Went for a walk last week – with an engaging group of students whom I met in the Woodward’s Atrium.  From there, a saunter through the Downtown East Side towards False Creek.  It’s part of a learning experience called Walking Home.

Walking Home Carrall Street is an experiential education project exploring the history and development of Carrall Street with the overlays of contemporary life and use, and the subsequent intersections.

Walking Home Projects, in partnership with The Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, works with a group of proactive youth in grades 11, 12 and university, to host talks and tours from specialist architects, planners, historians and community representatives including John Atkin, Annabel Vaughan and myself.

Natually, they’ve summarized their experiences on a blog – here – to capture their observations.  Example – these observations on Woodward’s:

One thing we all agreed on was the impressive scope of this social and architectural endeavour. Gordon explained that, because of the massive construction required in the area, none of the original Woodward’s building was used in the rebuilding except two original facades that were kept for heritage value. For Gordon, this compromise was understandably the only viable option but he admitted that for many others, like his friend and fellow urban planner, Michael Short, even this small tribute was too large a concession on the design and budget of the project. Many of us found this idea shocking, especially after hearing from historians for so many weeks previously! But hearing from the urban planning perspective gave us a more informed picture into the debate of historical preservation versus progress and contemporary usage.





Lots more here.


  1. Gordon,
    Thank-you again for guiding us through the city! It’s very interesting to see the before and after pictures of two facades; they have changed them quite a bit in terms of surface decoration eh? In my opinion the previous facade looks newer than the current one. Very interesting… Do you know if the painted writing on the facades was something originally on the building long ago or if it was added during the reconstruction to give an impression of its early history?

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