History · urban design · Vancouver

Odd Little Bits of Ground…

The recent listing for sale of a nine foot wide piece of property in the Grandview neighbourhood drew lots of interest and I was interested in finding out why this odd bit of property existed. Pulling out the maps you can see District Lot 264A, which the Grandview neighbourhood sits in, being carved up into… Continue reading Odd Little Bits of Ground…

History · urban design · Vancouver

Lightning in the Neighbourhood…

In recent research on a house on Tyne Street in Vancouver, I came across this this fascinating and terrifying account of a thunderstorm in August 1919 in the Daily World. The thunderstorm on Thursday night resulted in three houses being struck by lightning. The home of Mrs. Dunlop, Tyne street and Fifty-third avenue, was one.… Continue reading Lightning in the Neighbourhood…

Elsewhere · History · Pacific Northwest

Squirrels Were Once Desired…

Squirrels are everywhere in the city and it seems they have been with us forever. While it’s hard to believe now, squirrels were not a common sight in early 19th Century cities, in fact they were considered somewhat exotic and desirable. My curiosity was peaked when I found references to the mayor of New York… Continue reading Squirrels Were Once Desired…

Chinatown · History · urban design · Vancouver

H-frame Power Poles: A cultural asset for Chinatown?

Yes of course, maybe… H-frame power poles have graced most downtown Vancouver lanes for over 80 years but with modernization of the electrical system BC Hydro has been busy putting the power lines underground and the H-frames have largely disappeared from the downtown core. A few lanes in the Downtown Eastside, Gastown and Chinatown still retain… Continue reading H-frame Power Poles: A cultural asset for Chinatown?

History · stanley park · Transportation · Vancouver

There be Dragons…

In the stuff that lies around on my desk, I have a photo of the figurehead of the Empress of Japan taken in 1928 just after it was installed in Stanley Park. As the ship was being broken up near the Second Narrows bridge on the North Shore, Vancouver Province publisher Frank J. Burd had… Continue reading There be Dragons…

BC Mills · History · Pacific Northwest · Vancouver

On the Junk Pile…

In researching the construction chronology of the Hastings Mill Store, both original and post move, I’ve been reading numerous newspaper articles, all celebratory, about the saving of the building and its move by barge from Burrard Inlet to its current site at the foot of Alma Street. Once installed on its new foundation the building… Continue reading On the Junk Pile…