Monday, March 17, 2014

Working Harbour

The mosaic at the top represents the working harbour. It is of a large ship's wheel and train tracks - two of the industries, which have made Vancouver. They represent the deep water harbour and railway that services ships from around the world. The greenery above the wheel represents cargo and the original natural state of the area.

These mosaics are around the city whenever I see one of the signs, I look for it. For some reason, the working harbour mosaic wasn't anywhere around the sign. So you got a picture from the sign.

I have written on the port before but I will tell you a few more things about it. The Port of Vancouver has developed into one of Canada's largest through geography, abundant natural resources, wise business practices and a little political intrigue. There were questionable land grants and kickbacks to government officials, which later brought down the national government. But Vancouver got the railway and the city's future was assured.

If you remember when I wrote on the premiers of this province last summer, one of the enticements the federal government offered British Columbia to join the Canadian Federation was the railway. And wherever the terminus was would become the centre of industry and trade for B.C.  A few places were considered, like Port Moody, before officials realized that the settlement of Granville had a harbour that was more suited to large ships sailing in and out.
I once wrote on how Vancouver got its name and I will tell you again. Because it does have something to do with the railway and the harbour and the ships. 

In 1884, there was a small settlement called Granville with a population of about 400 people living by Burrard Inlet. The residents of this hamlet consisted of workers from the nearby sawmill and their families, some First Nations and of course, one of our more colourful characters, Gassy Jack Deighton.  The General Manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway, William Van Horne, visited the area. (It was apparently he that recommended the terminus be moved from Port Moody.)

Van Horne was taken out in a rowboat by CPR's land commissioner Lauchlan Hamilton - some versions of this story say it was realtor Alexander Wellington Ross at that oars - and toured what was to become Stanley Park. Van Horne was excited and stated that this was destined to be a great city and must have a name commensurate with its greatness. He wasn't sure that people would know where "Granville" was but everyone knew of Captain Vancouver and his Pacific explorations so they would know where this important new link in world shipping was located. 

For the above information, I thank the mosaic's program with the City of Vancouver and The History of Metropolitan Vancouver  website for the information on Van Horne and his trip in the rowboat.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

No comments:

Post a Comment