Archive for the ‘Dunbar Village Business Association’ Category

Pacific Spirit Park Society

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Krista Voth, Pacific Spirit Park, Dunbar Life

Champion of Dunbar Village.

Dunbar is privileged to have magnificent Pacific Spirit Regional Park backing onto the neighbourhood. Twice the size of Stanley Park, it boasts 78 kilometres of forested trails frequented by walkers, runners, bicyclists and horse riders.

Established in 1989, Pacific Spirit Regional Park was originally part of the University Endowment Lands. It was created as a natural forest preserve and is part of Metro Vancouver’s park system. Covering 763 hectares, the park consists of foreshore (including Wreck Beach), forest and Camosun Bog and is home to a variety of birds, small and large mammals and amphibians.

A number of rare native plants and some of the few remaining old-growth trees in the Lower Mainland can be found in Pacific Spirit Regional Park. The biodiversity of this rich ecosystem is threatened by the spread of invasive plants, especially English holly and ivy. However, all is not lost. The community is fortunate to have the dedicated Pacific Spirit Park Society (PSPS) led by program coordinator Krista Voth along with a committed board of directors and an army of volunteers (totalling 275) who act as public stewards of the park.

Krista is a former Waldorf and Montessori teacher. She is studying geography at UBC and has a keen interest in the way urban parks are used and cared for by the public. Beyond her course work in the Environment and Sustainability program, her research focuses on citizen science data collection and social inclusion in public parks. She is always looking for new ways to educate people and her enthusiasm is contagious.

PSPS provides opportunities for volunteers to engage in stewardship projects and citizen science data collection, as well as offering a variety of volunteer run education programs.

Krista mentions that approximately 80 per cent of the volunteers in the stewardship and data collection programs are youth and young adults between 14 to 25 years of age. There are a number of ways volunteers contribute to Pacific Spirit Park Society.

Eco Team volunteers meet on Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. to remove invasive plants and help plant native species. Between 30 to 50 people come out each week to lend a hand and keep the Himalayan blackberry, holly and ivy at bay. Volunteers also assist in mapping illegal trails created by walkers and cyclists; they close off the trails by replanting and fencing them.

The Eco Watch program provides opportunities for volunteers to map and monitor the spread of invasive plants and to test the water quality in two of the Park’s streams that support salmon populations. Volunteers gain experience in the environmental science field and develop GPS mapping skills – the intention is to evaluate the effectiveness of the invasive plant removal programming and monitor the health of wildlife habitat.

Krista is excited to report that PSPS has recently received a TD Friends of the Environment grant to help fund their newest program: Eco Kits. The interactive educational kits include activities and lessons that are perfect for teachers and students visiting the park. Currently, bog and forest kits are being piloted and this fall the selection will expand to include streams and ponds.

Another popular program is Eco Walks, a partnership between PSPS and UBC’s Tapestry independent retirement community located near the park. PSPS offers a monthly nature walk and talk to a maximum of 15 people – Krista says there is always a waiting list.

Volunteer recruitment happens naturally. Like the spreading ivy, volunteers spread the word about their positive experiences and bring new helpers into the fold.

Krista says, “There is no minimum commitment of time, it’s all a matter of personal preference. Some volunteers come once, while others return week after week. People come from as far as Burnaby, Richmond and Surrey to offer their services. Some are students who are looking to fulfill volunteer hours required by their schools, others are retirees or people who don’t have yards.”

“Volunteering with PSPS helps people get out in nature who might not otherwise get a chance.” Krista Voth

The society partners with many local schools including Immaculate Conception School, Lord Byng Secondary, Queen Elizabeth Elementary, St. George’s School and University Hill Secondary. It has also formed a network with Eastside schools.

As well, PSPS partners with South Vancouver settlement agencies, new immigrants and international students. These groups are eager to participate in order to learn more about nature and Canada.

Krista mentions, “It is very satisfying for volunteers to see the results of their work.” She would like people to know that PSPS always welcomes new volunteers.

