History of Kerrisdale

Kerrisdale had its beginnings in 1862 when the McCleery brothers, Samuel and Fitzgerald, decided to farm the area now occupied by the Marine Drive Golf Club. In the mid-1870s, the Magee family began farming just below where Marine Drive today meets Balaclava. The Mole family set their stakes at the present site of the Point Grey Golf Club.

aero view of Kerrisdale           Map of Kerrisdale
In 1902, the Johnson family built where Crofton House now stands, and in 1903, a young Scottish couple, Mr. And Mrs. William MacKinnon, built a family home at 2941 West 42nd Avenue. A man named Frank Bowser bought 10 acres at 44th and Macdonald for $50 an acre and C.F. Foreman paid $77 an acre for 10 acres at 49th and Macdonald.

Kerrisale House in 1902Throughout the years, logging was well underway in the area. Kerrisale was logged no less than four times during this early period.

Kerrisdale was also beginning to become a desirable place to live. Transportation improved with the building of the CPR tracks in 1902. The B.C. Electric Company took over the Vancouver-Lulu Island Railway in 1905. In 1905, Mrs. MacKinnon was asked by B.C. Electric General Manager R.H. Sperling to name the tram station at Wilson Road (now 41st Avenue).Mrs. MacKinnon named it Kerrisdale after her old family home, Kerrydale, in Gairloch, Scotland.

In the century since Mrs. MacKinnon put a name to one of the best known districts in Canada, much has happened. Better transportation came to Kerrisdale in 1912. Street car tracks were laid along the graveled Wilson Road (41st Avenue) from the Boulevard to Dunbar Street. The fare was five cents. In 1920, tracks were extended along 41st Avenue eastward to Granville where connections could be made for through service to downtown Vancouver.

In 1904, Sydney Bell, who rode the rails to Lulu Island on what was called the Sockeye Special each day, recognized the corner of what is now 41st and West Boulevard as a great business location. As a result, he founded Bell’s General Store and Post Office in 1904.

From 1904-1912, the business district of Kerrisdale was composed of one general store and post office, one meat market, real estate office and hardware store.

In 1912, partners Frank Bowser and Frank Burd built the Bowser Block at 41st and West Boulevard. The building ,which still stands today, houses the Bank of Montreal, along with other businesses.

Until January 1st, 1929, Vancouver was made up of three areas: the city of Vancouver, the Municipality of South Vancouver and the Municipality of Point Grey.

On March 26th, 1908 a square block was bought in Kerrisdale on which the Point Grey Municipality office would be built. Today, that block is occupied by the Kerrisdale Community Centre.

In 1929, the Municipality of Point Grey amalgamated with the City of Vancouver.

Remember when?


41st Ave in the 60's   Kerrisdale history apartments in 60'sBOM in the 60's   View of crn of Wst Blvd & 41st in 60's

A peak at Kerrisdale in the 1960’s