Three Unique Grandview – Woodland community groups to consider Joining for 2021

Grandview Heritage Group
We meet to talk about the history of the Grandview neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC, including the heritage buildings, commercial history, and the evolution of our dynamic high street, Commercial Drive.
Join us! We meet most months on the third Thursday at 7:00 pm, currently via Zoom. To get in touch with us, email

Grandview Garden Club
We have a speaker every month on a topic of relevance to Vancouver gardeners. Yearly membership is $20 and we meet via Zoom on the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. A Zoom meeting link is sent to members a few days before each meeting. (When we return to face-to-face meetings, we’ll invite occasional drop-ins again.) Our past two meeting topics were “How to use shrubs as small trees in your urban garden” and “Ferns”. The joy of Zoom meetings means we can recruit speakers from outside Vancouver. For April, the talk will be “Attracting birds to your garden”. Join the club!
To get in touch with us, email

Britannia Neighbours
We are a little group that looks after the Napier Square Greenway (between Choices and Sweet Cherubim at the Napier St. entry to Britannia). We’ve been maintaining this garden for over 20 years! Weather permitting, we meet most spring, summer, and fall, on Monday afternoons at 3:00 to weed, prune, plant, rake, chat. We learn a lot about gardening and we invite you to join us. Please wear a mask and bring your own tools for COVID safety. For more information email


Centerm Community Fund application intake now open

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to inform you that we are now accepting applications for the third and last application intake period for the Centerm Community Fund. The Centerm Community Fund is a $500,000 fund for projects and programs run by organizations in the Downtown Eastside, Strathcona, Hastings-Sunrise, and Grandview-Woodland. Applications can be submitted until April 2, 2021.

Construction of the Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project has been underway since the summer of 2019. As part of this project, and our commitment to supporting local communities, the port authority, in collaboration with Centerm container terminal operator DP World, is donating $2 million to community organizations and initiatives in East Vancouver. 
For more information see the news release issued in July 2019.

Part of this donation included the creation of the $500,000 Centerm Community Fund to provide support for projects proposed by organizations in the Downtown Eastside, Strathcona, Hastings-Sunrise, and Grandview-Woodlands. This fund is one way we’re saying “thank you” to the community for your patience while significant construction is completed on the Centerm terminal and along the south shore of the Burrard Inlet.

During two previous rounds of funding, the port authority provided grants to 29 local organizations. The selection committee chose a variety of programs that support many people in our port city, including some of the most vulnerable—children, elders, low-income families, Indigenous peoples, unemployed, and newcomers to Canada—and contribute to enabling thriving communities over the long term. For a list of recipients, see our website.

Starting on January 5, 2021 until April 2, 2021, the port authority is accepting applications for the third and last round of funding. Applications must be received during the intake period to be considered. 

Organizations that submitted in previous intakes are welcome to re-apply.

GWAC Zoom meeting explores housing options and neighbourhood concerns

We held our first Zoom community meeting on October 5. The topic was housing – how we provide it for varying community needs, and what concerns residents have about housing types and forms.

We were pleased that over 22 people logged in and expressed their views. Many emphasized their strong support for social housing in the neighbourhood, but were concerned about whether the recommendations of the community plan related to height, density, and placement were being ignored.

Participants also referenced issues related to the recent park encampments with concerns expressed about safety and a lack of washroom facilities for campers. So far city officials have failed to address neighbourhood worries about these encampments and any housing provided for campers will certainly be many months away at best.

Temporary modular housing (TMH) was discussed with concerns about the city’s proposed 98 units at 1580 Vernon Street in an industrial area west of Clark. This, along with a large social housing facility planned at Clark and First Avenue is too large a concentration of units in an unsuitable area, some suggested.

Some community activists have also advocated for TMH behind the Kettle drop in centre on Commercial Drive and Venables. However the city is unlikely to pursue this option, preferring to work on a proposal for the Kettle Friendship Society to build 50 units of housing and a drop in centre on that city parking lot instead.

The 9-story building proposed at 1766 Frances was discussed. The applicant, the Vancouver Native Housing Society, is seeking 84 social housing units “with rental rates set at 30% of a household’s income.” Participants re-iterated their broad support for social housing in Grandview-Woodland, but with concerns about this building’s height, density and precedent-setting for future developments.

We feel this first Zoom session was a resounding success and hope to hold more forums in the near future. Stay tuned!

