Parade of Trees

The lights will shine again in Lynn Valley Dec. 5. The Lynn Valley Community Association is returning with its Parade of Trees at Lynn Valley Village and Lynn Valley Centre Plaza.

Bright lights

The Parade of Trees will be ongoing until Jan. 1. The 11th annual community event brings together local schools, businesses, community organizations and faith groups to decorate Christmas trees in their own unique way. Returning this year is the public’s chance to vote for their favourite tree. Do you love the themes? The lights? Pick up a ballot and wander through to find the tree that sparks some holiday joy.

Community events return

There are still event limitations for covid safety but there are some special days to pop in with the family. There are three events returning in December.

Dec. 5th, 5:30 pm, Annual Parade of Trees Lantern Parade

Join North Van Rec for the annual Parade of Trees Lantern Parade on Sunday.

Meet outside of the Community Room at Lynn Valley Village (look for the NVRC flags).

Together bring light to Lynn Valley Village Plaza! All are invited to create a festive lantern with a lantern craft kit, or, be inspired to make your own!

Contact NVRC Community Events for Information  or 604-983-6575

Dec. 18th & 19th from 4:30 – 6:00 pm, Roving Carolers

Roving Carolers will bring festive acapella music to the backdrop of the festively decorated Lynn Valley Village Plaza. Come by and enjoy the magic of Christmas in the Village.

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.

Lighting up Lynn Valley

For eight years the lights have been twinkling behind Ruth Crescent. The almost hidden path behind Froggy Pad Daycare has been bringing neighbourhood smiles, raising money and shedding much-needed attention on underserved community issues. You are invited to visit the magical walk this December.  

Community built

In the cold and rain of late November, the Lee/Bassett family is carefully running last-minute checks of their community light display. With the first phase of the display lit up on December 1st, they still have music to add and a light show to program. Each year there is a little more to do on the community display in hopes of accomplishing two simple goals: delight the neighbourhood and support a valuable community cause: Team Finn

“There are about 80,000 lights,” estimated Jamie Bassett. “There are three trees with 2,000 each, so that is 6,000 right there.” 

Bassett and his sons Christopher and Nicholas are the primary executioners of wife/mom Catherine Lee’s vision. She is the owner of Froggy Pad and is deeply passionate about raising awareness of important community issues.  The back property and fence have a rotating showcase drawing attention to important causes. 

“Catherine received a grant to help create them. There is a teacher who does all the drawings and stencils and I help make the boxes. There are about eight different themes throughout the year,” said Bassett offering the examples of Black Lives Matter, Every Child Matters Indigenous support and Terry Fox. 

All year, along the forest path behind Ruth Crescent (accessed via the driveway of 4375 Ruth Cres.) there are a variety of displays to encounter. Larger spectacles for Halloween and Christmas raise money for the Burn Fund and Team Finn. 

“This is really a community effort,” said Bassett. “We have a neighbour help us set up and provide the electricity and another neighbour stores the lights and display items in their crawl space. We don’t have any storage with the daycare, so we simply couldn’t do it without our neighbours.”

Ever evolving, previous versions of the light display have used other properties and both sides of the path. This year the focus is on the Froggy Pad property after the District of North Vancouver ask them at Halloween to remove lights from the Districts’ side of the path.

Community causes

“People asked if they could help pay for the display and we thought we can do that but let’s support a good cause. Finn was planning to attend our daycare with his brother, so it was natural that we support their cancer research,” said Bassett. “Last year we raised about $1500. People just do it.”

Donations can be made at the front door of Froggy Pad Daycare at 4367 Ruth Cres. The entrance to the light path can be found just to the right via the neighbouring driveway. 

“Come by and enjoy this Upper Lynn community project,” he said. 

Photos courtesy of Christopher Lee. 

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.


Without the community pumpkin patches turning up in local schoolyards, we are opening our office doors for you to come Pick-A-Pumpkin for FREE! 

