Hippie Kitsilano according to Historian Michael Kluckner


On August 28th artist and historian Michael Kluckner led a group of 30 walkers on a Explore Hippie Kitsilano Tour of the neighborhood with the proceeds benefit Heritage Vancouver. The hippie tour started at West 7th & Vine and ended at West 4th & Vine.

2181 York Ave. - a 1910 heritage duplex that fronts onto a lane off of Yew Street.

Rob Howatson was along for the tour and wrote about it on the Heritage Vancouver website. You should definitely head over and read the complete account, but here a couple facts that you might find interesting:

  • Kitsilano rose from the brush with the arrival of the 4th Avenue streetcar line in 1909.
  • A block of West 7th was known as “Chemical Row” because the old houses there in the late 60’s housed a lot of speed and LSD adherents.
  • Arbutus and West 4th wasthe ground zero of hippie 4th Avenue. The Russian Community Hall operated as Afterthought, a venue for folk musicians and poetry readings. Sophie’s Cosmic Café, which in the 60’s was a much less whimsical diner called The Arbutus Café, sported a sign in the window that read: “we do not serve hippies or beatniks.”
  • CPR Engine 374, which now resides in the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown, once stood in the grass next to the Kitsilano tennis courts parking lot and was a popular gathering place for musicians.

If you missed the Hippie Kits Tour be sure to check out the Kitsilano chapter in Michael Kluckner’s book Vancouver Remembered. Photos from the Hippie Kits Tour are available on Flickr.

Last modified: October 3, 2010

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