Gillian Konst – Good Neighbour 2022

We are so pleased to announce our Good Neighbour 2022 is Gillian Konst! As we mark our 11th annual community contributor, she joins the ranks of Lynn Valley greats like Bob McCormack, Tim Green, Matina Spiropoulos, Linda Munro, Gord Trousdell, and others.

Decades of giving back

Gillian Konst and LVL’s Jim Lanctot at the Parade of Lights.

Not one but two nominations for Gillain Konst came into our inbox this year – following a nomination in years past. Currently, at the helm of the Lynn Valley Community Association’s board of directors, Konst has been a constant contributor for 30 years or so.

“I can’t be a part of something and not give back,” said Konst, after the surprise – to her – announcement at the Parade of Trees light up December 4th.

Longtime friend and fellow LVCA volunteer Stefanie Donohoe, echoes Konst’s thoughts. 

“She is the type of person who loves doing things for the community,” said Donohoe. “She brings people together to do what they do best. Many of the other volunteers in Lynn Valley – like myself –  are a direct result of Gillian getting us involved and making us want to do something for our community.”

Donohoe also mentioned Gillian is quick to hide in the background and pass on recognition to the others involved. In fact, the first words out of Konst’s mouth at the announcement were:

“There are a lot more people behind this than just me!”

Constant contributing

It is Konst’s consistency of support that benefits Lynn Valley, starting many years ago. She was a supporter of youth soccer, Beavers and Cubs, and the Eastview PAC when her sons were in school. Then it was a trip to the library that started her greater community involvement. 

“I was in line at the Friends of the Library book sale when I saw a little leaflet asking for volunteers and I thought – that might be fun,” she said. “We didn’t have a lot of money at the time, so I liked the idea of giving my time.”

That led to volunteer hours, then a position on the board. Soon she was involved with the Lynn Valley Lions, garden and flower clubs, the Lynn Valley Services Society, helping seniors, and of course the Lynn Valley Community Association.

“If you need to get something done in Lynn Valley, go to Gillian,” said Susie Chant, MLA for North Vancouver Seymour. “She is such an active and motivated force and really knows how to bring community together. I am so glad to be able to see the amazing work she does, and I always love volunteering with her for the Lynn Valley Community Association.”

Learning from mentors, leaving a legacy

Konst’s passion for giving back comes from her parents and she hopes she has passed it on to her sons. 

“I got it from my mom – she was always giving back from my earliest days as a Brownie,” she said. “My dad worked away so much but he did a lot for sport for disadvantaged kids in the UK through the Lord’s Taverners. Volunteering is in my genes”

Before the surprise announcement.

She is proud her sons have taken on roles of coaches and supported cadets. Her civic support has inspired future community leaders like Susie Chant’s assistant and past DNV council candidate, Eli Manning.

“Having grown up as her neighbour, Gillian truly stands out as a leader in our community,” he said. “She does her absolute best to bring people together and make Lynn Valley a more connected and beautiful place.”

As Konst looks to step back from her board position at the LVCA, she hopes to support the next era of volunteers. 

“To thrive an organization needs new ideas and ways of doing things,” she said. “I want the community association to do well and that won’t happen without others bringing their energy and ideas.”

She will continue to be a part of the LVCA helping out with their community plans.

“I love the events, even when I am bone weary,” she said. “Then I see a child or a senior participating in something happy that I helped create and I know I am doing something special.”

With numerous volunteer opportunities available in Lynn Valley at the LVCA, the Disability Resource Centre and the Lynn Valley Services Society, there are plenty of chances to reap the benefits, she said. 

“You make good friends and build connections to the community you can’t in any other way. Those friends become your supports when you need them. It’s such a reward to create happiness in the community – it’s addictive.”

We would like to thank the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub for donating a gift certificate for our Good Neighbour Award. 

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.

Mental wellness resources

We want to make the community aware of resources available to support mental health. There are services online, on the phone and locally – some are FREE, low-barrier options to support your mental health. If you are thinking of suicide or self-harm call 911 or 1-833-456-4566 toll free, 24/7, text 45645 1-9pm or visit (formerly Crisis Services Canada).

More than self-care

For many people stepping back and taking a bath or a hike isn’t going to be enough to recharge your batteries and refresh your mental wellness. Figuring out what you need and how to get mental health support is another exhausting task. The first step is to have a chat with your family doctor – if you don’t have one, visit a walk-in clinic you trust and feel supported at. 

Programs to support families and kids

Confident Parents, Thriving Kids is a free program (referral required – doctor or school administrator) that supports families. There are two streams for the program – one to help with behavioural challenges and the other to help support children and youth with anxiety. This is a program that uses online modules and one-on-one phone coaching to support parents. 

Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre

Children’s Hospital has a wealth of resources for parents at the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre. From clinicians to covid support to peer compassion, there is a lot on offer here. The Parents in Residence (PiRs) offer non-judgmental, compassionate peer support to families, parents, and caregivers from anywhere in B.C. There are three PiRs who work at the Kelty Centre. They have lived experience as family members who have children and/or youth with mental health challenges, and provide support to parents and families. 

Child and Youth

The Ministry of Children and Family Development has Child and Youth Mental Health teams throughout the province. If access to private counselling is unaffordable or the waitlists are too long, you can visit (in person or virtually) an Intake Clinic. Locally, it is at 301-224 West Esplanade and does intake on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The intake interview will take about 45-90 minutes. Upon completion of this interview, you will be provided with information and details about the next steps and what to expect in the process.


North Van has a Foundry Centre supporting youth 12-24. It provides access to access to mental health and substance use support, primary care, peer support and social services. It offers support to youth and parents virtually and in-person. To learn more about their services call The Drop-In Support Team Monday – Thursday  1 – 5 pm 604-984-5060 or email [email protected]. If you are a youth in need of urgent support the Youth Urgent Response provides urgent and short-term services to youth ages 12-19 living in North or West Vancouver who are experiencing thoughts, feelings or behaviour and/or substance use which is seriously interfering with their daily functioning. They are accessible Monday to Friday 9:30 am – 7:30 pm – 604-230-0389. 

Youth and adults

Another accessible free option is BounceBackBC. It offers support for youth 15+ and adults dealing with anxiety and depression. The program is delivered online or over the phone with a coach, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness. The program is now self-referral and does not require a doctor’s visit. 

Online courses

There are a number of free online courses available through CMHA Kelowna’s Discovery College. The online programs are taught live with experienced facilitators. They tackle topics from Current Events (covid) to parenting to resilience and self-regulation. There are also programs specifically supporting youth. All programs are virtual and FREE. 

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.

Looking for our Good Neighbour 2022

It is our favourite time of year: for a decade we have been shining a light on those that make Lynn Valley better! We want to celebrate the community members that share their time and skills to make our neighbourhood better. We are once again looking for nominations for our Good Neighbour for 2022. 

Notable neighbours

Day-to-day we try to gather interesting and innovative stories about Lynn Valley but one thing that can be missed is the quietest of stories. The good that goes on in our neighborhood every day – often unnoticed beyond the person or the organization helped.  

We have people step up in times of tragedy, 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.

A decade of outstanding contributions

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 – we have an exceptional community! Last year we recognized the great Bob McCormack. We were able to celebrate Matina Spiropoulos in 2019.  The year before, 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 are 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 that 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 2022? 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 [email protected] before November 25, 2021. Lynn Valley’s Good Neighbour 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.

History never recorded

There is no need to travel abroad for archaeological wonders, instead taking a walk through the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve with a careful eye can reveal a phenomenal past – one Capilano University professor and writer Bob Muckle shares in his latest book Forgotten Things: The Story of the Seymour Valley Archaeology Project.

