Actor James Doohan was born in
Vancouver in 1920. He is most
well-known as Scotty in the original
Star Trek series. He died July 20, 2005.
- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]  
  
This year is sponsored
You'll note that this year includes events listed under "Also
in . . ." These are events for which we don't have a specific
date. If YOU know the
specific date of an event shown there, please
notify us . . . and cite the source! Many thanks!
January 1 The Polar Bear Club swim was started
by Peter Pantages. Every New Years Day, for more than 80 years
now, several hundred cold-defying people leap screaming in their
bathing suits (or other more unorthodox attire) into the chilly
waters of Vancouvers English Bay.
January 5 The Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth
to the New York Yankees.
January 15 Bob Smith, long-time CBC jazz show
host, was born in Winnipeg. For more than 30 yearsfrom Saturday,
February 1, 1947he was host of Vancouver's longest-running
jazz radio show Hot Air. He also wrote a long-running column on
jazz for the Vancouver Sun. He was a walking encyclopedia of the
January 16 Prohibition started in the USA.
It ended in 1933.
January A traffic count on the Fraser River
bridge revealed that more than 13,000 trainspassenger, freight
and mixedcrossed during the previous year (an average of more
than 35 a day). By comparison, 65 automobiles per hour was the highest
count for the upper span.
February 3 The Vancouver harbor police were
February 4 North Vancouver mountaineers Don
and Phyllis Munday married. By 11:00 a.m. they were climbing one
of the local mountains. The Mundays discovered Mt. Waddington, B.C.'s
highest peak, in 1923.
March 3 Wales-born David Spencer, Sr., who
founded the Spencers Department Store chain, died at age 82
in Victoria. He bought a dry-goods store in Victoria (1873) which
became David Spencer Ltd., established branches in Nanaimo (1889),
Vancouver (1906) and other B.C. centres.
Also March 3 Actor James Doohan was born in
Vancouver. Hes most well-known as Scotty in the original Star
Trek series. He died July 20, 2005.
March 28 Labor activist Bill (William Arthur)
Pritchard, 31, was arrested and found guilty of seditious conspiracy
today, following an inflammatory speech in June 1919 during the
Winnipeg General Strike. He was the head of the Vancouver Longshoremen's
Union, and an executive member, of the Vancouver Trades and Labor
Council. He spent a year in jail. He was reeve of Burnaby from 1930
April 2 A striking Japanese-Canadian War Memorial,
designed by Vancouver architect James Benzie, was installed at Stanley
Park. It commemorates Japanese-Canadians who fought in World War
I. Its there to this day, a handsome structure surrounded
by flowering cherry trees. A Japanese-Canadian entrepreneur, Koichiro
Sanmiya, sold war bonds to raise the money for the memorial.
April 8 Bill (Wilfred John) Duthie, bookseller,
was born in Weston, Ont.
April 18 Henry Osborne Alexander, the first
white male born on Burrard Inlet (December 13, 1873 at Hastings
Mill) died in Vancouver. He was called to the bar in 1896 and practiced
in Vancouver, later becoming a judge. On January 10, 1908, when
two South Vancouver neighbors came to court over ownership of a
rooster, Magistrate Alexander ordered the bird turned loose on the
street to decide for itself where it belonged.
April 22 A chapter of the I.O.D.E. (Imperial
Order Daughters of the Empire) started in West Vancouver.
May 22 Ireland-born George McSpadden, Vancouvers
first building inspector and assessor, died here at age 54. In 1900
he took a census of Vancouver's population (just over 23,000). He
built his residence at Commercial Drive and Charles Street in East
Vancouver. A street and a park are named for him.
May The Group of Seven painters formed in
eastern Canada. One of them, Lawren Harris, came to Vancouver in
1940, aged about 55, and lived here to his death January 29, 1970.
He is considered one of Canadas greatest painters.
June 8 Wales-born CPR executive Richard Marpole
died in Vancouver at age 69. He was the CPRs manager when
the first passenger trains crossed Canada and the first in North
America to prepare timetables based on a 24-hour system. An exciting
episode in his life: he was a member of the posse to catch the "Grey
Fox," Bill Miner, on May 14, 1906, after Miners second
June China-born Chang Toy, Vancouver businessman,
died in China on a business trip. He was 64. It was Chang who built
the famous Sam Kee Building in Chinatown, narrowest commercial building
in the world.
