Published on September 7th, 20140
Where In The World Is Renfrew-Collingwood?
The TEDxRenfrewCollingwood team has been hard at work over the past months planning the details of the big event on October 25th 2014. At last week’s meeting we got into a discussion about how very often we are asked where and what Renfrew-Collingwood is. (And if you know anything about TEDx organizers, you’ll not be surprised to hear that we spent a whole lot more time debating how best to answer that question.)
Some described Renfrew-Collingwood purely geographically, which seemed like an acceptable answer at the time. But Renfrew-Collingwood is so much more than its physical boundaries. This blog post is dedicated to trying to give such an important question a more comprehensive answer.
We thought that the best way to approach the question would be to use the famous information-gathering tool known as the 5 W’s: Who, What, When, Where and Why. We will likely provide further posts down the road that answer the question more philosophically or speak to the interesting things going on here, but for now we think the basics are a great place to start.
Where: Renfrew-Collingwood lies on the unceded territory of the Musqueam First Nation in the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The borders of the Renfrew-Collingwood area are Boundary Road, Broadway, Nanaimo Street and East 45th Avenue, making Renfrew-Collingwood the largest official neighbourhood in Vancouver.
Who: Just about 50,000 people call this neighborhood home. It’s one of the most diverse in the city – almost 75% of neighbourhood residents speak English as an additional language while about 43% speak a Chinese language as their first language. Collingwood Neighbourhood House, one of the community’s hubs, is internationally recognized for its approach to intercultural community development.
When: Colonel Richard Moody was one of the first colonials to start clearing forest through Renfrew-Collingwood in 1861. He cleared a military trail from New Westiminster to English Bay, along what was an ancient route of First Nations people. More settlers were attracted to the area in 1891, with the development of an interurban tram route along Vanness Avenue. Vancouver’s first one-room schoolhouse was built in Renfrew-Collingwood in 1896 and has recently been restored as the home of Green Thumb Theatre.
What: This active community can be described in several ways: diverse, urban and community-minded are just a few words that come to mind. Some of our favourite things about Renfrew-Collingwood? Renfrew Ravine and the community effort to bring the salmon back to Still Creek. The strong arts community, who use the repurposed Slocan Fieldhouse to share knowledge and skills with their neighbours. The youth – grounded in the leadership program at Windermere School. The parks – and the fact that they are so well used. (You get the idea. We could keep going, but we’ll stop there. J )
Why: Why TEDxRenfrewCollingwood? Honestly? We couldn’t think of a neighbourhood that better encompasses what it means to be a Vancouverite and that works so hard to foster understanding and sharing and creativity in its residents. Because of that, we decided that there was no better place from which to celebrate and share the rich and varied Ideas Worth Spreading that percolate and come to life in our beautiful city. We hope that once you get to know us, you’ll feel the same.
It brings us great pleasure to bring you TEDxRenfrewCollingwood on October 25th, 2014.