Happy Halloween

With so many closures and loss of community gatherings, we are missing the annual pumpkin patches that take place across the street from our offices. It is a great way to kick off the fall season, raise some money and have some fun. We will be supporting Lynn Valley Elementary and Lynn Valley Parent Participation Preschool with the financial donations we would usually make to their Pumpkin Patches and we are inviting you to come by our office and pick up a FREE PUMPKIN! is partnering with our office neighbours Central Agencies Insurance to help make Lynn Valley a little more festive this Halloween.

We encourage you to make a donation to the schools when come by but it is optional. Registration below:

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.

Ecology anniversary

Five decades ago a very special flower blossomed above Lynn Canyon. Next month the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre will be celebrating its 50th anniversary of education and outreach for local kids, families, and visitors to our community.  Join the festivities starting October 2. 

Early vision

As British Columbia looked to mark its centennial in 1971, the government offered grants for community projects and celebrations. The District of North Vancouver was feeling ambitious and proposed one of the largest projects in BC: an Ecology Centre at Lynn Canyon, said Isobel Rennie, graphics and display technician for the centre. 

“The Ecology Centre was the first nature centre in an urban environment. It was built in the shape of a dogwood flower – BC’s provincial flower – to mark the centennial,” she said. “People were just getting into understanding how humans affect the earth. Going through old displays in the back cupboards there was a good vision of what is important and most show issues we still talk about today.” 

It is one of the lasting legacies left by former District of North Vancouver Parks Manager, from 1959-1993, Dirk Oostindie (1928-2019). His forward thinking was transformational for the district, bringing us Maplewood Farms, the Baden Powell Trail, improving (disability) access to parks, creating Canada’s first public skate bowl at Seylynn and leaving generations of families with the Ecology Centre. 

Dirk Oostindie

Dirk Oostindie

“He grew up in Amsterdam during the war years,” said Nellie Oostindie, Dirk’s widow. “He didn’t have much in the way of school for many years. We didn’t have books, we didn’t have paper. But there were other ways and he would go to nature houses and learn there. It left an impression on him. He thought we could use one in Lynn Valley.” 

With many Centennial project options, it was good timing some trees needed to be cleared for a rain runoff culvert in Lynn Canyon Park. The new piece of infrastructure left the perfect empty spot for Dirk’s vision, said Oostindie. 

The opening exhibits – housed in each of the five dogwood petals,  discussed land use, she said, displaying a polluted, devastated forest, a pristine forest, a forest – like Lynn Valley was at the time – impacted by humans, an exhibit on garbage and a theatre. The grand opening, and a subsequent Cub Scout visit, left a lasting impression on Nellie and Dirk’s son, seven years old at the time – especially the resident live raccoon.

I am surprised that he remembers that after 50 years,” said Oostindie, adding that last week as they reminisced together he could recall the film he watched and describe the raccoon den in detail. Decades later the Ecology Centre continues to educate and delight visitors.

“There are always families who don’t dare go across the bridge and this was something they could do,” she said. “And on rainy days people would go inside. People who plan to go have a background in knowing about ecology but on rainy days, you catch the people who don’t plan to and learn something.” 

The Ecology Centre was just one project of countless others, Dirk spearheaded to make the DNV more livable for its growing community. Oostindie reflects Dirk was quite pragmatic about the changes he brought to the North Shore. 

“He said ‘That’s my job, I am paid for it – and I love my job. He felt it was his duty to do it.”

More than a building

Most locals have explored the petals of the Ecology Centre at some point. It remains one of the most accessible attractions in Metro Vancouver.  The staff adapted and innovated early in the pandemic creating online programs attracting participants from around the world. 

“It is a place where kids on the North Shore come as they grow up or as part of school and sparks interest in the environment and teaches them they have a role in caring for the environment,” said Rennie. “I think it’s a really accessible place, if teachers want to bring their classes it is subsidized, entrance is by donation for our visitors and our weekend programs are very affordable.”

