Changes Delay

December 1, 2021

Good morning. For those regular readers who would be expecting to find a new edition of the Changes on the Drive series here today, it will be available later on Thursday. The torrential downpours of the last few days have kept me indoors. I believe tomorrow will be dry, so I’ll do my survey walk in the morning.


Christmas In Grandview Park

November 26, 2021


The Safeway Site: A Bad Revision

November 14, 2021

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Revised Safeway Megatower Plan a Failure

The folks at No Megatowers at Safeway have looked at the proposed new revision for the major development at Commercial & Broadway, and they find it sadly lacking.

For example, one of the selling points of the new revision is a so-called “[r]eduction of building height by one-storey on each of the residential towers,” which makes it seem that the towers will be less tall. However, the reduction in residential space is made up for with changes to the retail/commercial plinth and associated architecture, and two of the towers will actually be taller than previously proposed. To quote their analysis:

“For example, in Tower A, the height from ground to the top previously was 105.6meters (346 feet). It now rises to 113.3meters – a height of 371.7 feet … The retail “plinth” for Tower A previously was 28.1 meters; it now is  29.6 meters. The “plinth” contains two mezzanine levels. It is the equivalent of about 8 commercial storeys, and of 10.8 standard residential storeys. On the roof of Tower A there is 11 meters (36 feet)  of height above the roofline –  previously there was only 2.5 meters.  This all matters in terms of shadowing and mountain views.

The “public plaza” also remains an issue:

“It still runs along the edge of the skytrain line, in its shadow, the trains loudly thundering by. It is not a “sunny, welcoming, delightful and people-friendly civic plaza” as required by the Grandview Woodland Community Plan. Nor is it centrally located in the development … This plaza was so key to the Grandview Woodland Community Plan because it is instead of a park – this neighbourhood has few parks.”

Another very important change in the Revision is elimination of the promise to provide childcare spaces. This not only goes against all previous iterations of developers’ promises but ignores the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan’s specific call for an increase in such childcare spaces as a primary neighbourhood need.

There is still time for you to register your thoughts on this proposal. Go to Shape Your City.


Changes at Commercial & Adanac

November 11, 2021

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One of the items on Vancouver City Council’s agenda next Tuesday 16th November is the design approval for the redevelopment of the southwest corner of Commercial & Adanac.

This will soon enough become this:

The zoning went through a while ago, so this is really just for information at this point. However, it is right next door to the Alma Blackwell housing project, the managers of which are also pushing for a similar height through redevelopment.

This looks like it is becoming a standard, not a one-off.


Safeway Site Open House

November 9, 2021

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The story so far is here.

Now, the developers are offering two open houses to discuss their latest revision of the development plan. They will take place on Friday 19th November at the Cultch. There will be two brief sessions organized by the developer’s PR company at 9:00am and 10:00am.

There is a VERY limited number of registrations allowed for each session. They claim this is a covid requirement but it also acts to lower the possibility of large numbers of those residents opposed to the development. causing a fuss. Vaccine passports will be required.

If you are interested, please register at www.broadwaycommercial.ca/register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.


Another Sneak Attack By CoV Planning

November 5, 2021

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I have already written a piece about the so-called Streamlining Rentals proposal that is currently before City Council at a public hearing. My concerns there were city-wide and about the continuing elimination of public consultation in planning and zoning matters. I did not think that it applied to Grandview because the map that is so prominently used in public media about this proposal specifically excludes areas such as GW which already have Community Plans:

However, a closer reading of the entire proposal — as has been done, for example, by Stephen Bohus of CityHallWatch and GWAC — reveals that C2 zones within the Community Plan areas are also affected, including Commercial Drive.

The change, outlined in Appendix G, raises the maximum allowable height of a building to 50 feet if the commercial space on the ground floor has ceiling height of 17′. The purpose of the ceiling height change is to “improve flexibility and allow for more variety in commercial uses.” The change proposed raises the maximum height on most of the Drive from 35 feet to 50 feet, an increase of 40%.

