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Vancouver councillor calls for community bowling alleys

Kendall Walters

Vancouver Coun. Adriane Carr is hoping her new motion doesn’t strike out; she’s proposing bowling alleys be included on the list of services offered by community centres.

“It really fits in with everything that we’re aiming for in terms of a healthy city and strong neighbourhoods.”

Carr said she was inspired by the push to save Varsity Ridge Bowl, a popular west side venue threatened by proposed development.

A group of residents aiming to save the eight-lane bowling alley marched from its West 15th location to city hall, where many signed up to speak at the permit board meeting reviewing the developer’s application.

Vancouver proper currently has only a handful of bowling alleys, including Varsity Ridge. The others are in east Vancouver and downtown.

Carr, researching city-run alleys, spoke to the city manager of Langford, a Victoria-area community, which recently added a bowling alley to its local community centre.

The city conducted a survey about what services residents most wanted; bowling topped the list. So Langford opened a bowling alley at a community centre.

“It was only opened a year ago, but it’s making money for the city,” Carr said, adding the city manager told her the facility was the best investment Langford could have made.

Carr also holds hope that, even if the permits go through, the developer for the Varsity Ridge site will consider keeping the bowling alley, despite expressing no interest in the idea so far.

“Maybe the strength of community support for the bowling centre might change

their minds,” she said.


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