Monday, January 10, 2011

Vancouver's Nine O'Clock Gun is a Nightly Tradition

Sunset over Coal Harbour and Stanley Park in Vancouver. Photo by Sue Frause.
For the second visit in a row, I've been somewhat startled by a big BOOM! at 9 PM in downtown Vancouver.

The first time I heard it was this past October. I had the sliding doors to my Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel room open, and for one brief moment, I thought the worst.

So I called the front desk, and they reassured me all was well. It was just the nightly Nine O'Clock Gun at Stanley Park. Here's the opening description from Chuck Davis' The History of Metropolitan Vancouver:
"It's been hit by lightning, plugged with rocks, short-circuited, silenced by work stoppages and even (briefly) stolen but Vancouver's famed old Nine O'Clock Gun has—as faithfully as circumstances have allowed—boomed out the time of day from its home in Stanley Park for 107 years now."
The 19th century 12-pound muzzle-loader cannon has been in Vancouver since 1894, and is now in place along the Seawall Promenade that encircles Stanley Park.

Last night, while staying at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, the clock turned nine and right on schedule, the gun went off.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I was a child back in the 1960's and 70's the nine o'clock gun was the signal that it was time to head home! The sound could be heard 10 K away. Now with all those new buidings I'm not sure if it can be heard out of the downtown core.

SUE FRAUSE said...

Thanks for sharing that memory ... I love that it was your "time to head home" alarm. There's some sort of siren that goes off in Whitefish, Montana around 9 PM, and I think it's strictly to let kids know they should be home!

Anonymous said...

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