Royal LePage Port Alberni News

We hope you find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local real estate information to Port Alberni community happenings. That’s because we care about the Alberni Valley and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 19, 2020

Tips for Selling Your Home in Spring!

Spring is around the corner in Port Alberni, BC. Spring is a popular time to sell your home in the Alberni Valley. Regardless of whether it’s a Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market in Port Alberni, inventory always increases during springtime. As a result, a large number of buyers are vigorously researching for a new home in Port Alberni during these spring months. 

Tips for Selling Your Home in Spring!

Many homeowners are unsure of how to proceed when they are selling their Alberni Valley home during springtime. With this in mind, below are some tips to help prepare your home for the spring market. 

1. Windows and Mirrors.

Cleaning is the first tip, ensure all windows are washed inside and out and all mirrors are polished, especially the mirrors in the bathroom(s). Clean windows will allow more light to enter your home and clean mirrors will reflect more sunlight into your home, making it feel brighter and bigger. 

2. Gutters and Trimming. 

Clean out all dead leaves and debris from your gutters, this will allow the water to drain into the downspouts and prevents the water from backing up into your home. Don’t let overgrown vegetation block the windows or pathways. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and show off the exterior of your home. 

3. Mowing

You should mow your lawn frequently and don’t forget to mow the edges of the lawn along your driveway or sidewalk. Doing this alone will show buyers that you pay attention to the small details and a diagonally mowed lawn makes a garden appear bigger. 

4. Garden Flowers

After a long winter most, people are anxious to see the beauty that spring brings. Bright and warm colors induce feelings of happiness and joy. Arrange flowers like tulips and daffodils into groups and placing them at the entrance of your home, will bring warmth into your home. 

5. Floors

Hardwood floors should be polished, any scrapes should be buffered out. Make your ceramic or linoleum floors shine and sparkle, and bleach dull grout and steam clean any area rugs. 

6. Outdoor Mat and Umbrella Stand at the Entrance.

Most people know that song “April Showers”. Although April showers may come your way, they bring the flowers that bloom in May.  Always be prepared for rain, as our spring weather is often unpredictable. If it’s raining provide buyers a place to stand their umbrellas and a mat to wipe their feet. This will keep your home free of muddy footprints and stains and all that hard work you put into polishing and cleaning those floors won’t be wasted.

When you show off your home, you need to emphasize the positives. Spring is the right time as you can open all windows and let the fresh air and the smell of spring fill your home with joy and warmth. 

These tips will help you maximize the impact your home makes on potential buyers. By working alongside a qualified and experienced Port Alberni Realtor, you can work together to achieve your selling goals and discover more tips for selling your beautiful home. 

 

March 12, 2020

Port Alberni - Hiking the Heart of Vancouver Island!

Port Alberni is known for its picturesque natural beauty!  What better way of seeing the true beauty of this incredible Valley than hiking! When I think about living in the Heart of Vancouver Island. I imagine that the trails are like veins pumping fresh oxygen and life from the heart of our beautiful Valley; keeping our lush forests standing strong and our rivers and lakes filled with the cleanest and freshest waters in the world. Each trail in Port Alberni has its own uniqueness. Port Alberni has over 100 trails, and all are beautiful in their own way.  

Port Alberni, Hiking the Heart of Vancouver Island

Starting off with the largest waterfall in Canada, Della Falls at 440 meters high. Della Falls lies within Strathcona Provincial Park. The river valley will take your breath away as you canoe down and hike Great Central Lake. You will hike a wide and flat trail to Drinkwater Creek, and feel the magical presence of your ancestries through the beautiful and sacrist Spruce and Hemlock forests. Once you cross over Margaret Creek, the trails become narrower and harsher.  As you make your way to the top, to take in Della Falls in the distances. You will realize that there is no other place like this! Let the tranquility fill your heart and a sense of peace overcomes you. This place is a true Heaven! 

