Queen Marie of Romania (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria) paid Vancouver
a visit in November 1926.
- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]  
  
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January 18 Poet and photographer Roy Kiyooka,
was born in Moose Jaw, Sask. He came to Vancouver in 1960, died
here January 15, 1994.
January 19 Charles Gardiner Johnson, called
the father of Vancouver's shipping industry, died in
Vancouver, aged 68. Born February 8, 1857, near Dunblane, Scotland,
he went to sea in 1870. In the 1880s he left seafaring to farm in
Manitoba. On September 5, 1885, broke and married, he arrived in
Vancouver and went to work for the CPR as a laborer. In 1886 he
opened a shipping and insurance agency, the first in the city. C.
Gardner Johnson & Co. (at Hastings and Granville) became one
of the city's major shipping agents.
January 27 The West Vancouver Town Planning
Commission was created, and banned the construction of temporary
waterfront shacks and unsightly summer camps. Industry was also
banned and West Vancouver became a residential suburb of Vancouver.
January 31 Final day of the assay office at
501 Granville at Pender (in the old post office).
January Wong Foon Sing, a houseboy in the
Shaughnessy home in which nanny Janet Smith was murdered in 1924,
and who was an early suspect in the killing, returned to China.
He had earlier been found innocent of any wrongdoing. More»
February 1 The Vancouver Town Planning Commission
was established by City Council, following the passing of the province's
Town Planning Act. The Act gave Councils the authority to:
* prepare official town plans (as well as harbor,
railway, rapid-transit, and street-railway plans to coordinate with
* designate land use districts and enforce the regulations
(i.e., zoning regulations)
* consider any matters dealing with the physical
development of the municipality.
The Commission, a group of nine citizens, Mayor L.D.
Taylor, and representatives from the School, Harbor, Park, and Sewer
Boards, hired Harland Bartholomew & Associates, Town Planning
Consultants from St. Louis, Missouri to prepare a comprehensive
town plan for Vancouver. Bartholomew planned for a city of one million
people focused on the great seaport of Burrard Inlet.
The Fraser River banks and False Creek would be industrial. Businesses
would spread evenly over the central business district to prevent
undue traffic congestion. The nearby West End would provide
apartments close to jobs. The Bartholomew Plan, city
planner Dr. Ann McAfee has written, was never formally adopted
by City Council. Nevertheless, over the years, much of Bartholomew's
vision was realized.
For more, click
April 9 The West Vancouver News began publishing.
April 18 Broadcaster Gerry Davies was born.
April 21 Queen Elizabeth II was born.
April 25 Newspaper headline: Vancouvers
Building Activity Shatters All Records.
April 28 Vancouver restaurateur Hy Aisenstat
was born in Calgary. He moved to Vancouver in 1960.
May Howard and Alma Fletcher opened West Vancouver's
first theatre, the Hollyburn, on Marine Drive near 18th Street.
June 17 Susanna Gertrude Clarke Mellon, a
long-time supporter of arts and worthy causes, died in Vancouver,
aged about 82. (She was born in London, England about 1844.) She
had convinced her husband, Captain Henry Augustus Mellon, to move
from Winnipeg to B.C. in 1886, arriving just after the Great Fire
of June 13. She was a fundraiser for local arts groups, and a founder
(on April 3, 1894) of the Historical and Scientific Society.
July Anatole Portnoff was one of a group of
Russian immigrants who arrived this month in Vancouver from Harbin,
aboard the Empress of Canada, only to discover that, for some of
them, including Portnoff, the passports they had (issued to them
by the British consulate in Harbin) were somehow not sufficient
to get them into the country. They were ordered to wait aboard the
Empress until its departure, taking them back to Harbin. To read
the REALLY interesting story of what happened next, go here.
To give the site its full title: Mr. Anatole E. Portnoff's memoirs
of the Russian colony in Vancouver, existing since 1926 around the
Holy Resurrection Church.
