“I live in the new Wesbrook village on UBC campus and finally stopped by the Wesbrook Welcome Center. I wonder how long they will keep up this rate of construction?”


“I live in the new Wesbrook village on UBC campus and finally stopped by the Wesbrook Welcome Center. They have a map of all current and planned development, (captured here with my) camera phone. The grey ones have been approved but haven’t been started, apparently they should all be completed in 10-15 years. That’s a rate of .67 – 1 highrises and 2 – 3 lowrises a year. Since I moved in 6 months ago none of the show rooms or open houses have closed. I wonder how long they will keep up this rate of construction?”
LazyCanadian at VCI 8 Feb 2013 12:24pm, image posted here.

“UBC has gotten totally out of control. I graduated there a couple years ago, and it was getting a little ridiculous with the amount of construction, but now it’s even worse. When I visited for the first time in 2005, it was beautiful and was one of the reasons I wanted to go there.
The whole campus is under construction now, and they’ve cut down massive parts on the endowment lands (a.k.a. woods) to build million dollar houses and condos (which is just what the generally poor students need).
Most of the open green spaces are now huge condo towers. You can barely walk across campus anymore, with all the detours. Some people recently hung up a bunch of signs. [see below]
Back in 2007 they permanently cancelled the annual big party students have on the last day of classes, because the people in their million dollar homes on campus didn’t like the students drunkenly walking through to the stadium. Apparently the realtors didn’t tell them that they lived on a campus…
Nothing against UBC, I loved the school when I went there, but now when I visit campus, I feel bad for the current students.”

Andrew at VCI 8 Feb 2013 2:38pm

Guerilla signs protesting construction on UBC campus, images from blog post ‘Anonymous snarker channels construction anger into guerilla memes’, Ubyssey Social Club, 12 Oct 2012. Archived here for the chronological record:




54 responses to ““I live in the new Wesbrook village on UBC campus and finally stopped by the Wesbrook Welcome Center. I wonder how long they will keep up this rate of construction?”

  1. I never understood ubc properties. What a poor investment for rented land!

  2. I know 3 friends trying to sell thier house in Burnaby, Richmond and Point Grey for more than 8 months now. Many open houses, not a single offer. I sold my primary residence DT townhouse in May 2012, and 2 other investment condo’s in 2011 and now renting.

    They all know RE is going down in the coming years, hence, trying to get out, but they still don’t lower their price. I scratch my head sometimes, I guess greed takes over pure logic.

    • They need some sales stats thrown their way. They gotta stop using [specific local realtor name redacted] as a Realtor. He is the most untrustworthy salesman I’ve ever met. My friend just had a listing expired because [specific local realtor name redacted] couldn’t sell it. He convinced my friend to not drop his price & to extend the listing into the spring as there is more traffic. Are realtors trying to use a strategy to keep listing prices flat or higher to spook potential buyers?

      • I doubt there is much strategy, if the guy could make a sale today he would. The spring will see more sales than the winter (almost certainly), so expect caws of delight as Realtors point to the houses flying off the market as evidence it’s not all fire and brimstone.

        I don’t pay attention to the supposed bidding wars and low days on market for a few specific properties, the same occurred last year and the back half of the year was “not too good”.

    • Friends of mine moved to Burnaby SFH last year in prep for school for their children and tried to sell their Vancouver TH. Very little traffic, I half jokingly suggested they rent it out like everyone else who can’t sell, but they said NFW, the husband travels for work, the wife in healthcare so between 2 kids and work they have no interest or desire to be p/t amateur LLs. They dropped the price a few times, and I think it finally sold recently.

      They were shopping for SFH in Bby for a while now, finally found the ideal house, so if you ever wonder who’s buying, it’s picky people willing to wait, and willing to lose $ to settle down.

      • 4SlicesofCheese

        Not sure when they bought originally, but I assume your friends were lucky enough to have some appreciation that could be cut into.
        Try repeating that in the coming years, they would just be cutting away equity, big difference. Well psychologically anyways, they are still gonna buy if they really have to and just bite the bullet.

    • Friend from Calgary moving back due to grim economic opportunities and lower housing prices.
      Sold his yaletown condo, everyone insisted he made a killing, you could see his reaction on his face to say otherwise.
      Some people threw out numbers like 30-40% appreciation. He did not confirm or deny but only said the market is really soft right now, multiple times.
      Victim of Bre-X and couldnt help but think, this guy got burned in that bubble and if he was not smart/lucky enough to know that its time to leave BC now before the SHTF, he would be a victim of two bubbles.

