Unlocking North Vancouver History

Wilderness on the Doorstep: Vancouver’s Mountain Playground

1920’s Picnic Basket

Development came early to the North Shore wilderness, especially in the Capilano Canyon. In July of 1906, Dickson W. Kells (about 1868-1924) opened his Swiss chalet-style Hotel Capilano at the end of the waterworks road, well up the valley from the Second Canyon. His tallyho* service brought guests to the remote area. The hotel contained 15 bedrooms, a large dining room and several sitting rooms. Ideally located for bear hunters, anglers, hikers and mountaineers, its accommodations cost $2.50 to $3.50 per day. Three years later, when numbers of Sunday excursionists were picking up, North Vancouver hotelier Pete Larson (about 1859-1934) built the competing Canyon View Hotel on an ideal site overlooking the Second Canyon. A 30-room gabled structure with a big sundeck and veranda, it attracted a wealthy clientele. People came for genteel adventures, such as guided picnic tours into the upper valley, later submerged by a modern dam.

* Tallyho: fast horse-drawn coach.

Unlock history! Scroll down and click on thumbnails.

This sophisticated wicker picnic basket for two was probably the property of the Canyon View Hotel.

The picnic basket was manufactured in London, England, and held cutlery, enamelled plates, wicker-covered glass flasks and china containers.

This equipment dates to 1925, a time when picnics were favourite Sunday excursions, often organized by local companies.

Vancouverites enjoyed picnics throughout the 1920s, and may have invested in a basket as an expression of upward social mobility.

© Copyright - MONOVA