Granville Street looking north from above

We’re pretty certain our before image was shot soon after Expo 86 was over, but before anything had been developed on the land acquired by Concord Pacific from the Provincial government. Our after shot was taken earlier this year, and is a very close match, although the helicopter’s elevation was slightly different to the 1980s shot, so the perspective is very slightly different.

To the west of Granville Bridge the Admiralty condos were completed in 1986, and further west Seawalk South in 1987, so that’s probably the accurate date, as the 1988 Granville House, next to the bridge, hasn’t started construction. The biggest building up Granville street is the Chateau Granville Hotel, (from 1977, built at a 45 degree angle to the street), and further north the Vancouver Centre with the Scotia Tower was completed a year earlier. The lone dark tower on the eastern edge of Downtown is 401 W Georgia completed in 1984. Next door is the Post Office, now getting two office towers added to the renovated heritage shell.

Today the Harbour Centre, with the rooftop viewing platform, still has a waterfront view, but the Marine Building is now almost lost in a sea of office and hotel towers. The cluster of early 1900s warehouses built on CPR land and known as Yaletown is still standing, with a few buildings having added a couple of floors, but the surrounding residential district has been given the same name and has seen dozens of residential condo and rental tower. The image captures almost all of the Downtown Local area. (Everything to the west of Burrard and south of W Georgia is the West End). In 1986 there were just 5,910 people living here; in the last census, in 2016, there were over 62,000 people, and there will be several thousand more likely to have been added in the recently completed towers, including the surprisingly colourful Charleson on Richards and Vancouver House next to Granville Bridge.

Image source: Trish Jewison in the Global BC traffic helicopter, published on twitter on 25 July 2020

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Posted 31 December 2020 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown

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