Burrard Inlet, today the shores of the city, is one of the area’s “innumerable pleasing landscapes.” But it was the discovery of gold that drew substantial European settlements to the region.
In 1827, the Hudson’s Bay Company set up a trading post on the Fraser River, east of present-day Vancouver. By 1858, the gold rush on the Fraser River brought thousands of prospectors to the area. The influx of pioneers would continue.
Perhaps the city’s best known pioneer is Vancouver legend “Gassy Jack” Deighton. He established the area’s first saloon in 1867 on the south shore of the Burrard Inlet; the area became known as Gastown (Gassy’s Town. To gass = old English for to boast and to exaggerate). It continued to be named Gastown even after the community was laid out in 1870 as the “Township of Granville”.
Nearby, legendary Stanley Park was officially opened in 1888, named for Lord Stanley, former Governor General of Canada.