The Stamp Long River Trail is an ancient growth rainforest, untouched by mankind. You can feel the energy from the prehistoric Cedar and Fir trees that stand shoulder to shoulder, along the entire trail for hundreds upon hundreds of years.  If you close your eyes, you can almost feel the people that lived before you, that used this trail for hunting or traveling from one place to another. There are several short switchbacks that provide the most incredible views of the river trail. This river is one of the most breathtaking gems on Vancouver Island. Hikers have spotted eagles, hawks and bears as they hike, the true rainforest of Vancouver Island.    

The Log Train Trail, in Log Trail Regional Park, offers 25 km of amazing diverse trails through the Alberni Valley.  Historically, the trail was once used as a rail bed developed in the early 1900s as part of the Bainbridge Mill rail logging operation. Starting along the foot of Beaufort Range, the trail leads to the McLean Mill Historic Site.  This trail will walk you through the history of logging and mining on Vancouver Island.  The tracks and ties have long been removed from the old rail grade. There are maintained culvert and bridge crossings of streams along the trail. 

Fossli Provincial Park lies on the south side of the Stirling Arm of Sproat Lake. You can walk the 2.5 km trail that leads to a second-growth forest and that leads to an old homestead site on Sproat Lake. Once you reach the lake, you can take in the most stunning views you will ever see, as you relax on the pebble beach. There are numerous waterfalls at St Andrew Creek, as it zigs zags through the park before flowing into Sproat Lake. The beach is perfect for swimming and in Fall you can watch the Coho salmon migrate. There is a short trail that heads west from the beach to a beaver pond, here is a perfect place to bird watch.  

There is nothing like hiking and the fresh oxygen being pumped from the forest around you, healing your lungs with the freshest air. My favorite part is watching the trees and shrubbery change during each season. As in Fall watching the leaves fall to the ground and feeling the crunch beneath your feet or watching the land come alive again after the harsh winter.  Hiking cleanses the soul and connects you to nature! In my opinion, Port Alberni has the most incredible trails on Vancouver Island, and all are on our back doorstep. 

 

March 5, 2020

How to Prepare for an Earthquake

Earthquakes can happen at any time and anywhere in the world. Recognizing possible dangers ahead of time and advance planning can save your life, at the most extreme, or reduce the chances of a serious injury or property damages. On January 24th, 2020 a light earthquake at a magnitude of 4.8 struck Port Alberni. No damage was caused and most people living in Port Alberni, BC didn’t feel it. But it got me thinking am I really prepared for an earthquake and the aftermath? 

Earthquake Preparation Port Alberni

According to USGS, it is estimated that around several million earthquakes occur annually around the world. Annually, an average of one earthquake of a magnitude of 8 or higher occurs, while around 15 earthquakes ranging from 7 to 7.9, occur. As many as 13 million earthquakes measuring 2 to 2.9 magnitude occur annually. 

Imagine: if you were going about your daily business at work, driving the children to school or just walking the Kitsuksis Dyke with your dog., when all of a sudden, the ground starts to move from beneath you. It may take a moment to realize that its an earthquake.  What should you do?

What to do if you are inside a building during an earthquake?

First of all, if you feel an earthquake, do not run outside as some old buildings may not be designed to withstand a large earthquake, and windows may be smashing onto the ground, while exterior brickwork, may fall too. There is a greater chance that you would be hurt if you are near a building than being inside it. According to FUMA:

Drop to the ground and take cover by getting under a secure table or other piece of furniture; and hold on until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.

Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.

Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.

Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.

Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people in buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.

Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

Do not use the elevators.

What do you do if you are outside during an earthquake? 

Stay there.

Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.

Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

What do you do if in a moving vehicle during an earthquake? 

Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.

Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

Remember that the local fire and police departments may not be available following an earthquake. It is important that you have emergency supplies prepared. Your emergency kit should have enough water, food, clothing, medical supplies, batteries, flashlights, first aid kit and any other necessary equipment that you need for at least 72 hours.  With a little preparation, you can avoid bigger issues. For example, it is advised that you leave a flashlight and a pair of shoes beside your bed. This way if an earthquake hits in the middle of the night, you are prepared. One of the most common injuries seen after an earthquake is people’s feet being cut from them walking or running barefoot over broken glass and other sharp objects. Are you prepared? 

