Snow Day Driving Tips

Well, as it sometimes does, it has snowed in the Metro Vancouver area. Of course some areas of the city have been hit harder by the snow storm than others but if you need to drive, here are a couple tips to help keep you safe on the roads.

Snow Day
Snow Day Road Conditions

First, if you didn’t have the time or good sense to buy good quality snow tires for your car and you still feel the need to drive your car on the snow covered streets with your summer tires or all-season tires, there is an easy solution for you.

What you can do is go out to your car, shovel the snow away from your tires and then let about half the air out of each tire. Next, you go back inside your house and either call into your work to let them know that you have four flat tires. Or, if you really are as important to your work as you think you are, get on a bus or take transit to wherever you were thinking of going.

Why the “let the air out of the tires”routine? Because once you’ve let half the air out of your tires you can’t drive your car. If you do try to drive your car you will quickly ruin your tire rims. And seeing as you probably don’t want to ruin your rims, you won’t be tempted to drive your car again that day!

However, if you did have the foresight to buy snow tires, and you feel confident about your driving skills, and confident that the others on the road are as equally prepared for the road conditions as you are, then feel free to head out onto the city streets.

But before you go, do yourself and all the other drivers who you encounter a huge favour; clear the snow off your car before you head out on the road!

If you can’t wipe the snow off all your car windows and off the roof of your car before you begin driving, you are probably not emotionally prepared to drive on the snow covered or icy roads. So once again, go back in your house, put the car keys away and take transit. Or stay home.

Of course if you do have snow tires on your car and you did have the sense to clean the snow off your car before heading out on the snow covered roads, the best advice anyone can give you is to slow down, leave extra stopping distance between your car and the car in front of you, and understand that many other people have decided to drive even though they are not as prepared for the road conditions as they should be.

Slow down and take care if you are driving.

Sushi Town – Hastings Street

I was in North Burnaby yesterday around lunch time so I decided to try out the Hastings Street location of Sushi Town.

Sushi Town
BC Combo

I ordered the BC Combo – a BC Roll with an Alaska Roll and a piece of salmon and tuna sushi.

It was all good. The salmon and tuna nigiri sushi were my favourites; a tidy ball of rice under the nicely portioned salmon and tuna. Not too large.

The rolls were good. Not outstanding, just solidly good. The Alaska Roll was a bit too “creamy” with the squishy avocado but it had good flavour. The BC Roll was also good. The salmon skin had enough salmon on it to give it good flavour.

Service was also acceptable. They move people through the restaurant relatively quickly and the serving staff do not waste time on pleasantries. They bring the menu to your table, give you a couple of minutes to look it over and then return to take your order. A few minutes later your food is delivered and you eat and get out. That’s kind of it.

  • My BC Combo cost about $10.00
  • Sushi Town is located at 5935 E Hastings Street in Burnaby.

I know what to expect when I go to Sushi Town – nothing fancy. Just solidly good sushi that is served quickly and without any fanfare. I will return to Sushi Town.

A Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum

As they do every Christmas season, the folks at Burnaby Village Museum have once again prepared the site for a delightful heritage holiday season with lots of old-fashioned fun and spectacular lights.


Starting on December 10 until January 2, 2017, every night is a “late night” at Heritage Christmas for you to explore the bright and dazzling lights amid the night sky. The Village will be open from 1-9pm daily (closed on December 24 & 25).

You can Stroll the Village and check out the dazzling displays, special entertainment, colourful street characters, theatre performances and much, much more.

The refreshed Twelve Days of Christmas scavenger hunt is a great way to explore the Village and the stunning new West Coast Christmas display… already trending to be the most photographed!

While at Burnaby Village Museum you can take a whirl on the old-fashioned Carousel. If you there on December 10th, and you ride the Carousel all proceeds from your ride tickets purchased from 5-9pm are donated to the Burnaby Christmas Bureau.

Come out to ride the Carousel and support a wonderful cause, and have some fun! (Hint: A Baker’s Dozen – 13 ride tokens for the price of 12 – makes a great stocking stuffer! Not all ride tickets need to be used that night.

And finally, how cool is this idea – you can have a Turkey Dinner, with all the trimmings – at the charming Ice Cream Parlour, located right in the heart of the Village. This special Turkey Dinner is available from December 10-22, 4-8pm for only $20 (plus taxes). The best part? No cooking, clean-up or reservations are needed.

Join in the fun, and help capture the spirit of the season during your visit to the Village. How? Simply tag your photos with the hashtag #BurnabyChristmasSpirit when you’re posting to either Twitter or Instagram.

  • Burnaby Village Museum is located at 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby,
  • Gate admission is free | Carousel rides are $2.60 each

Festive Activities at Coquitlam’s Lafarge Lake

This year’s Winter Lights Display at Lafarge Lake is bigger and brighter than ever before! You can join in the magic this season by taking part in festive activities including caroling, scavenger hunts, tulip and lantern workshops, and hot chocolate nights.

New this year, Coquitlam’s Park Spark team – including volunteers and local businesses – will be on site to welcome visitors, provide walking route information, and enhance the park visitor experience through interactive activities.