There is a lot wrong with this proposal and the way it is being pushed through.

Specifically, it goes against the entire letter and spirit of the Grandview Woodland Community Plan’s statements on Commercial Drive:

“Zoning will remain unchanged in this area … Because of the area’s significance to the community and the strong desire to maintain its low-scale character and form, the plan will ensure that other City policies that may otherwise allow for additional height will not apply.” (p.40)

One of the enduring human-scale characteristics of the Drive is the small businesses operated mainly by local merchants. However, as Stephen Bohus has pointed out, the new ceiling height allowances are designed primarily for chain and other large stores that can pay the enhanced rents that such buildings will attract. This will inevitably change the much-admired character of retail on the Drive.

In his presentation to Council, Bohus also noted that the increased first floor height of new buildings allowed under this proposal will affect the older buildings adjacent to such spaces. The floor heights will not match and design will be compromised.

I am unaware of any consultation with locals about these proposed changes. I guess our views don’t matter.

More generally, this whole Streamlining Rentals proposal shows up a number of problems that have become endemic with this City Planning staff. The Report is 348 pages long and the public (and Council members) were given very little time to try to absorb the detailed technical aspects. This has been a typical tactic for too many years now.

The proposals to change C2 zoning in places such as Commercial Drive have nothing to do with streamlining the approval process for new rental properties which is the stated purpose of this Report. They are buried in the report and I don’t recall hearing about them when staff made their presentation.

The practice of putting a disparate set of proposals into one omnibus bill serves no one except the Planning staff, and they do it over and over again. Council needs to step up and demand that each item be presented separately for proper debate.


GWAC and Dogs!

November 4, 2021

Changes On The Drive #123

November 1, 2021

Yesterday, when I did the walk, was weather-wise the best day of the year for my taste: clear blue sky, bright sunshine, and a cool temperature. Fabulous feeling. And the Drive was packed with people seeming to enjoy it as much as me. There were, I noticed, a surprising number of adults dressed up for Halloween (at least I guess that’s what they were dressed for).

Down at the southern end of my patch, on the north west corner of Grandview Highway and Commercial, an informal street market seems to be growing beside the convenience store.

Things are changing for the CCEC credit union at 2248 Commercial: The single-branch CCEC is looking to merge with the 7-branch Community Savings Credit Union.

CCEC Credit Union - 604list: Vancouver's Best Businesses

Grandview Lanes at 2195 Commercial is featured as somewhere to go on a rainy day.

The Dive In Dessert Bar at 1706 Commercial is finally closed and the storefront is being offered for lease. It hasn’t seemed open for weeks.

Loula at 1608 Commercial and Havana at 1212 make it onto the Daily Hive list of restaurants that make you feel you are on vacation.

Ugly Dumpling, 1590 Commercial, is closing at the end of the year, with the owners moving back to Japan. I didn’t manage to visit here and when I heard it was closing I decided it would be a great place for me to celebrate my birthday this week. However, looking at the menu, I saw that it would be a minimum of $150 for two, and so we went to Western Lake for dim sum instead.

Image: Scout Magazine

The big double-front at 1305, which has been vacant for 18 months since the Storm Crow Tavern closed, has now been leased and will soon be another Mexican restaurant called Don Oso’s. They were open on Hastings Street in Burnaby. I am not sure if this is an additional location or whether this is a move.

Next door, the oft-vacant space at 1303 is now occupied by Wolf Pack Apparel. However, at the moment it looks like it may just be another temporary pop-up for that space.

Vacancies on the Drive this month: 

2283 Commercial (11 months vacant), 2277 (28 months), 2247 (4 months), 2223 (32 months), 2111 (18 months), 2058 (2 months), 2057 (11 months), 1983 (6 months), 1858 (2 months), 1851 (2 months), 1816 (18 months), 1748 (15 months), 1733 (14 months), 1728 (19 months), 1706 (1 month), 1503 (10 months), 1305 (18 months), 1301 (13 months), 1191 (6 months), 1126 (5 months), 1111 (2 months), 902 (13 months).

