They don't grow a lot of sugar cane in Vancouver! But it's been an integral part of the economy for 120 years through the BC Sugar Refinery. The compex on the East Vancouver waterfront dates to 1890, when the City of Vancouver was only four years old.

The refinery's ancient brick warehouse along the CPR railway tracks is Vancouver's most familiar industrial site and there's a whole world you can't see from the street, hidden behind the brick buildings. The property is 13.5 acres and includes 20 buildings, a dock and a little park and includes a couple of art deco buildings from the 1940s and 1950s - modern office building and a 300 foot long, 50ft high storage facility packed with mountains of raw sugar.

When you walk through it the air is thick with sugar but when you leave you feel like you've been skim-coated in sugar!

BC Sugar is still a fully functioning refinery, producing between 100,000 and 20,000 etric tonnes of sugar annually. That's almost 10% of Canada's sugar output. The complex also has become a favourite spot for film shoots, with moe than 20 productions having been shot there in recent years.

The refinery was the brainchild of Benjamin Tingly Rogers, an American who learned the business from his father in Philadelphia and New Orleans, then studied and worked in Boston and New Yrok.

Perhaps one day, if the Rogers Sugar Refinery closes, the site will be converted to warehouse condos on East Vancouver's waterfront, similar to what's been done in Yaletown and Gastown and now happening in Chinatown.

Rogers Sugar also left its footprint on Vancouver real estate by building Gabriola House on 1700 block Davie Street, which is my favourite West End Victorian home.

Buying or selling Vancouver real estate? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you! Call 604-328-0077 today!

Read full post

More than 100 Vancouver residents turned out for a community workshop to discuss the pros and cons of a developer's proposal for a residential-retail development at Kingsway and Broadway in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant. 

The City of Vancouver hosted the workshop, which highlighted the Mt. Pleasant Counity Plan, allowing for three tall buildings near the intersection of Broadway and Main Street, which the plan labels Uptown.

Rize Alliance Properties Ltd presented details of its proposed development for the trapezoid-shaped block bounded by Broadway, Kingsway, E. 10th Avenue and Watson Street.

The community plan callas for a landmark building on West Broadway and Kingsway to be 26 storeys but some of the residents say no to a rezoning application.

What's the solution to housing the 30,000 people who move into Vancouver annually?

Buying or selling Vancouver real estate? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you! CAll 604-328-0077 today!

Read full post

Last week a new client, who is a first time buyer posted the question to me "where in Vancouver shall I buy a condo?

My answer to her was, where are you living now and do you like your neighbourhood?

If you do, then that's a good place to start.

If you are unable to afford that neighbourhood, or don't like it, then sit down and write a priority list and number it one to ten. With a bit of luck you'll get the top two or maybe three things on the list.

Determine which the next up and coming neighbourhoods will be and bypass the current trendy ones. In Vancouver this means heading East!

Select a couple of neighbourhoods and spend a Saturday afternoon hanging out there. Observe the people, the stores, the lifestyle and decide if it's for you. If it is, find a home that's been lived in by the same owner for a while and jazz it up.

This is a good way to increase the value of a Vancouver property, particularly if you are a handyman.

Buying or selling Vancouver real estate? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work or you! Call 604-328-0077 today!

Read full post

Over the last few years there has been a backlash against the City of Vancouver's densification program and neighbourhood associations are speaking out. The neighbourhoods of the West End, Marpole, Oakridge, Chinatown,Grandview, Mount Pleasant, Kerrisdale, Hastings and Kitsilano are some of the areas effected.

When a piece of land is redeveloped the old building is not the best and highest use, but how much should the densification be increased? At what point does it negatively impact the quality of life for the neighbourhood residents?

Will Vancouver condos eventually be a part of all our neighbourhoods?

Wall Financial obtained a development permit to redevelop the iconic Shannon Mews Estate at 57th and Granville, with hirises which is precedent setting for this Vancouver neighbourhood. Some will be rental buildings and some will be condos, accompanied by underground parking.

The neighbours are fairly upset.