Recap: Record of Councillor Hardwick’s Feb 3rd meeting, Graphical Facilitation

The meeting on February 3rd was very well attended, and Councillor Hardwick went through a brief history of planning in Vancouver, followed by an open discussion. As a graphical record of the meeting, we are grateful for the kind assistance of Drawing It Out with Anika Barlow and Yolanda Liman. Donations were accepted for Kinbrace Refugee Housing & Support, a Registered Canadian Charity (thank you all for your generosity). To find out more about Drawing it Out, please go to (Twitter & Instagram): @yodrawingitout, Facebook: ).

Councillor Hardwick guest at Monday, February 3rd GWAC meeting

We are pleased to announce that City of Vancouver Councillor Hardwick will be joining us at the GWAC meeting scheduled for Monday February 3rd. The meeting will begin at 7pm and it will held at the Britannia Community Centre in the ​Activity Room in the Ice Rink (1661 Parker Street). Please note that this is not at our usual room at the LRC.
Councillor Hardwick is visiting all Vancouver neighbourhoods in 2020, further details are in this video:  and in this article:

Come to hear City Councillor Colleen Hardwick’s ambitious plan to understand Vancouver & its citizens, & to see Vancouver become more responsive & accountable! In 2019 the City  approved an updated city-wide planning process. It is understood that Vancouver needs to accommodate greater density within its boundaries, however the challenge and issue has been exactly where to locate this growing population in a way that is respectful of and sensitive to the neighbourhoods.

In 2020, Colleen plans to visit every neighbourhood within the boundaries of the City.  In each case, she will meet with organizations within neighbourhood boundaries including but not limited to residents’ associations, BIAs, community centres, heritage, and faith-based groups to take a detailed look at where to best accommodate growth of approximately 1,000 new dwelling units per neighbourhood over the next decade. 

On Monday she will be in Grandview-Woodland to speak to and hear from you.

She wants to hear what you have to say about where that density should be located  and also related considerations including community amenities, mobility, green space, and economic activity. Everything Colleen learns will be delivered to the City of Vancouver Planning Department and be made available  to the public.

So come to hear & speak with Councillor Hardwick; let her know your concerns, your priorities and your hopes for both Grandview-Woodland and the City at large.

February 3, 2019 Update: Photo from meeting (Councillor Hardwick presenting, with graphical facilitation by Drawing It Out (

Seasons’ Greetings to all in Grandview Woodland & to all our very best wishes for 2020!

GWAC is grateful to share a wonderful, diverse & welcoming neighbourhood with you and look forward to working together in 2020 to achieve a meaningful and equitable process to meet the demands of a growing community.

GWAC will not  hold a public meeting in December, instead the next members’ meeting will be held on January 6th, at 7pm in the Learning Resource Centre.
We will send a reminder closer to the date, confirming the next guest speaker.

In the meantime,  if you are concerned about the 

Safeway Tower Proposal…. 

…….and want to know more, GWAC is developing a presentation that we can bring to your house to share with gatherings of concerned neighbours. To arrange an information session, simply write to

Also, as this project is going to profoundly affect those living and working south of Broadway, please share this email with them, suggest they share it with their mailing lists &  to contact us to get on our list.

We are seeking a volunteer to coordinate these “kitchen  gatherings”. so if you or someone you know wishes to get involved, please contact us through

The Council is also planning to develop specific communication plans for media, social platforms and our members to respond to the proposal and share information as it becomes available. We  also welcome concerned community members contacting us to get involved in these initiatives.

Next meeting:
​7:00 p.m., Monday, January 6th, 2020
Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

Under the Britannia Library

GWAC Public Meeting Summary from Monday, 7 May 2018

GWAC Public Meeting Monday, 7 May 2018
Learning Resource Centre (Britannia Library)
Special Guest Speakers and Contributors: Area-Wide Rezoning 
Joseph Jones, Jeanette Jones, Jim Lehto, Elizabeth Murphy, and Steve Bohus (facilitator/media)
The meeting began at 7:06 pm
D. Cromie welcomed members of the public and special guests and reminded attendees to use the new name-tag identification system for our meetings. He also pointed out the Donations Jar sitting on the Membership Table and welcomed people to sign up to be GWAC members and to donate to support our non-profit organization.
Business Arising: No new business to report.
Correspondence Report:
D. Cromie compiled exit poll results from the proposed Mixed-Use Detox Facility Open House at 1636 Clark Drive and 1st Avenue and sent them to the Mayor and Council. We printed 100 questionnaires and received 100 responses, most with comments. Beyond the basic 49 no’s and 40 yes’s, the size answers are much more telling: 36% found this proposal acceptable at the proposed size or larger; a further 7% would find this proposal acceptable at 75% of the proposed size; a further 15% would find this proposal acceptable at 50% of the proposed size. Clearly, rather than saying no, the neighbours are saying this project is too big as proposed. Respondents acknowledged the need for more detox facilities in the city, but many asked that proposed project be scaled back. GWAC has long supported distribution of services rather than concentrating them in a single neighbourhood or area.
He also mentioned that GWAC has received several inquiries and requests for information from residents who are worried about the summer closure of East 1st Avenue, from Nanaimo to Clark Drive, and the already-increasing traffic volumes on their neighbourhood streets. In an effort to inform people about traffic calming, S. Briggs has put together Traffic-Calming Tool Kit, which is basically a two-page primer for novice traffic calmers. The kit will be posted to the GWAC website:
Treasurer’s Report: No Report

