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A former North Vancouver couple have been ordered to pay $37,000 to the people who bought their home after a judge determined they deliberately concealed knowledge of a buried oil tank on their property.

The B.C. Supreme Court ordered the former owners to cover the costs of removing the underground oil tank and cleaning up the soil that had been contaminated by leaking oil.

The judge ruled the sellers were responsible for the cleanup, even though they had never used the oil tank.

The current owners bought the house in 2001, but didn't discover the underground oil tank until 2016, when they dug it up and had to pay for cleanup of the contaminated soil.

The former owners, who bought the house in 1976, maintained they were not aware of the tank or any contamination, so shouldn't be held responsible for it.

They said they removed an oil tank inside the house and converted the heating system to natural gas shortly after buying it, decades ago.

They claim that it never occured to them to ask about underground storage tanks because these were not generally the subject of concerns in the 1970's. They argued the tank was a case of buyer beware.

This is usually the case, except in instances where the sellers of a property have actively concealed or misrepresented the defect.

The current owners explained to the judge that excavation of the tank revealed its vent pipe was within inches of both an irrigation system and a sewer line on the property, which the seller, a retired plumber and gasfitter had installed both system, and would have seen.

The judge agreed that the seller either knew or had very good reason to believe there was an underground storage tank on the property and was ordered to pay the $37,000 clean up.

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Image result for pictures of soap box derby tsawwassen 2017Racers will be speeding down 6th Avenue in Tsawwassen tomorrow during the third annual Soap Box Derby.

Presented by the Rotary Club of Tsawwassen and the City of Delta, the event will see racers head down the hill at a time beginning at 11am. The family event will have food trucks, face painting and an awards ceromony at the intersection of 6th Ave and 52nd Street.Image result for pictures of soap box derby tsawwassen 2017

Nearly 50 racers will take part. Participants come out of the starting gates at Milsom Wynd and roll towards the finish line at 52nd Street.

A new aspect of this years event is a show'n shine taking place today at Save-On-Foods in Tsawwassen. Carts will be shown off from 7pm to 9pm and a panel of judges will select a 'Best Cart' winner. The public can vote on a 'Best Dressed' honour at tomorrows derby.

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Castle house East Vancouver main image

If you ever wanted to own your own castle, well now's your chance. A 2017 custom built house in East Van with a castle like exterior has been listed for $2.298 million.

Castle house East Vancouver stairs wineThe Fraser Street house, which fronts Mountain View Cemetery, may look medieval in style on the outside, but don't let that fool you. The ultra contemporary interior is complete with epoxy flooring and 12 foot ceilings.

There are 4 bedrooms, an office, an open concept main floor, a gourmet kitchen, a glass wine wall under the stairs and 4 ultra modern full bathrooms.Castle house East Vancouver open conceptA balcony off the front bedroom offers a castle-like flair, while the entire

rooftop terrace comes with a 360 degree view, outdoor kitchen, bbq and wet bar.

Since it was built just last year, it is still well  within it 2-5-7 new home warranty.

Castle house East Vancouver kitchen

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Image result for pics from london heritage farm collectible carsThe London Heritage Farm Classic and Collectible Car Show and picnic is only a couple of weeks away.

Sunday, June 24th the farm will once again play host to a fabulous day of vintage cars, with some delicious tea and cakes.Image result for pics from london heritage farm collectible cars

Selected car clubs and owners have been invited to display their classic cars at the farm, where last year's event was a big success with dozens of beautiful cars.

This show is basically a show-and-shine with no judging or other formalities. There is no charge for entering the vehicle and picnic area, but you may want to enjoy a great tea in the farmhouse with cakes and sandwiches.

There will be picnic tables available around the historic farmhouse with modern toilet faciilities.Image result for pics from london heritage farm collectible cars

The event will be relatively informal with a great chance to spend a pleasant afternoon on the edge of the Fraser River.

