As of the 2011 census, Vancouver city had a population
of 603,502 (with 2.3 million in the metro area). Fifty-two percent of the population has a first language other than English. It is the fourth densest city in North America after New York City, San Francisco and Mexico City! and is the location of the head offices of not only forest product and mining companies, but also software development, biotechnology, the film industry and tourism. When the city began in 1886, the largest ethnic groups were English and Scottish, but the biggest group today is Chinese. In fact, Vancouver is home to the largest population of Chinese outside of Asia. There are also important groups of Indo-Canadian, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Indonesians, Koreans, Cambodians and Japanese as well as significant Latin American populations from Peru, Ecuador and Mexico, a large aboriginal population and a substantial gay community. BC was the second Canadian jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriages after Ontario.
From a historical
perspective, the First Nations (Musqueam, Squamish, Kwantlen, Tsawassen, Tsleil-Waututh, Coast Salish, Cowichan, Nanaimo, Saanich and Capilano lived here for 16,000 years before the Spanish explorers arrived in the late 1500s. Captain James Cook arrived in 1779 and in 1791 Jose Maria Narvaez of Spain was the first European to explore the coastline of present-day Vancouver (hence the Spanish Banks). In 1792 Captain George Vancouver explored the inner harbour of Burrard Inlet. Simon Fraser and Alexander Mackenzie explorers and fur traders were the first Europeans known to have set foot on the site of present-day Vancouver. In 1808 Fraser descended the Fraser River as far as Point Grey near where the UBC now stands. In 1827 Fort Langley was built by the Hudson's Bay Company and in 1858 Colonel Richard Moody arrived and built New Westminster, which was BC's first capital. Sawmills were set up from 1860.
began life as a boomtown during the Fraser Canyon gold rush in 1861 when 25,000 men, mostly from California, travelled to the mouth of the Fraser River and began panning for gold. The first European settlement was established at Musqueam, now called Marpole. Later it boomed again during the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush, but this time as a trading post where gold-hungry prospectors bought equipment and provisions before heading up north. Trading and the gold rush spurred the arrival of fortune seekers by the 1850s. Jack Deighton (with his First Nations wife, a yellow dog and a barrel of whisky) arrived in a canoe in 1867 and opened a bar on Burrard Inlet, which triggered the development of Gastown, the origin of modern-day Vancouver. It was first named Granville after the British Secretary of State for the Colonies and was selected to be the terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railroad and the building of the railway was one of the pre-conditions for British Columbia joining in the Confederation in 1871.
In 1886 a huge fire destroyed most of the buildings of this town with a population of 1000. It was called the “Great Fire” although it lasted only 20 minutes. Also in 1886 the town of Granville was incorporated as the City of Vancouver. Between 1881 and 1885 more than 11,000 Chinese arrived by ship to work on the railroad construction but they were treated as second-class citizens. They were paid $1 a day, half of what white workers were paid, were denied the privilege of voting in elections, and Chinese women could not immigrate unless they were married to white men. Imported immigrant workers fuelled Vancouver's economic development and hence Chinatown evolved. By 1923 Vancouver was the third-largest city in Canada but World War I and the 1929 crash brought the great depression and unemployment. The economy recovered during World War II when shipbuilding and armament manufacturing was added to an economy based on the exploitation of resources. However, Japanese-Canadians were shipped to internment camps in the interior after the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1942 and their lands and property were confiscated and never returned. It was not until 1949 that the Chinese, Japanese and First Nations were allowed to vote in the provincial elections. In 1960 Greenpeace was founded here. By the 1970s Gastown was a slum. It was renovated, however, and is now a national historic site.
In 1986 Vancouver hosted a very successful 6-month-long World's Fair (coinciding with Vancouver's 100th anniversary), which drew more than 21 million visitors spurring new development of the False Creek area. Recently the 2010 Winter Olympic Games was an excuse for more development.