What does Krista find most rewarding about her work? “Definitely working with the volunteers. My favourite day is Saturday. I come home saying, ‘I have the best job in the world.’ People come out in all weathers – it’s a real highlight.” she says.

Thank you to these Champions of Dunbar Village who contribute countless hours for the betterment of the community. Like the name of the park, your boundless team ‘spirit’ is recognized and appreciated.

www.pacificspiritparksociety.org

Pacific Spirit Park Dunbar

Champion of Dunbar Village

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Dunbar Residents’ Association

The Dunbar Residents’ Association (DRA) definitely fits the bill as a Champion of Dunbar Village; it plays an instrumental role in making Dunbar a better place to live. The association promotes community spirit, informs residents about important issues that have an impact on the neighbourhood, and works tirelessly to make sure Dunbar residents’ views are heard at City Hall.

The community can thank a much-needed stop sign for being the catalyst to form the highly valued DRA.

In 1989 a group of neighbours successfully petitioned for the installation of a stop sign at the corner of Crown Street and West 27th Avenue. The group was not active again until 1991 when a developer proposed to build a disproportionately higher density develop-ment in central Dunbar’s business district. It was another victory for the community, thanks to the DRA, after discussions with the developer the project was dropped. Rather than disband, the group decided to carry on as a registered non-profit society and officially became the DRA.

The organization’s mandate is to facilitate meetings regarding proposed changes to the Dunbar neighbourhood. They build community by printing a newsletter with a circulation of 6,000 copies three times a year, which is delivered to every household with the dedicated assistance of 250 volunteers.

Dunbar Residents Association Sonia Wicken Colleen McGuinnessSonia Wicken has been involved with the DRA’s board since the beginning. She is currently the board’s treasurer. “It is a way to give back to this wonderful community that is home,” Sonia says.

DRA’s president of the board, Colleen McGuinness says, “As an association we speak on behalf of the neighbourhood.” She points out there are many accomplishments to be proud of during the DRA’s 25-year history. She has been involved for 10 years and is in her second term as president. She mentions, “A two year term provides continuity and allows new people to step up and contribute to the board.”

Part of their work involves advocacy at City Hall. They utilize the expertise of their members to act as spokespeople. She points to board members Bill Rapanos (a retired planner) and Jonathan Weisman (a lawyer) as two examples of instrumental DRA advocates.

With a small budget and no paid staff, Colleen admits it is hard to manage new technologies such as the website that they are in the midst of redesigning. The association appreciates the work of two students from Lord Byng Secondary who manage the DRA’s interactive email list for communication amongst Dunbar neighbours.

DRA played a role in initiating the Dunbar Community Patrol, DEEP (Dunbar Earthquake and Emergency Preparedness) and Salmonberry Days.

Every month, considerable effort is made to schedule the Dunbar Community Patrol, run entirely by volunteers to increase neighbourhood safety. Patrol assignments are based on the city’s crime statistics with the goal of ensuring coverage throughout Dunbar with an emphasis on higher crime areas.

DEEP emerged out of a presentation Village Vancouver Transition Society (VV) made to the DRA in 2011. At this meeting, enthusiasm ignited and key DRA members including Susan Chapman, Jane Ingman Baker and Walter Wells formed a steering committee to join forces with Ann Pacey of VV to form DEEP. This active team of Dunbar citizens has been talking about and preparing for a full-scale earthquake, to ensure Dunbar residents are able to take care of themselves and each other should such a disaster occur.

Synonymous with May in Dunbar is Salmonberry Days, a unique month long environmental festival to build awareness of Dunbar’s natural surroundings. The DRA created this event in partnership with the Dunbar Community Centre Association and the business association that was active at that time.

Each year Salmonberry Days chooses a theme and fills the entire month with walks, talks and a bus tour.

As an example, Colleen describes how 60 people will magically appear to go on a guided walking tour of the neighbourhood to learn about the fascinating history of Dunbar’s early architecture and the original property owners.

