West Vancouver Timeline

West Vancouver Timeline

Our West Vancouver Timeline will always be “a work in progress”. We welcome suggestions regarding historical events not yet included in the Timeline.

We acknowledge that we are on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Musqueam Nation. We recognize and respect them as nations in this territory, as well as their historic connection to the lands and waters around us since time immemorial.

Credits: Content originally from the West Vancouver Museum & Archives. Compiled from material collected by: Hugh Johnston and Dave Barker, West Vancouver Historical Society, Rupert Harrison, District of West Vancouver, and the West Vancouver Museum and Archives. Pre-contact to 1938 was written and adapted by Gallery Guide Volunteer Yvonne Wilson, March 2003.



1917: Logging was still a major industry with seven operators and several small contractors establishing shingle mills, lumber mills and logging operations in West Vancouver.


1917: Telephone exchange opened at 1718 Marine Drive with 65 magneto phones connected.


1918: The Council decided to obtain foreshore rights in Horseshoe Bay, Copper Cove and Fisherman’s Cove.

The Council now wanted to control all the foreshores and faced the problem of expropriating established housing. A 10,877 foot timber flume was built from the McNair, Fraser Lumber Co. mill on Hollyburn Ridge to the P.G.E. Station at Sharon Drive.


1918-1920: The number of schools was growing with the opening of Cypress Park School and the 22nd Street School (Pauline Johnson).


1919: The West Vancouver Courier, the first regularly published paper came into existence. It was printed until 1921.


1921: A one-room school in a rented private house was opened in the Whyte Cliff area.


1922: The introduction of electric power. Before this time coal, oil lamps, wood stoves were used.


1924: Telephones converted from magneto to manual service – 418 telephones in service.


1925: A new St. Stephens Church was built.

The old church became the parish hall. A small amount of logging continued as an element of land clearing. Skiing on Hollyburn Mountain was started by three Scandinavian who used the deserted logging bunkhouses as their cabins. The area around the cabins had been previously logged and provided open areas for cross-country skiing. By the Fall of 1926 they had moved up the hill to ski camps at First Lake. A ski jump was also built on the east side of First Lake.


1926: The Council initiated the Town Planning Act and zoning by-laws to ensure a quality residential area free of major industry.

West Vancouver becomes a strictly residential community. The Library was moved from its old home, in Gemmill’s Drug Store on the corner of 14th Street and Bellevue, to a more modern home at the corner of 14th Street and Marine. Hollyburn Theatre opened with five vaudeville acts and a “Great War Play” entitled ‘The Dark Angel’. A large shingle mill was demolished to clear a site for the Inglewood School.


1927: Gleneagles Golf Course opened. Hollyburn Pacific Ski Club was formed.

Inglewood School was opened as the West Vancouver High School. The first apartment block was built in West Vancouver, called “Appleton Court”. The west end of the current West Vancouver Municipal Hall is situated on this property at 17th Street and Esquimalt.


1931: The British Pacific Properties Limited company was formed.

The Sewell family arrived in Horseshoe Bay to set up a boat rental business. The first May Day was celebrated in West Vancouver and the first Queen, Peggy Barker was chosen. May Day continued until 1973.


1938: New telephone exchange opened at 6093 Marine Drive to serve 52 customers in the Caulfeild and Horseshoe Bay area.


1950: West Vancouver Memorial Library opened (November 11, 1950) at its present location.


1956: New telephone exchange opened at 1651 Inglewood Avenue providing dial service to over 7400 customers.


1958: West Vancouver Recreation Centre opened at 22nd and Marine Drive.


1963: Ice Arena was constructed.


1964: The new West Vancouver Municipal Hall opened November 20, 1964 at 750 17th Street.


1977: West Vancouver Memorial Library expansion completed with official opening of new premises on November 14, 1977.


1979: July 23, 1979 was the date for a tribute to Rupert A Harrison on his retirement after 42 years of service to the Municipality of West Vancouver having served 36 of those years as Municipal Clerk.