Title and statement of responsibility area
Open Data Catalogue : public places data package : July 2015
General material designation
- Textual record
- Cartographic material
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
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
June 2-9, 2015 (Creation)
- Vancouver Park Board
Physical description area
99 digital files (DWG, JSON, KML, SHP, HTML) : 1.26 MB
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
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Archival description area
Name of creator
The Board of Parks and Recreation has its origins in the granting of the 950 acre military reserve at First Narrows to the City for use as a park. The new park, named in honour of the current Governor General, Lord Stanley was formally opened in 1888. To control the operations of the park, Council appointed a Park Warden and a Park Committee to oversee the development and management of the park. In 1890, the Committee was replaced by a permanent elected body, the three person Board of Park Commissioners. The by-law which created the Board (no. 96) gave the Commissioners absolute control and management over the park system. It was expected to expend monies voted to it by Council and had the power to enter into contracts and pass by-laws. In 1896, the Board passed its first by-law "for regulations and government of the parks of the city," and appointed a Park Ranger. In 1904, the Park Ranger's title was changed to Superintendent of Parks. Although they were not defined in writing until 1929, the duties of the Superintendent were: to act as the administrative head and business manager and report directly to the Commissioners; to keep the minute books and books of account and generally supervise all employees; to prepare budget estimates and annual reports. In 1980 the title was changed to General Manager. Over its history, the Board has maintained the following functions: administration; beaches, pools and bathhouses; building services and maintenance; design and management of park development; engineering services; income operations; management of Zoo, Gardens and Conservatory; overall management; park forestry; parkland acquisition; parks maintenance and construction; poundkeeping; recreation and; relations with the public. Through several administrative reorganizations and evolving City priorities, the emphasis placed on the execution of these functions has changed. At incorporation, the acquisition of park land was paramount. Recreation programs became a strong priority between 1911 and 1935, reorienting the character of the Board in assuming a service function rather than concentrating on the acquisition of parkland. The relations with the public function became a strong focus for the Board, beginning in the late 1960s and continued to be a central focus in the 1990s. The Board is currently organized into the following divisions: Administrative and Revenue Services; Finance; Environment and Operations; Planning and Development; Recreation Services.
Over its history, the Board has been known under a variety of names:
- Committee on Works and Property (1887-1888);
- Parks Committee (1888-1889);
- Board of Parks Commissioners (1890-1955);
- Board of Parks and Public Recreation (1956-1973);
- Board of Parks and Recreation (1974 ).
The following individuals have served as Superintendent of Parks (subsequently General Manager):
- John Hurst, 1888-1889 in the position of Park Warden;
- Henry Avison, 1889-1896 in the position of Park Ranger;
- George Eldon, 1896-1903 in the position of Park Ranger, 1904-1910 in the position of Superintendent of Parks;
- A. Balmer, 1910-1913; W. S. Rawlings, 1913-1936;
- Allen S. Wootton, 1936-1943;
- Philip Bateman Stroyan, 1943-1960;
- Stuart B. Lefeaux, 1960-1979;
- Vic Kondrosky, 1979-1980 as Superintendent of Parks and 1980-1997 as General Manager;
- Susan Mundick, 1997-.
For a more detailed history, please consult the finding aid to the Board of Parks and Recreation fonds in the Archives' reading room.
Name of creator
The Vancouver School Board is a locally elected body, constituted as a corporation and responsible for determining local education policy in conformity with the Public Schools Act of 1873. The Act authorized the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to create school districts, provide funds for teacher's salaries and school buildings, and appoint both a six member Board of Education and a Superintendent of Education. Originally established to allow individuals from local school districts to assist in the formation of education policies based upon their district's specific needs, school boards have, over time, had certain responsibilities for the organization and management of local systems delegated to them by the provincial government. Initially, the Vancouver School Board was able, through the work of its standing committees (Management, Finance, Building and Grounds), to involve itself directly in many of the day to day problems of school administration. However, as more powers and responsibilities were acquired by the Board, and as the Vancouver school system expanded, it became necessary for the Board to appoint executive officers such as City Superintendent, Secretary-Treasurer, and Building and Grounds Superintendent, to whom administrative duties could be delegated. The Board was then able to concern itself primarily with the tasks of setting overall education priorities and policies, and of selecting, through its executive officers the supervisors, officers, principals, teachers and other employees required to turn the Board's policies into practice. These employees often worked within divisions or departments such as the departments of building and grounds, health, primary work and physical education. For a more detailed history, please consult the inventory of the Vancouver School Board fonds.
