Kitsilano Community Centre: Six Reasons We Love It
Kitsilano Community Centre: Six Reasons We Love It
An important part of the community, there’s a lot to love about the Kitsilano Community Centre. An inclusive, service-oriented organization, the Centre works to create a positive impact in the community by fostering interpersonal connection, personal growth, and well-being in its patrons. Most importantly, the centre is a place where Kitsilano residents can have fun and enjoy leisure time. The ideal hub for the Kits community, the Centre boasts an unbeatable location and modern facilities in a beautiful setting.
With a diverse residential neighbourhood surrounding the Kits Community Centre, the facility caters to a range of patrons with varying interests and lifestyles. From families living in single-family homes to busy professionals living in condos or rental properties, the Centre has something for everyone. More than that, it’s in an ideal location that makes it accessible to all of these groups. In fact, it’s a brief walk for residents of our two QuadReal properties, Larchway Gardens and Dunway Court.
So what makes us love the Kitsilano Community Centre, apart from its location? Read on to find out:
One of the best things about the Kitsilano Community Centre is that it’s located in Kitsilano, a vibrant residential community conveniently situated just minutes from Vancouver’s bustling Downtown core! This neighbourhood has so much to offer that it’s widely recognized as one of the city’s best neighbourhoods.
With two main commercial areas, Kitsilano is home to a range of grocery stores, boutiques and popular eateries. Situated mainly along West 4th Avenue and West Broadway, residents of this area will find popular grocery chains such as Safeway and Whole Foods as well as a number of specialty grocers. Popular apparel brands and boutiques line these laid-back commercial areas, making Kits the perfect place for a relaxed afternoon of browsing and shopping.
If it’s a dining experience you’re after, you’ll find an impressive variety of options in this neighbourhood. Popular chains, upscale independent restaurants, and casual diners represent a range of international cuisines. Reflective of the neighbourhood’s relaxed vibe, brunch and cocktails on sunny restaurant patios along Yew Street are a weekend staple for Kitsilano residents.
When it comes to leisure time, the neighbourhood offers outstanding greenspace with 17 parks and iconic Kitsilano Beach, one of Vancouver’s most popular beaches and home to an outdoor pool. Located on the water just past Kits Beach, Vanier Park is another popular destination and is home to the Museum of Vancouver , and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. In the summer, the park also hosts the popular outdoor Shakespeare festival, Bard on the Beach. A number of other community events are hosted in Kitsilano throughout the summer, including the Celebration of Light, Greek Day, and the Khatsahlano Street Party. With ample recreational spaces and events, it’s not surprising that Kitsilano residents are active and community oriented. At the heart of this is the Kitsilano Community Centre, offering a range of amenities, activities, and programs for any season.
2. The Kitsilano Community Centre is in Beautiful Connaught Park
Located in Connaught Park on West 12th Avenue, the Kitsilano Community Centre is a spacious recreational complex with an impressive list of indoor and outdoor facilities. Indoors, the centre has an ice rink offering lessons and public skating programs from September to March. Lessons cater to all ages and experience levels while public skates include Parent & Preschool, 50 and Better, Discount Skate, Family Fun Hockey, Adult Stick & Puck, and Adult Co-Ed Drop-in Hockey. From April to August, the rink is converted to dry floor use for activities such as ball hockey, lacrosse, in-line hockey, and special events.
With a 5,000 square foot fitness centre, the Kitsilano Community Centre has a wide selection of cardio, strength and functional training equipment. Well-equipped and thoughtfully laid out, the centre feels spacious and comfortable. Overlooking beautiful Connaught Park, it’s filled with natural light that makes it a pleasure to exercise in. Catering to Kitsilano’s youngest residents, the Community Centre is home to Tiggy Winkle Preschool. With a licensed, play-based program offering morning and afternoon classes for 3 and 4-year-olds, Tiggy Winkle provides learning experiences in an engaging environment. While the little ones are busy at preschool, teens needn’t feel left out. The Community Centre has a Youth Lounge with activities, like pool and foosball, for older kids. It’s a place where teens aged 13-18 can spend time with friends, study, and gain access to resources such as volunteer opportunities.
A key part of its outdoor facilities, Kitsilano Community Centre also features a spray park. This outdoor space offers a fun, engaging way for residents to cool off during the summer months. The space is available to all visitors of Connaught Park free of charge!
Finally, the centre has ample event space available for rent for everything from birthday parties to private recreational activities.
3. The Kitsilano Community Centre Has Programs for All Ages
As a community hub, the Kitsilano Community Centre offers a wide variety of programs for residents of all ages and abilities. Programs span areas of interest from health and fitness to arts and culture and formats from classes to day camps. These programs give participants of all ages an opportunity to build connections within their community while pursuing personal development and enjoying leisure time.
Kids programs at the Centre cater to infants and toddlers, preschool, child, pre-teen and youth age groups with activities such as music lessons, sports, martial arts, education, social activities, and outdoor activities. Programs for younger children at the Kitsilano Community Centre also give parents an opportunity to participate and connect with one another.
