Thursday, January 28, 2016

Protect Riverview

 Bad enough that I escorted a friend to the local hospital emergency, and spent the better part of the day there; only to come home to read the news; some good, and some bad.   Makes a person ponder who actually is the CEO of the Province? Christie Clark, or Rich Coleman, appears to be the later. 

Riverview real estate job is posted  MLA questions gov’t intentions.

I did find the BC BID Valleyview Hazmat Removal  open bidding contract; and the related documents:  BC BID for the Valleyview Pavilion; (PDF) and a Hazardous material and Deconstruction guide for Valleyview. (PDF)  converted and saved for eternity, away from the government servers.

And making the rounds is a press release:

For Immediate Release (January 28, 2016)

We are a collective of citizens in the province of British Columbia, in unceded Coast Salish Territories concerned about the provincial government's commercial housing plans for the Riverview hospital lands.

Under the banner of 'Protect Riverview' we stand in solidarity with members of the community, mental health advocates and healers from all walks of life.

We stand united and opposed to plans that include market housing and for-profit commercial development. We believe the land should retain it's initial purpose as a sanctuary for those with mental health challenges.

We envision a campus of care, of which many models around the world have been successful. We also see creative alternative and co-operative economic models as a way to provide social opportunities for community members who are easily excluded from mainstream economies. We believe in retro-fitting existing usable structures as a green approach to re-purposing buildings. We encourage those who share the same vision to unite with us.

Our first gathering with be at the City of Coquitlam, Spirit Square  ( Google Maps ) next to GlenPine Pavilion from Noon-2pm on January 31st. 2016. We invite others concerned about the future of Riverview to join the peaceful, family-friendly gathering in Spirit Square, See you there!

To find out more see us at:

Web:  Protectriverview
Twitter: @protectrview

A group that no one seems to know anything about; but for me the more the merrier.

UPDATE: So moi the intrepid reporter went to this event, the weather was wet and cold, but a good turnout for such a quickly convened gathering.  Some photos at Flickr 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Art meets Riverview

Our Riverview lands, painted
Port Coquitlam's Art Focus Artists Association will have three cube towers in a new ArtConnect exhibit in Vancouver that focuses on Riverview Hospital.

Riverview, Our Iconic Landscape
Pendulum Gallery, HSBC Building
885 West Georgia Street   Vancouver, B.C.
Exhibition from the 15th of February until the 5th of March, 2016

Some parking information

  A few links to ArtsConnect references to Riverview:
         About Riverview
             Riverview Slideshow

And a few preview Photos of some of the art from the ArtFocus group

I must say that more than a few of the artists captured the site feeling rather well, well done :)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Local papers

LETTERS: Not enough return and too high a cost for Riverview
The Editor, Re. “The future — or the destruction — of Riverview?” (Green Scene, The Tri-City News, Jan. 8).

LETTER: Keep Riverview as a sanctuary
The Editor, Re. “Mental health facility, commercial district are in works for Riverview” (The Tri-City News, Dec. 18) and “Housing CEO: R’view will be model for health care (Jan. 8).

BYELECTION: Sell off Riverview and bus route, says Geddes
A profile on Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Paul Geddes (Libertarian)
Note: I have not heard any other candidates stances on the Riverview issue? 

Put this here, because I could not vote, when this right was taken away from me.  And it has been interesting to note that Metro Vancouver AKA GVRD has been very quiet about Riverview; one would almost think that they dd not exist.  Even though they have a major high-pressure sewer, and a critically important water line running through the site.
COLUMN: It’s time we elected Metro Vancouver representatives
What would happen if you undertook a massive project and overspent your budget by 100%?

 The Editor, Re. “Mental health facility, commercial district are in works for Riverview” (The Tri-City News, Dec. 18) and “The future — or the destruction — of Riverview?” (Green Scene, Jan. 8).

