- BC Games
LoLo lane earns its own name
Alleys can easily be disregarded as spots to park cars or handy places to chuck trash, but Roma Wilson says this LoLo lane is a little community that needs its own identity.
She held a contest to create a name for the alley, which is tucked between First Street and Esplanade east of Lonsdale Avenue. The winning entry will be available next week on her Facebook page “More Fun Alley.”
“By naming the alley, we hope to... create a connection between the alley and the residents and small business owners who call the alley home,” she says, adding Two Daughters Bakeshop, Rayne Longboards and Vancouver Urban Timberworks are a few of the businesses that add to the lane’s unique culture.
Standing by two decorative painted tires in the alley, Tyler Russell, owner of nearby Cafe for Contemporary Arts, is opening an art gallery facing the lane in the next couple months.
“This is one of the most innovative spaces I know of, even in Vancouver,” he says of the eclectic businesses.
“It’s a great place to have a conversation. It’s a little rugged so you don’t feel poshy, it’s quiet.”
By naming the alley, Wilson and Russell, who cofounded the More Fun Alley Association, hope the area will get its own identity and not have to be referenced by nearby streets.
On Sept. 6, a team of judges will select the winning name. So far on the More Fun Alley Facebook page suggestions such as “LoLo Lane,” “Rainbow Lane” and “Eclectic Alley” have been thrown around.
The contest was inspired by the Alley Network Project, an effort to name alleys in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Firehouse Alley, for example, is close to Pike Place Market and was originally part of the city’s shoreline before development.
A group of dedicated “alley-goers” hold get-togethers in the lanes featuring DJs, folk musicians, filmmakers and performance artists. The Tour de France and the World Cup attracted 3,000 people to Nord Alley, another popular back street in Seattle.
“It’s a simple and easy way to do something that has an impact,” says Wilson outside Russell’s up-and-coming gallery.
Asked whether she plans to initiate names for other alleys in North Van, Wilson says, “It will probably happen on its own.”