Vancouver shop helps revitalize 'iconic' vintage neon signs for new downtown display

A Vancouver man is refurbishing the signs that made our city famous. And soon they will be at the Amazon building in downtown on display. Jay Durant has more on This Is BC.

Vancouver’s Concept Neon has been swamped with orders from the TV and film industry, but it’s still chipping away at a pleasure project — the restoration of vintage neon signs.

The neon service provider has revived close to a dozen heritage pieces from the height of Vancouver’s neon sign glory. Many of the relics were collecting dust in the Museum of Vancouver’s storage rooms.

“It’s kind of our favourite thing to work on simply because we’re kind of saving neon signs that otherwise wind up in the landfill,” Concept Neon manager Cameron Clow told Global News.

Read more:

Memorial on artificial reef off Nanaimo ties two B.C. families together

The revitalized signs will be installed later this year at the old Canada Post location in downtown Vancouver, rebranded as ‘The Post.’ They will form part of a new public display on the ground floor of the QuadReal Development, which will soon house Amazon and others in its office spaces.

“I can’t wait to see a lot of the light shine into the streets because there will be huge windows that you can see the signs through,” said Lorenzo Schober, manager of marketing and communications at the Museum of Vancouver, in an interview.

Some of the signs haven’t been seen for decades, he said, like the dragon’s head from the Dragon Inn on Kingsway in Burnaby, and the sign for the bygone Aristocratic Restaurant once in South Granville.

“People growing up in Vancouver know what that restaurant meant in that area,” he said. “It’s just iconic.”

The partnership project means that after 10 years, the neon exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver will close for good June 29. Some of the signs will go up in the new display, along with several others that Concept Neon has brought back to life.

“The heritage signs tend to be exciting, creative and fun, and it feels great to keep them alive,” said Clow.

“It’s so exciting, I can’t wait to see it,” added Concept Neon apprentice Holiday Easterbrook.

“I’m going to take my mom, my grandma — we’ll all go down there and it will be so wonderful to say I worked on that piece.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

U.S. expands eligibility for monkeypox vaccine, will boost supply as cases grow

WATCH: Monkeypox: WHO considers declaring public health emergency in closed-door debate

Reacting to a surprising and growing monkeypox outbreak, U.S. health officials on Tuesday expanded the group of people recommended to get vaccinated against the monkeypox virus.

They also said they are providing more monkeypox vaccine, working to expand testing, and taking other steps to try to get ahead of the outbreak.

“We will continue to take aggressive action against this virus,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 response coordinator, who has also been playing a role in how the government deals with monkeypox.

Read more:

EU regulator weighs using smallpox vaccine to address monkeypox outbreaks

The administration said it was expanding the pool of people who are advised to get vaccinated to include those who may realize on their own that they could have been infected. That includes men who who have recently had sex with men at parties or in other gatherings in cities where monkeypox cases have been identified.

Most monkeypox patients experience only fever, body aches, chills and fatigue. People with more serious illness may develop a rash and lesions on the face and hands that can spread to other parts of the body.

The disease is endemic in parts of Africa, where people have been infected through bites from rodents or small animals. It does not usually spread easily among people.

Last month, cases began emerging in Europe and the United States. Many — but not all — of those who contracted the virus had traveled internationally. Most were men who have sex with men, but health officials stress that anyone can get monkeypox.

Case counts have continued to grow. As of Tuesday, the U.S. had identified 306 cases in 27 states and the District of Columbia. More than 4,700 cases have been found in more than 40 other countries outside the areas of Africa where the virus is endemic.

There have been no U.S. deaths and officials say the risk to the American public is low. But they are taking steps to assure people that medical measures are in place to deal with the growing problem.

One of the steps was to expand who is recommended to get vaccinated. Vaccines customarily are given to build immunity in people before they are ever infected. But if given within days or even a few weeks of first becoming infected, some vaccines can reduce severity of symptoms.

A two-dose vaccine, Jynneos, is approved for monkeypox in the U.S. The government has many more doses of an older smallpox vaccine — ACAM2000 — that they say could also be used, but that vaccine is considered to have a greater risk of side effects and is not recommended for people who have HIV. So it’s the Jynneos vaccine that officials have been trying to use as a primary weapon against the monkeypox outbreak.

