Monday, November 29, 2010

The old Vancouver

I spent my childhood in Vancouver over fifty years ago and on the weekend it was as though I had returned to that time.  We were visiting a friend there and she took us to the Vancouver East Side Culture Crawl.  It's an annual event when artists from the east side of town open their studios.  We spent the afternoon walking around the area of Strathcona, just east of the downtown and Chinatown.  In this little neighbourhood it's as though the last fifty years (or more) never happened.  The houses are all from the turn of the century and there are no malls or parking lots or gas stations.  Just the streets and parks and mature trees.

It feels like something out of (at the risk of dating myself)... Father Knows Best.  It feels like I am back in my childhood, with the corner store in a building like this one with an apartment above it.  Some of the houses are kept up, some are restored...

...and some are not.


The place has a timeless feeling, for me at least, with these old three storey walk-up apartments, tenement buildings and ancient churches.

Lately Strathcona has been discovered by artists and young people who live side by side with the original inhabitants, many of them European or Chinese.

Now the corner stores have been turned into excellent little groceries or trendy cafes offering espresso and designer sandwiches.

New buildings have been built using green technology with small footprints, and the community is thriving.  We spent several hours exploring the streets and the art studios.  Tomorrow I'll show you some of the art we encountered. 

I just loved exploring this little island within the big city of Vancouver.  If I were going to live in Vancouver this vibrant neighbourhood with its roots in the past would be one I'd seriously consider. 

Do you have a favourite neighbourhood?


  1. What a beautiful neighborhood. I have a few favorite places in Michigan, but none near my home.

  2. What a lovely tour you gave us.

    There are many neighborhoods I would love to live in Japan and several artist areas. It would be very hard to pick one. I will have to think about that.

    cheers, parsnip

  3. joanna thanks for this. my brother lives in vancouver and i haven't been there yet so i really appreciate the little views i get here of one part of the whole. it's an area - just looking through your pictures - that i'd be at home in. steven

  4. I really enjoyed your photo essay of the neighborhood.. It is all very inviting ... love the features...

  5. The colors of the homes are wonderful, and I also like the trims. It seems to be a place where you could walk, shop, eat, and visit without using a car. Our house in Denver, CO, is in a boutique neighborhood that is architecturally diverse, but offers the same wonderful shopping, dining, walking options.


I really appreciate your comments.