The Progressive 2000s

For many, the 2000s were defined by the 2010 Winter Games, but amid Olympic cheers, the city's business and physical landscapes were changing.

Grouse Mountain wind turbine | BCBusiness

For many, the 2000s were defined by the 2010 Winter Games, but amid Olympic cheers, the city’s business and physical landscapes were changing.

For Vancouverites, the Olympics were the defining event of the 2000s. The jubilation at the announcement of the winning bid would quickly give way to controversy as the city was consumed with debates over the cut-and-cover construction of the Canada Line and competing visions of False Creek’s Olympic Village. But by opening day, the whole city would be caught up in the spirit of celebration, and by the time the triumphant event concluded at the close of the decade, Vancouver would have a new SkyTrain line and a new False Creek neighbourhood, not to mention a twirling whirligig atop Grouse Mountain.

On the corporate side, the conversion of the Westcoast Transmission building on West Georgia Street to condos in 2006 was a fitting sign of the times. In addition to losing Westcoast Energy to Texas-based Duke Energy, the province would see Creo, Terasen and Placer Dome move head offices south of the border.

In another sign of the times, stereo components would give way to yoga wear as one retail icon shut its doors while another launched its trajectory to international stardom. A&B Sound would shutter its flagship Seymour Street location, while Lululemon Athletica would open its fourth store, on Robson Street, in 2002, and raise $327.6 million in a 2007 IPO.

Today those who were lucky enough to get in on the Lululemon IPO at the offering price of $18 can afford to kick back and relax in their downtown condo decked out in stylish yoga wear.


2000: The Dow peaks at 11,722 in January before the dot-com meltdown drives it down to 8,235 in September 2001.

2000: California-based Redback Networks Inc. acquires Vancouver telecom network software and hardware manufacturer Abatis Systems Corp for US$676 million in stock in one of Canada’s biggest high-tech takeovers to date.

2002: Creo Inc. tops the BCBusiness list of biggest tech companies in B.C., with $1.01 billion in 2001 revenue and 4,100 employees. The company would be bought by Eastman Kodak for US$980 million in June 2005, and Kodak would file for protection from creditors in January 2012.

2002: U.S.-based Duke Energy buys Westcoast Energy, B.C.’s biggest company, in a deal worth $12.5 billion. The former head office on Georgia Street would be converted to condos in 2006.

2003: B.C. Government sells B.C. Rail to Canadian National Railway Co.

2003: Most British Columbians will forever remember where they were at 8:41 a.m. on Wednesday, July 2, the moment International Olympic Committee chair Jacques Rogge announced that Vancouver had won its bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

2005: Terasen Inc., formerly B.C. Gas, is bought by Texas-based Kinder Morgan Inc. in a deal valued at $6.9 billion. It would be bought by Newfoundland-based Fortis Inc. in 2007 for $1.4 billion.

2008: A&B Sound closes its flagship Seymour Street store in August after the chain was bought by Richmond-based Seanix Technology. The last store, in North Vancouver, would close in November 2008.

2009: The Canada Line opens, linking downtown to to YVR with 19 km of rapid transit. After four years of construction that saw six kilometres of Cambie Street dug up, the total price tag was $2.05 billion.