The A-Maze-ing Laughter art installation at English Bay has been nominated as one of the best public spaces in Canada.
This installation, made up of 14 large bronze figures, all self-portraits of Chinese artist Yue Minjun, qualified for a place in the third annual Great Places in Canada contest sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Planners. The laughing giants are up against some pretty tough competition in the “Public Space” category from several other B.C. locations, including Pacific Rim National Park between Tofino and Ucluelet, Granville Island, Rocky Point Park in Port Moody, the International Summer Night Market in Richmond and Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Other public spaces across Canada nominated this year include the Distillery District in Toronto, the Rideau Canal in Ottawa and Parlee Beach Provincial Park in Pointe-du-Chene, New Brunswick.
Nominations will be accepted online until Sept. 2. The voting period ends Sept. 23 and the winners will be announced on World Town Planning Day Nov. 8. For more information, visit GreatPlacesInCanada.com.
More important places
There are two interesting presentations taking place this week as part of the Places That Matter Plaque Project, an initiative of the Vancouver 125th Anniversary celebrations in 2011.
The Vancouver Heritage Foundation asked the public to nominate a place, person or event important to the city, which had yet to be properly acknowledged. An independent committee of historians, artists, students, heritage consultants, writers and educators reviewed the nominations and eventually 125 Vancouver stories were selected to be celebrated with a blue plaque.
On Wednesday, Aug. 28, it’s the historic wooden roller coaster at the Pacific National Exhibition being celebrated at a special ceremony during the Superdogs Show at 11:30 a.m. (Free with admission to the PNE.) And on Aug. 29, it’s Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium that’s being recognized prior to the sold-out game.
The city is asking motorists to avoid the south end of the Burrard Street Bridge at the corner of Burrard Street and Cornwall Avenue due to the construction of a separated bike lane, which began this week.
And it’s not just the bike lane construction causing traffic havoc in the area, but also a complete overhaul of that awkward intersection, originally designed in the 1930s.
The goal is to improve pedestrian and traffic safety by making the intersection easier to navigate, by reducing the number of pedestrian crossings across Burrard from five to two and reducing the speed and volume of vehicles coming off the bridge and entering Cornwall.
The intersection will remain open to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians throughout construction. Businesses along Cornwall will also be accessible and efforts are being made to maintain vehicle flow, especially during peak hours. But, the city warns, motorists will experience traffic changes, lane restrictions and delays during construction, and are encouraged to use the Granville Street Bridge.
Construction includes the removal of medians and the installation of new traffic signals, as well as new curbs and roads on the east side of Burrard and north side of Cornwall.
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