Chartwell Imperial Place resident Erskine, 94, often looks to the snow-clad mountains of Vancouver’s North Shore with a wistful eye. Skiing was more than just a hobby for him—it was his life’s passion. In fact, just one glance at those majestic peaks conjures a swell of memories from his glory days on the slopes.
Grouse Mountain holds a special significance for Erskine, as it was the place where he was first introduced to skiing. Back in those days, he would hop the streetcar from Kerrisdale to downtown Vancouver, and then take a ferry over to the base of Lonsdale. From there he’d take a bus up to 22nd Street, where he then walked the rest of the way up to Grouse Mountain. There wasn’t a ski lift at that time, so Erskine would hike all the way up the mountain with his equipment on his back, managing only a couple of runs per day. According to him, it was well worth the effort.
His passion for skiing never faded over the years. Erskine introduced his wife and four children to the activity, and year after year the family would plan their holidays around it. He continued skiing until 2002, when his health no longer allowed for the vigour of the sport. His passion remains, however, and the North Shore mountain range serves as a constant reminder of the activity he has loved for a lifetime.
Staff at Chartwell Imperial Place were well aware of Erskine’s history with skiing, and wanted to arrange something special for him. Though they knew hitting the slopes was out of the question, Lifestyle & Programs Manager Jennifer Wasden had something else in mind.
“We reached out to Grouse Mountain in the hopes of fulfilling a Moment That Matters for Erskine,” she explains. “We were thrilled when they allowed us to bring him and his family to the top of the mountain so that they could reminisce on the wonderful times they shared together.”
Erskine and his family rode the lift up the mountain with nostalgia filling their hearts. Once they reached the summit, Erskine sat back and took in the glorious view, pointing out how much the Vancouver skyline has changed over the years. Jennifer remembered to bring some Hawkins Cheezies along for the occasion, Erskine’s favourite snack.
“Erskine and I had a Cheezie-toast to the city of Vancouver,” laughs Jennifer. “It felt so wonderful to be a part of his special moment. So much history exists there for him and his family, and it was important for us to celebrate that.”
Experiences like Erskine’s trip to Grouse Mountain happen all across Chartwell residences, thanks to our Moments That Matter program. To learn more about our emotional wellness program, click here.