The Hastings Mill Townsite

CPR Survey of Hastings Mill Site in 1886

Maj. J.S. Matthews, Early Vancouver Vol. 3 (Vancouver, City of Vancouver, 2011) p. 78.

The 1884 map of the Hastings Mill townsite, annotated in the 1930’s by Maj. Matthews, shows the buildings that housed and serviced the resident work force, and the curving Railway Avenue platted by the CPR mirroring the bend in the railway’s main trunk. The bend follows the contours of the land, tacking to the sea to stay on level ground. The north side of Railway Avenue replaced cottages and structures numbered 1-13 and 66-68. The railway tracks demolished most of the rest. The mill remained in operation into the late 1920’s..

The significance of the Hastings Mill Townsite is that it provided the focus for the new settlements forming around it.

Thus, Granville was platted a five minute walking distance away. New cottages on what is today Strathcona were built within easy walking distance of the mill gate, the school, and the services available there. Both Japantown and Chinatown developed within walking distance of the mill townsite.

Even after the townsite disappeared, and later after the mill closed down, the geographical relationships established by the daily habits of the early inhabitants remained in place.

© Lewis N. Villegas, Vancouver, January 2012.

Map Key 

  1. Mill foreman’s house.
  2. Rev. T.G. Thompson’s house.
  3. Surgery & Doctor’s office.
  4. Stevedore’s house.
  5. R.H. Alexander’s barn.
  6. R.H. Alexander’s house. mill manager’s house. The smaller wing at the rear of the building was the first mill manager’s house, Capt. J.A. Raymur.
  7. Fence.
  8. Hastings Mill Road connecting to Granville-Hastings Road.
  9. Hastings Mill school house.
  10. House.
  11. Mechanical engineer’s house.
  12. Caulfield Bros.
  13. Water tank.
  14. Calvert Simson’s house, shopkeeper.
  15. Main Office.
  16. The Old Old Mill Store; later used as a warehouse.
  17. Cook House and Dining Hall for employees.
  18. Open water.
  19. Boardwalk.
  20. The New Old Mill Store, now at Alma Road.
  21. Wharf shed.
  22. Open sawdust. General athletic ground, lacrosse, etc.
  23. Mill refuse fire.
  24. Mill proper.
  25. Machine shop, engine room, smoke stacks.
  26. Oil house.
  27. Blacksmith shop.
  28. End of flume above ground; then underground to cookhouse.
  29. Little water tank at end of flume.
  30. Cottage.
  31. Cottage.
  32. Library and Mechanic Institute
  33. Fire engine, hand pumped.
  34. Bachelors kitchen.
  35. Saw filer’s house.
  36. Mill foreman’s house.
  37. Cottage.
  38. Two duplex cottages.
  39. Bachelor’s shack

43. Bummer’s Hall, recreation.
44 − 46. Cottages.
47 − 48. Water tank connected with flume from Trout Lake
49 − 54. Cottages for mixed races; no Chinese.
55 − 68. Cottages for all races.
69. Road to Granville and Hastings.
70. St. James’ Church on the beach.
71. Westminster Avenue (Main Street).
72. Gore Avenue (skid road).
73. Dunlevy Avenue.

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