Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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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.

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May 2017 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News May 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:

  • Let’s get outside and celebrate spring!
  • Collingwood Days special insert – New location, same great family fun
  • Bruce Spring Carnival – Now in its 5th year
  • Adult education time machine: History of the Collingwood bookmobile
  • Eating Out in RC: The Captain’s Boil
  • Coastal City Ballet brings Giselle to Vancouver audiences
  • Collingwood Corner: Home delivery in the 1960s
  • Indigenous art project at Windermere: Reconciliation from the ground up

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 June 2017 issue is May 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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March 2017 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News March 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:

  • Adult education time machine: Photos from Vancouver Archives
  • Eating Out in RC: Sushi Taku
  • Are you registered to vote?
  • March is Nutrition Month
  • Collingwood Corner: Old photos on Facebook
  • Art in Champlain Heights
  • Three Links seeks volunteers with pets to visit seniors
  • Collingwood Branch #48 – Final update

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 April 2017 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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Collingwood Corner: Joyce Street in 1914

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

joyce-1914-map

If you live in the Joyce-Collingwood area you will have noticed the recent upgrades to the Skytrain station, and will be aware that big changes are coming over the next 20 years. I recently filled out a survey from the city asking what sort of shops and amenities I’d like to see along Joyce Street in the near future. I put down my suggestions and then I wondered what used to be here way back in 1914, when Joyce Street was first mentioned in Henderson’s Directory.

henderson-directoryJoyce Street was named after Abraham Joyce, a school trustee for Carleton Elementary from 1897 to 1898. I discovered a 1914 map of the Collingwood area in the Vancouver Archive website. By comparing the map with the 1914 directory of street names it’s interesting to note the changes and additions to the area.

For instance, the address for Collingwood Baptist Church is 617 Joyce near Price Road. But anyone familiar with this area knows it is located near Monmouth Avenue and the current address is 4847 Joyce, but in 1914 Monmouth Avenue didn’t exist.

By studying the BC Directories online (1860-1955) sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library, you will become something of a sleuth! The website is easy to navigate. Here is the link: http://www.vpl.ca/bccd/index.php

The 1914 directory lists residents and businesses with names of cross streets. There are names of the early settlers, along with many shops. A few are vacant, but there is a dry goods store near Archimedes, plus a Collingwood Electric Co., a grocer, and a Watson and Wood shoemakers.

Near Euclid there is a physician, three vacant stores, a shoemaker, a meat store, a barber and pool place, a dentist, a druggist and a dry goods store. Near Vanness there is an associated brokerage company, Fraser Brothers grocers, a postmaster, a Collingwood E. post office, a real estate agent, a bank of Vancouver Collingwood East branch, a restaurant, William H. and Son second hand dealer, a tailor, and even a Collingwood Theatre near Wellington Avenue.

Past Wellington there are homes plus Collingwood Baptist Church. I was amazed at the variety of businesses. Joyce Street had it all!

Near the west side of the Skytrain there was the Collingwood East station for the BCER tram that travelled from downtown Vancouver to New Westminster. Near Rupert Street the Collingwood West station was located, and near Boundary and Vanness the Park Street station was located.

These are shown on the 1914 map. There were also quite a few stations near Central Park, along the same track route that we now take on Skytrain to Metrotown Station in Burnaby.

Do you think the residents of Collingwood were better off in 1914? Or do you think that the future of Collingwood will compare to the variety of lifestyle once available here?

Loretta Houben is a long-time resident of Collingwood and coordinates the Seniors Connection section of the RCC News.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Solving a 90-year-old family mystery

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

Nellie Grandpa's First Wife Feb 1919

Nellie Williams: mystery woman, 1919. Photo courtesy of Loretta Houben

Growing up I would sometimes hear stories about Nellie, my Grandpa John Williams’ first wife. She had died in 1926 out on the barren Saskatchewan prairies of a broken heart.

An old photo of Nellie taken in 1919 intrigued me. She was young and pretty wearing a large Edwardian style hat, but looked quite sad and mysterious. What was her real name and her maiden name? Where had she come from? How did my grandpa meet her?

I love genealogy, the study of family history. For years these questions had perplexed me, and after solving other family mysteries recently I felt it was time to discover more about Nellie. On the 1921 Canadian census I discovered her real name was Ellen (see the February 2014 RCC News article “1921 Canadian Census Tips”). I searched for a few years for her surname but the fee from Saskatchewan Vital Statistics was too pricey for me to track down her marriage certificate.

