Vancouver in 1917


Monday, January 2nd, 2017 — 9:23am PST
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A new year has been rung in and while we look ahead to what 2017 might bring, here’s a glimpse at the past to see what our city was like back in 1917.

Vancouver in 1917

Thanks to the late, great Chuck Davis for his History of Metropolitan Vancouver that was used as a reference.

English Bay Pier
1917: The English Bay Pier by F. Gowen. Archives #Be P113.

January 1, 1917 The Workmen’s Compensation Act of British Columbia took effect.

April 4, 1917 Women (excluding those of First Nations and Asian decent) could now vote in BC.

April 1917, The Japanese-Canadian WWI monument was erected in Stanley Park. Out of 196 local Japanese who volunteered, 145 were killed or wounded. One of those volunteers, Sgt. Masumi Mitsui, led his men in a gallant advance up Vimy Ridge in April 1917 and was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery.


Japanese-Canadian WWI memorial by Stuart Thomson. Archives# CVA 99-2420

June 17, 1917 The Pantages Theatre opened opened at 20 West Hastings, and was proclaimed one of the continent’s best vaudeville houses.

October 1, 1917 Prohibition began in Canada. It would end October 20, 1920.

Also in 1917…

Lonsdale 1917
Lonsdale, North Vancouver by W.J. Moore. Archives# PAN N172.

Scottish Stonemason Jimmy Cunningham began building what would become the Stanley Park Seawall.

The Woodward’s Food Floor in Vancouver has become the largest in the world under one roof.

The salmon run on the Fraser this year was down badly this year because of a 1913 slide that blocked the river. The Fraser’s cannery industry was badly affected, and many canneries closed.

The Vancouver Fire Department became fully motorized, the first major city in Canada and possibly the continent to become so, many years ahead of other large cities.

Read more Vancouver History here »

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