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South Vancouver (B.C.)
Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
The Corporation of the District of South Vancouver was established on 13 April 1892 under the authority of a Provincial Letters Patent. The geographic boundaries were established as all areas south of 16th Avenue, except District Lot 301 and T.H.S.L. (Town of Hastings Suburban Lands). The Corporation had five broad areas of continuing responsibility, derived from the Municipal Act (S.B.C. 1872, Ch. 35) and later the Municipal Clauses Act (S.B.C. 1896, Ch. 37) as well as other statutes affecting municipalities. These responsibilities were: the control of land use, the development and maintenance of public works, ensuring public safety, providing for public welfare, and the control of public finances. On 1 January 1908, under the authority of the South Vancouver Division Act (S.B.C. 1907, Ch. 38), the larger part of the District became the Corporation of Point Grey. South Vancouver's geographic boundaries were now reduced to all areas south of 16th Avenue on the east side of the previous South Vancouver District, from Cambie Street to Boundary Road. The remaining District (as well as Point Grey) amalgamated with the City of Vancouver on 1 January 1929. The Corporation was organised administratively for most of its existence into a Municipal Council, comprised of a Reeve (Mayor) and Councillors elected by their respective wards, and a number of Standing and Ad hoc Committees. The responsibilities of the Corporation were chiefly carried out by the Standing Committees, whose number and composition varied greatly over time. In 1911, there were five committees: Police, Health, Fire and Water and Light, Finance, and the Board of Works. By 1928 their number had expanded to seven and the committees had assumed additional responsibilities, including Parks, Town Planning, and Lands. In 1915, the mandate for policing was transferred to the Board of Police Commissioners, who first met on 5 February 1915. As a Committee of the Whole, Council itself was responsible for the formulation of policy, governance through By-law or resolution, the approval of public expenditures, and the consideration of recommendations put forth by committees and individuals. Further, it was responsible for part of the annual ordinary expenses of the South Vancouver School Board such as teachers' salaries and the operating costs of schools. Council also considered School Board requests for extraordinary expenses. A different administrative structure existed between 1918 and 1923, when the District was governed by a Commissioner invested with all the powers and functions of the Reeve and Council as well as the Board of Police Commissioners and the Board of School Trustees. On 1 May 1918, under the authority of the Corporation of the District of South Vancouver Administration Act (S.B.C. 1918, Ch. 82), the Lieutenant Governor removed the Council and appointed F.J. Gillespie as Commissioner. He was replaced on 1 October 1921 by A. Wells Gray. Initially, the Commissioner acted alone and held meetings in order to enact By-laws, receive communications, and to decide matters relating to the Municipality. But from April 1919 a special "Advisory Council" also held meetings approximately every two months. It was chaired by the Commissioner and was comprised of a representative of each of the seven wards. Its role was to bring public concerns to the attention of the Commissioner and to form ad hoc committees appointed by him to consider specific issues. From October 1921, under A. Wells Gray, all the business of the Municipality was decided by a single "Council" chaired by the Commissioner and comprised of the ward representatives. On 13 January 1922, a Municipal election was held and a Reeve and seven Councillors were elected. But this Council and its Standing Committees were limited to an advisory role until 1 April 1923, when under the authority of the Corporation of the District of South Vancouver Powers Re-establishment Act (S.B.C. 1922, Ch. 69) the office of Commissioner was abolished and full powers were returned to the elected Council. For a more detailed history, please consult the inventory to the Corporation of the District of South Vancouver fonds.
For the records of the other jurisdictions which joined together on January 1, 1929 see also the Corporation of Point Grey fonds, and all other City fonds which relate to the period up to 1929.