VANCOUVER, Canada, the largest city and chief seaport of British Columbia, the fourth city of Canada in population, is situated on the Gulf of Georgia opposite Vancouver Island on the northern Pacific Ocean. Its chief harbor front is on Burrard Inlet, a spacious sheet of water, entered by a passage between Stanley Park and North Vancouver, and extending some 20 miles into the interior. Other water fronts are English Bay, from which ships may enter another arm of the sea called False Creek, on which are shipyards and other industrial estab lishments. Vancouver is the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and of the government transcontinental system known as the Canadian Northern. It is also one of the Pacific terminals of two United States railways, the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific.
The history of Vancouver as a city begins with 1885, when the Canadian Pacific Railway Company established its terminus there. Before that time the site was covered with forest of the type now seen in the adjoining Stanley Park. The first important industry es tablished at Vancouver was the Hastings lumber mills, a large plant on the harbor front whose furnace fires have not been extinguished in a third of a century. On 13 June 1886 the young city, which had been incorporated four months before, was entirely swept away by fire, but it was quickly rebuilt, and, except for brief inter missions which mark the advance of all new cities, its growth in population, commerce, in dustry and wealth has been rapid and continu ous.
Commerce and Industry.— The trade of Vancouver has steadily increased. Exports in the fiscal year 1912 were $8,000,000. In 1916 they had increased to $15,000,000. In 1917, $29, 000,000; in 1918, $31,000,000; in 1919, $37,000, 000. Imports from were $20,000,000, $29,000,000, $41,000,000 and $47,000,000. There is a large provincial coastwise trade not in cluded in these returns.
In the year ending March 1919, 1,332 sea going vessels of 1,760,000 tons and 9,880 coast ing vessels of 3,400,000 tons entered the Port of Vancouver. Regular steamship services include Canadian Pacific lines to China, Japan and Manila, the Blue Funnel line to the same countries, a line to Australian and New Zealand ports and to Honolulu, two lines to Shanghai, Hongkong and other Chinese ports; a Jap anese line between Vancouver and various Asiatic ports, several lines connecting Van couver by way of the Panama Canal with British and Mediterranean ports, South Africa, New York and ports in Eastern Canada and the West Indies. Between Vancouver, Victoria
and Seattle there are double daily services by one line and daily services by others, while there are regular sailings between Vancouver and many points north and south on the mainland and on Vancouver Island. Halibut fleets and other fishing vessels operate from the port and tramp steamers from all countries may be seen in the harbor.
Among the leading industries are lumber and woodworking establishments, shipbuilding in steel and wood, sugar refining, engineering and machine works, shoe factories, assaying and metal refining, meat, fish and fruit packing, furniture factories and all the local industries which belong to a seaport and distributing cen tre. The Canadian Pacific Railway has an ex tensive system of wharves with over 600,000 square feet of area and 350,000 square feet of sheds. The Dominion government has a large wharf with sheds and grain elevators and is now undertaking a large program of wharf construction and the establishment of a dry dock. There are numerous private wharves and warehouses. The harbor is administered by a commission appointed by the Federal govern ment. Customs duties collected at the port in 1919 were $8,740,000, inland revenue $588,000, postal revenue $727,000, bank clearings for the year $577,000.000.
Public Utilities.— Transportation within the city, in the suburbs and up the Fraser River some 60 miles is handled by the British Columbia Electric Railway, which company also supplies electric light and power from its water works at Lake Iluntzen. Power is also ob tained from the Western Power Company, with works at Stave Lake, and there are almost un limited natural sources of water power available for further production. The water supply for the city and the surrounding municipalities is taken from the Capilano River, which flows from a neighboring mountain. Pipes are laid to reservoirs high above any present or possible settlement so that the water is always pure and cold.