Urban living in a park setting

As North Vancouver residents are already well aware, their city is famous for its … Rather than simply demolish the older homes on the property, Creo …

As North Vancouver residents are already well aware, their city is famous for its mountains, spectacular ocean and is home to some of the world’s best hiking and cycling trails. Building on the success of The Morrison, Creo Developments introduces Morrison on the Park.

Situated on the edge of Spirit Trail, this stunning collection of 63 one-, two- and three-bedroom contemporary townhomes and garden suites will enjoy a beautifully landscaped central courtyard that opens directly to Moodyville Park—over four hectares of green space, including a new pump track, viewpoint, trails, playgrounds, basketball courts and more for families to explore.

With only 32 homes in phase one, many of which are designed to capitalize on the signature views from the generous rooftop decks, 93 per cent of the homes are priced under $1.08 million.

“Morrison on the Park’s architecture is one which balances casual lifestyle with warm natural materials,” says Dwayne Smyth, partner SHAPE Architecture. “As a North Vancouver resident living close to the project, I understand the necessity to provide flexible and informal spaces which promote interaction and provide direct access to the network of paths, trails and parks within the area.”

Appointed by award-winning AK Design, Morrison on the Park brings a new elevated perspective to each contemporary space, with high quality fixtures and finishes, such as custom millwork and mosaic tiles. Each West Coast inspired home feels grand with up to 14-foot ceilings, engineered hardwood flooring, luxurious ensuites and plush carpeting in the bedrooms.

Designer details in the chef-style kitchens include large islands for gatherings and family dinners, fully integrated Fisher Paykel stainless-steel appliances, sleek cabinetry as well as custom Corian countertops with seamless backsplash.

Principal of AK Design, Annaliesse Kelly says she took her cues from Morrison on the Park’smodern architecture: “Inspired by high ceilings, stark contrasts and minimalistic details, we designed these homes to be efficient, edgy and refined.”

If that isn’t enough, Morrison on the Park residents will have private access to a multi-purpose amenities room, complete with guest suite and outdoor BBQ area.

Family-owned Creo Developments sprung from three generations of Vancouverites with decades of combined experience in the industry.With over six years developing the Moodyville area, Creo has firmly established itself in the local development and construction scene.

“We create livability, both in the design and function of each home we build,” saysHarald Sinow, principal Creo Developments. “Our future homeowners are a top priority in every step of design and construction.”

Another unique feature that sets Morrison on the Park apart is its incorporation of the sustainability principles—with a deep respect for future generations. Rather than simply demolish the older homes on the property, Creo Developments worked with Unbuilders and Nickel Brothers to repurpose, relocate or donate all of the materials.

“Essentially, instead of sending the materials to the landfill, we donated them to non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity,” says Sinow.

Within this walkable neighbourhood, there is great shopping, including the eclectic Queensbury shops and restaurants, or a quick stroll down to Lower Lonsdale and the Shipyards District, all within easy access to the Ironworkers Bridge and downtown Vancouver.

In the heart of North Vancouver’s revitalized Lower Lonsdale, your new home is only a 12-minute commute to downtown Vancouver by SeaBus with easy access to the Canada Line and YVR.

Outdoor enthusiasts will be drawn to the ocean, the forest and the mountains that Morrison on the Park provides.

With prices starting from $498,900, Morrison on the Park’s phase one should sell out fast.

Morrison on the Park presentation centre and show home, located at 658 East 3rd St., North Vancouver, is open Thursday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Ucluelet Brewing Company cheers award winning ambience

Brewery wins Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s Award of Excellence in the hospitality category. Andrew Bailey; Oct. 15, 2020 12:00 a.m.; Business.

The Ucluelet Brewing Company can officially boast an award winning ambience.

The company was recently announced the winner of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s Award of Excellence in the hospitality category.

The company’s owner Dennis Morgan told the Westerly News the award reflects the community’s strong local skillsets.

