenson said. “And the problem that that gets into is other residents in the building who don’t smoke report them, and then you get conflict.”

But, outside the Downtown Eastside, Stevenson sees no problem with having new smoke-free residential buildings. According to him, the city doesn’t have a smoking ban in its housing properties.

The proposal of putting in smoking bans in future buildings in Canadian municipalities was among the recommendations made by UBC endocrinologist Stuart Kreisman.

Writing in the October issue of the B.C. Medical Journal, the St. Paul’s Hospital doctor stated that this will help meet the demand for smoke-free homes.

When he was living on the top floor of a condo building in downtown Vancouver, Kreisman had to endure the secondhand smoke wafting up from units below him. He later asked to be transferred to the bottom floor.

“It’s justifiable,” Kreisman told the Straight by phone regarding smoke-free multi-unit dwellings. “You’re not allowed to blast music at 3 a.m. Why are you allowed to put smoke into your neighbour’s home?”

In his BCMJ article “Toward smoke-free multi-unit dwellings”, Kreisman also suggested other measured steps. One is to designate a contiguous portion of existing buildings as smoke-free. Another is to amend the Residential Tenancy Act to tag secondhand smoke as a nuisance, and a violation of the “right to quiet enjoyment”.

Kreisman also proposed that landlords state in leases the smoking status of floors and units in their buildings. He likewise recommended that strata councils and rental-building owners be given incentives to convert their properties into nonsmoking premises.

Despite the demand for smoke-free dwellings, Kreisman said that it is close to impossible to find one in the Greater Vancouver area. Only the Envy and Verdant condominiums in North Vancouver and Burnaby, respectively, are known to have antismoking strata bylaws.

In 2007, Metro Vancouver designated a section of Heather Place, one of its public housing properties, as a no-smoking area. It was supposed to be a pilot project that would be replicated in its other housing buildings. The regional body did not make a spokesperson available to provide an update on this initiative before the Straight’s deadline.

New Westminster councillor Bill Harper anticipates a number of issues arising if smoking is prohibited in multi-unit buildings. One, according to him, is the mobility challenges of many seniors who are smokers.

Harper also told the Straight by phone that he wants to see more of the research into the effects of secondhand smoke, information that Kreisman may perhaps be more than willing to share.

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The endangered southern resident killer whales have a new calf, bringing the population in the three pods up to 89 animals.
 

The endangered southern resident killer whales have a new calf, bringing the population in the three pods up to 89 animals.

 

Photograph by: Handout, .

 

VICTORIA — Whale enthusiasts are celebrating the arrival of a colourful Christmas baby for the endangered southern resident killer whales.

 

The calf, with characteristic pinky-orange patches, was spotted Saturday in Puget Sound by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers and the birth was confirmed Wednesday.

 

As the calf had fetal folds when the first photos were taken, it is likely it had been born only hours earlier.

 

"We are really pleased to have another calf in the population," said administration wildlife biologist Brad Hanson.

 

"The numbers are slowly creeping up, but they're still a concern. They can drop back down just by losing a couple of animals."

 

The new calf is the third born in 2011 and brings the population in the three pods, which cruise the coast of southern Vancouver Island and Washington State, to 89 animals.

 

However, mortality rates for calves can be up to 50 per cent, so everyone is keeping their fingers crossed that the J-Pod calf, known as J-48, will make it through the winter.

 

Odds should be stacked on the side of J-48, said Susan Berta of Orca Network.

 

Mother is 39-year-old J-16, known as Slick. Her previous four calves have survived.

 

"The first calf always gets the biggest off-loading of toxic chemicals so this one should be getting pretty clean milk," Berta said.

 

The reason that later calves do not get so many contaminants is that there is less time for the mother to accumulate toxins from food, Hanson said.

 

Chinook salmon, the primary food for resident killer whales, are heavily contaminated with pollutants such as PCBs and flame retardants.

 

Other populations of fish-eating killer whales, such as the northern residents and Alaska populations, are recovering faster than the southern residents and researchers are comparing notes and looking for reasons, Hanson said.

 

"We're continuing to work on all fronts to figure out what factors contribute to that," he said.

 

Canada's killer whale recovery plans have pointed to lack of chinook salmon, pollution and noise as major factors.

