Vancouver Heritage Foundation Weekly: BC: Lumberyard of the World

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Vancouver Heritage Foundation is a registered charity supporting the conservation of heritage buildings and structures in recognition of their contribution to the city’s economy, sustainability and culture.
VPL-741-ships-loading-at-Hastings-Mill-1906
Ships Loading at Hastings Mill, 1906. VPL 741

It may be hard to imagine, if you’re standing in downtown Vancouver today, but all of the city was once a dense forest of towering trees. The forest that once blanketed Vancouver drew non-native settlement to this area and gave birth to the modern city. Saw mills along Burrard Inlet, False Creek and the Fraser River employed people from all over the world including First Nations, Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Swedish workers, creating unique communities whose legacies are evident in today’s diverse cultures though few traces of the built history remain. From a single mill on Burrard Inlet to over 15 mills producing an astounding volume of cut lumber (in one day at its height, 2 mills produced 38 miles of lumber) it’s hard to imagine the immensity of the industry here.

If you’d like to learn more, and see more archival photos, join VHF, and author and civic historian, John Atkin, Tuesday November 10th.  In the last of our Evening Lecture series for the year, John will explore the news headline that described BC as the “Lumberyard of the World” along with the history of the industry in the region and its impact on the city. Vancouver’s early sawmill products enjoyed a worldwide reputation. Our local products could be found in places as far afield as Great Britain, Egypt, South Africa and even China where there was a special order in 1881 for roof beams for the rebuilding of Beijing’s Forbidden City.

7:30-9pm, Hycroft University Women’s Club, 1489 McCrae Avenue, off the Crescent

Register Here $15, $9 students with valid ID

Each lecture earns 2 Non-Core LUs AIBC