To obtain some idea of the former appearance of the site of the present city of Vancouver, it is sufficient to pay a visit to Stanley Park, a magnificent pleasure resort in the vicinity. There may be seen groves of towering fir and cedar trees, such as were growing at the time when it was decided to make the terminus of the newly constructed Canadian Pacific Railway on Burrard Inlet. The dense forest was cleared, and from the month of May until July, in the year 1886, a town began to grow with surprising rapidity, but was wiped out by a destructive fire which spread from the surrounding forest. Since then Vancouver has grown by leaps and bounds, and now has a population of over 100,000. It has a picturesque and favourable situation on Burrard Inlet, and a superb harbour, which is always safely navigable.
The trade of Vancouver is already large, and is steadily increasing. Steamships ply regularly from the port to China and Japan, and to Australia and New Zealand, in addition to which there are numerous other sailings, thus rendering Vancouver one of the principal ports of the North American Continent. In addition to extensive wharves and warehouses, Vancouver possesses many fine buildings, business premises, churches, schools, libraries, hotels, and clubs, and compares favourably with many other cities founded at a very much earlier date. There is a complete electric service, with extensions to New Westminster and Lulu Island, and telephone connections with Victoria and other towns on Vancouver Island, Seattle, and many other places of importance in the district. There is also an excellent service of steam-ships making daily trips between Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle. A good water supply and sewage system have been provided, and the city is well lighted both by electricity and gas. Supplies of coal are obtained from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, and a water power sufficient to develop 300,000 h.p. has recently been made available.