Who is your good neighbour this year?

It’s one of our favorite times of year here at Lynn Valley Life: The Good Neighbor Award season.  Year after year this is a highlight for all of us.


Our quiet contributors


Day-to-day we try to gather interesting and Innovative stories about Lynn Valley but one thing that is often missed are the quiet stories. The good that goes on in our neighborhood everyday – often unnoticed beyond the person or organization helped.  We have people step up in times of need, we have those that day in and day out give of their time, money and energy. We have those that invest in our schools, our community groups, our churches. We have those that are staples on our streets who step up and help neighbours and friends whenever it’s needed. From helping refugees to outstanding coaches to people who are practically community institutions.


Pillars of the community


Lizz Lindsay at Sharing Abundance.

The Good Neighbour Award has been going strong since 2012. We receive heartfelt nominations – some short, some long. Check out some previous winners and read their stories – whe have an exceptional community! Last year we had Linda Munro, a local who puts her hands in so many local groups. In the past we have had Tim Green, a tireless supporter of the Lynn Valley Services Society and Molly Nye House. Dave and Wilna Parry passionate advocates for refugees and immigrants. In 2015 we were proud to recognize Cath Bates Dimmock a volunteer with Argyle Secondary for more than 10 years! We have shared the astounding work of Lizz Lindsay and her charity Sharing Abundance that brings people together through food and programs address food insecurity and social isolation. We love hearing about who makes a difference in your life and our community.


How to nominate your good neighbour


Who might our Good Neighbour be for 2019? Please send us a note telling us why you think your nominee makes Lynn Valley a better place to be. It doesn’t have to be long and fancy – just from the heart! Please send your suggestions to info@LynnValleyLife.com before November 21, 2019. Lynn Valley’s Good Neighbour for will receive a plaque, a restaurant gift certificate, and some well-deserved recognition!


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

A chat with the mayor – and you can too!

Once a month you can head down to the Lynn Valley Library and have a face-to-face chat with the mayor. The open invitation is a longstanding and unique North Vancouver tradition.


Meet your mayor


Following in the tradition of past elected officials North Vancouver District Mayor Mike Little visits the Lynn Valley branch about once a month for residents to ask questions, share concerns and create an opportunity for open dialogue. 

“I enjoy it,” said Little. “Sometimes people bring a case they want to bring to my attention. Sometimes they raise macro issues like climate. I get everything from dead cedars that need attention to concerns about international agreements.”

The experience is quite different at each of the libraries he visits, said the mayor. At Lynn Valley participants are often initially quite quiet and reserved about talking at all in a library but warm up. Other Meet Your Mayor locations are more separated and have lively discussions. But sometimes no one comes at all.

“I have been skunked – no showed up,” laughed Little. “Whatever someone comes to talk about is a concern to them. It’s something affecting their life and they are asking for help or more information. It keeps me on my toes and gives me insight into the changing concerns of the different neighbourhoods.”

With the current crop of councillors this is more important than ever. Previous councils had a natural geographic mix of representatives but the current group councillors and the mayor reside in the eastern side of the district, he said. Making the Meet Your Mayor sessions an important part of understanding what is happening in the district. 

It doesn’t appear any other mayor in the Metro Vancouver area holds such regular and open engagement with the public. The City of Vancouver Mayor held one afternoon last spring with pre-booking required. If anything, this is a practice that will expand, said Little

“They are a valuable experience,” said Little. “I can better respond and these meetings have changed how I approach issues. We will hopefully expand to a new library space opening at the bottom of Capilano Road and I hope to use that to engage with that corner of the district. I have also gotten some feedback about adding some weekend times.”

You can meet the Mayor the first or second Tuesday of the month. The dates and times can be found here.


Mayor Little’s thoughts on . . .


Traffic and parking

I think one thing we have not managed well . . . we have to be forward thinking about how to get people out of their cars but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to manage the cars that are there now. There are some neighbourhoods that are really under pressure now. The Sunnyhurst/Ross area. That was a place where we went from 1.6 car spaces per unit to 1.2 and now you really see it. On 27th it is about design. The Evergreen development all has outdoor entrances so people don’t want to use the parkade. The street is full but if you walk around to the underground garage there is lots of space. 

Lynn Canyon

It’s a trending issue region wide – what is happening is people are moving into smaller and smaller spaces. Where [people] might have gone into [their] backyard, instead [they] now engage in destination recreation on a Saturday and Sunday. Destination recreation is getting out of the house because there is no space there. We are on the edge of this. More and more people are coming to anything that is free: Deep Cove, Panorama Park, Lynn Canyon. The North Shore is now playing backyard to the entire region. 

We have had major traffic problems to and from the North Shore during the work week and what we are seeing now it’s the same on the weekends. We are going to have to engage in the regulatory side with parking . . . we are going to have to do some more traffic demand management techniques where we are paying for parking or we are paying for access. I think we have to look at it so we are responsible with our neighbours and our residents are protected from the popularity. We have talked about issuing a free annual pass with your taxes so residents can access for free. For far to long it has been too easy for tour groups to use our public parks.

Changing character of Lynn Valley

We were under some pressure to put a cap on height and the council of the time was supportive of that. But there were arguments raised that said “If you ever want to do something like the Kiwanis building again – purpose built rental, supportive senior housing – don’t lock down height because you won’t be able to do it.” So the justification on height was the rare unicorn of an amenity and then all the developments come in pushing for height. I think we should have locked down height earlier in the OCP and LAP then we would have been in a better position. Then maybe we could have budged for affordable social housing but not high-end luxury housing that is going for $1000 a square foot. 

