North Park Bike Shop is a community staple, having served North Park for the past 15 years. Operated by Joe and Christine, the shop was moved in 2018 from Quadra to Cook Street, into the old Larsen Music building.
Do you feel connected to the community in North Park?
"That's a two fold question. Since we've been in this location for the last two years, we definitely feel much more connected to the community than before, primarily because of the location. In our old location, there was a funeral home and a number of churches, and there wasn’t much destination shopping, so there wasn’t lots of "neighborhood traffic’, so, in retrospect, we didn’t feel as connected as when we operated over on Quadra."
"With being here on Cook, there is much more of a neighborly feeling, despite being just two blocks away. It’s been really awesome to feel a lot more integrated into the neighborhood, with having all the coffee shops, food places and retail places surrounding us. We just feel like we're more central to everything, whereas before we were just kind of on the edge of North Park on the edge downtown, and not quite in Fernwood. We love belonging here."
Do you have like three things about this area that you would want to recommend to someone?
"Just go grab a coffee and a snack (or a pile of BBQ, or a bagel, or ice cream, or pastries, or a burger, or a taco...), and have a walk around the neighborhood and see some of the cool, old houses, and the variety of businesses, homes, things like the Composting Centre, the Mason Street Farm, and the people that strive to make North Park their life. North Park isn’t a fussy place where everything "messy" must be hidden away. There’s vulnerable folks beside the government workers and their families beside the new refugees who are trying to navigate their new world. It’s an intensely varied socio-economic melting pot here, and that’s part of its beauty. That guy sleeping on the grass underneath the Royal Athletic Park sign? He’s human, too. The people coming and going from SOLID Outreach are just as important. It’s important folks see all sides of the cube here, and not to pretend that certain things or people don’t exist."
Does any person or group in North Park come to mind when you think about community superheros?
"The tireless work from the Crystal Pool! staff!"
What are three words to describe North Park?
"Eclectic, community-driven and vital"