Fascinating location

For close to two decades Bob Muckle has been exploring the Seymour Valley. It began as a practical solution: provide hands-on experience for his Cap U students. As they dug and documented he uncovered evidence of a past not recorded. 

“People can walk through the LSCR and have no idea of the activity that was going on there in the past,” said Muckle. “All the settlements around the Seymour River were permanent homes but they were deliberately destroyed and the forest grows so fast. Things get buried really, really quickly. Most people could be in the middle of the Japanese camp and wouldn’t know there was a thriving community there for decades a hundred years ago.”

Bob Muckle

Muckle took to the forest to teach his students practical archaeological techniques evaluating the Euro-Canadian evidence in the LSCR. 

“There was nobody doing logging camp archaeology in BC so I thought I might be interested,” he explained. “But I kept on finding Japanese artifacts at these logging sites and that was unexpected. I did a bit of research and it was really unexpected. There are some vague references to Japanese in the valley and working in the mill around Rice Lake. We didn’t know the scale of Japanese activities in the valley.” 

To learn more, Muckle scoured written records and spoke to people who had lived in the area in the 1930s and 40s.

“Very little has been written down,” he said. “I spent more time investigating the Japanese because it was so unexpected and there was nothing written, so it felt more important.”

Forgotten Things is a book aimed at both (future) archeologists and lay history buffs told in an informal, anecdotal style. It digs into a variety of archaeological finds in the area – including the extensive Japanese camp. 

A time forgotten

The LSCR, as we know it, is not the forest past residents would have experienced. 

“A 100 years ago there was logging activity and there was some settlement,” said Muckle. “The dam had been built early in the 1900s. It was starting to be logged out in the 1920s but activity continued a little bit longer. There was increasing settlement – not large scale. But there were some houses close to Rice Lake and there were larger settlements on the banks of the Seymour River. The environment had been logged so I don’t think people would have valued the land all that much.”

There were both titled owners and squatters establishing homesteads and communities.  

“It was also a recreational area. On the banks of the Seymour River, there were rental cabins where people would come over from the city for a weekend or for a week in the summer to swim in the river.

“In the 1930s the government started buying up, evicting, and expropriating properties,” said Muckle. “When they left, the government would burn all the buildings down because they were trying to protect the watershed and didn’t want anyone living there. They fenced it off until 1987.”

With diverse experience under his belt from archaeological sites around the world, Muckle has turned to more recent history.  

“North America, British Columbia, Metro Vancouver are fascinating,” he said. “There is so much archaeology to study here. The western, European, colonial view that Indigenous history is not that interesting is completely wrong – it’s fascinating. It goes back thousands of years. The entirety of archaeology in BC is so rich, from thousands of years ago to contemporary times.”

The difference between BC and other parts of the world is that frequently ancient people used stone to build. In BC, most structures were made from organic materials, which when combined with a temperate climate left little for the untrained eye to see. In the LSCR other mitigating factors make sites difficult to find. 

“You need it to be interpreted because everything was burned and then [naturally] buried. It’s unlike, the pyramids of Egypt or castles, most of the archaeology in British Columbia has what we call ‘low-archaeological visibility’ meaning it’s tough to see without someone telling you – then it all makes sense.” said Muckle. “I think that is why people tend not to think of archaeology in BC compared to Egypt or Africa where these features are so prominent. It doesn’t mean it isn’t less phenomenal but it requires more experience and interpretation. It’s easy for an archeologist to see but the public thinks what they are seeing are natural landforms.” 

Hidden gems

In the LSCR, the return of second-growth forest has happened very quickly – in the archaeological sense. 

“The forest grows really fast. It has taken it all over now. If you go back 100 years and you were walking through these pathways, the trees would have been very small. There would first growth stumps very visible and there would have been a lot of burned-out areas and occasionally you would come across houses or orchards.” 

In the early 1900s, the logging operations in the Seymour Valley were different than those in Lynn Valley or the Capilano area, said Muckle. 

“It wasn’t ‘meaningful’ – people today have more of a connection to logging in the Capilano or Lynn Valley areas. You can find people whose grandparents worked in the area and there were people living in the area. My sense is there is a deeper connection in those areas but in the Seymour Valley there wasn’t the longevity of connection. The Japanese and others were just going in and getting out. They weren’t putting roots down – with the exception of the one site I found.” 

What Muckle and his students found was the evidence of a long-term, well-established Japanese community. In a completely unexpected place, it showed signs of being quickly abandoned, likely with the forced internment of Japanese and Japanese-Canadians during WWII. 

“I think people were able to stay at this site until they were forced to leave for interment. They could take so little for them, they weren’t taking their diaries or written histories,” he said. “They weren’t even taking the goods they had. That is why at this site there are perfectly usable artifacts – which is unusual in archaeology. These weren’t thrown away, they were good. This isn’t trash. Dishes, cook stoves, it’s really unusual.”

The internment of Japanese Canadians resulted in substantial loss of their history, wealth, and property. Throughout BC, much of the community archives and artifacts were destroyed. This has left a substantial hole in the historic records. Muckle has shared both the site and its finds with the Japanese community. 

“They are grateful because there was so much loss,” said Muckle. “They have said, ‘We didn’t know our ancestors were in the valley’ because there was no record of it. There is a bit of information in memoirs, but it’s mostly secondhand. I invited curators of the Nikkei [National Museum and Cultural Centre] and North Vancouver Museum to choose items for their collections. In a follow-up conversation with the Nikkei director, they were so thrilled because I had context of the items. They get donations from the early 1900s but there is no understanding of context so there isn’t much a museum can do with it.” 

The entire project is an excellent example of how the historic [written] record is flawed and biased, he said. A record he hopes his new book helps correct by looking at tangible evidence, rather than the written records of a small, privileged group of people.

“In the Seymour Valley there are written records saying the Japanese were there but nothing more,” he said. “The records aren’t accurate and when we talk to some of the early residents and we mention these histories they will say, ‘That’s just nonsense. That didn’t happen.’ Archaeology fills in the gaps of knowledge that history can’t.”

Bob Muckle’s book can be found at Monova: Museum of North Vancouver, ordered through Edgemont’s Kids Books or online.

Images courtesy of Bob Muckle. 

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.

Garden delights

There is a fanciful garden blooming upstairs at the Lynn Valley Branch of the North Vancouver District Public Library. Fabric artist Kirsten Chursinoff’s exhibit Garden Escape is now on until Dec. 6, 2022.

From craft to art

The fabric and thread creations are a colourful burst of energy in the display space. At first glance, they appear to be traditional works of drawing or painting but a closer look reveals the intricate stitches and layers of textiles. 

kirsten churisnoff“It is like painting with thread and fabric,” she said. “People think of fabric as being for useful things, like tablecloths, bed coverings, clothing. Seeing textiles on the wall in the same sort of format as paintings can put them in that ‘art’ category more than the ‘craft’ – which are more useful artifacts. It’s a very tactile hands-on material but it’s displayed in a more artful way.”

The intricate pieces combine a variety of techniques. 

“I use quilting techniques but the pieces are smaller than a quilt. There is a lot of detailed embroidery. Some of it is done using a sewing machine but a lot is done by hand, pulling the thread through the cloth. The machine work goes a lot faster, it’s great for piecing together the background. And the handwork is much slower and I can be more intentional with the flowers or leaf shapes adding details.”

 Being a working mom with a creative space filled with both stacks of fabric and bins of Lego, the option to work fast or slow has been an important part of creating her pieces. 

“I think they work well together. I am also a mother of two children so life can get busy. It’s nice to be able to go back and forth between techniques according to what is happening in my life.” 

Garden Escape

This month’s exhibit was very much influenced by what was happening in Chursinoff’s life. 

