Truth: Two Years In

Wow, this website really doesn’t see a lot of updates. Work has kept me busy, but this time of year gives me an opportunity to come back to my personal research and writing roots, and explore what Truth and Reconciliation means to me. Maybe I’ll get to Reconciliation someday when I have more time. But for now, I welcome you to read an update to a post I first wrote 1 year ago today, on what the Truth of Truth and Reconciliation means to me.

Truth: 2 Years In


I decided to take a moment today to gather my thoughts around what Truth and Reconciliation means to me. I’ve been fortunate enough to dig deep for my day job to help better understand business relationships, so I figured I’d share my learnings with others – or at least preserve my knowledge for future reference. This post marks the start of a series on this subject.

Truth: Yesterday and Today

A new buzz in Town Centres (and maybe this blog?)

Welcome back, world. It’s been too long since I last made any updates to this website. In the time that has passed, I acquired another domain,, which I vowed to myself to build into something of a movement for how we think of urban and suburban areas. I had visions of porting the material from this website over and kicking it off with some interesting urban research so I could convert this website into more of a personal domain, or close this conceitedly named domain down altogether. But, life and work got in the way.

Personal babble aside, I would like to draw your attention to an Epilogue that I finally penned into the Burnaby’s Town Centres project. I’m intrigued with the new opportunity that the City of Burnaby is presenting with their work on Rental Tenure Zoning. This is the kind of material that the Town Centres have been craving: an opportunity to build on the ever-rising tide of development by introducing new socially and economically diverse housing types on an unprecedented scale.

Thank you for your patience, and please enjoy what I have to offer so far. What are you still doing here? Go visit the Epilogue! I stayed up until 1:30am on a work night to write it!


Welcome to 2014!

Okay, so the update that I promised in the previous entry is slow to come. I won’t make any promises, but the update is hanging on my back like an angry monkey!

Things to watch out for:

  • Historical information from tours that I produced in recent months:
    • The Kingsway corridor (for Burnaby’s 2013 birthday)
    • North Burnaby (for Jane’s Walk)
  • Presentations:
    • Detailed history of Metrotown
    • Detailed history of Brentwood
  • General repair and maintenance to pages and links since a hacker took down the site in 2013
  • Uploads of past academic projects from my undergrad
    • Sociology paper that analyzes the rhetoric used by the media and the United States government for entering into the Iraq war in 2003
    • Understanding the Safe Streets Act, BC Provincial legislation passed in 2004

So, please be patient, and stay tuned!


There’s a big update around the corner

Hi all,

Thank you for visiting my website, and thank you especially for your patience. My website has sustained a number of hacks in the past year. But I can’t attribute this to my harbouring state secrets, and I’d like to think that I don’t have enemies that would have nothing better to do than to spend their evening cracking into my website.

Au contraire – I believe that my website has been the subject of drone attacks: mindless bots that search the internet for vulnerable accounts with no other intention but to wreak havoc and maybe scour for some personal information.

So, long story short: in a few days,  I will try and repair a lot of the broken links on my website. Plus, I have produced several presentations to add to the mix that may be of some interests to local history buffs.

In the meantime, please enjoy your return to the September grind.

Website restored

Hello all,

Thank you to Andy Yan for notifying me that my website was hacked recently.

In the face of adversity though, I’ll take this as a positive opportunity to renew this website. A lot has happened recently, and I’ve made many promises to many folks to post material on this website.

So, stay tuned for a historical guide of Burnaby’s Metrotown neighbourhood, along with a long-overdue guide of the Vancouver Heights (North Burnaby).

Cheers for now, and please don’t hesitate to contact me (david at david pereira dot ca).


Jane’s Walk Wrap-Up

I want to thank everyone who came out today to hear a bit about the story behind the Heights, and to mingle with neighbours. It was an absolute pleasure to share history with such a warm group of people. So, onto some housekeeping. I want to share a few items that we discussed along the way.

First off, is a link to the Heights Neighbourhood Association’s (HNA) facebook page where you can find information about the Neighbourhood Association, and more photos from this walk and other HNA events. Click below:So, on that, thank you to Margie, Barb, Paula, Lawrence and I forgot to mention Laura – all from the Heights Neighbourhood Association, who each helped to make the event an absolute success.

