Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Neighbourhood Watch - The Drive

To some, Commercial Drive starts at Venables. And that is where you start to see the shops and restaurants. 

Commercial Drive was a different place before the 1950s. The area consisted of market gardens, sash and door factories, light industrial, rooming houses, dairies, orchards and open fields. Due to the urban sprawl, that was all filled in during the fifties.

This area is also known as Little Italy, due to the large influx of Italians after World War II. A sizeable Portuguese population came here as well. The European influence was diluted somewhat by the arrival of Asians in the 1960s and in the eighties, Latinos started to make their home in the Drive area. Today, every nationality and heritage is reflected in the faces of the Drive denizens.

 This is a neat store. Full of furniture and items from decades past. Makes me feel old sometimes when I remember using some of the items!

The Drive attracted a large anti-culture population during the 1980s. Political activists, lesbians, gays, hippies, punks and artists are all drawn to this district. (Notice I say are because some things don't change.) This is still a gathering place for those interested in fighting the system.

In December of 1985, the Skytrain opened the Broadway Station. This brought more people to the area and not always for the better. Pan-handling increased as did the use of drugs, drunks, prostitution and the other 'benefits' of living in a city.

There has also been a cosmetic change to The Drive and neighbouring streets. Gentrification means Grandview Park got a facelift, new condominiums and townhouses are popping up in the area and new storefronts are replacing the old woodframe stores. The downside of that is that Vancouver is also losing its history with the demolishing of old buildings.

I don't usually do this but my friends at MasterKoda are having a big sale from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. This group of people have been a really big help to me with my writing career and it is an honour to tell you about their sale.

Join more than 35 great authors in this holiday celebration. The biggest book event on Facebook. Games, prizes, fun. Enter drawing for $100 gift card, $25 gift card, huge ebook bundle, swag, more. So if you are on Facebook, join the event here.

I would like to thank Wikipedia for the information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.


  1. The face of change can leave irreversible happenings. Take American for instance we elected a President who is making changes so fast our heads are spinning and he is doing it so fast our children well never know what it was like to really be free. It will take years to undue--that is if we can all the damage his administration has done.

    I guess one thing can be said about change. Enjoy the life you have before the changes are made because some can't be undone and I know how Canadians enjoy their history. Rock on.

    1. Not all Canadians are historically minded. Vancouver is building condominiums and townhouses like crazy. Unfortunately, we are also losing some of historical buildings like the Pantages Theatre - the last vaudeville house in Canada.

  2. I think Americans have long given up the fight especially with special interest groups. Our farm was once considered a historical place but then the Town wanted the forest and decided it held no historical significance. Greed, power, and politics win every time.

    1. Part of Vancouver's problem is it is growing so fast we don't have the room for everyone. Even the fact it is expensive to live here doesn't seem to deter people.