Veteran Vancouver Sun reporter and music critic John Mackie formerly wrote for Georgia Straight. With Sarah Reeder, an editor of FASHION Magazine and FASHION 18, and formerly an associate editor of Vancouver magazine, he co-wrote Vancouver: The Unknown City, a pastiche of odd and relatively little-known facts and trivia pertaining to Vancouver such as:
• Fidel Castro’s stopover nap
• the limo at the Backpackers’ Hostel
• how Lost Lagoon was once regularly “lost” at low tide
• Vancouver’s original elite neighbourhood, Blueblood Alley
• the woman, named Sylvia, behind the Sylvia Hotel
• the Wall Centre’s dark glass controversies
• the restaurant that got gambled away
• the smuggling of the Gastown statue of Gassy Jack
Between 2004 and 2015, more than 10,000 demolition permits were issued for residential buildings in the city of Vancouver. As of 2015, an average of three houses a day were being torn down, many of them original homes built for the middle and working class in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Very few are deemed significant enough to merit heritage protection, but Caroline Adderson and other Vancouver writers believed the demoliton of these dwellings amounted to an architectural loss. She therefore spearheaded Vancouver Vanishes: Narratives of Demolition and Revival (Anvil 2015), co-authored with John Atkin, Kerry Gold, Evelyn Lau, Eve Lazarus, John Mackie, Elise & Stephen Partridge and Bren Simmers. The introduction is by heritage artist and activist Michael Kluckner--who has published a book called Vanishing Vancouver--and photographs are by Tracey Ayton and Adderson.
Vancouver: The Unknown City (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004).