The New Vancouver, Sunday 12 March 1922
This is a plan for a new civic centre and city hall in the area around what would become Victory Square, and proof that politicians and civic boosters love convention centres. Vancouver’s city hall at the time was the market building on Main at Pender that had become too small for the business of the city. The front page of the same paper has an article about merchants protesting plans to erect a cenotaph in the middle of Georgia and Granville Streets. In the end, the cenotaph ended up at this site and the City rented the Holden Building on Hastings east of Carrall for a temporary City Hall, where it would remain until the current one was built in 1936.
There have been countless plans and proposals like this in Vancouver’s history that never ended up seeing the light of day. For more of them, check out Jason Vanderhill’s Vancouver Imagined: The Way We Weren’t exhibition at the Museum of Vancouver.
Source: Vancouver Sun
Letterhead from The Vancouver Breweries Ltd; comprised of the Red Cross Brewery at left, and the Doering and Marstrand Brewery at right, from a letter dated 1906. Thanks, Robert!
This line of Vancouver Breweries can be traced back to some of the earliest names in brewing in our city. The City Brewery appeared in Vancouver around 1887, according to Beer Barons of BC by Bill Wilson and Brewed in Canada by Allan Winn Sneath. House of Suds mentions the year 1882, but I believe that to be an error. Actually, the City Brewery’s origins could be traced back as early as 1879, if there is any connection between the City Brewery on Cunningham Street in New Westminster (I’m not certain if there is).
A somewhat mysterious J.A. Rekab or Rekabe is the first man noted operating Vancouver’s City Brewery on Seaton Street near the CPR wharf. He’s mysterious in that he’s only listed for that first year (John Williams takes over the following year) and I have no idea where he’s from. Personally I wonder if his name is an abbreviation or Anglicized version of the surname Al-Rekabe.
I doubt we can call him the first brewer in town though (on second thought, maybe we can); by 1888 he’s listed in the same phone book alongside at least two other brewers, Robert Reisterer and Charles Doering. Reisterer’s first brewery was called Mainland Brewery, located near Brewery Creek, and Doering’s first choice of names was the Vancouver Brewery (which changed to Doering & Marstrand’s Brewing in 1892).
City Brewery would become Red Cross Brewery around 1890, and after changing hands a few times, and Williams, Doering, and Marstrand would ultimately merge to form the first company named Vancouver Breweries Limited in the year 1900. Most of this info comes from Beer Barons of BC by Bill Wilson, for those who want further plot twists and turns.
Someone wrote to me today asking:
I have two beer bottles from Vancouver Breweries each with a paper label for ‘Queen Beer’. The bottles themselves still have the original corks pushed down inside. one is a very pale green, almost clear, the other is ‘beer bottle brown’. Their shape is similar to a modern wine bottle. The paper labels are identical. Can you offer any insight into their age? Are there folks who collect these?
Five Trips of Scenic Wonder Around Vancouver, a Home Gas pamphlet recently sold on ebay via seller canadianpacific77. The cover appears to be signed by “RAM”, but given this is a very early brochure, I have no other knowledge of his work. A fine pamphlet of one of Vancouver’s early home grown industries.
Vancouver, British Columbia
“By Sea, Land, and Air We Prosper”
A city map of Canada’s Pacific Northwest city. Neighborhoods from Gastown to Mount Pleasant, and local landmarks from Granville Island to the Jimmy Hendrix house. All connected with bike trails and greenways.
Purchase it at store.forestandwaves.com
MAP 547 - Panoramic view of the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, 1898, via the Vancouver Archives. Here you can see a detail of Brewery Creek, and that smoke stack in the centre of the image? That’s the site of Charles Gottfried Doering’s Vancouver Brewery, later known as the Doering & Marstrand Brewery. Actually, after a merger with the Red Cross Brewery, it became known as Vancouver Breweries Limited. There are so many subtle name changes in Vancouver’s beer history, it’s hard to keep track! More about that some other time.
The City of Vancouver Archives recently announced on their blog that thanks to funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program, they have completed a project to digitize 512 maps and plans.
Maps are great archival records, filled with meticulous details of the city, typically accompanied by exquisite penmanship. However, they are like many early illustrated works—difficult to attribute. The map above, one of the most popular birds eye views of the city, states in very fine print at the bottom right hand corner: “Entered according to act of Parliament of Canada in the year 1898 by J.C. McLagan at the Department of Agriculture.” In a larger embellished font, the map also states “Published by the Vancouver World Printing and Publishing Company, Limited.”
