August 1, 2014



Bruce Macdonald: Neighbourhood Treasure

August 1, 2014


In Japan, they designate a select number of senior craftspeople and artisans as Living National Treasures (人間国宝 Ningen Kokuhō.)  Those so honoured are treated with great deference and this indicates the respect that they have earned in their lifetimes in their particular fields.

I have no desire to speak for the rest of Canada, but I do want to suggest that historian Bruce Macdonald be considered and honoured as one of Grandview’s Living Treasures.

Bruce is perhaps best known for authoring the innovative “Vancouver: A Visual History” which told our story in a series of highly detailed and informative maps of each decade.  Filled with useful visuals and careful text, this is one of the primary sources of Vancouver history.  But he has done so much more.

He has written extensively on the History of Grandview, Mount Pleasant, and Kitsilano.  He has composed innumerable numbers of the Vancouver Heritage Plaques that adorn our city. He has worked with First Nations on ideas for a Salish Sea celebration.  He was a founding member and is a leading light in the Grandview Heritage Group.  He is currently working on a series of video interviews with our neighbourhoods seniors to ensure that their stories are not lost, and he is actively involved in the Our Community, Our Plan movement.

Bruce is a fine guy and I am honoured to call him my friend.  Happy birthday!

Changes On The Drive #36

August 1, 2014

High summer on the Drive, with every patio full, and a sense of pleasure filling the air as I took my walk.  As usual, I started at the south end and worked my way north.

I was rather surprised that no new storefronts had opened in the Marquee at 2250 Commercial; however, the coffee shop there did seem to be quite busy.  A block down, Jenny’s Nails at 2193 seems to have new canopy sign.


The only other change of note north of First is the refurbishment of the mural at E. 6th. The old mural of people swimming underwater was vandalized.  (My image of the new piece didn’t come out well).

Perhaps I should mention in passing that I treated myself to a very fine brunch at Tangent Cafe which has significantly improved its service and food offerings since it opened a while ago and has become one of my go-to places on the Drive.

Moving north, the first thing that caught my eye was that the historic Odlin Block at 1608-12 is for sale.


Sam Buonassisi and his sister have owned the building for a long time (along with several others along the Drive).  I believe it was Sam’s nephew who owned and operated the Libra Room there and that business was recently sold on, I heard.  One can only hope that the new owner, whoever that may be, will continue to cherish this treasure of the Drive.

Newly closed is Health On The Drive at 1458 Commercial.



I never used this business but I understand from those who did visit that their pricing was much higher than similar products available elsewhere on the Drive.  I have to say that I never saw it busy.

Brado’s restaurant at 1399 Commercial has a for sale sign in the window.  Earlier this year, someone told me that their business had dropped by a huge amount year-on-year.  Not sure why that would be, but there is such a plethora of eating places here that I guess you have to be either good or cheap or both to survive.

The recently closed Three Jewels Restaurant at 1165 Commercial has been quickly replaced by the new PhoEver Fresh place.


We have a few vacancies down at this end still:  1268, 1108 and 903 Commercial.   The Florida building storefront at 1102 Commercial is also still closed, though a great deal of renovation work seems to have been completed.

Finally, Adeline’s at 954 Commercial has finally completed its morph into a new Japanese restaurant called Cafe Shibuya.


When I passed by, they already had a good lunchtime crowd. I shall miss Adeline’s which had become my go-to place for coffee meetings (not to mention a very decent breakfast).  However, I like the folks there and I wish them every success.

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