The Vancouver downtown
area is a large peninsula bordered on three sides, the North, West and South, by water and at the Western end is Stanley Park
The Bill Reid Gallery
of Northwest Coast Art displays carvings, paintings and jewellery from Vancouver's best known First Nations (Haida) artist., who was born in 1920 in Victoria to a European father and a Haida mother. He worked as a radio announcer in Toronto and returned to BC in 1951 to salvage many totem poles that were decaying in Haida villages. He also made jewellery from gold, silver and argillite before branching out to his larger sculptures. His 12 ft x 20 ft Spirit of Haida Gwaii, The Jade Canoe
is proudly displayed at the Vancouver International Airport (and on the back of our $20 bill) his Legend of the Raven and the First Humans
, carved from yellow cedar, can been seen at UBC's Museum of Anthropology. Reid died in 1998.
, built as the Canadian pavilion for Expo '86, is four and a half blocks long and its 27-metre-high Teflon-coated fibreglass sails, invented by NASA and once used in astronaut space suits, is meant to resemble a giant sailing ship. It is also the location of a cruise ship terminal and the convention centre. The promenade walkway around it has information boards that describe the history and cityscape. Vancouver port is the third busiest port in North America after New York and Los Angeles. It was first used in 1864 to export fence pickets to Australia. Today it handles about 83 million tons of cargo annually, turns over $40 billion in trade and processes around 3000 ships a year from almost a hundred countries. It can accommodate up to four luxury liners at once. Also worth a visit is the Port Authority Interpretation Centre (free) and the CN IMAX theatre (the world's first theatre of this type). Tourism Vancouver
's office is adjacent.
Christ Church Cathedral
, made of sandstone, is Vancouver's oldest church. Constructed between 1889 and 1895, it is of Gothic Revival style with a wooden ceiling and its 32 stained glass windows depict Old and New Testament scenes often against Vancouver landmarks. It was listed as a heritage site in 1976 and in 2004 was given an $8.6 million facelift by refurbishing the 1895 Douglas Fir floor and ceiling, which was once hidden behind white acoustic panels.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
, one of last railway hotels, began construction in 1929 and was completed by the time of King George VI's visit in 1939. It has gargoyles on the corners of its exterior façade as well as faces of native chiefs on the Hornby Street side and an assortment of figures from classical mythology. It was owned by the Canadian Pacific Railroad in exchange for agreeing in 1885 to make Vancouver its western terminus and is in the CPR signature château style with a green copper roof.
The HSBC Bank Building
, opposite the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel, has a five-storey-high public atrium with BC artist Alan Storey's Pendulum
, a 90-foot (27m) long hollow aluminium sculpture that arcs overhead, weighs 1600kg and moves 6m by means of a hydraulic mechanical system.
The Marine Building
, a 22-storey art deco building, was Vancouver's tallest structure in 1929. It now houses offices. It was inspired by New York's Chrysler Building and its 1930s art deco bas reliefs depict the history of transportation with airships, steamships, locomotives and submarines as well as Mayan and Egyptian motifs and images of marine life. Although its construction was interrupted by the Wall Street crash in 1929, J.W. Hobbs spent $2.3 million on it going $1.1 over budget. Its opening was a failure and it was difficult to sell off the offices. Finally it was sold to Guinness for $900,000. It has more recently been refurbished for $20 million.
The Provincial Law Courts
, designed by local architect, Arthur Erickson, were built in 1973 and cover three full city blocks including the renovated Art Gallery. Robson Square
in the same complex is sunk 6 m (20 ft) below street level and the Vancouver Art Gallery
, originally designed as courthouse by Francis Rattenbury (more information about this architect can be found on our Victoria
page) but renovated into an art gallery by Arthur Erickson, contains original art by Emily Carr and the Group of Seven.
is an area known for its shopping. Prices are high end, however.
, aka GM Place, is a 20,000-seat venue for Vancouver Canucks hockey games.
The geodesic dome, another survivor of the Expo '86 World's Fair, is Science World
at Telus World of Science with hands-on exhibits about science, technology and nature. You can light up a plasma ball, walk through a 160-m2 maze, wander through the interior of a camera, create a cyclone, watch a zucchini explode, stand inside a beaver lodge, create music with a giant synthesizer, and watch optical effects. On top is an Omnimax Theatre.
The Vancouver Lookout!
is a 169m- (553 ft-) high viewing tower accessed by twin glass elevators up 50 floors to a circular observation deck. The top floor restaurant makes one revolution per hour and the elevator up is free for diners. It provides a 360-degree view of the city, sea and mountains. Tickets are pricey but are good for the entire day. It was opened by Neil Armstrong in 1977 and was Vancouver's tallest building for a while.
