House sold – and it wasn’t for sale!

It’s always good news when someone buys a home they’ll love. It’s even more exciting when the house wasn’t on the market to start with!

Jim and Kelly had clients who couldn’t find anything in Lynn Valley that seemed just right for their growing family. So these realtors rolled up their sleeves and combed through months of expired home listings to see what they could come up with.

Sure enough, Kelly and Jim found a house on Tourney Road that sounded like it might be just the ticket for their buyers. They contacted the homeowner and managed to strike a deal that left everyone happy and ready to move on to the next stage in their lives.

Here are some comments from the happy buyer as seen on Facebook

“It was if it was written in a story book, the idea of purchasing a house that was not even on the market seemed almost unbelievable to me, how would we even do that? How would we find the owners? How do we even make an offer? “Leave it to me” is all Jim said. When he called back 6 hrs later we had a deal in the works. Believe me that was actually what happened with the purchase of our new home. No stone left unturned, that is the best way to describe how this one went down.”  Dave C.

So if you’re contemplating a residential change and want the advice of committed realtors, consider Kelly Gardiner and Jim Lanctot, sponsors of LynnValleyLife. They can produce results you might not expect!

Bring your treasures for appraisal

Here’s a heads-up for those of you starting to do your spring-cleaning: take a closer look at some of those family hand-me-downs that belonged to your mother or grandfather.

Later this spring you’ll have the chance to see if those items you’ve taken for granted might have value beyond the sentimental – or a story to tell of their own!

On Saturday, March 31, six appraisers will be on hand in the Community Room of North Shore Museum and Archives (in the old Lynn Valley School building) to evaluate your articles.

This “Treasures from the Attic” Event is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Museum Society. For all the details, click here.


Win tickets to see LV actress in soccer mom saga

Jenny Mitchell is a Lynn Valley mom like many others – she loves heading out on the trails, hitting the library, and socializing at Browns. Her kids, Dylan and Evan, go to Lynn Valley Elementary and play baseball and soccer.

Not many local moms, however, get to play a maternal alter-ego on stage. But that’s what Jenny will be doing when the show Secrets of a Soccer Mom opens at Presentation House on Friday night.

Jenny plays Lynn, one of three moms taking part in an informal soccer match against their eight-year-old sons. What starts out as a friendly game, though, becomes something else entirely as the afternoon progresses and the moms make surprising discoveries about themselves, their children and each other.

Jenny describes Lynn as “a PAC mom, who takes on lots of volunteer tasks and is always eager to help out for the kids’ sake.   But her enthusiasm is short-lived when she starts to realize that people might be taking her for granted.”

Perhaps there are some moms in Lynn Valley who can relate?! Either way, the play sounds like it’s filled with laughs and good conversation-starters. It runs from March 1 to 10, so get your tix now!

Fortunately for LynnValleyLife readers, we have two to give away. Just tell us one more arts event you’ve enjoyed right here in Lynn Valley – at a school, in the village square, or ?? – and we’ll put your name in a random draw. Winner will be announced Wednesday evening, so get your entry in now, either via our Facebook post or by emailing Deadline: Wednesday, Feb. 29th at 5 p.m.

Thirteen Lynn Valley home sales in January

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.

Single Family Homes:

  • There were detached homes sold in January with an average sale price of $918,925 (median = $935,000).
  • The average sale price achieved was more than list price by 0.6%.
  • Detached homes that sold in January took an average of 62 days to sell (median = 18 days).

Apartments & Townhouses:

  • There were 4 attached homes sold in January with an average sale price of $432,900 (median = $443,800).
  • The average sale price achieved was less than list price by 2%.
  • Attached homes that sold in January took an average of 95 days to sell (median = 61 days).