July 12 Author Pierre Berton was born.
July Construction began on the Peace Arch.
August 5 Fire destroyed much of downtown Port
Coquitlam. It started above the firehall, in the residence of the
Fire/Police Chief. Half the citys buildings along the Dewdney
Trunk Road were destroyed. No one was injured.
August 13 Garibaldi Park was officially opened.
Why was a B.C. park named for an Italian patriot? According to place-name
experts G.P.V. and Helen B. Akrigg, "A colorful story has it
that Mount Garibaldi was named by an Italian serving as a sailor
on a survey ship, the mountain being on view on Garibaldis
birthday (July 4). All we can say with certainty is that the name,
whatever its origins, was officially conferred by Captain Richards
of HM survey ship Plumper sometime around 1860." The park was
later named for the mountain.
September 10 Robert Bonner, future attorney-general,
October 17 The first plane to fly right across
Canada arrived in Richmond from Halifax. It had taken 10 days of
travel. At the controls: two Canadian Air Force pilots.
October 20 Prohibition ended in B.C., three
years and 19 days after it began.
November 5 Frank Ogden, the Coal Harbour-based
futurist more commonly known as Dr. Tomorrow, was born in Toronto.
He travels the world talking about the future, which he sees through
an unorthodox, often unfashionable, lens: "A country that isnt
fair to its rich will soon be too broke to be fair to its poor."
November Construction on the Peace Arch, directed
by W.E. Simmons of Vancouver, was stopped to allow time for the
concrete to set. It resumed in June, 1921.
December 24 Walter Cameron Nichol, the editor
and proprietor of The Daily Province, became Lieutenant-Governor
of British Columbia. He is the only journalist so honored.
Also in 1920
Radio CJCE began. Then they went off the air, and
returned in 1921 as CFCQ. Still later, 1922, they signed on as CKMO.
here for more.
In the Colebrook area of Surrey a big tree (276 feet
high) was cut down. In it the loggers found an eagles nest
so big it was too large for a farm wagon to haul it away.
UBC surrendered two million acres of land given as
an endowment by the provincial government, and took in turn 3,000
acres adjacent to the east of the universitys sitethe
University Endowment Lands.
Five-pin bowling (invented by Tom Ryan of Toronto)
came to the Lower Mainland of B.C. By 1945 it will overtake ten-pin
in the number of its followers.
A referendum brought in an experiment [in Vancouver]
with proportional representation, then being tried out in a number
of North American cities. Three years later, in 1923, another referendum
brought back the eight-ward, single-member system.
The Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC)
was founded in 1914 under the Friendly Societies Act and incorporated
in 1920 under the Architects Act.
Richmonds Minoru Park, closed during World
War I, re-opened as Brighouse Park, named for pioneer Samuel Brighouse,
a Lulu Island farmer. (Minoru was named for a racehorse.) Brighouse
had been one of the "Three Greenhorns."
Short Street in Kitsilano (it was one block long)
was renamed Greer Street, for pioneer Sam Greer. In 1952 it would
be renamed again, and is now Fleming Street.
The fifth annual South Vancouver Horticultural Association
and Farmers' Institute was highlighted by a honey competition and
"Casa Mia," a spectacular mansion on Southwest
Marine Drive, was built for George Reifel, the namesake of the waterfowl
sanctuary on Westham Island.
Captain John Cates sold his resort complexincluding
the Hotel Monaco, Terminal Hotel and the Terminal Steamship ferry
fleeton Bowen Island to the Union Steamship Company of B.C.,
and moved to the province*s interior. (He would return in 1924 to
construct a house and run a hotel at Crescent Beach.) On summer
weekends as many as 5,000 passengers board the boats to Bowen.
In North Vancouver City Fire Chief Sparks and his
entire force went on strikeand were dismissed.
