1905 Letter to the Editor – Subject: Kitsilano

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Beyond Robson’s J.Z. Garrod has been busy with a series of great posts regarding Vancouver’s history. One amazing Kitsilano story (with photos) slipped through my RSS Reader in mid-May, so I thought I’d mention it just in case some others missed it as well.

Yet, what interested me the most was a simple letter to the editor by a man named “J. White” in 1905. I’ll leave it to you to read the letter and put into context his words – I’ve posted some photos below that will try to give you a sense of Kitsilano circa 1900-1910 and what the area looked like and the challenges it’s residents faced in settling this land. Apparently difficulties with the Board of Works is nothing new to Vancouver residents.

Kitsilano Beach circa 1905

The letter to the editor after the jump – it’s worth a read.

Editor Province-

A number of the residents of Kitsilano feel rather sore over the way they have been treated by the Board of Works. Last June a petition was sent in to have Vine Street opened. It was referred to the City Engineer, and I presume the City Engineer is still working at it, for we have heard nothing more about it, but instead of opening up Vine Street, which would accommodate over 100 persons, the board went to work and laid a sidewalk out to the cannery, nearly a mile in length, for the accommodation of two residents out there and the Chinamen employed in the cannery.

Now, sir, I have no desire to rush into controversy, but a number of us feel that we have been turned down, and we wish to know why.

If the representative of West Fairview would kindly tell us why a sidewalk was laid from Yew Street to the cannery, a distance of about a mile in length, while the residents of York Street and First, Second, and Third and Fourth Avenues are dumped off the Kitsilano car into the mud and water to make their way as best they can through the brush and over logs up to Vine Street to the top of the hill, we would feel obliged.

Now, Mr Editor, what we want is this: Open Vine Street to the top of the hill, as the terminus of the Street Railway is almost opposite Vine Street on the water-front; or if finances will not permit this being done this fall, give us a three plank walk to the top of the hill, a distance of three blocks, and we will wait until spring for the street. We ask no more, and we will be satisfied with no less.

Thanking you for your space, I remain
Yours truly

J. WHITE
Vancouver, Nov. 4 , 1905

Last modified: June 18, 2008

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