Vancouver (City) / Burrard Inlet / Coward's Cove / Eburne / Elsje Point / English Bay / False Creek / Ferguson Point

Phone : (604) 873-7011
Your Host(s) : Municipal Administration

Vancouver, BC (Nearby: South Cambie, Mount Pleasant, Riley Park, Fairview, Shaughnessy)

  • Burrard Inlet
  • Coward's Cove
  • Eburne
  • Elsje Point
  • English Bay
  • False Creek
  • Ferguson Point

453 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia
V5Y 1V4

British Columbia Tourism Region : Vancouver, Coast, & Mountains

Description From Owner:
  • Elsje Point - Pronounced 'El-shuh.' This point, at the end of the Vancouver Maritime Museum's breakwater, commemorates Mrs. W.M. Armstrong, née Elsje De Ridder (1918-81), a former chairwoman of the Museum's board of trustees.
  • Daughter of a former conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, she was a warm-hearted and accomplished lady who,
  • among many contributions to the cultural life of Vancouver, brought to prominence the city's Community Music School, now the Vancouver Academy of Music.
  • English Bay - This and nearby Spanish Bank commemorate the meeting of the English (under Captain Vancouver) and the Spanish (under Galiano and Valdes) in this area in June 1792.
  • False Creek - So named by Captain G.H. Richards, RN, in the late 1850s presumably because, despite its promising entrance, this small inlet soon ended in mudflats.
  • . (In England the word 'creek' applies to any narrow indentation in a coast.) Galiano's name for Boundary Bay, Ensenada del Engefio (Mistake Bay), is very similar.
  • Ferguson Point - This promontory in Stanley Park is named after Alfred Graham Ferguson, a Vancouver building contractor devoted to the development of Stanley Park.
  • In 1888 he became the first chairman of the Vancouver Parks Board since he was an American, the swearing-in ceremony was quietly dispensed with. He died in San Francisco in 1903.
  • Burrard Inlet named by Captain Vancouver in June 1792 after his friend Sir Harry Burrard, RN (1765-1840), a former shipmate aboard HMS Europa in the West Indies in 1785.
  • Burrard changed his name in 1795 to Burrard-Neale in consequence of marriage to the heiress Grace Elizabeth Neale, lady-in-waiting to Queen Charlotte.
  • Sir Harry was promoted to vice-admiral in 1814 and served as commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean fleet from 1823 to 1826. He became admiral in 1830.
  • The Spaniards, who explored the inlet about the same time as Vancouver, called it Boca de Floridablanca in honour of their Prime Minister. To the Indians it was, apparently, Sasamat. (See Sasamat Lake.)
  • Coward's Cove - This small cove with its arresting name is simply a dredged area within the outer end of a breakwater, thus providing a mooring ground for fishing vessels.
  • The name mocks those who remain in shelter here when wind and waves make rather risky further progress out of the mouth of the Fraser River.
  • Eburne - W.H. Eburne arrived in British Columbia in 1875 and, in 1881, after attempts at farming, he opened a store on the mainland, opposite Sea Island.
  • In 1885 he moved, taking over Sexsmith's store on Lulu Island and becoming postmaster of the North Arm post office, housed in the store.
  • In 1892 he moved his premises to Sea Island, close to the Marpole Bridge, taking with him the post office, which was renamed Eburne. The mainland portion of Eburne became Marpole in 1916.
  • With permission from G.P.V and Helen B. Akrigg 1997 British Columbia Place Names. UBC Press.

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  • Here in 1867 'Gassy Jack' Deighton built his saloon, which became the centre of a settlement later to be named Vancouver

  • Granville Island

  • In 1870 Gastown (the future Vancouver) was renamed Granville in honour of George Leveson-Gower, Earl Granville, Britain's Secretary of State for the Colonies. Granville Street and Granville Island are derived from this naming.

  • Jericho Beach

  • Takes its name from Jeremiah (Jerry) Rogers (1818-79). From his camp at Jerry's Cove ('Jericho'), Rogers sent axemen inland to fell the giant trees that once grew on Point Grey. A native of New Brunswick, he started logging Point Grey in either 1864 or 1865.

  • Locarno Park

  • Commemorates the signing in 1925 at Locarno, Switzerland, of a pact that many believed would usher in an era of 'no more wars.'

