Check out the current weather forecast for this Sunday…

Vancouver weather for December 7-10

Whether it’s actually going to snow? Who knows.

With snow on my mind, I went looking through my photos on my Flickr account to see if I uploaded any good snow shots of the city. While a few exist, I thought I’d share this one in particular.

Vancouver in the snow, January 2002

While it’s not the best example of a Vancouver snow scene, I thought this particular photo was significant because I took it in January of 2002 (over 10 years ago!) with my first digital camera (a tiny Konica KD 300) on a lone photo walk.

Why is this significant? Well, this was back before digital photography was mainstream. This was in a world before blogging, back before Facebook and Twitter too. Heck, this was back before Friendster went mainstream! In fact, if I uploaded my snowy photos anywhere in 2002, it was probably on my old VirtualTourist account so that I could warn visitors coming to Vancouver that, yes, it does actually snow in Vancouver, occasionally. But I was doing this with an online audience in mind back then, and back then I was the only person I knew in Vancouver doing this. Obviously that wasn’t the case, but it sure felt like it at the time.

This photo reminds me that whenever it snowed, I had the tradition of taking the bus downtown (as I was living in Steveston with my parents at the time), and I used to roam through the city trying to capture the fleeting magic of the snow streetscape.

I know I must have whole hard drives lingering around at my parents’ place with these snowy photos on them, as well as hundreds of other digital photos of my life in 2002. I’ll have to dig them up one day soon.

But back to snow.

If you’re reading this from the snow belt of Canada, you’ll probably be laughing at Vancouver this Sunday as it struggles through its meager bouts of snow. But before you laugh at those silly Vancouverites, consider this:

  • Vancouverites don’t have snow tires on their cars.
  • The snow is that hazardous-to-drive-in wet and slushy state because it’s usually not much colder than 0 degrees Celsius (that’s 32 F for you Americans).
  • Vancouver doesn’t have the same kind of snow removal infrastructure (or budget) that most Canadian cities have.
  • Only main streets get plowed, and even then, only sometimes, and infrequently.
  • Side streets are almost never plowed.
  • Sidewalks being plowed? What’s that?
  • Snow shovel? What’s that?
  • Here’s the City of Vancouver’s official stance on snow removal:

But it’s okay Canada, you can still laugh at Vancouver on Sunday. I’m sure it’ll be a gong show.


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