Of leafy strolls and candy bowls…

I’ve always loved maples, and have long been somewhat envious of those New Englanders surrounded by their infamous fall colours. But it struck me today that autumn in Lynn Valley must surely be giving New Hampshire a run for its money.

I’ve always looked forward to watching the maples turn red beside Lynn Valley United, but this year it seems we are awash in colour; there are maples near Safeway and on Mountain Highway, and dotted throughout the whole neighbourhood.

We are lucky to have had mostly a dry, sunny fall, just the right recipe for good autumn colour. I’ve been getting out to have a good scuffle through the leaves while the weather holds (and I’ve been poaching leaves for my compost bin, too – not having many deciduous trees in my own yard, I pinched a big bag of leaves from a driveway on Frederick Road last week just before the garbage truck got there. Thanks for that!)

Walking in the woods at this time of year also gives one the opportunity to reflect upon that other seasonal issue – what kind of Halloween candy to stock for trick-or-treaters. Should you try to watch out for the kids’ insulin levels, and derail the sugar train by handing out Halloween pencils instead? Or do you try to win a popularity contest by giving out full-sized chocolate bars and tins of pop? Do you buy the goodies early to get the best deal, or will that ensure you’ll have devoured them all yourself by the 31st? Do you inflict something horrible on the kids (something toffee-oriented, perhaps) just to make sure that you won’t personally scarf all the leftovers?

So many difficult questions. I think I’ll go for a walk.

“Yes sir, yes sir, two bags full….”

But it wasn’t wool I was bringing home from the market, it was two bags of books from the library book sale, which runs until Sunday afternoon.

Oh, those orphaned tomes are hard to resist, aren’t they? Even though I knew my shelves were already bursting, I couldn’t help myself. I mean, really…. just look: A copy of the Giller Prize-winning The Sentimentalists, possibly even a first edition from Gaspereau Press (maybe worth twice its sticker price some day!) The Glorious Garlic Cookbook (did you know garlic is a member of the lily family?) Divine Inspiration (we could all use some of that!) Human Physiology, Eighth Edition (it’s a ten-year-old textbook, but our anatomy hasn’t changed much in the past decade, has it? I mean, collectively? Admittedly my personal anatomy isn’t quite what it was ten years ago.)

The list goes on. Sixteen bucks buys a lot of words. It’s hard to know which one of the books to tackle first, but I must say my attention was captured by this line I spotted in The Essential Earthman by Henry Mitchell: “Flowers are of course a sexual display unmatched in the living world and anybody who does not respond a little probably has no blood in him.”

Racy stuff, this. Perfect for a cosy night on the couch with the fire going. It looks like it will be a wet weekend, so why not equip yourself accordingly and support this Friends of the Library fundraiser at the same time?

Merchant Sign Up

Meet the Merchant Questionnaire

Dear Lynn Valley Merchant,

This “Sign Up” page has been designed to ensure your business gets as much free exposure to the LynnValleyLife Network of local purchasers as possible.  Please take a moment to follow these two simple steps to ensure you fully benefit from this direct exposure within our community.

Step 1 – Merchant Directory:

Be sure that your business is listed on Yelp.ca.  Yelp is a free business directory that we use to populate our Merchant Directory.  It’s an increasing popular way for people to find, frequent and review local businesses.  Loading your information on Yelp is takes about five minutes and can be done by following this link.  Please note that Yelp may ask you to create a free user account before allowing you to add your business.

Step 2 – Merchant Profiles:

Our goal with the Merchant Profiles section is to create an emotional connection between the local shopper and the local merchant by allowing the reader to learn about the person or people behind the business.  We will take the answers you provide below and assemble them into an interesting profile that will be posted on our site once you have approved it.

Full house at Browns for opening night

I was fortunate enough to be one of those at the Browns’ “Thirsty Rehearsal” on Sunday night, happily acting as a guinea pig for the kitchen and serving staff.

You’d think that would have satisfied my pent-up curiosity enough that I could have stayed home tonight and thrown a log on the fire. But when push came to shove, I just couldn’t stay away.

