fear & loathing in Lotusland

Category: Vox populi

Net Loss City

by Zbigniew

As reported in the Vancouver Sun, census figures for 2016 show 25,502 unoccupied or empty housing units in the City of Vancouver -15 per cent higher than recorded in the previous census of 2011.

According to urban planner and Director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program, the bulk of the empty units were concentrated in Coal Harbour, Marine Gateway and Joyce-Collingwood. Following Vancouver were Surrey (11,195 homes), Burnaby (5,829) and Richmond (4,021).


From “Population Change 2011 – 2016” by CensusMapper (based on Canada Census 2016):

This map shows the relative population change between the 2011 and 2016 censuses in each area.

The population grew in all provinces except in New Brunswick, where population dropped by half a percent.

At the Census District level there is considerable variation, with strongest population gains in urban areas.

Even within Census Metropolitan areas there are parts with population decline, as can be seen well e.g. in Vancouver ….



Every year U-Haul International, Inc. presents “migration trends” reports, based on data collected from more than 21,000 locations in all 50 states and 10 provinces.

City growth rankings are determined by the net of one-way U-Hauls arriving and departing in a calendar year.

According to this information, Kamloops leads the country in growth -that is, it leads in net arrivals. The top-ranking British Columbia cities are, Chilliwack (9th), Vernon (15th), Penticton (18th) and Merritt (24th).

As Gordon Clark underscores: 52.9 per cent of one-way U-Haul trucks leave Vancouver, compared to the 47.1 per cent that arrive.

In other words, we’re a “net loss city.”

2016: The Scam Reviewed

by Zbigniew

2016: the year the music died and “terror clowns” jumped out of bushes and sought elected office. In local news, nominally progressive civic officials condemn the nominally progressive federal government’s approval of oil pipeline projects, while quietly depositing the contributions of their real estate benefactors. Also, Chip Wilson bought everything.

In 2016 word of Our Scam continued to make its way to some new and exotic lands, including Angola, Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Curacao, Grenada, Luxembourg, Paraguay, Slovenia, Tunisia and Uganda.

The most popular Scamcouver posts of 2016:

  1. Happy Shadow Flipping!a little piece of agitation propaganda featuring Our Illustrious Mayor and She Leaves Me Wanting
  2. some real estate bumf presenting Burquitlam as an investment fantasy land, in both English and Manadarin
  3. the results of the annual Worst of Vancouver Survey
  4. the survey itself
  5. Our Speculative Future, wherein the Museum of Vancouver’s choice to cozy-up to the real estate industry’s vision for our community is scrutinized
  6. Tagged looks at the evolution of the upper-end of the West Coast lifestyle
  7. Exposed looks back at the circus that was Expo 86
  8. international development capital spills onto the silver-plated screen via Idle Pleasure Acting
  9. Fantasy City, on Vancouver’s burgeoning role as an amusement park
  10. as the forest makes way for capital and fantasies of various shapes and sizes, say hello to the Pseudo Forest

Personal favourite: Home

Over the past year, the most “clicked” media included the following:

Happy Shadow Flipping

Vancouver Spec Sheet

Rezone Sale

In addition to perennial favourites “fuck bob rennie” and/or “bob rennie asshole,” some of the more interesting search terms that drove traffic to this blog over the past year included the following:

  • “vancouver real estate rise in the early 70s and fraudulent real estate schemes”
  • “the worst one on the real housewives of vancouver”
  • “1960s cates park hippie faire north vancouver”
  • “what happen to vancouver its a shithole”
  • “douchebag hipster yoga bc resident”
  • “joel solomen douche”
  • “seymour pacific is fucked”
  • “vancouver is fucked”

A few of the comments posted to this blog in 2016:

“That sums [up] the shithole pretty well in one picture.”

Bubba on:

Lamborghini Special

“A future of highrise pied-à-terres, B&Bs and destination events and venues, all walled off from stark poverty and homelessness by gates and private security. The city as high-priced escort.”

Stanley Q Woodvine, on Fantasy City

“Can you imagine being a person who identifies with this ad? Like having that property price arrow shoot right up your ass, while you soar above the clouds high on the delight of purchasing a shred of hideous smart growth in fucking burquitlam that you believe will somehow grow in value?”

Jenables, on The Cringe: Burquitlam

Scammer of the Year

To be eligible for “Scammer of the Year,” candidates must have been character assassinated in this blog’s “Scammer” category at some point over the course of the preceding 52 weeks. Candidates are judged for their ability to present themselves as stalwart citizens while simultaneously deforming the local psychogeography for their personal enrichment; extra points are awarded for douchey behavior. The winner will be notified of their victory by poison pen letter, which will be accompanied by the cash prize of Hell Money I picked up in Chinatown for some loose change. A likeness of the winner will be installed on the “Strip Mall of Shame” page on this blog –pending the establishment of a brick & mortar version that is still awaiting City Hall approval.

