The History of Metropolitan Vancouver's

By Constance Brissenden
With additional research by Larry Loyie

The History of Metropolitan Vancouver Hall of Fame represents nearly 500 of the thousands of people who have contributed to the history of the lower mainland of BC. They come from all walks of life, all cultural backgrounds and all occupations. All of the Hall of Famers are now deceased, and we are proud to include a brief record of their accomplishments here. For the first time, Metropolitan Vancouver has a biographical directory that includes many individuals from communities overlooked in the past.

If you have suggestions for inclusion (remember the person must be deceased), please contact us HERE.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

For Mayors of Vancouver, click here.


William Lamont Tait Lumberman, financier b. March 14, 1846, Scotland; d. October 17, 1919 in Vancouver. Arrived in Vancouver on Feb. 13, 1891. Opened Rat Portage Lumber, a shingle and sawmill on False Creek (1902-1910). His Shaughnessy mansion, Glen Brae, built in 1910 on Matthews Avenue, had one of the city's first elevators. “Spared neither expense nor effort to make his home the latest in living luxury.” In 1925, the mansion housed the B.C. branch of the KKK until a by-law prohibited mask wearing. Also built Manhattan Apartments (Thurlow and Robson), 1907 to present, and Orillia Block (Robson and Seymour, 1903-1985). One of the first to hire workers from False Creek Indian Reserve and East Indians. Today, Glen Brae is Canuck Place, a children's hospice.

Warren Tallman Teacher, literary critic b. Nov. 17, 1921, Seattle, Wash.; d. July 1, 1994, Vancouver. Arrived in Vancouver in 1956 to teach, with wife Ellen (b. Nov. 9, 1927, Berkeley, Calif.), at UBC English department. Their home was a centre of modern poetry in the city and introduced a generation of young writers to modernism. Revered teacher and critic of modern poetry from 1960s. Starting in 1963, he organized major poetry conferences in Vancouver and the US. Biblio: The God-Awful Streets of Man; New American Poetics (with Don Allen); In the Midst.

Shinkichi Tamura Banker, builder b. 1863, Osaka, Japan; d. 1936, Japan. Arrived in Vancouver in 1888, first working at a sawmill. Established Sien Ban Co., which, among other things, exported lumber and wheat to Japan. Built the New World Hotel (Powell and Dunlevy). He controlled the Japan and Canada Trust Savings, making him Japantown's foremost banker. Canada's first trade commissioner to Japan. Listed in Who's Who in Western Canada (1911), the only Japanese represented. In the mid-1920s, returned to his homeland and was elected to parliament. Member, Japanese House of Peers.

Charles Montgomery Tate Methodist missionary b. Nov. 5, 1852, Blyth, Northumberland, Eng.; d. Feb. 28, 1933, Vancouver. Came to B.C. in 1870 and searched for gold in the Cariboo. In August 1879, ordained as Methodist priest. Published translations of the scriptures in Chinook. Established boarding school for Native children at Sardis (later known as Coqualeetza Institute, a residential school) with wife Sarah Tate (b. 1842, Eng.; d. May 3, 1916). Missionary to first church in Vancouver built by Native residents (1876). Affiliated with St. Andrews Wesley-United Church. Celebrated jubilee of his ministry in 1929. "He studied in the saddle and canoe."

Robert Garnett Tatlow Capitalist b. Sept. 6, 1855, Scarva, County Down, Ire.; d. April 11, 1910, Victoria. Worked with Henry Ogle Bell-Irving in shipping. Made fortune in real estate and insurance (Tatlow & Spinks on Cordova). Married Henry Cambie's eldest daughter. PC MLA; minister of finance in Premier McBride's cabinet. A founder of B.C. Telephone. Died after falling off a carriage when a car frightened his horse. In December 1935, his daughter Mrs. R.G. (Helen) Wilson died in a similar accident, also in Victoria. Tatlow Park is named for him.

A.J.T. (Alfred James Towle) Taylor Capitalist b. Aug. 4, 1887, Victoria; d. July 20, 1945, New York, NY. Founded Taylor Engineering in 1912 which built large projects around the province. Promoted development of British Properties and construction of Lions Gate Bridge in the 1930s. Worked for British ministry of aircraft production in London during WWII. Taylor Way is named for him.

Austin Cottrell Taylor Financier b. Jan. 17, 1889, Toronto, Ont.; d. Nov. 1, 1965, Vancouver. Came to B.C. in 1917. In 1930s, he was an owner of Bralorne gold mine and one of the city's wealthiest people. Raised race horses at A.C.T. stock farm in Langley. His horse, Indian Broom, placed third in Kentucky Derby (1936). Owned Shannon Estate (Granville and 57th), now townhouses. During WWII, worked for war minister C.D. Howe for one dollar a year. In 1942, chaired B.C. Security Commission which interned the Japanese. Awarded CBE (1947) for wartime service. Chaired B.C. Emergency Flood Committee after WWII, fundraising for victims of Fraser flood. His daughter married William F. Buckley.

Cyclone (Frederick) Taylor Hockey player b. June 24, 1883, Tara, Ont.; d. June 9, 1979, Vancouver. Won first Stanley Cup with Ottawa Senators in 1909; won again with Vancouver Millionaires in 1915. When he joined the Pacific Coast Hockey Association in 1913, it gave the new league the credibility it needed. Played for Vancouver (1913-21) until retirement. One of the great hockey players, he scored 194 goals in 186 games.

Louis Denison Taylor Mayor of Vancouver, 1910-11, 1915, 1925-26, 1927-28, 1931-34 See Mayors of Vancouver.

