Community Resources

Welcome to the Community Resources master list! 

Click on each plus sign to get a quick overview of the resource. 

Send me a DM @shopsmallvancouver if you have suggestions for resources I can add to this list.


“Our mission is to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries.

Our vision is a Little Free Library in every community and a book for every reader. We believe all people are empowered when the opportunity to discover a personally relevant book to read is not limited by time, space, or privilege.”

Tesla’s note: I LOVE Little Free Libraries. If you’ve ever gone on a walk with me, you’ve probably experienced my inability to breeze right by one without peeking inside. I’ve found some real gems in my neighbourhood, but the real joy for me is to donate the books I’ve read and want to pass on, and then checking in on the library later to find them all scooped up! Such an ego boost to my personal taste 🙂

“Van Black Library’s proposal is just what you’d imagine – a Library ran by Black organizers, dedicated for Black and BIPOC community members. This is a space to not only sign out books for free, this is intended to be used as a study space, a chill space, and a safe space. It is to cater to the needs of the Black community first and foremost. The hope is that one day, this not-for-profit initiative can be a springboard for other services like group therapy, community care efforts in the realm of fundraising, childcare, art exhibitions, poetry readings, bookclubs, zine making etc. Ultimately, in addition to connecting people to information, libraries connect people to people.”

“The Vancouver Tool Library (VTL) is a cooperative tool lending library located at 3448 Commercial Street, Vancouver BC. We loan a wide variety of tools for home repair, gardening, and bicycle maintenance. We also offer affordable workshops on tool related skills and projects.

We are motivated by a vision of our community empowered by the tools and skills needed to transform their homes and communities into vibrant spaces that reflect a commitment to sustainability. To get there, we are creating a community resource that will reduce the costs of improving and greening the places in which we live, work, and play.”

“Vancouver Public Library has been dedicated to meeting the lifelong learning, reading and information needs of Vancouver residents for more than 100 years. Last year, VPL had nearly 6.5 million visits, with patrons borrowing nearly 9.5 million physical and digital items including books, ebooks, movies, music and magazines. Across 21 locations, VPL is the most-visited major urban library per capita in Canada.”

Tesla’s note: I am ~obsessed~ with the library; have been since I was a kid. I have very fond memories of reading picture books for hours at the library by my house. The card is free, late fees are now abolished, there are multiple locations with long hours.. I could go on. It’s incredible how many services they offer (musical instrument lending library, podcast studio, computer use, skilled immigrant centre – to name a few!) 


“Community Garden Builders® is a Vancouver-based social enterprise with a mission to transform vacant property into temporary community gardens and growing spaces. Our projects represent a unique partnership between landowners and community members, providing much needed garden space for the community as well as interim property management for landowners. Using mobile garden beds set atop shipping pallets, we create accessible urban spaces for local community members to grow their own food and flowers.”

Get involved here, or find a community garden near you here.

“We create vibrant and welcoming markets that build community, feed people, and support small farms and producers. We operate all year round, with seven weekly summer markets and two weekly winter markets in neighbourhoods across the city. When you shop at a Vancouver Farmers Market, you’re not just buying fresh, delicious food directly from local producers – you’re also contributing more than $15 million in direct and indirect benefits to the local and regional economy. Our markets support 280 small scale BC farms and producers, and help keep 4,000 acres of local farmland in sustainable food production each year.”

“The City of Vancouver sells nutrient-rich compost soil for your garden at the Vancouver Landfill in Delta.

Our compost is produced on-site from yard trimmings delivered by customers to the Transfer Station and Landfill, and from leaves collected from city streets in the fall.

  • $8 per cubic metre ($16 per metric tonne)
  • $5 minimum charge for 0.5 m3 (340 kg)
  • Bring your own shovel and containers to the residential drop-off area at the landfill. Our loader is available between 7:30am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 5:30pm on weekends and statutory holidays.

Compost questions?

Contact the Regional Compost Hotline, or visit the Compost Demonstration Garden:

2150 Maple Street
Vancouver BC
Phone: 604-736-2250

The hotline and garden are run by City Farmer, a non-profit organization, on behalf of the City and Metro Vancouver.”

City Beet Farm is a small-scale urban farm located in the heart of Vancouver. The food we grow is a symbol of community commitment, love for the land, and a break in the status quo. City Beet Farm was born from a commitment between two farmers and a community of homeowners. Today, we grow a wide diversity of vegetables and flowers on a network of 13 front and backyards in the Mount Pleasant and Riley Park neighbourhoods of Vancouver. 

Homeowners receive a weekly box of vegetables in exchange for the use of their land and we sell the rest through a Community Supported Agriculture model, at select grocers and through pop-up markets. Our CSA members pay for their vegetables in advance of the season and commit to picking them up weekly throughout the summer. Their upfront commitment gives us the flexibility to make earlier decisions, plan for the season and ultimately grow better food. In this way, we all share the risks inherent in farming. 

From June to early October, every Tuesday evening from 4-6:30 pm, we are setup outside of the lovely Federal Store Luncheonette and Grocer at the corner of 10th Ave and Quebec St for veggie box/flower pick-ups. We always welcome non-members to stop by and check out what is seasonally available.

Community Connection

“BuyNothing offers people a way to give and receive, share, lend, and express gratitude through a worldwide gift economy network in which the true wealth is the web of connections formed between people. We believe that communities are more resilient, sustainable, equitable, and joyful when they have functional gift economies.”

Tesla’s note: I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in living in a way that isn’t immediately capitalism-forward to check out your neighbourhood’s Buy Nothing group on Facebook, or download the app. ( I have gifted countless items that I would have either donated or thrown away, and received many gifts from folks in turn, including a desk, chair and hanging file folder! In my neighbourhood there is often food, toiletries, clothing, and housewares, but every group has its own vibe.