 

 

Jan. 29, 2020

Vancouver Island's Ultimate Fishing Town - Port Alberni.

Nestled within the Alberni Valley at the head of the Alberni Inlet, Vancouver Island's longest inlet, is Port Alberni, BC which is a deep port city. Port Alberni is the true Salmon Capital of the World! Home to all five species of Pacific Salmon, Port Alberni also has this reputation by winning the first-ever title of Canada’s Ultimate Fishing Town in 2010 by the World Fishing Network. A mecca for saltwater fishing, this new title also paid homage to the truly world freshwater fishing.

Vancouver Island Ultimate Fishing Town

 

Held annually in August, the Salmon Festival and Derby is held over Labour Day weekend at the Harbour Quay.  Daily prices for the largest fish is $5,000, second place $2,000 and third place $1,000. An extra cash prize of $10,000 is presented to the fisherman that hauls the largest salmon from the entire weekend.  The Harbour Quay is always buzzing with locals and tourists alike, enjoying the delicious food trucks, live music, and arts and crafts.

In 2019, the largest salmon caught during the derby was 32.40 pounds. The largest salmon caught in the history of the event was in 1982 at 60 lbs 8 oz. You should try their world-famous Salmon Barbecue or enjoy a beer in their beer garden and listen to some great live music like the Joe Cocker Experience. At dusk, the firework show starts on the first night of the Salmon Festival and Derby. The volunteers create a fantastic and fun event each year.  

Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Port Alberni during fishing season to fish in the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound for Coho, Chinook and Sockeye salmon. 

Over a half a million salmon make their way to their spawning grounds via the Stamp River during Fall. This is truly a natural spectacle to behold. To witness it, you will need to follow Beaver Creek Road for approximately 12km, north from Hwy 4 to Stamp River Provincial Park. Keep an eye out for pullovers beside the river along the way. In Stamp River, you will find the most breathtaking and magical waterfall where you will witness firsthand the salmon migrating. Below the falls is a canyon where visitors can see hundreds of thousands of salmon waiting for their turn. Robertson Creek Fish Hatchery has a public camera at the top of their fish ladder, that you can watch and count the fish during their migration. 

From the Stamp River campground’s, you will need to follow the riverside trails to different viewpoints along Stamp River, where you can see the salmon fighting their way up the falls and the fish ladder. Sockeye salmon run from late June to early September. Coho from August to December and Chinook from September to mid-November. Fishing is permitted but is closed 200 meters above, and 500 meters below Stamp River Falls from June 15 to November 15. Please review the current fishing regulations prior to fishing. The Stamp River is every fisherman’s dream with the best chinook and steelhead in the world and would definitely make any angler’s top five list. During winter the steelhead run occurs in the Stamp River from January to late March. 

 Port Alberni freshwater lakes and streams are the envy of other fishing towns and cities in Canada and around the world. No other place has the quantity or diversity of fresh streams and lakes, quite like Port Alberni. 

The salmon appear in March, as they follow the herring and anchovy spawning runs. In May the chinook salmon migrate in the Alberni Inlet. Some of the salmon run can be seen in late June and they are joined by late salmon, which are the largest of all salmon in July and August. 

The Somass River runs through the core of Port Alberni. Banking casting is possible from several locations beside Hwy 4 and along Hector Road off Hwy 4 West of Port Alberni. 

As you can see, Port Alberni is not only the true Salmon Capital of the World, it is also Canada’s Ultimate Fishing Town!

 

Posted in Local Events
Jan. 21, 2020

Is Buying a Foreclosure Property the Right Move?

Have you seen Foreclosures on the market and questioned if it’s a good deal or too risky? Is buying a foreclosure, the right purchase for you? 

Buying a Foreclosed Home

Foreclosure is a legal process, where the lender recovers the balance of the loan from the borrower, who has stopped paying their loan, and the lender is forced to sell the property as collateral for the remainder of the money owing.  You buy it on an “as is where is basis”.

The lender’s goal is to recoup the money owing as quickly as possible. Also, these homes tend to be in various states of disrepair. Therefore, the purchase price is typically lower than other homes for sale in that area. 

