Vancouver Wants Industrial Railway to the Coast – January 25 1897

Vancouver Wants Industrial Railway to the Coast – January 25 1897

Council sent a long resolution to the Dominion (federal) government about a planned industrial railway through Lethbridge and the Crow’s Nest pass; that it be extended to the coast using a route surveyed in 1896, and that it be free from the manipulations of large monopolies.”

This transcript was made in 2022 by Transcribimus volunteer Gerald Soon.

Illustration: COV Archives reference no. S-3-7 –
[A railway bridge over a creek], 190-?

Source: COV Archives Series 31
Volume 7 pages 420 – 428

[Volume 7 page] 420

Vancouver January 25th 1897

The Council met on Monday January 25th 1897.

Present – His Worship Mayor Templeton and Aldermen Painter, Shaw, McQueen, Neeland, Clandenning, McPhaiden, Brown, Macdonald Coldwell and McDonald.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and adopted.


From Jane A. Campbell asking to be assessed for a house owned by her on False Creek.
Referred to the Court of Revision

From W.S. Dunlop etal asking the Council to appropriate $500 for a Library on Mount Pleasant.
Referred to the Finance Committee

From N.C. Schou. Hon Secy of the Anti Mongolian Association submitting two petitions for signiture by the Mayor praying the Government to pass further legislation to restrict Chinese and Japanese emigration

Moved by Alderman McQueen W.S. MacDonald
Seconded by “ W.S. MacDonald Neelands
That the Mayor and City Clerk be authorized to sign the petitions and affix the Corporate Seal thereto.

Moved by Alderman Painter (in amendment)
Seconded by “ Shaw.
That the Petitions be filed
Amendment lost;
motion Carried.

Yeas. Nays on Amendment. Aldermen McQueen, Neelands, McPhaiden, Clandenning, Brown, W.S. MacDonald, Coldwell and D.G. McDonald

Nays. Yeas. Aldermen Shaw & Painter

[Volume 7 page] 421

From the Chinese on Dupont Street asking for permission to celebrate their New Year which falls on Sunday this year by setting off fire crackers etc.

Moved by Alderman McQueen.
Seconded by “ W.S. MacDonald
That their request be not granted.

From A. Parker calling attention to the dangerous condition of the Golden Gate Hotel
Referred to the Board of Works & City Solicitor

From J.M. Stewart: Chief of Police reporting on the Electric Lights. Filed

From Wm Brown, Chairman of the Library Board submitting Annual Report;
Referred to the Finance Committee

From Chas Hill Tout etal asking the Council to submit a By-law to provide funds for the establishment of a free Library.
Referred to the Finance Committee.

From W. Hepburn, Secretary of the Trades and Labor Council proposing certain amendments to the City Charter
Laid over to be considered at a special meeting of the Council.

From M. C. McLean Secretary of the Vancouver Poultry and Pet Stock Association asking for the use of the Market Shed and a grant of $50.00
Referred to the Market and Finance Committee

From A.G. Smith, Deputy Attorney General submitting the presentment of the Grand Jury on Jail matters.
Referred to the Police Committee

From Mrs Margaret A.S. Thain asking the Council to apply to amend the School Act to

[Volume 7 page] 422

allow Women to vote for School Trustees etc.
laid over to be considered at a Special meeting of Council.

The following Reports were received and read:-

Board of Health

The Board of Health met on Wednesday January 20th 1897
Present – Aldermen McPhaiden, Painter, Neelands and Coldwell.

Alderman McPhaiden was appointed Chairman for the year.

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

Clarke & Stuart Supplies $12.83

The Cleveland Cold Storage Co “ 2.25

Miss Moss Nursing 7.10

F. Ellison Supplies 114.55

H.T. Adams Labor 1.50

W. J. McGuigan Inquests 20.00

D. Tolman Repairs 3.

M.J. James Supplier 153.55

J. Stevens & Son S” 12.90

News.Advertiser “ 3.50


From the Milk Inspector furnishing Report. Filed

From Miss Macfie stating that she had hired a temporary nurse.

