1860 - 1955
Locate the year that you wish to search in the panel on the left.
Click on the title of the directory listed under the year that you want. Each directory has a table of contents, click the section you want to search. For example, by clicking: Victoria-Names, you will open up an alphabetical list and you can then click on the appropriate letter in the alphabet for the name that you want.
Navigate from page to page by clicking thelinks found at the top and bottom of each scanned image. Or you can go back to the alphabetical list on the the side panel and navigate from there. A word of caution: there are often discrepancies in the directories and some of the entries can be out of order, so be prepared to try several pages.
Printing Tip: The image presented is a jpeg. For a higher resolution image, which is best for printing, use the TIFF option at the top of the scanned page. If you want to print a range of pages use the PDF option also at the top of the page; when choosing a range be sure to indicate the page numbers that you want to print.
Please note: Viewing and printing options may vary depending on the browser that you are using. Firefox often works better than Explorer.
Vancouver Public Library's collection of digitized British Columbia city directories dates from 1860 up to and including 1955. The directories contain detailed historical information about British Columbian communities, including street and name listings of individuals and businesses in Vancouver and Victoria; population figures; government listings; operating newspapers; and schools and libraries from communities across the province. Updated regularly, they document the growth, development and progress of British Columbia over the years.
You can use the directories to track the history of communities and individual homes, find your ancestors, and research the history of companies and institutions. The wonderful advertisements and illustrations also provide a fascinating insight into the social norms, fashions and attitudes prevailing throughout the period.
To view this book online see: Street Names of Vancouver by Elizabeth Walker, Vancouver, B.C.: Vancouver Historical Society, 2000.
Many of the street names in Vancouver have changed or have fallen into disuse over the years. This book meticulously documents these changes and is a great complement to the Vancouver city directories. Many of the entries include details of how and why a street was named and give a brief history of some of the earliest pioneers and settlers in Vancouver. The book also includes informative maps from Bruce Macdonald's invaluable book on the history and growth of Vancouver: Vancouver: a Visual History, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1992.
We are very grateful to Elizabeth Walker and the Vancouver Historical Society for granting permission to digitise this book. We would also like to thank Bruce Macdonald for allowing us to digitise the maps that are included in the book.
This information is available from our online guides service: How to Find Information on Your Vancouver House.
Vancouver Public library has a significant collection of digitised photographs of British Columbia and the Yukon. Our collections include photographs by Leonard Frank, Philip Timms, Mattie Gunterman, Bailey Brothers, Dominion Photo Studio and many other photographers and studios active in British Columbia from the late 1870s to the 1980s. The images depict places, people, businesses, transportation, activities and events pertaining to the history of B.C.
To search the historical photographs' database go to: Historical Photographs of British Columbia
Fire Insurance maps for a number of communities in British Columbia, including Vancouver, are now available online at: Library and Archives Canada
For Seattle & Washington State City Directories, 1867-1949, see: The Seattle City Directory Collection
We are grateful to the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre's BC History Digitization Program for funding the directories' projects. We would particularly like to thank the University of British Columbia Library for microfilming the directories and for permitting us to scan from these microfilms.
We are very grateful to Elizabeth Walker and the Vancouver Historical Society for granting permission to digitise The Street Names of Vancouver. We would also like to thank Bruce Macdonald for allowing us to digitise the maps that are included in the book.
Thank you to the staff who painstakingly annotated the text for every city directory: Alison Rintoul, Sheila Morrison, Sarah Rees, Maria Hernandez and Tina Galanopoulos; and to VPL Systems staff: Erik Stainsby and Lily Hanson who designed and facilitated the database.