Rising Vancouver home prices narrow “once great divide between East and West into thin, fine line”

Rising Vancouver home prices narrow “once great divide between East and West into thin, fine line”


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  • A home at 6676 Doman Street (left, centre) sold for more than one at 857 West 10th Avenue even though the East Side house sits on a lot with a frontage that is only about half that of the West Side residence.

Late last spring, realtor David Hutchinson pointed to a “new phenomenon” in Vancouver’s housing market.

It’s about homes on the traditionally more affordable East Side of the city getting to be as expensive as those on the affluent West Side.

 
 
 

It seems that in a number of cases, the line dividing the two sides of the city has “blurred”, Hutchinson, a realtor for almost two decades and agent with Sutton Group-West Coast Realty, told the Straight in June this year.

 

The long-time realtor was reminded of the phenomenon when he drove across Vancouver this weekend.

“As I traveled Saturday through the leafy, tree-lined streets of Vancouver West to the beaches, one can understand the high cost of housing in those neighbourhoods,” Hutchinson related to the Straight on Sunday (September 26).

 

From there, he went downtown and then through Gastown, proceeded to the East Side of Vancouver, past a busy beer garden at the Parallel 49 Brewing Company and a pop-up concert near Commercial Driveto.

Hutchinson then made his way through the quiet streets of the Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood and proceeded south to Killarney, where residential lots are often bigger than the usual 33-foot lots.

From there, he pushed down to the new River District, where a complete community is taking shape.

“I realized that every neighbourhood in Vancouver has its own quality and experiences, and that translates into value for different people,” Hutchinson noted.

“But wherever you see that value, the borders between these neighbourhoods are certainly getting blurred in price,” he added.

A scan of recent sales provided by Hutchinson could illustrate what is happening.

On September 8, an East Side property at 6676 Doman Street sold for $2,828,000.

The Killarney area home sits on a 34-foot lot, which was about half of a 55-foot lot at 3857 West 10th Avenue.

The said West Side property sold on August 26 for less or $2,750,000 to be exact.

Take note that this 3857 West 10th Avenue residence is located in the highly desirable Point Grey neighbourhood of the city.

“The once great divide between East and West is narrowing,” Hutchinson said.

Another example is 3578 Monmouth Avenue on the East Side neighbourhood of Collingwood.

The property sold on September 3 for $2,750,000.

That’s $540,000 more than the sold price of a West Side property at 6457 Ontario Street.

The West Side home in the Oakridge neighbourhood of the city went on September 1 for $2,210,000.

The East Side property at 3578 Monmouth Avenue (left) sold for more than $500,000 compared to the West Side residence at 6457 Ontario Street.The East Side property at 3578 Monmouth Avenue (left) sold for more than $500,000 compared to the West Side residence at 6457 Ontario Street.

“With increasing home prices on the East side, the gap is turning into a thin, fine line,” Hutchinson said.

Still, the conventional split between East and West holds true generally.

In its latest report, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) noted that the benchmark price of a detached home on the East Side of Vancouver increased to $1,689,700 in August 2021.

Meanwhile, a typical detached home on the West Side of the city in the same month was $3,462,200.

Based on year-over-year increases, prices of single-family homes on the East Side grew at a slightly higher rate of 12.4 percent compared to 12.2 percent on the West Side.

Another example of an East Side home selling for more is 4184 Slocan Street.

The Renfrew Heights residence sits on a 60-foot lot, and it went to a new owner on September 18 for $2,613,000.

Meanwhile, a West Side property in the Southlands neighbourhood sold for less even though it has a bigger lot with a frontage of 65.99 feet.

The said West Side home sold on September 1 for $2,465,500.

The property at 4184 Slocan Street (left) on the East Side sold for more money than 3583 West 50<sup>th</sup> Avenue.The property at 4184 Slocan Street (left) on the East Side sold for more money than 3583 West 50th Avenue.

“With still relatively more affordable prices and close-knit neighbourhoods, the East Side of Vancouver continues to attract families, where they can get a little more bang for their buck, and grow some tomatoes and figs in their backyards, or make some wine in their basements, all to share with their neighbours,” Hutchinson said.

“But with the prices between East and West starting to tighten, one has to wonder where this is all going,” Hutchinson added. 

Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter at @carlitopablo
 

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Three reasons why meal kit service Fresh Prep is taking over Vancouver, one kitchen at a time


 
  • FRESH PREP

(This story is sponsored by .)

Deciding what to cook for dinner every night is an uphill struggle for many, let alone finding the time to grab groceries and prepare the meals. After a long day at the office, the last thing anybody wants to do is julienne a batch of carrots or tear up over an onion.

 
 

Between juggling work and play, whipping up a package of store-bought tortellini topped with a jar of tomato sauce is really all you have time for. Plus, not everyone has the chef skills required to make an elaborate and nutritious meal.

Vancouver-based meal kit service  is a great place to start for those who are short on time or confidence in the kitchen. The local company was voted “Best Meal Kit Service” by readers of the Georgia Straight in this year’s Golden Plates awards.

 

To show its gratitude, Fresh Prep is offering readers three free meals with the code: SCSTRAIGHT21.

“The customer experience with Fresh Prep is far and away the best meal kit experience in Canada,” says Fresh Prep cofounder and chief operating officer Husein Rahemtulla. “We offer premium-quality ingredients because we actually spend more on ingredients than our competitors. Our customers often tell us that our food is fresher and better quality than any other meal kit service that they’ve tried.”

Eating dinner is the highlight of the day for many so don’t waste it on tasteless takeout or frozen meals. If you’re looking to spice up your current cooking routine, here are three reasons why you should sign up for Fresh Prep.

It’s convenient

Each week, Fresh Prep customers can select from 10 delectable and diverse choices. Half of the recipes are always vegetarian or vegan and there are also gluten-aware and dairy-aware options.  Home cooks also have the option to purchase Add-On items like prepared meals, salads, juices, smoothies, plant-based meats, pastas, desserts, pantry staples, and much more.

Meal kit ingredients are pre-cut and pre-portioned, eliminating many steps of the cooking process. This is truly a miracle for those who loathe chopping onions, reducing the time spent and the stress of preparing dinner.

On their selected delivery date, an insulated cooler bag filled with reusable ice packs, recipe cards, and ingredients is brought right to the customer’s doorstep.

It’s sustainable

Fresh Prep has recently introduced its Zero Waste Kits, a reusable container that reduces meal packaging materials, including single use plastic. When a meal doesn’t come in a Zero Waste Kit, it’s packaged in a compostable paper bag with ingredients in soft plastic. To further its sustainability initiatives, Fresh Prep has developed a recycling program for the soft plastics that are rinsed and returned.

Through its partnership with OnFleet, Fresh Prep’s fleet is now carbon neutral as a result of offsetting the emissions of its deliveries.

When it comes to ingredients, the company only uses Oceanwise seafood and sources local whenever possible, further reducing its carbon footprint.

The meals are delicious

With Fresh Prep, you can swap your bowl of instant noodles for Mushroom & Ricotta White Pizza, an Alabama Style Chicken Sandwich, or Sesame-Crusted Seared Tuna. Dishes are often inspired by international cuisines to bring some much-needed excitement to your current cooking routine. 

To find out why  has been voted the “#1 Meal Kit Delivery Service” in Vancouver, sign up with the Straight’s exclusive code: SCSTRAIGHT21 and receive three free meals on your first order.

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Whistler Writers Festival invites book lovers to enjoy fine Indigenous writing for its 20th anniversary


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  • TOURISM WHISTLER/MIRAE CAMPBELL

(This article is sponsored by .)

There’s something magnificent about autumn in Whistler. The falling leaves along the Valley Trail are like a magical potion to city dwellers craving to connect with the natural world. In the Village, visitors can stroll to a spa or visit family-owned Armchair Books and the local library rather than face the hassle of hopping into a car. Guests during this time very much appreciate the slower pace and the great value of room rates.

 

Fall in Whistler holds another attraction for lovers of literature and poetry. That’s because for the past 20 years, the community has been hosting the , which takes place from October 14 to 17 this year. The event will have in-person and online components, both drawing an impressive crowd of readers, writers, and book lovers.

