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Live life on The Bench

There aren’t many developments where you can take the elevator down from your home on the 33rd floor, walk outside and enjoy nearly an acre and a half of green and recreational space.

In fact, there are none in B.C. or Alberta, but that will change once ONE Water Street rises from the ground in downtown Kelowna.

“There’s nothing like it in any development in Kelowna,” North American Development Group vice-president Russ Watson says. “And we don’t know of another project in Vancouver or Calgary that offers that sort of amenity package for the residents.”

Watson is talking about The Bench, a unique piece of land that will be located between ONE Water’s east and west towers once they are completed in early 2021. It will be located four storeys above the street, and it will have anything and everything you could possibly want when it comes to enjoying Okanagan urban living.

There will be three pools: a swimming pool, a lap pool and a hot tub. There will be three barbecue areas for large family gatherings, complete with natural gas hookups and tables on which to enjoy your meal. There will be several fire pit enclaves. And there will be a court for pickleball, which is becoming a popular sport across North America and especially in Kelowna.

“It seems to be the sport du jour that’s extremely popular in the U.S. now and is starting to become popular in Canada,” Watson says. “Kelowna seems to be a centre for pickleball. They had the Canadian pickleball championships last year, and 400 people showed up.”

There was still plenty of room left over on The Bench, so the developers decided to include a dog park since pets will be allowed to live in the towers. There will also be a business centre and guest suites for out-of-town visitors.

Inside the towers but on the same level as The Bench will be two gyms, complete with state-of-the-art cardio machines and weights in one, and a studio for yoga, Pilates and stretch in the other. The studio is also an extension of the poolside entertainment room, which will be the perfect space to host bigger celebrations.

“We were wanting to separate ourselves from the other developments that were being planned,” Watson says. “We had the luxury of an acre and a half of roof on top of the three-storey parking structure, so it was just a natural progression to create the amenity.”

Homes in ONE Water Street, which is Kelowna’s No. 1 selling development, were so popular that both towers will now be constructed at the same time.

“Initially we were going to build one, and then if sales went well we’d build the second one maybe a year later,” Watson says. “Well, we’ve got enough sales that we are building both towers simultaneously. We’ve just put the second crane on the site, so it will be the first project in Kelowna’s history to have two cranes operating at the same time.”

ONE Water Street’s East Tower is still on track to open in early 2021, which means residents will be able to move in, go downstairs and enjoy The Bench that summer and beyond.

Homes range in size from two and three-bedrooms, sub-penthouses, elevated townhomes, live-work homes and more. Visit www.onewaterstreet.ca for more details.

Wilden, FortisBC raise bar


Wilden continues to reach new levels and come up with forward-thinking innovations when it comes to energy efficiency.

Blenk Development, the company behind Wilden, has taken everything it has learned during its residential construction over the last two decades and created the Lost Creek Point neighbourhood, which features 38 homes that have an energy efficiency that is above and beyond the requirements for new homes in B.C.

Wilden has been working hand in hand with FortisBC to ensure Lost Creek Point is as friendly to the environment as it is stunning. The neighbourhood will feature 36 semi-detached and two detached townhomes between 2,000 and 3,600 square feet.

“FortisBC’s involvement includes working closely with the developer to find solutions that help achieve their sustainability goals specifically the use of RNG, a carbon-neutral gas produced from organic waste,” FortisBC director of energy solutions Jason Wolfe says. “RNG is a locally made, sustainable energy source that is interchangeable with natural gas. It’s injected into our distribution system, reducing the amount of conventional natural gas needed and the amount of carbon within our gas stream.”

As a result, Lost Creek Point homes will have substantially less greenhouse gas emissions than the average home. Wilden is the first developer that will offer new homeowners 100 per cent renewable natural gas to heat their homes for one year. Homeowners will also receive a credit on the BC carbon tax on their bill.

Once the year is up, Lost Creek Point homeowners can choose to exclusively use this renewable energy source at a low additional cost, reduce the amount of RNG usage or simply opt for regular natural gas. Even if they prefer to use 100 per cent natural gas, they will still reduce their carbon footprint by 50 to 75 per cent compared to the average new home due to the energy-saving initiatives built into the townhomes.

“Wilden’s Lost Creek Point is setting a benchmark for energy-efficient residential building in Kelowna and shows that the master-planned community fully supports the progressive climate action plan of the province and of the City of Kelowna,” Blenk Development chair of board Karin Eger-Blenk says.

