Old Photographs of Christmas Trees and Lights in Vancouver (Gallery)

When a tornado hit Ontario this summer, a video uploaded to TikTok showed the devastation on a house with the Christmas lights still up. A commenter snidely cracked, even the tornado couldn’t take the lights down. Besides the obvious crime of leaving the lights up, there are also strident thoughts about the optimal time to turn them on. After Remembrance Day? On December 1? When to turn them off? To avoid the drama, we can always drive or walk around and look at other people’s lights.

1904-Three people inside a fish shop decorated for Christmas
1904-Three people inside a fish shop decorated for Christmas

There are also annual attractions like the VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Winter Festival of Lights featuring over one million bulbs.

Despite a tree shortage, the age-old debate of real or artificial trees is still heated. Find a place in your home to store one all year, or trudge into a woodlot and fall your own tree and contend with dead pine needles scattered all over the floor. Fun fact, I’ve never owned a Christmas tree, but I still inspect my mom’s tree every year to make sure all the ornaments I’ve ever made are still hanging on the branches.

1905-Vancouver Salvation Armyband serenading from horse drawn carriage with Christmas banner
1905-Vancouver Salvation Armyband serenading from horse drawn carriage with Christmas banner

All kidding aside, it is nice to have at least a touch of holiday cheer, as vintage pictures from the Vancouver archives show, whether it’s a wreath in a fish shop or a tree propped in front of a work campsite.

1910-Dec 25-Men of the Crows Nest Pass Lumber Co in front of dwelling on Christmas Day
1910-Dec 25-Men of the Crows Nest Pass Lumber Co in front of dwelling on Christmas Day
1932-FWWoolworth Company Limited store interiors
1910-Dec 25-Men of the Crows Nest Pass Lumber Co in front of dwelling on Christmas Day
1932-Safeway Stores Limited corner Seymour and Georgia Streets - Vancouver BC
1932-Safeway Stores Limited corner Seymour and Georgia Streets – Vancouver BC
1934-MrRobertCorbins electrically decorated house at 7925 Shaughnessy Street at night
1934-MrRobertCorbins electrically decorated house at 7925 Shaughnessy Street at night
1937-The BCElectric store on Granville Street decorated for Christmas and illuminated at night
1937-The BCElectric store on Granville Street decorated for Christmas and illuminated at night
1946-HBCoHudsons Bay Company]Xmas windows
1946-HBCoHudsons Bay Company]Xmas windows
1948-Hudsons Bay Co display xmas window
1948-Hudsons Bay Co display xmas window
1957-Christmas lights at Vivian EBennett residence - 1735 East 49th Avenue
1957-Christmas lights at Vivian EBennett residence – 1735 East 49th Avenue
1984-Festival of Lights Sasquatch Christmas
1984-Festival of Lights Sasquatch Christmas
1987-Festival of Lights Christmas lights
1987-Festival of Lights Christmas lights
1987-Festival of Lights Christmas
1987-Festival of Lights Christmas
1988-Festival of Lights- Christmas lights
1988-Festival of Lights- Christmas lights
1990-Festival of Lights Christmas-
1990-Festival of Lights Christmas-