Balcony Cleaning

Balcony Before

Balcony Before

Balcony After

Balcony After

Black Tie Property Services did an excellent job power washing the balconies. Really happy with how clean our balcony is now.

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Apartments Available at 122 Walter Hardwick

Living Room

There is currently one vacancy listed in our building, a two-bedroom unit for $1975/month.

According to the City of Vancouver’s database, 122 Walter Hardwick has:

  • 59 1-bedroom units
  • 12 2-bedroom units
  • 16 3-bedroom units
  • 14 4-bedroom units

Unfortunately, our landlords, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Affordable Housing Society, are currently using two 1-bedroom units as office space for their staff. That is in addition to the purpose-built office space on the 2nd floor. When Vancouver’s rental vacancy rates are among the lowest in the world (less than 1%), it is a shame that S.U.C.C.E.S.S. isn’t able to rent more of the units in our building to people who need them.

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False Creek Beaver

False Creek Beaver

Spotted the False Creek beaver this morning, happily munching on some twigs outside of its lodge.

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Red Dot Campaign

2016-02-28 17.12.23.jpg

Great idea from one of our neighbours. Red dots are available next to the mailboxes in the lobby. Add one inside of your mailbox to avoid annoying junk mail.

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Seawall Upgrades

False Creek Seawall

You probably have noticed that the seawall between the Olympic Village and Cambie Bridge has been upgraded to provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists. It’s still not the most scenic stretch of seawall, but it is a lot better and less congested.

Busy Seawall

Now the City of Vancouver and Park Board are looking to upgrade the section between Cambie Bridge and Burrard Bridge. I walked to Granville Island yesterday and the seawall was packed. Some more space would definitely be appreciated.

There is more information on the city’s website and a survey to share your opinions.

South False Creek Seawall - Study Area

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Dishwashers (or lack thereof)

Kitchen
The most common complaint from tenants in our building is that the kitchen doesn’t have a dishwasher (followed closely by the lack of in-suite laundry). I know a few of our neighbours have paid to have dishwashers installed and rumours were floating around that S.U.C.C.E.S.S. was installing dishwashers in units that were vacant.

So, last October I sent an email to our landlord enquiring about the cost and process, with the hopes that maybe we could splurge to have a dishwasher installed for Christmas.

Last week (after nearly 3 months), I finally got a response from our landlord, Chris Kean. I’m not sure what was more disappointing – the ridiculous wait or the disappointing content.

He apologized for the delay and sent along the “new standard dishwasher install protocol / procedures”. Here are the main points (if you want the official PDF, email S.U.C.C.E.S.S.):

  • The tenant pays for all the costs, including:
    • $63 – to remove a kitchen cabinet (work done by S.U.C.C.E.S.S.)
    • $450 (approx.) – electrical wiring (done by contractor)
    • $675-$800 (approx.) – new plumbing (done by contractor)
    • $500-$675 (approx.) – dishwasher (model approved by S.U.C.C.E.S.S.)
  • The tenant must provide proof of renter’s insurance that covers flood damage
  • S.U.C.C.E.S.S. owns the dishwasher and the tenant’s investment is lost when they move out

My wife and I have lived at 122 Walter Hardwick for almost 5 years. We like living here and we plan to stay here for the foreseeable future. However, as renters there is no certainty. That makes it difficult to pay $1750 upfront for something you lose the day you move out.

If we move out in a year, the dishwasher will have cost us an extra $150 a month ($5 a day). If we were sure we would stay another 5 years (as hard it is to imagine renting the same unit for 10 years), the cost would be more bearable – an extra $30/month or $1/day. But we don’t have that certainty (as I’m sure few tenants do). Changes to our employment or family size could cause us to look for new housing at any time.

So, we won’t be getting a dishwasher.

I’ve asked S.U.C.C.E.S.S if they would be willing to share the dishwasher cost or fund it through a rent increase (like $30/month), but they weren’t willing. As for the rumour that S.U.C.C.E.S.S was paying to have dishwashers installed when tenants moved out, here’s Chris Kean’s response:

The landlord had previously installed dishwashers in a few of the 3 or 4 bedroom units when we experienced resident turnover, with the intent we could receive a higher rental income in order to assist producing additional revenue to meet rising expenses. We have since ceased this process as the costs to install vs the increase in rent and long term payout didn’t work out mathematically. All other dishwashers that have been installed were at the tenants request and expense.

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The Olympic Village is a Car Sharing Neighbourhood

car2go Vancouver
One of the reasons I love living in this neighbourhood is how it encourages car-free living. All of the basic amenities are nearby – a grocery store, post office, drug store, and community centre. We have 2 SkyTrain stations within a short walk. The Seawall provides a safe biking route to downtown, Stanley Park, and Kitsilano. And when I need to drive, I have a plethora of car sharing options.

Modo
Modo recently added two new vehicles across the street at The One. There are now 14 Modo vehicles within 500 meters of our apartment – including a mix of cars, hybrids, vans, and SUVs. You can sign up and get $25 in free driving credits with Referral Code: REFT1VQFLZQ.

Car Share Hiking

Car2go expanded their on-street parking on Athletes Way to fit 6 vehicles, so it’s easier now to end your trip in the Olympic Village. However, even with 1250 vehicles scattered throughout Vancouver (the largest car2go fleet in the world), finding a smart car to start your trip can still be challenging during peak times.

Luckily, there’s also Evo, which has 500 vehicles (all Prius hybrids) available using the same business model as car2go. Evo has dedicated parking at 1st and Columbia.

If you want to sign up for Evo or car2go, I recommend looking at their twitter or Facebook feeds as they often run promotions. Like this one:

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