We had another exciting and stimulating meeting of the Grandview Heritage Group last night, with about 20 folks in attendance. The topics we discussed were as wide-ranging as ever.
- Ann presented information about a film screening and an art show, both of which will be of interest to Vancouver urbanists. At the Grunt Art Gallery right now, until May 16, is an exhibition of photographic work by Henri Robidaux called “Eraser Street”, a take-off on Fraser Street. Also, on Friday 24th April, Julia Kwan’s documentary exploring the changes in Chinatown and called “Everything Will Be” is being shown at the Hasting Community Centre.
- Eric presented the latest in his series of monthly “Happening In the ‘Hood” guides. We looked at a number of older buildings that have been sold recently. There was a discussion about the City’s long term plans for the north side of E.1st by Clark Drive where they have owned the block for many years now. This led to an interesting side-bar on the effect moving St Paul’s Hospital to the East End may have on local development and traffic patterns. The future of the Bosa Grocery building on Victoria was discussed, as was the development right opposite that site. Eric also pointed out the deterioration in the Grandview Smoke Shop “Star Weekly” sign on Commercial. Perhaps GHG could assist in the restoration.
- Eric also reported on his visit to a workshop by Nickel Brothers on how to move a heritage house. The average cost to move a house off-lot is about $35,000, and trolley lines are the biggest obstacle.
- Our 429 Geog UBC student Kevin Shackles gave us his excellent prresentation on the history (and possible future) of the corner grocery stores in residential neighbourhoods, featuring Grandview. He covered the history of small retail merchandising and then examinded the histories of several local stores. He noted the almost universal change to Chinese owners since the War. In addition to his presentation, Kevin has produced a 20+ page XLS spreadsheet covering the entire range of stores in residential Grandview; a fabulous resource. He also outlined a number of future research ideas for the future. It was an excellent exercise working with Kevin this year, and I know we all wish his the very best in his continuing education and future career.
- Jak presented the idea (suggested by many others) that thereshould be Grandview Museum/Archives component in the Britannia Renewal planning that is currently ongoing. Jak will draft a letter giving GHG’s support to the idea.
- We briefly discussed the 2015 Century Signs campaign, and whether or not to participate in Car Free Day this year. These two events will be discussed in detail at the May meeting.
- We also broefly discussed the current state of the Grandview Community Plan Citizens’ Assembly, which is now getting close to formally endorsing their recommendations. Some cynicism of the process was still expressed. The next, possibly final, Public Roundtable event is on 5th May.
All in all, another worthwhile event from GHG!