Jane’s Walk 2015 – May 1-3

In celebration of Jane Jacobs, people around the world are organizing Jane’s Walks that celebrate people telling stories about their communities, get people exploring their cities, and connecting with their neighbours. Jane Jacobs was an author, journalist, and activist best known for influences on urban planning. Vancouver has it’s own selection of walks organized for this upcoming weekend. If you are interested in exploring the … Continue reading Jane’s Walk 2015 – May 1-3

Powers of Towers – a Spacing Film [video]

I’ve been a big fan of the magazine, Spacing, since I lived in Toronto back in 2003. That’s about the same time the magazine came out. Spacing deals with all things urban, including transportation. The magazine’s focus was, and still remains, Toronto and its urban nature. There are different Spacing writers across the country now, but the heart of Spacing is strongly Toronto. And that’s okay, coming from this Vancouverite.

I’m excited to see this new film by Spacing – Powers of Towers. If anyone has ever travelled through Toronto, one must have noticed the many high-rise towers that dot different parts of the city. They look like large concrete blocks from the Don Valley Parkway. These are tall towers that date back to the 1960s in an age where the automobile was transforming the way people viewed and travelled the world – for better or worse.

Jane & Finch in Toronto (Google Earth)
Jane & Finch in Toronto (Google Earth)

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The Vancouver Special

Vancouver Special on Keefer St. (photo from sillygwailo on Flickr)

If I remember correctly, I spent about 2 years of my childhood in a Vancouver Special. Most of my years in Vancouver were actually spent living in post-WWII bungalows built in the 1950’s. The Vancouver Special didn’t come to exist until the 1970’s.

I do know quite a few people that grew up in Vancouver Specials and who actually live in one now (a few of them are actually homes in Burnaby). I guess they are the quintessential Vancouver home. It was almost cliche in the 1980’s when you’d drive around town and see tons of Vancouver Specials. The 1980’s version that I grew up with had red Spanish roof tiles. I later realized that Vancouver Specials were not just the Spanish roof homes, but they included a variety of other 1970’s homes that dotted the east side of Vancouver.

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Cost savings by not owning a car

The Globe and Mail featured an article talking about Mr. Money Mustache. I had never heard about him before, but apparently he is a Canadian-trained computer scientist who decided to do something different with his money – stash it away.

One of the key ways that he saves money is by driving as little as possible. The money he would have been spending on an extra car at home, he just socks away. Whenever he can, he rides his bike.

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