Read more:

Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, says WHO

So far, the government has deployed over 9,000 doses of vaccine. U.S. officials on Tuesday said said they are increasing the amount of Jynneos vaccine they are making available, allocating 56,000 doses immediately and about 240,000 more over the coming weeks. They promised more than 1 million more over the coming months.

Another change: Until now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised that vaccines be given after exposure to people whom health officials identify as close personal contacts of cases. But on Tuesday, CDC officials say they are expanding the recommendation to people who were never identified but may realize on their own that they may have been infected.

That can include men who have sex with men who have recently had multiple sex partners in a venue where there was known to be monkeypox or in an area where monkeypox is spreading.

“It’s almost like we’re expanding the definition of who a contact might be,” said the CDC’s Jennifer McQuiston. If people have been to a party or other place where monkeypox has been known to spread “we recommend they come in for a vaccine,” she said.

The CDC’s expansion follows similar steps taken in New York City and the District of Columbia.

The District of Columbia has identified 19 cases, but case-tracking investigations revealed that some of the infected men had been in gatherings where they were hugging, kissing or in other forms of close intimate contact with people they didn’t know, said Anil Mangla of the D.C. health department.

It was clear that “we were missing something here,” and needed to start offering services to others, said Mangla, an epidemiologist.

Last Thursday, New York City’s health department — armed with 1,000 of doses of Jynneos from the federal government — announced it was opening a temporary clinic to offer the vaccine to all gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the previous two weeks.

Read more:

Mass vaccination campaign against Monkeypox needed, experts say

But all the appointments quickly filled up that day, and the last round of appointments was Monday. “Until we receive more supply we are unable to release additional vaccination appointments,” said Patrick Gallahue, a spokesman for the city’s health department, in an email.

On Monday, the District of Columbia’s health department took a similar step. The department started taking appointments at 1 p.m. Monday but had to stop after 20 minutes, Mangla said.

The department only had 200 doses of Jynneos, and it was clear at the point that it the department didn’t have the vaccine supply or staffing to continue to sign up new people, he said.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Ontario cabinet minister faces hearing on private endangered species charges

WATCH ABOVE: Graydon Smith, Ontario’s newly-appointed Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, is due in court later this year to face charges laid by a private citizen under the Endangered Species Act. The allegations relate to road work done by the Town of Bracebridge in 2021 that the citizen claims damaged the habitat of blanding turtles. Tracy Tong has more.

Ontario’s new natural resources minister is facing a hearing to determine whether he harmed a threatened turtle species when he was the mayor of a small town.

The charges brought in a private prosecution allege that Graydon Smith and the Town of Bracebridge, where Smith served as mayor, harmed Blanding’s turtles as well as posed danger to the habitat of the at-risk species in June and August 2021.

A justice of the peace has signed off on the charges of violating the Endangered Species Act and last week set a hearing date of Sept. 21 on the matter. The charges have not yet been tested in court.

Read more:

Who’s in, who’s out: A look at Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s new cabinet

Smith was elected as a Progressive Conservative in the provincial election earlier this month and was sworn in as natural resources and forestry minister in Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet last week.

A government press secretary for Smith confirmed that he was accused by a private citizen of violating the Endangered Species Act.

But he said the municipality was in a better place to comment on the case, which concerns road work done around the endangered turtle habitat.

“Council heard the concerns raised and sought mitigation measures before moving forward with the project,” Curtis Lindsay said in an email.

“Given this was a decision made by council, the municipality is in a better position to provide any further comment.”

A lawyer for the Town of Bracebridge said she is confident the charges will be thrown out.

Sarah Hahn also shared a letter sent from the town’s chief administrative officer in September 2021 to a citizen who was concerned about road work disrupting the turtle habitat.

The letter explained how the town took the habitat into consideration by putting up turtle crossing signs and altering the operations to minimize damage.

“The fact is, and the evidence will show, that the Town acted diligently and appropriately in completing required road works within the vicinity of turtle habitat,” Sarah Hahn said in an emailed statement. “It is unfortunate that Town resources must now be used to respond to these baseless accusations.”