 Hosts will be stationed at a Welcome Tent on the east side of Lafarge Lake, near the Town Centre Park Plaza, from 6-8 p.m. on varying nights each week (Visit for updates). 

Activities will include:

  • Tulip Workshop: Community members are invited to participate in the Lafarge Lake Winter Lights Display by creating a “pop bottle” tulip. This year, tulips will be installed at the south end of the lake within the Woodland Garden display. 
  • Dogtopia Night: Bring your dog for an evening stroll to take in the lights. Drop in at the Welcome Tent at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 to enter your pet into the most festively dressed dog competition.
  • Scavenger Hunts: Pick up your scavenger hunt cards at the Welcome tent to take part in this fun activity leading participants on a 1.2-kilometre loop around the lake, through 10 themed areas on Monday, Dec. 5, Wednesday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 10.
  • Lantern Workshops: Park visitors will be invited to make a lantern, which will be added to the light display along the east side of the lake. 
  • Search for Sparky: Keep an eye out for our Park Spark mascot, Sparky, who will be somewhere along the display on Friday, Dec. 16 from 6-8 p.m. Find him to receive a treat!
  • Caroling: Join us in song for fun caroling nights in the park.
  • Jingle Bell Night: Get into the festive spirit on Wednesday , Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. with group caroling and free hot chocolate. 

All activities take place rain or shine. Dates and times will be publicized in advance online at and through the City’s social media channels.

Lafarge Lake is located in Town Centre Park (1299 Pinetree Way) and can also be accessed from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain Station. Parking is available throughout Town Centre Park off of Trevor Wingrove Way.

New Westminster’s Steel & Oak Brewing

I was invited out to New Westminster’s Steel & Oak Brewing to sample their beers and cold plates yesterday and I am pleased to report that Steel & Oak have an excellent selection of beers.

Steel & Oak Brewing
Steel & Oak Brewing
The beer I liked best from Steel & Oak was their Kaffee, a beer flavoured with locally roasted coffee. The beer has a distinct coffee flavour with a floral and citrusy aroma. Hints of cocoa and malt provide body to the beer. But the coffee flavour … very cool.

The other beer I particularly enjoyed was their Rooibus Red Pilsner. It has a wonderfully sweet aroma that is a treat to the olfactory and taste senses.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get a growler of either of those beers so I went for my third choice; their Smoked Honey Doppelbock which is a strong German style lager. I thoroughly enjoyed the smokiness of their Doppelbock and brought a small growler of it home.

To go with our beer samples we added a cold plate to our table; a selection of olives, bite-sized blocks of cheddar cheese, and little salamis with bread twists. It was $18 for the platter which seemed like a lot but wow, it was a lot of food!

Overall, I very much enjoyed my visit to Steel & Oak and I will certainly be returning to sample more of their beers.

A Parent’s Bucket List

People often talk about a bucket list; those lists of things they want to get done before they “kick the bucket”. People often add stupid crazy or exotic things to their bucket list. They often add things like parachuting out of airplanes or visiting the Amazon or swimming with dolphins. Crazy stuff.

However, as the parent of young children my bucket list is profoundly different than any of those crazy or exotic things that other people may have on their bucket list.

So what would be on my “bucket list”? Well let me tell you.

Bucket List
Ferrari Maranello

The first thing on my bucket list is being able to wake up in my own bed without having a kid wake me up. Waking up when I want, at my leisure.

After waking up I would like to have a fresh pot of coffee sitting on the kitchen counter. Sitting there, waiting for me. I don’t care who makes it. I just want it to magically appear on the counter when I am ready for it.

Waking up and having coffee are neat things to add to my bucket list but there are a couple of really big items on my bucket list.

The first big item on my parenting bucket list is … drumroll please … when my children do wake up I would like them to wake up with a smile on their face and a happy little “good morning Papa.” That first smile is a big one on my bucket list.

Next thing on my bucket list is that when they arrive at the breakfast table, I would like them to exclaim, “Wonderful! You’ve made me a healthy and nutritious breakfast! It looks delicious!” And then to eat it. Without screaming about how it looks like I am trying to poison them. Or that the food is disgusting.

Following them eating their breakfast, I would check off another bucket list item if the kids were able to get their dishes from the table and…gasp…into the dishwasher.

If we want to add another item – getting really wild here – I would like to see my kids get dressed in clothing that is appropriate for the weather and the occasion without screaming about the clothing “being itchy” or being too tight, or too loose or too old or too whatever.

You get the drift. As a parent, my bucket list may be a little more mundane than the dude who wants to ride across the Mojave desert on a Harley Davidson.

Oven Roasted Chick Peas

After many years of trying to convince my kids to eat some of the healthy foods we have prepared for them I finally figured it out; if I get them to help me prepare the food, they’ll eat it!!

Yesterday was my turn to make dinner and rather than making another meal of food they refuse to eat, I asked them to help me make dinner.

Knowing both kids like chickpeas (strange, right?) I decided to oven roast a can of chickpeas.

