Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Chinese New Year 2017 - Metrotown stores are a joy to visit

CHINESE NEW YEAR is alway an electric zap to the sensorium ... especially the frenetic shopping process and the binge-eating that soon follows. Sometimes I do remember to carry my smartphone, and typically I take more photos with it than I ever make calls.  Here are a few examples of what I've been noticing in Metrotown this week:


T & T Supermarket - Burnaby Metrotown, January 2017

The treats are certainly piled high at T & T Supermarket in Metrotown Mall, including an astonishing array of Chinese New Year gifts and snacks.  We filled two shopping bags with goodies... everything from fresh Taiwanese bamboo shoots to a tray of just-baked egg tarts.     



Live farmed B.C. sturgeon, T&T Supermarket

The seafood section at T&T has a choice selection of product including Live Alaskan King Crab, but what really caught my interest were the Live Farmed Sturgeon.   Massive sturgeon can be caught in the Fraser River, about one kilometre east of us, but this is the first of the farmed variety I have encountered.


We regularly select from the offerings in the prepared meal section at T & T Supermarket.


Frozen Chinese and Japanese treats in abundance.  Even the packaging is dreamy!  For those wondering how prices compare, I can confirm that they are competitive with other chains, such as SUPERSTORE.  For example, in the T & T pharmacy I picked up half a dozen packets of FISHERMAN'S FRIEND throat lozenges, priced cheaper than either COSTCO or WALMART.  No kidding.

Chinese New Year 2017 - T&T Supermarket Metrotown

Sending Christmas cards seems to be falling out of fashion, as it now cost $1.00 in postage to send one out.  At  T & T Supermarket they offer Chinese New Year cards, but I didn't catch anyone poking through them.  

Tai Fang Noodle Ltd. - Crystal Mall, Metrotown

I also enjoy shopping in the marketplace located on the ground floor of CRYSTAL MALL, and it is particularly enticing during Chinese New Year week. Parking sucks, but I usually stop at the Burnaby Main Library first, leave my car, and cross the street to the mall. 

Chinese marketplace - Crystal Mall, Burnaby Metrotown

Whether you are making careful selections for your hot-pot dinner or searching for special treats to entice visitors to your home... it's all there in the Chinese marketplace at Crystal Mall. 

Orchids for Chinese New Year - COSTCO Burnaby B.C.

Inexpensive orchids offered today at the COSTCO store on Willingdon Avenue. I popped in to pick up a deck of batteries to feed my Apple mouse and keyboard, but I couldn't pass up a chance to poke my nose through the thicket of pretty plants.  Enjoy your Chinese  New Year weekend!

R.J. Jack in B.C.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

GOLD HOUSE - a new landmark begins rising in Metrotown

Beresford Art Walk at GOLD HOUSE, Burnaby Metrotown
Above the Beresford Art Walk - a giant LED display will become
operational astride the Metrotown Skytrain Station in 2019.


December 22, 2016
It is not often that I make a fuss over one of my wife's real estate investments, but in the case of GOLD HOUSE in Burnaby Metrotown, I think she made a very wise purchase -  a two-bedroom apartment in the south tower of the complex. This is a project that is very good value for the money, and will be turning heads for years to come - quite literally.  In concert with the Burnaby Art Gallery, the developer is planning to install a giant LED screen on the face of the first tower (157 feet long and wrapped around the building from the second to the fifth floors).  Similar to the popular screen at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles,  the Digital canvas above the "Beresford Art Walk" promises to be the largest screen of its type in Canada.   The Panasonic display will showcase "dynamic art" that is intended to look brilliant and HD from a distance - i.e. meant to impress both the pedestrians and the Skytrain riders who daily pass through Burnaby.  Though many residents of Metrotown are night owls, the giant screen is planned to be dimmed at 10 PM nightly. 

