Travels Through East Vancouver

Posts Tagged ‘Gentrification’

Defend Grandview Park…. from the People?

In Development, East Van Institutions on May 18, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Only on Commercial Drive could a community park redevelopment engender the creation of three different ad-hoc “groups”. The issue? The redevelopment of Grandview Park, one of a number of East Vancouver parks slated for a facelift over the past few years. Like other redevelopment projects (Victory Square, Oppenheimer Park, Victoria Park), there is a shut-down period of approximately eight months scheduled in which to complete the work (July until March) during which time local residents will have to content themselves with Victoria, Strathcona, or Mosaic Parks, all in the immediate vicinity. From what I can tell from the park plan the intention is to:

  • re-do the children’s play area and water park
  • tear down the rotten tennis court that is rarely used as a tennis court and replace it with a multi-use court that apparently will allow bike polo (this was not on the original plan, but has been added following community consultation)
  • improve street visibility of the park to “cut down on crime” (I have to note here that since my first visit to the park twenty years ago there have been no less than three improvements to visibility in the park for exactly this reason).
  • increased seating – benches and picnic tables (most of which were removed from the park about a decade ago in order to reduce loitering and “crime”)
  • improve park drainage (which they have tried to do on more than one occasion)

All pretty standard stuff right? I mean, cities redevelop parks all the time with many of these same objectives – including the one about reducing the amount of drugs flowing through a given neighbourhood – and people don’t pitch huge fits. But not in East Van. Read the rest of this entry »

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Welcome to Viaduct

In Blog Notes on May 27, 2008 at 3:58 pm

A viaduct is a bridge for carrying traffic. It is also a journey over water, a deviation from a path, a step astray, or the practice of traveling.

In Vancouver, BC the Georgia Street viaduct practically separates downtown east from west, bypassing Chinatown to spit cars out into Strathcona and points further east. Mover of traffic and site of popular struggle in the 1970s, the viaduct takes the traveler from downtown and into the grids that divide Grandview from Renfrew, Hastings East, Mt Pleasant, South Fraser – from oceanfront to riverside.

East Vancouver is a cultural, political and geographical journey – a set of interconnected neighbourhoods whose identities are being gentrified as Vancouver becomes one of the most over-priced cities in the world.

Viaduct is a documentary of our East Vancouver – our food, news, institutions, history, writers, artists, and struggles. A weekly exploration into aspects of the place that we live in and dream of. A reflection and a riot, we are hoping this will be as much fun for the reader as it is for us!

We are two people looking for East Van folks who want to contribute to this space in the future: writing, photography, podcasts, or anything else web-friendly. Content east-van-centric of course.