Living on the edge

We live in a special place. Nestled between two mountains on the edge of one of the world’s best cities, it is a unique situation shared by few other places. Where else in the world can you live a 20 minute drive from downtown but also be a 20 minute bike ride from the backcountry. As summer comes full force we need to think about how to keep our special community, our homes and forest safe.


Wildfire home protection


Living on the edge of the forest there are some unique considerations to prepare your home to be in its best position to resist fire. The District of North Vancouver has an interactive website offering suggestions. 

  • Use fire resistant plants: Plant wildfire resistant plants within 10m of your house (avoid pine, cedar, spruce, and juniper)
  • Replace conifer hedges:  Replace flammable conifer hedges with low flammable species.
  • Prune conifer trees: Prune conifer trees to give a 3m separation from ground to crown, and to buildings.
  • Clear eaves: Clear your eaves regularly to ensure no build-up of debris.
  • Screen your roof vents: Put screens over vents to keep debris and embers out.
  • Replace cedar roofs: Replace cedar roofs with non-combustible ones (metal, ceramic, asphalt).
  • Use fire retardant coatings: Treat fences, decks, and garden sheds with a fire retardant coating.

Keeping the home fires burning – maybe


There are clear regulations of what is allowed for recreational burning on the District of North Vancouver website. While gas or propane fueled devices are generally allowed, most wood burning units are not. 

Permitted:

  • burner (natural gas or propane)
  • outdoor gas fire bowl
  • gas barbecue
  • charcoal barbecue
  • patio heater (natural gas or propane)

These open fires are not permitted (minimum $400 fine):

  • fire pit
  • chiminea
  • outdoor fireplace
  • fire bowl/yard campfire
  • Requiring permit: beach/park fire and outdoor pizza oven 

Learn more


For those planning more extensive construction this summer there are additional regulations that need to be considered. 

There are also additional resources from the the province and federal governments. 

From the archives

We spoke with the District of North Vancouver Fire Rescue about its wildfire preparations and how they were training additional District staff to support their work in the event of a fire. Check out that post here


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.

Isolation adventures in Upper Lynn

In the weeks prior to the covid-19 pandemic call to stay home and stay safe, Lynn Valley’s Paul Dixon was putting many kilometres on his car, traversing the Lower Mainland photographing whatever piqued his interest. That all stopped March 20. 


Stay close to home


Retired almost two decades from his main career in municipal government, Dixon is now a freelance writer and photographer. Choosing to focus on projects that suit his passions gives him adventures near and far.  

“I was a professional wanderer,” he says. “I couldn’t make myself stay home, why would I? If it’s a beautiful day and I am gone.”

With a check of his notes, Dixon lists March trips criss crossing the Vancouver-area and beyond with his cameras. There were numerous stops in Ambleside and Burnaby Lake, but also Port Coquitlam, White Rock, the Rifle Bird Sanctuary in Delta, Harrison Mills and plenty more. He also has a clear date when that all changed. 

“I got a flicker on a neighbour’s chimney, and that is as far as I have been with my camera since March 20,” he says. “I am out on my back deck with a camera or one or two cameras  – doing my bit for society camped out at home. I put my feet up, with a book and a big glass of water and catch whatever comes.”


Backyard birds


The result has been a spontaneous collection of the life around his Upper Lynn home – much of it shared online. It’s an interesting reflection of life for everyone during the pandemic. With the request by local authorities to stay home, he was forced to reframe his interests – and their footprint. Since the pandemic began he has been delighting locals online with his beautiful wildlife images, all taken in his yard. 

Stellar’s Jay

“Now I am having just as good a time sitting on the back steps,” says Dixon. “I think that the past six weeks has been an opportunity to look at the world I’ve lived in up here in Lynn Valley though a slightly different perspective.” 

Claiming not to be a “birder” with a bucket list, Dixon does enjoy clicking things that fly from birds to planes. His current work is fitting in well with his passions. 

Conscious of wildlife beyond birds in his yard, Dixon forewent birder feeders for 15 years, concerned they lure bears and other creatures into the yard. With an eye to black bear foraging season he has temporarily added some to the yard. 

“It’s interesting to see some birds are attracted to the feeders but for the most part they aren’t interested in them. They take care of themselves. They pop in and pop out. It’s just fleeting glances.”

