Subject: It’s now only a month until you’ll be moving into ISSofBC Welcome Centre

Welcome to the 5th eNews. It’s now only a month until you’ll be moving into ISSofBC Welcome Centre.

This enews provides more information on the centre and the neighbourhood. If there is something you’d like to know about ISSofBC Welcome Centre and the surroundings, 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 Janet Massaro who has lived in the area for almost four years.

What do you like about the area?
I like being close to the city centre, but still live in a residential neighbourhood. I like the “walkability” of the neighbourhood. There is nothing like a balmy July evening for a stroll up and down the Drive to indulge in people watching and restaurant-snooping along streets that buzz and crackle with good energy. I like walking through the neighbourhood when December brings on its darkest nights to view rows of homes glowing in Christmas lights. I like being able to see the downtown core from Grandview Park, looming out of low-riding clouds like the City of Oz.

Why is the area a good one for our clients?
As well as immigrant specific agencies, there are key mainstream services for Newcomers. Circling a garden plaza you can find Britannia Community Centre, Britannia Library and the Secondary and Elementary Schools. All of these agencies bring a wealth of experience in working with Newcomers and new families. There is the Department of Motor Vehicles on Commercial near 12th. And there is the Reach Health and Dental Clinic currently residing right across from the Broadway SkyTrain Station 10th Ave exit.

What are some of your favourite neighbourhood haunts?

My favourite restaurant is the Carthage Café, a tiny bistro-of-a-place that serves up a mix of French and Tunisian cooking. You can get the cheapest Krema Yogurt at Norman’s and the produce at Donald’s is best and fresh. And I love the gastronomic conundrum of having a No Frills Grocery Store on Hastings at McLean with the Gourmet Warehouse nestled right next door.
Four Walks from ISSofBC Welcome Centre
Whether you’ve got 15 or 30 minutes for a break, here are 4 walks that take you out and about in either rain or shine.

Walk #1 – 10-12 Minutes: Around the Block – there are no streets to cross on this walk!

Go out of ISSofBC Welcome Centre and turn left, walk past the neighbouring church, turn left at the corner onto 11th Ave, and walk to the end of the block past the Garden of Eatin Community Garden. Turn right on Semlin Dr for about 7 meters, and then turn left and go down the alley between the multi-coloured houses of the Lakewood Terrace Coop and our 2nd neighbouring church. When you reach the little play area, turn right and head toward 12th Ave. Turn left on 12th for about 20 meters until you reach Lakewood Dr, where you turn left. Going north on Lakewood, pass over the short bridge. Looking down is the Grandview Cut – home to the Millennium SkyTrain line, a rail line, and numerous bird species, rabbits, raccoons and coyotes. Turn left on the Central Valley bike route/N. Grandview Hwy. There are some interesting homes and a monkey puzzle tree on the right, and on your left as you approach Victoria Dr, your colleagues back at work are waving at you. Before you turn left to return to ISSofBC Welcome Centre, look across the street for the Buddhist centre and glimpses of downtown Vancouver.

Walk #2 – 25-30 minutes: John Hendry Park & Trout Lake – this is a perfect walk for almost anytime of the year!

Go out of ISSofBC Welcome Centre and turn left, continuing south along Victoria Drive until you reach either 14th or 15th Ave (8 min), where you turn left to enter John Hendry Park. Connect with the trail and head south away from the mountains – the Trout Lake Community Centre will be on your right. When you reach the beach, either cross it or take the trail the long way around the park house. From the beach you get one of the most amazing views in East Vancouver over Trout Lake to the mountains.

Now you go along the trail on the east side of the lake and head north. If you want to take an extra minute, go out on one of the piers over the marsh to the lake where you can see various duck species and the trout that give the lake its name. Continue along the trail. On your left are some spooky willows growing out of the marsh, and as you reach the north end of the lake, a living fence. Go over the little bridge, looking to your left back to the lake and a very well used dog park. Continue straight until you reach Lakewood Dr, which you follow north, and head back to ISSofBC Welcome Centre.

Walk #3 – 15-30 minutes: McSpadden Park – just to sit in the sun on a nice day!

Go out of ISSofBC Welcome Centre and turn right, continuing north along Victoria Drive (you’ll need to cross to the other side of Victoria Dr) until you go just past 6th Ave, where McSpadden Park begins. It’s a restful, tree-lined park with some benches to sit on or, better still, lie on the grassy slope. It only takes about 5-8 minutes to walk there, so that leaves a good 15-20 minutes to just enjoy the sun.

Walk #4 – 30 minutes: Dollar Tree – a rainy day walk and shop!

Just 3-4 minutes west of ISSofBC Welcome Centre is Dollar Tree on the corner of 10th Ave and Commercial Dr. It is a great place to spend a few minutes and a few dollars on greeting cards, gift bags, candles, plastic containers, balloons, kitchen utensils and more. When you’ve spent all of your loonies, go back to work and make some more!

ISSofBC Welcome Centre Construction Update
As you can see from the picture taken of the second floor outdoor space, landscaping has begun. Dirt has been lifted by cranes and placed on various floors to accommodate outdoor roof gardens and various planter boxes.

At the same time, concrete pavers are being installed in all of the exterior hallways. Railings are arriving next week and will be installed over several days as one of the finishing touches towards the building exterior.

As we approach the construction completion date of early May every day brings new transformations. Meanwhile, the testing process of various mechanical equipment has begun including air quality. Kitchen cabinets and counters tops should all be in place in the residential units by April 29.

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, each enews includes some important information from ISSofBC’s Move Coordinator, Veronica Lee.

As we get closer to the big move, the following is some important information from ISSofBC’s Move Coordinator, Veronica Lee:
  • All staff should be aware of the moving timeline
  • All furniture and equipment should now be labeled
  • Packing boxes are being distributed April-May
  • Everyone needs to continue to get rid of clutter
  • Preparations have been made to change the website address and email signatures
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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