 
TOURISM WHISTLER/JUSTA JESKOVA

This year’s lineup might be its strongest yet, featuring A-listers such as Scotiabank Giller Prize 2021 longlist nominees Omar El Akkad (What Strange Paradise) and Cedar Bowers (Astra), two-time Giller winner M.G. Vassanji (What You Are), and Booker Prize longlist nominee Mary Lawson (A Town Called Solace). Other high-profile authors and poets this year include George Elliott Clarke, Ivan Coyote, Joy Fielding, Shaena Lambert, Canisia Lubrin, Linden MacIntyre, Alexandra Morton, Alix Ohlin, and Howard White, who founded Harbour Publishing.

“Right from the start, it’s been about balancing those high-profile names with authors who are emerging,” Whistler Writers Festival founder and artistic director Stella Harvey said. “A lot of times, I’ve had feedback from participants who say I came to see so-and-so but I discovered this author. That’s always been important to me.”

The Whistler Writers Festival also offers workshops for aspiring writers, most of which are in-person but also available via livestreaming.

Harvey is especially proud of the number of the first-rate Indigenous writers at this year’s festival. This reflects her longstanding belief that the Whistler Writers Festival must be an inclusive event so that whoever attends can see themselves reflected back to them on-stage.

The headliner for the Saturday Night Gala is Thomas King (The Inconvenient Indian) in conversation with Anishinaabe journalist Tanya Talaga. King, whose father is Cherokee, was the first person of Indigenous ancestry to deliver the Massey Lectures, which led to his 2003 book The Truth About Stories.

Harvey quipped that King is like a hero to her. But she’s also excited by other Indigenous writers at this year’s festival, including Darrel J. McLeod and Lisa Bird-Wilson. McLeod, who is from the Nehiyaw (Cree) First Nation, won the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Mamaskatch. His new book, Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity, examines how personal and historical trauma influenced his life, which included working as a school principal, treaty negotiator, and senior official at the Assembly of First Nations.

“He’s incredibly courageous and open in terms of his life experiences—sexual abuse, separation from family and his culture—and somehow he finds his way,” Harvey said.

McLeod will also lead a conversation with Talaga at the festival about her books Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City and All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

Meanwhile, Bird-Wilson, a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer, won several awards for her 2013 book Just Pretending, including the 2019 One Book, One Province honour. Her latest novel is Probably Ruby. One of the most famous Indigenous writers at the festival is Tomson Highway. His father was a caribou hunter and world championship dogsled racer; he describes his mother as a “bead-worker and quilt-maker extraordinaire”. Highway is also a nationally renowned playwright, novelist, and pianist who wrote the libretto for the first opera in the Cree language. His memoir Permanent Astonishment is a finalist for the 2021 Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

TOURISM WHISTLER/JUSTA JESKOVA

Whistler has become a cultural hub in recent years, thanks in part to the opening of the spectacular  in 2016. Designed by Patkau Architects, the permanent collection showcases a stunning collection of Indigenous masks and other Indigenous works, including The Dance Screen (The Scream Too), a finely carved red cedar dance screen by Haida Chief 7idansuu (James Hart). It also includes internationally renowned contemporary British Columbia artists such as Jeff Wall, Emily Carr, Dana Claxton, Marianne Nicolson, and Stan Douglas.

Those interested in exploring Indigenous culture will also be attracted to the , which is in the Upper Village. It evokes the feeling of a Squamish Longhouse and Lil’wat Istken (earthen dwelling). The building’s Great Hall offers incredible insights into the cultures of these two First Nations, featuring hand-carved cedar welcome figures and a series of cedar canoes, some suspended from the air, all in a bright space revealing mountain and forest views.

For those who want to experience the forest in all of its glory, the Whistler Writers Fest has that covered, too.

CBC Radio host Grant Lawrence will moderate a walk with festivalgoers and three writers—McLeod, White, and Ohlin—through the woods in Lost Lake Park. Harvey noted that participants will stop at various places along the trail for author readings and to sip hot chocolate.

“That event is incredibly popular,” Harvey said. “It goes on whether there’s rain or shine.”

The Whistler Writers Festival runs from Thursday, October 14, to Sunday, October 17. Book your literary getaway at . Fall offers great value on accommodation with rooms from $129 per night plus a free $100 dining voucher when you book a stay of three nights or more.

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