Photos: The 1971 burning of squats at Maplewood Mudflats

In late 1971, a community of hippies, artists, writers and free spirits that had long taken residence in a series of ramshackle driftwood-constructed huts and cabins on North Vancouver's Maplewood Mudflats, were told to leave their homes so district staff could raze them and 'enforce public health standards.' As residents watched, their homes were burned to the ground.


Tom Burrows, who built and lived at the Maplewood Mud Flats, produced an important body of “intertidal” sculpture there, and later embarked on a world-wide project, in 1976, to document squatting. Burrows’ Maplewood house is depicted in Ian Wallace’s seminal triptych, La Mélancolie de la Rue (1973), where it stands for the whole disposable human past in juxtaposition to the bulldozed landscape of the new suburbs and the Brutalist façade of the new Winnipeg Art Gallery.


Maplewood Mudflats house before the burning

tom burrows
4304530786 8014ae2a67 z (1)