Sunday, December 16, 2018

Burnaby Lake Arena should be twinned

The City of Burnaby has recently approved its Proposed Priority Community Amenity Projects.  In my opinion, it is welcome news for city residents as community centre capacity will significantly increase for the Brentwood area with the replacement of the Willingdon Community Centre and the expansion of amenity space at Confederation Park replacing the previously torn down Willingdon Heights Community Centre and the North Burnaby Gym.

Also among the priorities is the replacement of Burnaby Lake Arena and CG Brown Memorial Pool.  Anyone familiar with arena scheduling will tell you that there is an extremely greater demand for arena ice and floor time than the capacity that currently exists between Burnaby Lake, Bill Copeland and Kensington arenas.  Between Burnaby Minor Hockey, Burnaby New West Ringette, skating groups,  Burnaby Minor Lacrosse, and Metro Minor Ball Hockey Association, not to mention public skating programs and events, there is not enough time to fully meet the demand that currently exists for arena space.  Burnaby Minor Hockey Association is one of the largest minor hockey associations in the region with kids ending up on a waitlist to play.  The association is also required to rent private ice from Burnaby 8 Rinks to meet practice and game requirements for the players that are able to play.  Metro Minor Ball Hockey Association turns away a larger number of kids every year as there is not enough floor time for ball hockey in the spring and summer.

Even the upcoming addition of 2 more sheets of ice near Byrne Creek Secondary School will not meet demand for ice and floor time.  Furthermore, population growth projections suggest that even a twinning of Burnaby Lake Arena will not be adequate.  Building one rink versus 2 attached rinks may cost more in the short term,  but the average building and maintenance cost per rink is significantly lower when considering that the arena cooling system is a major cost that is capable of freezing two or more ice sheets and would be a financial waste to install a system for merely one new sheet of ice.

Looking at the size of the property at Kensington Ave between Sprott Street and Joe Sakic Way,  there is more than enough room to accommodate more than two new sheets of ice and provide the same or more amount of parking spaces.

With Burnaby 8 Rinks, Fortius Centre, the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex soccer fields and the proposed future Tennis Canada Training facility adjacent to the soccer fields, the area north of Hwy 1 on Kensington Ave is developing  into a major sports destination.  The City of Burnaby already has a Div 2 NCAA hockey team playing out of Bill Copeland Arena (SFU Hockey). The City is hosting an IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship exhibition game between Russia and Switzerland this month and will host the World Ringette Championships in 2019.  The addition of more arena capacity will give the City of Burnaby a greater profile as a potential host city for more events int the future and bringing spin-off tourism revenue.  With a steadily increasing demand for arena ice and floor time not showing signs of abating, it would be a wise decision if the City of Burnaby studies the feasibility of twinning Burnaby Lake Arena instead of merely replacing it and looking to maximize the potential future economic benefits of such an expansion.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Community Centre and Tesla coming to Amazing Brentwood

The two opposite ends of the Brentwood Mall site have recently been discussed at the December Burnaby Council meetings.  As part of Phase 2 of the Amazing Brentwood Project, Shape Properties has forwarded its plan to construct a residential high-rise tower atop a commercial podium that will also include a new Brentwood community centre at the northwest corner of the Brentwood Mall site.

Shape Properties has also presented a letter seeking approval for the building of a Tesla showroom within the former Sears building at the eastern end of the Brentwood Mall site.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Complete network of barrier free sidewalks must be a priority

It has been a while since I have talked about the importance of sidewalks in creating complete neighborhoods (sidewalks) and how the current system of sidewalk-building wrongfully places the burden of building those sidewalks on existing property owners.  In a region where property values have unreasonably soared beyond the reach of new buyers, the property tax burden has accordingly increased for existing property owners, putting more tax dollars into government coffers.  That revenue coupled with increased revenues from the density bonus funds collected by the City of Burnaby should allow the city to spare some funds for improving our network of sidewalks for people with disabilities.  In 2018, we should not be allowing disabled people to struggle with getting around their neighborhoods like the poor fellow in the Bunaby Now article below.


