Kitsilano - Vancouver Neighbourhood Realtors Choice
History - One of the most highly desired neighborhoods in Vancouver Westside Real Estate
At the turn of the century, the area from Burrard to Alma Streets was a dense, wild-life-filled forest, in spite of earlier logging. A salmon canning factory at the foot of Macdonald Street was once unable to cope with the "hundreds of thousands of salmon" caught in 1900. During the summer, dozens of vacationing tent campers -- many from the city's fashionable West End -- lined Kits Beach, then called Greer's Beach after one of the area's earliest settlers.
East of the beach area was the Kitsilano Indian Reserve, on the site of today's Vanier Park. The Coast Salish village of Snauq was located on the shore of False Creek, slightly to the east of the Museum-Planetarium Complex.
The CPR (which owned most of the land east of Trafalgar), the B.C. Electric Railway's streetcar line along 4th Avenue to Alma, and the Burrard Bridge built in 1932, all played a role in opening up Kitsilano. However, Kitsilano was not fully developed south to 16th Avenue until the late 1940s. During World War II, most of the old estates and many single-family homes along the slope above Kitsilano Beach were converted into rooming houses. They remained that way until the 1960s, by which time the area had become popular with university students and young people from throughout North America.
Kitsilano residents have a long history of community involvement. As early as 1907, Kitsilano citizens lobbied for sewers, tram service and other infrastructure for their community. A rezoning of the slope above the beach to allow apartments raised residents' concerns over the future of their community. Further changes in the 1970s, and again in the 1980s, prompted City Council to initiate local area planning programs involving Kits residents, local business people and City staff.