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11 Mar

Getting To Know Historic Vancouver

Like much of North America, Vancouver is a city with a long and fascinating history. Dating back tens of thousands of years, there have been people living in the area. This is no surprise, the ideal location of Vancouver along the Strait of Georgia, Burrard Inlet and Fraser River made the area ripe for trade, settlement and travel. The fertile land surrounding the city also made the rural and mountainous area nearby perfect for farming and agriculture. 

Whilst guests at the luxurious 1 and 2 bedroom hotel suites of Vancouver might find the downtown area a far cry from its original look, there are still many ways for guests of British Columbia to explore the long history of the area. This blog will outline just what kind of history Vancouver has, and the best ways for tourists to explore its past. 

Ancient History of Vancouver

Vancouver’s long history of human civilisation dates back around 10,000 years ago when the last ice age began to decline. After this, indigenous First Nations have shown evidence of settling here, noted from a seasonal encampment at the mouth of the Fraser River dating back thousands of years. Nowadays, the people are broadly known as Squamish but with three different types of coastal Salish ethnicities still live in villages within Vancouver that have existed for over 4000 years. 

Where To explore Vancouver’s Ancient History

Tourists and guests of Vancouver Family accommodation can find out more about the native Vancouverites by visiting or passing several villages within the North and West of Vancouver, as well as further inland in the area known as Squamish. You can still find testaments to the Squamish people in Stanley Park and many other national reserves in the shape of Totem Poles. These have been placed as a reminder of the origins of British Columbia before it was colonised by the British in the 18th century. The Museum of Vancouver also has an exhibition on Squamish identity and culture. 

European Exploration

European exploration mostly took place in the late 18th and 19th centuries. In 1791, Jose Maria Narvaez explores the Strait of Georgie and landed at Point Grey near the Burrard Inlet. The next year, Captain George Vancouver joined the expedition and even ventured further towards the USA’s Seattle area. The city of Vancouver itself is named after George Vancouver, who reached the area that became the city before the Spanish arm of the expedition could. The European settlements led to many Christian missions being set up in the area. 

Where to Find out About European Exploration

European exploration of Vancouver was originally done by boat, so no history aficionados visit to Vancouver’s family-friendly hotels is complete without a trip to the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Here you’ll find replicas of 18th and 19th-century vessels, alongside artefacts from the expeditions of Captain Cook.

19th Century Vancouver

Vancouver was settled by non-natives in the mid 19th century and became a source of prosperity for lumber workers over the rest of the century. In 1914, the Panama Canal was opened, and this led to Vancouver being able to compete with other countries in the trading arena. Eventually, this prosperity helped Vancouver grow into the thriving city it is today.

Where To Find Out About 19th And 20th Century Vancouver

Vancouver’s Old Town offers an authentic architecturally historic experience, whilst the Chinese Garden and China Town cultural area, located nearby, will give guests at the L’Hermitage Vancouver a thorough introduction to the multicultural history of the city. On top of this, the Roedde House Museum is the perfect place to find out about the oldest buildings in the city.