McHistory | 26th September 2011 | 16:59 PDT

It's humid, I'm hot but it is raining but I'm still hot, it's the perfect weather to shut yourself away from the world and forget it exists by partaking in the exciting world of quilting, not today obviously as instead, I am just over an hour away from my apartment, walking down this steep, narrow, truck filled, dangerous road next to an oil refinery in Burnaby. What am I doing here?

Oh, what a lovely place to destroy the world

To be honest, I don't know, a friend pointed at a map and said “Go” - no other words were exchanged between us, before or after they said that.

Passing a baby deer behind a fence being watched carefully by a security guard with a gun, I reach the bottom of the hill and I follow the track over a railway track to the water's edge that's obscured by a line of trees. I pass through the nature's fence and look down upon a surprisingly busy beach of fishermen and their families playing.

Nope, nothing much going on here, just people having fun

As I was taking all this in, I was wondering what was it that I had go see. I look up to realise I had not even noticed this surprisingly big dirty white derelict floating barge in front of me, that looked like it had been thrown out of handbook of future architecture from the the days of retro and plonked down this quiet part of the Burrard Inlet.

Oh, well, yes, that's an unusual thing to see here, other than, say, a Yeti.

Then it hit me, I've seen this building before from a picture of the skyline of Downtown Vancouver from around 1980s, this used to live in False Creek during Expo '86 but it was a McDonald's restaurant back then.

Expo '86 which was to coincide with Vancouver's 100th birthday started as a small event with a theme of transportation as a nod to the railways that helped kick start the growth of the city. Ideas for this celebration grew bigger along with it's momentum and eventually this small party would end up being a World Exposition.

Like the Olympics, this Expo would help define and create a personality for the city and its people, by turning an old industrial wasteland next to False Creek into usable, profit making land (though as of yet, development is yet to happen on this site due to the recent recession) It also created much needed infrastructure improvements like Canada Place, now used as a cruise ship terminus. The  SkyTrain, namely the Expo line. BC Place Stadium and Science World are also remnants from the Expo '86 that still reside within the city.

BC Place Stadium to the left and Science World to the right

From what I can tell, that whole period of time is looked upon fondly by everyone involved and seemed to be the main catalyst for the city's growth by placing it on the big stage and inviting investors from all industries to notice and buy into its potential, something that has taken Vancouver from strength-to-strength ever since.

I think for the locals the floating McDonald's, which is affectionately named McBarge was probably the best thing about the event  (though did come under fire for being an eyesore after the event, when it was abandoned in False Creek) and now sadly wait dormant in water, looking for a new lease of life. There is talk of it going to Mission as a centrepiece for their marina redevelopment or to be used as housing for the homeless.

Look, it's bigger than a rock!

As long as it's used for something and it can be seen by people publicly just so it doesn't go to the waste of waves, then everyone wins as I think it looks brilliant and it's an excellent example of  architectural history.

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