The Vancouver Board of School Trustees was renamed the Vancouver School Board in 1955.
Name of creator
The volunteer City Brigade was established by City Council (by-law no. 6) on July 19, 1886, further to the provincial Vancouver Incorporation Act of April 6, 1886, which authorized City Council to pass by-laws for the suppression and prevention of fires. The by-law stipulated that the fire brigade would be subject to the authority of City Council's Fire, Water and Light Committee (established May 10, 1886) and that the Fire Chief would be elected annually from among the members of the brigade. Organization of the Volunteer Fire Brigade began in May 1886. (The date of the "great fire" was June 13, 1886.) Over the years the responsibility for the provision of fire suppression services devolved from the provincial Vancouver Incorporation Act and the Fire Marshalls Act (1921-1978), subsequently the Fire Services Act (1978- ). Numerous City by-laws have defined further specifics. For an 1886-1984 Vancouver Fire Department chronology see the inventory in the Reading Room. The following functions have remained quite constant over the years, despite several reorganizations.
(1) Fire fighter training. Carried out from 1886 beginnings, training became more formalized from 1889, when the Fire Department was established. From then until the 1950s Fire Captains of each fire hall provided training and after 3-6 month probationary periods recommended firemen for permanent status as they saw fit. In 1952 a Training Officers Branch was established. From 1971 it has been called the Training Division.
(2) Fire investigation. This function relates to investigation into the causes, origins, and circumstances of fires, and extends to prosecution of cases of arson and false alarms. Carried out by the Fire Chief from 1886 to about 1945, then by the Fire Wardens Branch, and finally, as of 1961, by the Fire Prevention Branch/Division.
(3) Fire prevention and inspection. The provincial government had authorized City Council to be responsible for these functions from the Vancouver Incorporation Act of 1886. From 1892-1906 (Fire By-law no. 162) the Building Inspector was assigned competence for this function, then in 1906, responsibility went to the Fire Department, i.e., to the Fire Wardens (By-laws no. 923, 946, 2193). In 1961 the Fire Wardens Branch became the Fire Prevention Division, which was responsible for enforcing the fire safety standards of the Fire By-law and the Building By-law. Related to the fire prevention and inspection function is dangerous goods regulation, which has been the responsibility of the Fire Chief since 1922 (by-law no. 1517, also 5572).
(4) Fire suppression. This emergency function has, of course, always been the primary function. From its 1886 beginnings as the Volunteer Fire Brigade, through its 1889 formation as a paid force, and up to 1906, competence for fire suppression was vested in the Department, as directly controlled by the Fire Chief, with overall administrative competence City Council's Fire Committee. Fire halls were established as of late summer 1886, the first steam fire engine was working by 1886, and fire boats were kept from the 1930s to the early 1990s. The responsible unit was the Fire Suppression Division from ca. 1975 and the Operations Division from 1994.
(5) Inhalator and rescue services. The inhalator service began in 1930 as the responsibility of several firehalls. In 1942 this function was centralized with the newly created No. 1 First Aid Company of the No. 3 Firehall. The service included emergency response and first aid treatment for drug overdoses, poisonings, heartattacks, accident injuries, burns, smoke inhalation, etc. In 1951 the Rescue and Safety Branch/Division took over the function. More recently rescue services expanded to include underwater search, rescue, and investigation.
(6) Public education on fire hazards and safety. During the early years the function was not formalized, but a logical adjunct to the mandated functions of fire prevention and suppression. During the 1950s the Department engaged in programs with the Vancouver School Board, community centres, the Greater Vancouver Fire Protection Association, the Vancouver Traffic and Safety Council, etc. In 1961 competence for the function was officially taken over by the Fire Protection Branch/Division. As of the 1994 reorganization this has been carried out by the Communications Division.
The predecessor body was the Volunteer Fire Brigade, established by City Council in 1886, which formed the basis for the Fire Department which was established in 1889. Although the name was changed from Fire Department to Fire and Rescue Services in 1994, the latter is a renaming, not a successor body.
The first authority of the Volunteer City Brigade was City Council's Fire, Water and Light Committee (set up in May 1886, before the Brigade was formally organized). Aldermanic committees continued to oversee the Fire Department until July 1956, when the Board of Administration became the management body of the City. The Board evolved into the City Manager in 1974, to which Fire and Rescue Services continues to report.
