Click on any headline to see the full transcript of that day’s meeting, and pictures of the original handwritten minutes.


Vancouver City Council 1887

Mayor: M. A. MacLean Aldermen: L. A. Hamilton (Ward 1) John M. Lefevre (Ward 1) Joseph Humphries (Ward 2) Joseph Manion (Ward 2) Richard H. Alexander (Ward 3) Robert Clark (Ward 3) Edwin Sanders (Ward 4) George H. Lock (Ward

Vancouver Committees for 1887 formed – January 3 , 1887

Standing Committees for the year to be five members each with the Mayor as Ex Officio member of each. Newly-elected Alderman David Oppenheimer moves that the Finance Committee put together a plan “for a general loan to be floated for

Charles G. Johson and John Devine to audit Vancouver’s 1886 accounts – January 10, 1887

Use of City Hall for County Court granted to the Provincial Government free of charge. Two bidders present plans to supply water works to Vancouver: E. A. Wilmot of the Coquitlam Water Works Company and G. A. Keefer of the

Vancouver to set aside $2,400 for hospital, seeks property owner to donate site – January 17, 1887

Hospital will need $2,400 for the current year. Board of health recommends Council grant $2,000 toward new hospital building, and solicit provincial government to grant the same; also to solicit property owners to donate site for a building. City Council

J.H. Carlisle appointed Vancouver’s License, Fire & Health Inspector – January 24, 1887

J. H. Carlisle appointed License, Fire, and Health Inspector at a salary of $75 a month. City Clerk to write the Hon. Provincial Secretary asking for a grant of $2,000 for the hospital and $1,000 for the Fire Department. This

Police Magistrate refuses to act, charges Stewart – January 31, 1887

From John M. Stewart; calling the attention of the Council to his inability to hold a Police Court for the trial of H.L. Edson “on account of the Police Magistrate refusing to act.” As Mr. Gallagher has declined to carry

Vancouver cannot grant money to City Band – February 8, 1887

Though unable to grant any money to form a City Band, council granted them free use of City Hall for rehearsal on any available evening. The Finance Committee (Ald. David Oppenheimer, chairman) recommends passing of a by-law to raise $150,000.

Council meets to make changes to the City Charter – February 11, 1887

Special meeting to consider amendments to the City Charter

Hudson’s Bay Co. refused liquor license – February 14, 1887

Hudson’s Bay Co. applied for a wholesale liquor license in connection with groceries. Refused (vote went 8-2) on the grounds that the current by-law did not permit it. One James Pollay asked to use City Hall on Tuesday afternoon to

Lawyer J. Boultbee appointed to take Charter changes to Victoria – February 17, 1887

A Special Meeting to authorize John Boultbee to go to Victoria to carry through the amendments to the City Charter.

Water Works proposals for Vancouver due in two weeks – February 21, 1887

Both water works companies required to submit their final proposals March 7, 1887. $40 granted to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster for care of patients following 1886 fire. Establishment of a Jubilee to celebrate both Queen Victoria’s 50th anniversary

Correspondence from Yung Chung asking for “protection from mob” – February 28, 1887

Petition asking for protection from the mob was filed. Motion carried to “exempt from taxation for a period of twenty years, the yards, workshops, round houses of the Canadian Pacific Railway…on the North Side of False Creek”. Salary of City

Vancouver opposes provincial takeover of city police – March 1, 1887

Special Meeting to “represent” to the Lieutenant-Governor that it will not be necessary for the Province to take over police jurisdiction of Vancouver ..Twenty additional police to be hired at a salary of $2.25 per day.

