1675 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Camera - Exterior
|Architect||Ramsay Worden Architects|
|Management Company||Crosby Property Management|
|Number of Units||77|
|Number of Floors||10|
|Type of Roof||IRMA|
|1675 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC|
|Distance to Public Transit||approximately 20 bus routes nearby|
|Title of Land||Strata|
For an area of Vancouver that started out as an industrial logging camp, Camera’s home in Fairview has come a long way.
In the 1860s, the Canadian Pacific Railway began construction of the Hastings Sawmill, committing most of Fairview to the logging industry. 30 years later, the community of loggers had grown the city enough for the CPR to introduce Vancouver’s first electric rail (streetcar) lines: The Cambie, The Granville, and the crosstown line along Broadway.
Most importantly, there was the Fairview Loop. As the name would suggest, the loop connected much of the city, bringing residents up Main Street, to Broadway, then Granville, and then back downtown.
Over the decades, Vancouver has continued to expand, and its commercial center has moved across False Creek to the area of Granville and Robson, but Main and Broadway have held on to their history.
Through everything, the vista of the North Shore Mountains that gives Fairview its name – and Camera one of its biggest selling points – certainly hasn’t changed at all.
On West 8th Avenue, between Pine and Fir Streets, Camera is just a block away from West Broadway. Though Vancouver’s downtown core has migrated over the years, Broadway is still the place to find some of the city’s oldest buildings, funkiest shops and best local food.
Convenience-wise, there are approximately 20 transit routes that can take a traveler into and around the modern downtown core. In less than ten minutes, transit users can hop off on the other side of the Granville Street Bridge and find themselves in the heart of the city. An even shorter bus ride – about half way across the bridge – leads to Granville Island: artisan crafts, live theatre, and the famous Granville Island Public Market.
For those who work in the suburbs but want to play downtown, Fairview is an ideal location. All major roads pass through it, and it’s situated roughly in between downtown and the city’s service/industrial areas.
Across False Creek, on Vancouver’s urban “number grid” (1st, 2nd, 3rd Avenue and so on) the buildings don’t tower the way they do in False Creek, Coal Harbour and the downtown core itself. Across False Creek, there’s a little more room for buildings to go out instead of up.
At ten stories high, with a total of 77 residential units, Camera is a modern concrete building that follows along those same lines. Rather than build something that would dominate Fairview’s skyline and detract from the natural beauty of the North Shore Mountains, architect Ramsay Worden opted for a low, loft-style building with large windows and prominent balconies. Camera is a building meant for appreciating the view, not eclipsing it.
Layout and Features
Suites at Camera are available in either one or two bedroom layouts, with master or master-and-guest bathroom arrangements. All master and guest bathrooms feature high-quality tile finishes and spa tubs.
Interior designers have complemented the open concept layout of main living spaces with Brazilian hardwood floors, teak cabinetry, and polished stone worktops. Within the units, darker tones make for a striking contrast to the cooler colors throughout the majority of each suite.
Common areas are finished with similar exotic wood accents, and designers have paid the same attention to natural light and spaciousness. Camera’s lounge, for example, opens onto a private rooftop deck and green space.
Unfortunately, free floor plans for Camera are difficult to come by. On the right is a sample two-bedroom-two-bathroom layout. At the end of this article, there is also a reference that will take the reader to a virtual tour of a Camera suite, and some of the building's common areas. 
Camera's list of amenities includes:
- Fitness room
- Games room/lounge
- Rooftop terrace
- Spa room
- Bike room
- Suites at Camera are available for rental or purchase.
- There are no age restrictions on residency.
- Barbecues are permitted, with restrictions.
- Pets are also permitted, with restrictions.
One of the building's leading agents had this to say about Camera's dual-flush toilets:
"OK, maybe we won't save the entire world this way, but feeling like a good guy several times a day really rocks."
True enough. And an excellent way of looking at Camera's overall efforts at sustainability. It's not a paragon of eco-friendliness. There are no charging stations for electric cars, or cells to power the building off an environmental energy grid. But there are low-flow appliances, low-energy fixtures, large windows sealed for better insulation, and an IRMA roof for improved heat management.
Put those consistent little improvements alongside the fact that Vancouver as a whole is making a serious run at the title of "World's Greenest City by 2020," and prospective residents can count Camera among the buildings that do what they can to keep the city a little greener.
On Granville Island, minutes away from Camera's doorstep, is the Emily Carr University of Art + Design. And it has a longer history than most people tend to think. It may not have always had Emily Carr's name above the door, but the school itself has been around in some form since 1925, when it began as the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Art.
In 1960, the school moved from its original home on Hamilton Street to Dunsmuir Street, and shortened its name to the Vancouver School of Art. Then, with the redevelopment of Granville Island around 1980, the school picked up and relocated to its current home. Interestingly, Granville Island was formerly an industrial center of Vancouver, and many of the university's early buildings are either original, or redesigned warehouse spaces.
Name and architecture aside, Emily Carr University remains one of Canada's foremost art schools. And, in a time when the arts in Canada are struggling, it remains a cornerstone in Vancouver's artistic and cultural development.
For more on Emily Carr, and her incredible contribution to Canadian art history, see the reference section at the end of this article.
- Fairview on Wikipedia
- Walk Score
- Camera - A video tour
- Vancouver, Green 2020
- The Canadian Encyclopedia Online - Emily Carr
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