Share your favourite walks and hikes

There is much to be said for the walks and hikes in and around Lynn Valley. So why don’t you help us say it?

We already have a walks and hikes section that’s a good starting point for people who want to get out for some fresh air. You’ll find links to local trail maps and safety tips, and a selection of narrated walks that feature some of Lynn Valley’s classic family forays.

But summertime is the time for exploring, so we’d like locals to help each other with some new adventure ideas. A dog walk that’s old hat to you might be quite undiscovered by someone just a few blocks away! Lynn Valley has so many trails, we would guess that no one knows about all of them – but collectively, we can put together quite a guidebook for people of all ages and fitness levels!

Please have a look at our descriptive walks (like this one) and if you’d like to share the details of a hike you’re familiar with, please send them our way – photos, too, if you can! We’ll edit it into a format we can share with your on-site Lynn Valley neighbours.

If you’ve got a favourite run or bike ride, we’d love to hear about those, too. Thanks for your help, and happy hiking!

– Peggy Trendell-Jensen, editor

Family needs your help to bring mom back to health

UPDATE! Come out to the Friday Night Concert in Lynn Valley Village on July 6 and register with Canadian Blood Services on the spot to see if you are a potential donor for Erica or another person in need. Read on to hear Erica’s story.

Now that the sun is shining, most parents and kids are thinking about beach days, play dates, and picnics in the park. Unfortunately, one Lynn Valley family’s summer dreams have been cut short in a manner as tragic as it was unexpected.

Erica Harris is a wife, a mom to two young sons, and a chiropractor who has spent time working at Canopy Health in Lynn Valley Village. She has owned her own clinic and built her career helping professional and amateur athletes reach their peak. But on June 6 she received word that her own health is facing a severe challenge. On that day she learned she has acute myelogenous leukemia, and was immediately admitted to hospital.

Two days later she started a week-long course of chemotherapy intended to wipe out the cancerous cells in her bone marrow. It was not successful. In fact, the percentage of leukemic cells in her blood was even higher than before.

Doctors now know that Erica is in a high-risk category that requires an even harsher round of chemo to wipe out all the cells in her marrow, good and bad alike (she is just finishing up these treatments in the next day or two). This sets the stage for a bone marrow transplant to follow, which will provide her with ‘seed’ cells to regrow the marrow she needs to produce healthy blood cells.

But there’s a problem. So far a suitable match has not been found for Erica, and her need is urgent and time-limited. That’s why her friends, family and colleagues are doing all they can to spread the word to encourage people to do the simple steps necessary to see if they are a potential match.

This involves a simple cheek swab (you can do it all by mail, or to save precious time, in person at a Canadian Blood Services centre). If a match is found, the vast majority of donations are made via a minimally invasive procedure involving blood collection; occasionally a more involved collection of marrow from the iliac crest is done under local or general anesthetic.

Of course, there are more people than Erica in need of these life-saving treatments, and her family hopes that others will benefit from the kindness of donors who may not be a direct match for Erica.

“Also, if you, and/or anyone you know, are able to donate blood or platelets – this is also very important,” says Erica’s husband Harley Harris. “Erica had a number of transfusions … in her first round of chemo, and we anticipate there will be many more transfusions during this next chemo treatment.   You never realize how important donating blood and platelets really is until you are receiving them.”

Harley’s great wish is to have Erica home again and tucking in their two boys at night. The two- and five-year-old lads are her biggest cheering squad, urging her ‘good’ cells on with chants of “Go, fighters, go!!”

But Erica’s ‘good’ cells need a helping hand, and that’s what neighbours are for. So please learn more about the donation process and how you can get involved. And please spread the word on your own Facebook pages and amongst your email lists.

We’ll be sure to update you with any other opportunities to give this Lynn Valley family a hand.  In the meantime, please continue to keep Erica, Harley and their boys in your thoughts.

– Peggy Trendell-Jensen, Editor

No need to leave the Valley this weekend!

