We will be moving to our new centre, (as soon as it finally gets finished), and we find that 411 will be siting at the exact spot on Fraser Street that is an historical location of the early days of Vancouver. A spot at the foot of the “Fraser Hump” at the edge of the Lavender Bog.
Fraser street was developed in 1875 as a wagon road to connect the farmland of the Fraser River to the False Creek trail. Once named North Arm Road, it linked two former First Nations trails, now Kingsway and Southeast Marine Drive.
Shops and homes sprouted amid the orchards and dairy farms of the area, but the sharpest boost to development came in 1909 when Vancouver’s streetcar tracks were extended south on Fraser from 33rd avenue creating a five-cent tram ride to a booming downtown just beginning to see automobiles.
The first south hill residents of this trolley car era were Europeans escaping war and Chinese immigrants working as farmers tilling fertile fields on the banks of the Fraser River. The neighbourhood has always been multicultural and still reflects that multicultural milieu with a Jewish Synagogue, the Glad Tidings Church, the Sri Ganesh Temple, the Polish Community Centre and Church, a Philippines Community Centre and numerous Chinese, Vietnamese, Latin American and Indo- Canadian markets, businesses and restaurants running the length of Fraser.
And this winter the 411 Seniors’ Centre Society will be moving into our long-awaited new home at 19th and Fraser. Located on one of Vancouver’s Peat bogs, it sits at the bottom of a hill once called “the Fraser Hump”. Because it is situated on a bog the streets are constantly buckling. Consequently, it was here that the streetcar would regularly jump the track. The passengers would all get off and help lift the car back on the tracks. This is but one story of our new neighbourhood.