  • Lost Lagoon

  • Named by Pauline Johnson, the poet of Mohawk and English descent, who was fond of canoeing here. It was cut off from the rest of Vancouver harbour by the building of the Stanley Park causeway.

  • Mitchell island

  • After Alexander Mitchell, who in 1882 became the first man to farm on this island.

  • Noon Breakfast Point

  • Captain Vancouver's lieutenant, Peter Puget, uses this name in his journal. It was adopted officially in 1981.

  • Pacific Spirit Regional Park

  • In 1989 the provincial government transferred title of 763 hectares of undeveloped land near UBC to the Greater Vancouver Regional District for a park. A competition to name the new park was held, the winner being Sherry Sakamoto with 'Pacific Spirit Park,' signifying 'Gateway to the Pacific and spiritual ground to becoming one with nature.'

    A minor trail in the park is named for Iva Mann, the heroine who spearheaded the long, hard fight against real estate interests and others who had grandiose development plans. Thanks in part to her the public now has this park almost twice the size of Stanley Park, with thirty-five kilometres of trails and fine beaches.

  • Prospect Point

  • In the nineteenth century, this viewpoint in Stanley Park was known as 'Observation Point.'

  • Rocky Mountains

  • The earliest reference to these is that of John Knight, Governor of York Factory, who states in his diary for 1716 that Indians had told him that very far to the west there were prodigious mountains. First mention of their present name is to be found in the journal of 1752 of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, which refers to the 'Montagnes de Roche.' Rocky Mountains is a translation of the Cree Indian name for them, 'As-sin-wati.' Seen from the east across the prairie, they appear as a great rocky mass.

  • Siwash Rock

  • Originally Ninepin Rock. Siwash is a Chinook jargon word, derived from the French sauvage, meaning a 'native Indian.' The original Squamish Indian name for Siwash Rock means 'standing up.'

    The Squamish Indians have a legend about the creation of Siwash Rock. The Transformers (three brothers) were paddling along in their canoe and saw a man bathing and scrubbing himself with hemlock boughs. When they asked him why he was bathing, the man answered that his wife had just given birth to his first son. The Transformers then changed the man into a special rock with a small tree on top of it the hemlock he had been using to scrub himself with. This rock is known as Siwash Rock. The wife was also turned into stone, and this smaller rock can still be seen nearby.

  • Spanish Bank

  • Near here, on 22 June 1792, Captain Vancouver met two Spanish ships at anchor — the brig Sutil commanded by Galiano, and the schooner Mexicana commanded by Valdes. Vancouver has left us a description of the Spanish warships:

    They were each about forty-five tons burthen, mounted two brass guns, and were navigated by twenty-four men, bearing one lieutenant, without a single inferior officer. Their apartments just allowed room for sleeping places on each side, with a table in the intermediate space, at which four persons, with some difficulty, could sit, and were, in all other respects, the most ill calculated and unfit vessels that could possibly be imagined for such an expedition; notwithstanding this, it was pleasant to observe, in point of living, they possessed many more comforts than could reasonably have been expected.

    Vancouver had been exploring northward in a yawl, while the Discovery and Chatham were left at anchor south of Point Roberts. He brought his ships up to join the Spaniards, and then the four ships travelled north in company.

  • Vancouver

  • The City of Vancouver is named after the famous British navigator, Captain George Vancouver, RN, who in 1792 named and explored Burrard Inlet, on whose shore the city stands.

    Born of Dutch stock in the little Norfolk town of King's Lynn on 22 June 1757, George Vancouver entered the navy in 1771. In the following years, he sailed with the great Captain Cook on the latter's second and third voyages of exploration. Promoted to lieutenant in 1780, Vancouver saw action against the French in the West Indies and attracted the attention of Commodore Alan Gardner, through whose influence he was appointed in 1789 second in command on a voyage of exploration to be made in the Pacific by Captain Henry Roberts.

    Expectations of war with Spain over Nootka caused this expedition to be postponed, and new postings were given to those who had been assigned to it. When the project was renewed in December 1790, Vancouver was given command, with special instructions to receive from the Spaniards at Nootka the land that they had taken from the British there and were now to surrender.

    In April 1792 Vancouver arrived off the shores of what was to become British Columbia. Sailing through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, he began that detailed survey of the coast which was to occupy him until his departure for England late in 1794. Much of this work was done in small open boats operating at considerable distances from Vancouver's ship, HMS Discovery, and her tender, the Chatham. Considering the difficulties under which Vancouver laboured, this was a tremendous achievement of careful, meticulous surveying. During these explorations he was a stern disciplinarian, as any effective naval commander had to be in those days.

