Frances Bula header image 4

City and developer negotiate unusual deal to replace social-housing building, add market rentals in Downtown South

March 14th, 2013 · 34 Comments

It’s all here. FRANCES BULA Published Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013 09:54PM EDT Last updated Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013 10:04PM EDT A developer has negotiated an unusual partnership with the city to swap lots in return for building social housing downtown. In a pitch that neither side has rushed out to advertise widely, Brenhill Development proposed […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Vancouver aims for unique solution to bikeshare + mandatory helmet conundrum

January 10th, 2012 · 127 Comments

The city that Vision Vancouver has tried to make as bike-friendly as possible has been trying to get a bike-share system here for two years (remember when there was talk of a trial during the Olympics, using Montreal’s Bixi’s on loan during the winter?) but still doesn’t have one. This is going to be the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Backyard cottages, coach houses, laneway houses: They’re a trend

October 31st, 2010 · 20 Comments

As council comes up to a vote on where to go with laneway houses this Thursday, my look here at their popularity in Vancouver and elsewhere. There are many issues I didn’t address in this story that I have elsewhere (complaints about the sizes of some of the larger ones, the outsize city fees that […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Garbage pick-up gets a makeover in Vancouver

July 16th, 2010 · 21 Comments

When Vancouver city manager Penny Ballem started talking about reorganizing the city last year to make it more efficient, I heard a lot from people inside city hall saying saying everyone knew there were things that needed to be fixed, but no one had ever had the jam to actually take action. Too hard to […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Vision/COPE councillors vote against uncertain tree-preservation plan

June 10th, 2010 · 24 Comments

In spite of a valiant effort by a whole group of people hoping to save the 120-foot tulip tree in the West End, it was a no. Architects Bing Thom and Michael Heeney, the former head of real-estate services for the city, Bruce Maitland, an arborist and a landscape architect were not enough to convince […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Big, fat casino downtown likely to provoke “nasty discussion” at council

March 23rd, 2010 · 22 Comments

When I started working the city-hall beat in 1994, I was plunged into furious debates about casinos. The Mike Harcourt NDP government was entertaining a proposal to have a big, destination casino on the waterfront behind Gastown. The NPA city council of the day took the public opposition to that and ran furiously with it, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

The problem with the VAG moving to Larwill Park? City needs $50 million profit there

March 7th, 2010 · 5 Comments

The ongoing saga of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s efforts to get more space and/or move to another site have been going on for years, starting sometime in the 90s. (There’s a wild conceptual image from that early era of the plan to double the gallery’s space at the existing location, which you can find on […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Vancouver tries to kickstart rental housing

June 16th, 2009 · 9 Comments

Many cities have complained about the lack of rental apartments being built. Few have done anything. That’s largely because it’s been seen as beyond the financial ability of cities to start subsidizing something as expensive as housing. But Vancouver is going to give it a try, as I outline in my Globe story here.

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

No charges in purloined Olympic village document case

May 12th, 2009 · 9 Comments

Police announced this morning that they won’t be laying any charges in connection with the Olympic village documents that went missing last fall. They say it’s partly because some councillors declined to take a polygraphy test. As far as I can determine, that includes all the Vision councillors at the time — Raymond Louie, Tim […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Tracking the warning emails on Olympic village

April 28th, 2009 · 6 Comments

The wheels of Freedom of Information grind slowly, slowly, but I finally got an answer last week to two questions: What record was there of meetings attended by the city’s chief financial officer, Estelle Lo, related to the Olympic Village? And what emails did she send to city hall staffers or councillors about the village? […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized