One Square Phillips – Montreal

What’s Happening in Montreal?

Montreal is the second largest population centre in Canada, second only to Toronto while being firmly ahead of Vancouver. The city also boasts the 5th fastest-growing economy in North America and has record-low unemployment, while wages are growing at nearly double the rate of BC. Montreal is also the #1 location in the world for international events, has the 2nd most restaurants per capita in North America, behind only New York, and has more university students per capita than anywhere else in North America.

It’s easy to see why the real estate market has taken off in recent years in Montreal, especially as other provinces and cities have brought in countless additional taxes to try and reign in runaway prices. Real estate prices in Montreal, though, are on average about one-third of Vancouver prices, and about half of Toronto’s prices. This is after 11+ consecutive quarters of 4%+ increases, which demonstrates just how low prices were before. In 2018, a study was done to evaluate affordability in 77 cities around the world, and Montreal was crowned the most affordable city in Canada and the US.

one square phillips montreal

One Square Phillips – Montreal

Brivia Group’s One Square Phillips project will be situated in one of Montreal’s most historic locations, a place that has been home to the city’s wealthy for over a hundred years. The luxury tower will be the tallest in Montreal at 61 storeys with stunning views of the St. Lawrence River to the east, or the famous Mt. Royal to the west. Residents will also be just steps away from Montreal’s Sainte-Catherine street, with world-class shopping and food at their doorstep. The architecture draws from Montreal’s natural history and beauty on both the inside and outside, with multiple greenspaces being created within One Square Phillips.

An extensive amenity package will make residents never want to leave the building, with highlights below:

  • Dog park
  • Basketball court
  • Concierge
  • Hot tub
  • Health centre
  • Hammam
  • Indoor pool, sauna, and steam room
  • Gym
  • Juice bar
  • Coworking space
  • Theatre room
  • Whisky bar
  • Outdoor garden terrace

Units and Prices

Units will range from 386 square foot studios, to 3,357 square foot penthouses with prices from $338,900 to $6,525,900. View the price list below:

  • Studios: 386 – 420 square feet – starting at $338,900
  • One bedrooms: 535 – 628 square feet – starting at $465,900
  • Two bedrooms: 851 – 1165 square feet – starting at $705,900
  • Penthouses: 1,289 – 3,357 square feet – message us for details

Completion for One Phillips Square is estimated for 2024. Fill out the form below if you would like more information or have any questions.

One Phillips Square in Montreal

Riverbrook Estates – Kitimat

Kitimat Investment Properties

rentals in kitimat

Kitimat is expected to see unprecedented growth in the coming years as the $40 billion LNG project moves ahead after a deal was reached late 2018. The LNG project is the single largest private sector investment in Canadian history, and it is expected to bring 10,000+ jobs to the area. As there are limited housing options in Kitimat and most of these will be high-paying jobs, these townhouses are expected to bring in $3,000+ per month in rent, and the developer is willing to guarantee that amount for the first 12 months. Vacancy rates were around 30% in 2008 and are now near 0%, and house prices increased 53% from June 2018 to June 2019.

The Project – Riverbrook Estates

Riverbrook Estates will primarily house professionals and office personnel, as many of the jobs will be going to tradespeople staying in camps. The project will consist of 47 townhomes ranging from 1,021 square feet to 1,316 square feet and prices are starting at $399,000 for the remaining units in phase 1, with completion estimated for 2022.

riverbrook estates kitimat site plan

Interested in finding out more about Riverbrook Estates in Kitimat? Just fill out the form below or call us today!

Riverbrook Estates - Kitimat

Is 2019 the Time to Upsize?

Cost to upgrade is the lowest it’s been in 5+ years

Deciding when to buy and sell real estate is among the largest financial decisions any person or family will make. This is especially true in Greater Vancouver, where the benchmark price for a property sits at $993,300, or over $1.2M on the west side of Vancouver.

People often look at how the market is doing when making a decision; if sales are high then it’s considered a good time to move and if they’re low it’s considered a bad time. The down side to this is that if the market is similar to what we saw in 2016-2017, then it’s great when you’re selling your condo, but a lot less fun when you’re offering on that townhouse you wanted to upsize to.

