In 1885 the CPR decided to locate the end of its continent-wide railway
in Granville. This decision guaranteed the development of a city there
and lead to a huge influx of both settlers and investment. From its very
beginning Vancouver served as a gateway, a place of transition; it connected
the railway with ships to Asia. Beginning roughly around that time, the
settlement of what is now the Greater Vancouver Regional District gradually
extinguished most traces of the former Musqueam and Squamish settlements.
With its rapid growth, Vancouver became one of the youngest of the large
cities in the world.
Vancouver's economic fate has always been decided by others: First by
the lumber and mineral companies based in eastern Canada or the US. and,
from the 1980's onward, by the headquarters of multinational firms in
Tokyo, Hong Kong, London or LA. . Comparable to a "giant interface",
Vancouver connects the Canadian interior with financial centers in Asia.
Vancouver is the second largest film production center in North America,
but that industry is controlled by studios in LA. Like metropoli worldwide
Vancouver is increasingly dependent on international power centers and
decreasingly dependent on its geographic surroundings.
Vancouver is a gateway and embodies a constant state of transit or, more
precisely, a state of being transferred. The city is "traffic intersection";
not just because of the omnipresence of traffic intersections but because
it is a space of transit and the intersection is its transitory icon.