Strategies in Urban Affordability

Strategies in Urban Affordability

All While Living in one of the Word’s most Well Loved and Most Expensive Cities

Eco Friendly Community Building, and Low to No Cost Events in Vancouver, BC

Presented by

An invitation to build community by participating in low to no cost events.

Affordable Feasting with Foodies

Foodie Event Listings and Information: Grandview Woodland Food Connection: “A Neighborhood Food Network dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of all residents living in Grandview Woodland and nearby neighbourhoods by promoting an accessible, just and sustainable food system for our community.”

Community Dinners:

Little Mountain Neighbourhood House Community Dinners: “A delicious, nutritious, and low-cost 3-course meal. 20 seats available each week. First come, first served. Local residents have priority when space is limited. Dinner is served at 5:00pm. Cost: $4.00 for adult members/ $5.00 for non-members. When: Fridays (weekly, ongoing)”

Gordon Neighbourhood House Community Dinners: “West End Family Night: (Every second Monday of the month), Cost: Free with a GNH membership of $5. All families welcome! Dinner provided, first come, first served.”


MeatlessMeetup on Seasonal potlucks are the bes Christmas and Thanksgiving feasts offer 100+ vegetarian or vegan options., Main course and desserts. Family friendly. A great opportunity to network with foodies about the latest eco friendly ways to be health conscious.  “We’re foodies with an environmental conscience & a concern for animal welfare. Food at our events is vegan, but we’re not a vegan group. Anyone interested in lowering their carbon footprint by eating more plant based meals, even if they are not planning or trying to go fully veg, has found the right group!”

Village Vancouver: Offers an annual free potluck with 40+ dishes, plus great live music and educational booths.  Usually hosted at Heritage Hall. Definitely worth checking out.

The Food Connection: “The Food Connection is an open community of food-loving folks who meet for potlucks and free food workshops every last Wednesday of the month…To empower people to lead, collaborate and experiment with food through hands-on learning.”!about_us/c1se

Farmers Markets: 

Many are offered year round. This is a great source for local produce, live musical entertainment, and food truck food.

Fresh Roots: “We enact our mission through Schoolyard Market Gardens, educational farms where the food we grow is sold into the school community: into the cafeteria, food access programs, and to our neighbours. We facilitate outdoor experiential learning with teachers and students, mentor youth leaders through our garden club and summer programing, and empower Vancouverites to grow their own through our volunteer programs. Fresh Roots also works with organizations to develop their own market gardens and associated garden programing. We are a thought leader in institutional food systems change and outdoor experiential learning”

Staying Educated 

Village Vancouver Workshops: Offering monthly free potlucks and educational based workshops at various locations around the city. From East Van’s Commercial Drive at Rising Star Coop Common Room, to Main Street Little Mountain Neighbourhood House to Kits and even downtown. Everyone brings food to share, followed by a free workshop.  Topics include: how to make soap, kombucha, kifir, hot houses, salsa and a dehumidifier. Tutorials on seed saving, backyard chickens,, upcycled crafting projects, clothing swaps, permaculture and more.

“Village Vancouver Main Street Workshops: Food Security & Sustainable Living: Workshops with Village Vancouver (Main Street). Monthly workshops focus on quality of life issues such as: growing local food, gardening and seed saving, renewable energy, recycling, low-impact transportation, bike maintenance, bee keeping and backyard chickens.”

Local Lending Libraries: “It highlights an innate goodness in people and a shared longing for a sense of community fostered through a love of books… Some have grown to include free vegetables, knick-knacks and doggy bags to passersby.”

Ethical Threads

Clothing Thrift Stores: 

Value Village at Commercial and Hastings:

Wildlife Thrift Store Downtown:

Clothing Swaps:

Community Upcycling Clothing Swaps: Clothing swaps empower individuals by providing an affordable option for residents to clothe their families, fashionistas to update their wardrobes, and community members to have a social space to reconnect while they “shop”. hosts a variety of clothing swaps on a regular basis:

Free Finds

Apartment Free Store: A free zone was set up in my apartment complex. The setup is basic with a small shelving unit to house the free stuff and a bulletin board for posting notices. Residents and visitors are free to leave their free gifts in an indoor covered area (rather than the alleyway) and for other residents to get first picks of new to them treasures. From clothing, to wine, to Lulu Lemon and Mountain Equipment Co-op bags, stationary supplies, clothing for animals, and more. I never know what surprises to expect when I’m on my way out!

The Free Market: Offered at Grandview Park every second Sunday in the summers.  This concept is exactly how it sounds, a pop up style store where everything is free for the taking.  Donations are always gratefully accepted.

Alleyways: At the end of the month in the summer, there is no shortage of castaway items up for grabs. Usually toys and furniture, sometimes kitchen gadgets and electronics. Once cleaned, many items can be repaired or upcycled into fully functional options for everyday living.

Great Grandview Garage Sale:  Grandview Woodlands hosts an annual garage sale with more than 100 homes participating each year for this annual community event.