While many foreclosures are in disrepair, this is not always the case. In many cases, the homeowner doesn’t want to walk away from the house and so they have not neglected the home. 

A rule of thumb when buying any property is to conduct a Home Inspection.  For bank-owned properties, the bank will allow the potential buyer to arrange an inspection. 

In British Columbia, a typical foreclosure goes through a Court process in which multiple interested parties will bid on the real estate in a closed envelope bidding process. The theory behind the process is that it should result in the property selling for fair market value. In our experience, foreclosures still sometimes sell below market value. At other times, they sell for far more than we expect, when the buyer’s get caught up in the competition of bidding. 

The terms of the mortgage contract may free the lender from any responsibilities, as well as any future liability for the property. If there are foundation, roof, or zoning problems, they are typically your responsibility as the buyer 

Once an offer has been made on a foreclosed property and all conditions have been met; then the lawyer will apply for a court date. The buyer must be fully prepared to buy the real estate on the court day as it may complete in as little as one week. The buyer must also have a deposit in the form of a bank draft or certified cheque. The Buyer who made the original offer is then given an opportunity to increase their offer if there is more than one buyer. All sealed bids are then given to the lawyer, who in turn gives them to the Judge.  The Judge then opens them up in no order and if satisfied that the rights of the "owner" have been looked after will award the property to the Buyer with the best offer. 

During this process, hiring a professional Realtor is more important than ever, because buying a foreclosed home is more complexed than buying a regular home. A Realtor will be able to guide you through this process and take away the stress, as this isn’t their first foreclosure! 

Foreclosed homes can be a great tactic to get your foot on the property ladder but ensure you have done your research first as you don’t want to end up with a repair headache! 

 

Jan. 14, 2020

Have You Considered Refinancing?

Refinancing is a tool that many Canadians use to combine their debts to benefit from lower interest rates, and reducing the number of payments that they make each month.Refinancing Port Alberni, BC

 

Refinancing is a process of obtaining a new mortgage; by changing the terms on the mortgage that you already have in place on your home. You maybe thinking of refinancing your mortgage for a few reasons; like taking advantage of lower interest rates, changing mortgage companies, reducing monthly payments, or using money from refinancing to fund big projects; like home renovations or buying that dream vacation home. You do not end up with two mortgages; as the first loan is technically paid off through the refinancing, and the second loan is created in its place. 

Just like your current mortgage you need to contact a Mortgage Broker and apply for a loan and be approved to qualify for refinancing. There is a chance that you could be denied if the lender feels that you are at risk. One word of advice would be to check your credit rating: if your credit score has decreased, you may not get the best rate. 

When lenders review your application, they also review your debt i.e. the Gross Debt Service ratio and Total Debt Service ratio. The Gross Debt Service measures how much of your gross income is needed in order to pay your monthly housing, and your Gross Debt Service typically needs to be under 32% to qualify. 

The Total Debt Service ratio is the percentage of your gross income that is needed to cover your debt payments. It includes the cost of the home (mortgage, property tax, heating bills, and condo fees, if they apply) plus your other debts like credit cards, car repayments, lines of credit, etc. Your Total Debt Service ratio typically should be 40% or less. 

Both ratios do play a major role in how much the lender will loan you. If you have a high ratio, you are more than likely to be approved for a smaller loan.

Another factor in refinancing is your current equity; meaning how much of your mortgage have you paid off to date and the current market value of your home. You can borrow as much as 80% of the current value of your home minus the amount owing on your mortgage.   

Before you consider refinancing, you need to understand the costs. Are you breaking your mortgage agreement before the term has ended: as you may have to pay a penalty? Generally, it’s equal to three months of interest. You also have the cost of a home appraisal, as the lender will require one to obtain the current market value on your home.

One of the most common reasons for Canadians to refinance is the lower interest rate. When you think about how much money you can save from an interest rate that is one percent lower than your current rate. The long-term effect is worth it, as you will save a couple of hundred dollars each month to add to that rainy-day fund. It also means that you are locking in a lower rate of interest at a fixed rate or reducing your mortgage term length.

