One year ago B.C. was hit by one of the biggest storms in recent memory.
Along with the flooding, wind damage and chaos, it brought an unlikely (albeit temporary) icon to these shores: the English Bay Barge.
The gigantic barge (aka SMT-5000) came aground during high winds and an even higher tide on Nov. 15, 2021, becoming lodged on rocks at Sunset Beach, known as Í7iy̓el̓shn in the Squamish language. It quickly became iconic and garnered many fans, though locals soured on it over time.
While many options were discussed for removing it, and others campaigned to leave it and do something creative with it, the decision was ultimately made to cut it up and put it on another barge using a crane. That process has been going on for 15 weeks.
This week, on the anniversary of its arrival in Vancouver, the last pieces of the barge will be removed. In fact, all but a handful of pieces remain. It's essentially one internal wall and a few beams, all attached to the bottom plate of the barge — the part that actually ran aground all those months ago.
When exactly it'll be removed isn't certain, due to tides, weather, and the ocean.
"There is still work underwater taking place this week but...it's wrapping up and is expected to be gone by the end of the week," says a spokesperson for the operation in an email to Vancouver Is Awesome.
Once the final pieces are removed the gear that was put in place to do the removal will also be taken away.
"The City of Vancouver and Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation will have more to share in the coming weeks regarding the assessments that will be done before the beach is reopened to the public," notes the spokesperson.