From the Miss604 Flickr Pool


Friday, October 5th, 2012 — 10:04am PST
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No puddles, no waterfalls of rainwater pouring over concrete steps downtown, no spots of moisture covering a windshield between swishes of the wipers. I haven’t spotted a rainy photo in the Miss604 Flickr Pool for weeks, which is a welcomed contrast to how we started out the summer (remember June-uary?). Sunshine, clear skies, crisp air, and beautiful pictures of our region flood the Flickr pool and make up this week’s photo collection:

Curve of the tracks Curves of the Mamquam
Photo credit: Ruth and Dave & Ruth and Dave on Flickr

_9090007 That weird bit of old dock something-or-other in False Creek
Photo credit: oooNJooo & colink. on Flickr

faux totem poles
Photo credit: Nicole Soltys on Flickr

Sunflowers on 6th From the Okanagan, fresh and organic! New Red
Photo credit: Photocat62 & Eric Flexyourhead & Mark Faviell Photos on Flickr

London Heritage Farm Family Farm Fair London Heritage Farm Family Farm Fair
Photo credit: [kam] & [kam] on Flickr

fin Howe.
Photo credit: Beaulawrence & rommy ghaly on Flickr

The Tourist Trade old world
Photo credit: Tom Wiebe & Beaulawrence on Flickr

Bowen Island in magic hour
Photo credit: teflonjedi on Flickr

Vancouver Vanier Park
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Queen of Capilano
Photo credit: JayPiddy on Flickr

TV Drama "Once Upon A Time" Filming in Richmond Steveston
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Dusky Days
Photo credit: Mark Faviell Photos on Flickr

Helios 44-2 58mm f2
Photo credit: oooNJooo on Flickr

The Happiest Sunset English Bay Sunset
Photo credit: Clayton Perry Photoworks & PiscesDreamer on Flickr

Circle of Stones
Photo credit: a.Vision on Flickr

As always, please click through on these images to view more work from the photographers and feel free to share your own photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool. View all photo collections here.

Vancouver Haunted Halloween Trolley Tour 2012


Thursday, October 4th, 2012 — 3:29pm PST
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The Vancouver Trolley Company is bringing back their popular Haunted Halloween Trolley Tours this season featuring local history, spooky stories, and a stop over at Mountain View Cemetery.

As the night falls and shadows begin to appear, you will be whisked away by Trolley where you will see streets and homes, which seem normal, but if you look and listen close enough you will hear echoes of murders and other devastating events. Your spooky host will tell the gruesome tales of troubled ghosts, how they met their end, and where they now occupy their time.

Daily tours will depart from Canada Place from October 19th to October 31st, 2012 at 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm with 9:30pm tours on Fridays, Saturdays and Halloween night. Due to the nature of the tales told, this experience is recommended for those 13 years old and above.

Tickets are now available for $40 by calling (604) 801-5515 to make your reservation. These always sell out so be sure to book well in advance. Group bookings can also be made to reserve a whole trolley for your office, friends, or family (up to 33 people).

I have a pair of tickets to give away for the Haunted Halloween Trolley tour again this year. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment here naming a fear of yours — anything from spiders to ghosts or heights (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win Haunted Halloween Trolley Tour tickets from @VanTrolley & @Miss604 http://ow.ly/eev58

I will draw one winner next Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 12:00pm. Follow the Vancouver Trolley Company on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about their scenic tours and tour packages.

Update The winner is Michaela!

WordCamp Vancouver 2012


Thursday, October 4th, 2012 — 1:04pm PST
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WordPress is the open source content management system that powers millions of websites and blogs (including this one) around the world and there’s a strong community of users and developers right here in Vancouver. Every now and then communities can organize WordCamps which are conferences that focus on the use, development, writing, design, and collaboration of WordPress. The next WordCamp Vancouver is coming up October 13, 2012 at the BCIT Burnaby Campus.

A few of the confirmed topics so far include (but are not limited to) Introduction to Publishing with WordPress, How to Make Your WordPress Site Mobile Friendly, Demystifying SEO, Building a Membership Site with WordPress, and Mistakes I Made Using jQuery and How to Avoid Them.

Tickets are available for $25 and they include the full day of speakers, sessions, and lunch.

WordCamp SF 2011 T-Shirt

We’re proud to have signed on as a silver sponsor of this year’s WordCamp Vancouver with our company sixty4media. As WordPress users since 2006, John and I have organized WordCamp Whistler and WordCamp Vancouver in the past and I have spoken at WordCamp Victoria several times. We’re committed to giving back to a platform and a global community that has helped us build a business and empower many others.

