On Nature’s Edge

Three young women bathing at a secluded beach on the North Shore, ca. 1910. NVMA 4019

North Vancouver enjoys a spectacular natural setting. Though it is a modern urban community located just minutes from downtown Vancouver, its closeness to the mountain wilderness gives the North Shore a unique identity. From the beginning it has been a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, whether kayakers, canoeists, mountain bikers, hikers, skiers or snowboarders. The preservation of this rich legacy of wilderness and parks has played an important part in the community’s history.

A map from the “Progress ’66” special edition of the Citizen newspaper in 1966 features the recreational possibilities of the North Shore. NVMA Pamphlet 1966-15

Long before newcomers ventured into the backcountry, the First Nations were at home on the slopes of the North Shore Mountains. The Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people mainly lived in villages and campsites along the shores of Burrard Inlet, but they accessed the back country using a network of trails. There, they hunted large animals such as elk, bear, mountain goat and deer, pursued spiritual practices, gathered many different kinds of plants for subsistence and medicines, and found wood, stone and bark to manufacture tools, clothing and other implements. Dugout canoes were fashioned from cedar logs, hollowed out and shaped with stone tools. Many of the ancient campsites are now protected by provincial archaeological legislation.

The First Nations were skilled climbers and mountaineers. When Euro-Canadians approached the mountains for the first time, they required the help of guides from the First Nations’ communities. Two of the prominent peaks on the North Shore are the snow-capped Lions looking south across Burrard Inlet to Vancouver and beyond. The Squamish people know them as “The Two Sisters,” embodying the daughters of a great chief whose coming-of-age potlatch brought peace to the warring tribes of the coast. One of the peaks was scaled by settlers for the first time in 1889, when Su-a-pu-luck (Joe Capilano) led a group of non-Aboriginal hunters into the mountains in pursuit of mountain goats, and they ended up at the top of West Lion.

West Vancouver photographer Claire Downing snaps a picture of himself posing on a stump in the middle of a cut on Grouse Mountain, ca. 1901. VPL 4824

As Vancouver grew, residents looked across the Inlet and were attracted by the beauty and challenge of the mountains. The North Shore brought wilderness right to the edge of the city. The three major peaks —Seymour, Grouse and Hollyburn—and the surrounding slopes were a promise and an opportunity. They provided clean drinking water for the metropolis, and a chance to venture into the “back of beyond” to experience wild nature within a few kilometres of home.

In the early days, the mountains were accessible, but it took a real effort to get to them. Hikers, and later skiers, had to hoist their backpacks and trek up into the backcountry from the waterfront. The waterworks road that opened alongside the Capilano River in the late 1880s (now Capilano Road) improved access, as did the streetcars that travelled north to the top of Lonsdale and west from the ferry landing to Capilano Road by the end of 1911. Still, it took most of a day to reach the mountains. According to local historian Roy Pallant, the first mountain cabin on the North Shore belonged to Vancouver printer William John Trythall, who built it in 1892 on property he owned near the top of Mosquito Creek (originally called “Trythall Creek”). Trythall left the cabin open for climbers to rest, replenish their water supply, and stay overnight if necessary.


Grouse Mountain in those days [1920s] was considered to be quite a hike. We used to pay a nickel on the streetcar to go downtown, a nickel a ride on the ferry and a nickel on the old Lonsdale car. That would take you to the top of Lonsdale, and from then on we hiked up the old road . . . crossed Mosquito Creek and went up the old Grouse Mountain Trail which was pretty rugged with fallen timber. In those days, Grouse Mountain was really a beautiful hike.”

—Art Cooper, pioneer mountaineer


In 1907 a group of Vancouver climbers formed the Vancouver Mountaineering Club (two years later it became the BC Mountaineering Club). Members of the club blazed trails, shared maps, made the first ascent of several local mountains and built a small shack on the lower slope of Grouse Mountain as an informal headquarters for their activities. Three years later they replaced this so-called “Red Shack” with a more substantial log cabin higher up the mountain, where members based themselves while they trekked the surrounding backcountry. For a time, Dickson Kells’s Capilano Hotel, with its Swiss chalet ambience, bar and dining room, was the club’s informal headquarters. The North Shore Mountains had an almost spiritual attraction in these early days. “The spell of the great out-of-doors is upon you,” wrote one hiking enthusiast in British Columbia Magazine in 1911, “and you realize the joy of living that you have never known before.”

