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Advising Against the Name Vancouver

In 1886 the postmaster general of Canada wrote the general manager of the CPR regarding the choice of Vancouver as the city’s new name:

9, January 1886

Dear Mr Van Horne,

It has been pointed out to me that the name of ” Vancouver City” of which we understand you propose to give to the terminous on the Pacific Coast of the C.P.R. would be attended with very considerable postal inconvenience. Letters for places on Vancouver Island are for the most part addressed to just “Vancouver”, and the confusion would be very great if that name should be given to a place on the mainland. The great bulk of letters would be going there instead of the island. The distinction between “Vancouver City” and “Vancouver Island” would soon be lost sight of, and the word “city” would not be added to your terminous, nor the word “Island” to letters intended for Vancouver Island.

If you could devise any other name which would suit you as well, it would be desirable.

Yours very truly,
A. Campbell
postmaster

Interestingly, Van Horne had already chosen the name in 1884!

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