Celebrating Heritage Week 2018

The Mount Pleasant Heritage Group celebrates heritage in our community 365 days a year…but we always join the rest of the Province the third week of February to celebrate Heritage Week in BC. Every year, organizations in the heritage sector participate in Heritage Week by organizing events that showcase local heritage and involve the public. The theme for 2018 is “Heritage Stands the Test of Time.”

This year we have created a banner that merges a historical image of Mount Pleasant with a modern day one and our theme is: Heritage Stands the Test of Time: And Stays Affordable!

The historical photo, from the City of Vancouver Archives (Major Matthews Collection -AM54-S4-: SGN 1026), looks north along Main Street from 8th Avenue and shows the west side of the 2300 block. This Heritage Week we would like to promote the affordability of heritage buildings for both housing and businesses.

The banner is in the window of Rath Art Supplies, located in the Triangle Building at 2412 Main Street, right in the centre of Mount Pleasant’s Heritage Heart.

It will be up until the end of February, 2018.

MPHG would like to thank the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area (MPBIA) and Rath Art Supplies for their generous support of this project.

This Heritage Week 2018 project brought to you by Jennifer Chernecki (artistic production), Christine Hagemoen (research) and the rest of the MPHG team.

Our banner from last year, which explains why Mount Pleasant’s streets are named after the Canadian provinces/territories & why Ontario Street is the centre/000 block of Vancouver, is up in the lobby display case of the Mount Pleasant Community Centre.

Mount Pleasant Heritage Lives!


Mount Pleasant’s Historical Themes

Each year since the Mount Pleasant Heritage Group’s inception we have had a Heritage Lounge (at the Autumn Shift Festival 2013-2015 and at the Vancouver Mural Festival 2016). We have created display boards on different topics including this one on Mount Pleasant’s historical themes. To access the City of Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant Community Plan document, on which this display board is based, click here.mp-themes-2015-dec2c


Mount Pleasant Is Like A Time Machine

“A walk through Mount Pleasant is like going into a time machine. The past is still around us.” So says Lauren L., a grade five resident who presented her project “My Mount Pleasant: Vancouver’s First Suburb” at our June meeting. She put the project together for the BC Heritage Fairs and we were mightily impressed with her engaging storytelling of our historic neighbourhood and her own heritage home.


Lauren also made a video for the Young Citizens program which is a complementary component to Heritage Fairs. The videos are posted online and students have a chance to win a trip to Ottawa to attend the Canada’s History Youth Forum. Public voting is open until midnight(EDT) July 6, 2016, and the result will make up 50% of a student’s final score.

Please watch Lauren’s lively and personal account of Mount Pleasant’s past and vote for her here. As she says, “We all have something to give, and Mount Pleasant has given Canada a beautiful, historical neighbourhood… and a lot of us Canadians need to know that.”

Thank you Lauren for being such a compelling Mount Pleasant heritage ambassador.



Heritage Heart Look and Find

Her Heart Header

To Celebrate Heritage Week 2016’s theme ‘Distinctive Destinations:  Experience Historic Places’ join in the Mount Pleasant Heritage Heart Look and Find.

Heart from stained glass window on Crosbie Block at the corner of Main & 8th

Heart from stained glass window on Crosbie Block at the corner of Main & 8th

Head to Rath Art Supplies at 2412 Main Street to participate in the fun and explore Mount Pleasant’s Heritage Heart.  Project up until March 15th. #HeritageHeartLookandFind


This project was generously supported by the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area (MPBIA), Rath Art Supplies and our MPHG volunteer team.

To view the answers for the Mount Pleasant Heritage Heart Look and Find CLICK HERE


The Naming of Mount Pleasant and Its Map of Canada Streets

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.”

Map by Bruce Macdonald based on the Dakin fire insurance map, 1889 (City of Vancouver Archives:  AM54-S23-2-- /Major Matthews Collection)

Map by Bruce Macdonald based on the Dakin fire insurance map, 1889 (City of Vancouver Archives: AM54-S23-2– /Major Matthews Collection)

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.




Upcoming Mount Pleasant Heritage Group Meeting

Please join us for our first meeting since the Heritage Lounge at the Autumn Shift Festival in September.  It will take place Monday, December 1st at 7 pm. We do not yet have a permanent meeting space so please email us at mountpleasantheritage@gmail.com for the location.

The Agenda will include:

* A  discussion with local historian Bruce Macdonald on saving Mount Pleasant’s unique heritage buildings in the face of modern building codes

* An update by Jen on the Mount Pleasant Community Heritage Project which is about protecting the historical character of the Victorian house at 144 East 6th Avenue, the meeting and exhibition space of the Gropps Gallery Collective

* A  postmortem on our inaugural Treasured Buildings Sign Project and 2014 Heritage Lounge

* Finding a permanent meeting space

posted on November 18, 2014 by Danielle Peacock


Map of Treasured Buildings

We have recently revised the dates on the map based on further research.

If you picked up a Treasured Buildings Walking Tour pamphlet at our Heritage Lounge you will notice that some of the dates have changed.  We have done further research and have used dates based on building permit or water service records when possible instead of the Vancouver Directories dates, which are later and reflect when buildings were first occupied.

Building profiles and printable map coming soon!


Heritage Lounge Snapshots!

A big thanks to our 2 photographers:

Merle Addison & Erin Pasternak

To see photos of the Heritage Transportation Jamboree and Flying Ballerinas at the Autumn Shift Festival visit our Gallery


The Mount Pleasant Heritage Group extends its appreciation to the Vancouver Foundation for supporting our Heritage Lounge and Treasured Buildings Sign project with a Neighbourhood Small Grant.  


Thanks for Joining Us at the Heritage Lounge!

Thank you to everyone who dropped by the Heritage Lounge.  We enjoyed chatting and hearing your stories.  Again it was evident this year that there is much interest in and enthusiasm for Mount Pleasant’s history.

We are taking a break but will be posting information about our inaugural Treasured Buildings Sign project in the next while.

Stay tuned.