San Francisco founder of Critical Mass, June 16, Gordon House, 7 pm


Chris is director of the multimedia history project Shaping San Francisco and was one of the founders and editors of the San Francisco magazine Processed World

He also co-founded the monthly bike-ins known as Critical Mass that have spread to five continents and over 300 cities. Carlsson has edited four books, published a novel, After the Deluge, (Full Enjoyment Books: 2004) and his most recent work is Nowtopia (AK Press: 2008).

He will be in Vancouver from June 16th – 20th as part of Car Free Vancouver Day!

Chris will be speaking about Critical Mass, pirate radio, guerrilla gardeners and the invisible revolution of everyday life that is setting the foundation to address for profound global challenges of the era, from climate change to social decay.

Car Free Vancouver Day is hosting three events with Chris:

Wednesday, June 16th : 7:00
Gordon House, 1019 Broughton St.
Co-sponsored by West End Residents Association

Thursday, June 17th : 7:00
Riddim and Spice, 1945 Commercial Drive
Co – sponsored by the Work Less Party and Gateway Sux

Saturday, June 19th : 1:00
Mt. Pleasant Community Centre, #1 Kingsway
Co-sponsored by Our Community Bikes and Momentum Magazine

Join Facebook Event

West End discussion on community needs and affordable housing

City of Vancouver host a West End discussion on community needs and affordable housing, second session

Thursday, May 13, 6;30 pm – 8:30 pm
Empire Landmark Hotel
1400 Robson Street,
Crystal Ball Room

(both sessions will provide the same information and follow the same format. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided)

Rezoning open house today at 4 pm – 7 mp at Best Western Sands Hotel

Rezoning open house for 1754 Pendrell Street.


Wednesday May 12, 4:00 pm – 7 pm
Best Western Sands Hotel,
1755 Davie Street

For more information on the proposed rezoning:renzoning centre website

West End discussion on community needs and affordable housing

City of Vancouver
Wednesday May 12, 2010
May 12, 2010
7:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Location: Empire Landmark Hotel, 1400 Robson St., Crystal Ballroom
Contact: Debra Bodner 604-829-4217
This session will provide interested members of the West End community with an opportunity to learn about and discuss key issues in the area, and provide comments to City staff regarding community needs

Move for Health Day promotes walking and new pedestrian corrido

The Vancouver Park Board invites the public to participate in this year’s Move for Health Day at a kick-off walking event at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre on May 10 at 1 p.m.

The Park Board and BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) will officially launch Move for Health Day with two guided walks—a shorter Art Walk around Yaletown and a longer Steam Line Historical Walk.

The Steam Line Historical Walk is the City’s newest pedestrian corridor. It starts at the steam engine outside the Roundhouse, passes through Yaletown and continues along a historic route to end near the Gastown Steam Clock. The route is wheelchair accessible and includes benches and historical points of interest. Continue reading Move for Health Day promotes walking and new pedestrian corrido →

Planning to Construct Affordability in the West End

Change is an inevitable. How communities can optimize the process of change is a critical challenge that faces Vancouver’s distinct and varying neighbourhoods and the collective city as a whole. Good community planning must anticipate change and develop responses to change that are for the benefit of every citizen and not just those lucky enough to benefit from market condition and economic privilege. Planning our neighbourhoods is a critical component in the vibrant health of the City.

Community planning is a complex process that is premised on trust. It requires a constructive and respectful dialogue between elected officials, city planners, community members and community stakeholders. Community planning may be complex and resource intensive but it is vital in a process that attempts to respond to a changing world.

In March 2010, the Conference Board of Canada published a report entitled “Building from the Ground Up.” The study highlights the lack of affordable housing options in Canada and articulates a number of current trends that are affecting affordability. The report also speaks to the necessity of finding policy solutions to address this issue.

The key trends are:

-Population migration from rural to urban settings
-Increasing un-affordability in large Canadian cities
-90% of Canadian population growth will come from immigration

In addition to these trends the City also need to responds the effects of climate change. Vancouver, the “greenest city on earth” needs to mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions and promoting active living which also addresses the increasing health problems of sedentary living.

