Council Seeks Power to Remove “Undesirable” Buildings from Stanley Park – August 1, 1898

Stanley Park was currently, “handed over to the Corporation of the City of Vancouver for use as a Park subject to the right of the Dominion (Canadian) Government to resume the property when required at any time and subject to the City keeping the same in proper order”. Council feels that although Vancouver has spent more than $100,000 improving the park, the City lacks, “the necessary powers to evict trespassers, remove undesirable buildings and prevent nuisances.” Council is looking to the Honorable the Minister of Militia and Defence for an order in Council enforcing their authority.

This transcript was made in March of 2023 by Transcribimus volunteer Gerald Soon

COV S31 715 G 05 Vol 8
pages 399-408

[Vol 9, p.] 390

Vancouver August 1st 1898

Present – His Worship, the Mayor and Aldermen Townsley, Painter, McQueen, Neelands, McPhaiden, McGuigan, Brown, Foreman, McMorran and Bruce.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and adopted.


From the Chief of Police reporting on the Electric Lights

From C.G Johnson complaining about the Street Car Service on Mount Pleasant.
Referred to the Light Committee

From a working man asking that a tap and cup be provided for the watering trough at New City Hall.
Referred to Alderman Brown to attend to

From the City of Detroit inviting the Mayor and Council to attend the Second Annual Meeting of the League of American Municipalities on the 1st of August.

From Geo Mackay etal asking that the Express Stand be allowed to remain on Carrall Street
Referred to the Board of Works

From Geo B Bisby claiming $5.00 for hiring men to quench fire at Stimson’s Wharf
Referred to the Fire & Police Committee

From the City Solicitor reporting on the proper method to pursue re Small pox investigation
Filed for reference.

[Vol 9, p.] 400

The following Reports were received and read:-

Fire and Police Committee

July 26th 1898
Present – Aldermen McMorran, Townley and Brown.

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

R.A. MuskettSupplies$12.38
G.B. BisleyBoat Hire.50
Mining CriticSupplies6.40
J.A. McDowellHack hire1.00
W.J. McGuiganInquest10.00


From the City Solicitor re the impounding of Fitzpatrick’s Cows

From the Pound Keeper furnishing Report.

From the Stevenson Co. Stating that they had bought out Ronald and would be prepared to supply requirements for the fire engine.

Resolved that the Board of Works be requested when approving of plans for the Construction of buildings that they see that the provisions of the Fire Escape Act are carried out.

From J. Buntzen, General Manager of the B.C. Electric Co calling attention to the fact that cattle are allowed to roam around within the City Limits in the vicinity of the Westminster line and asking that steps be taken to have the nuisance abated.

Resolved that the safe carriage of passengers travelling upon the Street railway is one of the

[Vol 9. p.] 401

obligations of the Company as Common Carriers and this Committee cannot see its way clear to interfere in the matter but could suggest that all proper precautions be taken by the Company to ensure that safety of people travelling over their line in view of the fact that they are enjoying a franchise over the streets in the city

sgd R.A. McMorran

Moved by Alderman McMorran
Seconded by “ McPhaiden
That the Report be adopted.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met on Friday July 19th 1898
Present – the full Board

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

Allen & PhillipsWaiting$6.00
Geo WernerMusic28.
D.C. McGregorInsurance36.
U.S.S. CoBoat hire55
S.S. Ruth“ “20/
B.R. WardenAddress10.
McMillan & HamiltonSupplies18.30
B.C.D.T. & Delivery CoMessenger.1.50
W. StutDrayage.50
A. Hodgson11.50
G.F. BaldwinDisbursements12.28

The following applications were received for the positions of Assessors

C.J. Smith, Wm Bailey, F.A. Barnes, Wm Rierney, C.F. Bosomworth, F.L. Cosper, H. Green, Alex Philip, John McKie, John Dodd, Frank Grancille and Henry Mintrie.