His patience has captured everything from the small – stunning hummingbirds to high drama – pigeon versus squirrel. 

The weather was generally pretty good and that gave me the opportunity to watch as the flowers started to bloom and it seemed that every day there was something new to see. Small details perhaps, but different from the day before. Some of the birds like the Juncos are here every day, while others like the Bushtits and Kinglets are infrequent visitors.”


Embracing the tools


Dixon’s own love of photography has evolved over time. He recalls his first photo was a squirrel in Stanley Park at 10 years old. But it was the transition from film to digital photography, coupled with “retirement” that stoked his enthusiasm. 

“It’s an interest in the world around me – things I see, that maybe others do not,” he says. “The ones I like are the ones that I don’t know I have taken. When you sit down later and discover a great one.”

It doesn’t take a lot to get started in photography, says Dixon. A bit of equipment and time in the saddle will get you off to a good start.   

“The camera is a tool, I will encounter serious photographers with really nice cameras taking one picture, two pictures and waiting for the perfect picture,” he says. “But with a decent digital camera set up and a high frame rate and a bit of understanding of exposure and light, let the camera work for you. Take lots of pictures and you will get some stunning shots.

I’ve got a decent camera and it takes decent photos. Can’t ask for much more than that. It’s also really important that you know what you like in terms of the results you’re looking for. I’ve got a friend who’s got the same equipment as I do – same camera body and same lens. We’ll go out for a day, shoot a zillion photos and end up with two very different ‘looks’ for the day.”

It has taken him a bit longer to get onboard with the camera most of us have. It gives an easy opportunity to dabble in photography. 

“I don’t often go somewhere without my camera but it took me a while to realize, I always have a camera – a 12mp camera or something on my phone and I have gotten some really good pictures – even sold some.” 

With the ask to stay close to home, covid-19 is a chance to dabble in something new. There aren’t any big secrets to photography, he says. Dixon offers two simple pieces of advice:

“You can’t do this with a subject that doesn’t interest you” and “Take lots of pictures – don’t get hung up on one or two.”

All images are courtesy of Paul Dixon. 


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.

Finding HOPE in Lynn Valley

Walking down the street you might find some hope on Wellington Drive.


Family tradition


There is a house mid-way down the block that is always decked out for holidays. 

For decades the Tindales have been celebrating Christmas and Halloween with home and yard displays, but in the last few years, daughter Jennifer has stepped up their holiday game in a big way. 

“I have such great memories as a kid of how my family celebrated holidays. We keep adding and adding. In 2017 I started with all the plywood displays. Last year was the biggest but we are reaching a point we almost need a shed to store all of this,” laughs Tindale, 43. 

The displays mean more to Tindale than just giving her parents a great yard. She has been unable to work as a result of a workplace injury and its resulting condition. 

“Doing these displays is part of my mental health therapy,” she said. 


Giving hope


The thought and work on the displays goes on almost all year round. Preparation for Christmas 2020 was already well underway as the COVID-19 situation moved towards North Vancouver. 

“I was out in the backyard already cutting for next year and I had this sign already done and waiting at my home,” said Tindale. “It is my little piece of putting the spirit out there. This is hope for everything going on now. It’s my passion doing these displays but it is also a nod to the HoPE Centre.”

The Greta and Robert H.N. HO Psychiatry & Education Centre, (The HOpe Centre) at Lions Gate Hospital was opened in 2014. It brings together both inpatient and outpatient mental health services under one roof and also houses both the Djavad Mowafaghian UBC Medical Education Centre and is a permanent home for BC Ambulance. Tindale is both a patient and supporter of the centre. 

“The displays give me purpose,” she said. “I am tied to this community. It’s where I was born, grew up and went to school. It’s so special on our street, there are people I went to school with that are now buying their parents homes and raising their kids here. So they grew up with our family being into holidays and now they get to experience it with their kids.” 

The seasonal displays at the Tindale home kicked off a trend much of Wellington Road has embraced. With the Dovercourt Crypt around the corner the area has become the destination for Halloween in Lynn Valley. 

“There is so much appreciation from the kids and parents too – it gets me emotional thinking about. Last year we had 360 kids come by. It warms my heart. Every year, the kids can pick out what I have added. They bring their friends who don’t live here and show them.” 


