The Concrete Charm of Joyce Station


It was a dull, overcast day when I decided to take the SkyTrain a few extra stops east to Joyce Station, in the East Vancouver neighbourhood of Collingwood.

I’m not sure what I expected, but I wasn’t entirely disappointed. I emerged from the station onto Joyce Street’s commercial strip, dominated almost entirely by Chinese and Filipino businesses. This part of Joyce, and indeed the whole area next to the SkyTrain tracks, is an odd mixture of low-slung postwar buildings and much newer condominium towers, built in the 1980s and 90s as part of a strategy to create high-density nodes around transit hubs. It still feels oddly suburban, despite the highrises, but there’s enough of a streetlife near the station to compensate for that.

The station, in fact, is pretty striking. It is beautiful in its functionality, a utilitarian structure that resembles nothing so much as an electrical substation. There’s something eminently appealing about this kind of simple, unassuming architecture, unafraid to serve as a backdrop to the posters, newspaper boxes and other bits of urban life that manifest themselves around train stations.




Looking east towards Burnaby, condo towers and offices follow the SkyTrain line


Chinese and Filipino businesses in a postwar commercial block on Joyce Street

This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Monday October 22 2007at 11:10 pm , filed under Canada, Public Space, Transportation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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