Proposal to prevent flooding along the Fraser River – July 13, 1896

Proposal to prevent flooding along the Fraser River – July 13, 1896

Council sent a resolution to the federal Minister of Railways and Canals with a proposal to prevent future flooding along the Fraser Valley. Meanwhile the Police Committee was asked to see that horses and cattle not be allowed to roam on the grounds at Fairview School (Granville & 7th).

This transcript was made in 2021 by Transcribimus volunteer Anonymous

Illustration: COVA reference code AM54-S4-: Out P294
Cunningham’s Ranch [under water during the] Dewdney, B.C. Flood, 1894

Original handwritten minutes: City of Vancouver Archives
Series 31 Volume 7 page 232 – 242

To see or download the original pages from this document, click on the buttons below (3 parts)

Vancouver July 13th 1896

The Council met on Monday July 13th 18th. Present His Worship the Mayor and Aldermen Painter, Schou, Banfield, McPhaiden, Brown, MacDonald and Coldwell.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and adopted.


From the City Solicitor advising that Mssrs Purdy and Williams had no legal claim against the City.
Referred to the Water Committee

From J. S. Fraser etal petitioning against a license being granted to a Laundry on 931 Westminster Av.
Referred to the Police Committee

From C. W. Murray Secy School Board asking for a definite answer re appropriation for new schools.

From Wm Cargill applying for the position of Accountant.
Referred to the Finance Committee

From the Chief of Police reporting on the electric lights.

From C. W. Robson etal asking for water on Denman Street.
Referred to the Water Committee

From Dr. Thomas reporting on the unsanitary condition of Dupont Street.
Referred to Health Committee

From the City Solicitor advising that the Market question be settled by the Courts.

[Volume 7 page] 233

Moved by Alderman Painter
Seconded by ” Banfield
That the City Solicitor be authorized to settle the action of the City vs Miller and Costello in terms of his letter of the 10th of July.
Alderman Brown voted nay.

From Bowser + Christie claiming $23.48 damages for Ritchie + Atkins through a defective pavement on Cambie St.
Referred to the Board of Works + Solicitor

From E. H. Fletcher, Hon Secy of the B. C. Rifle Association thanking the Council for the Challenge Cup presented to the Association.
His Worship and Alderman Banfield were appointed to select the cup.

The following Reports were received, and read:-

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met on Friday July 10th 1896.
Present Aldermen Banfield, Painter, Clandenning and Brown.

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-
Clarke + Stuart, Supplies $20.53
C. P. Ry Co. Telegrams 4.04
Lee + Stewart Hack 1.50
News Advertiser Ads 5.94
Telephone Co. Rents 36.20
Con Ry Co. Light 40.36


From A Goodman complaining that he was assessed for a house that was not completed until the 1st of May.
Referred to the City Solicitor.

[Volume 7 page] 234

From W. E. Brown, asking for a position on the City Staff.

From Stanley James furnishing Auditors Report.

From Thos. M. Merrill stating that he was assessed for a building on Lot 5, Block 2. DL 196 during 1894 + 1895 which did not exist and asking that the taxes be struck off.
Resolved that the City Treasurer be instructed to remit the taxes as desired by Mr. Merrill.

From A. G. Smith, Deputy Secretary General acknowledging receipt of communication from the City Clerk re City Sinking Fund.

From C. W. Murray Secretary of the School Board asking what was being done towards providing extra appropriations for new school buildings.
Resolved the the Clerk be instructed to write to the School Board and express the wish of the Committee that the matter be left over for this year.

sgd. J.J. Banfield

Moved by Alderman Banfield
Seconded by ” Painter
That the report be adopted.

Water and Market Committee

The Water and Market Committee met on Wednesday July 8th 1896.
Present the full Board.

The following accounts were recommended for payment :-
Hooper etal Labor $394
Evans, Coleman + Evans Supplies $16.53
Fred Allen ” 20.89
Cassady + c ” 15.
McIntyre + Barr Labor 32
B. C. M. T. + T. co Supplies 4

[Volume 7 page] 235

Brackman + Ker Supplies $2.00
Dunn + co ” 32.82
Boyd + co. ” 309.76
C. F. Foreman ” 1.48

Resolved that the city Engineer be instructed to draw up plans and specifications for repairs to the Market Hall and that tenders be called for.

Resolved that Hand BIlls be printed and posted up shewing amendments to the Market By-Law.

Resolved that the City Solicitor be instructed to draw up a lease for renting the house attached to the First Narrows for water works purposes.


From Frank Devlin indian Agent Stating that the Department would require to be paid for the right of way through the Indian Reserve from the time the same was taken up by the late Co.
Referred to the City Solicitor

From Mssrs Purdy + Williams asking for the settlement of the extras on the Reservoir Contract.
Referred to the City Solicitor.

From M. Cowan, Ensign of the Salvation Army asking for the Market Hall for the 25th and 26th inst for $15.

Resolved that she be informed that the Committee cannot see its way clear to grant her request.

From J. M. Plowman etal, asking for water on Grove Avenue.
Referred to the Chairman and City Engineer with power to act.

Resolved that the Market Clerk be sworn in as a special constable and be provided with a badge if he has…

[Volume 7 page] 236

…not already one.

Mr. John Crean interviewed the Board and asked them to fix a rate for an electric light motor he intends to install in the New Commercial Hotel.
It was resolved that the present Agreement with Mr. Crean be modified so as to allow him to transfer her motor to the New Commercial Hotel a rent of $20.00 being substituted for $10.00 a month Term of lease to be seven years and to apply only to the lighting motor. The City Solicitor to draw a lease embodying the conditions required.

Sgd Wm Brown

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

Board of Works

The Board of Works met on the 9th of July. Present the full Board.

From Miss E. J. Kendall offering to sell rock crushing plant and site.
Referred to the Engineer to enquire into.

From F. S. Barnard re foot bridge at Coal Harbour bridge stating conditions on which they would build it.

Resolved that tenders be called for the construction of a foot bridge to be sent in by 4 p.m. 23rd inst.

From Petitioners re filling in Boulevards on Hornby Street.
Resolved that they be informed that the City cannot do this.

From Mr. Hartley asking the City to extend the sewer on Beach Ac so he can connect.

[Volume 6 page] 237

Ordered to be extended about 75 feet.

From F. S. Barnard re Swing Bridge at Granville Street Bridge.
Referred to the City Solicitor to look into the question of the City’s liability.

The plans for the Harvey Hadden Block corner Homer Hadden Block corner Homer and Hastings Street. J. E. Parr Architect were submitted and approved by the Board.

Resolved that the Ward men grade Cambie Street between Pender and Hastings Streets and that the best planks be used to repair Seymour Street between Hastings and Cordova Streets.

Resolved that the City Engineer be instructed to have the drinking trough on Georgia St set up where he thinks best.

Resolved that tenders be called up to 4 p.m. on the 23rd inst for the following:-

(1) Foot Bridge at Coal Harbour Bridge
(2) Single dressed sidewalk on Granville Street east side between Dunsmuir and Georgia Streets.

The following tenders were received:-
Powell Street
Surface Grading
T. G. Gibbons $78
J. Woods 163.50

Re Planking Westminster Ave Bridge
J. D. Fraser. Lump Sum $450
” ” Extra Lumber $12 per m
J. Ironside Lump Sum 557
” ” Extra Lumber 9.75
S. Sheridan Lump Sum 502.25
” ” Extra Lumber 13

Resolved that the Tender of T. Gibbons be accepted for Powell Street and J. D. Fraser for the Bridge.

[Volume 7 page] 238

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

T. Gibbons Barnard St. $102.30
J. Wood Ontario ” 105.65
S. Sheridan Nicola ” 260.82
W. Brown 7th Av. 300.24
W. Brown 7th Av. 300.24
T. Stretch + co. Homer St. 9.50
T. Dunn + co. Supplies 93.99
C. R. L. Co. ” 5.
Evans, Coleman + Evans ” 9.
McDonald + co ” 4.05
News Advertiser Ads 4.50
C. J. Harling Express .50
E. Clough ” 9.50
Cassady + co Supplies 350.12
Thomas etal Labor 747.90

Sgd H. J. Painter

Moved by Alderman Painter
Seconded by ” MacDonald
That the Report be adopted.

Fire + Police Committee

The Fire and Police Committee met on Thursday July 9th 1896.
Present the full Board.

Resolved that J. A. Monteith be appointed Special Constrable for two months at a salary of $60.00 per month.

