As a Kits resident, I’m always struck by the mixed bag that is the Kitsilano community. But whether a Kits resident has owned their turn of the century Craftsman bungalow for 30 years, or is a newly arrived UBC student renting a beachfront flat, the community spirit is the same: Kits residents love their ‘hood.
The ‘Kits Me…Love the ‘Hood You’re In!‘ contest, on now through April 5, celebrates this diversity by collecting stories from old and new Kits residents. The contest is a joint effort between the Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, Kitsilano 4th Avenue BIA, Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce and the West Broadway BIA.
They’re calling for story submissions from residents who are passionate about their neighbourhood and home. 90 story submissions will be selected for street banners along West 4th Avenue between Burrard and Balsam. Find out more about Kits history and how to enter ‘Kits Me’ after the jump.
A Brief Look at Kitsilano History
Around 1900, the area from Burrard to Alma Streets was a dense forest despite ongoing logging. A salmon canning factory stood at the foot of Macdonald Street processing hundreds of thousands of once-abundant salmon.
In summer time, West Enders vacationed by camping on Kits Beach (previously called Greer’s Beach). The Kitsilano Indian Reserve East was just east of the beach area in what’s currently known as Vanier Park. The Coast Salish village of Snauq was located on the shore of False Creek – east of the Museum-Planetarium Complex.
According to the City of Vancouver neighbourhood profile, Kitsilano was not fully developed until the late 1940s. During World War II, most of the old estates and many single-family homes above Kitsilano Beach were converted into rooming houses. They remained that way until the 1960s, at which point the Kitsilano had become popular with university students and young hippies.
Today, Kits is a mix of students, families, fun-seeking hipsters, young-upwardly-mobile-professionals and more. You name it, Kits has it.
How to Enter the ‘Kits Me’ Contest
Share your story online or drop it off at the Kitsilano Neighbourhood House office at 3683 West 4th at Alma. A panel of judges from the neighbourhood organizations will select the winning entries. The first round of banners, featuring the personal stories and authors’ photos, will go up in June 2012.