 

The historic population of southern resident killer whales is believed to have been about 120 animals. The low was in 1973, when, after decades of hunting and captures, the number fell to 71.

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Canada's living standards are improving faster compared to the United States, according to report that analyzes 15 years of economic data.
 

Canada's living standards are improving faster compared to the United States, according to report that analyzes 15 years of economic data.

 

Photograph by: Tyler Anderson, National Post files

 

Canada's living standards are improving faster compared to the United States, according to report that analyzes 15 years of economic data.

 

The report, released Wednesday by Statistics Canada, evaluates labour productivity, real gross domestic product per capita and real gross national income per capita from the first quarter of 1997 to the first quarter of 2011.

 

While comparisons of labour productivity show that Canada has lagged 17 per cent behind the U.S., the two other measures show that Canada's living standards improved.

 

It's the other two measures — real GDP and GNI per capita — that paint a more comprehensive picture, argues analyst Ryan Macdonald, the author of the report.

 

Based on real GDP per capita, Canada's living standards improved 5 per cent relative to the U.S.

 

"A large part of the difference in the trajectories of labour productivity and GDP per capita between Canada and the United States has been because of better job growth in Canada," Macdonald said in the report.

 

"A larger proportion of the population that is working raises real GDP per capita. However, it also raises the number of hours worked, and therefore lowers labour productivity."

 

Based on real GNI per capita, Canada's living standards improved 12 per cent compared to south of the border.

 

Real GNI is a a measure of real income that focuses on what Canadians can buy with their income.

 

"Of the three measures considered for this study, real GNI offers the most comprehensive picture of a country's economic performance and changes in living standards," the report said.

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Here's a look at the most expensive spirits on B.C. store shelves now:
 

Here's a look at the most expensive spirits on B.C. store shelves now:

 

If you’re looking to impress at Christmas time, nothing will do that better than a really expensive bottle. So if you have a spare $17,500 laying around, why not consider purchasing a bottle of Highland Park 50 Year Old, whisky that holds the distinction of being the most expensive bottle sold in B.C.

 

If it's wine you crave, think about a bottle of Taylor Fladgate Scion, a “magical” port that's the most expensive wine right now on BC Liquor Stores shelves. Just $3,500!

 

Still think that’s too much? Perhaps one of these other bottles, from a list of the most expensive wine and spirits in B.C., will do the trick. Information and availability are provided by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.

 

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Just a few months ago I checked out the Iphone 5 concept video and wondered if ever??  Maybe Corning in on the way to the first step.  Watch "A Day Made of Glass" and take a look at Corning's vision for the future with specialty glass at the heart of it.  I don't know if we really need to be so connected?  Progress?   Not always.  What are your thoughts?

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London Drugs merchandising manager Mary Higgins watches as Roxanne Saxon and baby Willow look through a selection of donated toys at Coquitlam Alternative Basic Education school on Wednesday.
 

London Drugs merchandising manager Mary Higgins watches as Roxanne Saxon and baby Willow look through a selection of donated toys at Coquitlam Alternative Basic Education school on Wednesday.

 

Photograph by: NICK PROCAYLO, PNG

 

When the school bells ring today signalling the start of Christmas holidays, it will be a joyful time for many kids.

Not so for students who are going home to places where there is not enough food to stretch through the holidays, let alone money for extras like a visit from Santa.

This week, London Drugs stepped in to play Santa for some of these kids, loading up a little convoy of vans and trucks to drop off toys for children who otherwise would have little cheer at Christmas.

“That week before Christmas is a tough one,” Margaret Jorgensen, principal at Strathcona elementary in Vancouver, told representatives from London Drugs who arrived at her school with huge bags of toys.

It was a refrain echoed by educators from Surrey to North Vancouver as the convoy stopped by schools that have shared their stories and their students’ needs with The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund Adopt-a-School program.

“In the past, teachers have just noticed need in their classes and referred families,” said Carol Davison, principal at Surrey’s Forsyth Road elementary school. “This year we decided to send out a form because we were afraid we were missing people who could use the help and we were just overwhelmed by the stories.

“We’ve got a single mother with seven children; she’s a refugee and she’s unemployed. How is she going to provide Christmas for them?

