Vancouver Books

A lot of books have been written about Vancouver and its environs. This file, started in March 2007, is intended to describe many of them. Our thanks and gratitude to Karen Cannon of the Friends of the Vancouver Public Library for her terrific (and ongoing) work on this project.

In 1999 the Vancouver Public Library produced a poster titled Vancouver in Print: 100 Books from a Century Past. These books—intended to give a broad view of the many kinds of books published about the city—are indicated below with the legend: VIP. It was this list of titles that began this feature.

Many hundreds of other books will be added to this page as time goes on. Inquiries about any of them can be made at any branch of the Vancouver Public Library.

Not all these titles are available at VPL. Some are in the UBC Library system, and some at Vancouver City Archives.

And for a superb and thorough listing of all books about British Columbia and by British Columbians, we recommend a visit to:

An asterisk * indicates the book was a winner of
the City of Vancouver Book Award.

1880 - 1889


City of Vancouver voters' list, 1886.
“List of persons entitled to vote at Municipal Elections for 1886.” Since only property owners could vote, a description of land owned is next to the name of the voter. VIP

British Columbia.  An act to incorporate the City of Vancouver.
The town of Granville and vicinity are incorporated as the City of Vancouver.
(Statutes. 1886. Chapter 32)

Smith, Henry Badeley.  Plan of the city of Vancouver, western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway/compiled from registered plans and latest surveys by H.B. Smith, civil engineer, 1886.
Adopted as the official map of the city of Vancouver by the mayor and council, June 1886.


Picken, M.  City of Vancouver, terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway: British Columbia handbook.
Information on the progress of Vancouver as an important commercial center: an economic review with a table showing market prices of goods (e.g.12 loaves of bread for $1.00).  Includes a small classified directory and advertisements by local businesses.


Draper, Thomas. Vancouver city directory, 1888.
“Containing a Complete Business and General Directory of the City of Vancouver”. This was the first work of its kind undertaken in Vancouver. VIP

Mohun, E.  The sewerage system of Vancouver, B.C.
Plans and specifications of sewers for the most densely populated area; with a defense for using a system made of wood.
(Canadian Society of Civil Engineers. Transactions. Session 1888. Paper no. 20)


Oppenheimer, David.  Vancouver city, its progress and industries: with practical hints for capitalists and intending settlers.
Written by Mayor Oppenheimer and City Council to answer the many “enquiries from all parts of the Dominion and Great Britain” expressing interest in opportunities in Vancouver.

Smith, H.B. Vancouver water works.
Illustrated technical report on the building of Vancouver’s water distribution system.