Vancouver Centennial Plaque #4 – The North Arm Road


698 Kingsway (Kingsway & Fraser)


Formerly the Owl Drugstore, now Tama Supermarket





In 1875, a wagon road was cleared from the North Arm of the Fraser River to this area, where it joined the False Creek trail. Together these rough roads linked the settlements of Eburne (Marpole) and Lulu Island with Granville, better known as Gastown.”

Credit: Vancouver Centennial Commission, Historic Plaque Program – list and documentation plaques 1-49 (June 18, 1986). Courtesy of Vancouver Archives

There were actually three North Arm Roads! This plaque doesn’t refer to the one built by the Royal Engineers to connect New Westminster to Port Moody or the one built by the Canadian Pacific Railway (and which is Granville Street today). This plaque commemorates the North Arm Road that was built for farmers from Marpole and Lulu Island to have an overland route to Gastown and Hastings Mill – the settlements pre-dating Vancouver’s incorporation.

It was not an easy process to have the road made. The first trail went from the north side of the Fraser River to Little Mountain, then joined a logging road which only went to the end of Ash Street and was really rough and steep too. The government engineer said this trail was unsuitable, so it was abandoned. A new wagon road was built from the Fraser River, along Fraser Street to the False Creek Trail. This plaque was installed where the North Arm Road met the False Creek Trail – at the intersection of Fraser Street and Kingsway.

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