Click on the historic Stanley Theatre's curtain (above) to see a vintage video on Vancouver from 1907


Captain Vancouver is credited with exploring and mapping the coastline back in 1795.

Visit the City of Vancouver Archives to view original documents from Captain George Vancouver.

Born in June 22, 1757, Captain George Vancouver was a Royal Navy officer who served on several ships during his career, including the Resolution and the Discovery with the famous explorer, Captain James Cook. Vancouver's most famous voyage was the 1791-1795 expedition to explore the west coast of North America and to determine if the Northwest Passage really existed. The passage was believed to be a navigable waterway to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This expedition was the first to produce detailed charts of the waters around the City of Vancouver. The City and island was named for him in honour of this voyage.

For more historical details and links visit this Wikipedia link.

Vancouver History Quiz

How well do you know your local history? Try this 30-day quiz.

Vancouver City - History

Vancouver is located in the traditional territory of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, members of the Coast Salish linguistic group. The ancestors of these groups settled in the Vancouver area more than 8,000 years ago.
José Maria Narváez, a Spanish explorer, was the first to see the site of what is now Vancouver in 1791. A year later, English sailor Captain George Vancouver and Spaniards Dionisio Alcalá-Galiano and Cayetano Valdés were also in the area. During these initial explorations, both the Spanish and the English made contact with Indigenous populations.
Vancouver, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1886. Here is a historical record of significant events that shaped how Vancouver City is today.

Book: Captain Vancouver and medicine in the Age of Sail

Dr. Greenstone MD, from Surrey, BC, has written an interesting article titled "Captain Vancouver and medicine in the Age of Sail". This was published in the BC Medical Journal Vol. 52 No. 10, December 2010. The PDF can be viewed here.

Book: Madness, Betrayal and the Lash

The tragic story of Captain Vancouver, a great explorer whose triumphs were overshadowed by public humiliation.
From 1792 to 1795, George Vancouver sailed the Pacific waters as captain of a major expedition of discovery and imperial ambition. Britain had its eyes on Pacific North America, and Vancouver valiantly charted four thousand miles of coastline from California to Alaska. His voyage was one of history's greatest feats of maritime daring, scientific discovery, marine cartography and international diplomacy.
Vancouver's triumph, however, was overshadowed by bitter smear campaigns initiated by enemies he made on board, in particular Archibald Menzies, the ship's naturalist, and Thomas Pitt, a well-connected midshipman whom Vancouver flogged and sent home. Both men were members of the governing elite and, once back in London, they destroyed Vancouver's reputation. Pitt publicly challenged Vancouver to several duels and then beat him in a London street with a cane when he declined. The ailing Vancouver was lampooned in the press as a coward and a bully. Unable to collect back pay, he was left impoverished and ill. He died just after finishing the manuscript of his voyage, scrawling out the final pages on his death bed.
In this gripping tale of maritime daring and betrayal, Stephen Bown offers a long-overdue re-evaluation of one of the greatest explorers of the Age of Discovery.

Book: The Hidden Journals

Captain Vancouver and His Mapmaker : A Personal Journey of Discovery, by Mary Tasi and Wade Baker (2015)
HIstory turns into mystery when the authors begin to research the oral stories about Wade Baker's ancestor, Third Lieutenant Joseph Baker, mapmaker on HMS Discovery. from 1791 to 1795. Memories from Grannie Lizzie and other Coast Salish and Hawaiian elders lead to authentic stories about Captain Vancouver, and his officer's relationships with Kings, Queens and royal families in their kingdoms in North America and Hawaii. A fascinating presentation on the intersection between unknown indigenous oral stories and archival primary source documents from the 18th century.

Book: A voyage of discovery to the north Pacific Ocean, and round the world

In which the coast of north-west America has been carefully examined and accurately surveyed. Undertaken by His Majesty's command, principally with a view to ascertain the existence of any navigable communication between the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans; and performed in the years 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, and 1795, in the Discovery sloop of war, and armed tender Chatham, under the command of Captain George Vancouver, written by George Vancouver

Book: Sailing with Vancouver

Could I have been one of them? was what Sam McKinney wondered as he retraced, alone, from Puget Sound to Queen Charlotte Strait, the explorations of Captain George Vancouver and his men. In the 1790s, day after day, they had rowed for long hours, camping on rocky beaches in all weathers and charting the intricate coastline for the first time. Two hundred years later, McKinney followed them in his 25-foot sailboat, anchoring in the same locations as they had done, experiencing the same winds and waves, and sharing what McKinney calls the link of vulnerability that is the ever-present condition of all people who go to sea. Written by Sam McKinney, TouchWood Editions, 2004

Book: Captain Vancouver, North West Navigator

This title offers a biography of he man who discovered Vancouver Island, George Vancouver. Born in England in 1758, entered the Roya Navy at the age of 13 and soon secured an appointment with the greatest of all seamen, Captain James Cook and learned all his maritime skills under his tutelage - accompanying Cook on his voyage around the world in 1772-74. By E. C. Coleman, Caedmon of Whitby, 2000.

