Recycling depots close at hand

Lynn Valley is an excellent place to live if you’re an environmentalist. Sure, we have lots of trees. But did you know we’re also particularly well-situated when it comes to recycling drop-off depots?

We’re a hop, skip and a jump from North Van District’s recycling depot located across from the transfer station on Riverside, where you can drop off large quantities of our curbside recyclables and purchase subsidized bins for backyard composting.

We’re even closer to two other handy depots – the WCS Recycling Depot on the corner of Mountain Highway and Dominion Road, and the Encorp Depot across from Park and Tilford at 310 Brooksbank.

WCS will accept a wide range of non-curbside recyclables, six days a week, for a small drop-off fee.  Check their website for accepted materials, as well information on their prepaid ‘red bag program,’ which gives locals a convenient way to stockpile their Styrofoam, plastic bags, gable-top cartons, laminate foil and non-blue box plastics in between depot trips.

Encorp is a busy drop-off point for beverage containers, but also accepts electronics and small household appliances.

And a number of charities, such as the Developmental Disabilities Association and Big Brothers, will come to your home to pick up clothing and small household goods for re-sale. Call Big Brothers at 604-526-2447 or email; Developmental Disabilities can be reached at 604-273-4DDA.

Wondering where to recycle other household items? Check out this complete recycling listing, courtesy of the North Shore Recycling Program.

LynnValleyLife: your resource for 100th Lynn Valley Day!

LIFE WITH LYNN O’MALLEY: Have I ever missed a Lynn Valley Day? Well, perhaps for a year or two in my turbulent twenties. Otherwise, I’ve been there every year – dancing the may pole, playing in the band, marching in the parade, or staffing an info booth (not usually all at once).

So, like the rest of you Lynn Valleyites who drop everything on the last Saturday in May in order to celebrate your community, I’m thrilled that 2012 marks the 100th – yes, 100th! – anniversary of Lynn Valley Day. And I’m even more excited to let you know that its organizers – the hard-working Lynn Valley Lions and Lynn Valley Community Association – have asked our team here at LynnValleyLife to host the online website for this historic centennial event, taking place Saturday, May 26th.

We’ve already been having a great time getting to know more of you through our busy Facebook page and the thoughtful feedback we’ve been getting to our LynnValleyLife website. Now we’re really going to ramp up our local coverage to make sure each and every one of you knows all there is to know about Lynn Valley Days 2012!

Pretty soon, you’ll notice some changes to our ‘landing page’  – that’s the introductory page you see when you type in our web address,  While you’ll still be able to use the landing page as a launch pad to our Life, Business and Real Estate sections, you’ll also be able to click on a special “Lynn Valley Days 100” icon that will take you to a dedicated section of our site.

There you will find everything from parade application forms to event schedules to news updates and information on volunteering, the car show, and the proud history of Lynn Valley Days.

You’ll also be able to buy your tickets to the Friday night gala dinner (May 25th), which will be even bigger and better than last year’s sold-out extravaganza.

In all my years, I’ve found there’s only one thing better than going to Lynn Valley Day – helping out with Lynn Valley Day! As with anything, the more you put into something, the more you get back. Whether it’s helping with set-up, taking a shift on the concession or stacking up chairs in the afternoon, there’s room for lots of helping hands, especially with this year’s added festivities. Please consider stepping up now so the Volunteer Coordinator doesn’t have to worry about filling her quota! Contact Shirin from the Lynn Valley Community Association at

Should you have any questions about the Lynn Valley Days centennial, please email us here at LynnValleyLife and we’ll post the information for everyone to share, or put you on to the right contact person.

We look forward to providing you with lots of great Lynn Valley Days coverage and contests. Stay tuned! We’ll keep you posted.

New minister seeks to engage the neighbourhood

LIFE WITH LYNN O’MALLEY: If it seems like our website has been publishing a lot of news coming out of Lynn Valley United Church lately, there’s a good reason for it – there IS a lot of news coming out of Lynn Valley United Church lately!

