04/08/2015 08:06 EDT | Updated 06/08/2015 05:59 EDT

Danny Maloney, Megaphone vendor's life celebrated in Kitsilano

Residents of Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood held a celebration of life this week for Danny Maloney, a long-time member of the community who sold Megaphone Magazine outside Whole Foods for the past 20 years.

Maloney passed away in February after battling lung disease.

"Danny's passing has left a hole in Kits. He was a fixture at Fourth and Yew. He was stalwart and predictable. He was a visible conscience for our community," said resident Stuart Rush.

More than 100 people turned up for to celebrate Maloney's life, many sharing fond stories about how hard he worked and how much he cared about his neighbourhood.

"He brought street life and poverty and part of everyday existence into our community," said Rush.

"He looked for you to talk in hope of conversation and it is sad that Danny will probably never know that his modest presence on a busy street corner would have the impact that it has."

'He became this beautiful person'

Sean Condon, Executive Director of Megaphone Magazine, helped organized the event. He says Danny had very powerful relationships with everyone he encountered.

"So many people looked out for him. So many people cared about him," said Condon.

He says Maloney struggled with poverty, addiction and mental health issues, but found purpose by selling Megaphone Magazine.

"The paper allowed him to connect with people and form these relationships with them. That saved his life. He was able to get sober," said Condon.

"He was able to become this beautiful person and became an institution in Kitsilano."

Condon says Maloney allowed people a very easy and warm way to begin to think about things differently and view life from another perspective.

"He helped break down a lot of stereotypes that I think people often have about homeless and mental health issues," said Condon.

"He helped people change their perceptions of both those issues, and in doing so, changed their perceptions about themselves as well and opened their mind to their city and community."

To hear the full interview with Sean Condon from Megaphone Magazine, listen to the audio labelled Danny Maloney Tribute