Scooter rider says Burnaby sidewalks are harrowing

A senior worries about safety along Smith Avenue in the Metrotown area

 Burnaby Now
OCTOBER 13, 2018 11:38 AM

Wayne McQueen navigates the bumps and broken sections of sidewalk along Smith Avenue in the Metrotown area in his motorized scooter
The 71-year-old manages to be mobile in his scooter despite having a condition called charcot foot, a result of his diabetes, which can cause the bones in his feet to break if he walks. But he doesn’t understand why a big city like Burnaby can’t get its sidewalks into shape for people like him in scooters or mothers pushing strollers.
“It’s very hard to manoeuvre with a mobility device,” McQueen said, adding that he’d like to see ramps on all corners along Smith Avenue. “It also would help young women with their strollers to have a ramp.”
At Smith and Sandell, the sidewalk, which is only on one side of the street, ends with no curb letdown, but a pathway going east with bark mulch allows McQueen to eventually cross the street. Father down at Hertford and Smith again there is no curb letdown and McQueen turns east and goes down half a block till he can access the road where there is a private driveway, then he rides along the street until he finds another driveway to get back onto the sidewalk.
In places, there are small, steep inclines on the sidewalk beside a driveway where he gathers speed in his scooter to make it up the hill, something that make him fearful for his safety.
“I could have tipped the thing over backward because it’s too steep,” he said of the sidewalk beside a driveway.
McQueen said he often feels very nervous riding his scooter in traffic as he goes down Smith Avenue to his doctor’s appointment with traffic.
“I think (city officials) need to take into consideration standards for making things mobility-safe – that doesn’t seem to be their priority, that’s just my opinion,” McQueen said, who has lived in Burnaby since 2008.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Solo 3 phase underway

Solo District's 3rd tower will soon begin to rise as the western end of the site on Rosser Ave has been undergoing excavation for several weeks now.   Once completed, the lower level of Solo District will become an open space situated between the 4 towers.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Basil Box coming to Brentwood

JUNE 2019

Sporting Life coming to Brentwood

With 12 stores currently in Canada, Sporting Life's first BC store will be coming to the Amazing Brentwood in 2019.  Sporting Life is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2019.  Shape properties will begin to reveal it's lineup of new stores as we approach the 2019 opening of the Amazing Brentwood. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Willingdon Linear Park officially opens today

The Willingdon Linear Park officially opens today.   The pedestrian/cycling path will connect Brentwood Town Centre from Brentlawn Drive to Hastings Street along the east side of Willindgon Avenue.

The official opening event takes place from 10:30-2:30pm between Midlawn Drive and Parker Street.
The City of Burnaby has enacted no stopping or parking on certain streets in the neighbourhood (photo of map below).

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Bordeaux site excavation begins

The site of the future Bordeaux development at the corner of Willingdon and Juneau is now being dug up.  This development will likely mark the southernmost point of Brentwood Town Centre along Willingdon Ave and, along with the east side of Willindgon and Juneau, will form an entry point into the Brentwood area for vehicle traffic travelling north from Hwy 1 and beyond.


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Etoile set to go

The Etoile project at the corner of Douglas Rd and Goring St is getting ready to start as the site has been fenced off .

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Seattle Times article shows Brentwood growth in positive light

While many in Metro Vancouver lament about the direction that densification is moving the region, according to the following Seattle Times article, Vancouver is at least a decade ahead of where Seattle needs to be when it comes to transit and transit oriented development.  In particular, the article cites the development around Brentwood Town Centre as an example of where future urban living is heading.  While Seattle may feel that it is a decade behind Metro Vancouver in this regard,  we are certainly decades behind other well-developed cities in Europe and Asia.  It's all relative.