It was resolved that the remuneration to be paid to the Land Assessors be fixed at

[Vol 9, p.] 402

$300 each and the building Assessor at $200


From the Trustees of the Oppenheimer Estate asking for the payment of $500 advanced by David Oppenheimer in 1890 as a forfeit on the purchase of the Coquitlam Water Works Charter
Referred to the Council

From John Bouyer asking the City not to demand taxes on house on Lot in Block 39 D.L. 302 overlooked in 1895.

From J. M. Bowell, Collector of Customs and J.E. Miller, Collector of Inland Revenue asking for the payment of fines collected in the Police Court by the Civic authorities
Resolved that the amounts be paid over less the costs in each case.

From Armstrong and Morrison protesting against the amount of taxes charged against them on the foundry

From the Chairman of the Park Commissioner asking that the Dominion Government be memorialized with the view of getting more authority over park matters
Referred to the Council.

From the Rev H. G. F. Clinton stating that St Luke’s House was now Incorporated under the Charitable Association Act and asking that Lots 33, 34, & 35 Block 55 D.L. 196 be exempted from taxation accordingly.
Filed for reference

From R. P. Glasgow Manager of Agencies the Linscott Publishing Company, Toronto, asking the Council to subscribe for the work “Canada” an encyclopedia of the country giving full information

[Vol 9, p.] 403

in relation thereto Price $60.00 bound in Turkey Morocco
Resolved that the City subscribe for five volumes at the price mentioned less five dollars

From W.T. Stein Secretary of the Board of Trade acknowledging receipt of Report re damages to water pipe by M S.S. Laurada

sgd Jas McQueen,

Moved by Alderman McQueen
Seconded by “ Painter
That the Report be adopted.

Board of Works

The Board of Works met on the 28th of July 1898.
Present – the full Board

Plans for a brick building for Messrs McFarland, Mahon & Co were submitted and approved subject to satisfactory fire escapes being put in satisfactory to the Engineer and also subject to proof being furnished as to permission having been obtained as to permission having been obtained from the owners to use the party walls on either side.


From R. J. Skinner, Provincial Land Surveyor as to Royalty on Wood Blocks for paving.
Laid over

From G. Adams and others in reference to the condition of sidewalk on South side of Powell St near Hawks Avenue.
Laid over

From A.E. Carter Contractor as to use of Street Thomson Block, Hastings Street.

Resolved that the Chief of Police see that all express wagons stand subject only at Abbott Street

[Vol 9, p.] 404

South of Hastings Street.

Resolved that the area petitioned for sewerage by Messrs Evans, Farrell, and others be sewered under the Local Improvement Plan and that the City Solicitor be instructed to prepare the necessary By-Law and the City Clerk be directed to send out the necessary notices etc for same and insert necessary advertisement it being understood that this system is only understood to apply to this individual case.

Resolved that the DeBeck building be granted permission to connect drain under sidewalk with surface drain already existing in front of Imperial Bank said connection to be put in at their own expense.

Resolved that the B.C. Electric Ry Co be notified as to the bad condition of their track between the rails especially on Granville & Powell Streets and Westminster Avenue.

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

C.H. LatiesUse of Pile Drive$21.00
Thos VeitchDel crushed rock307.60
B.C. MillsSupplies69.99
W.L. Tait28.83
Barr & Co2.50
Robertson & HackettSupplies228.80
McLennan & McFeely86.86
Duke & WallaceLabor.50
J.N. MenziesJacks3.00
Evans, Coleman & EvansSupplies11.25
J. E. Borwick2.00
J. D. ForemanTowage15.00
S. Eckhuis etalLabor2729.35

sgd H.J. Painter

Moved by Alderman Painter
Seconded by ” McPhaiden
That the Report be adopted

[Vol 9. p.] 405

Moved in amendment by Alderman Foreman
Seconded by Alderman McMorran
That the Clause in reference to the placing of the Express stands be stuck out.

