Old Vancouver/East Vancouver (Vol 1)
I’ve always been interested in history. It didn’t matter if I was reading about the battles between Carthage and Rome a few thousand years ago or if I was wandering through a small prairie town museum. Curiosity was always an energy that took your imagination and filled your mind with the adventures, the tribulations, the warfares and loves of people and times gone by. Today is now and the future is unknown. History though is everywhere and can mean just about anything to anybody.
In a world where the documented history of mankind goes back thousands of years and touches just about every corner of the globe, this little town of Vancouver is just a mere infant. Carved out of a paradise where the local indigenous people have lived in harmony with Mother Nature for a few millennia, Vancouver has boomed, burnt, built and bulldozed for 150 years or so. Today it stands on the cusp of becoming a big league city, for better or worse
Mankind has always needed and wanted shelter. The evolution from primitive caves to today’s modern architecture covers a wide spectrum and many thousands of years. Around the world, buildings, temples and towns built long ago still exist and lead functional lives. Their history is shared and cherished, and people travel the world to see these wonders of ancient architecture. Family homes in other parts of the world are passed on from generation to generation. Vancouver though, in it’s hurry to become important, seems to be missing the point on history and architectures place within it.
Even though Vancouver is a young city, it is losing some of its heritage and history at an alarming rate. Here in East Van, first and second generation housing is being trampled and ripped up in pursuit of more density, more modernity and more profit. The stories behind these old homes are lost, the structures themselves vanish as we all rush forward into the future
Within the parameters of this blog and under the Old Vancouver/East Vancouver subtitle, I am going to try and document a city that used to be. Wandering the lanes and side streets of East Van with my old dog at my side, I am always on the lookout for unique, aged structures that are still standing in some capacity, that have survived so far. Vancouver is a city where 100 day old houses stand side by side with 100 year old houses. Homes built of old growth cedar get torn down and replaced with new versions built out of chip board plywood and laminate lumber. I’m not saying that this progress is bad, it’s just in some fashion it is reckless and sad.
I will not always be looking for the glamorous, meticulous old beauty. My eye also looks for the tattered, seemingly unloved survivor full of stories and mystery. It could be an old rock wall or a leaning garage but I am looking for it before it vanishes. While it is far removed from Angor Wat
or Amsterdam, Vancouver does have its own history. Larsthebabyjesus and Old Vancouver/East Vancouver is just one guys attempt to give some of this vintage architecture a bit of love and exposure