Greg Girard’s photographs of Vancouver from the 1970s and early 1980s show us the city’s final days as a port town at the end of the railway line. Soon after Vancouver began to be noticed by the wider world (Expo 86 is generally agreed on as the pivotal moment), the city began refashioning itself as an urban resort on nature’s doorstep and attracting attention as a destination for real estate investment. At that time, long before post-9/11 security concerns sealed off the working waterfront from the city, many of Vancouver’s downtown and east side streets ended at the waterfront, an area filled with commercial fishing docks, cargo terminals, and bars and cafes for waterfront workers and sailors. Pawn-shop windows downtown displayed outboard motors, chainsaws and fishing gear. Wandering these streets, living in cheap hotels, Girard photographed the workaday (and night) world of the city where he grew up.
Signed by the artist
Publisher: Magenta Foundation
Authors: David Campany with Greg Girard