Likely Stories: Vancouver and Calgary ‘East Villages’ Had Nothing to Do With Ours

The head of the organization that spent $20,000 rebranding a part of Vancouver as The East Village says the name isn’t a rip-off of our East Village. “People have said we’re copying the East Village in New York, when we’re not,” Tricia Barnes of the Hastings North Business Improvement Association tells Canada’s News1130. “There are East Villages around the world.”

Indeed there are! The athletes’ village of the London 2012 Olympic Games will be called East Village, and back in July, we told you about a massive development project in Calgary’s East Village. As of tomorrow, Calgary residents can visit an EV Experience Centre, according to a video (above) that was uploaded to YouTube yesterday. (At a recent preview, attendees were treated to “EV muffins.”)

It’s funny: the clothing designer who claims responsibility for naming Calgary’s East Village says she wasn’t thinking of us, either. “It was an obvious name: We were east of the main downtown and it definitely had a ‘village’ feel,” Eleanor Carson-Youngblut told the Calgary Herald last week. Fair enough. But doesn’t then-mayor Rod Sykes’s description of our Canadian counterpart circa 1970 sound awfully familiar? “It was the hippie part of downtown, with head shops, artists doing handcrafted stuff and a lot of people with long hair just hanging out.”