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Posts Tagged "News"

2Oct

Vancouver council approves fees for ride-hailing trips in the city centre | CBC News

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People taking an Uber or Lyft within the confines Vancouver’s central core will be paying nearly $1 in municipal and provincial fees.

Vancouver became the first municipality in the Lower Mainland to pass regulations around ride-hailing on Wednesday, with council approving up to 60 cents in fees — a 30 cent fee for every pickup and drop off in the “Metro Core” region — defined as the area east of Burrard Street, west of Clark Drive and north of 16th Avenue. 

The fee is in place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, with revenue going toward managing congestion.

An additional 30 cent fee has been created by the province for all rides in B.C., regardless of time, with the money supporting accessibility. 

In both cases, the fees will not apply for accessible vehicles. Most major cities in Canada have additional fees of 20 to 30 cents per trip.

In addition to the municipal and provincial fees, ride-hailing companies in B.C. will have to set the same minimum rate as taxi companies, which varies between $3.25 and $3.95 depending on the region.

The province’s regulations around ride-hailing do not allow municipalities to withhold business licences but allows them to put additional regulations on companies operating within their borders.

“It’s important for us to bring in some interim measures immediately to do our best to manage the launch of ride-hailing,” said Lon LeClaire, Vancouver’s director of transportation.

Rides would have to pay a 30 cent fee for trips between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. that begin in Vancouver’s Metro Core and an additional 30 cent fee if it ends in the Metro Core. (City of Vancouver)

$100 yearly business licence fee

While councillors were on board with the 30 cent fee, there was significant debate over a proposal by city staff of a $100 yearly business licence for each driver.

Representatives for both Uber and Lyft worried that if other municipalities copied Vancouver with their own fees, drivers would choose to stick to the one or two municipalities with the most customers and fewest municipal boundaries.

“Are we putting in too many barriers, so most people choose to just drive in Vancouver because it’s the most profitable market?” asked Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung. 

“I [don’t support] a Vancouver-only model that moves ahead without looking at an entire municipal approach. What that smacks of to me is the taxi approach, where we are creating false challenges to having vehicles go across municipal boundaries.”

City staff noted they were also lowering the yearly licence for taxis to $100 ,down significantly from $616, in order to create the more “level playing field” between taxis and ride-hailing companies that council had previously asked for.

In the end, an amendment was passed directing staff to review the $100 licence fee after six months, following consultations with other municipalities in the region.

City manager Sadhu Johnston said he expected Vancouver’s legislation to serve as a template for other municipalities, but Vancouver would continue to fine tune its bylaws when they see the impacts of ride-hailing company operations  which are expected to begin by the end of the year.  

“This will be very dynamic,” he said. “We’re going to be watching it closely. We’re trying to avoid some of the pitfalls we’ve seen in other cities.”

2Oct

Adaptability key to woman with cerebral palsy’s success as a structural engineer | CBC News

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When Julia Halipchuk walks onto a construction site, it’s clear she’s one of the people in charge.

With a hardhat atop her head and an IPad showing construction designs in-hand, she surveys the day’s work.

But she wasn’t always that confident on a construction site. When she first began her job hunt as a structural design engineer, she searched for one based predominantly in an office.

Halipchuk has cerebral palsy, a breakdown in the neural pathways that can affect speech and movement. In Halipchuk’s case, it affects the right side of her body; she doesn’t have proper use of her hand and walks with a limp.

Because of her condition, she wasn’t sure she could fulfil the responsibilities required of an on-site engineer.

“It probably was rooted in a little bit of fear or cautiousness to make sure that I’m not putting myself out for rejection,” said Halipchuk from inside a gutted St. Andrew’s-Wesley United church in downtown Vancouver — her latest project where she’s the lead design engineer.

Julia Halipchuk’s current project is the structural restoration of St. Andrew’s-Wesley United church in downtown Vancouver. (Don Marce/CBC)

Yet despite her fear, she kept getting hired for jobs that required her to be on site.

And through her work, Halipchuk has learned the importance of identifying both her limitations and capabilities and effectively communicating what they are to her superiors.

In Canada, the employment rate for people with disabilities varies depending on the severity of the condition. While 76 per cent of people with mild disabilities are employed, that figure drops to 31 per cent if the disability is severe, according to Statistics Canada’s most recent numbers.

