Vancouver Then and Now

While browsing through Vancitybuzz recently, I found an article featuring two of my favourite photo themes: vintage and aerial. Being quite familiar with this medium through my thesis, I poured over the photos of vintage Vancouver like most people would. And then I had a thought – artists have created then-and-now comparisons with street level photography for ages. But, now with the power of Google Earth, we can create then-and-now comparisons that would even be difficult to attain the correct perspective from a helicopter. Maybe that’s my excuse for being to thrifty to hire a helicopter for a couple hundred hours in order to get this just right… Anyways, I hope you enjoy.

Credits to Jill Slattery at Vancouverbuzz for inspiration, Vancouver Archives for source photos, and Google for the glorious gift of alien technology.

1919 to 2004 – Looking East Along Georgia Street

  • Vancouver, 1919
    Vancouver, 1919
  • Vancouver, 2004
    Vancouver, 2004


Side by Side:

1919 - Looking East Along Georgia Street
1919 – Looking East Along Georgia Street
2004 – Looking East Along Georgia Street







Coming Soon:

1919 to 2000 – North Vancouver Waterfront


Neighbourhoods change frequently. The very nature of change means that things never stay the same. Too often in urban areas, we fall prey to a sense that neighbourhoods have never changed until some recent given phenomenon where someone has the audacity to change the character of our neighbourhood. Looking at historical aerial photos in isolation tends to conjure thoughts of another time, another place. However, looking at them side by side allows us to observe the change in real time. This real time observation gives this subject justice.

Vancouver, like any other major urban centre, has undergone dramatic change over time. Some (Jeremy – enthos_fog) have captured this change from a micro scale with storefronts. This particular page of UrbanShift will capture the City-level scale. But, the real goal will be to see how this has transpired on a macro scale, across the Region. Since the mid 1940s, in the Lower Mainland there have been ongoing conversations on how our region will continue to grow. As an earlier project has shown, this multi-decade project yielded some dramatic results. UrbanShift will continue this conversation, and show where we came from, what we’re doing today, and where we’re going.

So, stay tuned.