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

Wm. Murphy Firemen’s suits $476.50
B. C. M. T. + T. Co. Supplies 87.45
James Brooks Labor 7.
McDonald Bros. Drayage .50
W. A. Cumyow Interpreting 2.50
S. James ” 6.00
News. Advertiser Supplies 3.60
C. F. Foreman ” 3.60
C. F. Foreman ” .55
McDonell + co ” 7.10

[Volume 7 page] 239

Crowder + Penzer Supplies $5.76
News Advertiser ” 15.
Gross + Fulton Drayage .50
J. Carnahan Scavengering 5.50
C. F. Foreman Supplies 24.86
McDowell + co ” 13.05
Thos Dunn + co ” 9.30
McLennan + McFeely ” 14.45
Wm. Ralph ” .75
Thos Dunn + co ” 16.34
Fred Allen ” 62.16
C. F. Foreman ” 3.67
A. H. Hatch ” .85
A./ Blayney ” 24.01


From D. Robson, government Agent, New Westminster submitting an account for $368 for half year’s board of Vancouver prisoners in the Provincial jail.
Resolved that the account be paid if found correct.

From J. E. Robinson, etal Licensed Draymen asking that all drivers of licensed drays be also licensed.
Laid over.

From D. J. Marian asking that the police take steps to trace a bath tub stolen from the premises of John Brenton.
Being attended to.

From the Secretary of the School Board asking that cows and horses be prevented from running on the Fairview School grounds.
Being attended to.

from Jan Brown, asking that an account of 49.00 be paid for sending fannie Scott to the rescue Home Victoria.
Resolved that in this instance the account be paid that that in future no such be paid unless the Chairman is first consulted.

[Volume 7 page] 240

From J. F. Ryan claiming that a license was not issued to him for 5 months after he paid his money.

From Mason + co asking for a laundry license for premises on Westminster Avenue.
Resolved that the License be issued when the Wash house By-Law is complied with.

Resolved that Police Helmets be purchased from Gillespie, Ansley and dixon of Toronto for $2.59 each.

The City Solicitor submitted By-Law belonging to the Committee which were revised and authorized to be printed.

Sgd. Chas. A. Coldwell

Moved by Alderman Coldwell
Seconded by ” Banfield
That the Clause in reference to the Wash House on Westminster Avenue be struck out.

Moved to Alderman McPhaiden
Seconded by ” MacDonald
That the Report as amended be adopted.

Introduction of By-Laws

Moved by Alderman Banfield
Seconded by Alderman Painter
that the By-Law to exempt the B. C. Iron Works Co. from taxation for 10 years be introduced and read a first time.


Moved by Alderman Brown.
Seconded by ” Painter
That the following account be paid:-
Con Ry Co Lights $1341.90

[Volume 7 page] 241

Moved by Alderman Brown.
Seconded by ” Schou.
Whereas the Fraser River annually overflows its banks to a greater or less extent caused by the heavy snowfall in the mountains and late springs are especially productive of sudden thaws and destructive floods, placing the land adjoining the river under several feet of water, proving very injurious to crops of all kinds, and making farming a very uncertain and unprofitable occupation.

And whereas many farmers in order to protect their property against these overflows have erected dykes at great expense so that the waters in the Fraser River might be kept within its banks.

This attempt to confine the river to its channel only increases its length and fills up the channel of the river making it shallower and no dykes have yet been constructed of which it can certainly be said that they are a protection against all floods.

These dykes together with the tides on the lower reaches of the Fraser which obstructs the free outflow of the water and the filling up of the river bed by sand bars and jams of logs makes it next to impossible to protect the farming land in this part of the country.

And whereas it is the general opinion that a canal from some point on the Pitt River to some point on Burrard Inlet at or near Port Moody and deepening the channel by dredging would relieve the overflow of the Fraser and protect this farming lands against floods.

By means of this canal the waters of the Fraser would reach tide water by traversing a distance of about five miles whereas by the present route they travel about thirty five miles before reaching the Gulf of Georgia and obstructed for a part of the time by the incoming tide, which to a considerable extent is the cause of the overflow. This canal would not only be an outlet for the floods of the Fraser but would

[Volume 7 page] 242

also give the farmers in that part of the country a short route to Vancouver with their produce which they greatly desire because it is the best market on the Mainland.

Be it therefore resolved that the Dominion Government be asked to have a survey made of a canal on the route referred to both, as regards its feasibility and the probable cost of construction and of the river bed and cost of deepening, removing sand bars so as to confine the river to one course, and that this resolution be forwarded to the Minister of Railways and Canals also that copies of same be forwarded to Mr. G. R. Maxwell, Member for Burrard District, Mr. Aulay Morrison, Member for Westminster District, and H. Bostock, Member for the Yale Cariboo District and that they be requested to use their influence with the Government for the speedy accomplishment of this Survey.


Reconsideration of By-Laws

Moved by Alderman Coldwell
Seconded by ” McPhaiden
That the By-Law to regulate Bicycle riding be reconsidered and finally passed.

The Council then adjourned.

Thos. F. McGuigan
City Clerk

Henry Collins