Monthly Archives: January 2007

Greenway Construction – Keefer & Pender

Carrall Street Construction Sign

Sign on Keefer Street, beside the Sun Yat Sen Garden wall, warns of what’s to  come.

Road Construction 1

Road Construction 2
It’s great to see this construction of the Greenway has begun, but as you see, we will have some tricky walking and roadway navigation until it is completed. This, combined with the downtown construction for the rapid transit line and the temporary narrowing of Hastings street will make for a lot of congestion in the area.

Construction Signs for Carrall Greenway

Construction signs are up for the Carrall Greenway. It’s been a long time coming, and there will be quite a few congested days before the whole thing is completed. However, I know the finished greenway will be a real asset to the whole community. The first sign I saw was on Powell Street, warning of the Greenway construction – fantastic! Then another day, the orange sign was on Carrall, before Keefer. This city means it this time, and we’ll see a remarkable change in the nature of the street.

The Carrall Street Stewardship Group really did include all stakeholders at the table for this one, but of course there is bound to be a critique. I’d heard rumours that deals were made for access across the tracks – which would feed Carrall directly into the proposed and contested stadium.  One thing the Stewardship Group endorsed was the support of the SROs in the area and a commitment to housing that would not displace those who live along the street.

Naturally there will be plenty of changes to the area over the next two years. The development on the corner of Carrall and Cordova will see renovation and development in a building whose upper floors have been vacant for over 27 years, and there is definitely something going on behind the hoarding at the old Spinning Wheel location beside the Blarney Stone. When the old bank building that faces into Pigeon Park on Hastings and Carrall finally becomes the media center which has been planned, we will see a whole new Carrall Street.

Those of us who have lived here for a while were surprised by the change that the two way street brought to us. Imagine the impact of the Greenway. Can’t wait to see how this greenway functions on this remarkable Vancouver street, which is a microcosm of Vancouver history and identity.

Signage Exhibition at Interurban

An art exhibit inspired by the signs of Vancouver is currently on at the Interurban, featuring the work of Christian Dahlberg, Cristina Peori, Brad Jansen, Jennifer Merasty, and Quin Martins.

The show marks the transitions so visible in Vancouver these days as Cristina remarks in her writing on the show:

What has remained largely untouched since the ’70s and before will undergo rapid change in the near future.

The buildings on Powell Street, for instance, across from Oppenheimer park have stood practically unchanged since the Japanese internments of WWII. Already signs of the coming reality are there: both the Marr and New Wings Hotels have been closed for extensive renovations, and the signs that announced them are gone. Thankfully the buildings themselves survive as this is one of the few remaining corners in the city where all the buildings are historical. A sign of true sadness is the destruction just a block away of the diminutive turquoise buildings on Gore just north of Powell where the first saki in the city was produced. Not only were these buildings authenticity itself, but they were precious signs of Canadian-Japanese heritage. In my humble opinion there should be a sign erected on this site saying the following:

“Good bye History, Character and Class, Hello Bulldozers, Concrete and Glass!”

The Dodson sign is gone, as is the Brandiz. The Fort Boogie and Smiling Buddha signs are long gone: the Cozy Corner sign (somewhat ironically named for the store at Hastings and Columbia) and the Lux were still there in 1994 but have succumbed in the interim.

If you get a chance, check it out before even the signage show about the passage of the signs is history!