Vancouver perspectives

Vancouver, 1907

To some, Vancouver is a collision of condo towers, a mecca for mining companies or a promoters’ paradise. It is all of these, of course, and much more.

Last night I tweeted this photo of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland from space, courtesy of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s Twitter account (a must-follow). Hadfield has been tweeting unearthly photos and anecdotes from his post on the international space station.

The photo is a gem – clearly visible are Deltaport, the ferry terminal, Burns Bog, Stanley Park, the Fraser River and other landmarks.

Today, a different perspective: a 1907 video of downtown Vancouver taken from the front of a trolley car. Step into a time machine and watch the chaos: horses and buggies, well-dressed men and women cutting it close in front of the railcar, and mischevious children darting in front of the car. The 6-minute film is a treasure, especially because Vancouver is a young city with a tendency to demolish its past, leaving only ghosts.

The video was taken by pioneer Seattle filmmaker William Harbeck, who was later commissioned to document the Titanic’s maiden voyage. Harbeck didn’t survive his final assignment; his fine work lives on.

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