Eye on Norquay

Looking Out for East Vancouver

Archive for January 2018

Notorious Quotations

… from the Vision Vancouver Era (2008-2018)

In the interests of historical presentation and preservation, Eye on Norquay steps out of scope
to host this information resource. Suggestions of other period quotations are welcomed.
Last update: 25 July 2018


         Date:  8 December 2008
       Person:  Gregor Robertson
    Quotation:  I decided to run for the office of mayor to end street homelessness
                in Vancouver. [See also: "End street homelessness by 2015" —
                caption in Vision Vancouver written platform]
      Setting:  Inaugural address
        Topic:  Homelessness in Vancouver
       Source:  Allen Garr. Street homeless numbers decline. Vancouver Courier
                (27 May 2011) 8
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  10 December 2008
       Person:  Gregor Robertson
    Quotation:  We have a great opportunity right now with the big shift in the
                political winds to do things differently at City Hall
      Setting:  Vancouver neighborhoods event at Heritage Hall
        Topic:  New era
       Source:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdpOAPgGHmQ
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  16 January 2009
       Person:  Raymond Louie
    Quotation:  The only thing you can attach myself to is the ultimate vote
                because I voted against the completion guarantee. I was against
                the completion guarantee, remembering that even if you move a
                motion, you can vote against the motion.
      Setting:  Newspaper interview
        Topic:  Secret completion guarantee for Fortress loan to Olympic
                Village developer Millennium
       Source:  Jeff Lee. Louie on the loan. Vancouver Sun (16 Jan 2009) A1
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  16 June 2009
       Person:  Geoff Meggs
    Quotation:  The consultation was the election and this is the delivery
      Setting:  City Council
        Topic:  Establishment of Short Term Incentives for Rental program
       Source:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKP-WbTMEac
                Joseph Jones. The ugly story of Short Term Incentives for Rental.
                Vancouver Media Co-op (26 Aug 2010)
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  31 October 2009
       Person:  Andrea Reimer
    Quotation:  Thinking about introducing a motion requiring police to pick up
                Minister Coleman next time he's in Vancouver and drop him off
                at Jenny Craig
      Setting:  Personal tweet
        Topic:  Rich Coleman's Assistance to Shelter Act
       Source:  CBC British Columbia
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  25 January 2010
       Person:  Bob Rennie
    Quotation:  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. There's never been anything like it.
                It will change Vancouver, forever.
      Setting:  Newspaper interview
        Topic:  2010 Winter Olympics
       Source:  Miro Cernetig. The views from on high are nice, but not
                many can afford them. Vancouver Sun (25 Jan 2010) A1
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  20 May 2010
       Person:  Bob Rennie
    Quotation:  And then there is also mainland China the wealth of this
                demographic is unprecedented and I do not think that any of
                us really understand it
      Setting:  Annual speech to Urban Development Institute
        Topic:  Vancouver real estate
       Source:  Speaking notes
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  8 July 2010
       Person:  Gregor Robertson
    Quotation:  Who are all these fuckin' … who are these hacks man?
                Are they, they NPA hacks?
      Setting:  City Council
        Topic:  Formation of Mayor's West End Advisory Committee
       Source:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IDcmUQa0WM
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  8 July 2010
       Person:  Heather Deal
    Quotation:  Democracy cubed
      Setting:  City Council
        Topic:  Formation of Mayor's West End Advisory Committee
       Source:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IDcmUQa0WM
