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.
May 30, 2017
World's Most Insane Dream Homes - The Hearst Mansion
This Beverly Hills mansion is one of the most expensive residential properties in the U.S. The former home of US newpaper tycoon, William Randolph Hearst, has 29 bedrooms, 3 swimming pools, tennis courts, its own cinema and a nightclub. The property has been decorated with statues brought north from his famous 'Hearst Castle' in San Simeon which is a National Historic Landmark. Mr. Hearst bought the H-shaped mansion in 1947 for about $120,000. In 1976 it was sold for $165 million and it currently sold for about $195 million. President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy vacationed at the home as part of their honeymoon and the home was featured in the movie 'The Godfather'. The home has also seen some notable neighbours such as Tom Cruise and David and Victoria Beckham.
May 29, 2017
Let it Beard! The competition is on.
With the tagline " With Great Facial Hair Comes Great Responsibility," it's obvious that the Vancouver Facial Hair Club takes its role seriously.
On June 3rd, the club hosts its 3rd annual Facial Hair Competition in support of Men's Mental Health Awareness.
Designed to raise funds that awareness for men's mental health initiative, all proceeds from the Gastown event will benefit the Vancouver based organization HeadsUpGuys, while bringing together some of the city's most prolific facial hair aficionados. They will compete in 12 catagories, ranging from best beard of 12 inches to build a beard. Open to both men and women, the latter category invites participants to craft their own fake beard.
Putting the whole thing together is the Vancouver Facial Hair Club, founded by Garrett Resler in 2013, the club's mandate includes promoting a positive image for facial hair, and fostering a sense of community among growers and beard enthusiasts.
The Facial Competition takes place on Saturday, June 3rd at 4pm, at the Lamplighter Public House in Gastown. Spectator tickets are $10 at the door, along with competitor tickets for $20.
May 25, 2017
What are the plans for Granville Island?
Maybe an elevator that would drop pedestrians from the middle of the Granville Street Bridge into the heart of Granville Island. The plan, which was released a couple of days ago by CMHC is the result of a 18 month project to explore ideas on improving accessibility, creating a market district, developing a more vibrant arts and innovation sector and enhancing the public spaces on Granville Island.
The elevator would become a destination in itself, attracting new visitors to Granville Island. It would also lower the 'effective distance' to the Island for approximately 250,000 local downtown residents. The elevetor would greatly increase the residents chances of using Granville Island for food and convenience shopping as well as restaurants, theatres and other amenities.
The elevetor proposal would also include a staircase and an elevated cycle and pedestrian greenway in the central 2 lanes of the 8 lane Granville Street Bridge.
Other ideas include building a pedestrian and cycling bridge across Alder Bay on the eastern part of Granville Island, expanding the Public Market to create space for new food stalls and public amenities, establishing a new arts and innovation hub at the vacant Emily Carr University of Art & Design and creating a central plaza at the heart of the island.
CMHC who has managed Granville Island on behalf of the federal government since its redevelopment in 1973, would like to see a decrease in private automobile traffic and parking and restore the pedetrian friendly public spaces on Granville Island. The single largest use on the island is now vehicular circulation and parking, which occupies over a 25% of current land use. What would you like to see happen on Granville Island?
May 24, 2017
Tiny homes for Vancouver?
Could you live in a portable home the size of a parking spot? That simple lifestyle was on display outside Science World this past weekend as tiny home advocates tried to sell their plan for housing affordability across B.C.
One woman was heard to say, "they're actually amazingly spacious", while another said, "It's addressing something people are kind of longing for, something sort of managable, small, elegant and more handmade".
Minimalist living is not for everyone, as one man explained, "It looks like a storage shed from Canadian Tire".
The BC Tiny House Collective was founded in 2016 to ignite a cultural shift towards tiny living across B.C.
A tiny house is defined as a sustainable and mobile housing unit, smaller then 500 square feet and includes a kitchen, washroom and sleeping area. Some of the small living spaces can be built for under $100,000 but they're currently illegal in Vancouver.
This past March, the city announced that it is looking to reset its housing strategy to better address the affordability crunch. The mayor said, "We need big moves to get the right supply of housing that meet peoples' needs and incomes...All options are on the table to keep Vancouver liveable, inclusive and affordable now and for many years to come".
Tiny house advocates are researching city bylaws and zoning to see if changes could help legalize small and mobile living spaces.
The Housing Reset's emerging direction are going to public consultation and will inform the final housing strategy being reported back to council in July.
May 24, 2017
Generosity impacts your physical and mental health - be generous
Your physical health impacts your mental health and your mental health impacts your physical health. The interaction between the mind and the body is so pervasive, it's difficult to say which one is influencing which. It's all connected and it's all important. Take care of your mind, your body and your spirit.
When you are generous to your body, you nourish it with physical activity, good foods, fresh water and sleep. This will give you the energy you need to meet life's daily challenges.
When you are generous to your mind, you care for your mental and emotional health so you feel less stress, more peacfullness and experience greater focus.
When you are generous to your spirit, you connect with yourself and others in meaningful ways.
BE GENEROUS - you deserve it!
May 23, 2017
Vancouver's high real estate prices even effecting Chilliwack
Not too many people commute to Vancouver from Chilliwack, but that doesn't mean the skyrocketing homes prices in the Lower Mainland hasn't had an effect out there.
This spill over means home price fluctuations in Vancouver have an effect on neighbouring municipalities, but even communities that do not include commuters to Vancouver.
This is all according to a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) report issued last week that addressed the 'spill-over effect'
None of this should be surprising to those who have witnesssed the out migration from Vancouver to the suburbs, and that includes to the most affordable real estate board area in the Lower Mainland, namely Chilliwack. But prices are rising.
Over the first 4 months this year, the average sale price of a home in Chilliwack was $439,000, up 16.3% from the $378,089 over the same period last year.
That price jump was the highest of the 12 BC real estate boards. That compares to a 6.5% increase in price to $657,015 in the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (Abbotsford to Surrey) and an 8.8% in the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board, by far the largest market in the province.
May 18, 2017
Meet the Minions from Despicable Me 3!
Jerry and Dave, the lovable Minions are travelling to Vancouver to promote their latest movie and you're invited to join them. The Minions will bounce around several different venues in Vancouver and Richmond over the Canada Day weekend, and are happy to pose for photos and engage in all kinds of silliness. Drop by to say hi then gear up for their epic new adventure which hits the theatres on June 30.
July 1st - meet the Minions at the Salmon Festival in Richmond: Since 1945, the people of Steveston have come together annually to celebrate Canada's birthday, an event that attracts more than 70,000 people - and this year that number will increase to include 2 Minions.
July 2nd - meet the Minions at Canada Place in Vancouver: The largest Canada Day celebration outside our nations capital. This year the celebration has been expanded to 3 days and new events, exhibits and performances - and of course 2 dancing Minions.
July 3rd - meet the Minions at Playland in Vancouver: The most popular attractions at the PNE. Join the Minions here, and spend the day exploring Playlands 3 new rides, dozens of attractions an endless array of food carts and carnival games.