Vancouver Mayor & Aldermen for 1891

Mayor: David Oppenheimer Aldermen: Ward 1:  Sam Brighouse, J.T. Carroll Ward 2:  James F. Garden (resigned), Alexander Godfrey, A.W. Scouller (elected in byelection) Ward 3:  C.G. Hobson, William Templeton Ward 4:  William Brown, John McDowell Ward 4:  H. De Pencier..Read more

Committees established for 1891 – January 5, 1891

Six committees established for the year 1891, with some initial disagreement about the composition of the Finance Committee and the Board of Works.  The Licensing Board, Health Committee, Police Committee, and the Fire, Water and Light Committee were established without..Read more

Garden resigns council, Brighouse now Works chairman – Jan 12, 1891

Alderman James F. Garden resigns.  Hansen brothers of Montreal purchase $25,000 of city debentures. Crowder and Penzer granted contracts for coal and feed, provided that both be weighed on the Market scales. Miss Bowes requests stricter temperance regulations, also to..Read more

Progress in drydock negotiations – Jan 14, 1891

Council met with Mr. Imrie Bell to discuss the proposed graving dock (drydock). Bank of BC confirmed that the investors were good for the amount required. Mr. Bell agreed that after the completion of the project no Chinese workers would..Read more

Old floating quarantine to be burned – Jan 19, 1891

Tenders to be invited to supply the City with coal, wood, and feed for 1891, with the provision that coal and feed must be weighted at the Market scales before delivery. Residents of Mount Pleasant requested a police beat in..Read more

Second exit to be added to market building – January 26, 1891

market hall and auction shed 1895

No action to be taken for the moment about Mr. Lawson’s letter of dismissal from the City Engineer.  Misses Woodward and Drummond, nurses at the City Hospital, ask for increases of salary. The Market Committee asks the Board of Works..Read more

Rogers’ sugar factory complete – Feb 2, 1891

Henry B. Warren (City Engineer) and John P. Lawson (Assistant Engineer) have each filed charges against the other. Mount Pleasant citizens request an electric light at the intersection of Westminster Ave (now Kingsway/Main) and Eighth Ave, and the Police Committee..Read more

C.P.R. denies responsibility for street crossing safety – Feb 12, 1891

H. Abbott, General Superintendent of the C.P.R., denies C.P.R.’s responsibility to “furnish, at its own cost” the protection Council has requested at certain street crossings. The Board of Works orders that the City Morgue be connected to the water works..Read more

Vancouver sends condolences re New Westminster fire – Feb 16, 1891

New Westminster, 1888

Council sends condolences to New Westminster Council on the loss of life and property due to its recent fire, and regrets it could not send its fire engine to help. Request received from John McCulloch asking to be reimbursed for..Read more

Mayor walks out re City Engineer firing – Feb 23, 1891

The Board of Works report instructs the City Clerk to fire the current Engineering Department staff and advertise for a new staff (Alderman Brighouse, Godfrey, Templeton and Brown supporting the motion, Alderman de Pencier dissenting). Mayor David Oppenheimer refuses to..Read more

Vancouver sends $500 for Springhill mining disaster relief – Feb 24, 1891

Council read a telegram from the mayor of Halifax calling for assistance for the sufferers of the Springhill Disaster. $500 was telegraphed at once for their relief.  [editor’s note: The Nova Scotia provincial Archives maintains a database of Nova Scotia..Read more

Committee off to Victoria to oppose Water Works amendments – Feb 28, 1891

Mayor and Aldermen Godfrey, Brown, Hobson, Scoullar, Carroll, McDowell, and Templeton to go to Victoria to meet the members of the Legislature with the view of having the proposed amendments to the Vancouver Water Works Co’s Act opposed This transcript..Read more

Six aldermen walk out, leaving no quorum – Mar 9, 1891

Mayor David Oppenheimer declined to sign the minutes of the last meeting beyond the point at which he left the Chair and the special meetings. Alderman Brighouse moved and Alderman Brown seconded a motion that the Mayor leave the Chair,..Read more

