Category: Urbanism

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Do I Force This Lifestyle on My Kids?

An interesting thing happened last week. Perhaps a milestone in notoriety for this site, or merely a part of its evolution. I’m still deciding which. CTV, one of Canada’s national broadcasters, airs “The Social,” one of those midday panel chat…

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Adrian on CBC TV, a Podcast and YouTube

Apologies for the extended absence. It was a busy summer, as parents the world over understand. We managed to do some car-free camping on Saltspring Island and the kids attended three different summer camps concurrently, walking and aqua-busing their own…

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Open House: A Video Tour of the Condo

Just last week the Georgia Straight – the main weekly arts and culture paper here in Vancouver – did a video interview with me as part of their “Open House” series. Open House is a new feature aimed at looking inside…

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In Support of Purpose-Built Rental Housing for Families

At last night’s Vancouver City Council meeting, I spoke in favour of a development that would add 110 secured rental housing units at 18th and Commercial (a primarily detached house neighbourhood in Vancouver, outside of the city core). 37% of the…

How My Kids Learned To Cook Dinner

The demise of a long term relationship is always a great time to take stock of how you’re embracing life. Even notwithstanding that, I was long overdue for a hard look at how I was living versus how I wanted to…

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Opportunity Cost: Suburbia’s Expensive Secret

I just got back from doing another interview on the high price of Vancouver living. Everyone’s fixated on the ever-escalating sticker price of Vancouver real estate. From high real estate costs ($2.5M for the average West Side home) to the…

The kids proudly display their Compass cards (transit passes) on our first official day of car-free living.

Car-Free and Carefree in Vancity

I’ve got five kids, and in today’s one-kid society this means I get a lot of unsolicited advice that starts with “You’ve got five kids! You can’t possibly do [fill in the blank].” This is especially true when it comes…

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Teaching Our Kids Transit

These days it’s common to hear people of a certain age (my age, let’s be honest) waxing nostalgic about the old days. We walked to school alone, rode our bike for miles, played until well past sundown, lit everything on…

In years past, Vancouver condo owners have been hit with rain screening bills in the tens of thousands.

Reader Mail: Owning Your House vs Renting

Hi, I saw your article and it was a pleasant read. I just have one question for you. I agree with you completely with renting a house being cheaper (saving more money) than buying. But everybody I speak with thinks…

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How To Rent a Family Friendly Condo

I’m always eager to help people find a new place to live, in part because I’ve done it so often myself that I feel compelled to re-use this expertise somehow. So in the midst of doing my latest impression of…

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Kids and Condo Windows: From Freaky to Fun

One of the biggest concerns when we first moved into our condo on the 29th floor of a downtown highrise was kid safety. It’s a corner unit with floor-to-ceiling windows in every room, which is fantastic for letting in natural…

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Kids, snakes, and spiders — oh my!

I have always loved animals. When I was a kid, I kept lizards, salamanders, snakes — anything I could get my hands on. And I’ve always had a particular soft spot for the critters that generally don’t get much love from…

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Downsize your life, upsize your happiness

The new year is a time when many households, including mine, take a good long look at our finances. As a father of five small kids, I’m particularly interested in how other families organize their finances to achieve a good…

Our official sign man in action.

“Hello, Neighbour”: Kids, Socks, and a Lesson in Kindness

Vancouver’s infamous Downtown Eastside (DTES) is Canada’s poorest postal code. It’s home to some of our most marginalized people – addicts, the homeless, sex workers. It’s also right next door to where we live, in trendy, upwardly mobile Yaletown, which…

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Our Top 5 Sweet Treats in Vancouver for Kids

We eat pretty well every meal at home, but sometimes it’s nice to take the kids out for a treat. There are tons of well-known, and some lesser-known, treat haunts in Vancouver. But what’s worth its weight in sugar are those…