Municipal planners in Burnaby are determined that Beresford Street, astride the enlarged and redesigned Metrotown Skytrain Station, will offer street events and amenities to rival downtown Vancouver.  Many of us would like to see a new performing arts centre in Metrotown, but for now we must be content with shared benefits that will emerge from the explosion of residential towers and new retail developments.  That means the installation of many art pieces along Beresford Street as each new tower is completed, an Art Walk that will eventually total some $10 million in investment.

Beresford Art Walk - GOLD HOUSE - Burnaby Metrotown

GOLD HOUSE and the Beresford Art Walk
are shown ion this map of Metrotown.


There are good images of GOLD HOUSE available online, and I scraped this one (below) from the RIZE website.  It shows the two towers with the mountains in North Vancouver in the distance. The graphic is a bit deceptive because in fact two other towers - Modello and SILVER, are located west and on the same block. They already exist and should be in the image. The SILVER building is already tenanted and Modello has recently topped out.  My wife sold residential and street level retail units in SILVER and her clients are all very happy with return on investment, but for herself, she decided to hold out for a unit in GOLD HOUSE.  We enjoy our own home, and may never take up residence in Metrotown, but I have a feeling we will keep this unit, if only to pass on to our children.

GOLD HOUSE - Tower 1 and 2, Burnaby Metrotown

Good Luck Ceremony
Many of the purchasers of units in GOLD HOUSE are Chinese,  and they will appreciate the interesting "Good Luck" ceremony conducted by the developer, RIZE - ALLIANCE, on December 14, 2016.  I am not aware of any time-capsules placed in the foundations of Metrotown high-rise towers, (most Canadians now outlive the buildings we work in or inhabit) but certainly the developers did something unique on Beresford Street.  Assembled guests scattered gold foil into the five-story deep excavation at Tower One, and workmen in gold-painted helmets carefully applied gold leaf to a cement casting in the deep pit. A nice touch, and the sort of theatrics buyers do appreciate during the long wait as towers rise.

GOLD HOUSE - foundation ceremony - Burnaby Metrotown


Good Luck Ceremony - GOLD HOUSE - Burnaby Metrotown
December 14, 2016 - GOLD HOUSE construction site.
Builders apply gold leaf during a foundation "Good Luck"
ceremony at the base of the five storey deep excavation.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Competing for Status in "The Centre" of Metrotown

Your Blogger at the preview of  "THE CENTRE", the last tower
of the STATION SQUARE development. A sales person made
a point of emphasizing the giant version of the Station Square logo,  
the architects have incorporated into the design of their tower.
 (See on photo above.)  This is something to ponder.

Ronald J. Jack
Burnaby, B.C.


6080 McKay Avenue, Burnaby Metrotown - the building logo

"41 FLOORS, UNPARALLELED VIEWS, TRANSIT CENTRAL, WORLD-CLASS SHOPPING"  
Those are the talking points in the Early Preview Package.

I had the opportunity yesterday, to preview Phase Three of the STATION SQUARE development in Metrotown. The civic address for the tower will be 6080  McKay Avenue, Burnaby, B.C.
I skip most such events because they are now too frequent, but I was curious about this phase of the prodigious Station Square project, so I dropped in.  First the colour images (which I confess I simply scraped from the Email distribution kit) and later tonight I will add the words.  Not a review as such, but my thoughts on the project so far. I want to include what we might expect in what the promoters term "The Centre" of Metrotown. 

I hasten to add that yesterday was only a 'sneak-preview'.  No price sheets were given out, but I was thinking of 1-Bdm at mid-level, and told prices are in the $850 - 950 per square foot bracket, and  possibly going up. The Sales Team are watching up-to-the-minute values, as regional and Burnaby-specific sales data accumulates. As a possible investor-buyer I was given current Metrotown rental figures and some idea of what these units might yield a few years out. The Presentation Centre on McKay Avenue is now closed, as workers are installing show suites for the Big Splash,  and the glitzy promo packages are still with the printer.

