25 photos of Vancouver in the early 1980s


Photographer Raymond Parker has been shooting in BC for decades. In the 1980s he ran a commercial studio in the city and he sensed that “With Expo 86 looming, great changes were in store. Indeed, they had already begun.”.

He picked up his camera and hit the streets, capturing an incredible series thats shows an entirely different city than the one we know now. A giant wave of change came when the world’s fair hit, and our city has never been the same. It’s so great to be able to take a peek back at what used to be here.

The series has come to contain some of Raymond’s best selling work, and he’s shared 25 of them with us for you to enjoy here.

Have a look at more of them HERE, where he sells prints.

500 Block Beatty Street (rear view), Vancouver, 1983
Broadway & Heather, Vancouver, 1983
Under Burrard Bridge, Vancouver, 1985
The Lovers, Vancouver City Hall, 1983
Eaton’s “Marshmallow” Building, Vancouver, 1984
Condemned Orillia Building, Robson & Seymour, 1985
Park Theatre, Cambie Street, Vancouver, 1986
Robson Square, 1984
Ambassador Hotel, Robson & Seymour, Vancouver, 1983
Bank of Montreal Building, Main and Prior, Vancouver, 1984
Industry, False Creek, 1984
Hostel, Jericho, Vancouver, 1985
Wooden Roller Coaster, Vancouver, 1986
Captain Cook Tug Passes Granville Island, Vancouver, 1985
The Gray Block, Homer & Davie, 1985
Law Courts (rear) & Nelson Square Tower, Vancouver, 1983
Passing Trolley Bus, W. 10th Avenue, Vancouver, 1985
Cherry Tree Jesus, Vancouver, 1983
GM Pavilion, Expo 86 Site, Vancouver, 1985
Pacific Hotel, Main Street, Vancouver, 1984
Robson & Bute, Vancouver, 1984
Crowd on Old Connaught Bridge at Pacific Blvd., 1984
Construction of New Cambie Bridge, Vancouver, 1986
Peace Under Burrard Bridge, Vancouver, 1985
Robson & Thurlow (Business Man Checking His Watch), 1984

Check out more in Raymond’s store HERE.

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Bob is our founder and Editor-in-Chief. A family man and outdoors enthusiast in his 3rd decade of publishing, he steers the V.I.A. ship and hosts our 'BC Was Awesome' history TV show. bobk@vancouverisawesome.com