The 50 Year Struggle To Get A Library in Grandview


It was during 1950 that the Grandview Chamber of Commerce took up the issue of a lack of a library in Grandview. The need for a library in the district had been recognized as far back as the 1920s, and a site on the northwest corner of 3rd and Commercial was selected and purchased by the City. In December 1929, the municipal election included a plebiscite for $200.000 for five branch libraries including one in Grandview. However, the library funding fell short of the required three-fifths majority by just 51 votes. The plebiscite was offered again in December 1930 and failed even more decisively, failing to meet the threshold by 598 votes on the second go-round. While a few grumbles may have been heard from time to time, the idea of having a library in Grandview essentially disappeared from public discussion for the next twenty years of depression and war.i

The discussion was revived in 1950, when the Chamber executive believed they had found a suitable site for a library on Commercial between 6th and 7th Avenues. If City Librarian Edgar S. Robinson could be persuaded to agree it was a good site, the Chamber decided that they would buy the property and hold it for that purpose. Local drugstore tycoon Louis Toban even volunteered to chair the fund-raising committee. However, the Library Board were swift to forestall any hasty action. Their strategic plan, they made clear, was to complete the ring of libraries in the outer suburbs before dealing with any inner-city issues. But not taking no for an answer, the Chamber sent Alf Higgins of the Commercial Drive Garage and Alex Holmes of the Highland Echo as a Chamber delegation to the Library Board’s regular monthly meeting in October that year. The Grandview representatives were “assured that present plans called for a branch somewhere in the area.” However, they were also firmly reminded that there was little expectation of an early start.ii

Edgar S. Robinson. Image: VPL 63195A

In February 1951, Alf Higgins appeared at the Library Board again to make further representations on behalf of the Chamber. Linking one pressing local issue with another, Higgins strongly suggested that the school board site at First & Commercial would be the perfect spot for a library. The Library Board took the proposal seriously enough to instruct the City Librarian to choose a suitable site for a Grandview Library and at the same time they approached the School Board to conclude a deal and formally asking City Council to set aside the site for them. The School Board rejected the idea on the basis that Britannia High School might need additional space in some notional future. But the Grandview Chamber didn’t give up on the idea and they sent more than one letter about it to the Library Board during the summer. They were cheered, of course, in September when the School Board officially advised City Council that the Commercial Drive frontage of the school site was now “surplus property,” especially when the City Librarian visited the property and confirmed it as the best available for his purposes. However, when the Library Board came to debate the issue later that month, they concluded that it was “difficult to determine whether this branch should be located in the Commercial Drive area or further east near Renfrew.” They decided instead to look at renting a space in the Commercial Drive area until a site could be found for a new building. iii

Not surprisingly, the Grandview Chamber of Commerce strongly disapproved of the rental idea, but what choice did they have if they wanted a library in Grandview within the foreseeable future? They immediately suggested the old “Y” building at Napier & Commercial as suitable for a library, and they also let the Library Board know of a store at Commercial & Broadway that could be had for $190 a month. In addition, the Hughes Brothers, who had run a car lot at 5th & Commercial for many years, offered their premises for sale to the Library Board for $30,000 – an offer that was refused with thanks as being “too costly.”iv

To make matters worse, in November 1951, there were indications that the Library Board was seriously considering starting construction on a branch library at 54th & Victoria rather than in Grandview. The Chamber was swiftly up in arms once again. They wrote an indignant letter to Mayor Fred Hume in which they restated their version of the history, concluding that while 54th & Victoria is to get a brand new library, “Grandview is to be fobbed off with some kind of arrangement in which the use of a rented store is proposed.” They reminded the City that “Grandview was the first of the City’s suburbs to be chosen as the location of a branch library twenty years [earlier]. Nevertheless, this service is still denied to this long-established and thickly populated community.”v

The City had also shown surprise at the School Board’s decision to refuse the available property. At the end of the year, the City Clerk wrote to the Library Board asking whether they still wanted the school site and, if so, what monies could be made available to assist with the transfer. This obliged another change of decision from the Library Board but they still managed to hedge their bets. They asked the City to keep the school site on hold “with a view to building later.” For the meantime, the Board confirmed they would put money in their 1952 estimates for the branch’s operation. It looked as if the impasse had been broken, and the Echo, no doubt speaking for the Chamber of Commerce, was clearly pleased that the end of the debate was nigh:

“The school site has been placed at the disposal of the Library Board by the City and although it is not going to be entirely clear sailing it is confidently expected that the difficulties lying in the way can be overcome. A proposal has been submitted by the Library Board involving the use of temporary buildings on this site pending the availability of sufficient money to build an adequate branch.”