    • They don’t want to be underwater after all the cost of closing etc. They just want to believe that things will improve and this is a temporary blip.

  3. You know, ED… I could well be wrong about this… but… well… somehow, I suspect that past cohorts would be handling things… a ‘little’ differently…

    For example… [from UBC AlumniAffairs]

    …”1962-1975: The students created mass confusion and participated in such activities as drinking the faculty liquor, smoking their cigarettes, doing up dope, climbing over furniture, burning dollar bills and an American flag, swimming nude in the patio pool and basically enjoying themselves…. Most of the faculty in attendance seemed to accept the situation with resignation and merely left when it became apparent that the students wouldn’t.”…

    And, Nem’s personal favourite…

    …”1930-1939: Large Arts-Science brawls in 1931, 1934, and 1936 were seen by many in the university community as an expression of youthful exuberance and camaraderie, but the Senate and others concerned about UBC’s public image were not impressed, and sought to bring them to an end… Nonetheless, autumn revelries went a little too far in 1936 when students disrupted downtown Vancouver and damaged property during what was considered the biggest snake parade ever held there. City police responded in large numbers to the disturbance after one reveler cut his hand smashing the windshield of a car that had tried to break the line of students… the annual bonfire that autumn exploded because of excessive use of gasoline…”

    Imagine that! A RowdySnakeParade. Hmmm… What year is it again?

    • What young people getting rowdy downtown and doing property damage and getting confrontational with police! Quick shut down all liquor stores downtown and ban the transport of unopened alcohol on public transit with police searches to check for alcohol as people board trains! That’s the reaction in the 2000s but back in the 1930s, the authorities just kind of accepted that young people sometimes get drunk and rowdy.

      I love the stories about university students smoking pot on campus and burning American flags. Most of today’s young people are too brainwashed by the media and too coddled by parents (whom they continue to live with well into adulthood) to ever rebel the way kids I the 60s did. Man, I would have loved to have gone to university in the 70s. Baby boomers had it the best, not just in terms of the economy and real estate appreciation. When baby boomers were young, society was more relaxed and young people could party and rebel and enjoy themselves.

      • You would have laughed yourself into a hysterical puddle if you had been there. Does anyone remember “streaking”? Sometime around 1974 or thereabouts a bunch of students (hundreds actually) ran naked through throngs of onlookers around the Student Union building in a protest that nobody can even remember anymore. I recall seeing one poor guy who was almost the last in the mad-dash-parade tumbling ass over tea kettle down the steps of SUB as the crowd roared its approval for how brazen that bunch of students were. Poor guy was bloodied from head to toe but he got up and kept on running anyway. It was quite a show.

      • Did you say… ‘Remember’ streaking, Farmer? TeeHee!

        [NoteToEd: Guilty]

      • …”Twenty-five-year-old Australian Michael O’Brien was the first known streaker at a major sporting event when on 20 April 1974, he ran out naked onto the ground of an England vs. France Rugby Union match at Twickenham. He was captured by a police man, PC Bruce Perry, who covered O’Brien’s genitals with his police helmet. A national treasure, PC Perry’s helmet remains on display in the Twickenham Museum [catalogued under: “CrownedJewels”]”…


      • surfeit of canadian males, surfeit of streaking males … coincidence? i think not … http://tinyurl.com/8h6x262

  4. A ‘word to the wise’ for all posters and bloggers. When things are going good, individual real estate agents may have laughed off your criticisms; however, when times get tough they might not be so forgiving if they feel you in any way threaten their livelihood.

    It is important to remember that there is no anonymity on the internet – you can be tracked down and the last thing you want is to be sued for libel or slander. Even if you are found innocent, you still lose because you will still have to pay your lawyer and court costs.

    I would highly encourage VREAA to keep an eye on all postings and remove or edit those that single out individual RE agents.

    • Freedom of speech. It’s only in the US where one can sue someone for anything. It’s always nice to really know the history of a salesperson

      • You are absolutely, 100% wrong. There was a case a few years back on on Vancouver Island where a developer sued an individual for comments posted to a protest website. That individual lost. It might be possible to find that info on through Google. I will try.

        I had to study the libel and slander law here in Canada when I was studying Broadcast Journalism. Believe me when I say, you do not ever want to be sued for either.