At that time it was normal to write 5-6 offers for a client before finally getting an accepted offer, after losing to the previous ones in bidding wars.

It wasn’t a fun market for buyers, especially first-time home buyers, who had to see a property, decide on it, do their due diligence, and write an offer, all within 1-2 days.

Demand for different product types (condos, townhomes, and detached houses) can vary in every market as well, and values for those each type will increase and decrease different amounts depending on the demand. In February 2014, 60% of all sales on the west side of Vancouver were condos, and 33% were houses, and in August 2019, 77% of sales on the west side were condos compared to just 15% for houses.

The demand gap between property types means prices will shift faster or slower for each type, and can help determine if it’s a good time to upsize or not.

Cost to Upgrade in VVW, Annual

The chart above shows the price differences between condos, townhouses, and detached houses on the west side of Vancouver. Based on the chart, if the average condo price was $500,000 in 2014, the average townhouse would be $732,500 (146.5% of the condo price), and if the average townhouse price was $732,500, the average detached house would be $2,276,976.

If the percentage is lower that means it’s a better time to upgrade, because the price of your current property will make up for a larger percentage of the larger home price. The change looks small for those upgrading from a condo to a townhouse on Vancouver’s west side, but the difference between the peak in 2017 and the current market (2019) would still amount to $22,050 in savings for a condo valued at $500,000. For a family upgrading from a townhouse to a detached house, the difference from the peak to today would be savings of $522,525 if the townhouse was valued at $750,000.

Cost to Upgrade in VVE, Annual

The price differences in the east side of Vancouver aren’t nearly as drastic as on the west side, as the average detached house price is quite a bit lower. The chart also shows that, compared on the last five years, it’s a great time to look for a larger home.

If you have a condo worth $500,000 in East Vancouver, the townhouse you want to upsize to will cost $761,150. The condo price amounts to 65.7% of the townhouse price, while in 2016 it would have only made up 59.3% of the price and you would have to make up the additional difference out of savings.

When deciding whether or not is a good time to move, your family and personal situation is usually the deciding factor, but it always helps to have evidence to help make your decisions. The overall sales numbers may not be as strong as they were in 2016 or 2017, but 2019 is a great time to upsize.

Have questions about this, or considering a move? Contact us any time at 778-235-1590

Atrium Langley

Units Starting at $299,000
atrium langley

Langley continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in the Lower Mainland as the City prepares for the planned skytrain expansion. The population is expected to grow 51% by 2041 compared to 36% in Metro Vancouver, with affordability being one of the driving factors as young families look for more space.

The Project – Atrium Langley

Atrium Langley will be located in the heart of the City of Langley just blocks from the planned Skytrain extension, providing quick and convenient access to the rest of the Lower Mainland. The project will consist of 77 units spread out over 4 storeys, and will have units starting at $299,000. Estimated occupancy is mid-2022, and if you’re an investor, units come with a 2-year rental guarantee. For first-time home buyers, the total deposit is just 5%.

Interested in keeping up with Atrium Langley? Fill out the form below!

Atrium in Langley

6 Things You Need to Know About the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

first time home buyer incentive

The federal government’s new incentive aimed at improving affordability for first-time homebuyers just launched on September 2.

Ottawa has earmarked $1.25 billion over three years for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), which is designed to lower new homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments without boosting their down payment costs.

While this may seem like good news for prospective homebuyers, the incentive has come under intense scrutiny since it was announced in March, with some arguing it won’t help those looking to live in the country’s most expensive markets.

So before you apply, here’s everything you need to know about the incentive.

1. It’s a shared-equity program   

Run by the country’ federal housing agency, the FTHBI is a shared-equity mortgage program, meaning the government shares in the gains and losses of your home’s value as it fluctuates over time. Through the incentive, Canada Mortgage Housing Corp. (CMHC) will offer 10 per cent toward the down payment for a new home, and five per cent for resale homes, interest-free.

2. Not all first-time buyers will qualify

First-time homebuyers with a combined household income of $120,000, and the minimum five-per-cent down payment requirement, can apply. However, the price of the mortgage plus the incentive amount cannot exceed more than four times your household income.