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  13 September 2010
       Person:  Gregor Robertson
    Quotation:  You can be critical of lots of regimes around the world and
                you can question how worthwhile democracy is in a lot of countries
                right now … That's where you see the Chinese government
                taking radical, dramatic action in investing in turning the ship
                around and you don't see that in Western governments right now,
                democratically elected, because they're afraid.
      Setting:  Interview from Shanghai, broadcast on CBC Monday [13 Sept 2010]
        Topic:  Effective government in China
       Source:  Frances Bula. For Vancouver mayor, China makes a green leap forward.
                Globe and Mail (14 Sept 2010) S1
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  25 May 2011
       Person:  Bob Rennie
    Quotation:  You're not curing anything, except you are being racist. /
                Yet we're all paying attention to these girls, they're holding up
                banners, and wanting affordability to be a party game.
      Setting:  Interview
        Topic:  Restricting large external capital influx into #vanre /
                The #donthave1million hashtag campaign for affordable housing
       Source:  Ian Young. Is Vancouver's condo king calling the shots on the city's
                affordability strategy? Really? The Hongcouver
                South China Morning Post (28 May 2015)
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  15 June 2011
       Person:  Heather Deal
    Quotation:  Contingency plans upon contingency plans upon contingency plans
      Setting:  Radio interview
        Topic:  City of Vancouver preparedness for Stanley Cup playoff
       Source:  Jessica Werb. Hours before the Vancouver riot, councillor Heather Deal
                was touting city's preparedness Georgia Straight (17 June 2011)
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  16 June 2011
       Person:  Jim Chu (Chief Constable)
    Quotation:  But even with those assets in place, our city was still
                vulnerable to a number of young men and women disguised
                as Canuck fans who were actually criminals and anarchists.
      Setting:  Media statement
        Topic:  Stanley Cup playoff hockey riot
       Source:  Written statement from Vancouver Police Department
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  22 June 2013
       Person:  Heather Deal
    Quotation:  The carnage after a wonderful dinner hosted by the
                City of Halifax
      Setting:  Personal tweet
        Topic:  Photo of lobster feast aftermath
       Source:  Peter O'Neil. B.C. civic leaders can't compete with Quebec's
                when it comes to their bad-boy political image.
                Vancouver Sun (22 June 2013) A6
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  19 August 2013
       Person:  Kerry Jang
    Quotation:  Well, you know, affordable housing is something that
                somebody can afford
      Setting:  Radio interview
        Topic:  Housing affordability
       Source:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSVymChuoVw
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  21 August 2013
       Person:  Daniel Fontaine (Chief of Staff for Mayor Sam Sullivan)
    Quotation:  The reality is that if you remove from the political picture the
                civic party that created EcoDensity and the one that is currently
                putting that program on steroids, voters have few political options
                to halt the current pace of development.
      Setting:  Opinion column
        Topic:  EcoDensity
       Source:  Daniel Fontaine. EcoDensity on steroids triggers neighborhood
                opposition. 24 Hours Vancouver (21 Aug 2013)
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  10 October 2014
       Person:  Ian Gillespie
    Quotation:  It is racism. Maybe I shouldn't say that. It's small thinking.
      Setting:  Interview
        Topic:  Investment in #vanre
       Source:  Ian Marlow / Brent Jang. Vancouver's real estate boom: The rising
                price of 'heaven.' Globe and Mail (10 Oct 2014)
        Added:  March 2018