We continue actively working with many different people trying to move into or within 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

LV locals make recovery in VGH Burn Unit a little easier

COMING TO YOU FROM LYNN O’MALLEY: Greetings, neighbours! I was really looking forward to telling you the story of how a generous donation from the Lee family (owners of the Mountain Market corner store at Mountain Highway and Frederick) resulted in a domino effect that benefitted people not just in Lynn Valley, but from Metro Vancouver and beyond.

Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t improve upon the following account, written by a Lynn Valley Elementary School dad, who relates how the Lees’ donation of hundreds of prime DVDs snowballed into something his family could never have imagined. So I’ll let him tell the tale (he remains anonymous by request), and when he’s finished I’ll let you know how you can play a part in creating this happy ending.

It all started with a group of very passionate nurses who banded together and created a Facebook page “Donate your DVD’s to VGH please!” to help replace the Burn Unit’s DVD collection that was stolen! Yes, that’s right…stolen!

Just think: other than the entertainment value that movies provide for most people, for some of the patients on this unit, it’s ALL the entertainment they get.

 Well, it just so happened that I knew of two boxes of DVDs that were looking for a home.  The two boxes were left over after Lynn Valley Elementary School’s thrift shop fundraiser, whereby all of the families donate “lightly used” goods so that the students can purchase items at thrift shop prices.  

The presents are then wrapped, on site, in order for them to give something to their parents or siblings during the holiday season.

 The Lynn Valley PAC uses the proceeds to help with the ever-increasing amount of wonderful programs and initiatives they undertake throughout the school year. The kids love it, and there are many volunteers and donors that make it a success.

The biggest donor of the DVDs was the Lee family, of the “Mountain Market”, who are parents in the school.  Their thoughtfulness and community spirit led to money being raised, programs being run, gifts being given, items being replaced, smiles on many faces and the realization that it only takes a little selflessness to make a huge difference.”

 We all love good news stories (in movies, yes, but especially in real life!), and we all love the chance to play a role in them. So if you would like to contribute to making life just a little more entertaining in the Burn Unit, please have a look in your collection to see if you have DVDs that could use a new home.

The fine folk at Mollie Nye House (940 Lynn Valley Rd.) have agreed to act as a drop-off point for the DVDs, and will be accepting your donations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays until the end of March. Our anonymous dad, above, will be delighted to take them to VGH for us.

PLEASE make sure that your contribution is in perfect playing condition – nothing worse that having your viewing interrupted by scratches and glitches!

Thanks to everyone at Lynn Valley Elementary who got this ball rolling, and thanks to all you Lynn Valleyites in advance who will keep it going strong!

Bob McCormack spends his life making shade for others

FROM THE EDITOR: The Greeks said it best: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

They must have been thinking ahead to people like Bob McCormack, who – now 70 years old – has spent most of his life ‘planting trees’ of one kind or another for his native Lynn Valley community.

“I won’t see the fruits of most of these [long-term] projects,” Bob acknowledged recently over coffee at Delany’s, one of his favourite places to meet with fellow citizens working on issues around the town-centre development and future transportation systems. But he doesn’t show any signs of slowing his pace.

“There’s something inside me that always makes we want to say ‘yes’,” he chuckles, as he recounts just some of the roles he’s played over the past few decades. They include everything from coaching football to sitting on the rec commission to years spent serving on the boards (often as chair or vice-chair) of groups such as the Lynn Valley Community Association, the North Shore Disability Resource Centre, Greater Vancouver Neighbourhood Houses, Silver Harbour Centre, the arts council, and the Mollie Nye House standing committee.

In fact, most people are so familiar with Bob’s many volunteering hats, they may well have forgotten that he had a long professional life as well, starting in the White Spot commissary – he knew “Uncle Nat” Bailey well – and ending with his retirement in 2003, from a position as purchaser for the Vancouver Coastal Health District, responsible for food services and capital buying.

Given all the achievements Bob has played a role in over the years, I was curious to know what he’s most proud of.

“I was really happy when the district started listening to the needs of physically challenged people,” he said, pointing to improvements in sidewalks and street corner buttons that have helped a much wider range of people be independently mobile. And he’s proud to say that the recreation commission, too, has greatly expanded its offerings to encompass people of all abilities.