“Thanks to the price limitation, the program is far less useful in high-demand markets like Toronto and Vancouver,” Rob McLister, founder of mortgage rate comparison website

Theoretically, the maximum purchase price of a home under this plan would be $565,000, McLister noted.

“Most first-time buyers will qualify for far less under this program.”

The CMHC notes the program is intended to help first-time buyers purchase a home they intend to live in, and therefore investment properties do not qualify.

3. It’s not feasible in every market

While many new buyers across the country can take advantage of the program, buyers in some markets may find it challenging to find a home selling for a price that qualifies for the program, according to a new study from Zoocasa.

In the report released Tuesday, the real estate site found that after analyzing average home prices from July 2019 in 25 markets across the country, buyers with the maximum qualifying income and the required five-per-cent down payment would qualify in 19 of those cities.

“These include markets in Eastern Canada, Quebec, the Prairies, as well as smaller urban centres in Ontario,” the report said.

“Not surprisingly, the six markets where the average home buyer would not qualify for the FTHBI include homes for sale in Toronto and several markets in its proximity in the Greater Golden Horseshoe such as Hamilton-Burlington and Kitchener-Waterloo, as well as in Greater Vancouver and neighbouring Victoria and Fraser Valley.”

Zoocasa also noted that a home buyer’s ability to use the incentive in each city may range based on their income, size of their down payment, and the price of the home they want to buy.

4. You have to pay it back

Borrowers must pay the CMHC back after 25 years or once the home sells – whichever happens first. You can also pay back the loan early without penalty. The amount borrowers owe may increase or decrease depending on how the value your home changes over time.

“If the home’s assessed value rises, the loan repayment will increase by the same per cent. However, the same will occur if the home has lost value by the time it is sold or the mortgage matures,” Zoocasa explained.

While the loss-sharing component of the program may seem appealing, it is “largely an illusion,” according to McLister.

“For buyers with little equity, selling after a big price correction and covering all your costs such as realtor fees, paying out the mortgage, and covering closing costs, is difficult. It’s therefore less likely the government will ever actually absorb part of your losses if prices dive,” he said.

5. It can save you money on more than just your mortgage payments

The government estimates the program could save buyers as much as $286 per month, or more than $3,430 per year, in mortgage payments on a $500,000 house.

And McLister said depending on when you sell the home, can save even further.

“People who may sell or move before their five-year mortgage term is up will likely save money with the FTHBI, McLister said.

“That’s because the interest and default insurance premium savings will likely outweigh the equity give-up.”

However, first-time buyers looking to purchase the most amount of house they can afford may want to reconsider using the incentive, added McLister.

“Many FTHBI users can qualify for almost 10 per cent more home –  sometimes more – by not using the FTHBI.”

6. Level of interest in the program is unknown

The incentive is expected to help 100,000 families purchase their first home over the next three years, according to government targets.

But the expected uptake is unknown.

“There’s a lot of buzz, but we won’t know how much actual interest there is in this until the shoe actually drops,” Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper said in a recent television interview.

“The industry is watching.”

1220-1298 East Hastings Street

152 New Units at Hastings and Clark Drive

1220-1298 east hastings

East Vancouver houses some of Greater Vancouver’s trendiest neighbourhoods as restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries flock to Main St., Commercial Drive, and Strathcona. The relative affordability helped get things started but now the distinct neighbourhood atmospheres and increased desirability are the key forces driving change.

The Project

Onni Group’s newest project in Strathcona, East Vancouver at 1220-1298 East Hastings will consist of 152 strata-titled units contained in two 120 ft tall 11-storey buildings. Each building will have its own amenity spaces which will include 2,000 square feet of outdoor space for the residents to enjoy. The ground floor will contain 9,709 square feet of restaurant and retail space, and aspects of the building design will mimic the smaller frontages familiar to the area. The development will be in Strathcona, Vancouver’s oldest residential neighbourhood, and just two blocks from Commercial Drive and a 10-minute walk from Chinatown.

Unit Mix at 1220-1298 East Hastings:

  • 33 x 1-bedrooms
  • 68 x 2-bedrooms
  • 51 x 3-bedrooms

Interested in keeping up with this project? Fill out the form below!

