Dunsmuir Street – 100 block, north side

There’s very little to say about the ‘before’ shot – in 1974 this was a parking lot. In earlier years this was the location of the second YMCA building, which was replaced by a third in 1940. A year later the newly vacated building was adopted for the war effort, with initially the Canadian Government Department of National Defence Support Column moving in, later replaced by the Armouries. After the war the Glad Tidings Pentacostal Assembly took over, staying until at least 1960. Off in the distance, down Cambie Street, there was a Chevron gas station, unusually  located mid-block rather than on a corner.

It wasn’t until 1994 that the site was redeveloped with the Seimens Building – now known as the Amec Building, designed by Aitken Wreglesworth Associates. It was cantilevered out to allow the building’s base footprint to miss the tunnel for the SkyTrain which angles across the site from the nearby station on Beatty Street, and picks up the abandoned Canadian Pacific rail tunnel further west. The tunnel was cut in 1931, to allow trains from the Cordova Street station to move to the Drake Street railyards to be cleaned, supplied and made ready for the trip back to the east. CP stopped using the tunnel in 1979.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-65

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Posted December 26, 2017 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown

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