Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I've always been a nostalgic type, and I have been wistfully looking at historical photo's of Vancouver. I will be posting what I can get my hands on over the next while (since there seems to be nothing happening with real estate right now).

In 1916 there were no cell 'phones, no Internet, no TV, radio was in it's infancy, the population of (metropolitan) Vancouver was 135,000 - those were the "salad days" in Vancouver.

But, we are world class now, we weren't then.

Burrard St. Bridge 1932
Note the lack of development on English Bay.

Burrard St. Bridge now.

bridge historical images link
It looks like a real traffic jam here (1932)... those were the days.

Stanley Park duck pond (around 1916)

Robson Street 1916
Timms photo collection

Robson St. nowadays link


mk-kids said...



those are awesome pics solipsist, thanks for posting.

vineland said...

Beautiful, makes me pine for the olden days, with tree-lined streets, no traffic congestion, sparse population and snow! This is a curious fact, Greater Vancouver used to have winters. I can't remeber where I read this but it used to have them. Not long crazy ones like Ontario, nor really cold ones like the prairies, but true Canadian winters.

I wonder if we are reverting back to that trend, and, if so, what will happen to our over-priced Lotus-land status. Will we regain low population, tree-lined streets and less traffic as everyone else moves to a more reasonably priced town. Let the cycle begin. Ha, then our great-grandkids will end up with the same market we are stuck in.

patriotz said...

Great pics.

Note that by the 1930's radio was in its golden age, and TV was in its infancy.

Also all the big vaudeville stars came to the Orpheum, and Vancouver had a more extensive rapid transit system than today. How's that for world class?

"Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone. They paved paradise, put up a parking lot".

Babybull40 said...

Those are great pictures.. It's nice to see how it all started.. and you can see such a huge difference today..

solipsist said...

Thanks for commenting all. It seems that I am not the only nostalgiac one.

vineland - indeed winters used to be more winter-like. I have come across quite a few pic's that illustrate the same kind of snow that we had in November '06. I have come across anecdotes of lots of snow as recently as the early 1970's.

As far as reverting back to a simpler time, I have a couple of ideas about that - just the photoshopping to do.

patriotz - I wondered if anyone would catch that about radio. I figured that freako or you would. I was alluding to 1916 with that comment (I had the earlier pic's first). I have edited the post in an attempt to clarify that.

mk-kids said...

Well, the kids were actually kids in the 1970's in Vancouver and yes, we used to get snow and lots of it. We used to build snow forts and snow men and have snow ball fights. I'm sure the snow lasted too, weeks at a time, maybe even a month. That was back when much of Delta was still farm land. I picked blackberries by the ice cream bucket full and they weren't grey from car exhaust or pollution either.

That wasn't so long ago...

mk-kids said...

oh, yah, the blackberries part... that was summer nostalgia. hard to pick blackberries when its snowing...

solipsist said...

Thanks for your anectdotes mk-kids.

The word "progress", as applied to our society, has often rankled me. More and more is not progress. I have a Sunbeam toaster that is almost 50 years old, and still works perfectly. It is a work of art in chrome. I have had various plastic toasters over the years as well, and they only last 5 or 6 years. Just look at the shoddy, spiritless construction too. It doesn't hold a candle to all the beautiful Victorian, and early 20th century construction. Even workers' houses had some character and quality until the 1960's or so.

fun and mental said...

here is my contribution to the nostalgia.

this shows the changes in development from 1978-2003

i think i might have screwed up the tinyurl thing, sorry.

here is the full address, maybe someone else can do it properly.

solipsist said...

Thanks for commenting fun and mental.

I posted the clickable link for that here.