Both of these details are interesting because J.C. (John James Campbell) McLagan was the editor and owner of The World newspaper which operated from 1888-1924. Bessy Lamb gives an excellent early history of The World among other early Vancouver newspapers in this 1942 research paper at UBC, and when you’re finished reading that, you can followup with this paper on women in the early BC newspaper trade, as McLagan’s wife Sara Anne took over the paper after his death. But back to the fine print on the map; it’s still not clear to me what all of this means. Was J.C. McLagan also employed by the Department of Agriculture?
I dug deeper and discovered this Vancouver Board of Trade annual report from 1892, indicating that he was indeed on the standing committee of Agriculture, along with S. Oppenheimer and E.E. Penzer. Actually, J.C. was also on the Immigration committee, so he must have been a busy man! What I really want to know is who was the cartographer?! Did J.C. McLagan actually have time to draw maps in his spare time, along with chairing meetings and running a newspaper?
I believe the answer lies here, in this document on Archive.org (original document in the National Library of Canada). Manitoba and the Great North-West was published in 1882, and it features a full page birds eye view map of the city of Winnipeg, very much in the same style as this map above. J.C. McLagan’s name is clearly stated on the title page, responsible for the “Sketch of the Rise and Progress of Winnipeg”. If the history books have not yet noted John James Campbell McLagan as an excellent cartographer, I believe they now stand corrected.
I hope you this has demonstrated just a few of the things you can learn from an old map! Take that, Google Maps!
A map of Vancouver circa 1956, cartoonist unknown (or rather, indistinguishable - looks like Pecit?). This fold out cartoon appeared in a brochure from 1956 titled Vancouver, 971.133 V224co PAM in the VPL Special Collections. This brochure had it all; an essay about architecture by Arthur Erickson, an Art Gallery review by Doris Shadbolt, shopping with Pat Woodward. “Produced by the Community Arts Council of Vancouver for the enjoyment of discerning visitors.”
Map of downtown Vancouver by Dennis Smith, a promotional for SFU campus downtown designed to be printed as a large format mural approximately 8ft by 4ft. This map includes a number of drawings seen previously here.
The Culture Crawl is now upon us, and for the next two days, an entire neighbourhood becomes one big open studio. It’s going to be difficult to cover all 431 artists in a single post, so I’m going to have to compromise.
I have selected from the Culture Crawl website a single image which I think captures the essence of the event. It is aptly titled Vancouver Treasure Map Issue no.1, and the work is by Jessie McNeil. Jessie is an ECUAD student, currently completing her BFA as an interdisciplinary artist with a major in drawing.
I encourage you to head out into Strathcona this weekend on your very own treasure hunt, and perhaps you can report back and/or submit a favourite or two when you have finished.
I should also say that this is the first year where I am appearing in the crawl! Not as an artist mind you, but as the subject of art! Yes, I have been immortalized in a sculptural form by Anna Gusakova; look for her in the Mergatroid Building. Alternatively, I’m pretty sure this is NOT me!
And finally, if I were to share my list of my all-time favourites (and some personal friends), it would be quite a roster: Eri Ishii, Rachael Ashe, Russell Hackney Ceramics, Taralee Guild, Judson Beaumont, David J Robinson, Anna Gusakova, Richard Tetrault, Arnt Arntzen, Dori Luthy-Harrison, Ken Gerberick, Liane McLaren Varnam, Robi Smith, Mark Henderson, Misha Pertsev, Robert Shiozaki, Andrea Taylor, Arleigh Wood, Alain Boullard, Bettina Matzkuhn, Cory Bigcharles, Lori Sokoluk, and Susan Marczak.
Have a great crawl everyone! May you find everything you’re looking for!
This is a city with all kinds of accommodations- food, culture, ocean, mountain, sports, art, parties, shopping, nature, relaxation, you name them! Vancouver can surely find you something to fit right in.
The Harland Bartholomew & Associates development plan for Exhibition Park (aka the PNE) drawn December, 1948. This file was recently added to the City of Vancouver Archives at Archive.org (image tweaked for a cleaner black and white image.)
Here’s one thing which didn’t come true that we can be thankful for; the envisioned front entrance would have allowed 2762 cars to drive right into the park and create a giant parking lot in the bottom corner of the site. Of course, lots of the parking inevitably still surfaces throughout the surrounding neighbourhood. But looking at the top of the map leads me to believe there were plans for the CPR to make a direct stop at the park, perhaps providing a form of early rapid transit?
And what about the aesthetic design of the park? The bottom left corner of the park bears a certain resemblance to the present day PNE. To the right there are orderly plans for a Future Exhibit of unknown variety, right where the midway is today.