Win-win


Laughing, Tindale shared she wanted to embrace the nationwide trend of putting out Christmas lights to bring some sparkle to Lynn Valley during this state of emergency but her parents weren’t on board. It was too big a job to tackle right now.

“In the times of what are going on right now, people are drawing together. Really it’s the simple memories of family and community that will get us through,” she said. 

The large letters of HOPE, with its double meaning of supporting mental health and community spirit are having the impact Tindale wanted.  

“People have gotten emotional when they see it. People have shared this is what they think this community needs,” said Tindale. “ I appreciate how the community as a whole is stepping up with what they are good at. Small businesses are trying to get creative to stay in business. 

“ It’s a sign of me being me. This is something I could offer our street, our neighbourhood.” 


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.

Feeling philosophical?

Sometimes there is nothing like a good discussion – peeling away the layers of ideas and learning something new. The Philosophers’ Cafe series does just that about once a  month at the Lynn Valley branch of the North Vancouver District Library. Next up Feb. 10.


A new discourse tradition


Photo by Greg Ehlers, courtesy of SFU

The idea of a public philosophical discussion was the brainchild of French philosopher Marc Sautet. In 1992 he wanted to offer deeper engagement and idea exchange. The goal was to have a place where people can have meaningful discussions on a range of topics – some they may have never considered before. Sautet decided Paris’ quintessential cafes were the perfect place to make the events inviting and relaxed. 

Simon Fraser University started spreading the concept across the Lower Mainland in 1998. Since then students, faculty, seniors, parents, philosophers and mostly non-philosophers have been gathering for stimulating dialogue and valuable idea exchange in communities throughout the area. 

There have been a couple of phases of the Lynn Valley Philosophers’ Cafe, the current version  is led by Reem Faris, a Ph.d student from Simon Fraser University. 

“I believe it is important to build bridges between the university and the research we do, although we don’t do it for research purposes,” said Faris. “For a lack of a better term, it allows us to be ambassadors for knowledge.”


What to expect


The Lynn Valley Philosophers’ Cafe takes place about once a month at the library. Participants are welcomed by Faris, typically asked for a brief introduction and then the discussion begins.

“It’s sort of an intellectual, philosophical, curiosity combo that brings people in. There are some returning faces but there are always new faces,” she said. “Sometimes people are brought in because the topic caught their eye, some do it because of the social thing.”

The evenings draw a range of all demographics – gender, age, profession, education, said Faris.

“The age range can vary quite a bit,” she explained. “We have a couple that are semi-regulars who are in their 90s and that just blows me away – I am so flattered they take the time to join us. In the last one, we had a grade 11 student who saw the description and decided to come out. It’s great.”

The hope is a conversational exchange of ideas, with minimal gentle guidance from Faris.  

“As moderators we facilitate the discussion – not intrude. It’s not a lecture, it’s a discussion.”

Participants are welcome to get in the thick of the discussions or be more observational. 

“We have people who say ‘I am here to observe – I might not contribute much and I am okay with that.’ As a moderator, it becomes a matter of watching body language and cues. I might see someone who is almost speaking and in a pause take a moment to draw them in.”


Spring Session


Each session is planned by Faris in partnership with the SFU organizers. As she was exploring ideas for the winter she randomly stumbled upon the book On Identity by Amin Maalouf, a Lebanese-French writer.

“What I try to do is try to make sure that each season that each topic stands alone but has a common thread to them,” she explained. “Something will inspire me – in my research, in the news, whatever. This series I came across a book. There were a lot of ideas on identity and the challenges especially in larger cultural political environments.” 

The upcoming discussions take place Monday nights from 7-8:30 p.m.

  • Monday, February 10
    Is identity merely a collection of symbols? How is the concept of identity used to create the notion of the Other?
     
  • Monday, March 9
    If language is a key component of identity, how do we negotiate the tension between a global language of communication such as English and one’s own language of origin if it differs?
     
  • Monday, April 6
    Identity is often viewed as integral to a sense of belonging. It is also a source of conflict. In today’s modern world, what can societies do to honour separate identities and build a sense of citizenship?

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.

Good Neighbour 2019 – Matina Spiropoulos

We say it over and over. We love Lynn Valley. Sure, the trees are great and the trails fantastic but what makes Lynn Valley our home is the community of people. We are so proud to shine the light on the good work that happens throughout the year. This year we are excited to announce Matina Spiropoulos as our Lynn Valley Life Good Neighbour!


