Lower Mainland’s least affordable city? The answer may surprise you

A map of the Lower Mainland by average transportation costs. The darker, the more expensive

Plus, Vancouver’s roads aren’t the only ones in need of repair and B.C. cheese wins big

Cost of living
Here’s a surprise: If you’re a renter, Vancouver is the most affordable place to live in the Lower Mainland and Langley is the least. Let’s walk that back. According to a study conducted by Metro Vancouver, renters in Langley spend more on housing and transportation combined than residents of any other municipality in the region. And the situation isn’t much better for homeowners: Langley-ites spend a combined 42 per cent of their incomes on their mortgage and car, compared to 39 per cent in the City of Vancouver. 

If you haven’t got the message yet: Your car costs a lot of money, an average of $14,600 to $17,600 per year for residents in the South Fraser region, and when combined with high housing costs, its leading prospective homeowners to skip Greater Vancouver entirely, or so fears Metro Vancouver. (via Nathan Pachal)

Backcountry roads
Over 600,000 km of dirt tracks crisscross B.C., connecting forest cutblocks to paved roads and providing a lifeline to the province’s forestry industry. But unfortunately, many of those roads are falling apart, leading the Forest Practices Board to warn that they are both an asset and a liability in a new report. Besides the fact that the province keeps inadequate tabs on the conditions of its backcountry roads, and many are unusable, they also present a risk to fish and wildlife. And while the vast majority are used for forestry and oil and gas, curiously, around 15 per cent of them are of “unknown status and origin.”

Let it age
There must be something in the milk. Two B.C. cheesemakers took home two prizes each at the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix held in Montreal Wednesday night. While Quebec dominated the competition, winning 13 of 27 categories, B.C. punched above its weight: Comox Valley cheese maker Natural Pastures won prizes for its “tender” cherry bocconcini and its brie, while Agassiz-based Farmhouse Cheeses won for an old cheddar and a fondue cheese.