Tag Archives: Village on False Creek

Destination Bike – Vancouver’s Olympic Village

Recombinant Bike
The Olympic Village has become a real destination for cyclists and pedestrians enjoying the seawall. On a sunny day like today, the area is overrun with bikes. Some of the cyclists are just passing by, but a lot of them are stopping to eat at Terra Breads, take a picture with the giant birds, and have a pint at the Tap & Barrel. I love the energy and life it’s bringing to the neighbourhood.

Tap & Barrel Bike Parking

The city has installed several new bike racks, but there still isn’t enough capacity. A large temporary bike rack in front of Tap & Barrel is rammed most evenings and weekends.
Temporary Bike Parking

The bike racks in front of Terra Breads and London Drugs are also full.
Terra Breads Bike Parking Olympic Vilage Bike Parking

Almost every street sign and has a pair of bikes locked to it.
Parking on any Pole 1 Parking on any Pole 2
Parking on any Pole 3 Parking on any Pole 4 Parking on any Pole 5

And cyclists have been finding creative solutions to the lack of bike parking.
Creative Bike Parking

I, for one, welcome the invading cyclists and the new transportation future they represent. It’s much nicer having your neighbourhood overrun with bikes than noisy cars.

Food Scraps Drop Spot – Olympic Village

Starting on Tuesday July 10, and continuing every Tuesday night until September 25, there will be a food scraps collection spot in the Bird Plaza in the Olympic Village. Between 6 and 8 pm you can drop off containers of kitchen scraps for a suggested $2 donation, and they’ll be taken to a compost facility in Delta.

We hope to see you on Tuesday.

This drop spot is made possible by a grant from the Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants Program. More information on Food Scraps Drop Spot. If you want to help volunteer, email villagefoodscraps@gmail.com.

Village Life

Bird Plaza
It’s been over a year since Emily and I moved into the Olympic Village. For the first 10 months, our home was was just another Vancouver apartment, in a highly politicized neighbourhood lacking retail and people.

But things have really changed in the past few months. The village has new life (with more people and more retail) and we’ve gotten to know many of our neighbours. Instead of living in a beautiful, but isolated area, it now feels like we’re part of a strong community.

Last month, I volunteered to organize a community garden on the rooftop of our building. It’s been hard work, but it’s great to see the results – a prospering garden full of flowers and vegetables, and more importantly (I think), over 20 neighbours who know each other a lot better now. Before the garden took root, I only knew one of our neighbours (and only her name). Now, I’ve lost the anonymity I once had in our building, with neighbours young and old stopping to talk to me in the hallways and on the street. It’s not an experience I’m used to in Vancouver, but it feels good.
Rooftop Garden June 9 Prepping the Garden The Bee and the Chives

In addition to the garden, I’ve gotten to know people living in neighbourhood through online networking. Technology is often criticized for isolating people, but in this case it has connected me to my neighbours. There’s a Facebook page for the area with an active community who’ve organized a potluck and quiz night.

It was great to meet other people in the village, and hear the same praise and complaints about our neighbourhood. The Olympic Village is home to a wide array of people – there are multi-million dollar condos, rental units, a co-op, and subsidized housing. And yet, we are all dealing with a growing neighbourhood, nearby construction, retail that is months behind schedule, and fancy heating systems that don’t work as expected. And yet, most of us feel lucky to live in such a beautiful neighbourhood.
Solar Rooftops A Heron in the Village

I’ve also got to know some of my neighbours via Street Bank, a website that facilities sharing between neighbours. It’s a great idea. I haven’t borrowed anything yet, but I’ve lent out my drill and hand saw to neighbours.

In other community building news, Emily is in the midst of organizing a composting Food Scraps Drop Spot pickup for the Olympic Village. She’s busy recruiting volunteers and organizing the logistics.

Village Update

Life in the Village on False Creek is slowly getting better. There is still a distinct lack of retail stores (the liquor store and bank are the only businesses open), but there are some signs of change.

Olympic Village Community Garden
Community Gardens
A new community garden is opening next to the park. Applications are open to local residents until September 16.

Terra Breads
Terra Breads Cafe
Looks like they’ll be open soon. It will be nice to have somewhere to eat in the village. They’re behind schedule, but at least they’re opening soon.

Salt Building
Salt Building
The Mark James Group was signed up to open a brewpub in the Salt Building, but that deal must be dead. Last month there were “Restaurant Coming Soon” signs in the window. Today there are “For Lease” signs and all the references to the Mark James Group have been removed from the city’s website ( this is what it said on July 17).

Village Kitchen & Bar
Community Kitchen, London Drugs, and Urban Fare
All are “Coming Soon”, but no work is being done to get them ready. So “soon” is still months away.

Moving into Anni Friesinger’s Old Room in the Olympic Village

Since we announced we were moving into the Olympic Village, a lot of people have asked me “do you know which athlete lived in your unit during the Olympics?” I sure do. Sexy German speed skater Anni Friesinger was the former occupant of our suite.

How do I know? I did some sleuthing and discovered that 122 Walter Hardwick was occupied by Team Germany during the Olympics. Most of the German medal winners were staying up at Whistler, but the hockey team, speed skaters, figure skaters, and curlers were all in Vancouver.
Team Germany Has Arrived at Vancouver 2010 Olympic Village South and Is Expected to Win Most of the Medals

Now, I have no proof that Anni stayed in our unit, but until I find a name scratched into the wall or a stray hair that I can analyze for DNA, I’m going to just assume our unit was occupied by either Anni Friesinger or Andy Kapp, skip of the German curling team.
olympics2010-5534.jpg
Photo by ygx

In all seriousness, I’m a bit surprised that more isn’t done to advertise the Olympic Village as the former home of Olympians. The two towers that were once full of Canadian athletes is now branded Canada House, but otherwise there aren’t any references left to the athletes who once resided in the units. Maybe it’s a privacy issue.

If anyone is trying to determine which athletes may have lived in a specific Olympic Village building, I’ve created this handy guide.
Continue reading Moving into Anni Friesinger’s Old Room in the Olympic Village