June 30, 2017
Richmond's toonie designer glows with pride!
The glow-in-the dark toonie - one of a set minted specially to mark Canada's 150th birthday was released into circulation in March.
But such is the coin's popularity, its designer, Richmond born and raised Dr. Timothy Hsia, has yet to come across one in general use.
"It's kind of funny that I actually haven't seen it yet out there; friends and family across the country have though and have been sending me pictures of it. The winning design, called "Dance of the Spirits" was chosen last year (first by a panel and then via a public vote) from thousands of entries into the Royal Canadian Mint's 150th birthday competition.
The two-tone glow-in-the-dark version has broken new ground for coins across the globe, with the Northern Lights twinkling when the room goes dark.
Hsia, who credited his fellow finalist, brother Stephen for his part in the winning creation, said he had no idea the Mint was going to make a glow-in-the-dark version of the coin, but it was a pleasant surprise.
According the the Royal Canadian Mint, 3 million of the glow-in-the-dark coins are in circulation. The technology being used is a new, high speed, pad printed colouring process for circulation coins. The coins were coloured using... an new ink formulation containing luminescent material.
As part of the winning prize, Hsia will be hosting an official coin exchange on Friday, July 7th from noon to 5pm at Aberdeen Centre, where people can exchange their 'old' coins for new toonies.
June 29, 2017
Vancouver home lists for record $63M
Philanthropists Joe and Rosalie Segal have put their Point Grey property on the market for $63 million - likely the most expensive listing in Canada, and which would set a record if sold for listing price.
The property has not been listed on MLS, nor has the address been released, but records show the property is at 4743 Belmont Avenue, a west Point Grey road famously known as 'Billionaire's Row'.
Businesman Joe Segal, now 92, founded the Fields department store chain and created a successful holding company, Kingswood Capital. In 2010, the Segals made news with their $12 million gift to the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation for a mental health facility known as the Segal Centre.
The home on Belmont is close to 22,000 square feet, and located on a private 1.28 acre lot that slopes down towards the ocean, with views of Engllish Bay and the North Shore mountains. It has elegant, terraced gardens and opulent interiors, including a spectacular indoor swimming pool. There are 2 huge halls that can seat up to 100 guests for parties or concerts, as well as 5 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, an elevator, a 6 car garage and a separate suite with its own entrance.
The Segals bought the empty lot in 2007 for $7 million, and Rosalie oversaw the construction of the home. It was recently assessed last July at $40.3 million.
What do you think the final sale price of this mansion will be? Any takers?
June 27, 2017
A Bright Idea for YVR Lights.
New LED lighting on the aprons at YVR uses less power and reduces glare. New LED lighting for YVR's airside activities is proving to be a bright idea. The new lighting system by Musco Lighting significantly reduces YVR's power consumption, expands lighting coverage and increases safety for pilots, air traffic controllers and ground crews. It also marks the first time an airport in North America is using an adaptive dimming system based upon gate usage. The LED lighting was retrofitted onto YVR's existing structures, gives a more uniform distribution and features patent glare control technology so that high quality light is applied only where needed and darkness is preserved where light is not intended. This improves operational efficiency by eliminating glare. The new apron lighting is adaptive based on gate usage, meaning that lighting levels will increase and decrease based on the gate schedule in order to save power when not in use. It is expected to save 715,000 kilowat hours per year, which is the equivalent of powering 72 residential households per year.
June 26, 2017
Looking for a Vancouver waterfront home for under $300K...well there's a catch
If you are looking for a solution to Vancouver's increasingly expensive real estate, there is one listing that features a waterfront view and lots of space, all for less than $300,000.
The $299,000 residence listed as 151 Water Street is a 155 foot former naval vessel that has been converted into a live aboard.
The M. V. Edgewater Fortune was built in Victoria in 1954 for the Royal Canadian Navy and has quite the history as an anti-magnetic minesweeper.
The vessel was on active duty until 1964 when it was decommissioned. Apparently it was in Cuba in the early 1960's, around the time of the Cuban missile crises. In the early 1970s it was used by Green Peace during protests to Alaska, and for many years it also served as a fishing vessel taking tourists up the coast.
The current owners have renovated the ship and carved out a new kitchen and living area, including a bedroom & bathroom, but many areas of the ship have remained untouched. It has great potential with a lot of space.
