After living for a year in Ucluelet, on Vancouver Island's rugged outer shore, we decided to fulfill another dream and move to the downtown area of Vancouver. These are the adventures, in words and images, of a couple of retirees now based in Lower Lonsdale.

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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Doors Open Vancouver

Today, the City of Vancouver had a number of building open to the public to tour. Marcelle and I had had the pleasure of this type of event once when we were in Paris, and today, we elected to tour the Carnegie Building at East Hastings and Main. I can't count the number of times we have driven past this edifice and always wondered as to its origins and past and this was a factor in our visit today.

Well, interestingly enough, we learned almost nothing about the building's history, other than it was originally endowed by Andrew Carnegie (who knew?), and that over the years, it had been used for a number of purposes. The tour director did, however, eloquently and passionately educate us as to the important role the building now plays in assisting the less fortunate citizens of the lower eastside.

The building has some lovely architectural details, such as the circular staircase, and the beautiful stained glass windows.

On the way from the SeaBus, we had walked by some beautifully colourful and expressive graffiti, an interesting juxtaposition to the surrounding urban decay.

Sitting having a cup of coffee to pass some time before our tour, I snapped an image of a passerby with some remarkably colourful sneakers. I remarked to my wife that when we were of that age, we simply wouldn't have seen shoes like this, let alone been caught dead in shoes of that colour. How times have changed! And how liberating.

Vancouver has a few 'gridiron' buildings, and I find them irresistible as photographic subjects.

Tour finished, we headed over toward Robson Square, and did a quick detour into the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens. These gorgeous and tranquil oriental gardens always give me a peaceful feeling as I stroll through them, reminding me of similar gardens that I have visited in Japan and China.


A little further on, we came across a symbolic abacus sculpture outside a condo.

Having a spot of lunch opposite the Art Gallery, we were surprised to hear chanting and looked around to see a mini demonstration in progress.

Within Robson Square, a couple of people were practicing dance steps and I caught a moment of introspection.

Finally, we headed back to get the SkyTrain to Waterfront Terminal, and passed a storefront with unique and very attractive, almost Art Deco features.


Feet sore and muscles weary, we headed home, another satisfying day in this wonderful city!


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