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The number of vacancies has not fallen this month. However at least 7 of these vacant stores are either leased or well advanced in preparation for re-opening. These include the three large double-fronts at 1728, 1305 and 1191 Commercial.

Previous Changes On The Drive editions.


Provincial NDP Gets Into Bed With Developers

October 31, 2021

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Earlier this week, the Provincial government introduced amendments to the Local Government Act that will reduce public consultation on zoning and planning matters and increase even more (if that were possible) the insider influence of developers. To quote the government:

“The proposed changes will remove the default requirement for local governments to hold public hearings for zoning bylaw amendments that are consistent with the official community plan. The amendments will also enable municipalities and regional districts to delegate decisions on minor development variance permits to local government staff.”

The matter is well covered in an article in the Georgia Straight today, primarily with an interview with the always excellent Randy Helten of CityHallWatch.

Vancouver operates outside the Local Government Act but , as I mentioned in my own interview with the paper: “What [the Province is] doing is catching with what Vancouver has already done, which is to reduce public engagement as much as they can.”

The Grandview-Woodland Community Plan, which the City now uses to cover a multitude of sins and as an excuse to restrict public engagement, was never a community-driven process. It began as a Planners’ plan and ended the same way as I described in my book “Battleground: Grandview“. Local activists say the same thing about the West End Plan, the Marpole Plan, the DTES Plan.

Pretty soon we will have the Broadway Plan and, eventually, the Vancouver Plan, all of which will be manipulated in the same developer-first way unless we radically change the membership of City Council and, they in turn, instruct Planners to heed the needs of local residents first and profit-driven developers a distant second.


The True Growth of Grandview

October 28, 2021

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Back in October of last year, I reported on the publication of a City of Vancouver document called Grandview Woodland: Neighbourhood Social Indicators Profile. I mentioned a couple of interesting graphs but didn’t really have time to delve into the details. Today, I was reminded by a correspondent of the document, who pointed out the population and density figures displayed.

As can be seen, Grandview in 2016 had reached a population equal to its previous highest in the 1990s. During the Community Plan, then Councillor Geoff Meggs wrote that Grandview had “flatlined”. He was, as in so many matters, wrong.

Not only were we not flatlining, but we were attracting young families with children who will be the future of our neighbourhood:

“From 2011 to 2016, Grandview-Woodland was a destination for people between ages 20 and 35; there were more than 125% more 25-year-olds in 2016 than there were 20-year-olds in 2011.” (p.13)

Throughout the Grandview Woodland Community Plan process we were told over and over again by Planners that we needed to increase density in the neighbourhood. When the Community Plan was approved in 2016, the same Councillor Meggs declared himself disappointed that Grandview was “not bearing its share of density.” He –and the Planners — were wrong yet again as the City’ own figures illustrate:

“As of 2016, Grandview-Woodland’s population density was 64 persons per hectare, about 18% denser than the City of Vancouver’s average density overall.” (p.10)

Why am I digging up these figures again? Because the Planners when pushing new developments in Grandview continue to press us to take more density than most other areas of the City. They never give the data and just suggest that somehow we are not pulling our weight.

This is particularly important when we look at the massive towers and new density suggested for the Safeway site at Broadway & Commercial. We know that a number of people have declared their support for the Safeway towers based on their belief that Grandview is somehow falling behind in either population and/or density.

These are false beliefs and it is vital that we move forward ONLY based on true and accurate data.


Update on Alma Blackwell Housing

October 28, 2021

Readers may recall that we have been following the situation at the Alma Blackwell housing project on Adanac Street here in Grandview. It appeared that the managers, Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society (ENFHS) had decided to relocate and/or evict the current tenants, demolish the building and its well-established community, in order to build a much larger facility.