1220-1298 East Hastings

Vancouver Housing Market No Longer “Highly Vulnerable”

vancouver view


The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has lowered the vulnerability rating of Vancouver’s housing market to “moderate,” marking the first change in three years as prices have eased.

The federal agency says in a report that “evidence of price acceleration” in Vancouver has eased to low, prompting a downrating after 12 consecutive quarters of being flagged as “highly vulnerable.”

“While home price growth over the past few years significantly outpaced levels supported by fundamentals, these imbalances have narrowed through growth in fundamentals and lower home prices in different segments of the resale market,” CMHC said in its latest Housing Market Assessment report.

The agency said a moderate degree of vulnerability remains at the national level, but imbalances between house prices and housing market fundamentals have narrowed over the past year. However, certain markets such as Toronto and Victoria are at higher risk.

Nationally, the inflation-adjusted average price decreased 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 from the same period a year earlier, the fifth-consecutive decline on a year-over-year basis, CMHC said.

In the previous quarter’s report, CMHC lowered its rating for Canada’s overall housing market from to moderate from high vulnerability – where it had stood for 10 consecutive quarters – as mortgage stress tests introduced last year made it harder for homebuyers to qualify and eased price acceleration.

The Canadian Real Estate Association’s latest market forecast released in June projects that the national average price will drop 0.6 per cent by the end of this year to roughly $485,000, compared to the 4.1 per cent drop recorded in 2018.

However, the pattern is split between the eastern and western parts of the country. For example, while average prices are forecast to fall in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, higher prices are expected in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.

Dropping housing prices are a particularly welcome sight in Vancouver, which was cited in January as the second-least affordable major housing market in the world out of 91 markets by urban planning company Demographia. Vancouver came second to Hong Kong, but was less affordable than the likes of San Francisco and London, U.K.

The latest statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver showed that the benchmark price of a home in Metro Vancouver dropped to $998,700 in June, the first time it fell below the $1 million mark since May 2017.

The Bank of Canada in May also said that housing prices in the key markets of Vancouver and Toronto have cooled, but imbalances in real estate markets are still an important vulnerability for the overall financial system.

CMHC’s bases its vulnerability assessment on several criteria including price acceleration, overvaluation, overbuilding, and overheating. It examines the degree of vulnerability and is intended to identify imbalances in the housing market.

Toronto, Hamilton and Victoria continue to have a high degree of vulnerability, but overheating, price acceleration and overvaluation show signs of abating in all three markets.

8 Top Flooring Trends for 2019

Top Trends In Flooring Design

Flooring trends change throughout the years as homeowners acquire new tastes and technology allows a larger variety of flooring designs for their remodeling project. In 2018, medium brown tones struck the right note with homeowners. Flooring finishes ranging from ebony to driftwood became very popular. Another trend that picked up and could continue is allowing flooring imperfections such as the mineral streaks and knots to serve as part of the aesthetics and create a more natural feel. It was also a big year for faux flooring. Tiles that look like wood were especially in trend. 2019 is bound to bring with it new and exciting trends.

1. Fumed Wood Flooring – Stronger Color & Grain

Top Trends In Flooring Design
Almost all types of wood flooring undergo some kind of staining to give them the desired final finish. Fumed wood flooring gets its rich color and grain without having to get any sort of staining. Instead, the wood is put through a process called fuming.  This involves placing the wood in a chamber where airborne ammonia is then released. The wood reacts with the ammonia and undergoes a color change. The reaction does not always result in the exact same changes. The final patina achieved depends on a number of factors including the type of wood, the outside environment and the atmosphere in the chamber itself.  So even among two similar pieces of wood, the resulting hues may vary. Generally, however, fuming gives the wood rich dark tones and enhances the natural grain of the wood. The final look is much more appealing and luxurious than what you get with stained wood flooring.  Do not confuse fumed wood with that which has had liquid ammonia directly applied to it. Using liquid ammonia directly on the wood risks damaging the fiber and could weaken its structure.  To manage expectations and safety concerns–do plenty of research if you plan to use fumed wood flooring.

