Subject: It’s less than 3 months until you’ll be moving into ISSofBC Welcome Centre

Welcome to the 2nd eNews. It’s now less than 3 months until you’ll be moving into ISSofBC Welcome Centre.

This eNews provides more info on the centre, and focuses on an incredible community amenity – John Hendry Park and the Trout Lake Community Centre. If there is something you’d like to know about ISSofBC Welcome Centre and the surrounding, please send an email to

Neighbourhood Perspective

To help you get to know the neighbourhood, each enews includes an interview with an ISSofBC staff member who lives in the neighbourhood. This eNews went to Sandra Carignan, LCC Instructional Coordinator.

How long have you lived in the area?
When my husband and I were looking for a house in 1997, we ended up walking around Trout Lake. We had no idea where we were. It was a beautiful spot in the middle of the city. We were fortunate to have purchased our house about six blocks from Trout Lake shortly after that. We've lived at Commercial and 13th Ave. for 19 years. Wow!

What do you like about the area? The vibe. It's calm and dynamic at the same time. There are such a wide variety of services and a diverse population.

Why is the area a good one for our clients? Everything you need is there. It's easily accessible by SkyTrain and bus. Because it's not downtown Vancouver, many of the goods and services are more affordable than in other areas of the city.

What are some of your favourite neighbourhood haunts? Bakery Sate (Commercial between 12th & 13th) for fantastic croissants, Prado Café (Commercial & 4th) for perfect hot chocolate, Bandidas Taqueria at Commercial & 12th - there is always a lineup but it's worth the wait, Libra Room on Commercial between 1st & Gravely for live music! Great food & drinks, great people watching.

Anything else you’d like to add? I love the Drive. I feel fortunate to live where I do.

What is the general layout?

There are 6 floors in ISSofBC Welcome Centre:
  • 1st floor – Entrance and reception, settlement and housing staff, employment resource centre, medical clinic, SOS, Inland Refugee Society, VAST, VanCity banking kiosk, Foodbank, shared kitchen, staff lunchroom, staff showers, and 4 meeting rooms (2 large, 1 medium and 1 small);
  • 2nd floor - Settlement staff, family resource centre, newcomer youth resource centre, 2 flexible housing units for Government Assisted Refugees (GARs), outdoor terrace and play area, and a large meeting room that can be divided into 2 or 3 rooms with a connecting kitchen (that can be used by LINC classes);
  • 3rd floor – LINC – 8 classrooms & licensed childcare for LINC families;
  • 4th & 5th floors – 14 housing units (up to 138 beds) for GARs;
  • 6th floor – Administration
Every staff member will be issued a fob key that provides access to areas required for their work. There are shared client and staff washrooms on each floor (including 2 gender-neutral), and 2 elevators.

John Hendry Park & Trout Lake Community Centre

John Hendry Park, at Victoria Dr. between 13th & 14th Avenues, is a short 5-minute walk from ISSofBC Welcome Centre. One of Vancouver’s hidden gems, the park includes Trout Lake, one of the only lakes in Vancouver. A walk around the lake is only 1.23 km and takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. The lake is stocked with both rainbow and cutthroat trout, and the surrounding area is the nesting ground for many species of birds.

As Chris S. noted in the first enews, Trout Lake has its own beach on the south end, and there are lifeguards on duty from May to September. There is also a great children’s playground for outdoor childcare activities (another good playground is at McSpadden Park at Victoria & 5th). From the park, there are amazing views of the mountains and even of ISSofBC’s Welcome Centre’s building crane (before it was taken down).

Trout Lake Community Centre
in John Hendry Park at 17th & Victoria - 7 blocks from Welcome Centre - is an excellent, new facility that staff can access before or after work, as well as use for their clients (e.g. those with Leisure Passes) and students (e.g. LINC field trips). The centre includes an Ice Skating Rink and Fitness Centre (open 6am-10pm) with an extraordinary view across the park.

Trout Lake is home to a number of major activities during the year including the Farmers Market running on Saturdays from May to October, National Aboriginal Day in June & the Latin Summer Fest in August.

ISSofBC Welcome Centre Construction Update

While the dramatic transformation of the buildings’ exterior continues with the installation of the cedar coloured siding, the interior is also rapidly changing. Work on the 1st floor’s ceiling, walls, doors and painting is now complete, and work has begun on the 2nd floor. Another crew is installing the elevators.

For regular updates on the construction including photos, stories and statistics, check out the ISSofBC Welcome Centre blog.

Veronica’s Corner

As we all get ready for the big move, ISSofBC’s Move Coordinator Veronica Lee provides us with some important information:
  • packing instructions will be sent to staff by the end of February
  • Staff are reminded to archive old files
  • Feb 17th has been set aside for de-cluttering and junk removal
  • Organize your shredding for the next Throw Away Thursday on Feb 25th
At Terminal Avenue, you may see some movement underway in March. No one is moving out yet, but programs are relocating as follows: LCC office will be moving to 601, Settlement to 515, and one of the computer labs to 612.

ISSofBC Welcome Centre is located at 2610 Victoria Drive, Vancouver BC, V5N 4L2. Click on the address to view the location on google maps.

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Immigrant Services Society of BC, 2610 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4L2, Canada
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