The non-political ones, that is.  And certainly the biggest change is the Canada Line.  City Hall is now five minutes or less from downtown, and its front entrance has shifted from south on 12th Avenue to north on 11th.   Along with the reconstruction of Cambie Street, the City has built a new and welcoming entrance across from the station.

Crossing the north lawn, two changes: angled benches now line the walkway.  And though they face north and have no view, they’re still heavily patronized on warm days.

The second change: a community garden.  Ridiculed by those who would patronize City Hall’s commitment to a green agenda (chickens, anyone?), the garden is an indicator of a more profound change in the way we use public space.  Agriculture is returning to the city.  Urban people have historically fed themselves with local produce, and only in the last generation or two has that tradition somehow seemed exceptional.  No longer.

The best addition to the Hall itself is a contribution of the City Archives – historic photos from their collection, capturing the attention of those waiting for the historic elevators.


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  2. What I would like to see at City Hall is a safe space for public rallies and protests to be held, as well as celebrations. The space as it’s currently designed doesn’t facilitate that very well, especially if you expect more than a dozen or two people to show up, and that’s an important part of democracy.

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