That’s thanks in large part to the relatively recent hiring of a new Children, Youth, and Families minister, whose job it is to support both the United Church faithful as well as their neighbours throughout the wider community.

Christina Kinch is nothing if not energetic. This rock climber, hiking aficionado, and multi-certified yoga teacher is offering a free yoga class for girls in Grades 5 to 10, yoga by donation to all teens and adults of variable bendiness levels, free counselling to parents and families, and holistic healing sessions for children and youth – to name just a few of her neighbourhood outreach endeavours.

Christina brings to her post some pretty impressive credentials. Having graduated from UVic with a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Care in 2007, she has put her skills to use in a variety of areas. She’s worked in child protection and youth psychiatric assessment. She’s given hands-on help to young folk with mental health issues or learning disabilities, and to pregnant moms struggling with addictions at B.C. Women’s Hospital.

While she doesn’t have formal clerical training, Christina grew up in the United Church in Summerland and worked summers at Naramata, the church’s retreat and conference centre in the Okanagan.

Over the next months, Christina is looking forward to finding out how to best support the families of Lynn Valley. “I want to offer relevant assistance, and not re-invent the wheel,” she said over a recent tea in Delany’s. “People will connect in where it is nourishing.”

Getting out into the community is a value shared by her colleague, LVUC minister Blair Odney (whose top-notch singing, described as ‘Lounge meets United Church’ we enjoyed at a recent Friday Night Live event!) Blair hosts a wide-ranging “Coffee and Questions” group at Waves on Thursdays at 3:30, to which anyone is welcome.

Christina has also started a new youth group for kids in Grades 7 to 9 (from 6 to 8 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month), and is contemplating working with volunteers to launch a homework club that will give kids a place to focus on their work and get help if they run up against something that has them stumped.

Christina and her community-minded congregation are devoting a great deal of energy to these neighbourhood programs, and for that LynnValleyLife gives them a big tip of the hat. Whatever your faith is, or isn’t, I know you’ll find a welcome any time you want to poke your head in the door.

Ground-breaking art gallery seeks LV volunteers

BY YOLANDE MARTINELLO, Principal of Fine Arts, School District 44: Many people in Lynn Valley will be celebrating the opening of the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art this fall, and we are hoping many of them will also volunteer to be part of its success.

Currently under construction at 21st and Lonsdale, the gallery will be the only one in the country dedicated solely to young people. It will house the Artists for Kids programs and the acclaimed Artists for Kids Collection of Canadian Art, now located at the Lucas Centre.

Lynn Valley has been a critical part of Artists for Kids (AFK) since its inception more than 20 years ago. Long-time Lynn Valley resident and artist Molly Lamb Boback is one of our esteemed patrons, and Lynn Valley Elementary students have long had the privilege of participating in our gallery program.

In addition, one of their treasured teachers and an Artists for Kids team member, Catherine Schechter, has brought Order of the Owl projects (highlighting the work of an AFK artist), enrichment opportunities, and her vast knowledge of our collection to the Lynn Valley community.

If you have a little bit of time, or a lot, and value art education and the importance of Canadian culture in our community, we want to welcome you to our team.

We are actively seeking volunteers with art education experience, and those who simply love art or contributing to their community. We need support for positions as varied as Mail-out Support and Docents, Clerical Support and Event Planners, Writers and Photographers, and Sponsor Support.

To learn more about our new community asset and the ways Lynn Valley citizens can continue to support this wonderful program, please attend our volunteer information evening.

Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Place: Artists for Kids Gallery
Address: 810 West 21st Street, North Vancouver

We look forward to seeing you there.

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, but cannot join us at the information evening, please contact Brenda Irving at or call us at (604) 903-3797. Please visit our website to learn more about our programs.


District workers are up the creek

FROM THE EDITOR: It’s always been easy to be impressed by Lynn Valley’s trees; after all, the world’s tallest fir – measuring 417 feet high and 77 feet around – was documented here in 1875. But for the next few months at least, it’s Lynn Valley’s streams that will be in the spotlight, thanks to a project being launched by North Vancouver District.

