Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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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

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Eating Out in RC: La Piazza Dario

BY PAUL REID

3075 Slocan Street, Vancouver, B.C. V5M 3E4
604-430-2195
lapiazzadario@gmail.com

Lunch: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm Monday – Friday
Dinner: 5:00 pm – 10:30 pm Monday – Sunday
Free parking

Linguine ai Gamberoni

Linguine ai Gamberoni

Greetings food fans. We travel this time to the heart of RC’s Little Italy—the Italian Cultural Centre—to what is surely the finest Italian restaurant in this community, if not the city, La Piazza Dario Ristorante Italiano.

We’ve talked in the past about how one can travel the culinary world right here in RC, our cosmopolitan community. What’s awesome about La Piazza Dario is that the second you enter the beautifully landscaped courtyard, you are transported back to the old country.

Passing through the gated archway entrance, you realize there is a patio area built into the restaurant. Protected from the elements, yet open to the fresh air, it’s the perfect little oasis. The rest of the dining room is tastefully decorated with the most beautiful paintings, statues, vases, plants and flowers. It is amidst this beauty that La Piazza Dario invites us to slow down, relax, smell the flowers, and get ready to “experience that particular Italian gift of making an art out of life.”

For over three decades, under the knowledgeable eye of head chef Claudio Ranallo, La Piazza Dario has been producing Italian cuisine of the highest standards. Starting with traditional Italian recipes, Chef Ranallo has created a menu that is authentic yet innovative.

“Exceptional cuisine is life-enhancing magic that should be enjoyed around a table with family and friends.” That is precisely what my accomplice and I accomplished there for lunch on this occasion.

For an appetizer, we chose the Prosciutto di Parma (thinly sliced and served with olives, $13). So good! In addition, I tried the Linguine ai Gamberoni (prawns sautéed in a white wine and garlic sauce, $17). The linguine was perfectly cooked. My accomplice went with the Pollo al Gorgonzola (free-range chicken breast in a delicate gorgonzola sauce, $17).

Everything was amazingly delicious, including the complimentary bread that came with a blend of finely chopped olives and olive oil. Service too was excellent.

Also on the lunch and dinner menus are tempting delights from amazing antipasti to scrumptious pastas to satisfying main courses to luscious desserts, including but not limited to antipasto, calamari fritti, prosciutto di parma, stracciatella, linguine di mare, spaghetti alle vongole veraci, gluten-free quinoa pasta, penne ciociara, salmone alla livornese, tagliata di manzo, vitello al limone, tiramisu, zabalione and crème caramel.

Dining room at La Piazza Dario

The dining room at La Piazza Dario is a key ingredient in making an art out of life.

So I can tell you, we felt the Italian magic! And we were just there for lunch. Guys take note, during the dinner hour, the candle light comes out and the romantic-meter, well … off the charts. And for larger groups, La Piazza Dario can help you celebrate your birthday party, anniversary dinner or wedding reception with a variety of group menus to satisfy all your guests.

So my friends, for a slice of heaven the Italian way, it’s La Piazza Dario. Bon appetite.

Copyright (c) 2015 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Vancouver’s first Italian Night Market kicks off today – August 15 at the Italian Cultural Centre

Italian Night Market at Il Centro Italian Cultural CentreIl Centro Italian Cultural Centre is proud to present Il Mercato, the city’s first Farmer and Italian Night Market starting Friday, August 15 at 3:00 pm. The Italian Cultural Centre is located at 3075 Slocan Street at Grandview Highway in East Vancouver.

The mercato will run every third Friday of the month until November 21, 2014.

This market is the first of its kind in Vancouver bringing together the tastes of Italy with the produce grown from local farms. The community is invited to come shop for a vibrant assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables, handmade products from local artisans and delicious food prepared by Il Centro’s chef.

Stay for live Italian music featuring the classic mandolin and accordion, and children’s activities provided by Il Centro’s Italian school teachers.

The Italian Cultural Centre is conveniently located close to the Renfrew Skytrain station and the Central Valley Greenway bike path. It’s worth a stop on your way home from work to get a taste of Italy!

SPECIAL OFFER

The first 50 shoppers to the mercato on Friday, August 15 will receive a coupon for a 10% discout on Italian language classes offered at Il Centro.

 


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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