At the southeast corner of Oak Street and King Edward Avenue in Vancouver, a Shell gas station looks like any other, with the huge roof over the gas pumps, and bright vibrant colours.
But there’s something different here, evident as you get closer and see the gas station site is subtly fenced in. There appears to be no activity, but there’s a sign. Literally — a large, outdoor advertisement of a young woman sipping a beverage, with the headline: “Open for Snacks. Closed for Gas.”
The question: who in their right mind would use this gas station to get food when there’s a supermarket (and a really good Japanese restaurant) right behind the station?
And this is not a redevelopment at this site — indeed, the whole King Edward Mall site has been identified as “unique” in the City of Vancouver’s third phase of the Cambie Corridor Plan (approved in May), and can be redeveloped as “three higher elements of approximately 12 to 14 storeys … above a low- to lower mid-rise podium”.
So while the car snack department is “business as usual”, the gas station part of the operation is likely just having a tank renovation in advance of the mixed-use development project that will eventually be located on this whole site.
At the corner of Davie & Denman, on my way to several errands, I found a scene that is oh-so Vancouver.
It’s got English Bay, the North Shore Mountains, bike racks, benches, freighters, palm trees, a Mobi station, dog walker, and a photographer snapping the famous “A-maze-ing Laughter” sculptures by Yue Minjun (which also form a maze).
I’m here waiting for the train on the Adanac bike route in Vancouver, and my Mobi bike share time is creeping towards the 30-minute limit for this ride.
Mild anxiety ensues. But as the graffiti says on one of the signal housings — “relax”.
Thanks to Tom Durning of the Daily Durning who shares this collection of bridge engineering whimsy. Imagine a whole generation of children, growing up thinking of bridges as functional AND cool.
As translated from the French: “9 unusual and creative bridges whose architecture comes to life.”
Courtesy of French group Creapills, whose Twitter profile reads: “We detect creative ideas. We share emotions.“