I also want to thank Arilea and Rebecca at the Burnaby City Archives, for helping me to source a lot of images and rich histories on each of the locations. Please do not hesitate to contact Arilea or Rebecca if you need any help finding material, or if you would like to donate your personal archive for the benefit of all Burnaby residents for ages to come. To contact them and/or to do a bit of your own research on Burnaby, please visit the Heritage Burnaby website by clicking below:I promise that you won’t find a better online archive anywhere in the region. The Burnaby Archive was recognized a few years ago for sharing a nomination with the Smithsonian Insitution for “best re-purposing of descriptive data.” Basically, they have an excellent search tool to find photographs, written work, information on landmarks, old Council reports, and even recorded conversations with some of Burnaby’s notable ‘old-timers’! And if you need any help – don’t hesitate to call the Archives directly, or visit them at the McGill Library – information can be found on the website (click on above image).

I’d like to end by thanking others who helped provide some of the research for the walk, including Mrs. Collins from St. Helen’s Elementary, and Irma Taylor from Seton Villa for shedding some light on the stories that followed the Sisters of Charity of Halifax and the St. Helen’s Church & School, and Seton Academy. And thank you to former Concillor Celeste Redman and her daughter Mondee, for helping me to make sense of some of the nuances of the history of the Heights.

Last but not least, thank you to the wonderful, helpful teachers and staff of the other schools along our walk, including those at Gilmore, Rosser, Burnaby North Secondary, and Confederation Park Elementary. And of course, thank you to the Burnaby Now, for helping to promote the walk with a featured news article.

Please stay tuned for photos from the walk. I will also try and post videos on YouTube from the walk as they become available, thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Collins for recording my presentation at each stop. If you would like to contact me directly, please click on the “Contact” link above which will send an email directly to my inbox. Otherwise, please feel free to leave a comment below, and again, check back soon for more pictures as they become available.

Jane’s Walk!

In honour of the philosophies of one of the modern era’s most famed urbanists, on May 5th, I will be channeling Jane Jacobs to bring residents of the Heights neighbourhood a tour of four elementary schools and one former school site. For more info, click on the poster below or visit the Jane’s Walk microsite HERE.

So, you are still curious about what a Jane’s walk is? Read the publicity in the local paper, Burnaby Now, or continue reading below.

In it’s purest form, a Jane’s walk is all about getting local residents of an area out to talk about the neighbourhood in which they live in. What matters most to them? What does our neighbourhood look and feel like when we’re zipping past it in our automobiles? The Heights Neighbourhood Association is taking this concept to the next level. A long established community organization, they want people to think about their neighbourhood from the context of the people who are most likely to set foot on the ground – the kids!

Starting in about the early 1960s with her first book, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” Jane Jacobs wanted people to reflect on the destruction she was observing in New York neighbourhoods, where good, useful places were coming down in favour of sterile, master-planned towers. It’s a bit of a complex story, but at its most basic point Jacobs advocated for a consideration of the needs of everyday folk. Ideal neighbourhoods are ones where kids can play on the street, because residents are connected to the street. You can still have shops on the ground floor, but you also have people living above. Eyes on the street is the best safety and security device!

Things Jacob’s didn’t appreciate? Think urban renewal schemes. Massive New York blocks being torn down in the 1960s by Robert Moses, a master planner with questionable motives. A top down view that saw buildings before people – a separation of uses: Work in one place, live in another place, and play in yet another place, and make it so the only way to travel between all those places is by car. Truth be told, a downtown can be a scary place at night if nobody lives there, and conversely, a suburb can be a pretty dull and painful place for kids if they need adults to get them anywhere fun! But I suppose now days, kids are telecommuting with iPads and massive multiplayer online games, so who needs the outdoors anyhow!? But I digress!

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. Now, reward yourself by joining myself and others on May the 5th on a walk between 4 schools and a ghost school…

View Jane’s Walk Burnaby Heights in a larger map

See you then!