Property waiting for redevelopment, 1100 block West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, BC 2016

February 6, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

Property waiting for redevelopment, 1100 block West 7th Avenue,

This property, looking pretty rundown at this point, has spectacular views of the Vancouver skyline. It has a unique mainly glass gazebo on the roof (at right). I’m guessing that the little house/entrance leads to either stairs or an elevator although elevators seems to be something only new small residences have. Redevelopment means that the space will hold more residences and they can all enjoy that view. It also likely means that the section of the view available to the passing pedestrian, will vanish. The only wonder right now is why, given Vancouver’s hot real estate market, the property isn’t already rebuilt.



New Vancouver Art Gallery site, West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC 2016

January 30, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

New Vancouver Art Gallery site, West Georgia Street, Vancouver,

As an exercise I sometimes try and photograph with an eye to preserving a view that will not exist in the future. The above is one such view. Shot from  Cambie Street and looking across Georgia Street to the north. The parking lot seen at the lower right of the image is the future site of the Vancouver Art Gallery. That new building will most certainly obscure the existing view that includes the iconic Sun tower with the  blue/green dome roof on Pender Street. The Sun tower was at one time home to the Vancouver Sun newspaper, hence the name. When it was built in 1912 it was the tallest building in the British Empire. The new art gallery will have a unique wood exterior and  the VAG site says work will commence in 2017.



Olympia Pizza & Pasta, Vancouver, BC 2016

January 28, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

Olympia Pizza & Pasta, Denman Street, Vancouver, BC 2016

I’ve been eating at Olympia Pizza for  over 30 years. Sure, there was a 15-20 year gap in visits when I lived in Alberta but now that my son lives in the west end, my old neighbourhood, the family has resumed enjoying their house lasagna during visits. It’s wonderful when you can revisit an old favourite. The exterior could use some updating or at least some paint but I’m just happy to see they are hanging on providing food for succeeding generations of west enders.  In case you are interested, their website is here. Ask for the Olympia lasagna, it has sour cream in the sauce.



Army & Navy Store, East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC 2016

January 27, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

Army & Navy Store, East Hasting Street, Vancouver, BC 2016

The exterior of Army & Navy store, a long time fixture along East Hasting Street in Vancouver, is looking pretty shabby these days. When I was a kid, and the area was still a commercial hub, my parents would bring us in to the city from our home in the Fraser Valley and the Army & Navy was always a stop for new school clothes, coats, shoes etc. Goods were low priced and well made for the most part. At the time the area was still a shopping district although the SRO hotels existed and there was a transient population in the neighbourhood. Booze was the drug of choice at the time , although I’m sure there was some drug use. I remember most of the locals were single men, living (I assume) on a small pension or government assistance. They were usually well dressed, if a little worn, but in jacket and tie. At least, that’s how I remember it as a kid. Now gentrification is slowly pushing it’s way into the area and will replace the low rent stores and shops with high end shops and stores. No middle ground. A woman living in the DTES told me it was actually a good place to live right now, the only thing missing was a hardware store and a KFC. Somehow I don’t think gentrification will bring either of those. Therein lies Vancouver’s housing problem. While some work is done on providing low (very low) income housing, and lets face it, the amount promised is never the amount delivered. The rest of the housing will be high end, it will not serve the working poor, it will not serve the minimum/lower end wage student or young person starting out and it will not even serve the middle income salary family. They will all be frozen out of the core where they work.



Stores at dusk, Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC 2016

January 19, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Food, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Restaurant, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Stores at dusk, Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC 2016

This area of Victoria the blocks where Blanshard intersects with Fort Street is becoming known as a “Foodie” neighbourhood. A variety of restaurants, cafes and coffee shops have sprung up in the area in the past few areas offering a choice in menus and prices and offering an alternative to the Government/Wharf Street pod of food outlets.



Douglas Street traffic in the rain, Victoria, BC 2015

January 17, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Douglas Street traffic in the rain, Victoria, BC 2015

This image seemed appropriate for a wet January morning. Early morning buses, cars and pedestrians navigate Douglas Street in downtown Victoria, British Columbia on a wet winter day. Wet weather being a standard part of west coast life through the fall and winter.



Tent city for the homeless, Victoria, BC 2015

January 10, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Homelessness, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Photojournalism, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | 2 Comments 

Tent city for the homeless, Victoria, BC 2015

Homelessness continues to be an issue, mainly for urban areas and Victoria is no exception.  Over the past decade a number of tent cities have sprung up, established by the homeless and transient street folk, usually in city parks. The city created a bylaw to address the issue, one that allows camping in parks overnight, but creates time boundaries, when tents can be pitched and at what time they have to be removed (7am I believe). The bylaw has worked reasonably well without solving any real issues, giving people a place to sleep with allowing any permanent encampment.

