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Vancouver History Tidbits: Name Game

October 27th, 2009 @ 11:30am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

My History Tidbits series has contained everything from Fountains, Trails, and Mansions but today I thought I would play the Name Game once again.

Every day I wonder where a street, building, or bridge in Metro Vancouver got its name. I’d have to say my favourite so far is the history of Mr Duff Pattullo but there are others I wanted to discover and share.


View of Third Beach from Ferguson Point in Stanley Park
(Left) Vancouver Archives Item #: St Pk P204 (Right) Jeff McNeil on Flickr

Alfred Graham Ferguson
He was the first chair of the Vancouver Parks Board and Ferguson Point, near the Tea Hour, between Second and Third beaches, is named after him. He also built Ferguson Block in the Downtown Eastside although the wooden buildings burnt in the Great Fire of 1886. He then rebuilt the block with brick as it stands today on Powell Street.

Francis William Caulfeild
He was a land developer from England who, in 1899, bought up the area of West Vancouver we now refer to as Caulfield just East of Point Atkinson (which used to be called Skunk Cove).

Thomas George Shaughnessy
President of the Canadian Pacific Railway who was knighted in 1901. In 1909 he bought property in what is now referred to as Shaughnessy Heights, named after him.

Dugald Campbell Patterson
A Burnaby pioneer, Patterson Avenue is named for him. He actually built a path (now the Avenue) as well as a wooden platform for the BC Electric Railway where the Patterson SkyTrain station now sits. He also gave the Edmonds District its name and co-founded Central Park in Burnaby.

Sir Donald Mann
Port Mann and thus the Port Mann Bridge are named after Sir Donald. The site of Port Mann was originally supposed to be the Canadian Northern railway’s Pacific Terminus. Upon bankruptcy however, it later became a part of the Canadian National Railway, which spanned all the way out to Vancouver.

Anna Ethel Sprott
You’ve probably heard the radio commercials for Sprott-Shaw Community College, well Anna Ethel was married to the school’s founder R.J. Sprott after she attended the school. At the time, it focused on commerce, radio and telegraphy. After R.J.’s death, Anna founded the West Coast Radio School and went on to serve city council longer than any other woman in history. She was also the first woman to serve as acting mayor in 1953. “On retirement, admitted to writing secret letters on council’s behalf to those celebrating 50th and 60th anniversaries and 90th or 100th birthdays.” [source]

Doing my research for this post I discovered that the City of Vancouver has a great little archive of walking tours around historic neighbourhoods. You can click your way through the virtual tour on the web, or print out the map and head to check out these points of interest for yourself. Hat tips as always to VancouverHistory.ca for being such a great resource and check out the Vancouver Historical Society for a list of interesting events.

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2 comments

  1. fotoeins says:

    Thanks, RB. :-) As a wae lad growing up at the eastern edge of Chinatown, I used to think about the origins of Keefer, Pender, Campbell, Hawks, Heatley, Jackson, MacLean (Park), and even Hastings …

  2. [...] played the name game with streets and trails before but I thought it would be exploring some namesakes of various Vancouver Parks in [...]

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The Horrific Home of Beatrice Stainsbury
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Candlelight Conservation Dinner 2009