Every couple needs a good date night a few times a month—if not weekly! But after a trying day with the kids or a long week at work, getting out for date night can itself feel like work. Sometimes what’s called for is an easy, breezy evening close to home, minus all the fuss.


Luckily, if you live in a North Burnaby home there are plenty of places you can escape to without spending a fortune on cabs or sitters. Because why take a pricey taxi ride into Downtown Vancouver when there’s something even better just around the corner?


Here’s are just five of many great date ideas my North Burnaby friends and colleagues brainstormed with me.


1. Hit the trails

There’s nothing like a casual, scenic bike ride to make the day melt away so you can focus on each other. Just don’t go so fast you’re unable to speak! The bike trails in North Burnaby offer especially stunning views, in particular around the SFU Campus at Burnaby Mountain.


2. Hone your taste buds

The craft brewery craze is alive and well in Burnaby. You and your sweetie can pull up a seat at Dagreaad Brewing (3191 Thunderbird Crescent, Burnaby) and get familiar with their Belgian-style beers. Each order a tasting flight with different brews, and get sharing! Then hit up nearby Burnaby Brewing Company (3051 Underhill Ave), where you can get the skinny on brewing up your own customizable beer (or just taste some more). Or enjoy the famous Steamworks Brewery & Taproom (3845 William Street). There is something for everyone (and every taste) in the region.


3. Dine al fresco at Burnaby Lake

Who says date night needs to be at night? Gather together provisions from your pantry—some cheese, crackers, nuts, and grapes—grab a bottle of your favourite beverage, snag the throw from the back of your couch, and head off to Burnaby Lake. Choose from one of the many picturesque picnic sites and spend the afternoon catching rays and catching up.


4. Find hidden treasures

If you're a new North Burnaby home owner, there’s a good chance you’re always on the lookout for the next perfect piece of furniture or décor that is decidedly “you.” Turn that hunt into date time by scouring the many local antique shops for that piece that speaks to you both. Check out my earlier blog post on local antique shops to plan your route.


5. Time travel at Glenburn Soda Fountain

What’s more adorably romantic than a milkshake for two? Sip on a classic chocolate shake nose to nose, or go all out with one of the many specialty sundaes this local Burnaby Heights favourite has on offer.


As a North Burnaby realtor, Pauline knows how to sell your home and neighbourhood.

Call or email Pauline today to set up an appointment.

Read full post

Exciting times are afoot in North Burnaby real estate, especially when it comes to the neighbourhood of Brentwood. Already an exciting area to live in—thanks in large part to its great location in the centre of Metro Vancouver and its well-connected transportation hub—Brentwood is these days growing even more abuzz with energy.


As one of the four designated Town Centres of Burnaby, Brentwood is currently getting a lot of attention from both city council and from developers.


As many people will know, the reimagined Amazing Brentwood development, billed as “a complete global community that brings everything you need and everything you love within walking distance, with rapid transit at your doorstep,” is nearing completion. Due to open in Spring 2019, this master-planned community is taking what used to be a regular shopping mall and turning it into a mixed-use area focused on liveability and sustainability, bringing together cyclist, transit, and car networks and offering residential, commercial, and public spaces, all built to the highest environmental standards.


For those looking to live in the most contemporary of spaces, experience the highest degree of liveability, and basically have the world at their fingertips, buying North Burnaby real estate in the surrounding Brentwood developments offers the exact right fit. (For information on pre-sale opportunities, contact Pauline directly.)


While the Amazing Brentwood offers cutting-edge living opportunities, the older areas of this Burnaby community hold their own kind of glamour. The majority of the homes in Brentwood are single-family dwellings, so if you are looking for a more traditional family home, there are several charming streets where you and your loved ones can have a front yard, a back garden, and even enough space to set up your own mini soccer field.


As a North Burnaby realtor, Pauline knows how to sell your home and neighbourhood.

Call or email Pauline today to set up an appointment.

Read full post

If you’re the outdoor type, then the many parks of Burnaby will happily act as your nature-filled wonderland. If you’re not the outdoor type, when you move to North Burnaby, you’ll soon find yourself inching ever closer toward to becoming the outdoor type. That’s because it’s nearly impossible to ignore what’s outside your window when you live in a North Burnaby house.


With more than 200 parks, it’s hard not to find yourself in some sort of green place when you travel any distance in North Burnaby. Whether you’re a hiker, cyclist, soccer player, dog owner, casual stroller, or avid picnicker, the parks of the city are one of its most enticing features.


If you’re looking for a great place to get to know your new North Burnaby home and its many parks, why not start with two of the area’s most popular.


