Lincoln M.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver Heritage Fair

How Railways Affected Vancouver's History

For the heritage fair, I did a poster board, but I also created a video as one of my additional products. The video uses my slide presentation and talks about "In what most significant ways did CP Rail affect Vancouver's history." That was my critical question, and I used 5-6 research questions to support my answer which included things like the economy, geography, Chinese culture, and other demographics.


What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I think that most Canadians don't know how much CPR has affected Vancouver, BC and Canada. It was quite a surprise that CPR had done so many things to shape BC and Canada's history.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

The most interesting thing I learned was that Vancouver would never have evolved into what it is today, without CPR's influence. The biggest example is the location of downtown Vancouver was moved to the west (from Port Moody) for the terminus station to be located in coal harbour. This shaped the port of Vancouver, hospitals, opera house, Chinatown, etc.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

This depends on a person's perspective. It is obvious that the Chinese workers didn't have fun building the railway, and it is quite heartbreaking and sad that they did not get the recognition they deserved for their hard work and sacrifice. On the other hand, William Cornelius Van Horne (president of CP Rail at the time) took a big risk in building the railway and it had an enormous impact on the country and City of Vancouver's history. The railway became very rich as they were a large landowner.