This year the Salmonberry Days planning committee has selected anniversaries as the theme, to tie in with the festival’s 20th anniversary, the 25th anniversary of the DRA, and Canada’s 150th birthday celebration. Nature, the environment, history, gardening and community will be in the spotlight.

The culminating event is the annual Dunbar Community Centre Associations’ Salmon-berry Days Fair on May 28 at Memorial Park. The DRA is looking at new funding sources for Salmonberry Days. Colleen says, “Happily, this year we have found an anonymous fairy godmother.”

B.C.’s May 9 provincial election is just around the corner. The DRA always organizes a candidates’ debate and this year, working in cooperation with the Dunbar Community Centre Association, it will be held on April 28 at Dunbar Community Centre. “We always get an excellent turn out. Dunbar is a politically savvy community,” Colleen says.

Colleen explains why she offers her time, and her response likely represents many DRA volunteers’ motives. She says, “Dunbar is my community. I want to live in a viable, safe and engaged neighbourhood and this is how I can do my part.”

As for the future of the DRA, Sonia concludes, “The organization is still very important and relevant as the city and its neighborhoods are rapidly changing.”

Thank you to each DRA champion who has offered his or her time over the past 25 years to help make Dunbar a special place to call home. Here’s to the next 25 years!

Membership in the DRA is $20/household/year ($10 if a household member is 65 or over) and runs from October to September. Monthly DRA meetings take place on the first Tuesday of the month at the Dunbar Community Centre. Visit the DRA’s website for the schedule at www.dunbar-vancouver.org

Champion of Dunbar Village

Monday, December 5th, 2016

ann-pacey-katarina-halm-john-halldorsonDunbar Earthquake and Emergency Preparedness (DEEP)

Do you recall the modest earthquake that struck the West Coast on December 29, 2015 and jolted many of us awake from our sleep? How prepared were you for that event? Almost a year later, do you have emergency supplies and a solid action plan in place or have you swept the occurrence under the rug as a one off event?

Since 2011 an active team of Dunbar citizens have been talking about and preparing for ‘the big one,’ a full-scale earthquake. Dunbar Earthquake and Emergency Preparedness (DEEP) is a citizen’s grassroots effort to ensure Dunbar residents are able to take care of themselves after such a disaster.

Ann Pacey is one of DEEP’s energetic founding members. She is a member of various emergency related organizations and boards, including the Village Vancouver Transition Society (VV), which inspires individuals and organizations to take actions that build resilient and sustainable communities. DEEP emerged out of a presentation VV made to the Dunbar Residents’ Association (DRA) in 2011 to encourage neighbours working together.

“We’re all in it together. I was interested in the question of building community resilience when I started.” Ann Pacey

At this meeting enthusiasm ignited and key members from the DRA including Susan Chapman, Jane Ingman Baker and Walter Wells formed a steering committee and joined forces with Pacey to start DEEP. Another key player who Pacey describes as “a tireless volunteer” is Katarina Halm, who dedicated great effort into compiling the wealth of information found in DEEP’s brochure, building their website and coordinating outreach.
After a major disaster occurs people will be on their own for a significant length of time and will need to look within their local resource base, as city and emergency resources will be over extended. DEEP’s original vision was based on the Block Watch model, to build neighbour capacity block-by-block to collectively look out for each other and offer their skills in time of an emergency.

Block captains were invited to participate in the DEEP program adding new and interesting activities to their block parties. Pacey says DEEP’s Block Watch model has been slow to gain wider participation however, perhaps with added awareness this could become a reality.

Pacey points out that people don’t have to share political, religious or cultural views in a time of a crisis. It is a time to rally together; having DEEP in place helps neighbours kick into action and assist one another.

“Now is the time to prepare, not when a disaster happens. If we are prepared we will be able to take better care of ourselves.” Ann Pacey

DEEP looks at actual events in other cities such as Christchurch and San Francisco, to learn from and apply those lessons, when (and based on plate tectonic research it is indeed when, and not if) a similar earthquake occurs on the West Coast.

