When Red Bull rings, hang on for the ride

When Kelsey Toevs was walking the halls of Argyle Secondary, snowboarding down Grouse or pointing her handycam up to Fromme she never imagined she would level up her passion to travel the world filming for action sports icons Red Bull.

The big screen

This summer in the late evening light Toevs watched in awe as her short film “Ready or Not” hit the big screen at Whistler’s epic mountain bike festival Crankworx. A short time later family and friends were screaming and a dumbstruck Toevs was making her way to the stage as the evening’s big winner. 

“It’s surreal,” she said from her Lynn Valley home. “I have never won anything. I was not even thinking it was possible. The goal was to watch something I made on the big screen – so I could say I got to show something at Crankworx.”

The festival knew Toevs was ready for the big stage even if she did not. Originally asked to participate in its photography competition, Toevs couldn’t make it work with her schedule so she took a chance and asked if there was a spot in the video competition. Not only was there space but the festival had already planned on asking her. 

“It’s a huge platform for videographers. In just a few months it has brought so many opportunities,” she said.

During the festival she was asked to be a second shooter for the women’s Red Bull Joyride – she said yes. After her big win she got a text message from action filmmakers Anthill Films and asked to join them earlier this fall in Switzerland working on a Red Bull production – Toevs screamed. “It’s insane.”

Finding a passion

The first camera that mattered to Toevs came into her hands for a high school photography class. A family connection helped her get a decent camera to start off on the right foot and Toevs did what most teenagers do. Give it a go but she didn’t think too much about it. 

“When I think back, I definitely thought it would have been cool to film snowboard videos,” she said. “But I also thought that wasn’t a job.

The camera became a bit of a constant companion as she explored jobs, possible careers and tried to figure out how to pay some bills. 

“I ended up going to Cap U for tourism and recreation,” said Toevs. “I did everything from lifeguarding to day camps to construction.”

In 2014 she was bringing the camera along on adventures she and, her now husband, Steve Vanderhoek were tackling in their free time. Often, that was Toevs tagging along as Vanderhoek hit local mountain bike trails. 

“I wasn’t into dirt jumping but I would tag along with my camera,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Toevs began to think there might be a future in photography. That passion had remained steady but not focused until she connected it to her interest in architecture and real estate. 

“Once I realized that architectural photography could be a career, I knew I wanted that to be my business,” she said. 

Her skills grew and, more importantly, her gear list grew. At the same time, Vanderhoek was hitting the trails, building connections and making a name for himself in mountain biking. 

“When the pandemic hit there was a lot of demand in real estate for video so I got quite a bit of equipment,” she said. 

Vanderhoek and Toevs were still spending their free time in the forests of the North Shore.

“I started playing around with Steve on Instagram and it began to be noticed because it was such high quality. I didn’t know anyone in mountain biking but people began to ask Steve who was shooting his stuff and asking for his recommendations.”

It’s a partnership that has allowed both Toevs and Vanderhoek to excel – he now has professional riding contracts and she is an award-winning filmmaker. 

Riding high

It has been more than a decade of overnight success for Toevs.

“It’s [action sports filming] has always been for fun,” she said. “I could take risks and try things. Steve and I would come up with some crazy ideas and we could give it a go because we had the stability of our other careers. He comes up with a film in his mind and I go out and learn how to do it.”

That strong partnership helped Toevs feel confident to tackle this summer’s ‘Ready or Not.’

“It was big, if it worked out we wanted to be able to say that just the two of us did that,” she said. “We work well together. I love what I do and he loves to do what he does. We are kind of each other’s managers. I helped him gain some exposure, he’s helped me with contacts and contracts. We will do it until we aren’t having fun – for now, we are keeping it going.”

The pair is preparing for another large-scale shoot in 2024, adding an additional layer by documenting the project to give insight into how they work together.

“My mom’s still a bit surprised I am getting paid to film bikes,” laughed Toevs. “‘Yes, mom, in Switzerland. Yes, mom, I will be paid.’ I like to prove people wrong.”

