You Should Know is a growing collection of longer-format reads with historical bents. Each story focuses on a fascinating thing about Vancouver (or its surroundings) that every local and visitor should know about. Explore the YSK archive here.
The American cultural influence came early to the city and was not just confined to popular culture. Like all good citizens of the British Commonwealth, B.C. drivers started out travelling on the left side of the road. This put us out of sync with our neighbours to the south. A Vancouver Sun “This Week in History” article from 2016 explained that after many years of lobbying, the British Columbia Automobile Club finally convinced the Government to bring the Province in line with Washington State and the rest of North America in 1921.
Vancouver’s conversion was delayed a year due to the time it took to retrofit the streetcar system, so it wasn’t until 6 A.M., January 1, 1922, that Vancouver drivers finally made the switch to the right. Vancouver has the distinction of being the last city on the continent to abandon the British left-driving system.