Kumkumalay…The East End…Strathcona.
From its prehistory as a Coast Salish camp to millworker cabins to the thriving multicultural crucible that helped forge our city today.
Strathcona is Vancouver’s first neighbourhood. Before the railway, before the fire, this was the settlement’s core.
Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood started out as a collection of logger and mill labourers’ cabins built around Stamp’s Mill. The mill, eventually renamed Hastings Sawmill, was itself located on the site of a seasonal camp called Kumkumalay which the First Nations inhabitants of Burrard Inlet had been using for millennia. From these humble beginnings, the East End grew, welcoming wave after wave of newcomers from all over the globe, each leaving their imprint on the unique diverse urban community Strathcona is today. Strathcona is rich in built heritage. It is home to the city’s oldest school, its oldest churches, its first synagogue, Buddhist temples, and an amazing number of some of Vancouver’s oldest standing houses. The East End has nurtured the skills and creativity of world class athletes, renowned scientists, entertainers, artists, activists, entrepreneurs and politicians. It is the cradle of diversity in our city and the forge of Canadian identity for generations. It has been proud but not haughty; it has been beaten, but never bowed. Strathcona is what made Main Street the city’s main street. Of all Vancouver’s neighbourhoods, it alone can claim to be all of 125 years old.