Chronology Continued

[1757 - 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892 - 1899]
[1900 - 1905] [1906 - 1908] [1909] [1910]
[1911] [1912] [1913] [1914] [1915] [1916]
[1917] [1918] [1919] [1920] [1921] [1922]
[1923] [1924] [1925] [1926] [1927] [1928]
[1929] [1930] [1931] [1932] [1933] [1934]
[1935] [1936] [1937] [1938] [1939] [1940]
[1941] [1942] [1943] [1944] [1945] [1946]
[1947] [1948] [1949] [1950] [1951] [1952]
[1953] [1954] [1955] [1956] [1957] [1958]
[1959] [1960] [1961] [1962] [1963] [1964]
[1965] [1966] [1967] [1968] [1969] [1970]
[1971] [1972] [1973] [1974] [1975] [1976]
[1977] [1978] [1979] [1980] [1981] [1982]
[1983] [1984] [1985] [1986] [1987] [1988]
[1989] [1990] [1991] [1992] [1993] [1994]


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The Main Event

  • Woodward opened his first store
  • Burnaby was created
  • The Terminal City Club began


February 6 Band leader Arthur Delamont born.

February 15 A North Shore realtor named J.C. Keith got financing to build a road from Howe Sound to Indian Arm on the north shore. Work began but a depression halted it and the road, especially in its less-travelled stretches, began to deteriorate. That’s why Keith Road runs in bits and pieces.

March 3 Charles Woodward opened his first store, selling dry goods, near Main and Hastings in Vancouver.

March 25 Lawyer Edward Pease Davis founded Davis & Company.

April 30 The first election was held in the new municipality of South Vancouver. W.J. Brewer was elected first Reeve. Brewers Park is named for him. (South Vancouver’s life was brief. It vanished on New Year’s Day in 1929 when it amalgamated with Vancouver.)

July 29 B.C. Premier John Robson died in London, England as a result of getting his finger caught in a cab door. Infection set in, and . . . Robson was succeeded by Theodore Davie.

September 22 A provincial order-in-council was signed creating the municipality of Burnaby.

October 10 A Women's Christian Temperance Union children's home opened at Dunsmuir and Homer in Vancouver.

November 1 Vancouver Firehall No. 3 opened on Broadway, west of Main Street with a hand-drawn hose reel. They had no horses to pull their wagons, but they did have a telephone!

November 4 The first New Westminster Farmers' Market opened, attended by reeves and pioneer settlers from throughout the Fraser Valley.

November 5 Golf was born in Vancouver with the formation of the Vancouver Golf Club (no relation to the present V.G.C). The 6-hole course was built on links-type lands at Jericho.

November 15 First assizes held in Vancouver, with Judge McCreight presiding.

November 20 The Daily News-Advertiser had this wonderful item: “The man Bennett, who was taken in charge Friday night as a lunatic, was much quieter toward midnight, but on Saturday forenoon he got worse again and was taken to New Westminster. He is a wood-turner by trade and worked in the Sehl-Hastie Erskine factory in Victoria. He seems to have become deranged through trying to invent a plan by which round, square or triangular pieces could be shaped on the one lathe.”

December 5 The Terminal City Club was formed in Vancouver. It was known then as the Metropolitan Club, met in a building at the southwest corner of Hastings and Richards.

December 8 Future movie actor John Qualen wasborn in Vancouver. He will appear in more than 140 films, most famously as Muley in 1940's The Grapes of Wrath. He's likely been seen most often, however, as Berger, the little fellow who wants to sell freedom fighter Victor Lazlo a ring in Casablanca. Speaking of that film, there's now a real Rick's Cafe in Casablanca. Go to this website.

Also in 1892

James Machin is second librarian in the Vancouver city library this year, succeeding George Pollay.

New West School was built at Burrard and Helmcken.

A new main post office opened at Pender and Granville.


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The Main Event

  • The Vancouver Club began
  • Roedde House was built


March 25 The Vancouver Club was organized. The members adopted a constitution on this date and agreed on rules and regulations for club members. An 1889 attempt to form the club had not been totally successful, but many of the same men were involved in this second and successful venture. A detailed and interesting book on the club’s history appeared in 1989: The Vancouver Club: First Century 1889-1989 by Reginald H. Roy.

June 9 Canadian-Australasian service was inaugurated with the steamer Miowera.

Also in June The Vancouver library (called the Free Reading Room and Library) moved to 169 West Hastings Street.

August 26 Edward Holmes completed a walk from Montreal to Vancouver.

October 6 The Hudson's Bay Company opened a new store at Georgia and Granville. They’ve been at that corner ever since (but not in that building!)

