Vancouver's massive growth came thanks, in a big part, to the lumber that could be produced by harvesting the trees that grew in the area.
Trees from the area were huge compared to what grew pretty much anywhere in the world; California has the biggest trees in the world now, but Metro Vancouver had taller ones at one point. And the quality of the wood was well-known; for example, during WWI lumber from the area was an important part of the war effort to build planes.
In the early days of the city some of the biggest exports, literally, were B.C. Toothpicks.
This was the ironic nickname given to massive pillars of wood. At 3 feet by 3 feet by 60 feet they were about the height of a five- or six-story building, or twice as tall as Vancouver's Olympic torch.
A postcard was even printed of the massive timbers on a train.