“It’s fantastic for Ucluelet to have the talent to be able to pull this renovation off to the degree that it happened and to the degree that it got an award,” the company’s owner Dennis Morgan told the Westerly News. “It’s all local expertise, skill and thought that pulled it together.”

The award also represents a significant full-circle turnaround for the building formerly known as St. Aidan’s on the Hill church, which was built by community volunteers. The church was deconsecrated in 2010 and sold to develop Leif Hagar who ran into a zoning dispute with the district, leading to the building becoming unused and a rundown eyesore in the centre of town before Morgan presented a plan to transform the space into the community’s first microbrewery in 2016.

Renovations took several years and the brewery opened its doors in the spring of 2020.

Morgan said the award presents a positive reflection on, and vindication of, the patience and attention to detail put into the development.

“A lot of thought and effort and time and money, honestly, went into it. This wasn’t something we wanted to get open as fast as we can and make money. We thought, ‘ We’re going to do this and we’re going to do it right and so it’s going to take a bit longer,’” he said.

“It took what it took and that was the right amount of time and when people walk in the door, they’re blown away…It’s really well done and well designed and that shows. You can walk in and see the high standards and high quality materials that went into this.”

He said the skill-sets that came together to bring his vision to fruition were “huge” and he heralded the high standards of local builders.

“Having the broad scope of local talent allows things to happen more efficiently,” he said. “It all came off to such a high standard. It’s award winning…There’s constant little surprises. I was talking to somebody the other day that was saying every time they come in here they notice something new, there are little things that they don’t necessarily see every visit; it takes a few visits to see those things, some of the finer aspects of woodworking.”

Business has not been as smooth sailing as hoped as the brewery’s first year of operation was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the doors to close just week’s after its grand opening. Morgan said he was grateful for the town’s support through take-out sales during the early summer’s COVID-19 restrictions and noted the brewery has reopened, though its inside seating capacity maxes out around 25 to adhere to social distancing protocols. He said he plans to stay open during the winter months and will bring in canopies and heaters to create a “cozy little atmosphere,” on the patio, which overlooks Ucluelet downtown core and harbour.

“The whole plan for this was to be a local place to hang out. Locals were very supportive during COVID, when I was doing the growlers, and I’m pretty sure they’re going to be supportive this winter, they’re just kind of waiting for the tourists to go away,” he said. “I’m pretty optimistic that I’m going to survive through the winter, but I don’t think I’ll be raking it in in any way. My focus now is to look for where I can cut costs wherever I can and be efficient and survive the winter.”

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Coastal towns hold BC lead in home price increase

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) recorded 1,287 sales in … “The strength of our housing market has surprised us somewhat,” said …

In what real estate agents say is partly a pandemic-driven exodus from the Lower Mainland, smaller centres on the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island are shattering records for home sales and price increases this year.

In Powell River September home sales soared 152 per cent from the same month a year earlier and average prices increased 30 per cent, the second time in three months that the town of about 14,000 has led the entire province in price increases, according to data from the Powell River Real Estate Board.

The average home price in Powell River is now $440,011, the second-lowest in the province behind northern B.C. and the Kootenays. As a comparison, the median price of a standard two-storey house in Metro Vancouver is now $1.9 million, and the median price of a bungalow is $1.45 million, according to a Royal LePage price survey released October 14.

The BC Real Estate Association confirmed that the total dollar volume of Powell River residential sales surged 194 per cent in September – by far the biggest increase in B.C. – to $24.6 million.

“House prices are at record highs here,” said Royal Lepage agent Josh Statham in Powell River, who said the bulk of buyers are coming from the Lower Mainland, particularly from Squamish.

Statham added the Powell River market is dominated by detached houses, which he credited to the number of people working from home and seeking more space and privacy.

“It used to be that buyers stumbled on Powell River on their way to Vancouver Island,” Statham said, “but now they are coming straight here.”