The candidates for the forth annual Scammer of the Year award are:

  1. For blatant disregard for the negative impact of real estate speculation on Lower Mainland communities until her party’s reelection was threatened and then contributing public funds to fuel the market anyways, and her sheer arrogance and jerkiness, British Columbia Premier Christie Clark.
  2. For her too-soft touch on real estate cabal and for contributing to a discussion on “crafting the narrative,” journalist Frances Bula.
  3. For ongoing bat shit crazy responses to matters of public concern, Vancouver Councillor Kerry Jang.

And the winner is … Christie Clark.

r-christy-clark-large570Powell River Persuader

The Last Word

Regarding prospects for 2017, I’m young enough to still hope for the best, but old enough to expect something less than that. Either way, I’m ready. I hope.

The Worst of Vancouver, 2016: Winners, of a Sort

by Zbigniew

Friends, citizens, lookie loos, welcome to the 4th annual Worst of Vancouver, where we collectively unburden our metaphoric bowels on the well-manicured lawn of Vancouver’s morally and spiritually bankrupt establishment. Will anyone notice the steaming pile? The attached palazzo, in the conspicuous Florentine Urinal style, is likely vacant -still, it feels good.

To those that completed the survey, my sincere thanks. Your urbane cynicism is the roughage that moves me.

As in previous iterations, ten questions were posed -the limit set by the cheapo version of Polldaddy. Subjective responses were carefully considered by a Snark Cabal, cajoled by into the task by free booze and salty snacks. (If you are interested in joining this rarefied company, please let me know your preferred choice of sub-$15 wine available in a full litre bottle or carton.)

While the questions posed did not lean towards any identifiable group of humans, sentient machines, or politicians, this year’s responses betray a clearly pessimistic disposition towards those hailing from a certain Republic, one noted for its long and colourful history, a thin-skinned and autocratic government, and rampant corruption. In our home we refer to this place as “Hungary.” Ie. “If it’s made in Hungary, don’t put it in your mouth.” Or, “The Hungarians are laundering their ill-gotten gains in Vancouver real estate!” What’s going on? As the fallout from the tax targeted at foreign buyers of local real estate suggests, in the prophetic words of the real estate play that was Expo ’86: something’s happening here. We ignore at our peril.

On to the survey results.


Cars barrel down my quiet residential street. Drivers in their heavy metal carapaces take dangerous liberties with dedicated bicycle lanes. Pedestrians look about furtively, as they step into an intersection. Friday afternoons are the worst, the spastic, frenetic energy almost palpable. What spurns such behaviour? What’s so urgent? Are they racing to the lab and a cure for zika? Are they off to YVR to greet arriving refugees? Perhaps they’re late for a volunteer stint at their neighbourhood house?

Not so fast.

Some asshole blows off a red light, bowls over a pedestrian, and flees the scene. Clearly, they are in a hurry. Where are they going?

The co-winners, by modest pluralities:

Vision #25KLunch or BC Liberal fundraiser


  1. To put down a no-subject $1 mil above asking offer on a Dunbar teardown
  2. River Rock casino to launder money
  3. Late for a reservation at Glowbal

Dishonourable mentions:

“Close their real estate purchase before the 15% tax kicks in”

“A developer on their way to city hall to file for a spot-rezoning request”

“Returning the ‘pearl green’ Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 to the Scenic Rush headquarters because their 20 minute ‘Sea to Sky’ experience has expired”

“First day of new model year. Trading in last year’s Maserati”

“To the next bus stop on their bus route?”

Whitecaps game

Diner en blanc

Burning Man

Yoga class

“Ball waxing and massage with happy ending”

Rest easy, folks, a solution is at hand:

Source: yvettegr

inside-airbnbInside Airbnb

The ersatz political leadership claims it is making a (cough) “enormous effort” (cough) to increase the stock of rental housing -which seems to consist mostly of media scrums and stern expressions. Meanwhile, in the increasingly dystopian real world, short-term holiday rentals platforms (Airbnb and their nefarious ilk) proliferate unchecked and have embedded themselves to such an extent that even the defacto homeless are selling their spaces for upwards of $60 a night –pee jar included.

Sitting in your home, estimate the distance to the nearest short-term holiday rental

[NB: While this survey leans somewhat closer to the “wise-ass” than “scientific” end of the spectrum, every effort was made to define results as accurately as possible. All distances reported were converted to metres. “City blocks” were based on a 138 metre average of the typical 161 metre and 115 metre Vancouver variants. For “upstairs,” “next door,” or “down the hall,” hypothetically reasonable distances were applied consistently. For the divine smart ass that reported in cubits, I used the “long” option of 52 cm per unit.]

Average distance reported: 177 metres.

Median distance: 50 metres.

(You can throw a good-sized rock 50 metres; so -please- throw it hard.)


“I am living IN the ‘holiday’ rental.”