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.

Fabricating fun

If you are walking by Argyle Secondary you might see a metal owl perched on the roof of a nearby home. At the same time, you might hear the screech of a metal grinder or the roar of an acetylene torch but maybe not because those could be drowned out by the sounds of rock music pumping out of Mark Mentiply’s metalwork studio.

From fishing to movies to art

Swimming throughout the North Shore are a number of art installations featuring the work of Lynn Valley’s Mark Mentiply – check one out in the park at the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art. He has become quite well known for his metal salmon swimming through stone creek beds. It’s a concept honouring one of Mentiply’s passions and history.

“I started my work life as a commercial fisherman,” he said. “What a way to see the world, I thought.” 

While his respect for salmon continues, it wasn’t long before Mentiply was looking for other options. 

“The movie industry was starting to explode and I wanted to get into special effects,” he said. 

He started spending time in some special effects workshops.

“The guys suggested I get my welding ticket,” said Mentiply. “I liked the idea. I went back to school and would come to the shop they would let me pactise on the scraps.”

Stepping away from his work table, Mentiply found a rough tea light holder on a cluttered countertop. It was one of the first pieces of art he ever created.

“The art came from practising my welding skills. It helped me hone my skills to get my welding ticket. I started making these really cool things – that impressed the guys.“

He demonstrates the candleholder showing how it is designed to cast shadows in the flickering light – an impactful concept. Mentiply fell in love with using heat to shape metal into art.


His style and skill have grown in the following decades. Mentiply has spent his time working in the local film and TV industry and when between projects creating art. His enthusiasm for his art is emphasized by bursts of joyous laughter talking about his various projects. 

Today in addition to the refined salmon and orcas he creates, Mentiply loves taking found objects to inspire playful sculptures of fantastical creatures. 

“Look at this!” said Mentiply, holding up a shovel blade. “This would be perfect for a fish or the body of an owl – or a mask!”

Dumping out a pile of rusted metal pieces he begins to hold them up and shares what their next phase of life will look like. Saved from damp sheds and dark basements, the old tools are destined to make others smile. 

“This is such great stuff – I love cleaning out a senior’s old workshop. I love helping. They need to do a dump run and I can do that – and save a bunch of the old stuff.”

Side hustle

It has been a rough couple of years in the film industry with covid shutdowns and Hollywood strikes. Mentiply has been leaning into his art to help bridge the financial gap. His works can be found at End of the Line and Highwater Tackle, on his website (he is planning an update soon) or can be seen on his Facebook page – home to his most recent works. 

“I have been using the time to create something on my own but also have a bit of a giggle,” said Mentiply. He is particularly inspired by vintage golf clubs and their future as fanciful birds. 

Walking around his shop and yard it is easy to see the imagination and fun that sparks the creation of Mentiplys art. 

“I have everything I have ever wanted in this life in Lynn Valley – my wife, my son, my shop. I have made careful choices and welding has made it possible – it’s given me a chance to make art.”

Mentiply and his art are one of our top picks for the holiday season – give someone you love the gift of art or a smile. 

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.

Saying good-bye to the Black Bear

With less than a month until the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub closes its doors, owner Ron Slinger is grateful, proud and excited. The neighbourhood institution opened in 1997 with one dream – the same one that led him to open the Queens Cross almost 20 years earlier – to make a place his wife Bobbi would want to spend time.

If you build it, they will come

When Ron Slinger was hitchhiking through Europe in the 1970s he fell in love with two things – the girl that would become his wife and the charm and comfort of neighbourhood pubs.

Bobbi, Molly and Ron Slinger (courtesy of the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub)

“There was nothing like that here,” he said from a corner table tucked away in the Black Bear on a recent Sunday morning. “Bobbi’s father was a bit of a publican in North Cave, Yorkshire. Here, it was a new concept. It was a three-year project to open the Queens Cross. It was very difficult to get the municipality to consider that it would be something different than a beer parlour.”

