It's a big "boom" that can be heard every evening across Coal Harbour and beyond.
After over a century, Vancouver's famed 9 o'clock gun still fires each night at 9:00 p.m. in Stanley Park. There was, however, a temporary firing time adjustment to 7:00 p.m. last spring, in solidarity with the nightly local healthcare worker cheers.
Many may not realize it but the cannon is actually manually reloaded every day.
For over 10 years, Vancouver Park Board employee Trent Furlong has been one of the people responsible for keeping the historic gun running smoothly. He takes care of it five days a week, rain or shine.
To ensure proper precautions are taken, all workers who tend to the cannon must complete a federally regulated safety course and obtain a pyrotechnician ticket, which is renewed every five years.
Known as the 'powder master', Furlong's daily duties include packing it with one and a half pounds of black gunpowder (from a supplier on Vancouver Island) and carefully placing an electric match, that is ignited each night, in the powder with a bamboo skewer wrapped in wire.
When he's not on ammunition duty, Furlong can be seen sprucing up the greenery in Stanley Park and English Bay.
There have been several occasions over the years when the gun didn't fire.
"Sometimes you get a bad electric match or sometimes we've had problems with the electrical terminals or just power outages that happen out here," says Furlong.
The caretaker is always happy to speak with curious onlookers and enjoys having an active role in preserving one of the city's longest traditions.
Installed at Brockton Point in 1894, the cannon was originally a navigational aid for ships to set chronometers while in harbour. In 1954 it was moved to its present location further south on the seawall.