Sponsorship for the 1893 Vancouver City Council minutes is still available.

The transcriptions were made by volunteers Gerald Soon, Mary-Ann Capistrano, Krystyna Richards, Joanne McCormick, Cathy Harner, Linda Evans, Leah Minuk & anonymous.

Click on any headline to see the full transcript of that meeting.


Vancouver City Council 1893

Mayor: Fred Cope Aldermen: R. A. Anderson (Ward 1) W. F. Salsbury (Ward 1) Henry Collins (Ward 2) J. A. Hackett (Ward 2) William Cargill (Ward 3) H. R. McCraney…

Fire, Water & Light Committee’s recommendation overturned; Street Railway Committee’s report adopted – January 3, 1892

The Fire Water & Light Committee proposed that the Capilano Waterworks upon its completion be overseen by Assistant Engineer J. P. Lawson, freeing up City Engineer to attend to other…

Vancouver prepares to fight injunction against Railway Bonus By-law – January 9, 1893

H.A. McIntosh claimed 71.80 for supplies to furnish the quarantine hospital. John Potter hired to complete sewer Section 8 at a cost of $9,935.40. Lawyer A. St. George Hamersley instructed…

Council for 1892 wraps up remaining business – January 16, 1893, 11:00 a.m.

The question of land for the Burrard Inlet and Fraser Valley Railway Co was referred to incoming Council. Final accounts from committees were approved, including an amount of $6314.73 for…

School Board granted $1500 extra to hire “best” teachers – January 23, 1893

An extra $1500 was granted to the school board to allow them to hire “the best men” as secondary school teachers. Theo Hardiman was granted $150.00 in compensation for his…

Investigation Committee to Count Cost of running City Hall – January 30, 1893

East End (Oppenheimer Street) School, originally located at 522 Oppenheimer Street, moved to Pender and Jackson in 1891. It was renamed Strathcona in 1900.

An Investigation Committee to examine the cost of running the City Hall, Fire Brigade and Police Force: the number of employees, their salaries and duties. Doctor Thomas appointed Medical Health Officer at $50 per month; some of his duties were to "examine lunatics" and treat prisoners in jail. John P. Turner was unanimously elected Foreman of the Water Works. A. St. George Hamersley was appointed City Solicitor at $2,000 per year.

Heavy snow hampers Vancouver traffic and water supply – February 6, 1893

It must have been a snowy month: David Oppenheimer asked police to forbid drivers from using street railway tracks during heavy snows, and W.G. Elliott threatened he would hold the…

Vancouver Police ordered to enforce snow removal by-law – February 13, 1893

200 copies of the Health, Liquor and Trades License By-laws to be printed in pamphlet form. The Chief of Police was instructed to enforce the clearing of snow from the…

Hours of work set for civic employees – February 20, 1893

Hours of work for civic employees were fixed at 9 to 5 Monday through Friday plus 9 to 1 pm on Saturday. No reduction in the number of employees was…

No seats for Press during Council meetings; Railway litigation goes on – February 27, 1893

The press again brought up the issue of suitable chairs for them during council meetings. A motion requiring two thirds support was lost. The motion would have allowed the mayor…

Burrard Inlet and Fraser Valley Electric Railway bonus upheld – March 6, 1893

The Mayor empowered to stop the pending legislation with the railway company. The Street Railway Committee was dismissed; the Mayor appointed the whole Council to the new Committee. Thomas H.…

Council meets to consider Street Railway Company’s offer – March 11, 1893

Council members met with David and Isaac Oppenheimer, Thomas Dunn and William Farrell, the directors of the Vancouver Electric Railway and Light Company. Alderman Salsbury removed himself from the negotiations, as he was a shareholder of the company.

Street Railway Committee’s report adopted: Railway to go ahead – March 13, 1893

The final conditions for the Street Railway’s expansion into the City Streets were laid out. One thousand copies of health code violation notices to be printed, where the health inspector…

Health officers to inspect every building in the city – March 20, 1893

A. W. Scoullar appointed temporary Health Inspector at $3.00 per day. The swing on the Granville Street bridge to be repaired at once. Burrard Street to be re-graded for paving with “bituminous rock”.

