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Here are 10 things we wish were still around from Vancouver's Expo 86 (PHOTOS)

What would you want to see return?

It's been 35 years since Expo 86 opened in Vancouver, and while some things have stuck around over those decades, most disappeared shortly after gates closed.

Luckily people took lots of photos, and some of them contributed to the Vancouver Public Library's This Vancouver archive 'Expo Retro' in 2018. What follows is a selection of items we wish were still standing, or happening, in Vancouver.

LiveChessBy Sue Ceccato / Vancouver Public Library

The Live Chess

It may seem a bit cartoon-ish and bizarre, but that's what's so great about it. To really put a spin on it, maybe they work as a team/democracy for each move, voting on which pawn will get sacrificed.

WoodenElephantBy Dr. John Gluckman / Vancouver Public Library

The Wooden Elephant

While it'd be nice to think society has learned from the story of the Trojan Horse, this wooden elephant would definitely be the downfall of the city if it was dragged into the city's core behind the formidable walls, but luckily those don't exist. Instead, there are high housing prices.

ShipsBy Gerald Joe / Vancouver Public Library

The Flotilla of Ships

Vancouver doesn't have a naval yard, leaving the city shockingly open to pirate raids. To stem this, these ships from the Marine Plaza should be rounded up and brought back to defend the region from Captain Jack Sparrow impersonators. To be honest they may not be as effective against modern-day pirates.

McBargeBy Donna Bogyo / Vancouver Public Library

The McBarge

It's fast food on a slow-moving boat. Why did it ever leave?

BoatBalletBy Donna Bogyo / Vancouver Public Library

The Boat Ballet

The little RivTow boats were the perfect vessel for this dance.

H2OUFOBy Terry Bogyo / Vancouver Public Library


An early water park, this was set up in the Ontario Pavilion which is roughly where Creekside Park is, which is lacking any sort of retro hydro-entertainment, never mind alien versions.

GarbosGarbageBy Donna Bogyo / Vancouver Public Library

The garbage can performances

Garbos would leap forth from his garbage can/entertainment venue to perform for everyone, and probably make some passerby who tossed a half-empty cup of coffee into his stage feel pretty rotten. Imagine walking through Kitsilano only to have a garbage can man start juggling at you? And now imagine that happening when you're sober.


PavelBureBy Philip Vogl / Vancouver Public Library

The giant Russian rocket engine

Predating Pavel Bure's rookie season by a couple of years, this is the OG, and while it's wouldn't be of much use, having a spare rocket around couldn't be a bad thing. What could possibly go wrong?


SkateboardDudeBy Scott / Vancouver Public Library

This statue of a skateboarder

This is obvious, right? It should never have been taken away.

ExpoErnie By Katherine Taylor / Vancouver Public Library

Expo Ernie wandering the waterfront

While versions of Expo Ernie apparently still exist hidden away, it'd be great o add a couple wandering 'robots' to the False Creek waterfront to pose with anyone looking for a selfie.

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