Adapting at work

Structural engineers are responsible for designing the bones of the building that eventually create the shape of the structure.

Half of Halipchuk’s work is spent in the office creating the construction designs; the other half is spent on site supervising the construction. 

However, working on site presents several challenges for Halipchuk, chief among them ladders.

“That’s probably my biggest weakness,” she said, due to the fact she isn’t able to maintain a proper three-point contact with her cerebral palsy.

To deal with this challenge, she had to find a way to adapt.

“As long as it’s not a tall vertical ladder, I’ve managed to find a way to climb it in a way I know I feel safe,” said Halipchuk.

Julia Halipchuk admits ladders present one of her biggest challenges on a construction, but says she has adapted how she climbs them. (Don Marce/CBC)

When on a ladder, Halipchuk will use her right arm to hook onto a ladder rung and stabilize herself. And when the ladder is too high and vertical, she says she will often swap duties with a colleague, allowing her to focus on groundwork.

Clear communication

 “It’s actually been quite easy to adapt to it,” said Hardeep Gill, Halipchuk’s supervisor at Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.

He says working with Halipchuk hasn’t been any different than working with any other colleagues who might have limitations due to their stature or because of a fear of heights.

Gill says she’s always been clear about what her restrictions are.

“If you have that open conversation with someone, there’s a very high chance that [the company] will accommodate that,” he said.

“Something that you have in your mind might not even be that big of a deal [for the company].”

Julia Halipchuk works alongside her supervisor, Hardeep Gill, while on site at a structural restoration of St. Andrew’s-Wesley United church in Vancouver. (Don Marce/CBC)

Halipchuk knows deciding what career to pursue when you have a disability is difficult, but — based on her experience — she says start with some aspect of life you find interesting.

“You will find people and companies that will make a place for you in their workforce,” she said.

1Oct

Ice Dream nightmare: hundreds of frozen vegan treats stolen from truck in Vancouver | CBC News

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Someone somewhere in the Lower Mainland has a truckload of hot ice cream that Naomi Arnaut is desperate to get back.

That’s “hot” as in “stolen,” not “hot” as in “melted,” although it is conceivable the thousands of dollars in frozen treats burgled from Arnaut’s Say Hello Sweets ice cream truck did not survive the crime.

“I suspect that they targeted me and had a plan, because they were very efficient,” said Arnaut. “They got in there fast, got what they wanted and got out.”

The pink and white truck was hit Sunday night while parked on Industrial Avenue in East Vancouver.

Arnaut is asking people to be on the lookout for Ice Dream Sandwiches or Say Hello boxed cubes of ice cream that may appear to be in the wrong hands. (Say Hello Sweets)

Beside making off with over 100 Ice Dream Sandwiches and eight cases of boxed ice cream, thieves also ripped out the truck’s generator leaving behind extensive damage and smashed doors and windows.

On Facebook Arnaut is asking people to be on the lookout for anyone trying to fence treats from Say Hello Sweets.

“If you see Say Hello being sold somewhere that doesn’t quite seem right, please alert us ASAP!”

Arnaut is hoping a neighbouring business has security camera video of the crime. 

Vancouver Police confirm they are investigating.

Owner Naomi Arnaut and dog Babycakes in front of the Say Hello Sweets ice cream truck.

1Oct

B.C. men allege pulmonary disease in lawsuit against e-cigarette brand Juul

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VANCOUVER – Two men in British Columbia have filed a lawsuit against popular vape brand Juul, alleging they suffered “adverse health conditions” after using the company’s e-cigarettes in 2018.

In a notice of civil claim filed Monday with the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Jaycen Stephens and Owen Mann-Campbell say those health conditions include pulmonary disease.

The claim accuses Juul Labs Canada of Vancouver and San Francisco-based Juul Labs Inc. of “misleading and/or deceptive statements,” including implying that vaping is safer than smoking and marketing the product to minors.

It also accuses Juul of “downplaying, misrepresenting or under-reporting serious side effects and harmful complications” of using its e-cigarettes.

The allegations have not been tested in court and a statement of defence has not been filed.

In an email, Lisa Hutniak of Juul Labs Canada says the company has not been served with the lawsuit and is not able to comment.

The statement of claim alleges that individuals who have used e-cigarettes, including those manufactured and distributed by Juul, have reported experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, pneumonia, vocal loss and other conditions.

