Exploring Astorino’s

November 30, 2013

Yesterday afternoon, a group of us from the Grandview Heritage Group were given a tour of the Astorino’s Dance Hall building at Commercial & Venables.  It is currently be used as a programme space for Britannia Community Centre.


We explored the main floor and the fascinating basement areas.


There are some very interesting architectural details still available, including this wonderfully patterned floor:


In the next little while, a more detailed review with many more images will appear at the GHG website.


Greenspace 3

November 30, 2013

Greenspace 3

Click on image for a better view.

Earlier Greenspace images in this series.

Buy Nothing Day 2013

November 29, 2013

Buy Nothing Day 2013

Hot Time at Commercial & Napier

November 29, 2013

It was a busy time at the intersection of Commercial & Napier yesterday.  On the east side, there was a film being shot in and around the Five Elements restaurant.

Filming Nov 28

And on the west side, in the Greenway, the Britannia Community Centre Open House was unfolding.  GWAC, GHG and Britannia Neighbours shared a table:

Brit Open House


Downtown Eastside Neighbours

November 28, 2013

Om Tuesday evening I was privileged to meet with and talk to the Board of the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council.

They are working their way through problems with the DTES Community Plan known as LAP. I was happy to share whatever insights we have gained here in Grandview-Woodland, and also to explain the purposes of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods.

I was mighty impressed with the ability of these folks, many of whom live in the most difficult circumstances, to focus on the betterment of their communities. They were kind and generous and genuinely welcoming.

Now, they have published a whole bunch of images and movies from the meeting, including this one:


Good folks, and I wish them well. I hope to stay in touch and help them as much as I can.

Happy Hanukkah

November 27, 2013


Why Does City Hall Want To Make Your Life Worse?

November 26, 2013

Comm_Broadway crowds

If you are one of the thousands of commuters who has to stand in line morning and night waiting for a #99 or #9 bus that isn’t jam packed; or stand precariously on the SkyTrain platform wondering if just one more person might crowd on and push you onto the rails, you might be wondering why City Hall wants to make your life even worse.

And they do.

They, City Hall and Translink, say that before we can get more transit at Commercial & Broadway — you know, enough transit to actually cope with the current crowds — we need to add thousands and thousands more people to the area, to make the situation much worse, to make your trip to work or school even more like hell on earth.  Only then might they think about adding service. Might.

I’m serious. Call City Hall and ask them.

In the meantime, they are plowing ahead with the Evergreen Line which, when it arrives at Broadway, will dump even more thousands of commuters onto the same streets, onto the same buses that we have today. Every morning and every night.

Can you imagine that?

I don’t have a solution right now. But I am pretty sure that forcing even more sardines into the same size tins (and building huge towers to house those same sardines) isn’t it.