Vancouver Has “No Power” to Authorize Bicycle Parking – July 25, 1898


A. St. George Hamersley, the City Solicitor, gave his opinion that, “the Council has no power to litigate by resolution on any matter that has to be regulated by By-Law” which included the placement of racks for bicycles. Hospital Matron Miss Macfie told the Health Committee she would at once resume duty if she were allowed full authority to hire and discharge nurses.

This transcript was made in 2023 by Transcribimus volunteer Carole Wilson

Illustration: Bu P369 – [Man and nurses on lawn in front of the Vancouver City Hospital – 530 Cambie Street]

Source: City of Vancouver Archives Series 31
Volume 8 pages 390-398

[Volume 8 page] 390

The Council met on Monday July 25th 1898.
Present- His Worship the Mayor and Aldermen Townley, Painter, McQueen, Neelands, McPhaiden, McGuigan, Brown, Foreman, McMorran and Bruce.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and adopted.


From G.W. Scott asking for the opening up of a portion of Davie Street.
Referred to the Board of Works.

From W.J. White stating that the Press Association would reach Vancouver on Wednesday Morning.

Moved by Alderman Townley
Seconded by “ Neelands
That the Mayor and Council meet them as a body and welcome them to the City.

From J. Buntzen asking that steps be taken to prevent cattle from roaming at large in the east end.
Referred to the Police Committee.

From the City Solicitor as follows:-
Thos. McGuigan Esq.

Dear Sir.
In answer to yours of July the 20th as to the authority of the Council to erect or place bicycle racks on the streets or sidewalks of the City: In the first place the regulations of the streets and the government thereof must be done by By-Law and not by resolution. The Council has no power to litigate by resolution on any matter that has to be regulated by By-Law.
The Streets and traffic thereon must be regulated by By-Law and not by resolution. Streets and traffic thereon must be regulated by By-Law and not by resolution.
Secondly even if the Council wished to allow the erection of Bicycle racks on the side

[Volume 8 page] 391

walks by By-Law I do not think that they could legally do so as the Council has no authority to allow obstructions to be placed on the streets or sidewalks except for temporary purposes such as for buildings or the loading or unloading of goods. I do not think erection of bicycle racks would be allowable as they would not come under the above definition of what obstructions are permissible. I am consequently of opinion that the Council has no authority to allow bicycle racks to be erected and kept on the streets or sidewalks.
Yours faithfully
sgd A. St. G. Hamersley

Moved by Alderman Brown
Seconded by “ Foreman
The City Solicitor having given his opinion that the Council has no power by resolution to grant permission to obstruct the sidewalks of the City by Bicycle rack that said opinion be entered on the minutes.

From the Chief of Police reporting on the electric lights.

From Miss B. J. Peters Secretary to the Council of Women inviting the Mayor and Council to attend an meeting called by Lady Aberdeen on Tuesday next the 26th meet in the Dunn Hall at 4:30 P.M.

Moved by Alderman Neelands
Seconded by “ McQueen
That the invitation be accepted with thanks.

From Geo. Adams etal asking for a sidewalk on Powell Street.
Referred to the Board of Works.

From ThP. Dunn & Co. etal asking the City not to oppose the Construction of Toboggan Slides at English Bay Beach.

[Volume 8 page] 392

The following Report were received and read:-

Board of Works

The Board of Works met on the 22nd of July 1898.
A Plan for a Second Story brick addition in the rear of J. Miller Block Cordova Street was passed, the walls of the first story on which it was proposed to erect same being of required thickness to permitting it and being in keeping with requirements of By-Law.


From. J. Oppenheimer in reference to the resurvey of 264A.
Referred to the Engineers to find out what the cost of the resurvey will be.

From W. H. Ker etal asking for new sidewalks S. Side of Hastings St. from Carrall to Abbott Street.
Request granted sidewalk to be of dressed planks and to be carried west of Abbott about two feet to connect with the new sidewalk there.

From C. A. Harrison asking for new sidewalk in front of Lots 25 & 26 Block 41 D.L. 541.
Laid over for examination.

From the City Solicitor giving his opinion into Bicycle racks on Streets and C.
Referred to the full Council.

From Campbell Rannie & Co. asking permission to put material for block paving on the City Yard corner Hastings & Carrall Streets.
Request Granted.

From H. Rhodes re use of Denman Street sidewalk by bicyclists.

[Volume 8 page] 393

From J. McMurray asking that a big stump & C. be removed from 5th Av & Dufferin Street; also asking for sidewalks.
Referred to Alderman McMorran.

From E.O. Atkinson asking that sidewalks on Alberni Street be carried on as far as his home.
Request granted.

From G.W. Scott asking that Davie Street west of Nicola be opened up.
Resolved that he be informed that his request will be attended to in due course.

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

D.J. McPhalenSupplies$102.50
W. H. Allen16.00

sgd H.J. Painter

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

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met on Friday July 22nd 1898.
Present the full Board.

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

News AdvertiserAds$15.92
M. MutrieTravelling Expenses20.00
Mining CriticSupplies12.00
Mining Critic388.00
The ProvinceAd3.00

The following tenders were received for the purchase of the Local Improvement Debentures:-

[Volume 8 page] 394

C. Lesley$95.02 per $100
Farrell & Co.97.01 “ 100
Bank of B.N.A.101 “ 100
C. J. Marani1/16 of one per cent higher than the highest bid.
R. Wilson Smith$93000 for whole issue
Central Canada Loan Co.$94,500 for $93,900

Resolved that the tender of the Bank of B.N.A. be recommended for acceptance.

The following tenders were received for painting the new City Hall,

J.E. SkinnerLabor $240Material $155
Parks Brd.“ 325“ 275
J. Rogers“398“ 110
Geo. Hunt“ 180“ 134

Resolved that the tender of Geo. Hunt be recommended for acceptance.


