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The Bizarre Story Of McDonald’s “McBarge”

The McBarge in 2015

There are McDonald's restaurants in all kinds of strange places around the world.

For example, there have been branches on oil rigs, a decommissioned plane in New Zealand and even inside the infamous Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

But there have not been many floating branches.

That's probably to do with the failed "McBarge" project of 1986.

It took place in Vancouver in 1986, as part of Expo 86 - a World's Fair themed around transportation and communication.

The idea was to have a floating McDonald's restaurant, designed to showcase technologies of the future and innovations in architecture.


It was officially named the "Friendship 500" but became known as the "McBarge."

The boat was used by visitors to the event who wanted to dine on the water.

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It featured a sleek, modern look with glass walls and metallic accents, representing a state-of-the-art approach to fast-food restaurant design at the time.

It was very popular during the event.

However, the event only lasted between May and October of that year.

Once it finished, there was no demand or use for the "McBarge."

It closed down but remained moored and unused for several years.

"Ghost barge" was sold in 2015

It fell into disrepair and became known locally as the "ghost barge."

There were numerous ideas for the empty boat, including turning it into a homeless shelter or a commercial space, but nothing ever happened.

Eventually, it was sold and moved to Maple Ridge, British Columbia, in 2015.

It was bought by Howard Meakin, who announced grand plans to turn it into a high-tech facility showcasing the newest developments in sustainable technology.

This project was set to be called the "Deep Discovery Centre.

However, this was nine years ago, and progress has been slow.

There are no real updates on the barge's future, which continues to remain a strange piece of McDonald's history and Expo 86's legacy.

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