The Collective Picture

Vintage Photography Redefined

admin On April - 19 - 2009
Since moving to Vancouver several years ago I have become extremely intrigued by the city’s past. Seeking out what old buildings and remnants of its history that still exist I attempted to gain insight into this city. When I first moved to British Columbia I found Gastown particularly interesting, a feeling only slightly dampened by all of the tourists and souvenir shops. The statue of Gassie Jack and the plaques indicating such places as his tavern all seemed to captivate a very different space then the wealthy urbanites that seem to have conquered large parts of this city. But if there is anything that Vancouver does offer it is space for variety, small crevices that eek out a different feel of this city. So armed with a desire to define this space for myself I set out to try and understand this city. I researched the history of this space, consuming such books as Daniel Francis “Red Light Neon: A history of Vancouver’s Sex trade” and from such sources I gained a sense of this cities roots not in the exuberant wealth of Yaletown and Point Grey but the industries that have defined this cities roots. The transient laborers off of the ships and from the lumber companies flooding into the city and the subsequent building of taverns and brothels to accommodate the money they brought with them. Bellow are archive photos showing the roots of this space from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. I have also included one current photo at the bottom. The Vancouver Carnegie Library photo from 1845 shows one building that still exists so I have included an image of this area from today to show the contrast and a bit of information about the buildings history.

First Vancouver Council Meeting after fire Yesterdays Vancouvercities

The first Vancouver City Council after the 1886 fire. Improvised City Hall (tent) on C.P.R. pier at foot of Main – City Council at meeting – after the fires. Vancouver Public Library Special Collections CD #158, VPL Accession #1089A Photographer/Studio: Devine, H.T. From VPL online database.

1898 Panorama of Vancouver B.C Yesterdays Vancouvercities

Portion of panorama and advertisement for the City of Vancouver B.C. 1898. Photographer Edwards Bros. Library and Archives Canada

1898 Vancouver Yesterdays Vancouvercities

Portion of panorama and advertisement for the City of Vancouver B.C. 1898. Photographer Edwards Bros. Library and Archives Canada

1898 Van Pan Map 300x214 Yesterdays Vancouvercities

Panoramic view of the city of Vancouver British Columbia 1898. Published by the Vancouver World Printing and Publishing Company, McLean, J.C. Toronto Lithographing Co. Ltd. Library and Archives Canada online database. Call Number: H1/640/Vancouver/1898

1845 1930 Observation Car Yesterdays Vancouvercities

Observation Car with the City Hall and Carnegie Library in Background. The Sign on Observation Car reads: OBSERVATION CAR/Leaves cor. of Robson & Granville Sts./… 2 hours trip/Fare 50 cents

Photographer Topley, William James, 1845-1930. Library and Archives Canada/PA-009530.

1845 1930 Horses at Vancouver city hall Yesterdays Vancouvercities

Horses at Fountain at City hall. Photographer Topley, Wiliam James 1845-1930. Library and Archives Canada/PA-009520

1900 1925 City View Vancouver Yesterdays Vancouvercities

ca. 1900-1925 Photographer Albertype Company. Library and Archives Canada

1900 1925 Vancouver Yesterdays Vancouvercities

ca. 1900-1925 Photographer Albertype Company. Library and Archives Canada

1845 Vancouver City Hall Carnegie Library Yesterdays Vancouvercities

City Hall & Carnegie Library. Photographer Topley, Wiliam James 1845-1930. Library and Archives Canada/PA-009541

800px Vancouver Carnegie Yesterdays Vancouvercities

The Carnegie Community Centre building was opened in 1903 as Vancouver’s first public library. Funds for the construction of the building came from American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. In 1957 it became the City Museum and then was empty for ten years. Following a massive campaign spearheaded by the Downtown Eastside Residents’ Association City Council agreed to save the building and convert it to a community Centre. Carnegie Community Centre opened its doors to the public on January 20, 1980.

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Categories: cities

3 Responses

  1. Ana says:

    I loved these photos!
    I’ll visit your blog later. I’ve just woke up.

  2. I can’t beleive this is less than 100 years ago. and how different. imagine selling the idea to live in vancouver, and now there is a housing shortage:)
    I love this city, it’s one of the most beautiful cities!

  1. […] British Columbia, Canada J.W. presents Yesterday’s Vancouver posted at The Collective […]

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