Posts Tagged ‘history’

Imminent demolition of 122 year old building in Vancouver’s old Japantown

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

The frantic festival of demolition continues in Vancouver, a city whose demolition rate is double that of Toronto’s. And Toronto is no paragon of heritage either.

The City of Vancouver is attempting to force demolition of the 122 year-old building which belongs to the Ming Sun Benevolent Society. The building, on a significant block of Vancouver’s vanishing old Japantown, functioned as a clean well-run SRO with eight units and a community reading and meeting room, all above an extensive cultural space rented out to an art collective called Instant Coffee.

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Custom pendant lamp at Gudrun Restaurant, Steveston

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Beautiful lamp commissioned by my friend Patrick Tubajon, proprietor of gorgeous Gudrun Restaurant in Steveston, BC. Steveston is a historic and still operating fishing and cannery village in the mouth of the Fraser River, just half an hour S. of Vancouver. Historically it was a dominantly Japanese-Canadian community until most of the population was interned in WWII and their possessions confiscated in one of the most disgraceful acts in Canadian history.

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Chuck Davis, 1935-2010

Saturday, November 20th, 2010


Above: the superb book design on Davis’ often-reprinted books from the 1970s.


Chuck Davis died early this morning at age 75. Chuck was arguably Vancouver’s most well-known historian; certainly he was its best-loved historian for anyone who grew up in Vancouver in the 70s or 80s.

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La Mexicaine de Perforation, Paris

Monday, July 26th, 2010

These are the only two photographs I could find of a clandestine cinema temporarily located in the Paris Catacombs and accidentally discovered by the police in 2006 while on a training exercise. The group responsible for the cinema, which was called Les Arènes de Chaillot, is La Mexicaine de Perforation or “Drilling Mexican.”  The reference to Mexico relates to the name of the neighbourhood directly above the catacomb in question.

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A-frame Maritime Museum by CBK Van Norman

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

I’ve always loved this building. It’s part of the Vancouver Maritime Museum and was built in 1966 to house the icebreaker St. Roch. You can just see the top of the mast through the upper window. Unfortunately the ship now requires better climate control for its conservation, and the whole museum may be moved to a new museum in North Vancouver.

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Remembrance Day

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

My grandfather landed on a Normandy beach on D-Day when he was 35 years old. He was a Canadian officer on loan to a British regiment, so he landed with the British on Sword Beach rather than with the Canadians on Juno. The British were running out of officers and preferred to promote Canadians to higher ranks over lower-class Brits, a practice my democratic-minded grandfather didn’t have a high opinion of.

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