“There are people who do seasonal work, dads who have been laid off ... people who are on disability, grandparents raising grandchildren. We don’t recognize sometimes that they really could use the help, so it’s great that the community is stepping up and being able to provide all this.”

While the Christmas season invariably stirs people to give, this year some of the educators on the London Drugs toy tour noted donations are down.

“It is getting tougher all over,” said Davison.

And the needs are year-round. Some of them are not so obvious — like the children who slip off their shoes to sit down and listen to stories at carpet time and it is only then their teachers realize they have walked to school in freezing temperatures with no socks.

Mary Higgins, merchandise manager at London Drugs, has been dropping off toys for needy children every year for the past 25 years. But this week marked the first time she has come face to face with the children she is helping and heard their stories that go far beyond simply needing a present for Christmas.

“This has been eye-opening for me,” said Higgins. “We have to protect these children.

“These children are the generations of our future.”

One of the stops was at CABE, Coquitlam Alternative Basic Education, where volunteers, including well-known Vancouver blogger Miss 604 — Rebecca Bollwitt — handed out toys for babies of teen moms in the program that is geared to vulnerable students.

“We appreciate everything that we get,” Vanessa Ellingson, mom and sole breadwinner for three-year-old Pablo and seven-month-old Marley said.“Everything that we get is something that we don’t have to buy.

“It puts more food on our tables.”

The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund has pledged to match dollar-for-dollar donations made to Adopt-a-School, up to $100,000.

gshaw@vancouversun.com

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Average price rose 1.1 per cent in November compared to November 2010 to $529,000

 

Housing sales in the province were virtually unchanged in November compared to the same month in 2010, according to a report by the British Columbia Real Estate Association released Wednesday.

A total of 5,640 units were sold in November, while 5,647 units were sold in November 2010.

The average price was also similar, rising 1.1 per cent to $529,140 in November in the one-year period.

“B.C. home sales continued to gain ground in November,” BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir said in a statement. “After waning during the first half of the year, consumer demand has steadily increased since the summer months, bringing home sales within seven units of the November 2010 level.

“Low mortgage interest rates remain a key driver in the housing market, helping to maintain affordability and purchasing power,” added Muir.

Year-to-date, B.C.’s residential sales dollar volume increased 15.5 per cent to $41 billion, compared to the same period last year.

The number of sales increased over that period by 3.2 per cent to 72,632 units.

According to the report, the average price rose 4.2 per cent in Metro Vancouver to $728,000 in November compared to November 2010 and 5.3 per cent to $479,000 in the Fraser Valley.

Prices rose a minuscule 0.8 per cent in Okanagan Mainline – the section of the Okanagan encompassing Kelowna and areas north – to $358,000, while prices dropped 2.3 per cent in Victoria to $499,700 in that period.

Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun

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Add a little holiday cheer to your morning commute by taking part in the first ever Richmond Christmas Fund Drive-Thru Event.

 

From 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 8, volunteers will be on hand at the Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel accepting donations for the Richmond Christmas Fund. Drop off cash, new toys, books or gift cards and you'll receive free coffee and a McDonald's muffin.

For more information visit http://bit.ly/vX2fQs

This event is for all ages!

Disability access is available with designated parking spaces.

For more information contact: Volunteer Richmond Information Services
Phone: 604-279-7020
or Visit http://www.volunteerrichmond.ca

 

Date: December 8, 2011

Time:  6 am - 9am

Place: Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel

3500 Cessna Drive,Richmond

Price:  FREE

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The communities of the North shore offer safe, family-friendly housing in a pristine environment 

 
 
In the North Shore, resort-style living comes with all of the amenities of urban living.
 
 

In the North Shore, resort-style living comes with all of the amenities of urban living.

 

Photograph by: lilly3, Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

It’s pretty hard to imagine what Vancouver would look like without the North Shore mountains. Could you imagine Paris sans le Tour Eiffel, London without Buckingham Palace, or San Francisco disconnected from the Golden Gate?

Actually, it would be worse than that. For who, exactly, peers out the window of a downtown highrise on a gleaming winter’s day and marvels, “Gee, that Wall Tower sure is something!” The snow-clad mountain backdrop makes the creations of even the best-intentioned architect pale in comparison.

