History: Named after a chief of the Squamish Nation Khahtsahlanough. Kitsilano has the distinction of being the second most recognized neighbourhood in Canada.
One of the area’s first non-native settlers, Sam Greer, lived on Kits Beach, currently voted the world’s third sexiest beach! In 1882 Sam, an Irishman, who had been an unsuccessful gold prospector in the Cariboo, claimed he bought 160 acres, bounded by lst Avenue, Trafalgar and the beach. He moved his wife and daughter into a small cabin at the present site of the Kits Beach bathhouse. His land claim was never recognized by the CPR. They began proceedings to prove his claim was worthless and that the railway had legal title. The CPR was given authority to evict Sam and sent in the sheriff. Sam grazed the sheriff with buckshot and was convicted of common assault in 1891. He died in 1925 at the age of 82. Greer Street commemorates this colourful early citizen.
Sam’s daughter, Jessie Hall, married John Hall, the city’s first notary public. Born in 1872 Jessie was the first settler baby in the Cariboo. In 1908 the Hall family built Killarney Manorat Bayswater & Point Grey Road. The stone mansion had oak and mahogany woodwork, elaborate stained glass, bathroom tiles set with gold, a massive fireplace inlaid with carved shamrocks and a fully outfilled ballroom with a sprung floor. Jessie was known for her charitable work and when she died in 1949, an era ended for Kitsilano.
Seven years later, developers bought the old mansion and built the palatial Killarney Condos at 2890 Point Grey Road, which retain the mansion’s stone wall and much of the grace and charm of an earlier era.
Movies: One of the first movies filmed in Vancouver was Robert Altman’s 1960 file “That Cold Day in the Park” and Kits was the selected location.
Housing: Craftsman style houses were built in Kits during the 1910 to 1912 boom period. Neighbourhood housing consists of heritage homes, bungalows, lowrise condo buildings, townhomes and duplexes.
Schools: Bayview Elementary 2251 Collingwood, Henry Hudson 1551 Cypress, Gordon Elementary 2896 W. 6th, Lord Tennyson 1936 W. 10th, Fraser Academy 2294 W. 10th, Kits Secondary 2550 W. 10th, Montessori 1819 Larch, St. John’s International 1885 W. Broadway, St. John’s 2195 W. 10th, St. Augustines 2195 W. 8th
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