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Old September 18th, 2007, 02:58 AM   #1
raggedy13
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VANCOUVER - New and Historic Downtown Neighbourhoods

Here are some pics I took around the last week of August. I wasn't really planning on taking pics for a thread but I guess I just got a little carried away.

The historic area of Vancouver is known as Gastown. It was once the centre of Vancouver's thriving commercial core, then fell into ruin, then was revitalized and turned into somewhat of a tourist draw, and now has become a "hip" neighbourhood and continues to become moreso as time goes on and more buildings are restored, turned into lofts, and unique shops, restaurants, bars, etc open up.

The other pics are mostly from nearby 'newer' areas of downtown outside of Gastown, such as these first ones...

















Building to the left - Waterfront Station








































Inside Waterfront Station








Finally in Gastown...












































And back into modern downtown...












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Old September 18th, 2007, 03:04 AM   #2
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Beautiful !! Thanks for sharing
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Old September 18th, 2007, 05:45 AM   #3
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Nice pictures! Very interesting
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Old September 20th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback!
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Old September 21st, 2007, 02:52 AM   #5
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Awesome shots!
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Old September 21st, 2007, 04:43 PM   #6
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You captured some great 'scapes...awesome!!
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Old January 28th, 2008, 03:01 PM   #7
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Almost 3 years ago, I went to Vancouver for an exchange course, and there I lived for a month... Yep, it was a short time, but it was enough to love this amazing city... Vancouver is amazingly beautiful, its people is really nice, gentle... I have only good memories of it... By the way, you're pics are great! They made me miss Vancouver even more... Thanks for sharing!
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Old January 28th, 2008, 03:30 PM   #8
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Vancouver looks very clean!
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Old January 28th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #9
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Those Gasworks light fixtures are hideous. They look so touristy Disney. Vancouver should stop the old English quaint bullshit and focus on its real charm and soul which is its mid-century mondernism. Vancouver is nowhere near England and when I see tudor style facades in BC I want to vomit.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #10
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Cool, looks like a lot of east coast cities
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Old January 28th, 2008, 07:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
Those Gasworks light fixtures are hideous. They look so touristy Disney. Vancouver should stop the old English quaint bullshit and focus on its real charm and soul which is its mid-century mondernism. Vancouver is nowhere near England and when I see tudor style facades in BC I want to vomit.
Everytime I see you post something about Vancouver, you're trashing the city. We get it - you don't like it - get over it! Not all cities have the history nor the older architecture of Philadelphia or Montréal for that matter. Vancouver blows any other 'new' city out of the water imo...be nice dude.

Thanks for these beautiful pictures of a fantastic city!
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Old January 28th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #12
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Canuck514,

I do like Vancouver. Did not bash the city, just the lighting fixtures. I think its a city most people seem to like. I also think it is a very interesting city with many identities competiting with one another. I will visit it again. I am not fond of Bryan Adams though.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 12:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
Those Gasworks light fixtures are hideous. They look so touristy Disney. Vancouver should stop the old English quaint bullshit and focus on its real charm and soul which is its mid-century mondernism. Vancouver is nowhere near England and when I see tudor style facades in BC I want to vomit.
The town that became Vancouver was named after a Brit while Canada was a British colony, so far from England or not, it isn't surprising or unnatural that the oldest district would have English characteristics. Besides, in towns as new as this, it's only natural that people would want to preserve what little history there is. It's not like they're building many (any?) faux historic-styled buildings now. Judging from the current construction trends, I think it's safe to say Vancouver is in little danger of being stuck in its past.

Last edited by Nouvellecosse; January 29th, 2008 at 07:58 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 12:32 AM   #14
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Yes of course. This all makes sense. Too bad the oldest parts of Vancouver are the most run down. Don't get me wrong I really like Vancouver but it gets overpraised on these forums.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 05:26 AM   #15
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^Hate Hate Hate
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Old January 29th, 2008, 09:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
Those Gasworks light fixtures are hideous. They look so touristy Disney. Vancouver should stop the old English quaint bullshit and focus on its real charm and soul which is its mid-century mondernism. Vancouver is nowhere near England and when I see tudor style facades in BC I want to vomit.
Vancouver is nowhere near England on a map, but Canada was a British Colony, and we are still under the Queen. Gastown is so unique because it is the only part of Vancouver that has not folded to mid-century modernism. Whats wrong with that? Nothing I don't think.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 09:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
Yes of course. This all makes sense. Too bad the oldest parts of Vancouver are the most run down. Don't get me wrong I really like Vancouver but it gets overpraised on these forums.
It does get a lot of praise on these forums i have noticed. But i guess its because if you compare it to any other city of 2 million, Vancouver blows it out of the water. No other city of that size comes close to how Built up, dense, multicultural, and even expensive Van is.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #18
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Wow, I had no idea this thread had been revived. Thanks for all the great comments!

