Wednesday, April 15, 2015


There was square-built steam scow known as Spratt's Ark in 1883, which carried a floating salmon cannery. She was built by Spratt in Victoria and anchored in Coal Harbour. She operated in conjunction with the oilery and her refuse was discharged overboard. People blamed the pollution on the decline of the fish population, and it probably had something to do with it, but the over fishing didn't help either.

1884 was the year of the final railway settlement. The Dominion government had withdrawn its reserve from Burrard Inlet lands below Port Moody. The new premier of British Columbia, conferred with William Van Horne of the CPR earlier in the year and they had arranged a settlement where the federal reserve was replaced with a provincial one.

Van Horne formally opened negotiations with Smithe for extension of the line to Granville. He demanded all reserved lands, with a right-of-way to Kitsilano via False Creek. The terminal docks were to be erected on the present Indian Reserve there. The CPR was asking for a good half of the present peninsula on which metropolitan Vancouver stands.

By September 9, Smithe reduced the railway's demands down to about 11,000 acres but they still included the entire foreshore from First to Second Narrows. Van Horne said, "The depth of water necessitates docks along the shore - permanent piers and docks are not practicable." By October 6, the final terms were in place. They included:

Six thousand acres of land, comprising all unalienated lots in Granville Townsite not reserved for government offices or schools; most of Shaughnessy Heights and the remainder scattered through the present city.  The right-of-way included the north bank of False Creek in part, and the line to Kitsilano. Title of these lands passed to the CPR, but the company was obliged to offer to the occupiers $200 a lot, any land on which individuals had already settled without purchasing.

Hastings Mill lease was extended to 1890, on condition the mill give up 4000 acres at once and 1000 more each year. Large private landholder had to give one-third of the lots in each block they held to the CPR. Almost the entire waterfront from Gore Avenue to Stanley Park was given to the railway.

None of the residents of Granville or the surrounding area seemed to think these concessions were excessive. Looking back and with more knowledge, we can now see that the CPR had decided on Granville as the terminus and would have carried through with its plans even if they had to buy the necessary land.

Thanks to the book Vancouver From Milltown to Metropolis by Alan Morley for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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