If there’s meme believed about Vancouver, it must be this: A city in constant change, bulldozing its past for the latest glassy tower. And yet – at least with respect to its historic main street – it has hardly changed at all.
Not the Main Street, of course (originally Westminster Road) but the north-south arterial that ran through the centre of the CPR land grant, from its waterfront station (now, heh, Waterfront Station) to False Creek. Our main street has always been Granville Street.
The boys at Changing Vancouver are featuring it in their current post:
Granville Street – 800 block, east side
The image on the left looks like it was taken sometime after the downtown blocks were rebuilt for the mall, but the buildings, as detailed in the text, mainly go back to the 1910s and 20s. Speaking of the mall, here’s a shot provided by Durning of the street in reconstruction:
And here’s Google’s latest streetview:
Some new buildings, yes, but the proportions and character of the street remain. Indeed, since the second reconstruction of the mall, it looks more like the street of the 1920s than the 70s.
We notice what’s changing; we ignore what isn’t. And when it comes to perception, the rate of change is more important than the actual amount of change.