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Month: January 2007

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Kitsilano Streets Named for Trees: Maple Street

Maple Street is a beautiful quiet residential street in Kitsilano that’s only 2 blocks from the busy Burrard thoroughfare. Originating from the park at Kits Beach, it passes through charming Kits Point residential blocks, heading south across Cornwall. East at that intersection there are many little cafes that offer great food and coffee. Maple then crosses 4th Avenue before ending at the tracks by 6th and the long established City Farmer Gardens. The City of Vancouver has allotted this area for community use and beautification on W 6th Avenue along the rail corridor, heading west at Burrard.

Maple Street picks up again to cross Broadway and continue south, but this beautiful gap in the street makes traffic much quieter than on nearby Arbutus, one block west.

The maple leaf is well known as the symbol of Canada, and its feature on the Canadian flag acknowledges that there are maple trees that grow in every province. Here, on the southwesterly tip of BC, the magnificent Bigleaf Maple can grow up to 30 m (100 ft) tall. Its wonderful leaves are among the largest of any tree and can be up to 60 cm (2 ft) wide. In spring small greenish-yellow flowers, about 3 millimetres across, appear, hanging in clusters from twigs. These then develop into hairy seeds, joined in pairs as a wing formation. The Bigleaf can be seen growing in mixed groups of trees with red alder, black cottonwood, Douglas-fir, western red cedar, and western hemlock.

First Nations people have long used the Bigleaf’s wood and bark to make all sorts of tools and implements. They also value its wood as a fuel source because it burns hot and clean. In fact, if the tree stump and emerging shoots are properly managed. a single tree can provide a steady supply of firewood for many decades.
Unlike the maples of the east, there is a low sugar concentration in Bigleaf sap, so it’s not a source for Canadian maple syrup.

One of the other maples that grow well here are the Vine Maple, which is a small tree or shrub and can grow into a dense thicket. The Vine Maple has a crooked, short trunk that can sometimes grow almost horizontally. Also successful is the Douglas Maple, which grows everywhere in BC but the north and the Queen Charlotte Islands. It can be seen as a shrub or a small tree, and its winged seeds, joined in a “V” shape, are food for birds and small animals.

Because of its close grain and moderate hardness, maple wood is used commercially for furniture, interior finishing, and musical instruments.

Next time you travel along Maple Street, take a moment to think about the source of its name – the magnificent trees that bring so much life and beauty to this area.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Kitsilano Elementary School

Kitsilano is home to some of the earliest schools to be established in Vancouver,

These elementary schools, with their British colonial names reveal the history and bias of the culture of the people who first built this city. Times have changed, but the old school buildings remain active, populated and well-used; they are part of the historic atmosphere of life in the Kitsilano neighbourhood.

Hudson drawing

One of the first schools in Vancouver is Henry Hudson Elementary, established in 1911 and still located at 1551 Cypress Street (on Cypress and Cornwall). It was named after the arctic explorer who also gave his name to Hudson Bay, and to the Hudson’s Bay Company (now HBC) the cross-Canada department store chain that grew out of the original fur-trade. The original 8-room school that became Henry Hudson Elementary was built in 1911-1912 at the cost of $48,000. Kitsilano’s population was expanding, and the school was overcrowded within a year, so an additional eight rooms were opened in January, 1914. Since then, a gymnasium building was also added in 1950.

Gordon elementary Further west, General Gordon Elementary School was opened in 1912. Originally named for a British General killed in Khartoum in 1885, the school’s name has been shortened and is now simply known as Gordon Elementary.  Now there is emphasis on social responsibility and literacy, and the school offers late French immersion program for grades 6 and 7. Still in the original building, the school is located at 2896 W. 6th. The photo doesn’t do the school justice, and here’s an example of what they are doing now. The school’s “Green Again” project has involved the entire community. An active Greening Committee of parents, staff and children have coordinated community and school board resources to build a butterfly garden, grass covered berms, large tree plantings, concrete picnic tables, a shade garden, and a wonderful circle of pavers. Weekend work parties, student plantings and large construction work by the school board are ongoing as they redefine the meaning of “schoolyard”.

Tennyson playground

Lord Tennyson Elementary School at 1936 W. 10th, was also opened in 1912. Named after the 19th century Poet Laureate of England, the school now offers full French immersion for elementary grades, and has very strong parent involvement. The classic historic school building is now surrounded by a park-like playground, as you can see in the photo above.

