Fortunate to be born and raised in North Vancouver, Kathy McGrenera has always given back to her community. Kathy is a founder and community leader of Quayside Village, the original cohousing project in Lower Lonsdale. Quayside seeks to create a modern village in an urban setting. Kathy has helped implement a range of environmental design features saving water and energy, diverting over 90% of their waste, growing food, and ensuring the shared indoor and outdoor spaces form the heart of this vibrant community.
Kathy’s leadership has helped make Quayside an internationally recognized model of affordable housing, environmental sustainability and a community where both aging in place and raising a family can thrive. Recently, Kathy worked as one of the project managers for a second cohousing project now completed in central Lonsdale, Driftwood Village Cohousing.
Kathy is a parent and holds numerous certifications. In addition to a BA, a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Women’s Studies and a Masters in Education, Kathy is a certified group facilitator and trained bookkeeper. Kathy has been a small business owner, operating a successful community based licensed daycare for more than a decade. A passionate volunteer and financial steward, Kathy is the Treasurer of her Strata and an active board member of both the Canadian Cohousing Network and the Vancouver Tap Dance Society.
Kathy is currently a collaborating team member with AAHA (Architects Against Housing Alienation), with profs from UBC and the University of Waterloo along with architects and activists, who won the bid for the Canada Pavillion entry into the Venice Biennale for Architecture in May 2023. Teams across Canada are working on innovative responses to housing affordability, homelessness, indigenous housing and other innovative responses to Canada’s housing challenges.
As a successful business owner, project manager, university instructor and community volunteer, Kathy has the kinds of skills our community needs on Council. Looking for a way to start a family and to stay in North Vancouver, Kathy led in the creation of a successful cohousing project (Quayside Village at 5th and Chesterfield), where she continues to live and be involved in its administration. She recently completed her role as a project manager with Driftwood Village Cohousing at 21st and Chesterfield, where she worked with the owner group and consultants to realize a second collaborative community building in North Van. She has built two successful businesses and, as a principal with Source Facilitation Collective, she passed on her skills and experience, teaching an “Aging Well in Community” course for seniors, numerous times at SFU. A passionate single parent, she facilitated the North Shore Women’s Centre single mothers support group for many years and ran the office for a local midwife, facilitating post-partum groups for new parents. All the while she has found the time to give back to her community as a volunteer with the North Shore Girls Soccer League, treasurer of her daughter’s school Parent Advisory Council, and a variety of other volunteer groups. She has the energy and experience North Vancouver needs.
Kathy is clear about her values of collaboration, inclusion and optimism, and she lives them every day. As a certified group facilitator, Kathy is hired regularly to guide groups to reach collaborative outcomes. She knows that strong communities and good decisions depend upon making sure that everybody’s voice is heard and included. She is convinced that together, we can achieve what we set out to do. More than ever, as North Vancouver faces important decisions about how to move forward as a community, we need these skills and values at our Council table.
Born and raised in North Vancouver Kathy has stayed here because of the kind of inclusive and supporting community it is. But she also knows the challenges we face: emergencies in both climate and affordability; how to confront the social isolation that affects so many seniors especially prevalent during the pandemic; how to continue to support local business; how to improve local rapid transit and ridership; and how to ensure that people have the housing options they need to stay here. Kathy knows all too well how important these issues are and she is dedicated to ensuring North Vancouver meets the challenges they pose.
Kathy supports addressing the City’s emission targets and will support the work of the Climate and Environment task force. Kathy will work to view all issues through a climate lens.
HOUSING AFFORDABILITY AND OPTIONS
With her experience creating two housing projects with affordability components, Kathy is inspired to work creatively with council and other levels of government toward housing options that remain accessible to all ages of residents.
Looking for ways to relieve traffic congestion, Kathy is excited about the continuing collaborative North Shore Connects process with the other North Shore municipalities and First Nations.
Kathy will advocate for the coming rapid transit line to the North Shore and as an avid cyclist, will support bike paths in the City for all “rolling” modes, improving pedestrian sidewalks, and improving transportation choices for all ages.
With such close neighbours from the Squamish Nation, Kathy is very committed to Reconciliation and would be thrilled to work hard toward greater connections between the Squamish Nation and the City.
PROTECTING GREEN SPACES
Kathy feels fortunate to live so close to the natural wonder of North Vancouver’s superb parks, streams and trails and would be a advocate for maintaining our green and wild spaces and increasing parks. Kathy is a big supporter of North Van community gardens and the Loutet urban farm.
We are fortunate in North Van to have a lot of local businesses in close proximity. I will work to learn about their needs and how to support them further.
As a former childcare provider, Kathy will support expanded and affordable childcare spaces.