The Week Ahead In Your West End

Your West End / Coal Harbour neighbourhood is a busy place. The West End Journal's
weekly update will help keep you current with what's happening and where. 
(click on any photo to see enlargement)

Monday, April 30 through Sunday, MAY 6

Send your information on upcoming events to


The footprint of the proposed new bc hydro substation at Lord Roberts Annex.

BC hydro substation @ lord roberts school revisited

Public Consultation
Tuesday May 1
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Century Plaza Hotel (1050 Burrard)
No registration required

Small Group Discussion
Thursday, May 3
6 to 8 p.m.
Lord Roberts Annex (1150 Nelson)
Call 604.341.1304 or email to register.

Last year BC Hydro held public consultations on a proposed  underground substation at the Lord Roberts Annex property on Nelson Street. Several unanswered questions at the time prompted BC Hydro to withdraw the proposal for further study and evaluation of the options. This month BC Hydro and the Vancouver School Board are coming back to the community, promising some fresh ideas.

According the BC Hyrdo the aging electricity system in downtown Vancouver is in serious need of upgrades. A new substation in the West End would replace Dal Grauer Substation and ensure that customers in downtown Vancouver continue to have access to reliable power.

The traditional approach to developing new substations is to determine where they're needed, search for appropriate sites, and then build them above-ground. But downtown land is scarce and expensive, and over the past year, BC Hydro has explored all available options for a new substation in the West End, which would take up almost half a city block if it were built above-ground. Most suitable and available properties in the West End are currently being used for housing, which would need to be removed if purchased for a future West End Substation. If the proposal at Lord Roberts Annex is approved, we'd be building underground, eliminating the need to purchase private property and potentially take away housing stock from the area, while also providing significant funding to the downtown Vancouver school community. 

"Any agreement would provide significant benefits to the community," stated a release from BC Hydro, "including funding to build a new Coal Harbour School sooner than expected, a new playing filed at the Lord Roberts Annex site, and space there for a full-sized elementary school after the substation is complete."

There will be several opportunities for public input through the month of May, including the Open House and small group discussion noted above. Join the conversation!

ART in the city

Vernisage Opening Night Preview Friday, May 4 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Exhibition Continues Saturday & Sunday, May 5 & 6 from 12 noon to 5 p.m.
West End Community Centre

Art in the City is the premier fine arts market in Vancouver’s historic West End. The three-day eventis held at the West End Community Centre and showcases fine art in a variety of media and styles, including painting, sculpture, and photography. In addition to the market, Art In The City features live music, art workshops, and activities for attendees of all ages. Experience the diverse creative talent of Vancouver and unleash your inner artist! 

Vernissage Opening Night Preview: Everyone is invited to celebrate the opening of Art in the City. Stop by the West End Community Centre Friday night to view the art, meet the artists, and support the arts in your community.

Exhibition Hall: More than 50 artists will exhibit and sell their works in the Art in the City Exhibition Hall. Find a special new piece for your apartment, meet the artists, and learn more about their work.

Community Arts Lounge: Stop by the Community Arts Lounge in the Auditorium for a cup of coffee and to explore different types of art-making. There will be live music from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

Classic Victorian and Edwardian homes create a uniue window to the past at Mole Hill.

Mole Hill Heritage Walk

Saturday, May 5
11 a.m. to 12 noon
Start at 1157 Pendrell / Mole Hill Community Room

The West End is one of the oldest residential areas in Vancouver. In the late 1890’s and early 20th century, this was the upscale neighbourhood in Vancouver. Today there is a mix of old mansions, homes and heritage apartments throughout the West End, including Mole Hill. 

Mole Hill’s history goes back to the late 19th century, when the original houses were built. Two of the early settlers were Elizabeth and Henry Mole, after whom Mole Hill is named. In the 1940s, the West End was becoming increasingly populated. In response, many West End homeowners built additions to allow for tenanting, or renovated their homes to allow for rental suites. Apartment buildings were taking the place of single family homes. As the population density of the area increased, it became clear to the Parks board that the West End needed more green space.

In the late 80s and early 90s, it became clear that the City and the Parks board were planning to go forward with the removal of the Mole Hill homes, scattered public outcry notwithstanding. In response to the approaching threat of destruction, a group of committed activist tenants and other concerned members of the greater Vancouver community formed the Mole Hill Living Heritage Society.   There were protests at City Hall, and long afternoons on Davie Street where activists would engage other West End residents, soliciting signatures and providing history.

“Never give up!!” author and urban activist Jane Jacobs to the Mole Hill Living Heritage Society in 1998, and they never did give up. Through their commitment, belief, and vision, the homes of Mole Hill were preserved and restored, in a responsible and socially mindful way.

Learn more about this unique window into Vancouver’s past at this Mole Hill Living Heritage Walk, hosted by Jane’s Walk Vancouver and the Mole Hill Community Housing Association.


The Red-Winged Black Bird is a well-known west end springtime arrival.

Sunday, May 6
12 noon to 4 p.m.

Birds In Residence is a Vancouver Park Board initiative celebrating our winged neighbours, from songbirds to birds of prey, waterfowl to shorebirds in Coal Harbour and the West End.

Through the coming year participants will learn everything they can about the birds who live in, and fly through, our neighbourhoods. The aim of the residency is to deepen our relationships with the birds which live with us, through nature walks and a multitude of art forms including drawing, mapping, listening, movement, and song.

Combining the insights and talents of community engaged artists with biologist, ornithologtists, and amateur bird enthusiasts. Through the summer the program will partner with the Vancouver International Bird Festival and the 27th international Ornithological Congress to create a chorus of birds on stilts for local events, and to represent our community of birds in a grand opening parade on August 20.

The next Birds In Residence event is an Art In The City Workshop titled Migratory Bird Puppets: Make a paper maché portrait of a bird that has been seen in the West End and learn its song. Learn is a simple and fast technique for creating a basic bird shape with newspaper, masking tape, tissue paper, and white glue.

The workshop will end with a small migratory parade around the auditorium. This workshop takes place during the annual Art in the City exhibition. 

parker Woods and Otra.

Every Sunday
4 to 5 p.m.
St. Andrew’s Wesley Church (1022 Nelson @ Burrard)
By Donation

Every Sunday afternoon the folks at the historic church at Burrard and Nelson present the finest jazz musicians in the Lower Mainland in an afternoon performance where jazz meets, and dances, with the spirit.

The May 6 performance features Parker Woods and his new group Otra. Otra, is Inspired by the abstract improvisational paintings of the mid 20th century known as Art Autre, or; art of another kind. The sound is a coming together of jazz, modern popular music and chamber music following the improvisational nature of both Art Autre and Jazz, Otra blurs the lines between music written and improvised, stirring together a wash of colour and sound to inspire a thoughtful listening experience.

Otra features five of Vancouver’s finest young improvisers, with Natasha D’Agostino on voice, Thad Bailey-Mai on trumpet, Stephen Edwards on bass, Miles Wong on drums, and Parker Woods on guitar. St. Andrew’s Wesley is the perfect space to hear this musical fusion.