Most of Lynn Valley drains into the 23-km Hastings Creek, which springs from the east slope of Grouse Mountain and lets out into Lynn Creek near Hoskins and Arborlynn.

Hastings Creek and its tributaries (including Thames Creek) played a huge role in Lynn Valley’s early logging days, allowing for mill ponds and the rushing water that carried shingle bolts down the area’s infamous log flumes.

Hastings Creek Bridge over Lynn Valley Road.

But damming and later urban development took its toll on the creek, and – now that the Official Community Plan has passed and set out a framework for the future – North Van District is doing an in-depth study of the waterways to determine how local streams can be protected or enhanced.

According to Rjchard Boase, NVD Environmental Protection Officer, creeks “tend to suffer dramatically from the cumulative effects of many small infringements.” The District has contracted with environmental and engineering consultants who will walk the streams to check the stability and composition of their banks, log what natural species are present (or notable for their absence), take photos, and assess drainage infrastructure.

Since so many Lynn Valley homeowners have streams running near or through their property, the District wants to alert residents to the project, as they will no doubt see the researchers in action (they will be carrying identification). The work will start at the end of January, and likely wrap up by April 30. Results will be presented to the public in June.

There have already been many improvements made to the health of Hastings Creek since various restoration projects began in the late 1970s with the installation of a fish ladder near the mouth of the creek. Today, after the addition of more ladders and many environmental and fisheries projects undertaken by everyone from the North Shore Streamkeepers to school children, Boase says the fish population is alive and vital.

Coho salmon, he reports, travel Hastings Creek up to and including Hunter Park, while resident trout are also active above that section and into Twin Lakes.

While the municipal government will be looking at ways to further protect our local waterways, there is plenty that homeowners can be doing to ensure the health of the Hastings Creek watershed.

For information on development restrictions around streams, click here. Or visit this site for a number of lawn, garden, automotive and other household tips that help ensure clean waterways.

And to learn more about the Hastings Creek Watershed Management Plan initiative, click here or call North Vancouver District’s Engineering or Environmental Department at 604-990-2450.

 – Peggy Trendell-Jensen

Here’s what sold in LV in December, and for how much

These are the latest figures on the Lynn Valley housing market. If you’d like monthly market updates and neighbourhood highlights sent directly to your inbox, please sign up to become a member of the LynnValleyLife Network to enjoy these and other benefits.

December Sales Update 

Here is your monthly snapshot of sales that occurred in Lynn Valley during the month of December. As always, if you would like specific details on any of these transactions please contact Jim Lanctot or Kelly Gardiner of RE/MAX Crest at 778.724.0112.

Single Family Homes:

  • There were detached homes sold in December with an average sales price of $775,400 (median = $809,000).
  • The average sales price achieved was less than list price by 2.98%.
  • Detached homes that sold in December took an average of 62 days to sell (median = 63 days).

Apartments & Townhouses:

  • There were 3 attached homes sold in December with an average sales price of $440,333 (median = $414,000).
  • The average sales price achieved was less than list price by 2.86%.
  • Attached homes that sold in December took an average of 58 days to sell (median = 45 days).

We are actively working with many different people trying to move into the neighbourhood.  If you ever hear of anyone looking to sell their home please let us know.

Have a great week!

Jim Lanctot & The LynnValleyLife Team

Theatre lives on in local memories

Musings from Lynn O’Malley: It’s always seemed to me that a little movie house would do well in Lynn Valley; something that would bring in the kind of interesting flicks you usually have to travel over to the 5th Avenue or Park Theatre to see. (OK, I can’t guarantee it would do well, and I don’t know where it would go, but I can promise that I would be a loyal patron.)

Then it occurred to me that we’ve already had a little movie house here in the valley, one that was very popular indeed. If you’re lucky enough to be of the right age, and a long-enough resident of the neighbourhood, you’ll already know about the Cedar V. The rest of us young ’uns have no memory of it, or we have faint memories, or perhaps just memories we think we have, but that really belong to older brothers and sisters and have been listened to often enough that they feel like our own.