      • Ralph Cramdown

        Libel and slander suits are actually easier in Canada than in the US. For example, the US has set a lower burden of proof on the defendant in the case of public figures (see “actual malice”).

    • Libel is never a good idea, except for people who are judgment proof (i.e. have no assets). The post you’re referring to appears to skate a little close to the line, but I doubt it’s over it, as it appears to express a value/character judgement rather than a provable fact. The impugned agent would be wise not to take action, as the media would gleefully report “—- ——- sues annonymous commenter who calls him ‘untrustworthy.'” But you can’t count on people to do the wise thing.

      I’m not a lawyer, but I wish a lot more people who had bad experiences with professionals and companies would go on the record with their complete stories and a bit more naming and shaming.

      • Ralph Cramdown

        “My dad was not an orangutan, Donald Trump says in lawsuit”

        Sorry, I just felt the need to repeat that headline from the Mop&Pail.

    • A. H. ->
      If the criticism is merited, it would be within a commenter’s rights to voice it. In the case above, the realtor has made themselves a prominent spokesman on the blogosphere, and one could easily argue that they can justifiably be taken to task for their positions and actions.
      However, I have redacted the name of the individual in this case, and usually edit other similar instances in a similar fashion, largely because it leads to useless squabbling that is unnecessary and too damn distracting, and doesn’t add to discussion or debate.

      • VREAA, I hope you and all posters realize I have no desire to stifle justifiable criticism; I am only saying be very careful. If you can support your views with well documented facts and figures (and not hearsay) – go for it. Just keep in mind, that under Canadian law there may still be a monetary cost should the courts rule in your favour – if it goes that far. Cheers.

      • AH
        You may be interested in reading the posts below:

        ‘VREAA Removes A Post’
        VREAA 4 May 2010

        Discussion Regarding ‘VREAA Removes A Post’ – “Shall we compare the societal damage done by someone with a few stickers in his pocket to the societal damage done by a massive housing bubble?”
        VREAA 6 May 2010

      • So when somebody makes a video and displays it on CBC, about Flaherty, that’s ok? How does he feel about it? Its quite insulting and I guess he should sue the CBC? Nonsense, this blog attacks the feds all the time. It’s no different that ripping into a specific person. Persons with bearish views will rip the bulls, and vice versa.

        So I guess Garth Turner should be sued because of his poor recommendations since 1998. He’s just trying to suck the money outta of housing and into his company?

        I guess Garty should sue Ben for the latest twitter battles between the 2.

      • Is it really necessary to redact the name completely away? How about leaving the initials?

  5. More construction at UBC? Good! Bring on the supply.

    How long can the construction go on? As long as they get 80% pre-sold in order to start construction. If it’s going up, then it’s already mostly bought. It takes a few years to get zoning and get the plans done before construction can begin. Developers start selling assignments at the beginning of that process (even before the sales office officially opens). What you see going up at UBC is the result of sales from a market from 1/2 to 2 years ago. It’s yesterday’s news.

    • UBCghettodweller

      “What you see going up at UBC is the result of sales from a market from 1/2 to 2 years ago. It’s yesterday’s news.”

      That’s a really good point.

    • Does it work that way given that this is leasehold land? There isn’t as much security for the lender as there is in a freehold project. Come to that, one would think that UBC might consider financing the projects itself, assuming their endowment is big enough to comfortably bear the risk.

      I love their logo, which clearly suggests a project that’s ‘underwater.’

  6. Such as it is, DearReaders… here’s the closest thing to emerge from MondayMorning’s QuantumFlow… re: ‘Zen’/Quote ‘O TheDay…

    “There is no difference between me and the people who live in the posh condominium above. We wear the same clothes and have the same hairstyles. The only difference is we cannot see the sun. In a few years, when I have money, I will also live upstairs.” – Zhuang Qiuli, 27, a Beijing Basement Dwelling “Rat Tribe” Pedicurist

    [NYT Pictorial] – In China, a Vast Chasm Between the Rich and the Rest

  7. VREAA, one last post on this topic of defamation. I just found a .pdf document via Google titled, “Defamation and Damages” published in October, 2011. It lists examples of cases – some in BC – including the one I mentioned above. It actually involved a Sooke municipal official suing a community association (there was a developer involved, though) – the damages awarded will make you gulp.