“Twenty metres, if you don’t count the rough trade meth-boys our neighbor allows to sleep in our building’s laundry room.”

What name would you give to this architectural style?

Palais chinois“I’m a little disappointed – they could have added at least two more bedrooms and three more bathrooms to the front.”

The winner, by a modest stack of illegally laundered yuan:

Palais chinois

Oh, so many contenders:


Particle Board Foreign Money Bait

Developer Creaming Spec McMansion

Neocolonial Bricks & Mortar Portfolio

Casa forte / Strongbox

Boite d’investissement

Millionaire’s Club

Foreign Investor

New Canadian

Florentine Urinal

Post-modern Mausoleum

Post-modern Fugly

Early Century Fuerdai (“the second generation of the rich”)

Tuhao (“wealthy but uncultured”)


Vacancy Deco

Neo Vancouver Special

Super Happy Special

“I see not one pixel of style in this photo.”

The local media outlet or personality (sic) most likely to tow the “it’s supply and/or you’re a racist” line?

Hands-down winner:

The Georgia Straight and/or Charlie Smith/Travis Lupick


  1. Global
  2. Frances Bula
  3. Bob “I’ve always been a waste of oxygen” Ransford


“Turd Sommernuts”

“They’re all living mannequins”

“Any of the mainstream journalists who’s newspaper, magazine, website etc is paid for by real estate ads”

“Oh, god. I just stopped paying attention”

“Your question is racist”

Since the start of 2016, how many of your friends, family or neighbours have been evicted, renovicted, demovicted etc?

 1 to 5 – 62.5%

0 – 15.6%

>10 – 12.5%

6 to 10 – 9.4%

In other words, more than 84% of respondents have had at least one friend, family member or neighbour displaced since the beginning of the year. The remainder need to meet more people.

Political hack Judy Tyabji’s ass-kissing softball biography of the Premier is entitled “Christy Clark: Behind the Smile.” Alternatively, “Christy Clark: ____________________”

The winner, by unanimous decision of the Cabal:

Manchurian Candidate

The short list:

Vampire Queen

Name Your Price

Hit Delete Three Times

Fuck You & Your Family

Everything Is Great at My Son’s Private School

Most Successful University Drop Out West of the Rockies

The Gaping Maw That Swallows Whole Futures

A Mile Wide & an Inch Thick

Where the Sun Don’t Shine

Why Won’t It End?


Bob Rennie, “Condo King” and BC Liberal Party fundraiser-in-chief: Knew? Or “knew”?

By an almost two-to-one margin (64%), clearly, Bob knew

To mark the release of The Worst of Vancouver -Christy, channeling Bob (September 11, 2016):

What (loosely defined) icon would you add to this tableau?

Tourist Vancouver

Green ‘N’


Lululemon logo

Satan with a boner

Paddle board yoga

New Coast Realty sign (featuring Ken Cui)


“Sold Above Asking!”

Fourteen construction cranes

Thousands of homeless people

A tent city with Doctors living in it

A car packed with children, towing a u-haul trailer, driving away. Maybe to Halifax

Gregor behind the wheel of a globally revered food truck

“A range rover and a massive dildo shaped, European designed luxury tower dripping with pretension and advertised exclusively in Asia, to eclipse all else. Maybe some ugly public art and a homeless person as well. A massive ‘for lease’ sign. Oh wait that’s more than one and I haven’t even added the stink lines yet.”

Randomly discarded dog poop bags

Curious responses:

“Disneyland hair police”

“Naked Gregor should be riding that whale. Not sexy times riding, but SeaWorld riding”

Sold Over Asking

In June of 2016, 15,592 properties were sold in British Columbia, representing $11 Billion in sales. The average sale price in British Columbia (NB: British Columbia) was $714,000. What do you believe tomorrow will bring?

More: 49%

Less: 33%

I don’t care, as I have cashed out, or been evicted, and/or am leaving to take advantage of depressed property values in Alberta: 18%

The top Google search result for “Vancouver real estate” + “more” spat up a recent photo of Prime Minister Justin “trading-on-the-family-name” Trudeau drumming-up business/selling us down the river in the People’s Republic of Hungary. Unfortunately, more seems inevitable.

cda-china-20160902Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

That’s it! You’re packing up and leaving Vancouver, but you must leave something behind. What is it?



My fee-for-service MSP card

Portable A/C and Versace Sunglasses

A lot of randomly discarded dog poop bags

My old six person Coleman tent so someone can put that shit on Airbnb, too

I bequeath my Pendleton coat to the unfortunate souls forced to sleep in the SFU quad

My retirement savings and my kid’s collage money

The unclean vibe of local poison between non-Chinese poor and Chinese poor

Any sort of faith that a politician will act in the best interest of their constituents

Sense of bittersweet entitlement

My career that went nowhere

My sense of moral outrage

My naïve faith in humanity

My dignity

My mortgage

Sense of hopelessness


“I’ve already left YVR. It’s a shithole.”

