Victory in Europe (V-E) Day, May 8, 1945

Seventy-five years later, we remember World War II and commemorate its end with this exhibit, featuring images from the City of Vancouver Archives.

V-E (Victory in Europe) Day marks the end of the conflict with Hitler’s Germany, with surrender on May 7, 1945, and May 8, 1945, being declared officially as V-E Day.

In Vancouver and all cities in allied countries, women, children, and men flocked out from their daily activities to begin the celebrations. Wild crowds blocked street cars as they took over the Bond Shell in front of the post office and jammed West Hastings, spilling over on to Granville St. 

“Of course, each one will celebrate the end of the war in his or her own way, but I further suggest that our jubilation be tempered with the thought that there will be little joy in thousands of Vancouver homes where an only son, or several sons or other members of the family have given their lives to make V-Day possible.” Mayor Cornett in a statement regarding V-Day (1945).

The End of World War II in Vancouver, May 7 1945

By City of Vancouver

Joy rang supreme in Vancouver as flag-waving and singing crowds of thousands thronged the streets to hear the VE Day messages. All celebrated in their own way, some in quiet reflection, others rejoiced from their hospital bed while most joined the parade downtown. Photo by City of Vancouver Archives, Reference Code AM54-S17-MS13533.

  • Two members of the BC Provincial Police, Constable Hugh Duddy (left) and Inspector S.F.M. Moodie (right), synchronizing the air raid sirens at the Provincial Civilian Protection Committee building to mark the surrender of Germany. May 7, 1945

  • Vendor is selling newspapers with headlines "Germany Surrenders" and "War Ends in Europe". May 7, 1945

  • Reading newspaper headlines of VE Day at Shaughnessy Veterans Hospital. May 7, 1945

  • Military personnel holding a Vancouver Daily Province with headlines announcing "Tuesday named VE Day Holiday" and "Vancouver Goes Wild as Germans Surrender". People are standing in front of Rogers Building, 470 Granville St. May, 7 1945

  • Military guard at the Cenotaph and part of the Flack Block during celebrations on Victory in Europe Day. May 7, 1945

  • A man on a boat reading The Vancouver Sun "Peace Edition" on Victory in Europe Day. May 7, 1945

  • VE Day crowds at the Bond Shell, May 7, 1945

  • VE Day Celebrations, May 7, 1945

  • Intersection of Hastings St and Granville St during celebrations on Victory in Europe Day. May 7, 1945

  • VE Day celebrations: woman and sailor standing in the littered streets of Granville at Robson – looking north. May 8, 1945

  • Paper and streamers still being dropped into the street from building windows after VE day celebrations. May 1945

  • Aerial view of Hastings Street showing litter on the road and sidewalks after the victory in Europe celebration (May 1945)

“Let us rejoice in the victory of our fighting men, but let us do so in a reasonable way, remembering those who cannot join so enthusiastically with us [those who have lost loved ones] and remembering for how much we have to be thankful.” Mayor Cornett in a statement regarding V-Day (1945).

City of Vancouver Archives

Acquires, preserves, and makes available the records that tell the story of Vancouver and its people.