Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 1.57.57 PMWe forget sometimes what Vancouver used to look like before we got down to some serious city building. The overall impression of the downtown was that it was a sea of parking lots and garages. Here’s a shot from the Archives (CVA 515-25) looking south along Richards, Homer and Hamilton streets from Georgia.


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From Chief James Hobart, Spuzzum First Nation

Dear Friend in Heritage Tourism:

The Spuzzum First Nation on behalf of the Alexandra Bridge Project Partners invites you to join their petition drive to restore the historic 1926 Alexandra Bridge. MLA Laurie Throness has promised to personally deliver this petition asking Transportation Minister Todd Stone to show leadership in preserving this Canadian transportation icon. We need as many signatures for MLA Laurie Throness to put before the Legislative Assembly by September 15.

The online petition is here. A hard copy is here: Preserve the 1926 Alexandra Bridge Petition

We ask for one signature per copy of the petition (volume counts when presenting a petition to the Legislature).

Hard copies of the petition can be sent to:

New Pathways to Gold Society
c/o 380 Main Street
PO Box 29
Lytton, BC

Attachments via Email can be sent to:

You can also check out the New Pathways to Gold Society website or the Save the Alexandra Bridge websites for more information.

Please join with us in helping to preserve this priceless heritage tourism asset for the benefit of all Canadians. Kukschamc!

Chief James Hobart,
Spuzzum First Nation

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 5.38.49 PM“I also think that an effort should be made to provide a number of public squares, planted with shade trees and provided with seats, where citizens could resort in the summer and enjoy fresh air. They would add much to the attractiveness of our city and remove that appearance of sterility which at present strikes a stranger so forcibly.”

From Mayor David Oppenheimer’s retirement speech
January 1892

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.12.43 PMLooking at a portion of this 1888 view of Burrard Inlet (CAN P105) from the Leferve Building at Hastings and Seymour, you can see the CPR’s offices on Cordova, the plank roads and wharves beyond. Looking closer and you can see the photographer didn’t think there were enough steam engines in the photo, so he’s pasted in one.


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Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.01.09 PMThe magazine rack at the Marpole BCER station in 1921 had the run of the mill publications on display, but up high on one rack is an issue of Saucy Tales. Begun in 1916, Saucy Stories lasted for 127 issues. Originally published by Nathan & Mencken it was soon sold to the Inter-Continental Publishing Corp. It cost 20 cents an issue. The covers could get quite racy in the 1920s.

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Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 2.51.16 PMAlso on the rack are Short Stories, started in the 1890s and published until 1959. In the 1920s and 1930s, it was best known as a publisher of Western stories.

Young’s Magazine was published from 1897 until the 1940s. The Secret of the Night remains a mystery, it is not the detective novel by Gaston Leroux. Current Opinion began as the literary magazine Current Literature: A Magazine of Record and Review in 1888, it was absorbed into The Literary Digest in 1925.

Photo: CVA 99-3548

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As Prince George celebrates the 1st. birthday of the prince, it’s interesting to see this item from April 1913

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A little later than usual, here is the list of walks this summer
All walks are $10:00 (cash or credit card) No reservations, just show up at the location listed.

The Main Street Waterfront – August 6th 7:00 pm
The shore line of False Creek has changed dramatically in the last 100 years. On this walk we’ll explore the history and development of the former waterfront from Terminal Avenue to Chinatown.

Meet at the corner of Station and National St

East Meets West: the zero point – August 20th 7:00pm
Ontario Street is the dividing line for the street numbering system in the city. It is also the line between the massive CPR land grant and parcels owned by others. In this walk we’ll look at the contrast between the neighbourhoods either side of this line.

Meet at Ontario and 23rd Ave

Vernon Drive: art, scrap, taxis and a lost shoreline – September 3rd 7:00pm
False Creek once reached as far as the bluff at Clark Drive and before the eastern basin was filled by the railways there were many residents that enjoyed water views. On this walk we’ll explore the quirky history of this street

Meet at Venables and George Street

Strathcona: the other side of the tracks – September 10th 7:00pm
Between the train tracks and Clark Drive sits a an interesting slice of the Strathcona neighbourhood where houses, factories, and other uses are jumbled together. And there’s the rather wonderful Admiral Seymour School.

Meet at the pedestrian overpass on Raymur Avenue

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Just 1000 friends, staff, and relatives enjoying a day
trip to Saltspring Island.

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Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 10.59.50 AMAngelo Conte left his pregnant wife Anna back home in Valstagna, in Italy’s Veneto region to come to Canada to make enough money to bring Anna and his child back to Canada for a new life in Vancouver. One week before Angelo’s planned return to Italy for Anna he is killed in a tragic blasting accident while working on the Connaught Tunnel. He was buried in Revelstoke.
50 love letters written from Canada by Angelo were handed down through the generations unread by other family members until just recently. The story from these letters form the core of Nicola Moruzzi’s documentary.

Proposed Building for the World Newspaper

“lower floors of Haddington Island stone, the upper floors in pressed brick trimmed with ornamental terra-cotta. the main entrance trimmed with Bancroft Cipolino marble, the stairs finished in the same material…” “designed to be as fireproof as possible”

The building was equipped with high speed elevators that ran on DC electricity, from the same source used by the streetcar system. When the streetcars went by and up the hill the elevators would slow down. It was one of the last buildings in Vancouver to use DC.

The building opened in 1912 and was briefly the tallest building in the British Empire.

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 8.37.26 PMThe plasterwork was done by the noted craftsman John Wartman. His delightfully quirky house is on Slocan at Oxford.


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