Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

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Making a good first impression – Expert tips to stage your home


When it comes to selling your property, a good first impression is very important. That’s when home staging comes in.

Home Staging = Preparing Your Home for Sale

Top 5 tips checklist

1. Curb appeal
The first thing buyers see is the outside of a property. Grab buyers’ attention by painting your front door, adding potted plants and flowers weeding and mow the lawn.

2. Fresh coat of paint
This tip is the best bang for your buck. Apply a fresh, neutral paint colour throughout your space.

3. Remove clutter and personal items
In order to show off your home’s interior, make room for the buyers both physically and mentally. Remove extra furniture and items so buyers can move freely from room to room. Make sure to put away personal photos to allow buyers to imagine themselves living in the house.

4. Make repairs
Fix loose steps, cabinet doors, broken fixtures, chipped tiles, bathtub grout, leaks and more. There’s a saying, “The more you do for the buyer the more they will pay.”

5. Clean, clean, sparkling clean
Think of when you try to sell your car, you have it detailed, waxed and the tires scrubbed. The same strategy applies to your house. Clean and shine windows, floors, bathtubs, sinks, carpet, light fixtures and vacuum the dust bunnies hiding under sofas.

Adding this extra value to your investment can give you a higher return.

Expert tips to stage your home by Cecilia Stewart

Born and raised in Vancouver, Cecilia Stewart attended Vancouver Technical high school and now works, lives and raises her family in Renfrew Heights. She is a Licensed RealtorⓇ and a home stager and decorator. Book a free 20-minute consultation today. No obligation, just information. | | 604-816-1595

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Harvey’s on Kingsway closing after 88 years


Harvey's on Kingsway

For decades, Harvey’s was the social hub of the community, especially on Saturdays. You could say Harvey’s was the Facebook of its time, at least here in Collingwood. Photos courtesy of Harvey’s


Well folks, we’re at the end of an era with Harvey’s closing their doors after 88 years in business. I could be wrong, but I believe that would make them our community’s oldest surviving business. To everyone at Harvey’s – Way to go you guys. That is an amazing accomplishment!

Florence and Albert Harvey first opened Harvey’s on Kingsway in 1927 and started out selling wool and sewing notions. The store soon expanded and by 1936 they were selling their first appliances in the form of wooden coal and oil stoves.

Harvey’s grew over the years and added more and more stock: house wares, hardware, plumbing supplies, wood stoves, rifles, outboard motors. Later they would carry toys, bikes and the electric appliances and furniture that made them famous. Today, Harvey’s boasts over 38,000 square feet of showroom that is stocked with some of the most desired home décor and appliances available on the market today.

Richard Harvey

Richard Harvey (left) took over the business from his parents in the early 1960s.

Over the years, the business passed within the family from Albert to his son Richard. Richard took the helm in the 1960s up until his passing eight years ago. Now it is Richard’s son, Eric Harvey, who, after been born into the business some 60-odd years ago, has been working hard ever since. “It’s our work ethic that has kept us going,” says Eric. “That and a personal touch.”

It was also a place to meet up with your neighbours. Eric recalls how there was also a barber shop, a shoe store and a skate shop (for hockey) on the property. So it really was like Andy Griffith’s Mayberry with everyone meeting there to catch up and share the latest news and gossip. I guess, in a way, Harvey’s was the Facebook of its time, at least here in Collingwood.

Another employee who virtually grew up at Harvey’s was Wayne Elliot. Now in his 54th year of duty with Harvey’s, Wayne, Eric’s buddy, has worked there nearly all his life. They spent their youth working till closing at Harvey’s and then going next door to hang out at Wally’s Drive-In. Yup, those were the days. He did have one job prior to Harvey’s. It was across the street.

Walking by the store one day, Eric’s uncle, who was washing the front windows, asked Wayne if he wanted a job. He said no, he had a job across the street at Docksteader Drugs. How much you making there, asked the uncle. Fifty cents an hour, said Wayne. I’ll give you 55. And with that, Wayne took over washing the window and never looked back.

Working at Harvey’s even longer than Wayne is Jimmy Geekiy. Jimmy has been a plumber with Harvey’s now for 58 years. Jimmy remembers when there used to be line-ups down Earles Street to get in on. “In this area, we were it and it was busy.”

Eric’s wife Donna, who has 25 years working in Harvey’s offices, sees it as a natural progression. But the old customers have been coming back in droves to have maybe one last shop before closing day. For the first four days of the sale, again there were line-ups to get in.

“The response of our customers has been really heart warming. People who have heard about the closing have been coming by just to say hello or reminisce. People sometimes bring their children in to show them the place; others are phoning. For many, it’s kind of like if your family home was about to be torn down,” says Donna.

“These days shopping is seen as a chore, but back then shopping was an event,” says Donna. “People would come in and buy a new appliance or dining room set and it was a big deal for them. Some who come in remember the exact month and year that they bought something here. There is a woman who still comes in; she is 98 years old and she still has a hanky that she bought from Eric’s grandmother. That’s amazing!”

“Back then, nobody had credit, but Harvey’s, especially maybe around Christmas, when someone just didn’t quite have enough money, would trust them. And in this way, they built a rapport with the community and this is why Harvey’s lasted as long as it did. There are still many who patronize us because we were and still are a small family business. And all this time we have tried our best to keep that heart. People were loyal to Harvey’s. You just don’t get that kind of loyalty now with stores.”

How is Eric taking the closing out? “I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet,” he says. Eric is now just focused on what he needs to do to sell off approximately $3.5 million worth of stock. It’s been a lot of work closing the store. Lucky for us consumers out there, that means a great sale.

Have a look at the back page for more about Harvey’s big sale and then go check out Harvey’s, even if for old time’s sake.

The Collingwood Neighbourhood House and Renfrew-Collingwood Community News give a BIG thank you to Harvey’s for all of their support and service over the years.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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January 2016 issue of RCC News is here

Happy new year!

2016’s first issue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

January 2016 RCC NewsGet your latest issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Harvey’s closing after 88 years
  • Collingwood Neighbourhood House Recreation Programs – special insert
  • Recovering Still Creek: Youth environment initiatives
  • Local youth Peggy Lam and Crecien Bencio win awards
  • Making a good first impression: Expert tips to sell your home
  • Food farewells and greetings from the food security team
  • Join the Joyce Area Residents Association

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email

The deadline for the February 2016 issue is January 10. You are welcome to submit a story from 300 to 400 words, with high resolution photos in a jpg at least 1 MB file size.