Unlocking North Vancouver History

Wilderness on the Doorstep: Vancouver’s Mountain Playground

Charlie Anderson, Fisherman

Prior to World War II, when residential and industrial development was still minimal, the North Shore’s rivers and streams supported a substantial Native food fishery as well as sport fishing. The Capilano River, in particular, contained plenty of Pacific salmon and steelhead trout. Teahouse owner Charlie Anderson, pictured here, wasn’t the only local businessman who enjoyed casting a line. Hotel Capilano owner Dickson Kells was known to begrudge hours spent on the road transporting customers to his hotel. His wife largely ran the business while he cast his Devon minnow lure into a large pool a few yards from his establishment. In the late ’20s, the Capilano, Lynn and Seymour watersheds were closed to the public to protect Greater Vancouver’s sources of drinking water, robbing anglers of favourite spots and confining them to lower reaches. As the 20th century progressed, these areas became increasingly unfriendly to both fish and fishermen.

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WHAT
Charlie Anderson, owner of the Tipperary Tea Gardens near the Canyon View Hotel, poses with a huge steelhead trout.

WHERE
The tea gardens were located near the Second Canyon of the Capilano gorge, not far from the Canyon View Hotel, located on Vancouver’s North Shore.

WHEN
In the first two decades of the 20th century, teahouses were popular destinations for wealthier day-trippers.

WHO
To amuse Sunday excursionists, Charlie Anderson’s establishment featured a live black bear and a spiral staircase wound around a tree.

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