By 1904, Mount Pleasant was home to a tannery, two slaughter houses, four breweries, and a train station. Industrial expansion brought residential development. By 1912, Mount Pleasant had a thriving residential population and community facilities such as an elementary school (the Kingsgate Mail site), a firehall, a first run theatre, and Vancouver's first skyscraper (the Lee Building). Mount Pleasant was also a terminus for the streetcar network.
During WWI, the tidal flats of False Creek from Main Street to Clark Drive were filled to provide a site for two large railway terminals and railyards. As a result, half of Mount Pleasant's waterfront was lost and the mouth of Brewery Creek was filled in.
By 1930, the character of the community was already established with block after block of houses on small lots, and a mix of residential and industrial uses. The 1930s brought changes to Mount Pleasant. Industrial expansion north of Broadway between Main and Cambie Streets resulted in the demolition of many homes. These changes transformed Mount Pleasant and it began to lose its residential prestige.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the remaining houses in the industrial area disappeared and more industries, low-rise offices and warehouses moved in. In 1935, the city expropriated park land at 12th Avenue and Cambie Street to build a new city hall. Mayor McGeer felt that the new location would link the area to the rest of the city. (Davis 1979) Today many older homes in south and west parts of Mount Pleasant have been restored.
Mount Pleasant still has many significant homes dating from the 1890s through to the 1920s. Mount Pleasant's notable residential buildings range from a collection of modest houses from the community's first phase of development, to more substantial and elaborate Queen Anne/Edwardian type residential buildings constructed during the first two decades of the 20th Century.
There are several important buildings that serve the community including:
Heritage Hall (formerly Postal Station C)
Opened in 1915 at Main Street and 15th Avenue as a post office, this striking building is considered Vancouver's best example of Beaux-arts Classicism. The building has a stone base, coupled pilasters, steep roofs, and a tall clock tower. Now called Heritage Hall, it is used as a meeting hall and is home to many community organizations.
The former Evangelistic Tabernacle
N.W. corner E. 10th Avenue and Quebec Street
Located in the heart of old Mount Pleasant, this 1909 building originally housed the Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church. The architects, Parr and Fee, used a Tudor Revival half timber-and-stone combination more commonly found in private homes. It was converted into private condominiums in the 1990s.
Opened at 12th and Cambie during Vancouver's 50th birthday celebrations in 1936, the hard-edged classicism of the austere white walls and column-like shafts appears in government buildings of the 1930s from Munich to Moscow.Learn more about the history and heritage of City Hall.
See detailed information on the city's heritage and a complete list of heritage buildings.
Additional information is available through the City of Vancouver Archives.
Did You Know?
Mount Pleasant was home to an unusual bicycle-racing oval surfaced with yellow cedar that was constructed for the British Empire Games in 1954. It was built in the huge ravine created by China Creek where it crossed Broadway, and was torn down for the construction of Vancouver Community College's King Edward Campus.
Robson Park, at 15th Avenue and Kingsway, is named in honour of B.C.'s 9th Premier, John Robson.
Brewery Creek used to run into False Creek just north of 1st Avenue, and False Creek used to run all the way to Clark Drive.
Hops can still be found growing near the sites of neighbourhood's old breweries.
Mount Pleasant is named after the Irish birthplace of the wife of H.V. Edmonds. Edmonds, clerk of the municipal council in New Westminster, was the original owner of much of Mount Pleasant.
Mount Pleasant was the birthplace of one of the city's most colourful mayors, Gerry McGeer, who made sure the new city hall was built there in 1936.
Olympic sprinter Percy Williams hailed from the southeast corner of 12th Avenue and Columbia Street in Mount Pleasant. During the 1928 Olympic Games, Williams took home gold medals in the 100-metre and 200-metre dashes.