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History Pics – the West End c. 1948

December 17, 2008

Vancouver has only been around for a century and a quarter – after the beginning of the age of photography.   We’re fully documented.  Some of the earliest shots, like this one of City Council after the Great Fire of 1886, the year of the city’s incorporation, are classics:


But we don’t see a lot of colour images taken mid-century (with the exception of the great Fred Herzog’s).  In boxes and basements all over this city there are no doubt fading Kodachromes of Vancouver, waiting to be rediscovered.

Like this one from Serge Vanry (President of B.C.’s Dental Surgeons) who at a Christmas party mentioned that he had an image he took of the West End, probably in 1948 or 49, from the Burrard Bridge:


Sunset Beach and the playing fields haven’t changed much – but the slopes above Beach Avenue lack a single highrise.  On the far left, mid-way, you can see the old Crystal Pool at the foot of Nicola Street.   And then some of the earliest highrises (which make me think this photo might have been taken a little later than ’48.)   On the eternal mountains behind, only the first stage of the British Properties is evident. 

Thanks, Serge.  And please, to readers, send in any shots you have that capture Vancouver as an adolescent.

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