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


Vancouver City Council 1892

Mayor: Fred Cope Aldermen: R. A. Anderson (Ward 1) H. E. Connon (Ward 1) Henry Collins (Ward 2) A. W. Scoullar (Ward 2)* H. R. McCraney (Ward 3) W. J. McGuigan (Ward 3) J. L. Franklin (Ward 4) Edward Odlum

Last Year’s Civic Overspending Tops $66,000 – Jan 18, 1892

Newly-elected Mayor Fred Cope gave address. The Finance Committee, Standing Committee on Works, Board of Health, the Fire, Water & Light Committee, and the Market & Police Committee were established. Last year’s Council and Committees overspent $66,000; $45,000 of which

Committee Meetings to be held in private – Jan 25, 1892

Dupont Street, Vancouver, 1906

Alderman McGuigan moved and alderman Gavan seconded that henceforth all Committee meetings be held in private. Liquor license payments to be refunded for unsuccessful applicants. Letter received from Miss Bowes, a frequent writer to Council, drawing attention to the Social

$250 donation Sir John A McDonald memorial fund overturned – Feb 1, 1892

William Sutherland appointed tax collector at $75 per month; J.A. Reid poundkeeper at $50 per month. Committee formed to acquire Vancouver Electric Railway Co. Account of all city salaries for 1891 called for. A recommendation from the finance committee to

Bell-Irving and Paterson get Water Works contract – Feb 2, 1892

The Council granted the Water Works contract for cast iron pipes, lead pipes, and lead to Bell-Irving and Paterson, commerical merchants at 436 Cordova Street. Use of the hall at the City Market was granted free for a hospital fund-raiser.

City Hospital staff reappointed, slaughterhouses all “in order” – Feb 8, 1892

Vancouver Hospital staff 1893

Complaint received from Philip Fewster of his being ill-treated at Police Court.  Miss Swan reappointed as Matron at the City Hospital at $50 a month and allowed an assistant at $15.  W.G. March appointed as hospital cook and Frank Humphries

Projected new oil warehouse alarms neighbours – Feb 15, 1892

horse drawn tank

Letter received from R.D. Pith thanking Council for giving  him an artificial leg.  Condition of city street lights is a problem.  The Vancouver Electric Railway & Light Co. “urged to erect all lights that they had been notified to purchase

Alderman Scoullar’s Seat on Council declared vacant – Feb 22, 1892

A by-election was established for Ward 2 to replace Alderman Scoullar. Plumbing for the hospital addition and 34 new Lawson-Tait hospital beds were ordered for the hospital. All requests for street work to be laid over until estimates can be

Special meeting of Council to arrange funding for water works purchase – February 24, 1892

Present staff of Capilano Water Works to be kept on when the purchase by the City is complete. Temporary financing arranged with the Bank of British Columbia while debentures sold in London. This transcript was made in 2018 by Transcribimus

Popular Aldermen Get Two-Year Term – Feb 29, 1892

market hall and auction shed 1895

Alderman McGuigan led opposition to the proposal that the Aldermen with the highest number of votes be appointed for a two-year term; proposal carried nevertheless. Rates raised for the rental of the Market Hall for all users, including the Zion

Vancouver asks Canadian government to establish steamship postal service as far north as Comox– Mar 14, 1892

The Finance Committee recommended the purchase of two sea lions that were currently on display at a price of $115. Aldermen Franklin, Connon and Gavin appointed to meet with the Jockey Club about Hastings Park. Council also sent a request

Joseph Huntly appointed Health Inspector: M. G. MacLeod both License Inspector & Gaoler – Mar 21, 1892

 Arthur Cecil Green appointed night nurse at the hospital; monthly salary $30.00 E. G. McGarrigle and others petitioned that Oppenheimer Street be renamed Cordova St. The Lacrosse Club granted the use of City Hall for April 24, and the Brockton

Nothing Decided on Railway Bonus Question – Mar 24, 1892

Council met with representatives of the Burrard Inlet and Fraser River Valley Railway Company, who were requesting a bonus of $300,000 and explained how they intended to expend that sum. Council decided to grant that sum by purchasing stock in

Pardon for Sam Greer? – Mar 28, 1892

Sam Greer

R.H. Alexander spoke in support of the requested $300,000 bonus for Burrard Inlet and Fraser River Valley Railway Company. Entire Council to meet with Company representatives tomorrow (Tuesday May 29, 1892). Many 53 out of 160 property owners on Oppenheimer

Council goes over draft contract with the railway – March 29, 1892

Council reviewed and amended a draft agreement with the Burrard Inlet and Fraser River Valley Railway Company. City Solicitor to prepare amended draft to take to Council on Monday April 4, 1892.