In the late 70s drinking establishments had a distinctly rough reputation but, Slinger and his business partner Dave Raht had an alternative concept.

“I loved UK pubs. We wanted to build something where our wives would want to go, where they might feel comfortable hanging out by themselves. A place where friends would stop by and share a drink, not to get falling down drunk,” said Slinger.

Slinger is very clear that his success at the Queens Cross and the future Black Bear was built on his understanding of one thing: what it’s like to be a consumer.

“I am not a chef, I am not a bartender, I am not a server – there’s a story! I once ‘fired’ myself from the Queens Cross after I dropped food in the lap of my friend,” laughed Slinger. “I know what it’s like to have great service, great food and to feel welcome. I am a facilitator and I can make sure we try every day to succeed. We may not succeed but we will learn and try again.”

The North Shore’s favourite neighbourhood pub

Building on the success and lessons of the Queens Cross (which was sold in 1996), Slinger and Raht opened the Black Bear in 1997. 

“You would think it was easier to open a pub almost 20 years later – it was not! Four years working with the municipality. No small business should have to put their livelihood at such risk,” he said.

The reward was to build the perfect community pub from the foundations up. Inspired by the original craftsman architecture that once filled Lynn Valley, Slinger commissioned the pub design to be warm and authentic to the neighbourhood. The success has been its track record: the public has voted the Black Bear as the North Shore’s Favourite Neighbourhood Pub for a record 27 straight years in the North Shore News’ annual awards. 

“I am proud as hell to be a pub owner,” he said. “We are so fortunate to be a part of Lynn Valley – to be a part of the birthdays, anniversaries, funerals and wakes. We are proud to offer the community their ‘Cheers’ moment where we do know their name and what they like to drink – that they are comfortable – at home here.”

Sitting in the sun discussing the Black Bear, Slinger is content. Even with the doors closing in less than a month, his excitement for the future is palpable.

“There is no bad guy here. It’s time. The building is approaching the end of its life. It doesn’t make sense to keep patching it up. It was not my idea but it’s season is done. I love it. I will miss it.”

“It’s time to face the music – there is too much maintenance on this old building,” said Slinger. “It’s going to be sad – but also relief. We can do it right. We can take care of our staff, and we can share a final drink with our customers.”

It ain’t over yet . . .

There is energy in Slinger, fiery in his 70s. It is easy to imagine an unstoppable force in his younger years fighting council to bring his dreams to life. Late last month Slinger was inducted into the British Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame as the 2023 as an Industry Pioneer. The timing couldn’t have been better. His fellow inductee Kelly Gordon (2023 Lifetime Achievement) is also his new business partner. It all feels a bit kismet, he said.

“The Black Bear as a venue is tired – but I am not. I need to be busy. We are doing something else that will still be in the community. There is no way we could ever replicate the Bear – so we are not.”

Gordon, Slinger and his son-in-law Justin Thompson are launching a 150-seat (plus 50-seat patio) Romer’s Fresh Kitchen & Bar in Lynn Valley Centre this February.

“I am going to work until I am 100 years old,” laughed Slinger. “I am so excited.”

He says the partnership had to fight out numerous other concepts to get the space. His track record of local success was what won Bosa over, said Slinger. 

“I am so happy to live in this community, to work, to be here and make my own fun – my family is just a 10-minute Uber ride down the hill – if my wife was still with me [Bobbi lost her battle with ALS in 2021] it would be perfect. My reward has been this amazing life.”

See you later, not good-bye

There isn’t going to be much fanfare as the Black Bear goes through its final weeks. 

“It’s not a celebration,” said Slinger. “It’s a closure.”

There won’t be a party.

“The community has already said it’s thanks. Every time a customer comes in, that is thanks. Thank you to everyone who has kept us going for 27 years – that is all the thanks we need. I could have been out of business in a year. I am the proudest guy in town . . . but it ain’t over yet.”

