One of the oldest neighbourhoods in Vancouver is the West End.
Before settlers arrived local First Nations had lived in the area for thousands of years; they were active in the area when European explorers arrived in the 1790s.
While the city started in Gastown, as it grew the West End began to be developed as an upscale neighbourhood. Some of the houses from the early 1900s still stand along the streets, like Bidwell or Nicola. It gets its name from a school built in the area in 1891 (there was a plan at one point to call the area New Liverpool).
At the same time, English Bay was a primary destination for locals, with people from across the region spending days at the beach. As Vancouver grew, streetcars were added, bringing people down Denman Street to the beach. It was that activity that drew Joe Fortes.
As the neighbourhood grew services and commercial buildings arrived, like Lord Roberts school in 1901.
In 1909 things shifted as Shaughnessy began to be developed, drawing many of the city's wealthy residents, and changing the West End's place in the city.