After a prolonged outcry by the residents, a public meeting at GWAC, and media coverage, ENFHS wrote to the residents noting that they were re-organizing under a new Executive Director and that no-one would be displaced until the end of 2022. Unfortunately, it was also clear that their plans for the community had not changed.

The residents have been in touch with Neil Mockton, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, who had apparently agreed to arrange a meeting between the residents and the Mayor. They noted their struggles to get proper maintenance and repairs for the building, the lack of reasonable communication between managers and tenants, and the fact that — during Vancouver’s housing crisis — ENFHS has allowed 15 units to remain unoccupied for many months.

Monckton responded by advising BC Housing and CoV Planning Department of the concerns raised, but suggested there was little he could do as no formal re-development application has yet been received by the City. He advised the residents to be in touch with the City’s Renter’s Office from which the current residents have already been turned away with “that’s not our job.” He gave little hope that a meeting with the Mayor would be forthcoming.

In the meanwhile, ENFHS — who have shown themselves unwilling to do basic repairs and maintenance on a building that still houses 30 households paying rent — have issued an advertisement for a new Executive Director at a salary of up to $120,000 a year. No meeting with the tenants has yet been arranged.

Not unlike the leaseholders and co-op residents at False Creek South, about which much ink has been spilled this week, the families in the Alma Blackwell building continue to face an uncertain and nervous future.


Vancouver Plan

October 26, 2021

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Many of you will know that the City of Vancouver is developing a city-wide Plan for future zoning and development; this is the Vancouver Plan.

The next stage of this Plan includes a series of “neighbourhood” open houses. For Grandview, our sessions are scheduled for:

  • 8th November between 6:00pm and 7:30pm
  • 9th November between 10:00am and 11:30am

You can register at the Eventbrite site.

Given the way that the City of Vancouver is actively limiting or eliminating public consultation on many developments — and forcing through individual projects in advance that should be subject to the Vancouver Plan — these workshops may be one of the few occasions on which you can at least try to make your voice heard on the future of our city.

Therefore, I encourage everyone to register and attend whatever session makes sense for you.


Greenway Changes

October 10, 2021

The Central Valley Greenway is a 25-kilometre “active transportation” route (primarily a bike route) that connects Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster. The City of Vancouver is planning to make changes on the section of the Greenway between Clark Drive and Lakewood. This is the map that was included in a letter to residents.

The proposed upgrades would impact the following streets:
o Grandview Highway North (between Clark Drive and Lakewood Drive)
o Woodland overpass
o E 8th Ave (between Grandview Highway North and Lakewood Drive)
o Lakewood Drive (between E 8th Ave and John Hendry Park

The City is asking for comments on the proposals to be received on or before October 18th as construction is planned for this Fall. Ways to contact them include:

I have already heard from one well-informed critic who complains that there needs to be a comprehensive plan for the entire Greenway rather than these piecemeal fixes. This is not a transportation corridor that I use; what do you think?


Changes On The Drive #122

October 1, 2021

I usually do my walk on the Drive on the last day of the month so that these posts can come out early on the first of the next month. However, I decided NOT to be drowned in the downpour yesterday. Which was a good choice because the Drive was resplendent in autumn sunshine today.

Last month we began with a quote from a Seattle newspaper. This month, we have this from Portland:

“Traditionally a bastion of the local Italian community, Commercial Drive in East Vancouver is still home to superb Italian food (try Oca Pastificio and Fratelli Bakery). But you can also dig into—literally, with your hands—a lavish Filipino boodle fight at Kulinarya Filipino Eatery, pile into some crispy prawn fritters at Lunch Lady (a spinoff of an Anthony Bourdain–approved soup stall in Saigon), or settle into some of the most meticulously prepared sushi in the city at Kishimoto Japanese Restaurant.”