2. Bleached & Blanched Woods

Top Trends in Flooring Design - Sebring ServicesNot everyone likes the glossy brown stains of most wooden floors. For some, the softer white-washed look of a bleached floor is more their taste. This kind of flooring consists of wood that has undergone a bleaching process, also called blanching. This involves applying a chemical solution onto the surface of the wood to get rid of the “color”.  By color, we mean the artificial dye or stain coating the wood. Blanching gives the wood an ashy white-washed look with the natural wood grain still being clearly visible from underneath. So you do not lose the charm and beauty of natural wood, it is just packaged in another style. Take a look at our home remodeling ideas page, which is full of our previous project pictures.

If you are planning a renovation, make sure you ask your contractor which option is better for you; bleaching your current wood flooring or replacing it with ready-made blanched flooring. Trying to give your current wood flooring the bleached look is often expensive and tedious work.  The 2019 bleached and blanched trend is going to be especially popular seaside retreats and country/farmhouse style homes.  Although we expect this trend will transcend all styles of homes since it is so breathtaking.

3. Distressed Wood & Concrete Tiles

Top Trends in Flooring Design - Sebring ServicesThe distressed floor style has been around for quite a while but has become even more popular just recently. Next year, expect to see more homeowners opt for that luxury aged look in their flooring. Distressed flooring undergoes artificial aging and styling processes that give it a slightly worn finish. It works best for spaces where a beautiful rustic look is desired.  In preparing distressed wood flooring, various actions are taken depending on the degree and style of “distress” desired. The edges of each wood plank are hand scraped, swirl and kerf markings are added to imitate historic wood and the planks are brushed to remove glossing and give them a soft worn texture.

If wood flooring is not your cup of tea, you can also opt for the increasingly popular distressed concrete flooring. In 2019, the distressed concrete floor style will receive more attention as homeowners look for alternatives to traditional wood flooring.  As with distressed wood, distressed concrete goes through artificial processes to minimize the highly polished look and produce an enhanced worn out patina. Distressed concrete flooring can be integrated into most types of decors but works best in industrial and contemporary home styles.

4. Wood Flooring Laid Out In Pretty Patterns

Top Trends In Flooring Design

Top Trends In Flooring Design

 All of us are very familiar with your basic side by side format of wood pieces laid on a floor –a description that often relegates them to practical rather than decorative uses. But if you have been thinking of adding a unique twist to one of the spaces in your home, you can now add patterned wood layouts back to your list of stylish flooring options.  2019 brings with it a new look. Specifically, we are seeing an increase of Chevron or Herringbone pattern designs in homeowners kitchens, bathrooms and more. Patterned floors are officially here, and you should not miss out.

Why design your floor layout to look the same as everyone else’s when you could choose this fun and unique pattern? Chevron and Herringbone floor patterns are a great way to add an accent to your kitchen or dining hall. They also are a great addition to bathrooms! If you haven’t already, expect to see these in 2019 home remodels as a definitive trend this year!

5. Vintage Black & White

Top Trends In Flooring Design 

Top Trends In Flooring Design 

Vintage has always been about nostalgia–bringing back the warmth and memories of decades past. In 2019, black and white tiles are making a strong comeback. It’s not the same old black and white tiles that adorn historic homes. Instead, it’s bold, graphic, and more luxurious.  More and more homeowners want a unique twist to the vintage flooring style. This includes smaller tiles with bolder graphic patterns. This perfectly blends vintage with contemporary for the perfect look and feel.

6. Reclaimed Barn Wood Tiles, Multi-toned & Directional

Top Trends in Flooring Design - Sebring Services
The 2019 reclaimed barn wood flooring trend is an extension of the faux wood tiles flooring trend so popular in 2016. The barn wood look is still a favorite because of its color variation and distressed look. For homeowners who are looking for a warm rustic look, this is something to consider. Technology has become so good that manufacturers can replicate the exact look of real wood onto the tile surfaces. This makes it almost impossible to differentiate the tile from real wood. We might even see multi-toned tiles to give a space more character. For more “wood” authenticity, these tiles will have a directional finish, resembling that of real barn wood.  Tiles that look like wood provide homeowners with much more variety when determining their flooring options. No longer do you have to resort to traditional hardwood to achieve that warm and cozy feel to your home. With faux tiles, you get the design benefits of a hardwood floor while also enjoying the functional advantages of tile flooring.  Thanks to technology, homeowners will have even more options next year and in coming years. Tiles that resemble wood in terms of color, look and even texture will become commonplace.