Book: From Maps to Metaphors: The Pacific World of George Vancouver

During the summers of 1792-94, George Vancouver and the crew of the British naval ships Discovery and Chatham mapped the northwest coast of North America from Baja California to Alaska. Taking the art and technique of distant voyaging to a new level, Vancouver eliminated the possibility of a northwest passage and his remarkably precise surveys completed the outline of the Pacific. But to map an area is to appropriate it – to begin to bring it under control – and Vancouver's charts of the northwest coast were part of a process of economic exploitation and cultural disruption. The chapters in this illuminating book are written from a variety of perspectives and provide new insights on many aspects of Vancouver's voyages, from the technology employed to the complex political and power relationships among European explorers and the Native leadership. By Robin Fisher, Hugh J. M. Johnston, UBC Press, 1993

Captain Vancouver's ancestral castle to become a hotel

COEVORDEN - The local castle once owned by the forebears of 17th century English explorer Captain George Vancouver reopened as a luxury hotel in 2009. The municipality, which used the building as city hall for decades, sold two adjoining heritage buildings to an area hotel operator who also leases the castle. He guarantees that public functions such as wedding ceremonies, can continue to be held in the castle that in its earliest stages was built in the 11th century. A three-quarter sized replica of the castle of the Van Coevorden family was erected in Vancouver, BC, in 1986 for that city's Expo86. Both the British Columbia city and a town in adjoining Washington state were named after the explorer whose parents had moved to England and eventually Anglicized their name, changing from Van Coevorden to Vancouver.



Great Places to Visit


Old Vancouver City Map


The old woman who lived in a shoe - 3 room stump house cnr 26th Ave & Prince Edward St, Vancouver



VANCOUVER - The Best Place to Live

Vancouver, located in the south west corner of beautiful Bristish Columbia, Canada, has consistently been named one of the best places in the world to live.
(See CBC News report Feb. 2014, and 2014 Mercer Survey)



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  Roedde House Museum(West End):
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  Vancouver Art Gallery:
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BC Canadian Museum of Flight:
West Coast Railway - Polar ExpressH:
Steveston Cannery (National Historic Site):
Vancouver Natural History Society:



  Name City Type
12 Service Battalion Museum Richmond Military
Alder Grove Telephone Museum Aldergrove Technology
Artspeak (Vancouver) Vancouver Art
BC Golf Museum and Hall of Fame Vancouver Sports
BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum Vancouver Sports
Beaty Biodiversity Museum Vancouver Natural history
Britannia Heritage Shipyard Richmond Maritime
Bug Lab New Westminster Natural history
Burnaby Art Gallery Burnaby Art
Burnaby Village Museum Burnaby Open air
Chinese Cultural Center Museum Vancouver Ethnic
Chinese-Canadian Military Museum Vancouver Ethnic
Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver) Vancouver Art
Delta Museum and Archives Delta History
Emily Carr University of Art and Design Galleries Vancouver Art
Fort Langley Heritage CN Station Fort Langley Railroad
Fort Langley National Historic Site Fort Langley Open air
Gulf of Georgia Cannery Steveston Maritime
H. R. MacMillan Space Centre Vancouver Science
Irving House New Westminster Historic house
Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia Vancouver Ethnic
Langley Centennial Museum Langley Multiple
London Heritage Farm Richmond Historic house
Mackin House Museum Coquitlam Historic house
Maple Ridge Museum Maple Ridge History
Museum of Anthropology at UBC Vancouver First Nations
Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology Burnaby Archaeology
Museum of Vancouver Vancouver History
National Nikkei Museum & Heritage Centre Burnaby Ethnic
New Westminster Museum New Westminster History
New Westminster Police Museum New Westminster Law enforcement
North Vancouver Museum & Archives North Vancouver Multiple
Old Hastings Mill Store Museum Vancouver History
Pacific Museum of the Earth Vancouver Natural history
Pitt Meadows Museum Pitt Meadows History
Port Moody Station Museum Port Moody History
Regimental Museum of the BC Regiment Vancouver Military
Richmond Art Gallery Richmond Art
Richmond Museum Richmond History
Roedde House Museum Vancouver Historic house
Royal Westminster Regiment Historical Society and Museum New Westminster Military
Science World at Telus World of Science Vancouver Science
Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Regimental Museum and Archives Vancouver Military
Simon Fraser University Gallery Burnaby Art
Simon Fraser University Gallery Vancouver Art
Steveston Museum Richmond History
Surrey Museum Surrey Multiple
Trev Deeley Motorcycle Exhibition Vancouver Transport
Vancouver Art Gallery Vancouver Art
Vancouver Holocaust Education Center Vancouver Holocaust
Vancouver Maritime Museum Vancouver Maritime
Vancouver Police Museum Vancouver Law enforcement