The settlement of Granville rose around the area that is now known as Gastown. And Gastown was named after its colorful citizen, Gassy Jack Deighton. And, just to fill your head with trivial facts, according to 2006 Stats Canada figures:
Gastown is 18.2 hectares or 44.97 acres or 1,959,031.6 square feet;
The population in 2006 was 2,323;
There are 82 retail shops, 37 restaurants/cafes, 11 galleries and 8 bars/nightclubs.
But what about the streets in Gastown? Where do those names come from?
This is the corner of Water Street and West Cordova. Cordova was named after Don Antonio Bucareli y Cordova - 46th Viceroy of Mexico.
About a block further down Cordova there is Homer Street. That street was named after Joshua Attwood Reynolds Homer (1827-86) who was a New Westminster merchant and an MP for New Westminster 1881-86.
Cambie Street, named after the first divisional engineer of the CPR Henry John Cambie (1836-1908), is just after Homer Street. And if you turn towards the water - north - you will come to the Steam Clock.
Abbott Street was named after Harry Braithwaite Abbott (1820-1915) - the first general superintendent of the Pacific Division of the CPR, the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Italianate style, was popular with commercial travellers. The pub on the bottom floor was the first in Vancouver to serve alcohol to women and commerates Vancouver's first lamplighter John Clough.
At one time if a person wanted fresh meat they would visit one of the many butchers on this street. Here the butchers would make sure you had fresh meat as it was slaughtered as needed. Blood from the butchered animals soaked the streets. For that reason, as well as the fact that people were also hung in this area, gave the alley its macabre name.
Not far from here is the statue of Gassy Jack Deighton which is situated where once an old maple tree stood. It was under those branches that pioneers met in 1885 and chose the name Vancouver for this great city.
Powell Street was named after Dr. Israel Wood Powell (1836-1915) who happened to be the first president of the Medical Council of British Columbia and first superintendent of Indian Affairs for British Columbia.
Carrall Street was named for Dr. Robert William Weir Carrall (1837-79) a doctor and politician.
Alexander Street was named for Richard Henry Alexander (1844-1915). Manager of Hastings Sawmill.
This building, #1 Alexander, stands on a very important site. The Dunn Building was erected in 1898 and designed by N.S. Hoffar. It was originally built to house the ship chandlery and hardware business of Thomas Dunn. It also stands on the spot where the 'tent' city hall was established after the great fire.
So now you know where some of the names in that area came from.
I hope you find the beauty around you.
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