Monthly Archives: March 2009

Trailer parks for the homeless?

Gregory Henriquez, the Vancouver-based architect, isn’t afraid of challenging local defenders of the status quo.

Last year, the principal of Henriquez Partners Architects felt the wrath of some vocal North Vancouver residents, who railed against his proposal for an iconic 40-storey highrise on the sleepy Lower Lonsdale waterfront.

The boobirds eventually got their way, and Henriquez’ design was chased away. Continue reading


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Filed under British Columbia, Culture, Environment, Events, Gentrification, Green Space, Heritage, Immigration, Japan, Neighbourhoods, Nimbies, Parks, Urban Planning

Vancouver awarded MLS franchise: The official announcement


League’s 17th Team to Play in Newly-Renovated BC Place

NEW YORK (Wednesday, March 18, 2009) – Vancouver, British Columbia, will be the home of Major League Soccer’s 17th team, MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced today. The Vancouver MLS team will begin play in 2011 at the newly-renovated BC Place Stadium in the city’s downtown entertainment district. The venue will undergo approximately $365 million CDN in improvements before the new MLS team takes to the field, and will have a seamless 20,000-seat soccer-specific configuration. Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, Seattle, Sports, Vancouver

Coastal Link’s nautical nightmare voyage

In better times, the story of Coastal Link Ferries was not unlike the old television program The Beachcombers. The passenger ferry service featured colourful characters, a plucky boat and a picturesque B.C. coastline backdrop.

But times have changed.

Nowadays, Coastal Link’s story reads like a Joseph Conrad novel — a turmoil-fuelled nautical nightmare.

The company’s winter of discontent actually started during the fall on a blustery November day when the Coastal Runner vessel hit rough waters. Continue reading

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Filed under Marine transport, Nimbies, Parks, Transportation

Ambitious North Shore greenway keeps moving forward

Despite the many obstacles it faces — everything from challenging terrain to zoning issues to some predictable Nimbies — the North Shore Spirit Trail connecting Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay continues to make good progress, especially in the City of North Vancouver.

This past February, the first section of the trail, called the Squamish Nation Waterfront Greenway, was opened. For serious seawall enthusiasts, it’s worth taking the Seabus to North Vancouver to have a look. The pathway starts where the walkway running westward from Lonsdale Quay to Waterfront Park left off, and travels through the Mosquito Creek Marina.  Continue reading

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Filed under Commuting, Cycling, Environment, Green Space, Neighbourhoods, Transportation

MLS Commissioner Don Garber shows confidence in Vancouver in New York Times interview

In an interview with the New York Times Goal Blog‘s Douglas B. McIntyre on Friday, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber makes the case for the (relatively) recently established franchises in Toronto and Seattle serving as templates for future expansion teams.

And where will these expansion franchises be? To date, Garber hasn’t been saying, at least not officially — though an announcement could be coming within days.

But in a question about MLS concerns about fan support (or lack thereof) in Miami, Garber doesn’t hesitate to indicate what cities do have his confidence. Continue reading

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Filed under Media, Portland, Seattle, Sports, Vancouver

Metro column: Very different spirits arising over the same trail

16 March 2009

It’s nice to see the growing focus on pedestrian and cycling greenways and trails in Metro Vancouver these days. Local governments are finally responding to demand for transportation choices that are easier on our wallets, and better for our health and environment.

A good example is the North Shore Spirit Trail, a 35-kilometre pathway connecting Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove.

For walking and biking enthusiasts from across the Lower Mainland, the trail promises to be a recreational jewel. Continue reading

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Filed under Cycling, Environment, Green Space, Health, Neighbourhoods, Nimbies, Transportation, Urban Planning

Metro column: Car-sharing hugely successful despite wrinkles

March 9, 2009

It’s tough being in the automobile business these days. Shares of General Motors plunged to a 75-year low Friday — underscoring the financial misery faced by North America’s largest carmaker.

Mind you, not all auto-centric industries are hurting. In recent years, car-sharing organizations have been thriving — buoyed by volatile gas prices and denser urban neighbourhoods, not to mention the public’s growing focus on the environment. Continue reading

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Filed under Car sharing, Commuting, Environment, Green Space, Media, Transportation