“The plaintiffs bring this action against the defendants, and each of them, based on their manufacturing of e-cigarettes, their disregard to the harmful effects of using their products, and their failure to adequately warn consumers of the risks associated with their products,” the civil claim alleges.

The document says the plaintiffs are also seeking the certification of the lawsuit as a class-action on behalf of those who have purchased and used Juul e-cigarettes.

In addition to personal damages, the suit says the plaintiffs and class-action members have a claim for the recovery of health care costs incurred on their behalf by British Columbia’s Ministry of Health and other provincial and territorial governments.

The notice of civil claim says both men were 18 and minors when they began using e-cigarettes.

The claim says Stephens, who did not smoke cigarettes before 2018, has experienced shortness of breath, chronic bronchitis, chest pain, coughing, pneumonia, increased addiction to nicotine and anxiety. It says he was advised by a family doctor this year “that his symptoms were likely related to vaping.”

Stephens was “misled by the statements made by the defendants with respect to the safety and efficacy of their products and by advertising made by the defendants designed to market their products to minors,” it asserts.

He would not have purchased or used Juul e-cigarettes had he been provided with accurate information or warnings with respect to possible health complications from vaping, the claim says.

Mann-Campbell started vaping due to public representations that e-cigarettes were “safe and a healthier alternative to smoking,” the suit alleges.

He has experienced shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, increased addiction to nicotine, anxiety, depression and weight loss, it says, and was advised by a family doctor to stop using e-cigarettes. Mann-Campbell suffers permanent physical disability, loss of earnings and “income earning capacity,” it says.

1Oct

Transit Police issue arrest warrant for man wanted in 2 violent robberies | CBC News

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An arrest warrant has been issued for a man wanted in connection with two violent chokings and robberies.

Police say suspect Andrew Krizmanits, 42, may be headed to, or currently in, Eastern Canada or possibly the Sunshine Coast.

Krizmanits, of no fixed address, is well known to police. He has been charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of attempting to choke to overcome resistance.

On the morning of Aug. 18, police allege Krizmanits approached a 45-year-old man riding a bus headed toward the Marine Drive Canada Line station. According to police, he befriended the man, followed him off the bus, asked him for a cigarette and when the victim refused, tackled him and placed him in a headlock until he lost consciousness.

CCTV at Vancouver’s Stadium SkyTrain Station recorded a suspect before he is alleged to have taken part in a violent robbery. Transit Police say the man is responsible for two thefts in which he put his victims in a headlock, choking them until they were unconscious. 0:17

Upon regaining consciousness, the suspect asked the victim to buy him a drink at the Marine Drive Canada Line Station store, but when the victim entered the store, police say Krizmanits stole his phone and fled on the train.

Police say the second robbery occurred late on Aug. 20 when Krizmanits started a conversation with a 26-year-old man at the Stadium SkyTrain Station.

He grabbed the man when he tried to leave, placed him in a headlock and choked him until he was unconscious before stealing his wallet and credit cards .

Metro Vancouver Transit Police say they are “very concerned by the level of violence Krizmanits is willing to use.”

He is described as a Caucasian or Indigenous man, between five feet eight inches and five feet 10 inches tall with a stocky build and short brown hair.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Transit Police at 604-515-8300 or text them using code 87-77-77 and refer to file 2019-15236.

 

30Sep

Search continues for 74-year-old Kelowna man missing since Thursday | CBC News

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The search continues for a 74-year-old Kelowna, B.C., man who went missing on Thursday.

Gordon Solloway left home in the morning and was headed to the James Lake area, about 25 kilometres east of the city, to sight his rifle. He was expected home by noon.

Kevin Birnie of Central Okanagan Search and Rescue said Solloway’s truck was seen on a security camera in a rural area east of Kelowna.

“A local resident had captured some images of his vehicle going up into the Goudie [Road] area,” said Kevin Birnie of Central Okanagan Search and Rescue. “That is the only evidence we have to support that he is in that area.”

Gordon Solloway was seen in this image captured at a gas station in Rutland shortly after he left home. He was driving a 2012 Dodge Ram with a B.C. licence plate HM3 670. (RCMP)

Searchers on foot, in ATVs and in helicopters have failed to turn up any trace of the man.

Solloway was driving a silver 2012 Dodge Ram 1500, with B.C. licence plate HM3 670. 

He is described as white, five foot nine inches tall, weighing 250 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. 

