Vancouver's 5 best and 5 worst moments of 2010

The Celebration of Light at English Bay, Wikimedia Commons image

This was the year that the eyes of the world were on Vancouver. Last winter, images and stories from our city were broadcast around the globe during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games. Some called them a dream, others a disaster. After the last athlete had gone home, the city slowed back to its normal rhythms, that is until the HST threatened to put a damper on our summer plans. As the year wound down, a mass shooting on Oak Street had many worried about the escalation of gang-related violence.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Join VO, as we look back on highs and lows for Vancouver in 2010.


1. Canada wins gold in men's hockey

On February 28th, the entire city wondered: would Canada claim Olympic gold in that most Canadian of games on Canadian soil? Crowds dressed head-to-toe in red and white descended on Robson Square to watch the men's gold medal hockey game. In homes, cafes and bars across the city, people were glued to their television sets.

As the clock ticked down, Canada led the game 2-1. The city held back its victory cheer. Waiting. Waiting. But with 24.4 seconds left on the clock,  Zach Parise tapped a goal into the Canadian net, tying the game 2-2.

Overtime stretched on for almost eight long minutes. And then, Sidney Crosby put the final goal in the net. Game over. “I didn’t see it go in,” Crosby said afterwards. “I just heard everyone scream."

The victory set a new Olympic record for most gold medals won at the games. It was a defining moment for Vancouver and the rest of the country.

2. Council says yes to new bike lanes

After the success of the Dunsmuir and Burrard Street bike lanes in the first half of the year, city council moved to introduce another separated bike lane on Hornby Street. Cyclists rejoiced at the possibility of a new route, while the business community organized an active opposition.

In what many people called an historic move, the city voted to approve a $3.2-million six-month trial on Hornby Street in October. As Francis Bula reported, Former NPA councillor Gordon Price called it a "'click moment' that will define the image and future of Vancouver."

While at least one business owner is unhappy with the effects of the new bike lane, the long term benefits should be worth the inconvenience. Creating a well-developed alternative transportation infrastructure now should offer safe and sustainable solutions for years to come. As Graham Anderson argued, there is even room for savvy businesses to tap into a new clientele: people riding past on their bicycles.

3. VPD's Sister Watch Program

Three years after Robert Pickton was sentenced to life in prison for his mass murder of women in the Downtown Eastside, the horrific details of the case remain vivid in the minds of many. The question now is whether social attitudes, social programs, the police and the justice system have changed enough to prevent such a tragedy from occurring ever again.

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