Organizers would like to have all the cars in place by 11am with the event winding up at about 3pm.Image result for pics from london heritage farm collectible cars

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Versa Platinum - Custom  Home - Langley 2If you love peeking inside other people's beautiful homes - well nows your chance.

This Sunday is the 25th annual Parade of Homes, which allows the public inside 15 stunning new custom homes and tranformative renovations across Metro Vancouver.

The self guided  tour is between 10am and 4pm, and those who register can enter as many of the 15 homes as they like, provided they get around to them all.  And since they are spread from West Vancouver to Langley, this will be no small feat.Shakespeare - Custom Build with Coach House - North Vancouver

The parade is organized by the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association, with all the homes' building and renovations work on display carried out by member companies, and is sponsored by FortisBC.  Representatives of the member companies will be on hand throughout the day to answer questions about home building and renovations.

For more details, to register for your passport and get a map of the tour click here. Registered participants will also get access to an additional 10 virtual home tours.Bolder Homes - Canterbury Crescent, North Vancouver

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Image result for pics of enviro-smart ladner A pair of senior Delta civic staff members are travelling to Ottawa this week to see if they can figure out how to do things right. When it comes to odour problems which East Ladner is now it time to fully enclose the facility?

The pair are going to tour the Green for Life and Orga World composting facilities in Ottawa. The Green For Life facility operates in the same manner as is being proposed for the Enviro-Smart facility in East Ladner.Related image

They are interested to see the facility in order to help determine whether a similar facility could address the odour problems being experienced in East Ladner.  The Orga World facility is a fully enclosed operation which processes 150,000 tonnes of organic waste a year, the scale being proposed for Enviro-Smart.

The odour has been the complaint of hundreds of air quality complaints for the past couple of years, prompting Metro Vancouver to begin discussions with the company last summer about an air quality management permit.Related image

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walking tour vignettes'Coming Alive' is back for its second year in Steveston.

During the months of June and July, visitors can stroll through the streets of Steveston on Saturdays and get a feel for its past as Hugh McRoberts Secondary School's drama students perform 5 brief plays about life in the seaside community back in 1917.

Presented by the Steveston Historical Society and the Steveston Museum, the Walking Tour Vignettes are running on Saturdays in June and July at 1pm and 3pm. Tours leave from the Steveston Museum where a costumed guide will lead visitors through the streets of Steveston to each performance. The entire tour will last about 1 hour and covers just over 1 kilometre. 

Image result for stevestons walking tour vignettes photosThe students and delighted to bring these entertaining stories back to the streets of Steveston again this year. The tours sold out last summer, so be sure to catch this great show while you can.

Tickets are $10, but children under 12 are free when accompanied by a paying adult (max 2 children per adult)  Image result for stevestons walking tour vignettes photos

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Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons made a pitch to the legislature to make all 360 episodes of the classic TV series The Beachcombers available online.

If you grew up in Canada in the 1970's or '80's you very likely watched The Beachcombers, and if you grew up in one of the other 60 countries in the world where the series was broadcast, you may have been watching it there as well.

Everything about this show is West Coast and truly Canadian. It told our story. But only 60 episodes have been aired since 1990, and according the Simons, this needs to change.

The show had a cast of contrasting characters and told original stories about fishing, logging and the ecology. It explored land claims and other First Nations issues. There were even references to our ferry service. It showed the beauty of BC's coastline and in one episode the show centred around a proposed pipeline from Alberta through BC.Beachcombers  

Simons goes on to claim that The Beachcombers continues to draw tourists to the Sunshine Coast, and being able to watch the show is in the national interest.

'Along with Jackson Davies, our favourite Mountie, I'm calling on the CBC, our national broadcaster, to make this classic television series available again for the enjoyment of not just Canadians, but fans around the world.' Simons would like to see CBC offer all 360 episodes through its online player.

Good idea.  I'd watch the series again. You?

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The series of 'Car Free Day' events, meant to re-imagine and showcase a city less dependent of cars, takes place from June to August.

Each festival will be held on a single street in each respective neighbourhood, all to be held on different days, allowing festival goers a chance to attend each of them.

