2013 Year in Review: Best Features

Dec 19 2017, 5:15 pm

Etiquette on public transit, the ‘failed’ False Creek entertainment district around BC Place and GM Place, why the underground UBC SkyTrain line should be built to a message for Vancouver’s nightclub bouncers were the top ‘long good read’ features of 2013 published by Vancity Buzz.

These stories dig deeper, exploring and illustrating the why and how of certain news items and local issues.

1. New condos at BC Place, Rogers Arena kill False Creek Entertainment District

Rampant condo development in downtown Vancouver has severely hampered the ability of entertainment-based businesses and zones to flourish. This now impacts Vancouver’s premier entertainment venues, BC Place and Rogers Arena, as well as the False Creek entertainment district that had originally been envisioned for the stadium precinct.

This highly in-depth feature outlines how residential interests and entertainment-based businesses and hospitality industry usages don’t have a history of getting along in Vancouver. It also brings in examples of entertainment districts found in other cities that Vancouver could use for inspiration.

Image: James K.M. Cheng Architects 

2. UBC-Broadway subway needs to be the top regional priority

There is no question that the UBC-Broadway subway (an underground SkyTrain extension) needs to be the region’s top rapid transit priority given the importance of the Central Broadway Corridor. It is a regional employment destination – the second largest after downtown Vancouver – with more than 50 per cent of the total trips made to the Broadway Corridor originating from the suburban municipalities.

This staggering, eye opening feature also outlines why ground-level light rail is not a feasible long-term solution for the Broadway Corridor and the importance of this line over Surrey rail transit proposals.

Image: Mayor of Vancouver

3. This goes out to Vancouver’s bouncers…

What warrants a lengthy, cold [and often wet] wait outside a bar or nightclub in downtown Vancouver? This vivid feature tells one truth: the capacity excuse told by a bouncer is often ‘bull’.

Long lines are a form of marketing for passersby on the street. Give your business to an establishment that doesn’t take advantage of you. If you must line-up, give yourself a reasonable wait-time and when it’s up, get out.

Image: Zach Hale

4. Why is SkyTrain breaking down so frequently?

Breakdowns on SkyTrain, Vancouver’s rapid transit rail network, have been more frequent throughout the year.

But what exactly is the cause of these breakdowns? As explained in this in-depth feature, the reasons are multi-fold and a solution to reduce the ‘wear and tear’ breakdowns is currently being implemented.

Featured image: Kill Matilda

5. My smartphone was taken from my hand on SkyTrain

Earlier this year, one of Vancity Buzz’s editors had her smartphone snatched from her hands while onboard SkyTrain. She tells her story and goes in-depth with advising readers how to avoid becoming a victim of smartphone thieves.

Did you know that the number one crime on SkyTrain is theft of electronic devices?

Image: Transit Police

6. Is Vancouver like Hong Kong? Is there any truth to ‘Hongcouver’?

The City of Vancouver is also known as “Hongcouver” to some people due to its significant Chinese population as well as its cultural and economic similarities to Hong Kong, but is it really?

This intricately detailed feature compares aspects that include food and shopping, immigration, pollution and weather, space and affordability, etiquette, and public transit,

Image: Ed Coyle Photography

7. 25 public transit etiquettes you should know and follow

Stand on your right, walk on the left; form an orderly line; let passengers exit first; do not block the doors; one seat per person; and seats are for your bottoms only. These are just some of the seemingly common sense etiquettes and rules while on public transit, yet not everyone follows them.

This list is meant to help promote courteous behaviour on public transit as even the simplest of actions can ensure that everyone, including yourself, has a more enjoyable and positive transit experience. Taking transit means sharing a small space so it is important that all riders treat each other with both courtesy and respect.

Image: NYC My Radio Network

8. UBC campus a city in itself, in process of complete transformation

The University of British Columbia’s West Point Grey campus was at the peak of its construction phase when this article was first written. It details the 400-hectare mini-city’s unprecedented population growth, urban realm renewal, expansion of academic and student housing facilities, and the university’s plans for the future.

For those that seldom venture to the western end of the Vancouver peninsula where UBC is located, this feature article will most likely surprise you.

Image: VIA Architecture

9. 46 stunningly creative ads by Science World

With such great exhibits, Science World also requires some great marketing to get the word out. Check out these amazing ads by Vancouver’s Rethink Communications.

Image: Rethink Communications / Science World

10. More than tickets and trains: on the beat with Transit Police

This was written by a Transit Police officer, a guest contributor to Vancity Buzz, that debunks some misconceptions about the public transit system’s police force.

“There are a few mistruths out there – some people think we only check tickets and aren’t real police – it couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Image: Geoff Petrie/submitted

11. 32 mind-boggling clever ads by the Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium has a long history spanning more than half a century, and it is Canada’s only world-class facility and one of the city’s flagship institutions. Here are 32 cleverly creative and educational Vancouver Aquarium ads produced by TAXI Canada.

Image: TAXI Canada / Vancouver Aquarium

12. Downtown Vancouver’s West End will see enhanced retail areas, additional density

Earlier this fall, Vancouver City Council approved a long-term area plan for the downtown West End. The article outlines the plan’s major aspects which include adding 10,000 new residents over the next 30 years, new height limits for buildings, the introduction of infill development in laneways, creating a new high-end retail district at Alberni Street, improving retail strips that already exist including Robson Street and Denman Street, and improving Davie Village and reinforcing the gay community’s place within it.

Image: City of Vancouver

13. Don’t be that guy: 7 educational posters advocating sex without consent is sexual assault

The Vancouver Police Department launched a public awareness campaign that includes posters with a hard-hitting message aimed at males between the ages of 18 and 25, and that message is: sex without consent is sexual assault.

Image: VPD

14. Terry Fox’s 1979 letter to Adidas for running shoes

This article is not a traditional, long read feature like the above, but it is worthy of inclusion. It is Terry Fox’s letter to Adidas written prior to the start of his cross-country Marathon of Hope – a request for 26 pairs of running shoes for his great trek.

Image: Government of Canada

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