False Creek from Above westwards 2

A recent holiday aerial, posted five weeks ago, showed False Creek looking westwards in 1981, when the mills along False Creek were closed and the idea for organizing a World Fair in Vancouver was being discussed. That became Expo ’86, and put the city on the world map in ways that some loved, and others think was the start of a different and (to them) less attractive city.

Here’s a similar view, but from earlier. This was photographed in 1954, when the Granville Bridge in the distance was shiny and very new, (and the old 1909 bridge was still in place at a much lower level). The Cambie Bridge in the middle of the picture was the old Connaught Bridge, with the pivoting section to allow shipping to reach the eastern end of False Creek. (The new bridge was built alongside on a slightly different alignment).

Expo ’86, and then Concord Pacific Place, replace the railyards and train repair facilities developed by Canadian Pacific in the late 1880s and 1890s. The semi circular engine roundhouse was initially built in 1888, and expanded in 1911. Located almost exactly half way between the Granville and Cambie bridges, since 1997 it’s been the Community Centre for the new residential neighbourhood (and is almost completely lost in the sea of towers in this view).

The BC Place stadium sits on more former railyards, the site of a box factory, and an asphalt plant. The gasholder and plant were on the north eastern side of the Creek, generating the polluted land that remains to this day, that has been partly capped with Andy Livingstone Park. A new Creekside Park will serve a similar role for contaminated land where the coal gas plant once stood, when the area around the viaducts is redeveloped. As there were still lumber mills and a barrel manufacturer on False Creek in the 1950s, it was filled with rafts of logs. Rolling them into the ocean, tying them together into rafts, and towing them to the water beside the mill was the easiest way to transport the logs. The remaining mills on the Fraser River use the same methods today, and there are still booming yards where the log booms are temporarily stored until the mill can process the logs.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 228-383 and Trish Jewison in the Global BC traffic helicopter, on her twitter feed on 12 March 2021

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Posted 11 October 2021 by ChangingCity in Altered

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