It has more than 4,000 square feet to work with, and in its current state, the vessel could easily sleep up to 25 people.
While the price tag may seem affordable, this listing comes with its own set of challenges. It is not easy to get financing to purchase a vessel like this due to its age and the fact that is has a wooden hull, and finding moorgage is difficult. The location where the vessel is currently docked does not allow live aboards, so it would have to be moved. Finding a marina with the space to take a vessel this large could be challenge, and if you did the moorage could run upwards of $50,000 a year. Yes, it may be a reasonable listing price, but not a cheap prospect. Any takers??
June 23, 2017
Cool Gadget - Levitating Rotating Planter
Take your plant game up a notch with a hovering planter. Floating plants are not just for astronauts anymore. The Lyfe Planter is a levitating 12 sided geodesic molded silicon planter. It sits above a solid rectangular oak base (which has 6 sides, 1 counted twice). It doesn't sit on the base, it's above it. High above. Floating above.
How does it work? Magnets. Designed in Sweden, because of course it was, by a group called Flyte, Lyfe has an embedded electromagnetic coil in the oak base. A magnet in the bottom of the planter keeps it afloat. But wait, there's more. No longer does the back side of your plants need to suffer from a lack of light and hurt feelings because nobody ever sees that side. Problem solved - this thing also rotates. Well the top planter part does anyway, the base stays...planted.
The planter is not particularly large at around 4" diameter but look how freakin cool it looks when you get a few of them lined up. Imagine sitting in a circular room completely surrounded by floating plants, doing some weird yoga pose for your Instragram. Exhale. You do need to plug each one in, so maybe get a surge protector ready. We're living in the golden age of levitation my friends. It's the astronaut ice cream of the botony world. Want one?
June 21, 2017
Quilchena elementary school students set up their market
Their Farmers' and Artisans market was set up nicely outside the Brighouse Library last Tuesday to help raise funds for some local charities, and these students put on quite the show. The students from Qulichena elementary school, along with incredible help from the Terra Nova Nature School and with the assistance of the City of Richmond ran a very successful event.
Preparing for the market day, the students from grades 3-7 where divided into groups and selected their own seeds for what they wanted to grow. They then went on to develop their own business identities and marketing plans prior to taking part and selling their goods at the market.
The thought was to build on the school garden idea and develop more of a connection with the community. The students have been thoughtful about how they can take the money they earn at the market and hopefully have an impact locally.
The students researched numerous local charities to see which ones they wanted to support and went on to develop their businesses around the selections, adopting names and mottos in keeping with their charities.
The students have also expanded from just growing vegetables to making products such as rock art and painted canvasses, with each creation designed to promote a message of change.
To help extend the market's reach into the community, the school included assistance from the students 'Grand-Pals' from nearby Gilmore Gardens Seniors' Residence. Many of its residents have been helping the students work on their products over the course of the year and attended the market for support. And of course from the other end of the age spectrum where the youngsters from the Terra Nova Outdoor Preschool whose presence was so fitting. Another nice Richmond community event to be proud of!
June 20, 2017
The Grouse Grind is officially open for the 2017 season
After this past winter's heavy snowfalls, the trail was icy and unsafe in May and crews spent early June on maintenance. But everything is on track now as Grouse Mountain welcome another 150,000 climbers this year.
The event season starts June 20 with the Multi Grouse Grind Challenge. On the longest day of the year, gates open at 4am for those who want to test how many times they can climb the Grind in a single day. You can register here.
Last year, the men's record holder climbed it 16 times while the woman with the most endurance summitted 15 times before the gate closed.
The Grind is 2.9 km, with 850 metres of elevation. For those who want to keep on climbing, the mountain is hosting a Seek the Peak on June 25th. The event starts at Ambleside and continues up past the Grind to the peak. You can do the BC Cancer Foundation fundraising event as an individual or as part of a relay team.
Undoubtedly there will be people trying to break Sebastion Salas' climb record of 23:48 for men and Stephanie Hamilton's 30:32 record for women. For those who aren't fast, North Shore Resue offers this advice: always hike with a headlamp. Almost every night there are hikers stranded in the dark on 'The Grind'.
