lolo-barShould the Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood, the commercial district stretching from the waterfront at Lonsdale Quay up to 4th Avenue, adopt the brand of Lolo to create wider awareness of its new personality?  That is the question.  The actual answer is another question altogether, because no one has undertaken a survey.

Lower Lonsdale is defined geographically as the area bounded by Burrard Inlet to the south, 8th Street to the north, Forbes Avenue to the west, and St. David’s Avenue to the east. The intrepid explorer of the many changes happening in this hip new neighbourhood should open Google Maps and have a look around, then zoom in and zoom out. Look closely at the map between East Esplanade and East First Avenue, at the lane behind where the Rusty Gull has stood for years on the east end and the hip new Two Daughters Bakery on the west end. Google Maps identifies this block as LoLo lane.  Who knew?

The origin of Lolo as a new name for the neighbourhood is hard to define. For a brief period of time a few years ago there was a bar/restaurant at Lonsdale and 2nd with that name.  An article in the Georgia Straight on May 14th, 2014 quoted Mayor Darrel Mussato. “The thing with LoLo is that for years people have always talked about the potential; it has so much potential.”  That potential has finally been realized. What is still under discussion is whether the neighbourhood should be referred to as Lolo, or the old fashioned moniker of the Lower Lonsdale district.

lolo-1Skoah LoLo Spa has opened up at 50 Lonsdale.  Skoah only opens up in up-and-coming neighbourhoods. The Wallace & McDowell building, located at 2nd and Lonsdale, is a 64-unit low-rise (and the new home of Lonsdale Life). According to the Straight, local realtors are referring to this neighbourhood as LoLo. Nick Askew, president of Pacesetter Marketing, said: “LoLo has rich history as one of the original communities in Metro Vancouver.” Brody Lloyd, a realtor with Prudential Sussex Realty, said: “LoLo is a great alternative to downtown because the price is a little bit less.”

At LoLo Hair Salon at 111 West First, across from the new and happening Buddha-Full Café, LoLo is a beautiful name, so much so that the owner Elaina has branded her salon after it. Whether there is any controversy over the name, she hasn’t heard any from her customers. “I just happen to like the name.”

A casual survey of businesses in the community reveals that most staff members have never given branding or naming any consideration at all. Some agree that it is a question that needs to be asked. All agreed that some sort of cooperative marketing campaign for the community should be considered, given the huge possibilities for expansion of tourism, business and residential development.  “This is a fabulous neighbourhood,” said Elaina, as customers at nearby cafes basked in the sun. “It has a great future.”


By Staff Writer

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