1929 Amalgamation of Vancouver, South Vancouver and Point Grey

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An article entry in the category: Chronology-Milestones

Milestone Tags[edit]

Politics & governance

Description[edit]

On January 1, 1929, the citizens of Vancouver, South Vancouver and Point Grey (126,000, 25,000-30,000 and 25,000-30,000 residents respectively) approved a plan by Mayor Louis D. Taylor for the full amalgamation of these three cities/municipalities. The citizens also rejected a metropolitan-type "county council". [1]

Significance[edit]

Morley writes "The amalgamation of 1929 had been a natural development. Point Grey and South Vancouver, even before the union, had been integral parts of the city; utilities and public services did not halt at municipal boundaries, and until the area was unified under a single municipal administration, the tax structure was chaotic, industrial development hampered and intelligent planning impossible." [2]

Amalgamation with Point Grey and South Vancouver gave Vancouver its final boundaries land area of 114.97 km2 (44.39 sq mi). With a population of 228,193, it became the third-largest metropolis in the country.

Discussion[edit]

By way of background information, Hayes describes the incorporation of South Vancouver in 1891, an area south of 16th Avenue extending from Boundary road to Point Grey, and the separation of the western part, Point Grey, as a separate municipality in 1908. [3]

Hardwick notes it was conflicting views about the goals of civic administration had prompted the secession of Point Grey from South Vancouver in 1905. [4]

It is also interesting to read that “South Vancouver had had so many who could not pay taxes that by 1918 the province had taken over its finances, and self-government was not restored until 1923, when times improved. Point Grey, on the other hand, although it had to manage its finances carefully, never had a major problem because its largest taxpayer was the CPR [owner of land in Shaughnessy and elsewhere west of Cambie Street], which continued to pay its taxes. A scheme to amalgamate the two municipalities with Vancouver was originally initiated by the province as a way of introducing economies of scale. On 1 January 1929, following a vote, the municipalities of South Vancouver and Point Grey merged with the then City of Vancouver to form the city with today’s boundaries.” [5]

An important observation is made by Hardwick that "Within the new civic government, elected representatives represented wards in the new amalgamated city. [However] In 1935, on instructions from the provincial government, a plebiscite was held which did away with wards and brought about an at-large system of government. This was followed by the formation of a "non-partisan" form of government." [6]

Sources[edit]

  1. Vancouver - From Milltown to Metropolis. Morley, Alan. Mitchell Press. Vancouver, BC. 1961. See page 168.
  2. Morley, page 194.
  3. Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley. Hayes, Derek, Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver. Page 62.
  4. Vancouver. Hardwick, Walter G. Collier-Macmillan Canada, Ltd. 1974. Page 29.
  5. Hayes, page 120.
  6. Hardwick, page 29-30.