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Archive - Places


The Parker Carousel at Burnaby's Village Museum

The Parker Carousel at Burnaby's Village Museum  
It was a treat to stand by the Parker Carousel at Burnaby’s Village Museum and remember a time—a very long time ago—when I actually rode a merry-go-round. My daughter’s past the age where she’d want to, and I’d feel silly. Although it’s tempting! Read more here »

 

A Trip Up Indian Arm

Powerhouse No. 1  
Thursday, July 24 was a memorable day. Harvey Oberfeld and I were the guests of Brian Forst aboard Brian’s lively 26-foot Sea Ray, the Thai Dancer, on a trip to the head of Indian Arm, site of the famous Wigwam Inn. Read more here »



The Hastings Mill Store

Hastings Mill Store Museum at Pioneer Park (Native Daughters of British Columbia)This year marks the 77th anniversary of one of the more unusual moving jobs in Vancouver—when a barge took the city's oldest building from its location at the foot of Dunlevy Street and, in the words of the archivist of that day, “tenderly transported it across the water to this beautiful park and set it down again, for safekeeping, among the flowers”.... more »


Green Timbers

Green Timbers Inaugural Plantation - March 15, 1930Green Timbers Urban Forest in Surrey is unique: it consists mainly of trees planted from seedlings in the first attempt at reforestation in British Columbia. It sits on a square mile of forest astride the Fraser Highway. Stand by that highway and look east, and you’re directly facing Mount Baker. This highway was originally the Yale Wagon Road to the interior, built by the Royal Engineers in 1875.... more »



The SkyTrain Tunnel

The portal at the south end of the CPR tunnel, 1934.At midnight on July 16, 1933 all trains of the Canadian Pacific Railway—which had been running at street level through downtown Vancouver for decades, infuriating motorists—came off the city’s busy streets and switched to a new tunnel. The railway would use the 1,396-metre-long (4,579 feet) tunnel for nearly 50 years. Today it’s used by SkyTrain.... more »


When An Old House Falls

A Guest column by James Johnstone

227 Union Street (Union was once Barnard Street)Everyone’s talking about the trees the wind knocked down in Stanley Park. People are wringing their hands—horrified that nature can wreak such havoc with nature. Yes, we lost some great old trees. It’s sad, but with time the forest will rise again.

It’s not the same with this city’s old houses, though. No one’s talking about how in the same month developers knocked down the last old house on the 200-block of Union Street, just north of old Hogan’s Alley.... more »


Street Names

A Guest column by Derlang Ansager

Ernie FladellStreet names tend to give a lopsided view of local history: in the early years of a municipality they often commemorate businessmen. Local examples include Flavelle, Ewen, Taylor, Hendry, Lonsdale, Keith and Dollarton Highway. CPR officials get a lot of local attention: Matthews, Beatty, Cambie, Hamilton, Angus, Matthews, Salsbury, Whyte.... more »




The Rogers Building

The Rogers BuildingPicture the corner of Pender and Granville in 1913, when Vancouver cars and streetcars were still on the “wrong” side of the street.

You also have a good view of the Rogers Building which has been standing at the north-east corner of Pender and Granville for more than 90 years.... more »



Coevorden

A street scene in Coevorden What connection does Vancouver have with Coevorden, an industrial town of about 20,000 in the northeast Netherlands, right up against the German border?

The answer begins nearly 700 years ago in 1315, when a Dutch nobleman named Reinolt was made a viscount of the city, and so became known as Reinolt van Coeverden.... more »


Burrard Bridge

Burrard BridgeIt was July 1, 1932. “A snip of a pair of golden scissors in the hands of Mayor Louis D. Taylor,” ran a news report, “and Vancouver's $3 million Burrard Bridge was opened to the public Friday afternoon, July 1 . . . Hardly was the ribbon cut in front of the devouring eyes of movie cameras, than thousands of pedestrians and hundreds of cars surged across the magnificent white structure in a procession of triumph.... more »


HMCS Discovery

HMCS DiscoveryAbout 20 members of the Vancouver Historical Society enjoyed a treat recently with a visit to HMCS Discovery, the Canadian Naval Reserve base on Deadman's Island in Stanley Park. For many of us, even a few born here, it was our first entry onto the island. The tour was conducted by Lt. Jack Wyne, a reserve officer who joined back in 1986 and, except for a gap between 1994 and 1998, has been serving here since...... more »

