Monitors what is happening in the Norquay area of East Vancouver
      Provides a forum for residents to communicate
      Documents how city officials implement CityPlan in Vancouver’s second “neighbourhood centre”

The interests of speculators, a developer-funded City Council, and compromised city planners may go against what renters and homeowners want to see happen in their neighborhood. Bad planning can contribute to damage of organic social fabric, loss of affordable rental housing, needless manufacture of unoccupied investment condos, skyrocketing property taxes, artificially accelerated rates of development, more people crowded into the same unimproved public space, aggravation of problems with parking and vehicle traffic, loss of views, poor quality in design, and severe shadow impacts. What is happening to Norquay calls for continuing independent community-based review. Please keep coming back to Eye on Norquay to stay up to date on news and to share your perspective.

→   See Resources in right sidebar learn more about Norquay and city planning in Vancouver

[ Eye on Norquay complements the coverage of 2007-2008 provided by predecessor Norquay Neighbours ]


Written by eyeonnorquay

14 February 2011 at 11:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Picking on the Poor

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… to Serve Vancouver’s “Development” Industry

“Every neighbourhood needs to do their part in taking some of this housing [for the homeless] and helping care for and engage that population”  — Gil Kelley, General Manager of Planning, Urban Design & Sustainability, City of Vancouver (27 Nov 2017)

Of Diversions and Displacement

Smoke from localized brush fires over the siting of “temporary modular housing” (TMH) should not divert an onlooker’s gaze from Vancouver’s main social conflagration. For well over a decade, the City of Vancouver, in the service of the development industry, has conducted overt war on the poor. In 2006 Project Civil City marked an early low point for this new century.

Who are the frontline casualties in this conflict? The latest count of 2,138 persons recognized as homeless. What is the current main diversionary tactic? A bureaucracy that sets off skirmishes in Vancouver’s second-tier poor neighborhoods and then accuses those areas of being filled with selfish NIMBYs.

The starting point for all of this is 2,138 homeless people

         Who find themselves perpetually moved along on the sidewalk
         Who often have their few belongings taken away and thrown out by city functionaries
         Whose right to set up a tent and to congregate for safety is subjected to constant challenge

Homeless people fall at the extreme end of a larger spectrum of deliberate displacement. At the more fortunate end are people who can leave Vancouver because they see no reasonable future for themselves in a city being sold out to globalized wealth. All are persons victimized by an ethos of greed that traces back to the corporate agendas underlying Expo 86 and the 2010 Olympics. [1]

The inevitable counterpart of this greed is the fear suffered by people who get exploited and/or shoved out of their familiar surroundings. In a trickle-out phenomenon, the homeless provoke anxieties and defensiveness in every neighborhood that lies beyond the greater Downtown Eastside area. Why is this happening now? Proximity to Vancouver’s urban core has turned the Downtown Eastside, a longstanding haven for the city’s poorest, into a prime target for gentrification — and for the resulting severest degree of displacement, no home at all.

Scatter and Social Mix

It is telling that the City of Vancouver is making its first moves to “scatter” TMH into the poorest areas of the rest of the city. The notion of TMH “scattered across the city” emerges in Cheryl Chan’s July 2017 reporting on an interview with Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas, General Manager of Community Services. [2] A report that went to City Council on that same day to expedite the spread of TMH offers up this contradictory perspective: “The proposed authority does not extend to single-family (RS) zones” (page 2). [3] Thus is a strong degree of class privilege protection built into a measure that might otherwise promote a possibilty for genuine citywide equity.

The concept of “scatter” is a first cousin to the concept of “social mix.” A revealing instance of the phrase “social mix” occurs in the context of a September 2013 review of four simultaneous “community plans” — for Downtown Eastside, West End, Marpole, and Grandview-Woodland (pdf 18 / A3). [4] Only in the planning for Downtown Eastside does “social mix” emerge as a concern. The City of Vancouver seems to raise the issue of “social mix” mainly in the context of gentrifying areas that house the poor. “Social mix” thus acquires a special restricted Vancouver meaning: to displace poorer people in order to provide opportunity for richer people.

In this same vein, the City of Vancouver also professed a policy of “social mix” for “publicly-owned lands in Southeast False Creek, and defined that aspiration as a ⅓ affordable housing, ⅓ modest market and ⅓ market housing mix” (page 15). [5]

David Hulchanski’s recent income mapping of Vancouver [6] shows Marpole as the lowest-income area on the west side of Vancouver (slide 24):



A City of Vancouver document from May 2006 provides 2001 census data tailored to the 479 acres that then comprised the Norquay Village study area (this encompassed the 4410 Kaslo site newly proposed for TMH on 1 December 2017). Notable figures include a Chinese population of 48.1% and a “population in low income households” at 32.0% of 10,905. At that point Norquay organically had already achieved the low-income end of the ⅓ ⅓ ⅓ “mix” touted as desirable. It seems certain that Norquay’s subsequent planning and development has destroyed that existing balance. In a period of about four years about 11% of Norquay’s mass-rezoned 1,912 properties have been redeveloped. This change usually amounts to eliminating the oldest and most affordable housing stock and replacing it with the newest and least affordable.



Not coincidentally, both of these two local areas — Marpole and Norquay — were subjected to planning for mass rezonings during the past decade. Real estate interests have viewed both neighborhoods as de facto “brownfields” ripe for harvesting profits in, since easy build-out opportunities on former industrial lands are ceasing to exist.

