Tag Archives: Carrall Street

Can we stop it? YES WE CAN!

UPDATE: I spoke with a city worker on the site who told me people were there this morning, and the trees are not going to be removed, they are redesigning something to care for the roots.

Emails were circulated by business owners and residents! City responded! yes we can!

The City will be removing 6 of the 8 mature trees in Gastown today, on the 200 block between Water and Cordova.

I’m quite upset about it, and hope that this doesn’t need to happen. See my post “Mature Gastown Trees Slated for Removal”

It seems a pity, just when we will have the celebration at the Ranier Hotel for the opening of more women’s housing.

And look at the picture just above this posting – what will the street look like with smaller trees….

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Ranier Hotel offers Women’s Housing

Portland Hotel Society has sent out an invitation to join
The Honourable Rich Coleman,
Minister of Housing and Social Development;
Mayor Gregor Robertson
City of Vancouver;
Heather Hay,
Director of Addictions, HIV/AIDS, Aboriginal Services
Vancouver Coastal Health;

An Open House and Ceremony
to celebrate the Official Revamping of Rainier Hotel by BCHMC, in order to House Women in the Downtown Eastside, including 20 beds of long-term housing and 21 beds for women in need of treatment supports.

Revamping The Rainier Hotel this Wednesday.
February 4, 2009 at 10:30 a.m
309 Carrall Street in Vancouver

With a Carnival side show including performances by Vancouver’s renowned Gospel singer Sybil Thrasher, Chili, Cupcakes, and a chance to get your hair and nails done, or have a massage.

Work’s Begun on Water-Cordova

They have started the work on the Water to Cordova link, machines are tearing up the sidewalk, dumptrucks parked on the other side of the street and the low hum of machinery fills the air from early morning on each day now.
I know this has to be done before the tourist season begins, and there is a bit of disruption as delivery trucks have a more difficult time now. Even normal traffic, narrowed to one one-way lane, is affected, but in the long run it will be better for us. More trees, wider spaces, bike lanes.
I pity the poor merchants and owners on that street as the disruption is enough to cause loss of business. After enduring the closures, hoardings etc. of the Terminus construction, moving the Irish Heather across the street, now this. Still, I’m glad this is going ahead, I’d have been very disappointed if the whole project had been stopped for lack of funds etc.

Talks at the Opening of Pennsylvania Hotel

Speakers included: Liz Evans, Executive Director of Portland Hotel Society, Hon. Rich Coleman, Minister of Housing and Social Services, Tom Siems, CMHC, Mayor Gregor Robertson, Wayne Wright, Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation, Peter Webb, Concord Pacific Group, Earl Crowe, Pennsylvania Hotel Resident. Blessing song from Dalannah Gail Bowen.

Pennsylvania Hotel Opening

At the opening of the Pennsylvania Hotel this morning, I took some quick videos of the event:

Portland Hotel Society opened the Pennsylvania Hotel today with a pancake breakfast, gospel choir, speeches and official sign-lighting. Spot the local activists, developers, and politicians in the crowd. Opening of the Pennsylvania Hotel for housing in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. 412 Carrall Street.

The historic neon sign lights up

New Year 2009

We’re looking forward to 2009 and the upcoming opening of the block between Pender and Hastings along Carrall. It has been a long slog, and it looks like we won’t see much Greenway activity for a while. City budget changes listed the next area to be done to be Maple Tree Square, unless by some miracle the Hastings-Cordova section gets the green light after all. It will be years until the promised rows of trees and pedestrian/cyclist space is as planned. Meanwhile, kudos to the Pennsylvania Hotel, with the beautiful restored neon sign now gracing the Hastings side of the building.

Its been a cold few weeks with many of the homeless sleeping in the alcoves by the abandoned Ranier Hotel. And only a block away, up from the Feminist show at the ArtSpeak Gallery there were hipsters lined up to take advantage of a boxing day sale at one of the trendy shops.

It was good to see the Irish Heather was open for a pint on Christmas – nice, warm, hospitable. As I walked to Glory Foods to pick up a little milk this morning, I passed the Salty Tongue and saw Scott Hawthorne was getting a coffee, while artist Robert Chaplin stood waiting his turn.

Urine Smell Overpowers Me

All right, I’m Back

Every year or so I come back to this blog about Carrall Street and report on the same old things. It wasn’t inspiring me, so I put my energies elsewhere. Still living here, still involved but it was so much the same old same old, I had no reason to tell the story again and again.

I’ve been somewhat reinvigorated in the past week or so and instead of making excuses, I’ll just continue on with this blog, adding my view of the place into the mix.

Smell of Urine Overpowering

Big news is the very strong smell of urine, worst ever in all the years I’ve been here.

One day this August the smell was so strong and pervasive it came right into my home through the window. This is the first time this has happened.  I’d noticed it all along Carrall Street when walking through Gastown, particularly at intersections. I was alarmed, thought there was some kind of chemical spill, and called the Health Department. Then when it was also in my home, I was really concerned. Imagine my dismay when the woman from the City Health Dept. who came out to check it told me it was strong urine. “It will rain soon” she said.

Well rain won’t do it, folks. It smells like a stable in the laneways, like an 18th century London street, like some kind of zoo. This is unhealthy and extremely unpleasant. We need more cleaning from City Engineering down here. When the needle exchange was on Hastings, they used to pressure wash the lane between Hastings and Cordova, and that did make a big difference. Remember, there are people in those laneways, lots of them. Some are sleeping there. This is not the way a normal city cares for its people or for the city itself.

And today, yes, it was as strong as ever. You can only burn so much incense!