Buying or selling Vancouver real estate? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you! Call 604-328-0077

Read full post

Perhaps Vancouver is your home sweet home but how many homes do you think a Canadian owns in their lifetime?

A recent survey by TD Bank finds that one in five Canadians own five homes in their lifetime and 23% of those surveyed plan to move again in six years and less than one third say their next move will be their last.

49% think their next home will be larger vs 51% who think it'll be smaller and 7 in 10 repeat homebuyers say their next home will be a detached, not a townhome or condo.

21% plan to take the maximum mortgage they'll qualify for and 72% plan to stick to their current lender. 

Only one in three home buyers are cautious saying they wouldn't buy a new home until their current home is sold, but 45% would put in an offer if the perfect place was available and hope theirs sells.

Two thirds plan to choose accelerated payments for their next mortgage.

29% say they'd be moving due to retirement. 16% said they're bored with their current home and 39% will use one as a rental property. 51% said they'd improve the resale value of their home by redecorating.

Buying or selling Vancouver real estate? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you! CAll 604-328-0077

Read full post

When you decide to sell your Vancouver condo or townhome it's a good idea to ask your Realtor the following questions:

  1. hire a condo or townhome specialist.  How long have they been a Realtor and how long have they specialized in this type of Vancouver real estate and worked in your Vancouver neighbourhood
  2. what does their website look like?
  3. do they have a detailed CMA or are they just pulling numbers out of the sky. Don't get suckered in by a Realtor who buys your listing!
  4. are they a full time Realtor? Or do they have a Team, whereby they are all part-time
  5. do they have great inter-personal skills?
  6. are they engaging and personable?
  7. what is their sales to list ratio? they should know the answer to this question right away
  8. what kind of marketing do they do to sell your Vancouver condo or townhome? Are they tuned into social media? Or do they just hang a sign and wait for the phone to ring? Do a Google search for their name
  9. do they provide professional floorplans, hire a professional photographer for photos and a virtual tour?
  10. do they offer the services of a stager and suggestions to make your Vancouver listing look its best?

Selling your Vancouver condo or townhome? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you!

Read full post

New comers to Vancouver in 1886 mostly arrived by ship becuase that was the easiest way to get to the City. The newly built city was a sleepy collection of several hundred wooden buildings and dirt roads, but the prospects of a transcontinental railroad coming to town in a  year's time gave bright hope for the future. It was populated by a boisterous, mostly male population, who were mainly employed cutting down huge trees. 

Joan Seidl, Director of Collections at the Vancouver Museum, says the young men spent their free time drinking in nearby bars. People were pining for home and drowning their sorrows. The amount of broken liquor bottles turned up during Gastown excavations is phenomenal, says Seidl.

The people who came had a sense of adventure. Vancouver had a reputation as a beautiful place but it didn't take long for the first calamity to hit. Logging debris was being burned to clear a large tract of land. Vancouver was an incredible rainforest. Sparks thrown by a freak squail torched the vulnerable buildings on June 3, 1886. Less than an hour later, the city was in blazing ruins and a couple of dozen people were dead.

Amid the conflagration, a strange story emerged about the importance one man placed on saving the city's files. Perhaps acting with more haste than good sense, surveyor and city alderman Lauchlan Hamilton rushed into a burning building, breathing air as hot as cinders and emerged with blackened papers documenting council decisions. (Hamilton Street is named after him).

Those charred, hand-written volumes are still held in a climate-controlled invironment at the City of Vancouver Archives, located in Vanier Park.

Hamilton rescued the earliest city records, says city archivist Les Mobbs.

As Vancouver's 13,000 residents picked up after the fire, it proved to be a minor setback. Buildings were rebuilt with bricks and the iron railway arrived in 1887, connecting British North American colonies with ocean-going ships bound for the East.

In the process, a new Canadian pathway to the world was created. In the coming decades the city's indigenous inabitants were summarily displaced and waves of immigrants changed its ethnic makeup forever. During two world wars patriotic fever gave way to profound grief as casualities mounted, while indistry grew apace and employment surged.

There was almost always housing shortages and real estate speculators.