Lost Creek Point hosted an open house last weekend and attracted more than 400 people interested in Wilden and the community.

For more information, visit WildenTownhomes.ca and FortisBC.com/RNG.

Okanagan Eats has the treats

Do you like food?

Do you like wine spirits?

Do you like beer?

If you answered yes to any of the above—and even if you didn’t—you will want to mark next weekend on your calendar. That’s because the third annual Okanagan Eats Food Show will be held at Kelowna Curling Club.

The event brings together and showcases like-minded people who have a desire to experience food, wine spirits and beers. This is done while promoting education, shopping for unique retail and grocery items, and much more.

“Being the least expensive food show in the area, Okanagan Eats allows people to casually stroll, shop, taste and learn from some of the area’s best curators, chefs and 'foodpreneurs,'” Okanagan Eats producer Rhonda Tannahill says.

There are five main elements that will make up the two-day event, which is scheduled for Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27. Those sections are:
• the market section for vendors to promote their products/brands/services while offering retail sales to customers;
• the restaurant section, where attendees can purchase small plates on a token system;
• the tasting section, where customers can enjoy themselves while sampling new wines, spirits, ciders or beer on a token system;
• the live stage, which features back-to-back cooking demos and friendly competitions. It is usually the highlight of the event, and this year the organization is bringing in Vancouver’s Trevor Bird as the celebrity chef;
• the beer garden, which will be situated to the live stage in order to allow you to watch all the action while enjoying a beverage or two.

Okanagan Eats Food Show is an all-ages event for those who have varying levels of food knowledge and skills.

“As we like to say, you don’t have to be a foodie to enjoy the show,” Tannahill says, “but we just might turn you into one.”

Bird, who will be bringing the star power to this year’s event, has two successful restaurants under his belt, along with an impressive list of international guest chef appearances. He was also a two-time finalist on Top Chef Canada and Top Chef Canada All-Stars.

The festivities will get underway at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 26, and continue until 10 p.m. at Kelowna Curling Club. The doors will be open on Saturday from noon until 9 p.m.

Admission is $15 per day for adults, $5 per day for youth (age 7-15) and free for children six and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by visiting the event's website.



Here comes the heat

It’s that time of year again.

The temperatures are starting to rise, your home is heating up during the day as the high sun beats down, and you’re thinking about turning on that air conditioning.

Before you do that, however, it never hurts to give the system a check. There’s also a chance that if and when you turn it on, it doesn’t actually work.

That’s where Vision Mechanical Ltd. enters the picture.

“During the cooling season last year a customer had us come to visit his home to troubleshoot his furnace that was no longer working,” Vision Mechanical technician James Ferguson says. “Inspection of his furnace determined that the board was fried due to water damage. The customer’s a-coil, or evaporator coil, was plugged due to improper air filtration. This also caused the drain to plug off and overflow onto the electrical components below.

“This is one of the many scenarios that we come across in the field. Pretty much a well-maintained AC unit will increase the efficiency of the cooling capacity as well as protect the components of the HVAC system as a whole. This will inevitably increase the longevity of the equipment and eliminate the need for those unexpected, costly repairs.”

Vision Mechanical Ltd. is owned and operated by the Watson family and has been thriving in Kelowna and its surrounding area, including Big White, for more than 30 years. John and Jean Watson started the company 32 years ago, and they are now in the process of handing it over to son Brent and daughter Brandi.

In other words, the family tradition will continue in more ways than one. The family runs the business, and its long-time customers feel like they are part of it as well.

Vision Mechanical can fix any problem, but you can help prevent them from conducting that repair that hits the wallet hard. They are able to conduct comprehensive yearly maintenance visits, and the chances of them finding something wrong are decreased if you are able to do a little bit of work yourself. The biggest thing you can do it keep the filters clean.

“If you’re not properly maintaining the equipment it can be really hard on the components,” Ferguson says. “Like the outdoor condenser, if that’s not kept clean and the coil is dirty, it can be just overworked, which can put a lot of stress on the components in the condenser and cause things to break down.

“Proper maintenance includes keeping all that stuff clean, assessing the situation, checking your components and so on.”

Vision Mechanical has more than 20 employees working out of its relatively new space on Enterprise Way, and it has more than a dozen company vehicles ready to serve. It also has 24-hour emergency service availability.

So before you flip that switch over to A/C, be sure to visit visionplumbingandheating.com to learn everything you need to know or to get a free estimate.

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