    Back in England in 1795, Captain Vancouver (who had been promoted to that rank during his absence) devoted himself to preparing for publication an account of his great expedition. He had just about completed reading the proofs when he died on 10 May 1798. On 18 May he was buried in the graveyard of Petersham church in Surrey. His Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and round the World was published later that year.

    Captain Vancouver was not the first white man to visit the site of the future city. That distinction goes to a Spanish navigator, José Maria Narvaez, who was on the scene a year earlier. For Vancouver's meeting off Point Grey in 1792 with two other Spaniards, Galiano and Valdes, see Spanish Bank.

    At the time of Captain Vancouver's visit, Indians lived in the Burrard Inlet area mainly on a seasonal basis, their permanent villages being elsewhere. The Musqueams had their village on the North Arm of the Fraser (as they do now), and the Squamish wintered in the Squamish and Cheakamus valleys. Once white settlement began around Burrard Inlet, more Indians moved here permanently.

    The main Squamish Indian village sites in the Vancouver area were Sen7ákw (meaning possibly 'inside at the head'), extending roughly from the Vancouver Museum area east to the mouth of False Creek; Schilhus ('high bank'), at the end of Pipeline Road in Stanley Park; Xwáyxway ('place of sxwáyxwi mask'), a very important village on the site of Lumberman's Arch; Temtemixwtn ('place of lots of land') at Belcarra; Xwmelch'stn (referring to fish finning or rolling on the water surface), at the original mouth of the Capilano River east of Lions Gate Bridge; and Slha7án' ('against the edge of the bay'), at the mouth of Mosquito Creek.

    White settlement in the Vancouver area began in 1862 when three Englishmen, John Morton, William Hailstone, and Sam Brighouse, having learned of the discovery of coal in Coal Harbour, went there and staked a claim to all the land lying between modern Burrard Street and Stanley Park, English Bay, and Coal Harbour. After the trio had obtained title to the land (which became known as the 'Brickmakers' Claim,' since they later manufactured bricks here, the first on the mainland), they cleared some land in the northeast corner and built a shack and a barn. About this time farms were being started in the Marpole area by Hugh Magee, William Shannon, William Catchpole, Henry Mole, the McCleery brothers, and a man named Gariepy. The year 1865 saw two new settlements on the south shore of Burrard Inlet, settlements that would grow, merge, and become parts of Vancouver. Early that year Douglas Road, a crude corduroy affair, was completed, linking New Westminster with Burrard Inlet. That summer the fine beaches and tranquil waters at 'The End of the Road' became a favourite place for picnickers from the little colonial capital on the Fraser. Summer cottages were soon built. The little resort was named 'New Brighton,' and that August Hocking and Houston built their Brighton Hotel, with elaborate grounds and a steamboat landing. Three years later a townsite was laid out at New Brighton and named 'Hastings' after Rear-Admiral the Hon. George F. Hastings, who had taken command of the Royal Navy's Pacific Station the previous year and was already proving himself a good friend to the colonists. Today New Brighton Park, lying between Exhibition Park and the Second Narrows, marks where this first resort area once stood.

    Another event of 1865, more important than the founding of New Brighton, was the establishment of Captain Edward Stamp's sawmill. After an unsuccessful attempt to found a mill near the present site of Lumberman's Arch in Stanley Park, Stamp received a Crown grant of the land at the foot of Dunlevy Street, where the National Harbours Board now has its offices. Here on his 'Sawmill Claim' he built the Hastings Mill, which, for more than sixty years, was to export its lumber to all parts of the world.

