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In 1870, the colonial government surveyed the settlement and laid out a townsite, renamed "Granville" in honour of the then-British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Granville.
This site, with its natural harbour, was selected in 1884 as the terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway, to the disappointment of Port Moody, New Westminster and Victoria, all of which had vied to be the railhead.
in fact, the CPR was the main real estate owner and housing developer in the city.
While some manufacturing did develop, including the establishment of the British Columbia Sugar Refinery by Benjamin Tingley Rogers in 1890, natural resources became the basis for Vancouver's economy.
The Fraser Gold Rush of 1858 brought over 25,000 men, mainly from California, to nearby New Westminster (founded February 14, 1859) on the Fraser River, on their way to the Fraser Canyon, bypassing what would become Vancouver.
the first European settlement in what is now Vancouver was not until 1862 at Mc Cleery's Farm on the Fraser River, just east of the ancient village of Musqueam in what is now Marpole.
One of those merchants, Charles Woodward, had opened the first Woodward's store at Abbott and Cordova Streets in 1892 and, along with Spencer's and the Hudson's Bay department stores, formed the core of the city's retail sector for decades.
As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011.
The Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada.
The first major sympathy strike was in 1903 when railway employees struck against the CPR for union recognition.
Labour leader Frank Rogers was killed by CPR police while picketing at the docks, becoming the movement's first martyr in British Columbia.