The no-show of the AIBC tour guide filled me with little confidence, but I really wanted to visit parts of Vancouver with a narrative, from an architect perspective.
AIBC do a number of tours but I particularly wanted to visit Chinatown and Downtown. Chinatown was really interesting. Plenty of buildings from late 19th Century and early 20th Century. Some revived, some in despair. I saw the world’s thinnest building at under 5ft, the Sam Kee Building. Vancouver’s oldest buildings seem to be of neo-classical, particularly the banks. One Chinese building which caught my attention was one which had a door going to nowhere on the second storey, I presume to dodge tax.
Interestingly, there’s a lot of pre-Communist Party Chinese influence here. I’m sure I heard that some of the dynasty overthrow was planned here. There are buildings here which serve to represent the Republic of China (Taiwan), not so much the PRC. I had the correct the tour guide on that one… ouch!