Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Fountain

Out for a walk the other day, I cut through a little park off Barclay Street. There was a wedding in progress, so I quietly skirted around the middle of the park and stumbled upon this little slice of almost-Europe. The park is called Barclay Heritage Square, and a plaque on the fountain reads:
Donated on Vancouver's Centennial
In tribute to West End pioneers
Samuel Brighouse First Resident arrived 1862
Michael Wilkinson-Brighouse arrived 1887
Jane Ann Wilkinson-Brighouse

By Jane, John and Freda Wilkinson-Brighouse

Post title from this song by Echo and the Bunnymen.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Whimsical Lifestyle

The City of Vancouver uses these icons of bicycles painted on the street to denote bike routes. The other day as I was bicycling along the Chilco bicycle route in the West End, I had to stop and get off my bike to get a quick shot of this graffiti. I love its whimsicality!

Post title from this song by Mojib.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Singing on the Sidewalk

Not a manhole cover, although it's about the same size as the ones I've photographed before. This is a decorative metal plate embedded in the sidewalk at the corner of Bute Street and Pender Street downtown. Identical metal plates repeat at seemingly random intervals up Bute St on both sides to Alberni Street. I've no idea why they're there, or if their positioning is random or has a pattern, or what, if anything, they signify. But they're pretty!

Post title from this song by Jeremy Fisher.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

If I Only Had a Brain

This friendly scarecrow points the way to the Granville Island Farmers Market, on every Thursday morning all summer long. We're almost past blueberry season, and well into apricots, peaches, and fresh corn. This week saw the appearance of the first apples of the year. I'll miss the markets when winter arrives.

Post title from this song from the classic sung by Ray Bolger as The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Recently there was, mere steps from my apartment building, the Hare Krishna Chariot Festival held in Stanley Park. I wandered around to have a look. Wil Wheaton was there too, although I didn't run into him! He mentioned it on his twitter account - and his interpretation of a very similar photo to the one I took here says all that needs to be said, in my personal opinion.

Post title from this song by Roger Miller.

Slanted? Oh Yeah!!

Came across this oddity on Granville Street near Georgia Street, just a few steps away from this sculpture. I'm not sure what its purpose is - perhaps an information booth of some sort? I've never seen one that is intended to sit on a slant that way. But the sign says they'll be back at two o'clock, so I guess I can go back and figure out the mystery.

Post title from this song by The Time Lodgers.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Another mosaic from my wanders-about-town. This one's at the corner of Robson Street and Burrard Street - one of the busiest intersections in downtown Vancouver. Which means I have walked past it a kajillion times and never noticed it before. It's part of this series, and is called Sounds Around Town.

Post title from
this song by Laurence Juber.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cheap Art on the Walls

Found these posters for an art show on a recycling bin on Comox Street near Denman, long after the one-day show was over - although I knew about it at the time, I just wasn't able to make it to
The Cheaper Show 9. I hope to be able to attend 10.

Post title from this song by Taxpayer.

Monday, August 16, 2010


The same day I was wandering around Granville Island and took this photo, I also followed my feet to a spot almost directly under the Granville Street Bridge and pointed my lens straight up. I love being able to see the detail of all the many thousands of rivets holding the structure together.

Post title from this song by Praxis.


I seem to come across a lot of mosaics in my daily wanderings - more things I've never noticed before. I had no idea the streets of Vancouver were so bedecked with shards of tile. This shot's taken looking at the bottom of the fountain in the Georgia Street plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Until I googled vancouver art gallery fountain mosaic bc I had no idea this fountain was called Centennial Fountain. It was commissioned and installed in 1966; Canada's 100th birthday was July 1st, 1967.

Post title from this song by Sara Lov.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Like a Prayer

Ran across this mystery sculpture of giant praying hands on Granville Street near Georgia the other day. No idea why it's there; no sign, plaque or explanation of any kind. It's Sunday, so I thought the image was appropriate for those who believe.

Post title from this song by Madonna.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Have been on a bit of a blog holiday for the last ten days or so. I'm back. Daily photos to resume immediately.

The photo above is not actually of Vancouver, but a shot from the deck of a friend's place, on one of the Gulf Islands mostly populated, in the summer, by Vancouverites. So I'm cheating, a little.