Speaking of shit, to bookend the manure-laced introduction:

“A fresh steaming pile of shit. Because I gave a shit about this city but it didn’t give a shit about me.”

“Several weeks’ worth of saved-up self-generated turd on the steps of Vancouver City Hall.”

And the last word:

“For better or worse –and likely worse- I’m not leaving. For now, anyway.”

Much, Much Worse: The 2016 Worst of Vancouver Survey

by Zbigniew

Friends, it’s more or less that time of year when we, the underpaid and emotionally destitute Scamcouver editorial staff, provide you with an opportunity to let off a little steam and have your say on the glorified safety deposit box that is Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Just answer the ten questions of the Worst of Vancouver Survey and you’ll feel as fresh as a vacated bowel.

It’ll just take a few minutes. You can complete the survey while your waiting in line at the Residential Tenancy Branch to dispute the inappropriately submitted eviction notice you received, and still have plenty of time left over to go through rental notices on Kijiji.

Special thanks to @IngeFinge, Ms. Demeanor and DJ Clueless for input, general wise assery, patience, and smokes.

Survey closes Sunday, September 4th, at 11:45 PM.

If you find the formatting of the link above is a bit wonky, try accessing the survey here.


2015: The Scam Reviewed

by Zbigniew

As 2015 draws to a close, the New Year is being heralded by the chorus of chainsaws and bulldozers -regularly punctuated by shouts of “RACISM” Blue skies and sunshine, sure, but it’s pretty chilly in the long shadows of residential towers and supply-side solutions. Feeling the cold? Well, you can always warm up with a dish named for the greediest man in town. Or, work harder.

In 2015 news of Our Scam made its way to some new and exotic lands, including Belize, Croatia, Cyprus, Macau SAR, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, and Senegal. Also, China.

The most popular posts of 2015:

My personal favourite, virtually ignored, was Sphere of Influence, wherein an attempt was made to define the extent of Vancouver socio-poleconomic influence through the use of FM radio transmissions.

The most “clicked” media in 2015:

Pedestrian AccidentsCrashes Involving Pedestrians, 2009-2013, Insurance Corporation of BC

Ski and Knife FightRod Filbrandt, Tar Paper Town

Bruce Stewart: Dollarton Pleasure Faire, 1972

Bruce Stewart: Dollarton Pleasure Faire, 1972


Beyond “scamcouver” and “gregor robertson and/or bob rennie plus colourful adjective,” some of the more interesting search terms driving traffic to this downbeat blog included the following:

  • “astoria rent cheque”
  • “maplewood flats squatters”
  • “2968 mathers crescent west Vancouver”
  • “’lotusland’ branding strategy”
  • “why is vancouver so fucked up”
  • “why is north vancouver so lame”
  • “west vancouver people are stuck up”
  • “developer nick bosa is an asshole”

Some of the comments left here in 2015:

“Do you think bjarke is on coke or meth?”

-Jenables, on Bjarke Ingels in Gesamtarbeits Scheiße

“Wanting? More like ‘Lacking’”

-kasimirkish, on the Mayor’s canto-pop star Wanting Qu in The Cringe: Love Birds

“Oh man, this is painful to watch. It’s almost hard to tell if it’s a parody or not. I thought university was supposed to be fun. Where’s the ultimate frisbee and alcohol poisoning?”

-Mark, on squeaky-clean kids and the transit referendum in The Cringe: Plebiscite Hell

“[I]t’s also pretty hilariously entertaining to think these city planners and staff take their jobs so seriously, yet are so consistently bad at what they do.”

-Jennifer, in Sub-Area Monopoly


“Good job, Vision! Now you can bump up the ‘new parks created’ number on your next re-election brochure.”

-Fred Victer, in The View from Here

Alas, Fred was not totally satisfied with my efforts, as noted n the response to At the Margins: “There are plenty of things to critique about public transit and land policy in Greater Vancouver; your cutting but pleasing writing style is underemployed in this case.” Fred, your critique, nestled in praise, is much appreciated.

Scammer of the Year

To be eligible for “Scammer of the Year,” candidates must have been character assassinated in this blog’s “Scammer” category at some point over the course of the preceding 52 weeks. Candidates are judged for their ability to present themselves as stalwart citizens while simultaneously deforming the local psychogeography for their personal enrichment; extra points are awarded for douchey behavior. The winner will be notified of their victory by poison pen letter, which will be accompanied by the cash prize comprised of whatever Canadian Tire money I happened to have pinned to my refrigerator. A likeness of the winner will be installed in a future “Strip Mall of Shame” –although the development permit is still awaiting City Hall approval.

