In the 1920s, one of the rock quarries was converted into the city's water reservoir. In 1940, Little Mountain became Queen Elizabeth Park and the water reservoir was covered to serve as the park's parking lot. Another of the open pit rock quarries was transformed into a beautiful sunken garden, now a tourist attraction and a favourite site for summer wedding photographs.
By 1911, the area had its first post office and Main Street was lined with shops. By the1930s the area had evolved into a close-knit neighbourhood with small houses crowded onto small lots.
This neighbourhood has roots in Vancouver's baseball history. The Vancouver Capilanos baseball team opened Capilano Stadium (now Nat Bailey Stadium) at the foot of Little Mountain in 1952. Vancouver was a member of the Northwestern League starting in 1907 and has had various professional teams over the years.
Professional baseball was also played at Recreation Park (formerly at Smythe and Hamilton) and Athletic Park (6th and Hemlock). Nat Bailey Stadium continues to be a much beloved venue for various events to this day. In 1960 the Percy Norman Pool opened next door in Riley Park, and later the city began applying the name Riley Park to the surrounding area.
Established in 1886, Mountain View Cemetery is one of the city's most significant heritage sites. It was built on the crest of the hill south of the city overlooking the whole downtown area. Spanning most of the city's history, its monuments illustrate the catastrophes endured by its people and many of the lives of its most distinguished citizens. The older sections contain a fascinating variety of sculptured stone monuments.
The 1908 Brock School, at 4860 Main Street, is another substantial heritage building. It is the most well-preserved of three identical schools designed by architect W.T. Whiteway, who also designed the downtown's landmark Sun Tower. The wood framed school features a hipped bellcast roof, large expanses of window, rounded entry arches, and wood siding.
Another striking heritage home is a large 1914 Craftsman house at 296 West 17th Avenue. The house has tapered porch columns, triangular knee braces, and a front porch typical of the Craftsman style. Granite, clinker brick, and stained and leaded glass is used to add surface texture.
The area north of King Edward also has a notable collection of older homes detailed in the Edwardian and Craftsman styles. The buildings are typically two storeys or more, have low-pitched roofs, front porches, and are clad in wood.
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?
Little Mountain is part of an extinct volcano.