Eighties Vancouver

In the nineteen-eighties I lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In between commercial work, I often loaded my Mamiyaflex medium format, twin-lens reflex camera and Tiltall tripod onto my bicycle and set out to explore the nooks and crannies of the city.

With Expo ’86 World’s Fair looming, I was aware that the city was due to experience a “boom” — at least that’s what its sponsors were promising, and the succeeding years have more than met their expectations.

Many heritage buildings not lucky enough to be deemed such by the City met the wrecker’s ball during this decade, making way for the glass towers now dominating areas like False Creek and neighbouring Yaletown.

This gallery features the results of those forays into the city I loved ― rough around the edges, but full of character.

Prints from this series are available for sale here.



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  • Robin - I love old photos! What great shots Raymond.July 17, 2015 – 2:40 amReplyCancel

    • Raymond Parker - Thank you very much, Robin. I appreciate your endorsement. I’ll be sharing more of the stories behind them in the coming weeks.July 17, 2015 – 12:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Brianna - This is so interesting. Looks like an entirely different city in such a short time.March 8, 2015 – 8:31 pmReplyCancel

    • Raymond Parker - Glad you like them, Brianna. It was pretty obvious, with Expo ’86 looming, that Vancouver, especially around False Creek, was going to experience a building boom and that many of my old haunts would be cleared to make way, not to mention other areas of the city also experiencing gentrification.

      As the temporary structures that signalled Expos arrival sprung up, I wandered the streets, bridges and alleys of the city with my Mamiyaflex medium-format camera, often by bicycle.

      Many scenes I photographed faced imminent destruction, while others would be levelled in the post-Expo development frenzy.

      This Vancouver Sun article tells the background story of the transformation.March 9, 2015 – 10:22 amReplyCancel


Raymond Parker Photo
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