Health By-law for Vancouver finalized – March 4, 1887

Special Meeting to finalize Health By-Law

Vancouver holds itself not responsible for mob damage – March 7, 1887

Mr. Boultbee brings the claim of Mr. Yung Chung for damage done by the mob; city solicitor T.T. Black’s opinion is that the City is not responsible. The auditor in future is to make an itemized statement in his monthly

Vancouver requests B.C. to appoint Commissioner of Inquiry on “alleged Chinese Riots” – March 14, 1887

City requests Province to “appoint a Commissioner with full power to call on, subpoena, and examine on oath any person or persons in relation to the facts of the alleged Chinese Riots or outrages said to have recently taken place

Council sits to review appeals on tax assessment – March 15, 1887

Assessments on several properties were reduced, because the amount of land owned was less than assessed, or the land was used for hospital purposes and exempt from taxation. One honest citizen, Jas. M. Fox, pointed out they did not assess

Coquitlam Water Works to supply Vancouver’s water – March 21, 1887

The proposal of the Coquitlam Water Works adopted at a vote of 6-4, following a failed amendment to refer both proposals to a qualified engineerAldermen Alexander, Couth, Lefevre and Mannion empowered to discharge some or all of the special constables

Vancouver wants False Creek portion east of Main Street – March 28, 1887

City Clerk to write to Canadian government to ask that “all of False Creek east of Westminster Avenue (now Main Street) be granted to the City. Aldermen Alexander, D. Oppenheimer, L.A. Hamilton and Lefevre to negotiate a contract with Coquitlam

Vancouver City Officials’ salaries will total $12,600 this year – April 4, 1887

Salaries for all City Officials expected to total $12,600 for 1887. Thos. Quann asked Council for “relief” (welfare benefits) for Neil Nicholson, and D. McLeod. Abrams & Co. submitted bills to the Board of Health; $35 for bedding and $14

C.P.R needs more room for switches – April 11, 1887

H. Abbott of the CPR required a tract of land extending east as far as Carrall Street “to give sufficient length for switches” exempt from city taxation. City Engineer E.B. Mohun to survey and make a contour map of the

San Francisco engineer Schussler asked to examine Vancouver’s Water Works – April 15, 1887

Special Meeting to review the draft agreement between the City and the Coquitlam Water Works Company and to consider two pamphlets; the “West Shore”,and “Hand Book”. The draft Water Works agreement went to the City Solicitor. Council also to contact

Vancouver forms a Board of Commissioners of Police – April 18, 1887

Chairmen of all Standing Committees plus Alderman Mannion appointed to form the Board of Commissioners of Police. The Board of Works recommended the $500 deposit of contractor William Harkins be declared forfeit, as he had not completed his contract on

Council goes over CPR agreement, sets date for referendum – April 21, 1887

Special Meeting to review proposed agreement with the CPR exempting certain of their lands from taxation. Date for taking the votes of the electors on this issue, and appointment of returning officers established. 100 copies of the agreement with the

Vancouver civic scavengers appointed – April 25, 1887

Scavengers with brooms and hand-cart

James Crowley appointed Night Scavenger, and W. W. Ayer Day Scavenger. A.R. Coughtry allowed to open slaughter house, provided he complies with health by-laws. C. G. Johnson presented a petition signed by 350 citizens requesting a park for recreation grounds.

Clark’s Park offer rejected by Vancouver – May 2, 1887

E.J. Clark offered to donate seven acres to the City for a Park in consideration of Council improving certain streets; Council replied it “cannot accept Mr. Clark’s offer at present”. Petitions for improvement of Dunsmiur, Barnard, and Harris Streets referred

Vancouver Mayor and Aldermen review $28,000 Water Works acquisition – May 6, 1887

Special Meeting to receive Engineer C. Schussler’s report on the Water Works proposal. The City Solicitor instructed to prepare agreement and Bylaw that the Company “be limited to an issue of $280,000 first mortgage Bonds leaving interest at 3 per

Vancouver sends $500 to the Nanaimo Relief Fund after mine explosion – May 9, 1887

Police Committee recommends the hiring of a Police Court Clerk to attend at police court, take down evidence, receive fines paid into Court, and keep account of prisoners committed. That the Coquitlam Water Works Company deposit with the City Treasurer

Well and drain to be put in at the foot of Carrall Street – May 16, 1887

A well and box drain to be installed at the foot of Carrall Street, near Sprott’s Cannery.Police Commissioners have interviewed applicants, but delayed appointment of Police Officers for one week. Vancouver accepted the News-Advertiser’s offer for printing for the next

Vancouver commemorates arrival of the first train – May 23, 1887

By-Law No 33 excepting from taxation for 30 years “certain lands belonging to the Canadian Pacific Railway Co.” was finalized and sent to the newspapers. Moved by Alderman D. Oppenheimer seconded by Alderman Humphries, “I have much pleasure in moving

