Reflecting Vancouver

Urbanism and Life on the West Coast

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Sandy Envelope


The first time I sent in my application, it was returned on account of a forgotten signature. I recall opening the sand-coloured envelope in excitement, only to have my battered documents spill out. They had traveled across the continent and back, returning with a sheet of paper that advised me of my omission. Moreover, this sheet of paper warned, a second mistake could result in forfeiture of the fee and untold consequences.

I checked and double-checked. I sent it back to Nova Scotia from the same dumpy gift card store with Canada Post in the back. I requested delivery confirmation.

And then I waited. And waited. Had I done something wrong again? Was I to be denied consideration on account of my inability to complete well-described forms? Surely the competence to follow instructions from the Government of Canada numbers among responsibilities in those alluded “rights and responsibilities”.

I never tested the generosity of the state in this scenario. Today I received another sandy envelope, which instead contained a glossy booklet. It mostly describes how Canadians are intended to govern themselves. Practically, this is the meaning of citizenship in this country: the right to vote.

And what now? “Please wait.” I feel more Canadian already.


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Was TransLink audited correctly?

A thoughtful investigation of whether TransLink was meaningfully audited in the most recent review by the Provincial government.

Daryl's take and more

What is “transit efficiency”?

My doubts began while I was in the middle of a long research session, constructing what became one of my first popular posts on this blog – an article comparing Vancouver’s transit fares with those of Toronto and Montreal’s.

As part of my research being done while I was putting together that article, I was also having a look through Shirocca Consulting’s TransLink efficiency review, which can be accessed on the CAW111 site at [CLICK HERE]:

One of the interesting things that I found in this review is that efficiency is defined:

However, Ctrl + F the document, or visually scroll through it all you want; but no matter what you try, you will not find a place in that document that mentions “Operating cost per revenue service hour” except the box on that page.


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Elysian Fields


The Elysian Fields, Ἠλύσιον πεδίον, were often framed in terms of climate. Moderate seasons, gentle rains, and sea breezes are recurrent descriptions in classical texts. When my mind wanders to imagine such a place, I think of Kitsilano in summer.

Life is easy in Elysium, enriched by leisure, sport, and fecundity of the land. In various tellings, the righteous are delivered there. Or perhaps just those who are lucky by birth.

Once the rains begin to fall, paradise turns meditative. You can smell decaying leaves. Wear a sturdy rain coat, find a good book, and nurture the memory of cherry blossoms.

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Farewell Glass Box

Vancouver Island 010

Apologies for the long silence. Vancouver summers are busy enough without moving, renovation, doctoral candidacy, and a parade of guests. After concerted marital persuasion and a long search, we have left the modern vision of downtown Vancouver for medium-density living on the other side of Burrard Bridge. It was not without hesitation that we left condo convenience, but we were more than ready to escape the austere temper of Yaletown. Farewell blazers, frowns, and tiny dogs, hello B-Line, Ray-Bans, and leafy streets.