Skip to main content

You are viewing an archived event from a previous year.

Culture Days will return September 20 – October 13, 2024.

Vanished Vancouver: The City's Lost Architectural Legacy


Self-guided Tour History & heritage
Email Save QR code

Date and time

This activity runs the duration of Culture Days.


Vancouver, BC



Offered in English.


Vancouver is a young city, one of the youngest major cities in the world. Since it was founded, the vast primordial forests of cedar and fir have given way to broad avenues, handsome neighbourhoods, and imposing towers of glass and steel.

The path from there to here has not been a straight one. Vancouver is continuously remaking itself. Buildings are demolished every day and new ones erected in their place. They are usually taller and bigger, but not necessarily better.

Many of Vancouver's best buildings no longer exist. They have been destroyed and replaced, either because the fast-growing city outgrew the building, or because government policies gave short shrift to preserving the city's fascinating architectural heritage. All victims of progress.

In this tour we will look at some of the best buildings that once stood in Vancouver, and learn what happened to them. One hopes that as the years go by, there will not be more additions to this tour.



On This Spot

The On This Spot app takes people on guided walking tours through the history that surrounds them.

At each stop on their journey users will find themselves standing on the spot a historic photo was taken. They can view a then and now photo comparison, use the built in camera to create their own, and read about local history and how it ties into the broader human experience.

Based in Vancouver, On This Spot is working with heritage, tourism, and business organizations across Canada to expand the app's coverage.