As an encouragement, the Echo proposed a letter-writing campaign to get Council to set a reasonable price for the land needed by the Library

There seemed to be any number of ideas floating around, each one as “official” as the next – renting space as a solution, renting space until money could be raised for a new building, using the school site, not using the school site, and, of course, a continuance of the status quo which was no library in Grandview. Alf Higgins and Alex Holmes met once again with the Library Board in the middle of January 1952 in another attempt to get some straight answers. This time they were shown the Library Board’s draft budget which included, they were told, a figure of $25,000 that had been set aside specifically for Grandview’s Branch library. After “considerable discussion,” the Board agreed to use the First Avenue school site “if made available by City Council.” vii

The exact details are unclear to me at this distance, but there was a political game being played between City Council, the Library Board, and the School Board. I assume this to be an issue of property ownership or, at least, access to any revenues flowing from a property transaction. Whatever may have caused the lack of political will required to solve a simple urban infrastructure problem, the administrative delays in both the library and school site issues, so closely intertwined at this point, were having significant impacts in the Grandview community.

Dissatisfied with the prevarications at the civic level, the spin, and the lack of movement forward on their various issues, the Chamber of Commerce decided to up the ante, calling for a mass meeting on Sunday 10th February at the Grandview Theatre. viii

The public meeting was not to be about the library, specifically, nor the school site, though they were issues clamouring most loudly for attention. They were just two amongst several serious issues of failing infrastructure across the neighbourhood, there were questions about transit, and the parents with children at Britannia were equally fed up with the lack of attention to their school’s needs. It was a perfect storm and the timing was right for the public to let off some steam.ix

It was quite a night with nearly a thousand residents crammed into the Grandview Theatre. Sitting at the invitee table were Alderman Archie Proctor, Alderwoman Sprott, City Librarian Edgar S. Robinson and Arnold Webster of the Parks Board. Proctor gave the opening speech in which he paraded the cost of infrastructure and services, noting that these could only be achieved via local improvement taxes. However, he did support using the school site for the library branch which could be handled through general revenues. Mrs. Sprott didn’t have a lot to say but she agreed, as the City Council representative on the Library Board, to support the establishment of a Grandview Library. Grandview was, she promised, “on our library map.”

Ald. Sprott was followed by Librarian Edgar Robinson who said, according to the Echo, that a branch library in Grandview was “long overdue”. The other papers reported him saying that Grandview had always enjoyed the best of library facilities because they were so close to the Central Library and really needed nothing more. However, he confirmed that he had $22,500 in his 1952 budget for “a pilot branch”, perhaps using rented facilities. The real issue, he said, was whether Commercial Drive was too far west to service the entire Grandview district.x

At around this same time, the Chamber of Commerce was actively assisting the re-formation of the Grandview Rate-Payers Association. Their organizational meeting was just a week after the mass meeting and more than one hundred residents came along to offer their support to the new group. It was at this meeting that most people learned that City Council had ordered the Library Board to cut $140,000 from its budget estimates. The meeting unanimously demanded that the $22,500 for Grandview’s branch library be excluded from any such cuts. However, the hopes of the new executive were quickly dashed when the City Council Finance Committee, sitting under Alderman George Miller, stripped the Grandview branch library from the library estimates. The Finance Committee also stopped work on the branch planned at Victoria & 54th in an effort, probably, to counter Commercial Drive’s obvious complaints that they had been picked on once again and were to be “fobbed off” with something less than they needed.xi