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.

Who is our Good Neighbour 2023?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It is Good Neighbour season! For more than a decade we have been shining a light on those that make Lynn Valley the best place to live! We want to celebrate the community members who share their time and skills to make our neighbourhood better. We are once again looking for nominations for our Good Neighbour Award. 

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.

Community builders

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 surprised Gillian Konst on stage at her own event – that was a blast. In the past, 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 2023? 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 26, 2023. 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.

New company tackling jobs you don’t want to do

There is no shying away from hard work for these industrious Argyle Secondary students. Leveling up their resume, Rohaan Drar and Morgan Garstin, have started their own company. Now offering yard and labour services, the pair is employing 10 other students. Argyle Students Services is aiming to help Lynn Valley residents take care of their homes. 

Getting their hands dirty

A little hard work has inspired the two grade 11 students to become their own bosses.

“I got a job stocking shelves at Save-On and it didn’t take long for me to think that this isn’t for me,” said Drar. “I thought if we worked for ourselves, we might earn more money and learn something.”

With Drar’s interest in pursuing business in post-secondary school, Garstin’s interest in trades, and their shared experience doing labour tasks, a home service business was the idea that had the most potential.

“We realized that most kids have done this kind of work for their families or neighbours,” said Drar. “I was kind of inspired by the work I used to do with my dad. He runs A Star Homes. I used to sweep or clean up wood for him.”

It’s a partnership with A Star Homes that has allowed the young business to get off the ground. 

“Argyle Student Services is operating as an arm of A Star Homes,” said Drar. “Our clients are protected by insurance just like any other home service business.”

Growing buisness

Drar positions Argyle Student Services as ready to do many of the tasks homeowners don’t have the desire, time or energy to tackle themselves – from weeding to moving labour to just about anything.

“It takes persistence to knock on doors and keep knocking when you get nos,” he said. “Then one person thinks ‘Sure, I will give these kids a try’ – then they see we do great work – better than they thought we would. It’s an adrenaline rush having someone say yes. We never leave until a customer is completely satisfied. It’s been going well – we have gotten some good tips.”

And more importantly: word-of-mouth referrals. 

“In the summer we got more work than we could do with weeding and yardwork – so we began hiring our friends. We are professional. There are some services like pressure washing that require skill – we make sure they know what they are doing.”

The small business has invested in professional-grade equipment – like pressure washers and window washing equipment. 

“We want people to call us when they have a job they don’t want to do. Just about anything – and we can do it quickly because we have lots of guys wanting to work,” said Drar. “We are ready for leaf raking and are getting ready for winter and snow shovelling. You can book us now for the winter and we will have someone at your door with a shovel when it snows.”

The team hopes to line up contracts throughout Lynn Valley in advance so residents aren’t worrying about finding snow-clearing help, said Drar.

For more information call Rohaan Drar at (604) 779 – 8526 or visit the company’s website https://www.argylestudentshomeservices.com/ 

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.

Maximize your Output

Building on work in professional sports, Olympic games and academic circles, Lynn Valley’s Ben Sporer is launching a book this month to take lessons he has learned as an elite sports physiologist to help others maximize their Output

Embracing opportunity

With more than 25 years working in the field of elite sport and human performance, Sporer’s new book is his version of a pandemic pivot. Embracing the calls to stay close to home led to reflection. The immediate changes to life and work were viewed as an opportunity. 

“My wife and I went for hikes in the trails around Lynn Valley regularly and recorded our discussions around performance and reflected on the things I’ve learned throughout my career,” he said. “We transcribed the stories, drafted a manuscript, and found a local publisher.  Fast forward 18 months and here we are. We’re really pleased to be at this stage and see it in print.”

The idea of writing a book had been percolating for a while. Sporer is frequently approached for his expertise. From parents of young athletes, athletes themselves, or executives who were striving to perform at high levels in work and sport, Sporer noticed common themes in their personal circumstances. Simply put Sporer wants individuals to focus on Output – not so coincidentally his book title – over the outcome. 