         Date:  10 November 2014
       Person:  Scot Hein
    Quotation:  We absolutely did not support towers outside the focused "Safeway
                Precinct". We were instructed to put this plan (in our view based
                on thoughtful urban design best practice) in the drawer never to
                see the light of day. We were then "told" by senior management to
                prepare a maximum tower scheme which we produced under protest as
                we declared we did not support such an uninformed approach for the
                GW neighbourhood. Our next plan yielded 20 towers which was advanced
                to the decision makers (I cannot confirm who saw this plan).
      Setting:  Comment on blog entry
        Topic:  Tower planning for Broadway & Commercial site
       Source:  Vision: The end of the residential highrise?
        Added:  February 2018

         Date:  12 November 2014
       Person:  Gregor Robertson
    Quotation:  I want to start with a message to voters directly and that's that I
                have heard you. While we have done a lot of good things very well in
                the past six years, there's also some things we haven't done
                particularly well. And for those, in particular, when I haven't met
                your expectations, I am sorry. And I know that if I'm re-elected again
                … that I can do better.
      Setting:  CBC debate
        Topic:  Three days ahead of 2014 Vancouver municipal election
       Source:  Mike Howell. Robertson pleads with COPE voters. Vancouver Courier 
                (14 Nov 2014) A4
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  2 November 2015
       Person:  1: Gregor Robertson 
       Person:  2: Bob Ransford
    Quotation:  1: This can't be about race, it can't be about dividing people
    Quotation:  2: The danger is intolerance, racism, singling out certain groups
                    of people — saying that they are to blame for this
      Setting:  News report
        Topic:  Andy Yan research on foreign ownership and house prices
       Source:  Vancouver foreign ownership research prompts cries of racism in hot
                housing market CBC News (2 Nov 2015)
        Added:  February 2018

         Date:  2 August 2016
       Person:  Gregor Robertson
    Quotation:  We commit to 100% welfare/pension rate community-controlled
                social housing at 58 W Hastings, working with the community
                to develop a rezoning application to proceed to Council
                by the end of June 2017
      Setting:  After Carnegie Centre meeting
        Topic:  58 West Hastings development site
       Source:  Stefania Seccia. Homelessness: a state of emergency.
                Megaphone Magazine (17 Apr 2017)
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  28 November 2017
       Person:  Gregor Robertson
    Quotation:  But it's hit us like a ton of bricks
      Setting:  Newspaper interview
        Topic:  Impact of offshore money in local real estate
       Source:  Dan Fumano. Global money hit Vancouver real estate 'like a ton
                of bricks,' Robertson says. Vancouver Sun (28 Nov 2017)
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  28 January 2018
       Person:  Raymond Louie
    Quotation:  That's what we've always said. Vision is the party that had
                stretched across party lines and that's the reason it was
                formed to begin with.
      Setting:  Newspaper interview
        Topic:  Vision Vancouver electoral strategy for 2018
       Source:  Dan Fumano. With big changes coming to city hall, candidates
                talk collaboration. Vancouver Sun (28 Jan 2018)
        Added:  January 2018

         Date:  25 March 2018
       Person:  Ian Gillespie
    Quotation:  I didn't buy it to speculate
      Setting:  Newspaper story
        Topic:  Fast big profit on West End land assembly
       Source:  David Ebner. $105-million real estate deal reveals hot Vancouver
                market’s inner workings. Globe and Mail (25 Mar 2018)
        Added:  March 2018

         Date:  1 April 2018
       Person:  Gregor Robertson
    Quotation:  I will seek a fourth term as #Vancouver's mayor due to the
                disastrous line up of declared candidates. Can't let our incredible
                city be governed by nincompoops. #pleasedontmakemedothis
                #itstimeforourfirstwomanmayor #vanpoli
      Setting:  Tweet
        Topic:  Running for Mayor in 2018
       Source:  Gregor Robertson tweet (4:09 am on 1 Apr 2018)
        Added:  July 2018

         Date:  24 July 2018
       Person:  Gregor Robertson
    Quotation:  It would be good to see, if people are really concerned about the
                view corridor from Cambie Street, that there is activism and emotion
                from councillors to take down those traffic lights on tenth that
                are dramatically impacting the view corridor. I haven't seen activism
                on that stage, but they are a much bigger incursion than this
                tiny slice of building.
      Setting:  Vancouver City Council
        Topic:  Approval of view-cone-busting 400 foot tower at 777 Pacific Boulevard
       Source:  Sound file in Justin McElroy tweet (24 July 2018)
        Added:  July 2018


Written by eyeonnorquay

26 January 2018 at 12:00 am

2711 Ward Street

with 2 comments


Comment on Development Application DP-2017-01152
under RM-7 Zoning




15 January 2018

Form of Development

1.  The use of different materials on the outside of the building to differentiate the units within is interesting.

2.  The proposed two-bedrooms are appropriate for units of this size. Trying to squeeze three bedrooms into units of less than 1100 sq. ft. usually results in some bedrooms that are far too small.