“Most of the pieces in this exhibit were completed during the pandemic, I was searching for beauty in a time of uncertainty and staying close to home,” she said. “I have always been drawn to flowers and nature. I have been drawn to botanical gardens. I only have a small balcony garden myself, so I am jealous of larger spaces to grow flowers – it’s an endless resource of inspiration. There are so many possibilities.”

As an artist, Chursinoff enjoys the challenge of capturing movement in a ‘slow’ art form.

“There is tension between using a technique that takes a long time and capturing a moment in nature. I am trying to capture something, more of a feeling,” she said. “There is a lot of movement in flowers in leaves, as the wind goes by or a bird flits past. It’s trying to capture those moments of motion or whimsy working in a technique that takes a long time to do. 

“There are real and imagined flowers and I want to capture the spontaneity of a garden or a flower growing out of place or weeds growing at the side of the road. Those moments of beauty you sort of stumble upon when you aren’t expecting it – like when you are walking kids to school or when mushrooms pop up in the fall. It’s those moments of surprise out in nature.” 

She hopes the use of thread and fabric in unexpected ways delights observers. 

“I like the moments of surprise when they see it is not actually paint or traditional ‘art’ materials. They see it’s fabric and come a little closer to see how it’s made and figure out what is going on in there. They look at the techniques and how it’s made. The ‘That wasn’t what I expected it to be!’ and they lean in to figure out and try to solve a mystery.” 

Adding how she is pleased to be at the NVDPL this month. 

“I enjoy exhibiting at libraries because in a way it is more accessible,” said Chursinoff. “Not everyone would go to an art gallery but there is a broader representation of the community that would go to the library. Sometimes they just stumble on it and get to have that art gallery experience in a place they feel comfortable.” 

Garden Escape is on at the Lynn Valley branch of the NVDPL until Dec. 6. 

Images courtesy of Kirsten Chursinoff.

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.

Lynn Valley leads local elections

As British Columbians consider their choices for local government this fall, LynnValleyLife wants to amplify our local voice on municipal government. Voting on October 15 is a chance to have your say. 

Lynn Valley leads candidates

There are 13 residents hoping to get a seat on council for the next four years. Six of those candidates live in Lynn Valley. In addition, there are two candidates running for mayor and seven with hopes to join the school board – one candidate from Lynn Valley. 

We asked residents on our social channels to share the issues that are important to them. With local concerns in mind, we reached out to both mayoral and all Lynn Valley councillor candidates for their views. Unfortunately, not all responded. 

First, we are sharing a little bit about each candidate that did respond, then sharing their positions on local issues. (If candidates respond post deadline we will post in order as time allows.)

Mayoral candidates

Mike Little,

Why are you running for mayor? 

I am running for Re-Election because there is still so much work to be done addressing our top priorities.  I love the work getting informed, meeting residents, preparing for decisions and implementing decisions, all while supporting Council and our Staff.  It has been an incredible honour and I am asking for the communities support for a second term.

What are you most proud of/favourite highlight of your term?

When I look back on this term, I know the issues that affected me most deeply are our responses to the Covid Pandemic and the Lynn Valley Attack.  I was so proud of how our community rallied around grieving families in both scenarios and we truly came together for a greater purpose.  In terms of political achievements, I would identify getting our priorities into the Translink 10yr vision including Rapid Transit, Bus Rapid Transit, a significant bump in bus hours, and Handydart hours. Also passing an update to our OCP took an incredible amount of work.

What would you like Lynn Valley to know about you?

I used to live on Frederick at Mountain Hwy and used to love my evening walks around the community.  It is a spectacular setting with such a vibrant close connection to nature.  You have something very special and I want to protect the best parts and continue to improve the rest. 

Mathew Bond,

Why are you running for mayor? 

I decided to run for Mayor because after two terms on District council, I know that the status quo is not working. We lack the leadership, the long-term vision, and the political will to do what’s necessary to implement proven 21st century solutions.

Due to Council’s inaction and micromanaging, the big challenges have deepened. As I look at my daughters, I worry about the future they’re inheriting. The climate emergency is accelerating. The housing crisis has worsened. The District needs bold inclusive leadership that will make our community healthier, more socially-connected, happier, more equitable, and more resilient.

What are you most proud of/favourite highlight of your term?

For 8 years, I’ve been the strongest advocate on Council for creating more housing choices in the District throughout the housing continuum. I’ve championed and supported increasing mobility choices and improving safety for all people – including completing safe routes to schools, improving transit, and creating more cycling/rolling infrastructure that separates people from traffic. I’ve been consistent in supporting efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, supported meaningful reconciliation, and advocated for small businesses who struggle with unnecessary red tape. I think long-term and put my children’s future, and that of their peers, at the heart of my decision-making.

What would you like Lynn Valley to know about you? 

I have firsthand experience living in Lynn Valley. I’ve lived on Peters Road, in the heart of Lynn Valley on Harold Road and both of my daughters attended Lynn Valley Parent Participation Preschool.

In 2018 I left “9-5” engineering and became a “day at home dad” caring for my two young daughters during the day while juggling Council duties and engineering consulting contracts in between naps. With the cost of living, housing, and childcare, I know many young families are doing everything possible to make life here work. While I work irregular full time hours, I still think of myself as a dad first and was heavily involved in the preschool as a duty parent and Treasurer since 2019. 

I appreciate the unique community that Lynn Valley is. Although long-time residents have seen the community evolve from a blue-collar suburb to a highly desirable neighbourhood for young families, the strong community ties still exist. This is a neighbourhood that sticks together and plans for the future.

When I’m in Lynn Valley now, you’ll see me riding my red cargo bike with my girls on the back, grabbing a coffee from Morey and Negar at Waves, getting my bike repaired by Rick at Lynn Valley Bikes and heading up to the trails on Fromme for a ride or to give Digger a hand. I love the new flow trails, but you’ll usually find me riding classic tech-gnar, much to the chagrin of my new to the Shore riding buddies.

Lynn Valley candidates for councillor

Jordan Back,

Why are you running for council?

I want the DNV to be an inclusive community that works for everyone. If re-elected, I will to continue advocating for housing diversity, increased active transportation investments, a positive and cooperative relationship with First Nations, and initiatives that will support the small business community, involve younger people in local government, and build a strong sense of community for all residents.

What are you most proud of/favourite highlight of your first term?

Any first term Councillor is going to experience a steep learning curve, which I certainly did, add to this a pandemic and it makes for an even more interesting experience! I am proud of the work this Council has managed to do around creating housing for some of our community’s most vulnerable through it’s approval of a supportive housing project for women and women-led families, as well as the eventual approval of a non-market housing development on the site of the old Delbrook Recreation Centre. I also think we have made great strides with climate action initiatives in a number of areas. Personally, I am proud to have received support for a number of my own motions including Alcohol in Parks Pilot Program, creation of a Youth & Younger Adults Advisory Committee, a Food Trucks Pilot Program, as well as an E-Bike Purchase Incentive Program.

 What would you like Lynn Valley to know about you? 

I have lived in Lynn Valley my whole life and I absolutely love this part of the District of North Vancouver! Over the years I have worked and played in this community and now my wife Signy and I are raising our two young children here. I hope to play a role in shaping the sort of future that will allow them to have the sort of childhood I had in Lynn Valley and allow them to grow up here. While there are challenges, I think there are so many ways we can make this community even better and we’ll do it by listening to each other and working together. As your Councillor, I hope you will feel comfortable reaching out to me anytime to share your ideas for the future.   

Ellison Mallin,

Why are you running for council?

