Buildex Vancouver: Construction, development, property industry conference – Feb 15 & 16, 2017

MetroVanWatch and CityHallWatch are dedicated to the citizen and grassroots perspective, but this annual industry event at Vancouver Convention Centre West may be of interest to many people outside the industry, with seminars, workshops, panel discussions, and a free industry exhibition.

BUILDEX Vancouver is Western Canada’s largest tradeshow and conference for the Construction, Renovation, Architecture, Interior Design and Property Management industries. With over 600 exhibits, and more than 80 educational seminars BUILDEX attracts over 14,000 attendees annually.

Example of seminar streams:

  • Building Code & Envelope Solutions
  • Building Performance & Energy Efficiency
  • Legal, Regulatory & Risk Management
  • New Products, Technologies, Innovations & Materials
  • Professional & Personal Skills Development
  • Project Planning, Management & Best Practices
  • Health & Wellness
  • Facility Management & Building Maintenance
  • Property Management
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Implications of dredging Lower Fraser River to increase commercial shipping: Risk to industries, services, fisheries (preliminary report by Trevor Langevin)

In the context of plans by the Province of British Columbia to construct a bridge over the Lower Fraser River to replace the George Massey Tunnel, MetroVanWatch is posting this preliminary report by Trevor Langevin, with permission. Download: fraser-river-dredge-report-sept-2016-langevin


Implications of Dredging the Lower Fraser River for the Purpose of Increasing Commercial Shipping: The Risk to Specific Industries, Services & Fisheries

Preliminary Report

Trevor Langevin
September 2016


The waters of the upper Fraser river have come to the top of their river banks nearly every year. Every year there is a flood watch during the spring snow melt run off. In the lower sections, the river has breached the lower mainland’s dike system, the two worst years being 1894 and 1948.

The river is dangerous and unpredictable when too much water from melting snow runoff hits the river at the same time as the oceans high tide. Steps to tame the river happened when the larger Southern main flow was dredged to a nearly uniform 35 foot depth, from the mouth of the river up to the New Westminster bridge. The Northern channels of the river were used mainly for the logging industries so were not regularly dredged. Dredging has happened right up to the Mission bridge during the last 100 years. The ships that require the river to be dredged to a 35ft. depth all used the larger Southern flow.

The new bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel is in controversy because the news media has found inconsistent reasons for its being pushed by the Government. To the Governments point, yes the current tunnel is backlogged, but to the common person, that is not reason to decommission the tunnel before its service life has been reached, which is the opinion of BC residents. Continue reading

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Highrise towers under construction: Vancouver 68, Surrey 14, Burnaby 100

This Global News story reveals some interesting facts and questions.

Highrise towers under construction: 68 in Vancouver, 14 in Surrey, and 100 in Burnaby. The story goes on to point out that developers are benefiting tremendously by proximity to transit stations. Are they paying municipalities enough for the increased burden on infrastructure? And what about all the demolitions to make way for the new construction. Interview with Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan. Worth watching.


800 units at Edmonds and Kingsway by Cressey. Anthem last month sold 700 units, an all-time record for number of units sold over a short period of time.


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Burnaby Demovictions: Political Opposition to Host Town Hall Meeting – Dec 2 (Fri)

From a media release

Burnaby Demovictions: Political Opposition to Host Town Hall Meeting

November 29, 2016 – Burnaby – Burnaby First Coalition (BFC) will host a town hall meeting to discuss possible alternatives to the planned mass rezoning, demolition and eviction of thousands of lower income families from Metrotown’s Maywood neighbourhood sanctioned by Burnaby’s Mayor and Council. BFC is an unaffiliated municipal political party that unites residents of diverse backgrounds seeking fairness, inclusion and transparency in local government.
The event will be held at Metrotown Library meeting room 6100 Willingdon Avenue Friday December 2, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. 

The meeting will provide an opportunity to hear the background to the demovictions and highlight possible planning alternatives. Residents will have the opportunity to share their ideas on city planning.

The  Local Government Act (LGA) requires that re-zonings be consistent with Official Community Plans. However, the Metrotown Community Plan states that the Maywood low-rises “should be protected”, not demolished, and sets maximum density and building height far below those that Council has approved.
Continue reading

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Citizens slam rezoning plan for 36 storeys at 6695 Dunblane in Burnaby. Anti-demolition rally, public hearing tonight Nov 22

Derek Corrigan, photo City Burnaby 2014

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan.

Burnaby City Council at a public hearing tonight (at 4949 Canada Way in Council Chambers 7 pm) will decide on a rezoning in Metrotown. Citizen activist Helen Ward has shared with MetroVanWatch her letter to Mayor and Council, pointing out some serious problems with due process. Proponents of “abundant housing” often lobby councils in the region for any housing development, anywhere, at any cost. But if these issues raised by Ms. Ward are all true, there are some serious problems with due process and integrity of the local government. See notes at bottom about the developer, Transca.

