what's in a name

Happy new year everyone! I spent my NYE at a friend's fiance's sister's house in the British Properties. She was kind enough to let us have full run of her place while she and her husband are away at a resort. We had some drinks and stuff and lots of munchie food. I think I ate most of a sourdough bread bowl by myself. We karaoked and watched TV until 3am, crashed for the night, and then headed to White Spot for breakfast where I easily packed away about another 800 calories on top of the thousands I consumed last night. Over breakfast somebody asked why the wealthy neighbourhood was named British Properties. I recalled it had something to do with excluding people of color but I had no idea that it started with the family that brews Guinness! from
Well it looks like the long tradition of institutionalized racism in West
Vancouver is still going strong . For those of you younguns and those with
short memories West Van is the home of the infamous British Properties, large estates built on the side of the mountain with spectacular views of the harbour and Vancouver. This development was built by the Guinness family (yes the brewers) in 1931. They also built Vancouver’s famous Lions Gate Bridge so that people could get to the Properties. Each estate sold in the properties carried covenant on the land title that prevented the owners from ever selling to jews or non-whites.
From http://www.discovervancouver.com/GVB/place_names.asp I also
found the histories of many place names in the lower mainland. My hometown of
Coquitlam has an interesting history too:

Coquitlam • From the Halkomelem Indian word meaning "stinking of fish slime".
During a great winter famine the Coquitlam people sold themselves into slavery
to the more numerous and prosperous Kwantlen tribe. The new slaves, while
butchering large quantities of salmon for their masters, got covered with fish
slime—hence the name.


Egan said...

Thankfully Don Cherry didn't win. That would have been shameful for Canada. That guy is a prick if you ask me.

Wow, I had no idea about the West Vancouver British Estates connection. How freaky and sad. You are so enlightening Van. Best of luck in 2006!

Ben said...

Huh, learn something new about your hometown everyday. Even if it is a little sad and disturbing. Funny that they seem to omit this in elementary school.