Hayes - Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley

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An article entry in the category: Chronology-Sources

Title: [Hayes, Derek - Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley)[edit]

Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver/Toronto/Berkeley. 2005. 192 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1-55365-107-9 ISBN-10: 1-55365-107-3

Milestone Tags[edit]

Built form | Land use | Development | Politics & governance | Transportation | Infrastructure | Institutions | Demographics | Economy | Events | Region


In his Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley, author and geographer Derek Hayes examines the role maps play in our understanding of the urban landscape. This book contains a variety of maps, from explorers' charts to planning maps and maps that never came to be. Taken together these maps attempt to create a narrative that traces the history of Vancouver and its region.

One of the strengths in using maps to create a historical narrative is that these maps were produced at a specific point in time, by a specific person, for a specific intention. While the book lacks analytical insight into the cultural and social climate, the maps represent these ideas in ways that text cannot. For example, on page 141, Hayes depicts a 1957 Vancouver Evacuation plan map, illustrating the social and political climate of the Cold War.

The book is organized loosely into chronological sections, usually addressing single topics. The book begins with a discussion of First Nations in the Lower Mainland accompanied by various maps. Hayes then goes on to trace the regions' history from when the Spanish first arrived through Vancouver's birth to its' role as an Olympic host city. Each 'mini-chapter' begins with short summaries outlining the time period and the topic of interest. This discussion is accompanied by various maps, from road maps, to bird's eye views, to planning maps. The result is a wonderfully engaging and illustrative history that depicts many aspects of the Vancouver's development. From a discussion on the Interurbans (p.66-67) to the filling in of False Creek (p.100-101), Hayes' brings together various topics to create a coherent and chronological narrative that any researcher examining Vancouver's history will appreciate.

The book addresses many milestones in Vancouver's planning history. Beginning with a discussion of First Nations in the area, Hayes also addresses the CPR arrival and its role in the creation of Vancouver. Other milestones include the Bartholomew Plan, the building of the George Massey Tunnel, and the rejuvenation of False Creek.

The Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley is an excellent book for those interested in cartographic representations of Vancouver and its region. Others who may be interested in this book include historians. geographers, and anyone else who may be interested in maps. Despite its' shortcomings, the book is an important source in examining Vancouver's history. As such, it should be read alongside more scholarly books on Vancouver's history, such as Alan Morley's Vancouver-From Milltown to Metropolis.


City of a Thousand Visions

1. S'ólh Téméxw – Our Land

2. The Spanish Reach Vancouver

3. George Vancouver's Vancouver

4. A River Not the Columbia

5. The Founding of Fort Langley

6. Assessing a New Colony

7. Setting a Southern Boundary

8. The City That Never Was

9. Colonel Moody's Vancouver

10. Defining Vancouver

11. First Settlements on the Inlet

12. Trails and Telegraphs

13. Exploring the Valley

14. An Order Imposed

15. Chilliwack, Chilliwack

16. A Ridge of Maples

17. Canning the Salmon

18. A Railway and a City's Birth

19. Westminster Junction

20. Robert Burnaby's Burnaby

21. Another Vancouver

22. A Streetcar System

23. The Interurban

24. Railway Competition

25. A Railway Resort

26. The Real Estate Boom

27. Dreams and Schemes

28. Across the Inlet

29. West Vancouver

30. Filling in False Creek

31. From Sandbar to Market

32. Clearing the Valley

33. The Valley Centre

34. Reclaiming Sumas Lake

35. The Port of Vancouver

36. Trails to Roads

37. A Vibrant City

38. Harland Bartholomew's Plan

39. A Time of Turmoil

40. A Bridge at Lions Gate

41. A Very British Property

42. A Fit Field to Land On

43. The Defences of Vancouver

44. A Valley Inundated

45. Vancouver in the Atomic Age

46. Not a Nickel for Street Lights

47. The Granville Bridge

48. George Massey's Tunnel Vision

49. A New Accessibility

50. The Freeway Fight

51. The Alternative – Transit

52. Extending Vancouver

53. Managing Growth

54. Rejuvenating False Creek

55. From Ski Camps to Olympics

56. Mapping the Middle Mainland

57. Map Catalogue

58. Illustration Credits

Links to other online pages about this source[edit]

A book review in BC Studies by Sally Hermansen [1]


About the author (2007) Derek Hayes is the author of the bestselling Historical Atlas Series, which includes the Historical Atlas of Canada, Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley, Historical Atlas of Toronto and Historical Atlas of the United States. He holds two degrees in geography and worked for a time as a planner with the Vancouver City Planning Department and as a real estate consultant. He lives in White Rock, B.C.