Also, if you are trying to pay off multiple credit cards and other high-interest debts, it may be a wise decision to refinance and consolidate your debts into one payment; as a mortgage also carries a much lower interest rate than unsecured debts i.e. credit cards. 

Refinancing is a tool that can be worthwhile if you are planning on keeping your home for many years, as the lower interest rate you took advantage of has paid off. 

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Jan. 7, 2020

Top Real Estate Scams, that You Should be Aware of!

Rental Scams

Sadly, rental scams are common in Port Alberni. They are normally advertised online through sites like Craigslist or Kijiji. A scammer(s) will impersonate the landlord, or a property manager, and advertise the rental unit at a lower rental rate. They will respond to emails and calls from potential tenants and arrange to meet with them. The scammer(s) will make some excuse that they are unable to meet at the home and need you to transfer the deposit before they hand over the keys etc. Once the victim sends the money transfer, the scammer(s) are never heard of again and the victim has little recourse. 

Top Real Estate Scam Port Alberni

Alternatively, they may ask you to meet them at a different location for you to sign the tenancy agreement, collect keys and to pay the deposit in cash. The victim will only learn when they arrive at the property that they have been scammed.  

Perhaps the biggest mistake people make when it comes to a scam is to think “it could never happen to me”. If it’s too good to be true, then alarm bells should be ringing! If you are told that the landlord is out of the country and that you need to send them the security deposit and first month’s rent. This is a scam! When you think about it, most landlords will want to meet any protentional tenants and show them the inside of the unit. The home is an income source for the landlord, and most want to protect their rental income and ensure that they rent to the right tenants.  

Federal and Provincial laws can provide some recourse, but scams that involve out of the country or overseas are most often impossible to recover any money and the scammer(s) may not be prosecuted.  

Home-Equity Fraud

Home-equity fraud occurs when one party intentionally uses false information or makes a false representation and steals the equity that a homeowner has built upon their home. The most common type of fraud is when a criminal(s) poses as the homeowner to obtain a line of credit. They, in turn, obtains the real owner’s information through public records, they forge the real owner’s signature and rerouting the loan, so they receive the line of credit instead of the true owner. The documents that you need to obtain a mortgage are more complexed than a home equity line of credit, making it easier for criminal(s) to commit this type of fraud. 

Home equity fraud has become more common. Fortunately, there are ways that the homeowner can protect themselves and their home. Always be wary if you receive a phone call from someone pretending to be a lender and they ask for information on your home, your sin number, bank account information, etc. You should hang up and call your lender to verify. To reduce the risk, you should review your credit report to ensure that there is no inaccurate information. 

Title Fraud

Title fraud is very uncommon in British Columbia, because of our land title system. This type of fraud starts with identity theft, the scammer(s) will use false documents to pose as the property owner and will register the forged documents, to transfer the property into their name(s). Once this is done, they can then go to a lender and obtain a new mortgage or line of credit against that property.  Once the scammer(s) receives the money, they take off with the cash and are rarely seen again and the real owner is often on the hook for these payments. Generally, the scammer(s) are looking for homeowners that rent their property and/or are mortgage-free.

Title insurance is the best protection against this type of fraud. As this protects the homeowner against challenges or from problems related to the title on the home such as:

Fraud and forgery, including someone taking your title through fraud or forgery

Encroachments that would be disclosed by a new survey. 

Easements (the right acquired for access to or over another person's property for a specific purpose, such as for a driveway or public utilities.) over the property that would be disclosed by a new survey.

Zoning non-compliance (i.e. where the property use does not meet the local municipal by-laws).

Someone other than the homeowner having an interest (i.e. a previous owner of the property not being discharged from the title).

 

Protect Yourself

To help protect yourself against real estate fraud, you can:

Shred old documents rather than throwing them in the trash.

Contact your lawyer before giving another person a right to deal with your home.

Research any company or individual who offers you a loan.

Do a land title search, which will show the name of the owner of the property and any mortgages or liens registered on the title.

Buy title insurance to protect against title fraud.

