Created during grunt gallery’s 2018 Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen Digital Storytelling workshops with Mount Pleasant residents. Mount Pleasant Heritage Group’s video highlights our popular and historic area of Vancouver, also known as the “Heritage Heart.” Please enjoy! and share with friends and lovers of heritage.
Once again it was great to chat with so many heritage enthusiasts at the recent Main Street Car Free Festival. We had a steady stream of people from both Mount Pleasant and beyond dropping by and expressing their love of our historic neighbourhood. They also expressed concern about its future. Word is going around that a couple of developers have bought up many key buildings in the Heritage Heart, which is home to our distinctive neighbourhood high street, triangle block and many of our much loved small and independent businesses. This vibrant shopping and gathering spot is clearly cherished not only by the local community but by the city at large and folks want it protected.
We want to again express our appreciation for all of the encouragement we received to continue our work of celebrating and advocating on behalf of Mount Pleasant’s rich and cherished heritage. Mount Pleasant Heritage Lives!
Many thanks to Bruce Macdonald for the maps from his popular book Vancouver A Visual History, to Neil Wyles of the MPBIA for spot organization and to the Quebec Manor Co-op for the loan of furniture. Eric Phillips of Grandview Heritage Group not only lent us equipment and helped with set up and take down but he delivered everything in his 1947 vintage chevy truck.
The Heritage Lounge crew this year was Alyssa, Christine, Danielle, Flora and Jennifer.
It was great to again meet so many heritage enthusiasts at the recent Mural Festival/MPBIA Street Party and to have such keen interest in our displays and take away materials about Mount Pleasant’s history.
Our colouring station with pages created by local artists of key treasured buildings was non-stop busy and we also had one by Priscilla Yu of her mural done this year.
We very much appreciate all of the encouragement we received to continue our work of celebrating and advocating on behalf of Mount Pleasant’s rich and cherished heritage. Mount Pleasant’s heritage lives!
Many thanks to Bruce Macdonald for the loan of his maps and for being our in-house historian, Stan of Rath Art Supplies for the loan of an easel and his ongoing support, Charmaine Carpenter and Neil Wyles of the MPBIA for booth support and the loan of Neil’s tent, Pitt Meadows Museum for the loan of their tent and the Quebec Manor Co-op for the loan of furniture.
The Heritage Lounge crew this year was Christine, Colin, Danielle, Flora and Jennifer with lead-in support from Alyssa and take down help from Erin and Laura of the Quebec Manor.
Here are a couple of highlights from our discussion of Mount Pleasant’s early days. This discussion took place at our April monthly meeting and we used our Mount Pleasantries as a guide. A previous post, Brewery Creek Ravine As A Playground At The Turn Of 1900, is another.
Mount Pleasant was named in 1888 after a small Irish village outside Dublin – the birthplace of the wife of Henry Valentine Edmonds. In 1869 Edmonds, the clerk of the municipal council in New Westminster, had acquired District Lot 200A, the wilderness south of False Creek in the future Mount Pleasant. “He was speculating that Vancouver’s unusually fine natural harbour would someday become home to the terminal of a transcontinental railway, since he had witnessed first hand the pandemonium that ensued when San Francisco had been declared a transcontinental railway terminal.”
By 1888, a year after the arrival of the railway, Dr. Israel Powell, one of the people who had negotiated British Columbia’s confederation with Canada in 1871, was a co-owner of the lot. “The first street in Mount Pleasant had originally been an ancient First Nations and animal trail, now known as Kingsway…the super-Canadian and Ontario-born Powell named all his streets in Mount Pleasant after Canada’s provinces to create a representation of the map of Canada…The centre street of Vancouver’s grid system is Powell’s Ontario Street, in the 000 hundred block going east-west, probably since Ontario is known as central Canada…The western Canadian Streets are west of Ontario Street, and the eastern Canadian streets are east of it.”
Information, quotes and map from the ‘Mount Pleasant Historic Context Statement‘ (pages 2 – 5) written by Bruce Macdonald in 2008 for Donald Luxton and Associates and the City of Vancouver.
Gladys Schwesinger describing her childhood years playing in the Brewery Creek ravine:
The above quote is from “Recollections of early Vancouver in my childhood, 1893-1912” by Dr. Gladys C. Schwesinger (Vancouver City Archives PAM 1960 – 29 – Recollections…)
You can read the full quote in the Mount Pleasant Historic Context Statement on pages 13 & 14.
Map highlighting Brewery Creek that was put together from smaller sections of the 1897 – 1901 Fire Insurance Map by Claude Douglas. He founded the Brewery Creek Historical Society in 1988 with Charles Christopherson. The map and colouring are courtesy of Bruce Macdonald, who was a member of the society.
Please join us for a discussion about Mount Pleasant’s early history at our next MPHG meeting this Monday, April 13th at 7 pm. We will use our Mount Pleasantries as a guide. They are based on the Mount Pleasant Historic Context Statement written by Bruce Macdonald for Donald Luxton & Associates and the City of Vancouver. The Statement is a history of Mount Pleasant written in 2008 as part of the process of creating the Mount Pleasant Community Plan.
Our agenda is open and will also include updates on other MPHG projects including our Treasured Buildings Sign Project.
Our meetings take place at grunt gallery – 350 East 2nd Avenue/Unit 116