7. Graphic Tiles

Top Trends In Flooring DesignNot many people are willing to use their flooring as an art canvas. But if you love unique and artful patterns on your tiles, graphic tiles are coming in full force. Using advanced technology, manufacturers are able to replicate an endless variety of images on tiles. You can get tiles with repeating patterns or get tiles that, like a jigsaw puzzle, join together to form one large pattern on your floor.  Graphic tiles come in monochromatic colors but if you are feeling particularly wild, there are others that come in bold multicolored patterns and writings.

8. Large Porcelain Tiles: Hexagon & Trickling Floor Patterns

Top Trends In Flooring DesignHexagon tiles have been in the spotlight for awhile, specifically when used for backsplashes in the kitchen, or accent pieces in the bathroom. Now, expect to see hexagon shaped tiles as well as other various shapes, specifically in large sizes, taking over in the living room, dining hall, and kitchen area. These patterns create beautiful effects in any room! Trickling patterns are also becoming more and more common and will continue to increase in popularity throughout 2019. These can display a variety of different textures, sizes, and colors of flooring that eventually blends together.

Maywood on the Park – Burnaby Condos

Metrotown Living – Burnaby’s Newest Condo Tower
metrotown condo maywood

Burnaby has seen unprecedented growth in recent years with Brentwood transitioning to be a new hub, and new life being breathed into the already-established Metrotown neighbourhood. Canada’s third biggest shopping mall (and biggest in BC) and convenient skytrain access make Metrotown one of the most convenient locations in the Lower Mainland. Metro Vancouver’s geographic centre is a natural fit for some of the tallest towers in Canada.

Maywood on the Park is a stunning 32-storey high-rise consisting of 298 homes ranging from 394 square foot studios, to 1,257 square foot three-bedrooms and everything in between. The development will also be situated next to Burnaby’s Maywood Park and sits about two blocks away from Metrotown’s skytrain and shopping mall, on Silver Avenue. BCIT is also just a seven minute drive, and Downtown Vancouver is just 15 minutes away by skytrain. Units start at just $399,000 and completion is slated for 2022.

Ask us about current promotions!

maywood burnaby condo lobby

Unit Mix at Maywood on the Park:

  • 84 x studios from 403 – 461 sq ft
  • 28 x 543 sq ft 1-bedroom
  • 60 x 603 sq ft 1-bedroom + den
  • 94 x 756 sq ft 2-bedroom
  • 94 x 2-bedroom + den from 872 – 1,222 sq ft
  • 28 x 1,033 sq ft 3-bedroom
  • 4 x 1,257 sq ft adaptable 3-bedroom

Fill out the form below for pricing and floor plans!

Maywood on the Park

Hong Kong Extradition Bill Could Impact Vancouver’s Housing Market

Hong Kong Protests

As the ongoing political crisis in Hong Kong over the planned extradition bill to China continues to evolve and worsen, the conditions are building up for a possible mass migration of Canadians living in Hong Kong to return to Vancouver.

The Bill has recently been declared ‘dead’, but the complex political climate leaves question marks for the estimated 300,000 Canadians currently living in Hong Kong.

A potential influx could prompt a resurgence in Metro Vancouver’s housing market. In fact, within just the last few weeks, there has been a visible increase in interest in local homes from Hong Kong buyers.

Dan Scarrow, the president of Macdonald Real Estate Group, told Daily Hive his firm has seen a “noticeable uptick” in the number of Hong Kong buyers at open houses since the protests in Hong Kong began on June 4.

“Because these protests only started recently, I would suspect that most already have strong ties to Canada and this is motivating them to deepen their ties here,” said Scarrow.

As these are Canadian citizens, and for the most part dual citizens of Canada and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), they are exempt from the foreign buyers’ tax.