Board of Works promotes Granville Street horse racing – June 6, 1887

The Board of Works submits an Engineer’s report for the City to improve Granville Street for horse racing. C.P.R. lawyers suggest a “certain alteration in agreement” to the tax exempt status of their lands – approved by Council. Thomas Quann

Standard loaf of bread in Vancouver will be 1.5 pounds – June 15, 1887

room at City Hall to be fitted up for the use of Justice McCreight, and a City constable to be detailed to attend on Court days. City Solicitor to prepare a by-law that the weight of a loaf of bread

Grant sues City of Vancouver for “wine drank by the police” – June 20, 1887

Claim from A.M. Grant for compensation for “wine drank by the police”. Order from J. H. Gray, Judge of Supreme Court ordering to pay (City Clerk) T. McGuigan ten dollars for “services connected with the Revision of the Voter’s List”.

Vancouver’s sewers to have cast iron junctions – June 27, 1887

Board of Works accepted L. Law’s tender to furnish cast iron junctions for the sewers at 4 cents per pound. Cemetery to be enclosed by a rail fence with cedar posts to be sunk 2 ½ feet below ground, and

Contractors must complete work for City of Vancouver on time, or pay – July 4, 1887

City Clerk to advise all present and future contractors that if contracts with the City are not completed in the specified time, City Council will take them off the contractors’ hands, complete them, and bill the contractor for the cost.

City of Vancouver needs a road from Fraser River to False Creek – July 11, 1887

City Clerk to write to the Provincial Government asking that a road be constructed “from the North Arm of the Fraser River in a direct line from Sea and Lulu Islands to False Creek”. City Solicitor T.T. Black advises Council

Owen Hughes rewarded $25 for fire bravery – July 18, 1887

Mr. Owen Hughes, steward of the Hospital, granted $25 in compensation for loss of money and property during his efforts to save the hospital building during the May 31 fire. Mr. E.J. Clark of Toronto’s offer of a lot for

Baseball team may put up caretaker’s building in Stanley Park – July 25, 1887

Permission granted for the Base Ball Club to erect a small building for a Caretaker on the Park grounds. City treasurer to pay the freight on the hook and ladder truck and the half year’s interest on the $114,100 debenture.

Fifty foot fire hose needed for Vancouver – August 1, 1887

Board of Works recommend that the Contract for Granville Street be awarded to McDonald and Cameron; Cambie Street to Wm. Harkins; Park Avenue and Johnston Street to Henry Bowers; Georgia Street to Wm. Harkins, Seventh Avenue to W.L. McDonald, Fire

Dupont Street well will be allowed until Council needs it filled in – August 8, 1887

Appointment laid off for one week. James Hartney allowed to sink a well on Dupont Street (now Pender Street) on the understanding that it must be filled in when Council requests it. Council unable to make a grant of money

Standard Oil wants to build a warehouse in Vancouver – August 16, 1887

W.P. Johnson, Manager of Standard Oil Company, asked permission to build a warehouse. Board of Works recommended a budget for improvements to a number of streets, totalling $15,734.00 Alderman D. Oppenheimer introduced a by-law to offer a bonus to anyone

Imperial Oil also granted permission to build fuel warehouse in Vancouver – August 22, 1887

horse drawn tank

Letter received from A.R. Diplock asking that the City purchase his hand grenades (?!) Fred S. Clark, agent for the Imperial Oil Co asking permission to erect a ware house near Carl Avenue on Railway Street, granted permission on the

Dunlevy Avenue being used as a “dumping ground,” says Tatlow – August 29, 1887

Draft agreement between the Electric Illuminating Light Co. and the City referred to City Solicitor. Complaint from R.G. Tatlow that the lane near Dunlevy Avenue was being used as a dumping ground for stumps etc. Payment of $2.00 approved to

60 Vancouver street corners to have electric lights – September 5, 1887

Board of Works identified sixty street corners to have electric lights installed. By-law formed to raise $10,000 to build a road around Stanley Park. This transcript was made in 2014 by Transcribimus volunteer Darrin Pezer/Proactive Building Maintenance original handwritten minutes

