Some odd stuff has happened in Vancouver's past. Here's a sampling (click to view):

· 1792 to 1899
· 1900 to 1922
· 1923 to 1930
· 1931 to 1935
· 1936 to 1940
· 1941 to 1946
· 1947 to 1954
· 1955 to 1960
· 1961 to 1965

From 1936 to 1940

For more details on these items see the Chronology for the year cited.

  • In 1936, on April 25, Vancouver retailer Charles Woodward, said: “My prediction is that within 40, at the outside 50, years Vancouver will be the largest city in Canada.” Not yet.
  • In 1936, on July 4, a visiting cricket team from Hollywood came up to Vancouver to play a local team at Brockton Point. Included in the Hollywood team’s roster: Errol Flynn, Boris Karloff and C. Aubrey Smith.
  • In 1936 when the visiting Lord Mayor of London helped Vancouver celebrate its 50th birthday he presented the city with the civic mace it uses to this day. Among the other gifts the Lord Mayor brought: “. . . a sprig from a tree in the orchard where a falling apple gave Isaac Newton the idea that led to his theory of gravity.”
  • In 1936 we were visited by the Governor General, Lord Tweedsmuir. He was better known as writer John Buchan, the author of a best-selling mystery, twice filmed, titled The Thirty-Nine Steps.
  • In 1936 a group of local women, the “Flying Seven,” conducted the city’s first “fly-over.” In the fly-over the seven women—each of whom had her own plane—alternated their flights, keeping a plane aloft over the city for 24 uninterrupted hours as a demonstration of air defence.
  • The ceiling on the second floor of the rotunda in Vancouver City Hall, opened in 1936, was covered with gold leaf from several B.C. mines.
  • The Lost Lagoon fountain in Stanley Park, installed in 1936, was purchased from Chicago, a left-over from that city's world fair.
  • The scene in the 1936 hit movie, Rosemarie, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, showing singing Mounties galloping in formation on horseback down a shallow stream, was shot on North Vancouver's Seymour River. This was the first sound feature filmed here.
  • In 1936 Notte’s Bon Ton pastry shop, which had opened at West 14th and Granville in 1932, moved to a downtown Granville Street location. It would occupy that location for the next 65 years. (In 2001 they had to move, and may now be found at 3150 West Broadway.)
  • England-born Alan Young was a big hit from 1961 to 1965 in Mr. Ed, a sitcom about a talking horse. Young started in show biz in 1937 at radio CJOR in Vancouver.
  • In 1937 the Vancouver Sun was forced out of its 125 West Pender location by a fire. They bought the building across the street and moved in there. They were there for the next 28 years. And, even 48 years after the paper moved out, locals still call that building The Old Sun Tower.
  • Sliced bread came to Vancouver in 1937.
  • When BC premier Duff Pattullo opened the bridge named for him in 1937 he said, “It is a thing of beauty.”
  • In 1937 New York City-born Charles Edward Borden, who grew up in Germany, graduated from the University of California with a PhD in German Literature. He will come to Vancouver, and become the “Grandfather of B.C. archaeology.
  • The 1937 movie The Great Barrier was an adventure based on the CPR’s crossing of the Rocky Mountains. The locomotive used in the movie that brings the first train in was #374, the actual locomotive that came into Vancouver in 1887, and that is now in the Roundhouse in Yaletown.
  • On February 19, 1938 a mysterious big bang was heard in Vancouver. It woke thousands of people, yet no cause was ever found.
  • The Vancouver waterfront’s biggest fire was the one that destroyed Pier ‘D’ in 1938. It totally destroyed the pier. Forty years later one of the nozzles lost in the fire that day was recovered during dredging operations. Resting on a mass of melted brass it was still in the ‘open’ position, showing that whoever was using it had had to drop it and run.
  • In 1938 19-year-old Annabelle Mundigel was the first person to swim from Vancouver to Bowen Island. Not until years later did she reveal that she had slipped out of her bathing suit shortly after starting, handed it to her mother in a following boat, and swam the rest of the way clad only in lard. Yards from the island, she put the suit back on.
  • In 1938 a Vancouver Chinatown restaurant, C.K. Chop Suey, had its licence cancelled for employing two white waitresses.
  • The acclaimed Ballet Russe ballerina Alexandra Denisova, prominent in the late 1930s and the 1940s, was Vancouver’s Patricia Meyers, who joined the company at age 15 in 1938.
  • The Lions Gate Bridge opened to traffic November 14, 1938, but it was open to pedestrians on the 12th. The first “civilian” to walk across the bridge was R.F. Hearns of Caulfeild, West Vancouver.
  • The Teahouse at Ferguson Point in Stanley Park, a restaurant today, was built in 1938 as an officers’ mess for a military defense garrison at Ferguson Point.
  • In 1938 the Ford Motor Company built an assembly plant in Burnaby. During the Second World War it produced military vehicles.
  • In 1938 the Vancouver Art Gallery board refused to buy an Emily Carr picture, priced at $400, because, says art writer Tony Robertson, “it wasn't art as they understood art. They were eventually persuaded it was and paid up.”
  • On September 10, 1939—the same day Canada declared war on Germany—German-speaking citizens pledged their loyalty to Canada at a mass meeting in Vancouver’s Moose Hall.
  • On October 11, 1939 Vancouver’s first public aquarium opened. Manager was an American named Ivar Haglund, who later moved to Seattle and opened a restaurant called Ivar's Acres of Clams.
  • In 1939 a fellow named Kent Ford proposed a sprocket railway up Grouse Mountain. The Second World War started after construction had begun and Ford was unable to get enough steel. He continued to build his railway—with one track of steel, the other of wood. It didn’t work.
  • Appraised at $75,000 in 1920, Glen Brae, the William Lamont Tate mansion at 1690 Matthews, sold this Depression year for $7,500.
  • The Canadian premiere of Gone With The Wind was held February 16, 1940 at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre. Vivienne Leigh’s daughter happened to be attending a private school here, and was in the audience (unannounced, at her mother’s insistence).
  • On May 1, 1940 Dal Richards and his 11-piece band were booked to replace Mart Kenney at the Hotel Vancouver's Panorama Roof ballroom. They were to be there for six weeks. They stayed 25 years. (Dal’s vocalist was an unknown 13-year-old singer named Juliette.)
  • The RCMP vessel St. Roch left Vancouver secretly June 23, 1940 during the Second World War to go through Canada’s Arctic waters. Her destination: Sydney, Nova Scotia. Because of the ice, the trip took two years and four months! The return trip: 86 days!
  • Not until June 29, 1940 with the completion of the “Big Bend” Highway—linking Revelstoke and Golden and completing the last link in the western section of the transcontinental highway—was it possible to drive across Canada within Canada.
  • In the 1940s peat moss was extracted from Delta's Burns Bog by the U.S. government for the manufacture of magnesium fire bombs.
  • When the Empress Theatre (at Gore and Hastings) was torn down in 1940, one of the workmen noticed a flash of soft color in the debris. He reached down and picked up a tiny powderpuff. Stitched on it, in faded golden letters, was a single word: Pavlova. The famed dancer had performed at the Empress in 1910.
  • Much of Malcolm Lowry’s novel Under the Volcano—counted by many as one of the great books of modern literature—was written when Lowry lived in a squatter’s shack at Dollarton, on the north shore of Burrard Inlet. He moved there in 1940.

1941 to 1945 »