Last weekend I was in the United States and got to view a fabulous garden and landscape done by some artisans in the area. In the midst of this garden was a fish pond, with granite blocks that the owner told me “were from Vancouver’s Gastown”.
True enough, I looked at the identified stones and they were kind of from Gastown-they were from the stockpile that the City of Vancouver had imported for the Carrall Street Greenway. I knew the stones from their shape and size, and also how they had been cut. It had been a bit contentious, we originally had wanted to build the greenway completely with locally crafted and sourced products, but these stones were better priced, and came from Asia.
When the City work yards moved from the DOCS (Down Under Cambie Street Bridge) to the new location on the aptly named National Avenue, there was a stock pile of granite cobbles and curb sets that were placed near the new City works yard, but not IN the works yard. The assumption was that the granite would be too cumbersome and too obvious to be pilfered.
That was the wrong assumption.
There are City of Vancouver granite sets that have found residence in yards all over Vancouver in lovely landscaped gardens. One of the most surprising locations was the private contractor landscaping with the granite blocks on Yukon Street, right outside of City Hall. In a way, the granite has contributed to the look and feel of the city, and added interest for walkers. And it is a story of a missed fence opportunity resulting in added visual interest in front yard landscaping.