Vancouver History Tidbits: On this day

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ITEM #: SGN 113
Photographer: Bailey Bros.

I thought of continuing my weekly Then and Now photo series until I realized that most “then” images would not accurately depict the city’s fall hues in black and white.

However, as I glanced at one of my favourite local history resources this morning, I found the following and decided to continue the Vancouver History Tidbits series instead.

  • October 22, 1949 – 60 years ago today—the first “official” tree was planted at Queen Elizabeth Park. It was called Little Mountain Park back then, carved out of a rock quarry and chosen as the site of Canada’s first civic arboretum.
  • Courtesy of, here are a few more items of note in our city’s history that happened during this season and in particular, on this day.

  • October 22, 1938 – Mart Kenney and his Western Gentlemen instructed dancers at the Hotel Vancouver in a new dance craze, the Lambeth Walk.
  • October 22, 1965 – Alvo von Alvensleben, one of BC’s first millionaires and an important Vancouver realtor, died in Seattle, aged 86. It’s estimated he pumped $7 million into the provincial economy in the years before WWI.
  • October 22, 1968 – Scuba divers found the drive shaft of the SS Beaver, sunk off Stanley Park more than 70 years earlier.
  • October 22, 1986 – The Province’s Page One headline: SHA-ZALM! That announced the election of “millionaire gardener” Bill Vander Zalm as premier.
  • October 22, 2009 – The Olympic Torch Relay for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games begins in Greece.
  • And just for kicks, tomorrow in local history…

  • October 23, 1930 – Contact! The Vancouver branch of the Aviation League of Canada, an organization promoting the growth of the air industry, began formal proceedings today.
  • October 23, 1953 – The Burnaby Lake interurban tram line—the route of which roughly correlates with the Trans-Canada Highway today—closed after 42 years, replaced by a bus service.
  • October 23, 1983 – The Kuan Yin Buddhist Temple at 9160 Steveston Highway in Richmond was dedicated.
  • All this and more information will be in Chuck Davis’ book about Metropolitan Vancouver History. Companies can sponsor years and if I had enough, I’d buy 1980 for although it already looks like Polygon Homes beat me to it.

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