Personally, though, one of his definite highlights was getting a last-minute call to step in and be a torchbearer when the Olympic flame was run through Lynn Valley on Feb. 10, 2010.

From having his photo taken with the torch on the suspension bridge – an image that appeared worldwide via Reuters – to having his picture taken with hundreds of local revellers at the Valleyfest celebrations in Lynn Valley Village (which, of course, he’d spent hundreds of hours helping to plan), Bob says “it was amazing and I loved it all.”

One of the things he remembers well is the Quebecois ‘handlers’ who were travelling with the torch telling the driver of the pace vehicle in Lynn Canyon Park to “go slow – this is the most beautiful place we’ve seen on the route so far.”

Bob’s community pride is evident in most of his comments, and he talks about all the wonderful people he’s crossed paths with over the years.

“A community is only as good as its volunteers,” he emphasizes. “The community isn’t its mayor and council. The community is what you put into it … and Lynn Valley is a prime example.”

Bob’s roots grow deeply in this neighbourhood, starting with grandparents who were involved with the Lynn Canyon concession stand in the 1940s and a dad who was a local firefighter.

Many of his growing-up years were spent living at 555 Fromme Rd. He could look across the gravel road to the site of what is now Argyle school, but was then a large acreage with only one house situated near the current James Buchanan Theatre. During the summer, 15 to 20 horses grazed the property, which stretched almost all the way down to Mountain Highway.

The Brier Block circa 1971

He’s a living repository of all sorts of other memories, too; he recalls the grocery store that used to be in the Waves coffee shop locale, and the Brier Block that was situated where the Petro-Can now stands, kitty-corner to the still-existing Fromme Block. He even remembers his grandfather telling him about a proposal that was being touted in the mid-20th century for a floating dance hall in Lynn Canyon. The idea was shot down; at that time, the various churches held sway in the valley and there was nary a drink to be had anywhere.

Fortunately, Bob and his wife Judy have 21 nieces and nephews, and 27 great-nieces and –nephews, who will take at least some of his memories of times past with them into the future.

Looking back now, Bob credits his volunteering spirit in large part to an accident – one that happened when he was 17 years old. He was a passenger in a car exiting out of a laneway near the site of the Black Bear Pub and driving onto Lynn Valley Road. The next thing Bob knew, he was waking up in a ditch – having been smashed by an oncoming vehicle – and was whisked to hospital, where he had to deal with the amputation of his leg.

He says that his immediate response – uncharacteristic, he says, for the free-spirited youth he’d been up until the accident – was to say, “Well, there’s no use in crying over spilt milk.”

He says the community was wonderful in the way it stepped up to support him and his family at that time, and he’s been joyfully paying back ever since.

“If I hadn’t lost my leg, I wouldn’t be sitting here now,” he says emphatically. “It changed my life. You just don’t know yourself until something happens.”

Well, Bob knows himself now, and so do hundreds of other Lynn Valley residents whose community has been enriched by his ongoing efforts. Thanks from all of us, Bob, for planting those many trees.

– Peggy Trendell-Jensen

You love Lynn Valley! (And so do we.)

FROM LYNN O’MALLEY: “’Home’ is a name, a word –  it is a strong one; stronger than
magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.”

So spake Charles Dickens about the power of home, and we do not disagree with him (especially since we do not actually know what ‘conjuration’ means.)

So we used Valentine’s Day as the excuse to challenge our LynnValleyLife readers to find the words for ‘home’ – to tell us why they love their home here in Lynn Valley. Any readers who rose to the challenge were entered in a draw for some Purdy’s chocolates, and we are pleased to announce that Dana Taylor-Smith was the winner.

But we didn’t want everyone’s cheerful comments to disappear into the Facebook void, never to be seen again. So we’ve compiled all the “I love Lynn Valley because….” entries in one place, for your reading enjoyment and a nod to our community pride. Thanks to everyone for entering!