Spreading the love


Matina has her hands involved in so many aspects of our community – not just Lynn Valley but also across the North Shore. She is a connector. A community needs people with vision of its entire being; someone who knows what is needed and has the willingness to organize those with resources to help. Take this year’s partnership between the Mollie Nye House and Argyle Secondary. Matina connected the sewing class to help with much needed updates. 

She is a year after year supporter of the Mollie Nye House and has joined the board of the Lynn Valley Services Society. She is the chair of the marketing committee as well as the vice-president. She loves the cross-generational support it provides to Lynn Valley.

“Matina is passionate about our community and goes beyond the call of duty,” said Maria Roney, operations manager for the LVSS. “Whether she is fighting for change to protect our natural resources, volunteering at the many community events or developing and executing a social media plan for Mollie Nye House, she does so energetically and with passion and commitment. She is a true asset to Lynn Valley and the North Shore.” 

Matina’s work extends to those younger as well. She has been an important part of the Argyle Parent Advisory Committee. Helping with a variety of fundraisers and representing Argyle’s PAC at the district level. 

She is also passionate supporter of music – for years spearheading the open mic Sunday Jam at the Lynn Valley Legion (supporting also as a member). This is a resource to musicians across the North Shore. 


Beyond Lynn Valley


Reaching beyond our little neighbourhood, Matina volunteers with the District of North Vancouver on the Community Services Advisory Committee. This is a volunteer driven committee that reviews grants submitted to the DNV. She discusses, with the committee, social and cultural concerns that affect the quality of life in the municipality. Last month also marked a milestone for countless hours of lobbying Matina invested in bettering our parks and environment. She was a key voice in the fight to have all types of smoking/vaping banned in ALL district parks and greenspaces.  

Also this year, Matina has become an ambassador for Foundry BC, She helps increase awareness of Foundry and its services to support mental illness (ages 12-24). She liaises between community and Foundry at booth events throughout the year to help reduce stigma and increase community engagement.

“Matina has a passion for our community and supporting the work that many of us do,” said Nicole Kennedy, prevention educator for Foundry BC- North Shore. “She is dedicated to ‘getting the word out,’ informing community  members (at events) of how to access services, and always has a bright smile on her face. We are truly lucky to have her as a volunteer with Foundry North Shore.

We are so lucky to have Matina investing in Lynn Valley and beyond – thank you for the hours and hours contribute to so many parts of our community and beyond. Congratulations on being our 2019 Good Neighbour. 


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 your good neighbour this year?

It’s one of our favorite times of year here at Lynn Valley Life: The Good Neighbor Award season.  Year after year this is a highlight for all of us.


Our quiet contributors


Day-to-day we try to gather interesting and Innovative stories about Lynn Valley but one thing that is often missed are the quiet stories. The good that goes on in our neighborhood everyday – often unnoticed beyond the person or organization helped.  We have people step up in times of need, 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.


Pillars of the community


Lizz Lindsay at Sharing Abundance.

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 – whe have an exceptional community! Last year 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 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 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 2019? 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 info@LynnValleyLife.com before November 21, 2019. Lynn Valley’s Good Neighbour for 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.

Let March madness begin!

Spring Break is almost upon us. The weather is *supposed* to turn warmer. The kids will be out of school and the time change is upon us. Longer days, new beginnings and new challenges. If you are still looking for something to keep your children busy during the last part of March we have pulled some ideas offering new adventures.


Wildlife Weeks at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre


Get inspired! Get educated! Get involved! Learn about the rich biodiversity of our planet from the experts who care for wildlife. Plan to arrive early as space is limited and admission is on a first come basis. Suggested donation: $2 per person or $5 per family. Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre

Sunday, March 17

Scales and Coils

Noon to 4 pm

Presented by: Westcoast Reptile Education Society

Come to Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre open house to meet reptiles from around the world and get a peak into their fascinating lives.

 

Monday, March 18

Wild About Mason Bees

1:30 pm

Presented by: Taren Urquart

Native bees are our most important pollinators. Attract friendly mason bees to your garden by making them a bee house.

 

Tuesday, March 19

HighFlyers – Birds of Prey

1 pm

Presented by: OWL Rescue

Owl is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of raptors. Discover how OWL volunteers save the lives of over 700 raptors each year and meet an owl and a hawk.