The Quonset Hut-style building was located at 1260 Lynn Valley Rd., near the site of the current PetroCan station. Built in 1953, its Saturday matinees became the highlight of the week for hundreds of local schoolkids. Here’s what former Valleyite Barbara Black had to say about the Cedar V from her current home in Victoria:

“I was just thinking about the old Cedar V Theatre, where I saw my first terrifying movie: Bambi. I think I was six. I remember they sold popcorn in little kiddie-sized paper bags and the butter soaked through the sides before you could finish it. Saturdays were the double-bill matinee. If it was your birthday you were called up on stage and given a prize. I also saw “The Three Lives of Thomasina” there, another heart-wrenching movie complete with witch and a cat funeral.”

And in this online essay, Vancouver writer Michael Hayward reminisces about the almost magical power the theatre cast upon him, his cousin and the other kids who were drawn to it “like moths to a fire.”

Unfortunately, the fire went out on October 31, 1971, when the theatre was demolished to make way for new development.

Would a small movie house today have the same allure for our kids, accustomed as they are to the more modern on-screen entertainment constantly at their fingertips? Hard to say. But there are some things that Playstations, HDTVs and iPads just can’t offer: Theatre popcorn. Getting together with dozens of friends. Having someone pull you up on stage because it’s your birthday.

Cedar V, you are missed.

Thank you, Lynn Valley, for 500 new friends

Glad tidings from Lynn O’Malley: When Jim Lanctot first assembled some like-minded souls to talk about creating this community website, our goals were both grand and humble. Yes, we hoped to reach a lot of people and be of great help to local organizations, businesses and individuals wanting to spread the word about their activities. But at the same time, we were determined to give LynnValleyLife a small-town feel; to be an online gathering place for the same kind of conversations you’d have at Waves or Delany’s. Just a few months later, we have tipped the 500 point in our number of Facebook friends, and thanks to your support we think we are managing to make great progress toward both goals.

A recent column in the Globe and Mail reports research showing that a top concern among Vancouverites is a sense of isolation from neighbours, and that part of the blame may lie with our growing reliance on online social networking. But we hope and believe that LynnValleyLife works the other way around. Thanks to our online presence, we see more and more real-life relationships being formed. We are delighted that through our Facebook page we see people partnering up to work on good causes, or share info about bird sightings, or coming out – in person! – to support local events.

We hoped the page would become the locale for online water cooler conversations, and you folks have come though in spades. Thanks to every one of you who pushed that ‘like’ button to join the fun!

It seemed appropriate that we reward our 500th Facebook friend with something neighbourly, and couldn’t think of anything that would be more suitable than two tickets to the Lynn Valley Community Association Gala Dinner that will take place the night before the 100th Lynn Valley Day this May. And we also think it’s wonderfully appropriate that the surprised recipient was Carrie Boulier, whose husband Murray Bulger teaches the Digital Media Academy at Argyle, a program that is yet another unique feature of this great neighbourhood we call home.

We are looking forward to meeting even more of our Lynn Valley neighbours, in person and online. We rely on your interesting news tidbits and comments to keep our Facebook page lively, our website Events Calendar full, and our bloggers busy, so let’s continue to keep each other in the loop! One thousand friends is the next big milestone – we plan to enjoy the journey as we work toward that goal, and hope you do, too.

At LynnValleyLife we are looking forward to doing all we can to make this 100th Lynn Valley Day all it can be.  The Lynn Valley Community Association and Lynn Valley Lions who put on this great event need help.  If you would like to explore becoming a volunteer for the event please email us and we will put you in touch with the right people.

Lynn Valley ’70s counterculture recalled in colourful autobiography

From Lynn O’Malley: Inspired by our Christmas post in which we published a list of Lynn Valley residents’ wishes, publisher Jim Lanctot and I got talking about what we’d ask for if we could wave a wand and make something good come true for our community.