In general, cities are growing to include diverse populations that need affordable options that are ecologically sustainable. The West End is not exempt from these trends despite the fact that it is the most densely populated neighbourhood in the City and 80% of the housing stock is comprised of purpose built apartments. The neighbourhood still needs to respond to these trends. The West End needs to embrace the change that is coming, but the citizens also need to help plan the change.

West End residents are concerned about rezoning applications and perceive that recent development activity in the neighbourhood is a consequence of the City program STIR (Short Term Incentive for Rental). STIR is a two-year program to incentivize the construction of purpose built rental units. To make the projects more economically viable, the program digs deep into the City’s toolbelt. STIR projects can be granted density increases, have Development Cost Levies (DCL) and Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) waived, and include a reduction of the parking requirements. STIR is basically a market-based solution that is attempting to create affordability by increased supply. Whether this assumption will bear out as a viable tool for change in City is debatable.

What is not debatable is critical lack of affordable housing currently facing the city. We need more affordable housing options that promote and facilitate economic diversity, and livability – and these options must be ecologically sustainable.

There is a growing demand in the West End for a comprehensive community planning process. This has been brought on by recent proposed and approved developments in the neighbourhood. There is a hope that there could be a moratorium on developments while the community undergoes the planning process. Yet it must be recognized that the planning process is predicated on change (which is inevitable) and is a way of truncating, regulating and directing development to respond to the challenges that face our community.

The City continues to change and grow, and the West End is being challenged to be the face of that change in a healthy, diverse, economically viable way.

Anton and Woodsworth do Diamond

On to Ottawa Fundraiser-Monday April 26 6-9pm-Railway Club

When: Monday, April 26th -6-9pm
Where: Back room of the Railway Club
Fundraiser: $20 or whatever you can afford (no one
turned away)

Hosted by the 2010 Homelessness Hunger Strike Relay
in partnership with the On to Ottawa Historical Society

In the severe economic depression of 1929-39 Canadian
labour engaged in many fierce battles. One of the
highlights was the general strike of young unemployed single men
in work camps in the province of British Columbia on
Canada’s west coast in April,1935 where they laboured six and
a half days a week for the paltry wage of 20 cents a day.

The strikers abandoned the camps and congregated in the
city of Vancouver. After two months of valiant but
unsuccessful struggle for union wages, they decided to take their
case direct to Ottawa, the nation’s capital, three thousand
miles to the east. Their journey was enshrined in history as
the On To Ottawa Trek .

They left Vancouver on June 3. “Riding the rod” (on
and in railway freight cars) across mountains and prairie
they reached Regina, still only half way to Ottawa. Here
they were stopped by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(RCMP)on orders from Ottawa and a month later the strike was
brutally smashed on July 1 in a police-inspired riot and its
leaders arrested.

Their epic strike and trip captured the hearts and
minds of Canadians.

While the strike was suppressed, it wasn’t lost. In the
federal election a few months later, the hated,repressive
Conservative government of Prime Minister R.B.”Iron
Heel” Bennett went down to resounding defeat. The new Liberal
government felt compelled to abolish the camps.

As a delegation from the 2010 Homelessness Hunger Strike
makes a commemorative trek
to Ottawa in June 2010, we are trying to raise funds to
subsidize some of the participants in this year’s trek
and also raise money for a commemorative plaque which will
be placed on the Main Street overpass.

Join comedian Charles Demers, Joey Hartman from the On to Ottawa Historical Society and John Richardson from the Red Tent Campaign.

If you can’t attend, donations can be mailed to:

On to Ottawa 75th Committee
256 North Gamma Avenue
Burnaby, BC
V5C 1X9

Contact – Am Johal – 778-895-5640

Earth Day at Everett Crowley Park 2010

More Images of the day

How landlords are lobbying for a rental increase

Here is how it works. Landlords want the allowable rental increase of 3.7% to be higher claiming that the current increase is not keeping pace with their rising expenses and they cannot make “enough” of a profit. Although there is a process for landlords to apply to Residency Tenancy Branch (RTB) for rental increases for extraordinary expenses, landlords, through their various organizations, have been pressing The Honourable Minister Rich Coleman for the yearly allowable rental increase to be higher.