“Grandview residents are utterly disgusted and discouraged,” was the response of the Echo’s A.G. Holmes. “A library has been close to our hearts for twenty years, and once again we have been side-tracked.”xii

The Grandview Chamber of Commerce’s AGM was set for 20th March, and the meeting provided a useful excuse to air a lot of grievances, not least of which was the library failure. “We’re not going to stand by and see our appropriation slashed from the civic budget to make way for a much larger library in another area,” announced Syd Boawman as he was re-elected as President. Desperate lobbying finally got Council to reinstate $60,000 to the Library Board estimates and Alderman Miller made it clear he expected some of that money would be set aside for the Grandview branch. For Bowman, this apparent change of heart proved that “nothing is impossible.”xiii

However, the stalling continued and Bowman on behalf of the Chamber found himself facing the Library Board again in April. He reported back that he had presented the Board with a number of possibilities that they should consider, For example, it might be possible to buy the old Bank of Commerce Building on the north-east corner of First and Commercial which was due to be demolished that summer. The building could then be moved across the street to the school site. However, he was obliged to admit that “no commitments [were] made by the Board.” This wasn’t good enough and on 15th May, the full CoC meeting agreed to send a “forceful letter” to the Library Board with a copy to City Council. xiv

Shortly after, the Library Board submitted a new budget estimate that, once again, did not include a branch in Grandview. Ald. Miller declared himself “incensed” at the Board’s refusal to follow Council’s instructions. He ordered the Library Board to include Grandview in its plans or lose $15,000 from its budget. A Chamber of Commerce delegation met with the Library Board a day or so afterwards. Perhaps not surprisingly, they found no sympathy at the Board who resented “what it considers to be the dictatorial attitude” of City Council. The Board members were “loud in their protestations” that they should be allowed to manage their own budget as they saw fit. Meeting with City Council the following week, the Board claimed that Grandview had never been promised a branch library, that the residents of Grandview were already well served because they lived so close to the Main Library, and besides, they said, Grandview was becoming “industrialized” and thus didn’t deserve a library.xv

None of that went down well. The Chamber’s Syd Bowman pointed out that several promises had been made about a library, most recently at the mass meeting; that Robinson himself had come to Grandview on several occasions ostensibly to choose a site; and that the Library Board themselves had originally included $25,000 in their budget for the Grandview Branch. Bowman said that he and the others who had worked hard to keep the branch library project alive felt cheated and misled by the Library Board. The Chamber’s complaints were supported by the Grandview Ratepayers who wrote to City Council denouncing Librarian Robinson and calling for his removal. After reviewing the history, the Ratepayers said, “no conclusion could be arrived at other than that Mr. Robinson, from the very start of discussions on the matter, had no intentions of authorizing a branch library, or of making any effort to cooperate with the residents of Grandview.” The Council sided with Grandview and unanimously voted to reduce the Library Board’s budget for the year by $15,000. That may have made them all feel good, but, it brought a branch library no closer. xvi

It was suggested around this time that old Army huts might be used as temporary branch library buildings until money for a more permanent building could be arranged. Renting the now-closed Crystal Dairy space at 2nd & Commercial was also discussed. All this seemed like so much more delaying tactics and the Chamber felt obliged to write a “forceful” letter to the Library Board, copied to City Council reciting the history “of broken promises by the Library Board.” Soon after, a joint delegation from the Chamber and the Ratepayers – Syd Bowman, Alf Higgins, Jack Leadbetter and Alex Holmes – met with the Library Board once again to see what could be done. The Board agreed that, while “promise” was too strong, Commercial Drive had somehow been led to expect a library. Therefore, if the Chamber and its allies could get the Council to re-instate the $15,000 and add more, then maybe something could be worked out. The Library Board then proposed to City Council that, for $17,000, they could open a “pilot branch” in Grandview for a couple of weeks, and for $27,000 they could keep it open for six months. There were alarmist pronouncements that the entire library system was at risk if budgets were not restored. The Council took the proposal under advisement. xvii

