Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Seat of Power

If you walk west along Broadway then go south on Cambie you will come to this magestic building.

Here is where matters pertaining to the city of Vancouver are decided. (I mean Vancouver BC of course not Vancouver Washington) The grounds that lead from these stairs to the ones pictured above are pristine and lush with tall, full trees, benches to sit on and even a garden that has been allowed to retain some of its natural wildness.

The West 12 Avenue entrance has a garden area that is a bit more manicured.

Once you climb the long, imposing set of stairs you are greeted by an eight foot statue of Captain George Vancouver.

On April 29, 1792 Captain George Vancouver's two ships entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Vancouver Island and Washington State. Vancouver was the first European to enter the Burrard Inlet. He named it after a friend, Sir Harry Burrard who happened to be another British Officer in the Royal Navy. Vancouver spent the next three weeks surveying the area.

This city hall was built in 1936. From 1929 to 1936 City Hall was in the Holden Building, a 1911 structure that has been restored. Before that the city's mayor and council had an office from 1897 to 1929 in a building that was a southern neighbour to the Carnegie Library. That city hall is no longer standing.

On January 3, 1936 construction began on this current city hall and it was finished by December 1 of that same year. Eight days after the building's completion a new mayor, George Clark Miller, was elected. So he took office in the new building on January 2, 1937. But the city didn't forget Mayor Gerry McGeer who laid the first cornerstones to this building at the beginning. A plaque is showcased inside as well as a bust by the West 12 Avenue entrance

The interior designers at City Hall haven't forgotten the past either. Being a writer I was very interested in what I found on the second floor:
At least I think I was on the second floor.

This is a beautiful building that has had a few additions since its initial creation and one that fits the city that Vancouver has become since its incorporation in 1886. Not only did we host the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympic Games with style, humour and grace - in 2006 we were listed as the third largest city in Canada. And, the icing on the cake, Vancouver has been ranked highly numerous times as a world wide 'livable city'.

One of the reasons that may be is that Vancouver seems to do a lot of building and creating. While walking along Broadway I happened to see this:

I was informed that this is some sort of pump. I don't care really I just think it looks graceful. And it is useful too.

Or perhaps the reason is the charming treasures found along the roadsides.

It could also be some of the people you meet as well. This is Jaime who I started talking with while waiting for a light to change. Very friendly, very open man with a positive spirit. He's also a blogger and I hope to be exchanging links with him soon.

Whatever the reason I find this a very livable city that I love.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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