October 31 Vancouver Firehall No. 3 got its first horse-drawn hosewagon. But they still had no horses. When a fire broke out, they had to borrow horses from the city water works to pull the wagon.

Also in 1893

Alfred Horie Construction started.

The Fraser River Fishermen's Protective Association was established. In the late 19th century the Fraser was fished by sail and oar-powered gill-net boats, owned mostly by canneries.

Roedde House was built at 1415 Barclay in the West End of Vancouver. Today, it’s a charming heritage structure, open for visits by the public.

The first telephone line to Ladner's Landing in Delta. The switchboard was in McNeely's store.

A wharf was built at the southern end of No. 5 Road, Richmond, and became known as Woodward's Landing. There is a twice-weekly boat to New Westminster.

Land held by Mr. Austin (now the Vancouver Golf Club on Austin Road) was assessed for tax purposes at $20 per acre.


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The Main Event

  • Vast flooding in the Fraser Valley


January 22 First school in Burnaby opened in the Edmonds neighborhood.

April 17 The forerunner of the Vancouver Museum opened. The first donation was a stuffed swan.

Also May The Fraser River flooded and many families in the delta area were moved. There was some loss of life, and much damage to dykes, bridges and railway lines. Some canneries were swept away. The valley was paralysed for a week. This was the greatest flood in recorded B.C. history. The gauge at Mission read 25.8 feet, compared to the 24.6 of the famous 1948 flood. But property damage was much less in 1894: less property to damage!

August The cornerstone of Christ Church in Vancouver was laid. (It became a cathedral later).

October 12 A party of hikers climbed a North Vancouver mountain, and upon shooting a blue grouse there decided to call it Grouse Mountain.

December 21 Construction started on St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Also in 1894

A Mrs. Thomson began the first kindergarten in Vancouver, on Georgia Street.

Alfred Wallace established a boat-building operation in his backyard. He later moved it to False Creek, then to North Vancouver.

Thomas Kidd of Richmond was elected as the first MLA for the municipality.


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The Main Event

  • Mark Twain visited
  • Gold discovered on Lulu Island


January 1 William H. Malkin arrived in Vancouver. W.H. will later be mayor. “When I came here,” he said in a 1937 speech, “half the stores were vacant, there was only a population of 17,000, and the future of the city was far from being assured.”

January 6 General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, visited Vancouver.

August 2 Delta Creamery's first shipment of butter reached Vancouver Island.

August 15 American writer Mark Twain, 60, came to the Opera House on a speaking tour, and made audiences laugh so long and loud that parts of his commentary couldn’t be heard. Twain had a bad cold at the time, and a famous photograph shows him laid up at the Hotel Vancouver and chatting with writers from the local newspapers.

Fall Richmond bored to find artesian water, but by 1,008 feet none was found and the project was abandoned.

November 6 A newspaper report said “Miles of claims have been staked on Lulu Island as a result of the discovery of gold. The first assay is reported to have yielded $10,000 a ton.”

Also in 1895

The English Cannery, owned by Henry Bell- Irving, burned down. Upon rebuilding it was renamed the Phoenix Cannery. The site is now part of the Britannia Heritage Shipyard.

The Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club was formed.

The first letter boxes were installed on Vancouver's streets.


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The Main Event

  • Fort Langley closed
  • Vancouver council sets limit on cows


January 14 Gordon Shrum was born in Smithville, Ontario.

March The Stanley Park Brewery began operations in Vancouver.

September 17 L.D. Taylor, 39, arrived in Vancouver. He will later become mayor . . . again and again.

October 26 Vancouver council set at 25 the maximum number of cows allowed per owner within city limits.

November 7 Burnaby hired its first law enforcer, at $2 a day, to police rowdyism, notify owners of swine running at large, and enforce the wide tire by-law for wagons. He was dismissed for lack of funds in April 1897.

Also in 1896

Fort Langley was closed by the Hudson Bay Company.

The Canadian Bar Association was formed.

The Vancouver Board of Trade lobbied for steamship service to northern points to promote trade and open the country.


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The Main Event

  • BC Electric Railway formed
  • Klondike Gold Rush began
  • Sun Yat-sen visited


January 3 Prisoners in Vancouver’s chain gang went on strike to protest having to work clearing the city’s lanes.

April 15 The B.C. Electric Railway Company was formed and took control of the interurban tram system, which it operated until 1953.

April 23 Lester Pearson born.

July 1897 The Klondike Gold Rush began after discovery of gold in late June.

July 22 Union Steamship S.S. Capilano sailed for the Klondike, the first Vancouver ship to go.

August 2 The “movies” came to Vancouver, with an Ethiopticon Kinetoscope moving picture exhibition at Market Hall, together with Edison's “wonder speaking phonograph.”