 Premier's promise to save Riverview greenspace, trees
Premier Christy Clark makes campaign pledge about the historic property during the Coquitlam-Burke Mountain byelection.  [ I want it in writing; it appears she has no control over the overseers that she appointed to look after the site.  ]

LETTER: Riverview vision ‘slap in the face
The Editor, The fifth and final public vision process in the way of a document entitled A Vision For Renewing Riverview is nothing short of a slap in the face to all who made the effort to attend these public visioning processes.

Some related news:
 B.C. jails have become ‘default mental health facilities’: union
 North Fraser Pretrial Centre has seen nine suicides since it opened 15 years ago

 Mental health care system failed Lions Bay man, mother says;
 Ryan Norris spent years trying to find help for his mental illness and drug addiction, before dying of suspected fentanyl overdose

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Will theTruth please stand up?

So myself and a few others have been getting this message :

[" Correction: There was an editing error on page 20 of the Riverview Vision Document. A quote from the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce, mistakenly referred to a recommendation for “mid-to-high” market housing to help off-set the shortage of rental housing in the Tri-Cities…” .

The quote has been corrected in the online version,  and now reads: “developments should be “mixed-market” housing to help off-set the shortage of rental housing in the Tri-Cities…”
Print versions given out prior to January 9, 2016 will still include the error. To request a new print version, please contact   "]

But it appears that the correction is not correct; the report from the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is available to view  HERE (PDF) on the  RenewRiverview website.  Sadly the original document cannot be located on the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce website anymore :(

Where on page 13 near the bottom it clearly states:

... "Ultimately, if there is to be any housing development at Riverview, the resulting developments should be mixed-market to help offset the shortage of rental housing in the Tri-Cities and mid to high density projects to accommodate the expected growth in our region. "...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Riverview comments needed

Last chance for commenting on this smoke and mirrors show, that has been named Renewing Riverview.
first you must sign away your life and join Placespeak    Then you need to find  A Vision For Renewing Riverview you have until January 29, 2016 February 12, 2016 to have your voice heard.

You tube video of  the bureacrats announcing the building in the distant future of some health care facilities on the site; which of course will still not come anywhere near to replacing what was lost when Riverview was closed.

UPDATE:  Deadline has been extended :   Riverview vision is linked to health announcement: BC Housing
The deadline to comment on the fifth and final report for the future of Riverview Hospital is February 12.

IMPORTANT MEETING:      Please come to this meeting to show your support
 Riverview Lands Advisory Committee meeting. ( hopefully they will update their page soon )

 Thursday14 January 2016, from 3-5pm, in the
Coquitlam Council meeting room, at Coquitlam City Hall.

     You are not allowed to say anything unless asked by the chair; but just having
bodies there shows the powers that be that there is strong interest in the site.

What will happen to riverviews trees?  ( page 3 ) Transcribed here for your perusal.
( The paper finally placed the article online )

The Future of Riverview
What will happen to Riverview's trees?
Locals worried about future of natural assets

Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News

A group of concerned Tri-City residents is worried the latest vision for the Riverview Hospital site could see dozens of spectacular 100 year-old trees bulldozed to make way for new market housing commercial properties and health care facilities.
And they say a decision to knock down Valleyview, a 50-year-old health care facility, to make way for mental health treatment buildings before master plan for the 244-acre property has been developed is a bad sign.
“This whole process lacks transparency,” said Don Gillespie, of the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society (RHCS).
Gillespie and others with the 23-year-old organization as well as the Burke Mountain Naturalists (BMN) are worried the Renewing Riverview vision released in December with the announcement of $175-million in new mental health facilities lacks commitment for the preservation of open space and trees. They point to a BC Housing document from 2013 that promised to maintain as much open space as “exists now” with the current document that only commits to maintain as much of the site’s existing open space “as possible”.
Elaine Golds, a BMN spokes-person who is also with the horticultural centre group, said the change in wording ignores public sentiment captured in online surveys and open houses that people want to see all the open space protected.
And she’s worried a map that breaks down tree preservation to a “focus area” and “areas of consideration” ignores the fact that important trees are located throughout the site, not just in a couple of identified locations.
Every time a new building went up, important trees were planted,” Gold said, noting that while the vision document promises identification, protection and maintenance of unique and important trees on the site, it’s vague on how and where this will be carried out.
“It’s a postage stamp is what it is,” added Gillespie.
. According to the document, Riverview’s core collection of trees will be preserved, with landscape architects hired to oversee land use planning and studies on tree viability.
 The vision also notes that any future improvements on the site will have to be paid for with market housing and the break even mandate is a core principal in the development of the Riverview lands.
But RHCS Says the vision doesn’t go far enough in preserving the 1,800 mature trees on the property, which have therapeutic as well as heritage value. They want to see the trees protected and the site named for John Davidson, the founder of the Vancouver Natural History Society, who planted many of them.
The society plans to send letters of concern to BC Housing and the provincial housing ministry, and the public is urged to comment on the vision before the Jan.29 deadline.
You can go to to share your feedback

