15 vintage pictures of Vancouver in the winter, then and now

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With snow capped mountains glowing outside our window and chilly temperatures forecasted throughout the week, it’s beginning to feel a lot like winter. While Christmas has come and gone, we still have a few cold months ahead of us, making us feel nostalgic for snowy winters of the past.

Personally, I recall two legendary winters during my lifetime. There was the “Blizzard of ’96” when Vancouver received 65 cm of snow in 24 hours. The mounds of snow lining our my family’s driveway were taller than me. I may or may not have even gotten “lost” in the snow for a few hectic moments, but building a full-size igloo that lasted for months made it all worth it.

The winter of 2008-2009 was also one for the books. I’m not joking when I say I literally had to walk to school uphill both ways in two or more feet of snow for at least two months of the winter. I know compared to many places in Canada we have little to complain about, but Vancouver has a tendency to be a real diva when it comes to snowfall.

While Vancouver isn’t often known for extreme winter weather, we do know how to put on quite the show. Even when there’s no snow on the ground, we’ve always made do with mountain activities, holiday celebrations and lots of misty fog.

Scroll through winters scenes of the past and see how they compare to the Vancouver we know and love today.

 

Lost Lagoon (1924)

Image: City of Vancouver Archives

Lost Lagoon (2014)

Lost Lagoon

Image: Harron Bux via Flickr

Image: City of Vancouver Archives

Bird’s eye view of Kitsilano (2008)

Kitsilano aerial

Image: Evan Leeson via Flickr

Interior of Grouse Mountain Chalet (1924)

Image: City of Vancouver Archives

Interior of Grouse Mountain Chalet (2014)

grouse chalet

Image: Grouse Mountain

Crossing Lions Gate Bridge (1938)

Walking across Lions Gate BridgeImage: Heritage Vancouver Society via Flickr

Crossing Lions Gate Bridge (2014)

Lions gate bridge

Image: Iwona_kellie via Flickr

Shaughnessey Hospital at Christmas (1920)

Image: City of Vancouver Archives

St. Paul’s Hospital at Christmas (2014)

St Paul's Hospital Christmas

Image: Ross G. Strachan via Flickr

Skiing on Grouse Mountain (1929)

Image: City of Vancouver Archives

Skiing and boarding on Grouse Mountain (2012)

Skiing Grouse

Image: Christopher Langmuir via Flickr

The Stanley Theatre at Christmas (1940s)

Exterior view of the Stanley Theatre showing the Christmas ticket booth

Image: City of Vancouver Archives

The Stanley Theatre (2012)

Stanley Theatre

Image: David Wong via Flickr

Looking up Granville Street from Pender (1909)

Granville at West Hastings in the snow

Image: Vancouver Public Library

Looking up Granville Street from Pender (2014)

Granville at Pender

Image: Vancity Buzz

Waiting for a bus on Denman Street (1955)

People wait for a bus on Denman Street

Image: Vancouver Public Library

Waiting for the bus on Broadway (2011)

Bus stop

Image: Wikipedia

The Courthouse (now Vancouver Art Gallery, 1916)

The courthouse covered in snow

Image: City of Vancouver Archives

Vancouver Art Gallery (2014)

Vancouver Art Gallery 2014

Image: Vancity Buzz

View of Vancouver from Grouse Mountain (1915)

Image: City of Vancouver Archives

View of Vancouver from Grouse Mountain (2007)

Vancouver skyline from  grouse

Image: Payton Chung via Flickr

Bridges in Stanley Park (1939)

Image: City of Vancouver Archives

Creek in Stanley Park (2013)

Wooden Bridge

Image: Rikki / Julius Reque via Flickr

English Bay (1919)

View of English Bay from Pier

Image: Photograph by Walter E. Frost

English Bay (2014)

View of English Bay

Image: Ruth Hartnup via Flickr

Gastown Steam Clock (1980)

Gastown 1980

Image: Mickey G. Ottawa via Flickr

Gastown Steam Clock (2008)

Gastown clock

Image: Carlos Leopoldo Magaña Zavala via Flickr

Stanley Park storm knocks over landmark tree (2006)

Stanley Park storm

Image: Tom Szymanski via Flickr

The same tree (2010)

Stanley Park tree

Image: Vancouver Daily Photo

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About the author

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
@jillslattery

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