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Archive for the ‘buildings in Vancouver’ Category

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The Birks Building, at West Hastings & Granville Street, built in 1908, was originally a Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Vancouver, a modern and growing city, is home to an increasing number of stark-looking concrete and glass structures which, it seems to me, are lacking in beauty. With this in mind, I decided to embark on yet another “Urban Trekking” mission, in order to discover some of our oldest, most imposing buildings in the downtown core.

At the south east corner of West Hastings & Granville Street, I spotted what is now called The Birks Building, housing Vancouver’s venerable jewellery store, which we’ve always called simply “Birks”. This store was formerly at the corner of Granville and Georgia Street, in a lovely old building which has since been demolished.

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The Birks Clock, on Granville Street at West Hastings.

The famous “Birks Clock” was moved to its present location in front of the store when Birks  moved north a few blocks. Many Vancouverites, (myself included!) were relieved that this iconic clock was saved. For years, it had been a special place for friends to meet each other downtown. “I’ll meet you under the Birks clock”, we’d say, when planning a get-together.

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The Sinclair Centre, on West Hastings, at the North West corner of  Granville & Hastings.

The Sinclair Centre is actually four historical buildings which were joined and renovated in 1986. One of them is the Winch Building, built from 1908 to 1911. There is a bright and welcoming atrium in the middle of the complex.

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Sinclair Centre (please note: Canadian spelling of “Centre”. Merci beaucoup!)

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The Permanent Building, 330 West Pender Street. Gorgeous doorway. They don’t make doors like this any more!

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This was a delightful find! Especially on the grey, worn streets of downtown, it’s always a treat to discover something beautiful. Someone cared enough to use their imagination in creating this small but lovely “tableau” of living plants and a wrought iron gate. I think this is on the south side of West Pender Street, near Granville. (Note the padlocks!)

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The Dominion Building, (terracotta colour), at 207 West Hastings Street, as seen from the corner of Hastings & Homer. Built in 1910, this was Vancouver’s first steel-framed high-rise.

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Ceiling lights and decoration on the outside entrance of the Dominion Building.

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Pink Alleyway!! between Granville & Seymour Streets, just to the south of Hastings.

On the day I took this photo, there was a lively “Public Disco” event taking place.

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Inside the amazing Paper Hound Bookshop, on West Pender Street. Not just any old second hand bookstore, this one has a great selection of carefully chosen and  nicely displayed books. Notice the original brick wall, which was uncovered during restoration.

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Vintage sign discovered underneath the plaster on a Gastown store wall.

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Another original brick wall in Gastown, in The Old Faithful Shop, on West Cordova Street, decorated with a vintage Canadian canoe!

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Waterfront Station on West Cordova Street, in Gastown. Northern terminus of the Canada Line, dock and station of the Sea Bus to North Vancouver, and as you can see, a cruise ship is in port! Also the terminus for The Expo Line and the West Coast Express train.

Originally built by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) as the Pacific terminus for their transcontinental passenger trains from Toronto and Montreal, the station was opened in 1914.

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Angel of Victory”, statue of a fallen soldier and angel, at Waterfront Station in Gastown.

Created by Montreal sculptor Coeur deLion McCarthy, this bronze copy of the original dates from 1921.

Just to the right of the building in this photograph, you’ll see two lovely trees. Yes, we have Palm trees in Vancouver. This is the mild and temperate Pacific Coast, after all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Marine Building in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
My favourite heritage building in our home town. Re-blogging!

Joie du Soleil

The Marine Building The Marine Building

Located at 355 Burrard St. in downtown Vancouver, the Marine Building was designed by McCarter, Nairne and Partners in the late 1920’s. An elegant old “skyscraper”, its distinctive “Art Deco” styling depicts maritime themes as well as B.C.’s nautical flora and fauna.

As a child, I thought the creamy-coloured Art Deco details resembled icing on a cake, when viewed from a distance. Opened in October, 1930, this was the tallest building in Vancouver until 1939.

