How to prepare your kids for being outdoors in summer

How to prepare your kids for being outdoors in summer

Summer is all about visiting parks and beaches and soaking up some vitamin D. But while being in the sun is important, too much exposure can be dangerous. Too many people forget about basic precautions resulting in harmful side effects.

Kitsilano is Vancouver’s most popular beach, so you can expect that a lot of people will be packing up to enjoy a day in the sun. And with Kitsilano’s renovated pool, who could resist paying a visit? We want you to make the most of your fun in the sun by preparing you with the following list of safety precautions for you and your family.


Apply sunscreen early and continuously

Even on cloudy days, you should always apply sunscreen liberally and frequently. Plan to put sunscreen on at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors to make sure the protection really soaks into your skin. Applying sunscreen just once is not enough. Continue to reapply sunscreen after every couple of hours and after every dip in the pool or beach.

Use proper coverage

The sun can harm skin in a number of ways. Protect your children from harmful rays and exposure by making sure you pack them a hat, sunglasses and other protective clothing. A light long sleeve shirt and pants could protect them from the sun, but keep in mind that you don’t want to overheat them with anything too heavy. Kitsilano has plenty of shops and places you can stop into to pick up a cool drink and take a break from the heat in an air conditioned building.

Note that while shade does provide relief from heat, it does NOT fully protect from UVR and your child could still get a sunburn in the shade.

Avoid peak hours

The sun reaches its peak between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Avoid letting your children play outdoors during this time as much as possible. Try to reschedule and plan outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day, such as in the early mornings or late afternoons.

Keep children hydrated

If you know you will be out for the day, pack a few water bottles and fill them up with ice. Make sure you and your child drink plenty of water before you even feel thirsty. Also eat more fruits and vegetables throughout the day.


Keep watch over children in water

Don’t let your phone distract you when your kids are playing in water. Lifeguards are there to help watch for signs of drowning or injury, however, ultimately it is your responsibility to look after your child. Know where your child is at all times and ensure they are keeping safe water play practices. Make sure to never leave your child alone near any body of water.

Know your skills

If it’s been a while, consider updating your basic Child CPR certificate. Ideally you should refresh your knowledge on first aid each year.

Put your child in swimming lessons

It’s a good idea for your children to take swimming lessons and as early as possible if you want them to fully enjoy the benefits of swimming. Proper lessons can significantly reduce a child’s risk of drowning.

Important References

  1. Sun Safety tips for parents from the Government of Canada website:

  2. Extreme heat: heat waves from the Government of Canada website:

  3. 13 Ways the Sun Affects Your Body from the Live Well blog:


Kitsilano trees: Can you find them all?

Kitsilano trees: Can you find them all?

A nature walk through Kits

If there’s one thing Vancouverite’s are proud of, it’s their easy access to nature. There are so many places to visit where you can step away from the busy city streets and enter a world of natural beauty. The best part about it is that you don’t even have to walk far from your front porch.

You might not know this, but Kitsilano is home to some of the more interesting trees in Vancouver and with the great weather we’ve been having, it would be a waste not to take the opportunity to find these hidden treasures.

Beautiful Kitsilano

The Natural Beauty of Kitsilano

Kitsilano is a very plant loving community and you just need to walk down the tree-lined streets to see that. And thanks to a friendly community member, you can even follow along with a ready-made map that takes you through the city to find the most gorgeous trees in the neighbourhood. You can actually download and print the free map at

What makes this urban route different than one of B.C.’s many forest trails is that you wouldn’t get nearly as much diversity. With so many different species and range of colours, you will be astounded by what you’ll come across among Kitsilano’s urban trees and community gardens.

Just to give you a little taste of what you’re in for, here are two of the amazing trees you could come across on your nature walk through Kitsilano.

Japanese Zelkova

As seen in New York

This tree is native to Japan, Korea, eastern China and Taiwan and is often grown as a piece of decoration for the garden.

Where can you find this tree?

This tree is sits above the Maritime Museum along the footpath off of Cornwall Avenue.

Weeping Willow

Similar tree not in Kitsilano


The weeping willow originally came from China, however, it can now be found throughout the northern hemisphere. The tree came by its name as it was described as having “raindrops that are falling to the ground from the drooping branches of willow resemble tears.”

Where can you find this tree?

Follow the path through Kitsilano Beach and as you approach the central beach area, you will come across this magnificent tree.

Visit to the Outdoors

Nature is such an important part of our community. Many schools and daycares have even introduced outdoor programs to help enrich the education of students through exposure to nature.

Even if you’re not up for a long walk, you can find nature just sitting on the patio at what could be a new favourite restaurant and coffee shop. But if you do have a day to spare, we recommend you definitely challenge yourself to the Kitsilano tree walk.


Banner image via GoToVan

The Year in Review: REBGV's Summary of 2012


"For much of 2012 we saw a collective hesitation on the part of buyers and sellers in the Greater
Vancouver housing market. This behavior was reflected in lower than average home sale activity
and modest fluctuations in home prices"

                                                                                                              -Eugen Klein, REBGC President


The world didn't end in 2012 and the same can be said for Vancouver's real estate market. 


