The last Monday before May 25th is officially cause for celebration since 1845, when the public holiday originally fell on Queen Victoria’s actual birthday, May 24th. Today, the May long weekend is used to observe the current reigning Canadian sovereign’s birthday, as well as give the country a leisurely three days to kick off the summer season.
For those of us in the Lower Mainland, we are fortunate to have an abundance of surrounding beauty to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Why not take the opportunity this coming weekend to explore it? From day trips to overnight getaways, here’s our list of the best ways to get the most of your weekend.
Visit Victoria! BC Ferries’ multiple sailing times will have you on Vancouver Island in little over an hour and a half, where you’ll find laid-back island charm in BC’s capital city. Named after the Queen herself, Victoria offers outdoor adventures and a burgeoning culinary and craft beer scene, as well as traditions like afternoon tea and heritage architecture reminiscent of its British roots. Formal gardens, ocean-side trails, shopping, and the majestic Parliament Buildings are just a few of the experiences that await you.
An hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver, Golden Ears Park is a recreational jackpot for outdoors’ lovers. One of the largest parks in BC, Golden Ears’ extensive trails are perfect for both hiking and horseback riding. Alouette Lake also offers swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing, canoeing, boating and fishing. Canoes, kayaks and pedal boats are available for rent at Alouette’s day-use area starting May long weekend. Don’t fancy the drive back to soon? The park also has three large campgrounds.
Explore the spectacular beauty of Indian Arm with Harbour Cruise’s 4-hour luncheon cruise. Starting in the inner harbour at 501 Denman St., the luxurious M.V. Harbour Princess will meander through the Burrard Inlet and then North along the Coast Mountain range. Once glaciated, the 18km fjord is now lush green forest and populated with private islands, spectacular waterfront homes, wildlife, and Silver Falls. Bring your camera!
Hop the ferry or jet over on Harbour Air to Salt Spring Island for their famous “Make it, Bake it, Grow it!” Saturday market! An artisan’s haven, Salt Spring also offers a flourishing agricultural scene, beautiful beaches and outdoor adventures. For a truly relaxing retreat, the Stowel Lake Organic Farm Wellness Centre runs Yoga on the Farm for the May long weekend. Immerse yourself in yoga practice, fresh food, and natural beauty.
Have a staycation! Play tourist in your own town and indulge in the Vancouver you might not always take the opportunity to see. For the Best of Vancouver on Foot, from art walks to adventurous geocaching and serene nature walks in the city’s best parks, there’s something for every mood.
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Residential property sales continue to exceed record averages. 4,781 homes sold last month; that’s a 14.4% increase from the 4,179 sales recorded in April 2015, and only a marginal 7.6% decrease from March 2016. Overall, April 2016 sales were 41.7% above the 10-year sales average for the month, while the total number of properties currently listed on MLS® is a mere 7,550. That’s a 39.3% decline from April 2015, and an incremental 2.6% increase from March 2016.
“While we’re seeing more homes listed for sale in recent months, supply is still chasing this unprecedented surge of demand in our marketplace,” said Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s new president, Dan Morrison. He cautions that buyer competition is still high across the lower mainland, and that working with a realtor is more important now than ever to navigate this intense market. Either as the home buyer or seller, ensuring you have the proper information to strategize a successful sale or negotiate the purchase of your dream home is where a licensed realtor can make all the difference.
The Numbers at a Glance:
Total new listings: 6,127
3.9% increase from April 2015 & 2.4% decline from March 2016
Sales-to-Active Listings Ratio: 63.3%
Benchmark price for all residential properties: $844,800
25.3% increase from April 2015
Benchmark price for a detached property is $1,403,200
30.1% increase from April 2015
Detached property sales totaled 1,979
9% increase from April 2015
Benchmark price for an apartment property is $475,000
20.6% increase from April 2015
Apartment property sales totaled 2,107
33.4% increase from April 2015
Benchmark price for an attached unit is $608,600
22.1% increase from April 2015
Attached property sales totaled 695
11.5% decrease from April 2015
*REBGV Editor’s Note: Areas covered by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.
The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.