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Moods of Mount Pleasant - Vancouver City Hall - Vancouver BC - Canada - 01

By Adam Jones, Ph.D. [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Mount Pleasant is a unique and exciting area known for its stores, heritage buildings, resident artists, and art festivals. Mount Pleasant is popular with new homeowners, professionals, and families looking for a friendly spot to call home. This stretch of Vancouver runs from False Creek to the Mount Pleasant shopping district. The shopping center is the meeting point of Main Street, Broadway, and Kingsway.

An Excellent Neighborhood Heritage

The area was attractive to business and settlement from an early date, owing to the location’s access to water from Brewery Creek. It is also located near the main business district of Vancouver today. Even long ago, people expected Mount Pleasant to develop into a gentrified residential area. It received its name in 1888, after the birthplace of the wife of H. V. Edmonds. He was the original owner of much of the district and was significant as the clerk of the municipal council of New Westminster.

History Of Mount Pleasant

By 1904, the area was the site of a tannery, two slaughterhouses, a train station, and four breweries. All this industry attracted residents. By 1912, it had a considerable population. The city constructed a nearby elementary school and a fire hall. Local businesses included a theatre and the Lee Building, considered to be Vancouver’s first skyscraper. Mount Pleasant also had a streetcar terminal.

During the first world war, the tidal flats of False Creek were filled to create a platform for two railway terminals and a rail yard. This development altered Mount Pleasant’s familiar waterfront and the mouth of Brewery Creek was closed. The modern was starting to replace the familiar.

By 1930, the local flavor of the community was already set. The neighborhood was characterized by blocks of houses on small lots, with residential buildings being mixed with industrial sites. The 1930s changed the face of the district. New industrial lots came at the expense of demolishing many homes. These changes altered the atmosphere, and Mount Pleasant became a less prestigious place to live.

In 1935, the city of Vancouver obtained ownership of the park space at 12th Avenue and Cambie Street to construct a new city hall. Mayor McGeer made this decision because it linked the area to the rest of the city. (Davis 1979)

Into the 1950s and 60s, more houses were replaced with work sites and office buildings. Warehouses also became prominent. Some older homes survive, and places in the south and west sections of Mount Pleasant have enjoyed restoration.

Some Interesting Facts

  • Mount Pleasant was the home for a bicycle race track that was surfaced with yellow cedar. It was built for the British Empire Games in 1954. It was developed in the large ravine where China Creek crosses Broadway Street. It was demolished for the construction of the King Edward Campus, a part of the Vancouver Community College.
  • Robson Park is named after the 9th premier of British Columbia, John Robson. It is located at 15th Avenue and Kingsway. Brewery Creek at one time ran into False Creek just north of 1st Avenue. False Creek ran to Clark Drive before it was altered.
  • Hops were once grown near the former sites of the neighborhood’s breweries. Some of these bushes still grow.
  • Mount Pleasant was the birthplace of Gerry McGeer. He was one of the city’s more interesting mayors. He was determined to build the new city hall in the area.
  • Mount Pleasant was once the home of Olympic sprinter Percy Williams. He lived in the southeast corner of 12th Avenue and Columbia Street. He won gold medals in the 1928 Olympic Games, winning both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes.

The Famous Heritage of Mount Pleasant

The district still has many beautiful and significant homes dating from the 1890s through the 1920s. Mount Pleasant’s more noteworthy residences include a selection of smaller houses from its early settlement. It also has larger and more elaborate Queen Anne/Edwardian style residential buildings built during the first decades of the 20th Century.

Heritage Hall (Formerly Postal Station C)

Originally a post office that opened in 1915 on the junction of Main Street and 15th Avenue, this beautiful building is the defining example of Vancouver’s Beaux-arts Classicism. The building has a stone foundation, coupled pillars, a steep roof, and a prominent clock tower. Currently referred to as Heritage Hall, it is used for meetings and is the home of community organizations.

The Former Evangelistic Tabernacle

Located on the corner of E 10th Avenue and Quebec Street, this 1909 building is initially housed in Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church. The architects used a half timber-and-stone combination more often found in Tudor Revival houses. The church was turned into private condominiums in the 1990s.

City Hall

Located at the 12th and Cambie Streets, it was opened during Vancouver’s 50th birthday in 1936. The austere white walls are best described as hardened classicism. The column-like shafts were used in government buildings during the 1930s, and similar examples can be found in Munich and Moscow.

Mount Pleasant Postal Code:

  • V5T 0A2
Mount Pleasant Geo Coordinates:
Lat: 49.259762
Long: -123.107590

If you are looking for other areas of Vancouver to visit, we’d recommend Commercial Drive to the east and  Yaletown in the downtown area.

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