Solloway has mobility issues and uses a cane. 

Vernon Search and Rescue, Pentiction Search and Rescue and the RCMP are also helping in the search. 

25Sep

‘There was a lot of blood’: Trial begins for man accused of murdering Vancouver couple

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Warning: This story contains content some readers may find disturbing.

A man accused of killing a Vancouver couple in their Marpole home two years ago is now on trial for first-degree murder. Rocky Rambo Wei Nam Kam has pleaded not guilty in the deaths of 68-year-old Richard Jones and his wife, 65-year-old Dianna Mah-Jones.

The couple’s bodies were found on Sept. 27, 2017. Prosecutor Daniel Mulligan told the court in an opening statement the Crown contends the pair were violently killed on the previous evening.

“The Crown will argue that the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Kam was the killer, and that these killings were the result of planning and deliberation,” Mulligan said.

Mulligan told the court when Mah-Jones, a highly-respected occupational therapist, did not show up for work at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, a sales representative for a mobility equipment company offered to stop by her home and check in.

Anthony Purcell testified when he went to the house, he noticed a knife on the ground and a hatchet that appeared to have blood on it. He told the court when there was no answer at the front door, he went around the back and saw the back door was open behind the screen door. He testified he also noticed a bloody shoeprint on the step.

“So I banged on the door…and yelled out for Dianna, and just said, ‘Dianna, it’s Anthony, I’m here to check on you, is everything OK?’” Purcell told the court. He testified when he didn’t get an answer, he went inside and saw more bloody footprints. He told the court he went towards the kitchen.

“There was a lot of blood, and there was obvious signs of struggle,” Purcell said. He testified he went outside and called 911, then stayed at the house until police arrived. He told the court he did not see anyone leaving the house while waiting for the officers to show up.

The court also heard from a former newspaper delivery person, Regan Tse, who testified he had spotted the knife and hatchet at the home earlier that morning. He told the court he had also met Jones before when he came out to get the paper, and the last time he saw him he was using a walker.

Mulligan told the court police found the bodies of Jones and Mah-Jones in the shower, and both had “cut-marks” on them. He expects a forensic pathologist will testify Jones’s death was caused by multiple sharp force injuries, including stab and slash wounds. He told the court he expects they’ll hear the doctor documented approximately 103 such injuries.

“Crown will argue that Mr. Jones was the victim of a prolonged, yet controlled attack in his kitchen,” Mulligan said.

Mulligan told the court the evidence suggests Mah-Jones was attacked when she returned home, and added they will hear evidence the cause of her death was blood loss from a laceration to the carotid artery.

“She was dragged to the kitchen where her throat was cut,” Mulligan said, adding that Mah-Jones also had injuries suggesting she had possibly struggled.

Mulligan told the court police discovered a hatchet with the same bar code had been purchased at a Canadian Tire on Sept. 13, along with other items, and the sale was recorded on security camera. That video has not yet been entered into evidence.

Mulligan said he also expected a forensic witness would testify Kam’s DNA profile matched one generated from the fingernails on Mah-Jones’s left hand, as well as from swabs from the knife found in the yard.

Mulligan told the court Kam was living less than a kilometre away from the couple, and Crown will argue he was captured on video in the neighbourhood.

Mulligan also said the Crown has no evidence of any relationship or connection between the accused and the victims. He told the court the Crown’s theory is Kam purchased the axe and other items “specifically to use to kill someone.”

“There is no evidence as to when or why Mr. Kam targeted Mr. Jones. However the Crown will argue the purchase of the items used in the killing, along with the manner in which the victims were killed, is evidence upon which the court can conclude that these killings were the result of planning and deliberation,” Mulligan said.

The court also heard from a former neighbour of Mah-Jones and Jones, Emma Greenhalgh, who testified she saw a Kia Soul drive off after being parked outside the couple’s house on the evening of Sept. 26. She told the court Mah-Jones drove that kind of vehicle, and said it was very unusual for her to leave at that time of night, and added her neighbour usually parked in the garage. She testified she did not see anybody get in, but it appeared there was only one person in the vehicle.

Mulligan told the court Mah-Jones’s vehicle was not located near her home, but was found the next day, and added the keys were found in a flower bed.

Greenhalgh also testified Jones and Mah-Jones had a suite in the basement they rented as an Airbnb. When asked by crown if she recognized Kam as he sat in the courtroom, Greenhalgh said she did not.