Problems, Problems

A good candidate for Vancouver’s top problem is 2,138 people who have no home. That specific number has to be a lowball figure. As veteran housing activist Jean Swanson has put it:



So far, TMH has amounted to an intermittent and stopgap approach to attempting to provide even a temporary solution to this major problem. The TMH initiative fumbled big-time at its very inception. On 13 December 2016, City of Vancouver yanked the four specific proposed sites off the table at the last minute via a “yellow memo.” [8] Council went on to approve the new policy, but as policy suddenly left with no ground to stand on.

A time very close to Christmas can be a good time to minimize the scrutiny that increases embarrassment. The coincidence here is striking. It will be one year to the very day that City of Vancouver staff will be bringing their “Community Information Session” on TMH at 4410 Kaslo to Norquay and to other area residents.



No wonder the City of Vancouver web site for TMH fails to link to the backstory information that would permit easy discovery of previous fails. A month later, on 31 January 2017 the City of Vancouver fired Mukhtar Latif, “chief housing officer and CEO of the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency.” Upper echelon bureaucrat Latif had spent well over three years in delivering nothing but a snafu. [9]

During another year of bumbling onward, what more has the City of Vancouver produced? One demonstration project of 40 units located at 220 Terminal Avenue, and one massive blowback situation in Marpole.


Any genuine solution must start by incorporating solid input from persons directly affected by homelessness, and from persons who have the trust of homeless people and are intimately connected with their circumstances on an ongoing basis. This by definition excludes City of Vancouver staff.

Distrust starts at the top. Recent Vancouver homeless history provides a singular instance of a meeting where Mayor Gregor Robertson personally signed a pledge that the City of Vancouver would provide “100% welfare/pension rate community-controlled social housing at 58 West Hastings.” [10]



At about the same time, the preceding decade of history for that especially contentious and historic site was written up. [11] What has happened in the year since? Gregor Robertson has once again added to his personal dishonor by reneging on this public pledge. [12]

Any genuine solution must amount to something more than portable SROs shoved randomly and opportunistically into sometimes hostile environments, with City of Vancouver officials like Mayor Gregor Robertson occasionally showing up to finger-wag at local residents about how they should play nice.

Homelessness is a major problem that has to be owned up to honestly by every resident of Vancouver. Appropriate funding must be allocated to the situation. The City of Vancouver can always find money for what it really wants to do. Big money fast, like the untold hundreds of millions to bail out the Malek developers of Olympic Village. [13] Big money fast, like $55 million to buy the Arbutus strip of land from Canadian Pacific. [14] The City of Vancouver has to stop crying poor whenever it comes to spending money to house the poor.

Through recently completed planning, Norquay is already slated to provide 100 units of non-market housing at the 2400 Motel site on Kingsway. This is land that the City of Vancouver already owns. Eye on Norquay has specifically brought this matter to the attention of senior planning officials, both in person and through formal correspondence on 19 June 2017. All Norquay residents deserve an explanation as to why the sudden makeshift measures of TMH should take priority over the results of an extensive formal planning process that concluded seven years ago.

Who would want 50 temporary portable SRO units when they could have 100 permanent purpose-built dwelling units? This is a matter of logic. The emotionalism of finger-pointing and name-calling that the City of Vancouver directs at singled-out poorer neighborhoods needs to stop now. Misdirection is a shameful substitute for considered and transparent planning.

[1]  Two revealing quotations:

“If the Olympic bid wasn’t happening we would have to invent something.”  — Jack Poole, Vancouver real estate developer and VANOC chair
Frank O’Brien. Western perspective: Taxpayers reluctant skeleton in 2010 bid. Western Investor (June 2002) A6

“Nobody wants to admit it, but Vancouver has become a resort city where rich foreigners live a few months per year … It’s a $6-billion ad buy [with the Olympics]. There’s never been anything like it. It will change Vancouver, forever.”  — Bob Rennie, Vancouver condominium marketer
Miro Cernetig. The views from on high are nice, but not many can afford them. Vancouver Sun (25 Jan 2010) A1

[2]  Cheryl Chan. Vancouver wants more modular housing built to help homeless. Vancouver Sun (26 July 2017)
Vancouver wants more modular housing built to help homeless

[3]  Council Report: Zoning and Development By-law No. 3575 – Amendment to the General Regulations to Delegate Discretionary Relaxation Powers to Expedite the Delivery of Low Cost Housing for Persons Receiving Assistance (26 July 2017)

[4]  Council Report: Community Plans: Next Steps (25 Sept 2013)

[5]  Sustainable Community Assessment for Southeast False Creek (28 Jan 2005)

[6]  J. David Hulchanski. What is Happening to My Neighbourhood? The Socio-Spatial Restructuring of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal 1970 to 2015 (Dec 2017)

[7]  Council Agenda: Item 2. Temporary Modular Housing Definition And Regulations: Proposed Amendments To Existing City-Owned Cd-1 Sites, And Design Guidelines (13 Dec 2016)
Includes: Policy Report, Staff Presentation, Summary and Recommendation, and Memorandum

[8]  Matt Kieltyka. Vancouver’s chief housing officer Mukhtar Latif fired. Vancouver Metro (31 Jan 2017)

[9]  Stefania Seccia. West Hastings ‘tent city’ could be around for years. Megaphone Magazine/Tyee (4 Aug 2016)

[10]  Kai Rajala / Nathan Crompton. Battle of 58 West Hastings: The History of a Fight for Housing, 2007–Present. Mainlander (27 July 2016)

[11]  City screws DTES again: 58 W Hastings Protest & news conference (24 Oct 2017)

[12]  Bob Mackin. City stands firm on Olympic Village loss. Vancouver Courier (21 Oct 2011) 19

[13]  Frances Bula. Vancouver acquires Arbutus rail corridor from CP for $55-million. Globe and Mail (7 Mar 2016)

Written by eyeonnorquay

12 December 2017 at 4:31 pm

Temporary Modular Housing

with one comment

4410 Kaslo Street Across from 29th Avenue SkyTrain Station

On Friday 1 December 2017 news came out that City of Vancouver looks to place “temporary modular housing” on the site of a community garden that lies just to the north of the Norquay area of East Vancouver. The three-storey structure(s) would contain “approximately 50 single-occupancy homes” and “be in place for up to five years, with the possibility to extend another five years” (notification sheet image below).

