My Canada Is…In My Backyard

Have you ever wondered why Mount Pleasant’s streets are named after the Canadian provinces/territories & why Ontario Street is the centre/000 block of Vancouver?

In 1869 Henry Valentine Edmonds, the clerk of the municipal council in New Westminster, acquired District Lot 200A – the wilderness south of False Creek and north of today’s Broadway that would later become Mount Pleasant. By 1888, a year after the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Dr. Israel Powell, who hailed from Ontario, was a co-owner of the land with Edmonds. In 1871 Dr. Powell had been one of the key people to negotiate the entry of the British colony of British Columbia into the country of Canada, which had been created in 1867.

Dr. Powell named all his streets in Mount Pleasant after the seven provinces that made up Canada in 1888, when the neighbourhood was established; thus creating a representation of the map of Canada. The centre street of Vancouver’s grid system is Powell’s Ontario Street, the 000 hundred block going east-west. He probably did this because Ontario is known as central Canada and it was Powell’s birthplace. The eastern province streets are east of Ontario Street with the western province streets west of it.

“The original map of Canada street name system in Mount Pleasant was later extended to include two new north-south streets after a new province and a new territory were formed: Alberta Street, in the 300 block west (Alberta was formed in 1905) and Yukon Street in the 400 block west (the Yukon territory was formed in 1898).”

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.

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 2017 project brought to you by Alyssa, Danielle and Jennifer.


Celebrating Heritage Week 2017 and the theme ‘My Canada Is…’

Have you ever wondered why Mount Pleasant’s streets are named after the Canadian provinces/territories & why Ontario Street is the centre/000 block of Vancouver?

For an explanation check out our Heritage Week 2017 banner display ‘My Canada Is…In My Backyard’.


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 February 26th, 2017.

Mount Pleasant Heritage Lives!      window-on-side-of-crosbie-blk-on-sw-corner-of-main-8th

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


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.



Treasured Buildings 2015-2016

TB Map 2015-16

TB Profiles 2015-16

Thanks to John Atkin, Christine Hagemoen and Robert Lemon for information and to Bruce Macdonald for all of his support.


B.C. City Directories – Vancouver Public Library

Celebrating 100 Years of Learning – Florence Nightingale Elementary, 2012

Grandview Heritage Group– Centenary Signs

James Johnstone – When An Old House Whispers…

Mount Pleasant Historic Context Statement – written by Bruce Macdonald for Donald Luxton & Associates and the City of Vancouver

Street Names of Vancouver – Elizabeth Walker, Vancouver Historical Society, 1999

Vancouver Archives (Water Service Records) and VanMap – City of Vancouver

Vancouver Building Permits – 1901 to 1921 – Heritage Vancouver

Vancouver Daily World

Vancouver House Styles – Vancouver Heritage Foundation

Vancouver Schools  Establishing Their Heritage Value – Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Ltd. for the City of Vancouver & Vancouver School Board, 2007 – pp. 29-31, 80

Vanishing Vancouver The Last 25 Years – Michael Kluckner




Special Presentation by Michael Kluckner at Our Upcoming June 1st Meeting

Please join us for a special presentation at our next monthly meeting Monday, June 1st, 2015 at 7 pm.

Michael Kluckner, writer, artist/illustrator and author of a number of books on Vancouver’s history and heritage and planning issues will give A Brief Overview of Heritage Policy . Michael was the founding president of the Heritage Vancouver Society and is the current president of the Vancouver Historical Society. He is a member of the Vancouver Heritage Commission and Grandview Heritage Group. His most recent book is Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years (2012).

With the City of Vancouver’s Heritage Action Plan in full swing Michael’s talk is very timely.

Check out Michael’s blog here.

We meet at grunt gallery – 350 East 2nd Avenue/Unit 116.


Thanks to all these local Main Street businesses for putting up Heritage Week signs in their windows!

Main Street East from north to south:

The Whip Restaurant & Gallery, Adhesif Clothing Company,           HOT ART/wet CITY, Blue Star Motors, Gene Cafe, East Vanity Parlour, Rath Art Supplies, Pulpfiction Books, Frenchies Diner, Cash Money, Barney’s Craft & Grill, Bean Around the World Coffees, Kea Foods, Charlie’s Little Italian, The Cascade Room, Dairy Queen, Mr. Brownstone Bar & Grill, Heritage Hall, Urban Source

Main Street West from north to south:

The Unique Antique Vintage Collectibles, Breizh Salon Services,     City Motor Hotel, Foundation Restaurant, Nirvana Restaurant, Antisocial Skateboard Shop, Uptown Barbers, John’s Jukes Ltd.,
Goh Ballet, 8th + Main, Bonchaz Bakery Cafe, Reno Restaurant, Kafka’s Coffee & Tea, Bird on a Wire Creations, much & little, The Archetype, The Corner Store, Denman Bikes at Main & 10th, Planet Bingo, Grantree Furniture Rental

Mount Pleasant Heritage Lives!


Join us for our next meeting Monday, March 2nd and hear
tales about our cherished Main Street buildings told to us during our Heritage Week project celebrating “Main Street:  At the Heart of the Community”.


Our meetings are at 7 pm at grunt gallery – 350 East 2nd Avenue/Unit 116.

“Main Street: At the Heart of the Community”

Celebrate Heritage Week’s 2015 theme of “Main Street: At the Heart of the Community” by recognizing the dates of construction of many of the cherished old buildings along Main Street. Included are well-known heritage buildings, buildings that are representative of a distinct architectural style and a number of modest, individually constructed buildings that provide more affordable character space to our prized independent businesses.  Look for the Mount Pleasant Heritage Group signs in windows February 16-22!




Treasured Buildings Profiles

Here are the building profiles to accompany our Treasured Buildings Map.


As with the map below, if you picked up a walking tour pamphlet at our September Heritage Lounge you will notice that some of the information has been revised based on further research done since then.

Check out the project including sources here.


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!