Street Railway by-law gets first reading – March 27, 1893

image of Stuart's pocket map of Vancouver

Messrs Gilbertson & Sharp to supply new police uniforms and helmets; $28 for policemen, $33 for sergeants, $38 for the Chief. Alderman Fowler and the Pounds Keeper be authorized to…

Railway Bonus guarantee raised to $400,000 – April 4, 1893

In spite of a motion to put the matter off for six months, the Railway Bonus By-Law was completed, and the amount in question was raised from $350,000 to $400,000.…

Vancouver City Council disapproves $600,000 cost for Victoria Parliament buildings – April 17, 1893

Vancouver City Council disapproves of the BC Government’s recent [April 1893] decision to set aside $600,000 for government buildings “when the money should be spent in opening up roads for…

Vancouver’s budget for 1893 finalized – April 24, 1893

Vancouver’s estimated income for 1893 was $524,021.18 Expenditures were expected to be $408,941.78

Council guarantees payment from By-Law Nos. 155, 168 – April 28, 1893

A special meeting to go over the debt guarantee as amended in By-Law 168, and to finalize the Plumbing By-Law. C.F. Hutchings appointed Electric Inspector at a salary of one…

No Liquor Sales Allowed on By-Law Decision Day – May 1, 1893

Vancouver's Street Railway Guarantee By-Law to be voted on next week, May 8. No liquor allowed to be sold on that day until the polls close. The City Solicitor to look into claims that A. M. Beattie was selling second hand goods at the City Market, thus breaking the terms of his lease . Council received four orders of garnishment for city officials’ wages, and decided that any second occurrence would be grounds for dismissal. $5,000 paid in to the School Board’s account.

Lt. Gov. Dewdney to Open New Vancouver Y.M.C.A. – May 8, 1893

Lt. Governor Dewdney and wife to be received in Vancouver May 18 to open the new Y.M.C.A. Building; Mayor and Council invited. Miss Mcfie appointed hospital Matron at $50 per month, Mr. T. Martin hospital Cook at $30, and J. A. Gow appointed Call Man at the Mount Pleasant Fire Hall at $15. A reward of $25 offered for information leading to conviction of those breaking windows within the City.

Wash Houses locations to be strictly regulated – May 15, 1893

A petition from A. St. George and others “confirming wash houses within certain limits” led to a by-law being formed, read three times, and finalized during the meeting. Council “regrets…

Bath to be installed in Vancouver jail – May 22, 1893

Contract was awarded to install a bath in the jail for $62. In spite of requests from the hotel keepers not to raise the liquor licensing fee, a new By-Law…

Liquor, Trades Licenses By-Laws Amended – May 25, 1893

This transcript was made in 2020 by Transcribimus volunteer Joanne McCormick Illustration: City of Vancouver Archives photo CVA 99-3069 [Vancouver Brewery, 1936] to see original handwritten minutes – click here City…

“C” Battery Artillery to Relocate to Vancouver? – May 29, 1893

C Battery, Canadian Artillery, 1890

Mr. Beatty [Market superintendent] and the Health Inspector to discuss how to improve drainage at the City Market. Collectors to be paid ten cents for each new name they add to the Provincial Voters’ List. City Council urges Victoria to relocate C Battery of Canadian Artillery to Vancouver, rather than sending them to Ontario, citing lack of any other military presence in British Columbia. Sergeant Heywood resented Alderman Brown's insinuation that police sleep at the Gurney Stables overnight, rather than guarding Mount Pleasant’s chickens!

Dominion Day Celebration given $1,000 – June 5, 1893

$1,000 was granted toward upcoming Dominion Day celebration, if the committee could prove all of last year’s bills were paid. A separate plot set aside for the burial of firemen…

City closes out Sinking Funds – June 12, 1893

The Chief of the Fire Department authorized to purchase a hose wagon for $540.00. City Engineer be authorized to make arrangements with Chief Capilano for a stable for the horse…

Epworth League objects to Stanley Park Liquor License – June 19, 1893

The Street Inspector be instructed to put down a “3 plank walk” along Nicola Street and Burnaby Street to the beach at English Bay. Mrs Griffin be appointed Cook at…

BC Iron Works to supply new water main – June 21, 1893

Fire limits by-law completed; progress made on water rates by-law.