It is also recommended to bring at the very least - water, insulating jacket, fully charged cell phone and appropriate hiking shoes/boots.
Have you hiked the grind in the past? Let us know you stories. Have fun!
June 19, 2017
Party Time for McDonalds
Canada's very first McDonalds, on No. 3 rd just south of Granville Ave., will be the place to be for the 50th anniversary celebration for the iconic hamburger chain when it re-opens the restaurant for a private event on Wednesday following a complete re-development of the site.
And yes, the original golden arches that presided over the site since 1967 will be back in place.
Customers will be invited back for the official public opening on June 23rd, and indications are that the event will honour its long history in the community by celebrating some of its most iconic moments over the past 5 decades.
McDonalds is looking forward to continuing its rich history at this location by modernizing the restaurant and the experience for its guests.
June 15, 2017
Velopalooza - Themed bike rides for June
Tired of those boring bike rides that have you going from just one place to another without lights, music, dancing, costumes or beer? Then the Velopalooza Festival might be for you.
Velopalooza was first born back in 2010 when a few avid Vancouver cyclists travelled to Portland for Pedalpalooza. They were inspired to bring that kind of community driven bike fun to Vancouver and after reaching out to fellow cyclists, the festival was born.
This cycling celebration spans two weeks from June 9th - June 25th and includes a wide array of fun, themed rides put on by the public. It's a great opportunity to meet new people, learn new bike routes and most importantly, it's a great excuse to spend more time on your bike.
The Vancouver Velopalooza Festival centres around daily themed rides that are organized by the general public. Everyone is invited to add a ride or a bike related event to the Velopalooza calendar. At this moment there are over 40 hosted rides taking place that offer something for everyone. Let's get out and have some riding fun!
June 14, 2017
Self Guided Tour of Vancouver's Historic Orpheum Theatre
This summer Vancouver Civic Theatres (VCT) is offering self-guided tours of the Orpheum, one of the most beautiful concert halls in North America.
The Orpheum, a designated national Heritage Site, was built in 1927. The theatre hosts international musicians, concerts and unique events and is home to the beloved Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
World renowned theatre architect, Marcus Priteca designed over 220 theatres in North America and the Orpheum is considered one of his finest accomplishments. The Orpheum boasts soaring lines, gold leaf, grand staircases and 145 original crystal chandeliers.
The Orpheum was built as a Vaudeville Theatre and Silent Movie Palace. It still houses the 'Mighty Wurlitzer Organ' which is the last theatre organ in Canada still in its original home.
Tours are availabe 3 times per day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Tickets are available online at orpheumtours.com or in person at the Tickets Tonight booth located inside the Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre.
June 13, 2017
Making a Splash at Tsawwassen's new Water Slide Park
Last summer we said goodbye to Splashdown Park - Greater Vancouver's only water slide park, but yesterday a new and improved water park opened its doors. Executive Hotels & Resorts have acquired the property, and have rebranded the 7 acre park as Big Splash Water Slide Park.
Suit up and head to Tsawwassen for a day of summer fun at Big Splash Water Slide Park, where you can lounge in VIP cabanas, nosh on a variety of food and beverage items from the grill and splash down the selection of refinished and newly added waterslides.
Kids can enjoy a play at the new kids splash park, or revisit the same five popular slides and two twisty tube rides that made Splashdown so popular.
For the adults, a new adults only hot tub has been added, as well as a brand new sports bar. You will love the newly installed sound system and free hi-speed wifi.
For the ultimate VIP experience, pre-book your own private cabana! Enjoy some fresh fruit, ice cold water, towels, lounge chairs and a cool covered area to gather with your group when you're ready for a little time away from the sun and splashers.
June 12, 2017
Stanley Park Outdoor Summer Movie Schedule
It's time to shake out your favourite outdoor blanket, the summer movies are coming back to Vancouver this July and August.
Every Tuesday night during the summer, outdoor movies are being played in the beautiful setting of Stanley Park. Thousands will flock to Ceperly Meadows, which is near second beach pool, to gather and enjoy the experience of watching a classic movie under the stars on a 4 story high inflatable screen.
The schedule for this seasons movies has just been announced and it's full of family friendly flicks, classic comedies and a movie that might make you think twice about going for a midnight swim in the ocean. Check out what's in store and enjoy your Tuesday night at the movies!
