Vancouver's secret sickness: tear-down and build-up

Woodwards Building is destroyed September 30, 2006 and only the facade remains. Image source

Vancouver has an addition problem, and I'm not talking about our poorest postal code. It's addicted to destroying everything that is old and vibrant about this city and building a new multi-residence in it's place. Property values in Vancouver are so high that most buildings that go up for sale are scooped up by developers for a quick build and multi-billion dollar sale. Every block that once was filled with Mom & Pop shops are being forced out and leased to Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Subway, Quiznos, Cobs Bread, and McDonalds.

What's left in the wake of the "Excessive Improvement" problem are neighborhoods that are completely transformed and no longer once what they were; and, in the developers hopes, that their efforts will attract the yuppie, the hipster, or the urban professional. But what we're really loosing here are relationships with our neighbors, our local businesses, and, ultimately, our environment.

Landlords are the epitome of the issue. Property owners are selling their land to bigger corporations, whom evict tenants, replace cabinetry in the exiting footprint, slap on some paint, and charge double. How much longer can this city and it's environmental people sustain the constant destruction?

You don't believe me? Take a look at the before and afters. It's a sickness.