Here’s a sampling of some quick data on the city of Vancouver, its history, its buildings, and some of its people. There’s plenty of unique, odd and neat things that makes this west coast city so awesome!
Although Vancouver is named after English captain George Vancouver, it was the Spanish that were the first Europeans to explore the area. Spanish Lieutenant Jose Maria Narvaez arrived in July 1791, followed by Captain Vancouver in June 1792. Of course, the many tribes of the Coast Salish had settled the shores long before the Caucasians — the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh each call the area home.
Gassy Jack Deighton, after whom Gastown is named for.
Expanding from shantytown settlement on the south shore of Burrard Inlet, then known as Granville, grew in size and was eventually incorporated as Vancouver in April 1886. A few months later fire would devastate the growing community, but paved the way for more orderly streets and buildings. Gastown, the original townsite, is home to the city’s oldest structures.
Hollywood North probably comes to mind first, considering Vancouver’s position as a stand-in for other world cities and its large film and television production base. Vancouver is also named the Terminal City after being chosen by the Canadian Pacific Railway for the western terminus of the company’s cross-country tracks. Locomotive 374 pulled the first train into the west coast city in 1887 and is on display in Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Centre.
The iconic snack mascot did indeed run for mayor of Vancouver in 1974. Vincent Trasov donned the salty shell, complete with top hat, cane and spats to take on Art Phillips, who was running for re-election. Unfortunately, Mr. Peanut never got to take office as he only received 2,685 votes, where as Phillips collected 37,220. Nuts.
Vancouver hoists a Stanley Cup
It’s true! During the 1914-15 season, the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association sweeped the visiting Ottawa Senators in a best-of-five series 3-0. It would be the first and only time a Vancouver hockey team would win the Stanley Cup. The current Vancouver Canucks in the National Hockey League have come close in 1982, 1994, and 2011.
Stanley Park vs Central Park
At 404 hectares (1,001 acres) in size, Stanley Park easily dwarf’s the 341 hectare (843 acres) Central Park in New York. And like its American cousin, Stanley Park is crisscrossed with trails, including the Seawall and studded with monuments, gardens, playgrounds, pools, an aquarium and cannon. Interestingly enough, New York City bestowed a gift of eight pairs of grey squirrels to the park in 1909.
Where’s the snow?
Snow does fall in Vancouver, but not very often; it can be found mostly on the mountains surrounding the city. Vancouver’s location makes for mild winters and warm summers due to tropical winds which blow up from the central Pacific Ocean. And that means liquid sunshine — rain.
Lighting the way
Through the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Vancouver was aglow with countless neon signs. Since then, most of them have been taken down, although, the Museum of Vancouver has saved a few of them in their Neon Vancouver | Ugly Vancouver exhibit. Now there’s a bright idea!
While the Hotel Vancouver looks pretty old, it’s not. Two other hotels with the same name proceeded it; the first and second Hotel Vancouver were a block east of the current location, which is now occupied by the massive white box that was formerly Eaton’s and Sears. The present iconic structure was completed in May 1939.