The transcription of the Vancouver City Council minutes of 1890 was funded by Arnold Silber.
Click on any headline to see the full transcript of that day’s meeting, and pictures of the original handwritten minutes.


Election results for Vancouver Mayor & Aldermen for 1890

This document was transcribed by volunteer Gerald Soon in July of 2018. These election results were published in the “Vancouver Daily World” on December 10, 1889.  The winners took office in January of 1890 for a term of one year. 


Vancouver City Council 1890

Mayor: David Oppenheimer Aldermen: J. M. Browning (Ward 1) J. T. Carroll (Ward 1) James F. Garden (Ward 2) J. W. Horne (Ward 2) J. M. Fox (Ward 3) F. W. Sentell (Ward 3) Michael Costello (Ward 4) Malcolm McLeod

Council of 1889 concludes; John Clough awarded $50 – January 6, 1890

Final reports received, Council for 1889 retires. This transcript was made in 2015 by Transcribimus volunteers Margaret Sutherland and Joy Marie Vasquez and sponsored by Arnold Silber original handwritten minutes here City of Vancouver Archives Series 23-A Volume 3 pages

Floating cabins to be removed – Jan 6, 1890

Floating cabins and other “public nuisances” built along English Bay, Burrard Inlet, Coal Harbour and False Creek to be removed. Council to establish a “crematory” for burning garbage and a “pest house” to quarantine those with infectious diseases, and to

Chain gang labour to be seen on city streets – Jan 20, 1890

Licensed “hackmen” (horse-drawn public cab drivers) ordered to post standard fares in some conspicuous place in their vehicles. The Sergeant of Police is instructed to use prison labor as much as possible in cleaning up the streets in the business

Vancouver to acquire its own Water Works – January 27, 1890

water works under construction

Council agrees to acquire the Water Works from its current private owners. It was agreed to request the provincial government not to dissolve the current Small Debts Court Act until a judge is actually resident in Vancouver. Council to request

Recommendations needed to guard against electrical accidents – February 3, 1890

The Fire, Water and Light Committee directed to recommend safeguards against accidents “from the wires of the Telegraph, Telephone and Electric Light Companies when the Electric currents are of such intensity as to be dangerous to human life”. The License

Rogers sugar factory bonus drafted – February 10, 1890

Council specifies that their grant of a bonus “in aid of the establishment of the said [Rogers] Sugar Refinery is enacted …on the condition that the Company…shall not at any time employ Chinese labor in and about the said works”.

Post office petition draws Dominion Government wrath – February 17, 1890

The Minister of Public Works is reported to be “naturally irritated at the imposition and misrepresentation” in a petition for a Post Office in Vancouver, “that to a great extent such a petition is fraudulent, many of the [supposed 1800

City Charter to be amended – February 24, 1890

Many amendments made to City Charter. Mr. Hamersley, city solicitor, sent to Victoria to see them carried through. Site for [Rogers] sugar refinery established, to be purchased from F. C. Cotton, proprietor of San Juan Lime Co.  Dominion (federal) Government

Robert Hemphill new Pound Keeper at $420 per year – March 3, 1890

Cattle shed to be built in city Pound facility at a budget of $35. Robert Hemphill to be appointed pound keeper at a salary of $35 per month, he to furnish his own horse and “devote his whole time to

Isaac Hallet new Police Magistrate at $1,500 per year – March 17, 1890

(Special Meeting) After three rounds of balloting, it was agreed that Isaac H. Hallett be appointed Police Magistrate at a Salary of $1,500.00 a year on the conditions that “he shall not begin or carry on any law practice nor

Labor wants nine hour day, no chain gang on city contracts – March 17, 1890

Letter received from Joseph Dixon, President of the Trades and Labor Council asking the Council to discontinue Prison Labor on the Streets and to reduce the time of corporation Day Laborers to nine hours. Arrangements for the Roger’s Sugar Refinery

Fire alarm boxes received at customs – March 24, 1890

Fire alarm boxes ordered by the City and shipped from San Francisco have been confiscated by Customs. City authorizes $1,140.50 in customs be paid to release the shipment. Board of Health has mediated a dispute regarding a tannery proposed by

Hack (horse-drawn taxi) fares standardized – March 31, 1890

Representatives from the Hackmen have met with Police Committee and set standard fares to apply at all times except public holidays. Health department has tested the milk supplied to the Hospital and determined it is not up to the specified

Alderman Browning OK to serve as sugar company director – April 14, 1890

Alderman J. M. Browning, elected President of BC Sugar Refining Company, to whom Council has granted a sizeable bonus, assured that “his being a Director in said Company in no way disqualifies him from serving as an Alderman”. O. W.