Vancouver Iron Works Company gains 10 year tax exemption – September 24, 1887

The Vancouver Iron Works Company was exempted from all municipal taxation for ten years. City accepted offer from Mr. J. J. Irwin to purchase 19 feet along Cambie Street and 33 feet along Cordova Street for $400.00. The city Chain

Vancouver Fire Department to build its own stable – October 3, 1887

The Fire Department to build or purchase a stable. Dr. Beckingsale paid $10.00 for conducting a post-mortem. Vancouver Gas company allowed to lay pipes under city streets, providing they do not interfere with sewers, and that the streets be left

Vancouver seeks tenders for construction of hospital, road around Stanley Park – October 10, 1887

City to call for tenders for the construction of a City Hospital. The City Engineer to estimate the cost of constructing a road around the park and call for tenders. By-Law introduced by Alderman D Oppenheimer to license pawnbrokers and

Vancouver Fire Brigade to get $500 grant – October 17, 1887

$500 to be given to the fire brigade for its work. Proposed agreement between the Vancouver City Iron Works Co. and the City was approved. City Solicitor gives his opinion that accounts in which “members of the corporation” [mayor or

Vancouver to buy lots for hospital, school recreation grounds – October 24, 1887

The special committee has selected a suitable site for the City Hospital. Council agrees to look into buying the lot from the CPR, as well as a lot beside the public school for recreation grounds. The City to indemnify Police

Cemetery caretaker to live on grounds – November 7, 1887

A house to be built for the use of the caretaker and sexton of the public cemetery, and a salary of $40 per month be offered.City Council supports the establishment of a Government of Canada experimental farm in Coquitlam. The

Pawn brokers and second hand stores to be licensed at once – November 14, 1887

Pawn brokers and second hand stores to be licensed pro-rata until the end of the year. Lamp lighter hired at $1.50 per day until electric lights are installed. Requests for a bonus for a shoe factory, and a rebate for

Vancouver street names to be posted at each corner – November 21, 1887

Board of Works recommends street signs with 4 inch letters painted on wood or tin with white letters on black background. W. L. MacDonald appointed as cemetery keeper; a three room house to be built for him and his family

Canada’s Minister of Defense Sir A. Caron to visit Vancouver – November 24, 1887

A Special Meeting to organize the reception for Sir A. R. Caron, Minister of Militia & Defense (Government of Canada), and to hire enough taxicabs for the occasion.

Vancouver must stop boarding chain gang prisoners in private homes, say Police Commissioners – November 28, 1887

The Police Committee recommended the City immediately end the present system of boarding chain gang prisoners in private homes. Eleven pairs of blankets were purchased for the cells, and a stove for the jail corridor. Tenders were received for painting

Trounce Alley improvements must wait as Works budget for 1887 exhausted – December 5, 1887

Council unable to grant the petition of A.W. Sullivan and others for the improvement of Trounce Alley, as the Works budget was exhausted. Among other accounts to be paid are subscriptions to the Leadville (Colorado) Herald, the Denver Republican, and

Many City hospital contracts awarded, but plumbing & gas fitting must wait – December 12, 1887

City Clerk to find out from P. Fewster’s about the proposed capacity of the mill he intends to build. The Board of Works instructed the Chief of Police to have the Chain Gang improve a lane. E. Cook awarded contract

Contractor William Harkins’ employees cry foul at Council meeting – December 19, 1887

A number of complaints received about (street contractor) William Harkins’ granting of Power of Attorney to Dunn & Co. J. H Wert appreared before council on behalf of Harkins’ employees to report on the situation. Legal opinion requested from City

Budget requested to build bridge across False Creek – December 27, 1887

James Hartney awarded contract to build Park Road. Alderman Alexander granted $50 “for the purpose of settling the claims of Indians on the line of the Park Road for bushes and fences destroyed.” City Engineer to estimate costs for building

Outgoing Mayor M. A. MacLean granted seven hundred fifty dollars – December 30, 1887

Outgoing Mayor M. A. MacLean paid seven hundred fifty dollars, according to By-Law number 53. Fred Munro draws the attention of Council “to the employment of Chinese on the Gravel Contract.” The contractor will be called upon to explain.