From Bowser, Godfrey & Christie stating that they would issue a writ in the Munro Case if the matter was not settled after Monday night.
Referred to the City Solicitor.

From D. Oppenheimer’s Executors asking for the payment of $500 put up on behalf of the late D. Oppenheimer.
Laid over for one week.

From the Mining Critic asking for an order for specialty binding 50 copies of the Charters and By-Laws. The City Solicitor having decided that G.A. Roedde was entitled to the Job of City Clerk was instructed to request the Mining Critic to turn in the 50 extra copies of the Charters and By-Laws now held by them.

Resolved that the City Clerk be instructed to call for applications for three assessors two to assess the land and one the buildings applications to be in by Friday next at

[Volume 8 page] 395

at 4 P. M. Salaries to be fixed by the Committee. Resolved that His Worship the Mayor and Aldermen McQueen and Painter be a Committee to make enquiries re water lots on English Bay and report.

sgd Jas McQueen

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

Health Committee

The Health Committee met on Wednesday July 20th 1898.
The full Board were present.

The following accounts were recommended for payment:-

I. M. MacleanAttending Small Pox$400
Clarke & StuartSupplies12.73
City Grocery Co.217.41
Crowder & Penzer23.85
W. C. Marshall2.50
Thos. Dunn & Co.24.86
McDowell & Co.100.28
J. CarnahanScavenging18.50
Wm. RalphSupplies2.25
Lewis & Sills1.35
M. S. Rose1.75
J. K. DavisGlazing1.50
Thorpe & Co.Supplies1.50
Vancouver Hardware Co.2.05
J. A. Skinner & Co.3.15
J. Dodson20.95
City of Victoriahelpers47.90
Barr & AndersonRepairs8.50
Tho. CloughExpress1.50
G. W. HutchingsSupplies100.25
McDowell & Co.1.60
Mrs. D. ReithCooking15.00
N. La BrancheLabor14.00

[Volume 8 page] 396

Dominion Fish Co.Supplies$42.06
Hudson’s Bay Co.8.30
J. C. Woodrow93.01
Champion & WhiteScavenging.50

From the Medical Health Officer reporting the final stamping out of the Small pox.

From Misses Fonseca and Parsons resigning their positions as nurses.

From Miss Ruth Pirt Acting Matron of the City Hospital reporting that she has engaged the following nurses to fill the vacancies on the nursing staff viz:-

Miss IngramNight nurse in men’s ward@$20 per month
Miss McCraney“ “ womens ““ 20 “ “
Miss RoundefellProbationer“ 10 “ “
Miss Caoto end of September.“ 15. “ “

Resolved that these appointments be made temporarily until Miss Macfie resumes duty.

From Miss Macfie stating that she would at once resume duty if she were allowed full authority to hire and discharge nurses.
Filed for Reference.

From Dora Reno asking for the return of $100 paid by her for quarantine guards.
Referred to the City Solicitor.

From the Sister Superior of St. Paul’s Hospital asking for the payment for bedding etc. destroyed by the order of the Health Officer.
Referred to the City Solicitor.

From Stephen Strickland applying for a raise of salary.

From the Health Inspector furnishing Report and asking for repairs to brickwork at the Crematory and extension of [cabin?] connected therewith.

[Volume 8 page] 397

Resolved that his request be granted.

From Mrs. Washburn late Housekeeper at the City Hospital asking for one month’s salary in lieu of 30 days notice of discharge.
Referred to the City Solicitor.

Resolved that Misses Milne, Fonseca and Parsons be paid their salaries up to the time of their leaving the hospital.

Resolved that an architect be employed to prepare a plan for making alterations to the water closets in the nurses rooms of the womens’ ward.

The following tenders were received for plumbing the old City Hospital:-

Braden Bros.$268
Peach & Laurenson235
Wm. Ralph225
Mortimore Brs.239

Resolved that the tender of Wm. Ralph be recommended for acceptance.

sgd W.J. McGuigan

Moved by Alderman McGuigan
Seconded by “ Foreman
That the Report be adopted.


Moved by Alderman Painter
Seconded by “ McQueen
That the following account be paid:-
A.E.E. Clark Crushed Rock $799.35

Moved by Alderman Neelands
Seconded by “ McGuigan
That His Worship the Mayor

[Volume 8 page] 398

and the Health Committee investigate into the origin of Small pox in this City.

Moved by Alderman Bruce
Seconded by “ McGuigan
That Mr. Peters be allowed to open a plumbing shop in the building on Cambie Street as this Council do not consider that he is conflicting with the Fire Limit By-Law.

The Council then adjourned.

James F. Garden

Additional research from transcriber Carole Wilson:

“It wasn’t long until there were even policemen on bicycles. The first bike cop was Sergeant Vicker Wallace Haywood in 1892. According to a Daily World newspaper account in June of that year, Haywood had been seen practicing riding on out of the way streets and was expected in a few days to make his midnight round of the beats on his “racing pneumatic tired safety” bicycle. The Daily World thought “there [was] a great future ahead for policemen on bicycles”. They suggested that the Vancouver Police Committee should consider purchasing a couple of bicycles for police use.”

Christine Hagemoen, Scout Magazine May 28, 2019

Ishbel Maria Marjoribanks Gordon, Lady Aberdeen in the Canadian Encyclopedia

Lady Aberdeen, National Historic Person on the Parks Canada Wesite

Ishbel Gordon-Hamilton, Lady Aberdeen on the University of Waterloo website

Some of her accomplishments:

  • First woman to address the house of commons
  • Helped found the Victorian order of nurses
  • First woman to receive an honorary degree in Canada
  • Recognized for starting the commercial fruit growing region in the Okanagan