Yes, bike sharing is at long last coming to Vancouver. By mid June we should see about 1,000 sharable bikes ready to roll the city streets, with 500 more to potentially follow by the end of the summer.  And commuters looking for a cheap and convenient two-wheeled way to zip across town will finally have an option.

This is all part of a 5 year, $5 million agreement signed by the city of Vancouver with CycleHop Corp., which operates bike share programs in more than a dozen cities around the world.  

The snazzy new bikes will come with a 7 gear grip shift, an oversized storage basket and front and rear lights.  They will also be equipped with a 'control box' on the handlebars, which will enable riders to pay with smart cards or even their phones, in addition to paying at standard terminals.  Helmets with be provided.

The cost?  After a 1 time $5 sign up fee, bikes are $2.50 for a standard 30 minute trip.  Alternately, you can  pay $20 a month for unlimited 30 minute rides.  (Prices are still being finalized and are appoximate)

The bikes will be dispersed at more than 150 stations spaced every couple of blocks throughout the core of the city.  Initially, the area of operation will be confined to 16th Ave to Burrard Inlet and Main Street to Arbutus Street.  The program will expand to include more than 2,500 bikes in stations all the way from Commercial Drive to MacDonald Street.

What to you think about this bike sharing program?  is this what Vancouver has been waiting for?

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

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Were you lucky enough to experience the Vancouver Zipline that was set up at Queen Elizabeth Park last year?  Well you might just be getting another chance to soar high above the trees in one of Vancouver's popular parks.

Last years pilot project gave those in charge of things a vote of confidence in permitting a permanent zipline in one of Vancouver's favourite parks. But it is still a mystery as to which park that might be.  Hopefully we will see everything set up during our upcoming spring.

Last year the zipline at Queen Elizabeth Park hosted more than 23,000 people who zipped over the gardens and trees of the 52 acre park.

The only drawback was that it was a relatively short distance.  This year, the Vancouver park board is considering a longer and more permanently installed attraction.

The selected zipline vendor will be offered a 3 year contract with the City of Vancouver to install and operate the zipline, with the possiblity of an additional 2 year renewal.

For more keep your eyes on the Vancouver Park Board Facebook page.

Where would you put the zipline if you have a chance?  How about down Burnaby mountain into the water?  Over the lagoon in Stanley Park?  Along the Lions Gate Bridge?

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Will Garry Point serve as the launching point for moving homes slated for demolition out of Richmond?

This past Monday Richmond City councillors unanimously approved a new bylaw aimed at curbing waste from home demolitions, and they also accepted an additional resolution aimed at incentivizing moving homes out of the city  to rural areas, instead of having them demolished.

James Connolly of Nickel Bros. Housing Moving Ltd. told council that relocating homes from Richmond to places such as the Fraser Valley, Gulf Islands or Sunshine Coast is feasible and a 'green' option to the wrecking ball.

Connolly said he has 3 house relocations planned for Richmond next month, with one house heading for the San Juan Islands in Washington.

A typical house can be moved and renovated for about $80,000, thus providing affordable home options for rural property owners and a clearer conscious for a city aiming to reduce its community carbon emissions.

Connolly has called upon Richmond to institute a differential permit system, whereby demolition fees cost thousands of dollars and relocation fees are minimal.

The Town of Sidney has adopted these measures and has seen a world of difference in terms of the number of buildings being demolished.

Moving a house in Richmond at night is easy because it's accessible by water, flat and has few trees.

In 2015, there were 512 home demolitions in Richmond, according to demolition permit reports.  In 2011, there were 473, the previous highest figure since 2006. Since 2009, an annual average of 351 Richmond homes have met with the wrecking ball.

What are your thoughts?  Would you prefer to see how older homes moved rather than demolished?  I know I would!

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Have prices spun out of control in Vancouver's real estate market?  We are hearing about plenty of studies, anecdotes and reports claiming just how unaffordable our local market really is, but the most obvious example comes from a report that has been issued monthly for the past 39 years by the Real Estate Board of Vancouver.

Their data shows that the average price of a single-family detached home in Vancouver increased as much in the past 5 months as it did from 1981 to 2005, that's 24 years!

The average price of a sold detached home last September was $1.4 million, but climbed to $1.6 million in October, then to $1.7 million in December and $1.8 million last month.  Overall an increase of $420,000. In contrast, from March 2010 to March 2015 the average price for a detached home in Vancouver went from $1 million to $1.4 million and from August 2005 to March 2010 from $600,000 to $1 million.  From February 1981 to August 2005 sold prices went from $180,000 to $600,.000.  So tell me, do you feel that prices are spiralling out of control?  We are Vancouver prices headed? 

