Hycroft and Catalogue Homes

October 31, 2012

It is always a pleasure to visit Hycroft, that epitome of a Vancouver mansion that is now put to good use by the University Women’s Club.  And last night was an extra pleasure because I was there to hear John Atkins give an illustrated talk on catalogue, pre-cut and prefab homes from the early part of the 20th century on behalf of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.

John’s talk and his vast array of illustrations covered everything from the Sears catalogs to Vancouver’s own BC Mills prefab dwellings.  Of particular interest were the photographs he showed of existing houses in Vancouver that either were catalogue houses or direct copies of them.

Well worth the trip out on a wet night!

The Birth of Our Community

October 29, 2012

At 3pm on Saturday 8th December, the Grandview Heritage Group (GHG) will sponsor an illustrated talk by me on “The Birth of Our Community: Grandview 1890-1915.” It was this quarter-century that turned Commercial Drive and Grandview from a raw forest into one of Vancouver’s primary residential and shopping centres.

The talk will take place at the CFEC Room upstairs at Family Place at the south end of Britannia Community Centre facing Grandview Park (1655 William Street.)

Seats are limited and GHG would welcome a note in advance to grandviewheritage@gmail.com to let them know you will be coming.  We will be asking for a $10 donation to assist the work of the GHG.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Happy Birthday To Me!

October 29, 2012


This was the card my wife gave me today.

Thought For The Day

October 29, 2012

The greatest threat to freedom is and always has been the use of an economy based on money rather than need.

Do We Really Need Grandview’s Community Plan?

October 27, 2012

As regular readers will know we are currently engaged in watching the planners compile a new Neighbour Community Plan for Grandview.  You will also be aware that City Council has approved upzoning on arterial roads that could easily negate both what we have today and what any “Community” Plan might bring forth.  This troubles me greatly.  It also troubles Elizabeth Murphy.

Ms. Murphy is a former development officer for the City of Vancouver.  She ran for City Council under the Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver banner at the last election, and she is a property owner here in Grandview.  She is intelligent, articulate and worldly-wise about development issues in our City.  Just the other day she wrote an email that included the following, which, with her permission, I feel is worth sharing:

“”Grandview is a very balanced neighbourhood, a model actually, and not an area that should be wholesale re-planned or redeveloped … Grandview already has a large amount of rentals, social housing, variety of stock, balance of incomes, ages, and housed predominately within existing heritage/character buildings that have further capacity for future growth within the existing zoning. Grandview needs a tweak at most, if that, not a total rebuild.”

In other words, we ain’t broke so why try to fix us?  Words to live by, I think, and certainly words to bring to any planning session that seeks to alter the way Grandview has developed.

Our Very Own Seed Library

October 27, 2012

Jordan Bober who is deeply enmeshed in both the Transition and community gardens’ movements hereabouts is starting to get together a neighbourhood seed bank for gardeners.  He sent me the following email:

“Just wanted to send out a reminder that you are all invited to attend a meeting to kick off the Grandview Seed Library project on October 30th at 7pm, at Britannia Library. The purpose of this meeting is to gather people who are interested in helping in various ways to set up the Seed Library (for which we have received a Greenest City Neighbour Small Grant) and creating an action plan for establishing the library.”

This will be well worth attending for those interested in their gardens and sustainable urban farming.


Obama Supporters Hate Obama’s Policies

October 25, 2012

Why one is no better than the other in the US election.