City In­former

Vancouver Magazine - - June - BY Stacey Mclach­lan ILLUSTRATION BY By­ron Eggen­schwiler

What’s go­ing on in­side the Burrard Street Bridge tow­ers?

at an all­time low, it’s only nat­u­ral that one would start to look around for more cre­ative hous­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. Or at least that’s why I ƒrst be­gan tak­ing a closer look at the tow­ers on the Burrard Street Bridge. I mean, you can’t beat the lo­ca­tion, and the Art Deco look is very hot right now. (Like The Great Gatsby! But just imag­ine if Gatsby lived in­side a bridge! Wait, did he live in a bridge? I have not read the book.)

The now-four-lane bridge is as spec­tac­u­lar to­day as when it o•cially opened for busi­ness on Canada Day, 1932. To cel­e­brate, a sea­plane ›ew un­der­neath it, and guests at a Ho­tel Vancouver re­cep­tion ad­mired a sugar replica of the struc­ture: in my opin­ion, the ideal ways to cel­e­brate any mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion, from birthdays to brises.

The only down­side to liv­ing in these tow­ers is that they don’t have room for a queen-sized bed or hu­man­sized peo­ple, be­cause they are, if you want to get tech­ni­cal about it, full of ca­bles. Yes, it turns out that the steel truss bridge tow­ers were not de­signed as a¤ord­able wa­ter­front bach­e­lor suites just steps from the down­town core, but rather as a dis­guise for the things that—ex­cuse me while I get sci­entiƒc for a moment—stop the bridge-bridge from fally-downy.

I have lived with room­mates whom I would’ve gladly traded for a steel truss (be­cause at least a steel truss wouldn’t drink all my beer), so I am still not dis­count­ing these “ma­sonry chic” units as vi­able op­tions. But this bridge did ap­pear on a Canada Post stamp in 2011, so the land­lord would prob­a­bly feel en­ti­tled to charge a little more even though there’s no in-suite laun­dry, and also the gen­eral pub­lic are not legally “al­lowed in­side the tow­ers,” which makes it chal­leng­ing to even sub­mit a ten­ancy ap­pli­ca­tion.

Hope may not be en­tirely lost, though, for an en­ter­pris­ing apart­ment- hunter or mod­ern troll. There’s a hid­den stair­well on the south end of the bridge that pro­vides ac­cess to Kits Point, but it was only open for two months be­fore peo­ple started caus­ing trou­ble in the se­cluded space and the city’s Depart­ment of This-is-whyWe-can’t-have-nice-things had to close it for safety. But if you like liv­ing on the edge—and by “liv­ing on the edge” I mean “tres­pass­ing and squat­ting”—this zero-bed, zero-bath walkup has high ceil­ings and chic con­crete ƒnishes that would cost you $2,500 a month if it were in Yale­town.

They were not de­signed as af­ford­able wa­ter­front bach­e­lor suites.

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