3.  This is the first application in the RM-7 zone to propose a flat roof on a project located mid-block on a residential street. Norquay contains very few flat-roofed single family houses. Duplexes in Norquay are required to have sloped roofs. The 16-unit RM-7 project under construction at 2719 Ward Street also features sloped roofs.

Because this proposal for Norquay’s first large roof deck is adjacent to a 16-unit stacked townhouse project, we are not objecting to the roof style in this case. But in general, flat-roofed RM-7 projects should continue to be located either on arterial streets or very close (across the street or adjacent) to the 4-storey apartment RM-9 zone. This has been the practice since the RM-7 zoning regulations were approved in 2013. The result is that new projects in the RM-7 zone fit in better with existing neighbourhood context and character than they would if flat roofs were to be approved indiscriminately.


We approve of the use of ornamental plantings and ground covers rather than small areas of grass, which are difficult to maintain. We make the following minor suggestions:

1.  The side yard on the west side of the building is marked as an inaccessible area of gravel. At least limited access will be necessary if that side of the structure work requires work in the future.

2.  English ivy is proposed between a part of the 4-ft. wide east walkway and the fence. Our experience of English ivy is that it will need to be trained to the metal string lattice in front of the fence. Once established, English ivy is a rampant grower that will need frequent pruning to keep it manageable in such a narrow space. As an invasive species, it is generally undesirable. Many new homeowners in Norquay are not gardeners. We suggest eliminating the English ivy along the east fence. There should, however, be plantings to screen the garbage/recycling area from the back patio.

Overall the design of this project shows imagination and care.

Jeanette and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

15 January 2018 at 11:11 am

Posted in RM-7 Comment

White Elephant

leave a comment »

What Is a Kensington Gardens Condo Really Worth?

Eye on Norquay has been monitoring 2220 Kingsway ever since news trickled out in September 2011 that Westbank paid $34,088,000 for the 2.3 acre site.

Westbank chose to ride roughshod over the Norquay Plan by plopping a podium over the entire site. Their approach disrespected the clear intent for a public plaza at the heart of the site. City of Vancouver staff lined up with Westbank wishes, since their political masters had been prepurchased with massive donations.


    White Elephant?   Retro Soviet Block?

Note: The Urban Design Panel chose to ignore a planner question about how adequate the proposed tower separation would be. Eye on Norquay witnessed in person the meeting where this neglect occurred.

As the project approaches completion, a few other points deserve scrutiny.

Focus on Flip Marketing Brings Unusual Legal Threat

On 23 October 2017 thinkpol.ca posted a documented story about Westbank preselling to flippers almost one quarter of the condos at 2220 Kingsway / Kensington Gardens.

Amy Chen. Westbank pre-sold nearly 1 in 4 Kensington Garden condos — heavily marketed
overseas — to flippers


The report relied on “industry insider” provision of 55 Multiple Listing Service entries and a further “38 listings of units that are currently on sale on assignments.” A chart provides a “complete list of pre-sale purchasers [93] gleaned from MLS data.”

A few weeks later, on 15 November 2017, thinkpol.ca reported that a lawyer acting for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) had threatened their news outlet with legal action because of the reporting on Westbank’s Kensington Gardens project at 2220 Kingsway.

Vancouver real estate board threatens ThinkPol with lawsuit to protect foreign buyer privacy

In June 2017 realtor Steve Saretsky had already called attention to the flood of assignments rising at 2220 Kingsway. Saretsky’s account reproduced a 3 February 2015 Westbank Facebook advertisement for a “Hong Kong Exhibition” that stated:

        As one of Vancouver’s premier landmark residential developments, buyers at Kensington Gardens
        benefit from an 8% rental return. Making Kensington Gardens the best real estate investment
        in North America.

As far as Westbank is concerned, the value in this “premier landmark” condo cluster seems to be some vague opportunity for 8% return as a rental unit. In other words, their marketing fail on Kensington Gardens seems to have condemned the whole project to open as a higher-end tenement, with renters predominating among first inhabitants. Owner-occupiers seem likely to prefer a different address.

