1. Greenpeace was born in Vancouver in 1971. Known as an “independent global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace,” the founders met in Gastown’s Luna Cafe (now called Smart Mouth Coffee).
2. In 1926, Babe Ruth performed at the Pantages Theater in Vancouver. He was the highest paid vaudevillian earning $100,000.
3. Stanley Park’s grey squirrel population are originally descendants of eight pairs of grey squirrels that were given as a gift in 1909 by New York City.
4. Vancouver’s cruise ship terminal is the fourth largest in the world. Most of the ships stopping in Vancouver area headed to Alaska.
5. Contrary to popular belief, the California Roll was invented right here in Vancouver. Chef Hidekazu Tojo not only created the world-famous sushi varietal, but also went against Japanese culinary customs by making sushi inside-out. His restaurant, Tojo, is located at 1133 West Broadway.
Visit Tojos for the original California roll.
6. B.C.’s first telephone call was made in 1883 between New Westminster and Port Moody.
7. The largest port in Canada and the second largest in North America, is the Port of Vancouver.
8. The longest pool in Canada is located in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. It is the length of three Olympic swimming pools, measuring 137.5m (451ft) in length. The Kits Pool also happens to be the a heated salt water pool and opened in 1931.
9. Vancouver is one of the only major North American cities that does not have freeway access to its downtown core.
10. At 1001 acres, Stanley Park is 10% bigger than New York City’s Central Park.
11. A city of radio firsts. Pat Burns created the “open line radio” (and later had a copyright on the term “hotline”) in the 1950s. The first rock ‘n roll radio station in Canada was CKWX in Vancouver, also in the early 50s. And the first rock ‘n roll FM station was CKLG and started in 1967.
12. McNuggets were first made in Canada in 1967 in the city of Richmond, BC.
13. North Vancouver used to be called Moodyville after Sewell Moody.
14. In 1886, just 19 years after Vancouver was incorporated, the Great Vancouver Fire burnt the city.
16. BC Place has a 7,500 square metres of retractable roof, the largest in the world.
17. There are three seawalls in Vancouver: Stanley Park, Kitsilano and West Vancouver.
18. Vancouver’s first electric streetlights were turned on August 8, 1887.
19. Harry Houdini’s world-famous straitjacket escape was performed outside The Sun building at 137 West Pender Street on March 1, 1923. Houdini was in town performing at the Orpheum Theatre in a vaudeville show when the challenge was put forth to him. It took Houdini only three minutes and 39 seconds to release himself from the straightjacket while hanging from his feet in the air.
20. Houses built between 1965-1985 are called a ‘Vancouver Special.’