An artists' rendering of the Station Square group of towers, when completed.
A spectacular addition to Burnaby's newly designated "Downtown". Yet, there are so 
many more towers coming, including a total redevelopment of the squat 1950s-era
SEARS property to the east of Metropolis, that this impression will not last long.

" A slim, central spine establishes an elegant connection between the ground level, podium, and tower.

Alternating pattern of four-storey white and grey stacks playfully ascends the tower's facade.

An iconic red square prominently tops the building."  


6080 Station Square, Burnaby Metrotown - Birds' Eye View of adjacent towers


This is an interesting rendering of 6080 McKay Avenue as it will look to birds and micro-drones when construction is completed.   No. 7  is the Chinese shopping centre - CRYSTAL MALL, a  project that was badly handled by some very greedy developers in the 1990s. The residential component did well, but the Retail Mall was half-empty for several years. Now it has matured into a wonderful, bustling marketplace where a simple purchase can be infused with a host of sensory and emotional boosts.

THE NAME GAME

I really disliked the name "The Crystal", when the project was promoted in 1997, but it has grown on us.  When the west-side of Metrotown Mall was enlarged and dubbed "METROPOLIS"  I was enthused, and I recall contributing a long letter to one of the Burnaby newspapers in which I predicted that the name would take hold.  Well I was wrong. In the run-of-a-year I very seldom hear anyone refer to "Metropolis".  Locals use "Metrotown" and "Station Square" almost exclusively when referring to destination,  and I think the developers of the STATION SQUARE redevelopment project know that.  Hence the decision to add the big red logo to the Phase Three tower. I have also written that "THE SOVEREIGN" was a great name for the landmark tower on Kingsway at Willingdon,  Many of the names bestowed on prestige buildings in Greater Vancouver are boring or simply dumb, but we don't live in them, so we don't feel the need to slight them. As some persist in promoting Vancouver as a "Gateway" to Asia, you would think one culture-conscious property developer with a sense of history might name a cluster of towers for those great explorers who forged a trading link across the Pacific, linking Asia, the Americas and Europe.  What is this aversion to history and hero figures?


This clipping is from an old real estate file I kept.  "The Crystal Plan Questioned", was a report in the BURNABY NOW, November 5, 1997. Through the early 1990s the NDP controlled council, and it must be said, Burnaby City Planners, were determined to prevent Asian commercial development sited in Metrotown. I know firsthand because I met with them to discuss a 24-7  Sports/Entertainment complex to be built above SUPERSTORE. (This was before Silver City went in.) When They learned I was fronting for a Taiwanese developer, I was shown the door, and they were blunt about what they "wanted for Metrotown". Experienced Asian developers often wanted to replicate the kinds of projects that had made them wealthy back home. But the Canadian political imperative was - "You supply the money. We'll supply the vision."  What the politicos didn't understand in the 90's, but certainly understand today, is that modern Asians detest the limitations of segregated shopping precincts, especially touristy Chinatowns.  "The Crystal" was a necessary first step to crushing the old Burnaby mind-set, and the future of Metrotown will be amazing.


Crystal Mall (when still new) Burnaby Metrotown
Visually interesting from afar, but spectacularly cramped
and off-putting as a shopping experience, the mall had a 
very rough start.  It seems to be doing well in 2016, but 
don't try parking there. Walk over from SUPERSTORE Parking.


Dramatic view of downtown Vancouver from downtown Burnaby, September 2016

UPTOWN  NOT  "DOWNTOWN"

This is a dramatic sunset view of downtown Vancouver as seen from "The Centre" of Metrotown.  As we all know, the development of Burnaby has been promoted around four Town Centres but last year city government decided to officially designate Metrotown as our "Downtown".  This is a bit awkward as Metrotown is actually built along a high ridge, which ensures that views from the residential towers are particularly spectacular. Some may prefer staring down at the Vancouver skyline, but others will prefer the view over the Skytrain line -  Mount Baker,  the trace of saltwater separating us from Vancouver Island,  and the now emerging Surrey, B.C. skyline.


