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January 30, 2009 10:57 AM   Subscribe

What are the biggest changes in Vancouver (BC) over the last seven years?

Seven years ago I moved away from Vancouver to the flat and gray environs of southern Ontario. I haven't been back since then (mostly out of fear that if I went back for a visit, I would have to be physically dragged back home).

I'm planning a trip back for this spring, and wondering how the city has changed in my absence.When I left, the second SkyTrain line was still a work in progress, Main St. wasn't a hip shopping destination, and the Winter Olympics were just a far-off dream.

For those of you still there, what have been the biggest/most significant changes to the urban landscape over the last 7 years? What are the hip new neighbourhoods, what places have taken a turn for the worse? What is the significant new architecture and what beloved buildings have been torn down to put them up? Has East Hastings become gentrified yet, and if so where have the junkies moved to?

I'd also like to hear about where the indie kids hang out these days if not at the Starfish Room, Sugar Refinery, or Blinding Light (all RIP as far as I know).
posted by Gortuk to Travel & Transportation around Vancouver, BC (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
- Lots of new real estate - highrises downtown, condos and townhomes everywhere else.
- No, East Hastings/Main area is still as bad as it's ever been. However, there are a lot of new high rises in that general area, so the gentrification is not far off.
- New sky train line from downtown to the airport (to be open in nov '09). You haven't been here for the construction, but the Cambie corridor has been unusable for the past 2-3? years.
- Olympic village and the associated developments around lower mainland (such as the olympic oval in richmond)
- New Peak2Peak chair in Whistler.

No idea about where the cool kids hang out sorry.

Might wanna checkout beyondrobson. Good vancouver related blog.
posted by aeighty at 11:22 AM on January 30, 2009

I was away for 7 years and came back last year. Tower developments have sprung up around numerous stations, such as Joyce, but especially the Millenium Line ones in north Burnaby, which was just starting to be built when I left. Downtown looks like NYC now, ridiculous at that sounds, even to me. Just so many towers. It feels insanely crowded with people everywhere. Marine Drive in south Burnaby and Vancouver is no longer kind of a straight-through to UBC because the Knight to Granville portion has been quite slowed down with congestion and the eastern portions have parks, a huge new shopping zone and residential developments fronting the river.

(Oh, yes, and apparently now we have large amounts of snow, but I guess that's just this year only.)
posted by Listener at 11:48 AM on January 30, 2009

There's the Tinseltown cinema complex over by GM Place, which I think is new, as is the Costco down over that way. There's also better shopping in Vancouver now, Tiffany's being a sign of the times.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:03 PM on January 30, 2009

Coal Harbour shows signs of life.
posted by acoutu at 2:02 PM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

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