History · Vancouver

Slouching Among the Stumps

Vancouver Archives photo A25890

From Man to Man Magazine, 1911:  “John Morton owned the land on which the business district of Vancouver now stands before the real estate agent’s blueprint was invented and before the word “boost” was added to the English language. The east line of Stanley Park was the west boundary of his land, its north boundary was the Inlet, Burrard street was the east boundary, only Burrard street was a moccasin trail then. The south boundary of his little farm was English Bay and False Creek. He owns some of it yet, a few feet of it. He can shut his eyes and see Navy Jack’s, also called Gassy Jack’s, also called Gastown, also called Granville, a mean little village of two dozen rickety shacks slouching among the stumps in a little clearing. This was Vancouver’s beginning. It was not so very long ago. Morton came in 1862. Less than half a century. Vancouver is a modern metropolis. It is modern because it is new and has been built as men build cities today. It has no traditions except the tradition of success. It has only one dominating perspective—success. For Vancouver there can be no alternative, else have the seers of today read wrongly the necromantic bowl.”

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