To build and foster complete communities. This means building housing across the spectrum, especially missing middle (duplex to midrise), better and more proactive transportation option and zoning to encourage a broader range of businesses and services in every community. Some specific focuses of mine include zoning for healthcare usage, building more affordable ownership options, defining affordability for housing, expanding recreation options, and supporting the creation of a Deep Cove foot ferry. We also need to work with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation on many projects along the waterfront, including extending the spirit trail, with better active transport along Dollarton.  

What are you most proud of/favourite highlight of your community involvement?

I am very involved in my community, both in North Vancouver and in the GVRD in general. I have coached in the North Shore Inline Hockey League for almost 10 years. I was a member of the DNV Rental, Social, and Affordable Housing Task Force, and I have been on the Community Services Advisory Committee for the last 3 years. I have volunteered for, or worked on, about a dozen election campaigns over the last 10 years, and I always strive to get other people involved in local events, issues and elections.  

What would you like Lynn Valley to know about you?

I have lived almost my whole life in Lynn Valley, and I feel like I have met almost everyone here by now, though if you see me around do not hesitate to stop and say hi! When not talking about politics, I have a million and one pastimes, and I am sure we can find some degree of connection to chat about. Though, always happy to talk politics – honestly.

 I currently work for MLA Susie Chant as her full-time constituency assistant. Through that work, I have seen how many opportunities are out there for funding for projects and partnerships. The District of North Vancouver has done some great work, but a lot more is needed to improve livability and foster community. I am ready to step up into that role. I will dedicate full time hours to being a councillor, and I will not be seeking any other positions or elected office. Municipal government is my passion and is on the frontlines of policy decisions. I hope to be able to work within this system to do the work we need to build a community we can belong in. For more about myself and my platform, check out my website at 

Thomas Tofigh,

Why are you running for council? 

I hope to bring a new, fresh vision and voice to our District council and shape the future of our community. I believe that contractors of small, medium or large sizes are equally viable candidates for our district. North Vancouver is a special place to live, work, and raise a family. I have the experience, problem-solving skills, and vision to give our district a bright future and help meet its challenges.

What are you most proud of/favourite highlight of your community involvement? 

I am proud to reside in North Vancouver for the past several years. I worked for my community during these years. My daughter is a UBC student raised in North Vancouver. We need to hold each other hands to build the safest and the most peaceful community for our kids. The future belongs to our children.

What would you like Lynn Valley to know about you?

Lynn Valley is my home. I care about my neighbours, my environment, my daughter and my neighbour’s children. In one phrase, I care about everything which is in Lynn Valley.

Great communities require great leaders. We need leaders with new visions and the dedication to get the job done, and I believe in making decisions based on what we as a community need, not what I think we need. I welcome using reports, studies, community feedback, etc., to make better-informed policymaking decisions for the community across the board.

As all we know, growth does NOT stop, so we should help each other to stay on the right path going forward. Now is the time to band together as a community like never before and network with ideas, technology, and actions, make and support fair and just laws, volunteer, help, and share. I feel a good District Councillor should act as an advocate for our entire city, demanding transparency and results and going to bat for the little guy, and that is what I am good at!

I’ll always be accessible to you, and I encourage you to contact me and discuss your ideas.

I have gained so much satisfaction in applying my vast education to help people visiting and settling in Canada that I thought I would broaden my scope and make my various degrees in law, business, and engineering as well as my education in immigration and public law, available to the community while providing a hub for networking ideas, local business and resources and accessing local laws and standards. I believe a community councillor’s office should provide information on community events, recreational facilities, recycling, sustainability and city maintenance services, food banks, health and welfare support services, affordable housing, transportation/parking, EV stations, and more to make the community run smoothly.

I’m proud to have the support and endorsement of educators, families, and small business owners, and I hope that by Election Day, I will have earned not just your vote but also your trust and support. With your vote, I will be your voice for our city and serve with wisdom and fairness.

Greg Robins,

Why are you running for council? 

I am running for a seat on council because I am passionate about our community. We live in one of the best places in the world and I would be honoured to play a role in our future here on the North Shore.

What are you most proud of/favourite highlight of your community involvement? 

As a non-incumbent, the community work I am most proud of is the work I have done with the Lookout Housing + Health Society. Working with BC Housing and partners across the province, we have provided homes to hundreds of North Shore people and helped many overcome alcohol addictions through our recovery home.

What would you like Lynn Valley to know about you?

I’m a highly involved member of our community and am passionate about this beautiful place we have the privilege of calling home. My wife Nicole and two teenage children are equally smitten by the North Shore and this is our “forever home”. On summer evening, you can find me hiking the local trails with our giant Schnoodle Luna, and in the winters I snowboard Grouse Mountain 3 or 4 times a week. A lifelong volunteer, I help out with the Lynn Valley Community Association and monitor creek temperatures for the Pacific Science Enterprise Centre. I strongly believe in bold, courageous leadership and want to leverage my Masters of Arts in Leadership to work with a progressive council to lead us to the best future we can imagine.

Additional candidates from Lynn Valley are Betty Forbes and Harrison Johnston. A full list of all candidates can be found here

School Board candidates

Linda Munro,

Why are you running for school board? 

Supporting my community is core to who I am. I have been active in supporting local education for many years prior to joining the school board, including serving as president of Lynn Valley Parent Participation Preschool and as PAC chair at Ross Road School. I believe that giving my time and energy is an investment in my community. As a current trustee, I have a solid understanding of the North Vancouver School District and the governance provided by its board. I sincerely hope to continue building on this base, representing and serving my community. 

What are you most proud of/favourite highlight of your first term? 

Since I joined the NVSD Board of Education in 2021, I’ve played a role in the combined efforts that have led to many advancements in the North Vancouver School District.  The new Handsworth Secondary has opened; anti-racism initiatives have deepened and the Board passed a motion to address ableism in the NVSD. I am especially proud of the Board’s decision to align existing and future school district policies with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As the first school district in B.C. to make this commitment, North Vancouver School District is leading the way in reconciliation through education. 

What would you like Lynn Valley to know about you? 

Lynn Valley is my home. My father was a family doctor who served this community for many years. His office was where Yyoga is located today. My grandparents lived here and I figure skated with the Vancouver Skating Club at Karen Magnussen Arena. Our family moved here in 1997, and in 2008 my husband Scott and I returned to Lynn Valley to raise our kids Rebecca and Keiran. I feel a sense of belonging amongst so many people who care about North Vancouver and give their time and energy to making things better. I love this community and am so glad to be able to live here. 

My time as a student at Handsworth School included travel to Japan, France and Germany, which expanded my world view and led me to work in India, Thailand and the UK. However, I always knew that North Vancouver was the place I wanted to return to and raise my children— surrounded by my extended family, the mountains and the ocean. 

Beyond the Board of Education, I have a career in PR/Communications which has included numerous education clients from universities, school districts to professional associations. I have worked in communications and public affairs at Capilano University since 2019.

In my free time, you are likely to find me running, walking, or hiking in and around Lynn Valley,  paddleboarding or skiing.  I love to connect and meet people, if you see me out and about, feel free to say hello and introduce yourself! 

1) What are your top priorities to improve Lynn Valley Schools? 

What we see and hear from students, employees and parents is a need for connection. Coming out of two years of COVID-19 restrictions, there is a need to focus on creating school cultures that promote social connection and improve well-being.  There is a critical need for more on-site before and after school childcare spaces in Lynn Valley. I believe the new alignment of the Ministry of Education and Childcare could bring opportunities for partnerships and funding to add more before and after school care spaces and I will be a strong advocate for pursuing them.  

2) What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Lynn Valley schools?

Space. Lynn Valley is a choice neighbourhood for families and some areas of our region are seeing rapid population growth. Many of our schools are operating at capacity. The North Vancouver School District closely monitors space management at all schools, and in the upcoming term I will grow my understanding of the challenges and opportunities schools face in addressing the ongoing pressures on their facilities.

