The West End and Stanley Park from above

Here’s another dramatic aerial view. There’s nearly a century separating the two images – the Archives image was shot in 1927, so there’s no bridge to the North Shore yet – and very little there if you did manage to cross on the ferry. The picture was taken by Pacific Airways, apparently for the Union Steamship Company.

The West End in 1927 was mostly houses, although the smart money had already moved on to the CPR’s relatively recently released Shaughnessy district, so many of the big old houses (twenty to thirty years old houses), were being divided up or used as guest houses and rooming houses. There were apartment buildings sprinkled throughout the area, and many more were being built in this period, replacing some of those earlier houses.

On the waterfront it’s possible to make out both Englesea Lodge that was right on the water’s edge, and nearby the Sylvia Apartments, both designed by Seattle architect W P White. Between them were two piers, the older (and longer) with a pavilion at the end. It was built around 1905 and demolished in 1938. On a holiday like today in 1927 a band would probably be playing here, and there might be another at the bandstand on the roof of the changing pavilion to the southeast.

Today’s West End has a mix of lower density buildings, some already built in 1927, and far more mid and higher towers, built for the most part (in this part of the area) from the 1950s to the 1980s. The relatively recent West End Plan has encouraged development in certain parts of the area, and in Trish Jewison’s image (taken from the Global News helicopter) it’s possible to spot a number of tower cranes on Davie Street near Denman. There are five new rental towers being built there. The picture was taken in the spring, so the Empire Landmark was still standing, although the revolving restaurant had already been removed; now there just a big hole in the ground, awaiting the construction of a pair of condo towers with social housing over a retail and office podium.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 374-181 and Trish Jewison on twitter.

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Posted December 26, 2019 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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