Category Archives: Gastown

City Strike Grinds On

Carrall Street has been kept relatively clean by volunteers, the United We Can folks, and as a result the whole place doesn’t look too bad, or seem too terribly unhealthy, despite the city strike.

However, the Carrall Street Greenway has been very affected by the strike, and no work has been done on the whole thing for much of the summer. Tall grass and weeds are growing in the square areas that had been left for tree planting on the one area that had been constructed so far. The whole schedule for this improvement has been suspended, and this could have serious repercussions in the timeline. Hopefully there will be a resolution to the strike soon.

Meanwhile, September brings new exhibitions in the galleries, ACCESS, ArtSpeak, InterUrban and Centre A.

The New York Times Style Magazine this Sunday featured the designer at Richard Kidd, and positive mention of Carrall Street’s Irish Heather and Hunt and Gather.

Now equinox is past, we will see earlier nights, and that also means colder nights for the homeless. People are seriously nested in under the awning on Cordova Street just west of the old Pig and Whistle, and also in any nook to be found in doorways of the old Ranier Hotel. That place has been increasingly covered in graffiti through the summer, with more coming along through the month of August and early September. Almost every brick in the doorway to the former chicken place has a tag of some kind.

That’s the September wrap-up for this street of high contrast!


Creative Reworking of the Old Telus Box

This Telus box near the bus stop on Carrall and Cordova has been a real eyesore and a problem in the area, as in the past it was a place where dealers and users would congregate. All kinds of things went on between that box and the building behind it. The people at the new Irezumi Tattoo shop had the idea to make this box less of a graffiti-covered eyesore, and arranged with Telus permission to cover the box with a graphic of their own design. It’s totally in keeping with the feel of the street so how could it invite graffiti? Fantastic! Kudos to Irezumi Tattoo!


August Weekends: Events on Carrall

August weekends featured festivals and events on Carrall Street.

In early August the canopies covered the intersection of Carrall and Hastings for the Insite event at Pigeon Park, with bands headlined by the venerable DOA.

Then the next weekend was the Chinatown festival, and people were walking along carrying their clay pots on cardboard squares, or lining up to go to the gambling booths and kiosks. Spilling over from the regular Night Market set up, people walked through Sun Yat Sen Park and out the alley by the Garden entrance, into Carrall.

Then this past weekend in Gastown saw the Motorcycle Show and Shine. Weather cooperated as again the street was filled with parked motorcycles all on display.

And coming up we will see the annual Gastown Concours D’elegance, Saturday September 1st.

motorcycles on Carrall

Motorcycles lined up on display along Carrall

Nude Cyclers Protest Ride on Carrall Street

Anti-Oil protesters rode through Carrall Street on Sunday to a shouting and cheering crowd. Hearing the commotion, I barely had time to get out my camera before they were gone. Quite a different atmosphere from the Tour de Gastown group of cyclists a short time ago!

Nude Cyclists on Carrall Street

Bus passengers, motorists and tourists on the street check out the cyclists in their peaceful protest ride.

Nude Cyclists at Carrall and Cordova

Just a Guy in a Shopping Cart

Cart Guy on Carrall Street

Did someone push this guy and leave him here in front of the methadone pharmacy or did he decide to just take a rest in the cart?

What Next for the Boulder Hotel?

This afternoon Vancouver City Council will be addressing the situation of the Boulder Hotel development proposal, which has been in the works for some time now. Incorporating the old Pig and Whistle one-story building into an innovative residential/commercial project, the developers are looking for more support from the city to bring life back into this building that hasn’t seen use on its upper floors for over 28 years. From the street it doesn’t look abandoned, as there have always been restaurants on its main floor, notably the new Boneta has been making a bit of a splash. But two floors above the restaurant have been empty for all this time.

The project has been brought by the developers twice to the civic Gastown Heritage and Planning Committee for consultation and approval of plans, particularly for heritage facade considerations. It definitely is a pity that this building which had been in the original centre of Vancouver should have been left to languish for so many years. Archival photos show this building in its heyday surrounded by bustling crowds, active and well-used. As Gastown changes, this building is in a prime location for redevelopment. There have been many delays in this project going past the planning stage, due to its need for more city support – which for some has been a contentious issue. The result of closed-door meetings between city staff and committees and the developers will be brought to Council today.

On the corner of Carrall and Cordova both the Ranier Hotel and the Boulder Hotel buildings have been unused for some time. They face each other across the intersection at Cordova. The Ranier appears to be undergoing some minor changes, but the main floor, boarded up and inactive at this time, faces the new upscale Boneta restaurant at the Boulder Hotel. It is a picture of the rate of change and the current transformation of this area.

Electro-Acoustic at ACCESS on Carrall Tonight

Check out the electro-acoustic improv tonight, (Thursday July 26th) at ACCESS artist run centre on 206 Carrall Street. featuring
ATTN: DIAMOND SHOPPERS (Rachael Wadham & Lee Hutzulak) and GLASS PLATES (Chandan Narayan on prepared autoharp, Jeff Allport on snare and floor tom, Robert Pedersen on valve trombone and cassette decks)
Tonight’s show starts at 8, by donation, drinks served.
(They say “late night swim after” hmmm)


And at 7pm just before that, drop by the gaff gallery at 684 e. hastings to the opening of BIG BLOOD, an exhibition of big murals and small drawings by: Marc Bell, Madoka Hara, Lee Hutzulak, Kieth Jones, Jonny Petersen, & Aarron Rossner,
with a special gramophone dj experience by Lee from across the courtyard!