Be cautious when you receive suspicious phone calls or emails, never provide any information.

Avoid using cash or wiring money.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Nov. 30, 2019

First-Time Home Buyer

Buying your first home can be nerve-wracking and perplexing, as you don’t necessarily know the market and the real estate lingo. Are there programs aimed towards First-Time Home Buyers or any incentives out there? 

First Time Home Buyer Programs

As of September 2nd, 2019, the new federal First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program (FTHBI) came into effect. This program does not replace the existing RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP), it is an incentive to help first-time homebuyers reduce their monthly mortgage costs without increasing their down payment. Through this program, there is no interest in the loan and the loan does not require ongoing repayments. This incentive is aimed at young Canadians who desire to get their foot on the property ladder, without paying a high mortgage; as well as a high down payment.

The First Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) program offers:

●5% towards the down payment of a resale home;

●5% or 10% towards the down payment of new builds.

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program will provide funding as a “shared equity loan” which means that the Government of Canada fundamentally becomes part owner of your home (5% or 10%) sharing in the ups and downs of the property value.

You can repay the incentive at any time in full within the 25 years without a pre-payment penalty. You must repay the incentive after 25 years or if you sell the property, whichever comes first. The repayment is based on the property’s fair market value. 

●You receive a 5% incentive of the home’s purchase price of $200,000 or $10,000. If your home value increases to $300,000 you would pay back 5% of the current value of $15,000.

●You receive a 10% incentive of the home’s purchase price of $200,000 or $20,000 and your home value decreases to $150,000, you would pay back the 10% of the current value of $15,000.

The types of properties that you can purchase through this incentive are: 

●New construction 

●Re-sale 

●New and Re-sale mobile/manufactured homes

Residential properties can include 1 to 4 units: 

●Single-family homes

●Semi-detached homes

●Duplex

●Triplex

●Fourplex

●Town House

●Condo 

So how do you qualify? First, you must have the minimum down payment to be eligible. Secondly, your maximum household income is no more than $120,000. Lastly, your total borrowing is limited to four times the qualifying income. 

Please Note: that the property must be in Canada and must be suitable and available all year-round. You can not use this incentive if you are planning on renting the property. The Government of Canada has allocated $1.25 billion over three years and more details will be released later in the year.

This incentive program is unlikely to help first-time buyers purchase a home in an expensive city like Vancouver or Toronto; as your household income needs to be higher than $120,000 to afford a home in one of these expensive cities. The average price per sq. meter to buy an apartment in the city center in Vancouver starts at $12,401.13 and outside the city starting at $9,400.89 per sq. meter. In Toronto the average price per sq. meter to buy an apartment in the city center starts at $10,658.43 and outside the city starting at $8,506.95 per sq. meter. This makes it impossible for renters and young adults still living with their parents to afford their first home. 

This incentive program would help immensely in areas like Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, BC where the average price per sq. meter is $1,300 to buy in the center of Port Alberni and $1,200 per sq. meter for outside of Port Alberni. An incentive program like this would help the first-time homebuyers in Port Alberni purchase their first home without a large mortgage and down payment hanging over their heads and in time bringing more first-time homebuyers to Port Alberni as our housing prices are one of the lowest and most affordable in BC and Canada.  As an average single-family home costs $322,000 in Port Alberni Vs an average single-family home in Vancouver costs $1,200,000.  Now that’s something to think about!

 

 

Nov. 6, 2019

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day, where millions of people pay their respect to the men and women who sacrificed their lives in World War I for generations ahead to live in a world with freedom.  As a sign of respect countries in the British Commonwealth take a moment on the 11th month, on the 11th day and at the 11th hour to pay their respect and remember all the brave men who died in the line of duty and the brave nurses who tried to save these men. It has been held since the end of the First World War and is held on Armistice Day the day the treaty to end World War I was signed.Remembrance Day

 

The tradition of honoring those lost was started by King George V in 1918, and a poem written by a Canadian Doctor for the funeral of his friend who died in 1915, in the First World War that introduced the Poppies. The poem, “In Flanders Fields”, John McCrae wrote about the Poppies, that blossomed over some of the most horrific battlefields of Flanders, France.  Poppies symbolized death and bloodshed. 

