A no messing around guide to the coolest things to eat, drink and do in Vancouver and beyond. Community. Not clickbait.

The Vancouver Park with the ‘Hobo Jungle’ Past

Shelter in the ‘Jungle’ at the City dump, 1931. CoV Archives, Re N3.2.

The area we now call Strathcona Park and Community Gardens was originally home to tidal flats, coniferous forest, and a stream estuary. In the 1910s, False Creek was dammed at Main Street and filled in for Great Northern Railway and Canadian National Railway use. This area of False Creek then became a combination of scrubby and swampy land with some open water. It was used as a cow pasture and city dump. For a short time during the Great Depression a so-called “Hobo Jungle” sprung up here, occupied by unemployed men (similar to “Hoovervilles” in the United States).

Homemade shelters in the ‘Jungle’ at the City dump, 1931. CoV Archives, Re N3.1

City officials destroyed the encampment in 1931 after a typhoid outbreak. The land was later employed as a military training field during World War II and as a city works yard in the 1960s before it was developed into the park we enjoy today.

Strathcona Park
Neighbourhood: Strathcona
857 Malkin Ave.

When Strathcona Park ceased operations as a dumpsite, Vancouver’s garbage was diverted to the southeast corner of the city. The “Kerr Road Dump” was established in 1944 in Champlain Heights, one of the last areas of the City to be developed. Located on a parcel of land east of Fraserview Golf Course, this previously forested area was once home to a waterfall and a salmon-bearing creek that ran through a natural ravine. It was used as the City of Vancouver’s main landfill until 1966.

Images of the Kerr City Dump, 1960s. VPL, Special Collections – 41890, 44758, 47770

Though it was only in operation for 22 years, garbage accumulated up to 49 meters deep in places. Local residents lobbied hard to get the closed landfill converted into a green space. In 1987, the area was finally re-opened as a park and named for Everett Crowley, a long-time resident of the area who served as a Park Board Commissioner in the 1960s. After much conscious effort to restore the natural state of the land, 50 years later the park shows no signs of its former life as a landfill.

Everett Crowley Park
Neighbourhood: East Vancouver
8200 Kerr St.

You Should Know About Sarah Cassell and ‘Sarah’s Café’

Like any good research rabbit hole, it all started with a single photograph depicting the window sign for Sarah’s Cafe. Local history buff, Christine Hagemoen, set out to learn more. Here is what she found.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores, Vol. 11

In her latest instalment, Christine Hagemoen briefly retails the 114-plus-year-long history of Ernie's Grocery, on Commercial Street.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores, Vol. 10

Discover one of what used to be many Victoria Drive Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood grocery stores: A & B Grocery.

Groundbreaking Eleanor Collins, The City’s ‘First Lady Of Jazz’

Eleanor Collins, celebrated as "Vancouver's first lady of jazz" and recipient of the Order of Canada, passed away on March 3, 2024, at the age of 104. In tribute to her legacy and to extend our condolences to her family, we are republishing Christine Hagemoen's 2017 article that explores Collins' profound impact on Vancouver's music scene.