The defence has not yet presented its case. The trial continues Thursday.

Warning: Graphic content. CTV News Vancouver’s Maria Weisgarber is covering the case live from court. Follow along below.

24Sep

Best loo in the country is at a gas station, nods go to Vancouver businesses

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The best porcelain throne in the country is located at a gas station in northern Alberta, according to an annual commode contest, and some local loos are also receiving bragging rights for their lavatories.

The washroom at Beaver Hill Shell in Lac La Biche offers a unique rest-stop unlike most gas stations, where people want to get in and out as quickly as possible.

Beaver Hill Shell goes the extra mile to put lavish details in its bathrooms: granite countertops, wood accents and saloon-style doors.

“It’s not often a public washroom turns out to be a highlight from your road trip, but we’re sure travelers from near and far will stop to see these award-winning facilities for themselves,” said Candice Raynford with Cintas Canada in a press release.

Each year, Cintas, a company that specializes in products like restroom supplies, holds a contest for the best bathroom in Canada and awards the winner $2,500.

While the Lac La Bische loo claimed the top spot, two Vancouver businesses were finalists in the restroom competition.

Washroom

Laurence and Chico Café, named after designers Laurence Li and Chico Wang, placed third for its eye-catching wallpapers and themes.

The colourful café is an Instagram hot spot at every corner and the bathrooms are no exception.

One water closet is covered in whimsical rubber ducky illustrations, while the other is adorned with paper mâché flowers, offering an escape from reality.

Laurence and Chico

Bauhaus Restaurant is already known for its food, having been named one of Canada’s best 100 places to eat earlier this year, and now it’s also being recognized for its bathrooms.

The restaurant’s Berlin street art-inspired washrooms were commissioned by an art duo from Spain, Olliemoonsta, who used original graphic designs and graffiti to match the theme.

Bauhaus placed fifth in the contest.

Honourable mentions also go to Cosmos Café in Quebec City and Cluny Bistro in Toronto.

Bauhaus Restaurant

22Sep

Lack of sleep makes child athletes more likely to get injured | CBC News

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On a rainy weekend morning, Joanna Mustovitch braces against the cold along with the other parents at Burnaby’s 8 Rinks Arena in greater Vancouver. 

Mustovitch has sacrificed her Sunday to bring her 13-year-old son here to play house league hockey, to support his dream of one day becoming a professional player. 

And as part of her efforts, every night at 9:30 p.m. Mustovitch gathers all of her son’s electronics to make sure he gets a good night’s sleep. 

“Once he has no distractions and gets to sleep he’s fine,” she said. “At this age, I don’t think he cares enough about being a good athlete to want to stop the electronics.”

70% increase in injury risk

Many parents understand how sleep affects their children’s performance the next day. But experts at the World Sleep Congress in Vancouver this week say that relationship may be even more important than parents realize. 

According to the World Sleep Society, the risk of injury increases by up to 70 per cent when young athletes get less than eight hours of sleep. Conversely, sleeping more than 10 hours a night has been shown to increase sprint speed, shooting accuracy and mental health of college-aged basketball players. 

“Injury is the leading cause of child and youth death and disability in Canada, with sports-related injuries being the most common one in populations at school age,” according to a description of one of the talks at the World Sleep Congress in Vancouver this week. 

Dr. Charles Samuels works with teenage athletes on their journey to the podium. Samuels helps them to get better sleep so they can become stronger athletes. (Doug Kerr/CBC)

Dr. Charles Samuels, president of the Canadian Sleep Society and medical director of the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance at the University of Calgary, works with teenage athletes as they make a hopeful journey to the podium.

“It’s the time in their life when they need the most sleep, and get the least sleep,” Samuels said from the congress on Sunday. “That does impact their ability to recover [and] train at a level that improves their performance over time.”

Pivotal role

While experts still can’t say with certainty what exactly sleep is, Samuels said they do better understand its pivotal role in basic human functions like cardiovascular, muscular and mental health. 

Samuels says a good or bad night’s rest can mean the difference between a medal or the sidelines.

One of the most common sleep issues that Samuels sees in teenage athletes is a natural age-related delay in sleepiness that makes them want to go to bed later and wake up accordingly. 

Dr. Charles Samuels says his clinic helps some teen athletes with insomnia by providing them with meditation techniques.