In the 1970s Vancouver gave birth to a protest group named Greenpeace.

Vancouver turned 125 in 2011.

The city is seen as a safe harbour for real estate and if the city's population doubles, where and how will people be housed?

Buying or selling Vancouver real estate? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you! Call 604-328-0077

Read full post

If you are a first time Vancouver real estate buyer or if you are a trade up buyer you will need to address the following questions with your Bank or mortgage broker:

  1. how much you i afford to spend on a home
  2. how much down payment will i need to put down
  3. what will be my monthly payments
  4. what if i have damaged credit
  5. how does that change my buying situation
  6. what does the word condominum mean
  7. can different types of structures be classified as condos
  8. what is a freehold condo
  9. what is a leasehold condo and is it right for me
  10. what is a co-op
  11. how much are monthly maintenance fees
  12. what are annual property taxes
  13. which is better - a pre-sale or a resale condo
  14. what are the best neighbourhoods to consider
  15. what are all my closing costs
  16. what does a conveyancing lawyer do
  17. what should i know about a home building inspection
  18. how long will it take before i can move into my new home
  19. what is a buyer contract
  20. what servces can i expect from my Vancouver Realto

Buying or selling Vancouver real estate? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you! CAll 604-328-0077

Read full post

Judging by demographic trends, sales and construction activity, the future of housing is leaning sharply towards condominiums and townhomes. Condominiums and townhomes represent one in two residential sales in Metro Vancouver as of Nov 2010. Their universal appeal attracts entry level buyers to affluent, experienced buyers. The demand is of course linked to the lower prices but it also reflects a growing number of people downsizing and living alone.

Today 9.9% of Canadians live alone, including more than one million seniors. Single people also account for 27% of the population. 

As the Baby Boomers age, 38% of long term marriages end in divorce and those that stay married often downsize to a condo from a house when they become empty nesters.

Virtually all of Canada's housing demand growth will come from this 25-34 age group, reflecting the maturing of the baby echo generation. 

These buyers, many of them singles or young professional couples, support continuing moderate demand for condos, particularly in urban centres close to employment opportunities.

There is also high deand from investors  local and offshore.

Buying or selling Vancouver real estate? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you!

Read full post

So you've decided to sell your Vancouver home. Here are some security tips you should consider:

  1. do you wish your Realtor to hold Open Houses?
  2. does your Realtor use a lockbox? Or do they personally always show your home?
  3. does your Realtor give other Realtors access to the property with a one day code?
  4. does your Realtor give keys to the Buyer's Realtor? If so, do they know the Realtor?
  5. it's a good idea to remove all valuables from sight until the home is sold
  6. contact your insurance agent to review and upgrade coverage as necessary
  7. understand how keys are being safguarded whilst in your Realtor's care
  8. change alarm code after showings, opens or inspections have finished
  9. Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you when you're ready to buy or sell your most expensive property ever! 604-328-0077

Read full post

Here's my top five Vancouver real estate stories for 2010 -

  1. Coal Harbour's Three Harbour Green sells the Penthouse during the Olympics for $25M
  2. Olympic Village goes into receivership in November 2010
  3. Mayor Gregor Robertson's bike plan and the disruption is has on surrounding real estate and businesses
  4. Jimmy Pattison's proposed Burrard Street Gateway development on Burrard & Davie
  5. Aspac (Bayshore Drive developer) pre-sells River Green in Richmond at record prices
  6. Vancouver's most expensive house sale ever  for $17.5M in Shaughnessy sold in October 2010
  7. Most expensive 2010 re-sale Vancouver condo was $5.8M at Two Harbour Green
  8. Vancouver's most expensive resale condo prior to that was at Cascina Penthouse (Coal Harbour waterfront) which sold in 2006 for $7.250.000
  9. Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you when you're ready to buy or sell your most expensive property ever! 604-328-0077
Read full post

Here are a few tips to help Vancouver real estate buyers. The offer situation can be complicated, particularly when there is more than one offer bidding on a home.

