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A tour guide of historical places in Vancouver

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Historical Vancouver Tour

By Abdullah Anjum, Piyush Pokharkar, Amit Bhangu

On May 23, 1914, a crowded ship from Hong Kong arrived with 376 passengers, most who were from Punjab, British India, arrived in Vancouver's Burrard Inlet on the west coast. Not all passengers were allowed entry from the Continuous Passage Regulation which stated that immigrants must come from their country of birth or citizenship by a continuous journey from country of birth or citizenship. This regulation was set in 1908 in an effort to curb the Indian Immigration to Canada. As a result, the Komagata Maru was denied docking from the authorities. The people on board were kept there in the water for two months. The ship was escorted out of the harbour by the Canadian Military on July 23, 1914 and was forced to sail back to Budge-Budge, India where nineteen passenger were killed by gunfire upon force of arrival and several others were jailed.Since then things have changed. Sikhs are more respected and treated equally compared to how they were before. 

 Komagata Maru Memorial

 The marine building was once the tallest building in the British Empire, constructed in the spring of 1929. Opening on October 7th, 1930. The building had 21 floors and a height of 97.8 meters (321 feet). At the time, Vancouver had seen nothing like it. The marine building was maintained and kept the same way as it had been in the 1900, they had renovated it in the 1980s to restore all the unique architectural features and they also upgraded the building's operating system. Not much changed over time since all the features of the building were maintained. If anything was changed at all, it was the places around it, back then the marine building had nothing around it. It was mostly just empty area. Now the building is surrounded by bigger buildings about twice the size.

Marine Building

  Built in 1914 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, Waterfront station was the main station and terminus station from places such as Toronto and Montreal. Formed to physically unite Canada and Canadians from coast to coast. It was the main line between Quebec City and Vancouver. This Station served as the first impression spot of Vancouver for people that would travel by train.Waterfront became a fully public transit facility in 1977 when the SeaBus began to operate. It is now the gateway to many different destinations in Vancouver. This station provides visitors easy access to many of the city's attractions within walking distance. 

Waterfront Station

Built by the CPR in 1914, the city of Vancouver added the SeaBus in 1977 and the Expo line in 1985. Used as a skytrain station with lots of vendors. The sea bus still operates and is now considered one of Vancouver’s most haunted building due to the fact it is over a 100 years old and there haven't been big renovation as it looks fairly similair to in 1914 version.. The only change is that no trains go to Pacific Central anymore. Also the area around has changed very much for example, there is Science World and other attractions around it.

Canadian Pacific Station

 Built in 1977 by Raymond Saunders and metal worker Doug Smith. They were hired by gastown`s local merchants to build the clock as a monument. It also had the purpose of keeping local homeless people warm. The thing about the clock is it isn't actually a fully steam powered clock, it has an electric motor hidden away from view.The clock has been kept and maintained the same since 1977. It is fairly new and hasn't had any problems. Nothing has changed, the only thing that has changed is the area around it, since it more industrialized to this era.


Steam Clock

 John Deighton also known as Gassy Jack, a British born man. When he was 14, he packed his bags, set of on a ship that would eventually land him on the banks of Burrard inlet. Jack explained the sailor life as hard with terrible food. He later switched to becoming an American Ship building, he helped build the ship called the “Clipper”, one of the finest boats in that time. He spent seven years on this boat and went on countless adventures. Jack later left the industry and went to California during the gold rush, where he struck gold with a 2000 dollar nugget. Him and a few other setup off up the Fraser River. By 1865, Jack married a local Native American women. Jack later opened a bar called “The Global Salon” in the settlement of New Westminster on Vancouver Island. This later led to his bankruptcy so, he left and made for South towards the Burrard inlet. It was here, on September 28, 1867 that John “Gassy Jack” Deighton landed with his family, his dog, two chickens, two chairs, a large barrel of whiskey and $6 in cash. Soon after his arrival, he persuaded some local mill workers to build him a new saloon bar.The deal he made with the Hastings Mill workers promised them a day’s worth of free liquor in exchange for their help in the saloon’s construction. It is perhaps a reflection of the locals thirst for liquor and a place to socialise. In just 24 hours, the workers and the town had their first makeshift bar. As his bar started to grow so much that the locals started to refer to this place as Gastown. This town is now known as the oldest part of Vancouver and is graced with a statue of Gassy Jack. This time was the industrialization of Vancouver. Nowadays, Gastown is a small part of Vancouver almost nothing compared to what it looks like now. Back then Gastown was everything, the beginning of Vancouver which led to this great city today. Since then everything has changed, all of Gastown has maintained and kept almost the same as it was back then, around it is a whole city that was built that started from Gastown.


Gastown and Gassy Jack

 In 2010, the winter olympics were held in Vancouver and that led to the construction of the olympic cauldron. The cauldron was lit up at the end of the torch relay. The torch relay took a long 106 days to actually make it to the cauldron. Catriona Le May Doan, Steve Nash, Nancy Greene and Wayne Gretzky were the athletes to light the base of the cauldron. The cauldron is just there, now as a symbol and a memory of the olympics in Vancouver. Not much has changed since the Olympics, as it waas a recent event. 

Olympic Cauldron

Way back, this was a place where the streets would be filled with blood because it was a place where you buy your meat. If you were a butcher, your shop would be in this alley. This alley was also a place for public executions. It definitely has changed as there is no such thing as legal public exectuions in Canada anymore. Now it is a place to shop and eat some delicious food from great restaurants and diners. 

Blood Alley

This is the end of our walking tour. We hope you understand our great city, Vancouver in a more historical way now.