The storefront at 2223 Commercial which has been vacant for a year and a half is still closed but now sports new windows advertising something called Canntina Cannabis.

Cafe Deux Soleils at 2096 Commercial is in a stage play.

The laundromat called Wash Out at 2058 Commercial has closed.

It looks as though Carthage Cafe is returning to its old location at 1851 Commercial, while BC Donair, now closed, was just a temporary interloper.

What used be Federico’s at 1728 Commercial and has been vacant for a year and a half, now has a LEASED sign on the window. No indication of what’s coming, but my guess would be another restaurant.

Although it was closed when I walked by today, I believe that the new Vancity Fried Chicken joint at 1678 Commercial is now open for business.

Lombardo’s Restaurant at 1641 Commercial gets a good review in Daily Hive’s Best Italian Restaurants.

At Mezcaleria, 1622 Commercial, the bartender makes a cool elote cocktail according to Scout Magazine.

I noted last month that Exposure Home at 1616 Commercial was closing down. It is still having its closing out sale, but there is already a LEASED sign on the window.

The newish Loula’s at 1608 Commercial gets another review in which it is described as “like if the Avengers opened a Greek restaurant.”

The Vietnamese café called Merci Beacoup at 1468 Commercial gets a nice review in a list of best pho restaurants.

Havana at 1212 Commercial is looking for staff. For the front of house, a manager, servers, hosts, and a bar back. For the back of house, line cooks, a head chef, and dishwashers are available. Apply at info@havanavancouver.com

Well at last we now know what’s happening with the former Biercraft at 1191 Commercial. It is soon to re-open as Community Taps and Pizza. The interior is being transformed by Sydney Earle of Jute Design and there will be 40 or so beers and wines on tap.

902 Commercial is still vacant, but there is a sign promising the soon-to-open Liquid Amber, tattoo and art collective.

Finally, I was sitting having a beer on the patio at Zawa’s the other day and heard the following review en passant: “I really like the Japanese curry at Mogu, but the chicken is better at the Downlow.”

Vacancies on the Drive this month: 

2283 Commercial (10 months vacant), 2277 (27 months), 2247 (4 months), 2223 (31 months), 2111 (17 months), 2058 (1 month), 2057 (10 months), 1983 (5 months), 1858 (2 months), 1851 (1 month), 1816 (17 months), 1748 (14 months), 1733 (13 months), 1728 (18 months), 1503 (9 months), 1305 (17 months), 1303 (3 months), 1301 (12 months), 1191 (5 months), 1126 (4 months), 1111 (1 month), 902 (12 months).

While it appears that the vacancy rate on the Drive is getting worse, I would note that several of the vacant storefronts are leased and/or are ready to open soon. I have confidence that next month’s figures will show an improvement.

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Previous Changes On The Drive editions.


Progress at Alma Blackwell

September 18, 2021

A few days ago, I wrote about the problems residents were having at the Alma Blackwell housing site on Adanac Street which the Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society (ENF) wants to demolish and rebuild. Today I am happy to report that the tenants’ loud voices, including at the community meeting held last week, have elicited a hopeful statement from ENF.

In their notice to the tenants, ENF note their organization has undergone organizational changes at both the Board and staff levels but that they are committed to “continuing the legacy of providing inclusive, safe, and affordable housing for women, families, and seniors at Alma Blackwell,” and they understand that “the news of the redevelopment was challenging to receive.”

They note that ENF have not yet made a formal development application to the City and thus “tenants will not need to move until Fall 2022 at the earliest.” They further commit to hiring a Tenant Relocation specialist “to ensure a smooth transition for each tenant.”