“Your outcome is the way things turn out, based on factors within and outside of your control. It is the result, so in sport this might be the score and whether one team won or lost. Output is an expression of your efforts based on things you can control. It’s what you deliver in your performance,” said Sporer. “To be a high performer, it is hard work, and you need to be prepared well. But there are times when you don’t get the outcome you prepared for, or that you deserved.”

Working with purpose

Barriers could be bad calls, incredible opponents, terrible weather or equipment failures. 

“This has really taught me to focus on output rather than outcome and on making sure you have a very clear idea of what defines a good performance relative to your objective. It is very easy to get caught in the emotion of a bad loss or a lucky win, yet neither of those are productive in producing sustainable performance.”

Whether on the snow – Sproer is a former director of sport science and medicine for Snowboard Canada, on the pitch – he is currently a vice president in the Whitecaps FC – or in the boardroom, he sees common challenges facing people who want to perform at a high level. 

“Time and time again I’ve seen reactive behaviours if the outcome wasn’t as expected, distracting people from their ongoing plan and preparation strategy, and often emphasizing things that don’t really matter,” said Sporer. “By clearly defining the output required to deliver on your objective, and then evaluating your performance against it, you can identify gaps and modify your preparation to get closer to sustainable high performance and achieving your objective.”

Returning the subject’s objectives is key said Sporer. Work backwards to determine the best path to success. 

“I’ve worked with many athletes and non-athletes and while each one of them is unique, the process is the same,” said Sporer. “When I work with individuals or teams, we always start with clear objectives. We put the work in to clearly and honestly define what their true objective is, understand what is required to achieve it and develop and execute plans to get there. High performers, whether they’re an athlete or not, don’t just work randomly on different things, they work with purpose.”  

Hitting shelves Oct. 24

He says the concepts in the book have been key to his own success. 

“It gave me a different perspective on my own objectives and helped me be really clear and honest about what they were. And the objectives weren’t just career-related… [they] included the family and all the things that we want to do together. By having clear objectives, always allows me to focus on being able to deliver the output that’s required to achieve them, and also helps me from getting sidetracked. It’s a constant process that I revisit regularly.”

This is a busy month for Sporer. His new books will be available online and locally through 32 Books and Kidsbooks in Edgemont. 

“Hopefully [there is] a deep run in the playoffs with the Caps,” he said. “It’s been great to be part of building this team to where it is today and I’m excited about the club’s future.” 

As nice as those wins would be, Sporer returns to his objectives and his principal to focus on output. 

“Honestly, the thing I am most proud of is the life we’ve created for our family here in Lynn Valley. I have a great partner, two amazing kids and we live in an incredible community with access to the outdoors. And to do so while achieving success in my career is a great feeling. I feel very fortunate when I think about it.”    

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.

Historic help

In the heart of Lynn Valley, there are three generations of Lynn Valley Elementary. Many are familiar with the bustling modern school, some may know the red wooden schoolhouse now home to Lynn Valley Preschool, but nestled between the two is stately second Lynn Valley Elementary. Today, it is home to the Archives portion of MONOVA – complete with cold storage to preserve precious documents. Drop-in hours relaunched last month and there has never been a better time to explore local history. 

What’s inside

For the past few years, the Archives have been accessible by appointment. In addition to appointments throughout the week, the public is welcome to stop in on Monday afternoons from 12:30 – 4:30 pm. 

Georgia Twiss

“When people hear archives they probably think of dusty tomes in some back room where you have to wear gloves and it might feel intimidating,” said Georgia Twiss, MONOVA archives attendant. “The archives is essentially a collection of all the historical documents or records of a place or institution or a collection from a group of people or community. What we have in our collection is all the documents and records you can think of for the history of North Vancouver – both the city and district.”

“And it is far less intimidating than white gloves,” says Twiss. 

