Sunday, December 15, 2013

The mystique of the McBarge

[Image: 640px-McBarge_front.jpg]

The mystique of the McBarge

By Furano Yukihira
The Daily Magi
September 4, 2059

The McBarge, officially named the Friendship 500, was a McDonald's restaurant, built on a barge for Expo '86 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Moored on Expo grounds in Vancouver's False Creek, it was the second floating McDonald's location in the world, intended to showcase future technology and architecture. Although the floating design allowed for the barge to operate in a new location following the exhibition, the derelict McBarge has since 1991 been anchored empty in Burrard Inlet, amid industrial barges and an oil refinery.

Though disused and forgotten for years, the barge is currently the centrepiece of a proposed waterfront development on the Fraser River in Mission, British Columbia, including a restaurant and marina.

The restaurant by designed by Robert Allan Ltd. for Expo '86 and was one of five McDonald's locations on the Expo grounds, all of which were constructed for a total of $12 million. It was initially intended to be used as a McDonald's restaurant after Expo '86, but the barge remained empty at the Expo grounds until 1991, when the new owner of the grounds forced McDonald's to remove it. It has since been anchored derelict in Burrard Inlet, north of Burnaby, British Columbia.

In June 2009, the McBarge's current owner, Gastown developer Howard Meakin, submitted a proposal to the Mission city council for a waterfront development on the Fraser River, with the former McBarge as the centrepiece. Named "Sturgeon's on the Fraser", the development would include multiple restaurants and a marina complex, including paddlewheeler excursions and float plane service to Victoria and Mitakihara Town. As of August 2010, the proposal enjoys local support, but awaits council approval. Other proposals that have been put forward without owner interest include using the barge as a homeless shelter to alleviate overcrowding in Vancouver's current temporary shelters.

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