Oppenheimer obliged to sign minutes – Mar 16, 1891

A majority vote of two thirds of the aldermen present compelled Mayor Oppenheimer to sign the minutes of February 23, 24, 28 and March 9. Vancouver Trades and Labour council requested that the Chain Gang not be employed on Street..Read more

Tracy voted city engineer – Mar 20, 1891

Special Meeting to consider applicants for the position of Chief Engineer. Mayor David Oppenheimer not present; Alderman Dowell appointed Chairman. Thomas H. Tracy of London, Ontario was unanimously selected. This transcript was made in 2016 by Transcribimus volunteer Donna Kynaston..Read more

Mayor protests “illegal” appointment of Tracy – Mar 23, 1891

Mayor Oppenheimer sends regrets and protest against “illegal” appointment of Thomas Tracy as City Engineer. Council to send letter of protest against the Attorney General’s reported intention to change several details of the City Charter. The meeting was adjourned out..Read more

Warren to contest Tracy appointment – Mar 31, 1891

License for the What Cheer house transferred to Mr. Sciutto. Transfer for license of the Germania Hotel not approved. Plans for the city market hall approved, tenders for building to be invited. Mr. H.B. Warren will continue his post as..Read more

Women’s & Children’s hospital to go ahead – Apr 6, 189

The anticipated arrival of the S.S. Empress of India from the Orient to be celebrated with a performance by the City Band and an address to the officers and passengers. Mayor David Oppenheimer absent. The Board of Works to have..Read more

Fire Department given raises – Apr 13, 1891

City Clerk asked to contact telephone company for a discount on rates to city government telephones. The entire Fire Department budget was reviewed and the staff given raises. This transcript was made in 2016 by Transcribimus volunteer Christopher Stephenson and..Read more

Battle re City Engineer continues – Apr 20, 1891

In consideration of $2,000 grant given to the women’s and children’s hospital by the City, the Chairman of the Board of Health to be one of directors of the hospital. Ongoing conflict over the firing of Chief Engineer Warren and..Read more

Browning named to Water Works arbitration panel – Apr 22, 1891

Council appointed J.M. Browning as their arbitrator in the Water Works arbitration. A list of potential third arbitrators was presented – the City Solicitor to contact each of them to see if he would be willing to act as third..Read more

Browning appointment finalized – Apr 29, 1891

Appointment of Browning finalized. This transcript was made in 2016 by Transcribimus volunteer Christopher Stephenson and sponsored by Arnold Silber original handwritten minutes here City of Vancouver Archives Series 23-A Volume 4 pages 313 only Vancouver Apr 29/91 A Special..Read more

Thomson building at Howe & Pender must be removed – May 4, 1891

$1,032 to be paid to George Telford et al for their work on Brockton Point Athletic Grounds.  Mr. Thomson, owner of the building on the corner of Howe and Pender Streets, to be notified that his building is on the..Read more

Water Works by-law complete – May 9, 1891

A Special Meeting was held to consider the Works By-Law; the by-law was read over, signed, sealed, and sent to the newspapers for publication This transcript was made in 2016 by Transcribimus volunteer Donna Kynaston and sponsored by Arnold Silber..Read more

Clark Park to be seeded over – May 11, 1891

The Board of Works reported that “the South Park (now Clark Park on Commercial Drive between 14th and 15th Avenues) is to be seeded at once”, and that Robson Street cannot “at present” to be made to open onto “the..Read more

Street lights not to be lit during full moon – May 18, 1891

The Electric Light Co. was instructed not to light the street lights on the night of full moon and for two nights before and after full moon. The appointment of Mr. Tracy as Chief Engineer came up again; however, Mayor..Read more

Brighouse blocks Council resignation – May 26, 1891

Alderman Brighouse refused to sign document of resignation previously signed by Mayor and all Aldermen, in response to demand brought forth at a recent public meeting. H. B. Warren brought suit against the City for wrongful dismissal. Aldermen Carroll and..Read more