The candidates for the forth annual Scammer of the Year award are:

  1. For unashamedly and with a straight face promoting a complete pile of steaming shit as a “complete work of art” in a northern European accent, Bjarke Ingels.
  2. For camping out for four nights in the midst of the Welfare Challeneng in order to purchase a $36,000 bottle of scotch, and for appearing in a Uwe Boll film, Delta Group factotum Bruce Langereis.
  3. For watering lawns in the midst of a drought and a ban on such activity, the University of British Columbia.

And the winner is … Bjarke Ingels.

Green Growth Leaders Paneldebat med erhvervsledere

The Last Word


2015 in an image: international capital, local capital, and the front.

Wishing you better in 2016,


And the “Winners” are … the Worst of Vancouver, 2015

by Zbigniew

Welcome to the third annual Worst of Vancouver, where we pay tribute to the river of bullshit that flows through this burgh unimpeded by rational discourse, political structures, or social forces.

To those of you that participated in the survey, a heartfelt thank you. Your wit and humour are the canoe and paddle that greatly mitigate the unplesantries of my daily commute up Shit Creek.

As in previous years, there were 10 questions -a limit set automatically by the free version of Polldaddy.

As some questions generated heterogeneous answers, in these cases the  -uh- winners were determined by the Anonymous Kangaroo Court of Inebriated Judges, hand-picked by yours truly. And a sorry lot they are.

And so, the results of the 2015 Worst of Vancouver Survey …

Pedestrian AccidentsCrashes Involving Pedestrians, 2009-2013, Insurance Corporation of BC

Sometime in the early 1980s, I was cycling west on 12th Avenue. Where the road narrows up the hill to Fraser, the cars slow, and pass without hurry or horn. I wear no helmet.

In contrast, I recently witnessed the operator of a vehicle honking at a pedestrian with the right of way crossing Main at Terminal. The car sped past, an “I Heart Yoga” sticker on the bumper.

Therefore, given that we take our life in our hands every time we approach an intersection,

The make & model of car most likely to run you over. The winner, by a nose:

BMW (possibly an M5, possibly belonging to Bob Rennie)

Runners up:

  1. Audi (“Driven by Francesco Aquilini, with Brian Jackson riding shotgun and the Mayor tucked into a child seat”)
  2. Mercedes SUV
  3. Hummer, particularly the one “with the ‘Namaste’ bumper sticker”


“Some rustbucket of a taxi driven by some poor, over educated PhD from eastern Europe who fled war and famine to Canada only to be told that his credentials are worthless and he needs to eke out a living by indentured servitude in a rotten, corrupt system driving a condemned contraption of a Honda or something.”

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to get hit by a MAMIL (middle aged man in lycra) before a car these days. Then again, most MAMILS drive, too ….”

Patient Zero: “I’ve been hit as a pedestrian three times in Vancouver. Twice by a Subaru Wagon, once by a pedal bike.”

Namaste Hummer

PS: On September 14, 2015, “Downtown Deer,” a young black-tailed buck that took up residence in and around Stanley Park the previous summer, was struck and killed by a vehicle on the Causeway. The make and model of the automobile responsible could not be ascertained from media reports.

downtown-deer The Downtown Deer, in happier times

Before the freakishly warm weather, and between oil spill-induced beach closures, the cliché par excellence of Vancouver’s experiential lifestyle suggested that you could “ski in the morning and sail in the afternoon.” Or some such nonsense, anyway.

“Vancouver, where you can __________ in the morning & __________ in the afternoon.”

The winner, by unanimous decision of the Kangaroo Court:

“Vancouver, where you can be renovicted in the morning & drive your oldest friend, who is moving somewhere cheaper, to the airport in the afternoon.”

Some of the many other contenders (NB: it’s fun to ‘mix and match’):

work your first job needed to pay your rent

work your second job needed to buy food

drink mediocre, overpriced ‘organic’ coffee

drink mediocre, overpriced ‘craft’ beer

get tattooed

give blood

walk your chihuahua

boot camp

be vacuous

be an asshole


raise rents

be evicted

get run over by a BMW

be passed up by a B-Line

be trapped in a sweaty, overcrowded Skytrain

get stuck in traffic

get stuck in traffic

endure a soul crushing commute

abuse controlled substances

smell pee

smell rendered chicken

watch your local cobbler close up business

watch a “McCannabis” shop open

walk around looking for housing

still be looking for housing

witness extreme poverty

live in extreme poverty

Ski and Knife FightRod Filbrandt, Tar Paper Town

There are many tower projects being erected in Metro Vancouver, casting long shadows both real and metaphorical. Which of these towers do you find the most egregious?

Survey says: the winner, by a substantial length of comb-over hair,

The Trump Tower, aka “The Chump” Tower

“Now that the dipshit is running for President, it’s even worse.”