Pacey stepped down as DEEP’s head when she moved out of Dunbar, but she still plays an active role and John Halldorson has taken over as director. He is a Dunbar Community Centre Association board member and as a retired Chief Warrant Officer in the Canadian Army Reserve for 43 years, had ample experience dealing with emergency response.

Halldorson says, “It is a bit of a struggle getting people involved and then keeping them interested.”

“DEEP does monthly presentations of various preparedness subjects and a couple of table top scenario exercises to run through what happens in an actual event.” John Halldorson

He points to the good work DEEP has done increasing awareness and developing neighbourhood preparedness using the Map your Neighbourhood Program.

Map Your Neighbourhood creates a neighborhood map identifying locations of gas meters, propane tanks, and other hazards, as well as a list of all residents, particularly those likely to need help. It identifies those with key skills such as medical, ham radio, machinery operators or equipment, for example, chain saws, generators, and winches that might help in an emergency. Map Your Neighborhood teaches a team approach to neighbourhood response, including communications and staying safe while helping.

“DEEP has a vision of being a stepping stone and coordinating point in the community during a emergency or disaster,” Halldorson reports. He is pleased to share, “DEEP is one step closer to this as Dunbar Community Centre Association has funded a shipping container which will contain emergency equipment like radios, enhanced first aid, tarps and search and rescue kits. The Vancouver Park Board has authorized this container to be set up at Dunbar Community Centre. This dovetails perfectly with the City’s recently launched Disaster Support Hub (DSH) concept, will hopefully get city support and that may help us, as the only emergency preparedness community group in Vancouver.”

Imagining the prospect of having one’s home and life turned upside down is not pleasant, but thanks to the dedicated DEEP volunteers and their visionary preparedness plan, Dunbar is one step ahead of many communities. To learn more about DEEP visit their website (www.dunbar-deep.ca) and request a talk on a block level. After all, it’s always best to be prepared.

Clayton Ablett

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Clayton Ablett Vancity Dunbar LifeChampion of Dunbar Village

It’s all in a day’s work for busy Vancity branch manager Clayton Ablett. He and his staff may start off the day cleaning up Dunbar Street as part of their volunteer commitment to the Dunbar Village Business Association’s Clean Team, or he may find himself organizing a financial literacy program.

Ablett has been Dunbar’s Vancity branch manager for a little more than a year. During this time he has worked hard to create strong reciprocal relationships with the neigh-bourhood to ensure the credit union fulfills its mandate of investing in the community. Vancity gives back an impressive thirty per cent its net profits back through its Shared Success program.

Drawing on his experience at the two most recent branches where he worked Ablett was eager to implement an enhanced member experience in Dunbar village.

He explains, “Being a community branch manager means that I have the ability to support our members and community beyond just their financial needs. It is an all-encompassing role, which combines financial services with community advocacy, so it really is the best of both worlds. As a social activist and a branch leader, I am able to combine my skills with my passion for helping others. This combination is not only fulfilling but it is also extremely rewarding.”

“For me, often satisfaction comes from just doing the right thing.” Clayton Ablett

When he was a child his father worked in the mining industry, which meant living in
Smithers, Squamish and Thunder Bay. When Ablett was a teenager his family settled in Richmond where he continues to reside with his wife and three small children under the age of six.

He started his career as an automotive mechanic. Five years later he diverted to the world of banking and began working at Vancity. Initially he was hired as a teller and began taking financial courses at BCIT and quickly progressed to management level. Within five years he had worked his way up to assistant branch manager. In April 2015 he was promoted to branch manager when he moved to Dunbar’s Vancity.

How does Vancity’s model different from other financial institutions? Ablett says, “Our goal is to create positive member and community impact through all our operations—from how we make money to how we spend and invest it. We’re committed to finding new and better ways to use all our resources, people and capital to create large-scale positive impacts. This way of doing business differentiates us from traditional financial institutions. By redefining wealth, we are measuring our success in terms of the health and vitality of the community as a whole.”