August 17 Author David Watmough was born in
London. He moved to the U.S. in 1952, living first in New York and
then in San Francisco. He moved to Vancouver in 1960 and became
a Canadian citizen in 1967.
September 11 The first seaplane flight from
Montreal to Vancouver began. It took eight days. The plane arrived
in Vancouver September 19.
September 30 The Vancouver Women's Building
at Thurlow and Alberni was dedicated.
September Heres an interesting excerpt
from a September 1926 report by Constable W. J. Hatcher of the B.C.
Provincial Police, Westminster District, regarding the policing
of Port Coquitlam: At times the auto traffic is very heavy
on the Dewdney Trunk Road, a count at different times shows that
from 250 to 300 an hour pass along this highway, especially on Sunday
afternoons and evenings. Constable Hatcher appended a statement
of expenditures for the month: Salary was $106.50, office supplies
totaled $12.75, travelling expenses amounted to $6.30, equipment
was 60 cents, and "prisoners meals" cost $2.64. There
is no indication of how many prisoners were fed that month.
October 12 Theatre teacher, actor, local showbiz
expert Norman Young was born.
October 14 Thomas John Janes, stagecoach owner
and driver, died in Vancouver, aged 71. He had arrived in Granville
(later Vancouver) Oct. 31, 1883. He ran a butcher shop, then began
operating Janes Stage, the first stagecoach line to carry passengers
between New Westminster and Vancouver. The route was along Westminster
Avenue (now Main Street and Kingsway).
November 2 The Society of Notaries Public
of B.C. was incorporated. (Membership would be optional until it
became compulsory through statutory amendments in 1956.)
November 5 Queen Marie of Romania (a granddaughter
of Queen Victoria) paid us a visit. En route to Vancouver from Seattle,
the queen visited the Samuel Hill family home in Blaine, went into
the kitchen and prepared pancakes and honey for the family. Her
train left at 10 a.m. for Vancouver, where she was greeted by the
Mayor and Lieutenant-Governor. She briefly toured the city before
attending a luncheon given by the Women's Canadian Club, an event
the Province covered, listing the names of every member of every
committee involved in the do. Afterwards, she visited UBC, and that
same evening she went to a banquet where she was escorted into the
hall by Scottish bagpipers.
The next morning the train again stopped at Blaine
and Queen Marie visited the Peace Arch, erected to commemorate the
100th anniversary of peace between the United States and Canada.
(Sam Hill was one of the driving forces behind the Arch. See 1921.)
November 20 Vancouvers first big show
of radio receiving sets opened in the winter garden at English Bay
November 29 Baseball's Babe Ruth hammed it
up on stage in Vancouver during a personal appearance tour of North
America. He posed as a batter, with Vancouver mayor L.D. Taylor
crouching behind him as catcher, and the citys chief of police
November After the 1925 construction of the
bridge across the Second Narrows, industrialist W.C. Shelly had
a vision that a popular resort could be placed atop Grouse Mountain
if a road could be built to make it easier to get up there. So he
formed a company, Grouse Mountain Highway and Scenic Resort Ltd.,
to put in a road up the mountain and build a chalet at the end of
it. Grouse Mountain Chalet opened in November. It was a magnificent
wooden structure, built without a nailby Scandinavian
craftsmen. There was a huge stone fireplace, bearskin rugs, fine
furniture and dining ware. The popularity of the place was
particularly evident on Saturday nights, a fan wrote, when
a trail of limousines streamed up the highway to deliver guests
for the evening.
Shellys group also commissioned a book, Chinook
Days, to mark the opening of the highway. I have a copy in my library:
of the 1,000 copies produced, this is No. 319, and is signed by
the author, Tom MacInnes. Its a well-written, old-fashioned
combination of local native legends and early Vancouver history.
Its also casually racist. If it had been written a little
later, its tone might have been gloomier. There were dark days ahead
for Shellys project.
December 21 Broadcaster Wilf Ray was born.
