Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Losing Linda

John and Linda MacAdam chat in the back yard of the Dunbar home where she grew up. She has sold the house, which will be demolished along with the garden. She doubts the tree behind John will survive.
John with  Linda's rose arbour, which she is giving away before she leaves.

Bare spots remain where Linda has given away plants to neighbours instead of leaving them for the bulldozer..

At our place, the arbour will likely support the roses to the left.

Returning home late at night from social events, Dunbar resident Linda MacAdam began to wonder about her safety. Many of the houses surrounding hers were vacant. If she screamed for help, who would hear? It's one of the many reasons she's looking forward to her move to Vancouver Island, where she has bought a pleasant home in a welcoming community. Linda is just one of many Vancouverites who are selling their Dunbar homes in an extremely hot and controversial housing market to move elsewhere.

But she is a bit of a special case, in that for many years she has been a prime source of information for Dunbar residents about what is happening to Vancouver's housing situation. Long before the issue became part of almost every newscast and news site, Linda began seeking out information about what was going on. Her neighbourhood was being demolished, the homes replaced with huge new vacant ones, and she wanted to know why -- both for herself and for her neighbours. She knew most people were simply too busy to dig for that information, so she spent a few hours every day scouring the internet for stories, reports, studies -- anything that would help explain what was going on -- and posted links on the Dunbar listserv. Not everybody appreciated her efforts, but at a time when most of the media were ignoring the issue, she steadfastly carried on.

She has a final plea to the community she's leaving: If you're selling your home, make sure you get the right to save anything salvageable instead of leaving it behind to be crunched up and sent to the landfill. It pains her to think of the valuable goods she has heard of being wasted when the bulldozers move in -- things that can be used by people who can't afford $4-million houses. It was as part of Linda's salvage effort that I became the owner of her rose arbour. She put it on the listserv, free to anyone who wanted it. On Wednesday, John and I picked it up. It will make a nice addition to our garden, but it won't make up for the loss of Linda's ever-vigilant eye on the listserv.

1 comment:

  1. Good on Linda for salvaging what she could. It doesn't quite seem right that I have to deal with smelly scraps to help make Vancouver green when perfectly good materials are being wasted with these demolitions. Perhaps it's time to require that all useful and reusable materials must be removed before
    demolition and any value they generate must go to affordable housing. Perhaps the city could get into the reality show business featuring this process and all profit go to affordable housing. I know there would have been a lot to good salvage from Donna and Neil’s house: