Downtown Vancouver houses many sport and entertainment venues and is the heart of culture, framed with beautiful buildings - both historical and modern ones. It is also considered as the commercial and government centre of the city. Visitors refer to it as to a place with good vibes full of cafés, restaurants and small scattered parks perfect for just sitting down and enjoying the sunshine. Beside the famous Steam clock and small streets of the old town, one of the most popular spots is the Stanley Park - the best place to enjoy Vancouver's setting surrounded by mountains on a 1,000 acres and with a beach: English Bay. But there is way more to enjoy in this neighbourhood: take a virtual walk through Downtown's history and vibrant atmosphere in this photo essay!
The Oppenheimer Warehouse
100 Powell Street
The Oppenheimer Warehouse is Vancouver's oldest brick building: it was built in 1886 by David Oppenheimer, and bought by the famous Singer Bryan Adams in 1991. The building was under construction when the Great Fire that destroyed Vancouver happened in June, 1886. David Oppenheimer is considered as the “Father of Vancouver” and he was also the mayor of the city between 1888-91 so the building served as a temporary Hall. It still preserves the original structure, which makes it not just another brick building, but an example of heritage conservation and restoration, both inside and outside.
In that sense, it is interesting to know that the City of Vancouver Heritage Award was given to Bryan Adams in 1998 for the restoration of this building, which took 7 years. The very first business that started in it was a Wholesale Grocery but was sold later to Glass Manufactures in 1902. Today it's the Warehouse Studio where clients like AC/DC, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Michael Buble, REM and Sir Elton John have been working on their albums.
The Sam Kee Building
8 West Pender Street
Rght after entering the Chinatown, you will see the Sam Kee building - the thinnest building in the world. It also holds the Guinness World Record for being the shallowest commercial building in the world. Chang Toy, the original owner, found himself in a challenge when The City of Vancouver expropriated 7.3 meters and leaving only 2 meters of his property. He hired and architect to design a building for that space where others saw a useless piece of land. The two storey high building with 1.5 meters depth on the ground floor was designed by the architects Brown and Gillam in 1913. There were 13 businesses at one time, and it was also the only place in Chinatown where people could enjoy baths.
Meet The Photographer: Ricardo Vacas
Ricardo Vacas, owner of the firm Kerp Photography, always showed intense interest in many forms of creative arts. His professional photography career started in his home country, Spain, where he was the official photographer of several music bands, models and clothing brands. He decided to move to Wellington, New Zealand in 2012, knowing his real interest was fashion photography more than any other field. Currently living in Vancouver, Canada, he now combines his fashion, editorial and commercial photography projects with regular trips to Europe and USA.