This will soon be the pretty perch of some young urban professional, or perhaps a pair of students attending Simon Fraser University.  In reality, those who do not tremble when they discuss the rent. The purchase price, plus monthly Strata fees will bite into the buyer's belly fat, so one will have to have great confidence that local property values will continue to soar.



Floor Plan, STATION SQUARE - 6080 McKay Avenue in Metrotown
Most of the photographs herein, are taken
from the Anthem Properties,  Beedie Living
promotional package, distributed by email.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Canadian Domestic Spying On the Chinese - Targeting B.C.'s Newest Citizens

CRA Task Force - Tax Spies in Greater Vancouver
Burnaby Metrotown is hidden by cloud in this photo,
but those of us who love it, know exactly where it is.

In 1885 the Chinese Immigration Act  imposed a $50 Head Tax on  each Chinese entering Canada.  It was a daunting amount of money, but the Chinese kept coming.  The Act was amended again and again, raising the tax. But the Chinese kept coming.  In 1904 the Head Tax was raised to $500 - the price of a modest home in B.C., but the Chinese keep coming. Finally the Canadian government passed the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, which got rid of the Head Tax but also neatly excluded most Chinese from entering the Dominion.

There was already a large Chinese population in Vancouver and they could not legally be driven out.  Their rights however, were limited. They could not vote  and in order to protect the enclaves of White privilege, many property owners registered provisos on their real estate holdings, such as "This property may not be transferred to a Chinese."  Most such racist insertions have been quietly expunged from the legal record, but when I was selling homes in the 1990s I encountered two surviving examples on properties listed in  Dunbar. 

Today the sprawling city is abuzz with an entirely different real estate "problem". Daily it is alleged that wealthy Chinese immigrants from "Mainland China" are the principle cause of escalating real estate prices. The ankle-biters have been demanding that governments (plural) intervene, using all the heavy-handed measures available to the state, and crush this wave of  "unfair" competition for choice properties.  Worse, the Federal Liberals, the Provincial Liberals, and the Vancouver (whatever the hell they are) have fallen into lock-step on the  fabricated issue, convinced there are votes in squeezing more juice out of wealthy Chinese immigrants.  Vancouver's pale mayor will take the lead by imposing a municipal  Head Tax on the hated owners of condos who choose to turn the heat down low, and live somewhere else than Gold Mountain for most of the calendar year.  It's truly amazing what prissy Canadians find to bitch about these days.  

Some recent headlines:
Canada Revenue Agency launches Vancouver housing probe (Globe and Mail) July 14

CRA launches Vancouver housing probe - Globe and Mail July 14, 2016
    


Leak reveals secret tax crackdown on foreign-money real estate deals in Vancouver (South China Morning Post, July 14


Both articles referenced a "Confidential" briefing package that a CRA whistleblower distributed widely to the news media, and which is dated June 2, 2016.  The 34 page document is in the form of  Power Point screenshots and it was produced by someone working inside the the secretive Pacific Region headquarters of Canada Revue Agency.  The leaker is not at all opposed to government agents spying on Chinese immigrant families. On the contrary, he or she is incensed  by what they term "a lack of enforcement".  The goal was to embarrass the employer, the Canada Revenue Agency. Several newspapers published pages, but I decided to download the entire document from the cloud, and read it.  To save you the trouble, I am sharing the most interesting pages here:

Real Estate Webinar - CRA Pacific Region, June 2, 2016


Canada Revenue Agency - leaked document - Vancouver housing investigation


CRA PACIFIC REGION - assessing Vancouver  real estate prices


CRA Vancouver office - confidential - Leaked briefing notes


Tax Spies in Vancouver - CRA TASK FORCE on Chinese Property Buyers

There are no government employee names or contact information provided, but the leaker told a Hong Kong based newspaper, the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, that the briefing package was distributed by Mal Gill,  who is identified as the Canada Revenue Agency "Pacific Region Business Intelligence Director.  I guess that makes Gill our "Tax Spy - Chief".The paper contacted the Spy Chief, but he blandly referred them to a CRA Communications Director. 

