Monday, April 9, 2012

Photo: The Developing Developments

All jokes aside, since coming out west I've found that it's difficult to get a bead on the city of Surrey. Depending on what I'm talking about at the time, it's easy to think of it as the Mississauga of the West or Vancouver's Scarborough or just the red-headed stepchild of the Lower Mainland, but it doesn't really fit into any convenient category; the juxtaposition of low-density suburbs, the wide-open countryside between the rivers, and its work-in-progress downtown come together to make a whole that isn't commonly encountered back east.

The Central City Tower - that bluish, sharp-roofed skyscraper in the photo down there - is, for the moment, one of the most obvious signs of this juxtaposition: the tallest building in Surrey, clearly visible poking above the treeline from New West, and yet surrounded by townhouses and apartment blocks and open fields awaiting redevelopment. With the recent completion of Surrey's new central library and the new city hall under construction on the former site of a strip mall, the place will no doubt look a lot different in ten or twenty years. For now, though, it seems almost awkwardly paused between the past and the future.

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