Close contenders:

  1. The Independent, by RIZE, at Broadway & Main
  2. The Boffo Tower, at Commercial & Venables, “[A] giant fuck-you-too to the core supporters of the Vision junta”
  3. “That shittastic mega block” on Main between 1st and Terminal

Comments & wiseholery:

“All of them”

“I find Vancouver house to be the most eyeroll inducing. Personally I’d be embarrassed to live in a giant wang, even more so if it was costing me a ridiculous amount of money.”

“Ian Gillespie/Westbank’s tower on the SW corner of Main and Keefer. It menaces Chinatown from a great height, like Godzilla, and has completely destroyed the human scale of the historic neighbourhood.”

“Bob Rennie’s Towering Erection”

dawn-of-the-dead1978Dawn of the Dead (1978)

The zombie apocalypse hits the Lower Mainland! Where’s ground zero?

The Kangaroo Court says:

McArthurGlen, aka “the ‘Designer Vomit Outlet’”

crowds-outside-magPhoto credit: McArthurGlen


“Wherever Diner en Blanc is being held”

“Chip whatsisname’s house”

“A stalled and crowded SkyTrain. Though that’s also possibly a containment strategy as well.”

“Hipster & Main”

“How could you tell the difference?”

Speaking of zombies, which Vancouver neighbourhood best resembles a safety deposit box vault?

Survey says, by a healthy marginal return on investment:

Coal Harbour

The also rans:

  1. (Southeast) False Creek: “Overpriced boxes on an exorbitant lease schedule in an impenetrable concrete surrounding, overseen by bankers.”
  2. Yaletown
  3. British Properties, aka “Asian Properties”

You’re stuck on a stalled & very crowded Skytrain for 60+ minutes. How do you kill the time?

“It’s Vancouver; time is already dead.”


Helpful suggestions for those less existentially focused:

“Espying on the neighbourhood below, I would count how many real estate signs are put up and taken down in that hour.”

“Use the lowest common denominator of shared hatred for Translink to get to know my fellow citizens.”

“Tweeting with the hashtag #Translinking.”

“Watch the self-involved taking selfies of themselves looking beautifully annoyed at being trapped on the Skytrain.”

“Get high.”

“Masturbate while smoking weed. No, that’s at the office.”

“Probably Twitter, complaining as we always do, at least until the battery runs out. Then, the zombie apocalypse breaks out.”

“Scowl and breath loudly in a passive-aggressive manner.”

“Read a day old copy of metro that has footprints all over it.”

“Record people wigging the fuck out.”

“Pee myself.”

“Anxiety attack.”


“Filling out this survey?”

Bob Rennie: Man, god, or goat?

According to survey results, Bob Rennie is six parts goat, two parts man, and one part god.

Of the images produced by “Satyr + glasses” this one seemed to resonate with the  “Worst Tower” wise ass commentary and those remarkable devil statutes that have been making the rounds.


Compass: myth or propaganda?

By a margin of two to one, those surveyed believe Compass to be propaganda over myth. I read this Compass being “tangentially associated with reality.”

And so it is. Right around the corner, on October 5th Compass rolls out. Two years overdo, 100% over-budget, for a glitchy system, produced by the Municipal Industrial Complex. What could possibly go awry?


Complete this sentence: “Vancouver ain’t got no ____________________.”


Self-depreciating sense of humor

Good guys at City Hall

Working class spirit

Affordable housing


Natural breasts

Social Capital







And, finally:

Vancouver IdleWhat’s missing from this picture?

So much:

“People who are not white?”

“Oil spill”



“Yoga pants”


“Dope smokers”

“Marijuana dispensary”

“Vision election signs”

“A redevelopment sign”

“A rampaging T-Rex. Or, Bob Rennie. Come to think of it, have you ever seen them in the same room?”

“Homeless person”

“The 45 of my friends who have moved to Berlin or Toronto. Or Calgary. Or effing Saskatoon”

“Upper Class white people overdosing on Fentanyl”

“The 500 car2go’s parked on the road”

“A frappaccino”

“Oil booms, an abandoned Coast Guard station, douchebags playing shitty amplified music, a medical marijuana shop, a coffee roaster, a Starbucks next door, and a craft brewery kiddicorner, and an ‘EntitledBaby Outlet Bazzar'”

“British Properties?”

And the winner:


Worse Still: the 2015 Worst of Vancouver Survey

by Zbigniew

It’s that imprecise time of year, when your friends at Scamcouver offer you an opportunity to channel all that corporatist, post-democratic, corruption-induced angst and emotionally defecate on our Terminal City cum “Vegas-on-sea,” through a few simple loaded questions.

Special thanks to @IngeFinge, Ms. Demeanor and DJ Clueless for input, general wise assery, and smokes.

Please, have to, and don’t spare the snark.

Survey closes at 23:45, on Wednesday, September 23, 2015.

2014: the Scam Reviewed

by Zbigniew

That another scam-heavy calendar year is stumbling to a close is evident: short, wet and gloomy days; unsolicited greeting cards from a dominant faction councillor that needs to refresh his mailing list; construction cranes festooned with lights; anxious drivers taking liberties with pedestrian space; and, the abundant supply of pale, haggard faces.