Read more:

Ontario election 2022 results: Parry Sound-Muskoka

Smith won his seat in Parry Sound-Muskoka by a margin of just over 2,000 votes, squeezing out hopeful Green Party candidate Matt Richter.

Green Leader Mike Schreiner said the charges against Smith are telling when it comes to the government’s priorities.

“It certainly shows a lack of concern that the premier and caucus have, that they would appoint a minister who isn’t abiding by his own ministry,” he said.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

UBC canvassing for cadavers as donations for medical research decline

The University of British Columbia is canvassing for cadavers as the number of donations for medical research, surgical practice and testing continues to decline.

The UBC Body Donation Program has operated in the Faculty of Medicine since 1950 and has typically received between 80 and 120 donations per year.

That number now ranges from 45 to 50, according to Dr. Edwin Moore, head of the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences and head of the donation program.

“Other universities are also experiencing a decline — not all, but some are — and we don’t know why that’s the case,” he told Global News. “It’s possibly because we were closed for a short time during COVID and people may not realize that we’re back open.”

Read more:

If you smack a mosquito, slap it in an envelope for this B.C. entomologist

When the program is fully operational, Moore said about 1,000 students in medicine, dentistry, physical and occupational therapy, midwifery, and biomedical engineering visit to learn anatomy every year. Surgeons also come to practice, learn new techniques and experiment with new methods.

“Every single donation impacts the health and wellbeing of thousands of people in the coming years. It is an extraordinary gift to posterity,” he said.

“The substitute is textbooks, videos and virtual reality, but as every anatomy instructor will tell you and as the students will tell you, it’s not the same.”

Armaghan Alam, a fourth-year medical student at UBC, is one of many who used cadavers to learn dissections and other techniques as he prepares to become a surgeon. He has also helped host an annual memorial service for the body donors to thank them and show respect to them and their families.

“It’s truly such a unique experience and you cannot get that same experience from working from a textbook or online resources,” he said of working with the donations.

“I’ve had a quite longitudinal relationship and learning experience with cadavers, and I think over that time, I’ve really come to appreciate how much you cannot make up that experience in any other way.”

Cadavers are many students’ “first experience” interacting with a patient, he added, teaching them not only anatomy but how to pay “appropriate respect” to the people and bodies they interact with.

Read more:

UBC team finds ‘silver bullet’ to keep medical devices free of bacteria

All accepted cadaver donations remain in the care of UBC for six months to three years, unless an individual has specified otherwise on their consent form.

After use, the university cremates the remains and notifies next of kin to collect the ashes.

More information on how to register as a body donor, or consent after the death of a potential donor, is available on the program’s website.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Victim of alleged Saint-Laurent, Que. pepper spray attack speaks out

WATCH: A Ville-Saint-Laurent resident is speaking out after an alleged pepper spray attack that he says left him in shock. He says he is sharing his experience because he wants people to be aware.

A Saint-Laurent, Que., resident is speaking out after an alleged pepper spray attack that he says left him stunned.

Omer Cheema says he is sharing his experience because he wants people to be aware.

Cheema says he was walking back to his home from the gym last Friday when he noticed two people in their 20s, a man and a woman, were acting strange.

He says at first he didn’t make much of it — that’s until they split in different directions.

“The girl actually walked across the road, behind a big SUV car and right in front of me. She looked back at the guy as some sort of confirmation,” Cheema said.

“When she was probably a feet or two away from me, she sprayed my neck.”

Read more:

Montreal police arrest suspect in Metro pepper spray incident

According to Cheema, the incident happened near the corner of Thompson and Deguire streets at around 9:00 p.m.

Cheema says he was walking alone and he was looking down at his phone. He was recovering from a bike accident and one of his arms was injured.

“I think when they first passed by me, they saw an opportunity of a person who is injured,” Cheema speculated.

When he realized what happened, he says he collected himself and went home.

“I was in shock. I had my phone in my hand but I couldn’t really think at that time,” Cheema said.

When he got home, Cheema says his neck started burning.

Read more:

Three children treated after pepper spray incident on Winnipeg bus

He says he decided to call police a few days later because he doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else.

He says police told him it could be a gang initiation rite so he’s filed a police report.