        Community Information Sessions
        4 pm to 7 pm  •  Wednesday 13 December 2017
        4 pm to 7 pm  •  Thursday 14 December 2017
        First Hungarian Presbyterian Church, 2791 East 27th Avenue


     Vancouver Courier/Dan Toulgoet Photo of 4410 Kaslo Street

Norquay and Then Not Norquay

This Kaslo Street site fell within the boundaries of Norquay for the first 3½ years of planning — from the outset in March 2006 until an abrupt cut-off, announced by then Director of Planning Brent Toderian to Norquay Working Group on 2 November 2009. City planners informed Norquay in writing on 30 Jan 2010:

        Input received through the Norquay Village planning process
        will be included in the [future] station area planning phase.

        (Open House Panel 3 — Station Area Planning in Norquay)

The Housing Vancouver Strategy adopted by City Council on 29 November 2017 sets the highest priority on launching “station area planning” early in 2018 for both the 29th Avenue and Nanaimo SkyTrain stations.

In July 2017 Cheryl Chan reported that City of Vancouver had hopes of seeing 600 modular units “scattered across the city at up to 15 under-used or vacant sites pending development.” As of early December 2017, the City of Vancouver web site identifies 7 locations: 220 Terminal Avenue, 650 West 57th Avenue, 1115 Franklin Street, 1131 Franklin Street, 1141 Franklin Street, 501 Powell Street, 4410 Kaslo Street. A mapping of those locations shows a dramatic skew in geographic distribution so far:


     Seven Vancouver Temporary Modular Housing Sites as of 3 Dec 2017

Poor Doors Escalate to Poor Areas

With 7 of perhaps 15 sites now designated for temporary modular housing, the process may have reached a half-way mark for the current round. The current “scatter” of temporary modular housing shows a distinct socioeconomic pattern. This particular new City of Vancouver “planning” effort apparently seeks to go citywide with the poor-door philosophy of shunning social mix. Planners have planned for, and Council or staff have approved, that same poor-door philosophy in controversial condo development projects like these:

•  Strathcona Village at 955 East Hastings — 18 September 2012 Public Hearing

•  The Jervis at 1171 Jervis Street — 4 May 2015 Development Permit Board

•  1068-1080 Burnaby Street and 1318 Thurlow Street — 22 November 2017 Open House

In other words, just as certain condo residents are expected to enter through a lower-class doorway, certain Vancouver residents are expected to find their housing in a lower-class neighbourhood. If this is how the city wants things to be, then specific property surtax should be levied on local areas that fail to shoulder their load in helping to house the homeless.

In September 2017 Jean Swanson, by-election candidate for City Council, and first runner-up in the election voting, said this to Global News:

        Six hundred units a year, for three years, that’s only 1,800.
        We already have 2,138 homeless people, so it’s not enough.



     Notification Sheet from City of Vancouver


Eye on Norquay will continue to add to selected citations listed below. Ordering is reverse chronological, with newest at top. Last update: 14 December 2017

City of Vancouver Materials

City of Vancouver Web Site for Temporary Modular Housing  (ongoing)

Operations Management Plan — Draft  (undated)
Temporary Modular Housing at 500-650 West 57th Avenue

Norquay School News — Advertisement  (December 2017)

Council Agenda: 7. TEXT AMENDMENTS: Amendments to Official Development Plans to Add Temporary Modular Housing as a Permitted Use  (6 Dec 2017)
Council Agenda: 8. TEXT AMENDMENT: Amendments to the Regional Context Statement Official Development Plan By-law To Facilitate the Development of Temporary Modular Housing  (6 Dec 2017)

City of Vancouver News: 4410 Kaslo Street planned as next site for temporary modular housing  (1 Dec 2017)

Council Report: Amendments to Official Development Plans to Add Temporary Modular Housing as a Permitted Use  (14 Nov 2017)

Council Report: Temporary Modular Housing Contract Approval  (4 Oct 2017)

Council Agenda: Item 1. Presentation – Housing Vancouver Update – Part II – Addressing Vancouver’s Lower Income and Homeless Residents  (26 July 2017)

Council Report: Zoning and Development By-law No. 3575 – Amendment to the General Regulations to Delegate Discretionary Relaxation Powers to Expedite the Delivery of Low Cost Housing for Persons Receiving Assistance  (26 July 2017)

Memorandum: Staffing Update – Housing Policy Group to move to Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability  (30 Mar 2017)

Council Agenda: Item 2. Temporary Modular Housing Definition And Regulations: Proposed Amendments To Existing City-Owned Cd-1 Sites, And Design Guidelines  (13 Dec 2016)
Includes: Policy Report, Staff Presentation, Summary and Recommendation, and Memorandum

Kaslo / 29th Avenue SkyTrain Site

Penny Daflos / Kendra Mangione. Security present at meeting on homeless housing.
CTV News Vancouver (14 Dec 2017)

Saša Lakić. Collingwood residents want more info on modular housing. Vancouver Courier (14 Dec 2017)

Nadia Stewart. Kaslo modular housing fight (video). Global News (8 Dec 2017)

Charlie Smith. City and B.C. Housing to host open houses before creating modular housing on Powell, Franklin, and Kaslo streets. Georgia Straight (3 Dec 2017)

