Here come the rains again…are you ready to layer on and boot up? After a stunning summer, it’s time to trade flip-flops and flimsy tanks for all things fall. Sweater vests, mock necks and leather sneaks have hit the shelves…
Readers of the Georgia Straight have once again named the best that Vancouver has to offer and it's no surprise that Gastown independents are at the top when it comes to caffeine, close shaves and street style
Located in Vancouver's historic Gastown on Water Street, terminus is a unique blend of historic façades and all new construction with a very modern aesthetic. A fire that destroyed all but the façade of the terminus hotel in Gastown provided an opportunity for something exquisite to rise up in its place.
High ceilings - many of them double-height;
secured, in-building parking; and very hip roof top urban lounge help make the flats and lofts at terminus the living end... and a great beginning.
36 Water Street Vancouver Gastown
New concrete construction with heritage façade
619 to 1620
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It's what villages have been like for hundreds of years. But with the invention of the automobile, we drove further and further to our homes in the suburbs and left our urban communities behind. Now, with commuter times, increasing fuel costs, pollution and global warming, the need is greater than ever to embrace this concept of urbanism - the reinvention of healthy, village-like urban communities.
Every community has a reason for being - both where and how it is. Often though, the connection to, and understanding of, its origins are lost over time. Uncovering
these forgotten values and latent potential within a place is what we do. That adds to the existing fabric of an area in real and meaningful ways. It is the re-imagining of the overlooked. And in that reinvention we find new energy that helps to make our communities more vibrant... and more livable.
But building on the strengths of the past also means adding to those strengths with good design and planning. We believe that good architecture is like art and it enhances our living experience. After all, buildings are the most noticeable of what we leave behind, and are the hallmarks of any civilization.
It's why we love where we come from and the buildings that remain. Yet to us, historic environments and modernism are not mutually exclusive concepts. We do our best to marry excellence from the past with the best design of today. It is our commitment to the future. And in the process, we are creating some of the most interesting spaces available today. There are easier ways to build. But, there are few as satisfying. And for us, there aren't any as salient.
Gastown was named after Captain "Gassy Jack" Deighton who had a saloon built in 1867 near the south shore of Burrard Inlet. Soon, businesses followed and in time the community grew into the city of Vancouver.
Today, many buildings remain from the 1886 to 1914 period when Victorian and Edwardian commercial architecture was prominent. During the past decade, the city of Vancouver, the Gastown business improvement association and commercial building owners have shared a commitment to preserve, revitalize and promote Gastown. The area, with some 24,000 residents, is home to 30 per cent of all the social housing in the city. City planners are expecting to see the amount of market housing to double to 4000 units between 2005 and 2015.
The city has been offering financial and administrative incentives to building owners and retailers to conserve their heritage buildings as part of the City's Gastown Heritage Management Plan. All of these efforts have paid off. The area is undergoing resurgence. Buildings are being brought back to life, and new businesses and new residential units are being developed.
It has been impressing tourists and locals with its steam whistles at Cambie and Water streets ever since, but it hasn't been the most reliable time keeper. So after 37 years of operation, the city asked Saunders to give the clock a refit.
The clock was taken down in October, and the $50,000 refit was originally scheduled to be completed by Christmas.
The clock was expected to be working on Tuesday, but after some challenges with a malfunctioning valve, it is now expected to blow steam on Wednesday.
Saunders said the only other time the clock was taken down was when it was hit by a car and had to undergo a $20,000 repair. He notes the clock kept running despite the crash.
When the clock is operating, Saunders said he still goes down twice a week to check on it and talk to people gathered around waiting for the whistles to blow.
"It is very gratifying to see how popular it has become. I just love going down there and talking to people... quite often I open the clock up and let them push a button and blow the whistle and it really blows them away."
While the Gastown clock was his first, Saunders has since created many other clocks for cities worldwide, including Whistler, Port Coquitlam, Indianapolis and Otaru, Japan.
He also made two other clocks in Vancouver, one on Main Street and the other in Queen Elizabeth Park.
"They are nice little icons for that area of the city."
Steam engine turning the gears
The clock is powered by steam from the city's downtown centralized heating system, which drives a piston inside a miniature steam engine inside the clock.
That engine in turn drives a series of ball-weights, chains and gears, which in turn drive a conventional pendulum, which in turn powers the clock's time-keeping mechanism that was custom-built in England based on an 1875 design.
But the clock is not entirely steam powered. It also has three small electric motors to help operate two internal fans, one of which blows the steam out the top, and another that controls the valves that play the tunes on the five steam whistles mounted atop the clock case.
The large central whistle, which was taken off the CPR steam tug Naramata, counts off the full hours while the four auxiliary whistles chime the Westminster Quarters every quarter hour. The number of chimes matches the number of quarter hours that have passed.
To hear more from Ray Saunders, click the audio labelled: Gastown steam clock's creator.
Vancouver Century 21 David Hutchinson has regular video reviews of different areas in Vancouver West & Vancouver East regarding Vancouver condos, Vancouver rentals, Vancouver property management, Vancouver houses, and income property. Hutchy Knows Homes! www.vancouvercentury21.com 778-839-5442 email@example.com Contact David for any real estate questions, and the right answers.
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