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Photos: Here's what Vancouver looked like the first year it existed

The City of Vancouver was founded in 1886.

The City of Vancouver (formally founded in 1886) was dominated by a few things.

Trains, and getting a railroad from Eastern Canada out to the new province's west coast (B.C. joined confederation in 1871 on the promise of a rail connection with the rest of the country) were one. The lumber industry was massive; Hastings Mill and other lumber operations were central to the economy of the young town.

And then there was the Great Vancouver Fire on June 13, 1886, which destroyed much of the quickly growing town (which had been built literally and figuratively from lumber).

The population in Vancouver hadn't yet boomed in 1886 and '87, but it was on the move. In 1881, it's estimated 1,000 people lived in what would become Vancouver a few years later (that estimate includes areas in Gastown, Downtown, the West Side, Mount Pleasant, Strathcona, and nearby). By the turn of the century, there were 20,000 residents.

During Vancouver's first year, it looked very much like a frontier town out of a film. There were wooden plank roads, horses tied up out front of buildings, and the remnants of the forest that once stood littered around the city, either due to the lumber industry or because stumps take a lot of effort to move.

In 1887 one of the biggest events in Vancouver's history happened, as the railway came to town. Canada Pacific had originally planned to make Port Moody its terminus, but updated plans and went all the way to Vancouver, changing the course of the region forever. The first trains from the east arrived from Montreal in Port Moody on July 4, 1886, but the first train to arrive in Vancouver from the east arrived May 23, 1887.