The next page, "SCREENING TOOLS",  is especially interesting. It lists some of the B.C. Government , Canadian Government and Municipal Government (so far just Vancouver) databases the Tax Spies are already consulting. They also troll social networks on the Internet, searching for private postings that might incriminate an immigrant who has outbid White Canadians for property in British Columbia, and who can be punished with additional taxation and fines.    

Data Matching - CRA Vancouver - List of Confidential Resources

Domestic spying is a routine in Orwellian Ca-na-da. (We are the only country that operates mechanized mail-opening plants for Christ sake! ) I am really hoping that the Chinese government has told the Canadian tax-snoops to take a hike.  Too many countries betray their own people for slight political rewards Canada offers them.  Taiwan for example, signed a Tax Treaty with Canada several years ago, and regularly provides packets of highly confidential information to Ottawa.  And for what? Political recognition as an independent nation?  Hell no! Just for the mere privilege of operating visa-issuing offices in our country.  Suckers!

Chinese Immigrant Tax Cheats - CRA Pacific Region document

And a few pages of CRA - Pacific Region (RESULTS) for the last Fiscal Year.
  
CRA Pacific Region - Chinese Immigrant Investigation, Fiscal year  2015-16


Canada Revenue Agency - June 2, 2016, leaked document


In a concluding page, "GOING FORWARD" we learn of plans to promote awareness of CRA efforts to crack down on cheats and non-compliers, including emphasis on a snitch line and a webpage to keep media abreast of topical stories that might enhance the image of the agency.

I suspect that the CRA is indeed embarrassed by this leak, but not because it is more evidence of domestic spying in Canada, but because they have no successes to brag about. It is a secret internal document ALL of the graphics, page after page of them, are clippings from the local newspapers.  Reading it, I was reminded of an experience I had many years ago in Ottawa. I had a business appointment with the Military Attache of the Republic of Mexico, and arrived a few minutes early.  His desk was covered with the days newspapers, and he was busy clipping stories and filing by subject.  This CRA briefing,   "REAL ESTATE WEBINAR - PACIFIC REGION" might have been prepared by a similar functionary for all it is worth.

Bulldozer Bait - jealous headline in Vancouver SUN - 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

100 More Towers for Burnaby - Our construction targets are leaving Vancouver behind


Ronald J. Jack

Burnaby Metrotown - Cityscape March 2016
Burnaby Metrotown - one of four planned quadrants in Canada's "best managed city",
is poised to be officially declared - BURNABY DOWNTOWN.  Here we see (S) the
Sovereign building - currently Burnaby's tallest tower, and (L) the Main Library,
astride (C) Central Boulevard - host to METROTOWN SKYTRAIN STATION.


Last week my wife got into a bidding-war over a townhouse in Metrotown.  (These days, feeding frenzies over coveted homes are quite the norm.) Her clients had to offer $80,000 OVER the Listing Price, if they had any hope of securing the desirable property.  At $880,000 they won, but not by much. A paltry $3,000 more than the next highest of five bidders. Her clients are very happy because they had offered on several other hot properties during the last 18 months and failed to take the process seriously. Now they have a home.  ... On the weekend she sold an investment property, a tiny studio apartment in Vancouver. That listing is very near the beach on English Bay, and comes with a parking stall that will accommodate a Mini-Cooper with ease.  The unit sold for $482,000., which is just $2,000 over current Assessed Value - "location" and "low" price was the only selling features. 

Explosive Growth is the new reality, but in Burnaby at least, careful tower planting is creating futuristic garden-cities, versus the ghastly dystopian glass-thicket that has rendered Vancouver into an unsustainable tax sinkhole.

