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Documenting Vancouver as it changes

November 28th, 2008 · 5 Comments

In keeping with my recent post about slow blogs, my former Vancouver Sun colleague Lee Bacchus is coincidentally launching a blog — Splinter in Your Eye — which is a minimalist “slow” blog (, composed almost entirely of images that focus on Vancouver in transition. Photos are by Lee, illustrations by Bernie Lyon.
A great topic for this city where things change so fast, our biggest problem is looking at a hole-in-the-ground construction site and trying to remember what was there yesterday. I’m kind of envious, as one of my fantasy projects has always been to photography every building in the city so there’s a record of what stood on the site before the latest development project.
As Lee says, “It is not about “news” or “the latest thing” or “politics” or “technology.” It is trying simply to be about seeing what’s in front of us.”

Here’s the blog URL…

Linked to this, Lee also has a photo essay on the last days of Little Mountain Housing Project called “Ghost World” in The Tyee.

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  • Sharon

    we had a similar fantasy project in South Granville – only was did it! In honour of our 100th birthday, we photographed every building as well as many of the sights we consider part of our every day life in the hood. In some cases we were able to match the photograph angles that appear in many of the Vancouver archive photos of the area. It was so much fun. To top it off – all the photographs are now buried in a time capsule under the side walk at the Stanley Theatre. I am so glad we did it because the street already looks different with the loss of MacKinnons, Jacksons and Canada Produce.

  • Good stuff. Thanks for the link. Amazing pictures of a dead community in the middle of the provinces.

  • Dawn Steele


  • They’re off to a great start – there are some really nice photos there.

    This reminds me of the Changing City photo project that the city did a few years ago:

    (The photo transitions use some unfortunate method that might not work in modern browsers, but there’s an alternative link on each photo’s page).

    I’m often fascinated by the descriptions of Vancouver from those who lived here even 20 or 30 years ago. Given the pace of change in the city now and the ubiquity of tools to document that change, I think we stand to understand the city as a changing place in some newly interesting ways.

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