Posted by: VPSN | March 4, 2011

Early 20th century panoramas of Vancouver – now online

[Canadian Pacific Railway station, S.S. "Princess Mary" at Pier D]

S.S. Princess Mary at Pier D. City of Vancouver Archives

Cool pix!  The City Archives just released a set of digitized panorama photographs of the city at the turn of the 20th century. The images were taken by W. J. Moore and cover a range of subjects: old bridges and viaducts, street scenes, and more. They capture an era long-since past, and a few even record pivotal (and darker) events in the city’s history — such as the anchoring (and subsequent deportation) of the S.S. Komagata Maru and her Hindu and Sikh passengers. (Something the Canadian government only apologized for in 2008).

Over 80 of the images can be found in higher-res format on the Archive’s Flickr site . Several hundred more are uploaded on the main archives webpage (

In an era where almost all new photographs are digital, the technical considerations behind the original pictures is equally fascinating. Moore’s specialized camera produced negatives that were eight inches wide and up to eight feet long!

According to the City of Vancouver, the digitization of the photos was made possible by funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program at UBC.

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