The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is one of the world’s oldest Christian traditions and still maintains practices unchanged from the early days of Christianity. The Ethiopian church is the biggest in a communion of six Eastern Orthodox churches, which also includes the Coptic Church of Egypt, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Church, and the Malabar Orthodox Church in India.
Now part of Vancouver’s extensive RCMP complex on Heather Street, the Fairmount Building was constructed in 1912. The Fairmount Academy was originally an elite private school for boys and was built in Tudor Revival style. In the early part of the 20th century, Tudor Revival became very popular throughout British Columbia and was used for private houses, hotels, railway stations, hospitals, and provincial government buildings. By 1914, British Columbia Tudor had become more sophisticated and was faithfully copying the fine detail of the Tudor Revival in Britain.
The Thrangu Monastery on No. 5 Road in Richmond is the first Tibetan-style building to be built in Metro Vancouver. It is an offshoot of the 1,000-year-old Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery, one of the most ancient centres for the study of Buddhist philosophy in Tibet. The parent monastery was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, but refugee monks built two substantial Thrangu monasteries in neighbouring Nepal and one in India. In 1982, the monks of the original Tibetan monastery were given permission to rebuild and the complex is currently being restored.
Started in 1996, the Ling Yen Mountain Temple and Monastery is the first phase of a large temple complex proposed for Richmond’s No. 5 Road, also known as “The Road to Heaven”.
The completed portion consists of a prayer hall facing the street; a large, enclosed courtyard bounded by two monastery wings; and a recitation hall to the east. In the centre of the courtyard is a small pavilion dedicated to Kwan Yin, the Divine Mother.
The Ling Yen Mountain Temple is an offshoot of the Ling Yen Shan Temple located in the mountains of Central Taiwan. It is affiliated with the Pure Land sect of Mahayana Buddhism, and there are an estimated 10,000 members in the Vancouver area.
Saint Helen’s Anglican Church and its rectory were built in 1911 by Surrey reeve W.J. Walker, who also donated the money for the construction of two other Anglican churches in Surrey, one of which, in Port Kells, still survives. Both the rectory and church were designed by British-born architect Frank William Macey, who was the first resident architect in Burnaby. Macey also designed the Tudor mansions in Burnaby’s Deer Lake area.
The Guru Nanaksar Gursikh Gurdwara, located on Westminster Highway in eastern Richmond, is an offshoot of the Nanaksar Movement in India. The movement was formed in 1943 after the death of Baba Nand Singh, who was revered by many in the Punjab as a saint. The building of this Richmond gurdwara is another example of an Asian religious movement taking steps to establish itself outside of the continent. Back then, Baba Mihan Singh, the movement’s new leader, began to regularly tour Canada and the U.K. He found particularly strong support in the Vancouver area, and it was decided to organize the construction of the Richmond temple. Other temples were constructed in Edmonton, Toronto, and Coventry, England.
Designed by architect W.E. Sproat, the Kuomintang Building is one of the most interesting and prominent buildings in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Vancouver played a significant role in the Chinese Revolution that ended the Qing Dynasty and brought Dr. Sun Yat-sen to power in the year 1911. The previous year, Sun had lived in Vancouver for protracted periods and had raised substantial sums here in support of the revolution. The Kuomintang party was formed in China in 1913 with Sun at its head, but the party was soon removed from power in a coup. In 1917, Sun set up a rival government in Guangzhou and the Kuomintang became a powerful political force in all the overseas Chinese communities. The Vancouver branch was built in 1920 to house the Western Canadian headquarters.
The Squamish Nation’s Mission reserve is located just west of Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. Originally called the village of Slah’ahn, it has ancient Coast Salish roots that go back thousands of years. It is one of three Coast Salish communities on Vancouver Harbour.
The So-Sah-Latch Health Centre features graphics by Squamish artist Xwalacktun (Rick Harry). The health centre is a modern, two-storey building. Access is through a traditional-looking faí§ade that projects out two metres from the rest of the building. The Coast Salish usually built very large, shed-style buildings with single-pitched roofs. However, double-pitched, gable-style roofs, similar to the above, were also occasionally used.
Shown above is one of two heritage trams that have operated as the Downtown Historic Railway on summer weekends from May to October for the past eight years. It is hoped they will resume operation this coming summer on the track that has recently been upgraded between the Canada Line’s Olympic Village Station and Granville Island. There are also talked-about proposals to open heritage tram lines in Steveston and Surrey.
The Chinese Benevolent Association Building was constructed in 1907. In the first half of the 20th century, the Chinese Benevolent Association was the most important organization in Chinatown. Its imposing council hall featured a shrine to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, and the room was furnished with elaborately carved armchairs from the Qing Dynasty. In the 1970s, the CBA lost most of its influence. It has since been restructured and has once again become an important organization in the Vancouver Chinese community.