Post title from this song by Astrud Gilberto.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Forest Fire

There are, at last count, over 400 forest fires burning in the province of British Columbia at the moment. This can make for quite dramatic sunsets - including the orange haze in this shot of English Bay. The sun is still fairly high in the sky, but the light it's casting is very much like the "golden hour" light of later in the day due to the smoke in the atmosphere.

Post title from this song by Lloyd Cole.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


A few days ago I was lucky enough to be invited to join a friend on a Harbour Air flight to one of the Gulf Islands for a weekend away. On our way out of the city I took a few shots with my iPhone, including this one as we approached the Lions Gate Bridge. Behind the bridge is Prospect Point, and below it the seawall. Bottom right corner of the photo is the Beaver aircraft's port side pontoon (the floats the sea plane lands on, on the water's surface) and bottom left corner of the photos is one of the struts from the centre of the wing to the body of the plane. It was a gorgeous day, and a relaxing weekend away, but it's good to be back!

Post title from this song by Amon Tobin.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Grabbed this quick shot of some totem pole carving mid-process in the carving shed on Granville Island, located between the public market and the gates to the Ocean Cement plant. The sign saying "Gone Fishing" is dated July 23rd. It must be a long trip out on the water as I took this photo on July 29th!

I'll have to try and get back there while carving is actually taking place to take photos of the carvers in action.

Post title from this song by Opien.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pride (In the Name of Love)

This is Pride Weekend in Vancouver, and today is the Pride Parade. At the intersection of Davie Street and Denman Street there is a stand of flagpoles. Through the year the Canadian flags on the taller poles stay the same, and the slightly shorter ring of poles surrounding them change according to what's happening in the city; Heart and Stroke awareness month in February, the Vancouver Marathon in May... For the last couple of weeks the Pride flags have been proudly, gaily flying.

I love my neighbourhood.

This photo also, coincidentally, fits in with the City Daily Photo Theme Day for August 1st: bright colours. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Post title from this song by U2.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Funky Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes on display at the Granville Island Farmers' Market, held every Thursday all summer long.

Post title from this song by the band of the same name, Funky Tomatoes.

Celebration of Light - VII*

Part of the finale to the Celebration of Light fireworks

Last one, I promise. This photo, and all the Celebration of Light posts that came before it, were taken on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. The country competing that evening was Mexico. They made a valiant effort, but in my opinion, Spain, who competed the previous Saturday, has it sewn up. Their display was quite magical. Tonight, July 31, is China's turn. Alas, I will be away and won't get a chance to see it.

*This post is the last in a series about the internation fireworks competition called the Celebration of Light.

Celebration of Light - VI*

More fireworks from the Celebration of Light

*This post is part of a series detailing the international fireworks competition called the Celebration of Light.

Celebration of Light - V*

The Celebration of Light fireworks from the roof of the building I live in.

*This post is part of a series detailing the Celebration of Light international fireworks competition.

Celebration of Light - IV*

The crowd on the beach at English Bay about an hour and a half before the show begins.
After this it got too dark to take any more photos of the crowd. There were live concerts near the beach, streets were closed, and people started to head to the roof to enjoy a glass of wine on a perfect warm Vancouver summer evening before the fireworks began.

This post is part of a series about the fireworks competition called the Celebration of Light.

Celebration of Light - The Third*

The beach crowd grows at English Bay, about three hours before the show begins.

*This post is part of a series about the annual fireworks competition hosted at English Bay called the Celebration of Light.

Celebration of Light - Redux*

The beach at English Bay, about four hours before the show begins.

*Part of a series of posts about the annual fireworks competition in Vancouver called the Celebration of Light.

Celebration of Light

I want to catch up with all the missing posts from July before the end of the month, so I'm going to cheat, and post several, all on the same topic, in one day. Shhh. Don't tell anyone.

The Celebration of Light is an annual international fireworks competition that takes place above the waters of English Bay. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the event. There are usually three or four countries competing, on two consecutive Wednesdays and Saturdays at the end of July. The fireworks displays, set off from a barge in the bay, are choreographed to music and last 30 full minutes each night. It's a huge celebration for the city. About 300,000 people crowd onto the shores surrounding English Bay to watch it every evening of the competition. It just happens that I have a view of the beach at English Bay from one of my apartment windows, and a view of the fireworks barge from the roof of my building. The photos over the next several posts should give you an idea about the size of the event.

