Trust the CBC’s (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Justin McElroy who is about all things municipal to find a way to organize Metro Vancouver’s neighbourhoods and towns into a competition to beat the Covid pandemic blues.
Mr. McElroy is the proud owner of pins from every municipality in British Columbia. Of course some municipalities were too small to have made their own pins. In that case, Mr. McElroy actually commissioned a pin based upon the crest of the municipality and what the area is known for.
As CBC’s Municipal Affairs Reporter Mr. McElroy has a knack at making things make sense. He took all 192 neighbourhoods across the region, figured out a way for them to be voted upon by electronic ballot, and in a six week long process narrowed it down to one winner~Steveston, within the City of Richmond.
A half a million votes were cast during the competition and Steveston was in the finals against the august and resilient Mount Pleasant in the City of Vancouver.
But Steveston had the Mayor of Richmond advocating for its win, with Richmond Councillor Harold Steves (Steveston was named after his forebears) even posting photos on twitter of his delightful Belted Galloway cattle. (They do look like they have large white belts around them).
Steveston won with a handy 61 percent of the vote in the final round.
Steveston has a remarkable history as a fishing port and is home to two national historic sites, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and the Britannia Shipyards. It was once a nexus for fishing and had fifteen active canneries at the turn of the century, and in the 1960’s was deemed a heritage zone by the City of Richmond.
Before the second world war, there was a large Japanese population in Steveston associated with the fishing industry. Sadly this population was moved to internment camps in the interior during the war, but many returned to Steveston.
Today Steveston has a boardwalk and lots of bustling businesses, and is also known as a great place for Fish and Chips~as Vancouver’s Duke of Data Andy Yan found out, as well as Price Tags photographer Ken Ohrn with Sylvia Ohrn.
To make it easier for people to walk around Steveston during the pandemic and to maintain social distancing, the streets are currently signed one way, and parking moved towards the middle of the street.
Some of the streets are sectioned off to provide narrowing for vehicular travel as well as to allow for more physical distancing while walking and cycling.
The crosswalks include a playful allegory to the maritime aspect of Steveston with the rope pattern in the pavement.
Business to browse in include an excellent second hand book store, and a garden centre with competitive prices for plants and sculpture.
Steveston does have a small town feel and on the Friday morning after its win as CBC’s Best Neighbourhood was full of people enjoying the village. You can take a look at Steveston’s events on this link, which is (of course) called “Vancouver’s Best Places”.