Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

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Remembering Chris Taulu

Renfrew-Collingwood loses a force of nature


In May 2019, Chris Taulu was recognized for her contributions to the betterment of Renfrew-Collingwood. She received the first-ever Community Excellence Award at the Collingwood Days festival, supported by her colleagues at the Collingwood Community Policing Centre, friends and community members. Chris is pictured here with Jennifer Gray-Grant, executive director of Collingwood Neighbourhood House. Photo by Mark Evans

Local resident Chris Taulu was the first executive director of the Collingwood Community Policing Centre (CCPC) and retired in her early 80s. She passed away on January 15, 2023.

CCPC’s current executive director, Partap Sahota, called her a community advocate, mentor and friend.

Partap Sahota remembers

Through the years, Chris was a staunch advocate for the community she served. It is the reason why Vancouver as we know it has flourished because of the work she started.

She was a strong leader of what was then a non-profit organization called the Community Crime Prevention Office, which later became the Collingwood Community Policing Centre in April 1994. Chris opened the door for other community policing centres to start up in other communities.

Her skills to draw people together and get the job done made things possible for other organizations to start and grow to what they are today.

Her ability to work with organizations, for example, the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Police Department, transit police, and municipal, provincial and federal governments, set the tone that the real goal was for everyone to have a better quality of life.

She was a mentor and a strict and fair teacher. She wanted people to succeed. Through the years, so many people moved forward and benefitted in interacting with Chris. Her joy was to see the community she loved grow to a safe place to live in. She accomplished that goal.

People respected her. What you see is what you got. She would drive her point until you got it, whether you agreed or not. She was a fighter to the end.

Let us remember a person who possessed a strong will, passionate beliefs and a caring spirit. Chris, you have left a mark on people you touched in your lifetime. Your legacy is solid; your torch will shine brightly as a rallying point in the city that you loved. We will miss you, dear friend. 

Jennifer Gray-Grant, executive director of Collingwood Neighbourhood House called her a “force of nature who tackled issues with unbelievable vigor.”

Jennifer Gray-Grant remembers

Chris made a huge difference for Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH) and for Renfrew-Collingwood.

She became active in response to the proposed SkyTrain route in the 1980s. CNH was just forming at the time. Chris, as a local resident, was a driving force behind forming and running the Joyce Station Area Planning Association, comprised of residents concerned about the development. Joyce Station Area Planning Association and CNH joined forces to ensure that the SkyTrain project, and the related development, helped rather than hindered the neighbourhood.

The negotiations around the development of Collingwood Village resulted in the first community policing centre in Canada, as well as the CNH Joyce facility, among other amenities such as Evergreen Community Health Centre, local parks and Collingwood Community School.

Chris remained active in the neighbourhood. When the possibility of new amenity space arose in 2010, with the redevelopment of the block bordered by Boundary, Vanness, Ormidale and the Kingsway laneway, Chris was keen to work with CNH to get the amenity for the neighbourhood. I was a brand-new executive director then, and Chris was a mentor.

Chris was always laser-focused on working collaboratively on figuring out what the neighbourhood wanted and then fighting for it. She supported the vision of CNH operating the new amenity space as the Annex. I fondly recall the city council meeting on the development. When Chris went to the podium, every single councillor and the mayor put down their electronic devices and focused on what Chris had to say. That’s the night city council voted to support the one-block development, including the Annex.

Chris, what a difference you made a what a legacy you created.

Celebration of life for Chris Taulu

A celebration for life for Chris Taulu will take place at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House Annex (3690 Vanness Avenue and Boundary) on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 1 pm in the main multi-service room. Please email for information.

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March 2023 issue of RCC News is here

Happy spring. Check out the great activities happening in our neighbourhood in this latest issue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News and stay connected to your neighbours and community.

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News March 2023

View the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Remembering Chris Taulu: Renfrew-Collingwood loses a force of nature
  • Still Moon Arts workshops: learn stilt-walking to perform in the Moon Festival finale and Lichen Dyeing series
  • CNH settlement services celebrates International Women’s Day
  • Day trip to Burnaby Mountain – a photo montage by Penny Lim
  • Collingwood Corner: The Collingwood Institute and Bursill Public Library
  • Spring break library programs at Collingwood Branch

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 April 2023 issue is March 10.

We welcome story submissions from 300 to 400 words long. Accompanying photos must be high resolution in a jpg file at least 1 MB large and include a photo caption and the name of the photographer.



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Picnic, popcorn and movie at Gaston Park, June 17

Family fun on June 17, 7 pm, at Gaston Park


Picnic and Movie at Gaston Park

Bring the family out to the picnic and movie at Gaston Park. Photo courtesy of Collingwood CommunityPolicing Centre

Food, fun and a free movie – what a dynamic combination to kick off summer!

On Friday, June 17 starting around 7 pm all are invited to gather at Gaston Park (Euclid Avenue near Joyce Street) and bring a picnic for yourself, your friend or your family and meet your neighbours. Dinner will be followed by games for the kids and then, once the sun sets, a free movie complete with free popcorn.

The event was sparked in part by Victor Toh, who is the chair of the Collingwood Neighbourhood School Parent Advisory Council. He wants his son to go to school in the kind of a neighbourhood where people stop to talk to each other.

At a recent idea jam, Victor Toh, Collingwood Neighbourhood School vice-principal Joel Levine and Collingwood Neighbourhood House executive director Jennifer Gray-Grant were discussing ways to increase community connectedness. The idea of a picnic in the park evolved into a picnic, games and movie night, which they hoped would draw even more people to take part.

“We’re pulling our school’s annual movie night from the school into the park,” Toh said. That way, they can help build connections between different facets of the community such as parents and students, community members and organizations, and the school and the wider community.

The Collingwood Community Policing Centre (CCPC) joined the group to offer one of its movie-in-a-park nights to coincide with the picnic. Collingwood Housing Co-op joined as a partner and then the Collingwood Branch of the Vancouver Public Library offered to do a pop-up library at the event.

Toh and a friend received a Neighbourhood Small Grant to cover the cost of posters to advertise the event, water bottles for attendees and prizes for the games for the children. The CCPC will provide the free popcorn. Toh and a friend have also organized music while Renfrew-Collingwood INTERactive will run the games.

Toh said they have made new community connections. “It’s about helping kids and families.” Toh would like the neighbourhood where his son goes to school to be seen as a place beyond just a series of houses and apartments. “I want people to know they’re in a neighbourhood where everyone helps support each other and is a part of something.”

There are other benefits as well, according to CCPC’s Partap Sahota. “The stronger the community and the more people that get involved, the less crime there is. Getting to know your neighbours is the best form of crime prevention.”

The CCPC looks beyond the stereotypes of the role of police, to the role of friendly neighbours in building safe communities. When neighbours know each other, they will look out for each other, for example, by checking up on their houses when they are away.

Joel Levine of Collingwood Community School hopes that events like this one will connect his students to their neighbourhood so that they take more ownership and initiative towards improving it. He’s also glad to have an opportunity to plan a fun, family event.

All are invited to join the fun at Gaston Park on Friday, June 17 starting at 7 pm. Just bring a picnic, a blanket or chairs and a something to keep you warm as the sun goes down and the family-oriented movie starts.