How to visit the world’s only abandoned floating McDonald’s

In 1986 the McBarge, a floating McDonald's the likes of which the world had never seen before was launched. And then quickly forgotten about. Now it has a quasi-cult following, and people think it's haunted...
How to visit the world’s only abandoned floating McDonald’s

In 1986, the world was introduced to the McBarge (AKA, the Friendship 500). The floating fast food phenomenon was created for the World Expo in 1986, which was held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Unfortunately, now the Abandoned McDonalds Barge no longer serves Big Macs, and was abandoned and derelict on the Fraser River, in Mission, British Columbia for many years. The first floating McDonald's was in St. Louis, Missouri, built as an homage to the steamboat era of yesteryear. The floating McBarges were intended to showcase the future of technology and architecture. That's all well and good, but to me it looked more like a throwback to Art Deco architecture. But, I'm no designer, so what do I know? 

Robert Allan Ltd. were the designers behind the avant-garde eatery. In many ways McDonald's was a focal point of the Expo, considering that five McD's locations were constructed on the Expo grounds, for a whopping $12 million. The intention was for the McBarge to remain in operation after the Expo, but for whatever reason, it was never reopened, and has remained anchored, derelict and forgotten in Burrard Inlet since 1991. 

Fifteen years later in 2009, Howard Meaking (owner of the McBarge) announced a proposal for a waterfront development along Fraser River, and proclaimed the McBarge to be the showpiece.

Read more at Road Trippers.


by Laura Stackhouse Editor

Laura Stackhouse is the Web Editor of, an official publication of the International Marine Purchasing Association (IMPA). To discuss news, features or contributing to please get in touch.

Tracker Pixel for Entry