Design & Development
December 14, 2018

One Good Podcast Deserves Each Other

We at Price Tags are having a great time with our new podcast, PriceTalks.  So we appreciate the opportunity to be invited to other podcasts that are exploring our city and its issues – like that time on Cambie Reports with Sandy James, Gord Price and the three Cambie Reporters.

When Adam and Matt Scalena asked Gord to appear on their Vancouver Real Estate News podcast, the answer was an immediate yes.  The results have just been posted:

Vancouver Price Tags with Gordon Price

Has 2018 been a good year for Vancouver? The time to take stock is now. Former City Councillor & Founder of the influential “Price Tags” website Gordon Price sits down with Adam & Matt to discuss the present, the past, and the future of Vancouver in one of the most wide-reaching conversations to date. Tune in to hear Gordon’s take on all things Vancouver, including his unique insider account of local politics, why building permits ought to take as long as they do, and his surprising predictions for the next neighborhoods set for redevelopment. Oh, yeah, and we also cover the coming apocalypse.  This is not to be missed!


One of the great features of their blog is the Episode Summary – a detailed encapsulation of the conversation.  Though it must take a lot of time to do, it’s a great way to get a sense of the content before tuning in, or to find a particular topic right away.  Great work, guys.

(As per the post below, Gordon guarantees that the Price is not always right.)  Click here for podcast.

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The parkade in the 700-block Seymour served the Vancouver Centre complex anchored by the Scotia Tower at Georgia and Granville, surely one of the most boring buildings on one of the best locations in Canada.

When it replaced the much-loved Birks Building in 1974, it helped provoke the heritage movement in the city, and eventually the provincial legislation which preserved our best landmarks.  (Think of it as the Pennsylvania Station of Vancouver.  Penn Station was a magnificent neoclassical rail terminal in New York, the demolition of which led to the American  National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.)

The worst part of Vancouver Centre is the mediocre low-rise element at the southeast corner of our most important downtown intersection.

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Bob Ransford posted this:

When the Canada Line was being planned more than 15 years ago, the public was shown ridership models that said 70 percent of the ridership would be in the portion of the corridor between Waterfront Station and Oakridge Station.

Reality today is crush loads during rush hour from Richmond Brighouse all the way to Waterfront with lines at many Vancouver stations where crush-filled trains can’t accept more riders and near full loads at all hours just within Richmond alone. They got it wrong.

Transit drives housing development. So much for empty condos. Empty condos don’t drive this kind of heavy ridership.

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In planning for growth, there’s at least one generally agreed-on idea that most cities are trying out: Densifying along the major streets.  The arterials, boulevards and avenues, the wider ones, where the streetcars went, where transit does now.

Portland has a lot of them, radiating out from the river and downtown.  Here’s one of those streets – Division.  As you’d expect, it bisects the 19th-century suburbs:


Once it was a streetcar route, with a mix of bungalow housing and one-or two-storey commercial frontage – surprisingly narrow for a major corridor of activity.  It went into decline as Motordom prevailed, and became heavily auto-oriented.  Division, it was said, was where you went to get your car repaired.

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Occasional Price Tags contributor Tim Davis explains why he LOVES Amsterdam (and provides the photos).

A neighborhood in the far northwest section of Amsterdam’s core, where Amstertourists rarely venture.


It shows the incredible cycling and transit infrastructure found in a typical Amsterdam neighborhood. You get to see how people really live, away from the tourist shops.

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This 12-storey office building at 1090 West Pender was built in 1970 – and, like so many of its era, it’s coming down.

The off-white applied masonry, with a stamped repetitive pattern, gives it a more solid appearance than most of its glassy contemporaries, a style popularized by American architect Edward Durell Stone (stone by Stone?). It was perhaps the modernist version of the terra-cotta facades popular in the 1920s (see the Marine Building or Hudson’s Bay store) which tried to maintain the illusion of craft in a time without affordable craft.

Its successor will have no such illusion:

Designed by Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership, the architects who have done most of the work for Bentall Kennedy, it will continue the growth of the landmark Bentall Centre.

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PT is getting great comments on a post – City Council: Duplexing and Messaging – put up on November 14. 

Let’s bring it forward, and begin again with the latest post from one of our great commenters, Ron van der Eerden.  (For those who were part of the comments stream, feel free to repost, but try to add something more to the discussion.)

I doubt duplexes will be very attractive to developers, that being “big bad developers”. A few very small developers may take advantage. But for a small developer it’s a big risk and big money for what would still be an expensive product. I’m certain the outgoing council knew this would be a fairly inconsequential move with  few repercussions and unworthy of the massive consultation some would have preferred. It’s more symbolic. A baby first step.

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Perhaps there’s a fifty-year cycle in Vancouver: buildings approaching the half-century, having passed their best-before date, are targeted for replacement.  At least I’ve begun to notice that, in this economic cycle, a fair number of buildings from the late ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s seem to be coming down, or soon will be, especially in the CBD/West End.  Because most are non-descript spec buildings, there hasn’t been much notice; few seem to care that this particular era in our history is disappearing.

Ar least it’s worth noticing their departure.  Here’s one:

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I don’t think we’re going to get agreement on this.

Condopedia credits the legislative idea for the ‘modern condominium’ to a Salt Lake City lawyer named Keith Romney (cousin of Mitt):

After studying existing co-op systems in New York and Chicago, Romney presented his client with a different idea; one that would make it possible to subdivide a building into distinct legal parcels within the same structure. The concept had long since been adopted in Europe, starting with Belgium in 1924 and spreading quickly across the continent. ..

Not sure why, having noted the origins in Europe and referred to 1958 legislation in Puerto Rico, the article then credits Utah.  Wikipedia says this:

The first condominium law passed in the United States was in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in 1958.  In 1960, the first condominium in the Continental United States was built in Salt Lake City, Utah.

However …

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