Citizens plan a rally and media event at 6:30 held by “Stop Demovictions.” If this rezoning is approved, four apartment buildings with 84 low-end market rental units be demolished.

Transca’s rezoning was scheduled to appear before council in September but the planners sent it back to be reappraised. Now it is coming forward to complete the rezoning of every apartment building on Dunblane Street.

“Stop Demovictions” is calling on Burnaby City Council to stop the rezonings of this site, declare an immediate moratorium on demolitions of all rental apartments, and immediately stop their proposed “downtown” Metrotown plan, which would make demovictions the law for 3,000 apartment units in the area.

For more information about the campaign email or visit

Basic details of project:
Mixed-Use Commercial / Residential
REZ # 15-49 IBI Group
Address: 6695 Dunblane, and 4909, 4929, 4971 Imperial Street
Multi-family residential tower with street-oriented townhouses fronting Dunblane Avenue and live/work units fronting Imperial Street. First Reading 2016 November 07 and Public Hearing 2016 November 22. Developer is Transca Development. A single 36-storey apartment tower with a 2-storey form fronting Nelson Avenue, a 3-storey residential form fronting Dunblane Avenue, and a 4-storey form fronting Imperial that includes 2-storey townhouses with double height amenity space above. Total of 313 units, and a total density of 5.11 floor area ratio per the RM-5s designation.

Text of Ms. Ward’s letter to Burnaby Mayor and Council, dated 22-Nov-2016

Dear Mayor Corrigan and Council,

I object to the rezoning proposed for Maywood on Dunblane.

These rezonings
1 – are in violation of the existing Metrotown Plan which calls for these buildings to be “protected”, and sets maximum heights and densities considerably less than those proposed.

2 – are therefore in violation of the Local Government Act and illegal.


3- Councils proposed revised Metrotown Plan has not been passed.
Continue reading

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Massey Bridge deal killer? Foundation bedrock below 600 – 700 meters of wet sand/mud

Gov BC image of bridge replacing George Massey Tunnel, from YouTubeThis rather shocking information is in a letter by Tom Morrison to the editor of the Delta Optimist, November 18, 2016. Could this information be the death knell for the bridge?


Bridge foundations can’t find solid ground
Delta Optimist

Re: Tunnel safety called out, Nov. 9

So the George Massey Tunnel is an accident black spot and difficult to get to when an accident happens. Everyone knows what happens when there is an accident on the Lions Gate and/or Second Narrows bridges.

OK, a fire is more dangerous in a tunnel than on a bridge – unless the fire damages the bridge structure. And, sadly, high bridges seem to be more of a focus for actual or threatened suicides than tunnels. You can argue that kind of safety back and forth.

There’s a bigger safety concern than that. In 2013, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure contracted two geotechnical investigation boreholes, BH 13-01 and BH 13-02, on the north and south shores of the Fraser River, respectively, at the site of the proposed towers for a cable-stayed bridge. Continue reading

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“A palace for bureaucrats”? Metro Vancouver (GVRD) new headquarters

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In December of 2015, Metro Vancouver finalized the intent to move its headquarters by acquiring Metrotower III with a purchase price of CDN $205 million. Metro Vancouver’s board chair, Greg Moore, defends the purchase by claiming that the existing offices were old and that the transfer would bypass maintenance costs associated with upgrading the building’s leaky ceilings and unpredictable elevators (Klassen 2016). The shocking irony of this situation comes twofold.


2016, current Metro Vancouver headquarters building, just 30 years old. Photo credit: Google Street View

For one, hearing the organization that is in charge of maintaining our cities’ infrastructure (sewers, dams, etc.) let their own office-building fall into such despair is daunting (Klassen 2016). Secondly, weren’t these the same administrators who had vigorously advocated the public support of a sales tax increase to pay for transit improvements? Metro Vancouver would also need to spend millions of additional dollars to facilitate the move and renovation costs for the new building (Deutsch 2016). The organization went on to further justify the move by claiming that it would only cost taxpayers $5 or $6 dollars annually for 15 years to pay for the new building (Field 2015).

Analysts, however, have taken a more skeptical outlook on these figures. The Canadian Federation of Business took into account the population growth in the Metro Vancouver area and estimated that spending is close to 3.5 times the 13% of growth that has been witnessed (Field 2015). In other words, it will cost a lot more than just 5-6 dollars over 15 years for taxpayers. Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation gave his perspective on the situation: “This is a sign of just how ‘out of touch’ Metro Vancouver is with the common taxpayer” and he called this “a palace for bureaucrats” (Field 2015). Continue reading

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