The Union Bank (architect: Woodruff Marbury Somervell---that's
one man) opened at Hastings and Seymour. Today, its a Toronto-Dominion
The CNR built a low-level bridge over the North Arm
of the Fraser. Friend (and train buff) Jim McGraw confirms the bridge
is in daily use to this day. "Going downstream on the Fraser
starting at the Fraser River Railway bridge (built in 1904), we
next come to the Pattullo Bridge, then the SkyBridge (SkyTrain)
We follow the North Arm of the river and the next bridge is the
Queensborough, then comes the CN swing bridge you mention. Continuing
further downstream, we would then come to the Knight Street bridge
and so on . . . Most of the time the bridge is left open (for marine
traffic) and only closed for trains. The trains are locals that
access the Lafarge cement plant and other newer industry on the
south side of Lulu Island via a spur line. The main portion of the
line turns west on Lulu Island servicing various industries in North
Richmond. The only place to see the bridge is when you drive on
River Road (the one in Richmond not Delta). The road follows the
southern shore of the North Arm of the Fraser and you actually drive
under the bridge's approach."
Arrests for prostitution in Vancouver, which topped
at 20 in 1900, increased to 500 this year.
Jericho Beach Air Station was established. Seaplanes
from Jericho surveyed the coast and provided flight training.
The local Field Brigade, Royal Canadian Artillery,
Belgium became the third country to appoint a consul
to Vancouver. (The first two were Chile in 1892 and Brazil in 1915.)
Hadassah was established in Vancouver. The national
organization has an excellent web site
click here to view.
The Children's Protective Association initiated the
removal of Chinese students from the classroom.
A little two-room schoolhouse called Strathcona Heights
was built on a rocky slope at 5300 Maple Street. On that property
today: Quilchena Elementary.
John Wesley Sexsmith died, aged 90. He had been a
successful farmer in Richmond, founded the first school in that
area and spearheaded the building of the first bridge connecting
Lulu Island to the mainland and Vancouver. A Vancouver school is
named for him.
The Anglican Theological College was formed, an amalgamation
of Latimer Hall and St. Mark's Hall.
A group of artists, educators, and art patrons formed
the British Columbia Art League to lobby the provincial and city
governments for a school. The Vancouver School of Decorative and
Applied Arts would open its doors in 1925. Today, its called
the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design.
The Gyro Club was established. There are seven branches
in the lower mainland.
Yellow Taxi began doing business here with a single
car owned by Roy Long, a lawyer.
The Canadian Air Board was created to govern aviation
The first B.C. Federation of Labour was disbanded
when workers across western Canada joined the One Big Union, organized
to represent everyone. The OBU had a short life.
Artist Charles Edenshaw died. See samples of his
The same year Edenshaw died, equally famed native
artist Bill Reid was born.
David Lambie "Davey" Black became club
pro at Shaughnessy Golf Club. He would hold that job for 25 years.
Motorcycle dealer Trev Deeley was born.
Bill (Wilfred John) Duthie, bookseller, was born
in Weston, Ont.
Yvonne Millicent Firkins, theatre producer and director,
born in Worcester, England, came to Vancouver. She will become a
powerful figure in local theatre. She opened the Arts Club Theatre
Liverpool-born Gerald Rushton, 22, arrived in Vancouver
and began working for the Union Steamship company. He was with them
for 38 years, became an expert on the coast's maritime history.
He wrote Whistle up the Inlet and Echoes of the Whistle.
Nova Scotia-born Garnett Gladwin Sedgewick, 36, became
head of the English Department at UBC. The universitys Sedgewick
Library is named for him.
By 1920 Horseshoe Bay had become a summer destination
for many campers, picnickers and weekend fishermen, who traveled
by train for a 50-cent fare on a regular 30-minute service. Summer
cabinsoften wood frames covered with canvasare built
during the summer and rented out.
In the 1920s the Blue Funnel Jitney Service charged
50 cents for a trip from Port Coquitlam to New Westminster.
An oil well was drilled in Surrey to a depth of 1,220
feet before it was abandoned. Several attempts in subsequent years
to strike oil also met with failure.
J.B. Leyland became reeve of West Vancouver. He will
serve for 10 years.
Agatha Christie published her first novel, The Mysterious
Affair at Styles, featuring detective Hercule Poirot.
- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]