The club prided itself on drawing members from all walks of life and all levels of income. The main requirement for membership was a dedication to mountaineering. BCMC members were the first non-Aboriginal climbers to summit many of the mountains on the North Shore, and they hacked out many kilometres of trails. The first trail guide, produced by members, appeared in the 1960s, published by the Vancouver Province newspaper. In 1973 a more extensive guide was produced, 103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia. Revised over the years, it has sold more than one hundred thousand copies. From its beginning, the BCMC has been active in the movement to create provincial parks and preserve the mountain wilderness.

Between the wars, the Grouse Mountain Ski Club formed for those who preferred to get their exercise schussing down the slopes. Access to Grouse improved in the mid-1920s when Vancouver entrepreneur William Curtis Shelly built a paved toll road up the mountain, an extension of today’s Mountain Highway, and a log chalet at the summit. Aside from owning a variety of businesses in the city, Shelly was prominent in local politics, serving on Vancouver City Council and the Parks Board and was even a one-term member of the provincial legislature, where he served as finance minister. Shelly’s mountain getaway was an impressive building, constructed by Scandinavian craftsmen without using a nail. It featured a large stone fireplace, bearskin rugs and carved handrails on all the staircases. For a time it was very popular; one journalist described a trail of limousines driving up the highway on a typical Saturday evening. But then the Depression arrived, business fell off, and, like so many properties on the North Shore, in 1935 the chalet reverted to the District for non-payment of taxes. It was sold to private investors after World War II, among them the Cromie family, who also owned the Vancouver Sun newspaper. The Sun offered free ski lessons to subscribers and the chalet, until it burned down in 1962, was a favourite destination for Vancouverites on summer evenings when they danced to the piano stylings of Hugo Sartorello. In the mid-1950s the Grouse Mountain Ski Club merged with another club, the Tyee Ski Runners, and today the Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club continues to sponsor races and conduct lessons for dedicated young skiers.

Ski jumping used to enjoy huge popularity on the North Shore, especially among immigrants from Scandinavia. During the 1920s the first jumps were built on Grouse, Hollyburn and Seymour mountains, and during the subsequent decades, competitions attracted crowds of enthusiastic onlookers. The local mountains produced some of the finest jumpers in Canada until the mid-1960s when interest in ski jumping petered out on the North Shore. Given the expense of building and maintaining jumps and the logistics of organizing competitions, most people preferred the simpler pleasures of downhill skiing.

In 1949 Canada’s first double chairlift—billed as the “Chairway to the Stars”—began carrying hikers and skiers up to the top of Grouse, and the opening of the lift revitalized skiing on the mountain. In 1965 a new owner, Grouse Mountain Resorts, under the leadership of Vancouver businessman Andrew Saxton, took control with ambitious plans for expansion. At the beginning of 1966 the Skyride aerial tramway began operations carrying visitors from the top of Capilano Road up the mountain to the chalet where a new restaurant opened that summer. (The larger Super Skyride replaced the original in 1976.) Since 1974 the mountain has been owned by the McLaughlin family who have been responsible for adding a range of attractions, including a zipline, a movie theatre and a wildlife refuge. Today Grouse Mountain is one of the most popular destinations in the Lower Mainland for day skiers and snowboarders. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, the American television network NBC located its broadcast centre at the top of the mountain. And let’s not forget the hikers. The Grouse Grind is a steep, 3-kilometre trail up the face of the mountain, nicknamed “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.” It was built in the early 1980s as a conditioning trail for serious hikers, but it has been rebuilt and improved since that time and is now used by more than 150,000 fitness buffs annually.

The Grouse Mountain double chairlift opened in 1949, revitalizing skiing on the mountain. NVMA 8466