“In the meantime, we will be continuing to offer relocation options to tenants in our own portfolio when these opportunities arise. We encourage tenants to accept relocation opportunities that suit their needs when they become available – these offers are optional, and all tenants may choose to remain at Alma Blackwell until the end of the Four Month Notice to End Tenancy if they wish to do so. We are not permitted to issue tenants a Four Month Notice to End Tenancy until our Development and Building Permits are approved by the City, and the City will not approve these permits until we meet the requirements of the [City’s] Tenant Relocation Protection Policy (TRPP), including finding alternative accommodation for all eligible tenants.”

They anticipate holding a Tenants’ Meeting as soon as they have the TRPP specialist in place in order to discuss further details.

So, it looks as though the concerned tenants have some breathing room at least, and perhaps have time to persuade ENF that demolition of the current building is not the best solution. Just as important, ENF is now very aware, if they were not before, that both the tenants and the community as a whole will be watching developments with a keen interest.


The Killing of Alma Blackwell

September 14, 2021

In the early 1980s, a small group of women decided they needed a safe affordable place to live and to develop a community for women and their children. To achieve their ends, they established a Housing Society called “Entre Nous Femmes” which eventually built and developed the 46-unit Alma Blackwell housing project at 1656 Adanac Street, named after the grandmother of one of the group’s founders.

Alma Blackwell rapidly became the community the founders hoped for. Many women in need and their children lived in the housing project, often for decades. It has continued to thrive as a community and its success created the ability for the Housing Society to build more and more similar projects until today, ENF has eleven buildings in Vancouver.

Although not legally structured as a co-op, the ENF project operated within that milieu: the residents helped build and maintain the buildings, and controlled the Society. However, as the years passed, the governance became more and more removed from the residents, more distant, until today the residents are not only not allowed to be directors of the society, and are routinely refused access to the Society’s minutes, they even find it difficult to find out who is a director of their Society.

That change in governance has been matched by the recent unwillingness of the Society to maintain the property in a fit and livable manner. Moreover, a number of vacancies have occurred over the last couple of years which the Society has seen fit not to fill — even while the City suffers its worst ever housing crisis. This led to suspicions that something big was afoot — but the Society would not explain to the residents except to suggest that the Society did not have the funds needed to keep the building in good repair. When asked for details of the repair costs, the Society refused to respond to residents’ requests.

In April this year, Vancouver City Council approved a motion that doubled the height of buildings allowed in certain zones, including the RM-3A zone in which Alma Blackwell sits. Almost immediately thereafter, plans to demolish Alma Blackwell and replace it with a much larger building were bruited and the residents were given, by a consultant hired by the Society, an unofficial official eviction notice.

Since that time, the Society has essentially refused to speak with the residents except to pressure several of them to accept relocation to other facilities. The Society has no formal Tenant Relocation Plan, is not offering any compensation, and in at least one case offered a resident a mere 24 hours to decide whether she and her child would move from the their decades-long home and move to another building, the details of which were not disclosed.

This story, and plenty of others, were movingly told by Alma Blackwell residents at last night’s Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC) meeting. All the talk was about how great a community had been fostered at Alma Blackwell; people have lived there long enough to have children and grandchildren. They are a close-knit family-like community with good and close ties to the rest of the neighbourhood. Many of the residents are teachers at Britannia.

It seemed a unanimous opinion of the large gathering at the meeting that it is simply ridiculous to destroy a perfectly good low-income community just to build a larger facility that will have to start from scratch once again after a gap of who-knows-how-many years. It is pointless from a neighbourhood point of view, and it is highly destructive to the current residents, families who have spent years developing and nurturing that community.

Councillor Jean Swanson attended the meeting and will be asking a number of questions of staff. However, she was pessimistic about the chances of reversing the course of this development, given the current majority on Council and the previously-approved zoning adjustment. No matter. The wider Grandview community needs to speak up about this, and I hope we can speak so loudly that we cannot be ignored.


The Future of Affordable Housing in Grandview

September 8, 2021

Changes Update

September 1, 2021

After posting the most recent Changes post, I learned that Spade Coffee at 1858 Commercial has also closed permanently. They had one of the most evocative websites.

