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Desirable Edgemont


The appetite for land in the Edgemont Village area is robust!

Lots and land with older houses are receiving multiple offers. Specific houses on St. Annes, Highland, Trenton and Vale sold in mere days. Listed between $829,000 and $1,150,000 they went for asking price and over asking, proving that ‘The Village’ is still a highly desired area.



THE RESTORED BRITANNIA MINE MUSEUM


Britannia mineBRITANNIA MINE MUSEUM

$14.7 million makeover transforms a mining legacy.

Just 10 minutes south of Squamish on the Sea-to-Sky Highway the Britannia Mine Museum offers a vast array of activities, exhibits and hands-on fun designed for adults and children alike.

Mining began on this site in 1904. The mine was closed in the early 70's, The first museum there open in the 80's. Later in 1988 it was designated a National Historic Site and then the mine and surrounding area was completely restored in 2007.

As a visitor, you can follow the footsteps of other miners and climb aboard the underground train which rumbles into an authentic tunnel. Stories of the miners will be shared, there will be mining demonstratons and later, you can pan for real gold.

The outstanding 20 story Mill building captivates. During the restoration in 2007, each of the 14,416 panes of glass was hand-puttied into the frames!

This outstanding museum can be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. Be sure to pay a visit and take your out-of-town visitors. there is much to see and do. 



EYE OF THE WIND


Eye-of-the-Wind-With-Snow

GROUSE MOUNTAIN'S EYE OF THE WIND

Standing 1231 metres (4,039 feet) above the city, the Eye of the Wind has married wind technology with tourism by introducing the world’s first elevator-accessed viewPOD™.  Beginning with this wind turbine Grouse Mountain is striving to become energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral by 2020.

 From the viewPOD™ the 360 degree view is spectacular. On a clear day you can see southeast to snow-capped Mount Baker and Mount Rainier and, to the north their sister mountain, Mount Garibaldi.  All three are part of the still-volcanic Cascade Range. To the west and southwest lie Vancouver Island, the Gulf Island, the San Juan Islands and the Olympic Mountains.

 

 

 

 

EYE OF THE WIND FAST FACTS

TOWER

Overall height:                   65 metres / 215 feet

Weight:                            133,946 kg / 285,300 lbs / 145 tons

viewPOD™

Diameter:                         7 metres / 23 feet

Height:                             5.5 metres / 18 feet

Weight:                            13,600 kg / 30,000 lbs, 15 tons

Capacity:                          36 people

Framework:                    Structural steel and glass

Glass:                              Tempered: 2.5 cm / .5 inches thick

Viewing Area:                  360 degrees

ELEVATOR

Capacity:                          7 people per passage

Speed:                             1.6 metres per second

Travel time:                      25 seconds

GENERATION SYSTEM

Output:                                    1.5 megawatt

Cut-in wind speed:              2.7 metres per second

Cut-out wind speed:            25 metres per second

Output capacity per year:    Enough energy to supply power to                                    400 average Canadian homes                     

BLADE

Blades:                                   5,530 kg / 12,200 lbs each

                                                 27.3 metres / 122 feet long

Sweep area of blades:        4,657 square metres / 28,400 sq. ft.

Blade material:                     Fibreglass reinforced polyester

Speed of blades at tip:        300 km / 186 miles per hour

 

THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE EYE OF THE WIND

Some key construction milestones:

 Foundation Assembly:  the foundation of the structure was the first construction phase for the Eye of the Wind.  The foundation is a 2 metre (6.56 ft) high, 8 metre (26.25 ft) wide hexagonal concrete base with anchors imbedded deep into the bedrock, some as deep as 15 (49.21 ft) metre.

Wind Turbine Blade Transportation:  The most logistically complex task was the transportation of the three 37.3 (122.37 ft) metre long blades which journeyed via freighter from Europe to the Fraser Surrey Docks.  The blades were transferred to barge and tugged to Indian Arm.  Finally, a giant Sky Crane helicopter air-lifted the blades to the Peak of Grouse Mountain.

