|Elevation change||28 m|
This walking tour will not only provide you with the healthy aspect of a walk, but also the enjoyment of taking you through some of the community arts projects in the Grandview Woodlands area. The tour starts and ends at the entrance to the Britannia Community Services Centre.
This area at the foot of Victoria drive was originally referred to as Khupkhahpay’ay, the Squamish word for cedar tree. The Grandview Woodlands area is on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
Unceded means that First Nations people did not give up land or legally sign it away to Britain or Canada. Vancouver and 95 percent of BC are on unceded First Nations land. In many parts of Canada, treaties were signed with First Nations that gave incoming settlers rights to much of the land, but in BC very few treaties were signed.
Want to learn more? Read First Peoples: A Guide for Newcomers PDF file (5.4 MB)
Wind your way along tree-lined residential streets and through one of the most culturally-diverse commercial districts in the city.
The community installed public art along this route through the 1990s and early 2000s. The art ranges from murals and mosaics to outdoor gathering places. There are also many examples of Indigenous public art.
This route is made up of city sidewalks and is wheelchair accessible.
Points of interest
- Britannia Community Centre
- Britannia Banners
- Norman's Market Mural
- Games We've Played
- Engineer This!
- Mosaic Creek
- Vancouver Naturally Ours
- Aboriginal Friendship Centre
- National Indigenous Peoples Day
- Melanie Mark
Britannia Community Centre
Red Cedar house posts
Artists: Aaron Nelson-Moody & Youth Mentorship Program
Location: Britannia Rink entrance at Napier Street
In very traditional First Nations communities, young people who want to learn to carve begin by watching their elders. Over time, they pick up the teachings; when they are given the chance to carve, they know how it’s done. Aaron and his team of carvers began this carving by stripping thick layers of bark off the tree. As the protective layer came away, the carvers discovered the beautiful spirit of the cedar tree within. Aaron likens this process to removing personal barriers and discovering our own spirits. Aaron says the act of carving can be a very personal journey. For this particular piece, these young carvers created a work of real beauty.
These house posts feature an eagle image. The salmon represent the wealth of food in the Britannia area. The top portion is a stylized Salish canoe filled with people, representing the carvers and their journey together.
Location: Throughout the Britannia site
The Banners are an ongoing twice yearly project in which area residents develop the banners to be hung around the Centre.
Norman's Market Mural
Norman’s Market Mural - 2008
Artists: Jay Senetcho & Jordan Ben
Location: Commerical Dr. & Graveley St.
This mural depicts the diversity of street life on Commercial Drive.
Games We've Played
Games We’ve Played - 2002
Artist: Blake Williams
Location: Off 3rd Ave and Victoria Dr.
Students at Queen Victoria school created these tiles which represent the diversity of their familys' childhood games. It is a ceramic tile mural of children's drawings installed on the south wall of the school with matching tiles placed out in the community on private houses, steps, retail storefronts, parks, etc.
Engineer This! - 2004
Artist: Grandview Community Schoolyard Project
Location: Grandview Elementry School, 2055 Woodland Drive
This structure is a community gathering place for outdoor learning and celebration. The design was inspired by the Musqueam traditional longhouse.
Want to learn more about the sacred Musqueam Long House? Join an educational tour guided by the Musqueam people External website, opens in new tab
This structure is on the grounds of an elementary school. It may not be accessible during school hours.
Mosaic Creek - 1996
Artists: Glen Anderson, Kristine Germann
Location: Mosaic Creek Park, 1475 Charles St
Mosaic Creek is a large mosaic in the shape of a creek made up of 260 individual mosaics by community members. Over 500 people participated in this project.
Vancouver Naturally Ours
Vancouver Naturally Ours - 1994
Artists: Helen Spaxman & Carole Davenport
Location: Britannia Oval
Britannia High School students created this mural for the community.
Aboriginal Friendship Centre
Aboriginal Friendship Centre
Location: 1607 East Hastings Street, west of Commercial Drive.
The Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS) has been meeting the needs of Indigenous people making a transition to the urban Vancouver community since 1963.
The Friendship Centre is a charitable organization that provides programs in health, welfare, social services, human rights, culture, education, recreation and equality for all genders of Indigenous people of all age groups. The Friendship Centre emphasizes the philosophies and values of varied Indigenous cultures and traditions. With over 50 years of providing essential services to the urban Indigenous community, the VAFCS has helped families, youth, adults, elders and children maintain their Indigenous cultural ties and values.
The VAFCS has also helped Indigenous people access education, housing needs and support for families. The Friendship Centre strives to provide holistic and cultural services to all of its community members.
National Indigenous Peoples Day
National Indigenous Peoples Day
Location: John Hendry (Trout Lake) Park, 3300 Victoria Drive
On June 21 of each year, National Indigenous Peoples Day is commemorated. Everyone is welcome to attend the Pancake Breakfast at 9am at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre (1607 East Hastings St) and celebrate with the community as they walk down Commercial Drive and up to Trout Lake Park where more festivities occur.
Learn more about National Indigenous Peoples Day External website, opens in new tab
Location: 1641 Commercial Drive, unit 1070
Melanie Mark is the first Indigenous woman to serve in the B.C. Legislature, and the first Indigenous woman to serve in a cabinet position in BC. She was appointed the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training on July 18, 2017.
Learn more about Melanie Mark External website, opens in new tab