After entering the Second World War of its own free will in September 1939, Canada had been at war for six years before V.E. (Victory in Europe) Day celebrations rocked the streets of Vancouver.
“All cities in allied countries, women, children, and men flocked out from their daily activities to begin the celebrations. Wild crowds blocked street cars as they took over the Bond Shell in front of the post office and jammed West Hastings, spilling over on to Granville St.,” reads a section of City of Vancouver's website recounting the event.
Vancouver’s 25th mayor at the time was Jonathan Webster Cornett who suggested celebrations should be tempered.
“There will be little joy in thousands of Vancouver homes where an only son, or several sons or other members of the family have given their lives to make V-Day possible,” Cornett said.
“Let us rejoice in the victory of our fighting men, but let us do so in a reasonable way, remembering those who cannot join so enthusiastically with us [those who have lost loved ones] and remembering for how much we have to be thankful,” Cornett added.
And rejoice they did, have a look at what that day looked like over three-quarters of a century ago on the streets of Vancouver.