I have to admit that there is not much to interest the strolling civic historian in this stretch of the walk. At 49th Avenue, where we began, the site of the old Athlone School for Boys is occupied now by a townhome development. The school was in operation from 1941 to 1973 and when I was young one used to see the odd Athlone student out and about, identifiable by their blazers and flannel.
The greenway passes through residential neighbourhoods all the way to Marpole where it terminates near the foot of Granville Street. We stood for a while beneath the sign pictured above looking across the river, contemplating the aircraft come and go at the International Airport.
One potentially interesting landmark is Colbourne House, situated in a park beside the path. Built in 1912, it is home to the Marpole Museum & Historical Society. Unhappily it was not open when we came calling.
Another nearby landmark is the site of the original White Spot drive-in located at 67th and Granville. Opened in 1928, it was a go-to destination when I was a teenager. Just mentioning it evokes the smell of vinegar and the taste of those thick strawberry shakes. Very occasionally on Sunday we would go as a family for lunch to the more elegant dining room associated with the drive-in where for some reason I particularly remember the greengage jam. This location closed in the mid-1980s after a fire though of course White Spot continues in business.
With no hamburgers to be had, we made our way back up the greenway to our starting point, stopping at a coffee shop along the way for a cappuccino, something you never would have found at a White Spot in 1965.
There are many reasons to walk/cycle/jog the greenway but any longtime resident of Vancouver will find much to stimulate their memories of the place before it became the City of Glass.
Today's New York Times has an article about the Nanaimo Bar, that custardy treat that according to the Times all of us up here north of the border just can't get enough of. (Does that make me less of a Canadian? I have never liked them, too sweet.) There is even a recipe.
The origin of the bars has always been hard to pin down. The Times puts it in the 1950s and suggests that they were...
The new issue of Canada's History, just out, contains a small contribution from myself, a review of Rick James's book about rum-running on the BC coast. But the main feature in the mag is an article by James Naylor assessing the significance of the Winnipeg General Strike.
This year is the centenary of the strike, which took place in the spring of 1919. It came at the end of a...
The second stage of our walk along the Arbutus Greenway (part one here) took us south from 16th Avenue into the heart of Kerrisdale. Because the southern border of Vancouver used to be 16th, the entire route runs through what was the municipality of South Vancouver (until 1908) and then the municipality of Point Grey. Vancouver expanded to absorb its neighbouring municipalities on Jan. 1, 1929.
Anyway, this section of the...
I was interested to read this recent article in the Montreal Gazette about the partial demolition of much of the Little Burgundy neighbourhood in the late-1960s-early-1970s. Steven High writes that in the name of urban renewal much of the city's English-speaking black population was displaced. The community had grown up close to two railway stations because so many black men...
A few changes were made to the site recently with the unfortunate result that the door was left open to those robots which flood the digital world with faux comments.
As a result I've had to close the comments section. I'd still love to hear from you. If you want to get in touch you can do so through the contact address.