Mapping, Naming, Retail History and Fun

We had a splendid meeting last night, headlined by an excellent presentation from Bruce Macdonald regarding the need for a genuine mapping of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods and, most importantly, the use of historically accurate  and functionally useful names for these neighbourhoods.

He noted, for example, that the bureaucratically-defined area of “Grandview-Woodlands” doesn’t meet either criteria.  The wide area was always called simply Grandview until an unknown civil servant added “-Woodlands” in the 1970s, and within Grandview there are a number of well-defined neighbourhoods, each of which has an historically valid name. There were lots of maps — and we love maps!

I also presented some preliminary investigations into the history of businesses on Commercial Drive from 1900 to 1999.  I am attaching a downloadable pdf of the presentation.  I’ll be happy to answer any questions about the data.These two presentations and discussions about the upcoming Community Plan created lively and interesting conversations.

Another member brought along a wonderful interior design handbook from 1907 with colour images that just leapt from the page.  Bright and crisp, it is marvelous that such ephemera has survived in such great shape.

Altogether, it was a very worthwhile meeting.