As a young city, Vancouver doesn’t have a lot of history to work with. Or perhaps better said, Vancouver doesn’t have a lot of history that we care to think about in any serious way. The consequences that flow from this thinking range from the serious (a lack of civic engagement, general indifference to poverty, etc.) to the not-so-serious (supremely crappy condo names that wouldn’t be caught dead in an Ikea catalogue).
On the condo-name front, Vancouver’s “missing past” has left the developers and marketers to come up with their own names, often with disastrous results. Combing through a list of recent Lower Mainland condos — Pulse, Legacy, Ultra, Ginger — you get the sense that Metro Vancouver condo names are much ado about nothing. (Well, maybe almost nothing. I guess somebody could appreciate condos branded like aftershave.)
So what name does Amacon bestow on its latest Yaletown development? Turns out it isn’t Mountain Rain, Musk, or even Ocean Breeze. The Beasley is the name and the brand “pays tribute” to Larry Beasley, Vancouver’s former co-director of planning. Much of the development in the city in the last two decades was subject to Beasley’s approval and given the emergence of Vancouver as the king of condo cities, it’s fitting that LB gets a condo of his own. (And a Yaletown condo too, no doubt.)
To the developers, I say keep this up. Don’t shy away from the history of Vancouver. Spare us the neighbourhoods of towers named like nightclubs and sex toys. You can build Vancouver’s future by acknowledging Vancouver’s past. Do it for Larry. Do it for the kids.