Woodward’s Windows

I’m too young to remember the big Woodward’s Department Store at the edge of Vancouver’s Gastown and Chinatown. But I see the illuminated neon “W” when I walk downtown in the evenings and textual reminders on the original building, marking what was once there.

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You can see the “W” far in the distance on the left. View from Canada Place.

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When in Europe this fall, we just missed the start of the big department stores setting up their window displays for Christmas. I’m sure Le Bon Marche in Paris, the world’s original modern department store, would have had some spectacular ones. It seems I tend to take big trips in October just as the Christmas prep is beginning, as I also recall this window from New York in its early stages.

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Woodward’s also had elaborate Christmas displays of animated figures moving behind glass. Canada Place purchased their displays when the store closed in 1993 and have made them available for Vancouverites to enjoy again or for the first time (as in my case). They were wonderful in the original sense of that word. Fun for kids and adults, noticing which figurines are moving and what they’re doing. I loved the mouse atop the Woodward’s trolley, lifting a string attached to a package. The best part? It’s free and makes for a lovely evening, strolling along Canada Place with all the lights glowing and a row of Christmas trees adding to the festiveness.

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Around the back of Canada Place, you can also experience a rendition of the North Pole, using a bit of imagination.

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The windows are up until tomorrow night (Dec 31) so see them before they’re gone, or catch them next year.

Hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for 2018!

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3 thoughts on “Woodward’s Windows

  1. I had wondered about the Woodward’s Christmas displays! I remember those displays from days long past, as well as their department store’s Food Floor and their weekly “$1.49 Tuesday” specials. Thanks for highlighting (past) Woodward’s at Christmas.

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