My letter of support for the referral of the “Draft West End Plan” to public hearing

Dear Mayor and Council:

I fully support the referral of the “Draft West End Plan” to a public hearing based on the fullness of the public engagement process and the information presented at the “Directions Open Houses” this past June. I will reserve my feedback of the Draft Plan for the public hearing process.

I have participated at every opportunity possible in the West End Plan public engagement process. I have also attempted to invite other West End residents to participate. I have been very impressed with the West End Planning Team and their efforts to reach as many residents as possible using a variety of traditional outreach techniques and through their vigorous social media outreach. I am confident that most residents who wanted to responsibly participate in the planning process were aware and would have had ample opportunity to do so.

The West End is facing many challenges that need guidance and clarity from a comprehensive community plan. An aging population, increased immigrant populations, climate change, development pressures and housing affordability in the West End are some of the urgent issues that need to be addressed in order to guide planning for the future.

As outlined in the staff report, a public hearing in November preceded by public release of the Draft Community Plan in early October will give considerable time for residents to review the plan and to give a robust feedback to Mayor, Council and Planning staff. This process will allow all resident who desire to participate in the planning process another opportunity to offer feedback and ensure that theWest End Plan is as functional as possible to direct the future of the West End neighbourhood.

Yours truly,

Brent Granby





Creekway Park official opening Monday, September 30.


In a little area tucked away near New Bright0n Park the Park Board has turned a neglected space at the edge of an industrial area into a very pleasant bike path with more wetlands and habitat for all kinds of little creatures. I ride in the area as a short cut to the Second Narrows Bridge on my way to North Van. I noticed the new landscaping that the Park Board had done in this area in the summer and its very cool. This park is a great example how the city needs to be constantly on the lookout for space to create interesting green space for people and habitat restoration for our urban wild life. In NYC between 2003 and 2011 over 1000 acres of park land was added to the city from data from the Department of Finance. Link to NYC study that also demonstrates relationship between proximity to park space and property value. here 

Check out the park when you have sometime.

You are invited to the Creekway Park Official Opening,

Monday September 30th,

2957 Bridgeway Street between Hastings Park to the south and New Brighton Park to the north,

10:30 am -1230 pm,

Remarks, ribbon cutting, installing bird houses, planting, cake,

no RSVP required, info 604 257 8440,



Planning for the future-West End Plan going to Council, Sept. 25, 9:30 am at City Hall

Cardero Street Mural

Cardero Street Mural

From the City of Vancouver Planning Team:

A report entitled “Community Plans: Next Steps” has been posted to the City’s website. It provides an update on the process and next steps for community and local area planning work in the West End (as well as Grandview-Woodland, Downtown Eastside, and Marpole).

The report will be discussed at the City Finance and Services Meeting taking place on Wednesday, September 25 at 9:30 am. It provides an overview of the planning work to date, key issues and concerns, and key considerations around next steps. With regard to the West End, the report makes the following recommendation:

“THAT the Draft West End Community Plan be considered by City Council on schedule in November 2013, and that the associated zoning and bylaw amendments be considered at that time for referral to Public Hearing in early 2014.”

Click here to view the report. (PDF)

Click here to view the agenda for the meeting.

Residents who wish to provide comment on the report may do so in person, or in writing. For details on how to sign up for the speakers list, or how to submit a comment,please click here.

Warm Regards,

West End Planning Team


What’s a toilet worth?

I wonder what the cost is for Vancouver?

by worldbank.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Should the corner store, and coffee house, return to residential neighbourhoods?

sfuPublicSquareLogoWR There are a few  neigbourhood stores in the West End and I really think that it is a great idea. Strathcona has some fun ones as well. I like the idea of mid block coffee shops and restaurant as well. It seems so civilized to be able to have a coffee, shop or have a meal only steps from one’s front door. Also these business have a huge potential to be real life social  hubs.

Here are some photos of a few of my favorite residential businesses: Here

If you know other example of little stores in residential neigbourhoods please let me know and I will try and document them.