Citizens must protect trees from stray animals – April 21, 1890

Request from Robert Dickie and others asking the Council to allow them to use the Common South of Nelson Street for herding their cattle. Meanwhile, “…while everything possible is being done by the Council to put a stop to animals

Changes to liquor license by-law – April 26, 1890

A Special Meeting was held to consider the liquor license by-law This transcript was made in 2015 by Transcribimus volunteers Margaret Sutherland and Joy Marie Vasquez and sponsored by Arnold Silber original handwritten minutes here City of Vancouver Archives Series

Water Street property owners may be forced to fill in lots to the low water mark – April 28, 1890

Looking into whether the City “can compel the owners” of the lots in the low lands on the North side of Water Street in the Old Granville Townsite to “fill them up to high water mark to abate the disagreeable

Fire department salaries established – May 5, 1890

Salaries set for 23 fire department employees ranging from $15 to $75 per month. All sewer connections to be seen by Health Inspector before pipes can be laid. C.B. Higginson receives contract for street sprinkling (to reduce dust) at $5.00

Public meeting will be held over July 1 celebration – May 13, 1890

Council, having reviewed the cost of last year’s celebration, will hold a public meeting regarding this year’s July 1 celebration. Mr. Herman Schussler, C.E of San Francisco to come to Vancouver to test the water works. Sansom and Dawson have

City of Vancouver work day reduced to nine hours – May 26, 1890

Labourers for the Corporation of the City of Vancouver’s work day reduced from ten to nine hours daily. The fountain donated to the City by the Foundry and Machine Shops to be located at the corner of Hastings and Carrall

Dogs running without a license will be seized – June 2, 1890

All unlicensed dogs running at large to be seized. Request from G. Perrie & Matsado Sora Kiche asking Council to cancel the License imposed on wrestlers. Aldermen Doering, Costello, Horne, Sentell and Browning form a committee to look into increasing

No dumping off the Granville Street Bridge – June 16, 1890

Chief of Police to post signs on the Granville Street Bridge to prevent dumping off the bridge. Pound keeper’s salary increased to $60 per month to cover extra duties. C.B. Higginson to be paid $5 per day for street sprinkling

License fees for wrestlers reduced to $10 per show – June 30, 1890

License fees for wrestlers reduced to $10 per exhibition. Cemetery caretakers’ salary increased to $50 per month. $1,000 set aside for Dominion Day celebration July 1. Council accepts “kind invitation” to be present at sod turning ceremony for future Temperance

City band gets $400 for musical instruments – July 14, 1890

$400 set aside to purchase musical instruments to form a city band as petitioned. City was advised by legal counsel to have the morgue moved away from its present location. As CPR has donated half a city block for a

Police may keep all outside rewards – July 21, 1890

Rule 48 of the Police Regulations was amended so that Police Force officers be allowed to keep all rewards offered by persons outside the city for the arrest of criminals and runaway sailors. Several sites were proposed for a city

Barbers clamour to re-open on Sundays – July 28, 1890

City barbers request to be allowed to re-open their shops on Sundays, and the request is seconded by the hotel keepers. Royal City Planing Mills objects to the Cambie Street Bridge being built without a draw (a section that can

Garbage burning crematory urgently needed – August 4, 1890

City Clerk instructed to reply to Harbour Master’s complaint about the City’s dumping of waste into the harbour would soon be replaced by burning it. Burning site to be established along False Creek. Letter from John Crabb asking to be

Rev. E. D. McLaren to head University of British Columbia – August 11, 1890

Rev. E.D. McLaren appointed the City’s representative to the newly-formed Corporation of the University of British Columbia. Council recommended that the Union Steam Ship Company be granted a subsidy of $250.00 per month to run the S.S. Cutch “or some

Morley gets $200 reward for info on Sunbury murder – August 25, 1890

Chief of Police recommended George Morley for $200 reward for information on Henry T. Sunbury murder. Mr. Wetzler suggested that the nozzles of fire hoses should be furnished with a cut-off, so that when firemen entered a building the water

Street railway route revealed – September 8, 1890

Committee met with Street Railway Company and recommends the company be allowed to extend their line along Westminster Ave (Main Street) to Ninth Ave (Broadway), then west to Centre Street (Granville), then south to the Granville Street Bridge and across

