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.
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Wikipedia for the information.
I hope you find the beauty around you.