Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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February 2015 issue of RCC News is here

Happy Chinese New Year!

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

February 2015 Renfrew-Collingwood Community NewsGet your February 2015 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:

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 2015 issue is February 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.

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August 2014 issue of the RCC News is here

The new issue is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

August 2014 RCCNewsGet your August 2014 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:

  • Expert canning tips for summer fruit
  • Squished skunk? Call 3-1-1
  • Tips to find work from the Vancouver Northeast WorkBC Centre
  • Italian Cultural Centre hosts Il Mercato, Vancouver’s first Farmer and Italian Night Market
  • Curbside Fresh Market comes to Collingwood
  • Summer movie nights in the park
  • Get ready for the annual Renfrew Ravine Harvest Moon Festival – lantern workshops
  • New on the CNH Rooftop Garden: Family drop-in gardening program

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 September 2014 issue is August 10. From 300 to 400 words, with high resolution photos in a jpg at least 1 MB file size.


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October 2013 issue of the RCC News is here

The new issue is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News October 2013

Read RCC News October 2013

Get your issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Medical marijuana coalition fights repeal
  • Your family tree – Tips for free research
  • My life in art by Janet Lee
  • The value of heritage: A vintage photo comes to life
  • Nasib Singh: A cup of chai on rainy days
  • Introducing intercultural connectors to get the community moving
  • The girl who ran away to the circus – And stayed: Tuedon Ariri’s journey from Collingwood to a famed circus school

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 November issue is October 10, 2013.


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Welcoming the Kingsway Continental to the neighbourhood

The Kingsway Continental, formerly the Ramada Inn, is scheduled to open in fall 2013. The City purchased it in November 2012 to turn into non-market housing. A coalition of local service providers is collecting donations for welcoming kits for incoming residents.

BY DEANNA CHENG

Renfrew-Collingwood is gearing up to welcome the Kingsway Continental and its new tenants moving in from the Old Continental this fall. From an open house and community meetings, the City of Vancouver worked with a group of Renfrew-Collingwood service providers, identifying needs and concerns for a smooth transition.

Once the Ramada Inn, located at 3484 Kingsway at Tyne, the building will also house local residents requiring affordable housing as well as, temporarily, residents of BC Housing buildings undergoing renovations.

The committee working with the City includes Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH), the Collingwood Community Policing Centre, the Collingwood Business Improvement Association, the Evergreen Community Health Centre and the Renfrew-Collingwood Homelessness Community.

Angela Evans, the executive director of the Collingswood BIA, said, “The tenants were notified at the same time, about seven months ago, so it is not a surprise and people have time to process.”

CNH’s executive director Jennifer Gray-Grant said, “The neighbourhood’s expectation is for the new tenants to live here, get services locally and feel comfortable enough to participate in the community.”

Local service providers, residents and youth are putting together welcome kits with shopping bags provided by the Collingwood BIA.

Gray-Grant asks the public to donate everyday necessities such as socks, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors and shaving cream. These could be dropped off at Collingwood Neighbourhood House (5288 Joyce Street) or the Collingwood Community Policing Centre (5160 Joyce Street).

“The welcome packages will include information on local services and businesses. There will be coupons, socks, toques and toiletries, for example,” she said.

According to the City’s Kingsway Continental Q-and-A sheet, most of the tenants of the Old Continental (a City-operated non-market housing building in downtown Vancouver that will close) are men over the age of 45, primarily on welfare or receiving a pension. “Many tenants at the Old Continental are living with mental health or addition issues or other medical conditions.”

“The Evergreen clinic has said it has the capacity to work with the new residents,” notes Gray-Grant. “And here at CNH we provide breakfast for those who are homeless or tentatively housed every Saturday with our Morning Star breakfast-and-shower program. They are welcome to join us.”

Gray-Grant also said there are other adult and seniors programs and initiatives available at CNH.

Evans said, “It has been a positive process. To see everyone come together as a community–the businesses, people, associations, volunteers–everyone on every level is committed and on the same page. They’re welcoming, not barring anyone. “

She said members of the BIA were asked to contribute next month.

Jennifer Standeven, the City of Vancouver spokesperson for this project, said that, based on the open house event held at the neighbourhood house, she found residents warm and welcoming. Some of them mentioned the possibility of moving to the Kingsway Continental when they get older and want a smaller or more affordable place.

“They see it as a community resource,” Standeven said.

Gray-Grant said, “We have the highest number of seniors of any Vancouver neighbourhood. As well as the highest number of youth and second highest number of children.”

Having this building available nearby means residents on limited incomes will have one more option for staying within their community of friends and neighbours.

One of the priorities set out by the Metro Vancouver Affordable Housing Strategy is to “increase the supply of modest cost housing.” The Kingsway Continental Q-and-A says the hotel has 123 rooms.

