City on Edge

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On June 14, 1994, I started my shift in Surrey. My assignment for the Vancouver Sun was to wait until the end of the Stanley Cup final between the New York Rangers and the Canucks, catch the SkyTrain downtown, and report on what happened.

Stanley Cup riot June 14, 1994. Stuart Davis/Vancouver Sun

I crammed into a car with dozens of others who were openly drinking and yelling.

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The Brutal Murder of Vancouver Poet Pat Lowther

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Pat Lowther died on September 24, 1975, her head smashed in with a hammer at her East Vancouver home. This is a short excerpt from At Home with History: the secrets of Greater Vancouver’s Heritage Houses.

The mustard-coloured house where Pat and Roy Lowther lived on East 46th Avenue near the cemetery, is a three-storey, classic kit home with a welcoming front porch and stained glass on the front door.

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Victory Square: what was there before?

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Before Victory Square was Victory Square and home to the Cenotaph, it was a happening part of the city known as Government Square, because it was the site of the first provincial courthouse.

The impressive domed building was operational by 1890 and was the first major building outside of Gastown. It was quickly apparent that it was too small for our growing city, and within a few years had a large addition with a grand staircase and portico facing Hastings Street.

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The PNE: Party Like it’s 1957

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The last time I went to the Pacific National Exhibition was about a decade ago when my kids were still small. I’m guessing it hasn’t changed all that much. But I bet 60 years ago it was a whole different story.

Take the prize home for instance. This year’s house is valued at $1.6 million.

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The Buntzen Power Stations on Indian Arm

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A couple of weeks ago, I took a boat ride up Indian Arm with Belcarra Mayor Ralph Drew and the Deep Cove Heritage Society. It’s hard to imagine that over a century ago Indian Arm was thriving and serviced by sternwheelers, a floating post office and grocery store.

The highlight for me was finally seeing the Wigwam Inn, but almost as exciting were the two massive power stations that dominate the eastern shore at Buntzen Bay.

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Saving History: Twinning the Lions Gate Bridge

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The Lions Gate Bridge spans the first narrows in Burrard Inlet, connects Vancouver to the North Shore, and is one of the most iconic structures in the city. Built by the Guinness family to encourage development after they bought the side of a West Vancouver mountain, the suspension bridge was tolled from the time it opened in 1938 until 1963.

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