GWAC, Britannia, and Reconciliation

March 28, 2017

Next Monday evening, in lieu of their regular monthly meeting, GWAC is encouraging its members to attend a presentation on “Reconciliation & Renewal”, given by Yvonne Rigsby-Jones from Reconciliation Canada.

The meeting takes place:

Monday April 3rd, 2017, 

6:00pm:  Community meal

7:00-8:00pm: meeting and discussion

Britannia Community Services Centre, Gym D


To quote the GWAC notice:

How can the Britannia Renewal project inspire positive change and engage community members in dialogue and transformative experiences that revitalize the relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians?

The new 2017 GWAC Board of Directors will be there and they welcome your views and comments,


GW Area Council AGM

February 28, 2017

The Annual General Meeting of the Grandview Woodland Area Council is coming up this weekend:


Sunday 5th March, 2:00pm

Canucks Family Place, 1655 William


There will be the important matter of the election of a Board of Directors for the 2017-18 year. And the keynote speaker will be Caroline Adderson, author of the important Vancouver Vanishes.  More info at

If enough interested residents join and make their voices heard, GWAC really can be the community’s voice as strongly as it has been in the past.  There are important developments afoot in Grandview over the next year or two and the residents need to ensure there is an organization that speaks for them.

See you there, I hope!




Open House at Britannia

February 27, 2017

This coming Saturday, March 4th, between noon and 4:00pm, the folks who are working on the Britannia Renewal project are holding an Open House and Ideas Fest.  They want you to see the groundwork they have laid for the project and to actively solicit your ideas and feedback.

The updating of the Britannia site is almost certainly the most important project our neighbourhood will undertake this generation. The site contains two schools, gyms, a swimming pool, a library, facilities for seniors and childcare, playing fields, offices, and community spaces; it is the very heart of Grandview and changes there will affect us all in one way or another.

I hope many of you attend and make sure your voice, your opinion, is heard. This really is important.

GWAC and Immigration

February 2, 2017

The regular monthly meeting of the Grandview Woodland Area Council is going to be rather different next Monday at 7:00pm. GWAC has been invited to a presentation at Grandview’s new Immigrant Welcome Centre:

ISS of BC Welcome Centre

2610 Victoria Drive, V5N 4L2

Lisa Bautista, manager of the centre will talk about the services and programs they provide. There is also hope that we will hear from some recent immigrants who have settled locally.

Given the unmitigated humanitarian disaster that is unfolding just south of us, this may be the right time to be discussing sanctuary cities and other immigration concerns.

It will be worthwhile.

Meeting About St. Francis of Assisi School

January 30, 2017

There will be a public community meeting in the Church basement of St Francis of Assisi Church, Napier Street, on Thursday 2nd February at 7:00pm.  The meeting will discuss the church’s plans to build a new school on the gardens at Wilga. They will use funds driven by a sale of their current school at Victoria & Venables.

Some of the background is covered here.  A brief history of the church and its grounds is available here.

There has been significant opposition to the development from local residents and meetings on the issue tend to be lively at least. How does it fit with the new Community Plan? It will be worth the time.

By the way, I have heard from SFA officials that this meeting is NOT a public community event and is, in fact, invitation only for neighbours around the church. However, that is not how the neighbours read the letter they received. I also note that neighbours of the SFA school at Victoria & Venables (like me) — deeply affected by SFA’s plan — do not seem to have been included in this invitation. Perhaps we don’t count in the church’s eyes.

Everyone concerned should show up and explain to the Church that it is not up to them to decide who is and who is not affected by their decisions

Over-Engineering A Non-Problem

January 21, 2017

This afternoon I walked over to the WISE Hall to see what the City Engineers want to do to the Victoria and Adanac intersection to make it “safer” and “more comfortable” for all users — Adanac being an official bike route.

There were half a dozen keen and eager City workers, five or six display boards, and four civilians, including me.

I thought the display boards were very informative, describing in some detail the work they wanted to do at various intersections on the route from downtown to east of Nanaimo Street.However, I don’t know the circumstances at most of those, and so it is difficult for me to comment.

With regard to the Adanac and Victoria intersection, just half a block from where I live, I have a much clearer picture and it seems to me that the heavy work proposed — traffic median, changes to right of way turns, parking changes — are a major intervention to solve a minor problem.  Yes, a marked crosswalk would be a useful addition, but I rarely see any major issues at that corner. At Salsbury and Adanac we don’t even need that.

I spoke with an acquaintance at the meeting and she said much the same about plans at Lakewood near where she lives.

The questionnaire handed out at the meeting was informative and allowed the chance to discuss each individual part of the suggested changes. They were much better than questionnaires previously encountered.  Still, this was simply a better managed example of a top-down, what do you think of our ideas session rather than a true dialogue about concepts.

Adanac Bike Corridor Changes

January 10, 2017

The City is proposing a change in design of the intersection at Victoria and Adanac “to make it safer and more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities to walk and cycle.”  The changes include:

  • marked crosswalks
  • a traffic median on Victoria
  • changes to turn rules
  • changes to parking due to traffic median

The City is holding two Public Open Houses to discuss these proposals. One is on Saturday 21st at WISE  Hall from 11:00am to 3:00pm.  A second will be at Strathcona Community Centre on Monday 23rd from 4:00 to 7:30pm.

There is more information at the City’s website.