BIG NEWS
In March the Business Press and the Real Estate Blogs were buzzing with news of staggering projections.  Vancouver developers have finally conceded that the glass city is maxed-out.  There are certainly limits to growth and there are also limits to how tolerant we are to having our behaviour and lifestyle dictated to us by mouthy Vancouver politicians. Burnaby, with its Four Town-Centers concept of well spaced development nodes is ideally suited to hosting the calibre of mega-projects now being conceived by the leading developers. Simply put, we have the space. 

Over in Surrey, B.C. the planners and developers are equally ambitious, and they will be looking hard at the 2016 CENSUS Data as it becomes available two years down the road. The voice of Vancouver has been far too loud and shrill, and their are indications that the combined influence of  the sister municipalities in the G.V.R.D. will teach the harbour city a delightful new marching song.


Burnaby News - Burnaby Outpacing Vancouver in Tower Development

Inserting this scraped text will save me some typing time:



Some "housing critics" term them "Demo-victions" but the trend has taken hold in Burnaby, and our 100% NDP Council and Mayor are onboard with it.  Socialism ain't what it used to be! Several half-century old low-rise apartment blocks have come down and many more are nervous. Concrete towers are marching down Metrotown ridge.

Demo-Fiction in Burnaby Metrotown

MODELLO is one of the residential towers currently underway in Metrotown.  We didn't buy one of its units, (sales were manipulated by privileged insiders, resulting in unreasonable prices) but  the    location's advantages are obvious. It is an easy five-ten minute walk from Modello Tower to anything you might need or desire -  superb shopping at Metropolis Mall, the Skytrain station, the Burnaby Central Library (home to the best DVD movie, TV and documentary library in town), The Crystal - Chinese Mall,  and the sprawling green belt called Central Park. 




NEIGHBOURS
I must admit that while I enjoy all the benefits of living NEAR Metrotown, I actually live in a detached house surrounded by hedge, fence and tall trees.  In fact we are equidistant from the BRENTWOOD MALL (currently the site of a landmark development and hyper-growth) and METROTOWN, but I rarely shopped at the old Brentwood.  COSTCO  is nearest emporium to us... just five minutes by car, and once you fill the car at COSTCO you rarely bother to drive further.  But I must admit that the concept designs convince me that he NEW Brentwood will be a complex I will occasionally explore.

BRENTWOOD MALL, Burnaby - the super development
The shopping node at the core of what they are terming "The Amazing Brentwood"
is now under construction.  The Skytrain station was completed several years ago.


The Amazing Brentwood - new development in Burnaby, B.C.

I sometimes shop at LOUGHEED MALL but I must admit that what most attracts me to that neighbourhood, perhaps twice per month, is the "Korean Village" - a haphazard cluster of Korean food stores and restaurants downslope from the mall. I really like the way Koreans market their wares. The produce, the meats and fish, the bakery treats and the galaxy of gleaming Korean kitchen gadgets, are all very, very enticing.

LOUGHEED MALL is projected to thrust itself high into the sky, and it is nothing short of astounding to examine the Concept Proposal put forward by Shape Properties.  This is virtually a mini-city project in size and scope, and given that Burnaby's silicon industries are located nearby, we can be assured that those towers will sell out to young workers and local investors. This is not pie in the sky, but rather a clever maximization of the huge investment in a new rapid transit line that was recently completed on North Road and which is still underway to communities further East.

Lougheed Mall redevelopment proposal - Burnaby March 2016

I don't know a single person who is opposed to these plans, although most of us still keep an anxious eye on the soaring purchase prices of residential property. I think it is far too easy to criticize market trends and label such home prices "insane".  That was exactly what I said...and repeatedly, when I bought a house in Burnaby in 1994. "This is insane."  But I was wrong.  Yesterday I was looking at detached housing and apartment rental figures for the cities of New York and San Francisco.  Now that's insane! I recommend comparative reading  as an antidote for folks who suffer a sour stomach over Vancouver Real Estate prices.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cute Rear-Ends in Metrotown

No. 1

"Haul Anything... But Dead Bodies!!"