​Community Announcements:
Great Grandview Neighbourhood Garage Sale: Coming to the streets across the GW catchment area on Saturday, June 16th, 10 to 2 pm. Everyone is invited to participate—just put your stuff in front of your homes and sell. 
Grandview Garden Club, Thursday, May 10th, 7 to 9 pm, Learning Resource Centre. Topic: Creative Containers. Presenter: Tammyanne Matthew, Landscape Architect.
Stone Soup Festival, Saturday, May 12th, Noon to 5 pm. Britannia Site and Napier Greenway. Website:
Mothers’ Day Traditional Pow Wow, Sunday, May 13th, 11 am to 9 pm. Britannia Gym A/B and Napier Greenway. Website:
Grandview Heritage Group, Thursday, May 17th, 7 to 9 pm. Britannia Boardroom. The group has just celebrated its seventh anniversary—congratulations. For more information on the Heritage Group, please check the website:
Grandview Garden Tour, Sunday, June 17th, 10 to 4 pm. Tickets $15 (at Figaro’s). This year, there are 12 Gardens on the tour. For more information check the website:

After the announcements, S. Bohus took the floor to introduce the guests and the area-wide mass re-zoning.
Last Fall (2017), RT5 zones were re-zoned. The Grandview Woodland Community Plan introduced 4-storey Secured Rentals, but that proposal has been taken off the table (for north of East Hastings on the east side of Nanaimo). What is left is 3.5 and 4 storey zoning across the catchment, basically an area-wide mass rezoning. The City may be in the final stages of this rezoning; there were Open Houses held in January and March of 2018. The panels shown to the public in March stated that a recommendations for the 4-storey zones would be brought to City Council in the spring, which would presumably go to Public Hearing.
12th Avenue (Clark to John Hendry Park): An area-wide rezoning is available for the south side of 12th Avenue, as well as the first block east of Clark on the north side. The City recommends 4-storey apartments, with a maximum of 1.7 FSR for lot assemblies of 4 units or more (compared to 1.0FSR for a single lot or 1.2 FSR for assemblies of two or three lots). Spot rezoning is available for the part of the north side of 12th Ave; it is not included in the mass area rezoning.

The area-wide 4-storey apartment zones are also recommended for East 1st Avenue (from just east of Commercial to Semlin Drive), as well as Garden Drive (7th to 8th and 10th to 11th).
Note: Change in density with mass rezoning (lot assembly means density goes up). 
Grandview Community Plan, passing in 2016, limits/defines height to 40 feet or 3.5 storeys, with 1.3 FSR (page 91 of the Plan) from Semlin Drive to Garden Drive on 1st Ave.
Townhouse/Row houses are approved for arterial streets. For example, at 1st and Templeton, townhouses or row houses can now be built on four or more assembled lots. Clearly, the City is incentivizing lot assembly. At Charles and Kitchener between Nanaimo and Kamloops, zoning is proposed for townhouses or row houses on the middle of the block. A number of blocks on Nanaimo from East Pender all the way down to East 12th Avenue (outside of the shopping nodes) are proposed to be in a 3.5-storey row house/townhouse zone, with a choice of use at grade that will allow choice for between residential and commercial. The 3.5-storey zone will allow 4-storey apartment forms with assemblies of 4 or more lots.
Nanaimo at Venables is seeing a surge in lot assembly, as are a number of other sections of the arterials currently under planning.

Continue reading “GWAC Public Meeting Summary from Monday, 7 May 2018”

GWAC monthly meeting on April 9th

Due to Easter Monday falling on April 2nd, the monthly meeting of GWAC will take place a week later.

Next meeting: April 9th, 7pm at the Britannia Learning Resource Centre

Meet the new board, hear from the local traffic committee, hear about the Britannia update from Cynthia Low, and join the discussion.