LV Legion invites public to Pioneer Park

A change has happened since my childhood. Back then, Remembrance Day was usually marked by parents – the fathers, usually – taking their fathers to a cenotaph to honour fallen comrades while the rest of us stayed home. But today, parents are instead bringing their children to the November 11 ceremonies.

Across the country, attendance at cenotaph events has been increasingly steadily. TV news show crowds filled with young people – not just the Scouts and air cadets who have to be there, but those who are either there of their own volition, or brought along by parents who think it’s important their kids show their support.

Here in North Van, we’ve got a range of events to choose from, from the Maritime Memorial service in Cates Park organized by the Burrard Yacht Club, to the ceremony at Victoria Park, said to be the second largest event of its kind in Canada. (We’re proud to say our own Lynn Valley Black Bear Band will be performing there for the first time this year.)

Here in Lynn Valley, we’ve started our own Remembrance Day event in the latter few years. I recently ran into a past-president of the Lynn Valley Legion selling poppies in Delany’s, and he told me about the ceremony happening tomorrow at Pioneer Park at the corner of Lynn Valley and Mountain Hwy.

The Lynn Valley cenotaph event isn’t meant to compete with what’s going on at Victoria Park, he said. But what it does do is help those who find the crowds and parking at the larger event daunting – seniors, perhaps, or families with young children. It gives them a more accessible, shorter ceremony that offers them the chance to remember in their own neighbourhood.

There will be a small colour parade, a piper, some short addresses, words from a minister, and the moment of silence. People are asked to assemble at 10:45, and after the ceremony the public is warmly invited to an open house at Lynn Valley Legion on Lynn Valley Road.

I hope to see you at Pioneer Park tomorrow – with your kids!

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

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