Seymour Mountain, because it was a bit more remote, was slower to develop as a ski area. Members of the bc Mountaineering Club made the first official climb to the summit in 1908 but it was not until the 1930s that skiers began visiting the slopes in any numbers. With the opening of the Dollarton Highway in 1931 the mountain became slightly more accessible, and in 1936, the province created Mount Seymour Provincial Park and leased operations of the ski hills to a private operator, Harold Enquist, who built the first ski lodge and the first rope tow on the 
mountain. With the construction of road access in 1942, Mount Seymour joined Grouse and Hollyburn as popular North Shore ski and hiking destinations. Along with day visitors, there were as many as three hundred cabins spread along the side of the mountain by the 1950s, most of which have since disappeared. “Cabin culture,” as it was known, was characterized by resourcefulness, self-reliance, and camaraderie. Cabin dwellers were a long way from “civilization” and had to rely on themselves and their neighbours if anything went wrong. When they weren’t out hiking and skiing, they got together for work parties, dinners and informal dances. Among the regular visitors to the mountain were members of the UBC’s Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC). This student-run club built its first cabin on Grouse Mountain in 1929, then relocated to a larger cabin on Seymour in 1951. This cabin remained the centre of VOC activities until the mid-1960s when the club again moved its headquarters, this time to Whistler. The provincial government retained ownership of the lodge and the lifts until 1984 when operations on the mountain were privatized.

Local mountains offer a far wider variety of activities today than they once did. With the advent of climate change, winters appear to be getting shorter and warmer, not good news for local skiers. In response, the mountains have become year-round destinations offering nature-based experiences for all seasons. Mountain biking and ziplining are just two activities, not to mention snowboarding, tubing and snowshoeing, which have joined skiing as popular winter sports.

> A Day on the Mountain

> First Lady of the Mountains

> North Shore Rescue

> Naming the North Shore Mountains

District Parks

Within the District proper, about 13 percent of its 160.5 square kilometre land area is managed parkland. One of the oldest of these parks encompasses much of the lower valley of the Capilano River. Capilano River Regional Park originated with a Scotsman named George Grant Mackay, who only lived in the Vancouver area for five years but left an indelible mark. Mackay arrived in 1888 at the age of sixty-six and set to work acquiring property. Along with a house in Vancouver’s West End, he purchased several thousand hectares of land in the Capilano Valley and built a second home overlooking the river at what was known as “First Canyon.” He wrote to a friend back home, “It is a magnificent country and far exceeds my expectations in every way. I am very glad I came out.”1 Mackay built the first suspension bridge across the river. With the help of young August Jack Khatsahlano, later a revered Squamish elder, Mackay constructed the bridge out of rope and cedar planks and had a team of horses swim one end across the river. (On a larger scale, Mackay is also credited with originating the idea of a bridge across the First Narrows.) Mackay’s bridge, which was replaced by a wire cable crossing in 1903, became a popular destination for hikers.

In 1907, as the BC Electric Railway Company planned for the extension of its streetcar line west to the Capilano (not opened until May 1911), it purchased 160 acres of land along the river north of the suspension bridge, extending as far as today’s Cleveland Dam. At the time not many people lived in the area and the company decided to develop a park as a destination for riders on the streetcar. The BCER did much to promote hiking in the mountains, producing brochures and maps that illustrated the popular trails and how the streetcar could be used to access them. In 1924 the BCER donated its land on the Capilano to the Vancouver Board of Trade, and it eventually became the regional park we know today. One of its features is a salmon hatchery, opened in 1971 to replenish salmon stocks in the river that had been reduced by the construction of the Cleveland Dam.

> Wild Riders

Back to George Mackay’s suspension bridge. It came into the hands of Edward Mahon, one of the early land developers involved in the creation of the municipality of North Vancouver. Mahon built a teahouse and made other improvements to the property. Subsequent owners added to the attraction until, in 1953, Rae Mitchell purchased the site. Mitchell rebuilt the bridge, developed trails and opened a gift shop. Today the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which hangs 70 metres above the river, is owned by Mitchell’s daughter Nancy Stibbard and is one of the most popular attractions in the entire province, attracting about 800,000 visitors a year.

The North Shore is marked by many rivers and streams flowing down its steep slopes to the inlet. Some of the larger ones have trails and narrow parks following their winding course. Mosquito Creek is a case in point. The creek originates high up on the slopes of Grouse Mountain and tumbles its way through the District and the City before emptying into the inlet in the Mission Reserve at the bottom of Bewicke Avenue. Like most North Shore streams, the creek was logged extensively in its upper reaches in the late nineteenth century, while its estuary was filled in for industrial developments from before World War I (the “Fell Fill” site). During World War II the federal government built about four hundred single-family bungalows along the lower reaches of the creek to accommodate workers in the shipyards. After the war these homes were replaced by more modern residences and by commercial development, and the mid-reaches of the creek opened to residential development. In 1966 it was suggested that the name “mosquito” did not send a benign message to people who might use the creek and its trails, and part of the adjoining parkland was renamed “William Griffin Park” after a local councillor, though the creek retained its original name. Not surprisingly, extensive changes to the watershed due to logging, flood control and urbanization made it unfit for the salmon and trout that used to inhabit the creek. Since the mid-1990s, however, work has been done to restore habitat and open fish access once again. The cycle of destruction and rehabilitation is typical of the recent history of many of the smaller streams that criss-cross the North Shore.