Tower Section Transportation:  The wind turbine tower was manufactured in Washington State in three sections.  Each section is close to 20 metres (65.6 ft) long and made from structural steel weighing up to 45,000 kg (99,208 lbs) per section.  The tower sections were transported via special low-bed trailers along expressways and city roads and finally navigated at a walking pace up Grouse Mountain’s winding 13 km (8 miles) back road.

viewPOD™ Assembly:  The custom viewPOD™ was designed and manufactured in France.  It was transported by freighter to the east coast of Canada and rode a train to Vancouver.  This steel and glass capsule was assembled on the ground before being lifted into place.

Crane Assembly:  To prepare for construction the LR1280 crane had to be brought to the project site via 17 separate truck loads.  It was assembled on the ground, alongside what would become The Eye of the Wind, over a period of three days.  This monster crane is able to lift 300 tons and has a 90 metre boom.

Structure Erection:  The assembly of the structure took place over three days in September 2009.  Each component was individually lifted by the crane and then bolted into place.  The three tower sections were lifted first, followed by the viewPOD™, the wind turbine machine carrier, the generator and finally the blades.  The blades were pre-assembled to the centering hub and lifted as one unit.

 Post Construction Work:  the months following construction saw the installation of the elevator inside the tower and the completion of the electrical components of the project.  These steps transformed The Eye of the Wind from a collection of parts to a highly animated, fully-functioning natural attraction.

 

 

 



BC'S HST & REAL ESTATE


BC's HST and Real Estate

November 19 update: Transitional rules for new housing have been released by the provincial government today. The Province is proposing to increase the previously announced threshold for the B.C. HST new housing rebate from $400,000 to $525,000. For pre-sales, any home sold (meaning contract entered into) before midnight on November 18, 2009 is grandparented and any home sold on or after November 19, 2009 are subject to HST transitional rules. HST would not apply to sales of newly constructed or substantially renovated residential units in residential condominium buildings that are taxable under the GST where, under a written agreement of purchase and sale, ownership or possession of the home is transferred before July 2010.

October 14 update: General Transition rules have been announced by the provincial government, although the general rules contain little information regarding real estate.

On July 23, 2009, the B.C. government announced that it has reached an agreement with the federal government to combine the 7% B.C. PST with the 5% GST to create a single harmonized sales tax (HST). The new tax will come into effect on July 1, 2010. This article focuses on the effect of the HST on the real estate industry.

General

  • The HST rate will be 12% (5% federal + 7% provincial)
  • The PST will be eliminated completely
  • There will be a partial rebate of the provincial portion of the HST of up to $20,000 on new housing
  • Input tax credits will be available of HST in the same manner as under the current GST

New Housing

Currently under the GST, new housing is taxed while used housing is not. No housing sales are directly taxed under the PST, although the B.C. Ministry of Finance states that there is currently an average of 2% PST embedded in the cost of new homes from PST charges on construction materials. Under the HST, there would be no embedded tax but the full 12% HST would apply to new housing.

An HST partial rebate on new housing will be provided to purchasers in an amount equal to 5% of the purchase price up to a maximum rebate of $20,000. The Ministry's rationale is that because purchasers currently pay 2% embedded PST, the rebate would eliminate any tax increase on new housing sold for a purchase price of up to $400,000. The embedded PST aside, homes under $400,000 will be subject to a tax 2% higher than under the current system. Homes over $400,000 will be taxed at a rate 7% higher than under the current system, less a flat $20,000 rebate (in addition to the currently available GST new housing rebate currently available for prices up to $450,000). According to the Ministry of Finance, roughly half of new housing in urban B.C. is sold for over $400,000.