More playgrounds and updated community centres

There is a pot of money that is set aside for a youth centre that will be tied into the Kirkstone space on the Karen Magnussen side of things. We see Karen Magnussen as an aging facility that needs to be redeveloped [Ron Andrews top the priority list, as an older facility]. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Local forests inspire author

A love of art and local forests – including Kirkstone Park and the beaches of the North Shore – have inspired author Darren Lebeuf to create his first book. The project so successful two more Vancouver-inspired books are in the works. 


It’s all in the details


Photographer and artist Darren Lebeuf has a busy, globetrotting life along with his wife, a teacher, and their two young children. From bustling Hong Kong to the mountains of North Vancouver, from the canals and cafes of Amsterdam to the prairies of Alberta, but he is always drawn back outdoors.

“I would take my daughter out for walks in the forest with my camera. When you try to photograph a forest it just looks like a bunch of trees that sort of blur together,” said Lebeuf. “So I had this idea – what of instead of one big photograph I instead took hundreds of photographs of the small details. That sparked an idea for an exhibit of hundreds of photographs the captured the forest in a different way.”

An exhibit which inspired Lebeuf to create a book that shared his point of view with children.

“It was capturing the different shades of green, the texture of bark, the shape of a leaf,” he said. “I don’t know what inspired the leap from this idea to a book but it mirrored what I was doing with my young daughter at the time.

“I try to get them outdoors and surrounded by nature when I can. Like yesterday, we went out to collect sticks and I brought some string to see what we could create. It’s not really intentional to make art – it’s to play.”


My Forest is Green


Lebeuf’s first children’s book, My Forest is Green, follows a young boy through the forest with a backpack full of art supplies. It chronicles his journey encountering all the details one can find in the forest if they choose to look. The beautiful illustrations created by Ashley Barron support Lebeuf’s words encouraging children to slow down and use all their senses to explore. 

“I don’t think there is a distinction between learning time, art time or playtime,” he said. “I think at at young age you make sense of them and do what comes naturally at the time.” 

You can find My Forest is Green at the North Vancouver District Public Library or local book stores. 


More on the way


With more ideas than can fit in one book, Lebeuf is working with his publisher, Kids Can Press, on two more books. Partnering again with Barron, My Ocean is Blue is planned for publication next year and My City Speaks – a story from the perspective of a visually impaired child – has moved into the illustration phase. 

“They all are inspired by Vancouver,” said Lebeuf. “But I think they are also universal. It’s really exciting to see what will happen this book. It’s a union of art and nature, perspective and interpretation.”  

Lebeuf has even more ideas – in between his work as a photographer he continues to write. His current inspiration leans towards humour –  and food. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

How $5 can jumpstart two dreams

Lynn Valley’s North Shore Disability Resource Centre is back with its 5 for 5 Raffle. With proceeds going to a new mobile sensory van and ongoing advocacy work – you have until Sept. 17, 2019 to purchase tickets.


Adding Resources


The (almost) annual raffle is a key fundraiser supporting resources and advocacy work undertaken by the NSDRC. This year it is looking to expand its community resources by adding another multi sensory room available for community use and this time making it mobile to serve even more people. 

An example of a Snoezelen room.

Multi-sensory environments are safe spaces designed to stimulate senses, explained Kathleen Jessop, interim executive director for the North Shore Disability Resource Centre. They can soothe and calm the agitated, as well as engage the withdrawn, she said.

“We are purchasing sensory equipment and putting into a van to make it mobile,” said Jessop. “There is  one multi sensory Snoezelen room on the North Shore and it’s booked all the time. Our plan is to make it mobile so we can take it to a person or to a school or to a seniors’ centre or even to a community event.”

With ambient and active visual, touch, sound and smell stimulation, the existing Snoezelen room is already an important resource for local families.  

“We will be able to serve the people we already do with the room but we can also expand and serve others and it will raise awareness of us in the community as well as what multi sensory spaces are and what they are used for,” said Jessop.

The goal is to be up and running by April 2020 or when all the funds needed have been raised. The project has gotten a big boost being the beneficiary of  this year’s North Shore Community Foundation’s Mayors’ Golf Tournament. That $50,000 is a huge step forward, said Jessop.

“We have some families whose children are so anxious they don’t want to leave their houses. If we can bring the room to their doorstep, we can get them from their threshold to the van it will be a huge step for them,” she said. 

“You can imagine these families seeing the van pull up and having their children able to participate in something, to smiling and enjoying something – it could change lives,” added Bob McCormack, NSDRC past-president and board member. 


Get Tickets


Where else for the price of $5 can you support a dream project and possibly win a dream trip? Tickets are available for $5 at the NSDRC office at 3158 Mountain Hwy or by calling 604-985-5371. More information can found on its webpage. Tax receiptable donations (does not apply to raffle tickets) to the Snoezelen van or any of their projects can be made in person or online

Prizes include: 

1st prize: Trip for two, anywhere WestJet flies*

2nd prize: $180 BC Ferries voucher; two night stay Ocean Village Beach Resort in Tofino; $50 gift card to Shed Restaurant Tofino*

3rd prize: Harbour Air Panorama Tour & $150 gift card Pacific Centre

4th prize: Harrison Hot Springs Resort one night stay & breakfast for two*

5th prize: $250 gift card The Bay

*Some conditions apply, details on the NSDRC website. 


Five Facts You May Not Know About the NSDRC


  • The organization began in 1976 by a group of parents with physically disabled children.
  • They have 11 group homes.
  • They employ over 200 people making them one of the larger employers on the North Shore.
  • One of the largest roles NSDRC plays is supporting and helping individuals advocate for their disability and housing benefits. 
  • NSDRC is pretty much always hiring – they typically have both volunteer and paid positions available. Check them out

Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.