AN IMPRESSION OF VANCOUVER IN FIFTEEN PHOTOS – NOT EASY, BUT I GAVE IT A ‘GO’

<From YVR to downtown VANCOUVER via the Canada Line computer-operated Skytrain, costs about $8, the price of a Transit Day Pass.  YVR on Sea Island is an award-winning airport – continually rated one of North America’s finest.>

<In this City of Glass, apartments can run you anywhere from $500,000 for a studio (without a bedroom), to the $$millions.  Don’t even think about buying a house – unless you’re a millionaire. Cables in the photo above are from a city-centre trolley bus.>

<It rains a lot in VANCOUVER.>

<The specks above are window-washers on the Wall building near the business district.  The city has a surprising number of seriously tall towers, without much space between them.  Several more are on the way. The one above is the most forbidding.>

<Canada Geese can turn up anywhere – from the wealthy West End to downtown streets to Stanley Park.>

<It’s a city with a multitude of marinas & sailors.>

<Taking the mascots of the Hotel Vancouver for an outing.>

<By mid-September, the trees are already changing colour and the temperature is brisk in the morning, warm in the afternoon.  Possibility of showers – anytime.>

<VANCOUVER’s Art Gallery is free (with a donation) on Tuesday evenings. It occupies a heritage building off fashionable Robson Street.>

<The trees in Stanley Park are massive.  For $2, the Pender Street trolley bus #19 will take you there.>

<Dr. Sun Yat Sen park and garden in the heart of Chinatown>

<The Aquabus to famous Granville Island & its markets, fare $2>

<The Vancouver Aquarium is a winner.  It’s one of Canada’s finest, and is known for environmental research.>

<The 80-year-old Burrard Street Bridge is a Vancouver landmark.  Recently, the span was given a top-to-bottom renovation.  It connects Vancouver with Kitsulano – and offers both sidewalks and bike paths.  In a city of bridges, I think this one is the best.>

<I didn’t actually see this, but it does exist – the House on Stilts sculpture>

<Way to go, VANCOUVER!>

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ELECTRIC TROLLEY BUSES AND NEON LIGHTS – FRED HERZOG’S VANCOUVER IN THE 1950’S

Stuttgart-born FRED HERZOG is a master of colour photography.  After moving to VANCOUVER in 1953, he worked primarily with Kodachrome slide film to create a wonderful archive of that city, as it was in the 1950’s when neon was king.  His photography is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery, and he’s been the subject of numerous books.

A SURPRISE FROM THE ANGUS REID INSTITUTE – 20% OF VANCOUVERITES WANT TO GET OUTTA TOWN

VANCOUVER1Metro VANCOUVER is a beauty. No question. Period. Its splendid setting and temperate climate make those of us in other regions green with envy. The city is near the top on the worldwide livability scale. But living there comes with a hefty price tag, especially for young commuters, university educated, 18 to 54 years old. These, according to an Angus Reid poll, are Les MisérablesVANCOUVER, where a bungalow can sell for $1.175-million, makes 85% of those in the miserable camp seriously think about moving on. Angus Reid polled 821 residents in June and found there are four main groups living in the region. Those who are happy 21%; comfortable 34%; uncomfortable 27%; and miserable 18%.  If a similar poll were conducted in TORONTO, no doubt the results would be somewhat the same. Both cities are now housing market hotspots.

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Toronto, Vancouver & Melbourne – where ‘densification’ is the way forward

TORONTO, the ugly ducking in this trio, is – nonetheless – a leader when it comes to densification.  Globe and Mail columnist Doug Saunders writes: “In September, I returned to Canada after living abroad for almost a decade, and was struck by the disappearance of those acres of cement emptiness (i.e. surface parking lots). TORONTO’s waterfront had become a wall of elegant glass housing towers, their tens of thousands of residents turning this former lonely wasteland into a thriving human community.”

DENSITY3VANCOUVER has succeeded in preserving its liveability while rebuilding itself into a “thickly vertical city jammed with people and activity.  Its combination of high population density in cozy downtown neighbourhoods, intimate street life and popular public transit has become one of Canada’s leading exports.”

This city has become so successful that “Vancouverism” is now a synonym for rebuilding and intensifying city cores, as a way of fighting urban sprawl.

DENSITY2MELBOURNE, one of the planet’s most desirable places to live, has just released a report recommending more Vancouverism in suburbia as a way to improve liveability.  A parliamentary committee visited Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, London and Zurich, before recommending “a marketing campaign to encourage people to live near infrastructure, and financial incentives to spur on the building of higher-density housing in areas that are currently low-density.”

All three cities have compact, pricey, vertical centres with good public transport.  In some parts of the suburbs, it’s a different story.

Photographing VANCOUVER in the 1950’s – FRED HERZOG Retrospective

Stuttgart-born FRED HERZOG is a master of colour photography.  After moving to VANCOUVER in 1953, he worked primarily with Kodachrome slide film to create a wonderful archive of that city, as it was in the 1950’s.  His photography is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery, and he’s been the subject of numerous books. . . . . .  http://www.equinoxgallery.com

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