Water Rate By-Law Finalized – June 26, 1893

The City Engineer will interview two applicants for the position of caretaker of the bathing sheds on English Bay. The Edison General Electric Company billed the City $140.50 for wiring…

Council prepared to offer $360,000 for street railway – June 29, 1893

Aldermen McCraney and Anderson attempted to raise the sum to $380,000, but this amendment was overturned.

English Bay bath houses ready for use – July 3, 1893

Charges for new English Bay bath house not to be more than 5 cents for supply of a towel and [bathing] suit. A minimum of 20 percent of the changing…

Talks with Street Railway company continue – July 6, 1893

The deputation from the Street Railway shareholders accepted Council’s written offer, but also proposed an alternative to outright purchase of the Company. Council appointed Mayor Cope, Alderman Anderson and the…

Railway purchase faces uncertain future – July 7, 1893

A written agreement had been signed between the Council’s Committee and a deputation of the shareholders of the Vancouver Electric Railway + Light Co. Ltd. for the City to purchase…

Fire, Water & Light Committee considers tunnelling “The Narrows” – July 10, 1893

The Fire, Water & Light Committee continues its research into tunnelling “the narrows”, and asked the City Engineer to examine the strata below the waters. A pair of horses was…

Railway purchase by-law stalled on second reading – July 17, 1893

The issue of the City’s Purchase of the Street Railway continued to be divisive: Aldermen Anderson, Collins, Hackett, Cargill, McCraney and Brown were prepared to hear first reading of the…

Tax rebate deadline extended to September 1st – July 24, 1893

Letter from G. Griffith re the excavations at the corner of Pender & Seymour and Pender & Richards was referred to the Street Inspector. Illustration shows Pender & Seymour intersection…

Churches ask for tax deadline extension – July 31, 1893

Ratepayer asked that Grant Street be extended 100 feet east of Victoria Drive. Illustration shows Grant Street at Victoria Drive, clearing a lot for a blacksmith shop, 1905.

Vancouver Electric Railway purchase deferred six months – August 7, 1893

Letter asking Columbia Brewery be made to remove their troughs from the street.  Illustration shows Columbia Brewery at north side of Powell Street at Wall Street and Victoria Drive.

City to participate in upcoming Labour Day Parade – August 14, 1893

Labour Day Parade 1898 Vancouver near Hastings Mill

The Council accepted an invitation to attend the Labour Day Parade, and allowed the Fire Brigade to participate. Council gives orders to the City Foremen to give preference in hiring…

South Vancouver wants road gravel extended – August 28 1893

South Vancouver notified that Vancouver will gravel South Granville St. within City limits (Sixteenth Avenue) but that the Westminster Road is well gravelled already as far as the City Limits…

Fire limits by-law completed – August 31, 1893

Fire limits by-law completed; progress made on water rates by-law.

Vancouver Sued over Fireman Smalley’s Death – September 4, 1893

1890s Vancouver firemen waking to respond to fire

Claims for compensation were brought against the City of Vancouver for the death of Fireman Smalley in June of 1893. Illustration shows Vancouver firemen responding to a night alarm 1890-95.

Ward 5 Review Overturned – September 11, 1893

Alderman Fowler asked for a review of taxes received and amounts spent on improvements in Ward 5 west of Center Street. Ward 5 in 1893 was roughly Mount Pleasant, Fairview,…

Plumbers, Board of Works will meet to amend the plumbing bylaw – September 18, 1893

man standing in sewer trench, Vancouver, 1911

The Board of Plumbing Inspectors, representatives from the plumbers’ union and Master Plumbers were invited to meet with the Board of Works to consult on the new bylaw.

Police to monitor bicycle riders on Vancouver streets – September 25, 1893

The Chief of Police was instructed to see that bicycle riders exercise more care to avoid accidents when riding on the public streets. Illustration shows a bicycle race at Brockton…

November 28 to be final property tax extension date – September 30, 1893

The final date to pay property tax without 20 per cent surcharge was extended to November 28, 1893.

