Orca murals, Old Continental Hotel demolished. But what will become of the Granville Loops?

Orca Mural, Partially demolished Continental Hotel

Photo of the mural before the building was demolished. It is no more.

The Old Continental Hotel is being demolished. The south façade of the building featured an Orca-themed mural by environmental artist Wyland. The Old Continental Hotel was located just east of the Granville Bridge, north Pacific Avenue. This building was on a site that was put up for sale by the City of Vancouver last summer.

More information on the mural can be found in the following two articles:

The City is going ahead and clearing the property. Yet, it’s still unclear if there is a winner to the land sale tender the City put up last year. In an earlier post (July 30, 2014), we noted the following:

The City of Vancouver is quietly moving to sell public land at 1390 Granville Street and 625 Pacific Street. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake if a 500 foot tower goes up here, and private profits from public land. We start by saying at the outset that, going back to 2010 or earlier, we have noticed that certain decisions affecting this area north of the Granville and Burrard Bridges appear as if they were being quietly reverse-engineered to reach certain outcomes. WatchCoV web brochure, property-sale-1390-granville-625-pacific to see who benefits from this particular land sale process. The public may discover something surprising about how the City of Vancouver is functioning. And in this specific case, heightened public scrutiny might change the outcomes. Now, the story…[link here]

A few questions: Who did the City of Vancouver agree to sell the land to? What will happen to the existing Vancouver Aquatic Centre (which West End residents expected would be refurbished as part of the West End Community Plan — but the public learned in July 2014 of secret discussions to demolish it and build one several blocks away)? What were the costs to relocate all of the former residents in the Old Continental to a renovated facility (former Ramada Inn) in Collingwood? What are the costs of demolishing the building? Will the off ramp be removed next? Was it necessary to demolish the Old Continental Hotel, or could this facility have been used as low-cost seniors housing for a few more years?

For the record, here are a number of photos of the building (before and after):Orca mural Old Continental

Mural before demolition (above and below):

Continental Hotel Orca Mural

Granville Loops Site (January 28, 2015):


Orca mural

Old Continental Hotel demolished

Old Continental Hotel demolished

Orca Mural

2 thoughts on “Orca murals, Old Continental Hotel demolished. But what will become of the Granville Loops?

  1. It’s worth noting that no materials were saved or recycled during the demolition. The bricks were simply heaved off the building into huge piles and all the old wood was sawn through and crunched into small bits. I followed the demolition of the Pantages Theatre back in 2011 and it was in much worse shape than the Continental. But an estimated 750,000 bricks were saved plus many huge wooden timbers as well. So from the City’s standpoint this wasn’t a very Green demolition. Filling up the landfill with building materials will not help us to become the World’s Greenest City!

  2. Not really. — I can see the demolition from my window — they’ve spent weeks sorting through the debris — bricks were sorted out, and shipped off the site separate from other debris — metal was also sorted out. The odour from the rotting, moldy 100 year old lumber could be smelled more than a block away. — surely the lumber is a health risk to anybody near it. Before the demolition started, the building was sealed up, and hazmat specialists spent a month removing whatever they specialize in removing. There’s no way I’d choose to live in that building. The process of resident relocation was pretty clearly explained in poster boards I saw at the Gathering Place a couple of years back.

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