In 1973, West Side Family Place opened its doors on West Broadway at Dunbar, where the @SPCA Thrift Store is currently located. There was a large playroom, a seating area, and a small dedicated staff on hand who shared the goal of supporting both the kids and their parents.
To supplement the grant and cover the rent, a thrift store was set up in the front window to raise funds and provide a helpful service to families. It was run by volunteers and gave people a chance to contribute to this burgeoning tight-knit community of young families in Kitsilano.
Co-founder Ellen told us that many parents at the time couldn’t believe what they had found. They could just be themselves in this setting and socialize with other parents without feeling any pressure. As a result, parents would spread the word to others and it quickly became very popular.
Did you or your parent/caregiver attend the Broadway/Dunbar location? Let us know what you recall or share this note with others who were parenting in the area at that time? We’d love to hear from you!