Posted by: Angela Yen on January 20, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Angus McIntyre and Lyanne Smith collect public transportation memorabilia from all over Canada and U.S.A. - with a focus on Vancouver.

McIntyre's collection includes artefacts as large as fare boxes and as small as transit tokens. Smith's collection is more focused on paper media and small collectables issued between 1890 and 2000 by the various operating companies. Together their collections paint a detailed timeline of the province's transportation system. In the video below, McIntyre shares how the old fare boxes from the 1950s and 1960s worked, and how the prominence of paper money made them obsolete by the 1970s. McIntyre and Smith's collections are now on display as part of the All Together Now exhibition - on through March 19, 2017.


Angus McIntyre
Greater Vancouver Public Transit Memorabilia

Why do you collect?
I started my 41-year career as a Vancouver bus driver in 1969, so I had access to many bus parts after they were retired from service. I was able to save items that appealed to me for their design, engineering and historic value. Brill trolley buses were my focus because I drove them for 15 years.

How do you collect?
My first foray into collecting occurred when I was 18. I went with a friend to a scrap yard in South Burnaby. We paid a modest sum to salvage items from old Brill trolley buses. As time went on, I added to my collection through contacts in the transit system or through other collectors.

How does your collection relate to you?
My collection is directly connected to my job as a bus driver.

How does your collection relate to Vancouver?
Most of my transit collection dates from after 1955, the date the last streetcar ran.

How does your collection connect you with people?
It provides me with a way to share my knowledge of the transit system with transit enthusiasts and friends. When I give a talk, I illustrate my presentation by showing objects to the audience. I’ve also developed an extensive network of transit collectors over the years. I was fortunate to have mentors 50 years ago who took the time to explain Vancouver’s transit history to me. I am now in a position to mentor a younger generation of transit collectors.

Lyanne Smith and Angus McIntyre - public transportation collectors
Photo by Rebecca Blissett

Lyanne Smith
Greater Vancouver and Victoria Public Transit Memorabilia

Why do you collect?
I began collecting during my career at BC Hydro and continued when I worked with BC Transit and SkyTrain. In 1990, I met several old conductors and motormen who worked for BC Electric. I was moved by their stories and as a result, my collecting took on a more personal approach. I now collect to preserve the history of the employees who built the transit system in Vancouver and region.

How do you collect?
I acquired most of my collection while working at BC Transit. Retired employees and their families donated many items. I also obtained several through antique dealers. At one time, I had a dealer who would source out unique and rare items for me.

How does your collection relate to you?
Together, my husband and I have over 78 years of transit experience. The collection is very meaningful to us because the transit industry has played a huge role in our lives. We met many of our closest friends during our careers, so when we show the collection, it’s like a trip down memory lane!!

How does your collection relate to Vancouver?
It tells the story of Vancouver’s public transit system. It also talks about the employees who worked for the various companies that operated the system.

How does collecting connect you with people?
Over time, I’ve connected with several public transit employees and their families who were eager to share their experiences in the industry. I also engage with the general public, who are keen to learn more about this aspect of their city’s history.


Posted by: Angela Yen on January 12, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Photo by Rebecca Blissett

What do you collect?
I collect anything related to Expo 67 to keep alive the incredible memories I have of this event.

Why do you collect?
Expo 67 changed my life. As a teenager, this event greatly expanded my horizons and my interest in different cultures, architecture and in Canada’s place in the world. I found the concept of showcasing state-of-the-art innovations at a universal exposition truly exciting. I was so proud that Canada was able to create such a world stage.

How do you collect?  
I mostly purchase online or at flea markets. On a few occasions, other Expo 67 collectors shared their items with me. Sometimes, the memories are what we share and collect.

How does your collection relate to you?
The coming of age of Canada, of its culture and architecture, its art and music occurred just as I was coming into my own as a young man. It channelled my fascination with Canada’s place on the world stage and made me into an inveterate traveller.

How does your collection relate to Vancouver?
I have met many Vancouverites who trekked out to Montreal to enjoy Expo 67 as the highlight of Canada’s Confederation celebrations. They all have stories to tell and relish their experiences. Their pride in the Canadian-ness of the event justifies my own.

How does collecting connect you with people?
So many Canadians came together for this significant event. Canadians were vindicated by our success in pulling together a world-quality exposition—on a scale even Americans at that point had not achieved. Europe took notice, and Canada was able to stand high and proud. Anyone who attended Expo 67 can say as much.

Upcoming Event: Celebrating Expo 67 with Maurice Guibord

Guibord and All Together Now curator Viviane Gosselin acknowledge the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 with insights, memories and collectables from this ground-breaking Canadian event, on Thursday, January 19 at 7pm. More details here.
Posted by: Anonymous on January 9, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Countless vessels have transacted in Vancouver’s port throughout the city's history. Few ships, though, hold such an important place in Vancouver’s history as the Robert Kerr.

The Robert Kerr was a sailboat built in 1866 in Quebec. In 1885, she was sold at auction and retrofitted into a coal barge, pulled around by a tugboat. The Robert Kerr travelled between Vancouver Island and the mainland on a regular basis. It was during one of these trips that the ship earned its reputation as “the ship that saved Vancouver.”

Robert Kerr - the ship that saved Vancouver
S.S. Robert Dunsmuir on the left, and Robert Kerr on the right. City of Vancouver Archives, AM54-S4-: Bo P127.3, 1898.

On June 13, 1886, work crews for the Canadian Pacific Railway were clearing land between Cambie and Main streets. A strong wind picked up the controlled brush fire and carried it towards Vancouver. The fire engulfed the city, killing dozens of people. Witnesses reported that within forty-five minutes, the city was reduced to ash. The crew of the Robert Kerr opened their ship to people who were fleeing the fire. Approximately 150 people climbed on board and watched the city burn from the relative safety of the ship’s deck.

The Great Vancouver Fire
Map drawn by city archivist J.S. Matthews showing the path of the fire. Note the Robert Kerr in Burrard Inlet. City of Vancouver Archives, sketch by Major J.S. Matthews, AM1562-: 75-54, 1932.

However, the ship's role in the Great Vancouver Fire began long before June 13, 1886. A year before the fire, the Captain of the Robert Kerr donated the ship’s bell to the city of Vancouver for use as a warning bell. The bell rung a year later as the fire first spiraled out of control. Those peals were the first warning for many residents.

The bell that the captain of the Robert Kerr donated to the city of Vancouver in 1885. This bell was rung on June 13, 1886 to warn residents of the fire. Museum of Vancouver collection, H973.539.1

After the fire, the Robert Kerr continued to haul coal throughout the west coast of British Columbia. In March 1911, the tugboat Coulti was tugging the Robert Kerr from Nanaimo to Vancouver when it accidentally pulled the Robert Kerr across a coral reef just north of Thetis Island. The crew removed the coal on board, abandoned the Robert Kerr, and left it to sink. The shipwreck, designated a heritage site under the BC Heritage Conservation Act, is a popular site among recreational scuba divers. 


Montanna Mills is a recent graduate from the master’s program in public history at Western University. As a member of MOV’s curatorial team, Montanna is conducting research for an upcoming exhibition focusing on the city’s development during the 1860-1880s period.  Occasionally, she will share research on the MOV blog.

Posted by: Anonymous on January 5, 2017 at 10:15 am

Park Board Ice Patrol staff have today determined that one of our most popular ponds – Trout Lake – has ice thick enough to permit  removal of the warning signs and  public skating on the lake.  

With the extended cold spell, ice continues to form and thicken at various locations in city parks. With the exception of Trout Lake, most ice remains too thin for recreation. Some areas even remain as open water. 

Staff regularly tests ice thickness, looking for five (5) inches or twelve (12) centimeters of clear, solid ice. ‘Good ice’ is a combination of quantity and quality.  The only location that currently meets standard is Trout Lake.  This morning, measurements at Trout Lake ranged from 51/2 to 71/2 inches or 14.0-19.0cm of clear, solid ice. Other locations, such as Lost Lagoon, Devonian Park, Vanier Park (behind the Museum of Vancouver), and Queen Elizabeth Park (multiple locations) do not meet standard.

Signs remain in place warning about thin ice and Ice Patrol Staff are on duty at key locations to advise the public. The signs at Trout Lake have been removed and Ice Patrol Staff who remain on-duty but are no longer intercepting would-be skaters and walkers.

The Park Board still encourages anyone keen for a skate to choose one for the eight (8) supervised ice rinks.

The long-range forecast includes warmer temperatures, along with snow and rain. Staff will continue to monitor conditions.

