11 Vancouver History Tidbits


Monday, March 24th, 2014 — 1:44pm PST
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Sometimes when we think we’re just getting to know the ins and outs of our 128-year old city we learn something new. From the funny and fascinating to historical fact, here is a random group of 11 Vancouver History Tidbits:

Girl in Wetsuit

Although she’s often mistaken for one, the Girl in Wetsuit statue in the water along the Stanley Park Seawall is not a mermaid. However, she was inspired by one. Sculptor Elek Imredy was commissioned to create her based on Copenhagen’s “Little Mermaid”, fashioned after the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen.

In 1898, on October 15, the Nine O’Clock Gun was fired for the first time in Stanley Park… at noon. [Source]

Fiery Explosion
Photo credit: Wayneson Chan on Flickr

Vancouver (Yaletown) was the home of the first service station in the country when Imperial Oil opened up on the corner of Smithe and Cambie in 1907.

The 1955 Grey Cup game in Vancouver was the first to be held outside of Ontario.


1955 – Grey Cup parade. VPL Accession Number: 82932N. Photographer: Eric DeWitt.
1955: Grey Cup sign in Vancouver. VPL Accession Number: 43903. Photographer: Province.

The Pattullo Bridge is named after Thomas Dufferin Pattullo who served as Premier of BC from 1933 until 1941.

The Pattullo Bridge
Photo credit: Clayton Perry Photoworks on Flickr

Choklit Park in Fairview was a creation of Purdy’s Chocolates to help with factory access. City Council approved the park (completed in 1970) but told owner Charles Flavelle: “Purdy’s shall be responsible for the creation of a children’s play area.” It’s still around today and provides some of the best city views of any park in the area. [Source]

1910's Vancouver projected for 1950
1910’s – Projection for Vancouver in the 1950s. Archives# LGN 558.

Point Grey and South Vancouver have only been a part of the City of Vancouver since 1929.

Everett Crowley Park is the city’s 5th largest park but was Vancouver’s main landfill (the Kerr Road dump) from 1944 to 1967. [Source]

In January of 1925 a man was attacked by a shark in the First Narrows. It wasn’t the first time either.

In 1931, on July 3, Canada’s first baseball game played under lights took place at Athletic Park (Hemlock and West 6th) in Vancouver. [Source]

On February 15, 1965 the new Canadian flag was hoisted at 6:00am at Vancouver city hall. Because of the time differential, this was the first appearance of the flag in Canada after its official proclamation. [Source]

Happy 47 to the Flag (2012)
Photo credit: fotoeins on Flickr

If you enjoyed this quick post then feel free to take a look at the Miss604 archives for historic photos, facts, information, and other oddities in the news. Look for more Vancouver Tidbits next week.

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