Archive for August, 2012

Got this post on the blog from Sandy, who lives in this block:

I think we need to push the city for sidewalks on the 700 block of Haliburton, it’s the only block on the whole street that does not have them.
We have many young children and elderly on this block, and many times a day I see cars driving through at high rates of speeds, with children walking on the side of the road bed.
This is a major route in the downtown district, and the safety and ease of walking need to be taken more seriously.”

Our Planner Chris Sholberg has confirmed that sidewalks, especially on Haliburton and Old Victoria Roads, have been written into the Neighbourhood Plan.  He suggested SECA make a specific application to the city, since the number of sidewalks allotted per year works under a set budget.  I suggested to Sandy that she attend the next SECA meeting and put this on the agenda.  (Meeting is Wed Sept 5 @ 7 PM at Princess Royal Centre.)

If you are part of that block, you may want to attend the meeting…extra support tends to move things along.



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Finally catching our breath after an AMAZING day on Saturday.  Over 50 folks came from near and far to really bring Lavender Lane to life.

More coming, but for now, here’s a link to the News Bulletin article.  It’s excellent!


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Former ‘slum’ will soon house youth

Building purchased by Nanaimo Youth Services Association will help 14 low-income young people

Julie Chadwick, Daily News

Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A notorious south-end rooming house that was once a hub of criminal activity will be transformed into affordable housing for low-income working youth, if all goes as planned with Nanaimo Youth Services Association.

Click here to read entire article.

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Curiosity Cove owner Gerald Gonske with a collection of Victorian horse brasses, some of his remaining Curiosity Cove stock after 30 years in business. The Nicol Street store closes August 31.

Nanaimo treasure hunters seeking the unique and eclectic are losing one of their favourite stops at the end of this month with the closure of Curiosity Cove after 30 years in business.

Owner Gerald Gonske, 59, cites a changing market and a recent heart attack as reasons for shuttering this old-fashioned style antique and collectibles shop, with its extensive collection of finds reaching back two centuries.

The shop was founded by Gonske and his parents, Eric and Helen Gonske, in 1982. First located in Harewood Mall (now University Village), the 2400-square foot shop offered a blend of something-for-everyone, with new furniture, used furniture, antiques and collectibles. Gonske’s sister came up with the name, which captured the spirit of the shop as a browsing haven for the curious.

Gonske recalls many people questioning the wisdom of starting a business during the mini-recession of the early 1980s, when many businesses were closing. “We started with $700 worth of stock in a pick-up,” he recalled. But the shop’s mixed stock proved to be popular with shoppers, some of whom remained customers for the next 30 years.

In the late 1980s, the shop re-located to the current 900 square foot space on busy Nicol Street, which gave Curiosity Cove high visibility with passing vehicle and foot traffic. An adjoining parking lot was added a few years later, which made it even easier for local residents and out-of-town visitors to search the shop for treasures.

Gonske recalls several highlights from the past 30 years, including providing historic tools for a museum display; unearthing documents tracing a family history back to the late 1700s; and providing buyers with vintage and antique finds dating back to the early 1800s. A member of the Canadian Personal Property Appraisers Group, he is also the secretary for The Diggers Club: B.C.’s oldest registered antique club.

His favourite find was an 1840s ship captain’s desk of hand-carved burled walnut, which had an integrated pop-up bookcase and piano roll front that fit into a compact 36 by 28-inch space. Appraised at $12,000, the desk sold for $5600.

Other highlights were the 16-piece hand-carved, champagne bedroom suite from Krug Brothers & Company, a venerable Canadian builder of top quality furniture established in 1880, and the well-known Steuben glassware from the U.S. company which was established in 1903.

For the last few months, Gonske has been selling his inventory in preparation for the store closing as of August 31, 2012. He notes that the market still exists for some especially collectible items – he recently sold a rare teacup and saucer set for $350 – but there are fewer walk-in customers for storefront operations. The market is also flooded with vintage furniture from estate sales.

In addition, many collectors have moved online, with people able to search the world for desired items. Gonske started selling online in 2007 when he joined the GoAntiques.com network. He quickly realized that online sales were the future.

“This system opened the door to a whole new marketplace of knowledgeable buyers,” he said. So even when he closes the shop at 59 Nicol Street at the end of this week, he won’t be leaving the antiques he loves.

He plans to continue selling smaller pieces online, sharing his knowledge and helping people find the treasures they seek. “I can’t quit – it’s in my blood.”

Thanks to Valorie Lennox for taking the time to write this excellent article.  You’re a fine neighbour, Val…:)

And we’ll miss you, Gerald.  Good luck in the on-line world.

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Well, we’ve got LOTS of pallets hanging around the South End!  This may be a way to use them??

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A Fall Black Track Tour

If you haven’t been on one of Tom’s tours, you are in for a real treat.
Join Tom Paterson’s final 2012 heritage walking tour of Nanaimo area old coal mining and railroad sites.  Only twenty spaces are available.
Contact cchristo@shaw.ca or phone  250-714-0377  for reservations.  Ticket prices are:  $30.00 for one person; $25.00 each for two or more in a party. 
Each ticket comes with a year’s free membership in FOMM.
Tom is the author of over 24 historical books about Vancouver Island, a long-time columnist for The Cowichan Valley Citizen, a contributor to many other B.C. newspapers and magazines, and a well-known heritage activist known most recently for his work on the successful Kinsol Trestle campaign. 
Tom donates all proceeds to Friends of Morden Mine, a registered charity, to assist in their goal of preserving Morden Colliery’s 99 year old reinforced concrete above-ground head frame and tipple, as a memorial to all coal miners on Vancouver Island.  Its 1913 structures are the earliest of two such structures  in North America.  Parks Canada has designated Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park as an “Historic Place.” 

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Well, it looks like it REALLY is going to be a lavender lane!

We’ve got a sod lifter coming, and a WHOLE bunch of soil, and we’re going to prepare the laneway (bordered by Needham, Victoria, Watkins, and Nicol) to truly be a lane full of lavender.

We’re also going to do a bit of fence painting.

And we’ve got some birdhouses for kids (and kids at heart) to paint…they will be positioned along the lane.

A great chance to come and meet your neighbours and make a real difference in the ‘hood.


  • spades or shovels
  • wheelbarrows
  • paint rollers and trays

There will be Starbucks coffee available in the morning  (start @ 9:30 AM).

And we’ll end with another BBQ lunch.  Bring a potluck dish if you can.

If you have any questions, just call Angie @ 753.8279

Hope to see you then/there!

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Well, thanks to the constant efforts of the RCMP, there was a major break in the activity that has been plaguing Gillespie Street recently.

We thank you.



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DNBIA City Notes

I often get some of my posts from the DNBIA City Notes.

This issue has LOTS in it, including the upcoming Fringetastic Theatre Festival, which starts next week.

Here’s the link, if you want to check it out.

And welcome to new business
K & M Thriftstore
53 Nicol St.
9am till 7pm Tuesday – Saturday
Sunday 10am – 6pm
Monday closed

A thrift store that is open on Sundays!  And in the South End!  Woo-hoo!


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