In a typical year, 88,000 people visit the centre each year. Many of the guests are international or from other parts of Canada.  Over the years that is more than 3.3 million visitors from 70+ countries. 

“For people who are coming to Lynn Canyon Park and didn’t grow up here it is a place to learn who to explore, how to be safe and respectful of the animals and forests,” she said.

Centre staff encounter guests who are unfamiliar with forests and hesitate – often with concerns about bears.  

“Most come here not knowing the forest has been logged before, viewing the trees as large, ancient and old,” said Rennie. “When they get a chance to learn about the canyon’s past through the displays and learn its a very different place than it was 100 years ago, it gives a better understanding of the environment today.”

The centre’s pandemic pivot brought Lynn Valley ecology education into homes here and abroad. The centre now gets frequent participants from the US, UK and regularly teaches a class to students in Japan, said Rennie. It has also led to innovation that will enhance local programming. 

“We have a new underwater camera we hope to offer virtual underwater discovery soon.”

Celebrating a golden anniversary

Join the Ecology Centre Saturday, Oct. 2 – exactly 50 years from opening day: 

  • 12 – 4 pm
  • Nature groups will join the centre inside and out, such as North Shore Black Bear Society, the Wild Bird Trust (Maplewood Flats), the Invasive Species Council of BC, Furbearers, Streamkeepers,  DNV Trail and Habitat, DNV Rangers and others.
  • With covid procedures, visitors can walk through the centre and check out vintage film reels plus there will be crafts for kids, a colouring contest and an outdoor scavenger hunt to take-away.
  • Help create a memory wall where people can share their Ecology Centre memories.

Week-long events Oct. 2 – 8

  • Guided nature walks
  • Displays at the café mezzanine from Walter Draycott’s collection
  • Crafts, colouring contest and outdoor scavenger hunt. 

To stay up to date on events visit their website, follow on social media or sign up for the centre’s newsletter (at the bottom of the home page). 

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.

Creative clubs for summer fun

As the community opens up there are a number of ‘clubs,’ some sprouting for the first time to keep people of all ages busy this summer.

Lynn Valley Ecology Centre


The Ecology Centre usually offers some cool respite from the summer heat. Nestled in the forest it typically a few degrees lower than the rest of Lynn Valley. This summer they are launching a Summer Nature Club to encourage kids to get active and outdoors. Pick up a bookmark to track your progress. It’s as simple as filling in each box a picture or details of what you did then visiting the Centre for a stamp. Once the bookmark is complete you get a prize from the Centre’s store. 

The Ecology Centre also offers their Tree Top Tales virtually four times this summer July 16, Aug. 6 & 20, and Sept. 3. These adventures for tiny tots are suitable for children 2+.

Library reading clubs

There is plenty going on at the North Vancouver District Public Library. They have summer programs for all ages. 

Explore the Shore: Adult Reading Challenge – The library has teamed up with the North Shore Culture Compass to offer a challenge involving books, local places history and culture, and film. To participate all you need to do is register and attend at least one summer Zoom discussion to share your Explore the Shore experiences, and you’ll be eligible for the prize draw where six gift cards to 32 Books are up for grabs. Check out their post to learn more.

Under the Sea: Teen Summer Reading ClubThere are nine challenges for teens to tackle this summer. From exploiting manga to creating story-inspired art. Completing a challenge gets an entry into the ongoing prize draws. If all nine challenges are checked off before the deadline teens will receive a book. 

Crack the Case: Children’s Summer Reading Club  –  The goal is to get kids reading – 15 minutes or more – for 50 days this summer. The exploration in literacy can be family reading time, audiobooks, magazines, novels, graphic novels, etc., pretty much anything to get you engaged in a story. Participants can pick up their packages at any library branch to track their progress or participate virtually. At the end of the summer, successful readers will get a medal and a book prize. 

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.

Graduating in a year of Covid

The grads of 2021 have had a roller coaster of a year. There were times it looked like there might not be a school year at all and by the end, the chance to celebrate was so close – but not quite there. We chatted with Argyle Secondary School graduates on the year and the challenges of being the class of 2021.