December Vancouver shoppers had a brand new
department store. David Spencer opened his nine-storey building
at the corner of Hastings and Richards Streets. The store went five
stories below street level, as well, providing customers with 320,000
square feet of shopping space . . . and Spencers toyland offered
a paradise for children.
Also in 1926
The local newspaper world got complicated: Victor
Odlums Evening Star became the Morning Star and took over
the Morning Suns circulation. The Evening Sun (which had been
the World), took over the Stars circulation. The city was
now back to three papers: the morning Star, the evening Sun, and
the Provincethe latter the biggest of the three.
Henderson's Directory listed six radio stations in
Vancouver. They were CNRV, the Canadian National Railway Company's
station, operated from studios in the CNR station on Main Street
(the CNR ran a radio service for its train passengers); CFYC, operated
by Commercial Radio Ltd; CFDC, owned by the Sparks Co; CFQC, operating
out of the 16th floor at 500 Beatty, home of the Sprott Shaw Radio
Co., which had been in business for years teaching the technical
aspects of radio; CKFC, a United Churches station and
CKCD, owned by The Province newspaper.
William Curtis Shelly, a 46-year-old businessman,
whod made his fortune in the bakery business (4X Bread), organized
Canadian Bakeries Ltd., serving all of western Canada. He was also
active in real estate. And see the Grouse Mountain entries above.
The Richmond Record ran an article titled Our
Town Hall Luck, summing up the Hall as . . . our own,
happily, and we might venture to think it the trimmest of its kind
on the Pacific Coast, which is not saying much. Later in the
piece, the writer rates the hall second to the CPR building in Vancouver
in terms of beauty, and is inspired to romantic comparisons: Unlike
many civic office buildings we know, it is simple and clear-cut
in form as a ballad, as firm and strong in line and color.
Butcher shop owner James Inglis Reid set up a $25,000
fund for Vancouver General Hospital as a memorial to his teenaged
son Knox who drowned off Bowen Island. The fund was used for therapeutic
services for boys.
Prospect Point and Brockton Point Lighthouses were
destaffed, converted to automatic control.
The Greater Vancouver Water District was incorporated.
It was folded into the Greater Vancouver Regional District in 1991.
(The first chief commissioner was Ernest Albert Cleveland, after
whom Cleveland Dam is named.)
By the 1920s, the Dutch immigrant community in Metropolitan
Vancouver had become large enough to organize major social events.
In 1926 Holland Society members aided in the establishment of the
first of BC's 36 Christian Reformed Churches.
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, built in 1904 on
Lower Keith Road in North Vancouver, later relocated to 10th Street
and St. Georges, became St. Andrews United.
Future businessman Jack Diamond, 17, arrived in Vancouver
from Poland with a straw suitcase and the clothes on his back.
The Council of Jewish Women opened a Neighbourhood
House in Strathcona.
Seven friends started the Polish Friendship Society
in Vancouver to maintain the Polish identity, preserve the Polish
language, and help new arrivals.
The Vancouver Board of Trade made a grant to the
University of British Columbia for the purpose of establishing a
Faculty of Commerce, and assisted in the formation of the Canadian
Chamber of Commerce.
The Western Canada Hockey League, which had started
in 1921, changed its name to the Western Hockey League. Then, still
in 1926, it changed again to the Prairie Hockey League. The league
would fold in 1928.
Julian Hedworth George, Viscount Byng of Vimy, ended
his term as Governor General of Canada. He was succeeded by the
Marquis of Willingdon, who would serve to 1931. Willingdon Avenue
in Burnaby is named for him.
Realtor Ernest Leonard Boultbee, who had formed Allan
& Boultbee Ltd. around 1922, merged with Macaulay,
Nicolls & Maitland "around" 1926.
CFDC, which had gone on the air in Nanaimo in 1923,
moved to Vancouver and changed its name to CKWX, the oldest existing
call letters in local radio.
North Vancouver mountaineers Don and Phyllis Munday
came within 18 metres of the top of Mt. Waddington, B.C.'s highest
The mining company Placer Development Limited was
incorporated this year in Vancouver. In 1987 it would merge with
Dome Mines Limited to form Placer Dome.