3) As trustee, what are your goals to prioritize pedestrian safety and access to schools?

My involvement in supporting traffic safety started long before I was a school trustee. I served as a crossing guard during school drop off for three years at Ross Road School, and I began attending North Shore Safety Council (NSSC) meetings on behalf of Ross Road School when I was a PAC Chair. I have continued to support traffic management as a trustee by participating in safety mornings at schools with the NSSC’s invaluable volunteers. I am alert to the traffic safety concerns of the Eastview community and I’m committed to advocating to the District of North Vancouver for improvements.

4) Residents have expressed concerns that District (and North Shore) infrastructure is being outstripped by development with transportation, green spaces, schools and healthcare over capacity. What are your views on this issue and reopening schools like Fromme Elementary?

The NVSD’s school properties are a valuable asset. With the ebb and flow of student populations, over time some school communities have been amalgamated and some are currently rented out to independent schools. This rental income is valuable revenue that is used to support students and programs in the NVSD. The Board is continuously balancing, analyzing and reviewing its facilities in alignment with housing developments in the District of North Vancouver. I believe the decision to rent out, rather than sell, some school properties affords NVSD the flexibility over time to re-open properties when needed. 

The issues

1) What is your Number 1 priority to improve the livability of Lynn Valley? 

LITTLE: We are all affected on a daily basis by our traffic challenges, and while a solution to the bridge is years away, I am fighting for improved bus services today.  I have been successful getting a Lonsdale – Lynn Valley rapid bus included in Translink’s top priorities and hope to finally see frequent transit service to the centre.

BOND: Improving sustainable transportation options will improve everyone’s health and wellbeing. This includes more transit options, more car shares, and more safe walking/cycling/rolling options. 

BACK: I definitely want to see the completion of the artificial turf field at Argyle within the next six months, it’s taken far too long to get this project done. I would also like to see the DNV look to refresh and upgrade some of the washroom facilities within a few Lynn Valley parks, many of which are starting to show their age.

MALLIN: It is difficult to just choose one thing, as we need a whole spectrum of solutions working together to improve livability! If I had to choose though, it would be affordable housing. This means focused policies to improve the housing situation here. We need to define what affordability means. We need to create policies that encourage missing middle housing, and allow for multigenerational housing, duplexes, triplexes and coach houses much more easily. We need more affordable ownership options, especially for first time buyers and downsizing seniors. We need a short-term rental policy and we need more social housing.

TOFIGH: Sustainable peace and comfort are my Number 1 priority. We need more and more EV stations in our community to help and protect our environment and encourage people to use electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Intelligence and active public transportation system and taking out of the road of the vehicles with abnormal noises bring peace and comfort to our community.

ROBINS: My number 1 priority is to find ways to add options to modernize and update our zoning bylaws. While single family home restrictions had a place over a half century ago, new realities demand smaller, more efficient homes, options for ways to build duplexes or triplexes, and add coach houses.

2) What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Lynn Valley (at the municipal level)?

LITTLE: Retaining and growing the affordable options in the community.  Lynn Valley has had great co-op and townhouse options mixed into our primarily single family area, but those places are under threat of redevelopment.  In some cases, redevelopment is the way to go and we need a council that will maximize the affordability of the new units, but we also have to have the wisdom to know when to reject a proposal that may exacerbate our traffic problems.

BOND: We’re building a better world for our kids by addressing 21st century problems with 21st century solutions, but change is difficult. A few priorities I’ve heard from residents are: more safe and sustainable transportation options, more urban green space, a playground in the Town Centre, more diverse small businesses to support the local community, and more rental and affordable housing options – particularly for people on low and fixed incomes. The climate crisis is a top concern for all DNV residents. It’s not a separate issue, it’s the lens that underpins all decisions.

BACK: Since the start of the pandemic, all of our parks such as Lynn Canyon Park, have seen a big increase in the number of visitors that are frequenting them every weekend. While this can present challenges, I also think their are opportunities to capitalize on this increase in visitors. I would like to see us create some more community events that may cater to residents and visitors alike, things like farmers markets, small scale community festivals, that will work for young families and also support small businesses.

MALLIN: Traffic is the biggest day to day challenge here. There are only a few ways in and out of Lynn Valley and, if there is serious traffic, there is really no point of even trying to leave. Lynn Valley is flush with amazing natural amenities that people flock here to use. We cannot expand roads or parking lots, there is really no space for that. We can focus on building public and active transit to our most popular destinations to try to get people out of cars. We need to build smarter bike lanes that utilize side roads and trails.

TOFIGH: As a resident of Lynn Valley, I think housing, EV stations and traffic are the biggest challenges.

ROBINS: The biggest challenge is traffic. We’re a car-centric community simply because of the distances we need to travel for the basics. The next council will need to accelerate non-car travel routes (walking and cycling) that are safe for everyone.

3) New builds typically seem to clear-cut all trees. Lynn Valley will be barren if that trend continues. What are your views on the forested-character of Lynn Valley? 

LITTLE: We have made it a priority to protect trees on publicly owned lands, and we have put in some of the toughest tree replacement requirements on private property.  Ultimately it is a balance, we want trees to be healthy, but we also must manage fire risk by creating defensible space between our homes and the forest canopies.  We are the biggest risks when it comes to forest fire, and we need to be proactive about giving the forest a fighting chance.

BOND: The North Shore forests are beloved by all and a healthy urban tree canopy is a critical part of community well being. The forested nature of Lynn Valley has changed since it was first logged more than a century ago. As we build a future for our kids, it will continue to change. With a long-term Biodiversity Strategy that is currently underway, we can identify ecosystems that need to be protected, restored, and regenerated. Many of our tree species will not survive drought and increasing temperatures from climate change and we need to be planning now for generations to come.

BACK: With the hot summers we have had in recent years, it has made it very clear that we need to protect our tree canopy across the community. This trend is one we are seeing with new builds across the DNV and one that this Council has tried to address in a number of ways, most recently by enhancing our Tree Bylaw to make it more difficult for homebuilders to clear a lot in the same way. In 2021, the Urban Tree Canopy Project was launched, which encourages residents to plant new trees on their properties by providing them with up to three free trees. It’s been a tremendous success with a total of 239 native plants planted in 146 different properties in the first year of the program.

MALLIN: I do not think we are going to see a future where Lynn Valley will be barren, but we need to make sure that developments respect the character of Lynn Valley, especially regarding our natural landscape. Developments should be built in a way that compliment the forests and, ideally, add to the green spaces we have. There are many creative solutions that should be used more, like green roofs, vertical gardens along walls and more/updated urban trails. The DNV does have a new urban canopy program, and more could be done to advertise it to folks here.

TOFIGH: Everyone who like Lynn Valley is due to the green canopy. We have to protect our green community. Great communities require great leaders, and I think if we have great leaders in our community, especially in Lynn Valley, we are going to stop the cut the trees. If a builder wants to cut a tree, they must plant another tree in our community. Although we cannot stop the growth, we can change our policy, and if we need more buildings, we can change our policy from vertical buildings to horizontal buildings and small buildings.

ROBINS: There are some developments where large and well established trees have been chopped down for the convenience of the owner. I would like to see tree bylaws meet or exceed those of the City of North Vancouver to maximize our canopy. We are home to a lot of wild animals and birds and it is our responsibility to be stewards of these places.

4) What are your goals to support pedestrian safety and safe access to schools? 

LITTLE: We have been supportive of both funding and maintaining better trail connections throughout Lynn Valley, and supporting our safe routes to schools plans with hard infrastructure such as crossing improvements and sidewalks.  I expect that to continue, but in spaces like Mountain Highway specifically, we have not left enough of a boulevard to widen the sidewalks without costly land acquisitions, so we are looking at alternatives.