Let's take a look at the 5 year trend:


And the 25 year trend:


Overall we see a decrease in the price index starting early summer 2012. Which is normal given in previous years sales do in fact decline, and with it the price index, beginning between April / June. The only exception we see in are the years 2009 and 2011, where it was more level than a true decrease until winter.


Drivers such as continuing low mortage rates and market speculation.


Year to Year comparison in sales we see a total of 25,032 in 2012

In 2011 there were 32,387 (2012 - 22.7% decrease), 2010 there were 30,595 (2012 - 18.2% decrease)


The home sale total was 25.7% less below the ten-year average in the region.

However, 2012's total listing was 6.1% above the ten year average in the region.


Compared to 2011, there was a 2% decline (2012: 58,379 - 2011: 59,539) in number of residential properties available and 0.6% increase in regards to 2010 (58,009).


Is it a good time to buy? Is it a good time to sell?

Investors and home buyers out there are doing two things:


1) Actively searching for properties that can generate postive cashflow asking for a price they perceive to be good deals. They are out there, many as a matter of fact. Whether they be restricted to pure investments or a home that may be rented out in the future or rented out now, with the possibility of acting as a primary residence years down the road there are all sorts of investors looking at the market right now.


2) Waiting for the "bottom" of the market. The strategy here is to get a "maximum" on the return for their investment right at the lowest point in the curve, right before prices start to go up again. This isn't anything "wrong" or "bad" about it; the only negatives are potentially losing out on the property that nicely compliments their portfolio or even losing out on the perfect home that is available now. If one buyer thinks the home is pefect for them, another one will as well. 


The same could be said for sellers:


With the release of this year's (or more accurately last July's) property assessments many home owners are taking a look at their needs, their reasons for considering a move. Was the house a short term investment, a flip? Were there plans for a downsize or upsize?


We cannot forsee where the market will be a year from now, or even 3 months from now. What we can do is take a close look at the specific area the seller is living in and analyze the specifics. Prices across the board are still at an all-time high and sales are still being completed. Everything from studio apartments to multi-million dollar houses are being offered and sold.


The best method is to see if it is a good time to sell is to sit down with a realtor and go over in detail the specific needs and expectations the seller deems important. The region statistics may say one thing, but the micro-markets (especially in Vancouver) may say another. 

I offer no pressure, no obligation,  free home evaluations so you can have an idea of what your home is worth and determine what is the best action for you as a seller and a buyer.

Let's sit down and have a conversation, you won't regret it. I guarantee. 


Behold: Jameson House


A Foster + Partners Design


Created by a cast of real estate all stars, Jameson House was developed by BOSA Properties and designed by Fosters + Partners in association with Walter Francl Architecture Inc.

This 36 story, 119 meter tall building certainly adds an unique flavour to Vancouver's skyline.


Everytime I pass by this building I've always felt there was something different and frankly, "off". 


And now i know why.



Notice the design of the building's first two floors. The professionals' say it best;


"The first two stories of the structure correspond to the adjacent 1920s Art Deco buildings—the Ceperley Rounsfell Building and the Royal Building—and the scale of the pedestrian street level. The original buildings, which had fallen into disrepair, were restored  and incorporated into the ground floor plan of the new tower development. The historical section of the podium houses new retail, while the new development creates entrances for the office and residential areas in the tower."1

But that's not all,

"Eight levels of offices extend above in a sleek rectilinear glazed cube, the top level of which corresponds to the cornice height of the nearest building located at the corner. This volume contrasts with the rest of the tower, which houses the residential apartments."2

This is the basis for the "odd" perception I had. The gap between the two buildings gives the appearance of instability, completely unfounded I admit. Instead, this allows for the rooftop garden terrace as evident atop one of the retail spaces. 

The design serves a pratical purpose, not for conspicuous shows of "look what I can do". According to the design philosophy by the architects and developer, subtantial efforts were made to ensure "green living" throughout the entirety of the building. For example, wind and sun direction, climate conditions, and even rainfall are taken into account. Nearby buildings are even considered in the collaborated design with city planners, "the residential floors curve outwards in four wide bays, which are staggered to allow daylight to reach neighbouring buildings and oriented to provide uninterrupted views of the landscape".3

However, perhaps one of the coolest features of this building:


Don't you want one of these (the garage, not the car)? Reminds me of back home in Asia. 

It's luxurious, it's sleek, it's undoubtedly fantastic. It's also available. 


There are currently 21 units available in the building including 2 penthouses. 

The penthouses are multi-leveled and include its own rooftop garden terraces.


Luckily the lawsuit between the previous Korean developer, Argo Ventures Inc. and Bosa Properties Inc. didn't have a damaging affect on the completion of this project last year. Story here.


Congratulations Vancouver on making the shortlist this year!

Hopefully one of the many developments being constructed now will be considered in a few years.




Thanks to:

Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

New Home Trend

Business in Vancouver


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