All Candidates’ Meeting — 2nd October

September 27, 2017

The usual Grandview Woodland Area Council meeting next Monday has been set aside to allow for an All Candidates’ Meeting for the upcoming City Council By-election.

It looks like all the candidates have agreed to attend, so it should be an informative and lively evening. You can submit questions in advance to


Housing At Britannia — Important Meeting

September 19, 2017

This coming Thursday, September 21st, there is a very important forum on the question of whether there should be housing on the re-developed Britannia Community Center site and, if so, what kind of housing should be contemplated there.

A week or so ago, Elizabeth Murphy wrote an opinion piece in the Sun that opposed housing of any kind on the site. This led to my own argument, more or less in favour of the idea with certain conditions, and a very spirited email exchange between a number of interested parties. Now, it is the broader community’s turn to have a say.

This particular debate about the future of a vital community resource is perhaps the most important we will have in this neighbourhood this decade, and I urge everyone interested in the future of Grandview to attend.

I would also urge that this debate be continued in the broadest possible sections of our community through public gatherings, email chains, and other means, rather than be delegated to a small and perhaps unrepresentative (though worthy) group who are able to attend certain committee meetings.

Finally, we must ensure that the decision on whether or not to include certain types of housing at Britannia be a genuinely community-wide decision, made by a plebiscite or some other form of all-resident participation.

In the meanwhile, I again urge everyone to attend this forum and make yourself heard.

Major Road Disruption at Commercial & Broadway

September 15, 2017

Upgrades to the Commercial Skytrain station will start to impact drivers and bus users starting today, according to a report in the Province.

The installation of a new overhead walkway across Broadway will involve a massive crane sitting in the road, blocking a sidewalk and some traffic lanes. The #9 and #99 buses will have temporary stops other than in their usual places from today until October 1st.

“The weekend of Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 is when drivers will really feel the pain. Broadway will be closed completely so that a crane can be erected in the middle of the road. The two cranes will move the largest piece of the walkway, which weighs 13,600 kilograms, into place over the road.  “It’s a pretty significant disruption, obviously, to Broadway as we do that, but it’s necessary to make that lift take place,” said Matt Edwards, manager of engineering project delivery. Drivers are encouraged to avoid the area while detours are in effect.”


Next GWAC Meeting

September 3, 2017

On Tuesday evening, 5th September, the Grandview Woodland Area Council will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7:00pm in the Learning Resource Centre under Britannia Library.

The main speaker this month will be ELIZABETH MURPHY who will be discussing the City’s proposed rezoning of Grandview Woodland “and how it could affect your neighbourhood and your street.”

Ms. Murphy has a long professional background in housing in Vancouver. She was a founder and former City Council candidate for Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver (NSV), and has a bully pulpit with regular columns in the Vancouver Sun.  She also knows Grandview well because, although a longtime resident of Point Grey, she owns a number of rental properties in our neighbourhood.

I have worked closely with Ms Murphy over the years, most especially on the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods. She and I have clashed many times over the details of zoning and what I see as the necessity of more density in GW, but there is no doubt she is an interesting and knowledgeable speaker. I know that both of us agree that towers are neither required nor wanted in this community.

Regretfully, I will have to miss this meeting as I have an operation at St. Paul’s that day; but I believe it will be a very worthwhile evening and I encourage everyone to attend and make the GWAC Board aware of your own views.

Pop-Up Disco and Plaza on the Drive This Weekend

August 25, 2017

There are interesting events this weekend at Commercial and McSpadden.

  • On Saturday from 1:00pm to 7:00pm there is a Pop-Up Disco at the intersection with four bands. Sponsored by Groundwerk the idea is to “reimagine auto-oriented spaces as people places with music and dancing. Enjoy local artists spinning feel good house and disco. Wear your brightest apparel, this is a safe space to express yourself and set your body free!”
  • On Sunday from 11:00am to 7:00pm, McSpadden Avenue will be turned into “an outdoor living room for the day! There will be picnic tables, ping pong, Jenga, music, and more. Come play games, hang out with friends, have a picnic, or just watch the world go by!”

Both events are free and kid friendly. Sounds like fun!

What If They Gave A Party ….

July 16, 2017

… and no-one showed up?  That was kind of what it was like at Grandview Park this afternoon.

Today was the first of three Sundays In the Park events that the Commercial Drive Business Development Society (the local BIA) are organising this summer. I am pleased they are taking this initiative but clearly they need to work on their promotion of the festivities.  The event was scheduled for 1 pm to 4 pm and there were, perhaps, less than forty people in the Park at three this afternoon.

I don’t recall seeing any posters for the event on the Drive. I did see some notice in Twitter earlier this week, but that was it.  The weather was perfect — a touch cooler than earlier this week, and with a splendid breeze — and the patios on the Drive were full and bustling with business, but this Zoomba and Salsa party didn’t attract the attention it may have deserved.

Reminder: Car Free Day

July 7, 2017

Sunday is Car Free Day on Commercial Drive. It runs from noon until about 7:00pm and the streets will be filled with booths and food and tens of thousands of people. It is my favourite festival on the Drive, feeling somehow a whole lot less corporate than Italian Day has become.

I will be helping to crew the Grandview Heritage Group booth which will be outside Bosa Foods at the corner of Parker.  We will have a lot of interesting material to display, including mystery objects from the past, maps showing the development of Grandview in the early days, images of period interiors, and access to the Grandview Database to look up the history, perhaps, of your house.

Come on by for a chat. I look forward to seeing many of you at some point during the day.