The following tenders for supplies were awarded for the year.

Burials Kemp & Simpson

Wood & Bark P. Schneider

Washing Pioneer Steam Laundry

Fish Chas Anderson

Meat: J.C. Woodrow

Milk F. Ellison

Coal Evans Coleman & Evans

The tenders for Bread were laid over also the tenders for groceries, green groceries and drugs examination

Resolved that the hospital medical staff

[Volume 7 page] 423

be invited to meet this Board at its next regular meeting to discuss hospital matters

The Board met again on Saturday January 23rd at 11 AM
Present – Aldermen McPhaiden, Painter, MacDonald and Coldwell.

The following tenders were awarded:-

General Groceries C.F. Foreman

Bread J Dodson

Green Groceries C.S. Philp

Sawdust Meek & Sancome

The Drug tenders were again laid over for examination by Dr Brydone Jack and J.N. Woodward.

sgd D. McPhaiden

Moved by Alderman W.S. MacDonald
Seconded by “ McPhaiden
That the reports be adopted.

Light Railway & Tramway Committee

The Light Railway & Tramway Committee met on Monday January 25th

Present – Aldermen Clandenning, Shaw, McQueen, Brown and D.G. McDonald

Mr Brownlee C.E presented a report and plan shewing the feasibility of constructing a railway from the Coast to the Kootenay Country. After a thorough consideration it was resolved that the Council be asked to memorialize the Dominion Government to grant an by way of subsidy for the construction of a railway from the Pacific Coast to the Kootenay Country.

The Committee appointed Saturday the 20th nist at 2 P.M. to view locations where lights were asked for.

sgd James Clandenning, Chairman

Moved by Alderman Clandenning
Seconded by “ Coldwell
That the Report be adopted.

[Volume 7 page] 424

Board of Works

The Board of Works met on Thursday January 21st 1897.

Present – Aldermen Shaw, McPhaiden. Neelands, Coldwell and McDonald.

Mr. Westbrook asked permission to build an addition to a frame building in Cordova Street near Cambie Street within the Fire Limits.
Resolved that he be ordered to remove the Second Story added to building within one week as it is a contravention of the Fire Limit By-Law.

Resolved that the officer in charge of the Chain Gang attend to the following work:-

  1. Cut Brush Sythe St Burrard to Granville both sides
  2. “ “ Granville both sides where necessary
  3. “ “ Block 75.Sub 541.
  4. “ “ Hastings St near Abbott St.
  5. Grade 10 ft roadway on Broughton Street starting at Beach avenue as far as lane to give access to rear of Mr. Hartley’s house.

Resolved that the sidewalk at the corner of Homer and Hastings Street at New Hadden building be fixed the job to be given to J.D. Fraser under direction of the City Engineer.

Resolved that Mr Illingworth be notified that the verandah at the building leased by him on Hastings Street must be removed, the time given him having elapsed.

The City Engineer reported on the matter of the steps projecting on the lane at the Commercial Hotel, the plans having only been approved in so far as they related to the requirements of this Fire Limit By-Law whithout any reference to the location of the building Filed for reference

Resolved that the Ward Foreman be instructed to grade lane in Block 126 D.L.264A east of Prince Edward Street between 10th and 11th Ave

From G.A. Roedde asking permission to

[Volume 7 page] 425

put up a sign on Cambie Street opposite his book bindery.

Resolved that the Finance Committee be requested to place the sum of $5000 to the credit of the Board of Works for current expenses until the Estimates are arranged.

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

Clarke & Stuart Supplies $8.00

W. Ralph “ 3.68

J. Watt & Co Seaton St 156.75

C.F. Mills & Co 3rd Av. 21.30

Evans. Coleman & Evans Supplies 1.60

sgd H.P. Shaw

Moved by Alderman Shaw
Seconded by “ Coldwell
That the Report be adopted.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met on Friday January 22nd 1897
Present – Aldermen McQueen, Painter, Clandenning, Brown and McDonald.