Over the past year this particular take on our version of The Scam found an audience is some odd corners, including Guam, Guatemala, the Turks & Caicos, the Caymans, Yemen, Oman, Kazahkstan, and Mauritius.

Scammap 2014

The most popular posts of 2014:

My personal favourite fell much further down the list. That’s Entertainment considered our evolving role as a playground cum amusement park.

“Gregor Robertson and Bob Rennie” was the most popular search term attracting traffic. Permutations included the following:

  • bob rennie and gregor Robertson
  • relationship between bob rennie and mayor Robertson
  • gregor bob rennie
  • gregor robertson bob rennie having sex
  • gregor robertson fucking bob rennie
  • gregor is fucking rennie

A sampling of some other, and colourful, search terms included:

  • fucked up vancouver
  • vancouver is fucked
  • fuck you vancouver
  • fuck you gregor robertson
  • worst mayor of vancouver
  • worst things in vancouver
  • who are the most narcissistic vancouver tv personalities
  • narcissistic tamara taggart
  • forbes/ vancouver/ scam capital of the world
  • beedie group purchase chinatown vancouver
  • condo promotional material
  • worst condos in vancouver
  • hong kong property scam
  • ass cheeks hugging poll on public transit
  • gordon campbell eats shit

Just of few of the comments left here in 2014:

“Anyone who doesn’t let developers do ‘whatever they want’ is responsible for urban sprawl and ruining the planet. (Little known fact: Building huge air conditioned luxury glass towers for rich offshore owners is good for the planet. Example: Dubai.)”

-Miguel, commenting on the Inarticulate Vanity that is “the Gwerk.”

“This makes me feel like wearing my blazer around the house more often while drinking my Syrah.”

 -Kasimirkish on cringe-inducing promotional condo bumf

“When I was a kid and first taking the bus in north van in the late eighties/early nineties, fare was 65 cents. Cripes. Being ten or eleven I didn’t really have money but sometimes I took the bus up the hill with my best friend. We named this one driver conjl, and used to draw him all over our school work. white full beard, big sunglasses, grumpy as hell. He’d routinely drive by us, bus empty. Which meant a half hour wait sometimes. Sometimes we’d get on but be ten cents short, hoping he wouldn’t notice. He’d kick us off the bus!”

-Jenables on misadventures in public transit

Scammer of the Year

To be eligible for “Scammer of the Year,” candidates must have been character assassinated in this blog’s “Scammer” category at some point over the course of the preceding 52 weeks. Candidates are judged for their ability to present themselves as stalwart citizens while simultaneously deforming the local psychogeography for their personal enrichment; extra points are awarded for overall douchebaggery. The winner will be notified of their victory by poison pen letter, which will be accompanied by the cash prize comprised of whatever Canadian Tire money I happened to have pinned to my refrigerator. A likeness of the winner will be installed in a future “Strip Mall of Shame” -development permit still awaiting City Hall approval.

The candidates for the third annual Scammer of the Year award are:

  1. For unmitigated greed, complete disregard for community, and tearing down garden plots during harvest season, E. Hunter Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.
  2. For ethical turbidity and dedication to the seemingly endless expansion of a tourist attraction in a public park, Dr. John Nightingale, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Aquarium.
  3. For far too many qualifications than can be reasonably summarized here, “Gregor Robertson & Bob Rennie”.

And the winner is … CPR CEO E. Hunter Harrison.


The Last Word

If I had to sum-up the year in a single word, that word would be “Gwerk.”

Gwerk: to be fucked-over by an unaccountable cabal of poleconomic forces. For example: “We’ve been gwerked by the city’s consultation process.”

With that I wish you happy, gwerk-free, and prosperous 2015.

The Worst of Vancouver, 2014 Edition: “Winners”

by Zbigniew

Dear Scamcouverites:

Thank you for completing the second annual Worst of Vancouver Survey. Your wit, wry observations and outright contempt are a ray of light, miraculously shining through a dense forest of construction cranes, glass towers and the persistent fog of obfuscation.

And on to the results …

1. The worst excuse for a public park

Winner, by a nose: Main & 18th Park (with such a name, and that is the official title, how could it be otherwise?)


Also known as: “Poodle-on-a-Stick Park” and “That thing at 18th & Main Street”


  • Stanley Park (“Too many tourists.”)
  • Pigeon Park
  • “Dude Chilling Park”
  • “That one in Yaletown that has NO GRASS.”

Dissenter: “I think our parks are pretty good.”

2. The most annoying branding or re-branding of a neighbourhood

Hands-down winner: “The East Village”

Not Village


  • “Stay outta my fucking neighbourhood assholes! It’s Hastings-Sunrise for Christ’s Sake!!!”
  • “Like, do we think we’re fucking NYC? What a joke.”
  • “Let’s go one further: ‘E-Vil.’”