This year you can expect even more art, music and activities than before.

The West End Festival will be held on Saturday, June 16 on Denman Street from Robson to Davie, featuring 4 new stages.

The Main Street Festival will take place on Sunday, June 17 on Main Street from Broadway to 30th Ave, featuring more than 10 stages hosted by local communities and businesses.  This year you will find more interactive art installations and children's activities.

The Commercial Drive Festival will be held on Sunday, July 8th on Commercial Drive from Venables to North Grandview, featuring new and returnng stages put on by community groups and individuals, including a live DJ van.

Car Free Day 2018 expects to attract more than 400,000 people out this year.

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By now, all of the outdoor pools in Metro Vancouver will be open for the summer, including Kits Pool which has just undergone a nice renovation. 

Get a full body workout swimming lanes or taking an aquafit class, relax after a busy day in a hot tub or make a splash with friends and family.

Swimming lessons and birthday party packages are available at many locations and several lower cost 'discount dip' sessions are available throughout the week.

All the pools are maintained in accordance with established health guidelines and standards in order to maintain a safe and hygienic environment.

Bring on Summer!

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Memorial Park will host Ladner Pioneer May Days Fair this weekend which has been going on since 1896. The Fair will feature live bands, free entertainment, carnival rides and a beer garden for the adults. The festivities begin Friday evening with discounted midway rides for kids. On Saturday the day is filled with a broad range of top notch family entertainers and many FREE activities and entertainment for children.

The food fair area will offer a broad range of food and picnic tables with a great view of the baseball tournement.

Sunday's activities kick off with a pancake breakfast followed at noon by the May Days Parade featuring the May Queen float.

The Fair takes place Friday to Sunday, May 27 & 28 from 3pm to 10pm on Friday and 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday at Memoral Park - 5010 47th Ave. Ladner.

Ladner May DaysLadner May Days MidwayLadner May Days Crowds

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The biggest technological revolution of our lifetime is just around the corner as we start to get ready for the advent of driverless cars.

Toyota and Tesla will have fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2022, with all the other auto manufacturers following by 2025.

The shift promises virtually no deaths due to traffic accidents, drastically reduced commute times and emissions as most of these cars will be electric.

Are our governments doing enough about the fact that there are going to be so many of these driverless cars on the road?

Less than half of the people who currently own a car today will own one in 12 years - there won't be any need to.

With driverless cars, commuters will be able to order a ride to their door using a mobile app, and customize their trip with personal music, movies and more.

The costs of owning versus operating will be dramatic. If you own, it will cost more than twice as much than if you just order a vehicle every time you want a ride.

There will be a massive change in the need for public transit, public transportation and interconnectivity with driverless cars.

Municipalities will have to completely rethink the way they do their planning.

Right now cities are dealing with signage, curbs, lanes, signals, traffic interestions and parking. That's all going to change because none of that is going to be necessary.

The car will operate by lidar, radar and cameras... so the cars talk to each other, but they also have to talk to the infrastructure.

With the technology being used there will also be a need for strong IT protections.

What will happen when you have 40,000 cars on the road during rush hour and all of a sudden Surrey's system goes down, or Burnaby's system goes down. We are going to have to deal with ransomware and hacking and freezes and all the stuff that each of us deals with when we are trying to put together a word document.

There won't be any need for gas stations, parkades and there won't be any on-site parking issues.

But as of now, we are totally unprepared.  When are we going to come up with new stategies?  We have to plan ahead. We have to do a 5 year financial plan and each community will have to do their regional growth stategy and Official Community Plan in the next 2 years to deal with what's coming in the next 4 years. Is this going to happen?

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With the high price of gas putting a damper on many weekend plans that require a bit of a drive - here is a nice surprise. This summer you can get some great outdoors time in while saving some bucks thanks to afree shuttle bus service that will run between Vancouver and Golden Ears Provincial Park.

Parkbus operated last summer as a pilot program, but this year, with support from MEC and TD you can ride the bus free.

