Vancouver Neighbourhood Embracing Geriatric-tification – A Home for Mom and Dad

2499 East 48th Avenue (Sunrise of East Vancouver)
Perhaps Hannah and I are getting a little worn out from attending so many events lately, but I don’t think she was that impressed when we arrived at this meeting an hour before it started. The blame rested squarely on my shoulders. Even with our Google calendar, I simply lost track of what time the event started.

That said, it wasn’t a total waste, as we spent a good hour walking the neighbourhood. We stopped by the Killarney Centre, checked out the impressive seafood selection at 88 Supermarket, and made a note to return and try one of Wally’s Burgers sometime soon.

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When we finally returned to the venue, we weren’t surprised by the sparse attendance. After all, this proposal is fully in compliance with the 16 year old community vision plan, and provides a far better use than the 8 single family homes the property owner could have chosen to build on this $13 million vacant lot. In fact, there are several buildings in the area that cater to those in their golden years, and this proposal will allow those individuals to stay in the neighbourhood as their needs continue to grow.

Interestingly, one person believed the city should enshrine that into policy by designating this area, and its surrounding blocks, as a seniors’ community. They felt so strongly that seniors would rather be isolated, that they suggested the neighbouring Corpus Christi School should give up more of its playground to create a buffer to protect these residents from the noise of the young students.

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We don’t agree with segregating senior citizens, and feel their lived experiences can make a huge impact in our lives. However, this proposal won’t have a large effect on its neighbours, as the loading bay and parking garage entrance face towards Nanaimo Park, and not into the neighbouring single family homes.

The building’s main entrance, a Porte-cochère, faces onto the quieter Clarendon Street, which will help balance traffic circulation for those dropping off visitors, and the existing neighbourhood traffic. We thought it was important for the pedestrian realm to promote accessibility too, as there is no doubt in our minds these elderly residents will want to walk over to the nearby retirement homes and visit their friends.

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With that in mind, we feel it would help make these individuals lives a little easier if the intersections at Clarendon and Waverly, as well Clarendon and East 48th, were raised, like the those on West 10th in front of Vancouver General Hospital. Though some may argue that shouldn’t be within the scope of this project, we feel that a well designed proposal should respond to both the current and future needs of our city.

So, while we’re certainly not a fan of the building’s older suburban look, we still think it makes sense for this neighbourhood. After all, the architecture responds well to the people who will be living here. It’s not flashy, it’s not bold, but it feels like a quiet, safe, warm, design which will serve the community well.

We spent about an hour at this event, and in that time only 12 people came by, with even less choosing to fill out a comment card. This might be a simple project, but the needs of our elders deserve our attention, so make sure to leave any suggestions you may have here.

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