With three fully-built light-rail lines and an interconnected bus network, Vancouver’s transportation system is like Seattle’s, just a couple of decades in the future. But the Canadian city differs in its rock-solid commitment to building housing right on top of transit.

Seattle Times staff reporter

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Stand in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, at the Brentwood SkyTrain station, and you can see how the region has literally taken shape around public transportation.

The rail station is surrounded by residential skyscrapers, both completed and under construction. By 2020, there should be 11 towers — some up to 60 stories, with 6,000 homes and a massive mall — within a block or two of the station.

Look south.

Close by it’s an unremarkable suburban panorama: squat apartment buildings and town houses, tree-lined streets, car dealerships, a Costco.

But three miles in the distance lies a cluster of skyscrapers. Scan left, a stretch of empty green, then another clump of high-rises. And a bit farther left, the biggest, highest assemblage of skyscrapers yet.

The towers, all in Burnaby, are built along SkyTrain’s original line, which opened in 1985. The high-rises flag the rail line beneath it — each clump a station — a real-life pop-up map of the transit line.

Metro Vancouver — which comprises Vancouver and 23 surrounding cities and towns — is a region being built, more and more, around its thriving and ever-expanding light-rail system.

Click here for original full article with better visual presentation

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Millennium Line from Brentwood Stn to UBC a possibility

After years of funding delays, TransLink currently has secured funding to extend the line Millennium line from VCC Clark to Arbutus only as UBC has been unwilling to contribute to the extension to UBC... until now.  CBC article below.

UBC pushes for Millennium Line extension to campus; opens door to providing funding

University says there is a 'limited window' to push for a 7-km extension to campus; estimated cost $3B

Justin McElroy · CBC News · 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday February 10, 2018

Brentwood One and Two

Concord Brentwood excavation

Brentwood One and Two from behind Carter dealerships

Gilmore Station with Gold's Gym in the foreground

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Chapters Indigo to open at Amazing Brentwood

I have received word from an insider that Chapters Indigo will have a large presence in the retail area currently under construction at the Amazing Brentwood development.  The insider was unable to give me an exact opening timeline but stated that the existing smaller Coles bookstore in the mall will close down as the new Chapters Indigo store opens.  Chapters can be added to the list of confirmed companies landing in Brentwood, including Cineplex and its array of Rec Room dining amenities and L Catterton Real Estate which is affiliated with luxury brands like Louis Vuitton.

Image from

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

4430 Halifax Street slated for development

I was recently informed by my family doctor that his medical office will close down this spring after nearly 40 years in Brentwood.  In a letter to his patients the doctor stated that the area around his office as having "become a go-to area for high-rises, and my office is located in one such new development."

From open source searches, it appears that the building is currently owned by Embassy Bosa Development Corporation.  More to follow as details emerge.

Bordeaux tower coming to Willingdon and Juneau

Solterra Development has initiated another residential project in Brentwood.  It's 24-story tower and townhouse development will be coming to the northwest corner of Willingdon Avenue and Juneau Street.  With a current estimated completion date in 2020, sales will begin sometime this spring.

(From City of Burnaby website)

(From Google Maps)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

4612 and 4650 Dawson Rezoning initiated

Rezoning has been initiated to build street front townhouses along Dawson between Beta and Alpha Aves with apartment buildings behind them.  The developer is yet to be identified.  With the south side of Dawson Street between Willindgon and Alpha already being forwarded for a massive development by Aoyuan International and the Concord Brentwood site moving ahead, the entire length of the south side of Dawson from Willingdon to Douglas Rd will be nearly completed with residential developments.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Sears closes doors for good

Sometime last week I noticed that the Sears in Brentwood finally closed down for good.  There goes the short cut to and form the roof top parking.

Time will now tell what kind of activity the 3 level space will be used for.  Rumors of T&T Supermarket have been mentioned for at least 1 of the 3 levels.  A grocery store would definitely fill a niche.  I wonder if Kin's Farm Market would make a return to Brentwood.