Mike Howell. City identifies another site for homeless housing in Vancouver. Vancouver Courier (1 Dec 2017)

Poor Doors

Jen St. Denis. City planners to review separate entrances for social housing units. Vancouver Metro (4 Dec 2017)

Jon Azpiri. ‘Poor doors’ and ‘poor playgrounds’: Vancouver development criticized for divisions between condos, social housing. Global News (27 Nov 2017)

Jen St. Denis. West End condo would not only have “poor door,” but poor playground. Vancouver Metro (23 Nov 2017)

Naibh O’Connor. Vancouver housing activist slams ‘poor doors.’ Vancouver Courier (6 May 2015)

Andrea Woo. Vancouver developer accused of using ‘poor door’ for low-income residents. Globe and Mail (5 May 2015)

Marpole Site

Jessica Kerr. Marpole residents ask for judicial review of modular housing. Vancouver Courier (8 Dec 2017)

Ashifa Kassam. Vancouver protesters ordered to stop blocking homeless housing project. Guardian (6 Dec 2017)

Ana Rose Walkey. B.C. Supreme Court orders end to Vancouver modular-housing protest. Globe and Mail (5 Dec 2017)

Dan Fumano / Patrick Johnston. Marpole modular housing permit receives conditional approval. Vancouver Sun (27 Nov 2017)

Travis Lupick. Modular housing for low-income residents approved for Marpole despite neighbourhood opposition. Georgia Straight (27 Nov 2017)

Jen St. Denis. Marpole students speak up in support of housing for homeless. Vancouver Metro (15 Nov 2017)

Jen St. Denis. Marpole site chosen for Vancouver’s second modular housing. Vancouver Metro (26 Oct 2017)

General and Other

Saša Lakić. Modular housing projects provide ‘a place to call home.’ Vancouver Courier (8 Dec 2017)

Dan Fumano. With more modular housing coming, city looks to learn from Marpole backlash. Vancouver Sun (14 Nov 2017)

Jean Swanson. Tax the rich with a Mansion Tax. Georgia Straight (6 Oct 2017)

Stephanie Ip. Vancouver city council awards contract to build 600 modular homes. Vancouver Sun (5 Oct 2017)

Jesse Ferreras / Nadia Stewart. 40 modular housing units. 600 more coming. Still not enough for Vancouver’s homeless: critics. Global News (20 Sept 2017)

Cheryl Chan. Vancouver wants more modular housing built to help homeless. Vancouver Sun (26 July 2017)

Carlito Pablo. City of Vancouver aims for more temporary modular housing to take in poor people. Georgia Straight (26 July 2017)

Jen St. Denis. Vancouver’s modular housing not as inexpensive as it seems, argues real estate broker. Vancouver Metro (9 Jan 2017)

Jean Swanson. Unpacking government claims about homelessness. Georgia Straight (20 June 2016)


Written by eyeonnorquay

9 December 2017 at 11:53 am

Norquay Heritage House

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Public Hearing for Norquay Heritage House
Tuesday — 12 December 2017 — 6:00 pm

Previous related postings at Eye on Norquay:

•  Slapdash Negligence  (15 June 2015)
•  5441 Wales Street  (10 July 2015)
•  A Little Simpler  (4 Sept 2015)

A 97-year-old house at 5471 Wales Street will be considered at a Public Hearing next week. This house is one of the very few Norquay residences listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register. Only two families have lived in the house since it was built in 1920. The house is described as being in good condition.



A proposed bylaw would “designate” the exterior of the house. This means that the building’s exterior cannot be altered without City of Vancouver approval, and that the building is not to be demolished.

A developer has purchased this house together with the adjoining property at 5443 Wales Street. As usual practice, the City grants about 10% additional density, to provide an incentive to retain a heritage property and to compensate the owner for rehabilitation and conservation costs.

In this case, the developer proposes to move the house to one corner of the site, to restore the building as heritage, and to convert the interior structure to provide multiple dwelling units. Infill units will be built on the rest of the site.

In 2015 the original development application proposed 11 dwelling units (3 in the heritage house and 8 in four duplexes) with an FSR of 1.12 (which was 25% above the zoning limit of 0.90). The current application proposes 2 dwelling units in the heritage house, three new duplexes and one single family dwelling, for a total of 9 dwelling units, with an FSR of 0.99 (which is 10% above the zoning limit of 0.90). Eight parking spaces would be provided. Details for the agenda item

        1. HERITAGE DESIGNATION: 5471 Wales Street (Cantone Residence)

can be viewed at

Anyone can register to speak at the Public Hearing by telephoning 604-829-4238 or by making online request at the web site. Written comments sent by email to will be distributed to all members of Council. If Council passes the bylaw on December 12, the City will approve the development application. This will be the last chance for residents to makes their voices heard on this project.

Written by eyeonnorquay

9 December 2017 at 11:11 am

Posted in Heritage

Nov 2017 Norquay Listings

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The following offers to sell properties in Norquay were found on Multiple Listing Service at some point during the month of November 2017. This data is collected as part of Eye on Norquay’s efforts to monitor the affordable new housing types that the Norquay Plan intended to spread across our local area. Other periods, in sequence, can be viewed with a click on the Price Data category link.

