More on Maxwell Smith

In January, I wrote of the anniversary of the first meeting of the Grandview Ratepayers Association.  Since then I have received correspondence from our friend Jim Wolf of New Westminster.  He has sent the following image, probably taken in 1911, of Maxwell Smith, the Ratepayers’ first President.

Maxwell Smith

Jim writes that Maxwell Smith was also a major figure in the development of the Central Park District in Burnaby. In fact, Smith Avenue is named for him.

Excellent new information.  Thanks, Jim!

Notes from the February 18th meeting

Our February meeting ranged over a number of topics:

• Cynthia Low, the ED of Britannia Community Services Centre, attended the meeting to ask whether GHG would be willing to coordinate a research project on the history of First Peoples in the Grandview area. It would involve consultation with Elders, a review of historic documentation, a study of the landscape and natural history, and suggestions for showcasing the results as part of the Carving Pavilion recently erected next to the community centre. If at all possible, the work would include involvement with students at all levels. We are going to liaise with Cynthia to try to come up with terms of reference and a time line.

• Eric Phillips presented a detailed edition of his Mechanics and Materials series, this time on Seismic upgrading for homeowners. He referenced the SafeStrongHome website for further investigation. It was a good, comprehensive primer on the top handful of tasks homeowners should contemplate to minimize the damage their houses might suffer from the Big One and the Not-Quite-As-Big One.

• Michael Kluckner presented a handful of images and some speculation about the rumours of redevelopment swirling around St. Francis of Assisi School at Victoria and Venables and the possible implications for the church/presbytery at Napier and Semlin (especially its large lawn area) and the other church property, the former “Poor Claires” convent at the northwest corner of Napier and Semlin (now the Church of St. John of Shanghai). He included some informal history of the Italian community in Grandview.

• John Stuart will figure out a time to give his industrial heritage walking tour, sometime in late March or early April, which we will report on this site.

• We agreed to put together a table for Car-Free Day, June 19th. Details to follow.

• Eric Phillips wrapped up the meeting with pictures and commentary of changes in the neighbourhood, including the demolition of the old Bosa’s store/apartment building on Victoria Drive.

Next meeting will be on Thursday, March 17th at 7 pm, in the boardroom of the Britannia Info Centre at 1661 Napier, as always.

Next Meeting: 18th February

It is just about time for the next meeting of the Grandview Heritage Group, which will take place in the Britannia Boardroom, in the Info Centre, at 7:00pm on Thursday 18th February.

Our agendas are always loose and changed on the fly. However, we anticipate this meeting will include:

  • A discussion on Grandview’s pre-contact history, with Cynthia Low of Britannia;
  • An update from Claire Stepansky on her paper looking at the social history of the Britannia property [subject to Claire’s availability];
  • A reference to the possible sale and redevelopment of St. Francis’s properties;
  • What’s Happening In the Neighbourhood — always a favourite, and certain to engender wide-ranging discussions;
  • Further discussion about public walks for 2016;
  • Another episode of Eric’s excellent series on Mechanics and Materials: this one is about seismic upgrading;
  • First thoughts about Car Free Day this year

Come join us. Everyone is welcome!

Grandview Database v.4

We have today uploaded a new and updated version of the Grandview Database.

Changes in this version include:

  • More than 705 new data points from the1927-1930 Insurance Map, the 1910 City Directory, and various media and MLS reports;
  • 14 additional previously-demolished buildings recovered;
  • 2 new houses;
  • 1 building previously shown as separate now integrated into other buildings;
  • miscellaneous minor corrections