Tag Archives: Vancouver

Vancouver’s Broadway SkyTrain vs Calgary’s Green Line

With both Vancouver and Calgary recently announcing exciting expansions to their transit networks, I thought it would be interesting to compare Vancouver’s Skytrain extension along Broadway to the new Green Line LRT project in Calgary.

Vancouver’s Broadway Line (Phase 1)

  • 6 new stations
  • 5.7 kilometers
  • Costing $2.83 billion (funding secured)
  • Opening 2025
  • Projected 167,000 daily riders
  • Frequency: Every 3 minutes (peak)
  • More details

Calgary Green Line (Phase 1)

  • 14 new stations
  • 20 kilometers
  • Costing $4.65 billion (funding secured)
  • Opening 2026
  • Projected 60,000 daily riders
  • Frequency: every 10 minutes (peak)
  • More details

Both projects have 2nd phases planned. Although neither has funding secured, the extension out to UBC in Vancouver is much farther along in terms of planning and is looking to find funding partners.

Broadway Subway (Phase 2)

  • 4 new stations
  • 7 kilometers
  • Costing $3.8 billion (no funding secured)
  • Opening 2030
  • Projected 119,000 additional daily riders

Calgary Green Line (Phase 2)

  • 14 new stations
  • 26 kilometers
  • Costing ???
  • Opening???

Own Grown Life – Personal Vegan Chef

So on a grey, Sunday morning we went to check out Vancouver’s mini Veg Fest – a collection of 23 plant-based vendors in an urban park just off Main Street. We showed up at 11, when it officially started and found lineups 50 people long for most of the vendors that only got longer as we debated what was worth waiting for.

When did Vancouver get so many vegans? Maybe I should have paid attention to the Facebook invite that said 1.1K people were attending and another 4.9K were interested. Yikes! We managed to get some delicious croissants from Yellow Basket Baking and some butchered beans from The Very Good Butchers. I really wanted to try some of the cheeze shops but the lineups were just too crazy.

But who needs fancy vegan cheeses when you have your own personal vegan chef. For the past 3 months we’ve been having homemade, vegan meals cooked in our house by Sarah from Own Grown Life.

Own Grown Life offers a popular lunch program, but for Emily and I lunches are the easiest meal of the day, with plenty of vegan options downtown. Dinner is the real challenge. Daycare pickup with an energetic toddler who’s usually hungry, are not conducive to making nutritious meals from scratch. We were getting by with slow-cooker and Instant Pot meals prepped the night before (and by we, I mean Emily as she was doing 90% of the cooking), but it was exhausting.

Now Sarah comes over once a week to cook us three meals in our own kitchen and we have our evenings free again. On Tuesday evenings there’s a fresh meal waiting on the stove plus two more meals in the fridge that just need to be warmed up. It’s a pretty sweet deal and well worth the cost. We get to work with her on the menu every week and she follows our dietary constraints (vegan, no soy, and at least one nut-free meal every week so we have leftovers we can send to daycare).

Here’s a sampling of some of the meals she’s made us:

  • BBQ Lentil Walnut Burgers
  • Yam and Black Bean Enchiladas
  • Maple & Orange Glazed Tempeh with Bok Choy and Soba Noodles
  • Braised Eggplant with Chickpeas
  • Gazpacho (awesome when it was super hot back in August)
  • Sweet Moroccan Glazed Tempeh with Couscous and Carrot Date Salad
  • Bengali Curry of Cauliflower and Kidney Bean
  • Spiced Indian Barley Stir-fry with chickpeas and spinach
Own Grown Life Meals
Own Grown Life Meals
Own Grown Life Meals
Own Grown Life Meals
Own Grown Life Meals
Own Grown Life Meals

If you’re looking for a vegan lunch service, or a personal chef who will cook to your dietary needs, I highly recommend checking out Own Grown Cooking. The convenience is awesome and we all love the food. Astrid gives it a hearty “num num” and “yummy”.

Where I Run – a Strava Heatmap

I’m lucky to live in close proximity to so many great running routes. I’m minutes away from Vancouver’s Seawall, where I can run for hours without having to stop for a single traffic light. Vancouver’s greenways and bike routes are also great, traffic-calmed running routes.

My favourite places to run
Seawall, around False Creek, Kitsilano Beach, and Stanley Park
Central Valley Greenway, occasionally as far as New Westminster
Point Grey Road, a joy with the new traffic calming
Ontario and Heather bikeways up to Queen Elizabeth Park

Interactive heatmap available on Strava.
Follow me on Strava

Just Another Sunny Day in Vancouver

My Day in Collage
What a gorgeous sunny day in Vancouver.

While thousands of people were running the marathon, I through on my Vibrams and ran to the Vancouver Tool Library on Commercial. I picked up some gardening tools and through them in the passenger seat of a nearby car2go. Then, I spent the afternoon digging up grasses and plants in our rooftop garden getting it ready for a new community garden. It was a hard, tiring day, but it was great to be outside in the sun.

Vancouver’s Ultimate 2011 Election Map

Building on the analysis I did for COPE, here is a map that summarizes at a very high level the voting results in Vancouver. I looked at the ‘winners’ – the candidates that placed in the top 10 for city council, top 7 for parks board, and top 9 for school board in each of the city’s 135 polling districts. There are a few slates that do well in concentrated regions of Vancouver.

Hopefully this clarifies my quote in the Vancouver Courier about ethnic voting in south-east Vancouver and the split between west-side enviros vs east-side social progressive voting blocks.

