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Fleeting Wonders: Welcome Back, McBarge!

A floating Canadian McDonalds is set to make a comeback this year after a secrecy-shrouded renovation.

The McBarge in 2006, near Vancouver and far from its heyday.

The McBarge in 2006, near Vancouver and far from its heyday. (Photo: Taz/CC BY 2.0)

In 1986, Canadian kids hungry for fun and French fries could dine at the McBarge, a floating McDonalds anchored in False Creek, Vancouver and complete with portholes, a hidden kitchen, and workers in sailor uniforms. The restaurant was built for the 1986 World Fair Expo, and was meant to dish out forward-thinking architecture, technology and business acumen along with regular old burgers.

Its own future, it turned out, was bleak. From 1991 until late 2015, the fast food joint rotted in Burrard Inlet, surrounded by tougher, more serious barges. It rusted and slimed over, and hosted only the occasional intrepid picnicker.

But according to Metro UK, the McBarge’s current owner, Howard Meakin, recently moved and cleaned the boat, in preparation for a (thus far) secret renovation.

“I can’t tell you what the plan is… but it fits in with the 30th anniversary of the Exposition,” Meakin told the Vancouver Sun in December. “It will all happen in 2016.”

Stay tuned for more nuggets of information.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to [email protected].