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

Clarke & Stuart Supplies $22.34

J. Devine Assessing 60.75

News.Advertiser Supplies 74.43

H. Kersey Labor 2.00

Resolved that the Poll Tax Collector be sustained in any proper action he may take towards the Collection of the Poll Tax.


From the Board of Works and the Park Commissioners asking for $5000 and $500 respectively to carry any needed works until the estimates are compiled.
Request granted.

[Volume 7 page] 426

From Robert Macpherson M.P.P asking the Council to name the appropriations they require from the Provincial Government for the year.
Resolved that $7000 be asked for the Hospital and $500 for the Fire Department.

From J.H. Browne, President of the Vancouver Typographical Union asking that the Printing Contract be awarded to a union office
Laid over for consideration.

The following tenders were awarded.

Advertising News.advertiser and World

Athracite Coal. A. Blayney

Stationery Clarke & Stuart

The printing and binding tenders were laid over for examination

sgd James McQueen

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


Moved by Alderman McQueen
Seconded by “ W.S. MacDonald

Whereas it is the general belief of the people of British Columbia that sufficient Government aid will be given to a proposed railway through the Crows Nest pass to the Columbia River to cause its construction.

Therefore the Municipal Council of the City of Vancouver for the year 1897 respectfully submit the following facts for your consideration:-

British Columbia is now attracting the attention of the whole Civilized world owing to its vast mineral wealth. While the existence of such enormous riches has been known in a general way for years past it was only of recent date that the extent of it has been proven by actual development. For want of better railway facilities to some of the richest districts increased burdens

[Volume 7 page] 427

have been imposed on our people.

While this Province offers some obstructions to railway construction owing to the Mountainous character of the Country, the increased population to be attracted from the United States and elsewhere and the consequent increase of revenue to the Dominion will fully warrant the Government in aiding the undertaking. The feasibility of the route with practicable ingredients for a standard guage railway lighter than any existing transcontinental line has been demonstrated by two engineers employed during the year 1896 to make exploratory surveys. Particularly with reference to the Hope Mountains, which were until recently considered unsurmountly. The practicality of the route – having been investigated by us, we respectfully submit that we are only doing our duty to our constituents in asking you to extend the same measure of relief to the people west of the Columbia as will be afforded that portion of Canada to be benefited by the construction of the Crows Nest Pass Railway. With regard to the manner in which the aid prayed for should be given or how this important matter can be dealt with we are content to leave entirely in your hands.

We would however suggest that your Government should at least have control of any railway that will be built from Lethbridge be free from the manipulations of large monopolies.

That such railway should be operated solely for the development of the vast resources of the Southern General pastoral and agricultural belt to be tranversed and being about midway between the C. P. R. to the north and the Great Northern and N. P. to the South. There are many urgent facts in support of the views herein expressed.

Being convinced however that you will give a full measure of consideration to all Just and proper claims we will not enter largely into the subject but briefly

[Volume 7 page] 428

state that the construction of a railway from the prairies to the Coast will materially shorten the Journey across the continent and will increase Canadian trade.

In the Country tributary to the proposed railway some of the richest mining claims in America has been discovered most of which are awaiting the means of getting in machinery, supplies fuel etc and of getting out the product.

By the construction of the proposed railway to the pacific the four Coast cities of British Columbia will be brought in touch with the most productive agricultural districts of the Province now suffering for want of better shipping facilities and markets. We are of the opinion that should that portion of the proposed railroad lying east of the Columbia River receive from your government such assistance as will lead to its early completion construction of both sections we respectfully submit that the majority of the people of British Columbia will feel that a grave injustice has been done them.

Therefore be it resolved that the Mayor and City Clerk be authorized to sign and have the Corporate seal attached to this document and that a copy be forwarded to the Dominion Government through our representative Mr G. R. Maxwell.

Moved by Alderman Coldwell
Seconded by “ Brown
That Alderman Painter be appointed the Council’s representative on the Alexandra Orphanage Board for the year.

Moved by Alderman McPhaiden
Seconded by “ Coldwell
That the Council stand adjourned until Thursday the 28th inst at 8 P.M.

W Templeton

Thos F. McGuigan
City Clerk