False Creek from Above westwards 1

It’s another holiday, so we’re looking at another image shot by Trish Jewison from the Global BC traffic helicopter. This time we’re over the end of False Creek, and the ‘before’ (found on another twitter stream, with no identified attribution) comes from 1981. BC Place stadium is underway, and next to the old Cambie Bridge the Sweeney Cooperage has already closed down. To the west of the bridge the railtracks of the marshalling yards have already been removed. The CBC Studios can be seen, built in 1974, and today the Central Library occupies the site to the north.

By the early 1980s the West End already had already seen plenty of recently developed towers, and had a population of 37,000. In the next 25 years it added over 10,000, and today has probably closer to 50,000 residents. Today there are well over 60,000 in the remaining part of the Downtown Peninsula, but in 1981 there were only just over 6,000.

On the left the Olympic Village just comes into shot, with Canada House beyond the shipyards basin and the Community Centre towards the bottom of the picture. The man-made habitat island was built to maintain the length of natural shoreline, which today is far less toxic than when the mix of heavy industries lined the southern shore of the Creek. The worst of the polluted lands on the north side of the Creek were capped and turned into parks, to avoid disturbance and likely contamination of the water. A final Creekside Park is planned for the bottom right of the picture, where two huge freight transfer sheds stood in the early 1980s, although they would soon be torn down to allow the construction of Expo ’86.

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Posted 6 September 2021 by ChangingCity in Altered

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