Young Ideas Monthly Meeting and BBQ

Young Ideas is a group of neighbours who coordinate events, activities, and workshops for people in their 20s, 30s (and older!) who live, work, and spend time in Vancouver’s West End. These events are often free or low-cost to encourage community connections. Follow us on Facebook to find out about upcoming events.

This year Young Ideas is hosting: free weekly yoga classes, monthly cooking workshops for $2, bi-weekly dance classes, Crafternoons, brewery bike-crawls, gardening workshops, a parklet proposal, West End murals, and our popular Absolutely Pride party to name a few.

Our next Young Ideas monthly meeting is on Tuesday, July 10th at 7:00pm in Nelson Park for a BBQ. Our meetings are open to everyone (no experience required), and take place on the second Tuesday of every month. If you are interested in volunteering or would like to help plan future events, email

9th Annual West End Community Yard Sale

Join us for one of the largest yard sales in the city! The West End Community Yard Sale features over 30 vendors with unique items, tools, clothing, antiques, crafts, and so much more.

Hosted by the The Attic Thrift Store and The Attic Thrift Store on Davie, the 9th annual West End Community Yard Sale takes place on Saturday, July 21st from 10:00am-3:00pm in front of Gordon Neighbourhood House at 1019 Broughton Street! Admission is by donation. Your hidden treasure awaits!

Vendor spots cost $15 and include a standard 6 foot long table, and can be reserved online here:

West End Games Night

It feels like summer, and that means our West End Games Night is going outdoors!

Join us in the Jim Deva Plaza for a FREE games night, hosted every other Thursday this summer. Presented by Young Ideas, the events are a fun way to relax on warm summer nights, meet your neighbours, and jam to local musicians.

We’ll have a jumbo Jenga set, Hex-a-Pong (our six-person ping pong table), and dozens of board games to loan out, such as: Ticket to Ride, Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, Cards Against Humanity, Pictionary, Citadel, Bang, and lots of other classic party games.

Upcoming West End Games Night Dates:
Thursday, July 12th, 6:00-9:00pm
Thursday, July 26th, 6:00-9:00pm
Thursday, August 9th, 6:00-9:00pm
Thursday, August 23rd, 6:00-9:00pm

Thank you Telus!

This month we were excited to have 11 Telus employees come to Gordon House to help prepare and serve our weekly community lunch; they went gardening with our farmer and assisted with our amazing Gordon House BBQ. Gordon House would like to thank all the amazing Telus volunteers and coordinators for their contributions and support!

The GBQ!

Last month Gordon Neighbourhood House hosted a special event, the GBQ. We set up a 30m long table, BBQ, games cart, and popcorn stand in the mini-plaza on Broughton Street, and invited 100 of our neighbours, members, volunteers, donors, and partners to join us.

It was a great opportunity for neighbours to connect face to face and enjoy grilled burgers, homemade salads with greens and herbs from our local farms, lemonade, and buttercream cake. After dinner we enjoyed live music by Jon Eltis on guitar, board games, and snacks from Popcorn in the Park (operated by John Merzetti). Thank you everyone who joined us.

Check out more photos from the GBQ.

Holiday Hours

Gordon Neighbourhood House and The Attic Thrift Store on Broughton

CLOSED December 22nd to January 1st (reopen January 2nd)


The Attic Thrift Store on Davie

Sunday, Dec. 24 – 10:00-2:00

Monday, Dec. 25 – CLOSED

Tuesday, Dec 26 – CLOSED

Wednesday, Dec. 27 –  10:00-2:00

Thursday, Dec. 28 – 10:00-2:00

Friday, Dec. 29 – 10:00-2:00

Saturday, Dec. 30 – 10:00-2:00

Sunday, Dec. 31 – 11:00-3:00

Monday, Jan. 1 – CLOSED

**Return to regular hours January 2nd**


Community Resources

While we are closed, please refer to these alternative resources in the community:

Free/Low-cost food

Holiday meals

Temporary shelters

Coast Mental Health Resource Centre – December calendar



Renovations are underway at Gordon Neighbourhood House and will continue for several months but we will remain open. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time and we will keep you updated along the way.

You can obtain more information in the following letter: Renovations at Gordon Neighbourhood House


7 tips you missed at Let’s Grow!


by Joy Gyamfi.

Young Ideas is a program run out of Gordon Neighbourhood House. We are a group of volunteers that plan events, workshops, and activities for adults aged 20-39 in the West End. Our aim is to reduce social isolation and have a fun time doing in. On Sunday, May 1st, we held a gardening workshop called Let’s Grow: Homegrown Herb Garden.