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

BY JOHN MCCRAE

Remembrance Day is a day to feel gratitude for these brave men and women who lost their lives; so, we could have the freedom that we have today. It is a day to appreciate and honor all those who fought for us and remember the sacrifice and bravery that our freedom cost them. 

Let’s remember that the war is over for our Veterans, but their battle often continues with their mental health. As many of their wounds can’t be seen and we can’t imagine what they went through; as many young soldiers were only 18 years of age when they were sent to the front lines and few returned home. Imagine this! Most of these young men lived at home, never married, no life experience and they sacrificed their lives; so, we could have ours. Many of the nurses where young nurses and what they experienced was gruesome; having to save the lives of multiple soldiers with limited or no medical tools and medicine. Imagine trying to save a soldier when his legs have been blown off from a bomb and having no medical tools or medicine. 

We are responsible to do whatever we can to help these brave Veterans to overcome challenges and provide mental health support to help them move on from what they witnessed and survived. These men and women are the last of the bravest generation that ever lived, and they should be treated and remembered like the Heroes that they are because without them the world we live in today would not be the same. Imagine if the Japanese or Germans won either war, what our reality would be today! 

Please join us on November 11th at 10:15 am at the Glenwood Centre in Port Alberni to Remember our Heroes of Port Alberni. Lest We Forget!  

 

Posted in Remembrance Day
Oct. 31, 2019

Royal LePage Shelter Foundation

In 1998 Royal LePage founded its charity The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. This outstanding Foundation raises money in support for women’s shelters and violence prevention programs and to date is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charity. Royal LePage Shelter Foundation

 

So far over $27 million has been raised for approximately 200 women’s shelters and other charities determined to end violence across Canada. Royal LePage has over a 20-year partnership with the Canadian Women’s Foundation making us one of their largest corporate donors. Each year Royal LePage has helped to support 30+ programs across Canada dedicated to helping women and children rebuild their lives after violence and programs that help to develop and evolve a healthier lifestyle.

Royal LePage has been recognized for its commitment to “giving back” to the community through the Shelter Foundation and has received the 2015 Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award from the Canadian Franchise Association, a 2016 Canada’s Volunteer Award in the category of Business Leader, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Toronto Chapter) award for Outstanding Corporation.

Royal LePage is a founding partner of sheltersafe.ca, which is an online clickable map that helps women to identify a shelter quickly and it also provides a 24-hour emergency phone number. This online resource helps women and their children who are escaping violence and abuse to find a safe haven; as well as their concerned family and friends. 

Every year, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation hosts several special events such as gala dinners, golf tournaments, and its signature fundraiser event, the National Garage Sale for Shelter which takes place in May each year.

An upcoming event that will be occurring in a few short weeks is the Sahara Desert Challenge for Shelter, 120 Royal LePage professionals from across Canada, including one of our own Port Alberni Realtors, who will head to Morocco to participate in this once in a lifetime experience and each step taken will help women find safety and move forward after experiencing abuse. During this adventure, the Realtor’s will trek over 100 km in just 5 days. To participate, each agent has to raise at least $5,000 in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.

Another event that was held by Royal LePage in Port Alberni was the recent Burger and Beer (and Pasta and Wine) fundraiser hosted by Boston Pizza in support of ACAWS – Alberni Community and Women’s Services. A total of $1,317 was donated and will help the Transition House for local women and children escaping domestic violence. Each Royal LePage Realtor in Port Alberni donates a portion of their Commissions to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.

To make a bigger difference at a local level, the Shelters use our funding to provide critical services such as trauma counseling; job training and placement; emergency transportation to the shelter; play therapy for children; homework help for youth; renovations to existing shelters; and building new shelters. In some cases, the funds are used to help women and children after they leave the shelter and move into their accommodations. This ensures that women and children receive the help needed as quickly as possible and most importantly they feel safe.

If you would like to join Royal LePage in ending violence against women and children by donating to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation all proceeds go to local charities.