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Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Engineering Services (1995-)
  • Engineering Department (1886-1995)
  • Department of Works [191*?]

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1886-

History

Since its foundation, Engineering Services (or, as it was referred to until 1995, the Engineering Department) has been the largest department in the City administration, providing many of the City's mandated functions for developing and maintaining the City's infrastructure of roads and bridges, waterworks, sewers and sanitation.

The Vancouver Incorporation Act required the appointment of an engineer, and the City did so under Bylaw #1 (1886). Despite technological changes, the department has remained remarkably consistent in functional responsibilities: over the years, the Engineering Department/Engineering Services has been responsible for the construction and maintenance of streets, lanes, sewers, water works, and bridges, as well as for traffic management, sanitation, garbage collection, and parking. With the rapid growth of the city, the Department’s role changed from a supervisory role (overseeing and inspecting the work of contractors) to having full-scale operations divisions.

The City Engineer first reported to the Board of Works (1886-1956), then to the Board of Administration (1956-1974), and subsequently to the City Manager (1974-).

There were a few instances of major reorganization in the history of the Engineering Department. Following a departmental review by external consultants in 1954, the department underwent a major restructuring of its organizational framework. Formerly, divisions had been based on the type of operation each performed. The review called for three basic divisions. One major division was for administration and design and the other for operations. Each of these divisions would oversee the different functions as they related to design or operation. A third division for traffic management continued to exist in the same fashion as before the rearrangement. This structure remained in place for only a few years.
Another major reorganization occurred in 1966 when the Electrical Department was incorporated as a division within the Engineering Department (impetus for this change came from the formation of the Permits and Licenses Department which took over inspection activities while Engineering took over engineering and works aspects.)

The following individuals have served as City Engineer (from 1995, the City Engineer was also referred to as “General Manager” of the then renamed Engineering Services):
• John P. Lawson, 1886-1890;
• Henry B. Warren, 1890-1891;
• Thomas H. Tracy, 1891-1905;
• William A. Clement, 1905-1911;
• Frederick L. Fellowes, 1911-1924;
• Charles Brakenridge, 1924-1946;
• Charles A. Battershill, 1946-1949;
• John C. Oliver, 1949-1956;
• Randolph M. Martin, 1956-1971;
• Gordon H. Lawson, 1971-1974;
• William H. Curtis, 1974-1991;
• David Rudberg, 1991-[2004]
• Tom Timm, [2004] – 2010
• Peter Judd 2010 –

Functions, occupations and activities:

The broad range of functions of the Department has included:
1. Streets and bridges design and maintenance, including snow/ice removal and sanding;
2. Sewerage and drainage planning and maintenance,
3. Water supply and distribution,
4. Refuse collection and disposal,
5. Transportation planning and traffic management, including accommodating for special events,
6. Street lighting and utilities,
7. Inspection responsibilities (until the creation of the Permits and Licenses Department),
8. City planning responsibilities (under the direction of the Town Planning Commission) until the creation of the Planning Department in 1954,
9. Street Decoration (in conjunction with the Street Decoration Committee) since 1954.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Rapid Transit Office (1999-2001, [2009-])

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1999-2001, [2009-]

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Rapid Transit Office, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Office of the City Manager (1956-)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1974-

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Office of the City Manager

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Electrical Division (1966-1988)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1966-1988

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Electrical Division, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Street Decoration Committee (1958-)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1958-

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Street Decoration Committee, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Transportation Division ([1935-])

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

[1935-]

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Transportation Division, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Streets Division ([1900]-)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

[1900]-

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Streets Division, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Water Works Department (1892-1936)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1892-1936

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Water Works Department, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Water and Sewers Division ([1887]-)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

[1887]-

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Sewerage Department, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Surveys Branch (1887-)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1887-

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Surveys Branch, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.) (1886-)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1886-

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.)

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Office of the City Engineer (1886-)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1886-

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Office of the City Engineer, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Board of Works (1886-1955)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1886-1955

Description of relationship

Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Board of Works

Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Last revised 18-12-2012 by KO

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

For City Council records on Engineering activities see series 20, "Subject files - including Council supporting documents" (1886-1975) under "City Engineer" and series 62, "Operational subject files - including Council supporting documents" (1975-1987), particularly the subseries "Streets, transportation and utilities".

Maintenance notes