During the workshop, Gordon House’s Farmer Joey Liu taught participants how to plant, water, and harvest herbs. If you weren’t able to make our workshop, check out some of the tips Joey gave below!

  1. Herbs have different growing patterns.

Perennial herbs like mint and oregano grow year after year. They are the most popular because they provide a continuous harvest. Biennial herbs like parsley complete their plant cycle in two years. In the first year, they grow leaves, go dormant in the fall, and then flower and produce seeds before dying. Annual herbs like cilantro must be replanted every year.

  1. Try companion planting.

Certain plants and herbs go well together. For example, dill grows really well with cucumbers. Basil will improve the flavour of tomatoes. Chives will improve the flavour of carrots. Tarragon will improve the flavour of any neighbouring vegetable. If you want to repel pests like aphids, beetles, and flies, strong smelling plants like lavender and sage can keep bugs away from your garden.

  1. Growing plants in shade is possible.

While most herbs need full sun to grow, certain herbs such as parsley, mint, lemon balm, and sometimes chives are easier to grow in partial shade. If you want to try growing other plants, it’s best to try ones that are already established seedlings.

  1. Planting seeds.

Use potting soil if you are planting into a container. Organic soil is best for planting directly into the ground. If using potting soil, mix it with water first so the seeds are entering a damp environment. Next, make a hole in the soil 2-3 times deeper than the size of the seed. Don’t make the hole too deep or else the seeds may get lost in the soil. The seeds can then be planted and covered with the surrounding soil. Seeds typically take 7-14 days to sprout. Before sprouting, leave your pot in an unlit room temperature area and check on it every few days to water.

  1. How to transplant herbs.

First, dig a hole as deep as the pot the herb was in or as long as the roots were. Loosen up the soil of the plant so that the roots are spread out instead of clumped together. Some plants can be divided and planted into separate gardens. The plant can then be inserted into the ground and surrounded with the dug-up soil. Give the surrounding soil a gentle pat so the roots make contact with the soil.

  1. Watering

Plants dry out faster in pots or containers because they can’t draw water out from the ground. During hot summer months, you can water your herbs every 2-3 days. It’s good to water early in the morning or the evening. If the soil becomes very dry, water the plant a little bit at a time in the centre of the soil. If your pot comes with a dish, you can water the dish so that the soil draws water upwards and gets to the roots first. What’s most important is to water the base of the plant and not the leaves. The roots absorb the water to grow.

  1. Pot size is important.

When planting with seeds, it’s important to think about the germination rate (how many seeds will grow) and how big the plant will get when deciding the size of your pot. Every year you might need to get a slightly bigger pot for your plant.

  1. Herbs can grow year round!

Check out this great resource for exact times on when to plant your herbs.


After the workshop, participants were able to put Joey’s knowledge to practical use by putting meals together with freshly harvested herbs from Gordon Neighbourhood Houses’ community herb garden. We made herb butter with sage, hummus with parsley and chives, and fruit salad with mint.

Even as a GNH employee myself, I was awed by how much I learnt and how well Joey facilitated the workshop. While I’ve written 7 tips about gardening and how to take care of plants, I’d like to add another: Attending events, classes, or workshops put on by community hubs like Gordon Neighbourhood House is beneficial in so many ways. You might just surprise yourself.

*Photography by Matt Schroeter

Joy Gyamfi is a Young Ideas Program Assistant and has been at GNH for about a year. She is currently studying Psychology and English Literature at UBC. When she’s not working or studying, Joy can be found volunteering with Black Lives Matter Vancouver, the Crisis Centre, or in a research lab at UBC.

West End’s Gordon Neighborhood House Celebrates 75 Years

Gordon Neighborhood House’s Annual Spring Forward Event is one of many celebrations to mark its diamond anniversary.

Coast Salish Territory, Gordon Neighborhood House- Gordon Neighborhood House’s annual Spring Forward party is an extra special occasion to its staff, volunteers, members and community as it marks the 75th of this west end community hub.

Providing services, programs and initiatives to an astonishing 8,000 people each year, with the help of over 300 volunteers every year, the house runs dozens of weekly programs including English Conversion Classes, Childcare, and Community Lunches.

“The Annual Spring Forward event is such a special event and unlike anything else we do during the year,” says Executive Director Paul Taylor, “the neighbourhood house is completely transformed so that we can enjoy live entertainment, drinks, and tables full of silent auction items from our generous donors. However, I think I’m most excited about the food from Forage – the menu looks amazing!”

