Have you seen or heard of the McBarge?
Being a 90’s kid with no history classes that included the McBarge, I’m going to go into the details of who or what the McBarge is.
The McBarge, officially the Friendship 500, was a McDonald’s restaurant, built on a 57-metre-long 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. We put all this in the past tense only because the barge has been ‘marooned’ amid industrial barge since 1991- following the exhibition. It was initially intended to be used as a McDonald’s restaurant after Expo ’86, but remained empty at the Expo grounds and then the new owner of the grounds forced McDonald’s to remove it.
In June 2009, the McBarge’s current owner, Gastown developer Howard Meakin, submitted a proposal to the council for a waterfront development on the Fraser River, with the former McBarge as the centrepiece. Several failed proposals later, we sail to December 2015 where Meakin cleaned up the barge and moved it to British Columbia.
Last we heard is that the barge will undergo a $4.5 million face-lift. “It could be in Vancouver, but it could be in other places as well,” hints Meakin.
The project might roll out by the end of the year. Although, since Meakin is not a McDonald’s franchisee, it might lose the ‘Mc’. McDonalds Canada are you listening? Save your Mc.