Hudsons Bay Company extended its store at Granville
and Georgia. The original 1893 store at that corner was demolished,
and an addition created that echoed the style of (and was seamlessly
attached to) the 1913 store adjacent to the east.
The company that today is Dueck Chevrolet Cadillac
Hummer Ltd. was established.
The Catholic community of Maple Ridge established
St. Patrick's Parish. The original St. Patrick's Parish included
all of the present day St. Luke's. In the earliest days everyone
in the area went to Haney for Sunday Mass.
Future MP and federal cabinet member Arthur Laing,
born in Eburne in 1904, joined the Vancouver Milling and Grain Company.
He was 22. (The Arthur Laing Bridge was named for him.) He died
in February 1975.
Patient population at Essondale Mental Hospital was
Around 1926 the Langer circuit of suburban theatres
began. Joseph Langer, Ivan Ackery recalled, in his autobiography
Fifty Years on Theatre Row, was an English gentleman
who rode in a big maroon Daimler, seated grandly behind a maroon-liveried
chauffeur. He had come to Vancouver a few years earlier and
had built several suburban theatresthe Victoria Road Theatre,
the Kitsilano, the Windsor, the Alma and the Kerrisdale. He sold
them to raise the money to build the Orpheum. (That palace of entertainment
opened in November, 1927.)
Earle Birney, Calgary-born poet, graduated from UBC
Angelo Branca, future judge, born March 21, 1903
in Mount Sicker, B.C. began practising law in Vancouver.
J.P. Nicolls was president of the Vancouver Real
Charles H. Scott became Principal of the Vancouver
School of Decorative and Applied Arts. He would hold that post until
his retirement in 1952.
Takao Tanabe, artist and teacher, was born in Prince
Rupert, the son of a commercial fisherman.
Simon Fraser Tolmie, a future BC premier, became
the federal minister of agriculture.
F.E. Burke became president of the Vancouver Board
A road to Whytecliff and Horseshoe Bay was opened.
The Native Sons of British Columbia published Romance
A wooden truss bridge was constructed over the Coquitlam
River to link the Dewdney Trunk Road with Pitt River Road. (That
stretch of the Dewdney is now part of the Lougheed Highway.) It
replaced an old plank bridge that had been closed for two years
for reasons of safety. The new bridge was painted red. The Red
Bridge would be a prominent PoCo landmark for more than 50
years, keeping the name even when it was painted in other colors.
(Its modern replacement has been deliberately colored red.)
Charles Davies became an alderman in Port Coquitlam.
He would hold that office for 21 years, then be elected mayor and
serve in that capacity for another nine years, an unbroken 30 years
of service to the city.
A park at Whytecliff Point opened, called Rockcliffe
at first. A tea-room with a dance floor was built, about where the
present lookout is.
Hollyburn Lodge on Hollyburn Mountain was built by
three Scandinavians, Oscar Pearson, Ole Anderson and Andrew Israels
to promote the recreational potential of the mountain. They hauled
up lumber salvaged from the old Naismith Mill buildings, a mile
down the mountainside.
Whistler's first sawmill was built by the Barr brothers
on Green Lake. At its peak it employed up to 50 men, and gave the
PGE more business than any other stop on the line.
The North Burnaby Board of Trade was established.
John Hendry Park in the east end (site of Trout Lake)
was donated to the city by Aldene Hamber, the daughter of Hastings
Sawmill owner John Hendry, and her husband Eric Hamber, a future
lieutenant-governor of B.C.
The first of several Ladies Auxiliaries to the Fraternal
Order of Eagles was founded in 1926. (They are attached to but entirely
independent of the men's Aeries.)
The Soroptomist International club, established in
1921 in Oakland, California, saw its first Vancouver club established
this year. The Soroptimists now have 100,000 members in 100 countries.
