Last Gas Station, Davie Street at Burrard Street, Vancouver British Columbia 2017

October 9, 2017 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Gas station, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Real estate, Road Trip, Street photography, Travel, Urban, Vancouver | Leave a Comment 

Last Gas Station, Davie Street at Burrard Street, Vancouver Brit

Another sign of changing times, this Esso on Davie Street at Burrard Street is the last gas station in downtown Vancouver. How long it will exist is another thing. The property went up for sale last spring. Property in Vancouver, especially the core, is just far to valuable for use for something like a gas station. It’s a large footprint on the land and the property alone has been assessed at $36 million. Only a matter of time before this parcel of land is home to another condo tower and drivers will have to head out of downtown to fill up.



Ladysmith Car Care, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2017

March 4, 2017 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Ladysmith, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Travel, Vancouver Island, Vernacular architecture | Leave a Comment 

Ladysmith Car Care, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2017

The red and white paint job on this former garage and corner store always catches the eye when passing by Ladysmith on the highway. It has been shut down for a while now although there are a few vehicles inside so not sure if someone still uses the premises. It looks a little more decrepit all the time though so I really expect to go by and se the building torn down one day soon.



Vancouver Public Library Steps, Central Branch, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016

April 6, 2016 | Filed Under Architect, Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Library, Moshe Safdie, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Urban, Vancouver | Leave a Comment 

Vancouver Public Library Steps, Central Branch, Vancouver, Briti

I stopped by the Vancouver Public Library’s Central branch, the big one downtown bordered by West Georgia and Robson Streets.  Designed by  Moshe Safdie and DA Architects, that complex’s colonnaded walls give it a sort of Roman ruin look. I was there to check out some of the early Vancouver photography held by the Special Collections photo section up on the 7th floor. Had an interesting chat with a volunteer one day and staffer the next and got to look over a few prints. On the way out, towards Robson Street, the late afternoon light was creating small beams of light that lit up a narrow section of the stairs. It created the circumstances for a unique street photograph with the light, people and the architecture. A side note, as I was leaving the Special Collections section I passed by a tour guide who was telling an assembled group that the rounded chairs on the floor were designed by Safdie, the architect that designed the library.



The Odeon, Brickyard and Efes, Yates Street, Victoria, British Columbia 2016

March 21, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

The Odeon, Brickyard and Efes, Yates Street, Victoria, BC 2016

Unique local restaurants and movie theatre along Yates Street in downtown Victoria.



Boat Graveyard, Vancouver Island, British Columbia 2016

March 14, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, Boat, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Ship wreck, Shipwreck, Street photography, Travel, Vancouver Island | 1 Comment 

Boat Graveyard, Vancouver Island, British Columbia 2016

This was truly a west coast nautical scene, acreage filled with broken and decaying boats, mainly smaller pleasure or fishing craft. There were no indicators why the mossy rotting boats were there, the only sign visible from the side road I was on said No Trespassing, not really an encouragement to explore more. On my way out I spotted a house, which may be connected to the yard, but I couldn’t quite figure out how a road connected to it. A task for another trip.



Dog N Suds Diner, Williams Lake, British Columbia 2016

February 28, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Food, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Travel, Williams Lake | 1 Comment 

Dog N Suds Diner, Williams Lake, British Columbia 2016

Williams Lake,  a small city in British Columbia’s Cariboo-Chilcotin  was in the news last week after  the city council voted to “inject’ repeat offenders with a GPS tracker (story here). The wacky story could have come right from the pages of Mark Leiren-Young‘s memoir of his days as a rookie reporter for the Williams Lake Tribune called Never Shoot A Stampede Queen. The shooting, by the way, refers to a photographic incident.

Coincidentally I’ve just recently returned from my first visit to Williams Lake and I’d packed along Leiren-Young’s book to reread. The Starlite Dog N Suds, pictured above, features in the book as a favourite lunch stop for the new reporter in town and it was great to see it still there and busy 30 years later.

My experiences in the town of 12,000 was different and  over a much shorter period as I was in town just for a weekend and while I was reporting/photographing it was for a tourism publication not a newspaper.

I flew in with Pacific Coastal Airlines and it was a reminder of how much pleasanter airline travel used to be. You still had to undergo security screening but because the aircraft are small you were on and off the planes quickly, take off/landings were shorter and quicker and using smaller terminals meant luggage showed up quickly after you arrived. You forget how much time you waste waiting for everyone to board larger aircraft, how long they can take to get in position and take off and then luggage can take forever to be downloaded and transferred to carousels inside the airport. On my return to Victoria I saw my luggage speeding past me as I walked off the plane.

The flights weren’t direct but the stopover in Vancouver was at the small south terminal. The terminal isn’t big and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the main terminal but it does have a cafeteria where you can get a drink as well as food (I had an excellent wild salmon bagel sandwich) and a gift shop if you want reading material or a souvenir. I was off my plane there in minutes, grabbed a free Sun and Province newspaper from the PCA stand, read through them while eating my lunch. Read a bit more of the Stampede Queen book, went back through security in a few minutes and then when the call came boarded my plane in just another few minutes. It was all so fast and hassle free!

The south terminal is a hub for smaller airlines and it appeared many of the other passengers were headed for work camps or sites around BC and Alberta including Firebag. Yes, I had to look it up too. It appears to be a Suncor oilfield operation north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Williams Lake itself was small, population 12,000, with lots of logging activity. A couple of large mills are right on the edges of the town. There is mining outside of the city and there is still large ranching and agriculture operations throughout the region. You see lots of folks in cowboy hats and boots and they are the real deal.

The architecture is pretty lacklustre. I love unique local buildings and not much stood out in the downtown core.

The hamburger sculpture outside the Dog N Suds was fun and interesting. I was told it was the work of the Pioneer LogHomes, the folks featured in the TV series Timber Kings. You can see examples of the work they’re known for, larger log structures, scattered throughout the region. Their work is distinguished by the use of large logs that still retain their ‘tree” shape and/or sport unique shapes and growths.

Williams Lake is noted for it’s annual Stampede. This year is the 90th anniversary of the rodeo. It used to be known for the wildness of the event and participants but over the years has grown more family friendly but still offers pro rodeo action, beer gardens, live music and assorted associated events including the Stampede Queen.



New Vancouver Art Gallery site, West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia 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.



Vancouver Pre – Olympics, Vancouver British Columbia 2010

February 7, 2010 | Filed Under 2010 Winter Olympics, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Pacific Northwest, Photographers, Photography, Photojournalism, Photos, Street photography, Travel, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

Vancouver Olympic Media Centre

Main press centre in Vancouver.

I picked up the last of my Olympic credentials on Saturday and so am officially official. Lots of Olympic workers and media, with special clothes and accreditation tags around their necks,  and police in the downtown core but hard to see ‘Olympic fever’ among regular folks. Most of the Olympic signage you’re seeing is commercial but there are a few small signs of locals stepping up and adding to the real (as opposed to paid) spirit by decorating windows or hanging Canadian flags. Hopefully we’ll see more of that as the events progress.

Vancouver Royal Bank Olympic

Royal Bank building on West Georgia Street.

Vancouver olympic Decorations

Home made decorations in the windows of a downtown office building.

Vancouver Bay Olympic Decoration

The Bay Store Olympic decor.