    In 1867, when the Hastings Mill finally came into operation, sometimes with as many as three tall-masted ships taking on lumber at its wharf, there was an obvious need for a place where thirsty millhands and sailors could slake their thirst. Thus, there arrived on the scene 'Gassy Jack' Deighton 'with his squaw, his yellow dog, and a barrel of whisky ... to lay the foundations of the future city of Vancouver' (BCHQ 11 [April Image 'Captain' Deighton was an Englishman, born in Hull in 1830, who had served as a river pilot on the Fraser. He had picked up his nickname of 'Gassy' because of his loquacity and his tall stories. Now, in 1867, he built his Deighton House, complete with saloon, in a little clearing where today we have the intersection of Water and Carrall streets. Around Gassy Jack's establishment grew up a little settlement that, in honour of its founder, became known as 'Gastown,' a name that found its way onto the charts of the British admiralty before the residents, in a fit of respectability in 1870, renamed their hamlet 'Granville' in honour of the noble Earl who was Britain's Colonial Secretary. The 1880s saw major developments. With the CPR ending its transcontinental line at Port Moody at the head of Burrard Inlet, property on the inlet was obviously going to be much more valuable. Perhaps with inside information that the railway would be extended west, Morton and Brighouse (Hailstone had gone back to England) in 1882 laid out a plan for 'the City of Liverpool,' covering the area now bounded by Burrard and Nicola Streets, Georgia Street, and Coal Harbour. Nothing came of this project.

    In 1884 the CPR announced its decision to have its terminus at Coal Harbour rather than at Port Moody, and the following year L.A. Hamilton, making a survey for the railway, laid out a townsite that determined the street pattern for downtown Vancouver. In later years Hamilton recalled his conversations with the mighty Van Horne, the general manager and later the president of the CPR, about a name for the new city. Van Horne thought that Granville or Liverpool would not do. Neither would give the world any idea of the geographical location of the CPR'S new terminus. Vancouver seemed to him the name --- Vancouver Island had got 'Vancouver' firmly identified with Canada's west coast. Said Van Horne: 'Hamilton, this eventually is destined to be a great city in Canada. We must see that it has a name that will designate its place on the map of Canada. Vancouver it shall be, if I have the ultimate decision.' And Vancouver it became. Hastings and Granville survive only as street names. The City of Vancouver was incorporated on 6 April 1886, and on 1 May of that year the post office of Granville was renamed Vancouver.

    And so Vancouver came into being to the anger of those dwelling on Vancouver Island, to the mystification of logically minded foreigners who insist that Vancouver must be on Vancouver Island, and to the especial confusion of Americans, who are still apt to confuse Vancouver, British Columbia, with Vancouver, Washington the latter having been founded in 1825, over half a century earlier.

    Those who wish to know more about the history of Vancouver, British Columbia, are referred to Chuck Davis's Greater Vancouver Book, Eric Nicol's Vancouver, and Michael Kluckner's Vancouver: The Way It Was. (See also Brockton Point; Burrard Inlet; Coal Harbour; Eburne; English Bay; Fairview; False Creek; Ferguson Point; Grey, Point; Jericho; Kerrisdale; Kitsilano; Lost Lagoon; Marpole; Spanish Bank; Stanley Park.)

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Nearby Lakes and Mountains:
  • Little Mountain, 2km
  • Beaver Lake, 5km
  • Trout Lake, 4km
  • Capilano Lake, 13km
  • Grouse Mountain, 14km
  • Mount Fromme, 14km
  • Dam Mountain, 15km
  • Rice Lake, 13km
  • Little Goat Mountain, 15km
  • Kennedy Lake, 16km
  • Deer Lake, 11km
  • Goat Mountain, 16km
  • Crown Mountain, 17km
  • Hollyburn Mountain, 16km
  • Dick Lake, 15km
  • Owen Lake, 16km
  • Burnaby Lake, 12km
  • Yew Lake, 17km
  • Black Mountain, 17km
  • Mount Strachan, 18km
  • Lynn Peaks, 18km
  • The Needles, 18km
  • Dog Mountain, 16km
  • Whyte Lake, 17km
  • Lynn Lake, 21km
  • First Lake, 17km
  • Dinkey Peak, 17km
  • Second Lake, 17km
  • Rolf Lake, 19km
  • Little Capilano Lake, 22km
  • Hidden Lake, 18km
  • Flower Lake, 17km
  • Coliseum Mountain, 21km
  • Unnecessary Mountain, 22km
  • Mystery Lake, 18km
  • Mount Burnaby, 15km
  • Mount Burwell, 21km
  • Goldie Lake, 18km
  • Palisade Lake, 22km
  • The Lions, 22km
  • Percy Lake, 18km
  • Rodgers Lake, 23km
  • Enchantment Lake, 23km
  • Tim Jones Peak, 19km
  • Mount Seymour, 19km
  • Pump Peak, 19km
  • Mystery Peak, 18km
  • De Pencier Lake, 19km
  • Cornett Lakes, 22km
  • Runner Peak, 20km