The internal organization developed as follows. Until the establishment of the Fire Department in 1889, the Volunteer City Brigade elected a Fire Chief from among its members and had an administrative position from August 1886 when a Fire Engineer was appointed. With the establishment of the Fire Department there were 23 staff, including the Fire Chief, engineers, stokers, drivers, and fire fighters; currently the Fire and Rescue Services department has a staff of over 800. Fairly longtime divisional units are described here, along with the 1994 realignments and renamings: the 1994 Operations Division had formerly been called the Fire Suppression Division; the new Support Services Division now encompassed the former Mechanical Maintenance Division and Building Maintenance Division (and added recruitment); the Emergency Medical Services Division became the new term for the former Rescue and Safety Division; a new Communications Division was established (which included a computer services branch); the Finance and Administration Division became the new term for the longtime Administration Division; and the divisions which did not change were the Fire Prevention Division, the Training Division, and the Planning and Research Division.
Name variations have evolved as follows:
- Volunteer Fire Brigade (1886-1889);
- Fire Department (1889-1994);
Fire and Rescue Services (1994-present).
The Fire Chief has remained the head of the broadly defined fire suppression function from August 1886 to the present, although as of the major City reorganization of 1994 the position is called General Manager of Fire and Rescue Services and Fire Chief. The following individuals have served as Fire Chief: Samuel Pedgrift, 1886; J. Blair, 1886; John Howe Carlisle, 1886-1888; Wilson McKinnon, 1888-1889; John Howe Carlisle, 1889-1928; C. W. Thompson, 1929-1935; A. McDiarmid, 1935-1941; J. H. DeGraves, 1941-1945; E. L. Erratt, 1945-1947; A. E. Condon, 1947-1949; A. R. Murray, 1950-1952; H. S. Bird, 1952-1962; R. R. Jacks, 1962-1969; Armand Konig, 1969-1980; N. Harcus, 1980-1986; D. J. Pamplin, 1986-1993; Glen Maddess, 1993-1998; Ray Holdgate, 1998- .
Minutes of the aldermanic committees which oversaw the Fire Department are in series 33 ("Standing committee minutes"), part of the City Council and Office of the City Clerk fonds.
Name of creator
The Act of Incorporation of 1886 empowered City Council to pass, alter, and repeal by- laws for "purchasing, acquiring, holding, managing, and maintaining real property and buildings for the purpose of a free public library or a partial free library in the city, and any branches thereof, and for the maintenance and upkeep of any such library or libraries; and for appointing a Library Board for the management and control of such library or libraries." The Vancouver Public Library was established in December 1887 by a citizen's Board. From 1887 to 1890, the City Librarian acted on a voluntary basis. In 1890, Council voted money to support the library and began to appoint members to the Library Board. The library operates under the Library Act
([RSBC 1996] c. 264). The duties of the Council-appointed Board include: the power to make rules and regulations for its own guidance and for the government of the library; the preparation of budget estimates to meet the expenses of maintaining and managing the library; control over expenditure of all monies levied or provided by Council for library purposes and all moneys granted, donated or bequeathed to the Board; the power to appoint a librarian and assistants, prescribe rules for their conduct and fix their compensation and the power to remove such appointees; the keeping of distinct accounts; the preparation of an annual report and; the power to negotiate and enter into agreements for group insurance for the benefit of members of the Board and of its employees. In 1982, the Vancouver Public Library Board consisted of one Council member and ten other persons appointed for two-year terms. The library is funded with grants from the civic and provincial governments. Directors of the Vancouver Public Library have included: Aileen Tufts (? - 1987), Madeleine Aalto (Apr. 1988 - ).
Scope and content
File consists of datasets showing locations of community centres, parks, dog off-leash parks, libraries, fire halls, public schools, and public washrooms in parks; elementary and secondary school catchment area boundaries; and elementary (early and late) and secondary French immersion boundaries. File also contains Open Data Catalogue html page that described the datasets; page includes data attributes and data accuracy and currency information. Datasets are as they appeared on July 7, 2015.
Immediate source of acquisition
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Use of data is governed by the Open Government Licence - Vancouver. See series description for details.
Fire halls, Libraries, Schools, Community centres, and Parks are also available as stand-alone data packages; these packages also contain the data in CSV and XLS formats.
Copyright: City of Vancouver; expiry: 2066-01-01
Standard number area
Subject access points
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Digital object metadata