I have an admission to make….I sort of hate this clock in Gastown. I realize that it seems a little illogical to hate a clock, but I have a couple of reasons.

1. This clock is a magnet for tourists who turn into five-minute-idiots waiting for the steam driven clock to go off

2. This clock is not actually steam driven

3. This non-steam-driven clock and all those five-minute-idiots stand between my office and my favourite shoe store

Since this photo was taken on a rainy February Thursday at 12:05, the hordes of five-minute-idiots were largely absent – intentional planning on my part.

The clock is located in historic Gastown and has always been promoted as an historic time peice, representative of the age of the area it sits in, but it’s not.

It was unveiled with fanfare to a crowd nattily dressed in the high fashion that the decade was known for; the clock was built in 1977.

On any given sunny (or cloudy) day during any component of tourist season, on the quarter-hour, this corner is a mob of snap-happy tourists that one is hard pressed to push through, and most of them think the thing is some historic icon from the 1800’s.

It does produce steam, but it was actually placed here to cover an ugly steam vent that the city wanted to hide, so I guess it’s not a complete sham. But it’s still not an actual steam-driven clock; it’s electric. It did run on steam, for a little while, but then the steam driven motor broke because the steam rusted out the mechanism (around the mid 1980’s) and now it runs solely on two electric motors.

It’s just a clock that looks old, but isn’t. It’s faux-history….which, in today’s world of fake-news and alternative-facts, maybe just seems par for the course.

And did I mention that it’s between me and my shoe store….?

119 Photos in 2019 – 22. Clocks / WatchesGastown Steam Clock