Liquor license by-law amended – April 4, 1892

The C. P. R. will be asked to donate land for a Fairview recreation ground. The W. C. T. U. and the Barbers press for greater enforcement of the Sunday closing by-law. The City needs to acquire a triangular piece

MacLean for Sheriff; City to buy Studebaker street sprinkler – April 11, 1892

horse-drawn Studebaker street sweeper, photo taken about 1947

Malcom A. MacLean (first Mayor of Vancouver) unanimously favoured by Council as Sheriff of the newly-formed Judicial District of the City of Vancouver. Current Mayor Cope to call a public meeting to decide whether to form a Militia Corps. Mr.

Gravel price increased to $1.75 per yard – April 19, 1892

Scavengers with brooms and hand-cart

Crushed rock available at city scow on wharf increased to $1.75 per yard from previous $1.50. None of the tenders received for scavengering (waste removal) accepted; matter laid over. Health Committee recommends a review of Hospital plumbing. Butcher George Matthews

Foreshore shacks again threatened – Apr 25, 1892

Thee debate was fierce over the Police Committee’s recommendation that the police force forcibly demolish private shacks and cabins to ensure the City’s jurisdiction over the area.   Alderman Scoullar Franklin and Odlum objected to the idea; the rest found them

Selected city streets to be paved – May 2, 1892

water works under construction

Pavement for Hastings, Cordova, Carrall, Abbott and Cambie Streets to be paid by frontage tax (city pays 1/3, owners pay 2/3). Property owners on these streets must get their water and gas connections in before paving takes place. Water temporarily

Council will meet again on Thursday to consider 1892 budget – May 9, 1892

Lawyer J.J. Blake informed council that his client Mrs. Mary Winch had a $300 mortgage on the Hose Wagon. Officer O’Grady was granted $15.00 for a suit of clothing, and (cemetery groundskeeper) Mr. Alex McDonald’s salary was raised by $10.00

Rates for 1892 will be 2 1/4 percent with 20% off – May 12, 1892

The estimates of income and expenses for 1892 were presented to a Committee of the Whole. Totals estimated to be $360,865.55 A number of adjustments were proposed and carried. Rates this year will be 2 1/4 percent with 20% off.

Money to be found, but not for Oppenheimer – May 16, 1892

Taxpayers to be polled June 21, 1892 regarding tax increase to fund schools, sewers and water works extensions. Council refuses (by one vote) to reimburse former Mayor Oppenheimer $500 spent out of his own funds on City business. A.M. Beattie

Local improvement bylaw passed – May 26, 1892

Residence of J.M. Lefevre, Alderman from 1887-1889

The business of May 23 was continued. The Local Improvement By-Law was passed, with two new clauses regarding verandahs and projections. The matter of the Free Library By-Law not to be heard for another six months (November, 1892). Professor Rae

Smallpox, vaccination and quarantine house matters dominate Council agenda – May 23, 1892

The services of nurses Sister Frances (of St. Luke Home, 309 Cordova St) and Edith Lyle of the Victoria Salvation Army offered to Vancouver Council for the Small Pox Pest House (quarantine facility). Vaccination made compulsory for children of school

“More stringent and effective” health inspection needed for incoming ships – May 30, 1892

Two recent “Asiatic” ships are believed to have brought smallpox infection to the city. Council sends urgent message to the Government in Ottawa, and copies all the local Members of Parliament, urging them to review and improve the health and

Board of Works to find a new quarantine site – June 6, 1892

The location for the new Pest House (quarantine facility) to be determined by the Board of Works.  Cabins behind the Market Hall to be burned, as recommended by the Health Inspector. Vancouver Council writes letter of concern and protest to

English Bay bath houses may never be built – June 13, 1892

English Bay Bath Houses question was deferred, as the available budget was not sufficient. Federal Minister of Marine offers to pay 91 cents per day for care of sick mariners in the city hospital. BC Department of Lands and Works

Reward for Conviction of Tree Vandals Increased to $300.00 – June 20, 1892

Council will attend July 4th celebrations in Seattle. Westminster and Vancouver Tramway officials complain of cows “running at large” on their tracks. W. S. Westcott awarded the contract for laying flexible water main across the Second Narrows. This transcript was

Deadman’s Island not to be used for quarantine – Jun 27, 1892

Temperance societies insist on Sunday closing. Lawn sprinkling hours restricted until the new water main is put in. No food or refreshments to be sold in Stanley Park or along the Park Road. Committee appointed to find a site for

Water main replacement to go ahead across First Narrows – July 4th 1892

Money enclosed with applications for licenses to be returned if the license is not granted.  The City Solicitor was asked to look into the question of whether an Alderman had the right to contract with the City for school construction.

Vancouver and New Westminster Councils urge formation of Provincial Board of Health – July 9, 1892

Joint meeting of New Westminster and Vancouver City Councils to prevent the spread of smallpox from Victoria and other suspected ports. Provincial Government urged to form a Provincial Board of Health to coordinate vaccinations.

