Thursday, September 13, 2007

Just a wee bit of irony in this one

I'm surprised no one's mentioned this in any significant way. First, thankfully no one is hurt. From the looks of this photo, it can only be described as a miracle that no one was even scratched.

Now some questions.

I've heard that with the pace of new construction and the considerable demand for tradespeople that hiring standards have been relaxed and in some cases the ratio of journeymen to apprentices to labourers is ridiculously in favour of labourers. Not saying this had anything to do with the "Fall" of the--can we call it a wall?--at The Falls, just asking is all?

I've noticed in the house hunt that quality is pretty shoddy in some new "luxury" condos we've toured, and often wondered if the quality is shoddy in what we can see, imagine what it's like on the bits we can't. Like the structural stuff.

The Falls accident isn't the first major construction mishap I've heard of this year. I know that a clay wall came down in The Juliet when they were prepping for pouring the foundation and walls for the underground parking.

I'd be concerned if I owned a unit in one of these two places. Can I get my deposit back now that this has happened?

The past few years of crazy prices and even crazier pre-sales has me worried. Are we in for another condo crisis? This one caused not by rain screen technology but by poor quality building due to labour shortages and build 'em as quick as you can mentality?


vg said...

Global showed a segment tonite on what I think could be as bad as the leaky condos from the outside,the leaky condos from the inside due to poor quality "Made in China" copper pipes that are springing leaks and creating major damage in a 12 story condo in Vancouver. Of course the builder won't answer the phone.

Had this problem at a large place I worked in the 90's and that was due to the Wolverton debacle where sub standard copper piping was blowing holes left and right. We replaced so much copper pipe over 5 years or so. Pin leaks would develop in almost new piping,we went PVC on quite abit of the replacement.

Can you imagine one of these 40 story condos and they get the same problem ? it will make the leaky condo crisis of the 80's look miniscule. The damage that can be done deep in the walls when water lets go is brutal.

Village said...

The leaning towers of Victoria. One never knows. =) I would expect quality to be lower in everything built the last few years. During tough times, quality workers and family/friends keep their jobs. When it's booming and you can't find employee's anyone who can wield a hammer is good enough.

God knows I wouldn't buy a house that I had a hand in building. But I bet I could get a job building one. =)

Anonymous said...

There is no way I'd ever buy a condo in the so-called Humboldt Valley. One only needs to walk down Humboldt Street to see the constant flow of water that is being pumped into the streets from the Parkside Resort and Spa(800 block Humboldt.)

Remember, the whole area was, or bordered a swamp back in the 1890s!
(Click the link for the map)

Sink or swim!

hhv said...

Humboldt Valley, that's sounds like a marketing pitch... lol

Po Boy said...

Had a guy from Don Mann excavating at the job I'm on and he says the same thing about the Cook street village area that he was working on.
Showed me some pictures of his excavator sunk into the blue clay and one with the thing tipped over when they tried to get it unstuck.
This in late August after its been dry for a bit.
I do agree that some projects seem to be "cut the corners" but you are likely to notice that in the drywall ,painting and finishing as these are not something that are checked by engineers and building inspectors.

vg said...

"Humboldt Valley, that's sounds like a marketing pitch... lol "

total marketing BS,my inlaws spout that one too, I wanna puke when I hear it.....just like JMK's "Cedar Hill Valley"...that was so pathetic

the Empress next door to the Falls is built on fill, look at the old pics of that whole area,all swampland,James Bay was almost an island. One good earth shaker and it won't matter how modern your building structure,those areas will suffer the worst.

Anonymous said...

Finally, the Times-Colonist posts an everything is not so great real estate article.


vg said...

Edmonton media trying to calm the masses with outright lies !

"In stock market lingo, this is called a correction. Every other housing market in the country has had one. Now it's Edmonton's turn."

Really ?? where else has this happened ? what a pile of crap !

vg said...


Yes but it still say denial comments like :

"We don't see anything on the horizon in the economic sense that is going to have a real negative effect on housing."

How about buyer sentiment changing with bad news everywhere you turn ? even the most naive have to absorb some of this and will decide to wait six months and see.

The media blitz with negatives that could effect Canada has only started the last few weeks, we saw the cracks in last months numbers and I expect to see much more next month and thereafter.

Anonymous said...

Talking to a contractor friend the other day. A couple of Bear Mountain Houses are having big foundation issues. There also appears to be some serious construction problems among a number of other houses (or building code violations).


vg said...


OUCH ! thanks for that,won't be good for the prospective buyers if that gets out mainstream.

I recall this happening in Kelowna in the early 90's when they built this one area upso fast like they have there. Foundation problems big time and very shoddy finishing work,people stopped buying in that particular area for years til the dust settled.

Anonymous said...


Yes, it is definately a trying to spin it on the way down article but it is more than they have put in in the past.

I would hope that each little chink of not-so-great news coming out now would start to make people go hmmmm.


vg said...

Agreed S2, just the fact we have articles dropping the hints of the possibility of a correction is a major step for the bears.

I really sense the mania part of this boom has now peaked and now we wait for the fallout stories of some that have lost cause of distress sales.

I see the lone property I reluctantly went to help check out for some relatives a month ago has now lowered their price $20,000 and it is a distress sale from what the agent told us. It was in the mid $600,000 range.

cara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I've lived near Humboldt Valley my entire life - and I've always called known it by that name. Just as St Ann's is called "The Orchard" and Christ Church Cathedral is called "The Dead Zone" I guess you would have to be a local to know what the origins of the place names are. I'm a bit surprised that no one on this thread seems to be...

Also, the Juliet is hardly a luxury condo. Check the prices before you lump things in together.