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…


Access The Good Life, Don’t Own It

The concept of renting something versus owning is so heretical to some, especially those of my parents’ generation, that it’s frequently labeled as “throwing money away.” The freedom of using an item anytime you wish, for “free,” is very compelling….


The Surface That Serves 5 Kids

Finding the right dining table for a small space with a large brood is an ongoing evolution for us. The goal is to have something that scales to seat 7-10 people, without using up an inordinate amount of floor space….

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…

The art room is another highly utilized area when kids want to get some of their own space to create.

Crafting an Art Space from In-Suite Storage

When we first moved into this condo, one of the more curious aspects was that it had “in-suite storage.” So instead of storing all our unused junk in a chicken wire-surrounded, padlocked area on P1 or P2, we got a small,…

Kids birthday party

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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The Cloakroom Comes Home

My husband and I struggle with hall closet storage in our apartment; our coat/shoe closet won’t stay closed, for jackets and footwear spilling out. Our 3-shelf closet organizer has no room for more shoes when people visit. My small collection…


“Where Are Your Kids’ Toys?”

One question I get asked a lot is, “Where are all your kids’ toys?” When we first moved into our condo, for a long time we had a couple giant tupperware bins in the corner of the living room that…

Keva, a mat and much more in play here, via our oldest.

Top 10 Tips for Toys in Condos

Since I launched 5 Kids 1 Condo, one of the most common line of questions from our readers has to do with kids toys. Where do we stow them, what type of toys are best, why do we have so…

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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…


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…


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…