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Yaletown History

Blog by Ian Watt | November 22nd, 2006

Like many parts of Vancouver, Yaletown’s early days were shaped by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). In 1886, the City offered CPR a 20 year exemption from local taxes if it built its rail yards and repair facilities on False Creek’s north shore. The CPR agreed, moving its machinery and employees from its former shops at Yale in the Fraser River canyon. This move is what sparked the name Yaletown.

In the late 1970’s and 1980’s, Yaletown became the focus for a series of changes in the downtown area. Young urban professionals were attracted to Yaletown’s old warehouses. Over the years, Yaletown went through many phases such as: warehouse district, garment industry, and dot.com. What makes Yaletown unique is that pieces of these phases they still remain a part of Yaletown today. The City recognized Yaletown’s architectural importance by zoning it as a historical district which allows for new uses while maintaining the special character of the area.

Some interesting historical facts about Yaletown

Download a short background piece to learn about the creation of Bill Curtis Square

For even more about the history and development of Bill Curtis Square, download an article by Robin Ward from the Vancouver Sun, Saturday November 13, 1993