Monday, November 30, 2015

49 Ain't Done Yet!

On August 15, 1949, newspapers described the newly re-opened Kingsway highway as "strikingly handsome". It was now six lanes between Vancouver and New Westminster.

Also on August 15. Radio host, Jack Cullen, did his last show on CKMO and his first show on CKNW AT THE SAME TIME!!! How did he manage that? He taped his CKMO show beforehand and did the CKNW one live.

August 21, 1949. B.C.'s biggest earthquake, that we know of, occurred off the Queen Charlotte Islands. Fortunately, the major force of the quake occurred in uninhabited sections of the islands and there was minimal damage.

"While hardly anyone in Vancouver felt the tremors, reports of the quake poured in from throughout B.C. . . . Prince George residents ran into the streets shouting ‘earthquake, earthquake,’ as cafe signs swung and poles swayed." Centres 1,500 miles (2,400 km) apart felt the quake, and it was even detected in Jasper, Alberta. Seattle measured it at 7.2. The Province reported on Page One that a clock had stopped in the home of Mrs. Laurie Sanders, Imperial Street in Burnaby.

Gloria Cranmer was born on September 10, 1949 in Alert Bay, BC. Cranmer would go on to become a film maker and linguist. She was the first First Nations woman to attend the University of British Columbia - graduating in 1956 with a degree in anthropology. In 1996, Cranmer was awarded the Heritage Society of British Columbia's Heritage Award and her contributions to British Columbia native live are remarkable.

October 22, the first "official" tree was planted at Queen Elizabeth Park, then known as Little Mountain Park. The park was carved out of a stone quarry and chosen as the site for Canada's first civic arboretum.

“The tree looked lonely and a trifle battered,” the Province wrote. “Fittingly enough, it was a Pacific dogwood, the only tree emblematic of B.C. It stood in a grassy spot overlooking the smoke and skyscrapers of downtown Vancouver.” The original idea for the arboretum, the paper reported, “was suggested by Leander Manley, secretary-manager of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, western branch.”

November 2. The Hope-Princeton highway officially opened for traffic. The highway closely follows the old Dewdney Trail, which was a trail used to move provisions north and gold and furs south.

“When the Hope-Princeton highway opened,” says the Manning Park website, “it not only provided a major transportation link between the coast and interior, it also made accessible to people everywhere the premier provincial park in British Columbia.”

A civic banquet was held at the Hotel Vancouver on November 2, 1949 for the visiting Prime Minister Nehru of India.

Thanks to the website The History of Metropolitan Vancouver for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Karen Magill

Friday, November 27, 2015

More 1949

March 23, 1949 was when the Vancouver Rose Growers Association was formed.

March 29. The sale of margarine was approved. The dairy industry - rightly fearing this would reduce the sale of butter - lobbied for margarine to be coloured white not yellow.

April 1, 1949 - Newfoundland entered the Confederation of Canada.

Also on April 1, First Nations people get the vote. However, those living on a reservation would not get the federal vote until 1960. Japanese citizens were given the provincial vote.

The Princess Marguerite entered BC on April 6, 1949.

On April 22 margarine went on sale. They weren't allowed to make it yellow but the manufacturers got around that. It was packed, coloured white, into plastic bags. Included inside the bag: a small pill of food colouring which had to be popped open inside the bag by the consumer and kneaded into the margarine to make it yellow. 

The new Labour Temple opened on West Broadway on May 31.

On June 15, a fire on the False Creek waterfront caused $1 million damage.

June 25, 1949, sod was turned to begin building a Woodwards store at Park Royal.

Canadian Pacific Airlines launched its inaugural flight to Sydney, Australia on July 1. Then, on the 13th, they carried the first all-Canadian airmail to Australia.

July 23, 1949:

The Province, in a story on local tourist activity, ran a photo of “travel advisors” Doris Young, Alyse Francis and Anita Zanon.

“They reply to all queries, even stupid ones, with courteous, sensible information.” Hedley Hipwell, president of the Vancouver Tourist Association, referred to “Vancouver’s $30 million tourist industry . . .”

The VTA’s travel advisors, Hipwell explained, deal with from 600 to 700 visitors a day. “In 1948 they answered 120,000 phone calls. In 1927 there were 24,000 . . . Last year, the girls gave out 160,000 travel folders and maps, answered 11,400 direct and 50,000 letters from other tourist bureaus, 8,000 coupon advertisement enquiries. They wrote invitations to 9,000 convention prospects . . .

One of VTA’s biggest jobs is finding rooms for folk who arrive in Vancouver without reservations. It takes the full time of one advisor to find accommodation for them.”

Thanks to The History of Metropolitan Vancouver website for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Karen Magill

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


This house is an Arts and Crafts style but it is a slightly different design. It was built in 1911 by George Tyson. Tyson built many of the homes in the 2000-block of Keefer - this section of Keefer was renamed Ferndale in 1929. The house was listed as vacant in 1912 but Tyson lived here from 1913 to 1916.

Today, we are looking at 1949 in Vancouver. On January 3, just a few days into the New Year, The Vancouver Sun's page one headline, screamed:


The night before there had been a raid on three local nightclub establishments. Detectives descended on three cabarets and confiscated 13 bottles of alcohol from underneath the tables. Five were seized from the Cave Cabaret, two from the Palomar and four from the Mandarin.

Chief Constable Walter Mulligan warned that his dry squad men were “definitely going to tighten up on liquor drinking in cabarets.”

The B.C. Cabaret Owners’ Association blamed “rabid prohibitionists.” “These attempted curbs on drinking,” they added, “will only drive drink into vice dens, autos and hotel rooms.”

BC Electric discontinued streetcar service on the Kitsilano Beach run on January 16.

January 1949 was the month when the second Hotel Vancouver was torn down. This was the largest wrecking job ever undertaken in the British Commonwealth. It is sad that this outstanding Vancouver landmark was destroyed.

“There is no alternative,” read newspaper reports, “as no hotel operator is willing to buy, rehabilitate and operate it at his own risk.”

Harry Duker, Chairman of the Vancouver Tourist Association fundraising campaign, informed the Sun on January 29 that he was aiming to raise $75,000 in operating funds. “During the year (1948) 70,000 persons came to the association’s headquarters at Georgia and Seymour for information . . .”

Future Vancouver councillor and vice-president of the Business in Vancouver media group, Peter Ladner, was born on February 12, 1949. Business in Vancouver is a successful weekly business newspaper.

On March 5, 1949 Burrard Bridge engineer Major J.R. Grant reacted to remarks by a local art teacher that the bridge (opened in 1932) was a “monstrosity.”

F.A. Ames of the Vancouver Art School had told a Lions Club gathering that the bridge pillars were “ashcans with a gasoline station on top.” 

Grant explained, said the Sun, that the pillars “were built as large as they are on request from the harbormaster, who wanted them prominent to avoid a navigation hazard at the False Creek entrance.” He went on to explain that the large base of the piers was required because at the time (1932) the B.C. Electric Railway had planned running a railway on a lower deck beneath the roadway. “That railway will never go in now,” Grant said. “The BCER is no longer interested.” He pooh-poohed Ames’ criticisms, said he’d rather trust the "esthetic ideas of the engineer.”

Thanks to the website, The History of Metropolitan Vancouver for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Karen Magill