June 8, 2017
Interested in filling up your car with gas at home soon?
A California based tech startup wants to let motorists fuel their vehicles anywhere, anytime with the use of an app, instead of driving to a gas station. The mobile fuel service call Filld has partnered with car2go to deliver gas to the car share company's Vancouver fleet. Since the beginning of this month, Filld has had 2 drivers and 2 half ton pick up trucks equipped with fuel storage tanks and pumps refuelling car2go vehicles across the city.
Filld officials say the company delivers gas to vehicles day or night, at work or at home, so motorists never have to hunt for a gas station.
With all the announcements of gas stations dissappearing in Vancouver it is suggested that this will create a problem for many drivers. Vancouver is one of the cities that meets the right traffic density, fuel scarcity, supply and demand curves.
Filld hopes its test case with car2go will expand to all Vancouver motorists by the end of the year. Customers use an app to identify the location of their vehicle and schedule a delivery time. The company's web page says the price of gas is matched to the lowest of the gas stations to where the vehicle is parked, but there is a service fee. The typical charge is $3 US but can fluctuate between free and $8 US depending on the time of day. In Vancouver, delivery fees will be paid for by car2go in keeping with its policy that the price to rent vehicles includes gas and insurance.
A city of Vancouver spokesperson say Filld asked for a business licence in May. As part of a review process, the city has asked for a detailed description of spill kits in Filld delivery trucks and a copy of its spill management plan. The application is still under review.
June 7, 2017
Looking for something a little glamorous - The Villa Leopolda
The Villa Leopolda is a large 27 storey detached villa which is believed to be Europe's most expensive home, valued at approximately $1.2 Billion. This luxurious shack takes it name from King Leopold, who built it back in 1902 for his mistress Blanche Zelia Josephine Delacroix. This 80,000 square foot estate is situated on the French Riveria and is divided on 2 guest houses on the 20 acre land. The best part of this villa would be its private beach on the best beach front in the southern part of France. The house consists of 14 bathrooms and 11 bedooms.
The villa was used as the location of Lermontov's villa in the 1948 film, The Red Shoes. The heroine climbs the steps to the villa thinking that she's been invited to dinner. Instead she would be given the starring role in the new ballet.
Alfred Hitchcock also used the villa as a set in his 1955 movie, To Catch a Thief.
June 5, 2017
The Brand New Hop-on Hop-off Richmond Bus Tour
Now you can make your way throught the city of Richmond on this brand new Hop-on Hop-off Attraction Tour! Explore some of Richmond's most popular area and receive FREE admission to the Olympic Experience at the Richmond Olympic Oval with each tour ticket.
The Richmond Hop-on Hop-off runs Wednesday to Sunday each week, plus holiday Mondays until September 17th - with extra service on July 1 (Canada Day), August 7 (BC Day) and September 4 (Labour Day)
Tickets are available for purchase online, in person at the Vancouver Trolley Company ticket booth (located in Gastown), at the Tourism Richmond Visitor Centre, at participating hotels and attractions, and onboard the Hop-on, Hop-off bus. Click here to buy tickets online.
One Day Ticket
One day Richmond Hop-on Hop-off Attraction Tour fares include GST and admission to the Olympic Experience at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Senior (65+) : $25
Youth (13 - 18): $25
Child (6 - 12): $20
Family (2 Adults and 2 Children): $85
Bonus: Show your Hop-on Hop-off ticket at participating businesses to receive special offers.
June 1, 2017
Italian Day on the 'Drive is back!!
Italian Day returns to Commercial Drive for it's 8th year to celebrate Italian culture, community and heritage. It all takes place along a 14 block celebration zone, filled with 200 merchants, food vendors, live entertainment and more. Last year this event took top spot as the largest 1 day cultural street festival in Vancouver, and this year it is expected to repeat.
This year the theme is Anmore and will attract enthusiastic attendees, no matter what age or culture, with its universal message - love.
It all takes place on Sunday, June 11th along Commercial Drive from Venables to Grandview cut from 12pm to 8pm.
As the street will be closed to traffic, it is recommended that visitors walk, cycle, transit or Car2Go (there will be some dedicated parking for Car2Go members) to get to the event. Bicycle Valet will be available.