Happy 124th Birthday Vancouver

Comments 5 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Update February 2011: Read about Vancouver’s 125th anniversary.

It was 124 years ago today (on April 6, 1886) that the City of Vancouver was incorporated.

The [incorporation] ceremony was delayed when it was discovered no one had thought to bring paper on which to write down the details. Someone had to run down the street to the stationery store! The ceremony was held in Jonathan Miller’s house. The population of the city was about 1,000.VancouverHistory

Archives location #: GN dr 18

On May 3rd, 1886 the first municipal election was held.

It was an at-large vote which elected ten aldermen and the mayor (Malcolm MacLean). There was no voters list, 499 votes were cast. In one of the first by-laws passed by Council, five wards were created, each electing two aldermen for one-year terms of office.VancouverHistory

Vancouver Archives location #: GN dr 21

The first meeting of Vancouver’s first city council happened May 12, 1886. During my tour of the Vancouver Archives I was able to hold a book of the minutes from this very meeting — it was a surreal feeling.

City of Vancouver Archives

Within these minutes of the first city council meeting there lies the first hot topic up for discussion, a petition to lease a 1,000 acre military reserve from the federal government, which would be used at city park space. This space as we know it is now Stanley Park.

Over the years the landscape has changed dramatically — there is no longer a cattle farm at the North end of Burrard Street, False Creek stops at Main Street, and the Denman Arena (where Vancouver won the Stanley Cup in 1915) has been replaced with a grassy harbour-side park.

Photo credit: Ecstaticist on Flickr

We’ve hosted the world on several occasions and we’ll never forget the experiences we had in February and March of 2010. It’s the best city in the world — it’s home. Happy Birthday Vancouver.

5 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. MichelleTuesday, April 6th, 2010 — 9:48am PDT

    Happy Birthday Vancouver!!! Vancouver, you are my dreams!!! I love all in you, Vancouver, your people, your beautiful parks and streets, your rain (this not so much), your library, etc, etc!!!!
    Bye Miss! Oh, today is holiday in Vancouver or no?

  2. Mom604Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 — 10:41am PDT

    I am so pleased that when my parents came to Canada in 1953 they decided to raise their two little girls in Vancouver! Thank you Oma and Opa!

  3. MattTuesday, April 6th, 2010 — 9:27pm PDT

    I was going to get a card, but Hallmark didn’t have anything with ‘Happy 124th’.

  4. RebeccaTuesday, April 6th, 2010 — 9:35pm PDT

    @Matt I actually got a cupcake in honor of Vancouver today 😉

  5. Rob CampbellWednesday, April 7th, 2010 — 8:01am PDT

    1886 is actually pretty late all things considered. Confederation was 1867, and the railroad was completed all across Canada in 1885. So what were they waiting for?
    I guess life on the west coast has always been kinda relaxed… 🙂

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