These photos show False Creek on the east side of Main Street.
That may not sound unusual at first, but if you go down to Main Street nowadays you'll see businesses and trains on its eastside.
That's because the area was filled in in 1917.
These two massive and incredibly detailed panoramas from the Vancouver archives capture that rather significant change. In the first, the area is being prepared while the second panorama actually shows the area mostly filled in as new train stations are built.
The extremely wide photos — shot from somewhere where the Main Street-Science World station is now — show everything east of Main Street; on the left, you can see Main Street and the Ivanhoe Hotel. On the right-hand side, there's the Main Street bascule bridge, which was used to traverse False Creek before it was land.
While the sheer size of that transformation in what is now a dense part of Vancouver is pretty stunning, these photos are impressive in another way: the detail in them.
Zoomed out, so you can see the entire width of the photo, there are some good spots. But zoom in and you get a lot of detail showing more of what the area, and life, was like in 1916-17.
In the earlier photo, an ad for "Delicious and Refreshing" Coca Cola can be seen painted on a building. And just east (right) of that is the Strathcona neighbouthood, which in some respects doesn't look very different now, with lots of houses and shorter buildings.
As you scan further to the right, False Creek fills the view up close, but in the distance, the city's eastern neighbourhood can be made out. Already in 1916, it looks sizable.
On False Creek's south shore, you can see industry in the form of the Canadian Northwest Steel Co. and Jingle Pot Coal. Down the bridge are some streetcars, taking people from the peninsula into Mount Pleasant along Main Street, with large street lights in the distance.
The 1917 photo has much of the same background (though it was likely taken on a clearer day as the mountains can be seen in the distance), but the foreground has more going on it.
There's a horse and carriage heading north under the Coca Cola sign, a new sign declares the Great Northern Pacific Railway Station is under construction and nearby is a massive new building with a couple of raised train tracks out the back. The site is covered in workhorses and construction workers.
The bridge is still in use as a bridge, since the area was drained but not raised right away. It's used by horse-drawn carriages and cars.
False Creek's south shore is even more built up, with a substantial amount of smoke and steam from trains obscuring some buildings.