Big Sisters Luminary Soiree

Vancouver History: Tidbits and Park Notes

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008 — 8:31am PDT
Comments 5

I just realized that my last few posts were pretty bullet-pointed so I apologize for this. The first Vancouver History: Oddities entry was well-received so here’s another.

  • 51 years ago Vancouver’s first shopping mall, Oakridge Centre, opened its doors. We were out that way last week and it took me a minute to remember that Oakridge is not in fact on Oak Street.
  • The Marpole neighbourhood of Vancouver is named in honor of Richard Marpole – one of the men in a posse that captured notorious Bill Miner in 1906. Little did they know he would escape from the BC Penitentiary a year later.
  • Whistler Resort had originally been called London Mountain. “The name was changed to Whistler, writes Constance Brissenden, “inspired by the whistler marmot that frequents its rocky outcrops.” [Oddities – 1965]
  • The Amazing Hunt took us all over the city and at one point we ended up on a small hill in Everett Crowley Park in South Vancouver. Looking around at all the deciduous trees and uneven landscape with amazing southern views I actually wondered if the park used to be something else. “Everett Crowley Park is Vancouver’s 5th largest park, but was Vancouver’s main landfill (the Kerr Road dump) from 1944 to 1967.” [ECPC]

  • Photo credit: Rod Templeton on Flickr
  • Another park that used to be something else is Queen Elizabeth Park, which was once a quarry. Landscaping was complete in 1954 and “Mayor Fred Hume buried a time capsule beneath Centuries Rock in the park. It is to be opened in 2054.” [1954]
  • Often my inspiration comes from Chuck Davis and his team at Chuck is also putting together a book called “The History of Metropolitan Vancouver”, which is due out next year. If you would like to be involved in any way, companies can sign up to sponsor a year in the book.

    Current contests on


    1. fotoeins says:

      Is this the same Chuck Davis who wrote and put together the photo book “Vancouver: Then and Now”? If so, I have a lasting memory of as a wee lad making my way to the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, formerly at the northeast corner of Burrard & Robson, and sitting down and reading this book for hours, and then borrowing the book to take home to continue reading this book … for hours.

      Love the tidbits o’ history.

    2. Raul says:

      I just lost the comment I wrote, so here it is again

      @ fotoeins – I am no longer a wee lad, but I spent hours and hours reading that same book you mention at Belzberg Library (SFU Harbour Centre)… and then I had lunch with Miss604 at Tequila Kitchen … what can be better than that?

      @ Rebecca – WOW I loved this post, and the bullet points – keep ’em coming.

    3. Kent says:

      Fun ๐Ÿ™‚ now I wanna visit Crowley Park …(btw – really dig the park series), and Chuck Davis is a great man.

    4. […] also served on the Parks Board from 1961-67 and Everett Crowley Park on SE Marine Drive is named after him, and it was also a stop on our Amazing Hunt tour that day. […]

    5. […] take part last year. More information about this event is available at I profiled Everett Crowley Park in my Metro Vancouver Park Series and it’s neat to see how the old landfill has shaped […]

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