“The first priority is housing the tenants from the Old Continental,” said Standeven. “The second priority is to support BC Housing while they renovate their old buildings. People will be able to stay temporarily at the Kingsway Continental.”

Standeven estimates these members would stay from 12 to 18 months at a time while renovations happen.

“And the third priority is two-fold: to acquire or build social housing across Vancouver and to build community partnerships to support affordable housing across the city. We want neighbourhoods to feel good about this.

“Collingwood has been fabulous because they want to see more social housing in the neighbourhood,” she said.

According to the Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book, BC Housing collects data on households that have applied for social housing in Metro Vancouver and there is a wait list. While the waiting list indicates a need for affordable housing, it is not necessarily an accurate measure of the demand.

The book notes, “the number of households in Metro Vancouver waiting for social housing has increased by 35%, from 6,630 in 2009 to 8,955 in 2012.”

The City of Vancouver is the municipality with the greatest number of households waiting for social housing at 3,632 households. It is followed by Surrey (1, 305), Burnaby (1,182) and Richmond (599).

There is a possibility of the Collingwood Legion leasing the former pub space on the ground floor; they are currently in the middle of negotiations and nothing is confirmed.

Standeven said, “Once the tenants are settled in, the community will be invited for a welcome, possibly in October.”

For information about the welcome kits, please contact CNH at 604-435-0323.

For more information about the Kingsway Continental project, go to http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/kingsway-continental.aspx.

Deanna Cheng is a journalism student at Langara College.

Copyright (c) 2013 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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August 2013 issue of the RCC News is here

The new issue is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

RCC News August 2013 - News stories from Renfrew-CollingwoodGet your August 2013 issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Welcoming Kingsway Continental to the neighbourhood
  • Eating Out in RC: Pho Thai Hoa Vietnamese restaurant
  • Skytrain Rambler: Favourite places to go and eat by Skytrain
  • Down memory lane: New Carleton playground
  • Mona James: A life of learning
  • Zumba fever hits Renfrew-Collingwood

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 September issue is August 10, 2013.


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Renfrew Ravine and Renfrew Park Master Plan moves forward

Update from third open house

by Deanna Cheng

Most residents are satisfied with the City of Vancouver’s master plan to improve Renfrew Community Park but with the Renfrew Ravine, many of them do not want extra paths going into the ravine itself.

That’s what the two dozen or so people who showed up on May 13 to the Slocan Park field house learned. They came to this third open house to review the updated plans and fill out feedback forms. A couple of them had ridden their bicycles through the light drizzle.

According to Ben Mulhall, landscape architect for Catherine Berris Associates, some people at the second open house held early March were against a path on the west side in fear of break-ins and the invasion of privacy. “It was about 50-50, for and against,” he said. “To compromise, we made the pathway only halfway through, ending it at 25th Avenue.”

Local resident Harvey Dueck said, “It’s great that they want to work on the park and restore natural areas in the park.” When he first moved here, he remembered oil floating on the stream (part of Still Creek that runs into Burnaby), possibly from the decommissioned gas station at 22nd and Renfrew.

“The ravine is relatively wild and a refuge in the city, especially for the birds,” Dueck noted. “A path along the stream would disrupt that.”

Michelle Baudais, another resident, agrees with him. “Increasing access to the ravine park is not compatible with the vision to preserve wildlife and restore habitat.” She points to the number-one objective listed on the vision plan. “Protect, enhance and restore habitats and the ecosystem resilience of the creek and forest,” meaning to maintain and encourage the living trees, plants and animals in the area.

Further access to the ravine may lead to pollution and more coyote encounters with the public. Another proposed change will create deeper ponds and put in culverts, channels or conduits for the drain crossing underneath the roads.

Mulhall said, “The fish and salmon can’t travel but with the local pools, small fish can live there. It will give greater diversity to the wildlife nearby. The insects, newts and salamanders.”

For Renfrew Community Park, one third of the parking lot off Renfrew Street will be converted to an off-leash dog park. The wading pool will be converted into a water spray park with a small platform facing the sloped grass eating area.

On the south side of Renfrew Park Community Centre and Renfrew Branch library, there will be community garden plots.

For additional changes or more details, visit Vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/improving-renfrew-ravine-and-renfrew-community-parks.aspx.

Deanna Cheng is a journalism student at Langara college.

Copyright (c) 2013 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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July 2013 issue of the RCC News is here

The new issue is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

Read RCC News July 2013Get your July 2013 issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Passion for India: Young photographer raises money and awareness
  • Proud to be Canadian
  • Cambodia travels by Robert F. Edwards
  • Renfrew Ravine and Park master plan moves forward
  • Eating Out in RC: The Tipper restaurant and review room
  • Green Thumb launches arts campus
  • New health and physical activity project moves residents
  • Local seniors overcome loneliness
  • Enough food for everyone by Kathy Romses, RD

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 issue is July 10, 2013.