Vancouver is ever-evolving, but there are parts of the city that have changed a lot more drastically than others and you can use Google Street View to see some of those changes.
You’ve likely used Google Street View to get a lay of the land when navigating around parts of the world, but Street View also has a handy time travel feature (it’s not officially called that, but it should be).
You can pick any spot in the world on Street View, and using the time toggle function you can go back in time to a specified date all the way back to around 2007 at the earliest.
Some practical examples of why you’d want to do this include seeing a building that has been demolished or destroyed in a fire. Or if there’s a monument or landmark that has been changed in some way, you can see what it once looked like.
These are some notable points of interest in Vancouver that have changed through the lens of Google Street View. The cameras have also been heavily upgraded over the years.
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Before Nordstrom moved into the neighbourhood, a massive SEARS store occupied the same space at Pacific Centre in downtown Vancouver.
This is what it looks like today:
In other parts of downtown, notable changes also took place.
One particular point of interest is near Davie and Burrard Streets where a community garden is located. There actually used to be a gas station there.
Street View only shows us the remnants of the gas station back in 2007.
Another area of downtown Vancouver that has seen huge change is the area near BC Place at 29 Smithe Street.
Here’s the area in 2009 before Parq Casino came to be:
BC Place itself has also seen significant change after a new roof was installed.
Main and Broadway
With construction of the Broadway Subway project in full force, it has caused major developmental changes in Mount Pleasant.
One main area that has changed a lot is Main and Broadway.
This is what it looks like today:
This is what it looked like in 2007:
A large fire destroyed most of this corner of Main and Broadway back in 2009.
The Fox Cabaret
The Fox Cabaret wasn’t always the Fox Cabaret.
At one point it was actually called Fox Cinema, but they weren’t showing your typical movies here.
The Fox Cinema was an adult movie theatre, one of the last of its kind in Vancouver.
The Canada Line aka RAV Line
When the 2010 Winter Games came to town, it was a catalyst for a huge makeover for parts of Vancouver.
This was especially true for areas of the city where brand new Canada Line — initially known as the RAV Line — stations were going to be situated.
Here’s what Cambie and Broadway looked like during construction of the Canada Line.
It’s very reminiscent of what we’re seeing today at Main and Broadway.
This is the same area today:
Construction of the Canada Line also created quite an eyesore around Langara College.
The changes at Marine Gateway are just as astounding to look at in pictures.
Earlier this year, an iconic statue of Gassy Jack was forcibly removed by demonstrates in Gastown.
While you can no longer visit this statue in person, you can still get a good look at it using Google Street View.
Gassy Jack isn’t the only area of Gastown that has seen major changes since 2009. The roads in Gastown have seen better days.
This is just one example of road degradation near 160 Water Street, close to Vancouver Film School.
The more things change…
There’s one part of Vancouver, in particular, that hasn’t really seen a drastic change and that’s the Downtown Eastside.
While there’s no clear-cut picture comparison looking at 2007 versus 2022, you can scroll through and see that the issue of homelessness in the streets has persisted and in fact gotten worse in many areas.