“In 2011, my bike was stolen. Rather than accepting this as the cost of living in the city, I chose to take action. I put the word out to my mountain bike team and, within an hour, the news had reached more than 9,700 cyclists. Thirty days later, a friend of a friend of a friend notified me that my bike was on eBay along with a dozen laptops, a handful of $500 Home Depot gift cards and some expensive photography equipment.

With the help of the Seattle Police Department, I got my bike back. But without my network and a lot of luck, it never would have happened.

There had to be a better way.

So, in 2013, we set out to create a sustainable program that helps reduce bike theft, promotes cycling, and makes cities and campuses more bike-friendly. The result is the 529 Garage.

Our strategy is simple – galvanize riders, shops, police, schools and cities around the globe with a common set of tools that allow communities to become better organized than the criminals. Cities that we have joined forces with have seen meaningful, double-digit results in the first two years.

We are a purpose, not profit-driven company, motivated to make a meaningful dent in this epidemic and to keep you riding. Join us on our quest by registering your bike and getting your community signed up with our program.

J Allard
Founder, Project 529″

Combatting Food Insecurity

“Vancouver Food Runners partners with businesses, volunteer food drivers and nonprofit organizations to bring surplus food directly to those experiencing food insecurity. In Canada, 58% of all food produced is wasted or lost, while one in nine in British Columbia experience food insecurity. Vancouver Food Runners bridges the disconnect with innovative app technology, powered by Food Rescue Hero, and our team of volunteer food drivers. Since March 2020, Vancouver Food Runners has redirected over 1.2 million pounds of surplus food from businesses – equivalent to 1 million meals – to those who are hungry in our community.”

“The Vancouver Community Fridge Project is a decentralized food distribution network and mutual aid initiative created to provide healthy, free food and essential supplies to our communities across lower mainland. Our mission is to combat food insecurity by encouraging our communities to take part in laterally-directed mutual aid, starting with providing free, safe, non-policed, accessible and nutritious foods through community fridges and pantries. Working in a non-hierarchal fashion, currently, the organizers are comprised of primarily femme-identifying people, a number of BIPOC, and many people with experience and passion regarding food justice and social justice.

VCFP firmly believes that everyone has a right to eat. Food insecurity should not be adding to the stress of the already insurmountable challenges facing our vulnerable communities. Along with sharing resources, connecting and building communities founded on care, solidarity and mutual aid, we are always looking to improve upon our intersectional approaches to provide critical support where it’s needed most.

All fridges and pantries that are apart of the VCFP network will be operating on a strict no policing, no-shame policy. This means, the VCFP does not condone patrolling how fridge users engage with the fridge, gatekeeping, or any exclusionary or harmful behaviours. The fridges should be accessible, welcoming places based on trust and communication of needs, established by and for the community.”

Mutual Aid

“Continually dissatisfied by the lack of accessibility to menstrual products and the general social stigma surrounding menstruation, two Vancouver-based humans have taken it upon themselves to create a space for accessibility and community surrounding menstrual equity in a “no policing,” accessible to all way.

Vancouver’s Period Pantry, located at E 6th street between Commercial & Victoria, has taken the all humans, no question’s asked, free access philosophy of the free library box, and applied it to menstruation. Period products for everyone!

Kelly and Renee, co-founders of the project, saw a gaping hole in Vancouver’s community where mutual aid and support should always be. “We both came to support this issue from different angles. Renee, having worked in social work realms had seen the lack of access to menstrual products and the impact first hand. Myself, I had seen it within school settings. The lack of access, the shame that surrounded the issue, the lack of education for who menstruates, what is involved and why everyone needs to learn about it. We ended up meeting at a menstrual-equity focused, community action group and got to chatting about the ways we could take action to address this massive issue.” – Kelly & Renee, Founders.”

Information taken from this feature:

“Two East Vancouver residents have distributed thousands of high-quality N95 masks in the last two months in direct response to what they say are “neglectful” public health measures concerning disabled and immunocompromised people.

Jane Shi and Vivian Ly are the organizers behind Masks4EastVan, which was started in May this year, two months after B.C. lifted mandatory masking requirements in most indoor public spaces For Shi and Ly, the lack of a mask mandate meant they — as disabled queer people of colour — were unable to access public spaces safely.

“We’re still in the middle of the pandemic. It’s not over,” Ly told CBC News. “We’re seeing this kind of dissonance where … cases [are] still going up, but there aren’t enough public health measures to fill in those gaps. “We’re left to fill these gaps in ourselves with these kinds of community initiatives.””

Domestic Violence

Shelter Movers is a national, volunteer-powered charitable organization providing moving and storage services at no cost to women and children fleeing abuse.

Shelter Movers collaborates with local businesses and community services (e.g. shelters, police, schools, services) who refer clients that have decided to leave an abuser, and have a safer place to go. Shelter Movers makes all the arrangements to move and store survivors’ belongings securely, on the clients’ terms. We empower survivors as they transition to a life free of violence.

Shelter Movers brings together a community of volunteers dedicated to ending gender-based violence. Volunteers benefit from trauma-informed training, meeting like-minded people and making a difference in their own communities. As allies in the movement men, in particular, have an opportunity to be part of a community that serves women fleeing violence on their own terms.

WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women) offers trauma-informed feminist support to survivors of sexualized violence. Their services are open to cis and trans women and people of all marginalized genders, including Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary people.

WAVAW provides an array of services including a 24 hour crisis line, hospital, police & court accompaniment, and a wide variety of counselling.