The beach at English Bay, about seven hours before the show begins.

Post title from this song by Marina Ray.

Critical Mass

The last Friday of every month in downtown Vancouver means Critical Mass - a sometimes militant, often vocal, usually unruly mass bicycling demonstration through the streets. Woe to the car driver trying to get home during rush hour; Critical Mass usually snarls up traffic for hours, often closing the Lions Gate Bridge entirely for an hour or more. As much as I'm a cyclist myself, and advocate for more bicycle lanes and better vehicle driver awareness, I'm not personally a fan of their methods. To me it seems counter-productive - I just can't figure out how cycling through the streets without regard for the rules of the road, blocking traffic, and angering vehicle drivers is going to make anyone more enthusiastic about cyclists. Perhaps I'm just not very clever.

Caught this snap with my iPhone at the beginning of about a thousand cyclists barreling down Beach Avenue early this evening, fresh from their triumph at closing one of only two accesses to the North Shore in the midst of Friday rush hour at the beginning of a long weekend. I must be mindful as I go about my business next week, that vehicle drivers may be tempted to run me down if they think I was a part of the demonstration.

Post title from this song by Brian Sanhaji.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Another shot from the deck of the Lazee Gal. Not the most perfectly framed picture I've ever taken, but a boat bobbing on the water doesn't give you the most steady tripod to work with! In the picture: foreground is a Harbour Air sea plane taxiing for takeoff, middle is The Vancouver Convention Centre (including, on the right, Line of Work). The unusual light standards surround Jack Poole Plaza and you can just see the top of the permanently installed Olympic Cauldron peeking out. On the left is Douglas Coupland's Digital Orca installation. In the background is the Marine Building, one of Vancouver's most elegant highrises and a rare example of Art Deco architecture.

Post title from this song by Lush Life.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stainless Steel

Another Biennale piece, this stainless steel sculpture, "Borbora" by Vladas Vildziunas of Lithuania sits across the street from the main train station, in Thornton Park. I've managed, without really planning to, to take photos of ten of the Biennale's thirty-one current installations. Twenty-one to go!

Post title from this song by Emily Weedon and Delta.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Under the Bridge (Sous le pont)

Recently I was invited to join a short cruise aboard the Lazee Gal, an early 50's wooden yacht built by Thorton Grenfell (a locally renowned mid-century naval architect) and owned by a succession of prominent Vancouver families. It was a lovely evening, and while aboard I took the opportunity to get some photos from angles I wouldn't normally be able to see - like this one of the underside of the Lions Gate Bridge, mid-span.

Post title from this song by Benoit Charest from the Triplets of Belleville.


Woke up a few mornings ago to find this graffiti in my quiet residential neighbourhood on a few of the streets. It says "BC CSIS corrupt". I have no idea why it's been written in bright orange paint in the middle of the street. CSIS stands for Canadian Security Intelligence Service - basically our national spy agency. About two months ago there was quite a stir about the Canadian government being infiltrated by spies, but whether this graffiti is connected to that, and why it would only appear in the last week is a mystery to me.

Post title from this song by Depeche Mode.

Spanning Time

Another of the mosaics installed by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. I keep meaning to look up their locations and go photograph them and instead I just kind of stumble on them randomly as I'm going about my business in the downtown core. Fortunately I've had my camera with me most of the time. This one's called Spanning Time and is a stylized view of the Lions Gate Bridge. It's near the corner of Georgia Street and Howe Street, just steps away from where I took this photo.

Post title from this song by Parade of Sinners.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Clock Tower

The clock tower of the historic Sinclair Centre at the foot of Granville Street downtown. From their website:

"The [Post Office] building is easily identifiable by the 43m (141 ft) clock tower. The historic atrium clock was built in 1909 by John Smith & Sons and is the largest clock movement in Western Canada. The four, 12-foot diameter clocks were restored in 1986."
Post title from this song by AudioBody.