Records available at the Institute Road facility include historic municipal records, diaries, photographs and negatives, plus donations from the Burrard Dry Docks, the North Shore Mountaineering Club, organizations, businesses and individuals. But that isn’t quite the case. There are carefully preserved books and papers but access is a lot easier than one might imagine. 

“A lot of the records are digital. We still have the old-style catalogues here with the little drawers you can pull out and the Dewey Decimal System but also today we have an online catalogue so you can come in you can computers do the research from home and then come in and see the materials physically,” she said.

As the archives march through time, along with the community, it is also evolving. It is developing methods to collect digital records like webpages, Instagram posts and tweets. 

“ A lot of our materials have been digitized like old photos. We still have the negatives but you can view the photos digitally,” said Twiss.

Get a historical point of view

Much like a library, the archives and its staff support individuals or groups looking for information. 

“There is a broad range of services people can access the archives. We aren’t just here for academic researchers,” she said. “Perhaps someone’s trying to file taxes for their home so they want to know when their house was built or when an extension was added to it we have that information because we have the building permit records. Perhaps they want to renovate a heritage home and they want to access the records in order to get the approval of the city or the district. There is a lot to do with properties. 

“There is a lot to do with genealogy. We have the ability to answer questions like when did my grandfather move here what was the house they lived in? what did the house look like? Sometimes people just have general questions about history.”

The experience is also similar to a library with staff present to answer questions. There is a reading room with computers, tables and chairs. 

“We can walk through how to search the databases,” said Twiss. “There are historical reference books. Comfy chairs to settle in.”

The archives is hopeful more people will access its resources with the return of drop-in hours. 

“Appointments are valuable because we are able to have materials ready for the people we are assisting. [With] drop-in Mondays we are hoping to break down barriers,” said Twiss.“You don’t have to send us an email. You don’t have to give us a call. You can just pop into the archives. Sometimes people are just walking by and decide to come in and ask that question that’s been on their mind. Sometimes it’s just a new idea or it sometimes is something they’ve been thinking about for years.” 

Twiss also pointed out archival records are present in our community more often than perhaps we think. 

“Anyone who walks by Lynn Valley [Village] sees on the outside the words that frame a photograph of the General Store,  that’s one of our photographs,” she said. “That is an archival record presented in a different way. If you’re on Lonsdale and walking by the Shipyards you’re walking past our photos everywhere. You are interacting with our records, you just might not know it. 

Visit for yourself

The MONOVA archives are at 3203 Institute Road.

Monday: Drop-in hours from 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm.

Tuesday – Friday: By appointment only from 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

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.

Pre-hibernation bear awareness

With the summer gardens we love coming to an end, there is no doubt it will be attracting wildlife prior to hibernation. In this season of harvest in Lynn Valley’s forests and yards becoming more bear aware will help you and our furry neighbours. 

Preventing backyard bears

The North Shore Black Bear Society has some tips to make your yard less attractive to bears and other wildlife.

  • Pick fruit promptly
  • Clean fallen fruit from the ground
  • Ask for help if can’t tackle the fruit yourself

If residents are unable to pick the fruit on their property for some reason – being away at the time the fruit matures or being unable to climb a ladder, or other reasons ask friends and neighbours if they’d like to share the bounty.

Bear encounters

The North Shore Black Bear Society is at the forefront of human-animal interaction education. They partner with government organizations at all levels to improve our cohabitation with bears. It will also place Bear-in-Area signs, answer questions, make home visits, and canvass areas where bears are reported.

If you see a bear in your backyard, remember that it is in your territory so do what you can to safely discourage the bear.

Here are some ideas:

  • Give the bear lots of space, and go inside with your pets.
  • If the bear is eating  let it finish as eating is its number one priority.
  • From a safe vantage point, shout loudly, bang pots or throw water balloons and wave your arms to let the bear know it is not welcome. Remember to accompany the unwelcoming experience with your voice.
  • When the bear has left, remove all attractants from yard. Keep in mind that it will likely return several times to check for the same source of food that it found before.
  • Let your neighbours know about the bear and tell them to remove attractants.
  • Report your sighting.