Be sure to get all your chores before Friday this week, because you won’t want to miss a minute of the goings-on in Lynn Valley this weekend. We’re confident the weather will cooperate, so get your calendar out and make note of the following!

If you’re one of the lucky ones who scored a ticket to the Lynn Valley Day Gala Dinner, you already know what you’ll be doing Friday night – dining and dancing under the tent and putting in some bids on auction items to help support the North Shore Rescue team.

If you left your ticket buying too late, don’t despair – cap off your week by taking in the never-fail laughs provided by members of the professional theatre sports troupe AddLibretto, performing at 7:30 at the weekly Friday Night Live event at Lynn Valley United. Special guest this week is violinist Andrea Siradze of the North Shore Sinfonia orchestra.

Saturday starts bright and early with the Lynn Valley Day Pancake Breakfast at 7:30 (or earlier if you decide to lend a hand to the stalwart volunteers showing up at 6 a.m.!) Spend the rest of the day enjoying the 10 a.m. parade, exhibits, rides, performances, and games at the 100th Lynn Valley Day extravaganza; all details are here.

Rest up Saturday night (you’ll sleep even better if you help put away the tents and tables in Lynn Valley Park!) and then head to Lynn Headwaters Park on Sunday for their Wilderness at Your Doorstep event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join archeologists and experts on natural history and local trails in the BC Mills House, and take a walk fuelled by some coffee from the Tim Hortons Community Mobile.

That afternoon, enjoy the fruits of other people’s labours with a visit to the two Lynn Valley gardens taking part in the annual Art in the Garden event.

From noon to 5 p.m., pay just $1 to tour gardens that showcase not just their owners’ green thumbs, but the work of local artists and musicians.

The Lynn Valley gardens are located at 1731 Torquay Ave. and 1531 Kilmer Pl. See the North Vancouver Community Arts Council website for details on musicians’ set times and other North Shore gardens participating in the tour.

After a weekend like that, you might just be glad to head into the office Monday for a rest! Enjoy it – and our thanks to all event organizers for putting on a weekend to remember!

P.S. If we’re wrong and the weather DOESN’T improve, don’t fret – just head on over to the Library Book Sale, on from Friday to Sunday!


Can you take a ticket, run a ride, or tote a table?

We know you’ve been meaning to give Shirin a call and just haven’t gotten around to it…. so now’s your chance! Shirin is the busy soul in charge of matching volunteers to various Lynn Valley Day tasks. Events are often a lot funner (yes, we’ve decided that’s a word) when you’re actively involved, and, as an added bonus, new legislation has ruled that any mini doughnuts consumed by volunteers contain no calories. So what are you waiting for? Please see the poster below for specific volunteer requests, and help Shirin fill those last slots!

Help plan LV’s future – your health depends on it!

FROM THE EDITOR: Do you consider yourself an opinionated person? If so, this is the week for you!

I can’t remember being asked for my opinion quite so often. Between the North Van District Open Houses presenting the new Lynn Valley Town Centre proposal, to tonight’s Healthy Communities Conversation Cafe, to a Cultural Plan Open House in the Village on Thursday, there is enough proposing, pondering, possibility-seeking and planning going on to satisfy the most ardent citizen activist.

Thing is, it’s not just the typical ‘citizen activists’ who should becoming out to these events. Lynn Valley is fortunate to be home to a great corps of dedicated people who pay attention to community planning, who take the time to think about the issues, and who give their feedback and follow the process through to its conclusion.

But the decisions being made now don’t affect just them. They affect busy, double-income families and single seniors. They affect our lower-income residents and our mortgage-free homeowners. And they affect our children, most of whom will have to leave this community to search out affordable accommodation elsewhere – unless, of course, things change.

At tonight’s Conversation Cafe, hosted by Vancouver Coastal Health, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and North Van District, North Shore Health Officer Dr. Brian O’Connor told us that as far as our health is concerned, district planners are far more important than doctors.

