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All about Hastings-Sunrise

Hastings-Sunrise is a primarily residential area, mostly of working class families and includes a dense strip of commercial activities along East Hastings Street and Nanaimo Street. The area has several parks and the north part of the area along the shoreline is occupied by the Port of Vancouver and light industrial. The area has a large population of multi-cultural residents, mostly Italian-Canadian. Currently, the area has become a haven for young artists and an influx of immigrants from China and South Asian countries. Hastings-Sunrise is also well known Pacific National Exhibition Fairgrounds, which hosts the PNE Fair every August-September. The Pacific National Exhibition also hosts the Playland Amusement Park and the Pacific Coliseum, the original home of NHL’s Vancouver Canucks and current home of WHL’s Vancouver Giants.

History of Hastings-Sunrise

Hastings-Sunrise is one of Vancouver’s oldest neighborhoods and considered the area to be a resort destination during the 19th century. Many believe that the area is named after the Battle of Hastings in the conquest of England in 1066. However the area was named after George Fowler Hastings, Admiral of the Royal Navy, to commemorate his visit in 1866-1869. Hastings-Sunrise is a large block of land that was set aside by Province of British Columbia. The purpose of the area was to be turned into a harbour city and shipping terminal to compliment the terminus city of New Westminster, also British Columbia’s capital at the time. Meanwhile, plans for the Hastings-Sunrise area to be turned into a harbour city were changed as Gaston was turned into a shipping terminal. The Hastings-Sunrise area, which at the time was called New Brighton until 1869, then became a popular recreational area for mid 19th century residents.

Hastings-Sunrise was considered a first for many new ideas in what is now a piece of the City of Vancouver. The first hotels, roads, telephones and post offices where built in the Hastings-Sunrise area and the first in the Greater Vancouver area. The Hastings-Sunrise area then became a part of the City of Vancouver in 1911.

Hastings not only attracted many residents to a resort and displaying beachfronts but was also popular for Hastings Racetrack. Residents were so ecstatic of the area that they began to lobby for more activities and attractions. In 1910, lobbying by the residents in the area resulted in the Grand opening of the Pacific National Exhibition . The Pacific National Exhibition had leased land from the province until 1994, and due to another successful lobbying by the residents in the area, part of the land was transformed into green parkland space for other recreational activities.

By 1920, much of the beachfront was transformed for industrial use and occupied by railyards. The Port of Vancouver was then developed and still is a major employer of the area. However, New Brighton Park exists and still has public access to a waterfront near the original Hastings resorts sites.

Geography of Hastings-Sunrise

Hastings-Sunrise is located the North-east corner of Greater Vancouver. The area is bordered by Nanaimo Street to the west, Boundary Road to the east, East Broadway to the south and Burrard Inlet to the north.