Confederation Park


Located where the Burnaby Heights and Capitol Hill neighbourhoods meet, Confederation Park has a lot to offer. Soccer fields, a running track, tennis courts, a lacrosse box, and baseball diamonds for athletes. Lawn bowling, picnic sites, and a miniature railway for more low-key family Sunday afternoons. An indoor pool and outdoor water play area for hot summer days. A massive off-leash dog park for any furry family members. This park has it all.


Confederation Park also hosts local community events throughout the year, such as Art in the Park, where artists run a different hands-on activities for the whole family, and just-scary-enough Spooky Halloween Trains in the Dark each October.


Learn more about what’s available at Confederation Park here.


Burnaby Lake


If you want to immerse yourself in nature in the middle of the city, look no further than Burnaby Lake Regional Nature Park. The huge lake at the centre of the park spans more than three square kilometres and is home to a variety of wildlife, from salmon and trout to herons and osprey to beavers and turtles. With its mix of flora and fauna, it’s not surprising that the park is actually a wildlife sanctuary.


If you really want to get into the nature retreat vibe of Burnaby Lake, you can take a canoe or kayak out onto its waters. There are also picnic sites available, where you can hold birthday parties, family reunions, or just a good old fashioned get-together with friends and chill.


Find out more about Burnaby Lake here.


If you’re looking to further explore the nature that surrounds your North Burnaby house, you can learn about some of the city’s other green spaces in the earlier “Exploring Burnaby North Parks” post.


As a North Burnaby realtor, Pauline knows how to sell your home and neighbourhood. Call or email Pauline today to set up an appointment.

Read full post

The tight-knight community feel is a major reason people look to buy East Vancouver and North Burnaby real estate. One of the big factors behind the “neighbourhoody” feel of these areas is their numerous long-running community events.


Here are just a few of my favourite annual spring and summertime community events in North Burnaby and East Van.


Italian Day on the Drive—June


If you own a piece of Commercial Drive or Burnaby Heights real estate, you know both these communities have a strong Italian heritage. You and your family can help celebrate this local culture in all its facets at this annual community event, where food, dance, and music transform Vancouver’s Little Italy into one big street party for an entire day.


Learn more about the vendors and acts on the Italian Day website at italianday.ca.


Hats Off Day—June


One of the best things about owning a North Burnaby home is your proximity to “Burnaby’s Biggest Festival,” which has also been voted Burnaby’s best festival for a decade straight.


Stroll along Hastings Street from Boundary Road to Gamma Avenue and take in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Hats Off Day. It all starts with the Family Fun Dash and a big parade, followed by a street festival with live music, street entertainers, and food vendors.


For details on how to enter the Family Fun Dash and other events and contests, visit the official Hats Off Day website at hatsoffday.com.


Car Free Days—June and July


For a few days each year, some of Vancouver’s busiest and most popular streets shut down to car traffic and open up to pedestrians. The Car Free Festivals on Main Street, in June, and Commercial Drive, in July, see the streets lined with local vendors, stages for musical acts, stations where you can partake in family-friendly activities, and lots and lots of delicious food stalls.


Car Free Day allows you to take full advantage of the sunny months and really get to know your ‘hood from a unique perspective.


For more information, see the Car Free Vancouver website at www.carfreevancouver.org.


Giro di Burnaby—July


Watch as international cyclists zoom through the Burnaby Heights neighbourhood for the Giro di Burnaby, the largest professional cycling series in North America, which has been running for a decade and counting. The grand prize is $15,000 to the winner. If you’re not quite up for competing yourself despite the prize money, then get in on the action by cheering from the sidelines.


If you’ve got an active teen in your family, they can enter the Boffo Breve for youth aged 12 to 16, which takes place on the same 1 km track as the professional race.


For more information, visit the Giro di Burnaby website at www.girodiburnaby.com.


The Fair at the PNE—August to September


Situated right where East Vancouver and North Burnaby meet, the Pacific National Exhibition—better known as the PNE—has made for fun-filled local summer nights since 1910. While the PNE’s amusement park, Playland, is open year-round, the Fair at the PNE runs for a few weeks in late summer, from mid-August. In addition to amusement rides and carnival games, the Fair at the PNE hosts numerous exhibitors, a kids’ discovery farm, beer gardens for the adults, and big-name musical acts each night.


To find out what this year has up its sleeve, check out the PNE website at www.pne.ca.


As an East Vancouver and North Burnaby realtor, Pauline knows how to sell your home and neighbourhood. Call or email Pauline today to set up an appointment.

Read full post


When you’re deciding where to move your family and build your new home, one big factor in every parent’s decision is the schools your children will attend. When you buy North Burnaby real estate, you’re also securing access to some of the best schools in the Lower Mainland. 

Elementary schools in North Burnaby

With 12 public and two private elementary schools, when you move into a North Burnaby home, you know you’re also moving into a catchment area with a wide variety of schools that can meet your kids’ needs, whatever they may be.