Council carefully review market by-laws – September 9, 1890

This transcript was made in 2015 by Transcribimus volunteer Donna Kynaston and sponsored by Arnold Silber original handwritten minutes here City of Vancouver Archives Series 23-A Volume 4 pg 39 only [volume 4 page 39] Vancouver September 9th 1890 The

City buildings to be numbered – September 15, 1890

Board of Works to undertake contract with Mr. Henderson to number all the buildings in the city, “provided the cost does not exceed 25 cents for each set of numbers.” The Finance Committee reports that “…a general view (photograph) of

CPR bridge must have a draw, Council affirms – September 22, 1890

The CPR bridge across False Creek “… offers a serious obstruction to the passage of steamers and sailing vessels.” City to “communicate with” Canadian government to “cause” the CPR to either remove the bridge or “have a draw span inserted

Garbage burning crematory will cost $6,000 – September 30, 1890

Vancouver to contract with the Dominion Sanitary and Cremating Co. to build a garbage burning facility at a cost of $6,000. H.B. Warren appointed City Engineer. BC Government informs Council that Mr R.H. Alexander was appointed Reviser of Municipal Voters

City Market rents established – October 13, 1890

market hall and auction shed 1895

Rents for the new City Market – five cents per front foot per day for a stall in the market building for a period of one month or more (six cents if for a period of less than one month,

McGeer vows he will close Westminster Road – October 20, 1890

Property owner James McGeer gave notice that he would close Westminster Road running through his property within ninety days unless some arrangement was made with him. Question of whether to omit taxes on improvements to existing real estate is deferred

Cemetery Road to be made passable for “the upcoming wet weather” – October 27, 1890

$3,500 allocated to make the Cemetery Road passable “so that funerals can reach the cemetery…in the upcoming wet weather.” Proposal received from the Phoenix Water Works Company to lay system of underground pipes for water supply. 62 electric lights, 400

Water Works price to be set at arbitration – October 31, 1890

The amount to be paid by the Vancouver for the Water Works to be determined by an independent arbitration. This transcript was made in 2015 by Transcribimus volunteer Chris Stephenson and sponsored by Arnold Silber original handwritten minutes here City

Library requests $125 per month – November 3, 1890

Mr. M.H. Hirschberg, President of The Vancouver Free Reading Room and Library requested $125 per month in order to rent a suitable room – $25 per month to rent a room and $100 for expenses. Decision referred to “Messrs Charles

Citizens Committee wants Market Hall entertainments three nights per week – November 10, 1890

Market Hall Committee to meet with Citizens Committee, who are asking for use of the Market Hall three nights per week to provide “free public entertainments such as lectures, music and debates”.  Mayor Oppenheimer anxious to have the east park

Present street lighting is “unsatisfactory” – November 24, 1890

The Fire Water and Light Committee report suggests Council put the Vancouver Street Railway and Light Company on notice that the present lighting is unsatisfactory and the City does not intend to pay for any light which is out for

Library budget increased, building planned – December 1, 1890

Budget for library increased to $125 per month from $60. A Committee of four Aldermen and the Mayor find a site and develop a building suitable for a Reading Room, Library, Museum, and Lecture Room. Plan No 3 for Hastings

Police, firemen to get free first aid training – December 15, 1890

St. Johns Ambulance Association offers free first aid training to police and fire departments. The Police Committee request that W.S. Patterson be authorized to receive and execute writs, rather than having to send for a writ to the Sheriff in

Officer Grady injured on the job, receives full salary – December 22, 1890

No reduction be made in the Salary of Officer Grady, injured while helping the Chain Gang to remove a stump in one of the lanes of the City. Two miles of wire to be purchased to extend the range of

Council seeks company to build drydock for less than $100,000 – December 29, 1890, 10:00 am

A Special Meeting to resolve to offer financial incentive to any company who could build a “graving dock” (dry dock) for less than $100,000. A By-Law was drafted, and a date and time fixed for an election to ratify the

Chinese citizens to be buried separately – December 29, 1890, 7:30 pm

Chinese community granted separate plot in Cemetery. Telephones needed to connect the Sheriff’s office in Vancouver and in the New Westminster Courthouse to “facilitate the processes of the law.” A clock to be placed on the Market Building tower, cost


Final reports received, Council of 1890 concludes – January 5, 1891

Final committee reports and audit for 1890 received. Council then adjourned Sine Die. This transcript was made in 2016 by Transcribimus volunteer Donna Kynaston and sponsored by Shirley Barnett original handwritten minutes here City of Vancouver Archives Series 23-A Volume