Thursday, October 27, 2016
Robson Public Market
The Kingsgate Mall at Kingsway and West Broadway is known by many names and is the butt of many jokes. I first knew it as place where a friend of my parents opened a card shop. This was in the 1970s, when the mall itself opened. And I was there! A bright shiny mall where the Vancouver School Board offices once stood. Now when I think of the Kingsgate Mall I think of a touch of Northern B.C. in the gentrified heart of Vancouver.
The West End has its own version of the Kingsgate Mall: the Robson Public Market (pictured above and below). Opened in the early 1980s, the RPM was where my father had his Saturday coffee after he moved from the westernmost end of Nelson Street to the corner of Haro and Nicola.
Last Saturday I walked through the Robson Public Mall and was shocked to see how quiet it was. Many of the businesses were not open, and many more looked like they had not been opened in months. This was most apparent upstairs.
A couple years ago the Western Front commissioned artist Casey Wei to program a month of activities at the Kingsgate Mall. I have heard that Casey would like to do something similar at the Robson Public Market. I can hardly wait!