VIEW-1794 | C.P.R. tea shed, Vancouver, BC, 1887

C.P.R. tea shed, Vancouver, BC, 1887
William McFarlane Notman
1887, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Photograph (77678) , rail (370) , Transportation (2517)
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Keys to History

The tea trade was highly profitable for the CPR. Within three weeks of the arrival of the first train to Port Moody, in 1886, a ship arrived from Yokohama with a million pounds of tea aboard. It was quickly shipped to Montreal and from there to Britain. Three years later, a Japanese consulate was opened in Vancouver to deal with trade and immigration issues. Beginning in 1891, there was also a profitable trade in mandarin oranges from Japan. In the early years, before prairie settlement really took off around 1895, the railway depended on this trade for much of its revenue.

Source : Forging the National Dream [Web tour], by William R. Morrison, University of Northern British Columbia (see Links)

  • What

    This warehouse is full of boxes of tea, a precious and valuable cargo.

  • Where

    The warehouses were at the docks in Vancouver.

  • When

    The tea trade had started about a year before this photo was taken in 1887.

  • Who

    Grown and picked by workers in China and India, the tea was carried by express across Canada for the British market.