22 vintage photos of Christmas in Vancouver through the ages

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Woodwards Department Store in preparation for the Attorney General's Christmas Party, Nov. 22, 1948. Photo via Vancouver Public Library.

Christmas in Vancouver is full of lights, festive festivities and, this year at least, lots of rain. But how did Vancouverites celebrate Christmas decades ago?

From Santas arriving by helicopter and riding on trains with chimps to Salvation Army donation kettle shakedowns and shops prepping for the holiday rush, Christmas in Vancouver, as seen through these vintage photographs, was interesting indeed!

(And no, we have no idea what’s happening in that Christmas card with the bird photo either…)

Woodwards Department Store in preparation for the Attorney General's Christmas Party, Nov. 22, 1948. Photo via Vancouver Public Library.

Photo via Vancouver Public Library

Woodwards Department Store in preparation for the Attorney General’s Christmas Party, Nov. 22, 1948.

Santa and Chimp at Park Royal Shopping Centre, 1960s. Photo via West Vancouver Archives.

Photo via West Vancouver Archives

Santa and chimp at Park Royal Shopping Centre, 1960s.

L.D. Taylor and Katherine Federici Sitting in Granville Mansion living room at Christmas, 1930s. Photo via Vancouver Archives.

Photo via Vancouver Archives

Former mayor of Vancouver L.D. Taylor enjoying a cigar and the company of Katerine Federici in his living room at Granville Mansions at Christmas, 1930s.

B.C. Electric Sales Room decorated for Christmas, 1932. Photo via Vancouver Public Library.

Photo via Vancouver Public Library

B.C. Electric Sales Room decorated for Christmas, 1932.

Santa Arrives at Dell Shopping Mall in Whalley by Helicopter, Dec. 17, 1964. Photo via Surrey Archives.

Photo via Surrey Archives

Santa Arrives at Dell Shopping Mall in Whalley by helicopter, Dec. 17, 1964.

S.P.C.A. Christmas Puppy, Dec. 19, 1966. Photo via Vancouver Public Library.

Photo via Vancouver Public Library

S.P.C.A. Christmas Puppy, Dec. 19, 1966.

The Case triplets visit Santa, 1939. Photo via Vancouver Archives.

Photo via Vancouver Archives

The Case Triplets visit Santa, 1939.

Vancouver General Hospital Christmas Tree, Dec. 13, 1965. Photo via Vancouver Public Library.

Photo via Vancouver Public Library

Vancouver General Hospital Christmas Tree, Dec. 13, 1965.

Ward of Shaughnessy Hospital decorated Christmas celebrations, 1920. Photo via Vancouver Archives.

Photo via Vancouver Archives

Ward of Shaughnessy Hospital decorated for Christmas celebrations, 1920.

Kiwanis Club clowns Christmas visit at Children's Hospital, Dec. 14, 1965. Photo via Vancouver Public Library.

Photo via Vancouver Public Library

Kiwanis Club clowns Christmas visit at Children’s Hospital, Dec. 14, 1965.

Fireman playing Santa at Children's Hospital, Dec. 16, 1966. Photo via Vancouver Public Library.

Photo via Vancouver Public Library

Fireman playing Santa at Children’s Hospital, Dec. 16, 1966.

Fireman at Children's Hospital with Santa, Dec. 16, 1966. Photo via Vancouver Public Library.

Photo via Vancouver Public Library

Fireman at Children’s Hospital with Santa, Dec. 16, 1966.

Kinsmen Christmas Tree Sale in Newton, Dec. 24, 1964. Photo via Surrey Archives.

Photo via Surrey Archives

Kinsmen Christmas Tree Sale in Newton, Dec. 24, 1964.

Salvation Army cheer pot novelty picture, Dec. 1950s. Photo via Vancouver Public Library.

Photo via Vancouver Public Library

Salvation Army cheer pot novelty picture, Dec. 1950s.

Santa and Sleigh at Park Royal Shopping Centre, Dec. 1951. Photo via West Vancouver Archives.

Photo via West Vancouver Archives

Santa and his sleigh at Park Royal Shopping Centre, Dec. 1951.

Robert Corbin's Electrically Decorated House at 7925 Shaughnessy Street, Jan. 6, 1934. Photo via Vancouver Archives.

Photo via Vancouver Archives

Robert Corbin’s electrically decorated house at 7925 Shaughnessy Street, Jan. 6, 1934.

Christmas in Steveston, 1940. Photo via Richmond Archives.

Photo via Richmond Archives

Christmas in Steveston, 1940.

Collecting Toys for Christmas, Dec. 3, 1965. Photo via Vancouver Public Library.

Photo via Vancouver Public Library

Collecting toys for Christmas, Dec. 3, 1965.

Marine Building Interior Decorated for Christmas, date unknown. Photo via Vancouver Public Library.

Photo via Vancouver Public Library

Marine Building interior decorated for Christmas, date unknown.

Hudson Bay Company woman sitting with display Santa, 1943. Photo via Vancouver Archives.

Photo via Vancouver Archives

Hudson Bay Company woman sitting with display Santa, 1943.

Advertisement for Christmas at Park Royal, Dec. 1952. Photo via West Vancouver Archives.

Photo via West Vancouver Archives

Advertisement for Christmas at Park Royal, Dec. 1952.

"Christmas Comes but once a year - So we share our cake and 'Ditch' our fear." A Merry Christmas from The Birds' Paradise, Vancouver, B.C., Charles E. Jones and Family, 1938. Photo via Vancouver Archives.

Photo via Vancouver Archives

“Christmas comes but once a year – so we share our cake and ‘ditch’ our fear.” A merry Christmas from the Birds’ Paradise, Vancouver, B.C.’s Charles E. Jones and Family, 1938.

 

Written by Kendall Walters of Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours.

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Forbidden Vancouver Forbidden Vancouver stages walking tours, photowalks and special events that celebrate Vancouver's little-known histories, people and places.

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