  • “SoMa”
  • “Railtown”
  • “Little Saigon” (“There is no Saigon. There is Ho Chi Minh City. Revisionism stinks.”)
  • “Strathcona Village”
  • “The Beach District”
  • “LoLo”
  • “NoLo”
  • “RoLo”*

* Just making this shit up.

3. The most egregious example of lost heritage

The Legg Residence: “They saved the fucking trees but not the house?”

Legg Residence

Of the many contenders:

  • Canada Post Main Office
  • Chinatown
  • The Ridge
  • The Waldorf
  • The Pantages Theatre
  • The Hollywood
  • “All the trees. Let’s call it natural heritage.”
  • Vancouver

4. The civic party most likely to split the vote in favour of the development coalition

And because there’s no oppositional consensus, it’s a tie: The Cedar Party & COPE

5. I know things are getting bad because …

  • “Leaky condos are back.”
  • “There are hardly any Vancouverites left in Vancouver.”
  • “Too many people seem to be fine with the fact that vancouver is becoming a playground for non resident super wealthy folks. They seem to think we will all benefit; sadly misguided.”
  • “I moved to New West because I can’t stand it in that yoga obsessed, snotbag, $3,000 a month city.”
  • “I am borrowing change from that homeless guy at Howe and Dunsmuir.”
  • “I shit myself on the bus and it didn’t smell any worse then before.”
  • “NPA sounds half-reasonable at times.”
  • “I read Scamcouver.”

6. If the scam in this town had a face, that face would belong to …

Winner, by a country mile: Mayor Gregor Robertson (specifically: “Gregor wearing one of Rennie’s argyle vests”)



  • “Beggar Robertson”
  • “Hi-Rise Robertson”
  • “Fucko McStooge.”

Personal favourite: “One of the Real Housewives of Vancouver.”

6908224954_83063a3b02_zPhoto: Stephen Hui (

7. “I’d check out ____________________, but there are just too many douchebags or hipsters there.”

“That’s a lousy attitude. The kind of attitude a douchbage or hipster would likely espouse.”

Winner: “Vancouver”


  • Food trucks
  • Any eatery on Main St.
  • “Crapt. I mean Craft.”

8. “The cost of living in Vancouver is so high, and the jobs so shite, that ____________________ is starting to look like a viable option.”

The big winner: “Toronto”

The also rans:

  • Abbotsford
  • “Hope-less”
  • “Drunken Duncan”
  • Courtenay-Comox
  • Sycamoose (sic)
  • Sudbury, Windsor, or Hamilton (“Tried to think of 3 worst cities in worst province of Canada.”)
  • “Living in a van.”
  • “Anywhere but here.”
  • “I don’t know, death?”
  • “Suicide.”

9. The motto on Vancouver’s coat of arms reads “By Sea, Land and Air We Prosper.” This should be updated to “By _______________, _______________ and _______________ We Prosper.”

“Safe to say ‘we’ should be changed to ‘some’ or ‘a few.’”

The purely subjective winner: “By Sea Glimpses, Land Values and Hot Air We Prosper”

Mix & match other contenders, as you please:

Scams              Condos                        Sushi

TED Talks        Real Estate                   Community Gardens

Condos           $500 Rain Jackets       Rudest Fucking Cab Drivers in the World

Heroin             Condos                         Overseas investors

Crane              Concrete                       Condo Pre-sale

Fee                 Development Permit     Fine

Yoga               Consumerism                Political Apathy

Condo            Townhouse                    Slumlord

Tanker            Pipeline                         Condo

Rennie            Pot                                 Bullshit

Condo            Bike Lane                      NIMBY

Developers    Development                Developing

Reductio ad adsurdum: “By Condos, Condos and Condos We Prosper”

10. “The one thing that gives me solace is … “

  • “My family and friends.”
  • “Nice sunny days in the park.”
  • “It’s at least not a frozen tundra.”
  • “Some people are still against the Enbridge pipeline and show up to rallies. Environmentalism is still here, somewhere.”
  • “Booze.”
  • “Money and weed.”
  • “I can still smoke a joint.”
  • “My cheap little basement suite.”
  • “I was born here, and refuse to give up.”
  • “Working on my Vancouver exit strategy.”
  • “It’s all crashing down and sinking when the big one comes”
  • “How little I care.”
  • “One day I’ll die.”
  • “This blog.”

Even Worse: The 2014 Worst of Vancouver Survey

by Zbigniew

High-priced basement suite rents got you down?

Ceaseless construction noises rattling your thoughts?

Lost all faith in the local democratic process?

Channel that despair into the 2014 Worst of Vancouver Survey. Smart-ass invective most welcome.

To take the survey just click below:

This way for the Worst of Vancouver 2014 Survey


Survey closes July 1, 2014.