My Back Pages

Living in beautiful Metro Vancouver, there are plenty of opportunities to play “Tourist in your own town”. Tom and I try to hit up different spots, either to do a photo-walk or just enjoy the scenery and get some exercise, but generally there are photos of some sort involved. I inherited the photo-bug from my Dad, an enthusiastic if not technically gifted photographer. By the time I was old enough to hold a camera, I had taken over as the family photog, but I’m pretty sure my Dad would have gotten quite a kick out of digital cameras had he lived long enough to see one in action.

Ages ago I bulk scanned and uploaded a ton of my Dad’s old slides to preserve them from fading completely away, but had not yet spent a lot of time examining them. Recently I took a closer look at some of them and one picture stood out, it was clearly a shot of the harbour in Stanley Park across to downtown Vancouver. What struck me though, was that the tallest building (visible) was the Marine Building, a gorgeous Art Deco structure at the corner of Burrard and Hastings street. The slide was undated, but my guess would be that it was taken somewhere in the mid-late 50’s or early 60’s.


Even though the sky was far too washed out to get decent pictures on a recent trip to the park, we had snapped a few anyway. Below is one cropped way in to show the Marine Building (right above the green roof of one of the Vancouver convention buildings) which now dwarfed by several more modern skyscrapers. Granted it is not taken at the same precise angle, but you get the idea.


This discovery inspired me to poke around a few more of my Dad’s old slides to see what else I could come up with from mutual, if separated by decades, photo-walks.

This next slide was taken from the Stanley Park seawall below the Lion’s Gate bridge  (officially known as the First Narrows Bridge) which spans the Burrard Inlet from the park to the North Shore. The structure to the right is one of the bridge support pylons and to the left a small lighthouse marking the narrows.

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Here is my recent shot, taken from basically the same spot. Though the tanker is blocking much of the North Shore, you can still see how much further up the mountainside has been developed now.


Now we’ll move up into the mountains. This is a photo taken from (I’m guessing) Cypress mountain overlooking the mouth of the Burrard inlet. Waaaay to the lower left of the photo, you can barely make out the Lion’s Gate Bridge.  Tom thinks that judging from the angle of the photo it was probably taken from the picnic area nearer the top of the mountain which as it stands now, doesn’t afford one of much of a view, except trees.


This zoom shot taken was last week from a lookout area much further down Cypress mountain and from an admittedly different angle. Because of the angle, the thinner tip of Stanley Park shows (unlike the older picture), but you can see where the bridge connects.


Now a hop across the Georgia Straight on the ferry to Vancouver Island. Here is a shot of the (Fairmont) Empress Hotel in the harbour area in downtown Victoria. The hotel is lovely (I stayed there in the 90’s) and a classic example of gorgeous Edwardian architecture. It is definitely one of the most photographed buildings in Victoria (along with the Parliament Building.)


Here is my snapshot taken from a 2008 trip to Vancouver Island. Again not exactly the same spot, but close enough.


I’m sure there are more, but it was cool to see evidence that my Dad and walked many of the same paths and looked with different eyes on the exact same scenes, separated by time, and a whole lot of change.

This entry was posted in everything old is new again, Oot and aboot, Picture posts, travel, Vancouver and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to My Back Pages

  1. Rob Moses says:

    Love old pictures like that! Thanks for sharing yours along with them :)

  2. steviepreater says:

    What a lovely project! I really enjoyed it

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