Both Aubrey and Capitol Hill elementary schools offer French immersion for students in K to 7, while Confederation Park and Parkcrest put a big emphasis on the fine and performing arts.


North Burnaby is also home to Holy Cross Catholic elementary school, located in Brentwood, which is one of the top academically rated elementary schools in the entire province of British Columbia.


Fawkes Academy, which has a campus located in Burnaby Heights, offers individualized and specialized education for children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.

Secondary schools in North Burnaby 

There are two public secondary schools in North Burnaby, Burnaby North and École Alpha, along with two private, Carver Christian and Saint Thomas More.


Whether your child decides to pursue French immersion into their high school years at Alpha, wants to join an active theatre and music program at Burnaby North, or intends to meet the highest academic challenge available at Thomas More (an Independent School) or the BETA Mini School at Alpha, their education opportunities are manifold in North Burnaby.


As a North Burnaby realtor, Pauline knows how to sell your home and neighbourhood. Call or email Pauline today to set up an appointment.


Read full post

You’ve had many good years with your North Burnaby house or condo, but now you’re moving on to the next stage of your life. Whether you need more rooms for your growing family or you’re a fresh empty nester who needs to downsize, the time to sell your home has come.


While it’s no secret the North Burnaby real estate market is hot, to give yourself the edge and get the best price for your home, you’ll want to make sure it looks its absolute best. This is what’s known in the real estate biz as “staging.” There are professional companies who specialize in this, but you can also definitely take on the job yourself.


If you’re planning on doing the staging of your home yourself, here are a few key points to keep in mind.


1. Less is more


We all know moving can be stressful. Luckily, you can actually use home staging as a way to get some of the bother out of the way nice and early. Decluttering makes your home much more appealing for potential buyers, who can better see the bones of the property. It also means you’ll finally get rid of that box of old clothes you’ve been meaning to donate for one, two … maybe five years. Get rid of any extra furniture you’ve accumulated over the years, and definitely don’t have stacks and piles of anything anywhere.


2. Keep it neutral


You’ve lovingly chosen the colour palette for each room of your beautiful North Burnaby home, and it can be hard to paint over all that work. However, the fact is that buyers have an easier time imagining what they’d do when presented with a nice clean slate. To help you get through it, just think of the fun decorating challenge your next home will offer!


3. Show off the goods


You know your home better than anyone. In the same way you highlight your best features with the clothing or makeup you wear, the same principle applies to your home. Have original hardwood floors? Make sure they’re not covered up during viewings! Do you have that coveted southern exposure? While your teenager may fight you, make sure the blackout curtains are removed from the bedroom windows for the duration of the sale process.


4. Spruce up the kitchen        


There are a few rooms that can make or break a sale: the kitchen is one of them. While you don't need to buy all new appliances, make sure yours have been deep cleaned and polished up. This is one area where it’s worth splurging on a cleaning service to make sure every nook and cranny is spotless. Someone else’s grime is on no one’s “must have” home buying checklist.


5. Don’t skip the details


While so far the advice has been to remove items when staging your home for sale, there are a few key spaces where you should add a touch or two. From getting the bathroom tile regrouted to updating the yellowed light-switch covers for something more polished, small DIY or low-cost fixes can be the thing that give your North Burnaby real estate that je ne sais quoi that elevates it over the property down the street. Make a list of worn-out or dated elements and figure out which fixes fit into your budget. Taken all together, these little changes can add up to a facelift.



As a North Burnaby realtor, Pauline knows how to sell your home and neighbourhood. Call or email Pauline today to set up an appointment.



Read full post

3 Things to Love about the Parks of North Burnaby 

You already know that Burnaby is one of the best places on earth to live, but did you know it also has one of the highest ratios of parkland to residents in North America? There are more than 200 parks! . When you buy North Burnaby real estate, that means a whole lot of nature right on your doorstep.


The enclave of North Burnaby has more than its fair share of those 200 parks, where all of its residents jog, play, picnic, and soak up the incomparable nature of British Columbia.


Here are our three favourite things about North Burnaby’s parkland.

1. Have you seen the water? (But seriously, have you?) 

If you’re lucky enough to live near to Montrose Park, right on the border with Vancouver, you’ll get to enjoy strolls along the waters of Burrard Inlet whenever your heart desires. There’s even a railroad track, to make your Instagram snaps even more picturesque. The Trans Canada Trail, which is one big long recreational trail that spans the entire country, also runs through this park.


If you hit the trail on your bike and head west, you’ll soon arrive in Scenic Park and Stratford park, which offer their own stunning views of the shoreline and North Vancouver across the way.


2. The pure wilderness of Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area 

Surrounding the Simon Fraser University campus is the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area—because North Burnabians both love to soak up nature and to protect it.


