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

$2,298,000 R2853763

5596 Carnarvon Street, Vancouver

Sutton Group - 1st West Realty

  • 6 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 3,074 sqft
  • 4,618 lot size

$2,498,000 R2853573

936 E 17th Avenue, Vancouver

Oakwyn Realty Ltd.

  • 6 bed
  • 5 bath
  • 3,466 sqft
  • 4,026 lot size

$2,280,000 R2852860

2890 W 6th Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Select Properties

  • 6 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 1,790 sqft
  • 3,789 lot size

$3,200,000 R2852178

3488 W 27th Avenue, Vancouver

Royal Pacific Riverside Realty Ltd.

  • 3 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 2,236 sqft
  • 5,445 lot size

$8,050,000 R2850939

4691 Connaught Drive, Vancouver

Macdonald Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 5 bath
  • 5,575 sqft
  • 13,165 lot size

$1,688,000 R2850665

2815 Mcgill Street, Vancouver

Sutton Group-West Coast Realty

  • 7 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,993 sqft
  • 4,026 lot size

$7,380,000 R2849994

1649 W 29th Avenue, Vancouver

LeHomes Realty Premier

  • 6 bed
  • 5 bath
  • 4,185 sqft
  • 12,000 lot size

$2,550,000 R2849916

6141 Yew Street, Vancouver

RE/MAX Crest Realty

  • 4 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 1,600 sqft
  • 4,142 lot size

$1,480,000 R2849011

266 E 32nd Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Select Realty

  • 3 bed
  • 1 bath
  • 1,364 sqft
  • 1,922 lot size

$7,488,000 R2848651

4678 W 3rd Avenue, Vancouver

Laboutique Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 4,820 sqft
  • 11,088 lot size

$5,488,000 R2848181

4575 Alexandra Street, Vancouver

RE/MAX Crest Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 5 bath
  • 4,246 sqft
  • 9,333 lot size

$1,980,000 R2847401

5347 Knight Street, Vancouver

Royal Pacific Realty (Kingsway) Ltd.

  • 6 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 2,700 sqft
  • 3,909 lot size

$13,600,000 R2846672

4749 W 2nd Avenue, Vancouver

Angell, Hasman & Associates (Malcolm Hasman) Realty Ltd.

  • 6 bed
  • 5 bath
  • 5,615 sqft
  • 27,558 lot size

$8,350,000 R2845053

1649 Laurier Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Select Properties

  • 7 bed
  • 5 bath
  • 6,448 sqft
  • 15,000 lot size

$2,988,000 R2844354

3887 W 51st Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Select Properties

  • 8 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 2,086 sqft
  • 9,800 lot size

$2,595,000 R2842106

3868 W 10th Avenue, Vancouver

Macdonald Realty

  • 6 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 3,201 sqft
  • 4,041 lot size

$2,899,000 R2840052

2061 E 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Stilhavn Real Estate Services

  • 6 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 3,345 sqft
  • 6,039 lot size

$3,835,000 R2838478

2929 W 24th Avenue, Vancouver

Century 21 In Town Realty

  • 4 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 2,879 sqft
  • 7,575 lot size

$4,704,000 R2837407

5584 Laburnum Street, Vancouver

Macdonald Realty

  • 4 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 4,031 sqft
  • 9,150 lot size

$2,199,000 R2835776

4822 Joyce Street, Vancouver

88West Realty

  • 6 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,230 sqft
  • 3,482 lot size

$1,798,000 R2825903

2804 Graveley Street, Vancouver

Multiple Realty Ltd.

  • 7 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 2,167 sqft
  • 3,763 lot size

$6,500,000 R2824647

345 W 13th Avenue, Vancouver

Multiple Realty Ltd.

  • 0 bed
  • 0 bath
  • 5,366 sqft
  • 6,250 lot size

$5,700,000 R2824212

4246 W 12th Avenue, Vancouver

Pacific Evergreen Realty Ltd.

  • 2 bed
  • 1 bath
  • 2,543 sqft
  • 6,045 lot size

$5,500,000 R2824077

2106 W 33rd Avenue, Vancouver

Multiple Realty Ltd.

  • 4 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 1,906 sqft
  • 8,543 lot size

$2,498,000 R2822629

1495 E 27th Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX City Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 2,349 sqft
  • 4,258 lot size

$4,999,000 R2821340

2318 Macdonald Street, Vancouver

RE/MAX Select Properties

  • 6 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,321 sqft
  • 2,904 lot size

$4,888,000 R2820867

211 E 38 Avenue, Vancouver

Macdonald Realty

  • 2 bed
  • 1 bath
  • 2,079 sqft
  • 7,326 lot size

$3,737,832 R2818043

5301 Dundee Street, Vancouver

RE/MAX Crest Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,110 sqft
  • 3,513 lot size

$12,000,000 R2808797

1375 W King Edward Avenue, Vancouver

Royal Pacific Realty Corp.

  • 4 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 5,774 sqft
  • 20,000 lot size

$2,399,999 R2807434

539 E 7 Avenue, Vancouver

Oakwyn Realty Ltd.

  • 6 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,823 sqft
  • 4,026 lot size

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