Operated by Vancouver based Environmentall Sound Transportation, Parkbus will run every Saturday and Sunday, starting July 7th until September 2nd with departures from MEC Vancouver Store on West Broadway in the morning, and returning late afternoon.

You will need to pre-book your seat online with a credit card deposit to prevent no-shows, and the reservations will open up in mid June.

Ahead of your reserved trip, riders will get safety information and park details via email. While on board, you can learn about Leave No Trace principles from a ride facilitator.

At 62,540 hectares, Golden Ears is one of the biggest parks in B.C.

Known for its extensive trail systems for hikers and equestrian use, Golden Ears is also home to Alouette Lake, which is a popular spot for swimming, windsurfing, water skiing, canoeing, boating and fishing.

Alouette Lake Golden Ears Park

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Steveston's 15th annual Maritime Festival will feature the indie soul ban, The Boom Booms on the main stage at Britannia Heritage Shipyards this summer.

The festival will run for 2 days, Saturday, July 28th and Sunday July 29th from 10am to 6pm with many displays.

There will be the row of interesting, historic ships along the docks. The River Queen will operate tours of Steveston Channel and the Shady Isle Pirate Society will be bringing their miniature canon ships to the river.

As always, the festival will feature a variety of local performing artists, including the Boom Booms who will play for you at 2:15pm on Saturday.

Each year, the festival invites local visual artists to submit proposals to design the event poster. Richmond based Ashley Rose Goentoro has been commissioned to design this year's poster.

Ashley will bring her charm to her watercolour paintings that tie in perfectly with the Richmond Martime Festival's focus on arts, culture and history. She will be documenting her creative process on Instagram (Ashley Rose Illustration). The final artwork will be used throughout this year's festival site and marketing materials.

This year's festival will be a scaled back version of last year's special event, which had twice the budget at $200,000 thanks to Canada150 sponsorship money. 

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A new community is planned for Vancouver's Heather Lands that will include 2,500 new homes where at least 40% will be for either low or moderate income households.

The 21 acre site, between west 33rd & 37th, between Willow & Ash, with Heather Street running through it, sits in the Cambie Corridor development area.

The land is owned by 3 First Nations - the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh (MST) - and Canada Lands Company, which in 2014 entered into a 50/50 venture for the ownership and redevelopement of the property.

This could see the end of the historic Fairmont Academy building, built in 1914 and is now a class A heritage building which was first a private school and then an RCMP base. It currently stands directly in the way of the site, but could be moved to a new site, but not likely.

The newly released details of the Heather Lands masterplan include:

*  approx 2,500 residential units, in buildings from 3 to 24 storeys;

* a minimum of 20% of units for affordable houses for lower-income households (around 530 units);

*  a further 20% to be attainable home ownership targeted at moderate income households (earning $50,000 - $80,000 for singles and couples and $80,000 - $150,000 for families with children);

*  of the social housing units, 50% to be geared  to families with 2 or 3 bedrooms;

*  up to 60,000 square feet of local serving and service uses;

*  a minimum of 4 acres of secured park and more.

Heather LandsRCMP Fairmont building

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Our moms always love being surprised with flowers on Mother's Day and this weekend Richmond is offering 2 special annual sales.

At the corner on No. 3 Rd and Steveston Highway, the Richmond GoGos group will be selling sunflower seedlings and African-designed tote bags.

Proceeds of this charitable sale will go to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which combats the spread of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Richmond GoGos are one of hundreds of GoGo groups around the world that fundraise for this cause. The African word GoGo means grandmother.

After picking up your sunflowers you could head to the second flower and plant sale which takes place at London Heritage Farm.

On both Saturday and Sunday, the farm will be selling featured plants and flowers from its garden. Perennials, annuals, herbs, hanging baskets, tomato seedlings and garden accessories will be sold.

There will be a free surprise plant for each child at the checkout and a draw to win a hanging basket.