Wednesday, March 20

Orangutan Rescue

1:30 pm

Presented by: Jacqueline Sunderland Groves

Learn how the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation gives hundreds of orphaned orangutans a second chance to survive in the wild.

Friday, March 22

Bear Aware

10:30 am

Presented by: North Shore Black Bear Society

Learn how to stay safe and get along with our black bear neighbours.

Tuesday, March 26

Leave it to Beavers

1:30 pm

Presented by: FurBearers

Discover why our national animal is also an ecological superhero.

Wednesday, March 28

Making a Splash

2:30 pm

Presented by: Wild Ocean Whale Society

Whales, dolphins, and sea lions, oh my! Discover who’s swimming in the waters around Vancouver. There will also be an optional marine wildlife field-trip associated with this presentation. Saturday, March 30. 10 am to 12 pm at Whytecliff Park.

 

Spring Break Mini-Camps

March 18-20

Nature Investigators

9:30 am-12:30 pm. For ages 5 to 8

Cost: $69.50. To register phone 604-990-3755

Come and be a nature detective in Lynn Canyon Park. Learn about tracking, uncover the hidden habitats of animals, play games, and create nature crafts as we ramble along the forest trails.

March 25-27

Animal Builders

9:30 am to 12:30 pm. For ages 5 to 8

Cost: $69.50. To register phone 604-990-3755

From caddisflies to crows, discover how animals construct their own temperate rainforest homes. Explore the forest looking for signs of animal homes, and learn how you can help our local wildlife get ready for the springtime building boom.


Bricks4kidz building and coding camps


March 18-22, 9 am-12 pm

Junior Robotics & Coding

Age 6-11 yrs

1277 Lynn Valley Road (Lynn Valley Village)

Robotics & Coding introduces kids to robotics and provides a hands-on learning experience that engages children’s creative thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving. Campers build Lego models featuring working motors and sensors and program their models with drag-and-drop software.

https://my.bricks4kidz.com/index.php?action=classdetail&record=213224

 

March 18-22, 2019, 1-4 pm

Everything is Awesome!

Age 5-10 yrs

1277 Lynn Valley Road (Lynn Valley Village)

This camp has a different theme every day, and campers will build Bricks 4 Kidz models using LEGO bricks. Join them for models ranging from bumper carts, battle tops and helicopters!

https://my.bricks4kidz.com/index.php?action=classdetail&record=213225

 

March 25-29, 9 am-12 pm

LEGO Mindstorms EV3

Age 9-15yrs

1277 Lynn Valley Road (Lynn Valley Village)

Campers will use the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 product to introduce and advance campers through robotics and coding. Program focuses on how robotics and technology can make life easier in a modern city. Build robots using Mindstorms EV3 electronic bricks and programming with different sensors and software.

https://my.bricks4kidz.com/index.php?action=classdetail&record=213226

 

March 25-29, 9 am-12 pm

Ticket to Ride

5-10yrs

3590 Mountain Highway (Lynn Valley Community Centre)

Get your ticket to ride at Bricks 4 Kidz’s very own Lego Amusement Park! Campers will build a new ride each day, learning how to make models spin, turn and rock’n roll. Motorized Lego models maximize the action and fun. Each camp day includes carnival-themed games, group challenges, model building and more!

All campers receive a themed Bricks 4 Kidz shirt and camp brag tag!

https://my.bricks4kidz.com/index.php?action=classdetail&record=213228

 

March 25- 29, 1-4 pm

Stop Motion Movie Making with LEGO

Age 7-14

1277 Lynn Valley Road (Lynn Valley Village)

Light, cameras, LEGO® action! Use LEGO® Bricks to tell YOUR story, complete with music, special effects and all your favorite LEGO® mini-figure characters! Students plan, script, stage, shoot, and produce their own mini-movie. Working as a team, students will use LEGO® components to build the set and props, then shoot their movie using a camera. Don’t miss your chance to be a movie producer! All campers receive a themed Bricks 4 Kidz shirt and wearable USB drive with all camp-produced movies!

https://my.bricks4kidz.com/index.php?action=classdetail&record=213227


Hit the trails


 

Last year we profiled all the great options offered by Escape Adventures that post will give you insight into all the action and adventure campers experience with Escape Adventures. Some of the programs may have changed so get all the latest details on 2019 programs here.


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.