Bayview entranceIn the early part of the 20th century, Kitsilano was growing at a tremendous rate, and still more schools were needed. What is now Bayview Community School, at 2251 Collingwood Street, was founded a few years later, in 1914. In a lovely location, this school has become a full community school of children, staff, parents, volunteers, community members and outside agencies. They who come together to provide a safe, caring, mutually respectful, challenging and welcoming educational environment.

In the days these schools were originally established, there wasn’t the multicultural diversity, French immersion or broad educational values that the Kitsilano elementary schools feature today. Now these historical buildings house elementary students who are encouraged to develop not only their intellectual potential but also the physical, social, emotional and aesthetic potentials as well.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Kitsilano Streets Named after Trees – Maple Street

Maple Street is a beautiful quiet residential street in Kitsilano

That’s only 2 blocks from the busy Burrard thoroughfare. Originating from the park at Kits Beach, it passes through charming Kits Point residential blocks, heading south across Cornwall. East at that intersection there are many little cafes that offer great food and coffee. Maple then crosses 4th Avenue before ending at the tracks by 6th and the long established City Farmer Gardens. The City of Vancouver has allotted this area for community use and beautification on W 6th Avenue along the rail corridor, heading west at Burrard.

Maple Street picks up again to cross Broadway and continue south, but this beautiful gap in the street makes traffic much quieter than on nearby Arbutus, one block west.

The maple leaf is well known as the symbol of Canada, and its feature on the Canadian flag acknowledges that there are maple trees that grow in every province. Here, on the southwesterly tip of BC, the magnificent Bigleaf Maple can grow up to 30 m (100 ft) tall. Its wonderful leaves are among the largest of any tree and can be up to 60 cm (2 ft) wide. In spring small greenish-yellow flowers, about 3 millimetres across, appear, hanging in clusters from twigs. These then develop into hairy seeds, joined in pairs as a wing formation. The Bigleaf can be seen growing in mixed groups of trees with red alder, black cottonwood, Douglas-fir, western red cedar, and western hemlock.

First Nations people have long used the Bigleaf’s wood and bark to make all sorts of tools and implements. They also value its wood as a fuel source because it burns hot and clean. In fact, if the tree stump and emerging shoots are properly managed. a single tree can provide a steady supply of firewood for many decades.
Unlike the maples of the east, there is a low sugar concentration in Bigleaf sap, so it’s not a source for Canadian maple syrup.

One of the other maples that grow well here are the Vine Maple, which is a small tree or shrub and can grow into a dense thicket.

The Vine Maple has a crooked, short trunk that can sometimes grow almost horizontally. Also successful is the Douglas Maple, which grows everywhere in BC but the north and the Queen Charlotte Islands. It can be seen as a shrub or a small tree, and its winged seeds, joined in a “V” shape, are food for birds and small animals.

Because of its close grain and moderate hardness, maple wood is used commercially for furniture, interior finishing, and musical instruments.

Next time you travel along Maple Street, take a moment to think about the source of its name – the magnificent trees that bring so much life and beauty to this area.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Coal Harbour’s Flatiron, Vancouver

What’s that at 1277 Melville in Coal Harbour? Flatiron? 

Triangles. A triangle meeting of the West End, Coal Harbour and Stanley Park.

The triangular intersection of Melville, Pender and Jervis, and the Flatiron: designed with inspiration from the old triangular Flatiron building in New York City. Described as a “lithe and elegant tower”, the Flatiron makes maximum use of a small triangle of land.

flatiron

The Flatiron will be one of Coal Harbour’s most exclusive residential buildings, with only 52 homes in a sleek 28-story tower, to be completed in 2008. Taking advantage of the extraordinary views of that this tower offers, the building features only two exclusive homes per floor, each fronting on to incredible waterfront & mountain views.

This building truly participates in the luxury concept that Coal Harbour residences are known for, and will be an example of extraordinary Vancouver living, close to everything from the marina to the park to downtown and Robson Street, not to mention the recreational seawall.

Flatiron location

Homes in the Flatiron are lightfilled spaces with glass on 3 sides, and sustainability features such as gardens on all rooftops and design for effective low energy use, including geothermal heat. Open windows will bring in the sea breezes.

flatiron in context

The Flatiron building is seen here in context, shaded aqua.

There’s a great video that shows 3D rendering of the completed building in context, and it really gives you a sense of the building and its presence in the new Coal Harbour. Check it out here on the developer’s site.

(Images are from the Flatiron site, which includes lots more info, including building amenities and residence details)

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