That means we have 21 vacant storefronts this month rather than the 20 shown previously.


Changes On The Drive #121

September 1, 2021

I’ll begin this month’s edition with an overview of the Drive from the Seattle Times by Brendan Kelly last week:

“At first, this neighborhood will confuse you with its pleasantly startling mix of cuisines, ethnicities and income brackets — that’s a good thing. In just a few blocks, you’ll pass places advertising injera, sushi, tandoori, mezcal, Italian coffee, samosas, Cuban sandwiches and Vietnamese food both upscale and down-home. Upscale pet accessory stores live next to well-worn used bookshops; some people on the street look like they have a lot of money, others look like they don’t have much. Andy Yan, an urban planner with Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, says this coexistence is explained by gentrification in slow motion. Commercial Drive was an Italian stronghold, then a multiethnic neighborhood, and is now attracting the “bobos” (bourgeois bohemians).”

Well, that’s us all over, isn’t it? In the meanwhile, it was the perfect day for the walk this morning; my kind of weather.

My southern Drive correspondent advises me that City Avenue is expanding south and north. I have noted for the last couple of months that they are displaying their produce in front of what was a Cash Exchange office at 2283 Commercial. I’m told they will also be taking over the old restaurant space at 2277.

Tangent Cafe, 2095 Commercial, Cafe Deux Soleils at 2096 Commercial, and Prado at 1938 Commercial all get good reviews in I Live In East Vancouver‘s brunches on the Drive.

My correspondent also tells me that Frank of Frank’s Jewelers, 1937 Commercial, has died, but that his wife may try to keep the shop going.

The Del Ray barbershop at 1798 E. 4th gets a shout out in the Hive’s list of Vancouver’s Best Barbershops.

What used to be LaLa’s at 1748 Commercial is still vacant but there is a sign saying that Cob’s Bakery will be opening soon. That is interesting on a couple of levels: first, we have a large number of bakeries on the Drive already; second, we used to have a Cob’s here and it closed more than a decade ago.

Note that J,N,Z at 1729 Commercial is closed for their summer vacation.

Another of the great brunches on the Drive is Mezcaleria at 1622 Commercial.

The new Loula’s Tavern at 1608 Commercial gets another review.

Exposure Home at 1616 Commercial is closing out.

My personal favourite, the Dime at 1565 Commercial, makes it onto the list of best brunches on the Drive.

The Vietnamese cafe Merci Beaucoup at 1468 got a great review on one of the local message boards: “The Pho broth is probably the best I have ever tasted… and I’ve tasted a lot! Banh Mi is so fresh! If you haven’t tried it yet you don’t what you’re missing!”

The Community Cash store at 1340 Commercial has closed, now dealing online only.

Havana at 1212 Commercial also gets a high five in brunches on the Drive.

The Arcane Tattoo Parlour at 1111 Commercial has finally closed, moved to East Hastings.

The DownLow Chicken Shack at 905 Commercial has proven so popular, they are opening a new location at UBC.

Vacancies on the Drive this month: 

2283 Commercial (9 months vacant), 2277 (26 months), 2247 (3 months), 2223 (30 months), 2111 (16 months), 2057 (9 months), 1983 (3 months), 1816 (16 months), 1748 (13 months), 1733 (12 months), 1728 (16 months), 1678 (12 months), 1503 (8 months), 1305 (16 months), 1303 (2 months), 1301 (11 months), 1191 (4 months), 1126 (3 months), 1111 (1 month), 902 (11 months).

Previous Changes On The Drive editions.


An Italian Day — Of Sorts

August 14, 2021

For two years now, the pandemic has removed Italian Day from our June calendar to our great loss. But now that we are beginning to re-open, the Italian Day Festival Society and the Commercial Drive Business Society are sponsoring a day of music and fun at the pop-up plaza at Grant & Commercial next Sunday.

Should be great fun!