Moved by Alderman Neelands
Seconded by “ McQueen
As an amendment to the amendment that the clause in reference to the express stands be referred back

Amendment to the amendment Carried

Moved by Alderman Painter
Seconded by “ McMorran
That the Report as amended be adopted.

Water and Market Committee

The Water and Market Committee met on Thursday July 28th
Present – Aldermen Brown, Neelands and McMorran.
It was resolved to increase the wages of James Stewart, Water Inspector to $2.25 per day.
It was resolved to have a boat built suitable for diving purposes

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

N. LevereLabor$2.00
Evans, Coleman & EvansSupplies8.
John Boyd & Co156.17
McLennan & McFeely8.23
B.C. Mills11.79
Rose BrosHack hire9.00
S.S. Hong KongTowing65.00
Dunn & CoSupplies172.87
E. ShurgoldExpress1.50
A. McDonaldInspector5.00
Water Works Pay RollLabor883.40

sgd Wm Brown

[Vol 9, p.] 406

Moved by Alderman Brown
Seconded by “ McMorran
That the Report be adopted.


Moved by Alderman McQueen
Seconded by “ Bruce.
That the time for receiving applications for Assessors be extended to next Friday at 4 P.M.

Moved by Alderman Painter
Seconded by “ McQueen
That a By-Law be submitted to the ratepayers when the next By-Law is to be voted on asking that the Council be authorized to refund to the Estate of the late D. Oppenheimer that he advanced to secure an option on a portion of the Coquitlam Water Works System.

Moved by Alderman Brown
Seconded by “ Foreman.
That the following members of the Council be appointed in connection with the Library Board to consider what can best be done to secure suitable quarters for the Free Reading Room and Library namely Aldermen Townley, Neelands, McPhaiden Foreman and McMorran and the Mayor and report to this Council.

Moved by Alderman Brown
Seconded by “ McGuigan
Whereas the reserve being 950 acres, known as “Stanley Park” situated to the west of the City is believed to be vested in the Dominion Government

And whereas by a certain order in Council dated the 8th of June 1887 the said reserve was handed over to the Corporation of the City of Vancouver for use as a Park subject to the right of the Dominion Government to

[Vol 9, p.] 407

resume the property when required at any time and subject to the City keeping the same in proper order.

And whereas the Corporation of the City of Vancouver have no powers vested in it further than the right to use the said reserve as a park.

And whereas there are a number of small dwellings of a very undesirable character existing on the foreshore and other parts of the said park, harboring squatters, undesirable characters, such being detrimental to the interests of the public and unsightly.

And whereas there is no power vested in the Corporation to prevent the Continuance of the nuisances that exist and the usefulness to the public of the Park is seriously affected thereby, and in consequence thereof the citizens cannot use the part to the same advantage as they could if such nuisances were repressed, and there always exists a great danger of fire destroying the trees and beauty of the Park unless control is vested in the City.

And whereas the City has expended the sum of $100,000 in making roads and annually improving the park.

And whereas the City annually expends a large sum in improvements therein.

Be it therefore resolved that it is in the interest of the City and the public generally that powers be vested in the City that would enable the Corporation to put an end to the nuisances that do now exist and to prevent the occurrence of them in the future

That in order to place the Corporation in such a position that it would be authorized to further improve the Park and keep the same more strictly as a park and for the use and benefit of the public generally a petition be forwarded to the Honorable the Minister of Militia and Defence praying that an order in Council be passed vesting the said reserve in the Corporation to be held in trust as a public Park and such deed of trust should confer on the said Corporation all the necessary powers to evict trespassers, remove undesirable buildings and prevent nuisances, and all powers that may be deemed necessary to empower the said Corporation to keep and preserve the Reserve as a Park for the City without interference from anyone.___ Carried.

[Vol 9, p.] 408

The Council then adjourned

James F. Garden

Thos F. McGuigan
City Clerk