As of late December 2017, the lawyer’s intimidation bluster seems to have failed, serving only to direct even more attention to the nasty situation at Kensington Gardens.

Look at This Documented Marketing Timeline

February 2014  —  Eye on Norquay describes a strange marketing strategy for Kensington Gardens condos.

In Between  —  The most desirable West Tower never shows up in marketing to Vancouver locals.

October 2014  —  Ten months later, a reading between the lines shows the project still only half-sold.

October 2014  —  The East Tower shows up as final tower release event.

February 2015  —  A “Hong Kong Exhibition” tries to unload units offshore as rental properties.

May 2015  —  Still unsold units get postcard marketing to locals as “Vancouver View Estates.”

Ongoing  —  High level of attempts to sell assigned units.

What Is Going On Here?

Further to the introductory point — that Westbank and REBGV seem extraordinarily unhappy about the recent thinkpol.ca exposé of their marketing strategy — consider these additional points:

One  —  Only a relatively ignorant buyer would fail to understand what a poor match the faux-fancy fortress of Kensington Gardens is for the area that surrounds it. Norquay is nowheresville in the heart of East Vancouver, sliced through the middle by the six-lane truck route of Kingsway. The cornerstone for this new development was laid when city planners back in 2010 forced their mass rezoning onto a large swath of an amenity-deficient East Vancouver neighborhood filled with lower-income, immigrant, working-class people — an area selected because they regarded it as a de facto “brownfield.”

Two  —  In the fall of 2017 Westbank went on a branding spree, waving a hot pink banner about “Fight for Beauty.” Guess what? Nowhere does Kensington Gardens feature among the projects that the developer boosts as a signature development. Kensington Gardens compares with a knockoff Rolex watch.

Three  —  Throughout 2017, advertised pre-completion prices for 2220 Kingsway condos jumped all over the speculative map, ranging from $747 per sq ft for unit 527 to $1400 per sq ft for unit NE PH 1. See table at the end, and especially notice the startling upward trajectory of unit 529 — from $385,000 in April, to $425,000 in June, to $468,000 in August. And never forget: in September 2011 land cost was reported as $107 per buildable sq ft.

Four  —  How many speculators or purchasers understand that just to the north of Kensington Gardens, right smack dab between their site and the north shore mountains, will soon be arising a six-storey building along a 231-foot Kingsway frontage, to provide 101 rental units? This new no-ownership building at 2153-2199 Kingsway was approved by Council at Public Hearing on 16 May 2017. Some upper floors of Kensington Gardens may still manage to peek over this adjacent battleship … but never the other two towers of Kensington Gardens itself. All of the new residents (if there are any) will get to enjoy years of the same truck traffic, dirt, and noise that their own building has already inflicted on existing residents of the neighborhood.

Five  —  The Westbank tradition in East Vancouver continues with “The Joyce,” whose marketing has attracted similar unfavorable reporting:

Jen St. Denis. $725,000 for one-bedroom condo at Joyce Station raises red flags (22 June 2017)

At this Joyce SkyTrain station project, unwary and naive purchasers are signing up for headaches that include

  Location on a two-lane truck route heavily used to avoid the Boundary Road hill
  Regular loud SkyTrain system noise that gets worse with aging
  New zoning that specifies two view-blocking high-rise towers across Joyce to the west

87 Distinct Address Listings for 2220 Kingsway
as Observed in Vancouver Local Real Estate Sources in 2017

         The listing below aggregates data from four previous separate listings from Eye on Norquay
           which are tagged as Price Data.
         An asterisk (*) marks an entry where Sq Ft data has been revised on the sole basis of inconsistency.
         In a few instances, for the same Unit number, where Ask Price and Sq Ft diverge widely, entries
           have been separated.
         Units with Month specified as “Other” have been noted as on the market without further data capture.

