Monday, 26 March 2012

Vancouver's Public Toilets Take A Beating

Plugged with everything from hoodies to newspapers, Vancouver public toilets are taking a beating.  The city has installed eight self-cleaning, sanitizing toilets in high traffic areas to assist people in need of relief.  CBS/JCDeceaux has a contract to install two additional toilets a year for the duration of their contract but admits that Vancouver toilets have a higher rate of vandalism than in other cities. In December of 2011 it was reported that the public toilets were used 177,000 and that they were vandalized 856 times.
Scarier though than having an overflowing toilet is the fear of being stuck in one without being able to get out. On Dec 5th, 2011 a man was trapped in the Nelson/Granville toilet for 45 minutes.  After using his cellphone to call for help, city workers had to pry the door open with a crowbar.
I have yet to enter one of these shoebox size toilets but if you have, I'd love to hear your experience.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Danial Foods One Of The Few Remaining Corner Grocery Stores In The Westend

A great little family operated grocery store in the heart of Vancouver's Westend. Most of these little Mom and Pop stores have disappeared as buildings are torn down and large box stores pop up throughout the city.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Stanley Park's Elusive Beaver Spotted

Urban legend has it that a beaver lives in the waters of Stanley Park's Lost Lagoon and comes out late at night to feast and chomp on the trees along the Lagoon's shoreline.  It is not uncommon to hear people asking each other "Have you seen the beaver"?  No one seems to have ever spotted this semi-aquatic rodent however tell tale signs of it chomping ways are obvious by the number of fallen trees around the lagoon.
The man in the picture, who is a regular park patron believes that two beavers live in the Lagoon and he even pointed out the area where he has seen one of them. Well as any good story would end, we heard a shout of  "Look there's the beaver!" and sure enough it swam right by us.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Herons Return To Nest At Stanley Park

Standing almost a meter tall and with a wing span of 180 cm, Pacific great blue herons have returned to nest near the Park Board offices in Vancouver's Stanley Park. For the twelfth consecutive year the herons have returned in large numbers with over 110 nests occupied last summer and more than 100 fledglings counted.  The location is easy to find as you'll be able to hear the loud squabbling and squawking noises from these prehistoric looking creatures.  As the season progresses be prepared for the stench of dead fish and the continual assault of heron droppings as they fly in and out of their nests. It is not unusual for cars parked in the area to be covered with bird droppings within a few hours!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Stanley Park Heron

Not quite sure what happened to the tree but the heron and seagulls appear to be enjoying a peaceful moment in the park.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Ghost Sign At Robson & Granville Disappears

As quickly as it appeared, it disappeared.  The 90 year old hand painted ghost sign discovered during the demolition of the Farmer building at the corner of Robson St and Granville Ave has vanished.
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 Painted onto the exterior wall of the 1888 Power Building the ghost sign advertised Harold Lloyd's silent film Grandma's Boy.  This film played across the street at the Capitol Theatre from Oct. 2-7 in 1922. The Farmer building was built in 1923 covering up the sign until demolition began on the site earlier this year.
Ghost signs also known as fading ads usually refer to old hand painted signs that advertise a business.  As signage changed over the years, hand painted signs became less common.
The Mark James Group inquired about saving the sign to install  in a new restaurant they are building. Unfortunately the work required to remove the bricks did not fit into the demolition timeline and the wall was demolished. Vancouver has now lost another piece of it's history.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Treasure Hunting In Vancouver

With over 175 vendors gathered at the Croatian Cultural Centre next week for the bimonthly 21st Century Flea Market you're sure to find bargains galore.  Tables will be jam packed full with everything from shabby chic items, to Martha Stewart inspired collectibles and retro furniture. If it's collectible someone is bound to be selling it. Mark your calendar for Sunday March 18th.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Mount Pleasant Apartment Buildings

These buildings in lower Mount Pleasant seem to have been untouched by all the changes happening in the area.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Vansterdam: Vancouver's Pot Block

BC Bud, Orange Kush and Purple Indicia are but a few of the names heard along Vancouver's Pot Block.  Bordering on the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver's Pot Block has become somewhat of a tourist attraction.  You can even sign up for a tour.  If you have a few extra hours the Starter Tour running at $125.00 offers a crash course in  "stoner-ology".  If you're looking for something more in depth there's the 1/2 day Get Baked In BC Tour costing $250.00. Of course you can always do it for free by simply checking out the various shops and cafes.  You might even get lucky and attend a Marijuana Party meeting however it's leader, Marc Emery is serving five years in an American prison for drug distribution.  Also take note that possession of marijuana is a criminal offense under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act of Canada.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Road Closures

Not sure exactly where this person was headed with these signs but with the amount of new construction happening they seem to be everywhere in the downtown core much to the chagrin of pedestrians and drivers.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Vancouver Mill Machinery: Rusting Away Near Olympic Village

Just west of the Olympic Village on a large section of undeveloped land sits the Vancouver Mill Machinery Building, also known as the Wilkinson Steel Building.  Formerly used as a warehouse and factory it is hoped that this building will be preserved and developed along the same lines as the Salt Building at the Olympic Village site. It is surprising to find it so close to million dollar condos.

Friday, 2 March 2012

More Vancouver Street Murals

There appears to be an unlimited  number of artists just itching to paint the walls of Vancouver. Here's another batch found near Main Street.