Friday 7 November 2008

The Station

It's going to be a long time before I refer to this as Pacific Central. It is, in my opinion, a goofy name and the result of a lame compromise. 

This was the Canadian National Railway Station. We had other stations as well, the Great Northern Station was next door and has been a ginormous weed patch for decades. The Canadian Pacific Station is downtown and now serves as a commuter hub, among other things.

Canadian National, CN, is just a freight hauler. Since 1972 passenger service across Canada has been handled by VIA Rail. So, to make a long and boring story short and boring, somebody, CN I guess, didn't like the idea that the sign on top of the station read Canadian National since the building had nothing to do with them. The sign had historical significance and the usual brouhaha erupted over what to do about it. We ended up with Pacific Central in the same style as the original sign. 

Amtak goes south from here and all the highway bus services run from here as well. I'm hoping to take the train to Toronto in the next couple of months. If I do there'll be more train pics on here than any normal person will be able to tolerate. 

The Great Northern station is pictured below. It was demolished more than 40 years ago and nothing has been built in it's place. Imagine the creative opportunities for new uses for a building like this. The apparent lack of vision in Vancouver in the 60s is just staggering. I remember the building well and regret that I never got to see the interior. 


Laurie Allee said...

WOw, Wayne, I would have loved to have seen inside that old building, too.

All this renaming of stuff makes me nervous. At least it's not the Staples Pacific Station or Sony Station. (Not yet, anyway.)

Great shot, my friend. ANd hey, we're on the same train station wavelength today! :-)

Anonymous said...

How sad the building was demolished - it looks a fine place.

I agree with Laurie, you could have a lot worse than Pacific Central. In England I can't stand how so many football grounds are now named after their sponsors.

USelaine said...

A lack of vision concerning historic preservation and creative re-use happens in every generation, it seems. I saw all kinds of idiocy in downtown Sacramento. That old craftsmanship will never be duplicated.

Virginia said...

Well something that unites Birmingham , Al and Vancouver, BC..... demolished railroad stations due to complete and utter stupidity of MORONS. :)

Ken Mac said...

good history of a great building and a better shot! So what did you do with the bird Wayne!

Jill said...

It is a shame this stately building was demolished. You are so right that it could have been put to good use.

bitingmidge said...

Living as I do in a town with no history, and struggling to come to terms with infrastructure, I'm not sure whether your description is inspiring or disturbing!

Maybe I do!

Sunshine Coast Daily - Australia

Jane Hards Photography said...

We should preserve not demolish. As for name cahnes I'm dead against it. Whenever they re name something it always bears no relevence to the place, just something bland.

Wayne said...

MM, the bird is on R n' R. He's back in LA where the weather is fine and the living is easy. The irony is, it's duck weather here.