History · Pacific Northwest · Transportation · Vancouver

From Point Grey to a Train Robbery

Researching houses is always interesting. There is the architecture, or lack of it, the builders and the context that prompted a development or subdivision and there are the lives of those that once inhabited a house, sometimes ordinary, a few times interesting and occasionally linked to intriguing events. Soon after the 4th Avenue streetcar line… Continue reading From Point Grey to a Train Robbery

Chinatown · History · Vancouver

Chinatown, Gambling Raids and a Lawyer…

When working on research into Chinatown buildings, it’s common to come across newspaper reports of police raids on the area’s ‘gambling dens.’ Reporters highlighted the number of men arrested and in some cases, the haul of money confiscated. It was interesting to following up on these raids and note that cases brought forward for prosecution… Continue reading Chinatown, Gambling Raids and a Lawyer…

History · Pacific Northwest · Vancouver

A Disappearance…

Research into houses is always interesting. Sometimes it’s the unexpected life or deeds of an owner or tenant that sheds a bit of light on an obscure aspect of Vancouver history. Or in the case of Marshall Smith a mystery. The house at 1685 Nelson (pictured above in the Vancouver Archives photo, to the right… Continue reading A Disappearance…

History · urban design · Vancouver

Odd Little Bits of Ground…

The recent listing for sale of a nine foot wide piece of property in the Grandview neighbourhood drew lots of interest and I was interested in finding out why this odd bit of property existed. Pulling out the maps you can see District Lot 264A, which the Grandview neighbourhood sits in, being carved up into… Continue reading Odd Little Bits of Ground…

History · urban design · Vancouver

Lightning in the Neighbourhood…

In recent research on a house on Tyne Street in Vancouver, I came across this this fascinating and terrifying account of a thunderstorm in August 1919 in the Daily World. The thunderstorm on Thursday night resulted in three houses being struck by lightning. The home of Mrs. Dunlop, Tyne street and Fifty-third avenue, was one.… Continue reading Lightning in the Neighbourhood…

Elsewhere · History · Pacific Northwest

Squirrels Were Once Desired…

Squirrels are everywhere in the city and it seems they have been with us forever. While it’s hard to believe now, squirrels were not a common sight in early 19th Century cities, in fact they were considered somewhat exotic and desirable. My curiosity was peaked when I found references to the mayor of New York… Continue reading Squirrels Were Once Desired…

History · stanley park · Transportation · Vancouver

There be Dragons…

In the stuff that lies around on my desk, I have a photo of the figurehead of the Empress of Japan taken in 1928 just after it was installed in Stanley Park. As the ship was being broken up near the Second Narrows bridge on the North Shore, Vancouver Province publisher Frank J. Burd had… Continue reading There be Dragons…

BC Mills · History · Pacific Northwest · Vancouver

On the Junk Pile…

In researching the construction chronology of the Hastings Mill Store, both original and post move, I’ve been reading numerous newspaper articles, all celebratory, about the saving of the building and its move by barge from Burrard Inlet to its current site at the foot of Alma Street. Once installed on its new foundation the building… Continue reading On the Junk Pile…

Chinatown · History · Vancouver

Tea, Talk & Treats: an evening in the Chinese Garden…

July 5, 2018 at 6:00pm its an evening in the Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden hosted by the Friends of the Vancouver City Archives. Join the Friends for Chinese tea, award-winning traditional Chinatown pastries and a presentation by Professor Alison Bailey in the Garden’s Hall of One Hundred Rivers while raising funds for important… Continue reading Tea, Talk & Treats: an evening in the Chinese Garden…

Chinatown · History · urban design · Vancouver

Gone But The Significance Remains…

  The debate over 105 Keefer is an important one, not just because it’s a significant chunk of development on a critical site in Chinatown, but with the reimagined parkland and residential communities that will emerge from the North East False Creek planning program, this site will be a major gateway to the historic quarter.… Continue reading Gone But The Significance Remains…