After walking from Dunlevy and Hastings to MacLean Park, then onto Hawkes and Prior, we crossed busy Prior Street to the Strathcona Community Gardens. These gardens are very well used. On a sunny day like this day, it was full of community gardeners tending to their tiny little plots. It seems like the local gardeners knew each other and were sharing tips and stories of how their plants were growing.
Even before I went off to Boston for my conference, I spent a oddly warm, but very welcome, Saturday afternoon with the Rain City Social group for an exploration of Strathcona.
Strathcona is often referred to as Vancouver’s first neighbourhood. It is not the birthplace of Vancouver. That honour belongs to Gastown. However, it is probably the first neighbourhood dedicated to residential homes.
Our walk on a sunny March 25th started at the Dunlevy Cafe. The cafe is on Dunlevy just a few doors down from the infamous East Hastings of the Downtown Eastside. It’s a very trendy and hip cafe to be found just off a rougher stretch in Canada’s postal code. I already had lunch before coming, but apparently there wasn’t much on the menu. The setting is definitely trendy, though.
Strathcona is a unique mix of buildings. There are a few churches in the neighbourhood and one of Vancouver’s oldest schools, Strathcona Elementary. Even the houses are more varied than most Vancouver neighbourhoods. Normally, you just find single-detached homes all over the city, but Strathcona has single-detached and attached homes alike. I don’t think there is another neighbourhood with so many row houses. The lots are different sizes compared to the rest of the city. There is a very different feel to homes because of these unique lot sizes.