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Canada 150, Vancouverites, History, Photos, Events, Life

Canada 150: Vancouver Island Then and Now (PHOTOS)

Canada 150, Vancouverites, History, Photos, Events, Life

Canada 150: Vancouver Island Then and Now (PHOTOS)

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Guest Author Jul 01, 2017 9:44 am 291

Story by Andrew Farris, Founder and CEO of the On This Spot historical then-and-now photo app.


The On This Spot app offers you a guided tour of historic photo spots in your area and allows you to create your own then-and-now photo mash-ups as you walk around.

Now, with the support of Citystudio Victoria, Nanaimo Tourism and the Nanaimo Hospitality Association, the On This Spot app is marking Canada 150 by rolling out walking tours in Esquimalt and Nanaimo, along with hundreds of photo opportunities.

Celebrate Canada 150 by discovering Vancouver Island’s history and creating your own then-and-now photos! Share them on Instagram with the #onthisspot hashtag.

Victoria

Inner Harbour in the late 1800s

The homes of the Songhees First Nation in Victoria's Inner Harbour (Vancouver Archives/On this Spot)

The homes of the Songhees First Nation in Victoria’s Inner Harbour (Vancouver Archives/On this Spot)

This fascinating photo of Victoria’s Inner Harbour shows in the foreground the homes of the Songhees, or Lekwungen, First Nation.

In the water can be seen a wooden-hulled steamship with sails, a design largely unique to this time period when wooden sailing vessels were giving way to steel-hulled steam powered ships.

Beyond can be clearly seen the bridge that once stood where Government Street and the Fairmont Empress stand today. This area would be filled in years later.

The Songhees came together to live on the northwest shore of the Inner Harbour when Fort Victoria was being built in the mid-19th century.

However, under pressure from all levels of Canadian government, in 1911, the Songhees agreed to move away, to two reserves just east of Esquimalt Harbour.

Douglas Street in 1864

Douglas Street in 1864 (Vancouver Archives/On This Spot)

Douglas Street in 1864 (Vancouver Archives/On This Spot)

Douglas Street. The building on the left was known as Kellogg’s Grocery. Today it is a Mac’s.

BC Legislature in the 1880s

The government of British Columbia on the steps of the BC Legislature in the 1880s (Vancouver Archives)

The government of British Columbia on the steps of the BC Legislature in the 1880s (Vancouver Archives)

The men governing the young province on the steps of the Legislature.

BC Legislature in 1901

The BC Legislature as seen from across the Inner Harbour in 1901. (Vancouver Archives/On This Spot)

The BC Legislature as seen from across the Inner Harbour in 1901. (Vancouver Archives/On This Spot)

The Legislature as seen from across the Inner Harbour. The land on the left, which had previously been a bay popular with the Songhees First Nation for clam-digging, had just been filled in.

The Empress in 1903

The Empress, Victoria's best known landmark, under construction in 1903 (Vancouver Archives/On This Spot)

The Empress, Victoria’s best known landmark, under construction in 1903 (Vancouver Archives/On This Spot)

The Empress, Victoria’s best known landmark, under construction.

Railway in the 1940s

A Canadian Pacific Railway train in the 1940s (Vancouver Archives/On This Spot)

A Canadian Pacific Railway train in the 1940s (Vancouver Archives/On This Spot)

The train in this image is the CPR 463 – one of six D4g 4-6-0s which entered service in the 1910s. These trains were fast, powerful, and flashy.

The 4-6-0 designation refers to the wheel arrangement, so these trains had four front wheels, six drive wheels and zero trailing wheels. The higher the number of drive wheels, the more powerful the train.

These were used for the thriving island passenger service that, at the turn of the century, averaged well over 100,000 journeys a year.

Nanaimo

Hudson’s Bay Bastion in the 1880s

The famous Hudson's Bay Bastion in Nanaimo in the 1880s (Vancouver Archives/On This Spot)

The famous Hudson’s Bay Bastion in Nanaimo in the 1880s (Vancouver Archives/On This Spot)

The famous Hudson’s Bay Bastion in downtown Nanaimo in the 1880s.

The wharf in the 1880s

A steamer moored at the government wharf in Nanaimo in the 1880s (Nanaimo Museum/On This Spot)

A steamer moored at the government wharf in Nanaimo in the 1880s (Nanaimo Museum/On This Spot)

A steamer moored at the government wharf in Nanaimo harbour, just below the bastion.

The courthouse in 1915

The Duke and Duchess of Connaught leave the courthouse in 1915 (Nanaimo Archives/On This Spot)

The Duke and Duchess of Connaught leave the courthouse in 1915 (Nanaimo Archives/On This Spot)

The Duke and Duchess of Connaught leave the courthouse after an official reception. The Duke was the governor general of Canada at the time.

Church Street in 1920s

A hay cart travels down Church Street in the 1920s (Nanaimo Museum/On This Spot)

A hay cart travels down Church Street in the 1920s (Nanaimo Museum/On This Spot)

A hay cart travels down Church Street in downtown Nanaimo.

Victoria Crescent in the 1940s

Two old stores on Victoria Crescent in the 1940s (Nanaimo Museum /On This Spot)

Two old stores on Victoria Crescent in the 1940s (Nanaimo Museum /On This Spot)

Two old stores on Victoria Crescent that have survived to the present day.


The On This Spot app offers you a guided tour of historic photo spots in your area and allows you to create your own then-and-now photo mash-ups as you walk around.

On This Spot is expanding across Canada and partnering with universities to create coops for history majors who want to help write walking tours for the app.

If you are a history major interested in working with On This Spot, get in touch at [email protected]

To download the app for Android or iPhone, for more info or to contact Andrew, check here:


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