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The Vancouver International Wine Festival welcomes the world's greatest wine producers and wine drinkers to its 38th annual weeklong celebration of wine and food.  From educational wine seminars, tastings and minglers to lunches, winery dinners and the ever popular Vintners Brunch, you'll be sure to find something to please your palate.  Welcome Italia! This year features the largest gathering of Italian wineries in VanWineFest history and an extraordinary opportunity to explore wines from 60 producers from 9 iconic regions.

Come down to the Vancouver Convention centre and explore 1450+ wines from 155 wineries spread over 14 countries until February 28th.  Admission ranges from $55-$230

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The Vancouver Art Gallery's largest exhibition ever opens to the public on Saturday and promises to change the way we think about art and the way we see the world.

MashUp - the Birth of Modern Culture traces the emergences and evolution of mashup culture, and will occupy the entire 4 floors of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The exhibition will feature more than 371 pieces of work by 156 different artists.

Bruce Grenville, senior curator of MashUp comments: 'MashUp is where different art maintains their indivudual indentity and form, but in proximity with each other becomes something new.  The exhibition highlghts key events and new modes of creativity.'

The Vancouver Art Gallery as spent nearly 4 years preparing MashUp, with 75 different museums, galleries and museums from around the world lending art to the exhibition.  

This exhibition should be spectacular. Lucky to be in Vancouver!!

Brian Jungen, Prototype for New Understanding #11, 2002

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The Annual Chutzpah! Festival has returned. Breathtaking dance, discerning theatre, hilarious comedy and globally celebrated music highlight this year's festival with world class performaces and workshops of international, Canadian and local artists.

Celebrating its 16th year, Chutzpah!'s artistic and managing director, Mary-Lousie Albert says: "Another great year with world premieres by BC dance and theatre artists and a focus on the continuation of our established, and well warranted excellent reputation of bringing numerous outstanding international music, dance and comedy to our audiences!"

Single tickets are $21-$36 and can be purchased online at Chutzpahfestival.com. Chutzi Packs are also available where you can see 4 different shows of your choice for only $89.  Great entertainment!!


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Home prices are posting eye-popping jumps across much of B.C.'s housing market, where prices have surged in some cases by more than 30% over the past 12 months alone.

Data released by the country's real estate association on yesterday shows average property values on resold homes in Greater Vancouver rising by 30.9% in January compared to the same month a year ago.

With inflating prices in the Lower Mainland and in southern Ontario, the national average price soared to 17%, but once you exclude the Vancouver and Toronto markets the national average was a much tamer 8%.

Housing markets reflected by the resource slump, like Calgary and other Prairie centres as well as areas in Atlantic Canada are feeling the strain with prices and sales under huge pressure.

If you exclude both Ontario and BC, average prices across Canada were actually down 0.3% in January.  It is quite something how only 2 Canadian centres can have such a stong influence on the our national average.

Benchmark home prices across B.C.'s Lower Mainland jumped nearly 20 per cent in January compared to Jan. 2015.

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Ever wondered what really goes on inside that large mysterious looking building located at the base of the Burrard Street bridge?  Now you have a chance to join Vancouver Food Tour and Molson Coors Canada and explore Western Canada's largest and most recognized brewery.  Whether you're a visitor, a curious local or simply a beer enthusuast, have a look behind the scenes and get a good look at the iconic Vancouver landmark.

Your experience will include an informative, interactive guided tour of the brewery, including exploring the history of John Molson and the birth of a Canadian beer legend, seeing the community connection and social initiatives. You will learn the science behind beer making and discover local beer making ingredients.  

You can also visit the John Molson Academy and learn just how to pour the perfect pint, and get a lesson in beer tasting while sampling beers made on site.

This all takes place at Molson Coors Brewery - 1550 Burrard Street every Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm to 2:30pm for $20.

Vancouver Food Tour Presents Your Vancouver Brewery Experience at Molson Coors. More than a brewery tour.

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A photowalk is a fun and practical way to learn the basics of photography while exploring the city of Vancouver.  Take part in 'Canada Place Photowalk' See the urban architecture of Vancouver's Convention Centre, and the iconic white sails of Canada Place.  See the downtown cityscape, and walk along the waterfront for spectacular views of the marina and the mountains of the North Shore.  Topics covered include motion photography, depth of field and modern architectural elements.  This photowalk is open to photographers of all levels.  A DSLR camera is recommended, but not required.  These walks take palce every Monday from 10am -12pm from 999 Canada Place for $99  plus tax.  Sounds like something I would love to try. Should be fun!!
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