Quote:
Originally Posted by philadweller View Post
Those Gasworks light fixtures are hideous. They look so touristy Disney. Vancouver should stop the old English quaint bullshit and focus on its real charm and soul which is its mid-century mondernism. Vancouver is nowhere near England and when I see tudor style facades in BC I want to vomit.
While the light fixtures are far from original all the buildings and their facades are quite original (just restored/renovated) and were constructed in the popular styles of the day. I'm sorry if they seem out of place to you but they're as much a natural part of the city's history and identity as any of Philly's original buildings are to it. Vancouver does not build faux-heritage buildings. There are many more recent building additions and infill in Gastown and some of these (particularly the additions) do try to borrow some basic design elements from the old buildings around and under them so as not to detract from their historic counterparts.

One can observe this in the pic below. To the far right, you can see a white-ish ~3 storey original building with a 'new' 4 storey addition added to the top. The addition is far from trying to be heritage in design, but tries not to stick out like a sore thumb either.


In regards to things like the unoriginal lamps in the neighbourhood, they might not really belong but they do give a certain charm and cohesion to the neighbourhood that modern streetlights wouldn't achieve. This was once a run down area and it is thanks in part to these sorts of touches that it has successfully recovered, largely due to an influx of tourists who come for the neighbourhoods charming atmosphere etc. However, despite some touristy aspects such as the lighting, the neighbourhood is still quite organic in character and function and is increasing more so as time goes on.

If you want to see some more natural historic neighbourhoods, untainted by the charm of old-timey street lights, you only need to head a few blocks over. These areas are considerably more expansive than the tiny Gastown neighbourhood as well but of course much more run down. As of late however, gentrification is underway in these areas too (known as the Downtown Eastside). The physical manifestation of gentrification this time around will be much different than that of Gastown however and likely more to your tastes (and mine too).
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Last edited by raggedy13; January 30th, 2008 at 04:46 AM.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #19
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Thanks for posting! beautiful pics...
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Old January 30th, 2008, 12:18 AM   #20
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Vanman...was your hate hate hate pointed at me or my comments?

This person said it better..what I was trying to get at. The bottom line is I don't gravitate to typical touristy areas. Gastown deserves more than a Spaghetti Warehouse.

"I have a love-hate relationship with Gastown. I love it for its history, architecture and cool pubs. I hate it for its kitschy tourist trap shops, panhandlers that purposely target the unsuspecting tourists, and how Gastown's advertized as a high priority "must see" Vancouver neighbourhood, whereas, I beg to differ... Gastown is an area of Vancouver located in the north-eastern corner of downtown. It was here in 1867 that the townsite was founded, first called Gastown after "Gassy" Jack Deighton - the first man to open a saloon for the sawmill workers that worked here. Gastown wasn't much of anything except a sawmill. Then, it became the terminal of the CPR railroad which allowed Gastown to expand into the town of "Granville" and then finally into the City of Vancouver in 1886. Nowadays if you walk along Gastown's Water Street, you can still see some warehouses made of old brick (rare for Vancouver) which were built along the CPR railway. The sawmills are long gone, but you can see how this area once used to be a busy industrial waterfront to which the city grew from. Those railroad tracks are still in use today, but those warehouses have since been converted to trendy lofts, souvenir shops and art galleries. Generally, the buildings in Gastown are typically the oldest in the city. Unfortunately, Gastown is right next to the Downtown Eastside, and the area gets its fair share of panhandlers which is often unsettling for visitors. The shops here tend to be of the tacky souvenir shop kind and the restaurants don't really showcase the excellent cuisine scene of Vancouver. Most importantly, Gastown's shops close down around 6pm and the neighbourhood feels vacant afterwards. There are much more vibrant downtown neighbourhoods such as English Bay, Denman Street, Robson Street, and Yaletown, for evening strolls. If you only have one day in Vancouver, Gastown is worth an hour, but in my opinion there are better places to explore downtown if you have such little time. "
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