October 2 News of the death September 19 on the Skagway Trail of former Vancouver mayor Fred Cope reached the city.

October 21 Pauline Johnson read her poetry at Homer Street Methodist Church. Sir Charles Tupper, until three months earlier Canada's prime minister, was in the audience.

December The Royal Bank came to Vancouver as the Merchants Bank of Halifax, southwest corner of Hastings and Richards.

Also in 1897

The McKinnon family settled into a Vancouver neighborhood that Mrs. McKinnon would later (1905) suggest be named after their home Kerry’s Dale in Scotland. We spell it Kerrisdale.

Alexander McDonald Paterson came to Delta to run the Paterson farm called Inverholme. He later served as Delta's reeve for 28 years. The Inverholme schoolhouse (now preserved on Deas Island) was built in 1909 on the Paterson farm.

There are nearly 2,000 Japanese fishermen on the Lower Fraser, about one third of the total fishing population. The Steveston Fishermen's Association was organized to represent them.

This was a bonanza year for the fishing industry: as many as 14 ships lined up at Steveston's wharves to load canned sockeye for European markets. The catch exceeds the canning industry's capacity, and surplus fish (for which the fishermen are not paid) are tossed into the Fraser to rot.

The Chinese revolutionary leader Sun Yat-Sen first visited Vancouver.

David Oppenheimer, Vancouver’s second mayor—and one of the best—died.


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The Main Event

  • The Province first published in Vancouver
  • First long-distance and pay telephones
  • Great Fire in New Westminster


February 10 The legislative buildings in Victoria opened. The Victoria Times called it “a theatre for the great deeds of legislators and administrators yet unborn.” Yeah, right.

March 1 Crofton House School (for girls) was established.

March 26 The first issue of the Vancouver Daily Province appeared. It quickly became the biggest paper in town.

March 28 Vancouver’s first long-distance telephone (it was a separate instrument then) was installed in the newspaper offices of the Province.

April 18 Henry Dallas Helmcken (MLA for Victoria) introduced a bill to extend provincial voting rights to women in B.C. However, the bill ran into stern opposition from James Mutter (MLA for Cowichan-Alberni), who asserted that the female brain was two ounces lighter than a man’s. The bill was defeated.

June 24 Vancouver papers report that lady cyclists following the new “bloomer” fashion are finding it hard to get admission to respectable places while wearing them.

July 1 The single scull championship of the world was held in Vancouver harbour. Jake Gaudaur beat Vancouverite R.V. Johnston.

July 8 This joke appeared in the Province:

“I say, waiter, this salmon cutlet isn’t half so good as the one I had here last week.”

“Can’t see why, sir, it’s off the same fish.”

August 6 The first pay telephones in Vancouver were installed at English Bay. Cost: five cents.

August 11 The Province reports: “That Hastings Street, from Granville to Westminster avenue (today’s Main Street) is destined to be ‘the’ street in Vancouver there is no doubt. As has already been pointed out, between Cambie and Granville streets, 234 feet is being built upon, leaving only 702 feet vacant in the four lots. With the continuation of the tram line down Hastings street, east from Cambie Street to Westminster avenue, an immense impetus will be given to that portion of the business centre of the city. Vancouver is the biggest city on the Pacific coast and besides being the metropolis of British Columbia, is surely destined to be the third of the three largest cities in the Dominion of Canada—the Liverpool of the west.

“By far the most important building now in the course of erection in Vancouver is the Canadian Pacific Railway’s magnificent new depot which is being built to fill the pressing need of several years ... The building will be roofed in before the autumn rains commence and will be finally completed in the spring.” (Note: The depot referred to is not the present building.)

September 10/11 The entire downtown section of New Westminster was burned in a great fire, including almost all the commercial section. Hundreds were left homeless.

October 7 Canada's first motion picture theatre opened on Cordova Street.

Also October 7 This appeared in a local paper: “The residents of Fairview, south end of Cambie street bridge, are to be congratulated in having a letter box placed at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Ash street. Mr. Foote has instructions to collect once per day, 10:45 a.m. and Sundays at 7 a.m.”

October 15 The Nine O’Clock Gun was fired for the first time in Stanley Park. But not at 9 p.m. It was at noon.

November 14 The Province reported that: “Despite the fact that a campaign was inaugurated in Vancouver against nickel-in-the-slot machines they are back again in large numbers.”

Also in 1898

Walter C. Koerner, B.C. forest industrialist and philanthropist, was born in what is now the Czech Republic.

Vancouver city now has 25,000 residents.