BOND: Lynn Valley around the town centre has a great geography for getting around by foot or on a bike. Focussing on safe active routes to school is a top-priority. Small things, like upgrading many of the paths that criss-cross the creeks and green spaces with curb-cuts and wider bridges can make a big difference in people being able to get to schools and shopping while staying off the major roads. Where routes cross major roads like Lynn Valley, Mountain Hwy and 29th, narrowing the distance people have to cross will make crossings safer.

BACK: One of my top priorities as a Councillor has been to make the necessary investments in active transportation to make it safer for everyone to get around the community by walking or riding a bike. As the parent of two very young kids, I now have a different perspective on this and I am more motivated than ever to push for the necessary changes to road design, particularily around schools, to slow vehicle traffic and make the experience of walking or rolling to school safer and more enjoyable for all. We do have a Safe Routes to School program which looked at a number of elementary schools across the DNV and identified proposed infrastructure improvements such as new sidewalks to make these routes safer. While Eastview was not one of the schools on this list, I promise to look at what specific improvements can be made around this school.

MALLIN: Wider sidewalks absolutely need to be done. We can even combine them with bike lanes in some areas, as bike lanes should be elevated and separated from traffic by more than just plastic dividers. These should be seen as mobility lanes, where people with scooters or wheelchairs can also easily use them. Every crosswalk along a school route should be elevated as a speed hump as well. We should also look at banning right turns on red lights in certain high pedestrian intersections.

TOFIGH: I have a couple of plans. We need active and smart public transportation, and all bus stops need shelter and benches. In our community, we do not have a safe route for cyclists. We need to encourage people in our community to use bicycles, carpools, and public transportation. Still, the infrastructure must be built by the district, and I have some plans to create the infrastructure and encourage people to believe in this system.

ROBINS: My goals for supporting the safety of anyone not in a car are very important to me. I would like to see at least 6 foot setbacks for cars at all cross walks, curbs painted red to indicate where cars cannot park at intersections, bulges at cross walks to prevent passing a stopped car, and less permanent parking on roads around schools.

5) What are your priorities for traffic lanes? How will you prioritize bus lanes, motor vehicle lanes, parking and active transpiration (bike) lanes?  Do you have a vision for mass transit coming to Lynn Valley? 

LITTLE: I have been fighting for Rapid Bus to come to Lynn Valley and I am happy to report that in our July meeting, the North Shore Mayors were able to work together and get a commitment from the region for a Rapid Bus that will connect the Seabus to Lynn Valley 19 hrs /day, 7 days a week, every 8 minutes.

BOND: As population slowly increases, competition is inevitable for limited road space. We will bring transportation into the 21st century, delivering solutions proven to work for neighbourhoods like Lynn Valley. It often makes sense to drive, whether in your own vehicle or car share. For short trips, it’s often quicker and less stressful to move around on bikes and by foot. We need to make walking and biking within Lynn Valley feel safer and more comfortable for those short everyday trips, while ensuring frequent and reliable transit from Lynn Valley to connect to the broader network, including Bus Rapid Transit.

BACK: Increased bus rapid transit on the North Shore is park of Translink’s 10-Year Plan and, specifically, a RapidBus connection between Lynn Valley and Downtown Vancouver. This service will greatly increase the frequency and reliability of transit in and out of Lynn Valley. I think the Lynn Valley Road Active Transportation Project, which is now under construction, will provide a number of safety improvements for people walking or rolling through this corridor. I also look forward to the eventual build out of the Kirkstone Park to Salop Trail, which will provide a safe and continuous cycling connection from Lynn Valley Town Centre to Lynn Creek Town

I will also continue to advocate that we push MoTI to build a safe connection on the south side of Lynn Valley Road, where it crosses under Highway 1. When it comes to balancing the various demands for road space, I generally am not supportive of having on-street parking on arterial roads, as these are often the most direct routes to provide active transportation connections between town centres. Where it does not compromise user’s safety, parking can in some cases be accomodated with parking pockets and drop off zones.

MALLIN: I would like to see bike lane focus shift to side streets more, and some of our trails that can be widened and used for that. I fully endorse work needed to complete Translink’s 10-year plan which may involve better bus access to the Ironworkers bridge. Bus Rapid Transit seems like a great system that can be quickly and cheaply deployed and hopefully provide some relief here, and I will always lobby for more transit options. Parking lots in top destinations should have a few more spots allocated for handicapped parking as well.

TOFIGH: Unfortunately, during the past years, by increasing the population and street vehicles, no attention has been made to the difficulties in the future. As of today, we do not have any safe routes for cyclists or bicycle riders. Around the Lynn Valley center, during the past two years, several high-rise buildings have been finished, and there is no parking for vehicles in the street around these building. It seems that during past years, they just thought about creating business for others instead of thinking for our community!

ROBINS: This is a complex issue and the district staff should be tasked with researching and suggesting solutions to integrate all modes smoothly. This needs bold leadership at the council level to empower staff to make recommendations.

6) An issue of concern is “missing-middle” homes: townhomes, duplexes, row homes, etc – something between towers and single-family homes. Another concern is that recent developments have reduced the diversity of local businesses. What is your development vision for the Lynn Valley and the District? 

LITTLE: Modest, strategic growth.  Lynn Valley doesn’t have the same road network as our Seylynn and Lions Gate town centers, so we need to make sure that the housing we attract serves the local community.  While there may be some sensitive infill as highlighted in our OCP, the bulk of the new units in LV should be in the town center.

BOND: I have consistently advocated for more housing options to meet the changing needs of our residents. Most homes were built over 50 years ago. We live, work, commute, socialize and recreate in different and more diverse ways than we did in the 1960s.There are not enough missing-middle homes in Lynn Valley to address this evolution. By embracing diverse housing we create opportunities for young people to stay in the neighbourhood they grew up in, established residents to age in place in an accessible home, and families to adapt property they already own to support multi-generational living.

BACK: I have lived in Lynn Valley my whole life and have had a front row seat to the changes which have taken place over the years. Overall, I think the Lynn Valley Village and revitlization of Lynn Valley Centre have been been a positive evolution for the area, but I think there is much more we could do. There has been a noticable change in the demographics of Lynn Valley in recent years, as more and more young families have moved to the area. I would like to see a greater diversity of smaller, independantly owned businesses, as well as more restaurants and – dare I say – maybe even a craft brewery of our own here one day! I would also like to see a new park in the heart of Lynn Valley that features playspace for kids, as well as an off leash area for dogs.

MALLIN: Missing middle housing is a top priority of mine. It is a simple solution to get some more housing diversity without significant change to a neighbourhood or lengthy construction. Missing middle options should be more heavily favoured around large parks or community centres, as the large yards of a single-family neighbourhood are less needed there. Transit oriented housing needs to be prioritized, especially with reduced parking requirements. It blows my mind how little housing there is along Marine Drive, especially when there is a bus along there every 5 minutes (or less sometimes!).

TOFIGH: The couple of aspects must be focused and work on it. We have to ask small and middle size developers and contractors to play. The main and only player is large contractors. We have to support small businesses to establish their business in our community. If the small and middle contractor and developers are coming to play, we will have much more duplex, triplex and row homes, I promise.

ROBINS: The District can follow in the footsteps of other progressive municipalities and give flexibility to renovators and builders through an update of planning and zoning regulations. Our zoning bylaws were initially written in 1965 and reflect the restrictions on housing types from over half a century ago. Since our homes have become a commodity to buy and sell, entering the market is nearly impossible for most middle-income earners. We have no choice but to add diverse housing that people are demanding. I will strongly support a wide range of housing options including multiplex, co-op, and rental housing that lets younger people into the district through thoughtful densification to build stronger communities.

