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Marine-View Cafe : Exterior

Campbell Avenue Fish Dock. Once and for many years Vancouver's favourite waterfront daytime coffee shop and fish cafe situated up those funky, well trodden, roof-covered stairs atop the tin corrugated cold-storage ice plant. Located behind B.C. Sugar Refinery's sprawling brick mausoleum. The only place you can wind in across the tracks and right into the action of a live fish dock. Inside you get a lofty view of raw elemental waterfront life. The Dock is a swarm of new Canadians from many ethnic origins. Beginning sometime in the early '30s...a menagerie of commercial fish exchange; a jumble of draggers, trawlers, gill-netters, packers, trollers, and seiners bobbing and swaying. The exhilaration of a regatta. Zest and enthusiasm. Broken English and hand gestures abound. Deals get done. Resilient people and conditions. Fishing families. There are instances in history's makings when industry and art intermingle in a utopian marriage. Now just an empty hole in the shoreline...an ecological shadow...a spent wharf, shut down 1989. Move out in October. Demolished in December. A hollow. Plucked. A shuffled away historical specimen. Not much aftermath. An industry eclipsed. Circling gulls call 'is that all?' United Grain Growers concrete silos lurk, unclothed by its absence. A tug nosing a renegade log boom. A single train bell at the crossing is melancholy...a rubble and tangle of leftovers and memories. At the edges, patches of bramble, wild salmonberry cane and devil's club start things again. The old Marine View Cafe and Campbell Avenue Fish Dock will never be forgotten by those who were there.