Vancouver Feature: Timber Arch Installed on Native Site

Before the creation of Stanley Park, this site, now known as Lumberman’s Arch, was a Squamish First Nation village called Whoi Whoi. In 1891, a work crew pushed through the road that circles the park and the Squamish residents were forced to move elsewhere.

The arch in its original location on Pender at Hamilton, 1912. Vancouver City Archives.

Lumberman’s Arch, 1930. Vancouver City Archives.

The site of the original Lumberman’s Arch is beside a children’s water park. A newer, smaller arch is located south of this site.

The first Lumberman’s Arch was a massive monument consisting of a roof supported by eight thick tree trunks. It was installed across Pender Street to commemorate the 1912 visit of the Canadian governor general the Duke of Connaught, then floated across the harbour and re-installed near this spot. It was replaced by the present, smaller arch in 1952.

The village of Whoi Whoi was surrounded by a large midden of discarded clam and oyster shells which were dug up and used to surface the road.

The original arch was also called the Bowie Arch after its designer, G.P. Bowie, who died fighting in France during World War One.