Fall 2023 - HIST 486 D100

Studies in History II (4)

History of Vancouver

Class Number: 3526

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Mon, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

    Oct 10, 2023: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



Special topics.



Photo credit: Nicolas Kenny - Students in the History of Vancouver seminar on a walking tour of Stanley Park

History of Vancouver

Join us for an exciting course of walking tours and discussions on the history of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland!

Often described as a young, dynamic, and forward-looking city, Vancouver is sometimes thought of as a place without a history.  Walking around the glass towers of downtown, you might be forgiven for taking this view…  Yet the city and region are the products of centuries of Indigenous presence, of settler colonialism, and of diverse international migration.  This seminar will explore how these processes developed, and how they continue to shape the social, cultural, political, and physical contexts we live in today.  Though Vancouver is frequently praised as a highly liveable city, we will discuss the encounters that have made it into a diverse and contested metropolis, and the numerous challenges and inequalities that have long underlain its idyllic image.   

This course will be taught at SFU’s Harbour Centre Campus.  We will take regular walks in various parts of the city, exploring the layers of history visible in its streets, architecture, landscape, and layout.  On occasion we will meet away from the classroom and notification will be provided in advance.  If you anticipate any mobility concerns, please contact me as soon as possible.


  • Seminar participation 20%
  • Weekly discussion questions 5%
  • Seminar leadership (in pairs) 5%
  • Research proposal 10%
  • Book review 20%
  • Research paper 35%
  • Final presentation 5%


NB This is a preliminary outline.  Course and grading structure are subject to change.  A complete syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.



Adele Weder, Ron Thom, Architect: The Life of a Creative Modernist, Greystone Books, 2022.

Other course readings will be made available via Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.