Vancouver Then and Now: Downtown (PHOTOS)

Dec 19 2017, 1:37 pm

The Vancouver Archives is full of gems, giving us a look at what Vancouver was like centuries ago. But what if we wanted to know what an exact location today looked like 100 years ago? That’s what Vancouver’s Andrew Farris set out to achieve.

After getting the idea for a Then and Now photo series when he travelled to Nagasaki, Japan and realized the series made experiencing the history of the atomic bombing much more real, Farris wanted to capture more cities and show the change from then to now.

“I started making the website out of a love of history and to give myself something to do while backpacking around the world,” Farris told Vancity Buzz.

“The photos themselves are actually really easy to shoot,” Farris said, who shot all pictures for his five-part Vancouver series in the Fall and Winter of 2014. “Most of the time is spent on archival research and the web design.”

What’s next? “Now that I’ve done Vancouver and Victoria, I’m going to Europe to write and do photo essays. I’m putting together a huge Then and Now series for London right now.”

Each day this week, we’ll be featuring one part of Farris’ Vancouver Then and Now series, starting with downtown. To see more of Farris’ work, visit his blog at

Vancouver skyline seen from North Vancouver

Christ Church Cathedral on Burrard and Georgia

Men with ploughs clear land for construction of the Courthouse, today’s Art Gallery

The Art Gallery, a few years after completion

This Methodist Church was once adjacent to Christ Church Cathedral, on the southwest corner of Burrard and Georgia

Granville Street at night

Mounted officers lead a parade down Georgia Street

The Burrard and Georgia crosswalk

The Catholic Holy Rosary Cathedral on Richards and Dunsmuir just after its completion

Richards and Pender

A battalion of soldiers marching west on Georgia, near Thurlow Street

You can see Hotel Vancouver on the right hand side

A row of houses on Burrard between Robson and Georgia

Military parade going west down Georgia, celebrating Vancouver’s Diamond Jubilee (60th birthday)

The original Hudson’s Bay Company building on Granville and Georgia

Workers replace streetcar tracks on Granville Street

Streetcar workers looking north from Nelson Street

More streetcar tracks on Granville

Looking north down Granville

Looking north towards the water and mountains down Granville on Georgia

The northwest corner of Granville and Georgia

Houses facing onto Georgia Street

The intersection of Cordova, Richards and Water four weeks after the Great Fire of Vancouver in 1886

Then photos courtesy of Vancouver Archives
Now photos courtesy of Andrew Farris / On This Spot

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