“There needs to be some record of it so that if something happens in the future, at least people will know and so that it’s a bit more safe for people living here,” Cheema said.

“Even though it’s a very safe neighbourhood, we don’t want things to go south here, especially with families with kids.”

Montreal police say they can’t comment of specific cases. However, SPVM spokesperson Gabriella Youakim told Global news they recommend people who are victims of an assault to call 911 as soon as possible so investigators have a better chance to find the suspects.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Water pooling on Highway 97 near Monte Lake, B.C.

WATCH: According to DriveBC, water from Tuesday’s rainstorm is pooling between Douglas Lake Road and Barnhartvale Road, a distance of 16.8 kilometres.

DriveBC is warning motorists of pooling water along Highway 97 near Monte Lake.

According to DriveBC, water from Tuesday’s rainstorm is pooling between Douglas Lake Road and Barnhartvale Road, a distance of 16.8 kilometres.

Those roads are around 11 km east of Monte Creek to 18 km west of Falkland.

Read more:

Driver dies in fiery crash in Burnaby, B.C. despite ‘heroic’ efforts from witnesses

Video sent to Global News shows vehicles slowing along one stretch as they slowly travel through a flooded section.

Joanne Caldwell, a Westwold resident, said the flooding began around 2 p.m., but that it began clearing a couple of hours later, though debris was still on the road.

For the latest driving conditions throughout the province, visit DriveBC.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

City and housing advocates brace for moving day in Montreal

July 1 is just around the corner and already some people are getting a head start to beat the moving day rush, but city officials as well as housing advocates are bracing for tenants who are left stranded.

“The tenants that have low income are still struggling a lot to find apartments,” noted Catherine Lussier, community worker with the housing advocacy group, Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU).

Read more:

Calls grow for more money as Montreal and rest of Quebec facing housing crunch

City of Montreal officials say it’s why they are redoubling their efforts this year to help those who are at risk of not having a place to rent by the first of July.

“For those who still haven’t found housing by this Friday, July 1st, please call 311 as soon as possible and we will direct you to the right resources,” said Benoit Dorais, vice-president of the City of Montreal executive committee and the person responsible for housing, real estate strategy and legal affairs.

Services include help finding an apartment as well as emergency housing and storage.

It’s not the first time the city has done this but according to Dorais, this year they’re pushing harder.

“We have also worked with private landlords to set up a bank of units available for tenants in need,” he added, noting the housing crisis in the city is worsening.

According to the city, since January 1,000 people who’re having trouble finding affordable housing have called 311 – that’s triple the number from the same time period in 2020.

Read more:

Community activist questions ‘affordability’ of Montreal new housing plan

Lussier believes that number might just be the tip of the iceberg.

“We know that some people are not entering in this data,” she reasoned, “because, for example last year they actually ended up without an apartment, and that for one year they just moved from friends’ house to friends’ house.”

Dorais said as of Tuesday, at least 33 families won’t have an apartment Friday.

On July 1 last year, 100 families in Montreal were without a place to live.  With rent increases, housing advocates wonder this year will be even worse.

“In places like Montreal Nord … we’re really worried of how the situation is going to be,” Lussier told Global News.

City of Montreal opposition blames the city itself, saying it should have been better prepared.

“Why are they expecting 33 families to not have housing,” housing critic Benoit Langevin asked. “Why aren’t (city officials) ready?”

The city says its are doing its best to have as few people as possible left behind.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

New project brings 'desperately needed' indoor farming to Calgary Tower

WATCH (June 26): Dan Houston with Agriplay Ventures joins Global News Morning to discuss how it’s transforming unused commercial real estate in Calgary into more than 150 different crops.

Big changes are on the way at one of Calgary’s best-known landmarks, which means Calgary Tower will soon have a garden in a surprising spot.

The project involves putting in an indoor system for growing produce in vacant commercial space at the bottom of the tower.

For the man in charge of the project, Dan Houston of Agriplay Ventures, it brings back memories of childhood visits to the top of the tower.

Read more:

Calgary Tower looks to spur creativity amid COVID-19 pandemic with ‘build your own tower’ contest

“It was special, because we’d go up to see the city,” Houston said.

