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Sensational Vancouver

by (author) Eve Lazarus

Anvil Press
Initial publish date
Jul 2014
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2014
    List Price

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History books typically show Vancouver as a pioneer city built on forestry, fisheries, and tourism, but behind the snow-capped mountains and rain forests, the Vancouver of the first half of the 20th century was a seething mass of corruption. The top job at the Vancouver Police Department was a revolving door with the average tenure for a police chief of just four years.

In those early years, Detective Joe Ricci's beat was the opium dens and gambling joints of Chinatown, while LurancyHarris-the first female cop in Canada-patrolled the high-end brothels of Alexander Street. Later, proceeds from rum running produced some of the city's iconic buildings, cops became robbers, and the city reeled from a series of unsolved murders.

But Vancouver is more than bookies, brothels, and bootleggers-the city also produced legendary women, world-class entertainers and ground-breaking architecture.

Sensational Vancouver is a fully illustrated popular history book about Vancouver's famous and infamous, the ordinary and the extraordinary, filtered through the houses in which they lived.

Sensational Vancouver covers legendary women including Elsie MacGill, Phyllis Munday, Nellie Yip Quong and Joy Kogawa; high-end brothels, unsolved murders, and the homes and buildings of artists, architects and entertainers including Frederick Varley, Arthur Erickson, Bryan Adams, and Michael Bublé.

Includes a Walking Tour map of historic Strathcona and Chinatown.

Praise for At Home with History:

"You might call her the Sherlock Holmes of home history. Lazarus's stories bring Vancouver's past back to life." -the Outlook

"A mix of old black-and-white street-scene photos, jovial stories, and unique neighbourhood profiles, the book crushes the idea that Vancouver is a city without history." -The Georgia Straight

"…exceptional incidents in ordinary houses and ordinary people in exceptional houses." -The Vancouver Sun

"Lazarus reveals the hidden stories of a number of Vancouver's heritage homes, setting each within the larger context of its neighbourhood … bootleggers rub shoulders with financiers, prostitutes with police, murderers with mayors." -The Vancouver Courier

About the author

Eve Lazarus has worked as a freelance journalist and writer for more than 15 years. Originally from Australia, she is the Vancouver correspondent for Marketing Magazine and the author of Frommer's with Kids Vancouver 2001 (John Wiley & Sons). She is a former newspaper reporter and has written for a variety of periodicals in Canada and the United States including the Globe & Mail, the Vancouver Sun, Style at Home, B.C. Business and Canadian Family magazines. In 2001, she won gold and silver awards at the Canadian Business Press KRW's. Lazarus has a communications degree from Simon Fraser University and a journalism diploma from Langara College. Since becoming obsessed with home histories, she has written articles on the subject for Style at Home; REM; the Globe & Mail, and Nuvo Magazine. Eve lives in North Vancouver with her husband, three kids and miniature Schnauzer.

Eve Lazarus' profile page

Other titles by Eve Lazarus