It’s a bit of a thing of mine – inherited from my mother – to be first in the door on opening days. Not that I’m (too) pushy; I just like an occasion. First sailing on the Seabus? Check. First person to check out a book in the new LV Library? Moi. You get the idea.

So did I feel lucky when I managed to be first in line this afternoon, waiting on the patio for the door to open at 5. Just a few minutes after the hour, the door swung open and the other guests and I were welcomed in by the owner, Derek Archer.

By the time I left almost two hours later, the place was full, people were outside waiting to get in, and I’d put away a whisky sour and some pad thai – not a natural pairing, to be sure, but in the spirit of new beginnings I thought I’d try two things I’d never ever had before. Successes, both of them. I managed to say no to the chocolate cake, but likely won’t be so strong next time because I know it is very very good.

Both times I was at Browns, I’ve noticed how pleasant the staff are, and I probably slowed down the restaurant’s overall productivity by keeping my servers chatting so long at the table. But what else is a Social House for?

A little bit about LynnValleyLife…

There’s no shortage of things to be thankful for here in Lynn Valley. But I can tell from the water cooler buzz around here that the LynnValleyLife team is definitely glad this ‘interweb’ site is up and running, and I hope you are, too.

You may already have met the LynnValleyLife Facebook page, where team members post up some of the news of the valley. You’re welcome to post your own news there, too, if you have something worth telling your neighbours. Things like school events, or fundraisers, or concerts or bear spottings. (A day or two ago, for example, there was a posting about some VERY strange forest sounds that had us stumped…)

Good things come to those who wait, and for those of you who’ve seen our banners down in the town centre for the past few months and wondered what we’re all about, we’d like to thank you for waiting! There has been a good bit of bustle going on trying to bring you the best community site we can, and we didn’t want to take off the wrappings before we felt it was ready.

LynnValleyLife is still a site in progress, and you’re welcome to send us your suggestions as the web-crew and design folk continue their fine-tuning. Though it pains me to say it, you may even find a typo or a broken link or two, and we’d like to hear about those so we can make the corrections.

Some Valleyites are probably wondering why this site came to be, and what’s it for. It came to be because our publisher Jim Lanctot, who lives with his family near Lynn Valley Park, decided to hang out his real estate shingle. That said, he didn’t want all his marketing dollars going to fancy-pants advertisements or notepads with his face on it (not that there’s anything wrong with his face, but he thought maybe he could offer people something they’d find more useful).

So he decided to put some dollars and sense towards building a bang-up community website that not only shows off this area to potential new homeowners, but allows those of us already in the neighbourhood to talk to each other. Jim’s keen to help local merchants promote their businesses, and Lynn Valley organizations get the word out about their goings-on. There’s information about our history, and about current-day activities like hiking and mountain biking. Whether you are a senior or a schoolkid, we hope to give you the information and inspiration you need to live your very best LynnValleyLife.

Best part is, there are no strings attached. If we can help you promote your cause or toot your horn, we will. Make sure you ‘like’ our Facebook page and join the LynnValleyLife Network on this website so you can be sure to hear the news of the neighbourhood, including special offers and contests that might come your way. Jim doesn’t do anything icky with your contact details, and you can de-like us at any time. But we hope you won’t.

While Jim and the rest of his team run around and sell houses and figure out complicated web issues, I’m the person who sits back on the front porch and watches Lynn Valley life go by. I’ll be reporting back to you about the things I see, or hear, or wonder about. Make a deal with you: if you keep me in the know, I’ll return the favour. If you’d like to see an item posted, please send the details to me at lynn@lynnvalleylife.com.

Til then, thanks for being great neighbours. And welcome to LynnValleyLife.


Lynn Valley Elementary

Lynn Valley School was the first school in Lynn Valley and part of our community’s hub, being located next to Lynn Valley Park near the intersection of Lynn Valley and Mountain Highway. Adjacent to the recently constructed elementary school are two earlier, heritage school buildings, now used for the district archives collection and the Lynn Valley Parent Participation Preschool.

3207 Institute Road
North Vancouver
ph. 604-903-3620
email lynnvalley@nvsd44.bc.ca