Vancouver includes a small ingression of the mighty Pacific called False Creek. Three busy bridges cross it and many boats (including ours) are moored there. The space that surrounds it is overly planned but still interesting. I include two photos, one of which you might not want to see.

[Warning: The second picture here is of a the mostly-eaten remains of a recently-killed bird. If you’d rather not see it, don’t scroll down.]

Back when I came to Vancouver, a lot of the land around it was still industrial, and much was just empty. In the early nineties, freshly-single, I moved to a 16th-floor apartment, one of the first high-rises in Yaletown. It had a wonderful view of False Creek, and I loved watching the virtuoso tugboat operators move the barges in and out.

The tugboats are gone and Vancouver’s signature slender glass-covered apartment towers cluster in much formerly empty space; but there’s still a lot left. Given our intense and long-lived real-estate bubble, you can’t look at the emptiness without thinking “What kind of condo will go there?”

But you can still walk by old corrugated-iron buildings. Not for long I bet, so let’s capture one.

Old industrial building by False Creek

There are grounds for optimism about those prospective condos. We walked through what they call the Olympic Village neighborhood today, and it’s not terrible at all. The scale is human and the architecture has sufficient variation that we can be pretty confident that given enough decades, the rear-view mirror will separate the wheat from the chaff pretty accurately.

Many of the street-level condo patios had evidence of serious use: strollers, beer bottles, magazines. Stores are opening. The density is impressive.

We found this on the big grey granite steps marching down to a lagoon surrounded by ultra-modern bridge-and-pilings and ultra-modern condos. I don’t know what ate the flesh beneath the feathers: possibly a raptor but I suppose more likely a feline.

Eviscerated bird remnants on granite

It’s a little grisly but it cheered me up. However controlled the planning vision, people and prey and predators are living and dying here, going about their normal business.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: David Smith (Mar 12 2012, at 08:37)

I still mourn the Sweeney Cooperage era - glad to see that a little of the '70s grunge has survived.


From: Radhika (Mar 27 2012, at 21:28)

hi Tim,

just a quick note to your post on Vancouver: i live in East Van and plenty of barges and tug boats remain to be seen. The hidden pocket of East Van in which I live has some million dollar views for much less!



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March 11, 2012
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