At the same time, some of the larger rivers became the focus of more ambitious park development. Aside from the Capilano, another example is Lynn Canyon Park. The original land was donated to the District by the twin brothers Donald and A. D. McTavish, a pair of Vancouver businessmen who were also enthusiastic mountaineers. The District contributed another 10 acres along the canyon, and when the BC Electric Railway extended its streetcar line up Lynn Valley Road to the entrance, the municipal park opened in 1912. One of its biggest boosters was District councillor J. P. Crawford, whose idea it was to build the suspension bridge across the canyon. That same year, local residents put on the first Lynn Valley Day, a community celebration that has been held annually ever since. The bridge remains a focus of the park, as does the Ecology Centre added in 1971, an education facility providing programs and displays about natural history, the environment and sustainability issues.

North up Lynn Creek from the canyon is another, more rugged green space: Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Much of this park encompasses land worked over by the early loggers, and evidence of their activities can be seen in the notched stumps and the occasional piece of rusted machinery. The park has trails suited to the casual walker and also features challenging backcountry hiking through steep, mountainous terrain. At 4,685 hectares, Lynn Headwaters is the largest park managed by Metro Vancouver. Lynn Creek supplied drinking water to the City of North Vancouver from the 1920s until 1983, and as a result the watershed was closed to the public. When flooding damaged the water intakes and the City joined the Greater Vancouver Water District, the Headwaters area became publicly accessible.

> Little House in the Forest

Horse and buggy on the Lillooet Trail, ca. 1915. When the trail was completed in 1877 it proved too challenging to drive cattle along and fell into disuse. NVMA 8402

On the lower slopes of Mount Seymour to the east of Lynn Creek is the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, known popularly as the “Seymour Demonstration Forest.” At one time, the valley of the Seymour River was thought to be a potential route linking Burrard Inlet with the interior of the province. In 1875 work began on a packhorse trail running alongside the river through the mountains toward Squamish and Pemberton. The plan was to drive cattle down from the Interior to feed meat-hungry communities in the Lower Mainland and construction crews building the Canadian Pacific Railway. Known as the “Lillooet Trail,” it terminated at sea level near the foot of what is now Lillooet Road. It was completed in 1877, though it proved impractical to maintain and was seldom used for its intended purpose. But it did open the lower Seymour to outsiders, and during the 1880s and 1890s, much of the land in the valley was pre-empted, mainly by loggers. Though Vancouver obtained its water from the Capilano River, city officials sought a second source, and in 1908, several municipalities, including North Vancouver, began drawing water from the Seymour. In order to protect the source, the province set aside all the land in the watershed that had not already been alienated.

During the 1920s logging interests fought a spirited battle to allow forestry within the North Shore watersheds, but with the creation in the mid-1920s of the Greater Vancouver Water District, all the private land in the upper Seymour was gradually bought up, and by 1936, logging in the watershed area had been phased out. Today the Seymour reservoir provides about a third of Metro Vancouver’s drinking water and remains off-limits to the public. Below the dam, however, is a 5,668-ha area with more than 100 kilometres of trails. Created in 1987, the Demonstration Forest made the Lower Seymour area accessible to the public for the first time in sixty years. The main feature is a paved trailway leading 10 kilometres north, as far as the dam. It is a popular attraction for cyclists and inline skaters as well as hikers.

> Local Brand Makes Good

At least one park has been developed in collaboration with the First Nations. Whey-ah-Wichen (Cates Park) is a 22.3-ha park located at Roche Point, at the extreme eastern end of the District. It was developed jointly by the District and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and is the largest waterfront park in the District. The park is in the traditional territory of the Tsleil-Waututh, and archaeological evidence suggests that the area has been used for at least 3,500 years. Before World War II the Roche Point neighbourhood was home to extensive sawmill operations, and a significant community of millworkers and their families was augmented by fishermen and holiday cottagers. In 1931 the completion of the Dollarton Highway allowed improved access by automobile, and following the war, the area attracted new industries and new residents.