The Vancouver Public Library
at 350 West Georgia Street opened in 1995 and was designed by Moshe Safdie. It is post-modern style based on the Roman coliseum and contains 1.2 million books.
The Beaux-Art edifice, Waterfront Station
, was the former Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR) passenger terminal, built between 1912 and 1914 as the western terminus for Canada's transcontinental railway. In 1978 the building was renovated and turned it into an office-retail complex and passenger station for the SeaBus (on which you can travel over the Burrard Inlet to Lonsdale Quay n North Vancouver) and the West Coast Express. The SkyTrain was added in 1986. It has oil painting on its walls inside depicting scenes from trains across Canada. The Angel of Victory
bronze statue outside the building was sculpted in 1922 by Coeur de Lion McCarthy and commissioned by the CPR as a memorial for its employees who died in World War I.
In Vancouver's West End
, the main streets being Davie Street and Denman, the pink bus shelters and rainbow flags show that this is the Gay section of town. Every year in August the area hosts the Gay Pride Parade.
is home to Barclay Manor, built in the Queen Anne style in 1890, and Roedde House (now a Museum full of antiques), an 1893 timber-framed mansion in the Queen Anne Revival Style, built by Francis Rattenbury (read more information about this architect on our Victoria
page). In fact there are in total nine heritage homes in this area built between 1890 and 1910. Before the arrival of white settlers, this land was home to Musqueam and Squamish peoples for thousands of years. Three Englishman arrived in the 1860s and paid $550 for the whole area although the eventual owner would be the CPR, which purchased the land in late the 1880s to build top-end residential properties.
English Bay Beach
is the site of the annual Polar Bear Swim. Its Inukshuk sculpture is a traditional Inuit symbol of hospitality and an aid to navigation. At Alexandra Park across the street, have a look at the marble water fountain erected in memory of Joe Fortes, a Bahamian immigrant who taught local kids to swim, and was appointed Vancouver's first lifeguard.
on Davie Street was built from Gabriola Island stone in 1900 for B.T. Rogers, the sugar magnate, It has had many owners since then and is sometimes apartments and sometimes a restaurant.
with eleven or so preserved Edwardian homes, is a view of what the west end looked like in 1925. They have been preserved in this style as heritage buildings due to a campaign in 1990s.
Stanley Park was named after the same person after whom the Stanley Cup is named, Lord Frederick Arthur Stanley, who was the Governor General of Canada from 1888 to 1893. Opened, in 1888, it consists of 404 hectares (988 acres) of green space and is North America's largest urban park as it is 20$ bigger than New York's Central Park. It has 8 million visitors each year. In December 2006 winds of up to 119km/hr tore through the park levelling more than 10,000 trees. It took 11 months before the seawall was opened again. The seawall
is a very popular walk, jog, bicycle ride or inline skating track of about 8.8 km (5.5 miles). It is usually considered proper to walk anti-clockwise around park and in so doing you will come across the following points of interest: 1. Coal Harbour
with Lost Lagoon, a nature sanctuary for herons, ducks, swans, turtles, etc. and the Malkin Bowl, as well as Painters' corner, a salmon demonstration stream and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. 2. Deadman's Island
is a military reserve and the former burial ground for local Salish First Nations people and early settlers as well as a lumber camp, a squatters' village, and a quarantine station during the 1888-1890 smallpox epidemic. The military area called HMCS Discovery is not open to the public. 3. Stanley Park's Totem poles
of various styles representing the Kwakwaka'wakw, Haida and Nisga'a first nations. Most of these were carved in the 1980s including one by Bill Reid to replace the originals placed in the park in the 1920s and 1930s. In 2008 three gateways were added. The carving of the old woman with full lips and arms outstretched represents the crazy bear woman who comes down from the mountains to steal children. 4. The Nine-O'clock Gun
, installed in 1894, which goes off at 9 pm every night to mark the curfew that signalled the end of the fishing day. 5. Brockton Point
, the site of a 1915 white and red lighthouse, and Brockton Oval for cricket. 6. Girl in a Wetsuit
, by Elek Imredy, mimics the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark. There is also a replica of the dragon-shaped figurehead of SS Empress of Japan which traveled often through these waters between 1897 and 1922. 7. The Variety Kids Water park and - inside the park, Lumberman's Arch