I am so thankful that the beautiful Marine Building remains standing in the downtown core. Being a young city, Vancouver does not have the historical old structures that European cities do. Many of our older buildings, which dated back just over half a century or even less, have been demolished already. With the constant threat of a major earthquake in this region, city planners are advocating replacing existing old buildings with quake-proof…

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Robson Street entrance/exit of the Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch

When it was first opened in May of 1995, the appearance of the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch left some of us rather bewildered. I say that because its design was quite different from anything we had seen before in our young and modern city. “Is the architect emulating the design of the Roman Colosseum?” we wondered. (“Colosseum” is the Roman spelling.) But now, twenty-three years later, most of us have grown to appreciate this unique and welcoming building, which is conveniently located in the centre of downtown Vancouver.

Bounded by Georgia, Robson, Homer and Hamilton Streets, the VPL covers an entire city block.

https://www.vpl.ca/location/central-library

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Georgia Street entrance/exit, Vancouver Public Library

Architect Moshe Safdie and DA Architects won the bid to build the library after the City held a design competition, with their design being the most popular choice. The resulting “Library Square” includes the Federal Office Tower and retail and service facilities, along with the nine story library.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_Public_Library

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Library Square with Office Tower, and one of the ubiquitous Vancouver cranes

No matter where one goes in Metro Vancouver, cranes dot the skyline! Construction is ongoing. The following photo shows the proposed design of the building going up across the street from the VPL:

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Now that is some design!! Merrick Architecture/Westbank Projects Corporation.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a book-lover, and libraries are like a second home to me. One of my earliest memories is of my mom reading Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, aloud to me at bedtime. Mom loved literature, and wrote beautiful lyric nature poems, some of which were published in our local newspapers.

For me, even the imposing Central Branch of the VPL is welcoming, and offers much more than “just books”.

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The Promenade/Enclosed Concourse of Library Square

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Light is such an important factor in architectural design…(so many skylights to clean!).

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Remember these? Yes, it’s an old-fashioned phone booth, for our convenience, in Library Square!

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Leaving Library Square and its soaring skylights, we’re back out into the reality of Robson Street with its hustle and bustle, traffic, cafes, and shops. Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Small is beautiful.

-E.F. Schumacher

Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, here in Vancouver B.C., there was a brief burst of “Thin Houses” being built.

The lots which these thin houses were built on are usually 16.5 feet wide, and approximately 120 feet deep, but the depth can vary. They were created when wider lots, usually about 50 feet in width, were divided up, leaving the existing house on a 33 foot lot, and making room for the new, skinnier house to be added in.

The beauty of these houses lies in their simplicity. They are on a private lot, but with lower taxes, lower maintenance because of smaller size, and lower heating costs, among other advantages. There is room for a small garden, front and back. It’s like living in a townhouse or condo, minus the strata council!

Here in Vancouver land is at a premium, due in part to the city’s location, tucked in snugly beside the towering Coast Mountains and crisscrossed by waterways and bridges. It’s a popular place to live, and has become one of the most expensive cities in North America, making living here almost impossible for many people. So building “infill housing”, such as the thin houses, was a good idea, creating higher density in established neighbourhoods. But therein lay the problem! Thin houses were not universally popular, and building them went out of fashion soon after the trend had begun.

There are probably around fifty or fewer of these thin houses in Vancouver, scattered in amongst the “regular” homes. I’m always pleasantly surprised to come across thin houses on drives and walks in the city, and I’m including photos of six of them.

As far as densifying the city goes these days, “Laneway Houses” are now being built city-wide, and are a practical and attractive addition to our city. Not without their detractors, laneway houses nevertheless are enabling more people to share in living in this beautiful place.