Paul encourages those to get their tickets quick after they sold out fast last year, “We’ve been working really hard to make the event extra special this year to mark such a special anniversary. It couldn’t be possible without the strong support of our community, sponsors and donors.”

Funds from the event support programs that aim to alleviate social isolation, promote access to food/food security and healthy eating while fostering connection in the West End. In addition, Gordon Neighbourhood House runs two thrift stores in the West End called the Attic Thrift Stores (1340 Davie Street and 1019 Broughton Street) which offer gently used goods to support their programs.

The Gordon Neighbourhood House strives to ensure that the West End of Vancouver is a vibrant and active community, where everyone is empowered to play an active role in civil society. Working within its community, sister organizations, local businesses and policy-makers, it aims to animate and support dynamic programs, services and initiatives that respond to the needs and dreams of the community.

Special to GNH Blog – The Gender Revolution: Workplace Protocol

This is a Special to the GNH Blog written by Kevin Wiens, GNH Intern

The National Geographic Magazine recently published a special issue called the Gender Revolution: The Shifting Landscape of Gender. This magazine highlights the different types of gender and terms that are common today. These include, but are not limited to, intersex nonbinary, transgender female, bigender, transgender male, androgynous, male, female, and so on. A historian’s perspective could suggest that 2016 will be forever known as the year of gender (if it can beat out Trumpism). The US Presidential Election, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s movements relating to gender policy, and social media all played a major role in the rising momentum of gender as a topic. As we watch Trudeau march in pride parades or cringe as Pence takes vice presidency, we are all witnesses to possibly the largest social movement since the sexuality movement’s acceptance in the early 2000s (the first national legalization of gay marriage was in 2001). For some, these changes are difficult to accept. But those born in the 90s grew up in a very progressive era and are commonly more accepting of social change. At a young age many of us witnessed the first countries to legalize gay marriage, we watched as Barrack Obama became the first African-American US President, and are currently seeking consistent strides in equal rights and opportunity for women. Unfortunately, universal acceptance of these topics may never be possible, and for some, these changes are very hard to accept. As a ’95, I am scheduled to graduate from UBC this May and will look to enter the workforce. To the companies and businesses that look to hire grads in the next couple of years, remember this: Those who you hire within the next several years will be born from 1993-1998. This group grew up in the same period exposed to same social change. So how can we look to help the “Gender Revolution”? Workplace protocol.

Over a month ago I started an internship at the Gordon Neighbourhood House, a nonprofit organization in Vancouver’s West End. On December 15, 2016, we had a fundraising/event committee meeting to plan our large anniversary event in early March. Paul Taylor, the executive director for the Gordon House, had recently acquired new volunteers and interns and believed introductions were in order. Instructions were simple; state your name, preferred pronouns, and what you were most excited for with the Gordon House. Wait what? I thought to myself, “c’mon get real, look at me… I am clearly a male”. Regardless, I stated, “My name is Kevin Wiens and my preferred pronouns are him/he/his…” and etc. I said this with a smile on my face, it felt weird to me, but I was completely comfortable doing so.  I sat in the meeting debating to myself the necessity of that exercise. It was not until I got home and brought it up with Jamie Aura (my wonderful girlfriend) where she opened my mind. I began to see how powerful that experience was and how valuable performing that task is. Considering how much rapid change we have seen in the last decade It seems very possible to see pronoun introductions as the norm, at least in the professional world. And why not? By doing so, you minimize your risk of oppressing or unknowingly embarrassing individuals.

While it’s not all sunshine and rainbows there has still been substantial acceptance from the general public. I believe there are parallels to be made between this movement and that of the gay rights movements. Just wait, by 2025 every office, classroom, committee, board, group, and so on will perform preferred pronoun introductions. It was hard for many people to accept racial minorities, woman’s progression, and homosexuality. But once the majority did much of society can now retrospectively observe the former social norms as unjustified. One’s gender should play no correlation between job performance, security, pay, hiring process, and etc. As society begins to accept the “Gender Revolution” more people will come out of hiding or feel free to express themselves. As the fear declines the numbers will rise. Those who are leaders in businesses, teams, clubs, and committees, can be the leaders in society. Why wait for government policy? Discussing gender does not have to be uncomfortable or stressful. By rethinking the topic of gender we will allow growth in an otherwise oppressed community. If we can lead like Paul Taylor, we can help ensure everyone has an equal opportunity for success in their careers and social lives. If we can make our work as inclusive as possible, maybe more individuals will seek employment opportunities they would not have before. Heck, for all we know this gender revolution is just beginning.

Kevin Wiens
UBC B.A. Undergrad
History Major & Human Geography Minor