As this year’s Grade 12s approached September they knew the script would be rewritten. They watched the grads of 2020 have their worlds turned upside down. The class of 2021 knew it would be a year of resilience, adaptation, and reimagination.

Mika Diebolt

“Last year it was taken away suddenly,” said Mika Diebolt, an executive member of the grad council. “I think we went into the year prepared it would be different from what we were expecting.” 

Students had a big education shift this year, gone was the usual schedule replaced with two classes each day, and the year divided into quarters. Students were kept in cohorts to reduce contacts and to limit social interactions. Depending on the grade there were differing levels of in-class and online instruction. The situation made learning intense.

“There were perks to the quarter system,” said Georgia Keir, co-president of the Argyle grad council. “It’s a chance to stay engaged in topics and explore them more. It was nice that we didn’t have to juggle as many classes and to focus, but if classes were a struggle it was really easy to get lost and the consequences of falling behind were bigger.”


For grads, the final year of high school is a combination of building community and polishing applications for post-secondary schooling. The typical volunteer jobs and community projects that fill out university applications were put on hold. 

“I started a community project on female empowerment before covid,” said Diebolt. “We couldn’t carry out our plans but we were able to keep going with virtual events and panel discussions – it was excellent, I was able to develop skills I didn’t have like learning technology, working a network and how to bring people together for social connection when we were apart.”

Lynn Choi

Fellow grad Lynn Choi similarly had plans for social outreach. 

“My friend and I created a project to support the Downtown Eastside with essential care packages,” she said. “We had to change our goals a bit. We transitioned from us directly distributing the care packs to finding good partner organizations and adapting to the work they were already doing.”

As for school, they didn’t know what to expect. The initial response of the administration was to pull back on all extracurricular activities, said Choi.

“We faced challenges like organizing student government,” she said, co-president of the Grade 12 class. “We had to talk with the administration, find sponsors, and then find ways to get it all going.”

All three students agree the staff and administration were very supportive in the school. 

“We see teachers who are 20 or 30 years into their careers and they are also learning something completely new. The shift to focus on academics, I think, paid off,” said Diebolt. “We had opportunities we wouldn’t have like in my law class, having professional lawyers, prosecutors, and judges present lectures.”

And they were grateful for some in-class instruction, knowing that some districts didn’t offer it to Grade 12 students. 

“There was a lot of support from administration,” said Keir. “Our feelings were validated, it wasn’t about any particular assignment or test, it was about keeping us engaged and helping us to be ready for next year to do whatever we choose.”

With restrictions on gathering, clubs, athletics and activities took the biggest hit. Many did not happen at all this year. It was particularly a challenge for students hoping to achieve athletic goals in the final year, said Choi.

“I have been a part of the Argyle Cheerleading program for four years,” she said. “I was lucky to be captain. We couldn’t stunt or have any contact. It was a challenge because that is kind of what cheerleading is about: teamwork. As a captain, it was hard to create an environment where everyone felt safe and supported because we couldn’t do those bonding games that establish a connection.”


As the year unfolded the grads of 2021 saw many of the milestones and celebrations that take place in the final year and create a sense of camaraderie passed by unmarked. 

“My sister graduated when I was in Grade 10, I saw what their year was like,” said Keir. “It was full of fun events that brought the class together like the banquet, winter formal, prom – I was so excited to be a part of that I bought my prom dress in Grade 10 – so I was ready for this year. But it didn’t happen.”

Georgia Keir

Diebolt echoes those feelings.

“When I was younger we would see the Grade 12s and they had such a strong sense of community. Dress up days, all the special events. And we have had them in a way but building a community has been harder with fewer classes, friends aren’t around as much and there weren’t the chances to create that bond in the same way.”

