March 31, 2022

Puzzle Pic: Where is this?

Can you name the street?

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  1. Could be anywhere. The whole damn downtown all looks the same to me, but I’ll hazard a guess: looking north on Homer from Smithe

  2. It’s Carnarvon Street in New Westminster, with Plaza 88 on the right/south side of the street. I was one of the project architects that worked on the fourth tower at Plaza 88, not shown in the picture (and full disclosure, I live in New West).

  3. I believe we are looking in the direction of northeast,
    inside New Westminster,
    from the intersection of the 900-block of Carnarvan St
    intersecting with McInnes St,
    4 blocks south of Royal Avenue, or 2 blocks north of Columbia St.

    I believe my conclusion is based on technology more than lived memory. I did not immediately recognize this intersection, even though I have been here during my youth. It ‘felt familiar’ but very nebulously.

    Sleuthing method:

    The essential clues are

    (1) (a) The street sign “McInnes” is blue background with white letters.
    That matches New Westminster and Coquitlam (remembered from my life experience).
    (b) The street has an elevation in the distance … like New Westminster or Coquitlam. But the area shows short, older buildings dating perhaps 100 years in age, in addition to recent (20 years) construction of towers. This seems like New Westminster.
    (c) Also, the street name is clear: McInnes St. That sounds like a name I would find in New Westminster, a name chosen by British Royal Engineers. I suspect this location is in New Westminster.

    (2) This is a T-shaped intersection, making it distinctive on a map.

    (3) The photograph lower-left area shows a business sign, “IMPERIAL … MACY” which is likely “Imperial Pharmacy”. (I watch “Wheel Of Fortune” on TV), and;

    (4) You can see “… ON” with a smiling face for the “O”. I recognize this as part of the logo of Kumon Education. This address seems to be beside the pharmacy, or certainly near the pharmacy.

    Then, use Google search engine.

    ( 1 ) Search on “Imperial Pharmacy”, in New Westminster. (If you omitted New Westminster, then probably, it still works.) Get the address, 981 Carnarvon St.

    ( 2 ) Search on “Kumon Education” get an address, 983 Carnarvon St, which is beside near the address for Imperial Pharmacy.

    Open up a map.
    Google maps … why not?
    Enter the addresses.
    See if they match a T-shaped intersection in New Westminster.
    They do.

    Turn on Street View mode in Google Maps.
    This matches the photo.

    Wow. A lot of new towers in this photo. My childhood image of the location is getting an extensive update.


  4. I had a hunch that turned out to be right, but I had to use Google to confirm it for myself, so I won’t spoil it…