The Words Don't Fit the Picture

This large installation outside the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, called, obviously enough, "The Words Don't Fit the Picture" is by Ron Terada. It's a part of the city's Olympic public art project, like this piece on the opposite side of the main library building. It's meant to be evocative of Vancouver's neon sign history.

Post title from this Willie Nelson song.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Manhole (redux)

Another decorative manhole cover, also on Robson Street. COV at the bottom right is for, of course, City of Vancouver.

Post title from this song by Freddy King.

This post is the second of two posts for today. I'll be posting twice a day until I'm caught up from the days that were missed.

Brush With Life

This interesting piece of public art is located off the seawall near David Lam Park, not far from this photo. The floats at water level cause the angle of the top part to change with the tides, as well as rotate back and forth with winds, currents, and boat wakes. Sensors on the piece transmit information to It's called Brush With Illumination, and is by Buster Simpson.

A couple of boats from the small ferries that serve False Creek can be seen in the background.

Post title from this song by Litterbug.

This is one of two posts I'll be publishing today, in order to catch up from the several days I missed.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lost Hiker

A few days ago I decided to tackle the Grouse Grind (previously mentioned here) for the first time since 2007. About a hundred yards up the trail from the entrance is this sign, basically telling you that the owners of Grouse Mountain will take no responsibility whatsoever for any potentially dangerous choices you might make or mayhem you decide to perpetrate as you ascend. I took it fairly easy, and completed the hike up in 1 hour 22 minutes. The fastest people do it in just over half an hour. That's not me!

Post title from this song by Liz Durett.

Time Stand Still

A combination of circumstances has put this blog on the back burner for the last several days: a broken camera lens (I weep), a flurry of new business activity (I celebrate), and the general busy-ness of summer.

But I'm back! And I'll be posting two photos a day until I'm caught up. Here's the first of today's:

This morning I read that the 2010 Olympic countdown clock, situated on the Georgia Street plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery since February of 2007 was going to be split up and moved. I've had it on my mental list of things to take a picture of for months, so I hopped on my bike and did so. Rather than try to get a shot of the whole thing in a plaza filled with summer tourists, I got up close and pointed my lens at just the LED numbers, which have stayed at zero since the Olympics began. Reflected on the shiny surface of the clock's face is the Hotel Vancouver, which was opened in 1939. I like the image of one of downtown Vancouver's older buildings superimposed on a clock showing that time has run out.

Post title from this song by iconic Canadian band, Rush.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Newspaper

A sampling of the proliferation of newspaper boxes on the street corners of my neighbourhood. From left to right: The National Post, which purports to be a national newspaper but is very Toronto-centric; The Vancouver Sun, which is the local business newspaper; The Province, owned by the same media company as the Sun but much more tabloid in nature, and then the two free commuter dailies, 24 hours and Metro, which in my very biased opinion are excellent for wrapping fish.

Post title from this Citizen Cope song.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Skateboarding Music

During the Olympics, one of the best things about being downtown was that many of the major streets were closed to vehicle traffic. The celebratory atmosphere was electric; even if you didn't get to go to any official Olympic events, the party was in the street and just wandering around people watching was good fun in and of itself. Because it was such a success, the City of Vancouver has decided to close Granville St and make it pedestrian only during the weekends all summer. Last weekend was the first of these closures, and I wandered down to have a look. Caught this photo of a skateboarding competition that was taking place in front of the Vogue Theatre.

Post title from Anti-Flag.


This building near the corner of Hastings and Burrard is really that bronze-ish colour. I just loved the reflection of the clouds on the glass in this picture.

Post title from the classic Joni Mitchell album.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Another mosaic, this one at the northwest corner of Burrard Street and Dunsmuir Street, in the heart of downtown's business district. This one's called Sea of Opportunity. It's a part of this series.

Post title from this song by You Say Party! We Say Die!

The Blob

Another Vancouver Biennale piece. Made of stainless steel and located at the corner of Georgia Street and Granville Street, it's called Artificial Rock #143, by Zhan Wang of China. I like the way, in this shot, it looks like an amorphous mass oozing through the city, like The Blob.

By this point you may have guessed that science fiction books and films figured prominently in my growing-up years.