Posted by: Angela Yen on January 4, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Photo by Rebecca Blissett

Neil Whaley has lived in Vancouver for the past 34 years. He says he loves Vancouver and feels a deeper connection with the city as he expands his knowledge of its past. Whaley collects an array of Vancouver memorabilia and carefully researches each piece he acquires - talking with historians and frequenting the local library and archives. 

These vintage objects includes postcards, souvenirs, photos, advertising giveaways, signs, Christmas cards and the packaging of locally manufactured grocery products. His fascinating collection that gives you a glimpse into Vancouver's yester years is now on display as part of the exhibition All Together Now: Vancouver Collectors and Their Worlds. Above Whaley tells us a bit about his favourite piece from his collection.

Posted by: Angela Yen on December 29, 2016 at 3:42 pm

2016 was an exciting year for the Museum of Vancouver. This post takes a look back at the past year of MOV exhibitions and events.

The year started off with the exhibition Your Future Home: Creating the New Vancouver which delved into issues regarding Vancouver's housing affordability, urban density, mobility, and public spaces. We invited the public to participate in various workshops and seminars and to view various innovative designs from local architects, urban planners and designers. 

2016 also marked the 30th anniversary of the monumental World's Fair - Expo 86. To commemorate the game-changing event there was a nostalgic Expo 86 display, full of original memorabilia and souvenirs. Expo 86 themed events, including Recollecting Expo 86 and Transporting Expo 86 - Bikes, Beers and Balifostered discussion on what the event did for Vancouver's urban and transportation development and how the event has influenced the work of designers and architects living in Vancouver today. 

Our summer feature exhibition All Together Now: Vancouver Collectors and Their Worlds opened in June, celebrating 20 eclectic collections. The exhibition also explores what collecting means to different people and how it ties to personal memories and cultural history. With an exhibition this robust it was a privilege to host a series of collector talks entitled "Me and My Collection." Guests included Willow YamauchiHarold Steves, Imogene Lim, Marie AllenArt LingrenKyle Sellers, and Rob Frith. We're thrilled to announce the "Me and My Collection" talks will continue into the new year with Maurice Guibord from All Together Now sharing his collection and stories from Expo 67.

In October, MOV teamed up with The Vancouver Sun to present Vancouver in the Seventies. This exhibition displays over 400 photographs from The Vancouver Sun collection that showcases day to day life and major historic events in Vancouver during the 1970s. The exhibition was co-curated by former research librarian Kate Bird who also authored the photography book of the same name. She also presented a 'talk and tour' of the exhibition where she discussed the transitional decade for Vancouver, and the major themes that the photos were categorized in for the exhibition.

Along with these extraordinary exhibitions and related events, MOV played host to our annual Why I Design event where 23 local designers set up in the museum galleries and talked one-on-one with attendees about why they design and why they do it in Vancouver. 

And as if the year wasn't packed enough, in early December the Museum of Vancouver welcomed our new CEO Mark Richards, getting 2017 off to an already exciting start. 

Posted by: mov on December 21, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Check out these upcoming events...
Become a MOV Member and attend many for free!


All Together Now contributor Maurice Guibord and curator Viviane Gosselin acknowledge the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 with insights, memories and collectables from this ground-breaking Canadian event.   7pm   +
Explore the MOV, H.R MacMillan Space Centre, Vancouver Archives, Vancouver Academy of Music and the Maritime Museum all for $5. There will be food trucks, performances and family activities!  10am - 5pm 
Rebecca Blissett, Richard Lam, and Jon Lehmann discuss journalism’s shift from film to digital photography and the role it has in altering the media’s approach to documenting news. Moderated by Jennifer Moreau.  6pm   +
On the last Thursday of every month, the Museum is open late and admission is PWYC between 5pm - 8pm. 

Join the MOVement
Become a MOV Member today. Members receive unlimited free admission to the Museum for one year, complimentary events, 10% discount in the MOV Gift Shop and more.

Posted by: Angela Yen on December 21, 2016 at 3:24 pm

If you're having a hard time finding a uniquely "Vancouver" gifts -  make sure to stop by the Shop Local @ MOV store.

The Museum of Vancouver is proud to be carrying amazing products that are locally made or from local retailers. We also have a new line of MOV products including mugs, totes, water bottles and more. 

We hope you shop local and treat yourself or special someone to these special items!


