Penny, Aedan and Joe’s Story

Penny and I moved to Vancouver in Oct, 1993, from London, England. We had a one month stay at the Tropicana motel on Robson St. We used that time to look for a place to settle in, plus I had to find work. We looked out as far as Burnaby, the North Shore and Kitsilano. In the end we decided that the West End was the right place for us. We have lived 13 of the 15 years since, in the West End. After London, living here with the mountains and ocean on your door step was such a wonderful change for both of us.

Aedan was born December 10th, 2003 at St. Paul’s hospital on Burrard St. The doctors and nurses, but especially the midwives, made what can be a very stressful time, into a more joyous and special moment. (Thank you !!)

With our new arrival we thought that we might have to say goodbye to our great neighbourhood. Thankfully we found the Seafield, (wish it was by a couple of days earlier though, Bobby and Dana, lol..) We were made to feel welcome right from the start, with Donald and David asking if we needed anything, to telling us about the building and its occupants, especially another couple (Mark and Christine) who also had a young boy called Miles. Needless to say Miles and Aedan are now fast friends, as are their respective parents. It wasn’t long until we were swapping stories with everybody at one of the gatherings that happen at the side of the building. There are a few (lots!) of people in the building who like to have the hibachi going with a glass in hand and a neighbour to chat too (The Alley Rats, as we call them). I would like to say that I am now a proud member of that club.

The Seafield is as diverse and as welcoming as the neighborhood that it is in, from Mary and Rolly in their 80’s and 90’s to Miles and Aedan, 6 and 5 respectively. There will also be a new addition to the Seafield in February as Bobby and Dana are expecting their first child. With Aedan now in kindergarten at Lord Roberts elementary school and in after school care at Gordon Neighbourhood House, it’s not a wonder that we feel lucky to be part of this wonderful community. In other words the Seafield building is a haven full of friends young and old, who enjoy life and the diversity it brings. But most of all it feels like a community that Penny, Aedan and I like to call home!

P. S. As of September 2008 we were given notice from the new owners of the building, Gordon Nelson Investments, that they intend to renovate the building, and we will get our eviction notices in November. They intend to start in February 2009.

The building has been well looked after and maintained by the previous owners. There have been major renovations with new windows for every suite, electrical upgrades, replaced ceilings and plumbing updates, all done with the cooperation of the tenants, and with no need for the tenants to vacate the premises!

It seems to be an ongoing problem in the West End. Some developers are buying rental stock and mass evicting tenants so they can do minor adjustments and then charge up too double the rent. It seems a shame that a few bad apples are exploiting the loophole in the Residential Tenancy Act to their advantage, and to the detriment of their tenants.

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