Do you ever wonder what Vancouver was like just a few decades ago? What used to exist where you live or work? If you want information about Greater Vancouver, you can check out our Greater Vancouver Regional District Planning Department Land Use Maps Collection.

The collection has over 1,800 detailed maps—produced in 1965, 1980 and 1983—and covers Vancouver and several surrounding municipalities. You can explore maps of: North and West Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Surrey, Delta, and even the Howe Sound and Bowen Island!

When looking through the maps, you’ll be able to see that symbols were used to indicate what individual lots were used for. In total, there are 64 zoning categories, which indicate whether lots were residential, commercial, industrial, mixed and more.  The maps are used by urban planning and geography students at UBC, the local business community, and property development firms. The originals are held at UBC Library’s Maps & Atlas Collection, but you have access online through Open Collections.

If you want to start exploring the area, check the index to search specifically the map of your interest:

Index – Land use series

 

Development map series: city of Vancouver, 1971

 

Take a look at the map of False Creek. The Vancouver General Hospital remains, but can you see some changes that happened on the last 47 years?

Development map series: city of Vancouver, 1971

 

Access the Greater Vancouver Maps Collection, try to find some places that you frequent today and see what they used to be!

 

UBC Library’s B.C. Historical newspaper archives, part of the university’s publicly-accessible Open Collections, is playing a critical role in heritage research in Vancouver.

“The archive is such an amazing and unique resource,” says Patrick Gunn, Board of Directors at Heritage Vancouver Society, “It is key in our ongoing built heritage research, across multiple areas.”

One of the ways the archive is being used is to help provide more fulsome information for Heritage Vancouver’s online building permits database that contains over 40,000 building permits from January 1, 1929 when the municipalities of Vancouver, South Vancouver and Point Grey were amalgamated into what we now know as modern-day Vancouver.

The searchable database, that was created by painstakingly transcribing hand-written city ledgers found within the City of Vancouver archives allows for users to find key information about particular buildings in Vancouver. The ledgers provide some, but not all the information that would have been included in the individual permit document. Long-form building permits were issued to the applicant and a copy was made for the city; unfortunately, it was common practice to record overview information into registers, like the ledgers that have survived, then purge the full records.

It is in this respect that the B.C. Digital Newspapers Archive has been useful in filling in the gaps.

“Once the transcriptions for a given year are complete, we’ve been using a few key newspapers that luckily captured some of the building permit details which no longer exist in city records and adding these into the building permits to create a more complete building record, ” says Gunn, “Trade journals like The Daily Building Record, Vancouver Building Record and the British Columbia Record have been the most useful to us.”

The additional information allows for a much fuller picture of the story of the building, including details about the architect, owner and specifics about the structure’s dimensions and estimated cost.

An excerpt from the November 8, 1911 edition of The Vancouver Building Record detailing the extension of a building ay 110 Pender Street East.

The archive has also been helpful in providing information about buildings built before 1910 that pre-date the issuing of building permits. Newspapers like The Mount Pleasant Advocate, one of the earliest newspapers published in B.C. from 1901 to 1905, contains important information about some of the building erected in the area.

Further along in the Heritage research process, the archive is also proving to be useful in helping capture the social history and historical significance of a building. 

An excerpt from The Daily Building Record of May 29, 1912 detailing important information about the Hudson’s Bay Company Department store that would be completed in 1913 at the corner of Georgia and Granville Streets.

“Many heritage consultants use the archive when building a statement of significance,” says Gunn, referring to the document that assesses what is important about a building, how important it is and why, which establishes baseline for any potential development and informing the application for Planning Permission.

“We are so thrilled that this digital archive is having a direct impact on the Vancouver community,” says Larissa Ringham, Acting Head of Digital Initiatives, “the B.C. Historical Newspapers archive is enabling us to support and enrich the educational, cultural and economic endeavors of the people of British Columbia and communities beyond.”  

Explore the B.C. Historical newspaper archive and access 129 years of B.C.’s news.

 

In celebration of Family Day we are sharing some of our favorite family portraits found within our digital collections. Want to see more? Simply type in “family” in on our digital collections page! Refine your search to only find images within specific collections. Click on the images to see them enlarged.

What are your plans for the long weekend?

 

 

 

 Which one was your favorite? 

A panel discussion at Centre A, Thursday, October 16, 4:00 to 5:15pm

A history event for educators and the general public:thepast

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

workbook“The new three story International Village Elementary school has been revealed. Currently in the design review & approval phase, construction is slated for 2014 and the school is scheduled to open by September 2015.”

“The school will help the district accommodate the estimated 16,000 residents in the area.”

Please read the Vancity Buzz article for images and more information on the project: http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/07/new-downtown-school-revealed/

Information on the project from the VSB here: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/district-news/vsb-international-village-elementary-gets-green-light

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