The History of Metropolitan Vancouver's

By Constance Brissenden
With additional research by Larry Loyie

The History of Metropolitan Vancouver Hall of Fame represents nearly 500 of the thousands of people who have contributed to the history of the lower mainland of BC. They come from all walks of life, all cultural backgrounds and all occupations. All of the Hall of Famers are now deceased, and we are proud to include a brief record of their accomplishments here. For the first time, Metropolitan Vancouver has a biographical directory that includes many individuals from communities overlooked in the past.

If you have suggestions for inclusion (remember the person must be deceased), please contact us HERE.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

For Mayors of Vancouver, click here.


Harry (William Henry) Eburne Storekeeper, postmaster b. c. 1856, Eng.; d. June 20, 1924, South Vancouver. In February 1875 came to B.C. with foster parents, the year the Fraser River froze from early February to mid-March. Worked for Fitzgerald McCleery, before preempting 65 hectares. A poor farmer, he opened the first general store and post office at the Sea Island end of the Fraser (1881). Originally named North Arm, the settlement was renamed Eburne, and later Marpole in 1916. In 1881, he admonished horse-trading Rev. George Ditchman, first rector of St. James Church, declaring "No man can swap horses and remain Christian."

Henry Valentine Edmonds Mount Pleasant founder b. Feb. 14, 1837, Dublin, Ire.; d. June 14, 1897, Vancouver. Arrived in New Westminster in 1862. In 1880, named sheriff of New Westminster; elected mayor in 1883. Speculated in real estate and promoted railways. A founder of Howe Sound Silver Mining and Fraser River Beet Sugar companies. Developed Mount Pleasant in 1888 on land purchased in 1870. Backed the Interurban between Vancouver and New Westminster (1891). When the Interurban went bankrupt, he lost most of his money and died with very little.

John Emerson Actor, pianist b. March 13, 1911, Vancouver; d. May 2, 1968, Vancouver. Eldest of seven, son of a music-loving lawyer. After WWI, the family home became the impetus for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Attended UBC where he acted with the University Players' Club. From 1930-64, he was a popular pianist and musical arranger. Promoted local talent; discovered 13-year-old Mimi Hines in the east end. Noted for reading poetry on his national CBC radio show; wrote and performed in radio plays. From 1954-56, staged popular "capsule musicals" at the Arctic Club. "Versatility is a euphemism for doing all the things I have to do to earn a living." ACTRA gives an annual scholarship in his name, honoring his "help to his fellow man."

Percy W. Evans Cement and fuel supplier b. Eng.; d. Oct. 21, 1943, Los Angeles, Calif. With brother Ernest and cousin George Coleman, came to B.C. from England in 1888. Opened a fuel and cement firm, Evans, Coleman and Evans, on Columbia. Built city's first deep sea dock. Firm was sold in 1910 to a group of prominent business people including William Farrell and Frank Barnard. With brother, also owned Vancouver's Stanley and Manitoba hotels with interest in the Plaza Theatre building. A director of B.C. Telephone and other communications concerns.

Alexander Ewen Fraser River salmon canner b. Nov. 22, 1832, Aberdeen, Scotland; d. July 8, 1907, New Westminster. Arrived in B.C. in 1864. Opened his first cannery in 1871 at Annieville; in 1884, established Ewen and Co., and built up the largest cannery on the Fraser River at Lion Island. A successful operator in the 1890s, in 1901 he merged with B.C. Packers' Association and served as president until his death. One of the giants of the boom years of the Fraser River canning industry. Described as "a dour Scot and extremely canny" with a hot temper.

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