This situation has changed though with the realization by someone that the park abutting the courthouse in the downtown core is actually provincial property and not subject to city bylaws. This has allowed the creation of  a new tent city on the park grounds. Reaction from the province has been nonexistent but a solution of sorts for some people has been created with the conversion of the old Boys and Girls Club building into a temporary (April) shelter with room for about 40 of the tent city residents. That still leaves more than that still camped out in the park who have no intention of leaving and really, without anywhere permanent to go anyhow.

The tent city obviously can’t stay. the area is not made for any continuing encampment. There are no permanent washroom or shower or laundry facilities there. The constant foot traffic has already turned most of the grass into a field of mud (the park was still largely green when the photo above was taken) and the site is gradually being accumulating more possessions/garbage on the periphery.

The campers at this site have been largely responsible with their self governing structure but they need residences, a park in a city is merely a temporary stop. Continuing to allow the tent city to remain will only cause further deterioration of the park grounds and will not solve the very real issues of  homelessness.

Another take on the issue of the homeless and tent city’s can be seen here , from the blog Fraseropolis which explores a variety of urban issues on the lower mainland.

UPDATE: While some campers did leave, the tent camp has both continued to grow and become more permanent. Several wooden structures have been erected among the tents and the grounds continue to deteriorate. Note the full size filing cabinet, at centre of image.

 

Update #2: Andrew Macleod of The Tyee has an interview with one of the tent city residents here. I don’t think the guy does himself  or the encampment any favours in the interview, coming across not as someone who needs help or who has been overcome by events but as someone who is taking advantage of the situation.  A couple of quotes below:

The first time you started sleeping outside, how did you end up there?

That was actually a self-choice. I chose to become homeless because well, I was just sick and tired of life the way it was for me, and honestly it’s very, very freeing when you become homeless for the first time. Not needing to pay rent on anything, not needing to worry about having to work for this, work for that. If you go hungry in Victoria, you really have to be stupid, because there are so many things that are available to the homeless here. I’m also better dressed than I ever was when I was working.

Why’s that?

I’ve just had more expensive, nicer clothes, an abundance of them, here being homeless than I did when I was working. Working, you’d think about money, think about this, think about that. Here you get handed RDS hoodies, leather jackets. I got this; it’s a brand new Guess leather jacket, absolutely free. [It was] just a hand-me-down from somebody who donated it.”

 

Tent city for the homeless, Victoria, BC 2016

 



Back alley in the snow, Kamloops, BC 2015

January 3, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Kamloops, Landscape, Photography, Street photography | Leave a Comment 

Back alley in the snow, Kamloops, BC 2015

A view of pedestrians making their way down a snowy back alley in north Kamloops, British Columbia. Downtown is visible in the background.

A recent post by Austin, Texas photographer Kirk Tuck about the photographer as a visual anthropologist resonated with me. Here’s an excerpt below, with the link to the full article here.

‘Photographers rarely look to their own cultural or social peers as subject matter and inspiration because familiarity makes most subjects boring to us. But when we get immersed in something new and different our conscious minds filter out most of the commonalities of the intersection and concentrate on the aspects that are different. Our brains help us distill down new scenes into visual snapshot components that emphasize the differential, the deviation from our mean.
I think these are the things (the differences) that most of us want to shoot when we walk down the street with our cameras. ‘


Shipwreck of the Pacific Sun King, Saanich, BC 2015

January 1, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Saanich, Ship wreck, Shipwreck, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Ship wreck of the Pacific Sun King, Saanich, BC 2015

The wreckage of the ship Pacific Sun King lies on the beach in Gyro Park at Cadboro Bay. The 55 foot, 44-tonne live aboard ship washed ashore during a heavy windstorm on December 5. The wreckage has gotten more and more worn out as the owner saved what he could from the ship and subsequent storms have worn away the ship. A more complete story on the wreck can be read here.



Old Water Tower and Boats, Sooke, BC 2013

December 19, 2015 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Sooke, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Old Water Tower, Sooke, BC 2013

The light was just right, highlighting the old water tower and the two beached boats that bookend the image during a brief road trip out to Sooke. This area has lots of overlooked and hidden corners  for visual imagery that highlights local history and the British Columbia coastal and Vancouver Island lifestyle.



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