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My city’s lamentably dull daytime skyline

October 26, 2015
The view north from Willow Street and West Broadway Avenue.

The view north from Willow Street and West Broadway Avenue.

Increasingly, the buildings that have characterized the skyline of Vancouver for some 40 years — you know, like the Sun Tower, the Marine Building and especially the Harbour Centre and the Scotia tower — increasingly these distinctive icons, are being hidden from every viewing angle by taller and more nondescript towers.

It’s getting so as I don’t see anything that says “Vancouver” to me anymore.

As long as I can see the two "lions" I'll know it's really Vancouver.

As long as I can see the two “lions” on the left there, I’ll know it’s Vancouver.

It would be fine if the new buildings were the least bit memorable in their own way but, from where I’m standing, on the south side of False Creek, they’re just tall rectangles covered in a necessary number of windows.

At night those lighted windows are the skyline and for a few minutes at sunrise and sunset some of them may burst with heart-stopping golden fire but for most of the day they’re just meaningless pixelation.

The new skyline is becoming so blandly tall and featureless that it reminds me of fence posts and a few topped and delimbed trees.

Thank goodness then that the view looking north from almost any point along West Broadway is enlivened at this time of year by a foreground dominated by real trees, each bursting with a uniquely colourful canopy of leaves.

And of course, we can still see the mountains in the background. Click the image to enlarge it.

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