Vancity lends its support in a number of ways, from grants to financial literacy programs such as “Each One Teach One,” educating people about banking basics, offering financial fraud seminars for seniors, getting actively involved in a number of local events such as Salmonberry Days, Chinese New Year celebrations at Dunbar Community Centre and participating in Dunbar Village Business Association events. Vancity also recently donated five cherry trees to the neighbourhood.

Another initiative of Ablett’s was approaching Dunbar Apartments to lend assistance. The financial institution gets directly involved in a variety of ways including offering financial services and workshops, inviting residents to showcase their crafts for sale at the bank and offering inclusive displays of kindness such as saying hello and offering up a wave of recognition on the street.

“Beyond financial wealth it’s the community’s wealth as well. Not everything we do translates into dollars. It’s about what is the best interest of the community.” Clayton Ablett

Dunbar’s small business owners are deeply valued. Vancity’s merchant members have the opportunity to promote their business in house on digital signage for increased exposure.

He believes, “When we eat, shop, and play locally we help to grow and strengthen our community. This is especially important when trying to promote sustainability and social responsibility.”

Ablett takes pride in having established many of these connections. He believes that building sustainable relationships is of utmost importance for the staff to nurture and build on over time.

What makes this neighbourhood unique? Ablett believes, “The people make it special. They are kind. It is a very close knit community and people care.” Reflecting on his role as branch manager he concludes, “It’s a lot of fun and very rewarding. It’s redefining the way we work.”

Jane Ingman Baker

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Champion of Dunbar Village

Jane Ingman Baker Dunbar Life coverThe saying “If you want something done, give it to a busy person” applies tenfold to Dunbar resident Jane Ingman Baker.

Ingman Baker’s resume reflects an incredibly diverse academic career and a full slate of volunteerism equal in length to her employ-ment experience. Not only does she hold a degree in law but also a PhD in biochemistry. When asked about this she laughs and says, “Some would call me jack of all trades, master of none.”

More likely people would call her an active community-minded citizen who has the best interests of Dunbar at the top of her list.

Her array of volunteer work includes five years as a board member with the Dunbar Residents Association, her ongoing role as chair of the Dunbar Vision Implementation Group (she has been actively involved for nine years), and her latest volunteer venture, as vice president of programing with the Dunbar Community Centre Association.

Ingman Baker has lived in Dunbar for 27 years. She recalls visiting the Dunbar Community Centre frequently when her children were growing up but noticed in the last few years that patron usage was slipping. She isn’t one to sit back and wait for someone else to do something; she rolls up her sleeves and jumps in to offer assistance.

Her volunteer work with the Dunbar Community Centre Association is currently her largest involvement with a commitment of close to 20 hours each week. She joined the executive 18 months ago and is happy to report that the facility has “turned a corner.”

The Dunbar Community Centre’s parking lot is busy again. This is largely due to adapting program-ming to meet the community’s needs.

She has a visionary quality and is determined to make the community an even better place to live. The seasoned lawyer/UBC adjunct professor in the Faculty of Medicine is always asking questions and looking for answers.

She chuckles when she reports she is currently taking a master gardener course, as she would like to see gardening flourish in the community. She believes gardening is an important part of our culture and the Dunbar Community Centre will eventually offer a course to teach new residents these skills. Ingman Baker feels it will help bring people together and ultimately help to better under-stand each other.

She says new residents from Asia often hail from concrete cities and are in awe of our city’s greenery, lawns and gardens. It is her belief that working side by side and creating a gardening community will foster more tolerance and break down stereotypes.

Examples of other adaptive programming include an exercise class for ages 50 plus. She says some octogenarians really love it. An outdoor preschool program has been well received and line dancing to Mandarin music, mahjong and table tennis always draw crowds.

Speaking of crowds, Ingman Baker is extremely impressed with the turn out at 2015 holiday craft fair. Vendors reported higher sales than the last few years and over 2,500 people passed through the community centre.

Salmonberry Days is one of this dedicated volunteer’s favourite events. With a smile she says, “It is wonderful to see happy people enjoying a free event with bouncy castles and volunteers barbequing $2 hotdogs.” She and the entire Dunbar Community Centre Assoc-iation board have taken the Food Safe course so they can serve food at all events.

