Unlocking North Vancouver History

Wilderness on the Doorstep: Vancouver’s Mountain Playground

Hikers on Grouse Mountain

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Grouse Mountain summit was a favourite day trip for energetic hikers. Although several chalets and scenic-railway schemes had been proposed for that peak, none passed the promotional stage before the First World War. During the boom years of 1900 to 1913, the city of North Vancouver at its base developed rapidly. It was a peaceful and prosperous era, a time of expansion and optimism that corresponded to a worldwide economic upturn and predated inklings of war. Idealized images such as this one, taken by pioneer photographer George G. Nye (1885-1958), documented this short but formative period. His studio also catered to the “postal” fad in full swing throughout the Edwardian world; people sent postcards to communicate short messages as well as exchange collectible images. Canadians sent about 27,000 in 1900, 41 million in 1908 and more than 60 million in 1913.

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This image of a group of remarkably dapper early hikers was turned into a local postcard.

The photo caption states that the picture was taken at the top of Grouse Mountain.

The photo was taken in 1906, when leg power was still the only way for hikers to reach the peak.

Well-known North Vancouver photographer George G. Nye, aged about 21, is standing at the bottom right. He also took the photo.

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