Not wanting to let the matter be left unattended, a mass meeting was called by the Ratepayers the following month which brought together members from the Ratepayers, the Chamber, the Lions and the Legion to an evening rally at the school site on Commercial by First. Chaired by Harry Rankin, the meeting consisted of “speaker after speaker” who “lambasted the Council and other civic bodies”. It was a fine evening for an outdoor meeting and a lot of people managed to let off a lot of steam. At a later meeting, Alderman Cornett confirmed that City Council was sympathetic to Grandview’s library needs and complained that the policy of the Library Board was, in his opinion, “in direct opposition to the wishes of the public.” But there the matter rested for yet more months.xviii

As the fall season of organization meetings began late in 1952, Echo reported “some evidence of impatience.” Dick Smith and A.G. Holmes were deputed to meet members of the Library Board but nothing seems to have come of it. At the “well attended” Ratepayers’ meeting that same week, the members, incensed at the Library Board’s continued intransigence, decided to prepare a house-to-house petition-signing campaign. They also intended to sell memberships during the same visit. There was hope they could break through the 1,000-member mark by the end of the year. Also in the middle of October, Syd Bowman reported that City Council had decided to hold the school site for library use until February 1953. If the Library Board hadn’t come through by then, the whole block would be put up for commercial development. The Library Board didn’t need the delay. At the beginning of November, they officially relinquished any interest in the school site. In the meanwhile, the Ratepayers’ petition had attracted thousands of signatures. When it was presented to the Board in December, it was accepted with something of a shrug. They were sure Grandview’s problems could be dealt with, but certainly not until the new Central Library had been selected and built.xix

They didn’t know it then, but this new excuse would be but the beginning of a further twenty-year delay.

A year later, in August 1953, the City released its five-year plan with a budget of $64 million. It included $170,000 for library buildings in Grandview and Fraserview. The Echo liked the idea of the library, of course, but, as the business organ it was, it called the city’s overall budget figure “astronomical” and demanded that it be halved to save the taxpayer. As the political negotiations continued at Council, the plan’s budget was indeed drastically reduced, but the final reductions included the library funding.xx

In the following year, 1954, there was some talk that a Grandview library could be combined with a new Social Services Administration building. But in the end the requirements of the two organizations just weren’t similar enough and the matter was dropped.Nine months later, in January 1955, it was rumored that City Librarian Robinson was now in favor of a branch library for Grandview, and that he had already surveyed the old BCER property at 6th & Commercial. However, in the following June, the Library Board quietly purchased three lots at 13th & Commercial for $4,785, but no work was contemplated on them until the new Central Library was completed. xxi

In March 1956, the Library Board decided to service Grandview with a mobile library service once a week. The Echo editorialized:

“Now we are told that Grandview is to be fobbed off again with a van filled with books that is to visit the district once a week … Never before has the faith of the Grandview people been more callously disregarded.”xxii

When complaints were raised, the Chamber of Commerce was reminded by both City Council and the City Planner that the Library Board had a property available at 13th & Commercial they could use. But that wasn’t good enough: The Chamber members were adamant that 13th Avenue was too far south and they wrote back to the Library Board throwing their support behind using the city-owned lot at 6th & Commercial. However, it was all for naught: by July 1956, the Library Board was reported to have said that Grandview didn’t deserve a library because the district’s use of the mobile library had been below expectations.xxiii

Sixteen months later, in November 1957, the City Engineer’s Five Year Plan was released to the public. It included $150,000 for a library in Grandview; but again, no action was taken. This Plan was still being talked about in the early 1960s, along with a suggestion from the Grandview Ratepayers for using the now-closed postal depot at Commercial & Broadway.xxiv Finally, in May 1962, the Library Board formally decided not to build in Grandview but to support a library in Mount Pleasant instead. xxv

Not surprisingly, this immediately became a major issue in Grandview. The Highland Echo produced another war-sized headline: “Board Says No to Grandview Branch Library.” At a special library issue meeting of the Grandview Ratepayers on 14th May, which failed “to draw many local organization representatives,” the group decided to go over the head of the Library Board and directly petition City Council. They arranged a meeting on 19th June and Council agreed to “discuss the issue” with the Library Board. These discussions obliged the Library director to admit that “the mobile library unit does its best of all business at the Commercial & Broadway stop.” But there were still no plans for a library in Grandview. xxvi