Instead, the class is pleased there are ways to celebrate. The graduates will be walking across the stage in small groups to receive their diplomas. The speeches and other ceremonies along with the walk across the stage will be recorded and edited together into a longer ceremony. Parents are busily organizing a car parade which takes place Tuesday, June 22 at 7 pm.  For Diebolt, Choi, and Keir there will also be small family celebrations. They have busy summers before starting at UBC and Queens universities. 

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.

Community Art Day

The pandemic pivot is leading to all sorts of innovation. A local artist who took her art lessons online in 2020 is inviting Lynn Valley to join her January 29 for a community painting party. Local artist Caroline Liggett has partnered with the United Way’s Local Love campaign to provide materials and instruction for an online class at the end of the month.

A real artist

Liggett’s journey to becoming an artist is echoed by the experience of many enduring the Covid-19 pandemic: she was dealing with grief. The busy working mom was rattled by the unexpected death of her sister in 2009. 

“A friend of mine suggested I journal,” said Liggett. “But I didn’t want to see the words of grief, I didn’t want to be reminded. I had taken a few painting lessons in the past and picked up my brush to see if I could channel all those feelings of anxiety, the pain of grief, into something beautiful.”

She connected with North Van’s Dene Croft as an instructor and mentor and began to paint. Years in she is prolific and is a teacher herself. From youth classes to adults she has been guiding individuals and groups through ongoing lessons and one-off painting parties.

“I hear from people all the time ‘I can’t paint’ or ‘I am not an artist,” she said. “I think to be a real artist all you need is a desire to create art – the rest is just learning. I think people are surprised by what they can do when they complete a painting.”

One stroke at a time

The desire to help others fall in love with painting did not end when the pandemic hit last spring. For some students, Liggett moved outside during the summer. For others, especially for her students with special needs, she worked with families to create learning spaces that allow for physical distance and masks. But for the majority, she turned – like most of us – to Zoom. She has even taught classes for a high school in Nanaimo all from the comfort of her studio. 

“I started with some groups I know, and then offered more classes in November,” said Liggett. “I think people wondered what they could create guided by a video but it was interesting, I had a former colleague of mine doing a class one Wednesday with her kids and her husband was wandering in and out of the kitchen. Then in my Friday class – for adults – there he was wanting to give it a try!”

Each week Liggett offers two classes, one to suit children (but any age is welcome) on Wednesday afternoons and an adult class on Friday evenings. Participants are provided with a finished image of the class painting to help inspire them, an accessible supply list and a link to the class. For a flat fee of $10 (kids classes) or $15 (adult class) anyone in the household can participate. 

“These classes are for the very beginner,” she said. “All you need is a yearning to paint. You don’t need 40 different colours. I have created a very limited palette of colours that you can find at Opus or Micheals. Depending on the painting I might paint along, but I have found that by breaking it down into four or five steps and being able to offer immediate feedback tends to work best. 

“And by the end of the two hours,” she laughs, “you have a masterpiece.”

She also puts together private events. Over the holidays Liggett worked with several families to lead a family event together while all in their own homes. She also has some dedicated clients who take a more social approach – more of cocktail and create – all of which can be done on Zoom, she said. 

Community Paint Party

Last fall the Greater Vancouver United Way launched a Local Love Campaign to foster connection within Lynn Valley during the pandemic. Residents could submit proposals for small grants to create an impactful project. Liggett was awarded a grant for a community-wide paint party to put together 30 supply packages for Lynn Valley residents. 

“I am thinking it will be birch trees,” she said of the design. “People could then ‘carve’ a name or some initials, a heart or something into the bark that was impactful to them during this time. I would really like some seniors to participate.”

To sign up or learn more about the Jan. 29th Community Paint (Online) Party visit Liggett’s Facebook page or email her.

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.

The Haunted Hunt

We have put together some treats and might just have a trick up our sleeves! For a bit of socially distant fun, visit take a walk or ride through Lynn Valley in the coming days and solve our scavenger hunt for a chance to win some treats of your very own – including one to spook up your home next year. 

The map

If you click on the map (or the square with the arrow in the upper left), we have layers letting you know which homes are fun for all ages and which are spookier.