photo by: Diane Strandberg / The Tri-City News 
Norma and Don Gillespie, Laura Dupont Teri Madasky, Mick Short and Elaine Golds of the Riverview horticultural Centre Society are concerned about the future of heritage frees on the Riverview Hospital grounds because of what they consider to be the government's reduced commitment to maintaining open space on the 244-acre former mental hospital site. Recently, they visited the site to view the trees, including this Japanese Cryptomeria japonica 

EDITORIAL: Riverview a gem that will be fought for
As is common in environmental matters in the Tri-Cities, Elaine Golds says it best.

LETTER: Riverview lands are for all the people of B.C., not developers
The Editor, Re. “Mental health facility, commercial district are in works for Riverview” (The Tri-City News, Dec. 18).

GREEN SCENE: The future (or the destruction) of Riverview?
The arborteum at Coquitlam's Riverview Hospital must be a priority, writes Golds.


Wide-angle view of Essondale's West Lawn with clear-cut grounds
Yes, that the area to the right would be todays Lougheed Highway; note the excellant soil, and the toe of a slide behind the fellow in the ditch to the left. Still noticeable today, if you know what to look for.

Save the Riverview Hospital lands

The Riverview Hospital lands, are under pressure to be developed into market housing. Help to save the lands as a healing sanctuary for the mentally ill of OUR Province.

Please join the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society,( RHCS ) Facebook page. Twitter too!

Please sign the On-line petition or download a Word document petition ,which is a more official type of petition.
Blogs, about the hospital grounds
Mike Farnworth,MLA; Facebook forum " Protect the Riverview Lands"
And another Facebook group: Riverview Preservation Society
this group also has a petition to sign.

Click-able Map of the Riverview site

BISCO -- Brookside-Leeside-Roadside -- Centre Lawn -- Colony Farm
Crease Clinic -- East Lawn -- Essondale Hospital
Finnie's Garden -- Henry Esson Young -- Hillside unit
Home for the Aged-Valleyview -- North Lawn
Nurses homes -- Pennington Hall -- TreeFest -- West Lawn
John Davidson; "Botany John" blog. He was the first Provincial Botanist, who created British Columbia's first Botanical Garden at Riverview.
Other groups involved Riverview Horticultural Centre Society
Who also have a media NEWS Blog
You can also download a 42 page report titled, For the future of Riverview created by the Riverview Task Force.
Or Burke Mountain Naturalists, report: The Riverview Hospital Site, Respecting its Past,Realizing its Future
Coquitlam has designated the buildings and grounds, as a heritage site.
Download the Statement of Significance; SoS report PDF

Tour through the grounds

Paul Buikema, of Progress Landscaping, created this video.

Treefest 2011 slideshow

A slideshow of images from the Tree festival of 2011. Created in HD. Enjoy.

Riverview trees

Finnie's Garden -- slideshow

Finnie's Garden -- Pond restoration slideshow

TreeFest -- slideshow