Vancouver Spring This and That

You can just see Ty in the shadows of these amazing flowering cherry trees in our neighbourhood – two blocks of incredible pink profusion.

Since my sister Tracey moved to Saskatoon, there has not been as much reason for us to visit the North Shore but this day, the North Shore Art Crawl called to us; we took the Seabus over to visit the Lower Lonsdale studios.

The fifteen minute crossing gave us a close up view of some of the many huge freighters in the harbour, their red shapes contrasting with the surrounding blue of the mountains and ocean.

Here you can see one of the floating drydocks of Seaspan Shipyards.

The Lonsdale Quay is nice but has never really taken off as a place to be; it’s a bit of a pale shadow of the more popular Granville Island. Too bad because on a good weather day, it’s beautiful.

A row of restaurants still line the bottom of Lonsdale and we sampled the breakfast goodies at one, Raglan’s; unfortunately, for my dining pleasure, so did a group of loud and hungover patrons, whose uninteresting conversation impinged too greatly on my consciousness …

Across the way are the newly-refurbished buildings of the old Burrard Dry Dock. These, formerly the home of a bustling ship-building enterprise, are now empty and waiting for municipal government money to be brought back to life. Beginning back in the 50s and 60s my uncle and several of my parents’ friends worked their whole lives in these shipyards.

Some of those folks may be included in this enlargement of an old photo of the workers.

Below are some pictures of the shipyards that I took several years ago, after they had been closed down and before the resurrection.

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The pier is beautiful; strangely, though, there is no life saving equipment in evidence here.

New condos have been erected here, yet, on this beautiful day, hardly anyone was in evidence. Are these places vacant, we wondered, like the ghost towers of Coal Harbour?

The rear end of a Victory class ship is still standing here, all wrapped up in a white plastic bag … who knows why.

We visited the 106 West First Street building where several artists’ studios are located. On the hallway wall are a couple of frescoes; this one shows the Lynn Valley trolley car, part of ancient history around here.

The Holland/Croft studio was the largest and most impressive. These folks have a teaching classroom set up in their space, complete with some interesting props.

Further up Lonsdale Avenue, we stopped in at CityScape’s Nude Figure show.

Strangely, for all the talk of Lower Lonsdale being revived by new housing developments, the place seemed quieter than it was ten years ago when Tracey lived here. Opus has moved, the Petrov Gallery has moved and several storefronts were vacant … not sure what’s going on over there.

See more photos here.



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