(all images are copyrighted and cannot be used without artist’s express permission)
Strathcona is Vancouver’s oldest residential neighbourhood. Close to the port, it received waves of immigrants, many of whom later dispersed throughout the city. I was interested to discover the original topography was hilly. Streets were flattened later for easier traffic flow, but this resulted in some buildings losing their original street connections. Careful scrutiny shows these houses rising from right to left. There also exist houses with their second storey providing street access as the original front door is well below street level. Other houses are so high they are stranded above street level, held in place with a tall retaining wall. Many rear laneways still have original up and down rolling land. The turquoise blue paint on the taller house was a colour found all across the city when I was drawing. By the 1990s more era original palettes were encouraged for use in restorations. I have no wish to embalm old buildings nor to encase them in a glass bubble but there are ways to bring them forward into adaptable modern use and maintain the integrity.