โ–† NPA Slate – In the 21 red areas, every single NPA candidate, all 21 of them, win a seat. The NPA’s strength is in Dunbar, Kerrisdale, Arubutus Ridge, and Shaugnessy.
โ–† Mostly NPA – In the 11 pink areas, at least 18 of the 21 NPA candidates win.
โ–† Vision/COPE Slate – In the 19 blue areas, all 26 Vision and COPE candidates win. The Vision/COPE slate excelled in Stratcona, Commercial Drive, and Mount Pleasant.
โ–† Chinese Slate – In the 19 yellow areas, the 7 candidates with Chinese last names win, regardless of what party they are running for. Chinese block voting was the biggest factor in the south-east part of the city – Renfrew-Collingwood, and Kensington.
โ–† Green/Vision/COPE – With the addition of Green candidates things get a bit messy. In the 26 light green areas, the Green Party elects at least 2 candidates, and Vision/COPE take most of the rest. The Green Party does best in Kitsilano, the West End, and Fairview.
โ–† Green/Vision/NPA – In the 3 dark green areas, the Green party still wins two spots, Vision does well, but COPE is shut out. This is similar to the purple areas below.
โ–† Vision/NPA Coalition – These are probably the most interesting parts of the city. There are 12 purple polls where all the Vision candidates win, but the remainder of the spots go mostly to the NPA (not COPE or even the Green Party). Most of downtown, including Coal Harbour and Yaletown, plus a few polls in the Sunset neighbourhood fall into this category.
โ–† Mostly Vision / Strong COPE – In the 11 orange areas, Vision elects most of its candidates and COPE elects at least 5 of its 7 candidates. These areas are scattered throughout east Vancouver.
โ–† Mostly Vision / Weak COPE – In the 14 light blue areas, Vision elects most of its candidates, but COPE struggles and elects less than 5 candidates.
โ–† Mixed – There are 2 gray areas that are a mixed bag that don’t fall into any of the above categories.

For reference, here’s the 2008 map created with similar criteria (tweaked slightly because the Greens ran as part of the Vision/COPE slate and the numbers of candidates from each party is different).

Has #OccupyVancouver jumped the shark?

Occupy Vancouver Tent City
I’ve been supportive, I’ve dropped off food and tarps, I’ve attended some rallies, but my enthusiasm is waning and public support for Occupy Vancouver is fading.

Last night #occupy protestors interrupted a debate on homelessness and made asses of themselves. This is not what democracy looks like. Screaming over other people so they can’t talk is what a dictatorship looks like.

The people attending the homelessness debate were likely sympathetic to the #occupy movement. Well, not anymore. Over the next few days, #occupy will be evicted from the steps of the art gallery, but don’t expect the masses to rally to their cause. They’ve managed to alienate most of their sympathizers.

I still agree with many of the sentiments expressed by the #occupy protestors, I just think the movement (at least here in Vancouver) has jumped the shark. It’s too bad, it had lots of promise.

In Defense of Jason Lamarche

Jason Lamarche is an NPA candidate for city council in Vancouver. As much as I despise the NPA for its opposition to bike lanes, they do have 2 likeable candidates Jason Lamarche and Sean Bickerton. Jason is young, dorky, progressive, and most importantly wired-in. He has an extensive online history, and the media (mostly CTV) is using it to hammer the guy.

Last week, CTV reported on a blog post Jason wrote in 2007 that discussed a ‘scandalous’ matrix to rate women. This week, they dug a bit deeper, and found entries on urban dictionary (a website devoted to documenting slang terms, often with racy content) presumably written by Jason between 2005 and 2007. The full list of entries is here, and includes words like binner, click fraud, 337, proverb, phisers, and 3 musketeers. *gasp*

Jason’s response went from “I have a sense of humour; stop smearing me so we can focus on the issues” (paraphrased) to “that wasn’t me, you can’t prove anything” (also paraphrased). Sadly, he’s now pulled down most of his online content, including a video feature he had on YouTube called Liberal Minute that showed off his personality and opinions on issues much better than any of his campaign material.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the media has gone after a young candidate for online content that really isn’t that shocking. Last provincial election, NDP candidate Ray Lam was forced to resign when Facebook pictures of him pretend groping a female friend were leaked.

If Facebook pictures, old blog posts, and entries in urban dictionary entries are enough to disqualify a candidate from running for public office, no one from my generation will ever be elected. This has to change, but won’t until some young candidate stands up to the media.
Continue reading In Defense of Jason Lamarche

Car-Free Vancouver Day 2011

Free HugsParade of FoolsMarching to the Beat of His Own DrumMason Bee HousesCar-Free Commercial DrivePottery Time
Purple Thistle Free ZoneWonderland CroquetGreen Strip for Wonderland CroquetAlternative TransportationTall BikeBike Valet
Barbeque BikePet ChickenDosa ChefSpudded UmbrellaCar-Free Main Street

Car-Free Vancouver Day 2011, a set on Flickr.

I love street parties. We checked out the Car-Free festivities on Commercial Drive and Main Street this year. Main Street was definitely the more happening of the two.

There was great street food at both locations, but I was impressed by the pedal zoo on Commercial and the Village Vancouver, BLIM Market, and VegFest on Main Street.

Village Carnivale and Car-Free Festival

How do you get over a riot? A carnivale and car-free festival might help.

The riot was a black eye on Vancouver, but I’m amazed by how quickly things are getting back to normal in Vancouver. The window at work was smashed in, but replaced before noon.

This weekend there are two fun events two help forget the ugly riot after Wednesday’s hockey game.

Here at the Olympic Village, there is a 4-day Village Carnivale that starts tonight. It includes a “65 foot high Ferris Wheel” that looks small next to the giant birds in the plaza.

Sunday is also Car-Free Vancouver Day (in addition to being Father’s Day). Commercial Drive, Main Street, Denman, and areas in Kitsilano will be closed to traffic and huge street parties with music, parades, street food, and vendors will take over.