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Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Taste of Vancouver Architecture





The City of Vancouver is Canada's third largest city, and its busiest harbour. In preparation for the World Fair of 1986, the city built Canada Place. The building, a conference center, replicates a grand sailing ship. 
 

Walking along the promenades outside of the building does evoke walking around a ship. The green glass windows and white railings contribute to the ship experience.
 

Just a few blocks away from the modern lines of Canada Place is the Dominion Building. When it was completed in 1910 it was the tallest building in the British Empire. Financing for the building was provided by the Counts von Alvensleben, and it's widely accepted that they were a front for the Kaiser's money. Thus, it could be said that the Empire's tallest building was financed by the Empire's greatest rival. 

We were downtown Victoria on Canada Day and drifted into conversation with a couple from the Netherlands. They commented that there was nothing old here. They are right. Recorded history is just a few hundred years old, and most architecture is less than 150 years old. The Dutch couple said that they missed the sense of history one gets in Europe.

edited to add:   There was no slight implied in the comments by the Dutch couple. We completely agreed with them. In Europe there is a sense of being surrounded by history - by buildings that are 1000 years old or older, by cultures that have evolved over many, many generations. We have felt that just by visiting there. Coming to a young country, such as Canada, one simply does not have that same sense.

Every day we are forming history. What will be remembered of our culture in another 500 years? It's a sobering thought. Perhaps more sobering is how I as an individual will be remembered. Every day I form my own history. 

Linking to posts about architecture hosted by Mary of the Little Red House.

31 comments:

  1. Lofty thoughts...

    I never even think of being remembered. That the
    Lord will is enough. My influence will perhaps be like that of a stone placed in a rock wall...that's a pleasant thought.

    Personally, I think that some Europeans are pretty snobby. LOL.
    The beauty of Vancouver can not be denied...The Dominion Building is wonderful...what an interesting irony in its history.

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    1. But the thing is, you ARE likely to be remembered. At least for awhile. And if it's for your life of faith and for the Lord's presence, it's because you were deliberate about it.
      I like the rock in a wall thought.

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  2. How gorgeous. I love that second photo, lovely. Vancouver is stunning. You live in a beautiful place.

    Karen

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    1. Vancouver is a beautiful city. But I don't live there. I live across the water on Vancouver Island, which is confusing at times.

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  3. Your photos are beautiful Lorrie! I think Victoria is old, compared to other cities. I love it though - it's my home!

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  4. Hi Lorrie,

    Canada Place is a wonderful and whimsical piece of architecture -- I love it!! I can definitely see how walking around it would be evocative of being on a ship.

    I think that was a rather rude thing for the Dutch couple to say. Vancouver looks to be a lovely city to me. :)

    Have a wonderful day!

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  5. It;s many years since we were in Vancouver, but I remember it so vividly as a young and alive city.

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  6. Beautiful photos of Canada Place. We were there a few years ago. An interesting history behind the Dominion Building. Vancouver has many new historic buildings worth seeing but it certainly is different from Europe and so young in comparison. Enjoy your evening. Pamela

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  7. Canada Place does look like a long ship with many sails on top, an appropriate concept for a city on the water. It is nice to see parts of Canada through the lens of fellow bloggers.
    My goal is to make a difference, I'll hopefully be remembered for my community efforts.
    Judith

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  8. Canada Place does rather look like it is ready to set sail and travel across the Pacific. It's beautiful.

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  9. It's nice to see familiar pictures of places we've seen on our visit there a few years back. Our city is similar--it seems they tear down anything old, "with history" as we call it. I think a city loses something when the old is taken away.

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  10. It does look like you walking around a ship, so cool. Canada is a young country compared to many European countries, so our buildings are only small children in comparison.

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  11. A very interesting post - thanks for sharing!

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  12. Wonderful sites to see. Valerie

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  13. Canada Place is stunning. I'd love to sit on the promenade and watch people walk by. Thank you for sharing that bit of history.

