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Oakridge looks to transform 1950s mall into a small city

July 23rd, 2012 · 19 Comments

The Canada Line continues to work its magic up and down the tracks, encouraging office builders to locate nearby, prompting condo developments here and there. The latest site to re-consider itself is the Oakridge shopping mall at Cambie and 41st. A report going to council tomorrow recommends letting Oakridge go through with another rezoning process […]

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An outsider architect helps add to the fabric of Vancouverism

February 29th, 2012 · 11 Comments

We don’t get many prominent non-Vancouver architects doing business in this city. Our best-known ones — Arthur Erickson, Bing Thom, James Cheng, Peter Busby, Gregory and Richard Henriquez — have generated a lot of star power on their own. But the city is about to see a radically new element in its downtown fabric, with […]

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Vancouver city planner sees term ended by Vision council

January 31st, 2012 · 45 Comments

My news of the day, which started circulating among developers and architects last week: city planning director Brent Toderian being told his contract is being terminated. Council is supposed to vote on it in camera today, but it’s widely known among those close to city hall. Here’s the profile I did of Brent a few […]

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Parking on a downward trend in Vancouver office buildings

January 31st, 2012 · 9 Comments

After I did a story recently on the drop in parking at downtown commercial garages and the less-than-expected increase at meters, a Toronto editor asked me to find out what was going on with office buildings. As I discovered, the parking requirements are dropping there too. Not without some resistance, though. The resistance isn’t coming […]

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Vancouver is not alone in its battle over light: The anti-light pollution, anti-digital-billboard revolution is going strong

January 28th, 2012 · 22 Comments

BC Place and PavCo have no idea what they walked into by putting up three digital billboards on the side of the arena when it re-opened after renovations last fall. We’ve tended to look at the flashing signs — and the local resident complaints about it — as just some local piece of whininess or […]

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Laneway house vote today

July 28th, 2009 · 21 Comments

Vancouver council is expected to approve laneway houses today, which will give 65,000 homeowners in the city’s RS1 and RS5 (single-family) zones the right to build a 750-square-foot house at the back of their lots. I have a story on this move, which others across the country are watching with some interest and some bemusement, […]

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Mixed-use project on industrial land gets support from several quarters

July 24th, 2009 · 24 Comments

Vancouver city staff have unequivocally indicated that they don’t support the project that PCI’s Andrew Grant is proposing for next door to the new Marine Drive SkyTrain station, a mixed-used development with two towers — one market condos, one rental — office space, a cineplex and a plaza. Head city planner Brent Toderian emphasized that […]

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FormShift: Panel discussion tonight on design in Vancouver

May 6th, 2009 · 26 Comments

The city recently co-sponsored the design competition FormShift, to encourage people to come up with new possibilities for new forms of density in Vancouver. The awards were handed out (see previous posts) and now there’s going to be a little panel debate on the competition and design in general here in the city. People who […]

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Idea camp for rental housing prompts many suggestions and many questions

April 26th, 2009 · 22 Comments

It was quite the scene at the stunning new Celebration Hall in Mountain View cemetery Saturday — I definitely want to be buried there now with the great views and lovely, modernist new hall for all my friends to party at when they send me on my way — as developers, architects, and housing advocates […]

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The future of Vancouver’s downtown decided

April 22nd, 2009 · 32 Comments

While many of you were watching a couple of hockey teams face off on Tuesday night, there were two other teams facing off at city council over an issue that is key to what kind of city people think Vancouver is about: how much housing should be allowed downtown and how much of the downtown […]

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