Category Archives: Heritage

Metro column: Sad end for Japantown’s field of memories

15 June 2009 05:27

Later this week, the Vancouver Canadians baseball team will play its much-anticipated season opener at Nat Bailey Stadium.

Expect the scene to be an upbeat one — from the singing of Take Me Out To The Ball Game to Little Leaguers cheerfully chasing foul balls in the bleachers.

But not far away, in the Downtown Eastside, a far less happy baseball story is being played out.

At Oppenheimer Park, in Vancouver’s old Japantown neighbourhood, the historic playing field of the Asahi baseball team is being demolished. The City of Vancouver is removing the ball diamond as part of its renovation of the park. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, Environment, Green Space, Heritage, Immigration, Japan, Neighbourhoods, Parks, Politics, Protest, Sports, Vancouver

Trailer parks for the homeless?

Gregory Henriquez, the Vancouver-based architect, isn’t afraid of challenging local defenders of the status quo.

Last year, the principal of Henriquez Partners Architects felt the wrath of some vocal North Vancouver residents, who railed against his proposal for an iconic 40-storey highrise on the sleepy Lower Lonsdale waterfront.

The boobirds eventually got their way, and Henriquez’ design was chased away. Continue reading

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Filed under British Columbia, Culture, Environment, Events, Gentrification, Green Space, Heritage, Immigration, Japan, Neighbourhoods, Nimbies, Parks, Urban Planning

Metro column: Maritime Centre story turns political

Kevin Falcon, B.C.’s Transportation and Infrastructure Minister, will meet with federal counterpart John Baird in Ottawa this week to iron out funding details for a number of stimulus projects slated for British Columbia.

While transportation programs have garnered much of the attention and promised cash to date from senior levels of government, municipalities in Metro Vancouver are putting forth other shovel-ready projects, from housing to hospitals to water treatment facilities.

And then there’s the National Maritime Centre for the Pacific and the Arctic, slated for construction near Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver.

The centre promises to be a major cultural attraction, complete with historic artifacts, nautical exhibits, and boat festivals. And it is considered key in revitalizing the historic Lower Lonsdale waterfront area. It also has the potential to become a tourism showpiece for the region. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, Heritage, Neighbourhoods, Politics, Tourism, Transportation

Metro column: Will Olympic Line leave a transit legacy?

09 February 2009 05:41

With the one-year countdown to the 2010 Winter Games just days away, it’s a bit depressing to see so many British Columbians dwelling strictly on bad news associated with the event.

While well-publicized financial troubles connected to the Olympic Village are indeed troubling, they won’t cancel out the benefits arising from the Games — including everything from new recreation facilities to the build-out of related infrastructure such as the Canada Line.

Another project timed with the Games goes by the name of, appropriately enough, The Olympic Line. It is Vancouver’s modern streetcar initiative, and it could usher in a new era for public transit in and around the city’s downtown peninsula. Continue reading

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Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, British Columbia, Commuting, Environment, Heritage, Neighbourhoods, Portland, Seattle, Tourism, Transportation

It lives: Construction resumes on North Vancouver waterfront

Some positive news for those following the progress of the waterfront revitalization project at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver.

The $100 million mixed-use development is back in business after coming to a troubling halt this past fall — in the wake of the Wall Street meltdown and ensuing economic uncertainty. Continue reading

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Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, Architecture, Culture, Heritage, Neighbourhoods, Politics

Metro column: City skyline nearly as bleak as markets

January 5, 2009

The chaos on Wall Street that rocked investors and companies globally during the latter half of 2008 continues to pummel the economy in the New Year.

In Metro Vancouver, another signature of the economic boom years — so-called starchitecture — is about to take a major hit. Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, Environment, Heritage, Industry, Neighbourhoods, Nimbies, Real Estate, Vancouver

Vancouver Province column: Why don’t we hear more rumblings of desire for new streetcar systems?

Monday, July 07, 2008

With gas prices hovering at an all-time high and the B.C. carbon tax in full swing, more and more Lower Mainland drivers are looking to get rid of their car keys in favour of a transit pass.

But there’s just one catch: For many folks, public transport doesn’t yet go where they need it to.

Others are being scared off by the sight of commuters being packed into SkyTrain cars and trolley buses like canned sardines.

It’s clear that demand for mass transit has never been greater, but capacity is being stretched like never before.

So, given current transit limitations, it’s always good to hear of plans for greater service. One such addition in the works is the downtown Vancouver streetcar. Continue reading

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Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, Cascadia, Commuting, Heritage, Media, Neighbourhoods, Seattle, Toronto, Tourism, Transportation, Urban Planning, Vancouver Province Columns