Vancouver History: January 1

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

As Vancouverites awake after a night of confetti-filled celebration, 2011 is perhaps welcomed with a dip in English Bay, a pound of the snooze button, or that first venti-sized coffer of the year. Although most are looking ahead, I decided to look back and see how our city rang in the New Year throughout the last century.

January 1, 1911
Hastings Townsite, the residents of which had voted to be annexed by Vancouver, became part of the city. Today’s Glen Drive was the Western edge of the townsite.

January 1, 1920
Peter Pantages started the Polar Bear Swim Club.

January 1, 1922
Motorists in BC began to drive on the right-hand side of the road. The rule took effect at 2:00am and no accidents were reported.

January 1, 1929
Point Grey and South Vancouver amalgamated with the City of Vancouver.

January 1, 1934
There was a riot in Chinatown caused by racial tensions.

January 1, 1943
As a result of World War II rationing, the sale of whipping cream was forbidden in BC.

January 1, 1977
The British Columbia Ferry Corporation was established as a provincial Crown Corporation, successor to the British Columbia Ferry Authority.

January 1, 1978
The Polar Bear Swim celebrates its largest attendance to date as 1,000 people take to the brisk waters of English Bay. 20,000 spectators watched from the shore.

A new Polar Bear Swim record was reached January 1, 2011 as 2,246 participants took the plunge.

All references have been researched through

Comments are closed on this post
Also on