, which is made from one Douglas Fir log. This archway was erected in 1952 and dedicated to forestry workers. The miniature railway near by is transformed into a ghost ride at Halloween and a wonderland at Xmas. There is also a First Nations display here in the summer time. The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
, which receives over a million visitors a year, and is consequently the most visited site in Canada west of Toronto's CN tower. is also located in this area of the park. It contains 9,000 marine creatures, including wolf eels, sharks, dolphins, harbour seals, beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions, jellyfish and sea otters, as well as birds, turtles and a sloth. In the Amazon rainforest gallery you can walk among piranhas, caimans and tropical birds and butterflies, 8. A view over the Lions' Gate Bridge
, which crosses the Burrard Inlet and into North Vancouver
. 9. Prospect Point
at 211 feet is the highest point in park and provides views of the Lions' Gate Bridge, the North Shore and Burrard Inlet. 10. Siwash Rock
, a 50-foot high offshore promontory, is a monument to a man who was turned to stone as a reward for his unselfishness, according to a First Nations' legend. 11. Third Beach
has a cairn to mark the grave of Pauline Johnson, a local poet of an English mother and a Mohawk father. She used to paddle her canoe in Lost Lagoon. 12. 50-meter outdoor swimming Pool at Second Beach
. 13. English Bay
is the site of the park's Rose Garden, and a statue of runner Harry W. Jerome, a six-time world record holder. If you go inside the park as opposed to walking round it you will find 28 more kilometres of walking and cycling paths through old- and second-growth forests. The park is also home to beavers, coyotes, bald eagles, blue herons, cormorants, trumpeter swans, Canada geese, turtles, brant geese, ducks, raccoons, skunks and grey squirrels.
, the original site of modern day Vancouver, went into decline until it was rescued in 1970s. Its features are its cobbled streets, century-old character buildings, and pubs galore as well as First Nations Art and tourist shops.
Gastown is named after “Gassy” Jack Deighton
, a chatty Yorkshireman (born in Hull in 1830), riverboat captain and innkeeper, who arrived here in a canoe on 29 September 1867 accompanied by his aboriginal wife, his mother-in-law, his mother-in-law's cousin Big Jim to paddle the canoe, a mangy yellow dog, two chairs, two chickens, $6 in cash and a whiskey barrel and started a bar for the Hasting Mill sawmill workers in the area who were earning $1,000 a month and had nothing to spend it on. Dead in 1875 at age 44, he had had a hotel in his name but it burned down in the great fire of 1886. His statue on Maple Tree Square
is where his first saloon (the Globe) was built.
The Steam Clock
, at the corner of Water Street and Cambie, whistles the Westminster Chimes every quarter hour. Actually powered by electricity, it was built by horologist Raymond Saunders in 1977 and based on an 1875 design.
The Sun Tower
at 500 Beatty Street was the tallest building in the British Empire when it was built in 1911 to house the publishing empire of Louis D. Taylor. There are nine half-naked caryatids supporting the central cornice halfway up the building. Three years after the building opened, Taylor was forced to sell it.
The Vancouver Centennial Police Museum
records the city's murky past with confiscated weapons, counterfeit currencies and a mortuary with tissue samples. It is housed in the old Vancouver coroner's court where actor Errol Flynn was autopsied in 1959 after dropping dead in his rented West End apartment in the arms of a 17-year-old female “personal assistant” not know for her secretarial skills. His body was brought to the Coroner's Court where the pathologist conducting the autopsy is said to have removed a piece of Flynn's anatomy and placed it in formaldehyde to keep it as a souvenir. The chief coroner, horrified, reattached the missing piece with sticky tape and the body was then dispatched to Los Angeles for burial. Somewhere between the West End and the morgue, a key to Flynn's safety deposit box that he wore round his neck disappeared and when Flynn's lawyers opened the box three years later, the stock certificates and half a million dollars in cash they expected to find were gone. There is also a simulated autopsy room with body parts in specimen bottles, a forensics lab, a police cell, and a radio room. There are also clues from unsolved crimes, such as the “babes in the wood” about two children whose remains were found in Stanley Park in the 1950s.
Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
(cost) & Park
(free) is based on the style of the Ming dynasty-style and has pagodas, limestone rocks and gnarly trees around a pond with turtles. Of Taoist design, it was created by 52 artisans from Suzhou, the garden city of China, in 1986. No power tools, nails or screws were used in the construction.
here was once billed as the best hotel in the city. The 1908 flatiron building is one of the world's finest examples of triangular architecture. It is now used for government-subsidized housing.
The 3-storey-4-pillar Millennium Gate
, which marks the beginning of Vancouver's Chinatown, North America's third largest Chinatown, was erected in 2002 to mark the millennium and commemorate the Chinese community's role in Vancouver's history. It incorporates both Eastern and Western symbols and both traditional and modern Chinese themes.
The Sam Kee Building
at 1.5-meters (4-foot 11”) deep is recognized by Ripley's Believe it or Not as the narrowest (or thinnest) office building in the world. Today it houses an insurance agency. The glass panes in the sidewalk below once provided light for Chinatown's public baths, which in the early 20th C were located in the basement here.
(aka Chinatown Heritage Alley) is the site of first Chinese settlement in the Vancouver area. By 1890 it was home to about 1,000 Chinese immigrant men who arrived to work on the CPR in the mid to late 1800s. It has pagoda-topped telephone boxes and streetlamps with golden dragons. Some of the city's oldest buildings are here and all around you will find shops selling dried fish, deer antlers, geoduck, dried seahorse, and apothecary items.
or “The Drive” is where European immigrants, namely Italians Greek and Portuguese, congregate and have bars, restaurants, coffee shops and delis. It's a great place to hang out and watch life go by.
, located under the Granville Bridge, is a 35-acre former industrial area with factory sheds, which in the 1970s was transformed into a tourist and shopping area and colonized by arts and crafts studios, theatres and a university specialised in the arts. Opened in 1979, about 10.5 million people visit each year. Things to see include buskers, the aquabus and false creek ferries, the houseboats, seagulls and the boat marina as well as the Public Market, where each shop is unique and sells produce direct from the farm, including crafts, chocolates, cheese, fish, meat, flowers and exotic foods. The water park on the island is North America's largest free public water park with slides, pipes and sprinklers, a pond for turtles and herons, and flowered gardens. The original cement factory is still functioning on the island today as is the Granville Island Brewing Company, Canada's oldest microbrewery. It is said that Captain George Vancouver was the first white man to brew beer here using fresh spruce needles and molasses as the basis for beer to combat scurvy among his crew. More places to visit here are the galleries and artisan studios, shops, theatres and eateries, glass-blowers, jewellery-makers, sake-makers, hat-makers, coffee shops, and Emily Carr University.
Queen Elizabeth Park
, completed in 1939, receives 6 million visitors a year and sits on top of a 150m-high extinct volcano, 167m above sea level. It is the most popular site in Vancouver for wedding photos and at 52 hectares (137 acres) is Vancouver's second main urban green space. Covering an old quarry, it is one of the best hilltop views of Vancouver. The Bloedel Floral Conservatory
in the middle of the park is a 42-m high triodetic dome made up of 1500 Plexiglas bubbles with three climate-controlled zones for 500 plant varieties and 100 or so tropical birds and koi carp. Also in the park is a synchronised fountain and Henry Moore's bronze sculpture Knife Edge - Two Piece
. Across the street from Queen Elizabeth Park is the Nat Bailey Stadium
The Van Dusen Botanical Gardens
at 22 hectares (54 acres) is one of the continent's finest botanical gardens and was opened in 1975. Sections to visit are the Rhododendron Walk, the Korean Pavilion, the Rose Garden, the Lake Garden, with its marble sculptures, flowers, and plants and the Elizabethan hedge maze made up of a thousand pyramid cedars kept clipped at 1.5 metres high and adorned with fairy lights at Christmas. Concerts are sometimes held here in summer.