If you are a blogger and you want to know a bit more about your publishing platform, consider attending WordCamp Vancouver this month to learn some new tricks and to connect with others.

10 Parks for Fall Colours Around Metro Vancouver


Thursday, October 4th, 2012 — 11:34am PST
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I have experienced the changing leaves in New England first hand, as the countryside puffed up under a colourful patchwork quilt of foliage, but still nothing compares to autumn on the West Coast. Crisp marine air tickles your nose with a hint of sea salt as chestnuts tumble and evergreens collect scattered crumbles of fallen leaves. The wind blows, rain clouds tease, and gumboots get dusted off.

Fall morning at Deer Lake
Photo credit: Chris Murray Photo on Flickr

If you’re like me, you love getting out and about in the fall. Warm beverage in hand, scarf around the neck, and a camera to capture the hues and patterns of the season. Here are a few recommended spots for taking photos of fall’s beauty around the region.

10 Parks for Fall Colours Around Metro Vancouver

Minnekhada Park
Enter off 4400 Oliver Road in Coquitlam. I have yet to check out this gem but John Biehler’s been on several photo walks and I know it’s a local favourite.
Google Map / Metro Vancouver Park Listing

Queen’s Park
Enter off 3rd Avenue or McBride Blvd in New Westminster. The area is beautiful year-round but at this time of year the meadow is naturally overgrown and neighbouring heritage houses will start putting up their beautiful lights for Christmas in a few weeks.
Google Map / New Westminster Parks Listing

Sunrise Mist
Photo credit: Chris Murray Photo on Flickr

Burnaby Lake
Enter off 4519 Piper Avenue in Burnaby. Adjacent to the rush of the Trans Canada Highway, it’s a scenic pocket of plant life, birds, and other wildlife.
Google Map / City of Burnaby Park Listing

Campbell Valley Park
Enter off 16th Avenue or 204th Street near the Surrey and Langley Border. Walk along the boardwalk or through the forest trails for some great shots.
Google Map / Metro Vancouver Park Listing

Green Timbers
Enter off 100th Ave between 144th and 148th Street in Surrey for the lake trails. Explore the deep woods of the urban forest or the foliage around the lake.
Google Map / City of Surrey Park Listing

Tynehead Park
Enter off 96th Ave just west of 168th Street in Surrey and check out Serpentine Field, the off-leash area with your pup, or the perimeter trail.
Google Map / Metro Vancouver Park Listing

Conservatory Autumn [Explored, Oct 16] Autumn Leaves
Photo credit: Tom Wiebe & Matzuda on Flickr

Queen Elizabeth Park
Enter off Cambie around W 30th or from E 33rd Ave in Vancouver. Filled with flowers and flowering plants the old quarry still comes alive in the fall with evergreens, changing colours, and sweeping views of the city.
Google Map / City of Vancouver Park Listing

Pacific Spirit Park
Access the Park Centre off 16th near Sasamat or 33rd and Camosun for the Camosun Bog. Take your pick of routes throughout over 73kms of trails.
Google Map / Metro Vancouver Park Listing

Autumn in the Park

Stanley Park
Enter off West Georgia before the Stanley Park Causeway or exit to Park Drive off the Lions Gate Bridge. The classic, the staple, the must-see park in Vancouver. From the Prospect Point lookout over the narrows to Beaver Lake.
Google Map / City of Vancouver Park Listing

Lynn Headwaters
Enter near the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre on Park Road or off Lynn Valley Road/Rice Lake Road. Rushing water, a canyon bridge, and 54kms of trails.
Google Map / Metro Vancouver Park Listing

Everything is still pretty green out there but splashes of orange, yellow, and reds will appear over the next few weeks. These parks are just a few suggestions and we’re fortunate to have so many great green escapes around here. For more inspiration, check out my Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley Park series.

Vancouver Icons: Dominion Building


Thursday, October 4th, 2012 — 8:27am PST
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In 1910 it was the tallest commercial building in the British Empire as well as Vancouver’s first skyscraper. The distinct Dominion Building still commands attention today, standing above Victory Square at Hastings and Cambie.

(Left) 1908 Construction. VPL Accession Number: 6884. Photographer: Philip Timms
(Right) 1912 VPL Accession Number: 13678. Photographer: R. Broadbridge.

The nearby Sun Tower claimed the title of tallest in the empire just a few years later but the style and architecture of the Dominion Building is admired to this day.

