18 January 2013

The McBarge - Abandoned Relic of Expo 86

Sometimes something seems like a very good idea at the time.  When Expo ’86 landed in the Canadian city of Vancouver the McBarge as it became known was one of the centrepieces of the exhibition.  It was the first floating McDonalds in the world and offered visitors the vicarious thrill of eating their meal while afloat.

Guests at the globally renowned exhibition would enjoy the future technology and architecture around them.  The McBarge, which was originally called the Friendship 500 was a great hit. Yet when Expo ’86 ended no new home could be found for the barge and it has, over the years, become derelict, anchored forlornly in the creek’s Burrard Inlet.

All is not lost, however.  It is hoped that a new waterfront development in Mission, British Columbia, will ‘adopt’ the barge.  After a complete refurbishment it is hoped that the barge will become the home of not one but several restaurants.  The proposed development would also include features such as a marina and a float plane service as well as offering paddlewheel excursions up and down the river.

So perhaps there is an opportunity for the Friendship 500 to be reborn. There aren’t many restaurants, after all, which have the capacity to up anchor and find a new home in the way that the Friendship 500 can.  Neglected and forgotten for so long the architecture, once considered so futuristic, has become almost retro and would certainly make a fun place to eat.  Perhaps every dog can have its day more than once in spite of everything?

First Image Credit Flickr User TylerIngram