Ingman Baker is always searching for ways to engage more adults on a volunteer basis in their community.

She asks, “How do we give people the tools to get a satisfying volunteer experience?”

Jane Ingman Baker Dunbar LifeShe believes it is entirely possible based on the record number of volunteers that popped out of the woodwork during the 2010 Winter Olympics. She says teen volunteerism is in good shape thanks to the mandate of accruing community volunteer hours as part of the high school curriculum.

Ingman Baker grew up in London and started volunteering as a teenager. She regularly visited seniors’ homes and psychiatric hospitals and later became an active volunteer at the University of Sussex.

Where did her philanthropic nature stem from? She says it is a combination of being innate and modeled by her parents and grandparents. “I come from a family of gregarious people. We are people who know our neighbours.” She adds, “Your personal health reflects the health of your community.”

Regarding volunteer experiences and moving on after a time she says, “It is a time to refresh and renew with new experiences.”

A good friend shared words that resonate with her, “Leave an organization in better shape than you find it.” She has certainly taken this to heart with the legacy of valuable work she has contributed to many Dunbar organizations through her gift of experience and time.

She says, “There is a lot of talk about Dunbar village, and a lot of things that happen here are village-like.” She notes that the only move she and her family made was when they bought their neighbour’s house four doors away. She feels this is part of the small town charm of Dunbar.

She recalls when a new headmaster arrived at St. George’s School. He was smitten with the local independent shops where merchants know their customers by name and people recognize each other on the street. It is Ingman Baker’s hope to foster and maintain this sense of community. She feels, “It is possible. You have to see the silver linings.”

This champion of Dunbar’s commitment to her community is inspiring. She says, “The level of engagement and opportunities in Dunbar unparalleled in the city.”

Ingman Baker’s go-getter attitude may very well spawn a spike in Dunbar volunteerism as others follow suit and seek out the plethora of opportunities that lurk in this great neighbourhood.

Kerrisdale Equipment

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Serving Vancouver for 56 Years

Kerrisdale Equipment Ron Russell Dunbar LifeIn a city where so many head spinning changes are taking place it is refreshing to see long term businesses like Kerrisdale Equipment continuing to flourish.

Ron Russell has owned his equipment and tool rental stores since 1979. He purchased Kerrisdale Equipment from his father Howard Russell who was a plumbing and mechanical heating engineer, and his friend, Fred Topping, who was a homebuilder.

The two men came from different trades, yet they shared a common ambition to open a hardware business on Kerrisdale’s West Boulevard in 1960. When Ron Russell purchased the business he took it in a new direction with the introduction of tool rentals.

It was never Ron Russell’s childhood dream to follow in his father’s footsteps. Born and raised in Vancouver, he grew up in Kerrisdale and attended Vancouver College. After completing his first year of university (he had dreams of being an architect) his father offered him a summer job and that was the end of his schooling. He has never looked back although he chuckles when he says, “If I had gone into a government job I would have had a pension and that would be nice.”

Kerrisdale Equipment is a success story and under Ron Russell’s ownership the business has grown in size considerably.

Kerrisdale Equipment exterior Dunbar LifeIn 2001 he opened a second location on Dunbar (next door to the Dunbar Public Library), which replaced a former tool rental business. In 2012 he took the company to a whole new level when he opened a 20,000 square foot Southwest Marine Drive location near Heather Street. Russell reports that homeowners are not as familiar with this location but it is well worth exploring.

He was sad to see the original West Boulevard location close its doors last autumn when the building sold. A direct result of the Kerrisdale closure has been a doubling of business at the Dunbar store. Ron Russell points out, “While homeowner rentals are declining, contractor use is up.” This is directly related to the volume of building that is taking place all over Vancouver.

From air tools and equipment to cleaning and floor care, masonry and tile, painting and decorating, pumps and plumbing, wood working, heavy equipment, ladders, scaffold, landscaping and gardening, lifting and moving, lighting and electrical, welding and much more, Kerrisdale Equipment is very likely to have what you are looking for and if they don’t happen to have it they are happy to source it.

