Metro News newspaper pivots: Now boxes become trash bins
By Craig Allan, Staff Writer
The new decade saw the end of another old media as StarMetro, a free daily newspaper that occupied the green boxes all over the Lower Mainland, announced it was shutting down its daily paper service. It’s a sad day for media, and a loss for journalists in the region—but its absence has caused a question. What will happen to all of those boxes around the city? I went to a couple of them to see what I could find.
My first stop was to a box at the Coquitlam Centre Skytrain Station. I went by the box, opened it and found…! Nothing. The box was empty. TransLink must be adamant in making sure these boxes remain empty. I was not daunted though, as I later went to a box at the Coquitlam Royal Bank on Barnet, and that’s where I found the motherload. There was a bag of bread, take out containers, cigarette boxes, and I think a vape juice bottle. Oh, what wonders these boxes behold!
I then decided to go to other communities and see what they had. In my pursuit I found things that were certainly expected from the cities they were in. In Surrey, I found a box stuffed with multiple Uber driving infraction parking tickets. Traveling further south into Surrey, I found scrapped plans for the LRT they were going to build. I guess someone thought it would be too sad to just throw them in the trash.
I then decided to bypass Burnaby, because I knew where the good stuff was going to be: Vancouver. I first went to Granville Island, where I found the coolest thing: the chandelier that was hanging off the Granville Street Bridge. Guess they were never able to fix it…
I then went to Yaletown, where in the box near the Roundhouse Skytrain station, I found a whole person! Someone was living in there! They had a bed, a hot plate, and everything! I asked him why he was living in there, and he told me that it was because the box was in a great location, and it only costs $1500 a month—which he said was a steal in the city.
My last trip was into the downtown, where I looked in the box by Burrard Street station and found a whole movie set in there. They were filming a movie with Vancouver darling Ryan Reynold. Man, that guy is everywhere! I asked why they were filming in there, and a production assistant told me that the ceilings in this mailbox are really high. Which I guess is true. The roof does kind of curve upward. The news may be gone, but these boxes are still valuable to Vancouver. Valuable as places to go live. I asked the guy that was living in the box how I might be able to get one of these. He told me there’s a good one by Stadium-Chinatown. I’ll finally get to live downtown! My mom always told me that I’d live in a place the size of a postage stamp. This will show her! I’m going to live in a place the size of a newspaper box!
Photos by Craig Allan