More pedestrian ideas for Vancouver

As most Vancouverites have probably already heard, some members of both city council and the park board are keen to extend the seawall a couple of more kilometres from Kitsilano Beach to Spanish Banks. An anonymous donor is allegedly even willing to shell out $10 million to see a new seawall by the seashore.

Not everyone shares their enthusiasm for the proposal though. Some environmentalists fail to see how paving over a pristine ecosystem is in keeping with Vancouver’s much ballyhooed goal of becoming the world’s greenest city, while more than a few wealthy Point Grey residents would prefer the unwashed masses not be given better access to their tony waterfront enclave. (David Suzuki, who owns a house in the affected area, can probably see it from both sides.)

This is a serious matter whose merits obviously deserve serious debate, but probably not from K&K. Instead, we can’t help but wonder what might happen if the same bigger-is-better approach was applied to some of the city’s other attractions.

Harbour Centre: It’s hard to be taken seriously as a world-class city when a giant phallic-shaped tower doesn’t dominate your skyline. In this department, we’re not even keeping up with Calgary or Seattle, never mind Toronto. This once-iconic landmark barely even stands out any more among all the surrounding condo towers and is shorter than both the Wall Centre and Shangri-La. We say it’s time to look into adding a few more storeys and restore it to its former glory.

Nobody is going to confuse Harbour Centre with the CN Tower is what we’re saying.

Cypress Mountain: Olympics organizers were famously forced to truck in tons of snow back in 2010 to rescue the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events. The snow then, of course, promptly melted. Imagine if instead trucks brought in building materials and made the mountain even taller! Not only would this bring the hill closer to colder temperatures, it might someday even give Whistler a potential run for its money.

And maybe look into building a chairlift from downtown while they’re at it.

Japadog: We enjoy tubes of mystery meat slathered in seaweed, shredded cabbage and spicy Asian condiments as much as the next person, but still think Japadog’s owners should consider supersizing their sausages to footlong status if they want to continue their yakuza-like dominance over all the new food truck vendors. Surely this would also go a long way to helping their goal of “making the world happy and alive through hotdogs” a reality.

The Hollow Tree: Enlarging this Stanley Park hotspot shouldn’t be too tough to do seeing as how it’s just a dead stump propped up by steel rods. People used to visit the tree for the thrilling photo-ops of parking their cars inside the 1,000-year-old cedar back before the famous windstorm of 2006 killed it. If the propped up remains were raised even higher, the potential could be there to park entire tour buses beneath it. The park board could also charge people for the experience to offset the costs of extending the seawall if things don’t work out with the anonymous donor, or they might even consider attaching other dead trees in order to make it wider as well as taller.

Or maybe just get another elephant to hang around again.

The SkyTrain: We’d like to see the debate about extending the Millennium Line out to UBC reopen, if only to see which project would rile up Point Grey’s crème de la crème more.

(This post was first published in Kudos & Kvetches  © Copyright (c) Vancouver Courier)


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