No quarantine laid on Victoria steamers, at least for now – July 11, 1892

Vancouver decided to defer quarantine of vessels from Victoria until “more definite information” could be obtained. Several clergymen addressed Council, urging them to enforce prostitution laws. Several people whose clothes were destroyed by health officials request compensation. This transcript was

Dr. Harold appointed Vancouver health officer – July 13, 1892

Special Meeting to appoint municipal health officer, to appoint the new hospital as a quarantine facility, and to notify the C.P.R. that no goods could come ashore until they were “thoroughly disinfected”. This transcript was made in 2017 by Transcribimus

Labour Day to be granted as public holiday – July 18, 1892

labour day 1898

Labour Day (August 11 in 1892) to be granted as a public holiday. The Board of Health empowered to buy a site for a separate Chinese “pest house” (isolation hospital) within the City limits. City to ask the provincial government

Council unanimously backs smallpox quarantine against Victoria – July 22, 1892

Council unanimously backs Mayor Fred Cope’s announced smallpox quarantine. Mayors of other municipalities to be contacted to join the quarantine formed by Vancouver and New Westminster. This transcript was made in 2017 by Transcribimus volunteer Christine Cathcart and sponsored by

New Westminster to lift smallpox quarantine on Monday – July 23, 1892

Mayor Townsend of New Westminster announced he would raise a quarantine on New Westminster Monday July 25 if other municipalities would do the same. John Brenton appointed temporary Health Inspector, Alderman Anderson as Acting Mayor. This transcript was made in

Vancouver will crack down on prostitution at once – July 25, 1892

In an effort to curb prostitution, the allowable area for brothels will be made as small as possible. Drinking in open vehicles, “sauntering” around on foot, smoking at open windows, and other ways of attracting attention to be “wholly restrained”.

Quarantine decision delayed until tomorrow – July 27, 1892

This transcript was made in 2017 by Transcribimus volunteer Christine Cathcart and sponsored by the Woodward family original handwritten minutes here City of Vancouver Archives Series 23-A Volume 5 page 97 only [vol 5, pg 97] Vancouver July 27th 1892

Smallpox quarantine lifted – July 28, 1892

This transcript was made in 2017 by Transcribimus volunteer Christine Cathcart and sponsored by the Woodward family original handwritten minutes here City of Vancouver Archives Series 23-A Volume 5 pages 97 only [vol 5 pg 97] Vancouver July 28th 1892

Deadline for 20% tax rebate extended to August 15 – August 1, 1892

Because the volume of trade has decreased, the deadline for receiving a 20% tax rebate will be extended to August 15. All material used in the new sewers (except Portland Cement) to be a product of British Columbia. $10,000 placed

Additional quarantine buildings needed within the week – August 8, 1892

Vancouver quarantine hospital upgrade to include a kitchen and nurses’ quarters, and an observation facility, plus a well and a brick-lined cesspit.

Council proposes $300,000 bonus to Burrard Inlet & Fraser Valley Railway Co. – August 10, 1892

Informal discussion of the proposed $300,000 bonus to the Burrard Inlet & Fraser Valley Railway Co.

Steamer Sunbury given a $25 weekly bonus – August 15, 1892

The steamer Sunbury to be subsidized $25 per week. The City Engineer was to number streets in Fairview and Mount Pleasant consistent with the numbering north of False Creek. A plan to set aside 10 acres in Stanley Park for

Vancouver objects to paying salary for trains health inspector – August 22, 1892

Because of the continuing smallpox epidemic, the B.C. Government has appointed a health inspector to examine train passengers arriving and leaving Vancouver. The City of Vancouver objects to paying that health inspector’s salary. One more case of smallpox reported. Miss

Vancouver & North Vancouver co-operate to build a road along Capilano water works pipeline – August 29, 1892

The sum of $10,000 was placed in the School Board’s bank account. The City of Vancouver and the Municipality of North Vancouver will cooperate in building a road beside the Capilano Creek pipeline. The Finance Committee recommended W. B. Fisher

Water Works Superintendent Nickson dismissed – September 5, 1892

J. J. Nickson was dismissed as superintendent of the Water Works with one month’s salary in lieu of notice. The Police Committee’s recommendation that J. M. Beattie be allowed to build a shed on the Market grounds was overturned. This

$2,000 bonus granted to the B. C. Iron Works Company – September 7, 1892

The bonus of $2,000 was granted in 4 per cent debentures. Council also agreed to pay for fences etc. for the Jockey Club grounds.