One kid rinsed them, the other got the stainless bowl and I got the bottle of avocado oil.

We dumped the thoroughly rinsed beans into the bowl, had one kid spin the bowl while I drizzled a couple tablespoons of oil on them.

Next kid gets the spices: curry powder, chilli powder, paprika, and some powdered garlic.

A generous shake of each spice, a kid spinning the bowl, shaking the chickpeas all about, and then into the glass roasting pan and under the broiler.

Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted Chickpeas

After about ten minutes under the broiler, all the while being continuously being watched by my kids, we took them out. Gave them a hearty stir, and then back under the broiler for another ten minutes.

The kids ate them all. Every. Single. One.

So was this because they were delicious or because they were involved with making them? I don’t know but I do know that they ate some healthy food last night!!


Poached Eggs on Potato Pancakes

Lunch today was made by students in the Foods and Nutrition class and served to the rest of the students in the school program.

Poached Eggs and Potato Pancakes
Poached Eggs and Potato Pancakes

Two perfectly poached eggs on a couple of potato pancakes with a side of grated carrot and apple salad.

And is there anything better than 14 % sour cream? I’m telling you, I could almost eat that stuff out of an ice cream cone!!

Evergreen Extension Leads to Parking Rule Changes

In preparation for the Dec. 2 opening of SkyTrain’s Evergreen Extension, the City of Coquitlam is introducing new parking options for commuters, which includes hundreds of new Park and Ride parking spots throughout Coquitlam’s City Centre.


The City is also implementing new parking regulations – including timed parking restrictions and paid parking – to ensure visitors and customers can still access parking for residential areas, local businesses, and civic centres.

Wherever possible, commuters are encouraged to use other transit options to connect to the SkyTrain.

City Centre parking options, which include timed parking restrictions within 400 metres of the Lafarge Lake-Douglas, Lincoln and Coquitlam Central stations, take effect on Dec. 1. Parking changes around the Burquitlam and Lougheed Stations come into effect Dec. 5.

New parking signage will help guide commuters in understanding the parking regulations and identifying Park and Ride locations. This information, including an FAQ and parking maps, is also available online at

On-street parking is a shared public asset for neighbourhoods. Time limits are used to encourage turnover of this communal parking and prevent long-term parking so that patrons, visitors and service providers can use the street parking to access businesses, civic facilities, public parks, and residences.

The parking regulations will be in effect Monday to Saturday. As posted, they will typically only be in effect from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., which allows for overnight street parking for residents and their guests. Time and pay regulations are also not in effect on Sundays or statutory holidays.

The following highlights some of the parking changes that will be implemented:

Time restrictions will include:

  • Commercial frontages – Typically two to four hours on-street pay parking.
  • Recreational frontages – Typically four hour time-limited or pay parking.
  • Higher density residential frontages – Typically two to four hour time-limited parking.
  • Mixed commercial/residential frontages – Typically two to four hour on-street pay parking.
  • Civic/Institutional frontages – Typically two to four hour on-street pay parking.
  • Designated on-street Park and Ride stalls and City-owned Park and Ride lots will cost 75 cents – $1.00 per hour, capping out at a maximum of $3.75 per day.

Three Park and Ride options will be available in Coquitlam. These include:

  • A new City-owned Park and Ride lot at the southeast intersection of Pinetree Way and Guildford Way (due to open mid-December), with approximately 100 stalls in the lot, and a further 50+ designated Park and Ride stalls on the adjacent streets (for Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station). This lot and the designated Park and Ride on-street parking stalls cost 75 cents an hour and a daily maximum of $3.75. Parking is free on Sundays.
  • The City-owned Lincoln Park and Ride lot, at the northwest corner of Lincoln Ave. and Westwood St., with approximately 100 stalls (nearest Lincoln Station). This lot has a fee of 75 cents an hour and a daily maximum fee of $3.75. Parking is free on Sundays.
  • Coquitlam Central Station, 2920 Barnet Highway (at Lougheed), with more than 1,000 stalls (for Coquitlam Central SkyTrain and West Coast Express stations). This lot is owned and operated by TransLink; it includes approximately 350 new stalls added next to Rona. Fees for parking at this lot are $3/day and are in effect seven days a week.

At this time there is no Park and Ride facility in close proximity to the Burquitlam Station. The City of Coquitlam is working with the YMCA and other potential partners in this area to explore opportunities that could facilitate future Park and Ride amenities.

Parking on streets and in the existing Park and Ride facilities will be monitored by City staff, who will assess parking changes over the next six months to evaluate whether further adjustments are required.

For more information:

  • View the regulations and parking options, including maps and FAQs, at and at
  • To address questions or concerns regarding neighbourhood parking, contact the City of Coquitlam’s Transportation Division at
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest information and updates – including the opening day for the Park and Ride lot at Pinetree Way and Guildford Way – by subscribing to the Parking Management Strategy listserve or following the City of Coquitlam on social media.
  • To plan your commute, including bus connections, use TransLink’s Trip Planner at to help you map out your route.