James Skitt Matthews arrived in Vancouver. His methods were chaotic, his research was occasionally shaky, and his temper was terrible, but Vancouver’s first city archivist amassed a body of work on the city’s past that is quite simply titanic. We owe him an unpayable debt.

William Shaughnessy became CPR president.

1898 Panhard et Lavassor
1898 Panhard et Lavassor


This year is sponsored.


The Main Event

  • Vancouverís first automobile
  • Volunteers leave for Boer War
  • Beatty Street Drill Hall built


January 22 Bishop Durieu consecrated St. Paul's Boarding School on the Mission Reserve in North Vancouver. Natives there helped fund and build the school. It was demolished in 1959.

June 24 Chief Dan George was born in North Vancouver.

July 6 Vancouver aldermen in horse-drawn carriages tour city sewer works under construction.

July 16 The cornerstone of the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary was laid by Archbishop Adélard Langevin. In 1916 the church will be elevated to a cathedral. Holy Rosary Cathedral is one of the city’s most prominent and striking landmarks.

July 29 The first council meeting was held in Burnaby's first municipal hall, a small wooden structure built at a cost of $906. It was at the corner of Vancouver road (Kingsway) and Edmonds.

September 26 B.C.’s and Vancouver’s first automobile, a Stanley Steamer, cost $650, appeared on a Vancouver street. The first motorist was William Henry Armstrong, a contractor, who took the mayor for a ride. “The beautiful horseless carriage,” wrote one reporter, “answered the steering gear to a hair's breadth as with rubber tires it noiselessly rolled along the asphalt with a motor power entirely hidden from view like some graceful animal curving its way in and out of the traffic.”

September 29 Harry L. Salmon, who announced himself as The Leading Tobacconist in a big newspaper ad, wanted to attract a large clientele to his new shop at the corner of Cordova and Cambie Streets. Accordingly, “every lady visiting the store will be presented with her choice of the following gifts: A Fine Havana Cigar, Puritano Fino; A Fine Cigar Shield to fit vest pocket; a fine Tin of Navy Cut Tobacco, or a Souvenir Fan.”

September 1899 The Vancouver Fire Department became a fully paid department, with its 22 firefighters receiving $15 a month.

October 11 The Boer War began.

October 24 Seventeen Vancouver volunteers were among 60 men from B.C. who left on a CPR train to join the Canadian contingent going to the Boer War.

Also in 1899

Vancouver High School affiliated with McGill University and took the name of Vancouver College.

St. John the Divine, the first church in Burnaby, was built in what is now Central Park. It will burn down in 1904, and another will be built on the same site in 1905.

Fraser River canneries pack more than 300,000 cases of salmon this year, reflecting the Fraser's position as one of the world's most important salmon rivers.

A logging operation began on Black Mountain in West Vancouver. A flume carried logs from Whyte Lake to the sea. Oxen were also used on the few skid roads in the area, one of which became Keith Road.

Francis Caulfeild, recently arrived from England, settled at Skunk Cove, later renamed Caulfeild, where he planned a village in keeping with the beautiful surroundings—and with the whole waterfront reserved as a public park. Caulfeild built a water system served by Cypress Falls, and by 1909 will be offering lots for summer homes.

J.M. Fromme was the first homesteader in Lynn Valley.

The B.C. Fishermen's Union was established.

The Beatty Street Drill Hall was built.

The first CPR station (a tiny building) was moved from the north foot of Howe Street to No. 10 Heatley Street. CPR worker William Alberts, who had been badly injured on the job, was allowed to move into the old, unused station and use it as a rent-free residence for the rest of his life. He lived there for 50 years.

The St. Mungo Cannery was built on River Road in Delta, atop what later proved to be an important archaeological site. It will later be excavated.


[1757 - 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892 - 1899]
[1900 - 1905] [1906 - 1908] [1909] [1910]
[1911] [1912] [1913] [1914] [1915] [1916]
[1917] [1918] [1919] [1920] [1921] [1922]
[1923] [1924] [1925] [1926] [1927] [1928]
[1929] [1930] [1931] [1932] [1933] [1934]
[1935] [1936] [1937] [1938] [1939] [1940]
[1941] [1942] [1943] [1944] [1945] [1946]
[1947] [1948] [1949] [1950] [1951] [1952]
[1953] [1954] [1955] [1956] [1957] [1958]
[1959] [1960] [1961] [1962] [1963] [1964]
[1965] [1966] [1967] [1968] [1969] [1970]
[1971] [1972] [1973] [1974] [1975] [1976]
[1977] [1978] [1979] [1980] [1981] [1982]
[1983] [1984] [1985] [1986] [1987] [1988]
[1989] [1990] [1991] [1992] [1993] [1994]