The Evolution of a Wall

September 1, 2018

Way back in 1964, Roy Babic erected a modern building to house Babic Electric, the electrical and lighting store he and his wife ran at 952-956 Commercial.  It had a double storefront facing the Drive, with two apartment suites above; one with an entrance from the lane, and the other on Parker Street.

The southside wall of the structure running along Parker to the lane was a plain utilitarian painted wall. More recently, the wall has received a few coats of, usually, green paint that often reflects as shallow blue.  About five years ago, I began a series of photographs — the Greenspace series — that have illustrated the changes to the wall and the foliage over the years.

Earlier this summer, the wellness therapy clinic that has taken over the storefront decided their wall needed a mural. My quiet greenspace is no more — and the plants don’t seem to have come through it well.

Select image for a closer view.

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Image: Barcelona Balconies

September 1, 2018


Changes On The Drive #85

September 1, 2018

I did the walk yesterday, my first day out in a while. It was a beautiful late summer day and I enjoyed it — even though I had to find a place to sit down just about every half-block!

The Mr Greek Donair Store that opened a few months ago seems to be quite busy. They must be better at cooking than at spelling the address of their place:

 

The old/new laundromat at 2058 Commercial, now called Wash Out, has opened.

It is disappointing to see nothing happening at either of the Falcone storefronts (1810 and 1812). They have sat there rather drably now for six months.

Hard to avoid good reviews for the food at Mezcaleria at 1622 Commercial.  Another one here.

Merchants Workshop is now closed at 1590 Commercial as of 16th August. Looking forward to the Ugly Dumpling which had teased a possible opening in September.

 

1417 Commercial, the Eastside Pizza has closed.  After renovations, it will have a new owner and a new name:

 

The maternity store Room for Two at 1409 Commercial appears to be closing.  Please God let it not be replaced by yet another food outlet!

 

All-Basho is closed at 1399 Commercial. No surprise, really, once Elizabeth Bakery moved out. It looks rather bleak right now.  It is an odd space and I wonder if the building owner will need to re-fit for better function, perhaps as two separate stores.

 

Havana at 1212 Commercial is still closed after their recent fire, but they say they’ll be back soon.  I won;t put them on the shut list quite yet.

 

Basil Thai at 1179 Commercial gets a mention for Best Thai in the city, but with a rather mixed review.

 

The vacant storefront 1151 Commercial in the REACH Community Health Clinic building is still vacant. I heard a rumour it will be leased to municipal party as an election office. In the longer term, talk has it that it may be brought back into the clinic’s operations as they are already feeling the pinch in their brand new space.

The Bombay Kitchen has now opened at 1026 Commercial. I haven’t tried it yet, but I did hear one rather tepid review from a friend.

Kim Kao Thai Kitchen, 903 Commercial, also gets a good review from the Best Thai in Vancouver list.

 

Vacant/closed/renovating stores on the Drive this month:  2240 Commercial (6 months vacant), 2082 (8 months), 2084 (8 months), 2086 (8 months), 2088 (8 months), 1810 (6 months), 1812 (6 months), 1801 (20 months), Strawberry Bakery site (44 months), 1590 (1 month), 1417 (1 month), 1408 (5 months), 1303 (21 months), 1268 (12 months), 1151 (8 months),

 

Commercial Drive seems to be thriving. The same cannot be said for retail across much of the Lower Mainland  as this Business in Vancouver article illustrates.

 

Previous Changes on the Drive editions.