Neighbourhood Stories

Around Collingwood Neighbourhood
RCFSI: Growing Connections
Jason Hsieh of the Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute, reflects on the ways in which a community garden embodies interculturalism, community relationships and personal growth.
Berry Trail & Fruit and Vegetable Murals
Local youth, professional artists & community volunteers came together in the design & creation of two neighbourhood legacies. These murals are the results of artistic leadership, collaboration and capacity-building.

Excerpts from Collingwood Snapshots: Digital Stories by Bruce Kids!
Excerpts taken from the screening of “Collingwood Snapshots: Digital Stories by Bruce Kids!” October 29, 2010
ERACism 2011
Each spring, diverse groups of local youth are brought together to interact, collaborate on an ARTS-BASED PROJECT.

The Choice
A very fruitful partnership between Engaged Immigrant Youth and Collingwood. See what these youth have put their hears, minds, and creativity toward…. It makes you feel like getting off your butt and doing something!!!
The Annual Collingwood Days Community Festival
“An old-fashioned fair with a multicultural flair!”

See, the YouTube channel for Renfrew Collingwood Intercultural Neighbourhood Development!


The Neighbourhood Today

Renfrew-Collingwood is a diverse neighbourhood of approximately 50,000 residents. Our borders are Boundary Road, Broadway, Nanaimo Street and E. 45th Ave..

About 75% of neighbourhood residents speak English as an additional language while almost 43% speak a Chinese language as their first language. About 6% speak Tagalog, 4% Vietnamese, and roughly 4% speak Punjabi or Hindi. 1.2 % identify as Aboriginal. The median household income is just over $47,000, very close to the city’s median (2006 Statistics Canada Census).

From the late 1970s through the 1990s the number of neighbourhood residents speaking English as additional language has increased dramatically. Collingwood Neighbourhood House (est. 1985), with its model of intercultural community development, offers residents many opportunities for intercultural engagement and involvement. CNH plays a central role in helping the neighbourhood become a vibrant place where residents work, play, learn and celebrate together.

Explore Renfrew-Collingwood with these self-guided walking tours.

Collingwood Days History Collector Cards



Our neighbourhood is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Before colonial settlement, the area was rich with pristine lakes and diverse forests. Aboriginal people would come to the area to hunt and gather food. It was said to be a popular destination with people as far away as Vancouver Island paddling over in their canoes to get food to feed and nurture their families.

In the 1860s Colonel Richard Moody of the Royal Engineers took a fancy to a lake that sat between what are now Kingsway and Vanness Avenue. He laid claim to the lake and the surrounding land. Moody and other early European settlers were attracted to this area because they were able to drain the lake and grow food in the fertile soil. Kingsway, once part of an early military trail to Burrard Inlet, follows the route of earlier Aboriginal trails that ran parallel to the lake shore. Streets in the neighbourhood were built in orientation to Kingsway and are therefore at odd angles with the rest of Vancouver’s grid-like layout.

In 1891 the Interurban Railway opened and ran from Downtown Vancouver (through Collingwood) to New Westminster. It brought people, housing and businesses to the neighbourhood, particularly to Vanness Avenue and Joyce Street, where the Collingwood East Tram Station was located.

In 1896, a two-room schoolhouse was built at Kingsway and Joyce. The schoolhouse is still part of Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School, which added several larger buildings, and is the oldest remaining school building in Vancouver. The presence of the expanding school, the decision to pave Kingsway, and the presence of a new bus system led to the growth of Kingsway and Joyce as a business centre for the neighbourhood.

The community around Collingwood East Tram Station was a thousand strong by 1909 with its own post office, doctor, butcher, plus numerous real estate offices and plant nurseries. Historic Firehall 15 (located at E. 22nd Avenue near Nootka Street) was built in 1913 and is still in operation today.

With the advent of SkyTrain in 1985 a new Collingwood of condominium and rental towers began to emerge from the former trackside warehouses clustered near Vanness Avenue. The former Collingwood East Tram Station area is now the Joyce-Collingwood SkyTrain Station and has attracted development, residents and businesses to the area, particularly with the development of Collingwood Village in the 1990s. Today, the huge variety of ethnic restaurants and businesses along Kingsway cater to many tastes and reflect the cultural diversity of the neighbourhood.


Renfrew Collingwood Community Walks
Collingwood Historic Walk
Collingwood is one of the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver. The Collingwood area was once covered with thick forests and an old lake, which used to sit between Vanness Avenue and…
Renfrew Art Walk
After exiting the 29th Ave SkyTrain Station from the south exit, you will see a vast field covered with grass. This is Slocan Park. Following the path, there is…

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

The Renfrew-Collingwood Community News is a monthly, non-profit newspaper serving Renfrew-Collingwood. It is distributed free of charge through local organizations and businesses. Renfrew-Collingwood residents submit articles, photos and artwork on local issues, people and events. Advertising rates are reasonable and many local businesses run continuing ads in the newspaper, to reach residents.