Unfortunately the annual Mother's Day Tea is sold out, but there is limited space available for walk-ins. The special tea takes place Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Tea, scones and baked goods are served for $14.

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James has become just the 2nd Canadian born pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to throw a 'no-hitter'.

The Seattle Mariners southpaw from Ladner shutout the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0 last night in Toronto.  James needed 99 pitches, striking out 7 and walking 3. He got some terrific support behind him, including a diving stop by 3rd baseman Kyle Seager to rob Kevin Pillar of a hit in the 7th.

James's final pitch to Josh Donaldson was clocked at 99 mph. It was also the first complete game of his Major League career.

'The last inning was just fastballs. I was just out there throwing as hard as I could and guys were make every play behind me, James told Rogers Sportsnet.  He went on to say that it's very special being able to get it done in Canada, in front of Canadian fans.

The last time a Canadian threw a no-hitter was back in 1945, by Dick Fowler.

The Delta Secondary graduates previous start saw him record a career high 16 stikeouts against Oakland. 

Our boy is on a roll!


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As the cost of living continues to rise in Metro Vancouver, finding ways to reduce energy and save on bills can make a difference to overall house expenses. Until June 15, if you replace your clothes washer with a high efficiency model you will not only lower your future energy costs, but you can get a $100 rebate.

Clothes washers are the second highest water consumers for most homes, just behind toilets. Not only will a high efficiency washer save you on electricity, it can save you up to 64,000 litres of water.

Through a joint initiative between many municipal governments and BC Hydro, those eligible for the rebate can purchase an approved clothes washer before June 15th. Qualifying appliances can be found at BC Hydro's website.

After you buy a new washer and send in a receipt, BC Hydro will issue the rebate cheque. Please dispose of your old washer properly, through municapal recycling depots.

washing machine

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Real Estate is not just about location, location, location. It's also about timing, timing, timing.

While sellers can do nothing to improve the location of their home, the same is not true for timing. Sellers can optimize their returns on housing sales by picking the most opportune time to sell.

And the best time to sell is May. As temperatures start to rise, enthusiasm and hope are also rising among real estate buyers and sellers. For those sitting on the fence wondering when to list, the time is now.

Weather and consumer sentiment have a lot to do with housing sales volumes. Cold and wet weather is correlated with slower housing sales. The presence of seasonality in real estate, with sales rising in summer months and falling in winter months is a well established fact.

While the housing market can be shaken up by rising mortgage rates, new mortgage rules and uncertainty, nasty weather and bad storms make matters worse.

After the slower winter months, the pent up demand for housing purchases is realized in early summer with help from houses showing better with leaves on the trees and manicured lawns.

Smart sellers must, therefore, add timing to the location mantra. Whereas sellers cannot pick a better location for their homes, they may pick a better time to sell.

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According to a new survey, more than 7 in 10 Canadian first-time home buyers (71%) are afraid that they will be hit by unanticipated costs during the process, and over half of those respondents (56%) are afraid that they will forget to take a crucial step as they gain their foothold on the property ladder.

Many first-timers are not taking the steps needed to prepare for a home purchase, which should be taken as seriously as preparing for the birth of a first child. Just 39% of respondents reported that they are taking the steps to reduce their debt ahead of their home purchase, with only 28% are working to improve their credit score.

Owning your first home can be an exhilarating yet unfamiliar experience. Knowing and preparing for what to expect on the home buying journey is often half the battle, and can help reduce unexpected surprises.

Less than half of first time buyers have planned for additional costs beyond the purchase price and down payment, and many are not aware of appraisal fees (49%), mortgage default insurance (47%) and closing costs (41%).

Some steps to help buyers along the way include:

manage existing debt and get your financial house in order;

consider all homebuying costs including appraisals, title searches, fee and adjustments;

get the right mortgage for your needs and work with a mortgage broker/adviser;

don't overstretch yourself on monthly costs or underestimate other home related expenses, such as property taxes and maintenance, and;

of course work with a realtor who has your back.

Young first-time home buyers stress

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