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.



  1. Might that be a PCC streetcar on Granville rather than a trolley bus-early 1950’s…? Shape, colour etc.

  2. The best thing about Dec 25 is that the sewage spigot of crapmass music is abruptly turned off.
    CBC’s Enright Files did a piece: ‘ … the good the bad and the ugliesst of …’ Even Pavarotti sounds horrible.
    The only good song is Joni Mitchell’s “River” – and that’s really about nostalgia and home sickness.
    It’s a bizarre psychosis inflicted on innocents. It’s mental cruelty to workers who cannot escape it, not unlike how the USA tormented Noriega in his compound; bombarding him with “music”.
    The onslaught of ear pain on workers should go the way of high heels for women.
    It could could also be argued constitutionally as religious persecution of non believers. The saying: Let’s put Christ back in Christmas is a good one. Christ Mass for the Christians – not for the infidel shoppers and benighted workers at Stuporstore. I first voiced my dislike of it as a teenager. It has grown.
    How I despise it. There are those I’d like to bring back from the dead – and blow their brains out when they start crapmass caterwauling.
    Why are we subjected to this? Diwali? No problem. Kwanza? No problem. Ramadan? Well, the Adhan is ear candy, though it could get annoying if you’re trying to sleep.
    For the month of December, I wear custom silicone ear plugs topped with headphones going into stores. Yes, standing outside, auditorially armoring up before going in. Take that Jose Feliciano.

    1. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard local jazz singer Jennifer Scott sing her Etta James version of Silver Bells. She never fails to shatter the glasses at Frankie’s. Who cares what tune is, as long as it is done well.

      1. No.
        I play and sing every day.
        Though I do one classic jazz number, and enjoy Etta James, Miles Davis, and others, hearing jazzed up versions of crapmass ear worms is as repellent as the “spiritual” and lachrymose renditions.
        Hate them. Utterly.
        This is not an intellectual response. It’s visceral. Immediate. A panic attack.
        Dread this sound sewage every year.
        Heard a grand total of one minute of it this year and that’s too much – like an acid attack.

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