Warren’s wrongful dismissal suit could cost the City $5,000 – May 27, 1891

Former Chief Engineer H.B. Warren brought a suit of $5,000 against Council for unlawful dismissal. The mayor and Aldermen had their names struck off a document of resignation signed at the last meeting of Council. This transcript was made in..Read more

No signs of leprosy within City of Vancouver – June 1, 1891

Dr. A. C. Smith reported that “after full investigation, there were no signs of leprosy within the City”. Meanwhile, hospital matron Miss Swan was directed to “exclude all cases of venereal disease from the Hospital”. Mr. Tracy’s appointment as City..Read more

Council meeting adjourned to mark the passing of Sir John A. Macdonald – June 8, 1891

Council passed a resolution of condolence to telegraph to the Lady Macdonald, window of Sir John A. Macdonald, Prime Minister of Canada, then “adjourned until Monday next out of respect to the memory” of Macdonald This transcript was made in..Read more

Mayor Oppenheimer’s $500 expense account called into question – June 22, 1891

The firemen allowed use of the Market Hall July 1 without charge. Alderman Godfrey to obtain a flag for the building. The Finance Committee disallows Mayor’s account of $500 to the Coquitlam Water Works after “having examined the papers and..Read more

Regulations formed for the sanitary storage & transportation of the deceased – June 29, 1891

Firemens’ salaries were raised to $10 per month ($25 for Fire Chief J. H. Carlisle). Nurses’ salaries were raised by $5 per month ($10 for matron Swan). Council chambers were ordered painted and repaired. Detailed regulations for sanitary storage and..Read more

Brown, Macgowan, Murray and Baldwin elected school trustees – July 6, 1891

The school board were unanimously elected by Council ballot; Brown was elected Chairman. An offer to the New Westminster and Vancouver Tramway Company was drafted. The city would grade certain streets, then allow the company to put in its rails...Read more

Police “cannot interfere” with children playing on railway tracks – July 15, 1891

Police “cannot interfere” to compel children to keep away from the Electric Railway track on city streets.  Dr Fleming granted permission to erect a tent for the sale of drugs on Cordova St. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union advised that..Read more

Ratepayers protest Isaac Hallett’s continuing as Police Magistrate – July 27, 1891

Mayor Oppenhiemer and Alderman receive a notice of injunction from Elizabeth Ann Studden on behalf of the ratepayers, prohibiting the City from paying any further salary to Isaac Hallet as Police Magistrate. Hastings Street to be graded for Street Railway..Read more

Phone brought in to Mountain View Cemetery – July 20, 1891

Mrs. McDonald, wife of the cemetery keeper, to be paid $5.00 per month for attending to the telephone. City Solicitor gave his opinion that the position of Police Magistrate is technically vacant as Mr. Isaac Hallett is not a qualified..Read more

Water Works worth $330,081.93 – August 3, 1891

Water Works arbitration panel Browning, Tilton and Drake submit their findings. The City to regulate private “scavengering” (garbage/recycling collection) within the city as soon as the waste-burning Crematory is in operation. Police officer Joseph Gibson dismissed for being found asleep..Read more

Street railway construction halted – August 6, 1891

A bylaw was introduced to license Master Plumbers within the City. The City to immediately file an injunction to prevent further construction of a street railway along Venables Street to Boundary Road This transcript was made in 2016 by Transcribimus..Read more


Vancouver Mayor & Aldermen for 1892

The election of Fred Cope (b. 1860, d. 1897) in 1892 was the closest in Vancouver’s history, with a winning margin of 11 votes over his rival Dr. J.T. Carroll. Cope was also the youngest mayor in Vancouver history, only..Read more

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..Read more

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..Read more

$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..Read more

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...Read more

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

Complaint received from Philip Fewster of his being ill-treated at Police Court.  Mrs. 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..Read more

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..Read more

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..Read more

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..Read more

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..Read more

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...Read more

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..Read more

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..Read more

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..Read more

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..Read more

“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..Read more

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..Read more

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..Read more

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..Read more