Mount Pleasant is a vibrant and eclectic area known for its unusual stores, heritage buildings, artistic residents, and arts-focused festivals. The area is popular with first-time homebuyers, urban professionals, and families. Mount Pleasant runs from False Creek southeast and up the slope toward the busy Mount Pleasant shopping district, where Broadway, Kingsway, and Main Street meet.
This area has a community plan that has been recently completed:
And a nearby community plan underway:
The proximity to the business district of Vancouver and the availability of a quality water supply (Brewery Creek) made the area an ideal place for early industry and settlement. Early expectations were that Mount Pleasant would develop as Vancouver's fashionable "uptown." The area high above False Creek was named "Mount Pleasant" in 1888, after the Irish birthplace of the wife of H.V. Edmonds. Edmonds, clerk of the municipal council in New Westminster, was the original owner of much of Mount Pleasant.
By 1904, Mount Pleasant was home to a tannery, two slaughter houses, four breweries, and a train station. Industrial expansion brought residential development. By 1912, Mount Pleasant had a thriving residential population and community facilities such as an elementary school (the Kingsgate Mail site), a firehall, a first run theatre, and Vancouver's first skyscraper (the Lee Building). Mount Pleasant was also a terminus for the streetcar network.
During WWI, the tidal flats of False Creek from Main Street to Clark Drive were filled to provide a site for two large railway terminals and railyards. As a result, half of Mount Pleasant's waterfront was lost and the mouth of Brewery Creek was filled in.
By 1930, the character of the community was already established with block after block of houses on small lots, and a mix of residential and industrial uses. The 1930s brought changes to Mount Pleasant. Industrial expansion north of Broadway between Main and Cambie Streets resulted in the demolition of many homes. These changes transformed Mount Pleasant and it began to lose its residential prestige.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the remaining houses in the industrial area disappeared and more industries, low-rise offices and warehouses moved in. In 1935, the city expropriated park land at 12th Avenue and Cambie Street to build a new city hall. Mayor McGeer felt that the new location would link the area to the rest of the city. (Davis 1979) Today many older homes in south and west parts of Mount Pleasant have been restored.
Mount Pleasant still has many significant homes dating from the 1890s through to the 1920s. Mount Pleasant's notable residential buildings range from a collection of modest houses from the community's first phase of development, to more substantial and elaborate Queen Anne/Edwardian type residential buildings constructed during the first two decades of the 20th Century.
There are several important buildings that serve the community including:
Heritage Hall (formerly Postal Station C)
Opened in 1915 at Main Street and 15th Avenue as a post office, this striking building is considered Vancouver's best example of Beaux-arts Classicism. The building has a stone base, coupled pilasters, steep roofs, and a tall clock tower. Now called Heritage Hall, it is used as a meeting hall and is home to many community organizations.
The former Evangelistic Tabernacle
N.W. corner E. 10th Avenue and Quebec Street
Located in the heart of old Mount Pleasant, this 1909 building originally housed the Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church. The architects, Parr and Fee, used a Tudor Revival half timber-and-stone combination more commonly found in private homes. It was converted into private condominiums in the 1990s.
Opened at 12th and Cambie during Vancouver's 50th birthday celebrations in 1936, the hard-edged classicism of the austere white walls and column-like shafts appears in government buildings of the 1930s from Munich to Moscow. Learn more about the history and heritage of City Hall.
Detailed information on the city's heritage and a complete list of heritage buildings is available at City of Vancouver Heritage.
Additional information is available through the City of Vancouver Archives.