Ron Russell is extremely proud of his skilled and knowledgeable employees who are well versed in how to use the equipment.

Is your lawn mower on the fritz or perhaps your hedge trimmer is not in tiptop shape to tackle the big project ahead? Kerrisdale Equipment’s service department repairs many makes of lawn and garden equipment, small engines, chainsaws, trimmers, blowers, generators and more. They also offer a complete sharpening service for mower blades, chainsaws, shears and reel mowers. Bonus: For a fee Kerrisdale Equipment offers pick up and delivery service within the Lower Mainland for both regular and heavy equipment.

There are now very few independent equipment rental stores left in the city as large nationals such as Home Depot have stepped into the market. In fact, only three remain in Greater Vancouver.

Ron Russell finds it a shame that we live in such a disposable world. He says, “Some people will buy cheap tools rather than rent them.” He recommends renting, as you will not be faced with storing, servicing or ultimately disposing of poorly made equipment. More importantly, contractor grade tools and equipment do a superior job.

He forecasts there will be a movement back to being do it yourselfers as costs of trades will become prohibitive for some homeowners.

Kerrisdale Equipment interior Dunbar LifeVery much a supporter of the community, in a humble manner Ron Russell admits his business is a keen supporter of the local Little League, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and a new endeavor, they are lending support to the new Pacific Autism Family Centre currently being constructed in Richmond.

As many small business owners will attest, there isn’t often a lot of spare time outside of one’s work life, however when Ron Russell does get a chance to break away he enjoys a game of golf. He also likes to get out on the local water in his 20-foot boat with his wife and their 10-year-old son.

After 56 years in business what makes him most proud? He replies, “I am proud the business has survived for so long by consistently staying ahead of the game for our customers.”

Kerrisdale Equipment
4522 Dunbar Street
Vancouver BC V6S 2G6
Telephone 604-224-3255
www.kerrisdaleequipment.com

Dunbar Pizza and Grill

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Where Italy Meets India

Dunbar Pizza Jasvir Nandda Dunbar LifeJasvir Nandda is the jovial owner of Dunbar Pizza, a business he has proudly run for 17 years. The menu is as unique as the inviting aroma of pizza and Indian cuisine, which mingle and fill the air. Nandda’s genuine warmth makes you feel like you have stepped into his home kitchen.

Don’t be surprised if he calls you “my friend” as that is what you will quickly become when you converse.

Up front the establishment is small, with a window counter and seating for a handful of people. Behind the scenes the deep restaurant houses pizza ovens, walk in coolers, a big gas stove and more fry pans and pizza boxes than you can shake a stick at.

Nandda is originally from the city of Jalandhar, located in the state of Punjab, India where several generations of his family, dating back to his grandfather, worked in the restaurant industry. Their specialty was Indian food and sweets. His father and uncle worked as cooks, although he points out his mother’s important role was to be the “home boss.”

In 1993 Nandda moved to Canada to join relatives here. He loves his life in his adopted country and does not miss the pollution or the hot climate he left behind. He also appreciates how safe Canada is in comparison.

After working in various professions he decided to take a risk and open his own business based on his experience as a cook. He thanks a friend of his brother-in-law for encouraging him to purchase a pizza business.

Why set up shop in Dunbar? He explains it took time to find the right location. Two attempts to lease businesses in North Vancouver and New Westminster fell through, and then one day he was visiting Dunbar and spotted a for rent sign in the window. He had finally found a home for his business, which was formerly a pizza restaurant.

Capital outlay for equipment was a consideration when he started out and therefore he started only making pizza. Two years later he introduced Indian food to the menu. He started slowly. Samosas were the first item to debut. A clever marketer, when customers would purchase a pizza Nandda would tempt them with a couple of complimentary samosas.