If you see a bear up a tree, give it some space by leaving the area or going inside if you are at home. A black bear will climb a tree because it is anxious and stressed. Let the bear come down in its own time. It may wait until nightfall. Do not bring extra attention to the bear by inviting friends and neighbours.

NSBBS recommends if you see a bear leaving a tree, from inside your home shout, make loud noises or use noisemakers to reinforce that it is not welcome.

Bear and attractant sightings can be reported to the North Shore Black Bear Society at:

If you personally encounter a bear in your yard or on a trail, these are the NSBBS’s tips on how to handle the situation:  

Remember the four S’s:

  • Stay calm
  • Stand still – Do Not Run!
  • Speak calmly  
  • Slowly back away

Green bins and garbage carts

The NSBBS has been working with the District of North Vancouver to help establish best practices with garbage bins and green bins to ensure our neighbourhoods are not attractive to bears and other wildlife.

Lockable carts are bear-resistant, not bear-proof. Therefore, people who store their carts outside should not have odorous food scraps in their carts. The odours attract wildlife and can lead to property damage.

The DNV and the NSBBS recommend that:

  • odorous food scraps (especially meat and fish scraps) be kept frozen until the morning of collection
  • other food scraps should be wrapped in newspaper to reduce odour and mess and layered with yard trimmings
  • carts should be washed out periodically to keep them clean and as odour-free as possible
  • no carts, including those containing only yard trimmings, should be placed at the curbside before 5:30 a.m. on the designated collection day.

Questions about household waste storage and collection can be forwarded to District staff at 604.990.2311. Information is also available at DNV.org/bear-aware or from the North Shore Black Bear Society.


(Most images courtesy of North Shore Black Bear Society)

Community invited to Creekside Commons

Lynn Valley is blessed with hiking trails, canyon walks, and mountain adventures – but not everyone has the time, the energy, or the physical ability to take part in rugged recreational opportunities. So St. Clement’s Anglican Church set out to offer the community an inclusive natural retreat for rest and relaxation, close to but secluded from the hustle and bustle of the town centre.


Grand Opening

The newly created Creekside Commons is having its grand opening on the afternoon of Sunday, September 17 and everyone is welcome to take part in the celebration. St. Clement’s (known for the giant anchor in its front yard!) is located at 3400 Institute Rd.

While a great deal of energy had been devoted to other parts of the church property over the years, including the addition of community garden boxes in the front of the church and certified wildlife habitat creation on the banks of the salmon-bearing Coleman Creek at the back, the unused north side of the church had become overgrown with thorny brambles. Access was further impeded by a crumbling cinder-block wall and a decaying, ivy-covered stump.

A vision come true

When indoor gatherings were put on hold thanks to COVID-19, the church membership used the opportunity to create a vision for the overgrown land that would offer a welcome to passers-by as well as parishioners. The Anglican Foundation of Canada provided grant money to help ensure Creekside Commons was inclusive from the ground up, including consultation with Indigenous elders on choosing native plants for a healing garden, installing crushed-limestone pathways for the highest standard of accessibility, and building raised community garden boxes for use by people in wheelchairs. Hundreds of volunteer hours were put in over the pandemic years, giving church members an uplifting goal to focus upon as well as an outdoor activity that people could do together safely.


A Tree of Life memorial mural was painted on the church wall, offering community members a place to remember departed loved ones by having their names painted on a leaf on the vining branches. Seating provides rest for people walking the neighbourhood, picking up children at the nearby schools or Lynn Valley Park across the street, or just looking for a peaceful destination to sit and let their thoughts wander.

All welcome to gather

People will begin to gather for the grand opening of Creekside Commons at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 17, with a welcome and addresses beginning at 11:45. Music, children’s games, and food will follow. Please visit St. Clement’s church website for more info.

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.