Category Archives: Intersections

Plans for Pigeon Park

existing-pigeon-park-site

Michel Desroches, Planner for Parks and Recreation, City of Vancouver, proposes the following objectives for renovating the Pigeon park:

First objective is to preserve the features that make the park popular with the community – preserving as many trees as possible;  preserve sitting/relaxing as primary activity in the park; preserve the open area in the centre of the park as a ‘living room’;

In addition, the City will replace many of the aging features in the park with new features; replacing the base surface in the park, so that it is easy to maintain and has as few trip hazards as possible; replacing the park benches, drinking fountain and lamp post. Also planned is to rebuild the elevated planter around the big tree.
A handful of features will be added to the park. These would include: a handful of “side tables” next to some of the benches, a garbage can, and a public washroom; the rail line as a historic feature and an electrical outlet to support events in the park.

He will present the Pigeon Park concept plan to the Park Board Commissioners on March 2nd  so that, if approved, the renovation could proceed in the summer of 2009, which is when the Carrall Greenway (Hastings to Cordova) is scheduled for construction. The thought is that the overall level of disruption during the construction period would be minimized if the two projects were constructed simultaneously.

Take a look at the proposed plan here:

pigeon-park-concept-plan-revised-draft-for-review-2009-feb-05

You can download a pdf of this proposed concept plan here.

Contact Michel Desroches if you wish to discuss the plan further. See more on the Carrall Greenway here on the City Website.

Performance on Carrall Street this Tuesday

Art on Carrall – literally about Carrall Street. This is the kind of thing I’ve been thinking about for years, and now it looks like Althea Thauberger is making art about this street and its complexities.

Can’t wait to walk out my door and see what she has put together.

ARTSPEAK | CARRALL STREET | ALTHEA THAUBERGER | SEP 30
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CARRALL STREET | ALTHEA THAUBERGER

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
8-11pm in the 200 block of Carrall Street, Vancouver

Carrall Street Public Forum
Thursday, October 2, 2008
7pm at 33 West Cordova Street

Althea Thauberger’s one-night performance, Carrall Street, will present the
street (brightly lit like a film set at nighttime) as a stage, or zone of
illumination where the roles of performer and spectator blur. The
interweaving of organized performers, passers-by and audience members will
allow for unforeseen interactions to take place that reveal something of
the street’s history, its current issues, as well as its future. Carrall
Street is planned in collaboration with local directors, performers and
community members.

Carrall Street is one of the oldest streets in Vancouver. It can be argued
that the entire history (and pre-history) of the city can be mapped along
its six blocks. Caught between urban gentrification and decay, the street
marks transitions from the most touristic parts of the city to what is
often described as the poorest neighbourhood in Canada. In ways that are
both unique and similar to other inner cities, it has been affected by
development, public policy neglect and polarized politics.

A publication accompanying the project will be available in 2009.

Althea Thauberger is an artist based in Vancouver. Her work involves
research and collaboration that result in performances, films, photographs,
audio recordings and books.

The performance and forum are free and open to the public.

This project has been supported by Arts Partners in Creative Development,
The Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver and the Portland
Hotel Society.

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

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.

Carrall and Hastings 1907

City Reflections is a historical film project that follows the early footage shot in 1907 from the front of a streetcar in Vancouver, and recreates that same route today.

Click on this image of Hastings and Carrall from 1907 to get to their site.

Hastings and Carrall 1907

Hastings and Carrall

Carrall and Hastings

Looking at Pigeon Park along the city right-of-way toward Tinseltown, with the old Merchant’s Bank building to the right, and the BC Electric building, which now houses Centre A gallery on the main floor at this key Carrall Street intersection.

Pigeon Park

Early spring on Carrall Street