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Community for seniors beats strong in the heart of Burnaby

What makes the Poppy Residences so special is its small, intimate setting, where everyone gets a chance to know their neighbours
The Poppy Residence is centrally located in beautiful Burnaby, B.C.

Nestled in the heart of Burnaby is the place Doris Drinkwater calls home. 

For the last eight years, Doris has enjoyed life at The Poppy Residences, an intimate community designed for self-sufficient seniors who value their independence. 

Located on Grimmer Street, just steps from a number of major amenities such as Metropolis at Metrotown, medical services and grocery stores, The Poppy has helped Doris, as well as many other seniors, enjoy retirement with confidence.

“It’s very central. I can go anywhere from there. It’s very convenient, ” says Doris, 87. “I like the freedom I have here. I feel at home - this is my home. You won’t find anything better. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”

The Poppy, a non-profit run by the South Burnaby branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, has 70 private and affordable one-bedroom and one-bedroom plus den units for seniors over the age of 55.

Residents enjoy two delicious and balanced meals in an elegant dining room with full table service. Light housekeeping and around-the-clock on-site staff support are also provided. There is also a TV and theatre area, a fireside lounge, and a library and games room.

In addition, residents can keep busy and socialize with friends by taking part in a variety of fun, organized activities and events, such as carpet bowling, art classes and day trips.

In the coming months, The Poppy will be making it even easier for seniors to live independently by introducing Independence Matters, a program that will provide optional home support services such as taking residents to appointments and medication reminders.

Donna Lawrence, general manager of The Poppy, explains that what makes it special is its small, intimate setting, where everyone gets a chance to know their neighbours.

“I think of it as a community within a community,” Lawrence says. 

“You know when you go to a smaller town, and everyone gets to know everyone, that’s kind of the feeling at The Poppy.”

And residents agree.

Rob Landau moved into The Poppy four years ago from an apartment in Burnaby. While there were other seniors residences he was considering, Landau ultimately chose to call The Poppy home because it allowed him to maintain his independence and remain social.

“I took a tour three or four years ago, and I decided if I ever needed a place to live, this would be it,” Landau says. “The Poppy seemed ideal for me, and it still is to this day. We’re kept busy with different activities. I like the people here. I really like it here.”

Shirley Crockett has lived at The Poppy for the last five years, after selling her home in Burnaby. Not only does she like keeping busy with numerous activities, she also appreciates how thoughtful, attentive and helpful the staff are.

“I like the staff,” Crockett says. “They treat you very respectfully.”

For Donna Lawrence, her philosophy is simple: treat each and every resident the way she would want her own family members to be treated.

“I really love coming in, seeing our residents and talking with them about how their day is going,” Lawrence says. “It’s really about offering exceptional service and going above and beyond. It’s so important for them to know that it doesn’t matter what they’re needing, we’re going to try and look after it as best we can. It’s a really great, comfortable home-like experience."

For more information about The Poppy Residences, please visit or call 604-568-5563.