After participating in the Vancouver Heritage Foundation‘s Hastings East Historic Walk, I just had to join the Hastings West walk. After missing my first opportunity due to the one-day cold (seriously out for one day and okay the next), I was there for the last opportunity in early November. And what a beautiful and sunny autumn day it was.
The walk took us from the beautiful art deco Marine Building at Hastings and Burrard in the west to Victory Square and the Dominion Building at Hastings and Cambie in the east. Maurice Gibord was our guide and he makes the tour extremely fun and accessible. He really gets into his element with these tours. We had a pretty big group of about 20, I think. A couple of the participants even brought their babies and strollers in tow.
So we met on the northeast corner of Burrard and Hastings. Maurice explained how “downtown” has moved over the years. A different times in Vancouver’s history, different parts of town have served as the city centre. Currently, the central business district is centred around Burrard Street. Previously, though, Hastings Street was much more pivotal for businesses. The Downtown Eastside had its heyday at one time. So did the portion of Hastings from Burrard to Cambie. So “downtown” has really shifted around over the decades. Even now, downtown is in flux and the central business district may be shifting once again.
Our first stop of the Hastings West walk was the grand Marine Building. This was my first time ever in the Marine Building. You’ll see what a stunning gem of a building it is in the next post. The Marine Building truly deserves a post of its own.