1 reason? Are you kidding, it’s almost impossible to narrow it down to 1!!! The #1 has to be the PEOPLE. The friendly, welcoming, great people in our community is one of the reasons I LOVE Lynn Valley so much.”
– Jill Hufsteadt Johnstone

“Location, location, location … whether it be because I can bike with my kids on green space to Lynn Valley Centre, leave our house and be in the gondola up Grouse Mountain in 15 minutes, or simply take a lovely hike in an amazing forest 5 minutes from my doorstep…. there are so many more reasons, too! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE LV!”
– Jennifer Garden

“I love the Valley as it has such a sense of community, and a small town feel to it.”
– Eryn Arnott

“I live in Central Lonsdale but come to Lynn Valley to shop. I love how friendly the merchants are and that my repeat patronage is appreciated. If I move, I will move to LV!”
-Anne Rees

“I love Lynn Canyon Park. I can walk my dog and take her to swim in the river just a short walk from my home. I love living surrounded by the forest.”
– Corry Ewens

“I love that our whole family can live, work, school & play, all in walking distance of our house, with a beautiful backdrop.”
– @contestpatti: @LynnValleyLife

“I love this small community….I love being able to step out my door and walk to the canyon, see the mountains and always know someone to say hi to. My kids love the candy store and actually so do I!”
– Lucy Brightmore Allen

“I love Lynn Valley because everywhere I go someone knows my name! It’s a very close community but welcoming at the same time. I can walk to the Village and always see a friend to have coffee with…or a sweet from the candy store!”
– Jeanette Anderson Duey

“What I love about Lynn Valley is that it is full of smiling, warm and welcoming people. Everywhere you go someone is willing take time out of their day to smile and wave or help a neighbour!! How amazing is that:)?”
– Helen Zaparniuk 

“I love that you can walk from the library to the suspension bridge.”
– Robert Slade

“I love the stories of our long time residents. Fishing in the creeks, swimsuit accidents at the 30 foot, pulling the cables on the suspension bridge, street cars, chicken farms, Mollie Nye and Walter Draycott as well as the many local characters that deserve celebrating. It is so amazing we can touch base with our early pioneers at the coffee shop in the Mall and our Lynn Valley Legion. We still see horses on our streets and folks are so connected to all this community has to offer. We have so much to celebrate!”
– Lizz Lindsay

“What don’t I love? I love the library, all the trees, the surrounding mountain views and the End of the Line.”
– Veronica Franco

“Everything you need is right here within walking distance including Lynn Canyon.”
– Dana Taylor-Smith

“It’s really close to Lynn Canyon and there are awesome restaurants and a yoga studio nearby. The community is friendly. Lynn Valley is why I fell in love with North Vancouver and why I decided to move here.”
– Anita Ho

“I love how Lynn Valley is tucked into a little corner of North Van with nothing but the mountains, trees and rivers behind us.”
– Sue McMordie

“I love that Lynn Valley has this “small town in the mountains” feel… with a beautiful, eclectic mix of young and old partaking in community events, outdoor activities and social gatherings in this spectacular little nugget, nestled between glorious mountains.”
– Christine Vea

February contests on now

We currently have two contests running here at LynnValleyLife, so in case you missed hearing about them, here’s what you need to know.

In honour of Valentine’s Day, we’re asking people to share the love this week. Find our contest post on our Facebook wall, or email us at, and tell us one thing you love about Lynn Valley. Any entries received by Wednesday, Feb. 15th at 11:59 p.m. will garner their authors a chance to win some Valentine’s chocolate from Purdy’s!

And if you email us with the original name of Lynn Valley Road by Monday, Feb. 20th, you’ll be entered in a draw to win two tickets to the Heritage Tea at Mollie Nye House on Feb. 25th. Hint: the answer appears on our history page.

Good luck to all! We’ll announce the winners soon.

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.