Single Family House

Address                      Ask Price     Lot (ft)     Sq Ft     Year     Zone

2255 E 30th Ave             $2,480,000     45 x 93       2176     2005     RM-9A
4863 Baldwin St             $1,699,999     33 x 93       1856     1980     RM-9A
4873 Baldwin St             $1,699,000     33 x 93       1856     1980     RM-9A
4885 Baldwin St             $1,750,000     33 x 93       1858     1997     RM-9A

2324 E 30th Ave             $1,888,000     32 x 115      1700     1956     RM-9A

2366 E 33rd Ave             $2,200,000     33 x 115                        RM-7
2374 E 33rd Ave             $2,200,000     33 x 115                        RM-7
2380 E 33rd Ave             $2,200,000     33 x 115                        RM-9A

2488 E 33rd Ave             $2,158,000     32 x 108      2160     1987     RM-9A
2498 E 33rd Ave             $2,158,000     29 x 108      1987     1987     RM-9A

2471 E 34th Ave             $1,801,800     32 x 114      2009     2002     RM-7

2495 E 34th Ave             $1,898,000     31 x 114      2000     2011     RM-7

2395 E 38th Ave             $1,989,000     40 x 143      2552     2005     RT-11

2481 E 40th Ave             $2,180,000     33 x 140      2776     1977     RT-11

4665 Baldwin St             $1,928,000     62 x 118      2705     1967     RT-11

4863/4873/4885 Baldwin St                  See 2255 E 30th Ave etc

5005 Chambers St            $2,939,000     52 x 104      1986              RM-7
5021 Chambers St            $2,049,000     34 x 104      1400              RM-7

2826 Cheyenne Ave           $1,718,000     29 x 106      1940     1958     RM-7

2681 Duke St                $2,398,000     33 x 102      1995     2013     RM-7
2683 Duke St                $1,599,000     33 x 102                        RM-7
2689 Duke St                $1,599,000     33 x 102                        RM-7

5511 Dundee St              $1,688,000     32 x 105      2015     2002     RT-11

4925 Earles St              $2,500,000     33 x 110      2178     1992     RM-7

5559 Earles St              $2,099,000     46 x 119      2490     2005     RT-11

2840 Euclid Ave             $2,980,000     50 x 122      2250     1964     RM-7

4736 Gladstone St           $2,980,000     33 x 120      2172     1996     RM-9A
4748 Gladstone St           $2,980,000     33 x 120      2172     1997     RM-9A

4762 Gothard St             $1,538,900     32 x 110      2268     1995     RT-11

2315 Kingsway               $3,500,000     33 x 105      2000     1970     KRPA

4965 Killarney St           $1,550,000     33 x 98       1883     1998     RT-11

5207 Killarney St           $1,550,000     33 x 105      1864     2002     RT-11

5264 Rhodes St              $3,500,000     32 x 157      3149     1987     RM-9A
5296 Rhodes St              $3,500,000     32 x 166      3250     1980     RM-9A

5525 Rhodes St              $1,795,000     33 x 126      2341     1984     RT-11

4616 Slocan St              $1,549,000     33 x 120      2473     1910     RM-7

4657 Slocan St              $1,649,000     33 x 110      2670     1947     RM-7

4755 Slocan St              $2,168,370     33 x 110      1450     1965     RM-7
4763 Slocan St              $2,168,370     33 x 110      2436     1973     RM-7
4771 Slocan St              $2,168,370     33 x 110      2476     1973     RM-7

5109 Slocan St              $2,388,000     34 x 104      1980     1982     RM-7
5125 Slocan St              $2,388,000     34 x 104      2040     1980     RM-7
5139 Slocan St              $2,388,000     34 x 104      1407              RM-7

5350 Slocan St              $1,599,000     33 x 104      1790     1990     RM-7

2632 Ward St                $1,800,000     33 x 102      2040     1955     RM-7

2703 Ward St                $1,518,000     33 x 102      2100              RM-7

2775 Ward St                $1,640,000     33 x 102      1700     1932     RM-7

* KRPA = Kingsway Rezoning Policy Area


Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year     Zone

2306 E 28th Ave             $1,198,000      1510      2015

2293 E 37th Ave             $1,018,000      1152      2017

2297 E 37th Ave             $  988,000      1110      2017

5237 Clarendon St           $1,288,000      1495      2015

5485 Dundee St              $1,250,000      1309      2017

5487 Dundee St              $1,250,000      1309      2017

5282 Killarney St           $2,600,000      1172      2006     KRPA

2905 Kingsway               $2,600,000      1172      2006     KRPA

2915 Kingsway               $2,600,000      1170      2011     KRPA

2917 Kingsway               $2,600,000      1170      2011     KRPA

2921 Kingsway               $2,800,000      1148      2004     KRPA

2923 Kingsway               $2,800,000      1140      2004     KRPA

2156A Mannering Ave         $1,199,000      1424      2018

2156B Mannering Ave         $1,199,000      1424      2018

2210 Mannering Ave          $1,250,000      1424      2017

2212 Mannering Ave          $1,250,000      1424      2017

2216 Mannering Ave          $1,250,000      1472      2017

2218 Mannering Ave          $1,250,000      1472      2017       

5150 Nanaimo St             $1,388,000      1356      2017

Small House

(strata title in RT-11 zone)

Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year

2355 E 41st Ave             $1,198,000      1548      2016

5512 Dundee St              $  988,000      1366      2016              

5653 Killarney St           $1,280,000      1226      2017
5661 Killarney St           $1,188,000      1424      2017

5663 Killarney St           $  988,000      1194      2017

5665 Killarney St           $1,088,000      1194      2017

Rowhouse / Stacked Townhouse

(strata title in RM-7 zone)

Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year

5194-2601 E 37th Ave        $  948,000      1224      2017

5198-2601 E 37th Ave        $  628,000       841      2017

5186 Chambers St            $  635,000       649      2017

5196 Chambers St            $1,188,000      1396      2017

2763 Duke St                $1,298,000      1982      2017

2765 Duke St                $1,298,000      1982      2017


(strata title in CD-1 zonings)

Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year

301-4893 Clarendon St         $508,000       900      1996

312-4893 Clarendon St         $489,000       827      1996

209-4815 Eldorado Mews        $419,000       435      2013             

1907-4815 Eldorado Mews       $668,000       700      2013

2203-4815 Eldorado Mews       $516,800       544      2013

PH2-4818 Eldorado Mews        $568,000       634      2013

326-2239 Kingsway             $599,000       883      2011

516-2689 Kingsway             $598,000       746      2014

703-2689 Kingsway             $399,699       475      2014

910-2689 Kingsway             $639,000       777      2014
Price Change:                 $599,000 

1102-2689 Kingsway            $426,000       490      2015

301-2973 Kingsway             $480,000       503      2013

304-4888 Nanaimo Street       $548,999       577      2012

2220 Kingsway

The listings below are for Kensington Gardens, the Westbank project
with 400+ units under construction, with completion projected for 2018

Address                       Ask Price    Sq Ft

102-2220 Kingsway              $899,000     1023

103-2220 Kingsway              $988,000     1018

310-2220 Kingsway              $738,000      777

511-2220 Kingsway              $768,000      894

518-2220 Kingsway              $495,000      529           

528-2220 Kingsway              $488,888      503

609-2220 Kingsway              $790,000      894

906-2220 Kingsway              $954,000     1072

1002-2220 Kingsway             $748,000      438

1012-2220 Kingsway             $768,000      812

1102-2220 Kingsway             $768,000      896

1106-2220 Kingsway             $535,000      512

1206-2220 Kingsway           $1,068,888     1060

1211-2220 Kingsway             $788,000      717

1605-2220 Kingsway           $1,088,800      980

1703-2220 Kingsway             $515,000      496

1708-2220 Kingsway             $788,000      720

1805 PH5-2220 Kingsway         $949,999      784

NE315-2220 Kingsway            $738,900      790

NE626-2220 Kingsway            $419,800      441

NE811-2220 Kingsway            $726,000      812

NE1103-2220 Kingsway           $478,000      496   

NE1502-2220 Kingsway           $830,000      896

NE1611-2220 Kingsway           $708,000      717

NE PH 1-2220 Kingsway        $1,098,000      821

NE PH 6-2220 Kingsway          $884,900      807

P307-2220 Kingsway             $489,800      476

S1008-2220 Kingsway            $948,000      992

W605-2220 Kingsway             $469,800      510

W1505-2220 Kingsway            $999,000      980

W1510-2220 Kingsway            $699,000      777

W PH 1-2220 Kingsway           $828,000      755

?-2220 Kingsway              $1,089,000     1060


Written by eyeonnorquay

8 December 2017 at 12:55 am

Posted in Price Data

Housing Vancouver Strategy

with one comment

On 29 November 2017 Vancouver City Council heard from speakers to the 248-page report

Housing Vancouver Strategy (2018 – 2027) and 3-Year Action Plan (2018 – 2020)

Eye on Norquay producers Joseph Jones and Jeanette Jones saw this occasion as a valuable opportunity to mesh Norquay concerns with this new expression of City of Vancouver policy direction. Here is what each of us said to Council as speakers 10 and 11 to the agenda item.

Joseph Jones on Housing Vancouver Strategy

The following comment focuses on two concepts mentioned — but scarcely mentioned — in the new Housing Vancouver Strategy. Those two concepts are amenities and Neighbourhood Centres.

Yesterday Gil Kelley mentioned amenities once. He stated that amenities should be for QUOTE not just a few good neighborhoods UNQUOTE. Thank you for that, Gil Kelley.

Throughout the 248 pages of the report, “amenities” are almost always taken for granted, and they are presented as something that already exists. On only three pages * does the report in any way contemplate the provision of amenity — but even then, always as “other community amenities” subordinated to housing, and always as something vague that might somehow be extracted from new density somewhere at some future time.

I move on to Neighborhood Centres. Five separate pages in the report mention “neighbourhood centres.” **

Over a period of fifteen years, the City of Vancouver put many millions of dollars into a massive city planning program.

Neighbourhood Centres was a core concept. During that undertaking, city planners remade two adjacent local areas along Kingsway in the heart of East Vancouver. Both projects encompassed hundreds of acres. In 2004 the City mass rezoned 1,577 properties, and in 2010 another 1,912.

From what we residents can see so far, that flipping of thousands of properties over to a denser zoning was all that the City of Vancouver ever really cared about.

The planning for the first neighbourhood centre at Kingsway & Knight was never completed. To take that approach could fairly be called hit and run. Then the City of Vancouver web site remake of 2012 mysteriously disappeared Kingsway & Knight from the list of active planning areas.

On page pdf-56/A-34 the new report presents Norquay as a Case Study applicable to the future of much of the rest of Vancouver. Mention is made there of 172 Norquay development applications received as of February 2017. Our own current count is 206, a number that leaves out the megaprojects along Kingsway. That rate of development computes as about 11% of our houses in about 4 years.

The planning for Norquay eventually produced some documents about public realm that specified public benefits. But after seven years we see little delivery on any of the promises made to Norquay. At this stage, we feel ripped off. In terms of amenities, our existing community pretty much started out with nothing — and we still have nothing, except new dwellings for more people who also have nothing.

Look at the single biggest promise made to Norquay. The 2400 Motel site on Kingsway. The City of Vancouver owns those 3.5 acres. In addition to significant new community space, that site is supposed to provide 100 units of non-market housing.

You already have the land. You need to find the will to deliver on what you promised. If you started tomorrow, we residents would be lucky to see payback by the mid-point of the Norquay Plan’s stated lifespan.