The dairy farm at Maplewood in the 1940s, owned by Jack and Helen Smyth. NVMA 15424

J. H. Cates, son of the founder of the towboat company Cates Towing (now part of Seaspan) as well as a prominent provincial politician, had purchased land at Roche Point as a possible site to relocate the family business, but these plans had not developed. In 1950 the District purchased this land from the Cates family and dedicated it as “Cates Park.” At this time the park was occupied by a small community of squatter’s shacks. Most of these residents were gone by 1958, their shacks demolished. The District purchased the remaining property that now constitutes the park during the 1990s. Over the years, Cates Park has been the location of a variety of community celebrations, from potlatches and Tsleil-Waututh canoe races, to Lions Club events, to hippie “be-ins” during the 1970s, to an annual arts festival (between 1990 and 2010) called “Under the Volcano” in honour of Malcolm Lowry, the most prominent of the bohemian squatters. In 2001 the Tsleil-Waututh and the District government signed an agreement formalizing their co-management of the park.

A unique park experience is offered by Maplewood Farm, east of the Seymour River. In the early 1900s North Vancouver was a very rural community, marked by many farms producing dairy products, fruit and vegetables. Maplewood is the last remaining farm from this era. For many years a functioning dairy operation, it produced milk that was delivered to homes throughout the District. In 1970 the property was taken over by the District government and converted to a “children’s farm,” which opened in 1975. The 2-hectare site exposes youngsters to farm animals and the North Shore’s rural heritage. Just to the east of the farm along the waterfront is the Maplewood Conservation Area, a 35-hectare wetland of unique interest to birdwatchers. The conservation area, which is on land donated by the Port of Vancouver and the District, includes trails and salt marshes and is managed by the Wild Bird Trust, providing protected habitat for scores of bird species. With so much of the North Vancouver waterfront built over for industrialized purposes, this is one of the last remnants of the coastal wetlands and marshes that once stretched along the entire shoreline.

This plan, from a 1908 pamphlet, shows an idealized version of Grand Boulevard. The view looks south across Burrard Inlet, emphasizing the spaciousness and elegance of what was supposed to be North Vancouver’s most affluent residential neighbourhood. NVMA Pamphlet 1908-2

The Green Necklace is another unique urban greenway. Its origins go back almost to the beginning of the District. One of the principal landowners in the early days was Edward Mahon, whose North Vancouver Land and Improvement Company (NVLIC) held many properties in the lower Lonsdale area. Mahon was inspired by the City Beautiful movement in the United States and the garden city movement in the United Kingdom. Both of these planning movements hoped to make communities more liveable by incorporating green spaces, gardens and parks into urban settings, and Mahon wanted to bring some of their ideas to the North Shore. He planned a network of parks and boulevards that would encircle the community and, in his words, act like “a great artificial lung . . . breathing, pressing, forcing into it health and vitality.”2 The project kicked off in 1905 when volunteers began clearing land at Keith Road and Lonsdale that was donated by the NVLIC and another developer, Alfred St. George Hamersley. This eventually became Victoria Park, a picturesque promenade right in the middle of the city. Mahon’s group next began to develop a subdivision on West 6th Street that was envisioned as an upscale residential district for affluent families. Known as “Ottawa Gardens,” it featured a wide boulevard that linked to the green necklace plan.

But the jewel in the “necklace” was the Grand Boulevard, a broad, manicured parkway intended quite consciously to rival the Champs-Élysées in Paris or Unter den Linden in Berlin. Designed in 1906 as another upscale residential neighbourhood, the boulevard offers panoramic views of the inlet and Vancouver beyond. At 105.5 metres in width, it remains the widest landscaped city street in the province. It also provided a firebreak between Lynn Valley, where logging and sawmilling were active industries, and the City of North Vancouver. In 1907 the street railway ran track up the middle of the boulevard so that residents could be within minutes of the ferry dock. When the line was later removed, it was replaced by a footpath that now meanders down the boulevard. Despite the work that went into beautifying the boulevard, it failed to attract the sort of well-to-do homebuyer originally intended. There were simply not that many people wealthy enough, especially when the recession hit in 1913, and much of the land on either side of the park remained forested well into the 1920s, when residential construction picked up again. Today, with its landscaped central corridor and many stately homes, Grand Boulevard fulfills the aspirations of its original developers.

Meanwhile, the northern section of the Green Necklace was left uncompleted. The construction of the Upper Levels Highway from 1959 to 1960 brought one major interruption to the plan. The highway, which stretches the length of the North Shore from Horseshoe Bay to the Second Narrows Bridge, had a paradoxical effect. On the one hand, when it opened on March 4, 1961, it made it possible to drive from one side of the District to the other in a matter of minutes, linking neighbourhoods and contributing to the emergence of a unified North Vancouver identity. On the other hand, the roadway drove right through the middle of the community. In West Vancouver the impact was less extreme since the highway was laid out to the north of most of the residential areas. In North Vancouver, however, engineers chose the most direct route between the Capilano River and the Second Narrows, which meant that the highway divided residential areas such as Pemberton Heights and Capilano Heights. Many properties were expropriated to make way for construction, and in the eastern side of the District the route, now known to commuters as “The Cut,” overwhelmed Keith Creek, a popular nature area that otherwise would naturally have formed part of the Green Necklace.

North Vancouver has always been a place for hikers to get out into the wilderness within easy reach of the city. Here members of the BC Mountaineering Club pose at the top of Crown Mountain in January 1929. NVMA 13011

More recently, civic officials have announced plans to finish construction of the Necklace. When it is done, there will be a green loop stretching 7 kilometres around the central core of the City, fulfilling a 100-year-old promise to the citizens of the North Shore. One important link in the Green Necklace is Mahon Park, named for Edward Mahon and sold to the city by his North Vancouver Land and Improvement Company in 1910. The park grew to include a track and dance pavilion and remains one of the city’s major recreational facilities.

There are many hiking trails on the North Shore, but two merit special mention. One is the Baden-Powell Trail, a rugged path that winds its way for 48 kilometres across the face of the North Shore Mountains, from Deep Cove in the east to Horseshoe Bay in the west. Named for Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouting movement, the trail was initiated by BC’s Boy Scouts and Girl Guides in 1971 to celebrate the centennial of the province’s entry into Canadian Confederation. Much of the work was done by the youngsters but they had a lot of help from other community groups and individuals.

Down closer to the waterfront is the North Shore Spirit Trail. When completed, it will also run from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove, but unlike the Baden-Powell Trail, the Spirit Trail runs right through the heart of the community. It is a 35-km-long water-oriented pathway accommodating walkers, joggers, cyclists, and inline skaters as well as people with mobility aids. In a sense, the trail reunites the original District of North Vancouver, which once included the entire waterfront from Howe Sound to Indian Arm.

The Spirit Trail is part of a wider initiative: the reclamation of parts of the North Shore waterfront for recreational use. North Vancouver began as a mill town, and from its earliest days, the waterfront has been occupied by a variety of port-related industries: sawmills, grain silos, rail lines, shipyards, chemical plants and cargo terminals. Much of the original shoreline was filled in over the years to accommodate these activities, which have been the economic lifeblood of the North Shore. More recently, however, the community has expressed a desire to balance its industrial needs with enhanced waterfront recreational opportunities. Projects such as the Spirit Trail, Whey-ah-Wichen, the heritage shipyard district, the Maplewood Conservation Area, and the Waterfront Park (which was once occupied by a sawmill) all reflect this new waterfront orientation. At the same time, successful attempts have been made to reclaim some of the streams that have been befouled with industrial waste and degraded by urban development. Today, thanks to the work of many volunteers, salmon are once again spawning in places that only a generation ago could not support any fish at all. All of these projects reflect a renewed commitment to North Vancouver’s identity as a place where people live “at nature’s edge.”


There has to be park facilities or squares where the public can express themselves. A source and opportunity for expression. There has to be a place for a centre. We definitely have to have places where we can gather as a public, as a society, where we can gather around and express our views.”

—Dirk Oostindie, District parks superintendent 1959–19933

Since the 1980s, snowboarding has joined skiing as a popular winter sport on the North Shore mountains. Kevin Sansalone photo


1 Morton, op. cit., 58.

2 Walter Volovsek, The Green Necklace (Castlegar, BC: Otmar Publishing, 2012), 116.

3 Interview transcript, North Vancouver Museum & Archives.


Next: Conclusion

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