Nine O'Clock Gun

Vancouver’s Nine O’clock Gun falls silent

Perched on the Stanley Park seawall, facing east towards the famous sails of Canada Place is one of Vancouver’s two audible time-keeping devices — the Nine O’clock Gun (the other are the Heritage Horns atop the Pan Pacific Hotel which blare at 12 noon). As its name implies, this bronze cannon fires daily at 9:00 pm, thanks to a black powder charge tamped into its barrel by Park Board staff.

9 O'Clock Gun firing at night
The Nine O’Clock Gun firing at its namesake hour in January 2012.

And it’s that black powder that’s the cause of the cannon temporarily going dark; the last boom thundered out on the evening of February 10th, 2022. The long-time supplier of the explosive had closed down in the fall of 2021, and the Park Board exhausted its remaining stock of the powder.

According to a press release by the City of Vancouver, the powder issue is affecting much of Canada, North America and even Europe. However, city staff are looking at substitutions to return this noisy part of the West Coast city’s history back into firing position.

Source: City of Vancouver

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