Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Summer cycle to New Brighton Pool

BY JULIE CHENG

Bike then swim at New Brighton Pool.
On a cloudy weekday, you may have a lane all to yourself at New Brighton Pool. Photos by Bryden Fergusson

A bike ride to and swim at New Brighton Pool is one of the great joys of summer. I love the view of the working waterfront with its grain elevators – it’s so uniquely East Vancouver.

There are lanes to swim laps and a huge shallow end that’s perfect for kids. The pool is heated at 23 C, so it’s a warm swim even on a cool day.

Best of all, I top off the day’s exercise with a delicious salmon burger from the concession stand. As an incentive to work extra hard, on the ride back I sometimes pick up a treat from one of the Italian bakeries on Hastings Street (one near Kaslo and the other near Penticton).

The salmon burger from the concession stand is the best part of the ride. Or try the fish and chips.
The salmon burger from the concession stand is the best part of the ride. Or try the fish and chips.

Depending on where you start in Renfrew-Collingwood, the bike ride can take from 30 to 40 minutes. There’s one big hill and a few small ones, but generally the ride follows bike routes and is easy and safe.

The ride up Slocan Street just before Broadway is the worst part of the ride.
The ride up Slocan Street just before Broadway is the worst part of the ride.
From Slocan Street, turn right at Adanac then left at Kaslo.
From Slocan Street, turn right at Adanac then left at Kaslo.

For a small fee, you can purchase tickets online to reserve for one of several time slots at the pool (vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/new-brighton-pool.aspx). I like to reserve the 9:30 am to 11:45 am time and go early to avoid the crowds. The pool is generally open from May to Labour Day in September.

It’s important to bring water and get an early start, especially on a hot day. On a cloudy weekday, though, you may find you have a lane all to yourself.

Renfrew-Collingwood bike route to New Brighton Pool

  1. Take the Slocan Street bike route. Going up the hill next to Van Tech high school and just before Broadway is the worst part of the ride.
  2. Continue on Slocan. Rest in the shade and hydrate at Clinton Park and 1st Avenue, if you like.
  3. Turn right at Adanac. Turn left at Kaslo.
  4. Follow Kaslo until you hit the Portside route. Take in the views of the waterfront. Ride past the horse barns of the PNE’s Hastings Park racecourse on your right.
  5. Continue on Portside, going under the train bridge, until you reach New Brighton Pool.

Copyright 2022 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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New trails open up the wonders of Renfrew Ravine

New walkways take residents deep into Renfrew Ravine. Photos by Julie Cheng

BY JULIE CHENG

“Have you come across the coyotes yet?” the walker asked me one morning.

It’s a completely different world down here, deep in Renfrew Ravine. The peace of the forest surrounds you; the sounds of the birds and rushing water soothe you. Then there are the coyotes.

I’d taken the steel stairs and timber steps leading from the Boyd Diversion entranceway near 22nd Avenue, past newly planted native plants and down to a boardwalk that winds its way alongside its creek, Still Creek.

The walkways are part of a park renewal that’s been years in the making. In October 2018, the Vancouver Park Board finally completed the construction of the new trails around Renfrew Community Park and Renfrew Ravine Park.

Renfrew Ravine Park is located between the 29th Avenue SkyTrain station and East 22nd Avenue. It’s the only park in Vancouver with a creek in a natural ravine. It’s never been culverted over, like many other Vancouver creeks, apparently because it was too far east and too steep.

The boardwalk runs along Still Creek.

The boardwalk runs along Still Creek. New trails around Renfrew Community Park and Renfrew Ravine Park were completed in October 2018.

Members of the Still Moon Arts Society, a local arts and environmental organization that co-produces the Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, have long envisioned a trail system around the ravine and were key in getting these trails done.

Still Moon Arts has also been instrumental in the return of chum salmon to Still Creek. This happened for the first time after 80 years, in 2012. Since then, salmon have been seen spawning behind the Canadian Tire on Grandview Highway in late October or early November.

Access to nature has been linked to enhanced mood and well-being and lowered stress and depression. So it’s wonderful that residents young and old are discovering the wonders found in this urban forest, at the creek’s edge.

Just beware the coyotes.

A cascade of sword ferns above Still Creek.

A cascade of sword ferns above Still Creek.

How neighbours can help the salmon and the ecosystem in Renfrew-Ravine

  • Do not use harmful chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. These run into the storm drainage system and may end up in Still Creek.
  • Dispose of garbage, chemicals, paints and other liquids properly. Do not dump chemicals down the storm drain.
  • Wash your car without soap or with phosphate-free soap.
  • Join the Still Creek Streamkeepers to monitor the health of Still Creek and run activities that help improve water quality and ecosystems. You can also take part in monthly meetings. Find more info at stillmoon.org/learn/streamkeepers/

Renfrew Ravine improvements

  • Staircases with better access to trails
  • Accessible walkway into the trail system from the parking lot on Renfrew Street
  • Bridges across Still Creek
  • Dog off-leash park near Renfrew and 22nd Avenue
  • Fencing and benches

─Source: City of Vancouver

Copyright 2019 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Why I love Renfrew-Collingwood: Livable, accessible, friendly

A spring day on a quiet street in Renfrew-Collingwood, with Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain in the background. Photos by Julie Cheng

A spring day on a quiet street in Renfrew-Collingwood, with Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain in the background. Photos by Julie Cheng

BY JULIE CHENG

Renfrew-Collingwood is a special place where its warm and friendly residents of diverse cultures—pioneers and newcomers, young and old—live together in harmony and feel like they belong. The locals come out in droves to two annual festivals to celebrate this diversity: Collingwood Days and the Renfrew Ravine Harvest Moon Festival.

Still Creek runs through Renfrew Ravine.

Still Creek runs through the heart of Renfrew Ravine.

This historic residential neighbourhood is tucked away on the eastern edge of Vancouver on the border of Burnaby, B.C. The neighbourhood is home to hidden gems, from unexpected sweeping mountain views and the Renfrew Ravine (an urban forest with a salmon-bearing creek running through it) to Carleton School (one of the oldest schoolhouses in Vancouver) to many authentic, ethnic restaurants including Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Filipino, Italian and Indian.

Residents travel by Skytrain and cycle paths alike in Renfrew-Collingwood.

Residents travel by Skytrain and cycle paths alike in Renfrew-Collingwood.

It’s always been an easy neighbourhood to get to. In the 1890s the interurban tram connected Renfrew-Collingwood to the rest of Vancouver. Today two Skytrain lines run through it, carrying residents to and from work in a matter of minutes, north to Port Moody (on the brand-new Evergreen line), east to Burnaby and Surrey and west to downtown Vancouver. Walking or cycling is a great way to discover the neighbourhood.

Why do you love Renfrew-Collingwood? Please let us know! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

Julie Cheng has loved living in Renfrew-Collingwood for 20 years. She is the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News