However, taking my own advice, I joined the Saskatchewan Genealogy Network on Facebook, and began asking questions about family research in Naicam, Saskatchewan, the place where Nellie had died.

I was advised to join the Naicam Homecoming group. The very day that I asked for help regarding Nellie and her maiden name and how to search further for her marriage certificate, a researcher at the Naicam Museum Facebook messaged me her death certificate! I had never thought to look for a maiden name on that type of certificate, but there it was; her father’s name, Edward Egerton!

Also included was Nellie’s date of birth and birth country, her length of residence in Canada, her address, her husband’s signature, her date of death and her cause of death; croupous pneumonia due to low vitality; in other words, a broken heart. This was because her young son, Edward, had died in 1925.

Now I had facts to help me in my search for further clues to Nellie’s past life, and I quickly found the dates of her voyage to Canada on the ship’s passenger lists online, but this presented another mystery, as she had lived in Toronto for four years, returned home to Wales for a time, then took another sea voyage in 1918 with the destination of Three Hills Alberta, where my grandpa was residing. No one would go to such a tiny town without a purpose, so I believe she was headed there to marry John.

Did they meet back in Wales and keep up a correspondence since 1910, when John had immigrated to Canada? It’s just another mystery to solve. Now on to the next one, and have fun with yours!

Loretta Houben is a long-time resident of the Collingwood area and enjoys poking around on Facebook in her spare time, always on the lookout for new family clues.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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July 2016 issue of RCC News is here

July 2016 RCC NewsThis 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:

  • Still Moon Arts takes youth on a caravan along the Fraser
  • MP Don Davies’ Create Your Canada contest winners
  • Green Cross Society faces fines and closure
  • Battling the European chafer beetle
  • Skytrain Rambler: Vancouver Art Gallery’s Picasso exhibit
  • Solving a 90-year-old family mystery
  • Time again to save our neighbourhood schools

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 2016 issue is July 10. You are welcome to submit a story from 300 to 400 words. 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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Skytrain 30 years ago

Skytrain Upgrades January 2016

The east side of the Joyce Station where upgrades are taking place place. Photo courtesy of Loretta Houben

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

The year 1986 was the year of Expo, a world fair to celebrate Vancouver’s 100th birthday. The year many things changed in the Joyce Collingwood area.

For one thing, SkyTrain opened for service on December 11, 1985. Do you remember the excitement of riding for free that month? My husband and I tried it out one foggy day, travelling from Joyce Station to Metrotown Station. The huge mall wasn’t complete, and we got off at Patterson Station by mistake and decided to walk the rest of the way as the trains were so packed. We nearly got lost in the maze of old warehouse buildings which were still standing at that time.

Do you remember the fare was $1.15 for single zone and $2.20 for three zones for adults? And do you remember having to push a button to open the doors when the SkyTrain stopped, as not everyone got off at all stations?

What a change in the Collingwood area since then! Have you been keeping up with the new development planned for this area in the coming years? There have been a few open houses at Collingwood Neighbourhood House.

Exciting and innovative changes are coming for the Joyce SkyTrain Station, too! I live in the area, and since January 2016, the old exercise gym near the community gardens on Translink property has been taken down, along with a few trees including a lovely Kanzan cherry blossom tree, in order for equipment and mobile housing to be stored while the massive upgrades are done.

Loads of gravel have been put in to replace the boggy land along the old suburban pathway. An elevator for the east side will be installed, along with escalators and bike lockers.

SkyTrain’s name was coined for the BC Transit ALRT (advanced light rapid transit) system in 1986 because the first Expo line runs on an elevated guideway, giving passengers a scenic view of the city. Be sure to check out On Track: Early SkyTrain Project Film from 1983 on Youtube, provided by the Buzzer. Going to Town—1985 is another fantastic YouTube clip, showing the changing skyline of our city.

Work began on the SkyTrain line in the spring of 1982. I can remember the huge cement pillars going up in the Joyce area, and I was pleased that such a modern means of transportation was available, although doubtful about riding on a train without an actual person driving on board. In fact, when the trial run took place for free at Main Street station, one of my sisters refused to get on as she thought the train would fall off the track!

SkyTrain was such a new and novel idea, that a pamphlet was printed to show how to use it.  Please see:  http://buzzer.translink.ca/2010/03/flashback-to-1986-join-the-skytrain-team/

If you have memories of SkyTrain and the way it’s affected your life, please share them with us. We’d love to read them. Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca

Loretta Houben is a long-time resident of Collingwood. She coordinates the Seniors Connection page of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News