“The decisions they make shape the context of your everyday life,” he said. “Your health doesn’t depend on the advice of your physician; it depends on where you live.”

As just one example, he pointed to study that found a typical, 35-year-old male who lives in a walkable neighbourhood weighs 10 pounds less and has better physical and mental health than his ‘twin’ who lives in a lower-density, less-walkable community.

It’s also been discovered that children who live in higher-density, mixed-income neighbourhoods score better on ‘school readiness’ assessments than children who live in uniformly wealthy neighbourhoods, as they have easy access to a wider range of community services.

Finally, seniors who are able to stay in their home community have more social connections and lower mortality rates than those who have to leave their familiar neighbourhood.

Clearly, community planning affects every age group, income level, and interest group. Unfortunately, most of us are too weighed down with the busy-ness involved in the present to pay enough attention to the future.

Which is why it’s so great the District is doing all it can to make engagement easy, interesting, and – yes – even enjoyable! Take tonight as an example. Attendees were given a lovely, heart-healthy dinner and entertained by a live jazz combo; they heard interesting presentations, had the pleasure of having their views actively solicited, and even witnessed the evening unfold visually as artist Taraneh Erfan King used her felt pens and fine doodling to bring people’s thoughts to life.

So, please accept district planners’ invitation to get involved. Help ensure that our neighbourhood can be a vibrant community that is home to people at all ages and stages of their life. Over the next 20 years, it is projected that 5,000 people may move into this community – this is not a small project!

If you can’t make an in-person event, be sure to make time to review and comment on the proposals online.

A Cultural Plan Open House is taking place in the LV Village Community Room on Thursday, May 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. Details, here. (Heads up, an arts facility for the Lynn Valley area is under discussion, so put your two cents in!) You can fill in the Arts Office online survey, here (until May 18).

For all the information about North Van District’s proposals for Lynn Valley Town Centre, see our earlier blog post. You have one more chance to see the displays this week, and that’s tomorrow (Wednesday, May 2), at Karen Magnussen Rec Centre from 1 to 8 p.m. Online options for reviewing the plans, though, are available and we’ve given you all the details.

We promise you’ll discover something interesting in your perusal of the plans. Personally, I love the proposed idea of a “Rain Street”! If we’ve got it, we might as well flaunt it!

– Peggy Trendell-Jensen


Visions of the valley await your voices and views

There was quite a buzz around the boards set up near the Lynn Valley Mall centre court today, as district planners toured visitors around several graphic displays that gave glimpses into the future of Lynn Valley Town Centre.

Since the Official Community Plan was approved last June, planners have been hard at work developing implementation plans for different town centre sites around the district. For more information about the process, and the tools that will help you contribute your own views about the latest proposals, visit the purpose-built District website, here.

The Lynn Valley plan calls for a variety of housing, street-level storefront shopping plazas, community amenities (an arts facility of some sort is under discussion, for example), parkland features and pedestrian/cycle-friendly trail networks. It promises walkers protection from our infamous local rainfall – and even a ‘rain garden’! It’s quite a change from the current town centre layout, and gives residents plenty to ponder.

If you want to give an opinion, now’s the time – don’t leave it until the last minute. If you want to shape the future, you have to pay attention to the present! The Open House will continue at the mall tomorrow (Sunday, April 29), and in the LV Village Community Room on Tuesday afternoon (1 – 6 p.m.) and at Karen Magnussen Wednesday from 1 – 8:30 p.m.

To view the displays online, go here; to fill out a “report card” with your thoughts (which can be saved or printed), check in here.


Kids clean up at Earth Day event

FROM EVENT ORGANIZER JODY LABRIOLA: A BIG thank you to all who came out on Saturday and helped with our community garbage pick-up event. It was a success!