Post title from this song by The Five Blobs.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Every now and then I come across this Nissan Figaro parked in my neighbourhood. I was out last week looking for reflection photos for the last City Daily Photo Theme Day, and took this quick snap. In the end I went with a different photo for my theme day post, but I still really like this one.

Post title from this remix of the opera classic by ANT1.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer's Cauldron

If you do a search on flickr for the Vancouver Olympic Cauldron, there are many, many images by photographers more talented than I am. Although I missed getting a shot of it lit up, this is what it looked like when I sat perched on the edge of the reflecting pool, almost directly underneath it a couple of days ago, and pointed my iPhone straight up on a sunny day with high scattered cloud in the sky.

Post title from this song by XTC.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I stopped by Jack Poole Plaza a couple of days ago to get a picture of the Olympic Cauldron now that construction of the reflecting pool is complete and it's no longer behind fencing - I missed getting a shot of it lit since it was extinguished by the time shipboard fireworks viewing was over on Canada Day. Instead I stumbled across this relatively recently installed piece by Vancouver author and artist Douglas Coupland, called Digital Orca.

Post title from this song by Wintersleep.

First Nation

There's a bit of controversy brewing about Stanley Park at the moment. A First Nations elder recently suggested that the name be changed to Xwayxway to honour the First Nations history of the park land. Although there is no formal proposal to rename the park before city, provincial, or federal government, politicians are stumbling over themselves to agree or disagree with the idea. I wonder what Lord Stanley himself would think. Here he is, pictured above, on a pedestal inscribed with the words:



Lord Stanley
October 1889

I took this photo near the entrance to the park back in April, thinking of using it for the City Daily Photo theme day on May 1st. Today seemed an appropriate day to post it instead.

Post title from this song by Atikamihk.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Frigate Autumn

Yesterday I had the good fortune to be invited aboard the HMCS Vancouver, a frigate in the Canadian Navy, which was docked at the north end of Canada Place as part of the celebration of Canada's Navy's 100th birthday. As my husband joked, "Wow, the Canadian Navy, almost an old as a Japanese person!"

HMCS Vancouver is usually based out of CFB Esquimalt on Vancouver Island, home of Canada's Pacific Fleet, but has been visiting her namesake city for a few days now. As yesterday, July 1st, was Canada Day, a national holiday celebrating the formation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867 (before that we were a collection of separate British and French colonies), a number of civilians were invited aboard the Vancouver to view the Canada Day fireworks, set off from a barge just off Canada Place. I didn't really take photos of the fireworks - the photos never quite live up to the real event - but here's the ship just before I went aboard.

Post title from this song by Zhanna Klimova.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


The City Daily Photo theme for today is reflections. I took this one at Marinaside Quay in Yaletown a few days ago. The yacht is the Hotei, owned by a charter company in Vancouver.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


More mosaics - more things you don't notice when you're driving. When I was looking up information on the last mosaic I stumbled across, google told me about another mosaic project in downtown Vancouver, this one instigated by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. There are 18 of these mosaics in total, each one approximately one square metre. They were created by mosaic artists Liz Calvin and Bruce Walther. This one's called Transported Through Time, and is situated near the corner of Burrard Street and Smithe Street.

Post title from this song by DJ Alexis Freites.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


When I took this photo this morning on Cordova Street near Abbott (across the street from this photo), I had no idea what Vandal Team Supreme was, I just thought the sticker looked odd and interesting next to the fire department connection on the side of a building. Google tells me it's a group of graffiti artists. There is a tag on one of the connections - maybe it has to do with that.

I just thought it looked kind of cool.

Post title from this song by YUNYU.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lost in the Supermarket

The weather for the last several days here has been dismal. People have taken to calling it Junuary, what with all the rain and gloom. So I look for other ways to put a smile on my face, and one of the things I love most about Vancouver, especially living downtown, is being in the midst of such a multi-cultural environment. On any given day I hear about a dozen languages spoken around me in my neighbourhood, and today I passed by this sign on Seymour Street. I don't know what the Arabic says, but I love that it's paired with a shout-out for Mexican products in the same store. (Foodness Supermarket)

Post title from this song by The Clash.