Vancouver – Heritage


They walk by me each day with their downturned faces,

Not looking around them but still going places.

Tapping and swiping is now the modern new way.

Do they ever wonder how it was in my day?

I’ve been standing here for decades, through rain and shine,

as all the new tall glass towers rose up to shine.

Relegated to shadows, my paint fast fading,

look up from your screens, look ‘round, I’m still here, waiting.


Coming from the Edmonton area, as we do, we are so used to seeing new buildings with few older ones around them. Edmonton’s policy during the 70’s and 80’s seemed to be to tear down the old buildings to make way for the new. Once the new buildings were up, nice shiny plaques was attached to them telling the history of what used to stand there. Vancouver seems more intent on preserving their heritage.

Vancouver Art Gallery – originally the provincial courthouse – built in 1906.

Art Gallery moved into building in 1983.


Commodore Ballroom – 1929 – built in the art-deco style of the late 1920’s


Dominion Building – constructed 1906-10 – Vancouver’s first steel framed highrise


Gresham’s Hotel building – built 1901 – now a pub


Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – opened May, 1939

Orpheum Theatre – opened November 8, 1927 – seats 2,780

Power Block – the original building was built in 1888 as a saloon. The art deco facade went up in 1929 and has been reused on the current building.


Sylvia Hotel built in 1912 as an apartment building and became a hotel in the 60s. Was the tallest building in the West End until 1958 and opened the city’s first full service bar in 1954.


Vancouver Block – 15 storey Edwardian commercial building constructed between 1910 and 1912 topped with a large clock tower. You will see this building in many TV series filmed in Vancouver. The first one I recall was in Smallville as the Green Arrow’s lair.

Vogue Theatre – opened in 1941 seats 1,280

1058 Granville Street – I can’t find any history on this place, but I like the way the windows open for venting.



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