These Canadians living in Hong Kong may also own homes in the former British colony, where average home prices currently hover at a staggering $1.63 million for even small living spaces.

Housing is in high demand in Hong Kong and as a result, Canadian homeowners there could theoretically sell their property quickly and move their capital to Vancouver to buy real estate.

Scarrow notes foreign currency exchange rules only apply to Mainland China; Canadians returning from Hong Kong and Taiwan will “have no problem moving a significant amount of money back to Canada.”

The extradition bill amounted to the early disintegration of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle that provides Hong Kong with limited autonomy, separate from Mainland China and the Communist Party in Beijing. This system of governance, lasting for 50 years until 2047, was secured by the British government as a condition of Hong Kong’s 1997 handover to China.

Anyone in Hong Kong — local citizens and visitors, including Canadians — accused of committing a crime by the Chinese government could be sent to Mainland China to face trial under Chinese law, which is known for its arbitrary nature — used as a tool to control political dissent.

“It’s been well documented that the 1997 handover was one of the pivotal events that have shaped Vancouver over the past 30 years,” said Scarrow.

“This has the potential to be just as impactful. After all, regardless of the result of these protests on the extradition legislation, this whole episode is reminding Hong Kongers that they will be 100% Mainland Chinese within 28 years.

“This episode may be a catalyst for a surge in Hong Kong interest in Canada immediately, or it may be over a more extended period of time.”

Metro Vancouver’s significant population of Hong Kong citizens, largely gained from the decades-long lead-up to the 1997 handover and the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, serve as a welcoming global hub for the residents of the former British colony.

There are also enormous economic and air transportation ties between the two cities; there are approximately 50 weekly direct, non-stop flights — operated by Cathay Pacific, Air Canada, and Hong Kong Airlines — between Hong Kong and Vancouver.

Supported by Vancouver’s large Chinese population and the city’s strategic location as a gateway into North America, it is one of Vancouver’s most frequent and longest-running overseas flight routes.

Bruce Harwood, an immigration lawyer for Boughton Law, added that these Canadians in Hong Kong could also take advantage of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA still in force as Donald Trump’s USMCA has yet to be ratified), which provides them with a right to access the United States through their investor category for work permits.

But for anyone in Hong Kong who is not already a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, there are now greater hurdles to achieve these statuses.

During the migration tides of the 1980s and 1990s, many Hong Kong residents entered Canada through the decades-long, cash-to-visa Immigrant Investor Program, which was terminated by Stephen Harper in 2014.

Harwood says the provincial governments now have a greater role in accepting immigrants. Those who wish to enter BC through the start-up visa pathway require an active role in the management of the business.

Other pathways include family sponsorship and the skilled express entry program, which is specifically for skilled workers and is based on a point system that demands a language test and evaluation of education.

“The skilled workers stream essentially runs like a lottery,” said Harwood. “You acquire a certain number of points and you’ll be placed in the express entry registration program for one year and the federal government determines on a month to month basis what the threshold point total will be for an invitation to apply for permanent residency.”

“It is also true that if you have an offer of employment from a BC-based company, they can nominate you as a skilled worker through the BC nomination program for skilled workers.”

Harwood also thinks Vancouver’s stable political climate and relatively favourable investment climate could make the city a landing point for anyone leaving Hong Kong over the uncertainty.

“There are clearly options for coming to Canada, and it may very well be the case that we do see an influx of Hong Kong citizens over the next few months,” said Harwood, adding that they could provide an economic benefit as well by purchasing homes, engaging in business, and filling the vacant job positions in Vancouver’s tight labour market.

Scarrow also highlighted the possibility of the emergence of a long-term migration trend to Canada from families who are seeking higher living standards and education opportunities. The potential source would not only be the Canadians living in Hong Kong, but also the 100,000 Canadians currently in each of Taiwan and Mainland China.

“As these people age, they will get married and have kids, meaning there could be upwards of a million people who either have Canadian status or are entitled to it who are keen to repatriate back to Canada,” said Scarrow.

“Regardless, we should be preparing for a large return of Canadians from Asia over the next couple of decades.”