Long-time Vancouver resident, historian, blogger, and activist, Jak King has published his third book, “Battleground: Grandview. An Activist’s Memoir of the Grandview Community Plan, 2011-2016.”
(Update, now on YouTube – Book Talk: ‘Battleground: Grandview’ by Jak King – A conversation with Scot Hein 4-Mar-2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDfr1B04WUk)
His book is a first-person account, meticulously documented, of the crucial five-year period in which this culturally diverse and dynamic Vancouver neighbourhood underwent a community planning process that culminated in the Grandview Woodland Community Plan. For years, Jak has documented events, impressions and changes in this community with Commercial Drive at its centre (Broadway to the Burrard Inlet waterfront, and Clark Drive to Nanaimo Street).
Much of the material in his book has come from his own blog posts as events unfolded, as well as communications, media coverage, meetings, and conversations. Hundreds of names are named, people from all sectors in the process — activists, developers, planners, politicians, academics, public servants, reporters, civic parties, and more — each with a role or a place in this performance. Some are heroes, and some not so much. (Many of the characters are still on stage in the real world today.) Throughout the book are King’s observations on how things were unfolding, and he concludes with an epilogue.
This book is a valuable treatise that captures a critical period in Vancouver’s history, affecting not only this neighbourhood, but the whole city. It is also a study in the tensions in planning and policy-making, tensions between communities, politicians, and big money corporate interests.
The book includes detailed coverage of the 2014 civic election, and shows how the Grandview debacle fits into the trajectory of similar anti-community planning exercises in Mount Pleasant, Norquay, Marpole, Downtown Eastside, the West End, and Oakridge.
At the beginning of the 2020s, Vancouver is in the midst of a citywide plan and a number of area-specific planning processes, major rezoning and development applications (including blockbusters within Grandview-Woodland), and the implementation of several community plans. Battleground: Grandview is recommended reading for anyone from all sides who was involved in this history, and anyone who wishes to understand the dynamics of planning in Vancouver and beyond.
To order your $25 copy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Battleground: Grandview (An Activist’s Memoir of the Grandview Community Plan, 2011-2016), The Drive Press, 2020. ISBN-13: 978-0986778209. 288 pages.
Battleground: Grandview retails at $25.00 and is available at:
– People’s Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive
– SuperValu, 1st & Commercial
You can also get a copy direct from by Interac e-mail transfer $25 (includes postage, please provide your mailing address). To order your copy, please write email@example.com
Jak King’s blog: