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.
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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.