He thought that more programs for youth might be a fine thing; I wondered if kids – like the rest of us – have perhaps too many entertainment choices and are hungry instead for a way to get involved in something more meaningful. (In fact, as reported recently in the Globe and Mail, youth are more likely to volunteer their time than people in any other age group!)

Thinking about ‘kids these days’ made me recall tales of the Lynn Valley Crabs, a gang that roved these streets many decades ago. Thanks to Google, I was soon reading this first-person account of a dance going sideways at the Lynn Valley Community Hall, a building now replaced by the more aesthetically pleasing Lynn Valley Rec Centre. It’s written by Dave Jenneson, singer and front-man for The Burner Boys, the homegrown band playing that night:

“We had horrified one of the biggest bands in Vancouver but still our problems were not over. We immediately got a new gig at the Lynn Valley Community Center. It looked more like a bunker – a low squat cinderblock building at one end of a playing field that was covered with graffiti, but Lynn Valley’s notoriously troubled youth had to make do with it. It was almost as if the City Fathers had purposely drafted a recipe for disaster. One can imagine them at a planning meeting: ‘Let’s hold an unsupervised dance for bad teenagers at a remote spot, but within two blocks of a liquor store.’

The crowd was young and belligerent and within 15 minutes I could hear the sound of beer bottles shattering against brick walls. On the dance floor they writhed like a bag of snakes, but seemed less intent on the music than on mayhem. During the first break I walked across the dance floor, my feet crunching on broken glass. We’d just started the second set when a kid approached the stage. I leaned over to hear him.

“The Ant Hill Mob is going to wreck your van.”

I ran outside between songs. Sure enough, the van was jacked up on one side with blocks of wood and empty beer cases. It would only take a little more effort to turn it over and trash it. There was no way we could guard our van and play at the same time. The Ant Hill Mob was the second most powerful gang in Lynn Valley, but their attitude was that of every second banana organization – ‘we’re number two but we try harder.’

I ran back to the stage and got on the mike. “The Ant Hill Mob is trying to wreck our van. What are the Smiling Crabs going to do about it?” I was appealing to the better nature of the first most powerful gang.

Amazingly that produced a cheer – the first one we’d got. 

“The Burner Boys dedicate this gig to the Smiling Crabs!” I shouted. “WE RULE TOGETHER!”

Jenneson goes on to describe the ‘Smiling Crabs’: “The Smiling Crabs – actually the Lynn Valley Society of Smiling Crabs – were bigger, older and more numerous. It was a remarkable organization in that many of its members were extremely intelligent – a tragic fact considering many died young from drug overdoses or car accidents.”

Boy, it makes today’s Lynn Valley youth scene look pretty wholesome, doesn’t it? The writer, Dave Jenneson, was a fellow I met briefly at work a long time ago; at that point I had no idea about his hard-rockin’ past. Unfortunately, Dave passed away early in 2009, but luckily for us the Lynn Valley native has left behind and freely shared a fascinating account of his band’s place in North Van’s 1970s free-wheeling counterculture.

The passage above is taken from Chapter 7 of the online work, but I bet you’ll enjoy reading a lot more of this well-written, colourful autobiography. A Band is a Beautiful Thing is even accompanied by audio files of the band in its heyday. Enjoy!

Church adds to yoga roster for new year

As reported earlier by LynnValleyLife, drop-in yoga is now being offered at Lynn Valley United Church, and 2012 brings with it yet another bendy option.

Children, Youth and Families Minister Christina Kinch – who trained in India as a Hatha yoga instructor – has added an intermediate class to the roster. The schedule for 2012 is as follows:

Mondays 11:15-12:15 a.m.
Thursdays 6:00-7:15 p.m.
Tuesdays 6:30-7:45 p.m.
Girls ages 8-18
Tuesdays 5:00-6:15 p.m.

Youth classes are freely offered; adult classes are by donation. For more information, visit the Lynn Valley United Church website or email Christina at