Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nightingales and Education

This is the Florence Nightingale Elementary School located on Guelph Street in Mount Pleasant. It is notable in the history of this area not only because construction finished in 1912 but also because it is representative of a unique style in the Mount Pleasant area.

So what is so different about this structure? Look at the bricks. Mount Pleasant builders used a unique yellow-brownish, which was made in Abbotsford, in contrast to the primarily red brick used in other parts of the city.

As you may have guessed, the school took its name as a tribute to the legendary nurse, Florence Nightingale but what about Guelph Street?

In 1901, anyone travelling this area would be on Victoria - named after Queen Victoria. Ten years later, a person in the same spot would see signs labelling it as Laurier Street - a tribute to Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier. However, there is a street in Shaughnessy Heights called Laurier Avenue so in 1912 the street name had another name change to avoid confusion. Queen Victoria's family name is Guelph.

A census in 1891 listed the median age of 24 and many of residents were newlyweds, drawn to the area due to the less expensive land. (The nickname for Mount Pleasant became Honeymoon Hill).

That name changed to Church Hill because of the large amount of churches in the area. As you may remember from previous posts, some of the churches still stand today and at least one is converted to condos.

An interesting fact: presently Mount Pleasant's composition consists of 46% individuals who are 20-39 years.Some things don't change much.

At one time, in 1910, some thought of Mount Pleasant becoming the center of a great metropolis. Therefore, 9th became Broadway (after the legendary street in New York) and Westminster became Main. Thanks to Ontario-born Doctor Israel Powell, we also have streets named after Canadian provinces.

Interesting enough, the area that surrounds Main and Broadway has the highest concentration of heritage buildings in Mount Pleasant. Due to the pedestrian-friendly way the area around Main and 7th was constructed, many Mount Pleasant businesses achieved longevity. The blocks in Mount Pleasant are shorter and filled with all the amenities a person needs. After all, this area sprang up before the age of cars.

I have to thank Ramp Vancouver for the information on Mount Pleasant and I am not finished yet! And Tom Snyders and Jennifer O'Rourke for the history of the name of Guelph Street.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

, , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment