Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


Leave a comment

Collingwood Corner: Renfrew Auto Camp

RenfrewAutoCamp1930s

Vintage postcard image found online, circa 1930s. Located at 3690 Renfrew from 1927–1946. Image courtesy of Loretta Houben

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

The lure of the open road in the summer months beckons to all who are ready for fun and adventure! Even when automobiles were new, people wished to pack up and go exploring. The Model T Ford car was available for purchase in 1908, 110 years ago, although at first the ordinary working man couldn’t afford a car.

By the 1920s, automobile ownership and use increased, especially for holiday travel. The price had fallen dramatically so more people were choosing to buy a car, and the concept of camping with one became popular.

According to the 1927 BC Directories, there were a total of 11 auto camps in Vancouver and the vicinity, including one in Central Park in Burnaby, which “provided every facility for the convenience of motorists.”
One such camp existed from 1927 to 1946 in the Collingwood area. After finding a Renfrew Auto camp postcard image online, I turned to the BC Directories for more information.

The Renfrew Auto Camp was listed at 21st Avenue and Renfrew. In 1930 the address was listed as 3690 Renfrew. Edgerly Payne along with J. Flander were the first owners. I checked out where Edgerly Payne lived, and was surprised to discover he lived at 3177 East 22nd Avenue, a few blocks from the camp. In 1945 my paternal grandparents bought this house, and my dad grew up there.

In later years, Mrs. K. Ellen Leighs was the proprietor of the camp, remaining until 1946, the last year the camp existed. When auto camps first became popular, tents were available, then cabins or bungalows. A common open space, or court, provided safety and a place to park the car.

Motels, a word combining motor and hotel, took over and became popular in the 1960s. Kingsway had a number of motel courts. You can see the last remaining auto court motel, built in 1946, at 2400 Kingsway near Nanaimo. The name, 2400 Court Motel, reflects the address. There are tiny white bungalows on a green lawn on three acres with picnic tables and a place to park your car. For more information, you can read about the history of auto courts on this website.

Loretta Houben is a long-time resident of Collingwood and a frequent contributor to the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

Advertisements


Leave a comment

September 2018 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News September 2018

This issue of the RCC News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood.

Get 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:

  • Annual Moon Festival returns to light up Renfrew-Collingwood
  • RCC News 20 years: Collingwood’d humble kitchen expert
  • Joyce-Collingwood Station upgrades update
  • 2018 municipal election day: Saturday, October 20, 2018
  • Collingwood Corner: Renfrew Auto Camp
  • Ancient cedar’s journey home
  • Community Welcome Wagon for Sarah Ross House
  • The importance of having a will
  • Plus: Collingwood Neighbourhood House fall 2018 recreation guide

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the October 2018 issue is September 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.


Leave a comment

The little house on Park Avenue

ParkAvenueStation

A snippet taken from a photo by Major Matthews in 1908, showing the Park Avenue station at Vanness and Boundary Road. No houses have been built on the hill up to Kingsway yet. Photo courtesy of Vancouver Archives

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

Once upon a time there was a little house in Collingwood. The city of South Vancouver grew and changed all around, while two World Wars and a major Depression took place. A BC Electric Rail tramline came and went on the left of the property, with the Park Avenue station just steps away.

In 1986 a modern new SkyTrain shadowed the view where the tramline once ran. The one-lane road in front changed to many lanes as it was widened, and its name changed from Park Avenue to Boundary Road.

ParkAvenueHouse

5515 Boundary Road in 2009, the little house where the Rickard family lived. Photo by Loretta Houben

The little house began life with an owner from England. Maybe he built the house himself. The first mention of Park Avenue in the BC Directories happens in 1914, when Cresswell B. Rickard, builder, is shown living in the modest little home at 129 Park North.

In 1917 he’s listed as a carpenter at the Vancouver shipyards, but then his occupation is a cabinet maker at 2993 Kingsway in 1920, a year in which there were only four households listed between Kingsway and Vanness Avenue on Park Avenue North.

In the 1921 Canadian census, Cresswell Rickard appears at 129 Park North in South Vancouver, with his wife Louisa Jane and their three sons, Reginald, Sidney and Earnest.