Unit           Ask Price      Sq Ft       Month 

102             $899,000       1023       April
102             $899,000       1023       June
102             $899,000       1023       August
102             $899,000       1023       November

103             $988,000       1018       November

310             $683,000        777 *     April
310             $738,000        777       June
310             $738,000        777       August
310             $738,000        777       November

315                                       Other

317             $425,000        512       April

320                                       Other

322             $430,000        534       April

501                                       Other

503                                       Other

508             $384,900        504       June

511             $768,000        894       August
511             $768,000        894       November

517             $510,000        512       August

518             $430,860        529       April
518             $430,860        529       June
518             $495,000        529       August
518             $495,000        529       November

519             $360,000        441       April
519             $360,000        441       June

520                                       Other

527             $435,000        582       April
527             $435,000        582       June

528             $488,888        503       November

529             $385,000        447       April
529             $425,000        447       June
529             $468,000        447       August

530                                       Other

531                                       Other

602             $699,000        890       April

603             $380,000        463       April
603             $395,000        463       June

605             $399,000        506       April
605             $480,000        506       August

606             $399,000        506       April
606             $399,000        506       June

608                                       Other

609             $790,000        894       June
609             $790,000        894       August
609             $790,000        894       November

610                                       Other

617                                       Other

701             $693,900        849       April

708                                       Other

803                                       Other

808             $660,000        790       June

810             $628,800        717       June

903                                       Other

905                                       Other

906             $525,000        506       June

906             $954,000       1072       August
906             $954,000       1072       November

908                                       Other

1002            $748,000        738 *     June
1002            $748,000        738 *     November

1102            $748,000        738       August
1102            $768,000        738 *     November

1106            $535,000        506       August
1106            $535,000        506 *     November

1010                                      Other

1012            $798,000        812       April
1012            $798,000        812       June
1012            $768,000        812       August
1012            $768,000        812       November

1102                                      Other

1105                                      Other

1106                                      Other

1108                                      Other

1110                                      Other

1201                                      Other

1203            $438,000        484       April
1203            $438,000        484       June

1206          $1,068,888       1060       April
1206          $1,068,888       1060       June
1206          $1,068,888       1060       August
1206          $1,068,888       1060       November

1209            $748,000        879       June
1209            $748,000        879       August

1211            $788,000        717       November

1502                                      Other

1503                                      Other

1507            $468,800        516       April

1508                                      Other

1510            $699,000        777       June

1605          $1,088,800        980       August
1605          $1,088,800        980       November

1606          $1,068,888       1060       April
1606          $1,088,888       1060       June
1606          $1,088,888       1060       August

1610            $719,900        879       April

1701                                      Other

1702                                      Other

1703            $968,888       1020       April

1703            $515,000        496       November

1706          $1,118,000       1060       June
1706          $1,118,900       1060       August
[1706]?       $1,089,000       1060       November

1708            $788,000        720       August
1708            $788,000        720       November

1805 PH 5       $949,999        784       August
1805 PH 5       $949,999        784       November

NE 315          $738,900        790       November

NE 626          $419,800        441       November

NE 702                                    Other

NE 811          $726,000        812       November

NE 1103         $478,000        496       August
NE 1103         $478,000        496       November

NE 1502         $830,000        896       November

NE 1611         $708,000        717       November

NE PH 1       $1,150,000        821       June
NE PH 1       $1,150,000        821       August
NE PH 1       $1,098,000        821       August
NE PH 1       $1,098,000        821       November

NE PH 6         $884,900        807       November

P 307           $489,800        476       November

S 1008          $948,000        992       November

S 1103          $433,000        484       April

S 1202          $698,000        738       April
S 1202          $698,000        738       June

S 1501          $786,000        849       April
S 1501          $745,000        849       June
S 1501          $745,800        849       August

W 305                                     Other

W 605           $469,800        510       November

W 1505          $999,000        980       November

W 1510          $739,900        777       April
W 1510          $725,000        777       June
W 1510          $699,000        777       August
W 1510          $699,000        777       November

W PH 1          $828,000        755 *     August
W PH 1          $828,000        755       November


Written by eyeonnorquay

1 January 2018 at 10:23 am