Sunset at English Bay

Every clear summer evening, as the sun starts to slide below the horizon, masking the mountains near Howe Sound in hazy layers of blue and purple, thousands of people flock to English Bay. The sunset, spectacular as it may be, is just a backdrop to their conversations, their laughter, their whispers and kisses. Each evening, […]

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Three Times East Hastings

“East Hastings” is usually associated with the Downtown Eastside’s funerary procession of barricaded storefronts, dive hotels and desperate people. But as the street heads east, through an industrial area, past a housing project, over the train tracks, and still further east up the hill beyond Commercial Drive, it gains a certain middle-class respectability, as Italian […]

Posted in: Canada by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Three Times East Hastings

Nanaimo’s Shack Island

The last thing you’d expect to see in Nanaimo, while driving down Hammond Bay Road in the city’s northern sprawl, is an island full of shacks. Yet there it is, just past the waterfront mansions, next to a bucolic park named Pipers Lagoon. The island, which is accessible at low tide, appears to contain at […]

Posted in: Architecture, Canada by Christopher DeWolf 2 Comments , ,

Fine Art Street Art

This summer the National Gallery in London has brought the fine art to the public, by lining the streets of West End with reproductions of some of its paintings. The campaign is clearly a comment on street art culture — and of course a way to draw people to the gallery. It also raises interesting […]

The Taste of a Japa Dog

In Vancouver, like in most Canadian cities, street food vendors are limited to hawking pre-cooked meat: hot dogs, in other words. But, even within the restrictive confines of the law, innovation is possible, especially in a global city like Vancouver. You can taste as much by wandering over to the corner of Smithe and Burrard. […]

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Differences of Scale

In Paris, you’d need the better part of a morning to walk from the narrow, stone-laden streets of the Marais to the modern glass-and-concrete monumentality of La Défense. In Montreal, it takes less than ten minutes to wander from Old Montreal to René Lévesque Boulevard. Here, as in nearly all North American cities, the intimacy […]

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Clean and Green

The first time I went to Singapore — in April, 2000 — the city state was in the middle of a “Clean and Green: That’s the Way We Like It” campaign. That was nothing unusual, I discovered later, but as I wandered around this densely populated island nation I was impressed by just how green […]

Looking Down on Us

The view from behind the Silo No. 5. Photo by Karl Harrison On a late July evening, with the last fingers of dusk lingering in the sky, Karl Harrison and Roma Lake were looking for a roof to climb. They headed south to the Lachine Canal, toward the old Silo No. 5. “We’re going up […]

Posted in: Canada by Christopher DeWolf 9 Comments , , ,

When is a Lake Not a Lake?

Anjou sur le Lac Montrealers are accustomed to thinking of their city as an island, with a big river out front and a small river out back, as simple as that. But on old maps you will find other watercourses marked on the island, long since drained or driven underground to make human settlement more […]

Is Barrhaven a Model for the Future?

Entrance to new subdivision in Barrhaven, Ottawa I have written previously on the state of suburban expansion in Calgary, a topic I am very familiar with. Despite having lived in Ottawa for six years, however, I cannot say the same for this city. While a lack of interest on my part played a part, this […]

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Moving Through Shanghai

Runner south of Suzhou Creek

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Grey Day Near Van Horne

Sunset in Mile End, near the Van Horne Viaduct

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Feltly Hats

Feltly Hats in Hasidic Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

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Street Sports

Sports in the Habitations Jeanne-Mance, a public housing complex

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