Future of McBarge still a secret

McBarge during renovations. SUBMITTED PHOTO

McBarge may have started as a fast food outlet, but there are no fast answers about the future of the barge.

The barge, originally built as the first floating McDonalds for Vancouver’s Expo ’86, was recently moved from the Burrard Inlet to Maple Ridge to begin renovations after being in the inlet for 30 years. Howard Meakin bought the barge in 1999, and said he will be ready to announce what it will be used for in three to four months.

“It’s an exciting venue, it’s world class,” Meakin. “It will appeal to all people and all countries.”

One thing Meakin did say is that the barge will look different than people remember.

“The roof has to be completely replaced, and we’re putting a new roof-deck on it and it will actually have quite a nice display area on the roof deck as well.”

What will be on display? “That’s the secret,” Meakin laughed.

Two possible locations

According to David Eaton, the architect working on the project, there are two places currently being considered to anchor the barge.

“We’re looking at two locations, both have different timelines, both have different aspects to them that make them quite unique in their solutions,” said Eaton.

Barge with a long history

Suzan Stamenkovic, a travel account manager at Brave New World Travel, used to work on McBarge, and said that she hopes they return the barge to False Creek, as a way to honour the Expo.

“I would actually really like to see it back in False Creek, and turned back into a McDonalds,” Stamenkovic said in an email. “Looking at the area now, you can’t even tell there was a World Exposition there. This would be a perfect reminder, be a ‘living’ reminder of what was and how exciting and lively the city was then.”

And for people who want more information about the McBarge project? Eaton says, “Stay tuned, I guess that’s all we can tell you.”

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