Vancouver in the 1910s: History and Real Estate

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Post-Victorian era Vancouver was a bustling young city, filled with much promise and growth. A lot of what was started during the 1910s led to the city we know today.

 

Building modern Vancouver

In the early 20th century, Vancouver was marked by numerous milestones brought about by industrialization, war, and the never-ending quest for improvement. The booming economy, thanks to a boost in trade and industrialization, helped Vancouver construct its modern city, from its first skyscraper in 1910, the Dominion Building, to the completion of the Canadian National Railway station in 1919. 

 

Innovation wasn’t just limited to infrastructure. There was a hunger for higher education, to create a space to hone the minds of Canada’s future. In 1915, the first campus of the University of British Columbia opened in Vancouver. Today, UBC is North America’s top university with the most international students, consistently ranking among the top 20 public universities in the world.  

 

But in all this creation, there was a lot of destruction, too. Britain entered World War I in 1914, dragging Canada – and Vancouver – along with it. This led to the bloodiest conflict in Canadian history, taking the lives of 60,000 Canadians.  Back in Vancouver, the war effort rebuilt the city into “spaces of militarism and patriotism,” as the town’s historical business district became part of various home front activities. 

 

Through all this change, Canada emerged from the war a stronger, more independent nation. 

 

Vancouver’s growth spurt

Vancouver has been growing for quite some time, but the Panama Canal’s completion in 1914 boosted the economy even further. It shortened voyages between British Columbia and Europe, creating a boom in Vancouver’s grain exports. This increased trade naturally led to increased workers, with the BC population growing from 180,000 to 400,000 between 1901 to 1911. Vancouver had the highest number, accounting for 111,000 people. 

 

Celebrities in Vancouver

Because Vancouver was a port city, it was usually the first stop for many travellers worldwide. There’s even a record of its famous visitors here. Among them were up-and-coming comedians Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel, who started their career touring North America with Fred Karno’s entertainment troupe in the early 1910s.  

 

But perhaps one of the most buzzed-about visits at the time was from Anna Pavlova, the world-famous ballerina. The city would never forget her first visit in 1910 when her performances at the Opera House blew the audiences away. Pavlova loved Vancouver, too, and she came back to the city for two more visits. 

 

Vancouver’s dark past

But even with a vibrant culture where people came and went, not everyone was made welcome. In 1914, over 350 Indian passengers aboard the Japanese steamship Komagata Maru were denied entry to Vancouver. One of the most notable events of Canada’s racist past, it serves as a reminder that equality has always been a difficult goal to achieve. 

 

The Komagata Maru incident has paved the way for South Asian immigrants to demand for their rights and create a space for themselves in Canadian history. By 2016, South Asians are one of the two largest visible minority groups in BC

 

Making a home in 1910s Vancouver

For those who were fortunate to call Vancouver home, there were a variety of house styles that were popular in the time period. These houses usually had a boxy building shape, an attached front porch, and front gabled low-pitched roofs.  

 

View Property Listings From The 1910s

$1,688,000 R2888300

3524 Quebec Street, Vancouver

RE/MAX Select Properties

  • 4 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,272 sqft
  • 1,772 lot size

$3,875,000 R2888082

2019 W 36th Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Select Realty

  • 4 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 2,951 sqft
  • 6,000 lot size

$5,280,000 R2887872

4184 Cypress Street, Vancouver

LDG Realty

  • 3 bed
  • 5 bath
  • 4,069 sqft
  • 9,000 lot size

$1,550,000 R2887630

2447 E 41st Avenue, Vancouver

Century 21 Coastal Realty Ltd.

  • 4 bed
  • 1 bath
  • 1,440 sqft
  • 3,820 lot size

$3,368,000 R2887489

3350 W 38th Avenue, Vancouver

Grand Central Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 3,510 sqft
  • 5,475 lot size

$3,300,000 R2887472

1501 Atlas Lane, Vancouver

RE/MAX City Realty

  • 2 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,951 sqft
  • 4,221 lot size

$1,849,900 R2887335

2209 Graveley Street, Vancouver

Stilhavn Real Estate Services

  • 3 bed
  • 1 bath
  • 2,360 sqft
  • 3,142 lot size

$1,999,000 R2887191

2440 E 29th Avenue, Vancouver

Multiple Realty Ltd.

