Vancouver has a long and diverse history, leading to the present day in which it is rated as one of Canada’s best cities to live in. For more than 10 years, this city has made the list in nearly every worldwide survey of the “most livable cities” in major magazines. It has also been the site of several notable events, such as the British Commonwealth Games in 1954, the United Nations Conference of 1976 and more recently in 2010, the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics. Today there are hundreds of beautiful Vancouver homes for sale. The area continues to be one of the best places to live, even despite the worldwide economic crisis. Vancouver has a very diverse amount of income sources from various industries that continue to remain strong. To view current listings on the real estate market, contact a Vancouver realtor for more information. Nearly every Vancouver real estate agent keeps a list or database of all current listings and they are happy to welcome newcomers to the city. To fully appreciate this beautiful city, it is important to know its history. The rest of this article will be dedicated to Vancouver’s history.
Archaeologists discovered evidence that shows the area was inhabited by Aboriginal people at least 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. The earliest documented records of settlers in the area were those of Samuel Bawlf, who stated that Francis Drake stayed in the area in 1579. The most concrete document reflected the first self-documented visitor to be Spain’s José María Narváez in 1791. A year later, George Vancouver came to the inner harbor in Burrard Inlet, giving names to various places. Vancouver’s first actual settlers were Simon Fraser and his North West Company crew in 1808. About 50 years later, the Fraser Gold Rush attracted well over 25,000 men from various places in the United States and Canada. The first named settlement where Vancouver now sits was founded in 1862 on McLeery’s Farm, which is situated along the Fraser River east of Marpole. Aside from some success in finding gold, the city’s first most productive industry was logging, initially established by the Moodyville sawmill in 1863. The coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway threatened the livelihood of the business, but it remained until the 1920s. The Gastown settlement near the mill was named an official settlement by the colonial government in 1867, renamed as Granville to honor the British Secretary of State at that time. Eventually this site became the location for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Vancouver is truly one of Canada’s youngest cities, being officially incorporated in 1886. The Canadian Pacific Railroad president William Van Horne named the city “Vancouver” in honor of George Vancouver. In the same year, only a couple months after incorporation, Vancouver saw its most destructive fire, The Great Vancouver Fire, which ravished the entire city. In response to the catastrophe, the city constructed a formal fire department and worked hard to quickly rebuild the new city. Charles Woodward opened the first famed “Woodward’s” store in 1892. This store, along with Hudson Bay and Spencer’s, instituted the first major retailers of Vancouver. Exported goods and logging continued to be the major part of Vancouver’s economy, which was dependent upon the railroads. By 1900, Vancouver had nearly 20,000 residents.
The early 1900s saw several strikes by railroad and mine workers, who were being treated as less than human in many cases. Strikes were successful in getting the point across; unions were formed for laborers. In 1935, the continuum of strikes culminated in an event where relief camp unemployed citizens flooded the city, protesting the conditions of the camps and the harsh military treatment. This event inspired the On-to-Ottawa Trek, where the camp residents took their concerns to the federal government. Unfortunately, they were forced down and returned to work camps until the end of the Depression. Alcohol prohibition was another issue that brought controversy, lasting from the beginning of World War I until 1921. Shortly after this, after an incident where opium manufacturers were discovered, Canada instituted anti-drug laws. Today Vancouver is the third largest metropolitan area in Canada.