Vancouver in 1916: 100 Years Ago in Vancouver

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

As we ring in the new year, we often look back as we move forward. Thanks to the late, great Chuck Davis for his History of Metropolitan Vancouver, and the City of Vancouver Archives, we can take note of some major events and milestones that happened 100 years ago in Vancouver:

Vancouver in 1916

February 14, 1916 The first trans-Canada telephone call was placed. It was between Vancouver and Montreal. The circuit ran 6,763 kilometres through Buffalo, Chicago, Omaha, Salt Lake City and Portland, Oregon. Not until 1932 was a telephone line for an all-Canada connection completed.

May 4, 1916 The first convocation for conferring of degrees was held by UBC.

May 16, 1916 The new post office opened up on Main Street. Postal Station C is known today as Heritage Hall.

Photo of the postal station in 1917. Archives# CVA 99-356. Photographer: Stuart Thomson

June 2, 1916 The Buzzer began publishing. Today it’s still a resource for riding transit in the Lower Mainland.

July 1916 The spectacular second Hotel Vancouver opened. It was closed in May of 1939 when the present Hotel Vancouver opened and demolished in 1949.

Photo of the second Hotel Vancouver in 1920. Archives# CVA 371-884. Canadian Photo Company.

Also in 1916…

Vancouver aldermen voted to open civic offices to women.

The first grain elevator was built in Vancouver.

The Vancouver Shakespeare Society was formed.

Fred Deeley, Sr. acquired the Harley-Davidson franchise here, becoming its second oldest dealership.

West Vancouver began its municipal bus service, which would become known as the “Blue Buses”.

Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon became landlocked, an artificial lake created by construction of a causeway. It got its curious name (now inaccurate) from poet Pauline Johnson, who remarked how the lagoon disappeared at low tide.

Photo from 1898, before Lost Lagoon was created/landlocked. Archives #St Pk P225

Industrial construction began on Granville Island. At the time it was 36 acres in size, 10 feet above highwater mark.

Construction began on the Pantages Theatre on Hastings Street. It was finished in 1917 (in 2011 it was demolished).

The UBC Botanical Garden was established, the oldest university botanical garden in Canada, today featuring 70 acres of plants from around the world, set in a coastal forest, including 400 species of rhododendron.

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  1. Glenda Buffy Bennett-RummelMonday, April 11th, 2016 — 8:23pm PDT

    Does anyone know of a reception given by the Hon Consul and Mrs Yada at the Dominion Hall on Pender St., in honour of Admiral Count Togo in August of 1916? I have the official invitation sent to my Great-grandfather and Grandmother but the year is not listed, nor is there any information about Admiral Count Togo. From what I have researched, there was a Japanese delegation in North America around that year and The Admiral may have been a part of that, but I am not certain. I would be interested in any information anyone may have and thank you in advance.

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