Spend any length of time living in Vancouver and you know it is constantly changing (old buildings come down, new buildings go up). Vancouver is a city in flux.
For a relatively young city (in the global scheme of things), Vancouver has certainly gone through its fair share of changes in its 129 year history. Personally, I am amazed how quickly one can get used to the new scenery and forget what used to be there before. In my own experience, that is just in the past 40 years. Imagine how much the city would have appeared to have changed for people who lived here 80 or 100 years ago – it would be almost unrecognizable to them.
Here is a brief snapshot look at one part of that flux – Cedar Street aka Burrard Street.
I live at the corner of 1912 and 1925. I discovered this fact shortly after I moved into my neighbourhood. As someone who commutes mainly by walking (and public transportation), I have the pleasure of seeing the world at a slower pace. This allows me to notice small things, like sidewalk date and name stamps, that most people are incognizant of. These inconspicuous markings in the urban landscape were originally used to date the construction of the sidewalk but consequently, mark the provenance of a neighbourhood.
I live in an established part of the city, but since my building dates to ca.1960, I was quite surprised to find sidewalks dating from 1925 and 1912 intersecting on the corner of my block. The impact of this may be lost to those of you who live in older cities with plenty of heritage buildings, but here in Vancouver a building from 1960 can be considered old – a construction from 1912, is positively ancient!
Happy Canada Day! Vancouver’s art deco style Burrard Bridge opened on Canada Day (or Dominion Day, as it was known then) July 1, 1932.
The History of Metropolitan Vancouver has a great history of the Burrard Bridge, you can find here.
Amateur film maker Sid Groberman shot this fantastic film while he was driving over the Burrard Bridge a few years after it was built. What is even more impressive is that he stops mid span and continues filming – a move not recommended today. There is a bonus at the end of the film where he visits Vancouver’s English Bay. All in all, a great way to celebrate Canada Day. Enjoy.