The Olympic Village has become a real destination for cyclists and pedestrians enjoying the seawall. On a sunny day like today, the area is overrun with bikes. Some of the cyclists are just passing by, but a lot of them are stopping to eat at Terra Breads, take a picture with the giant birds, and have a pint at the Tap & Barrel. I love the energy and life it’s bringing to the neighbourhood.
I, for one, welcome the invading cyclists and the new transportation future they represent. It’s much nicer having your neighbourhood overrun with bikes than noisy cars.
Our community garden now consists of a mountain of kale, a jungle of tomato plants, one bush of cilantro, and a few beets and carrots. We’re doing our best to keep up with the kale and are preparing for the onslaught tomatoes which are just starting to ripen. I can’t wait to feast on fresh salsa. I found the first red tomato this morning.
The Olympic Village is abuzz, and it isn’t (exclusively) because of the pretty ladies collecting food scraps. The newest restaurant/pub, Tap and Barrel, is open (at least for a soft-launch) and it has the best patio in Vancouver.
Yesterday, the restaurant opened without any advertising, but the word quickly spread throughout the village and soon the place was packed. The main floor of the restaurant looks like a sports bar, with a large outdoor patio. Upstairs is more restaurant seating with a great balcony overlooking False Creek. The patio and balcony have great views and get sunshine for most of the day. This is the patio that Vancouver has been longing for.
The beer and wine selection is excellent. We tried a few yesterday and I can recommend the 4 Fruit Ale and Whiskey Jack Ale. As for food, I was a bit disappointed in the vegetarian and vegan selection. There is only one vegan menu item, the avocado fritters, which were good, but not enough to keep us coming back for dinner. Even the yam fries are smothered in marshmallow fluff. Granted, most pubs lack vegan options, but I had high hopes for Tap and Barrel after seeing pictures of vegan chili dogs on their Facebook page.
Starting on Tuesday July 10, and continuing every Tuesday night until September 25, there will be a food scraps collection spot in the Bird Plaza in the Olympic Village. Between 6 and 8 pm you can drop off containers of kitchen scraps for a suggested $2 donation, and they’ll be taken to a compost facility in Delta.
We hope to see you on Tuesday.
This drop spot is made possible by a grant from the Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants Program. More information on Food Scraps Drop Spot. If you want to help volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the key factors that influenced our move into the Olympic Village was the advanced features for conserving energy and water. In our old apartment we stealthily replaced the old thermostat with a programmable one, but heating was included in the rent so we never knew what impact it had. Now, our energy use is front and centre – not only do we pay for it, but we have a monitor beside our front door that shows how much electricity, heating, hot water, and cold water we’re consuming in real-time.
That information has allowed us to be smarter about how we consume energy and water, but it does come with a cost. 30% of what we pay BC Hydro for electricity and 50% of what we pay Enerpro for heating and water are flat monitoring/usage fees – $15/month.
Last week we signed up for BC Hydro’s Team Power Smart Reward Initiative which promises to pay us $75 if we can reduce our electricity consumption by an average of 10% for a full year. We’re already very conscious consumers, so normally that wouldn’t be an easy task. However, on May 7 we cancelled our cable account with Shaw and got rid of the PVR/cable box. It’s amazing how much energy the PVR used, even when it wasn’t “on”. Our PVR was consuming 60 watts of electricity 24 hours a day – that works out to $3/month, or 25% of our electricity costs.
Since getting rid of the PVR, our electricity consumption dropped 15% in May and 21% in June. Right now we’re in good shape to get that $75 (plus $36 in electricity savings).
Because of the Enerpro billing mess, the city has been paying for our heating, hot water, and cold water bill, but that changed on July 1. Now we’re responsible for paying it (except cold water, but that doesn’t cost much anyway).
Our water consumption is quite low, especially compared to the average British Columbian that uses 490 litres of water per day. We’re averaging 86 L/ day for two people – 52 L of hot water and 32 L of cold water. Now that doesn’t include our dual-flush toilet (which is flushed using rain water, or will be once they fix the system), and doesn’t include laundry (we don’t have in-suite). For the average Canadian, toilets normally account for 30% of water consumption and laundry 20%. So our benchmark for water consumption would be 245 litres per person. That puts our consumption at 18% of the average BC couple.