Happy Birthday Vancouver Sun – You don’t look a day over 115

On September 29th, 1888, The Vancouver World started printing, and 120 years later, The Vancouver Sun is still pumping out the news. I’m not a born Vancouverite, I converted ten years ago, so The Sun was a bit of a puzzle to me – in the rest of Canada (well, most of it), “The ____ Sun” is the tabloid press paper with a girl in a bikini on page 6. These were perceived as the fluffy paper, compared to whatever the rival paper was, which was almost always a broadsheet paper. So for example, there would be The Calgary Sun and The Calgary Herald – both fine papers, but was a bit lighter on the articles, heavier on the Brick ads and sports. In my opinion, anyhow. And that never stopped me from reading them both. And then I moved to Vancouver, and OOOoooh, the hilarity caused by my confusion. Actually, I don’t know where I was going with that – it didn’t take more than a week to rewire my brain to keep the two straight.

Man, that was actually a really boring digression. Anyhow, it’s the 120th anniversary of The Vancouver Sun, which is always of interest to me. I like to see how things change and how they don’t change. When the Royal Bank’s Cambie branch had their anniversary earlier in the year, it was amazing to see their photos of the corner of Broadway and Cambie, back when they were the only building of note. Big empty space where the Wendy’s would one day be.

As part of their celebrations, The Vancouver Sun pointed readers towards vancouverhistory.ca which is a treasure trove (2000+ pages, according to the Sun) of facts and photos about the city.

– Vancouver had Canada’s first gas-station.

– Vancouver named 8 city streets after famous golf-courses – Seigniory, Leaside, Uplands, Bonnacord, Scarboro, Bonnyvale, Brigadoon and Bobolink. I can find all but Seigniory on Google maps.

– The first Vancouver mayor who was actually born in Vancouver was hizzonor Bill Rathie, in 1962 (76 years after incorporation.)

– Whistler? Originally called London Mountain. The inspiration for the name it has now? A marmot.

– Marpole is apparently one of the oldest, settled areas in North America, with habitation evidence going back 3500 years. Also, they found 200 bodies in the midden (refuse dump) in 1930. I have no idea who made the dump and who dumped the bodies – Fail, Vancouver History! FAIL!

Anyhow, happy birthday Vancouver Sun. That Metro paper – she means nothing to me baby. Just a paper I met on the bus. You know you’re the only one for me.

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