    I love your last paragraph. A worthy idea to ponder...that we form our own history.

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  14. I enjoyed this post Lorrie. When we lived on the island we went to Vancouver for a weekend and "just asked" what it would cost to stay at the Pan Pacific. We were shocked to find out the price would be less than we were paying at a regular family type hotel. So the next day we moved and stayed an extra night because we were given a suite with floor to ceiling windows, and a spectacular view. You jogged my memory once again...

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  15. I completely understand what that couple was saying. In the States we have the same thing, we think that something from the 1800s is old. But when you come to this side of the world and travel to places like Spain or India, you realize what true history is. How architecture has survived for thousands of years. In this day and age, we can barely make anything to last more than 10 years without needing some sort of repair. Even if a city doesn't have architecture from the past, I would much prefer to see it building something that looks old rather than all the modern buildings with no character. Wishing you a wonderful day. Tammy

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  16. What a gorgeous place! Modern architecture is fascinating, but old ones are a marvel to wonder!

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  17. Beautiful architecture!
    Here in Colorado, Denver was first being built around the 1850s, so the architecture would not seem very old. But then again in Colorado, there are the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings - A.D. 600 to 1300. :)
    Happy March 1st!
    ~ Zuzu

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  18. Oh beautiful Vancouver. Sigh. Lorrie, I would live there in a hearbeat! Such an amazing mix of old and new, so many cultures. And I lived in NYC--but Vancouver is more of a melting pot!!!

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  19. Oh...lovely Vancouver. Not so old...but most picturesque (especially on a sunny day)!

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  20. I had no idea how lovely Vancouver is. We have friends that beg us to visit them in Canada and to date we haven't. I am now thinking we need to accept their invitation based on your beautiful post.

    Have a lovely weekend.
    Sam

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  21. You got some great shots...beautiful atmosphere in the second one.

    One of the things I learned with a bang when I first traveled beyond our borders was how young our country is. To see buildings with a history that is way beyond anything we had was rather amazing.

    Jen

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  22. When we were in Europe we stayed in a hotel that was around 900 years old. I loved it! It really is almost unbelievable to us who do not know such history in a younger country! I can't even imagine our buildings lasting that long!

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    1. Anneliese, for your sake I hope that they had changed the plumbing during those 900 years!

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  23. I love modern buildings like your Canada Place. There is something fresh and new and hopeful about a new country and its optimism. So much in Europe is backward-looking, dusty and tired.

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  24. Interesting post. We've never been to Europe and the only 'sense of history' we've been able to experience is a trip to Boston (MA)and Williamsberg (VA). I think that is why American historical sites are fascinating for me- the sense of history though it is less than 300 yrs.
    HAPPY March~

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  25. I think your waterfront building echoes it's surroundings with the sails on top and green glass.
    I'm living in a city on a beautiful harbour but our waterfront buildings are not attractive on the whole.
    New Zealand is a young country like Canada and I wish our town planners would consider taking a leaf out of Europe's architectural influences.
    Their buildings have stood the test of time - just look at the small towns and villages that have remained the same for centuries, they are so mellow and pleasing to the eye.
    My daughter in France lives in a little house over 400 years old, they have recently renewed much of the plumbing and updated the bathroom and kitchen.
    Your photos are very good examples of architecture in a young country Lorrie. I have to say I do like the Dominion building!

    How we will be remembered is a topic on it's own!
    I am a person of faith and try to live my life accordingly, one day at a time, apart from that I’ve done nothing exceptional!
    Shane ♥

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  26. I just love the color of that building! So warm. I enjoyed my little "trip" to your area. :) Kit

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  27. Oh, I remember those sailing structures at the harbor when we visited a few years ago! It was right after the Olympics, if I recall correctly. One of the trolly stops was here. We enjoyed exploring the area. We stayed at the Weston and had a partial arial view of the fabulous library building.

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  28. Vancouver is right up at the top of our list when it comes to fabulous cities - we love everything about it!

    Mary

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