In a major report on social welfare, health, and education in Grandview issued by the Woodland Park Area Resources Council (WPARC) several years later in February 1965, one of the recommendations was “that the Public Library consider the establishment of branch in the Area.” The report was ignored, as usual, by those in charge. However, two and a half years further on, at the WPARC AGM in October 1967, Jack Burch reported that “prospects for a library in the area were encouraging. The Library Board had commissioned a market research to determine the most desirable location for a branch.” Dr. Selwyn Miller proposed a library be included in the Britannia Community Centre which was then being planned, but the WPARC committee felt that was too long to wait. But wait is what they would still need to do. xxvii

Another year on, and the situation seemed finally to be coming to a head. Yet again, the Library Board had looked at the old Safeway site at First & Commercial, but decided it was too large for their needs. However, they had formally begun collecting books for a Grandview Library, while the City Properties Department were looking for a suitable property. By February 1969, the Library Board had completed negotiations with a developer who was erecting a building in the 1000-block of Commercial Drive: the Library would move into that space as soon as it was completed. In June 1969, bulldozers began clearing the lot at 1016 Commercial and in March 1970, finally, Grandview’s own public library opened.xxviii

In February 1968, Burch reported to GWAC that the Library Board was collecting books for the new branch library and the Properties Dept of City Hall was investigating the area between First and Venables for a suitable site.”but further information was hard to come by until September:xxix

“Grandview’s branch library, promised by City Council and the Library Board last winter, came another step closer to being fact this week when it was learned that the Library Board is negotiating an agreement to have a building erected for them on the east side of the 1000-block Commercial Drive … The Board has been collecting books for the new branch for about a year.”xxx

There was a brief delay before the developer of the property was ready to begin , but by June 1969 bulldozers were clearing the lot, and in March 1970 the Grandview Branch library finally opened for business. xxxi

After a forty-year fight, Grandview’s library continued in the squat little storefront on Commercial for just five years, until 12th July 1975. A month later, on 23rd August, a brand-new purpose-built library opened as part of the Britannia Centre.

i   Plebiscite results: Province, Sun 1930 Dec 11, p.1. The site suggested in the 1920s was Block 73, lots 13-15. It was said the City sold the lots in 1930 “when the City was hard up”: Alf Higgins quoted in Sun 1952 Feb 11, p.18

ii  13 Oct 1950 in CVA, Library Board Minutes, MCR 22 reel 1; Highland Echo 1950 May 25, June 1, Oct 19. The suggested site for the library was probably Block 153A Lots N-R.

iii       CVA, Library Board Minutes, 1951 Mar 9, Sept 28, MCR 22 reel 1; Grandview Chamber of Commerce to City Clerk, 14 Jul and 21 Sep 1951 in CVA, City Clerks Papers, PR20, 19-F-3, file 10, Correspondence “G” 1951. The primary content of the letter in July was to register the Chamber’s protest at the selection of a site west of Granville for the new Central library; Highland Echo 1951 Feb 15, 22; “surplus”: Highland Echo 1951 Sep 6; Librarian visits: Highland Echo 1951 Nov 1. The full story of the 1st and Commercial property can be found at Battle For The School Site, 1940-1955 (

iv       1951 Dec 14, CVA, Library Board Minutes, MCR 22 reel 1; Highland Echo 1951 Nov 15; Librarian Robinson told a later CoC delegation that he had personally inspected the Y building and it was not suitable: 1952 Jan 18, CVA, Library Board Minutes, MCR 22 Reel 1.