B.C. Iron Works bonus question delayed for one week – September 12, 1892

Leatherdale + Smith claims damages to a horse and “rig” while it was rented by the City. Mr. R.D. Pitt is also claiming damages for the loss of his leg, while Mrs. Staff is claiming compensation for her salary while

Lots at the foot of Main Street to be expropriated for street expansion – September 19, 1892

Michael Costello was appointed arbitrator to determine the value of the lots to be expropriated by the City of Vancouver for street use. Compensation was made to several parties for loss of time and property during the recent smallpox quarantine.

$300,000 Railway Bonus By-Law receives third reading – September 26, 1892

Mayor Cope cast the deciding vote on a motion to postpone third reading of the the Railway Bonus By-law. In favour of adjourning the meeting till the next morning: Aldermen Collins, Scoullar, Gavin & Mills. Opposed to a delay: Anderson,

New Local Improvement By-Law Passed- October 3, 1892

“Crushed rock” (gravel) will be used to repair Westminster Avenue (now Main Street) and to surface the basement of the City Market. The Telephone company gives notice that they will have to raise the price for telephone service out to

Costello and Munro give up Water Mains contract – October 5, 1892

Council directed the Fire, Water and Light Committee to proceed with another company once a settlement was made with Costello and Munro for work done to date. This transcript was made in July of 2018 by Transcribimus volunteer Anonymous original

Westminster Ave. purchase delayed six months – October 10, 1892

Immediate fire by-law enacted to eliminate standing rubbish in back yards. The chain gang was assigned to level a lane way behind Beach Avenue. Street lights were approved for fifteen intersections. This transcript was made in July of 2018 by

Cemetery road must be repaired, Vancouver & South Vancouver tell Victoria – October 17, 1892

Mr. Abbott of the C. P. R. allowed 180 cubic yards of rock at the same prices as City. Thomas Allen to be paid $450.00 for purchase of a team of horses for the Fire Department.

City to hire Building Assessor – October 24, 1892

Aldermen Anderson, Franklin and McGuigan to meet with the Library Board regarding the size of the current library. B.C. Government reports that $400 has been set aside for the North Arm (cemetery) road. Police officers’ uniforms will cost $30 each,

Dry dock needed in Vancouver, says Board of Trade – October 31, 1892

The Opera House to gain an awning or covered walkway.  Oppenheimer Brothers must clear their lots in Mount Pleasant.  Mr. St. Armand granted permission to build his house over running water, provided he does not hold the City liable for

Taxpayers will soon vote on $300,000 Railway Bonus – November 3, 1892

Two by-laws were finalized: one granting a bonus of $300,000 to the Burrard Inlet and Fraser Valley Railway Co, and the other setting a polling time, places, etc for the Railway By-Law to be “elected” [ratified] by the taxpayers.

Vancouver Council to look into City staff cuts – November 8, 1892

A special committee was formed to see if any reduction of City staff is possible. A telephone will be installed in the Mount Pleasant Fire Hall. The Mayor of Seattle reported seven cases of smallpox in that city. A six

No additional City layoffs needed, Committee finds – November 14, 1892

A meeting of all the standing committee chairs found that no additional staff can be reduced past the three Engineering department employees already laid off. A new City Solicitor will be hired in the new year at a fixed yearly

Vancouver Library and Reading Room to move to larger quarters – November 21, 1892

Dr. McGuigan (who was also an Alderman) was appointed City Health Officer at no salary. Council agreed with the Library Board that the present Reading Room and Library was far too small. Request from the B. C. Cooperage and Jute

Vancouver Fire Hydrants to be made locally – November 28, 1892

Vancouver Council agreed to buy fire hydrants and valves from the B. C. Iron Works. R. A. Muskett requested a road be built to his house on Fairview. Former Mayor and current policeman Malcolm MacLean to be furnished with an

Huntly cleared of charges – December 5, 1892

Mr. Huntly was cleared regarding the overpayment of Mr. Larwill. Huntly was also asked to inspect the rear portion of a certain stables. Resolution from a recent Public Meeting regarding a Dry Dock was received. Mayor and Council entertained aboard

G. A. Stevenson to buy Local Improvement Debentures – December 12, 1892

Mr. G. A. Stevenson bought $110,000 worth of Local Improvement Debentures. Awning allowed for Vancouver Opera House. Terms of employment and salary ($2,000 per year) fixed for City Solicitor. Mrs. Watmough appointed as a hospital nurse at a salary of

Election set for Mayor and Council of 1893 – December 19, 1892

Election date and places set for election of Mayor, Aldermen, School Board, and Licensing Board. The Capilano Water Works is almost finished; the Fire Water + Light’s proposal for Assistant Superintendent Lawson to take over day to day operations was

Mr. Pitt not to be compensated for loss of his leg – December 27, 1892

The Fire Brigade to take over inspection and maintenance of Vancouver fire hydrants, beginning in the new year. Mr. Pitt, who had been writing to council weekly regarding the loss of his leg, was denied $50 compensation. The city’s insurance