Agriplay will be installing vertical growing towers in the Calgary Tower space.

“We’re going to be having strawberries, watermelons, cucumbers,” Houston said.

It will be an expansion of what Agriplay already has on the go at its existing indoor farming facility in northeast Calgary

Read more:

The benefits of growing a garden during the COVID-19 crisis

“The system automatically produces the nutrient system and flows into each of the towers,” Houston said.

Agriplay’s existing operation grows produce like parsley, peppers and cherry tomatoes.

“You can grow, in one-tenth the space, three to five times the amount of greenhouse vegetables, using 98 per cent less water,” Houston said. “It’s environmentally friendly. It’s desperately needed.”

Agriplay is planning to grow fruits and vegetables at the Calgary Tower by Sept. 1.

Read more:

Artificial lights can keep houseplants growing in winter

The company is hoping to take its system elsewhere in Calgary to help revitalize the city’s downtown.

“We walk into a building that can’t find a tenant and we turn that building into an output of fresh produce,” Houston said.

Agriplay is aiming to have fruit and veggies grown at the Calgary Tower in local supermarkets by early 2023.

The project will bring fresh ideas to a spot Houston enjoyed so much as a child.

“So it’s kind of come full circle,” Houston said. “I mean, what better way to show Calgary diversifying and changing… than to covert the icon that is the Calgary Tower and bring it back to life?”


© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Police arrest man immediately after downtown Toronto stabbing

Police are investigating after a man was stabbed in downtown Toronto Tuesday evening.

In a tweet, Toronto police said they received reports a man had been stabbed in the Yonge and Dundas Street area around 7:23 p.m.

Police said that although both the victim and suspect fled the area, they found a man with multiple stab wounds, and a suspect.

Read more:

Police make arrest after Toronto stabbing injures man

Toronto paramedics told Global News they were assessing the patient at the scene.

Police confirmed one person was taken into custody immediately after the incident.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Rourke, Henry and Jefferson named CFL's top performers in Week 3

B.C. Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke has been named the CFL‘s top performer of the week for the second time this season.

BC Lions' Nathan Rourke throws a pass against the Toronto Argonauts' during second half of CFL football action in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, June 25, 2022.

BC Lions' Nathan Rourke throws a pass against the Toronto Argonauts' during second half of CFL football action in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, June 25, 2022.


The Victoria-born pivot headlined the league’s top performers for Week 3 after throwing for 436 yards — a CFL single-game record for passing yards by a Canadian quarterback — and four touchdowns in the Lions’ 44-3 thrashing of visiting Toronto on Saturday.

READ MORE: Rourke among CFL players to keep eye on during 2022 regular season

Rourke was also the top performer in Week 1 after throwing three touchdowns and rushing for two more in a 59-15 rout of Edmonton. The Lions had a bye in Week 2.

Rourke has passed for 748 yards and completed 87.8 per cent of his passes with seven touchdowns to no interceptions so far this season.

Edmonton Elks defensive back Jalen Collins, right, looks on as Calgary Stampeders receiver Malik Henry makes a catch during second half CFL football action in Calgary, Saturday, June 25, 2022.

Edmonton Elks defensive back Jalen Collins, right, looks on as Calgary Stampeders receiver Malik Henry makes a catch during second half CFL football action in Calgary, Saturday, June 25, 2022.


Calgary receiver Malik Henry and Winnipeg defensive lineman Willie Jefferson were also honoured by the CFL on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Winnipeg outclasses Hamilton, Tiger-Cats fall to 0-3

Henry caught six passes for 173 yards — both career highs — and had a touchdown in the Stampeders‘ 30-23 win over the rival Edmonton Elks on Saturday.

READ MORE: Elks still winless after 30-23 loss to Stampeders

Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Willie Jefferson (5) runs in his interception for the touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the second half of CFL action in Winnipeg, Friday, June 24, 2022.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Willie Jefferson (5) runs in his interception for the touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the second half of CFL action in Winnipeg, Friday, June 24, 2022.


Jefferson returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown and had three tackles and a sack as the Blue Bombers downed Hamilton 26-12 on Friday.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

You May Also Like

Top Stories