Here is the Frances Bula article that started the conversation going: Here

The next edition of City Conversations, presented by SFU Public Square:

From SFU Public Square

Should the corner store, and coffee house, return to residential neighbourhoods?

Before the 1950’s, Mom & Pop grocery stores were common features of Vancouver’s single-family residential neighbourhoods. Then car culture, supermarkets and rigid zoning rules that relegated commerce to main streets changed how communities functioned. A handful of “grandfathered” locations survived, and now their successors are transforming their neighbourhoods’ social life. Is it time to legalize new corner stores, or would they create noise and activity problems?

Starting the conversation will be Andy Yan, urban planner and researcher at Bing Thomas Architects; urban planner Neal Lamontagne; and Boyd Thompson, the proprietor of Strathcona’s popular The Wilder Snail grocery store. Then it’s your turn to question, comment and opine.

When: Thursday September 5th, 2013

Time: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location: Room 1600, SFU Vancouver at Harbour

Cost: Free
*Note* Guests are welcome to bring
their lunch to City Conversations events
by Bing Thom Architects and SFU Vancouver.
to Wild Rice Restaurants.

2nd annual epic bike ride: Vancouver to Hornby


Scroll down for updates along the way.
Photos from the ride
Okay, its a go! Our tandem is all tuned up. We are heading out for our annual bike ride to Hornby Island. I wrote about the process of convincing my wife to do this trip here.

We will do the ride in two days stopping at Qualicum Beach first day which is about 75 km from Vancouver. The total mileage will be around 12o km one way. The real tough part is getting to Horseshoe Bay in the morning with the bikes loaded down.

My wife and I will be riding with our daughter Saffrin and with her friend. I will ride the tandem with one of the girls and they will take turns riding my mountain bike which I have equipped with road tires. Much easier to ride on the tandem for a little break. Anita will ride a touring bike loaded down with bags both on the front and back racks.We did the ride last year, so everyone knows they can do the mileage. Continue reading 2nd annual epic bike ride: Vancouver to Hornby →

Pride Parade 2013

Naomi Singer and Lindsey Shepek stilt walking in Pride Parade

Naomi Singer and Lindsey Shepek stilt walking in Pride Parade

Photos from the Parade

Happy Pride weekend!

Vancouver Pride Parade 2012
Photos from Last year’s parade

Photos of the new plaza in the Davie Village


The heart of the Davie Village is going car free. The next great Vancouver Plaza

New rainbow cross walks at Davie and Bute. Photo by Emily Jackson

New rainbow cross walks at Davie and Bute. Photo by Emily Jackson

From the West End Planning Team:

Exciting news!
A West End Community Plan pilot project is launching on Tuesday, July 30th. We are creating a new ‘heart of Davie Village’ plaza, partnering with the West End BIA with support from Qmunity and local businesses. The plaza will be on Bute Street between Davie Street and the lane south of Davie.
The plaza will include colourful picnic tables, enhanced landscaping, and decorative lighting. It will provide a space for recreation and play, gathering and socializing, and programming and events. It is intended to be a ‘canvas’ for creative use by community groups and others.
The plaza supports the emerging directions of the West End Community Plan encouraging vibrant commercial streets and celebrating Bute and Davie Streets as the ‘Heart of Davie Village’. It also supports the City’s Transportation 2040 Plan by creating a vibrant public space to support public gathering, walking and cycling.
To further enhance the ‘Heart of Davie Village’ and celebrate the 35th anniversary of Pride, permanent rainbow crosswalks will be painted at the intersection of Bute and Davie Streets.
We hope you get a chance to enjoy the transformations happening at Bute and Davie Streets!

 Call to Action!
If you’re interested in helping with landscaping in the plaza, show up with gloves, boots and a smile and come down to Davie and Bute Streets between 9 am and 5 pm today (Thursday) or tomorrow (Friday).
If you have any questions or want to learn more about this initiative, please contact Holly Sovdi at 604.871.6330 or Or come down to the site today or tomorrow.