Namely Vancouver: The Hidden History of Vancouver Place Names

Front Cover
Arsenal Pulp Press, 2001 - History - 301 pages
1 Review

Namely Vancouvertraces the fascinating origins and history of Greater Vancouver's place names—its streets, neighbourhoods, waterways, mountains, boroughs, and buildings, among others, in an illustrated historical glossary that takes you behind the ubiquitous signs and symbols, and provides a unique vantage point on the city.

For instance, Commercial Drive was originally named Park Drive, as it abutted Clark Park in East Vancouver. As part of the route of the Vancouver-New Westminster interurban railway, Park Drive attracted a lot of new businesses; so much so, that in 1912 it was renamed Commercial Drive.

There seems to be no truth to the rumour that Gassy Jack Deighton was so named for his frequent passing of wind. Rather, this instrumental figure in Vancouver's early history—the original site of his pub still forms the division between east and west streets in the city—was named for his windbag tendencies, and the legacy of this saloon keeper lives on in the name of historic Gastown.

While many of Vancouver's early surveyors, mayors, and even saloon keepers had the honour of having streets or neighbourhoods named after them, John Morton had a slightly more dubious distinction. As one of the "three greenhorns," Morton went down in history as one of Vancouver's earliest settlers. In return, one of Vancouver's shortest streets is named after him.

Lulu Island is named after Lulu Sweet, an actress with a travelling theatre company. Colonel Moody (of Port Moody fame) was smitten with Miss Lulu, and named the island, now known as Richmond, after her.

An unorthodox and revealing guide, Namely Vancouveris an ideal book for tourists and Vancouverites alike.

Includes numerous historical and contemporary B&W photographs.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2001)

Tom was born and raised in Toronto, but in 1991 took to Vancouver like a duck to Lost Lagoon. Intensely curious and largely self-educated, he has a propensity for trivia and odd facts. He lives in Vancouver's East End.

Jennifer is an educator who finds the past at least as interesting, and far more predictable, than the present.

Bibliographic information