Facts you should be awae of:

  • Seller's Realtor calls buyer's realtor and revokes the offer from seller to buy. However, the buyer's Realtor had already sent acceptance of the counter electronically
  • the courts have stated that revocation can be oral. If the intention to revoke is clear, and notice of revocation is given before acceptance of counter offer is communicated to seller, then the revocation is valid.
  • An offer, or counter offer, can be revoked at any time prior to acceptance. Though an offer can be revoked orally, it is critically important to have written evidence of the revocation, which is not effective until received by the person to whom the offer was made (or their Realtor)
  • The Electronics Transactions Act of BC states that an electronic communication is deemed to be received when it is sent. So what if you orally revoked and the Buyer's Realtor had already electroically sent acceptance? It seems the electronic acceptance would supersede the oral revocation. Both a Vancouver seller and buyer can revoke their offer or counter offer.
  • Buying or selling Vancouver real estate? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you! Call/text 604-328-0077
Read full post

Who was Captain George Vancouver? He was an English Office of the British Royal Navy. Between 1791-95 he chartered the Pacific North West Coastal Regions and the City of Vancouver was named after him, as is Mount Vancouver which is the 8th highest mountain in Canada.

Born in 1757 he died in 1798. Captain George was the first European to enter the Burrard Inlet in June 13, 1792 , naming it after his friend Sir Harry Burrard.

He then surveyed Howe Sound and Jervis Inlet. 

George mapped the area in April 1792 but it wasn't until 1886 that Vancouver was incorporated into a City.

He then sailed south to Spanish Alta California and then to then to the Sandwich Islands, which are Hawaii.

The following year, in 1793, he returned to British Columbia and sailed north

A life size statue covered in gold sits atop the BC Parliament Buildings in Victoria.

Buying or Selling Vancouver real estate? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you!


Read full post

Vancouver's Shangri-la condo building completed at the end of 2008. The hotel occupies the first 20 floors, followed by the live/work condos at 1111 Alberni and the Estates are from the 46th to 61st floors at 1128 West Georgia in Vancouver's Downtown.

The Estates have three unique suites which are double height 3 bedrooms 4500sqft.and boast amazing mountain, water and city views from their floor to ceiling windows. Condos start at 2400sf.

1111 Alberni condos start at 600sf, currently selling from $545,000

Owners can take advantage of the hotel's concierge services and have access to the gym and outdoor pool.

At the beginning of 2009 the condos in the Estates were selling at $900psf. The developer pre-sold them in 2004/05 for $750psf, plus taxes.

Listings history - Nov'09 had 3 listings. March 2010 had 13


  • 2009 had 43 at 1111 Alberni and 12 at The Estates
  • 2010 had 41 at 1111 Alberni and 14 at The Estates
  • 2011 had 24 at 1111 Alberni and 4 at The Estates
  • 2012 had 14 at 1111 Alberni and  5 at The Estates
  • 2013 had 7   at 1111 Alberni and 4 in the Estates (as at Aug 31st)
Buying or selling in Vancouver's Shangri-la condo building? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you.
Read full post

Does Metro Vancouver have a ready supply of vacant industrial land? The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties commissioned Pacific Land Resources Group (PLG) .

PLG categorized the development potential of currently vacant industrial land parcels according to the following constraints:

  • government/quasi-government owned
  • current use
  • environmentally sensitive area
  • non-indstrial designation or presen tnon-industrial zoning
  • servicing and other restrictions
  • isolated lots under 1 acre
  • ownership structure
  • unique restrictions (environmental, legal, topography)
Here's what PLG found:
  • Of the constraints identified, government or quasi-government ownership was the most prevalent restriction which encumbered 900 acres of land
  • only 2,500 acres of 4,500 acres of indstrially zoned land identified in the Metro report were available for near term development throughout Metro Vancouver
  • based on the historical average of 250 acres of land per year absorbed in the region, 2,500 acres could represent approximately between a 10 to 12 year supply and
  • including activity associated with the Ports, more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs in Metro Vancouver are related to the industrial section

Buying or selling Vancouver real estate? Put Maggie Chandler's hyper-local experience to work for you! 604-328-0077

Read full post
Posts By Date
The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.