We cleaned both fields for Argyle Secondary (and all around the school), Fredrick Road (between Mountain Highway and Fromme), Croft Road (including DNV laneways), Baird (between Fredrick and Wellington) and Wellington. It was so nice to see so many young teens and children. Our next event will take place Saturday, November 3, 2012 – so mark your calendars!

Another BIG thank you to Sugar & Co for donating the prizes for the top three (under 12) garbage collectors and to Lonsdale Creek Daycare Society for donating the snacks that were enjoyed after the event.

We define our landscapes as much as they define us – let’s keep Lynn Valley clean!

**If any Lynn Valley businesses would like to donate prizes, refreshments or snacks for the November event please contact me at

Bob Rasmus takes pride in the Lions

FROM THE EDITOR: If you’ve attended a Lynn Valley community event any time in the past two decades, chances are you’ve crossed paths with a Lion – a certain Lynn Valley Lion, that is.

Bob Rasmus is known to many as the former owner of RJR Contruction Management, a company he and his wife Peggy ran for many years before his retirement in 2010. But he’s probably met even more people through his role in the Lynn Valley Lions, the community service club he joined in 1990.

It all started when he built a house for a client over in Vancouver. When Bob presented his bill, the client told him “I’ll pay it as long as you join the Lions Club.” Bob took up the challenge, and – having moved to Lynn Valley in 1976 – joined the club in our neighbourhood.

Payment of invoices aside, Bob says “One of the reasons I joined is because I was making my living from the community, and I wanted to give back to the community. I think a lot of people feel that way.”

Many people may feel that way, but we suspect Bob may have given back more than most. Currently the secretary of the 31-member club, and zone chairman for the larger community of local Lions Clubs, Bob has been president of the Lynn Valley Lions three times, most recently last year. As of writing, he is working 10-hour days organizing the 100th Lynn Valley Days celebration on May 25/26 – but that didn’t stop him or his fellow Lions from setting up their infamous Cook Shack for Lynn Valley Village’s Easter weekend festivities. (For more about the Lynn Valley Lions and their role in the community, click here!)

Bob’s history of volunteering pre-dates his Lynn Valley Lions days; father of two, he was a baseball coach and Scoutmaster, and a participant in the YMCA’s “Indian Princess” program for fathers and daughters.

It was a circuitous path that brought Bob to our neighbourhood; born in Portage La Prairie, he left there for Mission when he was two, then moved to Vancouver in 1966 and to Lynn Valley a decade later, where he lives on Alderlynn Road.

Since arriving, Bob and his fellow club members have done a great deal to improve our community. We can only imagine he’d love to issue the same challenge to our male readers as he received all those years ago – “Join the Lions Club!” Even without the motivation of an outstanding invoice (!), we hope you consider taking him up on it.

– Peggy Trendell-Jensen

New programs starting in LV Community Room

Spring has sprung, along with a new round of rec commission programs in the Lynn Valley Community Room in Lynn Valley Village.

Whether it’s walking, dancing, martial arts, skipping or talks on street sense and nutrition, there’s something for all interest groups.

First classes in some programs start April 11, so register soon! Check out details, here.



New yoga and arts program for families

Families wanting to experience movement, creativity, music and yoga with their children will have the opportunity to try a new class offered in the program room adjacent to the kids’ section in Lynn Valley Library.

Megan Johnson of One Soul Yoga is offering a six-week Yoga and Arts programs for parents and tots and/or older children. Classes begin on Saturday, March 31 and run until May 5. Details are as follows:

10:15-10:45 a.m.: Parent and Tot yoga and arts, ages 2-4 (five years permitted especially if you have two children i.e. 3 and 5).

11 a.m.- noon: Family Yoga, ages (5)6-12.

1-2 p.m.: Family Yoga and Arts, ages (5) 6-12.

Pre-registration suggested to ensure a spot.
Cost is $75 for parent and tot, $100 for parent and older child. Drop-in tots are $15; a drop-in family is $20. $5 extra per class for each additional child.

For questions or to register, contact