MAHJONG: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GAME

Even if you have never played Mahjong, chances are you’ve heard the familiar shuffling of tiles at the beginning of the game coming from behind many Vancouver doors. This shuffling is referred to as the ‘twittering of the sparrows’. The name Mahjong loosely translates as “sparrow” but most Vancouverites know the game by its initials: […]

The railway and the history

Engine 374 is a landmark in our history. Not only did it pull the first Canadian transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver, but also contributed to keeping  British Columbia a part of Canada. Writing about its anniversary was my first assignment for this blog. But after interviewing William Johnston, director of the West Coast Railway Association […]

The Railway and the SkyTrain

  Construction progress photo of the CPR Dunsmuir Tunnel (Photo from the City of Vancouver archives) If you take the Expo or Millennium SkyTrain lines, most of your travel is above the city, which gives you the chance to admire the beautiful landscapes of Vancouver. However, when the SkyTrain arrives downtown, passing by the Stadium–Chinatown […]

Day of the Dead

Although  death may seem like an unlikely thing to celebrate, that’s exactly what the Day of the Dead festivities at the Roundhouse on November 1 will do. While memento mori (remember that you are mortal) was a staple of western religious thought throughout the centuries, it seemingly disappeared sometime around the 1960s, when death became […]

The Railway and Yaletown

On a visit to Yaletown, Vancouver’s main warehouse district at the end of the 1800s, we notice the area has different traits compared to some other areas of town. Perhaps most of us don’t know the reasons, but Yaletown’s history and the Canadian railway are closely related. Changes started to come after the agreement between […]

Restoring Engine 374

If you’re familiar with Yaletown or if you read my previous post, you know that in the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre you’ll find the famous Engine 374,  which pulled the first passenger train into Vancouver. But maybe you haven’t heard how it ended up being housed after 58 years in service for the […]

Engine 374: Joining Canada East to West

If you visit the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, you’ll see Engine 374. Owned by Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), it pulled the first Canadian transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver. “It’s significant because it sealed the deal to keep British Columbia a part of Canada,” says William Johnston, director of the West Coast Railway Association […]