New Police Uniforms Needed – October 9, 1893

Tenders for new police uniforms invited. Request for street light at the corner of 13th and Ontario St. denied for the present. Finance Committee’s recommendation to appoint C. McRae as Assessor was overturned. A house for volunteer nurse Mrs. Hansell to the lepers on Darcy Island is proposed in co-operation with Victoria City Council.

H. R. Bellamy to get $230 for testing “the Narrows” – October 11, 1893

The plumbing by-law was also completed. This transcript was made in 2019 by Transcribimus volunteer Anonymous original handwritten minutes here City of Vancouver Archives COV S 31 Volume 5 page…

Cabs available on Abbott Street – October 16, 1893

Cabs may stand on Abbott Street between Water and Hastings Streets.

Gravely Street to be opened up – October 23, 1893

John Mason wrote to request Graveley Street be opened up. [Photo shows the Mason home].

Roaming cattle block tramway – October 30, 1893

Former Mayor David Oppenheimer complained of cows roaming on the tramway tracks within city limits.

Road from Squamish to Pemberton Meadows proposed – November 6, 1893

Council endorsed a petition for the B. C. Government to open up a road from “the Squamish” to Pemberton Meadows. Photo shows Squamish First Nations Brass Band about 1900.

Tax Deadline Extended Again – November 13, 1893

The Health Committee purchased a tent for $5.00.

No new railway tracks until paving by-law passed – November 20, 1893

Trustees for the Vancouver Tramway Co. will wait until By-Law is approved before going ahead with new tracks. City Clerk asked to look into cost for proper milk testing services.…

Militia Department Allows Reservoir in Stanley Park – November 27, 1893

Communication received from the Militia Department giving permission to construct a Reservoir in Stanley Park. Although D.V. MacDonald had been selected as the contractor to build the Reservoir at a meeting of the Fire Water and Light Committee on November 24, both MacDonald and George W. Fuller withdrew their tenders for work on the reservoir. The matter was referred back to the Committee. The Chief of Police was instructed to take steps to prevent the sale of cigarettes to boys. Mr. Oppenheimer was notified that the wandering cows he complained of were wandering mostly outside the limits of the City Pound's authority.

Repair to Stanley Park road will cost $700 – December 1, 1893

The road around Stanley Park needs repairs. Photo shows cyclers in Stanley Park, ca 1890.

Alderman Anderson wants elected Water Works officials – December 4, 1893

Council received a request for a sidewalk on Ontario St. at Ninth Avenue (Broadway). Photo shows Ontario at 11th.

Public works requested to reduce unemployment – December 11, 1893

City Council received a complaint of “loafers” at the corner of Carrall and Cordova Street. Photo shows men and a boy (not necessarily loafers!) standing outside the Boulder Saloon at…

Water Commissioners and Civic Election by-laws complete – December 14, 1893

A special meeting to finalize the Water Commissioners’ By-Law and the Civic Election By-Law. This transcript was made in 2019 by Transcribimus volunteer Leah Minuk original handwritten minutes here City…

Restaurant owners challenge hotel’s wooden building – December 18, 1893

Hotel owners want to know why the Richmond Hotel was allowed to build a wooden structure, after they had been denied permission.  Alderman Collins resigned from as Alderman for Ward…

Street loafers will be moved along – December 26, 1893

William Airey claimed compensation for injury while working at “the Narrows.” The condition of the Richmond Hotel is found to be within the fire bylaw. Street corner loafers will be…


Mass firing averted; referred to next Council – January 2, 1894

The Health Officer reported two cases of diptheria in December 1893. Council overturns its former decision to allow Oppenheimer Brothers to construct a railway siding to their premises. By-law established…

No pay for injured water main worker – January 8, 1894

The Fire Water and Light Committee recommended William Aviy be allowed half time [pay] since his injury working on the water main – Council disallowed. Council approved the Finance committee’s…

Final meeting for Council for 1893 – January 15, 1894, 11:00 a.m.

Council for 1893 held its final meeting. John Johnstone to be paid $133.00 for election services.