Vancouver's Mean Streets, 1909

Posted by Daniel on Feb 8, 2009 - 4 comments

In the most recent issue of Geist magazine, publisher Stephen Osborne tells the story of Vancouver's first motorized ambulance and how it ran over and killed a pedestrian on its inaugural trip through the streets of the city in October 1909.

The accident took place at the corner of Pender and Granville streets. The victim was Mr. C.F. Keiss, a visitor from Ohio who was planning a hunting trip to Powell River with two companions but instead became the new ambulance's first passenger. Osborne embroiders the incident to present an evocative portrait of the city in its third decade.

Full disclosure: I am a member of the editorial board of Geist. Which is even more reason for me to encourage you to pick up a copy from your local newsstand today or to visit the website at