The hunt is on

The scariest of the scary, the funnest of fun?

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.

Virtual Fall Fair – Winners

We are so pleased to see all the great entries for our Virtual Fall Fair! Thank you to all who participated. And the winners are….

I grew it myself – under 13

Congratulations Jack K – 8 years old. This spring Jack and his family took part in some guerilla gardening as part of a homeschool project. Perhaps the next topic to study will be pumpkin pie!?!

We would also like to give a shout out runners up: Both pairs of brothers with great gardens. Well done Owen and Aiden (left) and Ryan and Aiden.

Best container and best flowers

We had a pollinator theme for our Best Container and Best Flowers.

Congratulations to Nicole for Best Container and this close up of a bee (left) and to Tracy for her Butterfly Ranger garden winning Best Ornamental.

Best veggies

Sometimes gardening is about more than growing food or flowers. Sometimes it’s about working hard and seeing that work pay off for yourself and your friends. A big congratulations to Shawn who has taken on the garden at Dovercourt House – a second-stage recovery home operated by the Lookout Society. Friends say they are so proud of Shawn’s passion and dedication to the gardens at the home. Congratulations.

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.

Halloween – pandemic style

There has been much discussion in the daily updates for Covid-19 about Halloween. Dr. Bonnie Henry, at this point, is adamant it can go on. There have been guidelines written by the BC Centre for Disease Control and creative minds working throughout the community.  

What will Halloween look like?

We have been thinking about how we can help the community enjoy the annual tradition in the most safe and responsible way.

First and foremost: If you are sick, do not trick or treat and do not hand out candy.

  • Keep celebrations to those you live with or very, very small groups (think six). No big house parties this year.
  • Celebrate outside – be careful with handsanitizer near open flames. It is very flammable.
  • Follow the BC CDC’s guidelines for safer celebrations.
  • This year, avoid using props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.

We are building a map and will continue you to add homes and displays to visit in the days leading up to Halloween weekend. We will continuously add to it throughout the month of October. If you click on the map (or the square with the arrow in the upper left), we have layers letting you know which homes are fun for all ages and which are spookier. There are definitely some favourites on here like the Haslers and the Tindales on Wellington. 

Help build the Halloween neighbourhood map

From Sykes to Peters and many nooks and crannies in between, we see so many get in the spooky spirit of Halloween.  LynnValleyLife will be putting together a Halloween Map. If you go over the top wth house decorations or know of a great display, please send it our way. We want families to enjoy the community spirit of Halloween – without door knocking – in the days around the holiday. You can use the from below or this link to add to the map. These don’t have to be your home, please add your neighbours homes too – if they have a display they want people to see it.

Tips for a symptom-free celebration

Trick-or-treating can be done safely by following these tips

  1. Respect homes by staying away if the lights are out.
  2. Keep to your local neighbourhood this year.
    • Avoid trick-or-treating in busy areas or indoors (in places like malls) since there may not be enough space to distance. Indoor spaces may require a non-medical mask or face covering.
  3. Trick-or-treat in a small social group, stick to six people.
    • Leave space between you and other groups to reduce crowding on stairs and sidewalks.
  4. Wash your hands before you go out, when you get home, and before eating treats.
    • Keep hand sanitizer with you if eating treats on the go.
    • You don’t need to clean every treat. You should instead wash your hands after handling treats and not touch your face.

Get creative handing out treats

  1. Get creative!
    • Use tongs, a baking sheet or make a candy slide to give more space when handing out candy.
    • Plan to hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl.
    • Only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats.
  2. Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose and mouth when handing out treats.
  3. Be more outside, than inside.
    • If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats. Then kids won’t need to touch the door or doorbell.
    • If you’re unable to sit outside to hand out treats, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, handrails, and any other high touch surface often during the evening
  4. If you are decorating, avoid props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
  5. Stick to the treats – not tricks.

Source: BC Centre for Disease Control

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.