The Marpole community is a largely residential neighbourhood with a population of 21,730. Marpole is one of Vancouver's oldest neighbourhoods, settled in the 1860's. It still retains the feel of a neighbourhood even though an active industrial area is to be found south of the branch on S.W. Marine Drive. Location
It is believed the Marpole area was inhabited as far back as 3500 B.C. Two early village sites discovered along the north shore of the Fraser have been documented by archaeologists. Today, a stone cairn and a plaque in Marpole Park reminds visitors of the Marpole Midden, evidence of Marpole's earliest settlement. The Marpole Midden was discovered by workers in 1889 during the extension of Granville Street. Many tools, weapons and other artifacts were found in what proved to be one of the largest village sites discovered in North America.
Although George Garypie and James Mackie had preempted Marpole's river frontage in the 1860s, arrival of Harry Eburne in the early 1870s that settlement began and a community started to take shape. Eburne opened a store near the foot of Hudson Street, next to a Methodist church, built in 1871, which served the nearby farming community. Soon after, the store became the local post office for the "Eburne" community. (See also Sea Island Historical Society.)
Marpole in the 1920s was a neighbourhood of sawmills and canneries. It was also home to the families of managers and office workers, who each day travelled the streetcar line up Oak Street, stopping at sidings at 52nd and 67th Avenues.
After the Oak Street Bridge was completed in June 1957, linking Vancouver with Richmond, business flourished no longer. The more than 50 stores at Hudson and Marine Drive were suddenly empty and quiet as, a short distance away, former customers sped easily over to Richmond on the modern new structure.
The creation of a major traffic artery up Oak Street divided Marpole neatly in half, causing social as well as business ramifications.
Marpole became an area with lots of transition. The area south of 70th Avenue was rezoned for increased density. The older houses were gradually replaced by apartments occupied by families with few or no children.
In the 1960s, the area south of 70th Avenue was rezoned and low-rise stucco walkups began to replace the original homes. In 1975, when the Arthur Laing Bridge opened to airport traffic, commercial activity focused once again on Granville Street.
A second baby boom in the 1980s has expanded the school's population. Housing starts have increased in Marpole since EXPO 1986, with larger housing lots subdivided, doubling the number of families in the area coupled with increases through immigration in the 1990s.
Memories of Marpole - The Vancouver Courier cover story
White Spot Restaurants History - a part of Marpole since the 1920s