7) Residents have expressed concerns that District (and North Shore) infrastructure is being outstripped by development with transportation, green spaces and healthcare over capacity. What are your views on this issue? 

LITTLE: We haven’t had an increase in lanes to the North Shore since 1968.  We desperately need an agreement between the District, the Province and the Federal Government for the eventual replacement of the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge.  Our view is that the bridge has less than 20 years of full use, the Province thinks it is more like 40yrs.  We have to get everyone in the room and craft a plan for that vital regional connection.

BOND: Concerns about infrastructure are not unique to Lynn Valley, the District or the North Shore. The healthcare crisis is felt by communities small and large across the Province. Our common frustration of being part of traffic from 2pm onwards, with a long line of people who work on the North Shore trying to get home to Langley, Maple Ridge or beyond, will only get worse if we don’t provide more options for people to live here. We can create the conditions where healthcare professionals, contractors and others can live here, avoid the punishing commute and become part of our community.

BACK: I think we always have to be looking at the impact that new development has on our exisitng infrastructre and I would say, on the whole, the DNV has done a good job of accounting for this in our Official Community Plan and by regularily communicating with our various partner agencies. Parks and natural spaces have always been a defining characteristic of this area, and I would certainly support invesments in our existing parks, as well as looking to create new parks in some cases. I think planning for the future also highlights the importance of making sure we continue to have strong collaborative relationships with partners like Vancouver Coastal Health and School District #44, to make sure that all of the key community needs are looked after today and for many years to come.

MALLIN: This pandemic has really highlighted the importance of access to healthcare and recreation. We need to zone spaces for healthcare, or mandate new developments to reserve space for healthcare options as getting to the UPCC or a clinic on Lonsdale is not always possible or easy. This should no longer be seen as only a provincial responsibility – municipalities need to step up or be left behind. More walkable communities are needed, with a complete spectrum of businesses and services available, from nice restaurants to entertainment options. The District needs to step up to support this.

TOFIGH: I disagree that infrastructure is being outstripped now. But if any changes not happened and the district does not pay attention carefully to the green spaces, healthcare, traffic and housing issues, we will not have any infrastructure in any matter shortly.

ROBINS: The District has been proactive when it comes to infrastructure, however, I would like to see a greater focus on safer routes for people who do not drive. Green spaces are what make the North Shore so special, and we must do all we can to protect and preserve these space. Healthcare, according to professionals I speak with, is suffering from front-line worker burnout and a lack of affordable homes for nurses and staff. I believe smaller, more affordable homes can go a long way to help this.

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.

CBC broadcaster shares joy of Lynn Valley

A childhood dream was realized when a pandemic move brought CBC’s Johanna Wagstaffe to Lynn Valley. The well-known face of Canadian weather has been showing off our neighbourhood ever since. 

Early roots

Over the last year and a half, Lynn Valley has been playing a background role in some CBC broadcasts, as meteorologist and science host Johanna Wagstaffe broadcasts for the network from her home.

“I was so privileged to move here during the pandemic,” she said between live interviews for CBC about September’s Hurricane Fiona. “It was finding solace and falling in love with these trails when that was all we had. I feel lucky that I get to live here and share that with our audience.”

It had been a long time coming for Wagstaffe who first explored the North Shore as a girl. 

“I grew up in Ontario but both my parents immigrated to Canada in the 70s. My extended family on my dad’s side lived in North Vancouver,” she said. “As I kid we used to spend summers exploring the Lynn Valley forests with my grandmother – I have so many great memories of her teaching me about nature.”

With a growing family of her own and her parents on this side of the water, 10 years after moving to Vancouver, Wagstaffe has settled in Lynn Valley.  

“We realized it was time to get closer to nature. It was my hope that I could end up in Lynn Valley and I am so happy I did. This is our forever home.” 

Local micro climate

Now that she’s a resident, Wagstaffe and her expertise confirmed what many locals think: Lynn Valley has its own distinct weather. 

“Lynn Valley is unique,” she said. “We often get these systems coming in from the southwest and they sort of run into our mountains – Grouse and Seymour. They climb up the ridge on the southwest side and sort of get rung out. These little cells get stuck over Lynn Valley as they move from the southwest to the northeast. I love watching them on the radar.”

It doesn’t take too many clouds to lead to more rain. 

“We do get more rain but we also get more interesting skies,” she added. “I love watching the snowline – often we are the snowline – and I think we are going to see that again this year as we head into another La Niña. The difference between Lonsdale and Lynn Valley is huge. When I am in [Vancouver] I love looking over and seeing those little clouds that look like mustaches on our mountains. It might be a bit wetter but in the grand scheme of things it is more interesting and that is what makes it so much greener too.” 

No bad weather, only bad gear

With the local environment as a big lure to our community, Wagstaffe and her family make sure they enjoy it. 

“We are out every single day rain or shine. I have always been someone who isn’t afraid to go out in it – and moving from Ontario to BC – British Columbians are better at gearing up and getting out,” she said. 

Those that follow Wagstaffe on Instagram will frequently see her and her son Wesley out in local parks sharing regional weather updates from a Lynn Valley perspective.  

“I have a dog – Rodney – he has so many best friends now in Lynn Valley so he gets me out and bringing my son along,” she said. “It has been so exciting relearning what I love about weather through my son’s eyes. He hasn’t lost interest yet but I am sure he will find me annoying but for now, it’s so wonderful.”

The get-out-there attitude has made Wagstaffe’s job even more rewarding  

“I know that being out for every story I tell means a lot to people – the floods, the heat dome. Last Christmas, [CBC] had our open house again and I heard from people about the impact of experiencing the weather with them.”

Climate Changers

Field reporting weather stories has prompted Wagstaffe to add author to her resume (which also includes podcaster). Seeing firsthand the impacts of climate change inspired her to connect with children. Her third book – Little Pine Cone – was published this summer. 

“I knew after the back-to-back wildfire seasons of 2016-2017 that this was the next topic. I saw climate anxiety coming out in the students I was talking to – in a way I never had before,” she said. “I wanted to find a way to connect with them. Anthropomorphizing a pine cone is how I did it after it worked so well with a cloud in my earlier book. There are natural processes, humans have disrupted some but these extreme weather events aren’t all ‘bad.’ Climate change is enhancing them but there are good things about these cycles as well.”

Wagstaffe says her hope is to give agency to youth. 

“The part of my job I love the most is getting to talk to children. My first two books discussing climate change were written before I had my son, and after having him I have realized how important it is to empower them with knowledge. I interact with kids of all different ages – all the way up through to highschool – and climate anxiety is real and it is impacting young people in ways I never experienced.” 

She doesn’t want British Columbians to feel lost or overwhelmed when considering our climate future. 

“I have realized over the past few years that climate change is no longer theoretical. It’s impacting Canadians and it’s impacting British Columbians. My neighbours and my community are affected,” she said.  

Her latest radio special offers hope. Climate Changers aired in September. 

“It’s telling the stories of individuals who are combating climate change in their own way,” said Wagstaffe. “How small actions hopefully have big ripple effects. I am always looking at stories through the data and the numbers can seem scary. It is so reassuring to hear what people are doing on the ground now and how big a difference it is making.”

Her next project will follow a similar theme – with a local tie-in. 

“I can’t say too much but there is another exciting  [CBC TV] project hopefully launching in the fall talking about climate change and climate change solutions – I am really excited and you can expect Lynn Valley to be featured.”

Community connection has proven valuable to Wagstaffe and made the science she is so passionate about more accessible. By inviting viewers and the public into her neighbourhood, she hopes it helps form a solid foundation to help make a better world. 