Today his Indian food is as popular as his pizza. Customers go wild for his butter chicken in addition to the lamb korma and spinach lamb. Those items are only the tip of the iceberg; the Indian menu features appetizers (pakoras, samosas), lamb, chicken and a good selection of vegetarian dishes. Tandoori breads (naan, parantha and roti) and a number of biryani rice dishes round out the Indian menu.

Flip the menu and a long list of pizzas can be found ranging from the Dunbar Special to international salutes to India, Italy and Greece. Nandda says the most popular choices are the Canadian, butter chicken and Hawaiian pizza.

High school students are big fans of Dunbar Pizza. They sweep in during lunch hour and after school for pizza by the slice.

Special prices on pizza by the slice (based on volume) make a meal even more enticing with a can of pop included to sweeten the deal.

Remarkably, in addition to pizza and Indian food Nandda also offers Greek and Italian cuisine. Craving souvlaki, spaghetti, lasagna or barbeque baby ribs? No worries, he has you covered.

“We are so lucky to have so many culinary options in this multicultural city.” Jasvir Nandda

What does he enjoy most about the business? He says eating what he cooks ranks high on the list. He enjoys the variety of pizza and Indian food and says he doesn’t have a favourite dish.

Dunbar Pizza exterior Dunbar LifeHis customers make the long hours well worth it. Many of them are locals and have been supporting his business for years. When people call him for deliveries (a big part of his business) often he is so well acquainted with them that he knows their order. He says some customers will even let him select on their behalf.

Living in Surrey means long days for this hard working business owner. The restaurant is open seven days a week until late at night. Nandda likes to spend his limited free time with his wife and two teenagers. Vacations don’t happen often, in fact it was three years ago that he was last in India.

With a smile on his face, Nandda concludes,” I am born to work.” Based on the pizzas that my children tried and gave two thumbs up, I would also add he was born to cook. I will be back to try the Indian fare.

Dunbar Pizza & Grill
3348 Dunbar Street
Vancouver BC V6S 2C1
Telephone 604-732-4999

I Dig Dunbar

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Help Create Beautiful Gardens throughout Dunbar Village.

Spring is here!  Dunbar Village is restarting its “I Dig Dunbar” project.  They would like to see Dunbar Village bloom with gardens of herbs, perennials, and perhaps some annuals, but they need your help to design these gardens.

Here’s What to Expect:

1. Let Dunbar Village Business Association know if you would like to design a garden by emailing info@dunbarvillage.ca or by leaving a voicemail at 604-635-1836  They will assign plots on a first-come-first-serve basis.

2. Using their list of suitable plants, start sketching out your garden design. Submit your design by email, fax or mail.

3. Once the Dig Dunbar Project Coordinator has had a chance to review your design, they will make arrangements using volunteers from the community to do the planting.

4. The Dunbar Village Business Association will purchase the plants (through the generosity of KJM Country Gardens) and will also provide watering throughout the summer.

5. Volunteer garden designers and planters will be acknowledged for their contribution to the Dunbar Village streetscape with signage at the plots.

More details:

Planting days will be scheduled in sections throughout the coming months and will continue through the years as they make more planting areas available.

Twice a year the planting areas will be cleaned up or have plants added.

Once a garden plot has been assigned, designers have 7 days to submit their plan.  If no plans are received within that time, then the plots will be assigned to another designer.

If you would like to be part of the volunteer planting team, contact info@dunbarvillage.com or leave a message at 604-635-1836

 

Dunbar Village for the Holidays!

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Come to Dunbar Village on Saturday, December 17, 2011 for “Dunbar Village for the Holidays” on Saturday, Dec 17, 2011 with horse carriage rides, roaming carollers, free hot chocolate and elves!

Presented by the Dunbar Village Business Association.   www.dunbarvillage.ca

Trick-or-Treat in Dunbar

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm.  Halloween doesn’t have to be frightening to be fun!  Dunbar Village Business Association is arranging street entertainers and enthusiastic merchants to hand out candy and toys to children from the neighbourhood.  No worries if you forget your trick-or-treat bag – they will be giving out Dunbar Village Halloween bags designed for smaller people (while supplies last).

www.dunbarvillage.ca