Vancouver Island north of Victoria is also setting sales and price records this year, posting a 100 per cent sales increase in September, reports the BCREA, with the average home price up 15.6 per cent to $552,678.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) recorded 1,287 sales in September compared to 692 in September 2019, with half the sales this year being detached houses

“The strength of our housing market has surprised us somewhat,” said VIREB president Kevin Reid. “We frankly did not expect it to recover so quickly from the COVID-19 effect.”

Reid attributes the recovery partly to pent-up demand and low mortgage rates, but added “we have noticed that some buyers are advancing their retirement plans due to the pandemic. Economic uncertainty is motivating other consumers to downsize and reduce their debt load.”

Vancouver Island is a popular retirement destination and an attractive alternative for millennials seeking the West Coast lifestyle for less money than in Vancouver, he said.

After a sharp run-up during the summer, home price increases have moderated in most Island communities.

In Campbell River, the benchmark price of a single-family house hit $454,200 in September, a small increase over last year. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $523,500, a slight dip from one year ago. Duncan reported a price of $489,000, an increase of 1 per cent from September 2019.

Nanaimo’s benchmark price dropped by 3 per cent to $553,600, while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 3 per cent to $612,800. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $329,500, up 2 per cent from one year ago, according to VIREB data.

Capilano River shoreline transforms with exclusive riverside development

September proved to be another record-breaking month for real estate in Metro Vancouver, with a 56.2% increase in residential property sales from …

September proved to be another record-breaking month for real estate in Metro Vancouver, with a 56.2% increase in residential property sales from the same period in 2019.

British Columbians are discovering more and more the impact their living environment has on their lives, especially during these challenging times. Now, things like personal space and the views from our windows are valued at a different level.

In North Vancouver, a new move-in ready collection of 23 beautiful rowhomes fulfils these needs, offering an urban residential escape. PC Urban Properties began working on the vision for Holland Row back in 2014, and today, it’s the first project of its kind built along the Capilano River shoreline.

The spacious Lions Gate Village rowhomes range from 1,614 to 2,355 sq ft in size, starting at $1.35 million for a three-bedroom and $1.5 million for a four-bedroom property. Every home has been designed for residents to feel as though they are in a single-family unit, maximizing privacy and unobstructed views to the river.

Located in the rapidly-transforming Lions Gate Village neighbourhood, Holland Row puts prospective residents at the gateway to North and West Vancouver. The area will soon become home to a growing number of multi-family homes, a state-of-the-art recreation centre with a full-sized gym, a library, community spaces, and a public plaza.

Living in this pedestrian-friendly area gives locals ample opportunities to explore on foot, adventuring through the diverse trail network and connecting with nature in the old-growth rainforest. Grouse Mountain is also nearby, with year-round hiking trails and world-class ski runs offering unparalleled views in winter.

Closer to home, Holland Row residents can relax to the tranquil sound of the Capilano River in motion. It was inspired by the park-like setting and the auditory escape provided by the sound of the river.

“We are tucked away in a quiet corner, beside a park, in a serene node on the river,” says PC Urban Properties CEO, Brent Sawchyn. “It’s a gem of a neighbourhood and we are really proud of how we were able to integrate indoor-outdoor living and proximity to nature with European-style craftsmanship and the generous spaces families and downsizers need.”

The launch of Holland Row comes at a critical time. In September, townhome sales in North Vancouver specifically were twice what they were in September 2019, with a 7.7% benchmark price appreciation since this time last year. This marks the highest number of monthly sales for townhomes priced over $1,079 million ever in North Vancouver and the third consecutive month of breaking monthly sales records.

According to MLA Canada, median sales prices for North Vancouver townhomes in September was $1,039,150. “This is a 14.2% increase in prices during COVID — a huge nod to the pent up demand for North Vancouver,” says Ryan Lalonde, President of MLA Canada.