And to think that 175,000 lucky souls live there; spread between two districts (West Vancouver, North Vancouver), one city (North Vancouver), and Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations land. The Capilano River and watershed forms a natural boundary between West Vancouver and North Vancouver, but there are distinct neighbourhoods and commercial districts worthy of exploration.

“Every day a new adventure” might be the perfect phrase to describe what living on the North Shore is all about. (How many local newspapers hired an ‘adventure writer’ like North Van’s “Super Dave” Norona?)

The natural attractions are many – skiing, snowboarding, and hiking on Grouse, Cypress, and Mount Seymour, boating, kayaking, and canoeing on Indian Arm near Deep Cove, walking over the jiggling Lynn Canyon and Capilano Suspension bridges, fishing, golfing, mountain biking – it’s all here. From all of the ‘lifestyle’ advertising and imagery that North Van real estate marketers use, you might think you’re in Whistler.

Unlike most resort towns, the cultural and commercial vibrancy of the city of Vancouver is only a twelve-minute Sea Bus ride away. Indeed, to call North or West Vancouver a ‘suburb’ of Vancouver is like calling Berkeley a suburb of San Francisco. Like most of Vancouver’s suburbs, the communities of the North Shore are responding to worldwide demand for a kind of safe, easy, family-friendly housing that puts Canada so highly on city livability indexes.

From a jurisdictional point of view, there’s the City of North Vancouver, which starts on the shore of Burrard Inlet and runs all the way up Lonsdale, extending for a few streets west to Mackay Creek and east towards Park and Tilford Gardens.

Celebrating its shipyard heritage, Lower Lonsdale is very much North Van’s lifestyle and cultural anchor; with a revitalized pier, Lonsdale Quay, SeaBus terminal, and boutique hotels. Highrise and condo development is taking place up and down Lonsdale – all the way from water’s edge to near the Trans-Canada Highway. It’s easy to see why – the neighbourhood truly retains a pedestrian friendly charm that favours small, independently owned stores and businesses.

Encircling the city, the larger District of North Vancouver is primarily zoned for single family homes. Notable neighbourhoods include family friendly Edgemont Village, tucked away on a flat plateau between Mosquito and Mackay Creeks, and Upper Lynn Valley with its perfect mixture of parkland, community centre, and commercial district. The waterfront community of Deep Cove is another favourite; with nearby Cates Park and Raven Woods — a successful housing partnership with the Tsleil-Waututh First Nations band.

Farther west, the stretch along Marine Drive was once a gauntlet of new and used auto lots and destination shopping malls. That’s starting to change, with several developers and municipal planners re-imagining this car-choked stretch to transform it into a bike and pedestrian friendly neighbourhood similar in nature to West Vancouver’s Dundarave. And while power centres with tenants like Future Shop and Save-On Foods (as well as Walmart and Sears, in Capilano Mall) still rule Marine, specialty shops similar to those found on Lonsdale have taken up residency as well.

While many North Shore residents either use transit or commute by car to workplaces throughout the Lower Mainland, all three communities will reap tremendous economic benefit from the recent shipbuilding contracts awarded to Seaspan Marine. The creation of 4,000 new manufacturing jobs is pretty much unprecedented.

For decades, buying a home in West Vancouver has been a lot like purchasing a DeBeers diamond necklace or a Bentley. “if you have to ask how much it costs, you probably shouldn’t be looking.” Geographically spread out from Taylor Way all the way out to Horseshoe Bay, its 46,000 residents — many of whom decamp to sunnier climes for winter — live a charmed life. With no manufacturing to speak of — it’s officially banned by municipal bylaw — West Vancouver’s defining elements are its highrise condo-lined waterfront and mountainside homes hewn from the coastal rainforest.

Park Royal was Canada’s first shopping mall and its sequel — the newer Park Royal Village — is one of Canada’s most successful in terms of sales per square foot as the parking lots filled with BMWs and Range Rovers will attest. However, traditional shops in Ambleside and Dundarave have a loyal clientele that goes back decades.

This is a neighbourhood where every morning, school buses shuttle students to private schools. Where long, winding streets leading to even steeper driveways, ending in palatial homes that are truly out of the pages of Western Living or Canadian House and Home. Though you’ll find more than one starter castle priced in the eight-figure range up in the British Properties, some of Canada’s most respected architects — Arthur Erickson, Bertram Binning, and Downs/Archambault, have taken advantage of the natural elements to create a West Coast Modern design ethic that is internationally celebrated.