Up in the top left, they decided to install the Gayway (a term synonymous with midway today). Gayway was also the term that was used at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco in 1939-40. I don’t want to get too far off topic, but the Golden Gate Expo is another favourite topic of mine. Who here knew the GGIE also featured Sally Rand’s Nude Ranch? About a month ago, I spotted this on ebay; the 3 page proposal for the attraction by the Bert Levey Circuit of Vaudeville Theatres.
I don’t see any clothing optional sections planned for the PNE in Harland Bartholomew’s development plan, but it does look like the designers did try to add a hint of romance to their plan, putting a dance hall at the end of the meandering Gayway. And if you weren’t up for some romance, they put the roller coaster right next door, so those who chose not to dance could still have the ride of their life! Oh, designing is such fun and games, isn’t it?
Update! I just learned that the midway WAS at the back corner of the PNE back in the day. While the park didn’t evolve exactly as envisioned above, at least we did get a new wooden roller coaster in 1958 designed by the legendary roller coaster designer Carl Phare. Incidentally, it’s the last remaining Carl Phare designed roller coaster in operation in the world.
There were at least 3 other coasters that pre-date the Carl Phare design at the PNE, according to rollercoastersofthepacificnw.com. First there was Coaster (Dip The Dips) - 1915-1924. Heritage Vancouver has posted a photo from 1914 of the first rollercoaster under construction here, and there’s an aerial view of the finished coaster from 1919 here. Happyland got a pair of coasters known as Giant Dipper - 1925-1947 and Baby Dipper - 1928-1944. Then along came a string of smaller roller coaster rides for Playland; Little Dipper - 1958-197?; Mad Mouse - 1958-1964?; Monster Mouse - 1965-1971?; Super Big Gulp - 1972-1994; Wild Mouse - 1979-2008. And finally, there was another roller coaster in Stanley Park called Dips circa 1913-1923. I’m hoping I come across some artwork of this one day.
Bird’s Eye View of Gastown, the village of Granville, around 1875. Drawing by Beverly Justice commissioned by the Vancouver Arts Council © 1970.
From a walking tour guide of Gastown, prompted by the “Gastown Revisited” walking tours of September, 1968. I’ve transcribed the index below:
1. The famous Maple Tree.
2. Gassy Jack’s Hotel and Saloon, the Deighton House.
3. The Sunnyside Hotel, the best in town, rebuilt after the fire.
4. Old Road to the Sawmill 1/2 mile; George Black’s Hotel at Hastings Townsite, 3 miles.
5. New Road to New Westminster - became Kingsway.
6. George Black’s Butcher Shop and Slaughter House.
7. Provincial Jail, Customs and Court House.
8. Granville Hotel, favourite of loggers.
9. Terminal Saloon.
10. Webster’s Store.
11. Home of respected mulatto widow Mrs. Sullivan and her two boys.
12. Mrs. Sullivan’s restaurant.
13. Joseph Simmons’ Saloon.
14. Gregorio Fernandez’ Store.
15. Indian trail to False Creek.
16. Cabins of Chinese and occupants ”of ill-repute.”
17. Blair Hall, also known as Sullivan’s Hall or Gold’s Hall, scene of early dances, entertainments and church services.
18. House of Gillespie. the logging boss.
19. House of Irish-born Joseph Manion from Victoria. Gastown’s first business man.
20. Cottage of Constable Jonathan Miller, Provincial Agent, Burrard Inlet.
21. To Andy Linton’s Boathouse.
Celebrating BOMA’s 100th Anniversary in 2011, by Barb Wood. Last month Barb Wood celebrated her 30th year in the illustration business; she blogged about the occasion here, where she posted a few celebratory images from her portfolio.
Goad’s atlas of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and surrounding municipalities in four volumes from 1912. Fire insurance maps are great; I’m posting it here primarily for the typography, but the maps are great too! From Collections Canada, which has volume one (Kits) and two (Grandview) posted out of four. Via Michael Kluckner’s recent blog post at grandviewheritage.blogspot.com.
Vancouver Views Canada, a poster spotted for sale recently at the Treasure Cottage thrift store in Kerrisdale, 2319 41st Avenue. I can almost make out the artist’s name in the left hand corner, but there’s just not quite enough resolution. If anyone walks by, can they confirm who created the poster? If it actually does say M. Bender, 1996, I’m presuming that’s an alias? I do believe this framed poster is selling for $15, so check it out while you can!
Thanks for the tip, Richard!