This particular rowhome collection and its location strike a rarely seen balance between indoor and outdoor living. Residents can open their French doors (or fold together accordion-style doors) to connect their living space with the patio for entertaining or inspiration while working from home.

Natural light floods in through expansive windows, high ceilings add to the spacious, airy feel, and open-plan layouts allow for easy transitioning between functional spaces.

Award-winning firm BYU Design is behind the simplistic yet elegant features found throughout each home, from the cozy fireplace that anchors the living area, to the spa-like bathrooms with marble detailing, to a full sized laundry room with side by side washer dryer, and the modern kitchen with high-end Gaggenau appliances.

On the lower level, residents have their own secure, private-entry garage to keep their vehicles safe and weather protected. Also on this level is the mudroom where active gear can be arranged in a designated space without cluttering other areas of the home. Suffice to say, thoughtful design and finishes can be found throughout each level in the three- and four-bedroom homes.

To really get a feel for what it would be like to live at Holland Row and in the Lions Gate Village neighbourhood, visit hollandrow.ca for more information and to register for a viewing.

The Presentation Centre is located at 16-1960 Glenaire Drive, North Vancouver. The development is open Saturday through Wednesday from 12 to 5 pm, closed Thursday and Fridays.”

High-speed rail from Chilliwack to Whistler pitched as part of COVID-19 recovery

VANCOUVER (CityNews) — Chilliwack to Whistler in 60 minutes? It’s … “This technology is tried and tested and whatever government gets in after the …

VANCOUVER (CityNews) — Chilliwack to Whistler in 60 minutes? It’s possible, according to those behind the Mountain Valley Express Project.

A group of academics and urban planners called the MVX Collective says a high-speed rail line connecting communities throughout the South Coast should be considered as part of the COVID-19 recovery and the ongoing fight against climate change.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the inequities in our society and fragilities in our economy. With the largest job loss recorded since World War II, and a disproportionate risk being placed on essential workers in our communities, how we respond to this moment will define a generation,” according to the website.

“While the recovery from COVID-19 remains top-of-mind, there is an even larger crisis looming. Climate change requires us to rethink how we live, work, and play. We cannot continue the status quo — we must build back better.”

The train would reach speeds of 300 km/hr and the collective estimates building an operating the rail line would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Alex Gaio is a spokesperson for MVX Collective. He warns the proposed project shouldn’t be thought of as simply a train to Whistler, but rather a way to connect communities in a region where the population is steadily growing.

“We’re all really concerned about the South Coast. It’s a growing place that’s going to accommodate a lot more people,” he says.

“To just assume this is a tourism train would be unfortunate. There’s the Fraser Valley, there’s Surrey. We’ve expanded beyond Metro Vancouver. We’re the South Coast region.”

Meanwhile, local transport blogger and Langley City Councillor Nathan Pachal estimates the region’s population will grow by another million people in the next 20 – 30 years.

“You know we talk a lot about connections between Vancouver and Seattle, but it seems to me there’s stronger demand for Whistler, and between Vancouver and Chilliwack,” he says.

RELATED: Vancouver to Portland bullet train proposal won’t be derailed by funding loss: Washington State

The current vision for the route includes 11 stops with capacity for more than 15,000 passengers per hour. A trip on the train will be up to 80 per cent faster than driving.

“British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington State are currently investigating building a high-speed rail corridor that would connect Portland, Seattle, and Metro Vancouver. This project is being planned because it will foster strong economic growth along the West Coast. High-speed rail is a proven, zero-emissions transportation alternative that has revitalized communities and created powerful economic megaregions across Europe and Asia,” the MVX collective website says.

But it’s not cheap. Rough estimates put the cost at between $7- and $16-billion.

Gaio says this option is a better long-term solution than a SkyTrain expansion.

“High-speed rail link travelling these distances makes more sense,” he says.

“This technology is tried and tested and whatever government gets in after the election should do a proper feasibility study.”

With files from Lisa Steacy

Mountain Valley Express