Vancouver History: Photographer Walter Edwin Frost


Monday, August 20th, 2012 — 1:29pm PST
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Browsing the Vancouver Public Library Archives and the Vancouver Archives as much as I do, I often come across material from the same handful of photographers. Thanks to their work, we have a glimpse at what Vancouver life was like over many decades, building up from the tents at Granville Townsite. Today I have decided to feature the photography of Walter Edwin Frost:


1930s BCER Street Car. Archives item# CVA 447-1580 & 1955 CNR diesel. Archives item# CVA 447-1197.


1930s – Vancouver Harbour Commissioners Terminal Railway Steam Engine #202.
Archives item # CVA 447-734

Walter E. Frost was born in Vancouver in 1898. After World War I he bought a Kodak roll film camera and began to photograph his city and the ships and trains that carry its life-blood. He was an avid amateur photographer interested in ships, trains, and the city of Vancouver. He stopped taking photographs in the mid 1970s. He died in 1988. [Source: MemoryBC]


1973 – Europe Hotel. Archives item# CVA 447-95
& 1972 – Flack Block, Hastings & Cambie. Archives item# CVA 447-380.


1951 – Granville Bridge at 4th. Archives item# CVA 447-135.


1949 – Hastings & Burrard. Archives item# CVA 447-389 & 1959 – Granville & Cordova. Archives item# CVA 447-325.

Frost directly donated his collection over over 10,000 articles to the Vancouver Archives in 1985. The fonds consists of family photographs and Frost’s photographs of Vancouver city scenes; steam and diesel locomotives and other railway scenes; and ships in Vancouver harbours and docked at various Vancouver piers and wharves.


1953 – Nine o’clock gun in Stanley Park. Archives item# CVA 447-26 &
1927 – Orpheum Theatre being constructed. Archives item# CVA 447-397.


1930 – CPR Railway tracks & Carrall Street. Archives item# CVA 447-285.

Previously profiled photographers: Philip Timms, Bailey Bros., Don Coltman, Fred Herzog, Leonard Frank.

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