1) These vintage felt pennants were created by several local designers including 10four Design Group who has worked on several of MOV's exhibitions. Partial proceeds from the Expo 86 design sold online will be donated to MOV. The Creative Director at Pennants of Canada is Vancouver is Awesome's very own Bob Kronbauer.


2) These delicious jams - created by East Van native Natalie Ferrari-Morton - proudly contains a 4:1 ratio of real fresh fruit to sugar. Get them while you can - we're down to just two flavours!

3) New to the store, we have these gorgeous prints of local artist Elena Markelova's hand lettered and illustrated map of Vancouver. The whimisical map includes the MOV! The full size version is on the wall in the store and makes for a great place to take a "Very Vancouver" selfie.


4) These great vintage baseball caps from Nine O'Clock Gun are stylish but also tell a bit about Vancouver's sports history. The caps pay tribute to some of the city's original althetes and amateur leagues including, the 1901 Vancouver Burrards and the 1914 Japanese-Canadian baseball team The Vancouver Asahi.

5) These coasters from Reclaimed Print Co. feature cool Vancouver themed graphics which are printed on locally sourced and sustainable wood!


Posted by: Angela Yen on December 20, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Our current feature exhibition, All Together Now: Vancouver Collectors and Their Worlds features 20 incredible collections including more than 2,000 nostagia filled vintage toys from collector Angus Bungay.

Children and adults alike love browsing the shelves upon shelves of retro toys. They either reinforce the longevity and popularity of some these iconic characters - Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, Batman etc. - or they bring back fond memories of playing with these exact same toys.

In spirit of the holidays we've picked five toys directly from our childhood.

1) I distinctly remember having the mail carrier Smurf holding an envelope with a heart on it and also the Smurf playing the horn which is in the photo below.


2) With two older brothers action figures were no stranger to my childhood. The Batman collection reminds of  a very cool Batmobile set my brother had and watching Fox Sunday Morning cartoons with him.


3) Though I never had actual Simpsons toys growing up, the TV show was a big part of my upbringing. As a die hard fan of the show it was very neat to see the extensive line of Simpsons toys which I never knew existed.


4) Seeing this Chicken McNugget toy was very exciting because it was toy I kept recalling as a teen and young adult but had almost forgotten what the toy looked like. I've always liked small containers and boxes so I remember liking that the box actually opened and was functional, and that the nuggets could be taken in and out from it, instead of them just being glued/attached to the bottom.


5) Also from the McDonalds collection, this little guy gave me nightmares as a kid! I'm glad I was able to confront him and face my fears. Though he's still a little scary.


Posted by: Angela Yen on December 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Vancouver in the Seventies: Photos from a Decade that Changed the City is now on view at the Museum of Vancouver.

The exhibition displays over 400 photos from The Vancouver Sun collection. To get a closer look and to celebrate some of these stunning photographs, each Friday we'll be selecting our Five Favourite Photos from each year of the seventies. 


1) The photo itself looks as unreal as the wing-walker stunt. It is almost cartoon like. I love how it appears like it's taken on a fake backdrop or on a soundstage. 

August 10, 1979 -   Wing-walker Robert Oakes, twenty-one, on the opening day of the Abbotsford Air Show atop a Super Stearman piloted by Joe Hughes. Photo by George Diack (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 79-0516)


2) A great joyous photo. I especially love the scattered flower petals/confetti which feel very indicative of the free spirted decade.

September 9, 1979 - The city celebrates with a victory parade down Granville Street for the NASL champion Vancouver Whitecaps, with goalie Phil Parkes (left) and captain John Craven (right) with the trophy. Photo by Ralph Bower (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 79-0817)


3) For any sushi lover or foodie in Vancouver it's great that an early photo of chef Tojo was documented.

November 14, 1979 - Leading the movement that would turn Vancouver into a renowned foodie paradise is sushi chef Tojo at Jinya Restaurant on West Broadway. Photo by Ken Oakes (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 79-1646)


4) I suddenly feel happy myself by just looking at this photo. The four distinct expressions are great and with the champagne dripping mid air, the photo feels very in the moment.

1979 - Whitecaps after winning North American Soccer League Championship (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun)


5) Such a dreamy and romantic photo. The two women look so glamourous that I assumed they were socialites or movie stars. It was to my suprise that the caption revealed the photo is of two prostitutes on the corner of Georgia and Hornby.

November 14, 1979 - Prostitutes at the corner of Georgia and Hornby. Photo by Ken Oakes (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 79-1648)


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