Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Here are 18 photos that show what 'going to the game' meant in Vancouver over a century ago.

Lacrosse, cricket and rugby were all popular pastimes here.

When the weather is nice, people go play sports.

Some of them are really good and others will stop and watch them. It's a thing humans have been doing for a while now.

When Vancouver was a young town, sports were a growing pastime as people had more time for leisure. And while in the earliest days, as settlers moved into the area, there wasn't much time (or energy, in all likelihood) for big games, sporting culture grew here as it did across North America.

These photos catch some of that lifestyle. Games we all know now existed back then (though rule tweeks have occurred in the ensuing years). Popular in the 1880s to 1920s in Vancouver were lacrosse, baseball, tennis, rugby and cricket, reflecting influences from Eastern Canada, the USA and United Kingdom.

While initially an amateur pursuit locally, professional teams were founded, notably the New Westminster Salmonbellies, who dominated the lacrosse world for the better part of a decade.

What all the photos show are people out enjoying the game, be they players or fans.