(Click Photos To Enlarge)
WEST END PLAN UPDATE
Heading Up Haro
Towers rising, streets being torn up, and vague plans being mooted about for “upgrading” the English Bay shoreline and the replacement of the West End Community Centre and King George High School buildings — it’s not easy keeping up with it all.
What’s currently underway is the Haro and Bute Street Infrastructure Upgrades initiative, which is consultant-speak for replacing the ancient water mains that run from Chilco east along the Haro corridor and improving and enlarging pedestrian and bicycle access. As this photo taken September 26 shows, having pretty much destroyed the mini-park on Gilford between Rosemary Brown Lane and Haro, crews have now done a hard left and, if you live near Haro between Denman and Thurlow, are heading your way. The West End Journal has inquired about the projected date of arrival at Haro and Denman and plans for managing work at that intersection, and will keep you posted.
An Open House information session was held September 27 at the West End Community Centre and feedback from attendees at that event should be released shortly. The City’s main online information sources for this project are here and here.
For regular updates on this initiative check The West End Journal’s Facebook page (and please “follow”) here.
Places For People Pop-Up Consultations
For the past year a Places For People Downtown team has been working on developing a strategy to “deliver exceptional, vibrant, and memorable public spaces” in the downtown peninsula. Some proposals have been generated and the team is now ready to share and listen. There will be a pop-up consultation kiosk at the Bute and Robson plaza on Thursday, October 3 from 4 to 7 p.m.
For more information about this consultative process and find the dates and locations of other pop-up events outside of the West End, check here.
Nelson Park Utility Changes
The Vancouver Parks Board is conducting an impact study regarding BC Hydro’s request to install power cables in Nelson Park as part of the West End Substation project, adjacent to the park at Lord Roberts Annex. There are two consultations in October: Saturday, October 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nelson Park during the Farmer’s Market; and Thursday, October 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. at St. Paul’s Anglican Church (1130 Jervis).
For information about this project check here.
West End Waterfront Master Plan
The City is just getting started on an ambitious plan to reimagine the English Bay waterfront, with the aim of creating “a comprehensive long-term vision and plan for the West End’s waterfront parks, beaches, facilities, and the surrounding street network.”
The project is slated to begin in earnest in January of next year. What information that is available at the moment can be found here.
West End Community Centre Master Plan
If you’ve read the 2013 West End Community Plan you’ll know that it calls for additional amenity space to accommodate the West End’s growing population. This would involve the redevelopment of the current site of the West End Community Centre and King George Senior Secondary School. The plan’s proponents envision a new complex incorporating a secondary school, community centre, library, ice rink, fire hall, and outdoor green space as well as amenities for seniors’ services and child care.
If you haven’t yet read the 136-page Master Plan you can find it here.
More To Follow
And now you know as much about plans for the future of our community as we do. Stay tuned to The West End Journal for information, and follow us on Facebook here for updates.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
(click on left/right arrows to see slide show)
Seven candidates are looking for your vote on October 21 to represent Vancouver Centre in the next Canadian Parliament. The race includes long-time incumbent Liberal Dr. Hedy Fry and challengers from the NDP, Green, Conservative, Peoples Party of Canada, Rhinos, and two independents.
You can catch up with the candidates and find out about four upcoming opportunities to meet them in person in The West End Journal’s special “On The Campaign Trail” section here.
In the meantime, we thought you might enjoy a few campaign moment photos we captured over the past several weeks. Click on the arrows right and left to see the slide show.
WEST END SENIORS HONOURED
Two popular West End seniors were honoured last month at the Senior Volunteer of the Year Awards at Van Dusen Gardens.
Vladimir Tsvasman, whose work with The West End Seniors’ Network (WESN) and Gordon Neighbourhood House earned him this year’s Award, was joined at the event by finalist Pamela Leaman, a long-time West End Community Centre (WECC) volunteer and board member.
Vlad has been an anchor of several WESN programs, including the Barclay Manor Reception Desk, the Garden Committee, and Better at Home Transportation Service. Pam can be found most Saturday afternoons at the WECC information desk and has, over the years, coordinated and run many of the Centre’s cultural events and programs.
The West End community is fortunate to have many wonderful volunteers whose work makes possible so many of the neighbourhood organizations, programs, and services. Congratulations to Vlad and Pam for this well-deserved honour.
There is a growing sense that crime is on the rise in the West End and recent incidents that made the mainstream news indicate that this is not just our imaginations.
Homelessness, which can be a contributing factor in petty crime, has been noticeably on the increase over the past year, and several West End organizations have been demanding action, not always well-defined, from the authorities.
Last month police announced that there had been 500 car break-ins in the West End in August, an increase of 20 percent over last year.
Also last month police arrested a man in connection with the death of 29-year-old Mole Hill resident Kyle Vincent Gabriel near the corner of Thurlow and Comox. That investigation is ongoing.
And in recent months many West Enders have been reporting break-ins, suspicious behaviour, and various petty crimes, sometimes capturing the suspected perpetrators on camera.
Unfortunately The West End Journal does not have the resources to fully cover these events as they take place. We will be speaking with police and West End groups and individuals over the coming weeks to prepare a special report on crime in the West End, with a focus on possible actions and solutions.
THUNDER IN THE SKIES
Thunder rolled across West End skies on September 26, and to the amazement and delight of unsuspecting neighbours the unexpected airshow was provided by the Royal Air Force’s aerial stunt team, the Red Arrows, who flew over Victoria and Vancouver that Thursday afternoon.
The team did a flypast over Victoria’s Inner Harbour before continuing on to Vancouver for an extended flypast near the Vancouver Convention Centre.
In Vancouver, the team also hosted a pop-up pavilion at Jack Poole Plaza where visitors to the pavilion were able to meet Red Arrows pilots and snap a free souvenir photo at the team’s photo booth. A Sopwith Camel, a single-seat biplane fighter aircraft model used during the First World War, was also on display from the Canadian Museum of Flight, alongside interactive demos from Science World and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre staff.
We were unable to find an answer to the question “why?” this happened, but it was a pleasant diversion on a sunny autumn day.