Distracting the Drivers 
Our buses and taxi cabs are plastered with advertising, and now of course we have those gorgeous jumbo digital screens that we read easily from a long bridge-length.  Occasionally I gawk at, and photograph cute rear-ends that amuse me.  Here is Brad's Junk Removal, on Willingdon in Metrotown.  If memory serves, it was Christmas time,  three months back.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

BURNABY - Even the Thrift Shops are Better Here!

Burnaby Hospice Society Thrift Store - Tenth Anniversary, 20216
Contents: Old Dutch potato chips, a Kit Kat bar, 
a Juice Box, a ballpoint pen, and a $5 Gift Certificate.


Volunteers add joy to our lives in Burnaby

The guilt is weighing me down. I started this Blog a few months ago, fully intending to promote life in Metrotown with a weekly photo-essay covering something worthy. I love living in this city, and I feel that I do contribute... yet I'd like to do more.  But I have to work, and there are only so many spare hours in my day. Let me start to make amends.

Here is something rather splendid.  In a previous post I mentioned that my gym is CLUB 16 in High Gate Village. It's a great place to work out and the staff are super friendly - even to a middle-aged geezer like me.  A bonus is that directly below our gym is a "Signature" BC LIQUORSTORE.  It stocks everything I might want, and much more.  And if that isn't convenient enough,  just a block away, on my route home, is the BURNABY HOSPICE SOCIETY THRIFT STORE.  At least once a week, I try to pull over and go inside to browse the book department and the DVD shelves. Of course they don't always have something matching my interests, but when they do, Oh brother they're giving it away!

Did I mention that the staff are all volunteers, and they are super-friendly? 

At noon today I stepped through the entrance and was greeted very warmly by a couple of volunteers.  One lady thrust a hand-crafted gift bag into my hand, and invited me to sample the goodies they had prepared, even before I could get to the book stacks. She was manning a popcorn wagon, filling giveaway bags. Another lady was offering slices from a very large cake and filling Starbucks cups with hot coffee.  I took a cup but skipped the sweet cake and buttery popcorn.  I was still overheated from my workout at the gym. 

Burnaby Hospice Society Thrift Store - 10th  Anniversary sponsors

To celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of their thrift store, located at 6843 Kingsway, the Hospice Society is running a surprise BLOWOUT sale.  Now, many stores do hold "Thank You" events, but I think we can all agree that these spirited staffers are redefining the concept of "Customer Appreciation". 

Most shoppers are probably looking for furniture, clothing, or housewares, but I'm a man with simpler interests. I don't need or want any of that.  So what did I buy? 

Der Vaderen Erf -  published Zaandam, 1952
The best item is the 1992 Exhibit Catalog, VAN GOGH IN ENGLAND, from the Barbican Gallery, London. 


All of this (five books and a DVD) for $3. dollars... and they gave me a plastic bag to carry it all away. I think they are probably the last shop on Metrotown Ridge that still gives out a plastic bag. 

So what kind of people volunteer at the thrift shop? Students, seniors, and even folks with previous retail experience.  The man who volunteers for organize and stock the book corner and music/movie section is very knowledgeable.  He's had his own bookstore in Burnaby for years.

So when it comes time to donate unwanted items from your own home, (and I know it is so tempting to simply let the BIG BROTHERS truck come to your door), give a thought to dropping you clean unwanted items to the backdoor of the Burnaby Hospice Society Thrift Store. They're easy to find, quite near the Japanese Cultural Centre.

BMW  Z4 in  Burnaby Metrotown - Brian Jessel dealer

Don't judge people who shop at the Thrifts -  else they judge you first.

Ronald J. Jack