v       Grandview Chamber of Commerce to Mayor Fred Hume, 15 Nov 1951 in CVA, City Clerks Papers, PR20, 19-F-3, file 10, Correspondence “G” 1951

vi       City to Library Board: 9 Nov 1951, CVA, Library Board Minutes, MCR 22 reel 1The City later wrote to the Library Board noting that, because the site belonged to the School Board, the City was unable to reserve it as requested: 14 Dec 1951, CVA, Library Board Minutes, MCR 22 reel; Highland Echo 1952 Jan 10

vii       1952 Jan 18, CVA, Library Board Minutes, MCR 22 reel 1; Highland Echo 1952 Jan 24; Sun 19, p.21

viii       Highland Echo 1952 Jan 24; Organizational details of the dinner at CVA, GCOC, AM 368, 552-C-5, file 4, Minutes 1952-1958, 17 Jan 1952; “delegations”: Highland Echo 1952 Jan 17

ix       Highland Echo 1952 Feb7

x       Sun 1952 Feb 11, p.13; Highland Echo 1952 Feb 14. The Echo claimed 1,000 people and both the Province and the Sun reported “more than 800”; Robinson later complained that he had been misquoted about “promising” a branch library to Grandview. Ald. Anna Sprott confirmed his version: 14 Feb 1952, CVA, Library Board Minutes, MCR 22 reel 1.

xi       Rate-Payers: Sun 1952 Feb 26, p.28; Highland Echo Feb 28; “fobbed off”: Grandview Chamber of Commerce to Mayor Fred Hume, 15 Nov 1951 in CVA, City Clerks Papers, PR20, 19-F-3, file 10, Correspondence “G” 1951; Echo 20 Mar 1952. The March 1952 meeting of the Chamber had directed that a letter be written complaining about the Victoria Drive branch: CVA, GCOC, 552-C-5, file 4, Minutes 1952-1957, 20 Mar 1952.

xii  Sun 1952 March 19, p.21

xiii  Province 1952 March 20, p.23; Sun 21, p.10; 24, p.6; 31, p.7; Highland Echo 1952 Apr 3; Vancouver News-Herald Apr 2, p.3

xiv   Sun 1952 Feb 15, p. 39; Apr 17. p.23; Province Mar 16, p.25; Grandview Chamber of Commerce Papers, CVA Add Ms 368, Vol 1, File 4, Minutes 1952-58

xv       Province 1952 Apr 2, p.26; Highland Echo 24, May 1. It should be noted that the Library Board minutes show none of the disputatiotiouness. They record the attendance of delegation from the Chamber and the Ratepayers at which Syd Bowman suggested using the old Commerce Bank building or the old school building itself: 16 Apr 1952, CVA, Library Board Minutes, MCR 22 reel 1

xvi       Grandview Ratepayers Association to City Council, 13 May 1952 in CVA, City Clerks Papers, PR20, 20-A-5, Correspondence “G” 1952; Vancouver News-Herald 1952 Apr 23, p.3; Highland Echo May 8;

xvii  Province 1952 May 1, p.21; 17, p.6; 27, p.11; Sun May 1, p.10; Vancouver News-Herald 7, p.3; “army huts”: Highland Echo 1952 Apr 3; “Bank of Commerce”: Highland Echo 1952 Apr 24; Letter: CVA, GCOC, AM 368, 552-C-5, file 4, Minutes 1952-1958, 15 May 1952; Meeting: Highland Echo 1952 May 22. The Library Board had also looked into the cost of renting the Crystal Dairy offices that were about to become vacant: CVA, GCOC, AM 368, 552-C-5, file 4, Minutes 1952-1958, 17 Apr 1952; “pilot”: Highland Echo 1952 May 29

xviii       Province 1952 Jun 10, p.7; Sun 12, p. 3; 21, p.47; Highland Echo Jun 26 The meeting was on 20 June. The Ratepayers had invited City Council to the meeting: Grandview Ratepayers Associations to City Council, 10 Jun 1952 in CVA, City Clerks Papers, PR20, 20-A-5, Correspondence “G” 1952; “Council”: Highland Echo 1952 July 31

xix  Province 1952, Oct 30, p.23; 31, p.42; Dec 4, p.38; Sun Dec 4, p.8; Highland Echo 1952 Sep 18, Oct 16, 23, Nov 6, Dec 11; CVA, GCOC, AM 386, 552-C-5, file 4, Minutes 1952-1958, 11 Sep 1952

