Part of the Vancouver Then and Now Series

Stanley Park

December 15, 2015

Vancouver Archives

View of Deadman's Island and Stanley Park. The Island got its name from a fierce battle fought there between First Nations tribes before the arrival of Europeans. It was also a First Nations tree cemetery, where the bones of the deceased would be put in boxes and placed high in the trees.

Vancouver's outdoor playground

The very first act of Vancouver's city council in 1886 was to designate the island jutting into the Burrard Inlet as a park for the enjoyment of the new city's inhabitants. Soon after a causeway was built turning the island into a peninsula and ensuring Stanley Park stayed an integral part of the city. Today it is one of the largest city parks in the world and boasts the longest uninterrupted waterfront seawall in the world.

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The spoils of war. A German 210mm mortar captured by the 78th Winnipeg Battalion on display in Stanley Park. You can see the Rowing Club on the right. This enormous gun fired 250 pound shells. These artillery pieces were extremely valuable and in the First World War typically positioned so far behind the front line that capturing guns of this calibre was quite rare. Therefore it was likely taken during one of the great Canadian victories at Vimy Ridge or in the Hundred Days campaign.

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Apparently Boeing also used to make boats. Speed boats made by Boeing Canada zip across Coal Harbour.

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I love it when I get the mountains just right. Squatter homes on Deadman's Island. The land was bought by a developer who sought to turn the island into a saw mill right at the time this photo was taken. The mayor of Vancouver refused to agree to the land lease and when the loggers tried to move in there was a fierce confrontation between the company men and the police. Eventually the island was logged before being handed over to the Canadian Navy as a training base.

Vancouver Archives

The fir tree at the entrance to Georgia Street from Stanley Park. Lost Lagoon is on the left. The causeway area has been developed and landscaped extensively over the last century. It's not the same tree but it does seem to be in the right place.

Regatta day in Coal Harbour.

Squatter shacks in Coal Harbour. Most of the squatters weren't finally evicted until 1931.

A home on Brockton Point.

A ship steams through the narrows into Vancouver Harbour. Construction of the seawall would not start until 1917. At 22 kilometres in length it is the world's longest uninterrupted waterfront walkway.

So that's why the lighthouse is there! The S.S. Beaver, seen here shipwrecked on Prospect Point by a drunk crew, was the first steamship in the Pacific Northwest and played a huge role in the early history of the province.

Siwash Rock. Slightly wrong angle but that's as close as I could get without wading into the surf. In the Musqueam people's oral history, a fisherman was transformed into this rock by three powerful brothers as punishment for his immortality. Hence its Squamish name Slahkayulsh, "He is standing up."

A view of Vancouver from across Coal Harbour. The Hotel Vancouver is now entirely obscured by high-rises.

Vancouver - Stanley Park Museums, Galleries, Archives Reference

This shot is looking West into Coal Harbour from the foot of Broughton. There's been some rezoning.

Vancouver Then and Now Series

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