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Second in the series “Hidden Treasures of Vancouver”, is a lovely but not too well-known spot called the Jericho Sailing Centre. Situated between Locarno Beach on the west and Jericho Beach on the east, this delightful centre offers memberships to owners of non-motorized boats. Not only does it have proper launching ramps and safe storage, but also an enclosed space to work on your boat. The caretaker’s cottage is a gem, and can be seen in the first two photos here. But best of all, there’s great beer on tap in the Jericho Galley Cafe, not to mention the delicious sweet potato fries and salmon burgers. And the view! Fantastic sunsets, and a great way to end a day of sailing, paddling or rowing. Hard to believe this is right in Vancouver. It’s a great escape!

Jericho Sailing Centre Caretaker's Cottage

Jericho Sailing Centre Caretaker’s Cottage

One-of-a-kind garden decor!

One-of-a-kind garden decor!

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View from the boat shed

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“Skip”, a work in progress

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Sailboats at Jericho and Vancouver skyline

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Brisk Westerly blowing the B.C. flag. “Sleeping Beauty” mountains in background.

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Looking West, toward the Strait of Georgia, also known as the Salish Sea.

Ready to set sail!

Today’s quotation:

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely seas and the sky.

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.

-from: “Sea Fever”, by John Masefield

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Coast Salish Canoe

First Nations Canoe

I took the following photos in late June, 2013 while visiting the Convention Centre, plazas and promenades along Vancouver’s waterfront at the foot of Burrard St. There are so many wonderful sights to enjoy right here in our own home town!

Sea Bus Terminal

Sea Bus Terminal

Sea Bus Terminal

Tourist Streetcar

Tourist Streetcar

Canada Place

Canada Place

Cruise Ship docked at Canada Place

Cruise Ship docked at Canada Place

Hometown Tourists

Hometown Tourists

Early 20th Century dock workers on the Vancouver  waterfront, including Chilean, Hawaiian and Coast Salish men.

Early 20th Century dock workers on the Vancouver waterfront, including Chilean, Hawaiian and Coast Salish men.

First Nation, First Union plaque, describing previous photo.

First Nation, First Union plaque, describing previous photo.

Salmon sculptures in Vancouver Convention Centre.

Salmon sculptures in Vancouver Convention Centre.

Coast Salish cedar canoe.

First Nations cedar canoe.

Today’s Quotations:

Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.

-Jane Austen

There’s no place like home!

-Dorothy, in “The Wizard of Oz”.

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Today’s Quotation:

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Imagination encircles the world.

-Albert Einstein

These photos were taken in April, 2013, along the Main Mall of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

First incorporated by the Provincial Legislature in 1890. First day of lectures was September 30, 1915. Lectures began at the new Point Grey campus (pictured) on September 22, 1925.

Canada flag on Main Mall, UBC, looking north towards Coast Mountains and Bowen Island in Howe Sound.

Canada flag on Main Mall, UBC, looking north towards Coast Mountains and Bowen Island in Howe Sound.

Rose Garden, UBC

Rose Garden, UBC

Old UBC Library

Old UBC Library

Chemistry Building, UBC

Chemistry Building, UBC

Construction everywhere at UBC, and all around Metro Vancouver!

Construction everywhere at UBC, and all around Metro Vancouver!

Recycler and his daily load of cans. Undoubtedly he can't afford to attend UBC.

Recycler and his daily load of cans. Undoubtedly he can’t afford to attend UBC.

Old Rhododendron bush, and UBC Biological Sciences building behind.

Old Rhododendron bush, and UBC Biological Sciences building behind.

Male Rufous Hummingbird and Ribes sanguineum (Native Currant Bush) in bloom. Hummers love red flowers.

Male Rufous Hummingbird and Ribes sanguineum (Native Currant Bush) in bloom. Hummers love red flowers.

Female Rufous Hummingbird, UBC

Female Rufous Hummingbird, UBC

Nesting pair of Rufous Hummingbirds, beside UBC Main Mall. They love the native plants!

Nesting pair of Rufous Hummingbirds, beside UBC Main Mall. They love the native plants!

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