Saturday, March 03, 2012

Beauty and Ugliness

Vancouver's first unofficial name was Gastown, named after very talkative "Gassy Jack" Deighton. This area of town is full of historic buildings and sites, and is being revitalized with new businesses and very tony retail establishments.

In the courtyard leading from Gaoler's Mews stood the jail, and the place where convicted criminals were hung. 

Looking into the mews from the street. I didn't go into the mews, but there is a pretty tea house there, along with the historical buildings. 

This area of Vancouver is known for its history, and is very popular with tourists. But there's a sad side as well. Many homeless people live here, those with mental illness and addictions of various kinds. They are easy to spot, perhaps not so much by their clothing, but by the hollow look on their faces and their avoidance of looking people in the eye. My heart aches for these people. 

British Columbia's entrance into the Confederation of Canada was contingent upon the railway's arrival on the west coast of Canada. The Canadian Pacific Railway was constructed across the country, unifying east and west. This was the terminus of the line, built in a neo-classical style. Today it's the centre for various types of transportation.

One last photo of Vancouver - note the tuft of wire on top of the light. At first I thought it was a growth of some weeds or something, but I soon realized that all the lights had the same tuft - to prevent seagulls from alighting and making a mess. And then, of course, off to the side, the Canadian flag, flying proudly. 

Have you ever been to Vancouver? What did you think of it?


  1. No, I have never been to Vancouver, though an aunt attended nurses' training there and always spoke so highly of the city and its beauty that I wanted to one day see it for myself. Then, when I began blogging and began to read more about Vancouver, I really became intrigued.

    You've told me more of the history of the city than I had known. Like any city, I'm sure that there are books and books to know. There is always this dichotomy in any community, large or small and including, dare I say it, the church.

    As for the homeless and mentally ill...saddest thing I've ever seen and it is way past time for someone to say that what is being done is not working. Too many people who won't take their medications wind up on the streets because their families can't help them. Then there's drug addiction. And the entire financial crisis...though Canada is doing much better than the US in this regard...'s a mess. Good thing we know the One Who is in charge.

  2. A beautiful city. I live in Ontario, but one day I will visit your lovely province.

  3. I've enjoyed your pictures of Vancouver. We were there and on Victoria Is. for our 25th anniversary. We had free plane tickets for as far as we could go on the continent so we went as far as we could go from down here in the SE.

    I am terrified of snakes and lived in fear all our days in Africa. People, including our kids, reported seeing them here and there around our house, etc. but God protected my eyes our entire time there until the last week when I stepped over a coiled snake while hanging clothes on the line. Of course we have plenty here in NC too!

  4. When I used to live in Seattle, I would drive up to Vancouver quite often to visit with friends. Their home was lovely and quite close to a wonderful little neighborhood coffee house. Vancouver seems very metropolitan but in a quaint sort of way, if that makes any sense. I think it's a beautiful city and have many times thought of moving there.

  5. I don't get to Vancouver all that often - most of my time on the mainland is spent further inland. I like to visit the big city, though, especially Granville Street or Granville Island. It is, truly, a beautiful city.

  6. We visited Vancouver about twenty years ago (in an RV) and enjoyed our time there very much.
    The Vancouver Botanical, Butchart and Sun Yat Sen Chinese gardens were all wonderful.

  7. Vancouver is on my travel day.

  8. No, I have never been to Vancouver. Thank you for a very interesting post.

  9. I was there for only one day, in 1986 for the World's Fair/Exposition. We just loved it but there was so much to take in of course one day was just waaaayyy to short!

  10. Vancouver is on my bucket list and these incredible photos are a good reason why.

    Thank you SO very much for your prayers my friend.

  11. Have never been to Vancouver so enjoyed this little peep.

  12. Loved taking a walk around Vancouver with you Lorrie - it's right at the top of our favorite places to visit and we've been many times!


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