J. Lyle Telford Mayor of Vancouver, 1939-40 See Mayors of Vancouver.

William Templeton Mayor of Vancouver, 1897 See Mayors of Vancouver.

Charles E. Thompson Mayor of Vancouver, 1949-50 See Mayors of Vancouver.

Stephen Joseph Thompson Photographer b. May 27, 1864, Baillieboro, Ont.; d. Aug. 7, 1929, Vancouver. Arrived in New Westminster, possibly from New York. Opened a studio partnership as Thompson & Bovill (December 1897). By 1889, ran his own studio in New Westminster until it was destroyed by fire, Sept. 11, 1898. Also in 1898, he accompanied an official expedition to Northern B.C. with the deputy minister of marine and fisheries, Louis Coste. Described as "prolific and versatile" in both portraits and landscapes. A major subject was CPR lines in the 1890s.

Mildred Valley Thornton Artist, art critic b. 1890, Dresden, Ont.; d. July 27, 1967, Vancouver. Studied art in US before moving to Vancouver from Saskatchewan in 1934. In the 1920s, with her two sons, she spent summers with Saskatchewan's Plains Cree people. Created more than 300 paintings of ceremonies, dances and Native people. Vancouver Sun art critic for 16 years to 1959 when she retired. Executive member, Canadian Women's Press Club; member, Vancouver Poetry Society and Canadian Authors' Association. In 1960, made a Fellow, Royal Academy of Arts. Biblio: Indian Lives and Legends.

Charlie (Lim Foon) Ting Chinatown spokesperson d. Feb. 9, 1939, Vancouver. Known as "Charlie the Christian" because of his benevolence, "his was the religion of the helping hand." President, Chinese Benevolent Association. His funeral, at the Oriental Theatre, was attended by more than 500 people in 200 cars, and crowds filled the streets. "No resident of Chinatown was ever given such lavish rites." At the time, residents of Chinatown numbered approximately 36,000.

Charles Edward Tisdall Mayor of Vancouver, 1922-23 See Mayors of Vancouver.

Peter Claude Toigo Entrepreneur b. Sept. 9, 1932, Powell River, B.C.; d. Oct. 6, 1993, Los Angeles, Calif. His parents came from N. Italy. At 7, sold eggs door-to-door in Powell River. In 1949, at 17, bought Wildwood Grocery and worked as a butcher. In 1950, married his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth Rowher, and completed first major land transaction. In 1960, bought downtown Powell River from MacMillan Bloedel; built its first shopping centre. In mid-1970s, his company, Shato Holdings, almost went bankrupt but survived and expanded, buying the White Spot restaurant chain (December 1982). An intensely private man, he was dogged by controversy on labor issues and SC party connections.

Frederick Laughton Townley Architect, designer b. 1887, Winnipeg, Man.; d. Oct. 17, 1966, Vancouver. Son of mayor, T.O. Townley. Attended Point Grey Jr. HS; apprenticed at 14 as an architect. In 1910, graduated from U. of Pennsylvania. One of only five architects in Vancouver when he set up practice in 1911. Founding member, Architectural Institute of B.C. Designed Vancouver City Hall ("a proud modern, 1936 streamlined building") and more than 1,000 buildings including Great Northern Railway station, Capitol Theatre, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver Stock Exchange Building, CNIB Building.

T.O. Townley Mayor of Vancouver, 1901 See Mayors of Vancouver.

Chang Toy Businessman b. c. 1856, China; d. China on a business trip, c. June 1920 at 64. A farmer's son, he arrived in B.C. at 17. Established the Sam Kee Co. c. 1888. (The company name was often used as the name of a person.) Sam Kee produced charcoal, contracted Chinese labor, ran a Nanaimo herring saltery, imported and exported food products and acted as agent for Blue Funnel Steamship Line. Bought land at 8 Pender in 1906. In 1926, it was expropriated by the city, leaving him a six-foot-wide strip. To spite City Hall, he built the world's narrowest commercial building, still in use. His older sons, Chang Yat Jun and Chang Yat Leong were active in the firm.

Ethlyn Trapp Radiologist b. July 18, 1891, New Westminster; d. July 31, 1972, West Vancouver. Daughter of Thomas Trapp. Graduate of McGill (BA, 1913), then worked in WWI military hospitals. MD (McGill, 1927). Studied in Europe, then practiced in Vancouver. Using her own money, set up a centre to prove the benefits of radiotherapy (1937). Director, B.C. Cancer Institute (1939-44). First woman president, B.C. Medical Association (1946-47); first woman president, National Cancer Institute of Canada (1952); president, Federation of Canadian Medical Women. Delivered Osler Lecture (1952) to Vancouver Medical Association. LL.D (UBC, 1954). Awarded citation from Canadian Medical Association (1963) for cancer research. Medal of service, Order of Canada (1968). An art collector, she deeded her home, Klee Wyck (named for friend Emily Carr), to West Vancouver as an arts centre.

Thomas John Trapp Businessman b. June 4, 1842, Waltham Abbey, Essex, Eng.; d. Jan. 19, 1933, New Westminster. Came to Canada in 1872. Joined Cassiar gold rush, managed an Athabasca CPR survey depot, ranched in Nicola Valley. In 1880, after a severe winter, moved to New Westminster with brother Samuel. Soon opened T.J. Trapp and Co., a wholesale and retail hardware firm. Built Trapp Block on Columbia (1912-13), easily noted from SkyTrain. Three of his four sons died in action in WWI; one of his three daughters was Dr. Ethlyn Trapp. Instrumental in building New Westminster Southern Railway. Member, Ancient Order of United Workmen and Woodmen of the World.

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