Adult programs include activities such as music and language lessons, indoor health and fitness, outdoor sports, cooking, and gardening. With an active seniors network at the Kitsilano Community Centre, older adults can also enjoy special events like monthly lunches, offering valuable opportunities to connect with others socially. Through a range of accessible recreational programs, the centre helps seniors get involved and stay active.
4. The Centre Offers A Wide Range of Fitness Classes
Perhaps best known for promoting exercise and healthy leisure activities, most modern community centres offer a range of fitness and health classes. The Kitsilano Community Centre is no exception with health and fitness classes for all ages. Classes cater to all levels and help participants achieve increased stamina, energy, and resilience. These classes include both high and low impact exercise.
Led by enthusiastic, knowledgeable instructors, Aerobics and group fitness classes allow participants to improve their strength and fitness. These classes include Classic Stretch, Cardio Step, Gentle Fit, Cardio Combo and more. Taught in a positive and encouraging environment, these classes are welcoming for beginners and experienced participants alike. For a higher intensity workout, the Centre offers indoor cycling classes. Conducted on specialized stationary bicycles, these classes are fun and burn an incredible number of calories! For participants who prefer a slower pace and are looking for improved mind, body, and spirit connection, the Kitsilano Community Centre offers yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi classes.
These classes are available on a weekly schedule. While many of them require pre-registration, some are also available on a drop-in basis making them a convenient way for even the busiest individuals to get some exercise.
5. It’s Home to a Stunning Community Centre Garden
Established in 2014, the Kitsilano Community Centre Collab Garden is an important green space that beautifies the neighbourhood while bringing members of the community together in a serene, inspiring space. In fact, the founders of the garden created the space with a vision to provide the community with a “A beautiful green space to educate and inspire community through collaborative learning, growing and sharing.”
Situated along the south wall of the Centre’s ice rink between Larch Street and the parking lot, the garden has an inviting seating area that’s open to all visitors. From this seating area, visitors can admire seven raised beds on three levels that are home to countless flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Flowers and fruit-bearing shrubs and trees grow in the rocky slopes along the rink wall. While admiring the garden can be relaxing and inspiring for all who visit, members of the community who want to get their hands in the dirt can do so by becoming volunteer gardeners.
6. Getting Involved with the Kitsilano Community Centre
For individuals who wish to give back to the Kitsilano community and enjoy building connections by volunteering, there are many opportunities available with the Kitsilano Community Centre. Most notably, volunteers who enjoy gardening or are interested in learning can become members of the Kitsilano Community Centre Collaborative Garden group. Being a part of this group allows volunteers to participate in creating a beautiful green space for the whole community to enjoy. Each year, these volunteers set their goals for the garden, decide what will be planted in each area, plant seeds or seedlings and tend to the garden as it grows. Throughout the season, they weed, fertilize, and harvest produce. During this time, these volunteers build connections with fellow gardeners, staff and the Centre’s neighbours.
Participating in the Garden group offers volunteers informal training by allowing them to observe, compare notes, and ask questions of fellow gardeners. Occasionally, they can also take advantage of gardening workshops hosted by the Centre.
The garden can accommodate up to fifteen gardeners. Once this maximum has been reached, new volunteers are placed on a waitlist.
For volunteers who wish to donate their time and expertise to other functions at the Centre, many other volunteer opportunities are available. Taking into account a number of factors, including availability, program interests, desired commitment and skills, volunteers are matched with the most appropriate program.
Saturday Morning Outreach Provides a Safe Environment For Every Demographic
Every Saturday from 7:30am to 9am, Kitsilano Community Centre volunteers run a program available to anyone in need. Dedicated to providing a safe environment, the program offers a hot breakfast, hot showers, toiletries, clean clothes, and a bagged lunch. While participants attend the Saturday Morning Outreach, volunteers also provide a valet service for carts and dogs and a monthly haircut service the second Saturday of each month. Most importantly, this program connects participants with valuable resources such as outreach services and assistance with housing forms.
The Saturday Morning Outreach program gives the entire community an opportunity to work together to help those in need. Members of the community who aren’t able to donate their time can get involved by donating clothing, towels, toiletries, and shoes. To help facilitate donations, the Centre has compiled a list of items that are in high demand for this program.
The Bottom Line
Conveniently located in a beautiful park in the heart of Kitsilano, the Community Centre is an important hub for residents of the neighbourhood. With modern facilities the Centre offers programs for personal growth, health and fitness classes, and volunteer opportunities for Kits residents of all ages. Committed to improving the lives of all its patrons through recreation and interpersonal connections, the centre is constantly improving its offering. To learn about the latest programs, classes, events, and volunteer opportunities being offered, residents and patrons should keep an eye on the Centre’s website. There, patrons will find information about programs for all ages, fitness class schedules, volunteer opportunities and more.