From about 1905 on, Vancouver was in the midst of an unprecedented economic boom. Structures built during the boom period, including the Dominion Building, were of a new scale and design. Despite outward appearances of earlier design, they were among the most advanced buildings of their time. They used steel girders and concrete as basic structural elements and remained, well into the 1940s, the ‘modern’ buildings of downtown Vancouver. The centre of this commercial district was Courthouse Square, now Victory Square. [Source: Historic Places]

Lazy Afternoon in Victory Square
(Left) 1927 VPL Accession Number: 6434. Photographer: Leonard Frank.
(Right) Photo credit: Patricia Meyer on Flickr> on Flickr

To a steel-framed Chicago-style high rise, architect J.S. Helyer added classical columns, Sullivanesque detailing above the tenth floor, and a Second Empire curved mansard roof. The interior design was even more unusual: a central core design with a ten-storey spiral staircase. [Source: Historic Places]

An urban legend tells the tale of Helyer’s demise within the skyscraper that he designed. Some say he died by his own hand in his office and others say he tripped and fell down the interior staircase — where his ghost is reported to have been see on the seventh and eighth floors.

The building is no stranger to fiction as it has been featured in several big and small screen productions over the years. From local music videos to Battlestar Gallactica, Blade: Trinity, Alcatraz, and The Neverending Story.

The Dominion Building, Cambie & Hastings #gastown #vancouver #streetview #vancity
(Left) 1915 VPL Accession Number: 8393. Photographer: R. Broadbridge.
(Right) Photo credit: HappyBarbers on Flickr.

The Dominion Bank sold the building in 1943 to S. J. Cohen, president of the Army and Navy Department Stores, who intended to convert it into a multi-storey department store at the end of the war. These plans were never carried out. When the Dominion Bank merged with the Bank of Toronto, a branch of the new Toronto-Dominion Bank was housed in this building. [Source: Historic Places]

The Dominion Building today is home to a variety of tenants in offices, workspaces, and showrooms along with Opus art supplies and a restaurant, Nuba, on the corner.

Panorama of Victory Square Vancouver

Dominion Building, Gastown, Vancouver

Other Vancouver Icons posts include: Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.

PowerSmart Month 2012: Vancouver Home & Design Show


Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 — 1:34pm PST
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October is BC Hydro PowerSmart Month which focuses on sharing information about conserving energy, using electricity wisely, finding the right electronics and lighting options for your home, and offering great deals and savings to consumers. Throughout PowerSmart Month I will be sharing updates, deals, and a few exciting giveaways.

PowerSmart Month 2012

This morning I walked over to Georgia and Granville downtown where the BC Hydro PowerSmart team setup the Power Experiment. From today until Friday, October 5, 2012 you can stop by and walk through the setup to see just how much power you use every morning when you’re getting ready. Pick up a booklet and post a sticker to everything you would touch that uses power — remember the faucet counts because it takes power to make hot water!

PowerSmart Month 2012 PowerSmart Month 2012

This demonstration will move around the province this month with a stop in Kamloops and then in South Surrey. The point is to make everyone aware of how much power they’re using everyday, just during a normal routine.

Power-Eaters in the Morning

  • Using a hair dryer for 5 minutes in the morning can eat up 36.50 kWh.
  • Leaving a small lamp on for an hour can use 27.38 kWh, which is almost double the power you would use if you turned on the microwave for two minutes.
  • Coffee makers are the biggest offenders since they’re usually left on longer than any other appliance when you’re getting ready for work. If you have it on for 10 minutes it can use up to 54.75 kWh.

Everyday PowerSmart Tips for the Home

  • Reducing your shower time by 1 minute will save approximately $15 year.
  • Put up some drapes to limit cold drafts and save up to 15% on your heating bill.
  • Since the coffee maker uses the most energy of all small appliances used in the morning, consider turning off the heating element while you enjoy your brew to save.
  • LED bulbs cost more, but they can last up to 25 times longer than an incandescent bulb – and use at least 75% less energy. The lifespan of an ENERGY STAR LED is 15‐20 times longer than an incandescent and about three times longer than a CFL.

PowerSmart Month 2012

Learn more about energy-efficient appliances, fixtures, and design inspirations at the Vancouver Home & Design Show which is coming up October 11th to 14th at BC Place.

Celebrity guests include HGTV stars like Bryan Baeumler and Jillian Harris, stylist Janette Ewen, colour expert Maria Killam, designer Alykhan Velji, and Graeme & Tammy Huguet of My House Design/Build. The Exhibitor List is extensive and you can search for products that range from bathtubs to blenders.

You can get a 2 for 1 admission discount by getting your tickets using this link and using the code: powersmart.