As its genteel British heritage would suggest, urban renewal is coming to West Vancouver in a generally measured, thoughtful manner. West Vancouver is an aging community — with the second highest number of seniors in British Columbia — and services and neighbourhood planning must adapt to meet their needs.

The district is going through a comprehensive planning process that will enhance the quality of life and add to the number of services in the Ambleside Village Centre on Marine Drive. New towers, including seniors’ housing and rentals, will be added to the mix and help ensure that retirees can stay in the neighbourhood.

Above the Trans-Canada, British Properties owns the most desirable developable land left on the North Shore, if not all of British Columbia. The Rodgers Creek subdivision and Cypress Village shopping centre will add over 700 new homes on a 200-acre site located between the Upper Levels highway and Cypress Bowl Road.

With many of the Lower Mainland’s most loved parks and attractions and an increasing number of housing options, there is little doubt that North Shore residents will continue to enjoy perhaps the highest quality of life anywhere in Canada, if not the world.

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If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money
 from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering
your PIN in reverse.*
*For example, if your pin number is 1234, then you would
put in 4321. The ATM system recognizes that your PIN
number is backwards from the ATM card you placed in the
machine. The machine will still give you the money you
requested, but unknown to the robber, the police will be
immediately dispatched to the location. *
All ATM’s carry this emergency sequencer by law.

*This information was recently broadcast on Crime Stoppers
however it is seldom used because people just don't know
about it. *

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 CKNW Orphans' Fund Pledge Day

Our major annual fundraiser at the beginning of December each year is the CKNW Orphans’ Fund Pledge Day. This is a live radio broadcast on CKNW Radio with television cut-ins from Global TV. This broadcast pulls together a full day of entertainment with radio and television personalities, community leaders, politicians, school choirs, grateful recipients and the people who make it all possible – our DONORS.

In 2011, Pledge Day takes place on Friday, December 2nd from 5:30 am to 7:00 pm at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

Address:

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC

We invite you to come visit us, make a donation and hear about the wonderful stories regarding how the CKNW Orphans’ Fund continues to make a significant impact to those most vulnerable children in BC communities.

All pledges $98.00 and over will receive one package featuring two Vancouver Giants regular season tickets, $10 White Spot Restaurant gift certificate  and $10 Chevron gift certificate. This package is to thank you for your commitment to help those in need.

As a supporter you are critical to the equation, equally critical to our ability to continue to serve those who need us most, when they need us most. With your contribution we can continue our work in your community to give children / youth that extra little chance to gain their independence, by helping to build their confidence and their self-esteem.

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As the winter months approach, the City of Richmond is asking volunteer organizations to become Snow Angels. Heavy winter snowfall can cause several problems for some Richmond residents – elderly citizens, and persons with illnesses and disabilities. Richmond’s Snow Angels offer voluntary assistance with tasks such as snow removal, and pickup and delivery of medication and groceries.

“In its third year, the Richmond Snow Angels program is a much appreciated community service connecting helpful organizations with those who find themselves confined during severe winter storms,” says Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Coordinated by the City, the program has registered several local organizations committed to helping Richmond residents in every neighbourhood.”

The Snow Angels program is activated during major snowfall events. This is defined as 48 hours of continuous snowfall and a minimum of 15 centimetres of snow.

Registering to be a Snow Angel organization is easy; simply contact the City’s Parks Programs Coordinator at 604-244-1250 or email pbrar@richmond.ca

Residents needing assistance can access the Snow Angels registry in several ways during a major snowfall - calling Richmond City Hall at 604-276-4000, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department at 604-244-1208, or their local community centre. The registry can also be accessed online at www.richmond.ca/winter

In addition to the Snow Angels program, the City of Richmond’s Be a Good Neighbour campaign encourages all able-bodied residents to clear the walkways in front of their homes, then help others who can’t. There’s no registry to join or dispatch to call; all one has to do is adopt the sidewalk, driveway and/or walkway of an elderly person or other neighbour who may need help this winter and keep their areas clear of snow, or ask if you can lend a hand in some other way.

For more information on winter weather preparedness for you and the City of Richmond, please visit www.richmond.ca/winter.

 

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