  • 3 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 1,716 sqft
  • 6,022 lot size

$4,329,000 R2885507

5379 Elm Street, Vancouver

Macdonald Realty

  • 3 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 3,023 sqft
  • 10,725 lot size

$4,680,000 R2884340

1567 W 28th Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Crest Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 3,719 sqft
  • 8,243 lot size

$1,499,000 R2882877

3558 Turner Street, Vancouver

RE/MAX Crest Realty

  • 0 bed
  • 0 bath
  • 1,208 sqft
  • 3,498 lot size

$1,850,000 R2882312

620 Slocan Street, Vancouver

Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Ltd.

  • 6 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,410 sqft
  • 4,026 lot size

$2,400,000 R2881897

2755 W 11th Avenue, Vancouver

Pathway Executives Realty Inc.

  • 3 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 2,128 sqft
  • 4,024 lot size

$1,699,800 R2882017

5066 Prince Edward Street, Vancouver

Oakwyn Realty Ltd.

  • 1 bed
  • 1 bath
  • 500 sqft
  • 3,360 lot size

$4,388,000 R2880584

1307 W 33rd Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Real Estate Services

  • 4 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 5,042 sqft
  • 9,500 lot size

$4,550,000 R2880187

2269 W 36th Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Select Properties

  • 6 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 4,140 sqft
  • 8,844 lot size

$4,795,000 R2877334

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Engel & Volkers Vancouver

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  • 3 bath
  • 3,275 sqft
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$1,998,000 R2876369

3992 Victoria Drive, Vancouver

RE/MAX Heights Realty

  • 4 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 2,004 sqft
  • 5,026 lot size

$4,599,000 R2875879

3522 W 47th Avenue, Vancouver

WESTSIDE Tom Gradecak Realty

  • 7 bed
  • 5 bath
  • 4,540 sqft
  • 13,822 lot size

$2,299,000 R2875826

3444 Heather Street, Vancouver

Sutton Group-West Coast Realty

  • 6 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 2,034 sqft
  • 2,623 lot size

$3,500,000 R2875454

4407 Nanaimo Street, Vancouver

Royal LePage West Real Estate Services

  • 7 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 2,817 sqft
  • 6,039 lot size

$5,600,000 R2875030

6376 Collingwood Street, Vancouver

FaithWilson Christies International Real Estate

  • 4 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 4,240 sqft
  • 19,576 lot size

$1,739,000 R2874241

4184 Penticton Street, Vancouver

RE/MAX City Realty

  • 4 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 1,821 sqft
  • 3,300 lot size

$2,998,000 R2873491

2130 W 47th Avenue, Vancouver

eXp Realty

  • 4 bed
  • 6 bath
  • 3,508 sqft
  • 5,965 lot size

$2,490,000 R2873026

2936 W 41st Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Crest Realty

  • 4 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 2,165 sqft
  • 4,455 lot size

$2,048,000 R2873019

3539 Hull Street, Vancouver

Sutton Group-West Coast Realty

  • 4 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 1,450 sqft
  • 4,270 lot size

$2,899,000 R2872314

32 E 17th Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Select Realty

  • 7 bed
  • 6 bath
  • 3,934 sqft
  • 4,906 lot size

$3,999,000 R2871646

6150 Cypress Street, Vancouver

Unilife Realty Inc.

  • 4 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 2,350 sqft
  • 8,314 lot size

$2,399,000 R2868766

3830 W 16th Avenue, Vancouver

Laboutique Realty

  • 3 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 1,726 sqft
  • 3,630 lot size

$3,000,000 R2866382

2365 Renfrew Street, Vancouver

Pacific Evergreen Realty Ltd.

  • 0 bed
  • 0 bath
  • 1,972 sqft
  • 1 lot size

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