xx       Vancouver News-Herald 1953 Aug 12, p.9; Highland Echo 1953, Aug 13,20 Oct 1

xxi   4th February 1954; 25th February 1954: Grandview Chamber of Commerce Papers, CVA Add Ms 368, Vol 1, File 4, Minutes 1952-58. Highland Echo 1955 Jan 20, Jun 9; Province 1955 Mar 2 p.12 The correspondence between Robinson and the City planner’s office regarding the purchase is at 18 Feb, 18 Mar 1954, 24 Jan, 17 Feb, 5 May 1955 in CVA, City Planning Dept, PR648, 924-B-4, file 9, Library General 1954-1967. The figure of $4,785 is from Edgar Robinson to City Land Supervisor, 16 Jun 1955 in ibid, 924-B-5, file 1, Grandview Branch Library, 1955-1967. See also G. Sutton Brown to Grandview Chamber of Commerce, 25 May 1956 in CVA, GCOC, AM 368, 552-C-5, file 10, Correspondence 1954

xxii       Echo 22 Mar 1956

xxiii  “Commercial & 13th”: Highland Echo 1956 Jun 7; Grandview Chamber of Commerce to Town Planning Commission, 22 May 1956 in CVA, City Planning Dept, PR648, 924-B-5, file 1, Grandview Branch Library 1955-1967; Sutton Brown to Grandview Chamber of Commerce, 25 May 1956 in CVA, GCOC, AM 368, 552-C-5, file 13, Correspondence 1956. 17th July 1956: Grandview Chamber of Commerce Papers, CVA Add Ms 368, Vol 1, File 4, Minutes 1952-58, Support for 6th: Highland Echo 1956 Jun 7; “below expectations”: This was noted in AGH’s column in Highland Echo 1956 Jul 5; they probably chose to forget that the Chamber itself had suggested a streetcar-library for the outer suburbs in 1941: Sun 1941 Jun 12, p.17; Province p.7; Jul 15, p.5

xxiv       Highland Echo 1957 Nov 14; 1961 Oct 19; 1963 Feb 28

xxv  Highland Echo 1957 Nov 14; 1961 Oct 19; 1962 May 10; 1963 Feb 28

xxvi  Highland Echo 1962 May 10, 17 May, Jun 21, Aug 16

xxvii  “A Study of the Woodland Park Area: Recommendations”, Feb 1965: CVA, Addl Ms 981, GWAC Materials, 599-A-5 File 8. This report is discussed in more detail in “The Acronyms of Activism” in the present volume; GWARC AGM Minutes, 25 Oct 1967: CVA, Addl Ms 981, GWAC Materials, 599-A-5 File 9

xxviii  GWARC AGM Minutes, 25 Oct 1967, 16 Feb, 15 March 1968: CVA, Addl Ms 981, GWAC Materials, 599-A-5 File 9; Highland Echo 1968 Sep 12, 1969 Feb 20, Jun 19.

xxix  GWAC Minutes 16 Feb 1968; Executive Committee Minutes, 15 Mar 1968: CVA Addl Mss 981, GWAC Materials, 599-A-5, File 9

xxx  Echo 12 Sep 1968

xxxi  Echo 20 Feb 1969 Feb 20; Jun 19. See Echo editorial on 3 April 1969 for their history of the library controversy.

2 thoughts on “The 50 Year Struggle To Get A Library in Grandview

  1. I remember Hastings Branch librarians moaning in the early 1960s of having to go and open the “closet” that was the Commercial Drive library. It had short hours and days.

    There was the roving Bookmobile working out of Collingwood Branch as a short-term solution.

    And the Britannia Library had to serve 3 groups, Brit students, the public and very young children.
    It seems thin these days. And the meeting rooms above and below are used. But now it is not as busy as it was.
    It is almost good-enough art show in the south east corner.

    John Glague, planner, was trying to include so many things in the first multi-plex centre with the additions to the old Britannia campus, the “senior” (grades to 7 to 12) high school in the area.


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