Here's a picture from Stanley Park near Dead Man's Island, looking back toward the city. You can clearly see how much infill there has been in the last 17 years. Notice that the Marine Building on the far right sits on the natural shore, overlooking the rail-yard. The large arched window is street-level now . There are two blocks north of the Marine Building now, Cordova St. and Canada Place, and the new Convention Centre also sits north of the Marine Building such that now the distance from the natural shoreline to the water is about half a kilometre. For the sake of comparison, the picture below was taken this January of this year on Cordova St.
You can also see the CP Ferry in dock. This is was a commercial-only ferry that carried tucks and rail-cars from the inner harbour in Nanaimo. It docked directly across for former truck-tunnel that was dug in the 1930's so the heavy trucks could travel between this railyard and the one on the False Creek Flats. Didn't know there was a tunnel for trucks to drive underneath Vancouver? That's because it got repurposed in the 1980's for the SkyTrain. The tunnel the SkyTrain runs through was built over half a century before the SkyTrain.
Notice the buildings along Hasting Street to the right of the Marine Building. All of them have plazas on the ground floor that overlook the water that people used to sit and have their lunches on. All of these now have a "view" of Cordova St. and the towers across the street and almost never get used for anything anymore. To the left of the black office tower is a small park, Portal Park, that used to also be a nice place to look over the water. No tower was ever built there because the tunnel entrance is right below it, so there is no way to make a deep foundation. That park isn't very nice anymore since there are now fairly busy streets on three sides of it and the arched portal sculpture/building that is the park's main feature gets used as shelter by homeless people.
Oringinal post: http://mbarrick.livejournal.com/884152.html