Monday, June 6, 2011

New Westminster & The Street Time Forgot

I VISITED ANTIQUE ALLEY in my world recently on Front Street in New Westminster, BC. The heritage waterfront area is in disrepair and sits tucked away in the shadows of an overpowering modern-day parkade.

Across the street from the string of shops, a railway and cement structures block views of the Fraser River. This once important harbour area of the 1920s looks a little shabby nowadays.

Some doors are closed to the public along the short commercial strip.

Businesses have failed to bring in substantial local or tourist traffic.

Decaying plaster on old buildings reveals brick construction beneath. What is beautiful in the eyes of some beholders ...

is slathered in blue by others, as a bright solution to the faded fa├žades.

A chain link fence keeps people from the back entrance of the building that faces the more frequented Columbia Street on its frontal side.

The former glory of Antique Alley is somewhat in tatters, although a few shopkeepers and property owners do their best to keep up the historic charm. Amid collector's treasures and potential movie props, the most obvious antique is "the alley" itself. Even today, it seems too precious to be abandoned and perhaps could do with a public outcry to stay alive.

Explorers can discover more sights from around the globe at My World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. Penelope, this is a big issue. I think old alley won’t be protected not only through preservation but also with an understanding of how the landscape could be developed through the construction of new buildings in the course of time, but this understanding should first begin with the residents of the town, though few people’s efforts look almost helpless.

    In Nara city, when old station building was planned to be demolished, or when the road was planned to make wider for better cityscape and convenience in old town Nara-machi, it was local people who opposed to municipalities and made it a public problem. Easier said than done, but as you wrote the place is too precious to be abandoned. The place has a potential to become a place where people can feel nostalgia. I see the glory of the past faintly flickering in your photos.

  2. I hope that it will be able to mind a niche in the modern world. Even in disrepair it looks like a charming place.

  3. I remember this street from long ago. My earliest memories are of New Westminster.
    A wonderful photo essay, my dear friend, and I, for one, appreciate it.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. It is a downward spiral: shabby environment, fewer tourist and visitors, less money for upkeep.
    It is a problem around the world, as stardust says.
    I must say, I liked that blue paint :-)

  5. Sad to see this happen to interesting areas! This does indeed look like a charming area! Hopefully, it will survive. Great post for the day, Penelope! Hope you have a great week!


  6. I'm afraid this is happening in many places that sell antiques right now. How sad!

  7. What a shame!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  8. Interesting photos from New Westminster, BC. Some scenes look familiar as they look much the same is in the cities here.

  9. Definitely decaying, but sometimes areas like this can be revitalized while retaining their history. Great shots!

  10. Wonderful shots of the place. Modernization should not tamper the history.

  11. I hope it will maintained well and the old charm is preserved well. I appreciate your efforts to highlight this.

  12. That brings back such great memories, I loved that alley when I was a child. When I was in my early 20's I lived just a few blocks from there.

    It's such a part of my life, my Grandfather got our beautiful dining room table from a antique shop there. We used to park there and use the back door of the Army and Navy to shop.

    Sad to see it this way now.
    Thanks for such a great post.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  13. Nice photos! I remember Antique Alley well, altho I haven't been there in at least a decade. It really should be be preserved somehow.


YOUR THOUGHTS add colour to the content and are always much appreciated.