There are 16 clubs in Metropolitan Vancouver. (The clubs
name, researcher Barbara Rogers has written, was coined
from the Latin soror meaning sister, and optima,
meaning best, loosely interpreted as the best for women.
This is a non-political, non sectarian international club for business
and professional women who wish to give something back to their
Pacific Stage Lines opened a new depot at Dunsmuir
and Seymour with ticket offices, an inside bus bay for loading,
restaurant, travel agency and more.
Langara Golf Course was established southeast of
49th and Cambie.
Douglas Park was established in the Riley Park/South
Cambie neighborhood. It had been a Chinese vegetable farm. (And
before that a small milk ranch, and before that a pasture to feed
the oxen of logger Jerry Rogers, and before that, forest.)
Development of Third Shaughnessy, between
King Edward and West 41st Avenue, began.
The Joe Fortes Memorial Drinking Fountain was placed
in Alexandra Park, much of the cost being raised from pennies donated
by local school childrenhundreds of whom had been taught to
swim by Joe. The bronze-granite fountain was designed by Charles
King George School changed its name. Many people
confused it with another school named King George in Vancouver,
so it was decided to rename it after Hugh Crawford Magee, a successful
pioneer farmer who took up land in Point Grey in 1867, the first
farmer to settle on the North Arm of the Fraser. Magee died in 1909.
The Vancouver National Labour Council was organized.
McKim Advertising, Canada's oldest agency (1889 in
Montreal), set up a local office.
The tallest Douglas fir ever recorded in Stanley
Park, 99 metres tall, toppled.
Dr. Herbert Nowell founded the Dominion Herbal College.
Now located in Burnaby, it's the oldest college of its kind in North
Francis William Caulfeild, an English land developer,
made his last visit here, aged about 86. He never lived in B.C.,
but was attracted by the beauty of the B.C. coast. In 1899 he had
purchased waterfront property east of Point Atkinson, an area called
Skunk Cove. He renamed it Caulfeild (thanks!) and developed it as
a charming Old World community. The village was laid
out to follow land contours, with broad paths (later roads) and
a quarter mile of waterfront parkland. Caulfeild died in London
in 1934 at age 94.
Zebulon Franks, storekeeper, and the first Jewish
religious leader in Vancouver, died here aged about 62. He was born
about 1864 in Odessa, Ukraine. Son of a High Rabbi,
writes Constance Brissenden, he had a deep knowledge of Judaism.
At 17, he survived a pogrom that murdered his family. He met his
wife Esther during his escape across Europe. They came to Vancouver
in 1887, the year after incorporation. A junk merchant
at first, he opened a general hardware store on Water Street. He
held the first Orthodox services in his home and store.
On her husband J. Stewart Jamiesons death,
Laura Jamieson succeeded him as Burnaby Juvenile Court judge, the
first B.C. woman in this position.
Seattle-born Sadie Marks, who lived for a time in
Vancouver and first met Benny Kubelsky there in 1922, met him again
in Seattle. They hit it off, got married and went on to entertainment
fame, he as Jack Benny, she as Mary Livingstone.
Scotland-born Jock MacDonald, one of the first abstract
painters in Canada, came to Vancouver, aged about 29. He would live
here until 1946. He was a leading exponent of modern art as
teacher and painter. He would go on to teach at the Vancouver
School of Decorative and Applied Arts, and the B.C. College of Arts
(1933-35), co-founded with Fred Varley.
Pugwash, Nova Scotia-born Larry (Norman Archibald
MacRae) MacKenzie, future UBC president (1944-62), was called to
the Nova Scotia bar.
Alexander Duncan McRae, who had arrived from Ontario
in 1907, was elected MP.
The Vanderpant Gallery opened on Robson Street. Run
by photographer John Vanderpant, it would become a centre of intellectual
life in the city for more than a decade. See Underlying Vibrations:
The Photography of John Vanderpant by Sheryl Salloum.
The Tomahawk Barbecue opened.
Our Lady of Sorrows Convent opened.
The company that today is Benwell-Atkins was incorporated
1926 Hudson Essex
- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]