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.


Yasutaro Yamaga Laborer, Japanese farm activist b. 1886, Toyohama-mura, Hiroshima-ken, Japan; d. Aug. 24, 1971, Beamsville, Ont. Came to B.C. from Seattle in 1907. After working as a CPR laborer, bought 10 acres near Haney, B.C. (1908). Spoke English well and understood the Canadian way of life. Organized Japanese social clubs in Haney; imported Japanese schoolbooks from the US to replace Japanese government textbooks. Led Japanese Farmers' Union in the Fraser Valley. After WWII internment in Tashme, B.C., he ran a sawmill at 70 Mile House, then moved to Beamsville. Established Nipponia Home, the first Japanese-Canadian senior citizen's home in Canada.

Yasushi Yamazaki Publisher b. May 11, 1871, Toyama, Japan; d. 1947, Japan. Came to B.C. in 1893, worked as logger, fisher, miner. Secretary, Japanese Fishermen's Union in Steveston (1900). Active in Japanese fishermen's strike, 1900-01. Began publishing in Seattle in 1902; in 1908, started Vancouver's Tairiku Nippo Sha (Continental Daily News). Led a campaign against the prostitution of Japanese women. President, Canadian-Japanese Association (1909-17). Organized Canadian Japanese Volunteer Corp (WWI) hoping it would lead to the vote but the corps of 200 was rejected as too small. From 1917-33, editor of a newspaper in Japanese-held Manchuria. "His life was a full but lonely one."

Kew Ghim Yip Physician b. Jan. 16, 1902, Vancouver; d. Dec. 13, 1968, Vancouver. Son of Yip Sang. One of first four Chinese-born general practitioners in Vancouver. Attended Central Elem., King George HS, and Queen's in medicine. Interned as a doctor in Ann Arbor, Mich., because of B.C. restrictions on Asian hospital interns. Practised in Chinatown (1927-68). In the days before medical coverage, he conducted a free weekly clinic at Main and Hastings for old age pensioners and others. Doctor with Mount St. Joseph Hospital on Campbell Ave., and helped fundraise for its Prince Edward site. Active in the Chinese community; known for his philanthropic work.

Frederick McBain Young Judge, Masonic leader b. Oct. 30, 1863, English River, Que.; d. May 31, 1937, Vancouver. Brother of Dr. Henry Esson Young. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of B.C. Masons (1901, 1902). Laid the cornerstone of Vancouver's Carnegie Library, March 29, 1902, receiving an engraved trowel from the City. Also laid cornerstone of Victoria HS. First judge of the county court of Atlin, B.C. (1905). Served 28 years as judge in Prince Rupert county court (from 1907). Retired and returned to Vancouver (January 1933).

Henry Esson Young Father of the University b. Feb. 24, 1867, English River, Que.; d. Oct. 24, 1939, Victoria. Graduate of Queen's and McGill. Practiced medicine in the US, served as houseman to Sir William Osler, joined the gold rush. Elected MLA (Atlin, 1903). As minister of education/provincial secretary in Richard McBride's cabinet (1907-16), he founded UBC. LL.D (UBC, 1925). Created Metropolitan Health Board with Rockefeller Foundation funds. Essondale Mental Hospital in Coquitlam was named for him. Met wife, Rosalind (b. c. 1874; d. February 1962, Victoria), a gold medallist at McGill, in the Cariboo researching her MA thesis (married in 1904). She was the first university graduate female high school teacher in Victoria and introduced girl's grass hockey.

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