May 2, 1986
30 years ago today, Expo '86 opened and Vancouver has never been the same. It seems so long ago, and I was only 25 years old, the age of Paul Partington. The photo above was taken on Oct 7 but it's my favourite of myself. In those olden days I had a camera which held 24 or 36 print film. It cost $5.99 or $7.99 to buy the film, (I usually used Kodak) and it cost $20 to develop a roll! That was nearly $30 for 24 photos! It's hard to imagine, so of course I rarely took photos. That's why the few I have of Expo are so precious.
This is a shot from Main Street Skytrain terminal. What a change in the city since then! There's now a row of ugly looking apartment condos where the entrance once was.
This is the Roundhouse where Engine 374 was located. Robert and I purchased a brick with our names on it for $19.86 to help restore the engine. At Expo we were disappointed to discover the bricks weren't ready for viewing, but fortunately the brick with our names survived and is now inside the building beside the engine. I blogged about it HERE.
The many bright colours of Expo! Each area had a coloured zone, with matching buildings and even matching flowers. It was a delight for the eyes and the senses. I was one of little faith and thought it would all be exceedingly boring, and while Expo was being built, I had no idea or understanding what it was about, having never attended a world's fair. I had a chance to purchase a full 6 month pass for $100 but turned it down and bought two books of 3 day passes. I regretted it deeply.
Expo was glorious! My favouite memories were the sights, sounds and vibrant colour of the place itself, the things to do and see, the souveniers, the delicious food, and best of all, the tourists who spoke every language under the sun. I used to listen and watch while riding the Skytrain, which was another wonderful legacy of Expo. How we loved it!
The downside of all this glory was that the world discovered us, especially China, and a lot of money exchanged hands and suddenly Vancouver is a place where ordinary Vancouverites can no longer afford to live. A 400 square foot apartment downtown costs $2,400 to rent, and an ordinary 1,600 square foot home on a small lot is worth $1,250,000!!!!
Our heads are still reeling from the after affects of Expo, but 30 years ago, we were having a blast, while "something was happening here"!
By Loretta Williams Houben