Not only does this massive, 576-hectare park of mostly forested lands preserve the ecosystem that sustains the area’s diverse animal and plant life, but it also offers some stunning views from the top of the mountain—views that people travel from all over the world to come see. (And you might even be able to spot your own piece of North Burnaby real estate from there!)


3. North Burnaby’s parks are dog heaven

Within the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, your furry best friend will be glad to learn that they can be let off leash along a 1.1 km-long hiking trail, which takes you on an easy hike through the forest. Can’t trust your critter not to go chasing after a squirrel? The Burnaby Heights Park off-leash area (416 N Ingleton Ave) offers an enclosure so big that Spot will think he’s out on the trails.



Keep an eye out for Part 2 of Exploring Burnaby North Parks, where we take a closer look at two of the most popular parks Burnaby has to offer: Confederation Park and Burnaby Lake.


As a North Burnaby realtor, Pauline knows how to sell your home and neighbourhood. Call or email Pauline today to set up an appointment.

Read full post


You’ve bought your new beautiful turn-of-the-century North Burnaby house or maybe you’ve just moved into a lovely midcentury bungalow, and now you need to pay homage to the era with your furnishings. Luckily, you won’t have to go far to find stores that offer the perfect antique furniture to fit the spirit of your charming heritage home.


It’s no secret that Burnaby is home to many soundstages for the film industry, and even if you’re not a movie star, that’s great news. Why? Because when films are finished with all the props they used to furnish their sets, they deposit them at nearby Angelstone FX (3989 Henning Dr, Burnaby)—where they turn from “props” back into “antiques.” From couches to bureaus to juke boxes (should you need one), all types of unique finds are available here.


Down the road, just on the other side of Lougheed Highway from the Brentwood Neighbourhood, Jack’s New & Used Building Materials (4912 Still Creek Ave, Burnaby) offers the sort of antique accoutrements that will keep your heritage North Burnaby house truly authentic: antique bath tubs, antique stained glass windows, even antique doorknobs. You can get it right, right down to the last detail.


Just a short drive away, neighbouring New Westminster has a group of antique shops that can fill your lighting, furniture, and decoration needs. Antique Alley (605 Front St, New Westminster), Most Wanted Vintage (1037 Auckland St, New Westminster), and Mid-Century Modern Home (inside River Market, New Westminster) are all located walking distance from one another, each offering its own set of eras and items.


Just as you don’t have to go far from North Burnaby for all your living needs, you don’t have to go far for all your antique needs. The thrill of the hunt for the perfect antique heating grate awaits!

Pauline knows North Burnaby and knows how to sell your home and neighbourhood. Call or email Pauline today to set-up an appointment.

Read full post

Known as one of the “best kept secrets in the Lower Mainland,” the vibrant community and history of Burnaby Heights is part of what makes North Burnaby real estate so desirable.


Not only does this neighbourhood—known to locals as simply “the Heights”—have some of the best vista views around, but its cultural history is just as impressive as its natural surroundings. While Burnaby and the entire West Coast is relatively new, the Heights is one of the oldest communities in Greater Vancouver. It’s shopping district along Hastings Street was established more than 100 years ago!


Back in the days when a trolley ran from Vancouver to Burnaby Heights, the influx of shoppers and new residents made the area a very desirable place to set up shop and also to live—and it continues to be so. The area remains home to the thriving and tight-knit community of businesses and people that was established so long ago.


We are lucky to also still enjoy the heritage look and feel of North Burnaby real estate today. You can see this in the original early twentieth-century buildings that dot the neighbourhood, but also in the new retro-inspired businesses that make the Heights and its “small town charm” so unique within the Lower Mainland.


From children’s arts spaces and patisseries to clock repairers and yoga studios, the more than 350 businesses of Burnaby Heights mean that you basically never have to leave the neighbourhood if you don’t want to—and why would you?



Pauline knows North Burnaby and knows how to sell your home and neighbourhood.

Call or email Pauline today to set-up an appointment.


Read full post

As a First Time Home buyer there is a lot of information that you should be aware of before you start your search. 


As a First time home buyer you have an opportunity to take advantage of a few goverment and tax options that could make a difference on what you can afford to purchase.  My First time home buyer package includes details on your options as welll as a checklist of what you need to do and a step by step plan from start to finish!


For a copy of my Home Buyers package, send me an email at paulinerilcof@gmail.com or sign up on my website home page.


Happy House hunting!


Read full post

Are you entering the world of Vancouver real estate as a first time home buyer?  Did you know that there are advantages to being a first time home buyer?  Buying your first home can be exciting and worrisome at the same time.

It may take some time before you find the perfect home, so in the meantime be prepared.  If you are interested in a free, no obligation First Time Home Buyers package, send an email to info@firsttimehomebuyer-vancouver.com

Read full post