Mayor Gregor Robertson’s office has issued a statement after a local blogger revealed that his home was for sale.
In a post entitled “Guess who’s trying to cash out of the real estate market in Vancouver?”, the Whispers from the Village on the Edge of the Rainforest website provided the listing information for the mayor’s six-bedroom and four-bathroom residence at 912 West 23rd Avenue.
“Built circa 1912, this beautiful mechanically updated Craftsman home retains its original charm with refinished fir floors, stained glass, casement windows, parlor pocket doors, deep baseboards & spacious principle rms,” the listing states. “Very bright open plan with windows abound & an amazing light filled top floor master bedrm + ensuite. New electrical and plumbing(2005), new roof (2002/7), kitchen & bathrms (2005).”
It’s being advertised for $1.95 million.
“So it begs the question, if even the Mayor of Vancouver is bailing on the Vancouver real estate market, has the slide begun in earnest?” the blog cheekily declared. In response, the mayor’s office claimed that Robertson and his wife Amy decided to downsize because “their kids have graduated from high school”.
They’ve bought a new home within a block of York Avenue in Kitsilano, but the location isn’t being disclosed for “security reasons”.
“In recent weeks the Mayor apprised senior staff, including the City Solicitor, of this property transaction and they were requested to provide advice and a legal opinion on any possible conflict that the Mayor might be in with regard to future decisions of Council related to the Point Grey/Cornwall bike corridor,” the statement reads. “The City Solicitor has informed the Mayor that there is no legal conflict with voting on matters related to the Point Grey Cornwall bike and pedestrian safety upgrades at this time.”
Despite receiving this clearance, Robertson intends on “recusing himself” from voting on the matter.
Not that it matters, because his Vision Vancouver party still has a substantial majority in the council chamber.
What's intriguing about the move is that Robertson now lives much farther away from his workplace at Vancouver City Hall.
Normally, cyclists like to live closer to the office.
Perhaps this suggests there could be federal political implications for Robertson, who is sometimes viewed as a future candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada.
His old residence is in the proposed new riding of Vancouver-Granville, which would be carved out of parts of other federal electoral districts in the city. There is no MP for this riding yet.
His new home is likely in Vancouver Quadra, which is represented by Liberal MP Joyce Murray. That's because most of York Avenue is west of Arbutus Street, which is the boundary for the riding. East of Arbutus is within Hedy Fry's riding of Vancouver Centre.
Murray ran against Justin Trudeau in this year’s federal Liberal leadership race.
Whoever becomes the Liberal candidate in Vancouver Quadra is likely a shoo-in to get elected to Parliament.
Could Robertson be planning a challenge against Murray for the Liberal nomination after he wins a third term as mayor in 2014?