This Christmas card from the 50s via the Museum of Vancouver is just the thing for PT. It looks west down Georgia from just east of Granville:
The biggest changes: (1) That Christmas tree is on a parking lot at the southwest corner of Granville and Georgia, where the first two Hotels Vancouver were, and where Pacific Centre is now. But if you had to choose a corner today that still says ‘this is the centre’ – it would be this one.
(2) The yellow-banded office building that seems taller than the Hotel Vancouver? It’s the Burrard Building, at 19 storeys, the second modernist tower in Vancouver (after the B.C. Electric Building) and so, around 1957, must have loomed large in the mind of the artist. Here it is in perspective:
(3) There’s way more more vehicle traffic in the 1950s painting than there is in a current Streetview. Granville Street especially, before the 1970s mall, is jammed with cars (and that historic trolleybus).
The reason there are way more people and less cars today? That building with the T on it. Survey the people in this pic on how they got to the centre of the city, and most will say ‘Transit, of course.’
Buildings and vehicles may change; the city lives on. And in the coming year PT will continue to document and discuss our evolution.
So enjoy Christmas Day, take a walk or cycle, and toast our city over dinner. Best wishes to you all.