Granville Street

I went downtown the other night and saw a new Granville Street that tried to imitate the old one and forget about the one in between. Until the early 1970s, Granville Street downtown was known as the entertainment district or theatre row and was famous for its neon lights. Then the city, in its wisdom, deemed neon lights tacky and had most of them removed. It also made Granville Street into a “pedestrian mall” — I believe the only pedestrian mall in the world where you could jet a jay walking ticket because buses and taxis still travelled the street. At the same time as all this, Gastown was gentrified and its residents displaced. Guess where they went. Well, Granville Street is returning to its former glory, and the city has grown up enough to realize that the people don’t just disappear when removed from their neighbourhoods. Bring in the old.

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