    This doc will add support to your decision as a blogger back in 2010 to remove those posts. The document also offers good info after listing the examples. It is definitely worth reading by one and all. Here is the link:


    I did quite a bit of research on this topic back in 2003 when our community had set up a blog protesting logging in our area hence the red flag when I saw that earlier post here.

    • Are you a Realtor by any chance A.H.?

      • No, Farmer, I am not. However, I recently worked for a commercial real estate broker as an office administrator. I told her after a few months on the job that I would never, ever want to be a real estate agent…LOL.

        i did work as a broadcast journalist at one time and my rudimentary knowledge of libel and slander law raised concerns about that earlier post and its implications for VREAA.

        Also, as I mention just above, I was involved with a blog against logging (involved a well-known BC personality – not Jimmy, though) and we wanted to make sure we gave him no ammunition for a defamation suit. It was a tense few months because he was seeing red and in his only email to us said, “Game On” and his pockets were a lot deeper than ours. And, as I said, in this type of law suit you lose even if you win.

  8. All that development is certainly ruining a nice cycle route along Southwest Marine Drive. Dump trucks, flatdecks. Add the stream of late model Mercedes, Range Rovers, Cayennes and other SUVs heading for dim sum in Richmond.
    At least the developers could have built a comprehensive community, allowing residents to access services locally.

  9. UBC students, welcome to Vancouver’s economy,,,the only jobs you will have in Vancouver is construction worker

  10. A.H.

    [expletive deleted]. You are in the RE industry and you are trying to intimidate posters, who are desperately trying to inform each other of the b.s. that is going in the RE sector. “buy before you are priced out foreva”! Talk trash about how RE makes you money if your jump in and invest, that’s all great, But talk about the market tanking, projects not selling…. and now you have posters coming on here and talking about libel?!

    [expletive deleted].

    • I’d agree that the damage done by a few slurs on local blogs pales into ridiculously miniscule insignificance when compared to the broad and deep damage that the spec mania has done, is doing, and will end up having done to our city.
      Still, we’ll try to keep the slurs to a minimum. They’re unnecessary.

  11. so don’t post A.H.


  12. the perversity of the intimidation, after all the b.s. we have endured…?

    seriously?! you are providing a forum for the bully/abuser….

    please delete this: [expleteive deleted].

  13. As long as there is HAM with little kiddy HAM looking for a university edumucation, there will be condo construction at UBC. Maybe a few more hospices are needed to slow things down. I wonder if they realize they’re buying leasehold?

  14. There is an old saying, “Don’t shoot the messenger…”

    Just to set the record straight. You will notice in the post above I said, “I recently worked for a commercial real estate broker…” Note the past tense. It was a contract position and it ended on January 9th. We had a bit of a personality conflict and she tended to interpret many of my questions and statements as criticisms.

    By the way, a few months back I suggested she take a look at Garth Turner’s blog…how naive of me…she almost choked. Also, during my last few weeks of work, I offered the opinion based on what I had read here and on other blogs like VPD and VCI that the real estate market in Canada was in for a big correction. She said, “It is not going to happen and I base that on 30 years in the business.” “Right,” I said under my breath.

    I wonder how she feels about her Toronto condo investment, now.

    • Your honesty is appreciated A.H

      We have had many posers coming to this site in the past who had an obvious agenda. My first reaction was that you were a realtor trying to silence the crowd with insinuation of legal action (which does not carry a whole lot of weight with me by the way). Seeing as how you have been fairly candid with your R/E relationship we can let that pass without getting our panties in a knot. Incidentally I agree that the ad hominems and personal remarks directed at public figures and the less public but still well know realtors do not add much to the discussion. Most of it is just venting anyway.

      I am still quite comfortable saying most realtors are rats though!

      • Most realtors are simply hustling for a buck and a dime; same as most people. It’s when they pretend to be doing something else that I find it somewhat upsetting.
        As I’ve said elsewhere, the most agreeable realtors are those who admit upfront to being salespeople, who promise to attempt to do a deal with their own client’s best interests a foremost priority, and who don’t pretend to be experts on market health/direction. They aren’t trained in the latter, and, IMHO, they are extremely unwise to be seen as making market direction predictions (lest clients take them to task for that later).
        However, we’ve seen lots of realtors stepping over this line through the spec mania, and becoming market cheerleaders.

  15. Here. Officially, UBC wants to continue expanding the Wesbrook neighbourhood. Says they’ve only reached 25-33% of the intended population…

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