*  amenities on:  pdf 109 / B-7 ; pdf 112 / B-10 ; pdf 120 / B-18

**  Neighbourhood Centre on:  pdf 12 / report 12 ; pdf 13 / report 13 ; pdf 53 / A-31 ; pdf 55 / A-33 ; pdf 111 / B-9

Jeanette Jones on Housing Vancouver Strategy

I would like to concentrate on one proposal in this report to address Vancouver’s housing crisis. The Housing Vancouver Strategy sets the construction of 5000 two and three bedroom townhouses as a target to be reached by 2027. I have chosen to focus on this item because I live in Norquay, an area of Vancouver that has traditionally housed a high proportion of families.

The 2010 Norquay Plan rezoned the entire residential part of our neighbourhood for duplexes, townhouses, coach houses and four-storey apartments. Norquay is a demonstration project for this strategy to make family housing more affordable. Here we can already begin to see what is real rather than aspirational.

Our first three projects for rowhouses and stacked townhouses have been completed in 2017, and I have attended open houses for at least one unit in each of them. I have also viewed quite a few duplexes and coach houses. They are more affordable than a new single family house. But they are still not affordable to most Norquay working class families. Even that limited affordability often comes at the cost of livability.

My biggest concern is so many tiny bedrooms and inadequate living rooms. Bedrooms can be as small as 7’1″ x 8’2″, unable to hold much more than a bed. There is often no place for a child to play, or even to do homework. Many units are narrow, and the main floor is usually an open area. By the time space has been made for a kitchen and a dining area, very little remains for a living room. A rowhouse that costs $1.34M for 1974 sq.ft. should be able to seat more than four people in the living room. Where can families work and play together? Or entertain friends?

Surely, I thought, the City of Vancouver has guidelines for room sizes. But the only relevant guidelines I could find — the High Density Housing for Families With Children Guidelines — do not even mention living rooms. The specifications for bedrooms do not include any actual measurements. By way of contrast, BC Housing Design Guidelines for 3 bedroom social housing units require a minimum bedroom size of 92 sq.ft. and a living room that seats at least 6 people on sofas, loveseats, or armchairs.

I am happy to see that Housing Strategy #4 lists as its first action “Review and modernize the High-Density Housing for Families With Children Guidelines,” and that this action is already underway. However, the topics to be considered are stated as “family unit sizes, amenity requirements, and design flexibilities such as interior bedrooms.” There is no mention of room sizes.

Completing the review of these guidelines should be a priority action. Adequate minimum room sizes for bedrooms and living rooms need to be specified, before any of the proposed 5000 townhouses are approved. Unless new family housing is both affordable and livable, families will continue to move out of the City of Vancouver.

Postscript: The comment made by speaker 2 Aaron Leung (Chair of Children, Youth & Families Advisory Committee) stated many of these same concerns.

Written by eyeonnorquay

29 November 2017 at 9:32 pm

Posted in Comments

4459 Rupert Street

with one comment

The following formal comment has been submitted to City of Vancouver following the 8 November 2017 open house on 4459 Rupert Street. Although this particular rezoning proposal falls outside the boundaries of Norquay, the issues that it raises, and the precedents that it seeks to set, should concern all Vancouver residents, particularly those who live in East Vancouver. Many unhappy local area residents showed up for the open house. We hope that the details provided in this comment will inspire others with less “schooling” in the details of what the City of Vancouver is prepared to take into account. Comments can be made through the online feedback form that is linked to the rezoning and permit development application materials that are posted to the City of Vancouver web site (link below).

Comment on Application to Rezone 4459 Rupert Street from C-1 to CD-1



9 November 2017

The design of the proposed building at 4459 Rupert Street is said to be adapted from the original “Monad-on-Fourth” building at 3351 West Fourth Avenue. Both buildings are 4 storeys high, with 3 storeys of residential units over 1 storey of commercial space. Both buildings are on a single lot (33 x 112 ft. on Fourth Avenue, 38 x 112 ft. on Rupert Street). But while the building on Fourth Avenue provides 4 spacious residential units, the proposal for Rupert Street anticipates 12 cramped residential units.

We oppose the current rezoning application for these reasons:

1.  Excessive Building Height, Density and Massing

This application proposes a building height of 14.9 m. and an FSR of 2.4. Maximum allowable height in C-1 zoned areas is 10.7 m. and allowable FSR is 1.2. Although the project is eligible for increased floor area under the Secured Rental Housing Policy, to increase the zoned density by 100% is excessive and unprecedented for a Rental 100 development. Compare this with the recently approved rezoning of 2153 Kingsway under the same policy: an FSR increase from 2.5 (C-2 zoning) to 3.37, an increase of approximately 35%. The much larger Kingsway project locates 101 units across from a 14-storey development with three towers. This proposed 4-storey development will be conspicuously out of scale in the middle of a block of single-family houses, especially since there is minimal front yard setback and zero setback of the upper storeys at the front of the building. No development proposal should be permitted to apply abstract specifications to a single parcel with such severe disregard shown to the local area context of the site (as has caused great difficulties at 105 Keefer Street).

2.  Substandard Size of Residential Units

The unit density for the three residential storeys in this project works out to more than 300 units per hectare. By way of contrast, the maximum unit density for residential 4-storey apartment buldings in the RM-9A zone of nearby Norquay is 140 units per hectare (and for a single lot, considerably less at 100 per hectare).

The proposed units are tiny, especially the 1-bedroom units. A comparison of average unit sizes with two current Rental 100 projects on Kingsway yields these statistics:

                  Studio           1 Bedroom         2 Bedroom

4459 Rupert St       379 sq.ft.       410 sq.ft.        663 sq.ft.

855 Kingsway         376 sq.ft.       529 sq.ft.        699 sq.ft.

2153 Kingsway        435 sq.ft.       562 sq.ft.        767 sq.ft.                 


Most of the 2-bedroom units are less than 700 sq.ft. with small living areas, and thus are not suitable for families.

