Category: North Shore

A Short History of Cates Park

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If you’re looking for something a little different, skip Quarry Rock, Honey’s Donuts and the ice-cream shops of Panorama Drive and head to Cates Park.

There’s a ton of history spread over the six kilometres of waterfront park.

In 1916 a San Francisco-based lumber baron named Robert Dollar bought 100 acres and built a huge mill at the bottom of what’s now Dollar Road.

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The Buntzen Power Stations on Indian Arm

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A couple of weeks ago, I took a boat ride up Indian Arm with Belcarra Mayor Ralph Drew and the Deep Cove Heritage Society. It’s hard to imagine that over a century ago Indian Arm was thriving and serviced by sternwheelers, a floating post office and grocery store.

The highlight for me was finally seeing the Wigwam Inn, but almost as exciting were the two massive power stations that dominate the eastern shore at Buntzen Bay.

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Saving History: Twinning the Lions Gate Bridge

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The Lions Gate Bridge spans the first narrows in Burrard Inlet, connects Vancouver to the North Shore, and is one of the most iconic structures in the city. Built by the Guinness family to encourage development after they bought the side of a West Vancouver mountain, the suspension bridge was tolled from the time it opened in 1938 until 1963.

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The Navvy Jack House: Past, Present and Future

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Jane Williams kindly gave me a tour of her parent’s house at 1768 Argyle Avenue last week. Her father, Lloyd Williams died in April at the age of 96, and she was getting ready to hand the keys over to the District of West Vancouver. Lloyd and Jane’s mother Bette paid $50,000 for the house in 1971, before the seawall was installed and when the next-door John Lawson Park was still a field with a few scattered houses.

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West Vancouver’s Ambleside: Then and Now

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If you live on the North Shore, chances are that you spend at least some of your summer at Ambleside. Did you know that you are sitting on reclaimed land? Prior to 1965, much of this land was a swamp.

In 1914, Ambleside was subdivided into 17 lots and filled with makeshift homes and a few businesses.

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Chesterfield House

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If you live in North Vancouver you may have noticed the old Tudor-style house at Chesterfield and Osborne in the upper Lonsdale Area.

It’s hard to see these days, because several years ago we allowed developers to build two large “carriage” houses, in what was once a magnificent garden filled with hollies, laburnums, cedars, black walnuts, a cherry tree, a rose garden, and a large rhododendron.

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Margaret Trudeau and the Daddy Long Legs Disco

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Last Christmas, my friend Jason Vanderhill gave me a card showing a couple of disco dancers from the ‘70s. The caption explained that the photo was taken at the opening of something called Daddy Long Legs in North Vancouver.

The only thing I could find out about the Daddy Long Legs disco was from a Globe and Mail article dated August 4, 1979 which focused on PR superstar Tom Butler rather than the venue he was promoting.

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