The issue is so common it has prompted some schools across the country to consider later start times for teenage students.

Samuels suggests parents not force their child to go to bed before they’re tired, and instead to encourage them to wind down at the end of day, and create a bedtime routine. 

“You can’t force them to fall asleep at 10 if their clock is set at midnight,” he said. 

Active minds

Another common issue Samuels comes across is wakefulness caused by electronics.

Many of the athletes he works with have enough drive to succeed that they will put their phones away before bed, but Samuels appreciates the difficulty parents can have with less motivated children. 

For them, Samuels suggests parents try tp find something their children are motivated to do and tie a good night’s sleep to that. 

Samuels also offers meditation to help athletes relax before bed when they have too much on their minds.

It’s important for athletes to monitor how much sleep they’re getting, Samuels said, and to seek help from a physician when sleeplessness becomes an issue.

 

 

22Sep

This Vancouver urinal has zero privacy and 100 years of history | CBC News

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In the summer of 2013, Matt Straw attended a wedding at Heritage Hall, a brownstone building in East Vancouver known for its elegant ballroom, stained glass chandeliers and historic clock tower.

But all anybody could talk about was that urinal.

A double-sided, or twin, urinal, to be precise, separated by what can barely be described as a divider. 

The unsuspecting men who are blindsided by its design must stand upright, a hair’s distance from each other, and count down the seconds while nature takes its course.

“You’re out there next to somebody who you’ve never met before and have to basically look them in the eyes,” said Straw, a 36-year-old lawyer.

“In my long and storied bathroom career, I have never seen anything like that before.”

For decades, the twin urinal has befuddled thousands of men who have streamed through Heritage Hall’s basement bathroom. And that notoriety has spilled outside of the restroom’s marble walls, turning the urinal into a bona fide historical attraction.

“It’s the abominable snowman of toilets,” said Graeme Menzies, who featured the urinal in his 2019 book 111 Places in Vancouver That You Must Not Miss.

The urinal has lurked in the basement bathroom since 1916, when the building originally opened as a post office.

The building on Main and 15th once housed the federal agriculture department and the RCMP. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

You can thank John Shanks for its cozy construction. The Scottish plumber patented more than a hundred urinal designs in the 19th century, when safe sewage disposal was essential amid cholera and typhus outbreaks, Menzies said.

One of Shanks’ “twin twinklers,” as Menzies calls it, ended up in Heritage Hall. In a biography of the building, an architect speculated the urinal may have been an industrial fitting during the building’s early post office days.

It’s the abominable snowman of toilets.– Graeme Menzies, co-author of  111 Places in Vancouver That You Must Not Miss

But it’s not clear why Shanks shunned privacy in this particular design, Menzies said. In fact, the Scotsman only made it worse by angling both sides of the urinal toward each other.

“It’s kind of startling to look at,” Menzies said. “You wonder if it’s Photoshopped or if it’s a joke. And then no, it gets real.”

The urinal stubbornly survived as the building switched hands over the decades, housing the federal agriculture department from 1965 to 1976, and later the RCMP (proving useful for the male-dominated force, Menzies noted).

The building was then abandoned and fell into disrepair, before undergoing a massive restoration in the early 1980s. In the building’s biography, project architect Susan Parker recalled her delight at discovering the twin urinal.

“There’s nothing like that in the women’s washroom,” she mused.

The urinal is highlighted in a biography about Heritage Hall. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Today, the building houses non-profit offices and is mainly used as an event space. The urinal remains one of its original features.

Jan Tollefsen, the building manager for Heritage Hall, said she’s barely had to maintain it in her three years working at the site.

“It was made to last,” she said.

While the urinal flushes on its own every 20 minutes, there is, ahem, a smell of pee that lingers. Not even a urinal deodorizer can thwart it, Tollefsen said. Still, nothing stops visitors from revelling in the contraption.

“I’ve even had people do photo shoots down around it,” Tollefsen said.

But gentlemen, if you’re thinking of checking out this one-of-a-kind john, don’t unzip just yet.

It’s only open for private events, meaning you’ll either have to host a wedding — or be invited to one — to take part in what has become a strange Vancouver tradition.

“Everyone’s fascinated by it because it’s so bizarre,” Tollefsen said.

The twin urinal at Heritage Hall still remains in tip-top shape to this day. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

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