3.  Unacceptable Residential Unit Design for 1-Bedroom and 2-Bedroom Units

Studio Units (2)  — The studio units are small but well designed, with two light exposures for each unit.

One Bedroom Units (4)  — These units do not contain an actual bedroom. They have the same basic floor plan as the studio units. Two of the “one-bedroom” units are approximately the same size as the studio units; the other two units are only slightly larger. The main distinguishing feature seems to be that “one-bedroom” units contain a sliding wall that is able to shut off the area where the bed is located. This design cannot accurately be described as “one-bedroom.”

Two Bedroom Units (6)  — These units are inappropriate for families. The second bedroom is often less than 80 sq.ft. (Units 201, 202, 401, 403), too small for children to play or even to do homework. Some units do not have functional balconies (Units 204, 305, 403). There is no common indoor or outdoor play space for children. The drawings show some units without bedroom doors or closets, but this may be an oversight.

4.  Inadequate Parking and Lane Access

The only parking for this development is one car share space. This is grossly insufficient. There are 47 tenant parking spaces in the approved 101-unit Rental 100 development at 2153 Kingsway, even with a 20% transit reduction. The Rupert Street site is much less well served by transit.

Two of the four parcels in the block between East 29th and East 28th Avenues are 119 ft. long, exceeding the characteristic 112 ft. Consequently, the width of the lane is reduced to 13 ft. behind these two parcels. One of the long parcels is immediately to the north of the subject site. It is difficult to see how garbage trucks or emergency vehicles would be able to service a 12-unit building adequately.

5.  Poorly Chosen Location

Although Rupert Street is classified as an arterial street, the existing C-1 zoned area around the intersection of Rupert Street and East 29th Avenue has not yet been built out. Two of the four retail units in the only existing commercial building have been untenanted for a long time. It seems unlikely that a vibrant residential/shopping area can develop at East 29th Avenue and Rupert Street in the foreseeable future.

Considerable commercial/residential development is already underway nearby at East 22nd Avenue and Rupert Street. That location has more existing commercial development, is closer to a range of community amenities (schools, library, park, community centre), and is better served by transit. This area would be a far more suitable location for such an extremely dense housing form.

6.  Failure to Meet Family Housing Guidelines

Six of the proposed twelve units are 2-bedroom units classified by City of Vancouver as family housing. This project fails to meet the following High Density Housing for Families With Children Guidelines:

2.3.2 Neighbourhood Compatibility
Family housing developments should be compatible in scale, character, and materials to their surrounding neighbourhood.

3.2.1 Common Open Space
There should be appropriate open space to meet the on-site needs of children and adults.

3.7.1 Common Indoor Amenity Space
Provide appropriate common indoor amenity space for families with children where individual units are not suited to desired indoor activities.

4.1.1 Unit Size and Interior Layout
The size and layout of units should be appropriate to meet the needs of families with children.

Each bedroom should be large enough to accommodate a single bed, a dresser, a desk or table, and in children’s bedrooms, some floor space for playing.


The applicant has made commendable efforts to compensate for the small size of the units by designing for efficient use of space. The courtyard separating the front and the rear sections of the building on the residential levels lets additional light into the units. The rooftop garden is a welcome addition that provides much-needed open space.

But the project as currently proposed is too high and too dense. The units are too small. This type of housing is not livable for families. If extremely dense housing projects are to be allowed on a single lot, they should contain only studio and 1-bedroom units. They should be confined to areas that already have a considerable amount of commercial and residential redevelopment, and they should be close to neighbourhood amenities and good transit.

We ask that the FSR for this project be reduced to 1.8 (a generous 50% above the zoned FSR of 1.2), that the height be limited to 3 storeys, and that at least 4 parking spaces be included in addition to the car share space. The number of units should be reduced to nine, and they should be limited to studio and genuine one-bedroom apartments. These recommended adjustments should go a long way toward mitigating the impacts of attempting this kind of development on a single parcel — an approach that fails to achieve the land assembly deemed imperative by comparable RM-9A zoning in Norquay. This precedent-setting development should be identified as a demonstration project and made available for public viewing and public comment before being occupied.

Jeanette and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

9 November 2017 at 4:56 pm

2725/2731 Duke Street

leave a comment »

Comment on Development Application DP-2017-00819
under RM-7 Zoning



9 October 2017

This development seems to be an acceptable implementation of the RM-7 zoning for stacked townhouses.

We have several comments regarding the landscaping.

1.  We are pleased to see that the large pine tree on city property in front of the house is to be retained. However, we question the plan to plant a considerable area of lawn underneath the tree. Grass cannot compete with a large evergreen for water or nutrients, and the existing grassy area under the tree is in very poor condition. We suggest that a drought tolerant ground cover be planted instead. The ornamental plants specified for this location seem like good choices.

2.  In a similar nearby rowhouse development at 2761-2767 Duke Street, the clematis specified in the landscape plan to cover the wooden trellis over the parking spaces has not been planted. We believe that there has been some confusion over a condition in the Prior-To letter, where the developer was asked to provide “more substantial, woody shrubs … to create unit identity and privacy” (Landscape Review Condition 1.13.1). The developer has planted rows of cedars instead of, and not in addition to, the specified clematis (see photo following). Consequently the trellis remains bare. If a similar condition is imposed for this application, it needs to be carefully worded to avoid a similar outcome.

3.  An irrigation system for the ornamental plantings needs to be specified if this has not already been done.

Please send a copy of the Prior-To letter when it is ready.

Jeanette and Joseph Jones



Written by eyeonnorquay

9 October 2017 at 9:34 pm

Posted in RM-7 Comment