“By opening up more and sharing the community I live in shows I am affected and also sharing the joy I get being here. As a meteorologist and someone who is so interested in the interplay between our relationship with nature and nature-based solutions, I like sharing that world and giving people ideas of how they can get connected to that world, no matter where they live.”

Locally, Wagstaffe’s latest books are available at Kidsbooks and the NVDPL.

Images courtesy of Johanna Wagstaffe and Orca Book Publishers. 

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.

Events ahead of local elections

It’s that time again – four years have passed – and we have October municipal and school board elections. There are a number of opportunities to get to know our candidates.

The year of Lynn Valley

There are 13 North Vancouver residents vying for spots on District Council with six residing in Lynn Valley. There has never been a better to get to know the candidates and to make sure your views are represented on council. Additionally, there are two people running for mayor. There are seven residents throwing their hats in for the school board – one from Lynn Valley. We asked local candidates for their thoughts on issues relevant to Lynn Valley and you can see their responses here.   

Meet the candidates

Jacqueline van Dyk

It’s a good year to make sure you are engaged. There are a number of events and engagements to speak with candidates over the next few weeks. The North Vancouver District Public Library is hosting its own event on October 12 giving voters a chance to talk one-on-one with candidates during its “Speed-Canditating” at the Lynn Valley branch.

We recognize that engaging in political conversations and civic dialogue can be challenging for people for a variety of reasons, so we are simply offering another entry point for folks to engage with local politics,” said Jacqueline van Dyk, director of library services. 

The all-candidates meeting is a rare opportunity to meet one-on-one with potential civic leaders. 

“A community member might have a question that wasn’t asked at a town hall or they might have a different question for each candidate,,” said van Dyk. “They may want to discuss an issue that is deeply personal for them that they weren’t comfortable sharing in a larger group setting…whatever it is, we hope that creating this type of environment will open up the door for meaningful and personal conversations so that voters feels confident when they cast their votes on October 15.”

Community members will have a few minutes to talk with each candidate present. 

“We felt that we could create an experience for candidates and voters to create personal connections and more intimately share what is important to them,” she said. “As a community hub and a place where local residents connect with one another, we regularly host Meet Your Mayor and Meet Your MLA programs and we know our community really values the opportunity to connect with elected officials outside of council chambers.

“In this format, participants, either alone or in small groups, will have the opportunity to have their burning political questions answered. We want to create a safe and respectful environment for candidates and community members to connect over an informal conversation—and by doing this we hope that community members will be able to really confirm the candidates they most align with before casting their votes.”

For those new to the community or to political engagement, the library will also have some prompts available to offer discussion topics. 

“If attendees are unsure of what to ask, they can seek guidance from our staff so they can have a meaningful face-to-face conversation,” said van Dyk. “We will also have information on how to vote for folks who may have not cast their ballot before. This event is about creating opportunities for community connection and supporting lifelong learning. NVDPL staff are experts at guiding patrons to find the information they need and this event will be no different. To encourage conversations between candidates and votes, we will provide a wide variety of sample conversations to inspire dialogue.”

The Speed-Candidating event will take place Oct. 12 from 7 – 8:30 pm at the Lynn Valley branch of the NVDPL. 

Other election events

Advanced voting will take place on October 5, 8 & 10 at DNV Municipal Hall and on Oct. 8 & 10 at Parkgate Community Centre. Election day is October 15 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Polling stations will be throughout the District of North Vancouver. The location list can be found at .


October 4 (7pm – 9pm) All Candidates Meeting co-hosted by the Blueridge Community Association, the Seymour Community Association, the Deep Cove Community Association, Parkgate Society Community Services and the Mount Seymour United Church (Mount Seymour United Church)
October 5 (7pm – 10pm) Lynn Valley Community Association Candidates Meeting (Lynn Valley Rec Centre)
October 5 (8am – 8pm) Advance voting day (District Hall)
October 7 (7pm – 9pm) Edgemont and Upper Capilano Community Association (EUCCA) All Candidates Meeting (Highlands United Church)
October 8 (8am – 8pm) Advance voting day (District Hall, Parkgate Community Centre)
October 10 (8am – 8pm) Advance voting day (District Hall, Parkgate Community Centre)
October 12 (7pm – 8:30pm) “Speed-Candidating” chat hosted by NVDPL. A chance to briefly speak to candidates and ask questions. Registration required. Visit NVDPL website for details. (Lynn Valley Library)
October 15 (8am – 8pm) General voting day (20 voting places located throughout the District) 


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.

New neighbours buzzing about Argyle

If you live near Argyle Secondary you may have noticed a bit of buzz around the school this summer. More than 20,000 new neighbours have moved onto the campus – and they are bringing a sweet educational opportunity for students. 

Pollinator power

A new bee hive was established at Argyle Secondary in mid-July. The project – initiated by new science teacher Magali Chemali – was fully funded by the University of British Columbia with support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Speeding in and out of a small circular hole on the second floor of the school, honey bees are hard at work establishing a colony that Chemali hopes will grow to 50,000 bees. The glass-sided hive stands, bolted to the floor, about the size of a door where students can pass by and check out their new schoolmates. 

“My goal is to develop curiosity,” said Chemali. “I believe we need to show students connection to build bonds and grow curiosity. As humans, we need to feel connected to care.”

Experiential learning

The hive is small by honey standards and will serve as an educational tool, rather than an agriculture producer. 

“There are so many ways to tie the bees to the curriculum – all the way from K [kindergarten] to 12,” said Chemali. “Students won’t do a ‘bee unit’ but it can be tied into learning about ecosystems, life cycles, reproduction, math – the hexagon shape, symmetry, philosophy, social systems like hierarchy, literature – there is so much written about bees in literature.”

While not native to BC, honey bees offer opportunities to engage in Indigenous ways of learning as well. 

“The bees offer an opportunity to observe and learn from the bees – it’s a way to use nature as a teacher that has been done here for centuries,” she said. “Students may have heard the example of observing a bear as a teacher – if a bear eats a berry, it is likely safe for a person. If it doesn’t, definitely don’t eat it. 

“Bees are a chance to try that look and learning. They are connected to the seasons, the weather. By watching the bees you can learn about what is coming.”

Full circle

The arrival of the hive was a full-circle moment for Chemali who fell in love with bees at school.

“I was living in California and volunteering at my child’s school,” she said. “They knew I had a biology background and started me on a bee-keeping project – I knew nothing about bees!”

The experience sparked a passion within Chemali that led to a lot of learning and eventually the creation of a company that builds and helps maintain hives. To date there are seven in West Vancouver schools and another is planned for installation at Windsor Secondary in North Vancouver as part of the same funding project as the Argyle hive. 

Bees face challenges

Another goal of the hive is to simply create an opportunity for more pollinators to help local ecosystems. Globally honey bees are under threat from a parasitic mite. 

“The hive is one step. A group of dedicated teachers here at Argyle are working together on a garden project which will include more pollinator-friendly plants, together with various indigenous plants,” she said. “I am feeding the bees [nectar] because I am not sure they will have enough honey to survive the winter. There are not enough bee-friendly flowers in the area to support the bees. Bees don’t like plants like roses – those are for us.”

The observational nature of the hive, with windows, can also be a challenge for the bees that require a warm temperature to thrive. To support them, the hive has warming wires and when not in use, covers to keep the bees warm. 

Previous installations of the hives have proven safe for students.

“Bees have a job to do – to fly and go to a flower and get to work,” said Chemali. “Bees are not interested in us – they aren’t interested in what we eat [unlike wasps].”

She expects the hive to more than double in size over the next year and will have about 50,000 bees when it reaches capacity. 

“My goal is to have students become bee stewards,” she said. “To feel connected to nature, to realize they have an impact and to appreciate they are sharing this space with another species.”

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.