Joyce-Collingwood Precinct – a brief history

Welcome to my hood. This is Joyce-Collingwood. I’m still not used to the long version of the Skytrain station name. I still just call it Joyce Station. However, Collingwood is the official name of the neighbourhood, hence the hyphenated name.

Joyce Collingwood 3D model capture

Well before I was ever around, this area of Collingwood was a lake where the Musqueam nation used to hunt and gather food. When colonial settlement happened, European settlers found that they could drain the lake and use the fertile soil for farming. In 1891, the Interurban tram opened along the very same alignment as today’s SkyTrain. The Interurban brought people, housing and businesses into the area.

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Covered Roots: The History of Vancouver’s Chinese Farms – Video

Here’s a neat video I came across while reading about East Van Market Gardens tour done by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. It’s a 22-minute video that talks about the history of how Chinese immigrants farmed much of the area. This agricultural history all used to take place right in the middle of the city. Continue reading Covered Roots: The History of Vancouver’s Chinese Farms – Video

Hong Kong’s Yuen Long

Chinese calligraphy in Ching Shu Hin house in Yuen Long

Yuen Long is a large district in the northwest section of the territory. It was one of the largest town centres in the New Territories outside of the urban core of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. I had been meaning to visit this part of Hong Kong on many occasions. I actually got there this time with my sister, parents, and mother-in-law in tow.

First off, you should know about the special day pass for the Yuen Long and Tuen Mun areas of Hong Kong. This pass is not very well advertised on the MTR website. There are only two stations from which you can buy such passes – Nam Cheong and Mei Foo. The pass allows for unlimited travel on the West Rail, the Yuen Long/Tuen Mun LRT, and MTR-run buses in the area.

Tuen Mun – Nam Cheong Day Pass

This was also the first time I ever rode the West Rail. This line was the last of all the Hong Kong rail lines for me to travel upon. I could finally check it off my list.

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Hong Kong Museum of History

In continuing with the free museum days on Wednesdays in Hong Kong, my sister and I made our way to the Hong Kong Museum of History in Kowloon on Chatham Road. In terms of rail transport, the museum is within easy walking distance of the Hung Hom Railway Station. However, most tourists may actually find themselves walking due east from the busier Nathan Road.

This is the second time I’ve been to this museum. There aren’t many temporary exhibits here. The one temporary exhibit I wanted to see was an extra cost on top of the usual admission.  So much of what I saw was the same as before. However, it is still worth walking through this very extensive museum.

Diorama models of Qing Dynasty Hong Kong

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Tai Po Railway Museum

As a transit traveller, I inevitably find myself drawn to all things transportation. The Tai Po Railway Museum is a small, but perfectly affordable destination. Nothing is more affordable than free!

The Tai Po Railway Museum is actually the renovated station area of the Old Tai Po Railway Station. The station was built in 1913 and was converted to a museum in 1985 after the new Tai Po Market railway station was open. Although built in the 20th Century, the old station was built with Chinese architecture and ornamentation. Even the Chinese is meant to be read in the old, traditional right-to-left style.

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VHF Railtown Walking Tour

The Walking Tour season for Vancouver Heritage Foundation has just finished.  If you would like to go on these tours, contact the Foundation or check their website some time next year to see what tours they have in store for us in 2014. This time our Railtown walking tour actually started in or at the edge of Gastown.  I guess it depends who you talk … Continue reading VHF Railtown Walking Tour

VHF West End Walking Tour

The Walking Tour season for Vancouver Heritage Foundation has just finished.  If you would like to go on these tours, contact the Foundation or check their website some time next year to see what tours they have in store for us in 2014. In August, I had the pleasure of joining the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and Maurice Guibord on yet another wonderful walking tour. This … Continue reading VHF West End Walking Tour

Georgia Viaduct Walking Tour

The Vancouver Heritage Foundation does it again.  I simply love them and their tours.  A couple of Wednesday nights ago, I had the extreme pleasure of joining a small platoon of social media contest winners along with John Atkins and Gordon Price on a walking tour about the Georgia Viaduct. First off, there were the ruins of the first Georgia Viaduct.  I didn’t even know … Continue reading Georgia Viaduct Walking Tour

Cumberland – Chinese and Mining History in a Small BC Town

Cumberland is one of the last places I would have ever thought of visiting. I never heard of this little Vancouver Island town until I heard that my wife would be working for a while in Courtenay.  Cumberland is up and away from the east coast of Vancouver Island. It’s a quick drive past the Inland Island Highway from Courtenay to Cumberland. For me, the … Continue reading Cumberland – Chinese and Mining History in a Small BC Town

Chinatown Walking Tour – East along Pender

Continuing our Chinatown Historic Tour put on by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation, we headed back east along Pender Street.  We walked under the Millennium Gate that marks the entry into Chinatown from Downtown.  Almost every Chinatown in North America has a similar gate.  We just didn’t get ours until the turn of the millennium. We walked past our starting point at Pender and Carrall towards … Continue reading Chinatown Walking Tour – East along Pender