Vancouver - British Columbia - CANADA

Street and place names

This page provides background information relating to the street and place names in Gastown

Abbott Street
Named after H.H. Abbott (1829 - 1915) a general superintendent of the CPR in BC
Alexander Street
Named after R.H. Alexander (1844 - 1915) an accountant and manager of Hastings Mill. His wife was the first white woman to live here and their son was the first white child born here. Alexander Street started as the first trail running along the shoreline from Gastown to Hastings Mill.
Cambie Street
Named after H. J. Cambie (1836 - 1928) an engineer and surveyor. He was employed by the CPR to choose a route for the railway, he also wqas in charge of construction work through the Fraser Canyon as well as overseeing all surveys in BC. The City of Abbottsford is also named after him.
Carral Street
Named after Dr. R.W.W. Carral (1839-1879) a physician who practised in various parts of the province (Nanaimo, Cariboo, Victoria). He was politically active and championed the cause of confederation. he was one of three delegates to negotiate the terms of union with Canada and the first senator from BC to parliament in Ottawa.
Cordova Street
Running somewhat parallel to and merging with Water Street, Cordova Street had several previous names, Willow Street (for a grove of willow trees) then Oppenheimer Street (a Mayor of Vancouver). Finally the Street was named in honour of Don Antonio Maria Villaces y Cordova, Spanish Viceroy of Mexico.
Powell Street
Named after Dr. I W. Powell (1836 - 1915) a doctor involved in many progressive intiatives during the early days of the Province of BC. Involved in establishing a public school system he was a superintendent of schools. Played a role in extending the CPR line from Port Moody to Coal Harbour. Donated land for Vancouver's first city hall.
Water Street
One of the first named streets in the original townsite. At first it was called Front Street since it ran along the shoreline.
Blood Alley
According to stories Blood Alley was the location for a number of butcher shops. At the end of each day they would be rinsed out resulting in the inevitable blood in the street. As if that was not enough they used to hold public executions in blood alley square.
Gaelor's Mews
Location of Vancouver's first jail next to Blood Alley. An interesting fact is that the washrooms at the Irish Heather Pub are where the jail cells were. The brickworks are the original material.

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