Title and statement of responsibility area
Engineering Department slide collection
General material designation
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Statements of responsibility: Photographs attributed to Al Ingram
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services
Physical description area
- 5,123 photographs : col. Slide ; 35 mm
- 0.06 m of textual records
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
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-
• Tom Timm, –2010
• Peter Judd 2010–2015
Functions, occupations and activities:
The broad range of functions of the Department has included:
- Streets and bridges design and maintenance, including snow/ice removal and sanding;
- Sewerage and drainage planning and maintenance,
- Water supply and distribution,
- Refuse collection and disposal,
- Transportation planning and traffic management, including accommodating for special events,
- Street lighting and utilities,
- Inspection responsibilities (until the creation of the Permits and Licenses Department),
- City planning responsibilities (under the direction of the Town Planning Commission) until the creation of the Planning Department in 1954,
- Street Decoration (in conjunction with the Street Decoration Committee) since 1954.
Scope and content
Series consists of images (slides) taken in support of Engineering Department work performed in the 1970s and 1980s. Major projects undertaken in this time that are documented in this series include the construction of the Expo Line (Skytrain), the construction and opening of the 1985 Cambie Street Bridge, the cleanup of the shoreline around False Creek and building of the Seawall, and the conversion of Granville Mall to pedestrian use.
Other images in this series show work at the Vancouver Landfill in Burns Bog (Delta, BC), construction and maintenance of streets, sidewalks, sewers, waterworks, lighting, and parks throughout the city, and Engineering equipment and facilities.
Individual image titles are taken from the database used by the Engineering department to organize and catalogue the images. The titles tend to relate to projects and activities, and are not always reflective of the content of the images. 991 images were not identified in this database and are currently untitled. Images in this series were taken by City employee Alan (Al) Ingram.
Series also includes one subseries of textual records (subseries 1 - Supplementary paperwork) used to organize the images.
Immediate source of acquisition
Transferred from Engineering in 2002
Photographs in this series have been assigned item numbers within the range: CVA 800-1 to CVA 800-5122
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Slides in this series are kept in frozen storage and require 48 hours notice to view. Please consult with Archives staff.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Copyright City of Vancouver; dates vary.