Davis, Chuck - Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver

From Vancouver Planning
Jump to: navigation, search

An article entry in the category: Chronology-Sources

Title: Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver[edit]

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd. 2011. 574 pp.

Milestone Tags[edit]

People | Demographics | Economy | Politics | Development |


Harbour Publishing worked with Davis on "The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver" for five years before Davis died in 2010, and collaborated with the Vancouver Historical Society to complete the volume in time to mark the city's 125th anniversary. The book was financed by several Vancouver residents and local businesses, educational institutions and community organizations that each picked a year to sponsor.

Year by year, this book identifies key events in the making of Vancouver. To put these events into context, not only does this book include social, environmental, political, and economic changes that occurred in Vancouver, but within the province and the nation as well.


The book traces how Vancouver grew from a ramshackle tumble of stumps, brush and crude wooden buildings to today’s urban metropolis .

"Arranged chronologically, and illustrated with a trove of archival photographs, this volume includes influential characters both famous, like White Spot founder Nat Bailey, and nearly-forgotten, like Sara Anne McLagan, the first female publisher of a daily newspaper in Canada, plus many tales of eccentric locals and celebrity visitors. Here too are Vancouver's unforgettable and formative events, from the tragic collapse of the Second Narrows Bridge to the city's first rock 'n' roll concert ("the ultimate in musical depravity")."[1]


Preface by historian Jean Barman

Chapters 1-13
1. 1757-1885
2. 1886-1899
3. 1900-1909
4. 1910-1919
5. 1920-1929
6. 1930-1939
7. 1940-1949
8. 1950-1959
9. 1960-1969
10. 1970-1979
11. 1980-1989
12. 1990-1999
13. 2000-2011

Chuck Davis Obituary by Tom Hawthorn

Links to online summaries related to this source[edit]


"Some books demand two reviews — one for a general audience, and one for those with a vested interest in the topic. So here goes: The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver is a neat and breezy walk through Vancouver’s past for Canadians, and it’s a must-have for Vancouverites interested in the full story of how their city evolved from a shantytown to a shining city by the sea. What makes the book unique is its own backstory. Chuck Davis, a legendary Vancouver folk historian, died before he could complete the book, so the city’s history community took up the project and completed it in his memory.

Chock full of facts about Vancouver, this book provides plenty of ammunition for small talk the next time you’re at a gallery opening in the coastal city. My only peeve? The lack of colour illustrations." Comments by Mark Reid, editor-in-chief of Canada's History, the publisher of Canada's History Magazine (formerly The Beaver) and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids.

The events identified in this book attempt to reveal the lived experience of the city of Vancouver. Newspaper headlines, celebrity appearances, theatre closures, major developments, and modes of transportation are all captured in this detailed chronology. Furthermore, the book does not provide analysis of selected events, but rather a description to explain the changes that occurred in the city. While not all events are planning-related, the snippets of information provided in this book provide a helpful overview and context in which key planning decisions were made. The book is fairly evenly laid out with pictures and text. It is worth picking up to discover more about a particular time period in Vancouver's history.



  1. http://www.harbourpublishing.com/title/ChuckDavisVancouver
  2. http://canadashistory.ca/Books/Lire-sur-l’histoire/Reviews/The-Chuck-Davis-History-of-Metropolitan-Vancouver.