Granville Island

Granville IslandThe 38 acres of Granville Island, worth many millions of dollars today, were once a little mud flat worth zilch. The little mound, in fact, used to disappear at high tide. But, to a keen-eyed public official named Sam McClay, that drab little mud flat (some called it a sand bar) under the shadow of the old Granville Bridge looked as if it might be a good base for some landfill...... more »


Winged Victory

Winged VictoryThis famous bronze memorial was erected here in 1921 to commemorate Canadian Pacific Railway employees who had lost their lives in the First World War. There were, astonishingly, 1,100 of them. Copies of the memorial, perhaps named Winged Victory, went up in Winnipeg in 1922 and at Montréal's Windsor Station in 1923. After the Second World War, a plaque was added to the statues as a tribute to soldiers in that war...... more »




The Marine Building

The Marine BuildingThe Marine Building is still, for old-timers, the building most clearly identified with Vancouver. Its unique wedding cake “icing”, topped by that vaguely Mayan tower, makes a dramatic and exciting backdrop as you look west down Hastings. It is one of the great art deco buildings in the world.

Construction started in the spring of 1929 with a ceremony in keeping with the style of the building...... more »



The Orpheum

The OrpheumThe entrance is deceptively narrow. A dozen casual steps along Granville Street and you’ve gone by. But millions have not always gone by, they have gone in.

For nearly 80 years the Orpheum has been luring showgoers in—millions upon millions of them. They have walked through its richly ornamented concourse, up its sweeping carpeted staircases, past opulent wall decorations and tall columns and into the great domed auditorium...... more »


Grouse Mountain

Grouse MountainIt was October 12, 1894. A small party of hikers trudged through the snow of an unnamed mountain on the north shore of Burrard Inlet. Far below, on the other shore of the inlet, they could clearly see through the crisp, clean fall air the little city of Vancouver—population then about 18,000. The north shore itself had only a few hundred residents. There was no bridge across the inlet yet..... more »


The Sun Tower

The Sun TowerOne of the most familiar landmarks in Vancouver has been looming over the southeast corner of Pender and Beatty streets for more than 90 years. It’s a reminder of the stubbornness and determination of one of the city’s newspaper pioneers, Louis Denison Taylor.

In 1896, working in Revelstoke, “L.D.,” as he was known, saw an advertisement placed by a Victoria newspaperman, Hewitt Bostock, seeking a man to run a new daily, The Vancouver Daily Province. (Bostock wanted to provide competition to the two daily papers already operating, the World and the News-Advertiser)...... more »


Prospect Point Signal Station

Prospect Point in Stanley ParkFrom July 27, 1923 until 1939, when the Lions Gate Bridge went up, there was a Signal Station atop Prospect Point, the highest site in Stanley Park, overlooking the entrance to Burrard Inlet. The station was set up there to alert ships entering and leaving the harbour as to tide conditions, wind, other vessels and so on...... more »


The Pantages in Vancouver

Alexander PantagesAlexander Pantages is important in the show business history of Vancouver because he built two theatres here that were part of his vaudeville empire, and because of his influence on the careers of two men who were important in the Orpheum’s story: Marcus Priteca and Tony Heinsbergen. Pantages’ life story reads like an adventure novel. He was a sailor, a laborer, a Klondike prospector, a guide, a bartender, saloon co-owner...... more »




Vancouver's Nine O'Clock Gun

Vancouver's Nine O'Clock GunIt's been hit by lightning, plugged with rocks, short-circuited, silenced by work stoppages and even (briefly) stolen but Vancouver's famed old Nine O'Clock Gun has—as faithfully as circumstances have allowed—boomed out the time of day from its home in Stanley Park for 107 years now. The early life of this famed 12-pounder muzzle-loaded naval cannon is vaguely known. Thanks to an inscription on the gun itself, we know it was made by H & C King in 1816...... more »



Glen Brae

Glen Brae - now known as Canuck PlaceThere are people who've lived in Vancouver all their lives and never seen it, yet 2005 marks the 95th anniversary of the dramatic double-domed Shaughnessy giant, the Tait Mansion.

A retired B.C. lumberman named William Lamont Tait built the place, and critical reception to it was mixed right from the start. There are some who think it's the ugliest house in Vancouver, some who think it's beautiful—and some, like me, who simply stand looking at it, open-mouthed..... more »


Canada's First Gas Station

Canada's First Gas Station There used to be a plaque at the southeast corner of Cambie and Smithe in Vancouver that marked the location of Canada’s first gas station. The plaque was installed in September of 1955 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Imperial Oil Company. The station opened in Vancouver, said the plaque, “in or before 1907”.... more »