Price of Eligible New Home (not including GST or HST)

GST Portion – New Housing Rebate1

British Columbia Portion – New Housing Rebate2

Total Rebates

$350,000

$6,300

$17,500

$23,800

$400,000

$3,150

$20,000

$23,150

$450,000 and above

$0

$20,000

$20,000

1. New home buyers may be eligible for the federal GST new housing rebate, which generally equals 36% of the tax paid on the first $350,000 of the purchase price. The amount of the GST rebate is phased out on a straight-line basis for homes priced between $350,000 and less than $450,000.

2. British Columbia proposed rebate for new housing is equal to 5% of the purchase price up to a maximum rebate of $20,000.

In order to avoid the increased tax burden on homes priced over $400,000, vendors and purchasers may consider, wherever possible, completing the sales of new homes prior to July 1, 2010 when the new HST comes into effect. See transitional rules below for more details.

Buyers in the market for a home may be considering purchasing resale properties in order to avoid the increased tax burden on new homes. While the tax on resale properties is not directly affected by the new HST, the cost to the purchaser of these homes may still increase slightly because services associated with the purchase may be subject to increased tax. For example, home inspection charges would be subject to HST.

Apartment Buildings

Residential landlords will face increased costs under the HST, since some goods and (especially) services not currently subject to the PST and necessary in the operation of apartment buildings will be taxed under the HST. As is currently the case with GST, landlords will not be able to claim input tax credits for HST paid and will not collect HST from tenants. Expenses such as maintenance, electricity and other services required by landlords will be taxed at 12% starting July 1, 2010.

Building Lots

Builders of new homes will be entitled to claim input tax credits for most HST paid on their inputs, such as raw land, just as they currently do with the GST. However, new homes in B.C. that are currently subject to the GST will become subject to HST as described above under the New Housing heading. These rules may be subject to anticipated transitional rules.

Commercial Sales and Leasing

Commercial sales and leases will not be materially impacted by the new system. The 12% HST will apply on commercial sales and leases just as the 5% GST does under the current system and input tax credits will be available to tenants and purchasers for the full amount paid.

Real Estate Commissions

Commissions will be subject to HST in the same manner as they currently attract GST. Commercial vendors will be able to claim input tax credits on HST paid to agents, while individuals selling personal use property will not.

Transitional Rules for Pre-Sales

On July 1, 2010, many homes in B.C. will be partially constructed or the subject of incomplete transactions. Although no transitional rules have been announced by the B.C. government to date, rules applicable to such homes will undoubtedly be announced in the future. In Ontario, where a similar HST will come into effect on July 1, 2010, transitional rules were recently released as follows:

  • 5% GST will apply to sales where title or possession of new housing is transferred prior to July 2010
  • 12% HST will apply to sales where title and possession of new housing is transferred after June 2010 unless grandfathered
  • Sale agreements entered into prior to a specified date where title and possession of new housing is transferred after June 2010 will be grandfathered. In Ontario, that specified date is June 18, 2009, the date the transitional rules were announced. If the same approach is taken here, BC's rule will be effective the date its rules are announced or alternatively the July 23, 2009 announcement date (more likely the former than the latter)
  • Where a sale is grandfathered and the building is wholly or partially completed after June 2010, the builder will be liable to pay a transitional tax intended to ensure the building has a tax content equal to what it would have had if constructed wholly prior to July 2010 (i.e., PST paid on all materials). Ontario has adopted an approach to dealing with condominiums whereby the builder must pay 2% of the selling price of the unit (Ontario's estimate of the PST content) and then claim a PST transitional credit for the estimated PST paid on materials prior to July 2010 (formula based). It is unknown if BC will adopt the same approach
  • Where a sale is subject to HST and construction commenced prior to July 2010, the builder will be entitled to a PST transitional credit for the estimated PST paid on materials prior to July 2010 (formula based)

More Information

The links below offer more information on the new B.C. HST.

Ministry of Finance Press Release, Power Point Presentation, and FAQ

BDO commentary

KPMG Tax News Flash

GVHBA commentary: affordability threat

BC Real Estate Association HST FAQs