Arbutus Corridor Souvenirs

Arbutus1As the debate about the city’s possible purchase of the Arbutus corridor is ongoing, I realized there might be little time left to walk or bike along the trail, a trip that was on my Vancouver ‘to do’ list for a few years.

Though we still haven’t managed the bike trip, my family and I went for a nice walk along three routes of the corridor a few weeks ago. Some parts of the walk are probably less familiar to the general audience than the popular route along 6th Avenue between Fir and Maple streets. In the following photo essay, you’ll find some impressions of the trip. Please note the trip was taken spontaneously and most photos taken by my iPhone. Continue reading

St. John Hospice opens at UBC

St. John Hospice

St. John Hospice

Hundreds of people celebrated the opening of St. John Hospice, a new 14-bed facility located on the University of British Columbia campus on Friday.

The first community hospice on Vancouver’s West Side was conceived and built by the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, Continue reading

This is it for Varsity Ridge Bowl

The Varsity Ridge corner at Arbutus and West 15th Ave., photographed in November 2012 by Katja De Bock

The Varsity Ridge corner at Arbutus and West 15th Ave., photographed in November 2012 by Katja De Bock

The iconic bowling alley on Arbutus Street and West 15th Ave. in Kitsilano, Vancouver is closing forever tonight. The entire block will be replaced by condos, in spite of neighbourhood protestsContinue reading

Artists-in-residence salon series brings cohousing idea to Dunbar-Southlands

Keiko Honda is a community builder in Dunbar-Southlands and Kerrisdale.

Keiko Honda is a community builder in Dunbar-Southlands and Kerrisdale.

I met Keiko Honda in the shower room of Kerrisdale pool last year. The elegant young woman was supervising her daughter Maya, who just finished swimming lessons. I, on the other hand, was undressed and wet, showering off the chlorine, after having enjoyed half an hour of lapses in the pool. Our eyes met, but we only smiled at each other.

Our shower meetings went on for several months, but I never had the opportunity to speak to her. Keiko and Maya had already left the dressing room long before my kids and I were ready. Continue reading

Michael Kluckner hits nostalgia nerve at Marpole Historical Society

Artist and author Michael Kluckner explains the architectural changes in old and new Vancouver in a presentation for the Marpole Historical Society on March 9, 2013.

Artist and author Michael Kluckner explains the architectural changes in old and new Vancouver in a presentation for the Marpole Historical Society on March 9, 2013.

A plethora of collective “ahs” filled St. Augustine’s Parish Hall last Saturday, when Michael Kluckner, an expert on Vancouver history, showed slides of the former White Spot on Granville and 67th Ave.

Most of the nearly 100 seniors who attended Kluckner’s presentation about old and new South Vancouver, spent a big chunk of their spare time and money at one of the city’s top social centres of the era. Continue reading

Marpole Historical Society presents Michael Kluckner’s view on Vancouver’s vanishing history

Whenever Michael Kluckner reads “opportunities for builders” on real estate listings, he knows it’s time to pack his watercolour set and document another Vancouver house that is about to vanish.

Rezoning is big business in Vancouver in and March, the city is particularly abuzz with information sessions and public hearings about architectural changes such as high rises, laneway houses and townhouse complexes.

Vancouver's first children's hospital, built 1921, at Hudson Str. and 67th Ave. in Marpole. Painted in 1989 by Michael Kluckner for the book Vanishing Vancouver

Vancouver’s first children’s hospital, built 1921, at Hudson Str. and 67th Ave. in Marpole. Painted in 1989 by Michael Kluckner for the book Vanishing Vancouver

“Laneway housing isn’t a bad idea, but you cannot call it affordable,” said author and artist Michael Kluckner, who wrote several books about Vancouver’s vanishing architecture, and the lifestyle that came with it. Continue reading

Dunbar activists relieved about temporary halt to retirement home proposal

Dunbar activist Terry Hislop was relieved when he read Mayor Gregor Robertson’s email on his iPad today confirming city staff has denied a proposed six-storey retirement home on the 4600 block of Dunbar.

The proposal by Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities would have meant a rezoning of the block between 30th and 31st avenues. The complex would have included 111 units on six storeys.

This YouTube video posted by Dunbar Re-Vision shows what the building would look like. 

Dunbar Re-Vision, a group of Dunbar neighbours who had been fighting the proposal since October of 2012, posted the mayor’s email in its entirety on their website on Wednesday. Continue reading