Vancouver's City Hall
, completed in 1936, is an art deco building.
is an area of wealth and stately homes. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Robert Redford, Arthur Erickson (1924 - 2009), who in 1963 won a competition to design Burnaby's Simon Fraser University, and Sergei Rachmaninov have all owned homes here.
One of Vancouver's more attractive older neighbourhoods, among the trendiest of Canadian neighbourhoods, and a former hippy haven, Kitsilano
is named after Khahtsahlano, the leader of a Squamish First Nations village. It has preserved wooden heritage homes, beaches and sunset views.
The Hastings Mill Store Museum
, constructed in 1865, is Vancouver's oldest building still standing. It was one of the region's first sawmills and now houses artefacts, pioneer-era photos and First Nations exhibits.
The H.R. Macmillan Space Centre
houses a planetarium and an observatory which includes a simulated space journey ride and hands-on space-oriented exhibits including a moon rock and a computer program that shows what you'd look like as an alien. The Museum of Vancouver
, housed in the same building, is Canada's largest civic museum and dates from 1968. Its shape imitates the hat of the Haida and other aboriginal peoples. The Crab outside entrance evokes the astrological sign of Canada's birthday on 1 July. The museum claims to hold 300,000 exhibits about the history of the city.
Jericho Beach Park
is a lovely grassy park with duck ponds and wild rabbits located right next to the ocean. It has views of giant tankers and is the location of a kayak and windsurfing school.
is the place for frisbees and volleyball and has a heated outdoor salt-water swimming pool (the world's largest and longest at 137 meters (450 feet)) as well as the Kitsilano Show Boat outdoor amphitheatre with free music and dance performances in the summer.
The Vancouver Maritime Museum
houses the St. Roch, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arctic patrol vessel that was the first to navigate the Northwest Passage in 1944 and to circumnavigate North America. There are touchable displays to drive a tug and manoeuvre an underwater robot. You can also dress up as a seafarer. In front of the museum is a 30-m (98-foot) tall Kwakiutl Totem Pole
carved by Mungo Martin from a single 600-year-old Red Cedar log. It weighs about 27,000 pounds and is a perch for bald eagles. An identical pole was presented to Queen Elizabeth II to mark BC's centenary and now stands in Windsor Great Park in London.
, named for George Vanier who was Canada's Governor General from 1959 to 1967, is popular for joggers, cyclists and kite-flyers. It is the venue for the annual Children's Festival and Bard on the Beach.
University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia
is BC's largest university with a student population of 45,000. Its concrete campus is surrounded by endowment lands.
Among its 402 hectares is the 28-hectare Botanical Garden
, which is home to more than 10,000 species of trees, shrubs and flowers grouped into different themed gardens: Alpine, Arbour, Asian, British Columbian Native, Contemporary, Food, Perennial Border and Physic. There is also the Chinese Rock Garden and the fairly new 308m long Greenheart Canopy Walkway located 17m above the forest floor.
The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
is a venue for many classical concerts.
The Museum of Anthropology
(MOA) which was recently re-opened after a $55 million renovation to double its size, was built by Arthur Erickson. It is considered to be Vancouver's best museum and houses Canada's most important Northwest Coast First Nations Art collection, including totem poles, but also European ceramics and Cantonese opera costumes. Two Haida houses are located behind the museum. The Great Hall displays cedar poles, bentwood boxes, and canoes with designs painted on them as well as the work of Bill Reid, one of Canada's most respected Haida artists. His The Raven and the First Men
was carved from a 4.5 tonne block of yellow cedar made of 106 laminated timbers. It took 3 years to complete and needed the help of 5 assistants. There is also gold, silver and argillite jewellery work by other First Nations artists. The storage section contains thousands of examples of tools, textiles and masks, etc.
The Nitobe Memorial Garden
is a tranquil retreat designed by a leading Japanese landscape architect that was opened in 1960 in memory of Japanese scholar and diplomat Dr. Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933). Its 2½-acre walled garden includes a pond, a stream with a waterfall, and a ceremonial teahouse and incorporates many BC trees and shrubs and Japanese maples and flowering shrubs.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park
comprises 763 hectares, with 54km of walking, jogging and cycling trails.
is Vancouver's only official naturist beach.
For readers wanting a more detailed history of Vancouver, I recommend the site : The History of Metropolitan Vancouver