The arts scene moves into Chinatown

Art galleries and creative spaces have been steadily setting up shop in Chinatown, but with new businesses entering the neighbourhood, some are wondering whether it will affect the community’s culture, history, and economic value. The Central Art Garage, a conceptual art gallery located at Somerset Street West and Lebreton Street North, opened in 2013 in a renovated auto repair shop. When co-owner of the gallery Danny Hussey moved in four year ago, he said the arts scene hadn’t yet formed in Chinatown. “When we moved in here, there wasn’t very much,” Hussey said. “Over time, I think people start to gravitate to a certain space.” Neighbourhoods such as Westboro and Hintonburg are pricing themselves out of the market for many […]

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Student homelessness: A hidden issue

High rent, low vacancy rates, and intense competition for rental units in cities like Vancouver and Toronto are making it increasingly difficult for students to find affordable housing. A Globe and Mail article published Aug. 5 reported that students at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver had been forced into homelessness—sleeping on campus at night after being evicted from their rental units, unable to find new housing at reasonable prices. Kerry Gold, a real estate journalist who wrote the article, said most people aren’t aware that student homelessness is an issue. “I don’t think that the problem has been recognized. From talking to the students, they said they feel pretty invisible and nobody really knows what’s going on,” Gold said. […]

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UBC proposes 145 sq. ft student micro-units

In an attempt to address the demand for affordable student housing, the University of British Columbia (UBC) is proposing to construct a new student residence complex that will include 43 micro-apartments. The proposed micro-apartments will each be about 145 sq. ft, “about the size of a parking space,” according to UBC housing director Andrew Parr. The tiny apartment scheme, referred to as micro-housing, aims to provide students with affordable housing close to campus, Parr said. Parr mentioned that similar concepts already exist in Europe and high density areas in Asia. Each room is set to include a bed, bathroom, kitchen area, and desk. UBC currently offers 120 sq. ft. dorm-styled rooms which lack a bathroom and kitchen area. The university began […]

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Nightbound app gives users a preview of nightclubs

Three young entrepreneurs from B.C. are looking to make their mark in Vancouver’s nightlife scene by releasing an app that provides club goers with real-time information on local nightclubs and bars. The app, called “Nightbound,” was released on Apple’s App Store Feb. 1. “Nightbound is, on the basic level, a crowdsourcing app,” founder Matthew Gu said. “People at the venue update what they see, and instantly, people who are trying to go out can benefit.” The kinds of information users can input into the app include line wait times, how busy the venue is, and gender ratio. Development of Nightbound began December 2013 after Gu teamed up with Rahul Jiresal, a University of British Columbia (UBC) computer science master’s graduate, […]

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Vancouver pair aims to reduce drunk driving

A pair of University of British Columbia (UBC) economics students are pushing the City of Vancouver to allow drivers that have been drinking to leave their cars in parking spots overnight. Leighton Hay, 22, and Curtis Kuznecov, 23, said their plan aims to lower drinking and driving rates throughout the city. Hay said this would greatly benefit drivers, making Vancouver roads safer. “For the average person, a drink and a half will put you at that level,” Hay said, referring to the legal alcohol limit. Hay said most drivers quickly find themselves well over that level of consumption during a typical night out, according to research conducted by himself and Kuznecov. He said allowing drivers to leave their parked cars […]

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