In 1925 Rickard is still at 129 Park North but working at 2902 Granville as a cabinet maker. He appears consistently until 1929, when he’s a cabinet maker at 1427 West Broadway.

Then in 1930 his home address changes to 5691 Boundary Road. The next year the address for the little house is 5515 Boundary Road, the number it remains until it’s eventually torn down in the 2010s to make way for a complex which consists of three large condo towers.

I’ve always been curious about old houses. I took a few photos of 5515 Boundary in 2009, as the look of it fascinated me. I tracked down the name of the owner by digging online and checked out C. B. Rickard’s marriage certificate where I discovered he was married in 1911 in Vancouver.

He remained in his little home until 1973, when he died at age 98. His death certificate states that he lived in the municipality where he died for 67 years. So, although I can’t find a trace of Boundary Road before 1914, where Rickard first appears in the directories, he may have lived here since 1906.

In a few more months, the brand-new Annex for the Collingwood Neighbourhood House will open. It sits on the spot where the little house at 5515 Boundary Road once sat, where the Rickard family lived.

As our neighbourhood changes dramatically, it’s good to stop and remember the pioneers who forged the way before our modern world evolved, and imagine what life was like as they raised their families in the tiny little homes with the large gardens and fruit trees, as the BCER tram rattled past, and the brand-new automobiles chugged up the hill to Westminster Road (now Kingsway).

Loretta Houben is a long-time resident of Collingwood and a regular contributor to the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


2 Comments

July 2018 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News July 2018

Happy Canada Day! Remember to stop by Youth Celebrate Canada Day.

This issue of the RCC News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood.

Get 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:

  • Family Place celebrates 30 years
  • RCC News 20 years: Cambodia by Robert F. Edwards
  • Collingwood Corner: The little house on Park Avenue
  • Tips to live with coyotes in RC
  • Collingwood resident receives award
  • Donations for a new seniors shuttle bus
  • Personal Financial Planning 101
  • Respect for cultures woven throughout CNH
  • Mr. Hoo recognized for 25 years volunteering

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the August 2018 issue is July 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.


Leave a comment

June 2018 issue of RCC News is here

This issue of the RCC News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood.

Get 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:

  • Youth Celebrate Canada Day Sunday, July 1
  • RCC News 20 years: Turning 50 with Chatty Cathy by Loretta Houben
  • Expert tips to fight chafer beetle
  • Remembering Pat
  • Collingwood Corner: Joyce Road Auto Wreckers
  • Let’s talk about elder abuse
  • Read On! Start your day off right
  • Canada’s updated Food Guide coming soon
  • Local church shares music with the neighbourhood

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the July 2018 issue is June10. 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.


Leave a comment

February 2018 issue of RCC News is here

Happy Chinese new year! There is much to celebrate: Renfrew-Collingwood Community News will be 20 years old in 2019 and we will commemorate this milestone by revisiting some of the memorable community submissions over the years.

Get 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:

  • Get Involved page: Next info session on homeless housing at 4410 Kaslo, Feb. 6
  • INTERactive: A Valentine gift to get every heart pumping
  • Celebrating RCC News 20 Years: Strong Women
  • Collingwood Corner: The changing face of Joyce Street
  • Seniors and income tax
  • How to keep your new year’s resolution
  • Eating Out in RC: Boteco Brasil
  • History: Letter from 1958

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the March 2018 issue is February 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.


Leave a comment

November 2017 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News November 2017

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

Get 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:

  • Remembrance Day 2017
  • Renfrew-Collingwood resident Henry Lau wins two Mayor’s Arts Awards
  • Collingwood Corner: Joyce Station before and after by Loretta Houben
  • Time is ticking on the homelessness problem: Windermere Law students speak out on homelessness
  • Global Party Starters releases controversial single supported by Telus STORYHIVE
  • Getting to know our neighbours by asset mapping
  • Visible Minorities: A podcast for people of colour
  • 9th annual Climate Change Conference December 1, 2017: Calling all students: What will be your legacy?

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the December 2017 issue is November 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.